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By Roger Owen

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Onalism and individualism in Lebanon: a critique of Leonard Binder (ed) ' Politics in Leban on ', R eview o f Middle East Studies, I (1975) p84 9 The Precarious Republic, p262 10 ibid R E Crow, 'Confessionalism, public administration and efficiency in Lebanon' in Binder, pi 78 11 Hudson, p312 12 Besoins et Possibilites de Developpement, pp77-81 13 ibid, p87 14 C lssawi, 'Economic development and political lib era lism in Lebanon1, in Binder, p79 15 Hudson, p322; C M Henry, 'The consolidation and dissipation of power in unincorporated societies' (Mim eo) 16 Hudson, p312; Henry 33 IDEOLOGIES OF THE MOUNTAIN AND THE CITY by Albert Hourani In 1963 a group o f historians and political scientists held a conference at the University of Chicago to discuss the working of the Lebanese political system, and their papers were later published in a book edited by Leonard Binder, Politics in Lebanon,1 Anyone who has turned to that book during the last months of civil war in Lebanon, in the hope that it would help him to understand what was happening, must have felt that something had been left out of it.

Their resentment grew with the impotence of the 'S ta te ' to subdue the P a les­ tinians once and for all. ' H ow ever, when the Arm y intervened in Saida, in March 1975, against the L e ft backed by the Pales­ tinians, the Communists and the N asserites w ere sw ift to denounce its partisan role and its predominantly Christian ch aracter, thus discredit­ ing it and reducing its room for manoeuvre. given to th*> Army tttf But the coup de grace was thrmconHo o f Christians demonstrated in the Christian districts o f Beirut in its, support.

Th eir dis­ tinctive culture, although expressed in modern languages and styles, revea ls 'th e atavistic form s of the national sensibility'. Li kg Phoenicia, Lebanon is part o f the world of classical Mediterranean civilization and can only liv e by im m ersion in it. 7 V T h ere was however a second type o f urban conception of Lebanon, not a transplantation o f the ideas o f the mountain, but a transplantation of la ter Ottoman ideas. F o r those Muslims who, in the 1930's and 1940's, came to accept the existence of Lebanon, it was an embodiment of the ideal formulated, in different ways, by the statesmen of the Tanzim at and their Syrian supporters, and then by the Ottoman liberals and their a llies in the Arab cities , the Party o f Decentralization and the Beirut R eform Committee o f 1913.

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