The Green Book: The Solution to the Problem of Democracy, the Solution to the Economic Problem, the Social Basis of the Third Universal Theory

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Ithaca Press, 2005 - Philosophy - 82 pages
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Libya, isolated by much of the international community over the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am plane above the Scottish town of Lockerbie, has undergone a dramatic rehabilitation. Tripoli formally took responsibility for the incident in 2003. The move, which was part of a deal to compensate families of the 270 victims, heralded the lifting of UN sanctions. Months later, Libya renounced weapons of mass destruction paving the way for a further blossoming of relations with the West. Libya's leader, Colonel Muammar Al Gathafi, has expressed revolutionary thoughts that distinguish his country from the world around it. Ideas put forward in his Green Book aim at an alternative to both communism and capitalism while Islam is adhered to but with a unique slant. Republished in a new translation, The Green Book provides fresh insight into the thinking of Muammar Al Gathafi and his Third Universal Theory for a new democratic society. Outlined first is his theory for direct democracy in society, or Jamahiriya, which focuses on the authority of the people, renounces representation or delegation of authority, and recognizes the need for organization of the people at lower levels of society. In The Green Book, Muammar Al Gathafi also suggests an economic revolution, transforming societies of wage earners into companies of partners by applying a political and economic theory of social organization that gives the ownership and regulation of production, distribution, and exchange to the community as a whole. Additionally, the book looks at the launching of a social revolution, presenting solutions to man's struggles in life and the unsolved problems of man and woman, as well as tackling the situation of minorities by laying out sound principles of social life for all mankind. The Green Book provides readers with new insights into a fascinating country, and the philosophies of one the most controversial and prominent leaders alive today.

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I give it five stars on the basis that it raises important and ignored questions about the study and practice of democracy. His assertions explain the author's stance as the democratic leader of Libya, in opposition to the democratic forms of the west, which are considered to be not only traditional, but defining, by political academia. Qadaffi explains that true national democracy can not be fractured into representative units that are isolated and elitist to those who elected them, and to the constituencies they represent, but must reflect and carry the will of the whole people entire.
By this standard, I assume that he considers himself the Libyan leader as appointed so by the collective will of the people entire of Libya. As I have only read a few of the mid-pages of the book, I am commenting on what I find to be the gist of a possibly cogent argument, and aim to complete the book, and my assessment, at a later date. However, this argument may be lost if no process of confirmation by the people of their choice, is evident. Qaddaffi's argument may also fail in a blindness to the hierarchies of democracy, where states, towns, and the smaller, more traditional and foundational units of government, selves, and families elect for choices in more local, and even personal, matters.
The democratic form is of the will of the people collectively acting in respect of their individual freedoms among themselves, to effect the sustenance of their shared environs, and of their freedoms.
Democracy must generate from, and generate, freedom, in order to be validly democratic. If, as in America's slavery days, orders are imposed over others, rather than agreed to, the definition of democracy is lacking. The civil rights movement collected the cumulative effect of protest and defiance of that imposition, causing America to better fit the democratic definition.
Imposition is not lacking in democracy, but the imposers and impositions are democratically agreed to before enforcement. A king may become evident by appointment of the people, or by oppression of the people, but only by appointment is the king a democratic one. Qaddaffi may be such a king, but the proof, as in America, is in the quality of the links kept, as Qaddaffi states, vital, with the people.

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About the author (2005)

Muammar Gaddafi is the Arab world's longest-serving leader. Col Gaddafi came to power in a bloodless coup in 1969. In the late 1970s Col Gaddafi set up the "Great Jamahiriya", or the state of the masses. The system is based around 'people's committees' and is free of partisan politics. Muammar Gaddafi was born in the desert near Sirte in 1942. He married twice and has eight children.

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