I can feel it from here. The fear. The venom. The hatred. I can hear the vitriol in the privacy of homes - it's so loud, it deafens me. If Lebanese were not polarized already, then today, after the speeches given by two of the country's top henchmen, there is no question about it. Druze, Shi'ites, Sunnis and Maronites, cluster together in ever-tighter circles. People ask each other whether they have armed themselves. Wait... what am I saying? They asked themselves that question almost a year ago... . I remember.
"God damn those Shi'as..."
"Those Druze are not even worth my slippers..."
"Who do those spineless Sunnis think they are?"
"We can finish those brutish Maronites..."
The ugly, raw Lebanon gradually rises to the surface as the icing falls off the rotten cake. Yet even if Lebanon manages to avoid stumbling into full-fledged violence this year, or the next, or a decade from now, the country's arrival to this point tears me apart. The fact that people allow themselves to be dragged to this point, embitters me even more.
But who am I kidding? These people... these non-individuals, face a tyranny of the majority that I doubt John Stuart Mill ever contended with. The power of the sect over the individual, I have come to realize, can only be overcome by flight. Lebanon, apparently, only supports sects. It remains as hospitable to individuals as the atmosphere of Mars is to life. And when the sect says you hate, you hate. When it says you like, you like. And lastly, when it tells you to fight, you fight.