social cohesion: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_cohesion
There are many actions between people of a community or several interacting communities that can determine how deep their social cohesion is.
based on that we can determine that there are 2 main levels of social cohesion (SC):
level 1: traditions, history, culture, artisan skills, art, beliefs, moral code and folklore are elements shared between individuals belonging to a community, throughout the ages. such elements determine a social cohesion that is present on the deepest level of a community because it took many generations and centuries to form. when these elements are shared by a community, we can say that a community has an definitive identity, because this community possesses a deep level social cohesion.
level 2: then there are more superficial elements of interaction between people (of the same community or of different communities) and these are things like commercial ties (relying on another country or people for the supply of materials/commodities unavailable to the people demanding them), individual preferences (trends and fashions, food preferences shared by groups of individuals), friendships and groups forming from individual preferences (like motorcycle or sports car clubs) and entertainment (tourism, nightlife, going to the movies, shopping, etc).
social media is currently boosting the level 2 SC by helping spread the activities
and elements proper to this specific kind of SC. why? because world corporations have found the perfect media (effective and cheap!) to reach their clientele, and so,
social media is now a commercial tool.
the rise of globalism and the encouraging of multiculturalism and liberal economy ideologies have hugely increased level 2 SC and endangered level 1 SC by appealing to the modern man through shopping for and owning more commodities, identifying with celebrities, pursuing individual status and the appearance of a ‘cool’ lifestyle as a mean of success and self satisfaction.
the paradigm offered by our modern times is firmly and strongly rooted in commerce. as a result, our lives mostly show a level 2 SC where even history, folklore and traditions are used in pure commercial terms to sell ‘vintage’ products.
we will now only talk about the SC status in lebanon as it’s different from that of europe:
a country’s economy mainly relies on 3 major economic motors:
3-banking and services (tourism, commerce, etc)
lebanon’s industry and agriculture make about 30% of its economy
which means that the main drive in Lebanon’s economy is its banking and services sector. due to the large and quick revenues that banking and services provide, the lebanese have never been interested in developing their industry and agriculture (despite being the country with the most fertile lands in the arab peninsula). in true phoenician fashion the lebanese, prefer the quick returns offered by commerce, ranging from all kinds of imports, to real estate and development. this direction has always been encouraged by a ‘laissez-faire’ mentality that has been present throughout Lebanon’s modern times (early 20th century-present).
a heavily commercial mindset like that of the lebanese, is a strong foundation for level 2 SC, as evidenced by the lebanese people’s strong following of world fashions and trends, the paramount importance of owning the latest technology,
and the quasi obsession in surfing the lifestyle wave, as a means to glorify individual status.
the lebanese, and their governments, have always endangered level1 SC by never
encouraging serious industry and agriculture as means to enhance patriotism and the love of the citizen to his country. it’s a vicious circle: the people elect their leaders, the leaders never do any economic reforms, the people dont object, and re-elect the same kind of leaders. we have found that industry is the biggest source of national pride as evidenced by the current losses happening in the US industry by sending industrial jobs to china in an attempt to lower the prices of their commodities. this resulted in the shrinking of the US industry (and consequently, its economy), and the feeling of national pride and strong identity that americans feel when seeing ‘made in the USA’ on the back of their products.
producing a quality product is a source of pride for a country’s people. it enhances the country’s identity to the level where it almost becomes synonymous to this country and its people: german precision, italian refinement or english craftsmanship are a few examples of adjectives we’ve come to associate with certain countries because of their respective industries and products born off those industries. the lebanese have a production limited to a few food brands and nothing more. this doesnt count as industry. they also chose to forsake their fertile lands in favor for quick profit. to correct these huge mistakes, the solutions are easy but will take many years and decades to get the lebanese people to adopt them: the lebanese government must actively and financially invest in industry and technological research, and it must optimize the use of its wealth of water and agriculture. we dare to dream as much.