Adonis Diaries

Archive for July 12th, 2010

Sobriety in family economics  

            There is a growing political economics trend for substituting the traditional steady growth and productivity policies into an economy of sobriety.  The current policies in the European Union States are for lighter public administration, severe budget cuts, and reductions in workers’ salary in order to bring budget deficits and GNP deficits within acceptable margins.  The Slow Food and Slow Cities movements, along with many European communities, are exercising self autonomy in the economic policies of their districts are practicing on a smaller scale the concept of “living better for less”.

            The latest economic downturn is re-confirming that the previous policies are hindrance to global resolutions for global problems.  The middle class has increased three folds within less than two decades.  China and India have added over 300 millions middle class families to the 200 millions in the USA, Europe and Japan.  This quickly increasing number of middle class is legitimately demanding equal standards of living as in the USA, simply because they can afford to purchase the same consumer goods for their comfort and are doing it.  World resources in minerals, oil, and wood are depleting and no longer accessible to sustain the current rate of consumption.

            Regular people are not interested in the concept of “faster is better” or “more performing is better”; they would rather fly safely at more affordable fees; they would rather that customs and airport regulations quicken the pace and alleviate  the hassle. The regular people would rather have moderately performing equipments that last longer and that are more robust under less than standard conditions in the developed nations. Regular people cannot afford to re-invest for products considered obsolete within a couple of years.  Regular people would rather not to have to repaint or maintain their plumbing and electrical lines frequently.

            Regular people would rather have potable water running on schedule; power utilities providing electricity less irregularly. Regular people want taxes be increased on luxury families of high consumption.  Regular people want public transportation arriving on schedule, accessible, and available in cities and in rural areas.  Regular people are not that interested in caviar and luxury items; they need flour, rice, sugar, and seasonal vegetables and fruits marketed locally and not exported overseas.

            Regular people need a wider network of public libraries and public schools.  Regular people want the teachers to be paid right to be retained and compete with private expensive private schools. Regular people need preventive health institutions.

            The industrial nations have got to support sustainable economies in Africa, Latin America, and in the Middle East and desist from mass exploitation of natural resources and human miseries.  Kuwait, Qatar, and Libya are already investing billions in intensive agricultural businesses in Africa; they are renting lands for 99 years and hiring thousands of Africans in jobs they are proficient in and within their own States.

            There is definitely an anthropological crisis:  The traditional growth policies are uneconomical, anti-social, and anti-ecological.  Decentralized economies serving restricted regions are more sustainable and are solicited by citizens. Institutions have to be revamped in that direction and up-down laws are no longer cherished. In fact, less restrictive local laws are the best recourse to taming the monster of global totalitarianism in the making.

            Catastrophic crisis are not teaching anything in behavioral change: they simply increase the level of fear, anxiety, and apathy. Continuing in the same trend is tantamount of letting this monster of totalitarianism starting sniffing around for another round of human calamities.

            Most probably totalitarian regimes, established in order to control outbursts and uneasiness, will mushroom in industrialized States because 1) they can afford these kinds of institutions, 2) they have already the sophisticated and all-encompassing control institutions, and 3) they have practiced it several times in many nations within the last decades.  Germany, Japan, and the Soviet Union experienced it efficiently.  France applied it to spread its public secular system of education in order to unify its nation. The USA applied it during the two Administrations of George W. Bush.

            Currently, China is the most effective totalitarian regime.  Millions of workers are transferred and displaced by a simple order of the politburo; millions succumb to eugenic (killing) practices on simple obscure laws; millions die in mining accidents and famine; gigantic dams are disturbing millions of people without recourse or participation by the citizens.

            The third world States will always enshrine dictators, state political parties, and oligarchies but they will never afford totalitarian regimes for lack of sustainable institutions.  The best you might expect of third world States is organized chaos and periodic clamping down on dissidents.  There will be time when the “industrialized citizens” will opt to immigrate to Third World States and live in sobriety just to recapture the taste of freedom and liberty.

Hezbollah to desist spreading myths: Encore

In a previous post I discussed the two myths: dress codes, and the mixing of State and religious responsibilities.

I also stated the reasons for selecting Hezbollah for my topic, though all 18 religious sects and castes in Lebanon are no better. There are three reasons I am focusing on Hezbollah:

First, I need to have a specific target in order to minimize tendencies for generalization;

Second, Hezbollah is the most powerful movement in Lebanon in number, organization, military training, and in readiness and thus, this important social and political force can either spread havoc or strengthen the independence of Lebanon depending on the level of serious close dialogue and communication among the Lebanese political parties; and

Third, because I have a high respect for this organization that saved Lebanon twice from becoming a total non-entity within the last decade. Yes, with Hezbollah I feel that Lebanon is no longer just a State recognized by the UN but has acquired the status of a Nation; a tiny Nation but with the potential of agreeing that we are one people under the law and against all contingencies.

There is this boring and unsettling tendency at Hezbollah’s leadership to start their speeches with a long litany of the “honored” descendents of the Prophet Muhammad.  I understand that most diseases and physical ailments are inherited, but I have not stumbled on studies characterizing intelligence, learning, and wisdom attributed to inherited genes.  Actually, research have demonstrated that offspring of highly intelligent men are generally born idiots.

The Prophet Muhammad did not die suddenly; he felt terribly sick for eight days and realized that he is to die soon.  The Prophet was fully conscious, many times, and he said the Morning Prayer before he died in the arms for his beloved and young wife Aicha. If the prophet wanted a close relative to inherit the title of Imam he would have done so. He still had two daughters and two son-in-laws and many close relatives who were Moslems. (Muhammad had four daughters, all married, and two sons; two of the married daughters died before him and his two sons died in infancy before reaching the age of 4).

Maybe it is time for Hezbollah to desist forcing on people “untruths of super great offspring” generated by the Prophet. Yes, we must be inclined to pray even more forcefully for them because the odds are that they suffered immensely by the high expectations impelled upon them by ignorant and lazy-minded followers. Maybe it is time to expect the next Mahdi to be born from the common people instead of some “noble” creed.

My fourth worry is this trend of re-writing history to please cultural propaganda of a nascent Islamic regional power such as Iran.  Shiaa have lived in northern Palestine, Lebanon, and northern Syria many centuries before the Turkish Safavid Empire ruled Iran in the 17th century.  The Safavid Empire decided to adopt the Shiaa sect as the Kingdom religion, though the first monarch was a Sunni Turkish tribe leader.

For many centuries, the Shiaa had to flee the Arabic Sunni Caliphate successive Empires and suffered frequent persecutions during the Ottoman Empire.  The Chiaa took roots in India and in the Maghreb (North Africa).

From the Maghreb they converged to Egypt and ruled during the Fatimid Dynasty for over a century and enjoyed many converts in Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria when Baghdad’s central power was very weak.   The city of Aleppo (Syria) and its district was a major focal point for the Ismailia Shiaa (known as Hashashine).

The Shiaa also converged from India to Herat (west Afghanistan) and to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan before spreading to East Iran and the eastern shores of the Arabic Peninsula.  Consequently, the Shiaa in the Near East are its inhabitants and form an intrinsic part of the fabric of this region: they adopted the same customs and tradition.

If for political exigencies, Hezbollah needs to select leaders who attended religious schools in Qom of Iran then, it does not follow that this short–term need should be the trend.  Hezbollah has no advantage to alienate the main religious center in Al Najaf and then Kufa simply because its members are Near Eastern and not Persians.

It does not pay in the medium-term for Hezbollah to re-write the history of theSChiaa in Lebanon, changing their tradition for a far away civilization, and taking official sides for this Iranian Ayatollah or that, or this Iraqi Ayatollah or that.

Hezbollah is a resistance movement against any invader to Lebanon because it is Lebanese people and not a branch or an extension or a mercenary force to any regional power. Changing culture and history of the Chiaa in Lebanon can be as dangerous a trend as fomenting civil war.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

July 2010
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