On July 1, 2007, 1.7 million people assembled in Green Square, Tripoli, to show their defiance against the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) bombing Libya. This amount of people accounted for 95% of Tripoli’s population and a third of the entire Libyan populous.
Muammar Qaddafi’s Libya wasn’t as bad as we may have thought it was. The media sometimes has a funny way of suppressing factual information and manipulating what they want you to see. Many of anti-Qaddafi propaganda videos started to find their way into mainstream western media. Some of which were videos that were a decade or more old, posing as something that was recently filmed.
The Green Book, written by Qaddafi, first published in 1975, would be a textbook for his citizens to show what democracy should look like. Later, his book would be printed in every language. The Green Book rejects modern liberal democracy, which is based on capitalism and electing representatives. Instead, The Green Book proposes a type of direct democracy overseen by the General People’s Committee, allowing direct political participation for all adult citizens. Qaddafi suggests that “Freedom of expression is the natural right of every person, even if they choose to behave irrationally, to express his or her insanity.”Forty-four4 years in power, Qaddafi accomplished many of his promises he made to the people of Libya. Some would argue that he became a national target when converting the currency to a gold Dinar trading system. He tried to get rid of the central bank normality, which most countries are under. Qaddafi was trying to introduce a single African currency linked to gold. He wanted to train and only trade in the African Gold Dinar—a move which would have thrown the world economy into complete chaos.
Qaddafi warned: If he were forced to step down as leader, it would leave Libya open for power to be taken over by rebel groups, such as Al Qaeda. He warned the United Nations (UN) and NATO that if they did not help stop the terrorist groups now, they would continue to grow into massive organizations. Qaddafi also assumed that we would see 9/11 based actions from the expanding terrorist groups afflicted worldwide in years to come. Instead, the UN, CIA, and NATO heavily armed the rebel groups and financially supported them. While the US brought in the CIA to train the rebels, their primary intentions were to take Qaddafi out, and they succeeded in the most brutal of ways.
Say and believe what you will, but there is no denying that Qaddafi significantly improved his citizens’ standard of living. Unfortunately, another country had to succumb to another nonsense war fueled by the greed of who owns the oil. This demolished Libya’s infrastructure, and many innocent people were killed.
“The president does not have power under the constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” – Senator Barack Obama December 20, 2007
10. Farmers Received Free Use of Land, a Home, Equipment, Livestock and Seeds
As difficult as it may seem to farm in a desert, Qaddafi made it much simpler for his citizens to do so. If one chose to be a farmer, the Government provided them with a free piece of land, a home, farm equipment and seeds. By doing so, they could make a nice profit, and at the same time, it allowed them to provide food for their families and the rest of Libya’s population.
9. Qaddafi Carried Out the World’s Largest Irrigation Project
Known as the Great Man-Made River Project, it made water readily available throughout Libya. The Qaddafi government funded it, and it was said that Qaddafi himself called it “the eighth wonder of the world.”
They drilled for water under the desert, which created many water wells and luscious flowing rivers.
8. Libya Had Its Own State Bank
Having its state bank, by law, Libya provided zero percent interest rate loans to its citizens. Having this form of banking meant that they did not need to borrow loans outside of the country, thus making Libya debt-free!
The Government would pay all newlyweds in Libya 60,000 Dinar ($50,000 US) to buy their first apartment and start a family. Also, a bursary was given to all mothers with newborns.
7. Libyans That Could not Find Education or Medical Facilities They Needed, the Government Would Fund Them to go Abroad.
If a citizen couldn’t find the proper education, they needed to continue their degree, the Government would send them to the best colleges and universities the world has to offer. Not only was it accessible for them, but so was the housing. Students would also receive a car allowance and $2,300 US/month for living expenses.
If a Libyan couldn’t find a proper medical facility for their ailment, the Government would send them to the best facilities money can buy. These citizens were also given the same $2,300 a month per family member living allowance, a car allowance, and a family’s place to stay.
6. If a Libyan Bought a Car, the Government Paid for Half
Qaddafi believed that his citizens should have a right to a vehicle. He passed a law that the Government would reimburse half the cost of the car. This made an automobile far more comfortable to afford.
5. Electricity was Free
That is correct. In Libya, no one received electricity bills. The Government likes to find all sorts of ways to tax their citizens, such as metering electricity. They are charging people absurd amounts of money for something Qaddafi made accessible.
4. Medical Treatment Was Free
It didn’t matter what field of treatment one needed because it was provided to them for free. And like already mentioned, if the service couldn’t be found within Libya, the Government would pay for them to go outside the country to get looked after. If you were living in Libya and not a citizen, you would be charged a whopping $20 US to see a medical doctor, specialist, dentist, etc.
3. A Percentage from the Oil Revenues Went to the Citizens
A portion of Libyan oil sales was credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens. If this oil-rich country at one time could do it, then why can’t other countries follow the same format?
If you’re from Alberta, Canada, you’ll recall that Albertans got a taste of this just over a decade ago. Every Alberta citizen received a $400 cheque from the Government’s oil revenues, with the promise of more to follow. They wouldn’t see another cheque, but I’m sure everyone put it in a savings account for retirement.
2. Qaddafi Considered a Home a Natural Human Right
One significant promise Qaddafi made was that he would house all citizens before his own family, which he held because his father passed away in a tent before ever being housed.
In the Green Book, Qaddafi states, “Whoever possesses the house in which you dwell, the vehicle in which you ride or the income in which you live, possesses your freedom, or part of it. Freedom is indivisible. For people to be happy, they must be free, and to be free, they must possess the possibility of satisfying their own needs. Whoever possesses the means of fulfilling your needs controls or exploits you and may enslave you despite any legislation to the contrary.”
1.Education Was Free
From grade school to post-secondary, education on all levels was accessible to all Libyans. Before Qaddafi was in power, only 1/5 of the citizens were literate. With his high-quality education system, the literacy rate rose to 83%!
Qaddafi’s views on education were a lot more dynamic than found here in the western world. He believed that education had nothing to do with a routinized curriculum. He argued that the west of the world has forced their youth to learn during set hours while sitting in rows of desks and that this type of education now prevails all over the world and goes against the freedom of human rights. He believed that education is a far broader concept than sitting in a row and absorbing propaganda about historical figures’ greatness (Columbus established slavery in America, and Edison stole his inventions from others) or singing some patriotic national song every day.
Qaddafi firmly believed that state-controlled/standardized education is again a “forced stultification” of the masses. He thought that all governments that set education courses in terms of a formal curriculum and force people to learn this way are manipulating their citizens. It certainly doesn’t sound like he was wrong.
By no means did Qaddafi say that schools should be closed; he believed that education was important. He objected that society should provide all education types and give the child the chance to choose freely between their courses. Nobody should tell them what knowledge is actual because this restricts their creative ideas and discredits any creative thought.
“Knowledge is a natural right of every human being of which no one has the right to deprive him or her under any pretext, except in a case where a person does something which deprives him or her of that right.” – Muammar Qaddafi (June 7, 1943 – October 20, 2011)
“I am not here to build a business; I am not here to build a corporation; Not here to build Schools; I am not here to build churches—I am no Mother Theresa. What I will do, though, is—lead a legacy.”
– Dean Mathers