For Marxists, it is imperative that we have a detailed understanding of not just Capitalism at home, in the Imperialist centres, but also, possibly more importantly nowadays, is its effects abroad, in the nations whose recourses, wealth and people are systematically, parasitically extracted by the vampires of Imperialism. First, before we detail this particular example of the ravenous effects of the current global order, it is of paramount importance that we provide a Marxist—Leninist definition what imperialism is.
Specifically, we must dispel any notion that imperialism is when one nation annexes another piece of territory into itself, forming a very open and honest Empire (in the likes of the British and Spanish Empires). This definition is wholly inefficient at describing the true nature of imperialism. However, it is still, more often than not, touted by the Western apologists, decrying any accusation of American imperialism to be a complete hoax.
“Why, America cannot be an empire!” They cry, clutching their “#MAGA” hats, their Obama “Hope” posters, or their “Feel the Bern” garden posts. “We haven’t annexed territory in one hundred years! If anyone’s the real empire, it’s [insert America’s current enemy] because they’re [insert usually baseless accusation hypocritically spouted by the US Government]!”
The above dialogue will ring eerily true to any who’s had the unfortunate experience of arguing with an American on their nation’s foreign policy. They will not accept any accusation of imperialism because, in their warped view of the world, empires are formed by evil people wearing crowns using armies of flag-waving villains. And, due to not seeing that on their TV screens every night, as well as having no grasp on what imperialism actually is, they dismiss the arguments with a self-righteous roll of the eyes.
For the sake of both simplicity, as well as brevity, we shall define Imperialism in the following, most simplified, terms:
Imperialism is the economic control and exploitation of a nation’s resources and people.
This is certainly not as thorough a definition as is necessary for the studying of Imperialism as a whole, but for the purposes of this article, it will do fine enough.
However, that’s beside the main point of the article, which is to provide the reader with an understanding of Imperialism’s ravenous effects. To do that, we talk here about the great loss the progressive world suffered in 2011: Muammar al-Gaddafi, one of the most selfless leaders the planet knew at the time. The reason for his loss was the bloodthirsty nature of those US imperialists who organised his vicious and anti-human overthrow. These US imperialists led the charge against the Libyan people’s government and their leader, overthrowing both of them in a bloody intervention.
The baseless and frankly, in light of who makes it, accusation of various human rights abuses! We, however, do know what the euphemistic phrase “human rights” means when uttered by any representative of capitalism: the rights of American, British and other wealthy nations’ corporations to drain the resources of the targeted nation for themselves, robbing the people of that nation of what is rightfully theirs.
Before we go on to discuss the true gravity of Imperialism’s repugnant consequences for the people, we must give the reader a brief look into Libya pre-2011, under the guidance of this “human rights abuser”.
Background: Libya from 1969-2011
Until the 1969 revolution, Libya was ruled as a Kingdom, bearing all the corrupt and poverty-inducing characteristics of the modern remnants of feudalism: the Kingdom of Libya, ruled by the nepotistic Idris I. During his rule, the Libyan economy grew thanks to the growth of the expansive Libyan Oil industry, hoowever, this wealth was concentrated in private hands, those of the King but even more so in the hands of Western capitalists. The revenue that did go to the Libyan state was squandered –King Idris I spent the money which should have been the rightful property of the Libyan people on his family and on buying political loyalty with reactionary Libyan tribesmen. Growth for the state, wealth for the top, poverty and destitution for the bottom: Capitalism can be defined by the Libyan Kingdom’s example.
All this ridiculousness, as it always does, took its toll on the oppressed people of Libya. Eventually, the cord snapped. A revolution ensued. In 1969, the Libyan people fought against the restraints of international monopolists and the remnants of feudalism. Idris was exiled, and a new phase of Libyan history began; the one defined by the stewardship of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
This new phase was cemented with the declaration of the “Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya”, following the guidelines of Colonel Gaddafi’s political philosophy.
Before we go on to discuss the immense benefits and freedoms enjoyed by the Libyan people under Gaddafi’s stewardship, we must first clarify two things: 1) The Libyan example is not Socialism in the Marxist sense (in fact, it very outwardly rejected Marxist Socialism as a failure). As such, we certainly do not propose that the Libyan system be exported to the entire planet (even if such a feat was even feasible, which it certainly isn’t). 2) We support the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya based upon the principles of anti-imperialism, the idea that a nation and a people are free to decide their own fate and resist the strings of Capitalist Imperialism. What the rest of this article aims to demonstrate is just why we are anti-imperialist, with the backing of pure, hard, fact-based evidence.
First of all, the accusation of a dictatorship has absolutely no basis in reality, simply a delusion of the mind of the consumer of Imperialist propaganda. Under the L.A.J., democracy was infinitely better than its American counterpart. Libya had one of the closest systems to direct democracy in the entire world, reflecting Libya’s commitment to human rights and the rights of people to democracy and representation in the running of their nation. This stands in stark contrast to the image we’re usually given of the Libyan leader, one of brutality and repression.
The Libyan people were also granted much more in terms of quality of life guarantees than in any western country. Free, universal, high-quality education and healthcare was guaranteed to all citizens of the L.A.J., giving their citizens the highest living standard on the African continent throughout most of its history. How, one may question, was Libya able to pay for all of this? Through taxes of 100%? Of course not. The method by which the Libyan people were provided with the bare basics of life was simple: the Libyan oil fields. The Libyan people, once Gaddafi became their ideological guide, received the benefits of the nation’s oil, starkly contrasting the system seen under Capitalist exploitation.
As well as the prior two human rights the Libyan people were granted, rights which the Capitalists of the West wish at every turn to take from all the world, they were provided, free of charge, electricity to all their homes. In fact, what may come as a surprise to a reader, Libya produced so much electricity that they gave it away to their neighbouring nations, still able to provide it to all their own citizens.
Already, Libya is clearly being shown in its true light –a prosperous nation who provides all the oppressed peoples of the Earth with hope and courage.
Citizens were, adding to the previously listed rights, given, through the government, interest-free loans so as to gain as high a quality of life as possible. On top of that, newlyweds were provided with $50,000 home buying money, new mothers with $5,000 upon the birth of their child and the unemployed with the average monthly salary of their profession whilst they search for a job. All of this was not to be repaid. As much as it may be difficult to understand for the parasites who support the rule of capitalism this was all given because the Government was there to support and assist its citizens in achieving the highest quality of life possible.
These are by no means the only rights afforded to the Libyan people during the Gaddafi era which even citizens of the West would yearn for, but it’s the last one we’ll give in this article.
The Great Imperialist Theft
In 2011, all of the progress of Libya was stolen from the Libyan people. During the so-called “Arab Spring”, the NATO Imperialists, spearheaded by the figureheads of B.H. Obama and H.R. Clinton, took down the Gaddafi government and crushed the freedom of Libya under their freedom-loving jackboot!
It must be noted here that while Obama and Clinton acted as the figureheads of this campaign, they were just that. Figureheads. This criminal campaign would have been carried out if any leader (except, of course, a truly Socialist one) was in power in the US. The true orchestrators of this disgusting feat of lawless disregard for the wants and desires of an entire nation of people were the same as those who organised similar attacks on freedom in Iran and Chile (getting rid of the popular Mohammad Mosaddegh and Salvador Allende respectively). That is to say, the overlords of Capital, those who control the Governments of the world on puppet strings, the monopolists who fear the liberation provided by Socialism! They were the ones who wished for this to happen since they had the misfortune to witness the freeing of Libya in the 1960s. These Capitalist blood-suckers, of course, choose this line of action for the reason of their unsung motto: “Profit before people, flames before freedom!”
They attacked Libya because Gaddafi refused to accept the petrodollar. They attacked Libya because Gaddafi was looking to establish a central African bank and currency, one that would be backed by the natural mineral wealth of Africa and that would in effect end imperialism and neo-colonialism in Africa forever.
Imperialism’s Calamitous Consequences
With the backing of the UN and NATO imperialism, a new “democratic” government was set up in 2011, formed of all those criminals who fought against Gaddafi in the Imperialist conquest of the nation. This new system, however, even with all the possible backing from all the great Bourgeois powers of the planet, did not have the support of the average Libyan, whose allegiances still lay with the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya! As a result of a complete lack of support, both official government popularity statistics, as well as voter turnout statistics, have been in freefall since the birth of this new system.
In regard to the old rights enjoyed by the people of Libya under Colonel Gaddafi’s great stewardship (free electricity, healthcare, practically free housing, etc.), all such human rights have been ripped from the hands of the people by the brutal, criminal Dogs in power. Rolling blackouts grip the suburbs of the nation’s capital, Tripoli. Healthcare too stands in a state of disrepair. For the exploited Libyan citizen, nowadays, it is nearly impossible to find a doctor nurse to treat them if need be, a majority of those qualified in such professions fleeing the country upon Gaddafi’s overthrow.
Even ignoring these obviously disgusting facts, turning instead to look only at the facts relating to the reason the imperialists claimed to be fighting against Gaddafi’s popular government, namely, supposed abuse of “basic human rights” (again, ignoring the obvious fact that healthcare, education, etc. are also human rights). Even on that front, the Imperialists lose in a spectacular fashion!
Now, in Libya, it is illegal to give support for the old way of life. Specifically, it is a criminal offence to show support for the man who made the old way of life for the Libyan people possible. Pro-Gaddafi protests are regularly met with police brutality and violence, attempting to silence that which cannot be silenced: The people’s calls for liberty and justice!
However, while calls for justice are a punishable offence, met with the full brutality of a capitalist police force, it is quite eye-opening to note what is not considered an offence by the Dogs: Slavery! Yes, in New Libya, slavery is a ripe phenomenon. Sub-Saharan Africans are captured on their way to Europe and being sold to the highest bidder in old-fashioned sales just on the outskirts of Tripoli. Often, these poor people are sold for less than £300.
Every reported slave market has taken place in the territory of the ‘moderate’ and ‘freedom-loving’ NATO-backed government. Several groups vie for control of Libya, but no slave markets take place in areas they control. No, it is only where Western freedom’s light has shone that this barbaric practise takes place.
Whilst all this happens, in full view of the criminal cabal in control, and the imperialists who control them, nothing is done to stop this. There are no NATO airstrikes against their puppets (for obvious reasons), there is no nation crippling sanctions on Libya by the UN (though they have begun to “consider” it). In fact, the EU wishes to give Libya the task of catching escaping migrants to stop them reaching the shores of Europe, even as their civilians begin to wake up to the appalling conditions faced by these migrants (who are being practically condemned to either slavery or death by the Imperialist European Union).
The Media’s Lies and Silence
During the lead up to Gaddafi’s overthrow, all the West’s propaganda machines turned out a myriad of stories and reports condemning the leader and his nation to death, spouting baseless reports of “human rights violations” and praising the NATO-backed rebels as “freedom fighters” who sought nothing more than to destroy the “authoritarian dictatorship” in Libya, though that would also take with it all the progressive features of the Libyan nation.
What the media neglected to report on, however, was the vile facts about these “freedom fighters” which were very known to them at the time. Namely, they neglected to reveal them as the racist, terrorists, Islamic fundamentalists that they were, despite those being the very things the west claims it is the most ardent fighter against!
As all the Imperialist powers of the Capitalist world got together and swept from power the Libyan people’s government, replacing it with racists and terrorists. And all throughout this criminal act, there was not a peep of real opposition from the media of the west.
If we fast forward a few years to today, when the real ravenous results of Imperialism in Libya have come to light, slavery being chief amongst them, such crimes against humanity barely gets a footnote. Instead, days’ worth of frontpage headlines go to the engagement of Prince Harry and spreading constant baseless and misleading speculation about the possible significance of Kim Jong-un’s latest lunch!
Western media has proven, for any in doubt of the fact already, that it is the mouthpiece of Capital and will stop at nothing to cover up the consequences of Capitalism.
We encourage all our British readers to give their full support to African Lives Matter, an organisation protesting in favour of the rights of black Africans against slavery and abuse.
Long live the Libyan Green Resistance!
Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism – Vladimir Lenin
Neo-colonialism, the Last Stage of Imperialism – Kwame Nkrumah
How Europe Underdeveloped Africa – Walter Rodney