Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Lebanese Political System: A Dream World



In a make believe world reality is not important. Actually it is shunted in order to give reign to phantasies and dreams. When we live in a dream world then we can avoid making the hard choices and the messy solutions because in a pretend world all is good and we are in control. All of that is good and well , maybe as an occasional escape mechanism from the harsh realities of the world, but the dream world must not be allowed to become a substitute for reality. If it does then the pretender is locked up in a psychiatric institution in an effort to put an end to the make believe.
Lebanon as a state has been, ever since its creation , living in a state of denial. If you listen to the Lebanese politicians opine about democracy, freedom, individual liberty, sovereignty, human rights and economic development you would be perfectly justified in thinking that the state of Lebanon is as close to an idyllic place as any nation can get. But then reality intrudes and the listener decides to investigate the rhetoric emanating from the mouths of those whose personal ego, wealth and worldly power depend on perpetuating the myth that they speak off. Slave owners, lords of the manor and imperial rulers would not want their subjects to learn the real meaning of freedom, dignity or personal rights. Why should they? A simple investigation would immediately reveal that the only principle that guides the actions of the Lebanese politicians is that of personal power and wealth. They have no interest in promulgating ideas that benefit the common good. Another fact that becomes very clear is the total abdication of the media ,in all its forms , to perform its sacred duty to inform the public and to investigate the corruption and cronyism. Why should they when each is in effect a mouth piece for one war lord or another. Our investigation would also show that there is no such thing as the rule of law. Some, the political leaders and their henchmen, are above the law. They are the privileged and the laws are passed in order to keep us ,the commoners, in servitude. This charade permeates all aspects of political life. And the make belief world becomes the instrument of oppression. It is used to indoctrinate the gullible ; the public; that right is wrong, oppression is freedom, misery is prosperity, total allegiance to foreign powers is sovereignty and that the constitution matters.
The President of the Lebanese republic performs essentially ceremonial functions ,and that is as it should be in a Parliamentary democracy, but all the actors and especially the Christian Maronites, still carry on as if the country has a strong Presidential democracy system. Things get even worse than this, the current president , Michel Suleiman, had to take the regular oath when he was elected “to help protect the constitution”. But what were his prescriptions to solve the inability of the PM designate to form a government ? You guessed it, he is leading the charge to amend the constitution as if democracy is a game in a sandbox where one can pretend to be whatever one wishes. Think about this, the person who was elected to protect and enforce the constitution has no respect for the document. But then why should he when he was clearly ineligible to seek the office in the first place. Laws have never stopped the Lords of the Manor from ruling the way they wish over their domain and laws will not be allowed to crimp the style of the feudal political elites of Lebanon, they will go on talking from both sides of their mouth in order to maintain the myth that reality corresponds to the untruths that they are always spreading.. Our only solace in all of this is that no dream world lasts for ever. Reality always wins in the end.

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