On Col. Muammar Gaddafi, the Third International Theory, and the Libyan Jamahiriya

Written By: @libyajamahiriya Published: 04/01/21

In a Bedouin settlement outside Sirte, June 1942, a man was born to a goat and camel herdsman, his name was Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi. Gaddafi’s tribe, the Qadhadhfa, were of Arabized Berber origin, although claims have been made that Gaddafi’s maternal grandmother was a Jewish woman who converted to Islam. At the time Gaddafi was born, Libya was ruled by a backward, unjust monarchical system, with the corrupt King Idris I nominally at the helm, although Libya was in fact dominated by foreign interests and corporations.

The young Gaddafi’s education was initially a religious one, with his teacher being a local Islamic teacher, eventually, Gaddafi was sent to a formal school in Sirte. Despite education in Libya not being free at the time, his family managed to gather enough money to afford him one, as his father believed that an education would be beneficial for his son. He slept in a Mosque, walked 20 miles every weekend to visit his parents, bullied at school for not only being from a poor background but from a Bedouin background as well, Gaddafi never caved into their bullying and remained proud of his heritage, encouraging other Bedouin students to adopt the same attitude. He went on to progress through six grades in four years. 

He eventually moved to Sabha, in the south-west Fezzan region of Libya, where his father worked for a local chieftain. There were some Egyptian teachers at Sabha, and [After moving to Sabha in the southwest Fezzan region, Gaddafi came into contact with Egyptian teachers and gained access to Egyptian pan-Arabist newspapers and Voice of the Arabs radio station. He discovered that the President of Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser, had been making several sweeping changes such as the abolition of the monarchy, land reform, rejection of imperialism, Zionism, neocolonialism, the pursuit of Arab unity and a transition from a capitalist economy to a socialist-oriented one. These changes resonated with Gaddafi, with Nasser soon becoming his hero. This encouraged Gaddafi to intensely study revolutionary and socialist politics, reading the works of Syrian theorist Michel Aflaq, as well as study the French revolution, China’s Mao Zedong, and Turkey’s Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

Reading Nasser’s book, Philosophy of the Revolution, which detailed how to orchestrate a revolutionary coup, had a profound impact on Gaddafi, making him believe in a Libyan revolution. He discussed his revolutionary ideas with Mahmoud Efay, one of his Egyptian teachers at Sabha, who came to be sympathetic of Gaddafi’s vision, advising him that a Libyan revolution would need support from the army. 

He went on to organise protests against the monarchy, distribute anti-monarchy posters, and in October of 1961, in the aftermath of the breakup of the United Arab Republic, he organised a demonstration against Syria’s withdrawal, along with fundraising for Nasser’s government and projects.

Gaddafi briefly studied at the University of Benghazi but dropped out to join the Libyan Army, studying at the Royal Military Academy in Benghazi, as he viewed it to be a way to carry out political change. Gaddafi detested the fact that the Libyan Army was trained by the British, viewing it as imperialistic. Due to this, he was transferred to England, where he refused to learn English for the training, wore traditional Arab clothing, and was rebellious against his British “superiors”. Eventually, he learned English and ended up developing a fondness for football.

Graduating from the military academy, he became a communications officer, where In 1964, he met like-minded officers, who together established the Libyan Free Officers’ Movement, modeling it after Nasser’s Free Officers’ Movement who were the orchestrators of the 1952 Egyptian Revolution. The movement was organised into a highly efficient clandestine cell system, with the officers’ salaries going towards a fund for the movement and Gaddafi going touring Libya to gain sympathisers and intelligence. At the time, the monarchical government did not consider him a threat.

Libya’s semi-feudal government was extremely unpopular by the late 1960s, where Libya was one of the world’s poorest countries, despite the vast oil wealth, of which all the profits went to the nobility and to foreign capitalists. This unpopularity soared after the Six-Day War of 1967, after the adoption of a pro-western Zionist stance by Idris’s government. In the aftermath of the war Libyan oil workers shut down plants in solidarity with their fellow Arabs in their struggle against Israel, with massive protests erupting.

In mid-1969, King Idris was spending his summer holiday in the resorts of Greece and Turkey. With the king outside the country, the Free Officers recognised this as their time to strike. On the 1st of September 1969, a revolutionary coup, codenamed Operation Jerusalem, was swung into action. The Free Officers seized control of all airports, police depots, radio stations, and government officers in Benghazi and Tripoli, with the Crown Prince being arrested. Gaddafi announced the abolition of the monarchy, condemning it as reactionary and corrupt, therefore announcing the creation of the Libyan Arab Republic, built on the principles of freedom, socialism, and unity. The revolution was, as expected, met with jubilation from the Libyan people. 

The Free Officers’ Movement became the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC). With Lieutenant Gaddafi as its Chairman, he was also appointed as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces after being promoted to the rank of colonel. None of the RCC members held degrees, as they were all from working-class backgrounds. Gaddafi’s first order of business was to expel all foreign military bases from Libyan territory, which was promptly carried out. The RCC then launched the ambitious “Green Revolution”, which involved creating more arable land in Libya by pushing back the desert, with the aim of achieving food self-sufficiency. Next came a policy of nationalisation, starting with British Petroleum’s (BP) assets in Libya. In 1973, four years after the revolution, it was announced that all oil operations in Libya were to be at least 51% state-owned, other policies were announced such as state-mandated price controls on food and certain other goods, doubling the minimum wage and compulsory rent reductions of 30-40%. 

Another priority for Gaddafi and the Revolutionary Command Council was the liberation of women, Wherein 1970, a law was introduced which mandated equal pay for equal work, the marriage of women under the age of sixteen was criminalised, women’s consent became required for marriage, and in the following year, Gaddafi oversaw the establishment of the Revolutionary Women’s Federation. 

Nine years of compulsory education were introduced, with all education, primary through higher, made free. Literacy rates skyrocketed from 10% to 90% during the Gaddafi era. Universal health care was introduced, eradicating malaria and curtailing other diseases. In 1971, the Libyan Arab Socialist Union was established as a vanguard party (according to Leninist terminology) with Gaddafi as its president and the Revolutionary Command Council serving as the central executive committee. 

The reforms proved incredibly successful and popular, GDP per capita rose from $40 in 1951 to $8170 in 1979. Despite all success, Gaddafi was not satisfied, he wanted to go even further, to move towards direct democracy and “full socialism”, such that, in 1975, Gaddafi authored The Green Book. Composed of three parts, one on the political system, one on the economy and one on society, it advocated direct democracy, full socialism, with an eventual abolition of wage labour, money, and the achievement of a progressive society. Collectively, the theory Gaddafi outlined in The Green Book was known as the Third International Theory.

In 1977, preparation for a transition to participatory democracy and a “new socialist society”, to quote Gaddafi himself, began. In the economic sphere, private property was limited to small businesses that did not employ wage labour, with worker cooperatives and state-owned enterprises dominating the new Libyan economy. A new banking system was introduced; under which, banks were, in essence, a state-owned public service, as they were nationalised with interest being abolished. Gaddafi was as keen as ever to expand Libyan agriculture, New agricultural policies meant that if any Libyan wished to become a farmer, they were to be given a tractor, a farmhouse, livestock and seeds as subsidy by the state, private farms were transformed into cooperatives, jointly-owned by the farmers. All the farmers would come together to set their prices, the state then heavily subsidised farming produce, ensuring food security for all Libyans. Three loaves of bread cost the equivalent of around eight US cents or six British pence. Traditional privately-owned supermarkets and open-air markets were replaced by new state-owned “people’s supermarkets”, where Libyans could purchase everything they needed at very low, affordable prices set by the state. Another key element of the Third International Theory was universal housing and a rejection of landlordism, the state provided every Libyan with a free home to keep, as they could not own more than one, hence there were no private landlords, with land either being owned by the state or by farming coops, landlords were eliminated altogether. As a result of this programme of free, state-provided, universal housing, homelessness in Libya was eliminated. Gaddafi’s theoretical reasoning for this was based on the principle of need, he believed that someone’s needs should not be controlled by another person and that this was a form of slavery. Gaddafi also believed that such things as owning multiple properties or having vast quantities of excess wealth deprived others of their needs and rights.

Gaddafi was a firm believer in revolutionary internationalism. Throughout its lifespan, socialist Libya provided support for various national liberation, socialist and communist organisations, such as; the Provisional Irish Republican Army, the African National Congress the uMkhonto we Sizwe in South Africa, the Black Panther Party, the Palestine Liberation Organisation, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Red Brigades in Italy, the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party, the Kurdish independence struggle, the Tupamaros in Uruguay, the Red Army Faction in Germany, the Polisario Front in the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic and many others. In addition to this, ties and friendship with other socialist states such as the German Democratic Republic, Cuba, Burkina Faso and others, flourished. Gaddafi also established a centre in Benghazi for training and educating revolutionaries.

Arguably the biggest aspect of Gaddafi’s Third International Theory, along with socialism, is the rejection of capitalist liberal “democracy”, or as Marx termed it, the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, and placing political power in the hands of the masses instead. Often described as a “dictator” by the imperialist-capitalist Western media, it could not be further from the truth. In fairness, Gaddafi initially headed the Revolutionary Command Council, which was not a democratic institution, however, in the period of 1973 until 1977, known as the Libyan Cultural Revolution, the implementation of the political aspect of the Third International Theory commenced. The credo of the Libyan Cultural Revolution was “Power, wealth and arms, in the hands of the people!”. A program of distribution of arms to the people was implemented, abolishing the police force, replacing it with Revolutionary Committees. Initially, these revolutionary committees were characterised by excessive zeal and dogmatism, but in 1988 Gaddafi publicly criticised this, placing restrictions on the Revolutionary Committees.

“Power in the hands of the people” was perhaps the biggest and most significant aspect of the Libyan Cultural Revolution, as it is the political system promoted by the Third International Theory. The Libyan Cultural Revolution came to a conclusion in 1977 when the Declaration of the Establishment of the Authority of the People was published. The Revolutionary Command Council and the Arab Socialist Union were both abolished, placing the Basic People’s Congresses as the basic unit of government in Libya. This new system of government was presented as a direct democracy; however, I would suggest that it is more accurate to call it a participatory democracy or a semi-direct democracy, as I shall explain how it functioned; the Basic People’s Congresses functioned as a local government over a determined area, membership in the Basic People’s Congresses was open to every man and woman over the age of maturity, the Basic People’s Congresses met three times a year, taking all the important decisions over the local community, they also elected a secretariat to manage the day-to-day affairs of the community, but it must be reiterated that the Basic People’s Congresses, that is the whole people, had the final say in such decisions. The secretariat would then form delegations to the district congress, i.e. the provincial government, and sent delegates to the General People’s Congress, the national parliament, which made national policy through the General People’s Committee, the executive branch. By anybody’s definition, this system was a democracy.

You may be wondering where Gaddafi fits into this structure, as he wasn’t in the position of head of state or head of government, which were filled by the General Secretary of the General People’s Congress, which were, to reiterate, elected by the members of the General People’s Congress, who were elected by members of the local secretariats, elected by the people through the Basic People’s Congresses. Gaddafi’s role was the Leader of the Revolution, meaning he was able to propose policy changes to the General People’s Congress, that they could either reject or approve, which is demonstrated by their rejection of his suggestions on multiple occasions. He also had oversight of the newly restricted Revolutionary Committees, whose responsibilities were to promote the Third International Theory, the Green Book and the encouragement of political participation through the Basic Popular Congresses. 

The result of all these policies was a socially progressive, independent, socialist nation. Prior to 1986, Libya’s GDP per capita stood above that of the European Union, and until 1983, above that of the United States, with the average Libyan citizen earning approximately $41,000 USD in 1981. The reader may now be wondering why this changed; As one can see, Libya, along its journey of independence, had made a few powerful enemies due to the fact that Gaddafi supported socialist and liberation movements around the globe, along with the fact that Libya’s success busted the capitalist narrative of “socialism fails every time”, the west came to hate Libya and especially Gaddafi. In a nutshell, sanctions would be the answer to the question.

On the 5th of April 1986, a nightclub that was frequently visited by US Army soldiers in West Berlin was bombed. The USA interpreted this as an attack, according to US “intelligence”, it was claimed that Gaddafi had ordered the bombing, worth noting that evidence later emerged suggesting that Gaddafi, in fact, had nothing to do with the incident. In response, former deranged ultra-right US President Ronald Reagan ordered “Operation El Dorado Canyon”, which essentially entailed bombing the Libyan capital of Tripoli with the hope of killing Gaddafi and ending Libyan socialism. Reagan termed Gaddafi the “mad dog of the Middle East” (despite the fact that it was Reagan, not Gaddafi, who was an Alzheimer’s patient who was the most powerful man on the planet), in response, Gaddafi labeled Reagan “the world’s greatest terrorist” due to Reagan bombing Libya without consulting the international community and based on a pretext that is now known to have been based on flimsy evidence. Gaddafi escaped the bombing alive, but his six-month-old adopted daughter, Hanna, did not. 

Understandably, relations between Libya and the US were severed. Gaddafi also severed relations with the UK after prime minister Margaret Thatcher authorised the use of UK military bases as launch-pads for the bombing, Gaddafi increased his support for the IRA in response to the UK’s assistance in the bombing. Afterwards, sanctions were placed on Libya, which essentially made it incredibly difficult for Libya to trade with the rest of the world, and that any country that wanted warm relations with the West, couldn’t trade with Libya. Despite the sanctions, however, Libya remained the most developed country in the Arab world, and in Africa, the socialist economy was maintained, as were the farming cooperatives, people’s supermarkets, free healthcare, free education, free housing, and free electricity. Small businesses that were deemed non-exploitative by the state were allowed to re-open, but as a result of the crippling sanctions, GDP per capita sank to approximately $21,500.

Libyan socialism endured through the late 1980s and early 1990s, when many of Libya’s erstwhile allies were toppled, such as the USSR, the German Democratic Republic, and Yugoslavia. By 1992, Libya, along with Cuba, Vietnam, Laos, arguably China, and the DPRK was one of a few remaining socialist and socialist-leaning states. In 1991, Gaddafi strongly supported the August Coup, a sadly botched attempt at preserving the USSR and resisting Gorbachev’s revisionism and treachery.

Things remained the same in Libya until 2003. In March of that year, the United States, along with the UK, Australia, Denmark, and Poland launched an imperialist invasion of Iraq, with the aim of removing president Saddam Hussein, and disarming him of his fictional weapons of mass destruction. Saddam’s regime was toppled by April, Iraq was under US occupation, and Saddam was captured by US troops in December of 2003. Merely a week after the capture, Gaddafi began talks with the West about the discontinuing of Libya’s nuclear weapons programme, resumption of relations, and, crucially, the lifting of sanctions on Libya. In exchange for the lifting of sanctions, Gaddafi was forced to formally accept responsibility for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, a brutal terrorist attack that was blamed on Gaddafi. New intelligence and a 2014 testimony from an Iranian ex-spy revealed that the attack was most likely ordered by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini. Nevertheless, Gaddafi paid compensation to the victims’ families and formally accepted responsibility, however; he remained firm that he did not order the bombing, stating that accepting responsibility and paying compensation was “not an admission of guilt, but the price that he had to pay so that sanctions could be lifted and for Libya to re-enter the international community.” Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam also reiterated this view and strongly denied that his father ordered the attack.

Economic reforms also occurred after 2003. These reforms were mostly targeted at eliminating corruption and nepotism in the state-owned sector. Some state-owned businesses were privatised, including approximately 30% of Libya’s oil reserves, with 70% remaining under full state ownership via the Libyan National Oil Company and under the control of the Ministry of Oil. One bank was privatised, with the vast majority of banks remaining state-owned and the non-profit system of interest-free loans continued. Farms remained cooperatives, as did the people’s supermarkets, although private alternatives did spring up, the people’s supermarkets were still favoured by most, due to their low, state-set prices. Price controls remained on all foodstuffs and also on oil, whether they were sold privately or in the people’s supermarkets. The purpose of the privatisation of 30% of the oil reserves was so that Libya could gain access to refining technology that they had not been able to gain access to under sanctions. The state levied a 93% tax on all oil produced by foreign corporations in Libya, with one oil executive calling this levy “a joke”. In the late 2000s, after a more hard-line revolutionary government came to power in 2006 under Prime Minister Baghdadi al-Mahmuni, plans were announced that would see privatisation reversed, and assets that had been “conceded to the imperialists”, were renationalised. It is worth noting that Libya’s political system of participatory democracy through Basic Popular Congresses was completely untouched by these reforms. Libya’s planned socialist economy, its state-owned, non-profit making banking system, its lack of debt, and its independence from international markets meant that it was virtually untouched by the 2008 recession and financial crisis. In 2010, one year before the imperialist invasion of Libya, the private sector only consisted of 2% of Libya’s GDP.

The most notable shift in Libya’s world outlook during the late 1990’s and the 2000’s was a shift away from Nasserist pan-Arabism and towards a kind of socialist pan-Africanism, with Gaddafi building on the pan-Africanist socialist theories of Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah. Gaddafi, like Nkrumah, wanted to build a “United States of Africa”, complete with one African military, one African passport, and one African currency. Beginning the process of putting his ideas into action, Gaddafi was the de facto founder of the African Union, with the project being announced in the Libyan city of Sirte in 1999 (many other important AU meetings were held in Sirte as well), and with Gaddafi spearheading the establishment of the Union in 2001. Gaddafi saw to it that Libya, as the richest nation in Africa, paid the membership dues of many poorer African nations. Gaddafi also specifically pushed for the inclusion within the AU Constitution, of the roadmap for the establishment of an African Monetary Fund, an African Central Bank, and an African Bank of Investment; the goal of this was to reduce the influence of Western neoliberal capitalist organisations such as the IMF and World Bank and to provide African countries with an alternative to the predatory imperialistic loan system of the aforementioned organisations.

Further pursuing pan-Africanism, Libya embarked on the following projects: it contributed 300 million dollars to the founding of the Regional African Satellite Communication Organisation, which drastically decreased Africa’s reliance on Western satellite systems and saved African governments over 500 million dollars per year; Gaddafi oversaw the establishment of a 5 billion dollar fund for indigenously owned African mining companies, mobile phone companies, and five-star hotels, in addition to assisting in the construction of religious buildings across Africa; Gaddafi helped push Africa’s two largest economies, South Africa and Nigeria, towards greater cooperation and he contributed heavily to the construction of the Trans-African Highway, a road system spanning all of Africa.

It is also interesting to note that throughout the 2000s Libya forged very close ties with Latin American leftist leaders, such as Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, Ecuador’s Rafael Correa, and Daniel Ortega, the leader of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (a liberation movement which Gaddafi supported during the Nicaraguan Revolution), and now President of Nicaragua. In fact, during a 2008 visit to Libya, socialist Bolivian President Evo Morales praised Libyan socialism, the Third International Theory, and the Green Book, stating: “I have read the Green Book, studied it and am enthusiastic about the thinking spelled out in the Green Book.” During a 2009 visit to Venezuela, Gaddafi, along with Chávez, proposed the “South Atlantic Treaty Organization”, an anti-imperialist alternative to NATO for the Third World. Gaddafi and Chávez also signed a declaration urging the world to redefine terrorism and to not class legitimate struggles for self-determination and freedom as “terrorism”.

After a brief period of warmer Libyan-Western relations, relations, particularly with the United States, soon became more strained. One reason for this was when the United States Africa Command, an imperialist project which saw US troops deployed en masse in Africa, was established in 2007, Gaddafi became the chief critic of the project. Gaddafi’s stated intention to reverse privatisation and to directly distribute a portion of all oil sales to every Libyan citizen, and also to establish a series of committees across the country open to all Libyans so that they could directly manage the rest of the oil profits, was not the main problem. The main reason for renewed anti-Gaddafism on the part of Western governments, however, was the Gold Dinar, one of Gaddafi’s large-scale projects. The Gold Dinar was to be one single pan-African and pan-Arab currency that was backed by gold. The Libyan Dinar was one of the most stable currencies in the world and it had very little inflation, it was also backed by gold. Gaddafi wanted to share this with the rest of Africa. Crucially, the natural resources of Africa and the Arab world were to be traded in Gold Dinars, not US Dollars – this was a threat to US hegemony and influence in the region.

Fast-forward to 2011, and a wave of protests that started in Tunisia is sweeping the Arab world. On February 17th, these protests spread to Libya but are smaller in comparison to the rest of the Arab world, with most Libyans continuing to support the government and Gaddafi. Most protests in Libya were ideologically Islamist, and following the long tradition of Islamic fundamentalist opposition to Gaddafi. Due to Gaddafi’s policy of arming the people, these “rebels” quickly got hold of guns. The rebels took Benghazi and Misrata, but the Libyan government forces pushed back, in no due part thanks to popular support from the vast majority of Libyans, (one Libyan friend of mine estimated that 90% of the population supported Gaddafi), by mid-March the rebels were on their way to defeat.

The governments of the West could hardly contain themselves that there was any kind of protest going on in Libya and were eager to leap on this. Lies were fomented that Gaddafi was using “African mercenaries” to suppress the rebels. This was a racist lie, these “mercenaries” were in fact Black Libyans who were very loyal to Gaddafi, they also conjured up a lie that Gaddafi ordered that all Libyan soldiers were given Viagra so that they could rape innocent women, this claim was found to be completely false by Amnesty International. Their favourite lie was that “Gaddafi was murdering peaceful protesters”, this lie was used as a rationale for United Nations Resolution 1973, a motion sponsored by the UK, France, and Lebanon, and later approved by the United States. This UN Resolution outlined a no-fly zone above Libya and an arms embargo. The US and NATO took this resolution as an excuse to bomb Libya, in the name of “humanitarian intervention”. Western governments said that if they did not bomb the country, Gaddafi would make “a blood bath” out of Libya. My aforementioned Libyan friend believes that had NATO waited another week to start the bombing campaign, the rebels would have been defeated. We must also note that the NATO-backed anti-Gaddafi rebels were committing lynchings, ethnic cleansing, and what can only be described as genocide against Libya’s Black population. In fact, in a Libyan town just outside Misrata, a racist crime against humanity was committed when the town’s 40,000 residents, mostly Black Libyans, were forcibly evicted and forced to live in squalor by the anti-Gaddafi forces. On June 1st, 2011, 1.7 million Libyans, centred on Green Square in Tripoli, assembled in support of Gaddafi, I personally have two friends who were there that day. It is worth noting that 30,000 Libyan troops were up against the combined might of NATO, in a country that is quite vast and sparsely populated, and thus fairly hard to defend.

On October 20th, 2011, after a long bombing campaign by NATO, and after most of Libya had been taken by force by the rebels, Gaddafi fled to his home city of Sirte, when a French airstrike bombed his convoy. The rebels then found him and murdered him in a fashion that would make the stomachs of medieval people turn. A year-long inquiry by the UK Parliament found that the threat to civilians was “overstated”, that the claim that Gaddafi would “make a blood bath out of Libya” was “not based on accurate intelligence”, and that NATO failed to address the fact that the rebels contained a “significant Islamist element”. It is also worth noting that Salman Abedi, the man who would later commit the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing, was one of many Brits of Libyan descent who was part of a program conceived by then-Home Secretary Theresa May to send diaspora Libyans to fight Gaddafi. When then-US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails were leaked, an email that was sent from Sidney Blumenthal (Clinton’s aide) to her was included in the leak. This email revealed that the reason for NATO intervention in Libya was to prevent Gaddafi’s pan-African pan-Arab Gold Dinar project, which was seen as a threat to the status of the US Dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

In conclusion, Gaddafi was a great socialist pan-Africanist, pan-Arab leader, who turned his country from a semi-colonial semi-feudal monarchy that was one of the poorest countries in the world, to a beacon of socialist progress and one of the world’s richest, most prosperous, and most democratic countries. A political system existed in Libya which gave people a direct say over their own lives and their local communities. An economy existed in Libya that was, to paraphrase a slogan of Gaddafi’s, was based on socialist partnership and cooperation, not on capitalist wage slavery. The result of this policy was one of the most stable currencies in the world, the highest HDI in Africa, economic growth averaging 8.1% per year, a low inflation rate and a GDP (PPP) per capita of over $31,000. A society existed in Libya where class, racial, and gender-based discrimination was almost eliminated. Libya was a country independent of debt and of the international imperialist-capitalist system of finance capital, and in 2010, the year before the destruction of the Jamahiriya, Libya’s Human Development Index was the highest in Africa, and Libya had a lower poverty rate than the Netherlands. Of course, there were many problems and mistakes made in Libya, such as corruption and LGBTQ+ rights (both things that have gotten far worse since the imperialist invasion), what is clear, however, is that Gaddafi did far more good for his country, for Africa, and for the world, than he did wrong.

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