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Libyan Writer Ghoma

Friday, 8 September, 2006

Qaddafism: A Delusion, A Pied Pipe Or Simple Balderdash?

By: Ghoma

        If it's true that every great truth begins in blasphemy, then one must question, not God's -since He's nothing to do with the whole mess- but Libyans on how long can they stand being taken for a ride over and over again with a straight face, by no one else except the Big Kahuta himself and his progeny. After years and years of spewing nonsensical slogans and mimicking out-worn models, now is making a U-turn and sacrificing everything to Kipling's "God's of the market ...and their smooth-tongued wizards."

        "Qaddafism" is in essence a synonym of another ethereal hodge-podge harangue of the so-called " Third Worldism! " It's the art of freewheeling perorations to no end and the rhetoric in its worst. Whilst living in the mud, it promises the stars! It's set on mood swings: one day it weaves magic, the next it takes the whole imaginary edifice it built the day before down. And so on, and so forth....

        The screeds of Third-Worldism are known to cause, among many effects, diarrhea of the brain and hemorrhage of the intestines. It's become one of those catch phrases that denotes more than it really means in everyday usage. It's not only a geo-political designation but also a way of thinking and doing things. More than a historical stage, it's a mental set-up. Perhaps as much as half of humans are caught in its grip, and like so-called vicious-cycles -such as the poverty cycle- it's its own lingering mechanisms and thus it's difficult to break from. The major reason is, because it's a phenomenon, and as such it regenerates itself to survive and actually to grow even worse.

        Third-Worldism, as a phenomenon, was caused by structural flaws and faults in almost all the societies, which fell in its trap, and are still held in its grip. Latifundism and the appropriation of a small minority of European stock of power in Latin America; tribalism and the arbitrary impositions of state borders and apparatuses in Africa; tribalism and antiquated culture plus neo-colonialism in the Middle East, and the so-called "Asiatic Mode of Production" and what it entails in the rest of Asia and Oceania,... These what sociologists define as structural defects and deficits, which came about and still persist as a result of a specific historical experiences and their concurrent world views. Any changes entail drastic measures which many of these societies are unable and unwilling to undertake and thus remain victims inside their own inherited and thus self built prisoners, so to speak.

        Social structural problems, by their very nature, are, like chronic diseases, not amenable to cures ( the so-called reforms) and thus one has either to learn to live with them or must be willing to submit to drastic actions. Societies who'd realized such a fact exploded at once and rebelled against their histories and the past in general. Violent or peaceful revolutions shook those societies from the roots and stood them on their feet and set smack on new trajectories and paths of development. European societies in the 16th and 17th centuries, America in the 18th century, Japan in the 19th century, Russia, China, India, etc. in the 20th century, etc. all went through dramatic and traumatic convulsions to abandon their ways of looking and doing things and to adopt new ways of thinking and making that eventually have gradually brought them into what they are today.

        While some of those "lucky" societies were pioneers in findings their ways into what came to be known as the modern views, others copied, imitated, and followed suit to invoke and search their own paths to modernity. None has attempted to do what Arabs are trying hard and wrongly to do, that's, the equivalent of squaring the circle: remain traditional and participate into the modern world! Foregoing or neglecting to understand that traditions are not different from the blackholes in pulling anything that comes their ways into their labyrinthine netherworld. Thus Arab societies have become immune to any stimulant to effectuate their awakening. Their sterility is reminiscent of the desert they inhabit -no matter how much fertilizers and water one pours into the desert it's unlikely to turn into a lush forest!

        Libya, and Arabs in general, for the last 50 or so years has been building schools without a philosophy for education, hospitals with no health plans, roads and infrastructures without a framework for development. A huge amounts were wasted, without even learning from the mistakes and short-comings -for that assumes a critical minds which are in short supply given the education system it's! Libya today is worse than 50 years ago in its conspicuous and no production. As uncle Vlad said: What's to be done?

        What needs to be done is not to buy one-million computers or to connect into the Internet or one of those thingamajigs of consumerist schemes -sold by snake-juice glib talkers- but more basic: What's the future and where we want to go from here? Only when we can picture the future and fell in love with what we can visualize, it's possibly and will be able to start building bridges and highways to get into it. Without taking a stand, once and for all, toward life and its whereabouts we're going to have the fate of that mythical Greek: Sisyphus! or as the Libyans quip equivalently: as plowing in the sea or taking a leak on the sand.

        What the so-called "reformists" (a misnomer since there're very few forms that are prone to re-form!) And that kid architect-turned-economist-turned-philanthropist, etc. have to realize to stop kidding themselves and others and be serious and get down to work. Before getting into the acrobatics of priorities and investments they've to figure out how to wake the multitude from its age-old slumber and sets them on a course that eventually will lead into the promised land: modernity! They've to do their homework rightly and to have the courage and foresight to see and be willing to go where others never dreamed of. They've to throw the old book(s) and start new one(s) and stop puttering around wasting their own time and the resources of the country on tinkering with ideas and plans that were tried before, never worked and never will work in a million years: patching torn and broken frames, mending a flailed and worn-out rags, picking and choosing from the garden varieties of mounted montage made out of borrowed slogans and bumper- stickers are not going to make the cut. It's time, for everyone, to face the piper and be true to his or herself: the future is there, can they stretch their hands and reach it? As James Baldwin put it appropriately: "Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced."


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