Political activism on the internet, why it’s failing in Lebanon?

After almost one year of revolutions in the Arab world, some of them are already half finished and the others still need a lot of efforts and sacrifice, however, all of them had the igniting spark and started the one way journey for change, freedom and a better future.

After all what is happening around us many of us are starting to ask about why the political cyber activism was fruitful in our neighboring countries but not in Lebanon, even when in fact we weren’t late in adopting new technologies and political activists’ blogs have existed in Lebanon since almost the beginnings of blogs on the web. So then why the status-quo in Lebanon is that strong? New technologies have been a powerful vector that helped in organizing and giving momentum to popular movements seeking justice and change, why not in Lebanon?

Well the answer is again in the structure of the Lebanese society and the Lebanese political system. In all neighboring countries, daring to speak was a threat to the regimes, the whole existence of the regimes was built on installing fear in the citizens, “whoever dares to defy will cease to exist “ and in installing in the consciousness of their citizens that actually no one dares to defy and Big Brother is always watching. The political blogs came to break this wall by defying, talking, exposing and helping people to wake up and see the truth that these regimes are just paper barriers that can be easily torn if they had to face the people’s will. So the name of the game for these activists was hitting on forbidden spots that actually are an inherent part of their civil rights, namely, the freedom of expression and speech. They defied the unjust regime and that’s how it worked.

In Lebanon, blogging and talking doesn’t have this effect, freedom of expression has been a tradition since the independence and the whole political system has grown an immunity against it, you can talk as much as you want it’s just your opinion and there are hundreds of other different opinions that would disagree, even on the obvious, and this situation is what makes the efforts of a serious political activist go in vain.

In terms of defying and breaking walls of control and fear, it’s not the case in Lebanon, almost everyone can talk, blogging and talking and exposing the reality doesn’t make a difference and in terms of spreading political awareness, what you say is just your insignificant opinion because there are hundreds of others that are claiming different things.

So the question is how can we use the technologies available on the internet to drive a change in Lebanon? The answer is to look for forbidden things that are part of our civil rights and concentrate on them. I’ll leave it to you to think about such things, one person is not enough to figure it out; the power lies in the crowds. But when it comes to me, I’m planning on going to vote in 2013 in a box that is not dedicated for my sect, just to make a fuss and raise the voice, because it’s my right to be considered as a Lebanese citizen and not as a citizen of my sect.

So, who’s in with me?

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3 thoughts on “Political activism on the internet, why it’s failing in Lebanon?

  1. I Emilie :) says:

    I believe that since the civil war has stopped, no one really cares.. The lebanese citizen doesn't want to die.. He'll cope with everything else.. the civil war, the deaths, the horrible childhood our generation had.. Made of us a bunch of people who just want to breath life.. Nothing else is a major problem..

  2. Rany says:

    Well that's right to a certain extent but then how do u explain the millions that went to the streets in 2005, or the short mini-civil war in 2008? or etc.I personally think that there's a misconception about politics in Lebanon. Everyone thinks it's about the feuds of politicians and each one stupidly roots for his leader. It's a cultural thing due to, as you said, the civil war and foreign malicious interventions.The Lebanese citizen can cope with anything as long as he's defying and trying to break his Lebanese opponent and I dare to say enemy that is from a different party or sect. That's the problem, hard feelings and bad intentions against each other. The civil war has ended, but the civil war mentality and its warlords are still here.

  3. I Emilie :) says:

    I definitely meet u there… I believe the civil war never ended really..

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