Moral Debts

Between DelBoca’s and LaBanca’s articles it seems very clear to me that there is a huge debt to Libya that has yet to be paid. DelBoca focuses on material signs of apology such as the hospital and the few words D’Almea delivered, but he also mentions a moral debt that is owed to Libya and does not mention it ever being paid. I believe that the only form of moral apology that can be given to Libya from Italy is one of acknowledgment. Acknowledgment offers something that material gifts, such as hospital beds, can not. By acknowledging what happened in Libya and teaching it to Italians Italy would be showing signs of recognition towards their actions and would be teaching it in a manner that demonstrated the wrongness and repentance of their historical actions.

Through out countless countries students learn of the horrors of the Holocaust. In Germany it is a legal offense to even deny what happened during the Holocaust and offenders face jail time. These are the types of moral debts that Germany paid all of its victims which Italy needs to show Libya. These are not only matters of respect but also of banishing pride and doing the favorable action.

Labanca mentions travel guides of Italian colonialism as well as other recent guides which are prevalent in Libya. These guides are read by travelers, Italians included. I believe that these guides are a way of Libya attempting to seek the moral debt which Italy owes. The guides are a symbol, not only of Libya’s crying out to be recognized and reconciled, but also Italian traveler’s desire to know what happened and willingness to learn of it.

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