I'm a petty thief, but with a cause
By Imad Atalla
Friday, February 25, 2011
In the spirit of popular change that brought down symbols of corruption in Cairo and Tunis, last week I executed my own revolutionary act, namely a pseudo-crime.
I experimented with this calculated, prolonged violation of civil law to highlight three things. First, that unethical conduct among citizens is directly influenced by immoral role models at the top of the rotten Lebanese political establishment. Second, that the prime minister-elect, Najib Mikati, has a golden opportunity to revolutionize the state of public affairs. And third, that my moral checks and balances as a private citizen are sound and kicking! Here are the details.
Robbing the government is usually the specialty of Lebanon’s business-cum-political establishment. Most petty politicians and political leaders at the helm of national power rig the system in order to rob it. This is how rigging and robbing works: bend the rules, get away with it as long as possible, and reap the benefits. If my political so-called leaders can do it, then I can – albeit at great moral cost. In an attempt to try my hand at rigging and robbing the system, I chose a parking meter near my office.