No Minister

Other collapses

While the world’s attention is focused on the growing disaster of Afghanistan since the Taliban took it over in the wake of America’s mis-handled retreat, there are other nation-state catastrophes happening.

Like Lebanon.

Admittedly this nation has been on a knife edge for decades. Civil war raged from the mid-1970’s to the 1980’s and has continued at much lower levels of sniping ever since.

Multiple groups are involved and it often seems as much tribal as between Christian and Muslim or sub-sets of each. As tribal as Afghanistan perhaps, but with a more Westernised approach towards civil society. It’s amazing the country has held together at all.

That may finally be coming to an end, Lebanese Economy Collapsing Amid Hyperinflation, Power Outages:

The economy of Lebanon is witnessing a once-in-a-century collapse.

Amid hyperinflation and inconsistent power supplies following a massive explosion in Beirut last year, Lebanon may be witnessing one of the worst three economic depressions since the nineteenth century, according to the World Bank.

Specifically the World Bank says:

Lebanon’s GDP plummeted from close to US$ 55 billion in 2018 to an estimated US$ 33 billion in 2020, with US$ GDP/ capita falling by around 40 percent. Such a brutal and rapid contraction is usually associated with conflicts or wars.

That’s what so awful about this. There has been no real war for years (random killings and reprisal attacks instead).

The WSJ adds the following:

Power outages have become so frequent that restaurants time their hours to the schedule of electricity from private generators. Brawls have erupted in supermarkets as shoppers rush to buy bread, sugar, and cooking oil before they run out or hyperinflation topping 400% for food puts the prices out of reach. Medical professionals have fled just as the pandemic hammers the country with a new wave of infections. Thefts are up 62% and murder rates are rising fast.

Add in Covid-19 and the Beirut explosion in which at least a hundred citizens died and 4,000 were injured, plus leaving over 300,000 homeless. But the really incredible thing is what the Prime Minister said as he quit:

“I set out to combat corruption, but I discovered that corruption is bigger than the state… I declare today the resignation of this government. God bless Lebanon.”

Nations seem to muddle along – Lebanon certainly has for decades – and there is Adam Smith’s old saying that “there’s a lot of ruin in a nation”. But an endpoint for Lebanon as a nation-state – as opposed to a set of locally controlled enclaves – is certainly in sight now.

Written by Tom Hunter

August 25, 2021 at 12:58 pm

Posted in Islam, Middle East

2 Responses

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  1. How long before this country goes that way Hmm Tom

    Queued to get into the supermarket – no flour, no fucking eggs, no sugar, no toilet paper of course but that’s
    just weird, only crap coffee

    Get stopped. told I must shop local

    Fuck this

    Andrei

    August 25, 2021 at 1:36 pm

    • I lost the bit in the above about how I decided to try my luck in town but got stopped and told I had to shop local

      Andrei

      August 25, 2021 at 1:38 pm


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