[Marxism] Achcar on Hezbollah

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Jun 2 07:45:35 MDT 2008

Q: It seems that the only way to go beyond sectarian divides can be 
through left political and trade union organizations that pose a 
non-sectarian alternative and resist the neoliberal policies that have 
been implemented in the country. Does Hezbollah have an inclination to 
organize resistance against those neoliberal policies?

A: This is a total illusion. They have nothing fundamentally against 
neoliberalism and, even less so, capitalism. You know that their supreme 
model is the Iranian regime -- certainly not a bulwark against 
neoliberalism. Of course, like any Islamic fundamentalists, they 
consider that the state and/or the religious institutions should help 
the poor. This is charity. Most religions advocate and organize charity. 
It presupposes social inequalities with the rich giving the poor their 
breadcrumbs. The left on the other hand is egalitarian, not 
"charitable." In any event, Hezbollah is not really interested in the 
social and economic policies of the state. During all the years when 
Rafik Hariri dominated the government and Syrian troops dominated 
Lebanon, the cruelest neoliberal policies were implemented, yet 
Hezbollah never seriously opposed them. This is not part of their 
program or their priorities.

The last round of events started on the day of a general strike called 
by some unions. But these are rotten unions that were actually 
controlled by the Syrians before they left Lebanon. The previous time 
they called for a strike, it was a total failure because the opposition, 
i.e. basically Hezbollah, did not seriously support it despite paying 
lip service to the strike as an opposition gesture. This time, Hezbollah 
used the opportunity of the strike to mobilize against the political 
decisions by the government directed against them -- not to oppose its 
social and economic policies. That's why, although the clashes started 
on the day of the general strike, the social and economic demands of the 
strike fell into oblivion. Hezbollah is not fighting against 
neoliberalism, although it can cater to the needs of its plebeian 
constituency at times. The only significant force that opposes 
neoliberalism in Lebanon is the left, mainly the LCP.

full: http://www.zcommunications.org/znet/viewArticle/17808

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