The United States paralyzed Lebanon and emptied all the international parties opposed to the United States which parked their assets in Lebanese banks. A story as obvious as this is not even maintained by US-sponsored NGOs.
It seems that Lebanon is still calling for help; then why so? It is natural that a country which imports most of what it consumes, produces little and lives off the products of self-prostitution to solicit geopolitical rents always asks for more to make up for its deficits. Of late, the pleading ‘donors’, the pseudonym for those American/European powers and their Gulf lackeys who are investing in Lebanon with the blatant aim of weakening it, have intensified as the country moves closer to a state. of stasis. Buying a foothold in a strategic region by emasculating the indigenous population is the real process, unfolding before us throughout the region. While the tendency has been to blame local political elements for the country’s woes, the reality seems to be that there is a disregard for the more decisive political causes of this crisis.
Undoubtedly, the “local versus foreign” dichotomy is inappropriate. Class or social relation, which is the form of social organization by which a social formation reproduces itself, is transnational. In an interdependent world, all social strata are subsets of each other. People, for example, live in Lebanon, but they defend and live according to ideas that transcend Lebanon. They do so because the circumstances of geopolitical rents that shape their consciousness and their views of how social production should be ordered are fueled by imperialist ideological apparatuses that breed divisions in order to control the political will of society. It is also immanent to note that any relationship of exchange is preceded by an exercise of power which lays the foundations on which exchanges are exercised. So, before buying any gadget from a discount store, one must understand the reality that a lot of violence has been done to reduce the cost of these gadgets.
Any relationship of exchange is historically a series of violent exchanges which culminate in a final act of sale. Since we are talking about class, let us note in passing that the dominant ideology is that of the dominant class or, formally, the dominant ideology is the class. Thus, as long as workers defend sectarianism or, equivalently, the ideology of the ruling class in Lebanon, they will reproduce, support and be part of this ruling class. A sectarian is part of the ruling class, regardless of his factual poverty. Sectaries are the capital class because they engage in activity that reproduces or de-reproduces the existing social or capital order in accordance with the goals of the highest imperialist echelons and funders.
Where the imperialist class feels that the developing state and social formation must unravel, the sectarian carries out its historical mandate often by sacrificing its very basis of existence as happens everywhere but to a greater degree in Lebanon. Now that we have relegated the sources of historical events to a hierarchical order of classes or social relations, the causes of the Lebanese crisis may be multiple, but the determining cause or link is attributed to the imperialist/financial class that sits at the top. of the pyramid of accumulation. It is this class and its ideas/ideologies that outline the historical foundations on which events unfold.
So once, for example, Lebanon liberalizes the economy and fixes its exchange rate, it will invariably liquidate its real resources, turn them into dollars, and ship them abroad where it is safer to keep them. Local groups or individuals cannot do much to avert catastrophe unless they restructure the whole economy on a command basis, which is not the case in hindsight because Lebanese sectarians hold opinions who sacrifice them. They are forms of capital and reproduce capital. In this vertical ladder of power, the US-led financial class, which is building up from the war, has a vested interest in eliminating resistance in Lebanon in order to establish hegemony in the region and is the true ruler of all misled sectarians.
It is not Aoun or Berri or whoever, in more relevant ideological terms, the real leader of Lebanon, but it is the American financial class and its neoliberal ideology. It should be no secret that this American ruling class accumulates capital through war, and if so, one can include in its spectrum of knowledge the fact that war technology and global power balances are primarily determined by militarism. These in turn decide on the global division of labor and the governing moment which articulates the totality of social relations of production and exchange. To cut to the chase, war determines power and power shapes the way things are. The symbiosis of American militarism and neoliberalism leaves in its wake poverty, death and destruction, which are the desired factual outcome of Empire because they are the source of the process of wealth creation; why is that?
I repeat that all social exchange is based on the balance of power, the awakened, hungry and bombarded masses must then give up their resources in exchange for misery to drive up the rates of profit. As far as Lebanon is concerned, the current crisis goes back thirty years, in particular when the central bank of Lebanon first implemented the neoliberal opening. It did so as it emerged besieged from the war and under the direction of the ideological apparatuses of American capital, which include the IMF and the World Bank among others and the litany of liberal NGOs, which have been branded as instruments of Fascism by the eminent Italian philosopher Domenico Losurdo. Prominent figures of liberalism, such as De-Tocqueville, were supporters of genocide in the colonies, while current liberalism instills in developing societies the venom of equality before the law without social equality: the case of African Americans best illustrates this point. Moreover, in countries like Lebanon, liberal mantras militarize cultural divisions.
The divide between the modern and the conservative shifts the struggle against imperialism into a struggle for fashion and personal convictions. This is an important task for imperialism: it wants to weaken Lebanon without appearing to do so, and for this it is aided and abetted by an army of NGOs whose role is more powerful than the F35s of the American air force. It is the institutions that express freedom while instrumentalizing neoliberal socio-economic policies, which leave the masses without any essential element to exercise any degree of freedom. To illustrate: the focus of NGOs on the corruption of the Lebanese class, as opposed to the mainstream American neoliberal ideas embraced by the Lebanese masses, shows how useful they are in obscuring the real causes of the crisis.
Not a single NGO talks about the fact that the Lebanese banking sector, acting at the behest of imperialism, violated all the rules of the Basel accord when it lent money to depositors to a structurally broken state . Lebanon is a negative savings state, which needs foreign savings (it has to borrow) to stay afloat. Now think about these two actual conditions. First of all, the Lebanese currency and its financial instruments have been classified as junk since 1990. This means that none of the financial investors will place significant funds in Lebanon. Second, the banking sector, which holds Syrian and American non-grata personal deposits, funneled these funds to the defunct Lebanese financial order. According to the Basel accord, they must maintain a balance between loans and deposits and they must not place a significant part of their assets in high-risk instruments. By continuously lending to Lebanon, they drew more deposits and risked those deposits.
The United States killed two birds with one stone, it paralyzed Lebanon and emptied all the international parties opposed to the United States which parked their assets in Lebanese banks. A story as obvious as this is not even maintained by US-sponsored NGOs. The story is personalized like a cartoon show with this or that villain as opposed to the terrible ideological or class context in which things evolve.
The real problem and the real war is against the liberals and their NGOs who have sown the seeds of disaster from day one. It is them and not the F35s that the Lebanese masses must shoot down.