As revolutionary Pan-Africanists, we must give unwavering support to the Libyan Popular National Movement, the natural heir of the Al Fateh Revolution.
*Gerald A. Perreira
Muammar Qaddafi is dead and the Al Fateh revolution has been rolled back.
Two months after his death, on October 2011, the imperialists, in collaboration with the Salafists in Tripoli and Khartoum, orchestrated the assassination of the revolutionary leader of the Sudanese Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), Dr Khalid Ibrahim. On a recent visit to Tripoli, president of Sudan, Omar Bashir, congratulated the Libyan NTC and said that 'Qaddafi's death is the best thing that could have happened to the people of Sudan'. When the chairman of the NTC, Mustafa Jalil, recently visited Sudan, Bashir once again sank into absurdity, claiming that 'Sudan has experienced no harm, even from the colonial nations, like the injury caused by Qaddafi and his group.' Bashir certainly wasn't speaking for South Sudan, nor even for some parts of the north. He was speaking only for those Sudanese who support the National Congress Party, which he leads, and their program to promote Arab hegemony.
NATO backed Salafist militias are working with Bashir's military to seal the Sudanese- Libyan border, and are engaged in a joint military effort to fight pro-Qaddafi Tuaregs and JEM fighters operating in the region. JEM's leader, the late Dr Khalid Muhammad, was residing in Libya prior to and during the NATO invasion. Khartoum wanted Qaddafi to hand over Khalid Muhammad who was wanted by the Bashir regime. Qaddafi of course refused. He had for many years assisted the African fighters in Southern Sudan and those operating in the Darfur area in their legitimate struggle against the ethnic and religious chauvinists in Khartoum. This fuelled Khartoum's hatred of Qaddafi, because Qaddafi openly supported the struggle being waged against the Bashir regime, and also they hated Qaddafi's Islam – an Islam that promotes justice, equality and peace – hence the name JEM (Justice and Equality Movement).
A few weeks after Qaddafi's death, the Justice and Equality Movement, based in the Darfur region, joined forces with the Sudanese Peoples' Liberation Movement (North), and two other liberation organizations to form the Sudanese Revolutionary Front, with the aim of toppling the Khartoum regime. Strangely enough, when Bashir visited NATO controlled Libya, no attempt was made to instruct the NTC to hand him over to the International Criminal Court, although only months ago the US was making a big fuss about the fact that other African regimes had allowed Bashir to land on their soil and had not handed him over. Of course, the imperialists change their allegiances at the drop of a hat – Mubarak is a good example of that. That is at least one thing that we can agree on: that throughout the terrible 'White Ages', the politics of the North Atlantic Tribes has always been based on expedience rather than being rooted in moral principles. Their relationships are always based solely on how best the relationship can further Euro/American interests and objectives and they will make a pact with the any demon when and where necessary – I think we can all agree on that self-evident truth. And we must never forget that their objective is always the same – unchanging – to dominate Africa and the rest of the global south, in order that they can continue to plunder our vast resources, enabling them to live their irrational, spiritually bankrupt and unsustainable life style – end of story.
We are nothing to them – mere pawns in their game – no more than a bit of collateral damage in their way.
Their worldview was perfectly illustrated when Lesley Stahl of CBS asked former US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, the following question:
'We have heard that a half million children have died… I mean, that's more than died in Hiroshima. And – and you know, is the price worth it?'
To which Madeleine Albright replied, 'I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it.'
There is no better example of the enemy's total disregard for 'us' than recent events in Libya. The most prosperous and stable country on the African continent was bombed to a point of total destruction of its physical environment, economy and social fabric, and then following the globally televised murder of the leader, left to dwell in pure chaos and misery. In the space of 24 hours, the corporate and mainstream media went from 24 hour coverage to zero coverage. They turned off their cameras so that the world would not see the ensuing bloodbath, as the racist and fascist Salafists, who had been handed power by NATO, continued on their murderous rampage of ethnic and ideological cleansing. Intellectuals, religious leaders, Black Libyans and all those who dared to openly support the Al Fateh revolution were rounded up, imprisoned, tortured and murdered – and not a word from NATO countries about the human rights they pretended to cherish while they savagely bombed this defiant African nation.
One only has to look back on the days of what the enemy has termed the 'Arab Spring' to understand how sinister and sophisticated their plans for domination really are. They quite clearly have a contingency plan for every eventuality and so, when they need to support a repressive regime such as Ben Ali in Tunisia or Mubarak in Egypt they do so, when that is no longer working, they can switch gear within hours to support the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi electoral outfits, despite the fact that only yesterday they were raging against them. The only thing that matters is that they remain at the top of the global pyramid, exerting total control. There are many, who for years, have discarded such ideas as the ranting of whacky conspiracy theorists, however, it is now becoming crystal clear for all to see that the unfolding of global events is not taking place as a result of 'shared interests converging in some ad hoc manner', but rather is part of a carefully planned strategy. Of course, there are random events that occur which are beyond anybody's control, such as the Tunisian vegetable seller, Muhammad Bouazizi, setting himself on fire in protest at his harassment by Tunisian local authorities, but let us not be confused by random events that occur. It is important to note that those that are manipulating world events have contingency plans for every conceivable series of events and outcomes. As soon as the rebellion in Tunisia and Egypt started, they swung into gear, launching plan B to either co-opt and/or destabilize the rebellions. They would support any commotion – even an al Qaeda inspired and led takeover of Libya, as long as they remain in control.
Even amongst so-called anti-imperialist and 'revolutionary' organizations and personalities, confusion reigns. They shout 'revolution' as soon as they see a rebellion, failing to realize that all rebellions are not revolutions and some, as in the case of Libya and more recently Syria, are simply imperialist orchestrated 'rebel commotion'. Revolutions do not happen without a revolutionary theory and revolutionary organization. In the absence of these weapons, and indeed, revolutionary theory, consciousness and organization are weapons, confusion, co-option and chaos are easy to establish. In an alliance with the powerful corporate media and local players, commotion of a destabilizing nature is all around us. In such circumstances, as we have witnessed over the past 18 months, if we are not careful we can lose our bearings. Sadly many progressive and so-called anti-imperialists figures fell for the bait and found themselves on the same side as NATO and the Salafists.
For the past decades, since the end of the so-called Cold War, as the single global super-power, the US and their European allies have enjoyed unfettered access to Africa, however, with the rise of China as a powerful economic player, and their own deepening economic crisis and decline, they are once again on the offensive, determined that they will maintain sole control over Africa by whatever means necessary. Muammar Qaddafi and the Libyan Jamahiriya were major obstacles to their plan. Qaddafi had the ability to provide financial assistance to African countries, and his vision of African unity was fast gaining momentum, Qaddafi and Libya's prosperity and capability to lead the charge towards African liberation had to be eliminated. No one was more aware of their nefarious agenda than the Brother-Leader himself. His last message to the peoples of Africa stated:
'The fight, if it is not won in Libya, will be coming to you. Prepare for it. Prepare traps for the invaders. You must defend your corners…Do not let them use you. Be united. Build your defenses for they are coming if they manage to pass Libya.'
Since the overthrow of the Libyan revolution, The United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), set up to facilitate US military intervention in Africa has, as expected, stepped up its activity throughout the continent. Muammar Qaddafi was totally opposed to AFRICOM and all it stood for. His ability to influence other African governments meant that not a single African country had allowed AFRICOM to establish a military base on their soil, which was what AFRICOM had set out to do. As a result of this unanimous rejection by African nation-states, AFRICOM was forced to establish its headquarters in Germany. This was a humiliating defeat for the US led mission to militarily occupy Africa.
AFRICOM – a creature of US imperialism – is modeled after the infamous School of the Americas, where military training, including instruction on torture techniques, was provided to the military and paramilitary personnel of the most vicious of Central and South American dictatorships. The objective was to build their capacity to fight US imperialist conflicts and achieve the imperialist's outcomes throughout the Americas, without having to deploy US troops. This partnership with compliant South American countries meant that citizens of the South, rather than US citizens, could fight and die to further US objectives in the region. Likewise, AFRICOM already has Ugandan, Rwandan, Kenyan, Ethiopian and Somali troops fighting to achieve the US agenda in Somalia. We have witnessed the hideous Youtube campaign, known as Kony 2012, which was a crude attempt to win support for US military advisors and troops to be deployed in central Africa. Kony 2012 is also part of imperialism's ongoing attempt to control and co-opt the internet however, it was a dismal failure. In fact, due to the huge number of comments ridiculing this pitiful attempt to establish a credible cover for the US military being on the ground in Africa, an order was given from somewhere to disable the comments to avoid further embarrassment. So, although this social experiment using the internet failed dismally, in the midst of the Kony madness, Obama authorized 100 US troops to be deployed to central Africa to ostensibly assist in the US created mythical struggle against Joseph Kony – yet another African bogeyman. The imperialists are tightening their military grasp on Africa. In fact, military intervention is clearly the preferred method.
Control or Kill – that is the Question?
The second form of warfare, psychological warfare, is becoming a more difficult option, posing many challenges in a world connected by internet and social media. The enemy is clearly aware of this. In a recent address, the Hon. Minister Louis Farrakhan once again reminded us that we need to listen carefully to the enemy because they are crystal clear regarding their plans for our continued enslavement. Minister Farrakhan quoted the infamous speech given by Zbigniew Brzezinski, to a gathering of British elites in London on November 17, 2008.
Brzezinski was national security advisor in the Carter administration. He is also a founding member of the Trilateral Commission, which is a think tank set up to increase co-operation between the US, Europe and Japan with the aim of furthering their domination of world affairs, and is highly influential in the Obama administration. He had this to say on what he termed, 'the global political awakening'.
'This is a truly transformative event on the global scene, namely that for the first time in human history… almost all of mankind is politically awake, activated, politically conscious and interactive. There are only a few pockets of humanity, here or there, in the remotest corners of the world, which are not politically alert and interactive with the political turmoil and stirrings and aspirations around the world, and all of that is creating a worldwide surge in the quest for personal dignity and cultural respect, in a diversified world sadly accustomed for many centuries to domination of one portion of the world by another.
That is an enormous change and beyond that is the interacting of a further change, namely in the distribution of global power. It pertains to some of the obvious of which we are aware but which it is important to register, namely that we are living in a time of the basic shift away from the 500 years long global domination by the Atlantic powers. It is the countries that have been located on the shores of the Atlantic ocean, and let's recall them, Portugal, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Great Britain and more recently the United States that have dominated world affairs and that shift now is taking us towards Asia. It is not the end of the preeminence of the Atlantic world but it is now the surfacing of the Pacific region, most notably Japan, the number two economic power and China, an assertive global power that is now occupying a pre-eminent place in the global hierarchy, and of course, beyond them, there is India's future development, though it is currently still in the wings, and it is also complicated by the re-appearance of Russia which is still restless, rather unclear about its own definition, very un-definite about its recent past and very insecure about its place in the world… these new and old major powers face still yet another novel reality, in some respects unprecedented, and it is that, while the lethality of their power is greater than ever, their capacity to impose control over the politically awakened masses of the world is at a historical low.
I once put it rather pungently and I was flattered that the British foreign secretary repeated this as follows: namely in earlier times it was easier to control a million people, literally it was easier to control a million people than physically to kill a million people. Today it is infinitely easier to kill a million people than to control a million people. It is easier to kill than to control…'
Here it is – the chilling plan – easier to kill than to control – a clear picture of the era that is before us. And I can guarantee that Brzezinski and his kind have a plan – the question is do we?
Notice that nowhere in Brzezinski's speech is there any mention of 'us' – of those of us that dwell in the parts of the world that the imperialists continue to wrangle over and dominate. We are treated as nothing – expendable – not even worth a mention. The Trilateralists are very different from the crude Neo-Cons. Their plans for global domination are much slicker. Where the Neo-Cons support direct military intervention, the Trilateralists are among those who believe that it is smarter and more effective to pit us against each other, and to ensure that we fight the wars on their behalf. While Brzezinski welcomes the Russians back onto the world stage, and acknowledges China's rise in a seemingly friendly way, behind the rhetoric is a plan to directly counter China and Russia's global power, ensuring the continuity of West European/American dominance. Hence, Brzezinski and his kind would rather see us embroiled in conflict and turmoil, fighting each other, and where possible, use this chaos to their advantage in their battle to counter the growing influence of China and Russia.
'Era of the Masses'
Muammar Qaddafi predicted this moment in history many years before Brzezinski and his cohorts. Even progressive commentators and intellectuals speak about the current awakening of the masses without referring to The Green Book. As far back as 1975, when The Green Book was first published, Qaddafi spoke about the 'era of the masses', describing it as a time 'rapidly advancing towards us to overtake the era of republics', an era that would 'excite the emotions and dazzle the eyes'. However, he also realized that it would usher in a dangerous time, where we may find ourselves teetering on the brink of disaster. He sounded this warning: 'But in as much as it heralds the advent of real freedom for the masses and the blissful emancipation from the chains of all instruments of government, it is also the harbinger of a chaotic and tumultuous era. If the new democracy, the authority of the people, were to suffer a relapse, such an era would bring back autocracy…'
Qaddafi the visionary was able to comprehend the movement of history and the spirit of time, always believing that the present era represents a turning point in humanity's history, heralding the great awakening of the masses – both men and women moving forward together to shape history and social evolution.
Revolution or Commotion and Chaos?
Leaders from Marcus Garvey to Muammar Qaddafi have warned us over and over that we will continue to be condemned to the imperialist's genocidal policies and domination until we are able to unite and set our own agenda. We must have zero tolerance of those amongst us who continue to be manipulated to serve the interests of and achieve the very outcomes laid out for us by our enemies. Even this historical moment, which Brzezinski describes as a truly transformative event on the global scene and what he rightly terms a 'global political awakening', will be of no use to us without some level of clarity and unity of purpose.
The objective of psych-ops is to defeat us mentally – to convince us of the invincibility of Euro/American domination. This forces us into an acceptance of the inevitability of being relegated to nothing more than collateral damage in a battle between powerful global forces. The aim is to make us feel completely disempowered and impotent in the face of this leviathan, which destroys entire nation-states that stand in its way with its foreboding military might, and parades the televised murder of our leaders before us with impunity. Amos Wilson explains:
'The European inhabits only a small part of this globe. The parts of the globe that the European occupies are relatively resourceless when compared to those occupied by non-European people. And yet, the European is saddled with great wealth, economic and political power. He controls the globe and maintains the world in a state of terror, and has the earth now on the brink of suicide. We must question how is it that a minority people, a very small percentage of mankind, a people who are essentially resourceless in terms of their natural resources, maintain the power they have. Why is it that the people whose lands contain the wealth of the earth are the poorest people? Why is it that Afrika with some twenty (20) or thirty (30) strategic metals that make the space age possible – why is it that the image of Africa is projected at us time and time again as that of starving children, as societies in disorder, as societies on the verge of disaster?
This implies, to my mind, that there must exist, a political and social situation wherein the mental orientation of our people must be so structured, that the power and ability of the Europeans to rule this earth are continually maintained… The imperialistic European must essentially function in a very devilish fashion. That is, in a fashion that uses deception as its major characteristic. Consequently, fundamental values and ways of seeing reality must be reversed. The good must appear to be the bad, the light dark. Truth must be taken for the lie; the lie for truth. Otherwise a small group, such as European people could not continue to keep the rest of the world out of its mind. The European hegemonic establishment must project false and injurious ideologies that are accepted by its victims.'
Imperialism can only be buried in Africa…
In an earlier article, I invoked as its title Sekou Toure's bold assertion: that Imperialism will be buried in Africa. From a Eurocentric perspective that might have seemed optimistic, and indeed some commentators asserted that it was not grounded in reality and that we were, if anything, being crushed by imperialism's might. However, looking at it from a revolutionary Pan-African perspective one simply sees it as inevitable. Actually, imperialism can only be defeated in Africa. Although there is a revolutionary fightback globally and most notably throughout South America, it is only when Africa is finally free and regains its sovereignty that imperialism in its current form can be buried, since it is Africa that fuels the space age. The onus is on revolutionary Pan-African organizations and movements, on the continent and in the Diaspora, to provide clear analysis and strategies that are capable of thwarting the enemies' plans at every point in the evil axis of Euro/American imperialism, Saudi and Qatari sponsored Salafism parading as Islam, and the neo-colonial regimes in Africa and the Diaspora. There is no room for weakness, ineffective ways of operating that drain our resources and fail time and time again to achieve results. There is no room or time for indecision leading to inaction.
We must bury imperialism in Africa or we will surely perish.
In a recent interview with The Southern Times, veteran African freedom fighter and former president of Namibia, Sam Nujoma, was extremely critical of the African Union's weakness, stating that they 'had woefully failed to mobilize militarily to stop the bombing of Libya and that the African Union should have mobilized their forces in order to fight and defend the territorial integrity of Libya.
He offered the following advice on confronting what he identified as a new scramble for Africa: 'Africans should talk war – the language best understood by Western countries…The imperialists understand no other words than fighting. We dislodged them from our continent by fighting them. If we did not fight in Namibia or in Zimbabwe or elsewhere, we would not be free today. We must now prepare to fight them again…'
Nujoma stated that Africa's sovereignty was not up for debate and called upon the youth of Africa, to prepare themselves to fight and defend the continent.
Black Power – African Power
It is only with access to Africa's resources, that modern day empires, fueled by industrialized and high-tech economies, can be built. Even Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, are in the scramble for African lands to grow food for their populations, and African resources to fuel their economies. The Lebanese, Saudis, Qataris and Israeli's are among those that rival the Europeans in their plunder of Africa's wealth. It came as no surprise that it was the Lebanese who assisted the French to draft the so-called 'No-Fly Zone' resolution which spelled Libya's destruction. The same Lebanese, who now so hypocritically recognize Syria's plight in the face of groups of Salafi terrorists being armed, trained and organized by the NATO member states, and are calling for no outside intervention with an agenda for regime change in Syria. The only Arab nations to oppose NATO's invasion of Libya were Algeria, Syria and Mauritania.
Qaddafi's plans for Africa were inimical to the Lebanese and other Arab business interests on the continent. Like their European counterparts, they simply could not afford a united and independent Africa.
Libyan Popular National Movement (LPNM)
The fight back is on and intensifying in every region of Libya. The NTC is definitely not in control, and faces a well coordinated armed rebellion on a daily basis. Qaddafi loyalists have launched the Libyan Popular National Movement, which embodies the principles of the Al Fateh revolution and draws on 40 years of experience in struggle against imperialism, pseudo-Islam and neo-colonialism. Its leader, Qweldi al Hamedi, was one of the original members of the Free Unionist Officers that toppled the pro-western monarchy of King Idris back in 1969. He lost his pregnant daughter-in-law and three of his grandchildren when his home was bombed by NATO. This man, like Muammar Qaddafi and Abubakr Younis Jabr, is a man of steel. Prior to the NATO invasion, Qweldi al Hamedi was semi-retired, and now in his 70s, after losing so many of his family members, is once again in the trenches.
As revolutionary Pan-Africanists, we must give unwavering support to the Libyan Popular National Movement, the natural heir of the Al Fateh Revolution.
Axis of Evil: Imperialists, Neo-Colonial Regimes and Salafists
Imperialism and its neo-colonial client regimes have been written about extensively and are old members of this axis. Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah provided us with a masterful analysis of neo-colonialism in Africa in his book Neo-colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism.
Pretenders to Islam
The Salafists are a less understood and recent member of this most unholy of alliances. While we were sleeping, these religious charlatans were quietly stealing the minds of large numbers of Muslim youth throughout Africa and the Arab region. It was not a difficult task. The Salafists had, and continue to receive massive financial backing to the tune of millions from the medieval Wahhabi creatures in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. This allowed them to prey on the disillusioned and poverty stricken youths throughout the continent and the Arabian Peninsula. They seduced the poorest of them with scholarships, covering all costs, to Salafi infested institutions, where they have been and continue to be, indoctrinated with a simplistic, puritanical and one dimensional view of Islam and the world. The Salafis offer themselves to the Muslim Ummah as the sole solution to the crisis of modernity and secularism. This is opium for the people, especially the youth. It appeals to the poor and marginalized who have little or no education. It also appeals to youth from the wealthier middle-classes, who are completely disaffected by the hypocrisy and double standards of their parents' generation – a generation which they perceive as having 'sold out' to the West, which entailed abandoning their Islamic values. To these youths, the Salafists seem to be the only ones talking militancy and offering a tangible solution.
This is not the first time we have witnessed the emergence of such movements. In recent history, we have observed the emergence of fascist movements, which in all their tendencies, offer simplistic and puritanical solutions to the crisis of capitalism and existing political systems, and prey on the disillusionment, disenfranchisement and fear of the masses, especially the youth. We have also seen deviant religious ideas used as a weapon during slavery, throughout the colonial project and in Apartheid South Africa, to name a few examples.
The Salafists have become imperialism's shock troops – foot soldiers doing their dirty work. It is no accident that Ansar Dine has emerged out of the blue to challenge the revolutionary nationalist and Islamic MNLA in Mali, while in Nigeria, Boko Haram is well funded and armed to wage war against the Nigerian state, bombing Christian churches and killing Muslims who do not adhere to their Salafist doctrine, and all the while shouting Allahu Akhbar. Throughout the continent, Salafism is on the rise, posing a serious threat to the Pan-African struggle for the liberation of Africa and the creation of a United States.
As I write, the Salafist Ansar Dine which is linked to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) are destroying historical religious and cultural artifacts in Timbuktu, on the grounds that they are somehow un-Islamic. An observer aptly referred to them as 'madmen with guns'. Let us be clear, that in order to defeat these enemies of Islam, Africa and humanity, we have to wage war against them on every front, including in the realm of theology and ideas. The battle of ideas is crucial, since it is the hearts and minds of the youth that have been captivated. It is important to understand that these pretenders to Islam are not revolutionaries but are rather reactionaries in the true sense – both racist and fascist; they are not rebels but are actually counter-revolutionaries, with little or no understanding of Islam. For them Islam and Arab culture is one and the same thing. They are religious deviants, preaching a false and misguided theology, in order to achieve their objective, which is to subvert Islam and dominate the Ummah. This is not a new battle but is a battle that has been waged since the time of the Prophet and before. The Salafists' objective is to ensure that Islam is stripped of its revolutionary essence and reduced to a mere ritualistic/legalistic doctrine and practice, which will no longer challenge the existing order. The Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist parties are no threat to western economic and geo-political interests in the region and globally. Their electoral outfits, wherever they assume political office, will implement neo-liberal economic policies and will manage the 'free market' economy with an 'Islamic' veneer.
Zia-ul-Haq (not the former president of Pakistan, but the Muslim scholar) showed how the early conflicts in the Muslim world shaped the Wahhabi/Salafi mindset:
'After the civil wars and counter revolution of the Umayyads, the revolutionary principles of Salat, Jihad, Zakat etc, were all reinterpreted in a feudal framework. Feudalism reasserted itself when under monarchy and autocracy, feudal social and economic relationships of master and slave, lord and serf, king and his subjects replaced the pristine revolutionary principles of justice and social equality…feudal Islam was a political instrument to enslave the broad masses in the name of pristine Islam…Feudal Islam was thus a negation of the Qu'ranic Islam, the Islam of the prophet-revolutionaries, the Islam which was synonymous with truth, justice, social equality, sincerity and humility.'
Qaddafi knew them well. In the early 70s he spoke of this ongoing battle:
'As the Muslims have strayed far from Islam, a review is demanded. The Libyan revolution is a revolution for rectifying Islam, presenting Islam correctly, purifying Islam of the reactionary practices which dressed it in retrograde clothing not its own.'
'Soon we'll find out who is the real revolutionaries cos I don't want my people to be tricked by mercenaries…'
African youth, especially Muslim youth, need to familiarize themselves with the writings and teachings of the real revolutionary Islamic thinkers and Islamic liberation theologians, such as Muhammad Iqbal, Ali Shariati, Mahmoud Ayoub, Ayatollah Mahmoud Taleqani, Muammar Qaddafi, Louis Farrakhan and Wesley Muhammad among others.
As revolutionary Pan-Africanists, we must heed the call of Nigeria's African Renaissance Party and join with them in applying pressure on the African Union not to recognize the NTC racists in Libya. We must also put pressure on African governments in the Caribbean to do the same. We must, as Qaddafi implored us in his final message – 'hold down our corner'. We need to make sure that wherever we are, the battle against these enemies of humanity is raging. As the brothers and sisters of the Pan-African Society Community Forum stated, 'African neo-colonial agents of imperialism have no strategic power. They have no economic or financial power, which therefore means that they have no strategic political power. Whilst they have a degree of operational powers, they are under the total strategic control of their racist masters; they're active tools of imperialism's racist agenda as well as its economic one. The racism of the imperialist system is still present, but the role of the African neo-colonial agents is disguising it at the point of conflict.'
Qaddafism – Out of Africa
I believe that those who are committed to the unification and total liberation of Africa must understand and grasp Qaddafism, the revolutionary theory and practice of the Al Fateh revolution of 1969. It is a theory of revolution capable of ushering in a new era of popular democracy in Africa. In the words of Qaddafi himself, 'democracy can only occur when power, wealth and arms are in the hands of the African people'. Presently none of these are in our hands, and the ludicrous mimicry of the western parliamentary system parading as democracy is obsolete. If we are to succeed in our protracted struggle against imperialism, neo-colonialism and religious deviationism, we must have a revolutionary theory that provides us with the tools to combat Africa's enemies, while also providing us with the guidelines for social, economic and political reconstruction on our own terms.
Qaddafism and its concept of a Jamahiriya which means 'State of the Masses' was developed under African skies, by a Bedouin, who was able to create a system that embraced the values, traditions and entire way of life/culture of the people it was designed to govern. It is, in every sense of the word, a political theory and system of governance indigenous to Africa. It offers an Afrocentric alternative to the two Eurocentric paradigms that have been dominant globally in this epoch, that is, Liberal Capitalism and Marxism.
Qaddafism addresses the problems confronting Africa as a result of the imposition of alien ideologies and political systems, in that it gives us a political theory and practice that is wholly applicable to Africa and the African psyche. What makes Qaddafism unique is that unlike so many great thinkers to have emerged from the global south, there are no traces of Marxism or any other European revolutionary ideas lingering in Qaddafi's political thought. Those who disagree with this premise need to examine the history of Islam during the period of the Prophet Muhammad and before, and the history, culture and indigenous political systems of Africa. It is clear from such research that Qaddafi's socialism and concept of popular democracy are rooted in the ancient democratic practices of Africa and early Islam, which are far older than any Greek and European notions of democracy and European versions of socialism.
This is why there are so many challenges faced by those of us who have been involved in the dissemination of the ideas contained in The Green Book, and the attempt inside Libya to put these ideas into practice. It is important to understand that any attempt by any non-western leader to develop and articulate a political theory which is outside western intellectual tradition and paradigms, is unacceptable in the halls of western academia and political circles, and unfortunately many of our academics are still tangled up in these circles and influenced by them. Non-western political thought is frowned upon, and only those scholars whose works are shaped by Enlightenment ideologies such as Liberalism and Marxism are given any serious consideration. Hence, the deliberate marginalization and ridicule of Qaddafism and The Third Universal Theory by Eurocentric academics, political philosophers and activists is to be expected.
There can be no doubt that one of the gravest enemies of Africa has been the imposition of European materialist ideologies and political systems – whether they emanate from right or left. Africa's true liberation cannot occur unless we free ourselves from this 'conceptual incarceration'. We must move beyond 'multi-partyism' and 'electocracy' parading as democracy. We must reject the criminal and fraudulent neo-liberal economic policies that have been imposed on us with the full complicity of African neo-colonial regimes. Also, we must reject Marxist 'solutions' as yet another imposition of an alien ideology.
Another important factor in the negation of Qaddafi's ideas in western circles, and sadly in some non-western circles still influenced by western thought, is that secular European discourse is unable to comprehend an ideology such as the Third Universal Theory, precisely because this ideology acknowledges the transcendental and metaphysical dimension of human civilization and existence. However, it is this very aspect of the ideology that provides us with an alternative model for social and political reconstruction and transformation in synergy with our culture and traditions, which for Africans is deeply rooted in the metaphysical and transcendental.
This is why the rejection of Marxism being applied as a theory of social change in Africa is as inevitable as our rejection of the Liberal/Capitalist paradigm. However, the rejection of Marxism is not yet accepted by all Pan-Africanists, despite the fact that many of our greatest African thinkers have lamented the fact that Marxism is fundamentally at odds with African culture and thinking and therefore doomed to fail as a solution to Africa's crisis.
Oba T'Shaka, puts it this way:
'While Marxism represents western man's best attempt to formulate a just system of thought and a conception of the just society in the modern world, the fundamental flaw of Marxism is its western orientation…precisely because Marxism is a product of the European mind and the European worldview, it accepts the Greek notion that 'nothing can give rise from nothing'. Marxism is rooted squarely in a western materialistic paradigm, which regards the invisible or the spiritual as superstitious…this is a fundamental flaw in Marxism because it denies our humanity, which is tied to a spiritual – physical – spiritual – material unity and synthesis. Only when man and woman as physical beings aspire to be better spiritually can we become truly human. The inability of Marxism to deal with the invisible spiritual is the central reason why western Marxism has not even offered a conception of a just human being. Marxism simply proposes that somehow human beings will be better if the goods are equally distributed. Here Marxism is only partially correct.'
In contrast, Qaddafism is a holistic paradigm incorporating the theological, philosophical, political, economic, legal and scientific principles, all inter-related. As such, it represents an ideological paradigm that is applicable to Africa and indeed other parts of the global south.
Molefi Kete Asante explains another fundamental aspect of Marxism that places it at odds with the African psyche:
'Marxism over-simplifies the significance of our history… In some ways Marxism acts on the same Eurocentric basis as Capitalism because for both, life is economics… The class-warrior attitude dominates the thinking of Marxists and capitalists. It is a war of class against class, group against group, and individual against individual…Marxism's base is antithetical to the African concept of society. Life for the Afrocentric person is organic and harmonious… However, the Marxist view of life is as competitive as that of the capitalist, since both are rooted in Eurocentric materialism.'
Qaddafism on the other hand rejects the notion of class-warfare and sees the aim of the nation as an integral whole striving for harmony, which must not be fragmented or socially stratified along class, tribal, ethnic or partisan lines. I t is a 'party-less' system because the political party is seen as an instrument which fragments and divides the society.
As Yahaya Ndu of the African Renaissance Party of Nigeria said recently:
'The western world has through the systems of government that it has forced upon Africa today put the whole continent in collective amnesia, which has rendered the continent totally stultified to such an extent that it is incapable of doing anything about its sorry state. Unless and until Africans can return to their own form of democratic governance there can be no salvation for her and her peoples.'
He goes on to state that,
'Historical revelations point to the fact that democracy was practiced in Igboland of Nigeria long before it found its way to Greece and that western visitors to Igboland strikingly discovered the extent to which democracy was truly practiced.'
He cites a number of academics and historians who saw the Igbo political culture as, in their words 'ultra democratic in its values and having no hierarchical type of political organization'. Ndu concludes it was 'this political climate or tradition that gave everyone who cared, the opportunity to mobilize and distinguish him or herself'. In other words, it was a model of direct and 'party-less' democracy which can be traced, in its various forms, to many parts of the African continent. It is this same concept that was implemented in the Libyan Jamahiriya, where 'everyone who cared' was able to fully participate in making the decisions that affected their lives through a network of People's Congresses and Popular Committees.
We are oppressed by the enemies military and economic might. However, both their military and economic might would have been humbled if only we were not still captivated by and adopting alien ideologies and political systems, that have stood in the way of our total liberation for so long. It is imperative that we free ourselves from these ideologies and the neo-colonial regimes that foster this mindset. The struggle must be intensified against this axis of evil on every front, and most importantly at the battlefront of ideas. For, if we do not free ourselves mentally, then I fear that we will fight these same battles many times over and not see the change we fight for. Unfortunately many more lives will be lost before we realize that one of the most potent weapons in our arsenal lies, in the words of Amilcar Cabral, in our 'return to the source'.
Gerald A. Perreira is a founding member of the Guyanese organizations Joint Initiative for Human Advancement and Dignity and Black Consciousness Movement Guyana (BCMG). He lived in Libya for many years, served in the Green March, an international battalion for the defense of the Al Fateh revolution and was an executive member of the World Mathaba based in Tripoli.