Lebanon: A Revolutionary Situation
By Yossi Schwartz, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 20.10.2019, www.thecommunists.net
Tens of thousands of protesters came out to protest for the third day across Lebanon against the rising cost of living, increases in taxes and governmental corruption. The government is in crisis. Four ministers of the Lebanese Forces party, an ally of the Prime Minister Saad Harriri, have resigned.
“We are convinced that the government is unable to take the necessary steps to save the situation,” said Samir Gaegea, head of the party.” (1)
Harriri’s promised reform package has only increased the determination of the masses to bring down his government.
“Protesters in Beirut’s Riad al-Solh square, in reaction to his promises began chanting, using a slogan used at football matches: “The first shot went in, where is the second?” Earlier on Saturday in central Beirut, the mood was fiery and festive, with protesters of all ages waving flags and chanting for revolution outside upmarket retailers and banks that had their storefronts smashed in by rioters the night before. The number of protesters grew steadily throughout the day, with major demonstrations in the country’s second-biggest city, Tripoli, in the north, and other locations. As Mohammad Awada, 32, who is unemployed, said: “This country is moving towards total collapse. This regime has failed to lead Lebanon and it must be toppled and replaced”. Lebanon’s public debt stands at around $86bn – more than 150 percent of gross domestic product, according to the finance ministry.” (2)
The masses are not only angry with Harriri but also with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah who said on the T.V on Saturday that “Hezbollah was against the government resigning, because the country did not have enough time for such a move given the acute financial crisis.” (3)
Like in Syria, where Hezbollah sided with the counter-revolution, in Lebanon it has backed the government against the revolution, exposing its political nature and proving that it is not the leadership the working class and the masses need for the revolution.
This is not the first time Hezbollah has defended the government. Following the second Lebanon war, when one million Lebanese demanded the resignation of the government whose army did not fight against Israel, Hassan Nasrallah blocked the revolutionary forces. Hezbollah stance on privatizations and the labor movement is also problematic. (4)
Those Lebanese brothers and sisters who struggle for a revolution but still trust Hezbollah should demand that it resign from the government.
The situation of Lebanon is revolutionary. The ruling class cannot rule and the working class and the masses cannot live with their rule. What is needed to win is a revolutionary leadership to lead and win the revolution.
Lenin, who knew what a revolutionary situation is, wrote in The Collapse of the Second International about the characteristics of a revolutionary situation:
“(1) when it is impossible for the ruling classes to maintain their rule without any change; when there is a crisis, in one form or another, among the “upper classes,” a crisis in the policy of the ruling class, leading to a fissure through which the discontent and indignation of the oppressed classes burst forth. For a revolution to take place, it is usually insufficient for “the lower classes not to want” to live in the old way; it is also necessary that “the upper classes should be unable” to live in the old way; (2) when the suffering and want of the oppressed classes have grown more acute than usual; (3) when, as a consequence of the above causes, there is a considerable increase in the activity of the masses… ” (5)
The revolutionary struggle in Lebanon is likely to ignite the new revolutionary wave of the Arab revolution that is not dead in spite of the blows it received from the counter revolution. It would be ignited again, we have said time and time again. The RCIT has stood with the Arab revolution since it began in Tunisia in December 2010 and has stood by it even when the leaderships of the reformist and centrist forces falsely claiming to be socialists and communists have turned their back on the revolution.
What We Are Calling For:
* An unlimited general strike to bring down the government
* Hezbollah to resign now from the capitalist government
* Democratically elected leadership by the struggling masses in every neighborhood, and every city that will form a revolutionary leadership on the national level
* A working class revolutionary leadership committed to a socialist revolution that will grow out of the democratic revolutionary struggle and will be part of the Arab revolution in the entire region
* Expropriating all the banks under workers control
* A government of the workers, fellahin and the poor
1) Al Jazeera: Ministers resign after third day of protests in Lebanon, 20/10/2019, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/10/tens-thousands-protest-day-lebanon-191019180840017.html
5) V.I.Lenin: The Collapse of the Second International, in: Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [197], Moscow, Volume 21
Other Articles of the RCIT on the Arab Revolution:
Save the Syrian Revolution! https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/call-save-the-syrian-revolution/
Syria: Assad Regime and Kurdish YPG Strike a Reactionary Deal, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/syria-assad-regime-and-kurdish-ypg-strike-a-reactionary-deal/
Syria: US Imperialism Deserts the Kurds … Once Again, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/syria-us-imperialism-deserts-the-kurds-once-again/
Iraq: Victory to the Popular Insurrection against the Government of Abdel Mahdi!https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/iraq-victory-to-the-popular-insurrection-against-the-government-of-abdel-mahdi/
On the Background of the Popular Uprising of the Iraqi People, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/background-of-popular-uprising-of-the-iraqi-people/
Yemen: Another Humiliating Blow for the Saudi Aggressors! https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/yemen-another-humiliating-blow-for-the-saudi-aggressors/
Egypt: Bring Down the Tyrant Sisi! https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/egypt-bring-down-the-tyrant-sisi/