In 1977 the people of Libya proclaimed the Jamahiriya or "government of the popular masses by themselves and for themselves."The Jamahiriya was a higher form of direct democracy with 'the People as President.'Traditional institutions of government were disbanded and abolished, and power belonged to the people directly through various committees and congresses.
“everyone is involved in every decision. Tens of thousands of people take part in local committee meetings to discuss issues and vote on everything from foreign treaties to building schools.”
Unlike in the West, Libyans did not vote once every four years for a President and local parliamentarian who would then make all decisions for them.Ordinary Libyans made decisions regarding foreign, domestic and economic policy themselves.
Nevertheless, it is clear thatLibya conceptualized sovereignty and democracyin a different and progressive way.
During the NATO bombardment of Libya, western media conveniently forgot to mention that the United Nations had just prepared a lengthy dossier praising Mr. Gaddafi's human rights achievements.
One area where the United Nations Human Rights Council praised Mr. Gaddafi profusely is women's rights. Unlike many other nations in the Arab world, women in Libya had the right to education, hold jobs, divorce, hold property and have an income.
True democracy is about democratizing the economy and giving economic power to the majority.
Organized greedalways defeats disorganized democracy.How can capitalism and democracy co-existif one concentrates wealth and powerin the hands of few,and the other seeks to spread power and wealthamong many?
Prior to Colonel Gaddafi, King Idris let Standard Oil essentially write Libya’s petroleum laws. Mr. Gaddafi put an end to all of that.
Money from oil proceeds was deposited directly into every Libyan citizen's bank account.
Libya had the highest GDP per capita and life expectancy in Africa and less people lived below the poverty line than in the Netherlands.
Harvard University. Garikai can be contacted at email@example.com