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Libyan Writer Ghoma

Saturday, 25 June, 2005

On The Idea Of Organic Opposition

By: Ghoma

       Organic is the buzzword these days. In a world running fast amuck, keeping some perspective on the origin, the source, and the purpose of things maybe is not a bad idea after all. For, if it's possible to redesign the cellular building block of living things, it's also possible to redirect nature into a new course. Whether the new course turns out for the better or worse that's only the future will tell. What genetically modified products -up to 70% of products in the grocery stores of America have some trace or another of GM- impact on humans and nature in general will take some time to assess.

       Humans have been weaned up to now on the 'organic' of all things natural, except of course those dealing with the intellect. Gramsci divided the practioners of this craft into two categories: traditional and organic. Under the traditional rubric included all those who claimed their autonomous and independent status, though, in reality according to Gramsci they make part of the dominant and hegemonic group(s). Among these are those of the clergy, men of letters, philosophers, and professors, etc. In the organic category he included all those who spring up from among the people and work at the grass-root level to counter the dominant group and bring new type of consciousness to upset the dominant order. That's, organic not only entails a genuine connection with its environment but also works for its benefits.

       The idea of the organic can be extended to all products of the intellectual work including political organization and agitation. If the ruling group can be put in the traditional category, is it automatically granted to the oppositinal groups to occupy the organic slot? Not fast, buddy! Not any opposition is by necessity organic. Actually most of the oppositions, particularly in the Arab World, and Libya no exception, are conventional, that's, traditional. Take, for instance, the groups that are to meet these days in London, the challenge they pose, if there's any, to the group who's presently occupying the seat of power is not ideological, or sociological, and neither cultural, it's only stylistic. What's meant by stylistic, is the way how power is legitimized and managed. That's to put a sheen on it -power- so that both the average bu-m'erga and the powers that pull the strings are hoodwinked into complicity.

       A real organic opposition is the one that springs naturally from among the discontents and works, first to raise the consciousness of the multitude, and second to bring about the needed organizational skills, tools, etc. to affect the challenge and the change. There's the idea of toiling among the masses, of building civic society parallel and as a replacement to the existing order. This will not be done by meeting on foreign soils nor by asking others to come to the help. It's the millennial task of all those who are the salt of their earth to work to make their soil more organic and thus receptive to life and growth. All those societies who went through the trauma of changing the dominant order had endured years of hard and silent work. Yesterday, the East Germans, the Czechoslovaks, the Romanians, etc. and today's the Chinese and the rest of Southeast Asia are doing their work away from the cameras of the media that despises their guts.

       Any serious work of opposition has to start from scratch. The idea of opposition, in Libya, so far, didn't stick. It's true, there are dissidents. But the existence of these latter doesn't automatically translate into an organized opposition unless and until it pitches camp where it thinks the work needs to be done. An opposition has to depend on the backing of its followers, the foot soldiers, that will spread the message and carry on the drone. Without soldiers, an army is only a virtual organization, no matter how many generals and colonels has? The real work is not in London, Washington, or Paris, the real work is in Waddan, Ijdabyia, Tobriq, Ghadams, bu-Sleim, in the hills, valleys, and vales, and, in the big cities and small villages of the country. That's where the real opposition is located and that's where ultimately it counts. All other attempts are mere farts and smoke screens, creating more day-dreaming, more illusions, and thus leading to more desperation!


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