Tuesday, August 3

The Lebanese Calvary | Opinion

View of the Lebanese Central Bank building in Beirut.
View of the Lebanese Central Bank building in Beirut.Mohamed Azakir / Reuters

The American psychiatrist Harold Searles argued, in his work The Effort to Drive the Other Person Crazy, that mental illness is often related to the environment; in particular, with the family structure. It would serve today, as well as the episode of Job in the Bible, to understand the repercussions of the harassment imposed on the Lebanese people. And it is that the punishment inflicted by the forces that dominate the country has exceeded the limits of human reason: widespread unemployment, inflation above 100%, obscene enrichment of those who take advantage of the crisis, impossibility of recovering bank deposits damaged by the systematic embezzlement by bankers. Citizens remain on the brink of mental collapse, between depressive reactions that follow other heated ones, impotence in the face of the resilience of the rulers, frustration at any collective initiative to change the state of affairs by peaceful means, social disaggregation of the middle class. The executive power is paralyzed because the political and confessional forces have not been able to agree on the confessional distribution of ministries to form a government of national unity, condition not imposed by international aid. The very idea of ​​general interest seems incongruous, a kind of bitter lie, in the eyes of the citizens, and the State, except in its repressive functions, a mirage. Corruption, impunity for the strongest, becomes the hallmark of nowhere as a nation. Painful symbol of the bankruptcy of the country, many look for the solution in the migratory flight. But the doors of the world are closed.

Never since its inception 100 years ago has the country been so close to implosion. It is true that, as might be expected, all the responsible sectors, be they financial, political or religious, admit that the situation has become humanly unbearable, a shipwreck that, however, has pushed each one to safeguard their particular interests to the detriment of the collective rescue.

This situation is dangerous not only for the Lebanese, but for all Arab countries in the region. The reality is that today Iraq, Syria, Lebanon are breaking up. And, when nations are disaggregated, madness arises, because the nation, in the Middle East (except in the case of the oldest state in the world, Egypt), is a fragile creation that does not result from a previous common identity, forged, always through price of blood, throughout history, but of inter-tribal and confessional commitments. A task that, in Lebanon, was imposed by foreign powers, in particular France. The undeniable feeling of libanity of the population, could it refound a common state? In fact, increasingly, citizens are realizing that, within the tribal and confessional systems of membership, the domination of some social groups prevails over others. And that that solidarity internal is a cage that must be broken, if the common nation is to be built. There is no other choice, as the country cannot continue to suffer the ordeal. Lebanon needs, more than ever, an institutional revolution.


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