“An insight into why Lebanese history repeats itself”
Any person that has lived in Lebanon for a few months, would sense that daily life eventually becomes quite mundane and repetitive. Even the avant-garde societal faction thinks in a highly one dimensional manner. People do express their discomfort about their socio-political situation, but it ends there. They are incapable of changing it, not because they are not willing, but they are not able to.
Abraham Maslow said: “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you will tend to see all problems as a nail”. This is one of the reasons why we are stuck in a vicious cycle of discomfort in Lebanon, and the region in general. We have a limited repertoire of intellectual tools to deal with problems that arise in front of us.
This scarcity in analytical tools is rooted in our deeply conservative mentality. In order to elaborate this hypothesis, you have to take into consideration the following factors.
Intelligence is defined by Webster’s as "the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations". Thus, in order to deal with situations adequately, we must be able to acquire relevant knowledge which is effective in dealing with those trying situations. At the same time, we also must be capable of using it.
However, before we get to the execution part, what does intelligence and knowledge have to do with being conservative? The answer is the influence of personality traits on learning and motivation. Conservative individuals score very high on the closed minded personality trail measures, whereas liberal individuals are more open to new experiences and seek novel experiences and ideas.
Therefore if we are dealing with problems or trying situations intelligently, it would require from us to acquire new knowledge. How will we be capable of doing so if we cannot overcome our bias and thought preference? Moreover, even if we are capable of acquiring that knowledge, will we be willing to change what we are extremely accustomed to?
I believe that the preceding argument is indicative of why we are incapable of proper execution of change. Moreover, it provokes an endless loop of melancholic thought and behavior. The results may be quite grim; however, it doesn't mean that change isn't possible. It is, but it requires too much damn effort.
An easier method of change would be to stop pursuing change consciously, because the means are producing redundant results, which in turn are keeping the progress wheel stagnant. Since we are a conservative nation, we would be more at ease if we accept the current decadent culture, and learn how to work its dynamics more efficiently. Eventually things will change if we truly find out that we can’t live in such a system, because change then would be much more synergetic and has profound natural momentum and direction.
However, the irony of the matter is, as long as change is required, liberal thought will also be required. But Liberal thought will always create discomfort in conservative nations. Therefore the fate of the Lebanese will remain the same due to their conservative identity with liberal whims.