Quote of the Day: Muammar al-Gadaffi

From “The Green Book”:

“The democratic press is that which is issued by a People’s Committee, comprising all the groups of society. Only in this case, and not otherwise, will the press or any other information medium be democratic, expressing the viewpoints of the whole society, and representing all its groups.”

Now, I’m an anarchist and an individualist, I don’t believe in representative democracy anymore than Gadaffi seems to do, but in my view the whole point of true democracy (anarchy) is that every individual has a voice of their own. It is impossible to extract a common opinion from a group of people, which is why any system must allow for freedom of speech, press, expression, thought, opinion, religion, politics and so on, no matter what the individuals believe or think (as long as they don’t infringe someone else’s right to the same things). Also, although I know too little of Libya, I’m under the impression that the People’s Committee has either not been implemented or failed to represent the entire spectrum of opinions in the country, usually in favour of the opinions of Gadaffi and his closest friends.

This didn’t make sense:

“Private individuals have the right to express only their own, and not anyone else’s opinions.”

Full quote from the chapter PRESS:

“THE PRESS

An individual has the right to express himself or herself even if he or she behaves irrationally to demonstrate his or her insanity. Corporate bodies too have the right to express their corporate identity. The former represent only themselves and the latter represent those who share their corporate identity. Since society consists of private individuals and corporate bodies, the expression, for example, by an individual of his or her insanity does not mean that the other members of society are insane. Such expression reflects only in the individual’s character. Likewise, corporate expression reflects only the interest or view of those making up the corporate body. For instance, a tobacco company, despite the fact that what it produces is harmful to health, expresses the interests of those who make up the company.

The press is a means of expression for society: it is not a means of expression for private individuals or corporate bodies. Therefore, logically and democratically, it should not belong to either one of them.

A newspaper owned by any individual is his or her own, and expresses only his or her point of view. Any claim that a newspaper represents public opinion is groundless because it actually expresses the viewpoint of that private individual. Democratically, private individuals should not be permitted to own any public means of publication or information. However, they have the right to express themselves by any means, even irrationally, to prove their insanity. Any journal issued by a professional sector, for example, is only a means of expression of that particular social group. It presents their own points of view and not that of the general public. This applies to all other corporate and private individuals in society.

The democratic press is that which is issued by a People’s Committee, comprising all the groups of society. Only in this case, and not otherwise, will the press or any other information medium be democratic, expressing the viewpoints of the whole society, and representing all its groups.

If medical professionals issue a journal, it must be purely medical. Similarly, this applies to other groups. Private individuals have the right to express only their own, and not anyone else’s opinions.

What is known as the problem of the freedom of the press in the world will be radically and democratically solved. Because it is by-product of the problem of democracy generally, the problem of freedom of the press cannot be solved independently of that of democracy in society as a whole. Therefore, the only solution to the persistent problem of democracy is through The Third Universal Theory.

According to this theory, the democratic system is a cohesive structure whose foundations are firmly laid on Basic Popular Conferences and People’s Committees which convene in a General People’s Congress. This is absolutely the only form of genuine democratic society.

In summary, the era of the masses, which follows the age of the republics, excites the feelings and dazzles the eyes. But even though the vision of this era denotes genuine freedom of the masses and their happy emancipation from the bonds of external authoritarian structures, it warns also of the dangers of a period of chaos and demagoguery, and the threat of a return to the authority of the individual, the sect and party, instead of the authority of the people.

Theoretically, this is genuine democracy but, realistically, the strong always rules, i.e., the stronger party in the society is the one that rules.

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One Response to “Quote of the Day: Muammar al-Gadaffi”

  1. Simon Mountcastle Says:

    Thanks to the Glen Beck wannabees this sort of talk is usually taken at face value.

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