Libya's brighter future (?)

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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby JackFrost » 2011-11-01, 20:30

Here we go again with the oil fuckery.
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Re: Libya’s brighter future (?)

Postby MillMaths » 2011-11-02, 0:05

TeneReef wrote:US is interested in Libya only because of the oil :para:

Not really. I'd say this would definitely be the case if GWB were still President, but thank God that fucker is gone now. Mr Obama doesn't strike me as being as keen on foreign policy as previous US Presidents – and this is all the best for the rest of the world.

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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby hlysnan » 2011-11-02, 0:28

If only that were true! If I remember correctly, Mr. Obama has overseen the highest military expenditure* of any American president.

*Including as a proportion of GDP

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Re: Libya’s brighter future (?)

Postby MillMaths » 2011-11-02, 0:44

I didn't say military expenditure. I said foreign policy.

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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby hlysnan » 2011-11-02, 0:53

Oh right. I suppose he is less gung-ho about foreign policy than Bush was, but I think he might have been forced to act this way regardless of what he actually thinks, simply because the American people themselves don't want to get involved anymore.

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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby Chekhov » 2011-11-02, 1:00

Obama's very keen on foreign policy, actually. He's just not as interested in starting new overseas adventures, Libya excepted. Under Obama, the War on Terror has just been scaled back to a mostly regional campaign in Pakistan's border areas and the Horn of Africa - which is probably what it should have always been in the first place.
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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby TeneReef » 2011-11-02, 16:55

You essay to restore peace in Libya. :mrgreen:
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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby Saim » 2011-11-05, 4:17

TeneReef wrote:US is interested in Libya only because of the oil :para:
Saudi regime is even fiercer than the Gadafi one was, but US government does not do anything.

The difference is that the Libyan revolution was happening with or without NATO intervention. Gaddafi had lost legitimacy, and there was regional (i.e. Arab and Middle Eastern) support of the intervention. Very different to Bush's Iraq or any hypothetical Saudi war (unless of course Saudis started to rebel en masse against the House of Saud and were then brutally repressed, prompting not only the US but most of the world to disavow that government).

TeneReef wrote:You essay to restore peace in Libya. :mrgreen:

Come again?

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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby Chekhov » 2011-11-05, 4:53

The difference is that the Saudis might be horrendous abusers of human rights, but they've at least shown a willingness to reform. The closest Gaddafi ever got to doing that was claiming to give up the WMD he shouldn't have had in the first place (and which it turns out he lied about getting rid of, since stocks of chemical weapons were found in the desert). And repressive as the Saudis are, I can't recall anything like the Abu Salim massacre being perpetrated by that country.
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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby isenkrammer » 2012-02-13, 7:25

I've been hearing a lot about Libya lately, but nobody seem to have ever discussed the issues below which I believe are important (just some thoughts. I'm no political scientist)

1. The system that we call liberal democracy is in fact the democracy of the 'bourgeoisie' - those who own considerable amounts of capitals and various forms of assets and properties, i.e. the middle class and the upper class. These are the people who care about freedom of speech, protection of private properties and other laws that are unique to liberalism. Those who don't possess properties or capitals are more likely to view these as laws established to protect the privileges of the ruling elites. In a country where the middle and upper class do not comprise the majority of the population, people are more likely to vote for communists than liberals. and of course the West would not allow this to happen. So in the past what they did in the third world countries (eg Colombia and many other latin American countries) was that they funded the so called 'death squads' to assassinate leftists and communists to prevent these groups from taking power. (forgive me for using the term 'bourgeoisie' borrowed from Karl Marx's books. I'm not a communist but i can't find any better terms to describe these groups)

2. In order for a liberal democracy to stay liberal, the public must constantly verify and question the deeds of the government, and march out to protests whenever necessary. Without these mechanisms a liberal democracy would quickly turn into an illiberal democracy or even a pseudo-democracy with fake elections. If the majority of the public have to work their asses off 24/7 to make ends meet, then chances are they won't have time to do their legal studies, and may well end up voting for Hitler.

3. liberal democracy is not actually run by the people. it is voted and hopefully, monitored by the people but ultimately run by the corporate elites. political campaigns cost a fortune, and election candidates must be funded by corporate elites and therefore ultimately have to represent their interests. now once again i'm not a communist so I'm not going to say "argh this is a fundamental flaw we must throw away the system altogether.." Let's just say, fortunately since the corporate elites are also human beings and are among the people (however surreal that sounds) their interests often, but not necessarily always align with that of the general public. The problem with third world countries is that the local corporate elites are often no match against multinational corporate elites in terms of marketing strategies, resources and technology. they often rely on trade barriers and protectionist policies imposed by the regime to prevent foreign companies from occupying the market. when the regime is removed under the pressure of foreign interest groups in the name of democracy, it's no surprise that the local corporate elites also vanishes and become replaced by foreign ones. The result is foreign companies lobbying for their interest which quite often do not align with the interest of the local population. In theory, when a foreign company establishes a business in a local market, they should obey all the rules and act just like local companies. In reality, they tend to take advantages of the immature legal system in third world countries and use bribery, political leverage and even assassination to change local laws to their liking and prevent local competitor from emerging, a process which only worsens corruption and instability in the country. (c.f. United Fruit Company)

To summarize the above 3 points, I'd say a complete strategy to help a third world country transform into a modern liberal democracy must include 2 components, one being the police action that we have been all too familiar with, the other a complete aid package (not much unlike the good old Marshall Plan) consisting of funds as well as plans to help with the industrial modernization of the country so as to foster a middle class majority in the country. If the second component is missing, then the police actions will only lead to one dictator replacing another and the continuation of nightmare. Given the current debt crises in the US and in the EU, I'm afraid component no.2 is unlikely on the schedule any time soon. And so in the case of Libya, there's already a worrying trend of Islamist extremist dictatorship replacing the recently removed military dictatorship.

Let us not romanticize about revolutions and think of them as dinner parties. Revolutions are civil wars that not only costed the lives of millions but also disrupt production and growth. Without the preparation for a full-scale economic aid, financing revolution is not too different from supporting war crimes.
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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby isenkrammer » 2012-02-13, 7:42

r
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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby Saim » 2012-02-14, 19:53

isenkrammer wrote:I've been hearing a lot about Libya lately, but nobody seem to have ever discussed the issues below which I thought were important?

1. The system that we call liberal democracy is in fact the democracy of the 'bourgeoisie' - those who own considerable amounts of capitals and various forms of assets and properties, i.e. the middle class and the upper class. These are the people who care about freedom of speech, protection of private properties and other laws that are unique to liberalism. Those who don't possess properties or capitals are more likely to view these as laws established to protect the privileges of the ruling elites.

Freedom of speech protects the property of the wealthy? :? Wouldn't the wealthy benefit more from a corporatist police state?

In a country where the middle and upper class do not comprise the majority of the population, people are more likely to vote for communists than liberals. and of course the West would not allow this to happen. So in the past what they did in the third world countries (eg Colombia and many other latin American countries) was that they funded the so called 'death squads' to assassinate leftists and communists to prevent these groups from taking power. (forgive me for using the term 'bourgeoisie' borrowed from Karl Marx's books. I'm not a communist but i can't find any better terms to describe these groups)

This was not a conflict between liberalism and communism. This was a hysterical, paranoid conflict between two empires and spheres of power; the US-backed and Soviet-backed blocks. The US (as a power, not its citizenry) has generally not cared about promoting liberal democracy overseas, but rather the promotion of its own interests.

Mossadegh was on the centre-left, not a communist. But the US got rid of him. Why? Because he went against Western economic interests.

2. In order for a liberal democracy to stay liberal, the public must constantly verify and question the deeds of the government, and march out to protests whenever necessary. Without these mechanisms a liberal democracy would quickly turn into an illiberal democracy or even a pseudo-democracy with fake elections. If the majority of the public have to work their asses off 24/7 to make ends meet, then chances are they won't have time to do their legal studies, and may well end up voting for Hitler.

I don't agree. I think authoritarian rulers need economic crises to take over liberal democracies. Germany's economic collapse made Germans disillusioned with their incomptent yet democratically elected government, making them more liable to accept a strongman. You can see the same thing all over the place, boiling down to the idea of bread before freedom, essentially. People want security, and unfortunately lots of people get duped by autocrats who pretend that they can provide it for them.

3. liberal democracy is not actually run by the people. it is voted and hopefully, monitored by the people but ultimately run by the corporate elites.

:roll:

I'm all for getting money out of politics, but this is just ridiculous. I think you're overestimating the effect that the media has on people. It can play to real concerns and help reframe the debate, but it does not pick winners.


political campaigns cost a fortune, and election candidates must be funded by corporate elites and therefore ultimately have to represent their interests. now once again i'm not a communist so I'm not going to say "argh this is a fundamental flaw we must throw away the system altogether.."

OK, that's fair then.

Let's just say, fortunately since the corporate elites are also human beings and are among the people (however surreal that sounds) their interests often, but not necessarily always align with that of the general public.

:y:

I think a lot of the time people from all ideological proclivities are too quick in imagining 'enemies'.

The problem with third world countries is that the local corporate elites are often no match against multinational corporate elites in terms of marketing strategies, resources and technology. they often rely on trade barriers and protectionist policies imposed by the regime to prevent foreign companies from occupying the market. when the regime is removed under the pressure of foreign interest groups in the name of democracy, it's no surprise that the local corporate elites also vanishes and become replaced by foreign ones. The result is foreign companies lobbying for their interest which quite often do not align with the interest of the local population. In theory, when a foreign company establishes a business in a local market, they should obey all the rules and act just like local companies. In reality, they tend to take advantages of the immature legal system in third world countries and use bribery, political leverage and even assassination to change local laws to their liking and prevent local competitor from emerging, a process which only worsens corruption and instability in the country.

I don't dispute your thesis, but I'm still a bit skeptical. Don't you think trade liberalization, if not applied selectively by developed countries, can benefit emerging economies? Look at China for example - it has seen an increase in living standards (and also inequality of course, I'm not pretending it's perfect) based largely on capital created from the manufacture of cheap goods for developed markets.

To summarize the above 3 points, I'd say a complete strategy to help a third world country transform into a modern liberal democracy must include 2 components, one being the police action that we have been all too familiar with, the other a complete aid package (not much unlike the good old Marshall Plan) consisting of funds as well as plans to help with the industrial modernization of the country so as to foster a middle class majority in the country. If the second component is missing, then the police actions will only lead to one dictator replacing another and the continuation of nightmare. Given the current debt crises in the US and in the EU, I'm afraid component no.2 is unlikely on the schedule any time soon. And so in the case of Libya, there's already a worrying trend of Islamist extremist dictatorship replacing the recently removed military dictatorship.

Let us not romanticize about revolutions and think of them as dinner parties. Revolutions are civil wars that not only cost the lives of millions but also disrupt production and growth. Without the preparation for a full-scale economic aid, financing revolution is not too different from supporting war crimes.

I think I agree with you here. I think a lot of the time military powers meddle in local conflicts in accordance with their narrow economic interests rather than help foster the conditions that will make these conflicts impossible. But that's to be expected, the world's governments aren't particularly united.

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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby isenkrammer » 2012-05-03, 8:05

Freedom of speech protects the property of the wealthy? Wouldn't the wealthy benefit more from a corporatist police state?


Only the richest of the rich with personal connections to the kings/queens/princes/princelings could benefit from a corporatist police state. The middle class won't benefit even though they are technically bourgeoisie too. In countries where the middle class comprise the majority of the population, liberal democracy is the way to go because it benefits the majority. Freedom of speech and property rights certainly benefit the proletariat too but they may not appear as attractive as food and shelter to the atheists or a promising afterlife to the religious depending on how impoverished this class is.

This was not a conflict between liberalism and communism. This was a hysterical, paranoid conflict between two empires and spheres of power; the US-backed and Soviet-backed blocks. The US (as a power, not its citizenry) has generally not cared about promoting liberal democracy overseas, but rather the promotion of its own interests.


Communism started off as an irrational populist ideology which insist on total control of the economy and all aspects of people's lives by certain groups of 'wise men' who supposedly know how to do their job. With the fall of the Soviet Union communism fell out of fashion, but that doesn't stop the naive from wanting these things, and so they gravitate towards Islamism.

I don't agree. I think authoritarian rulers need economic crises to take over liberal democracies. Germany's economic collapse made Germans disillusioned with their incomptent yet democratically elected government, making them more liable to accept a strongman.


That's my point. I don't believe all those racial or cultural stereotypes. It's the economy that determines people's way of thinking. When the economy isn't working people become deperate and will do everything for money, including welcoming dictators.

I'm all for getting money out of politics, but this is just ridiculous. I think you're overestimating the effect that the media has on people. It can play to real concerns and help reframe the debate, but it does not pick winners.


It doesn't need to pick the winners. It picks the candidates. All the candidates in elections that you can vote for are in fact already pre-selected by the various interest groups who fund them. You never see socialists campaigning in America because they will never get enough funds to run campaigns, not to mention that the media will demonize them.
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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby isenkrammer » 2012-05-03, 8:13

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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby DissidentRage » 2012-05-03, 19:46

Saim wrote:I don't agree. I think authoritarian rulers need economic crises to take over liberal democracies. Germany's economic collapse made Germans disillusioned with their incomptent yet democratically elected government, making them more liable to accept a strongman. You can see the same thing all over the place, boiling down to the idea of bread before freedom, essentially. People want security, and unfortunately lots of people get duped by autocrats who pretend that they can provide it for them.


What both of you described is actually happening in the US. Our people do not care much for politics and vote for what appeals to them on the surface of whichever campaign they follow. They don't question the motives of anyone unless it's some stupid argument put forth by media personalities. The economic crisis is a symptom of our apathy. We've stopped delving into what's going on behind Washington's closed doors and allowed corporate interests and fascists to start reigning us in.

Saim wrote::roll:

I'm all for getting money out of politics, but this is just ridiculous. I think you're overestimating the effect that the media has on people. It can play to real concerns and help reframe the debate, but it does not pick winners.


Sure it does.

We had two bills making their run through Congress (SOPA and PIPA) that would have effectively brought down the infrastructure of the Internet. It was planned in secret for nearly a year before anyone caught on. The only reason they were stopped was because of websites like Wikipedia and Google.

Unfortunately, they managed to pass an even more damaging piece of legislature just recently: CISPA, which allows companies to reveal all of your personal information, without a warrant or probable cause, and without themselves being subject to due process of the law if something happens to you.

When I say "in secret," I'm not exaggerating. Literally every major television network and/or their parent company (NewsCorp who owns Fox, Disney who owns ABC, NBC, CBS, etc.) was actually lobbying for and supporting the bills. They never broadcast news about it in the whole year it was being planned until the backlash that was caused by Wikipedia, Google and others "blacking out" in protest.

The media can do whatever they want, and they certainly can pick candidates. All they have to do is quell advertisements for candidates they don't want in office. If our shallow (and, often, willfully ignorant) populace doesn't see a candidate, they don't know they're running.
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Re: Libya's brighter future (?)

Postby loqu » 2012-05-03, 20:17

DissidentRage wrote:What both of you described is actually happening in the US.

And Spain.
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