4 Mar 2015

Lebanon Becomes First Ever Country To Be Turned Into A Company

In an unprecedented move in international politics, the tiny Mediterranean nation of Lebanon has this week been turned into an incorporated company, in the process changing its name from the Republic of Lebanon to Lebanon, Inc. The surprising move has been initiated by political leaders following years of political paralysis and conflict and the realisation that while the Lebanese are not good at politics they are excellent businesspeople.

After the changeover takes place, citizens will become shareholders and decisions about how the company is run will be decided by voting at the company’s quarterly meetings. To preserve the company’s delicate demographic balance, the CEO, CFO and Chairman of the board will be selected from the Maronite, Sunni and Shia communities and a similar distribution of seats will be utilised in selecting the members of the company’s board.

Foreign investors such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, America, France and Qatar will be allowed to purchase shares in the new company, with an initial allocation that reflects their current investment in the now defunct republic. This will ensure that they will continue to play an important role in decision making process in the company and all their efforts to exercise influence within the former country will not go to waste.

It is understood that the Lebanese people’s sacred regard for profit and business, as well as their famed acumen in trade and commerce, will guarantee that the company will function much better than the old republic ever did. Political scientists have noted that while the Lebanese are generally willing to destabilise their country and risk paralysing its politics, they have far too much respect for business to allow their personal biases to interfere with the smooth operation of the nascent corporation.

It is also understood that basing the ethos of the company around commerce will resolve traditional ideological conflicts about republic’s identity, as it brings together the Phoenician and Arab values of respect for trade and the importance of profit. Putting those futile ideological debates behind it, the new company will be able to focus on the important business of economic success and financial gain without distractions.

The country’s embassies will immediately be turned into commercial representation offices tasked with expanding the company’s operations abroad and ensuring the new brand gets the global recognition it deserves. The national anthem will be retired and in its place the company will adopt a new slogan. The favourite is thought to be ‘Sharing Values’, a clever pun aimed at bridging between the old Lebanese insistence on shared values and the new commercial ethos.

The decision to turn the country into a company has been embraced by most Lebanese people who are tired of political bickering and infighting and want to be given the chance to concentrate on business instead. But a tiny minority of leftist activists immediately took to the streets to demonstrate against the decision, carrying placards saying ‘My country is not for sale’ and ‘People not business’. An old man watching the demonstration dismissed them with a shrug however, saying that they are the same 37 people who protest against everything. ‘We want to live’, he added as he exhaled his cigarette smoke, before asking if we wanted to buy some shares in the company.

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Karl reMarks is a blog about Middle East politics and culture with a healthy dose of satire.

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