By System, the most important question
By Judge Ziad Shabib
With every major popular uprising that Lebanon witnessed, which is not many, citizens felt overwhelming national pride mixed with high morale and confidence that there was an end of the state of impediment that prevailed for decades.
It is true that the Lebanese people are a lively people and the majority have reached a state of belonging to this new-born nation, which no sooner passed the first 100 years of life when the accumulation of a centenary erupted in it.
It may have been “born prematurely” because there are those who believe that independence occurred prematurely due to the conflicts between the superpowers of Britain and France in the 1940s, and not in view of the rise of our ruling elites to a rank that qualifies them to rule and establish a modern state.
The Lebanese do not lack courage but they are constantly exposed to blows and calamities, and they are no different from other peoples when they lose their basic livelihood, so they devote themselves to searching for them to survive. The policies have led to an unprecedented deepening of crises, which led the Lebanese revolting against their reality and withdraw into a retreat.
Today, interest is focused on the upcoming parliamentary elections; and with the aim of winning, the authorities are working to reduce the participating segment of the electorate and exclude those who reject the current reality.
A section of voters who support change is working to reinforce their despair so that they are convinced that there is no hope for changing the ruling forces; another section is facing wholesale exclusion (namely expatriates), by raising logistical difficulties and legal problems, or by reducing the impact of the expatriate voice by retaining the six seats allotted to them and limiting their representation instead of participating in the election of all parliament seats.
We explained in “By the System” that these proposals violate the constitution and may expose the election result to challenge.
As for the third section of the electorate who did not despair and want to vote for change, betting on disrupting or reducing their voting power is done through fragmentation and the strengthening of division. Thus, the section that supports the existing parties remains, and it has the right to do so.
In 1950, French philosopher Simone Weil wrote of her vision of parties, proposing to abolish them, explaining thusly: the party is an organisation that aims to reach power and is based on the unity of thought within it and does not accept pluralism in its ranks and rejects the thought deviating from its political line, as that the aim of the party is not the common good, but the growth of the party, which becomes an end in itself.
This is in the so-called democratic regimes so how about the Lebanese reality where most parties fulfill the characteristics of fascism in their formation from a religiously harmonious group that renounces others, at least implicitly, and deify the leader who embodies the hopes and aspirations of generations, as the real goals of the party are confined to its leader’s access to the constitutional position that the system preserves for him?
On those they should ask the following question: Does the party or “the leader” they support have the ability to get out of the deep crisis, or have the thought that can gather the majority of the Lebanese around it to build Lebanon?
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results (Albert Einstein).”