Light – On the Bidun

In Uncategorized on December 20, 2011 by Star-Light

So let’s talk about what’s happening now. The Bidun are human beings who are neither blessed with a holy lineage ( not like the Shi’ites’, for instance, who associate with the prophet’s bloodline); nor with business acumen (such as non-Kuwaitis who managed to gain wealth through trade or profession); and as they cannot lay claim to a particular nationality (such as the Palestinians whose lands were forcibly taken from them) they cannot invoke the discourse of the 50s and 60s–that is, to beseech the world in terms of their “national” cause.

The only mantra left for the bidun to embrace, is the 17th century’s liberal philosophy, which prioritizes the human as such: a human, not a demi god, not a king, not French or German, or male or female, but human.

Well…. We all know how that went right? First, liberalism was born with the massive industrialization of slavery. Yes. Slavery. Liberal philosophers talked about the dissolution of social borders between Europeans (and Americans), although they phrased it as the dissolution of borders in the world. However, they literally couldn’t see black people (or Orientals) as “humans.”Fast forward through America’s Civil War, WWI and II, and then the fifties. Even today, with a black American President and many influential black entertainers, America and the rest of the world still haven’t fully recognized black people as “normal” people. And of course, today we have all sorts of exclusions and exploitations that aren’t only based on the color of one’s skin.

The thing is that these institutions which advocate the rights of the underprivileged are mostly funded by rich people who continue to exploit and oppress heedlessly. Think of this: a billionaire who makes his money by sponsoring the introduction of designer clothes in the country. He could have 2 Nexts, 3 Debbenhams, 4 H&Ms, and so on. Now he simply pays for the stock and sells it in his country. The question is: where is this stock made, and by who, and how are these people actually treated? The answer is most likely that these stocks are made in a poor country (China or Bangladesh) by young kids, or women, or very poor men, who suffer inhumane working conditions and who at the end are not given enough money to sustain a healthy and balanced diet. Why? Because this is called cheap labor. The cheaper the labor, the more profit you make when you sell your stock in richer countries. Now this man becomes a billionaire. But he doesn’t want the stigma of his title so he becomes a philanthropist–contributing generously to charities and to institutions with the express aim of defending “Human Rights.”

So is the discourse on “Human Rights” really as idealistic as we wish it to be? Is it really going to defend the biduns? Is that really in the institution’s favor?

In truth, no such thing can make sense in the corrupt system we call global capitalism which is fundamentally based on the demonization and exploitation of groups of people.

Why does Kuwait not recognize the bidun? Simply put: they constitute 10% of the population who need to be treated as the 17th century’s “poor;” a hereditary cast of poor people that could be called upon to do the “dirty and drudgery work of hard labor” to maintain the well being of the capitalist nation. It will also prevent 10% of the population who have not been raised in a quasi-Western milieu from mingling with the more “modern and civilized individuals” who have been raised on the doctrines of the capitalist ideology. In other words, to maintain Kuwait’s business drive and economic prosperity it is rather paramount to hierarchicize the value of human life . For example, rich people’s lives are more important than the poor because they actually control the means of employment, and thus, the livelihood of the poor. Get it?

But truthfully, the biggest objection they have against the nationalization of the bidun is that 10% of nationalized bidun means a 10% radical loss in the national treasury. Kuwaitis are not finding homes, or jobs, as easily as they like, and you want to decrease their chances by another 10% after telling them they have a right to their wealth by virtue of their nationality (which is a capitalist ploy to prevent people from questioning the inequity of wealth)? Of course they’ll throw a hissy fit.

When women protested for their rights, they were already topping many of the socio-economic positions. More over, a great number of upper-class women had joined the March protests (I know cause I was there). For the world, this was a gendered victory. For the intellectual who is cognizant of the totality, this was simply another economic triumph. Rich women made it possible to attain another position on the socio-economic ladder. As the prospects of the females from lower-classes, well, that remains to be nil. You see, if a father beats his daughter, or a husband beats his wife, or a mother abuses her daughter, or a sibling, and so on, and if the woman did not have ownership of her own bank account, the police will do nothing. If she was rich she could seek the courts for refuge by depleting her bank account even if it meant risking social stigma. But if she was poor, or if she was rich but couldn’t control her own income, she would suffer the abuse alone.

The bidun’s agitation couldn’t have come at a more opportune moment for capitalist nations who find that the wellfare system minimizes their chances of gaining even more wealth. They will then fund the Human Rights organizations, and reiterate their “Peace and Prosperity in the Middle East” until Kuwait recants its wellfare system.

The Play

The Actors

Human Rights organizations which are funded by wealthy capitalist nations (HRO).

Kuwait which learned from the 90s that you could not count on Arabs or Muslims because they contributed and facilitated the Iraqi invasion, in otherwords, they embraces a quasi-Western capitalist system because they were betrayed by both Arab Nationalism and Islamism.

The Dialogue

HRO: You have got to nationalize the bidun because they are humans.

Kuwait: We’re sorry. Our economy is already tasked as it is and we cannot afford the 10% of non-Kuwaitis to be treated as Kuwaitis.

HRO: Well you shouldn’t have this system in the first place. Cut down your government spending. Your public hospitals, public education, public everything is bad anyway. Cut it. Make it private. See your private institutions? They’re proficient and productive. So rather than spending more governmental money for another 10% of Kuwaitis, you’ll be gaining 100% from the public sector.

Kuwait: Where will I put them? I cannot afford to give them similar housing as I do my own people.

HRO: Who said you have to offer anyone anything? Your job is to make sure your people play by the rules. You’re not Santa Clause. And even Santa only gives the gifts to good kids, and he does that once a year. You’re spoiling Kuwaitis. Money. Homes. Education. Free health care. No wonder your economy is tasked and your people are rotten.

Kuwait: We’re different.

HRO: We are the children of the whole world. Kuwaitis and non-Kuwaitis. Be modern. Be democratic. Stop living in the past.

Kuwait: But Saddam, the Arab, the Muslim, he invaded us…

HRO: He is also dead and gone. And so should your ideology. Now let’s shake on nationalizing your bidun, cutting government spending, revitalizing your economy through competition and hard work, and let’s introduce a payroll tax to the middle and lower classes.


And then we well have our own versions of Oliver Twists slumbering around sparkling malls….

You have been illuminated.

Light’s out.


2 Responses to “Light – On the Bidun”

  1. Thats an amazing post, i loved reading it…. in my opinion i believe the bidun should become full kuwaiti, they need their human rights as well!

  2. Thank you. This is it in a nutshell. Just because the bedoon are not Kuwaiti doesn’t make them non-humans.

    While, of course, in the long term, a complete overhaul of this system is the course of action, the naturalization of the bedoon will dilute the benefits of the Kuwaiti public, as you stated above.

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