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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Gaddafi of Libya

Colonel Gaddafi, who came to power through the coup of 1 September 1969, is mentioned everywhere in the newspapers but hardly quoted by name. He is always ¡°Leader of the Revolution¡±. Gigantic billboards bearing his likeness, or those that bears the numbers ¡°38¡± (number of years since his revolution), ¡°1969/9/1¡± (date of the revolution) are everywhere.
His quotations from the Green Book, in which he espoused his ¡°Third Universal Theory¡± (supposedly after the first two, capitalism and Marxism), are quoted on banners and monuments everywhere in Libya. Here are some of his catchy slogans:
- Partners, not wage-workers
- Democracy with popular congresses everywhere
- The problem of democracy in the world is finally solved! (of course, by the Green Book)
- Political struggle that results in the victory of a candidate with 51 percent of the votes leads to a dictatorial governing body disguised as a false democracy, since 49 percent of the electorate is ruled by an instrument of governing they did not vote for, but had imposed upon them. This is dictatorship.
- Sport is a public activity that must be practiced rather than watched."
- An individual has the right to express himself or herself even if he or she behaves irrationally to demonstrate his or her insanity.
- Black people will prevail in the world
Gaddafi proposes that all governments should be abolished and replaced by popular committees and congresses everywhere. There will be no inter-party squabbling common in democracies and instead everyone in a country will work together as one singular party to select their representatives who do not have selfish personal or partisan interests. There are no governments, presidents or governors, as all decisions are undertaken by the people through committees. In fact, all government departments in Libya are known as ¡°General Committees¡± and embassies abroad are called ¡°People¡¯s Bureau¡±. Gaddafi is a mere Leader, or as one of our guides called ¡°Advisor to the Revolution¡±.
One sometimes find billboards depicting people of the world admiring the Green Book ¨C which reminded me of similar stuff associating North Korea¡¯s Kim Il Sung and his Juche Theory ¨C or Africans cheering Gaddafi, sometimes with the numbers 1999/9/9, the date Gaddafi announced his plan for the formation of the United States of Africa, a supranational union on the same basis of the European Union. Gaddafi considers himself the chief advocate and father of African unity. Interestingly, Afriqayah Airways of Libya adopted the numbers 9.9.99 as its logo.

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