Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘reforms

So, where Lebanon should start his “reforms”?

إذا بلّشنا بالسنيورة أو ميقاتي بي قولوا أهل السنة…
وإذا بلّشنا بسلاح الحزب أو الإستاذ بي قولوا أهل الشيعة…
إذا منبلش بمجرمين الحرب بي قولوا كلنا شاركنا بالحرب…
إذا بلّشنا بالمطار بي قولوا ليش مش بالمرفأ !!
إذا بلّشنا بالنافعة بي قولوا ليش مش بالكازينو…
إذا بلّشنا بالحدود بي قولوا ليش ما بتبلشوا بمزارع شبعا…
إذا بلشنا بالمصارف بي قولوا بلشو بالقضاء…
إذا بلّشنا بالكهربا بي قولوا بلشوا بلشوا بالوزراء والوزارات…
إذا بلشنا بمافيا الموتورات بي قولوا بلشوا بمافيا الدواء…
وإذا بلشنا بالزبالة بي قولوا بلشو بالتهريب الجمركي…
إذا دعمنا الصناعة بي فزّوا جماعة الزراعة…
إذا دعمنا التجارة بي فزّوا جماعة السياحة…

وهيك مكملين !.

Muin Nasr posted on Fb. March 3 at 1:43 PM

أنا أشاهد ولا أرى

أشاهد الكذب ولا أرى الكاذب
أشاهد القتيل ولا أرى القاتل
أشاهد المسروق ولا أرى السارق
أشاهد البائس ولا أرى صاحب القصر …
أشاهد تمثيلية ماساة ، ابطالها يحاربون المرض والعوز والدجل والكفر بكل ما يمت بصلة للإنسانية .. ولا أرى الكاتب ولا المخرج ولا المنتج …
انا متفرج .. اتفاعل واتألم و ابكي وأفرح وأحزن وأحقد وأكره وأحب .. لكن كل ما احس به، لا يؤثر في مجريات احداث ما أشاهد …
أنا قاعد في بيتي وعلى أريكتي ……

أشاهد، لكني لا أرى

Any reforms applied to the capitalist financial institutions?

Almost 3 years to the onset of the financial crash of the century and we have the firm conviction that no reforms to the financial institutions have been applied so far.

The International Regulatory Bank has issued a report in June 2010 and proposed a “moderate” attitude to reforms stating: “Instead of attempting to eradicate financial crisis, which is impossible, we have to reduce the frequency and severity of crisis.”

What that means?

How frequently must crisis take place for mankind to suffer and support; and how level of severity is quantified?

Are there any indicators and measuring sticks to appropriate number of crisis and corresponding severity?

Who is supposed to be bearing the brunt of the impending crisis?

Barack Obama wanted to downsize  multinational financial institutions that are “too big to allow them to fail” so that the tax payers should not be obligated to maintain systemic dangerous institutions.

Congress was not pleased with the suggested reforms:  The financial lobby engaged over 1,500 professionals (lawyers, financiers, and politicians) and spent $350 million to “redirect” the project law under discussion.

That amount earmarked for lobbying congress represents less than one per thousand of the 400 billion profit generated in the last semester of 2009. This profit accounts for 38% of the total profit of the USA in that semester.

Let us put things in perspective:

1. First, the four largest banks in the US has 42% of all the assets in 2009 and held 96% of the 300 billion of the derivative products.

2.Second, every day witnesses financial transactions amounting to 5 trillion while the total saving for all the nations is less than 4 trillion per year.

Nobel laureate Joseph Stieglitz reminded us that

Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner (finance minister) were the same individuals who impose deregulation during Clinton and prohibited any interventions in regulating market derivative products.  It is the multinational financial institutions that are “lending” their experts to governments:  Government is claiming to being helpless faced with the shortage of financial experts willing to working for the government”

Paul Krugman, another laureate, wrote: “The ratio of finance profit to the GNP jumped from 4% to 8% in the last two decades, but the resulted in no economic real growth.  The economy was rendered less stable and less performing due to financial deregulation.”

Paul Volcker, ex-chief of the Federal Reserves during Reagan, said: “You don’t find a single American graduating with superior diploma in engineering, math, or physics.  Wall Street has drained all the bright minds into the financial world.”

Paul Volcker is the same guy who predicted that his financial policies during Reagan will let “blood flow knee-deep” in Latin America.  Indeed, most of the Latin States were ravaged by civil wars and internal unrest and upheaval for two decades.

You might think that the financial crisis and its everyday repercussions on unemployment and lower standard of living has dissipated the illusion that “increased financial transactions can be counted as increase in internal market trade“;  this illusion is still maintained by the media at the sold of the multinationals.

There was no real economic growth in the US and Europe in the last 10 years:  Just a big bubble of the illusion of growth.

What socio-political reforms for Lebanon? (Part 1, November 31, 2008)

Note: This essay is of three parts.  The first part would investigate the facts and current realities of Lebanon’s socio-political structure (without delving into the details).  Part 2 is my version of Lebanon’s Republic and Democracy.  The third part develops on programs, processes, and resolutions.  Reforms have not taken place in Lebanon after 65 years of independence and these essays are screams for action.

Let us state the facts and realities of Lebanon’s socio-political structure.  Socially, Lebanon is an amalgam of castes enjoying self-autonomous structure, tightly related to religious sects.  Many would label these castes as tribes, feudal clans, oligarchy and so on, but caste is the correct name because it satisfies all the criteria for our communities. The successive Lebanese governments recognized 18 political castes with legal civil status laws and the right to administer their respective members from birth, to marriage, to inheritance and then death; they are to be represented in the Parliament and the higher State’s administration jobs according to what the latest civil war engendered in the power struggle among the castes.

It is obvious that this caste system has never appreciated a strong central government ,and the successive governments never tried hard to impose any serious reforms to unite a people under central civil laws, or modern citizens.  The “ideal” copy of our Constitution has never been applied since Lebanon’s “independence” of France in 1943.

The gross-brushed picture was that for the Christian sects (as a pool) and the Moslem sects to split the numbers of Deputies in the Parliament fifty-fifty, as well as their representations in the State administration offices.

Since the independence, demographic changes favored the Moslem sects ,which outnumbered the Christian citizens by a ratio of 70/30.  A civil war that started in 1975 till 1991 lead to the Taef “Constitution”, supposedly giving the Moslem sects firmer and wider executive powers; a constitution that was not actually applied as the original Constitution was not also applied.

The Dawha agreement in 2008, after a long stalemate in the government following the quick military coup of Hezbollah in Beirut, brought us back to the 1963 legislative election laws, which legally consecrated our socio-political caste system.  Up till now, the political process relied on a verbal agreement or consensus by the Maronite and Sunni caste leaders in 1943.

Many would like to embellish our political system by attributing to it a European notion of “conconferedracy or something of that kind”, where several communities speak different languages such as in Switzerland, Belgium, or Canada.  These communities in the developed States are open groups and communicate liberally and have no trade or social barriers, they obey to central government laws and have a unified civil status laws, and have developed into modern States.

This is not the case in Lebanon: we have closed communities with self-autonomous civil status laws that still refuse to have civil marriages, not even an optional one under a unifying civil law; Lebanon belongs to the under-developed States where juntas of theocratic castes dominate the political and economical spectrum.

Political or social reforms first? (November 20, 2008)

You might say that this is not the same thing as which came first hen or egg, that political and social reform should go in tandem.

Excuse me; I am talking of under-developed States with scares resources and unlimited problems economically and structurally as a society and as a political system.

Suppose, as is the case in all under-developed States, that the struggle revolves around the hegemony of castes (close self-autonomous sects) for ruling the country and for benefiting the most from the privileges of setting the laws to all, with large loopholes for the few powerful clans in the economy and in running the State.

Suppose that the electoral laws are biased toward one set of castes and the remaining castes have no democratic alternatives for reform.

Suppose that caste systems are fundamentally structured to prevent serious communication among communities, and the economy is based on internal production within each caste.

Suppose furthermore that caste systems have interests in weak central governments and thus, central governments have no means to enforcing any modern reform in equitability, in judiciary processes and administrative structure that hire according to competence instead of quota among castes.

I am talking about States plagued with demographic explosions are eating up any increase in GNP.

I am talking about States where their malignant forces prefer to focus the energies of their people in fighting their bordering States.

I am talking about people preferring to board on make shift rafts in open oceans just to flee a hell hole of a country or surmounting tighter immigration laws at the risk of their lives.

Are we getting the picture? 

There is no serious strong central government in internal security forces, army, administration, or syndicates or stable long term political processes agreeable to the vast majority of the people.

Then, how can social reform proceeds?

We all wish that the State budget be equitably distributed to all districts so that a sense of equality and autonomy are recognized.

We all wish that the armed forces are proportionally integrated in the number of ranking officers and soldiers of the various castes, the internal security forces are not biased toward specific castes, and the personnel in the State administration are hired on qualifications.

We all wish that electoral laws are based on an alternative of proportional system and that political parties are not formed based on sectarian affiliations.

We all wish to have a general central planning for the economy and the infra-structure.

We all want potable water.  We all want electricity, at least distributed equitably.

We all want public schools of high quality.  We all want hospitals of high quality.

We all want general health coverage.  We all want practiced physicians in the same ratio to district population.

We all want major industries in each district.  We all want jobs and opportunities available equitably.  Then, how should we proceed?

Without open communication among communities, and equitable and just laws in freedom of speech, beliefs, human rights, gender equality in law, and most importantly, preserving our freedom after we freely spoke and demonstrated peacefully, without fair education, safety and health how can we unite, understand our limitations and capabilities?

Political or social reform first? Is it still that obvious?

How the developed States transformed into Nations?

How they managed to take reforms for granted?  They surely all went through the same arduous and costly errors but they finally achieved stable and fair processes for change and reform.

What were the main ingredients and factors that offered the qualitative jump from under-developed States to developed nations?

Billions of people in under-developed States want to know!

May be if the “colonial” powers take a break in destabilizing the poorer States then maybe time will offer a beginning of a resolution.

Maybe if the rich States listen to the concerned people on the field and away from their bureaucratic paper shuffling and touring the higher personalities, and  then to agree to support any local reconciliation that does not conform to their “moral cultural” standards then we might begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

It is a process, a long process to follow and burning steps is a sure sign to catastrophe.

If the rich States tone down their public image campaigns on their favorite brand of democracy (that is not working well anyway), refrain of pre-emptive wars, forbid all kinds of arms shipments, and focus their financial and economical aids on micro improvements in education, health facilities and small to medium industries then we might be taking the proper track to development and vanquishing famine, diseases, illiteracy, and indignity to human kind.

It would be a healthy boost to morale and confidence to the under-developed States, recognized by the United Nations assembly, if the votes of these States in the UN are given equal weight as the rich States and “veto-power” Super-States.

Permitting the under-developed States to share in the responsibilities of studying the multitudes of World problems that the UN has to grapple with and listening to their “modest” alternative resolutions to problems affecting famine, diseases, and illiteracy is a huge step forward.

The most crucial need of the under-developed States is the means to disseminate free opinions on a large scale.  This is the domain where the western States should insist in pressing on to the powers to be and aid in the installation of telecommunication technologies and appropriate laws that safeguard free speech and dissemination.

How developed nations were formed? They won their civil wars: There was a clear winner!


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2020
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