Shortly after the fall of their respective dictatorships in Tunisia and Egypt, we are witnessing a strong questioning of the Gaddafi regime in Libya after 42 years in power; a man who, despite bloodily repressing his people, is unable to prevent the advance of the rebels who are being joined by increasing numbers of military personnel who refuse to repress.
Gaddafi, who rose to power in 1969, started out identified with the pan-Arab idealism of Nasser and was defined as a “socialist revolutionary”, a friend of the Kremlin and an enemy of the USA. But very quickly his violent interpretation of the revolution turned him into the driving force behind bloody terrorist acts against the Western world; as bloody as the bombings that today he orders against his own rebelling people.
His attempted position on the left of the ideological spectrum and his preaching against the USA brought him friendships with similar governments. But in recent years, the good business in Libyan oil, Gaddafi’s copious purchases of weapons, his collaboration with the containment of African immigrants entering Europe and his supposed conversion to “anti-terrorism” allowed him to gain many friends among European governments. Surely this is why Europe is half-awake to the bloodbath that their partner, Gaddafi, is imposing on his people.
Gaddafi’s state of the masses, Jamihiriya, didn’t result in an organisation that gave more power to the people, but rather in the dissolution of all possible competition for his family’s power. His “Revolutionary Committees” are no more than the swords of repression that today are used to silence rebellion: a massive popular rebellion that Gaddafi tries to dismiss, blaming it on “groups of drug-addicted youth”.
Surely, both governments of the left that in the past felt close because of his socialist discourse, and the right-wing governments and recent partners in business, xenophobic policies and even his crazy parties, will try to look away now and even show surprise.
For Humanists it is no surprise that those who have always believed in violence, and have even used it as the flag for the “defence of the people”, today use this violence against their own people. It is no surprise that those who defend the use of violence to achieve their goals, then fall into all kinds of corruption and cruelty against the weakest. It is no surprise that the violent ones, who cry to the four winds that power must be in the hands of the people, are the most autocratic and do not hesitate in repressing the people when they rebel.
For Humanists it is no surprise that the violent ones fall increasingly into contradiction, because it is contradiction which is precisely the source of all violence, and we never believe the song of the mermaid which promises a paradise at the end of a road of violence.
As we have already stated in recent weeks, we support the non-violent revolution that some Arab peoples are embarking on, we seek the end of the spilling of blood in Libya and we demand that the world, and Europe in particular, make real efforts in this sense.