A country suffering from the Napoleon complex

The Napoleon complex is, according to Wikipedia source:

a pejorative slang term describing a type of psychological phenomenon which is said to exist in people, usually men, of short stature. It is characterized by overly-aggressive or domineering social behavior, and carries the implication that such behavior is compensatory for the subjects’ stature.

a small dog trying to act as big

I recently came to the conclusion that this syndrome could be applied also to countries. Small ones to be precise. It is not uncommon that small countries sometimes tend to perceive their “smallness” as a some kind of handicap, watching to the neighboring ones with envy, and trying to imitate them in many aspects of the ordinary life. 

In my opinion this is wrong, for a series of factors. First and foremost no country, no matter if big or small, should ever deny its own history and culture dressing up with somebody else’s clothes. I’d like to point it out once again: no country! If you embrace some other’s culture, ways of living, perhaps even way of speaking, you are indirectly killing who you really are, although you don’t realize it. This is not a matter of pride, it’s simply a matter of intellectual honesty: what’s the reason of living is some place, if you do everything in your power to hide your roots? What’s the purpose, moreover?

In second analysis I’d like to point out that this behavior is also counterproductive. No matter how hard you can try, you will never end being what you are not born to be! You can try to dress up, talk, eat, act like somebody else, but your inner self will always betray you. That’s about ordinary people.

Dealing with governments, the considerations are even worst. You end up spending tons of basically useless money to show what? The majesty you don’t have? What’s the purpose of financing grandiose projects of propaganda, when less than one mile away people are living in rotten wooden shanty houses, no water, no electricity and, most of the time, no food? Spend less in these useless (and also ludicrous, to the eyes of foreigners) projects and try, for instance, to fix the roads of your country, which are narrow and full of craters-like holes, fix the water main system in order to grant your citizens water every single day of the week, build new alternative roads to decrease the overcrowded ones.

In other words don’t try to act big when you are small, enjoy the benefits of being so and take them to your advantage by realizing productive projects for your people, not big charades for the only purpose of fueling the pride of small (minded) men.


About Gabriele Frontini

I share my time between Italy, Belgium and UK. [ music critic since 1999, gamer, historian, pet lover ]
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