Adonis Diaries

Archive for March 31st, 2011

Clever Entrepreneur my Ass

I have worked with a few Lebanese companies, abroad and in Lebanon, and my impressions are negative.

“What is clever entrepreneur my ass” is my honest opinion of how I perceive the mentality of doing business in our culture.

In 1980, I worked with a Lebanese company in Nigeria; the company contracted out public civil works, like highways, deforesting and spreading asphalt on major roads.  I was supposed to be assisting the plant manager for maintaining and repairing heavy-duty equipment in a remote town.

The engineers were to wear high brown boots, the kinds that fascist wore, for discrimination reasons; and the boots have to be shining in this mud riddled camp, shined by an African helper.  Engineers were not supposed to socialize with workers and mechanics, even if they were Lebanese.

Consequently, going out with mechanics was frowned at, and management would sanction me and tell me that workers would refrain from respecting me and obeying my orders….

I was not even permitted to read to the mechanics the contents of the repair and maintenance manuals originating from the manufacturer:  Only the engineers and plant manager were to be the knowledgeable persons in the camp.

You had these mechanics who sincerely wanted to learn how to do their job right: they wanted to buy the proper tools and how they work, once they open their own shops back home. Mechanics wanted knowledge and I translated to them from English in inaccurate Arabic terms, but they knew what I was conveying in knowledge.  Management hated what I was doing and scorned me.

For example, one night, robbers killed four Nigerian guards in our camp.

I never received any information whether management visited the bereaved families in the small village or if they paid compensation.  I was glad that I was repatriated shortly after this gruesome attack.

In Lebanon, I worked on a civil project, constructing a coastal hotel.  There were no safety guidelines at the workplace.  The Indonesian and Indian workers slept in the large open basement, and nobody was in charge of checking on the habitat or their well-being.  The workers favorite pass-time was catching rats to fry them as delicacy.

A UN report stated that Chinese minorities in South-East Asia, white people in South Africa, and Lebanese in western Africa benefited most from the wealth generated by globalization and open markets in developing countries, particularly in tandem with multinational companies.

The African leaders who opted to cajole the ethnic majority ended up harassing, robbing, and pressuring Lebanese entrepreneurs out of the country, like in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

For example, the Lebanese in Ivory Coast are in big trouble.  It’s rumored that President Gbagbo, who hates to step down even if his country goes in flame, (as is the case of Qadhafi of Libya and Abdullah Saleh in Yemen), favors the Lebanese entrepreneurs.  Nothing wrong with that, unless…

There are strong rumors, supported by evidence, that Israel is rekindling the wrath against the Lebanese in Ivory Coast and Africa in general.  This is normal:  The Zionist apartheid State has this habit of transferring people and filling the void

Lebanese entrepreneurs in Lebanon proper produce to export.  The Lebanese citizens never enjoyed any quality products manufactured or produced in Lebanon:  They are all exported and merchants import third grade products, change the labels, and poison our citizens.

Good fresh fruits are immediately exported in waiting six and eight-wheelers to Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Jordan…The citizens have to contend with the spoiled and smaller categories of fruits…

Lebanon produced four times its need of olive oil:  They are all exported and the citizens have to consume the third grade leftover olive oil and imported poisoned olive oil…And you have this minister of industry encouraging the citizens to buy Lebanese manufactured products; where are those products?

Lebanon has a couple of pharmaceutical “factories”, producing asperine… For a couple of months, the citizens enjoyed low-cost asperine-type of products.  Asperine vanished from local market:  The entire stocks were exported to Saudi Arabia and the Lebanese had to contend with expensive imported asperine that are no different than what we produced.

Syria manufactures 70% of its pharmaceutical needs and it is the government that import the expensive medicines at bargain prices.  The Lebanese have no governments:  They have to deal with the multitude of infamy and indignities on their own. Who is the clever Lebanese Entrepreneur?  Clever my ass!

Lebanon is still standing because the immigrants are sending money to their families back home.  The immigrants who made it, build fancy palaces that stay empty, and return to where they are making money.  Barely they overstay longer than two weeks:  The picocks have more important things to do with their lives.

The Christian immigrants never contemplate to return and stay in Lebanon:  They didn’t study and abused of their families’ money in order to returning the favors in their old age.  Let bygone be bygone.  From far away, they never miss an opportunity to cursing Lebanon and the Lebanese stupid mentality.

We have this youth movement demanding to change the political sectarian and feudal system.  What we need is a strong central government cracking down on these rascals of Lebanese entrepreneurs at home:  The scums of entrepreneurs are the backbone of our degraded political and social structure and the one encouraging discrimination and medieval mentalities.

You might say that it is the bourgeoisie that changed old systems:  Correct.   Are you insinuating that our entrepreneurs have anything to do with reforming Lebanon or caring one iota about Lebanon and its people?

Remote towns and villages are of no interest to central governments, unless the villages are pinpointed as candidates for major waste disposal sites, military test grounds, or for building nuclear power plants…There is no point relying on government pouring in money in desolate regions that have no significant effects in election periods…Those desolate villages are going to hell:  Once the old generation disappear, the village is off the map

Repartition of risks is the strategy of the elite class in power in order to exploiting people.  Many moderate risk takers welcome the kind of dangerous investment to their environment, under the pertinent excuse that they need job opportunities and are not fit to taking risks outside of the known communities. 

A few bolder risk takers, in moving societies where laws and excellent infrastructure extend great opportunities to seeking a future away from hometowns, leave their comfort zones, family support system, and familiar traditions to challenge their personal dreams and potentials.

All these crazies converge to urban concentration camps and take quarters in the most abject, unsafe, and unhealthy parts.  Most of them will pay the heavy tribute of blood and humiliation for taking non calculated risks :  What was supposed to be temporary risk taking endure for long time, until all hopes are distilled from a dignified spirit.

Many will join gangs, as customary substitute to community protection.  They are faced with the constraints of killing someone in order to be inducted in the brotherhood of men and be recognized as a potential member who can deliver.  They quickly forget that their turn is next, no matter how cunning and brutal they think they are.

The risks in urban centers are multiplied and gain in seriousness as social institutions are disintegrating and governments keep changing policies, away from funding public health and social security facilities.  The individual is forced to battle ever increasing newer odds in very unfamiliar territory and strange communities. 

In urban camps, you are an unknown entity and you cannot beg for jobs on the basis of social class and known reference figures.  You have no circle of friends to lean on, to diffuse your anger, apprehension, and frustration

The motto is “Succeed or die”.  You cannot go back home broke and a failure; a non-entity as you left family and friends.  In many Western States, such as in Spain, Italy, and Portugal, grown up people are no longer able to rent apartments on temporary jobs trends and are returning to live with their parents.

The institutional nucleus of family is still stable and alive.  Sure, divorce cases are increasing but families are not splitting easily an mindlessly.  Sure, we have new cases of same gender households raising children.  Sure, there is a transformed modern traditional society characterized by non-linear professional carrier and individual trajectories that do not exactly match any class structure. 

Sure, many governments are reverting to archaic governance forcing individuals to bear the burden of their health-care and retirement with all kinds of privatization gimmicks…Is the new trend sort of “Redistribution of wealth OR Forced Repartition of risks”?  The future for individual people is far more uncertain than three decades ago.

Most probably, the elite class want as many citizens to leave their towns to urban centers, be stacked with all kinds of individual risks for survival, deprive them with the will, the energy, and the time to contest their living conditions, in order to exploit more of those low-wage people to the hilt

In a sense, the more society is fluid, the more wealth is distributed.  The more society is in flux, the more the level of daily fatal risks increases.




March 2011

Blog Stats

  • 1,516,367 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by

Join 822 other subscribers
%d bloggers like this: