As it was one-man rule, when Gaddafi was captured and killed in an abominable manner, the whole form and substance of his state collapsed, his army disintegrated and the police vanished. Chaos ensued and armed mobs assumed the mantle of revolutionaries.

Democracy is available over the counter without a prescription

In his famous Prolegomena (Al-Muqaddimah), Ibn Khaldun spoke about the logic of the historical maxim: "the destruction of civilisation and the civilisation of destruction".  According to him, a new group can only come to the fore upon the ruins of another defeated group, something that has belatedly become known in political sociology as "creative chaos". In other words, in the cold light of history, modern democracy and the first universal declaration of human rights grew out of the terrible and bloody chaos of the French Revolution.

Thereʹs no point in trying to re-invent the wheel. In the 21st century, democracy is available without a prescription like aspirin, unless the system in question is in the so-called Arab world. Take Libya for example; whatʹs happening in the way of political chaos and continued fighting is only natural after the collapse of a dictatorship. The facade of Libya as a proper state died alongside Gaddafi. Weapons have spread aplenty throughout the population. There is no possibility of a Libyan state being achieved through dialogue amid the jungle of weaponry and the loss of any collective national sense of identity resulting from four decades of tyranny.

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said his country was "deeply concerned" by the fighting near the Libyan capital and called on the forces of Field Marshal Haftar to cease their attacks "immediately". Pompeo said in his statement that: "We have made plain that we are opposed to the military offensive launched by Haftarʹs forces. We urge the immediate cessation of these military operations against the Libyan capital." The "Government of National Accord" in Tripoli and the warlords welcomed Pompeoʹs statement warmly, seeing it as definitive international support in their confrontation with General Haftar.

About a week later, however, the White House announced that U.S. President Donald Trump had spoken by phone with the "Libyan National Army commander", Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar. The U.S. president acknowledged "the crucial role of the Field Marshal in combatting terrorism and securing Libyaʹs oil resources" and he affirmed the need to oversee "Libyaʹs transition to a stable democratic political system".

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Comments for this article: Libya – failed state par excellence

A good beginning in putting the situation in a big picture of "civilisational" context. However, I always why most writers do not qualify "democracy" as if everybody agrees with the existing order. The socio-economic fomration in which this "democracy" functions is rarely questioned, especially in today's "neoliberal" form of capitalism that even liberal sccholars have attacked as a source of violence and destruction. The social groups/strata that formed the former Libyan regime and how the regime came about and why it took the features it took is fundamenetal in understanding why Libya could not have capitalist democracy. Neither Egypt, Syria or China. The focus on individuals doesn't help that much because the individuals themselves work within the trappings they found before them. There is a difference between structure and moment. Furthermore, one should not conflate the ideals of the French revolution and how capitalist democracy was established. Achieving full capitalist relations enabled democracy to emerge although capitalist democracy was co-existing with the subjugation of hundds of millions of people in India, Africa, the Middle East. Finally, dealing with destruction and civilisation, shouldn't we mention the biggest destruction in history that toook place in the 20th century? What role did it play in the declaration of human rights and furthering capitalist democracy?

Nédeem16.08.2019 | 15:45 Uhr