There is no State in Lebanon ok? Fix your conceptual frameworks

Yet another analysis of Hizbullah very sneakily undermining the functioning of the State of Lebanon, this time by none other than the only Muslim writer of the French Colonialist-nostalgics, chauvinistic and socially elitist Lebanese newspaper L’Orient le Jour. I don’t understand this guy by the way, Mahmoud Harb. Doesn’t he realize how anti-Muslim this newspaper is? Is this some new kind of ‘gentrification’ occurring here in the Middle of the East? Ironic innit?

It may never become boring to emphasize that these analyses assume very comfortably that there is a State in Lebanon. This trend of thinking assumes that if some political actor changes his behavior then the State would re-institute its ‘rule of law’ that it is dying to perform. Which means that Hizbullah should just ‘play by the rules’, here rules being the textbooks rule emulated from State-practice in the West. But here, the rules are different, indeed have nothing to do with rules elsewhere because there simply is no State in Lebanon and there is no rule of law because ALL the actors on the Lebanese scene undermine the possibility of having a State by their VERY presence and specific political activity in this delimited geography.

Hizbullah is neither a culprit nor a Samaritan in this game. They face the same problem others political actors would face which is the fact that the State cannot give them what they want. Because it is simply not functioning, and that even if they want to make it function they would clash with the interest of others.

Indeed friend and relatives, this is why every political actor in Lebanon constantly balance between having sudden drives of taking-over the State and establishing centralized decision-making, which would create more sense of talking about a ‘State’, and just letting things go and try to carry on with what is available, using that semblance of a State when possible, and using parallel structures when one has to. It is not a joyful decision, but one that is made out of frustration. This last statement is key to the discussion.

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2 Responses to There is no State in Lebanon ok? Fix your conceptual frameworks

  1. dadavidovich says:

    Historically speaking though don’t lots of ‘states’ exist before they ‘exist’?

    Nice post.

  2. Bech says:

    yes but there are differences. For example, old states such as European ones, and US etc, did not have NGOs preaching before actual state formation.

    State formation almost unanimously happened under autocratic forms of government and slowly loosened up towards democratic settings. It is then that something called ‘civil society’ could have the luxury of expressing itself when security equations were agreed upon.

    I am simplifying of course, but just to provide an idea.

    and thanks dada, i’m loosing the verve I can feel it🙂

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