Last Saturday, Hassan Nasrallah Spoke at the holy “Qadr” night, his speech was as usual televised for the crowds assembling in the Southern Suburbs of Beirut.
It was very interesting to hear the head of one of most disciplined parties in Lebanon, urging his members and cadres to quit the “love for luxury”, calling for people to adopt belief in God within the least of measures by simple “fear of the end”, “Let us not believe like free men, this the sheikhs can do, let us believe like slaves (…) let us believe by fearing sin, and by wishing to be accepted in the heavens”.
A big portion of his speech was dedicated to describing in details the pain of hell, and the pains of the grave, while one waits for judgment day, and then at the end describing the heavens.
At one point in his speech he sais: “god gave us a good business deal, let us consider belief a good business deal and let us commit ourselves to the minimum of this deal, do good on earth and earn the heavens and avoid the torments of hell”
Nasrallah’s speech should not be taken as a simple, common rhetoric and call for stronger commitment to religion, but should be understood as a direct message to his party members, who based on several reports, have been parading with big Jeeps in the southern suburbs of Beirut.
A young 25 year old, whose family members are active members within Hezbollah, said to me: “My uncle’s home (Hezbollah members) have three GMCs, why do they need three? And who pays for their fuel, especially that it costs loads to fill it up”.
Responding to a question on how much does a full-timer earns in Hezbollah he said: “A single full-timer would get around 400 USD, while one with a family and children might reach 800 USD” and he adds “based on what close-family members of mine say there are around 30,000 full-timers in Hezbollah, and some of the Hezbollah full-timers have left the party because of low-pay”
Based on this testimony this makes the minimum monthly spending by Hezbollah on wages reach about 12 Million USD.
Ibrahim el Amine, a former leading figure in the Organization for Communist Action, wrote an article about a week ago in Al-Akhbar newspaper, where he criticizes Hezbollah, and he expresses his fears from a PLO-ization of Hezbollah, reminding about the bureaucratization of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and how it furthered itself more and more from people, which increased its weakness in gaining popularity and support as a resistance movement.
Currently many in the Southern Suburbs of Beirut are expressing their resentment through popular discourse, the important thing here is also to notice, that even if Nasrallah has interfered against this trend of “seeking luxury”, it would not be enough to halt such a thing, especially with the huge amounts of money the party is using in the purchase of land in South Lebanon and in Beirut, which is basically creating/or enforcing the economic power of certain “Donors” at the same time making the party more and more linked to big land owners and fast growing Shia’ bourgeoisie who is mainly concentrated within the construction sector of the economy.
Moreover, Hezbollah through his network of landowners, in the aftermath of the July 2006 war, has bought several damaged buildings in low prices, rebuilt them and now is selling them with higher prices, now a common place in the Southern Suburb of Beirut costs around 150,000 USD, while before 2006 it only cost around 60 to 70 Thousand US dollars.
Hezbollah Petit-bourgeois roots are appearing to the surface in a clearer way, and his successive non-defiance and establishing peace-treaties with March 14th forces whom were publically accused of backing Israel in her war on Lebanon in July 2006, puts up some essential questions, like: is Hezbollah being absorbed by the ruling elite, and the whole fabric of relations of interests between imperialism and its local allies from the Lebanese and Arab bourgeoisie, basically is the scenario of the PLO being repeated again?
These questions are important because they have a great significance in understanding why national liberation movements have failed to accomplish "Liberation", and as socialists, it is an important fact for arguing for a permanent revolution in the Middle East.
Yet let us not be fooled into arguing against the resistance of Hezbollah against the Israeli forces, but actually quite the opposite, keeping our unconditional support for the resistance is an act of gaining support in our criticism against Hezbollah's petit-bourgeois character, and in showing its limitations in keeping resistance alive against imperialism.
the petit-bourgeoisie would turn with the bourgeoisie and against the workers, when their interests are being protested, like when Hezbollah adopted the March 14th (big bourgeoisie) decision to only elevate the minimum wage to 500,000 LBP (330$) and refusing the trade unions demands for 960,000 LBP (640$).