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no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics

Has Libya Been Liberated?

October 21st, 2011

The final image of this revolution for me will be the image of Qaddafi beaten and bloodied being harassed and tormented by his captors, what we can imagine was only moments before he was put to death. That is the only image people should see for which NATO is responsible, but it will not be the image that is produced for world consumption.

What the world has witnessed in Libya is not the rosy push to democracy that everyone is being led to believe, rather it is a nation being pushed into armed lawlessness by outside forces, the prime example being the a summary execution of deposed leader, Mommar Qaddafi — an extrajudicial murder which was at least tacitly supported by NATO.

Qaddafi wasn’t killed in a crossfire, nor a firefight or gun battle as some headlines have suggested. Instead, the video clearly shows him alive in captivity (being beaten and harassed, no less), yet he turns up dead with bullets in his head, chest and stomach while in custody.

What we are left with now, is a country which has no functional government and as we have seen in most armed struggles in the African continent or elsewhere (Afghanistan comes to mind) what is likely to occur is the birth of warlords (Somalia, Sudan) as there is a huge population that is now armed with no real prospect of de-arming them.

We are likely to witness a cycle of violence as these factions, at odds with whatever puppets are put in place, struggle for power. This wasn’t a legitimate military action, despite the fact that is being portrayed as one there is no command structure; there are no rules for them. This has been displayed countless times in their revolution, through the looting of buildings as well as the murder of African migrant workers in the country who did not have the means to leave when the fighting broke out. The murder of the Africans which has been well documented and criticized by the African Union is committed under the guise of killing mercenaries.

All of these, lawless actions which NATO has been complicit in promoting and encouraging (like blowing up water pipelines, and then the factories that make the replacement pipes). Contrast this with Qaddafi’s Libya.  Qaddafi’s Libya had the highest standard of living of any African country…

Sirte, before NATO bombing

Sirte, before NATO bombing

… although the prosperity was short-lived once NATO came to play.

Sirte, after NATO bombing

Sirte, after NATO bombing

Qaddafi was also responsible for keeping the oil industry profits going to the people instead of multinational corporations (although not for long).

Certainly, Qaddafi did some terrible things, and he deserved to be tried for his crimes, but this was an extra-judicial murder, sponsored and supported by all the NATO allies whose companies will certainly benefit from their direct intervention in regime change and infrastructure reconstruction.

How quickly the world forgets what a great ally Qaddafi was in the “War on Terror” – as recently as two years ago – yet overnight he became a pariah for the United States and other former imperial powers to scapegoat and divert attention away from some of the more real problems in the Middle East and Northern Africa.

What’s Next for #Occupy?

October 12th, 2011

Spanning nearly every ideological boundary, the “Occupy” movement includes social democrats, democratic socialists, Goldwater-conservatives, tea partiers, Libertarians with a capital “L”, libertarians with a lower-case “l”, peaceniks, veterans, conspiracy theorists, Marxists, punk rock vegans, hipsters, black-bloc anarchists, and everyone in between. And it’s popping up everywhere.

I desperately want to be optimistic. Like, “Fuck. Yes. This is a mass awakening. People are waking up from the ‘American Dream‘ (no, not the storybook version that you probably know word-for-word, but George Carlin’s version).”

But although I see fleeting signs of solidarity, there are some apparently unbridgeable chasms between the competing ideologies.

For example, among the asinine demands are:

  • Restricting “free” trade and imposition of restrictive tariffs in order to favor domestic production. It should be obvious that any measure designed explicitly to restrict or violate people’s ability to peaceably interact with one another is not in the interest of “the 99%”.
  • Raise the minimum wage to $20 per hour. This is as retarded as a football bat. Please, don’t make me explain it.
  • Complete socialization (single-payer) health care system, banning any private mechanisms to provide for same. Let’s just say I’m not a fan of further consolidating power over who lives and dies, and every state-socialized scheme ultimately results in slavery.

Some demands, I can get behind:

  • Abolish the Federal Reserve. Although I’m not sure if this is on the “official” list, the Fed is essentially pure evil, contrary to the interests of all but the power elite, protecting a credit monopoly and enabling seignorage by debasement of currency, etc.
  • Open borders. I’ve talked about this one at length(here, here, here and here). However, many people think this is just an illuminati/globalist plot to further depress wages, etc.

And some demands are kind of a mixed bag, like:

  • Debt forgiveness for everyone. OK. I mean, the entire system is pretty much a fraud and I’m inclined to sympathy with this movement, but you can’t deny that it is going to absolutely fuck a lot of very good people, there is no way to do this equitably.

There’s a lot of reactionary and poorly-thought-out goals in conflict with one another, and probably too few people really trying to strike the root. And not enough public support; a large part of the population is pretty much ignorant of the movement.

Union members and Occupy Wall Street protestors

These cops don't even realize they're on the wrong side of the fence... Photo credit Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

For that, you can thank the dismal education that most of the 99% have received through their state-funded schools.  And also, the mainstream media, who have done a pretty good job of just ignoring it and even though the movement shows no signs of giving up ground, it’s possible that the 1% can win an old-fashioned war of attrition through censorship by omission: If the news doesn’t report it, is it really happening?

The 1% are clearly experts in manipulating governments to their unique advantage (at our expense) as well as “instigat[ing] class warfare, pitting individual members of society against one another, communities against communities, interests against interests.” And up until now, they’ve been winning. Half the time, they don’t even need to fight the war because we’re so busy fighting amongst ourselves.

So what’s the next move?

Does “Occupy” reach critical mass and turn the tables? Or does the 1% (and the media they control) strike back?

 

no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics