Libyan rebels dance in the streets, while globalized capital waits in the wings

Published on Intrepid Report, by Nick Egnatz, August 31, 2011.

… After 42 years under Gaddafi’s rule, Libyans are certainly entitled to a new government. The question is whether or not they will be better or worse off than under Gaddafi? Under Gaddafi Libya had:

  • The highest standard of living in Africa.
  • Full legal equal rights for women, unheard of in the Arab world. [3]
  • Free education for all Libyans
  • Free healthcare for all Libyans
  • Average life expectancy increased by 22 years under Gaddafi’s revolution. From 52 years in 1970 To to 74 years in 2010 [4]   
  • Free subsidized housing for Libyans
  • $50,000 interest free grant to young Libyan couples upon marrying [5]
  • The Man Made River Project, the world’s largest underground system of pipes and aqueducts built at a cost of $33 billion. Labeled the Eighth Wonder of the World it brings 6.5 million cubic meters of fresh water per day to Tripoli, Benghazi and other cities. [6]

Not bad for a country that as recently as 1951 was ranked dead last in the world in terms of development.

Libya also has a public central bank, unlike Western capitalist countries in which the county’s central bank is private. As a county’s population and economy expands it is necessary to increase the money supply or there would be deflation (dropping prices). While dropping prices might sound good to consumers, who would buy a house with the knowledge that its worth will drop over time? With a public central bank the creation of money benefits the country and its people. With a private central bank like our Federal Reserve, the tremendous benefits of money creation belong to the private bankers. Gaddafi had proposed African unification, under the banner United States of Africa, to members of the African Union just before the U.S. and NATO joined the rebel side. He had also proposed a common currency the African Dinar which would be a challenge to the Western banking cartels monopoly on global oil trading. [7]

In 2003 after years of Western capitalist economic sanctions, Gaddafi made his deal with the Western capitalist states and renounced terrorism and discontinued his nuclear program in addition to allowing Western oil companies and others into the country. Libya took responsibility for their official’s role in the Lockerbie bombing and paid $10 million to each victim’s family. In return U.S. and U.N. economic sanctions were lifted.

Gaddafi’s revolution modernized a feudal society and provided tremendous benefits for its citizens. Whenever any kind of massive social change takes place in a society, there are always those that want to go back to the days and ways of old. Libya is no different and certainly Gaddafi used repression to combat those forces who didn’t want to see equal rights for women and the declining role of tribal leaders. From 2003 until 2010 the U.S. and other Western capitalist states became quite comfortable with Gaddafi’s Libya. It was only when Gaddafi started asserting his independence from them financially and threatened to cancel oil contracts and unite the African continent in a United States of Africa, thus in some minute way challenging the monopoly status conferred to private bankers’ U.S. dollars as the only currency to buy and sell oil internationally that he once again became an international pariah to be brought down by NATO and the U.S.

The victors get to write their history and it appears that the insurgents and NATO will win. But there is no evidence that the revolution is the wish of the majority of Libyans, regardless of how many times we seem the same clips of a handful of rebels taking Tripoli and shooting their guns in celebration

The masses in the West have been inundated for decades with tales of Gaddafi as a monster, just as we were with Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. Will the Western capitalist nations allow a free independent government? That seems highly unlikely and hardly necessary since the rebel government appears perfectly comfortable rubbing elbows with the Western powers. Will the people of Libya be better or worse off with a Western capitalist puppet government than they were under Gaddafi? That also seems highly unlikely. They very well may be allowed to vote in meaningless elections, but their social and economic advances are sure to evaporate as Western bankers start extracting their pound of flesh on a defenseless people. (full text and research notes 1 – 7).

(Nick Egnatz is a Vietnam veteran. He has been actively protesting our government’s crimes of empire in both person and print for some years now and was named “Citizen of the Year” for Northwest Indiana in 2006 for his peace activism by the National Association of Social Workers. Contact Nick here).

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