International Affairs

Lebanon Predicts the Future USA

It will prove difficult for the US to Balkanize, even if it wanted to because every group is represented in every city and state.  Furthermore, the typical suburban American moves every 5 years or so to wherever their next job is.

If we want to simulate a mercantile society where many disparate groups are crammed together in the same territory some of which might be semi-nomadic, we need only look to the Levant where tribes have competed for a very long time over a narrow neck of valuable sea-side real estate with a Mediterannean climate that lies on top of a natural chokepoint of world trade routes.

In recent history, Lebanon provides us with the best example because it experienced a bloody civil war in that confined space after a multi-cultural democracy broke down over the issue of mass immigration.

We can roughly divide Lebanon into 3 major factions, Christians, Sunnis, and Shi’ites.  When Sunni Palestinian refugees flooded into the country after Israeli independence guess which faction started lobbying to make sure Palestinians stayed?  Then are any of us surprised that once the Palestinian camps were effectively permanent one of those 3 factions tried to count them towards a majority of seats in parliament?  No doubt they also wanted them on a “path to citizenship.”

Of course we are not surprised that the Sunnis conspired to upset the balance of power in their favor by “electing a new people.” A fatal flaw of mass suffrage democracy where any warm body can vote or be counted towards seats in the assembly is that the temptation for factions to bring in more warm bodies always becomes irresistible.

At the time the Christians were the ones with the most power so they were the ones to beat.  The Shi’ites and Druze were tempted to join the Sunnis and dogpile the Christians.  A fatal flaw of multi-cultural democracy is it always becomes a game of king of the hill.  In Lebanon, when one faction has an advantage the others are sure to join against them and so it repeats endlessly.

Most recently, the Christians and Shi’ites were aligned against the Sunnis because both feared the growth of ISIS in Syria.  Now that the threat of ISIS has dwindled, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was yet another re-alignment as the balance of power is re-assessed.
Right now, the Shi’ites led by Hezbollah are the most powerful, so perhaps the other two will join up to take them down a peg.  I’m sure Washington, Riyadh, and Tel Aviv would send them billions of dollars to make sure it’s worth their while.

Hezbollah gives us a model of what the neo-tribal state might look like as the power of nation-states recedes.  They are the de facto government in southern Lebanon while seemingly content to operate within the framework of a formally recognized nation-state.  They get to have their own territory while still participating in a larger economic zone.  They effectively carry out their own foreign policy as they maintain their special relationship with Iran while still participating in the national politics.  Hezbollah gets to enjoy all the privileges of being a nation without the strategic liabilities of nationhood.  They get the best of all worlds.

I noticed this same impulse for political arbitrage in the renewed flareups of European separatist movements.  The Catalonian government wanted regional autonomy under the protection of the larger EU economic zone, cutting out the annoying middleman so they could enjoy the best of all worlds.

I anticipate a similar sort of dissolution might happen in the United States.  The government in Washington might well still be there as the reality on the ground quietly changes.  De facto territories emerge but no one wants to disrupt commerce in a way that impoverishes everyone.  When Lebanon was embroiled in its civil war each militia had checkpoints at its borders to “tax” anyone passing through.  No one in present day Lebanon wants this.  I would figure even the most diehard Hezbollah member enjoys being able to drive into Beirut.

But what what about direct state coercion?  One lesson of Lebanon is multi-cultural national militaries only exist on paper once tensions are high.  I was shocked as I read there was still a national military in Lebanon amidst 20 years of civil war.  Once members of every group serve in the military, commanders know better than to order them into actions that will cause mass mutiny and infighting.
To the average soldier, the military is just a paycheck and that’s true for the United States as well where all the effusive praise and near-worship just papers over the fact that it’s a government jobs and training program for millions of Americans who would otherwise be barely employable with their high school diplomas.  The military is welfare for the working class.

Just as no one in Lebanon wants to charge territorial border tax anymore, the different ethnic groups in the military can all agree to sit on the easy paycheck even once bullets are flying and simply revolt or desert if someone tries to actually send them into battle.
Those soldiers who want to actually fight leave the military and join their group’s militia.
We can look at the Mexican military as a supporting example.  They go through the motions of following their orders for the most part but they have little appetite for challenging the power of emergent narco-states anymore than they need to.

The defensive power of neo-tribal militaries isn’t necessarily being able to defeat national militaries outright.  Like a sea urchin or a cactus pad, they need only represent a net energetic loss for large predators.

Another lesson we can take away from Lebanon is that coalitions are always shifting in the game of identity politics.  Euro-Americans are perceived as the strongest, most vulnerable faction right now, so all the other groups can agree to target them.  As this position is weakend, it will become progressively easier to peel factions away from the coalition of the fringes.  The same applies if the strongest faction seems to be winning.  Then the least loyal members of the coalition of the weaker start jumping ship.

It would do well to always watch for opportunities to re-align and ultimately divide and conquer.
In these kinds of struggles it’s smaller factions caught in the middle of the struggle that switch sides first so they will end up on the winning side.  In Lebanon this is how the Druze, a group that’s about 5% of the population, plays their hand.

If we think of Whites as Christians, Sunnis as Mestizos and Indios, Shi’ites as Blacks, and Palestinians as Illegal Immigrants, the Druze in our situation might be Asian Americans who are ambivalent about either side and shift their allegiance wherever they feel benefits them most.  Right now, they fall behind the establishment even though the other members of the coalition of the fringes envy their wealth and power.  When the American Druze begin to waver, the Christians know there has been a change in the balance of power.

By Giovanni Dannato

In 1547 I was burnt at the stake in Rome for my pernicious pamphlet proclaiming that the heavens were not filled with a profusion of aether, but rather an extensive vacuum.
Now, the phlogiston that composed my being has re-manifested centuries in the future so that I may continue the task that was inconveniently disrupted so long ago.
Now, I live in Rome on the very street where I (and others) were publicly burnt. To this day, the street is known as what I would translate as 'Heretic's Way'. My charming residence is number 6 on this old road. Please, do come inside and pay me a visit; I should be delighted to spew out endless pedagoguery to one and all...

21 replies on “Lebanon Predicts the Future USA”

Imagine not one, but a hundred Beiruits, with a countryside that looks like the Congo wars. Thats’s what the war will look like once it pops off.

One of the weaknesses of the French-imposed Lebanon State is that it was just a one level government. The Ottaman land laws and taxation system pretty much survived, with the addition of what became quite nice customs duties. Once central authority snapped, there was nothing but the ethnic militas and corrupt businesses to take over.

That is not the case for USG, who has 50 States, and numerous other entities, each of which a Unitary State on paper. Some of those States work better on paper than USG-Actual. All of them have courts, levy taxes, deposit paychecks at local institutions, and has a rich legal history.

Some of the local jurisdictions under the States have their own unitary governments, or close enough it makes little difference. At least one major legal entity openly has immense armed forces, overseas offices, international shipping and transit links, and existing diplomatic missions.

The above said, no lower-tier unitary government has effective control over irs own economic hinterland, which was a source of rich conflict throughout the history of the Holy Roman Empire, for example.

I don’t think there’s going to be Lebanon-type fighting here. The reason is that people from every group feel able to have romantic relationships with people from every other group. (Muslims aside, I guess.) And everyone of fighting age in any group regularly finds some people in every other group attractive.

There doesn’t need to be an actual “race war,” I think, to see the politics develop in a similar way.
That said, I think the groups did intermarry in Lebanon. They intermarried in the Balkans too. Yet ethnic conflict developed just the same. Yes, men of fighting age find the women of other groups attractive and coming out on top in the power struggle military, political, or economic means they get more of those women.

Within reason. There was still a lot more patriarchy going on in Lebanon’s “multicultural democracy”. The people who intermarried probably were secular and the fathers of the daughters were somewhat indifferent or secular themselves. I can’t imagine a Muslim woman marrying a Christian man (or vice versa) would have been smiled upon very much by believing families.

Ability to control who your daughter hooks up with is likely a key factor in holding a multi-ethnic society together.

An aspie-Reddit-rightwinger student of mine is always chatting with a sort of cute no-hijab Muslim girl who sits next to him; they clearly like each other. That’s the sort of thing I mean.

“…Right now, the Shi’ites led by Hezbollah are the most powerful, so perhaps the other two will join up to take them down a peg. I’m sure Washington, Riyadh, and Tel Aviv would send them billions of dollars to make sure it’s worth their while…”

Interesting statement with the backdrop of Saudi Arabia declaring war on Lebanon. The Israelis can no longer defeat Hezbollah by themselves. I was talking to an old buddy of mine from the service and he said there was a huge exercise lately in Israel. Israel, US and other NATO countries. Like we need any more wars for Israel.

I personally think it very likely that the family of Al Saud are Jews. I can’t back that up with any hard evidence but a lot of various noise points to that. I wouldn’t be surprised if one day genetic test are leaked that say that’s true.

The weird thing going on right now is how the Saudis took the Lebanese Prime Minister hostage and forced him to step down. It doesn’t make much sense to me because Saad Hariri is a Sunni from a family that have long been close friends of the Saudis. It may be that Hariri, like his father has been more conciliatory and worked to keep a peaceful balance of power. The Saudis might want someone more anti-Shia in his place? If I’m not mistaken, I believe Prime Minister always goes to a Sunni, so the Saudis don’t risk losing their influence entirely.
I’m not quite sure what the impulsive crown prince is playing at.
Oh come on, the Saudis are Nejdis out of the deep desert. The Ottomans didn’t even bother going way out there, city-dwelling Jews certainly wouldn’t.

My thinking about the Saud’s being Jews comes from a bunch of obscure information combined with the Saud’s actions. They never mess with the Israelis. ever, and often combine with them. I know it sounds silly but it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if the whole Muslim religion wasn’t made up by the Jews and the Saud’s are Jews.

My thinking is also heavily influenced by the idea that the Jews are a tribe of psychopaths. Not all and maybe not even the majority but a lot of them are. They actually talk about this themselves when they think people aren’t paying attention. This I also know people think is silly but it’s just like the A.I. that recently showed that it can determine whether Men are gay just by looking at pictures of Mens faces at a very high percentage. A lot of little things can add up to allow you to see the whole picture.

Until the 1980s, the House of Saud absolutely hated Israel to the point of risking an USG invasion in 1974 over the oil embargo.

My suspicion is that it was the realization that Saddam would roll them in a heartbeat if he thought the USG would accept it (as he thought they did for the then-British protectorate of Kuwait) that knocked some sense into them. There are some stories about the Red Sea pipeline stuff but I’m not sure if that played a part.

There were Jewish colonies all over the Arabian peninsula, just read the Muslims accounts of how Mohammed rose to power. Look into the Jewish communities of Yemen. Etc. Mohammed himself was an Edomite, Edom being the brother of Israel.

Autists, not psychopaths, Sam J. (That’s why they’re so annoying. If they were psychopaths, they’d be charming.)

What if autism’s caused by an infectious agent? The disease swept through a certain percentage of the population living in the southeast corner of the Mediterranean, beginning in about 1200 BC.

Just as the homosexuality-causing bug swept through Greece beginning in about 550 BC.

Impossible. You are making a false comparison. These tribes were well entrenched and had a long history there. They had support and a strong base to stand upon. Here you have free riders living off government cheese and no ability to stand on their own. The blacks have been here for centuries and they cannot feed themselves after a disaster like Katrina. No.
Whites still have more ability and know the land. The invaders have just come to eat and will not be able to feed themselves. This failed state is based on Lies. Whites never agreed to ANYTHING and the lawlessness of the fake government that ignores the heritage and people who built America have no army to fight for them. These freeloaders will not fight for them. They might kill them just to eat, if they are cut off in a siege.

I find it unlikely America will splinter and disintegrate apart. The military, no matter its racial composition, will always be strong enough to hold it in one piece. On top of that, the Right overestimates the detrimental, weakening effect of the nonwhites in the soup. When Pat Buchanan laments “The Suicide of a Superpower” he is really bemoaning the loss of a culture based on a certain racial purity.

I have certain OPINIONS of my own on how good or ill these changes are, but these are the facts as I see them.

Who gets the nukes? Whatever you say about the similarities, the Lebanon govt never had dread weapons like nukes or aircraft carrier groups.

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