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Reflections on Change

The Libyan people lived in a unique period prior to the coup d'etat of Moammer Gaddafi and his junta. A period where freedom was practiced, wealth was appreciated, knowledge was pursued, emotions were sincere, virtues were sought, evil was repelled, tradition was valued, generosity was natural, history was celebrated, wisdom was cherished, bravery was a virtue, honor was a necessity, families were united, and hard work was rewarded. A period of excitement and hope, excitement for what Libya had and hope for what it could have. There was freshness and optimism in the air. People felt good about themselves. They were confident that good fortunate is in their side. There was a particular enthusiasm among the young, which was fueled by the belief in the future and appreciation of the past. They were eager to work hard and welcomed the opportunity to serve their country and the Islamic and Arabic causes. There was a genuine desire to enjoin good and forbid evil.

However, in the midst of all of that, there was a feeling among the people of Libya that the current regime of King Mohammed Idris Assinousi and its policies were not sufficiently progressive to accommodate their hopes and aspirations. There was a need and a desire for change and progress. The prevailing conventional wisdom was that progress and change were synonymous. Many argued that things couldn't continue as they are, change is inevitable, change is natural, change is good. People were not satisfied with what they had. All they wanted was what they didn't have, and that was a drastic and a dramatic change. The desire for change over powered any considerations about what kind of change is needed. People wanted change period! Everyone justified change as good. A change that will push the economic and political wheels of fortunate forward. A grass-root change that is flavored with the values and aspirations of the people. No one ever contemplated any bad side effects of the change. No one ever dreamed that bad would come from the change. Everyone wanted change for the sake of change.

On September 1, 1969, a change happened. People crowded the streets of all major cities joyously and enthusiastically in support of the change. They didn't even know what the change really was! All they knew was that a change has happened. And since they wanted and desired a change, then it follows that the change that occurred is what they wanted!! So, everyone celebrated the change and gave unconditional support to the people who caused the change. In fact, nobody could dare and raise doubt about what had occurred. If that happened, the person was immediately labeled as an enemy of the people and a reactionary who should be crushed and thrown away by the wayside. Emotions were very high in support of the change. People who had doubt either kept quite or joined with everyone in accepting the change. There was no room for descanting views. Everyone accepted the change that occurred as being good and believed it to be a manifestation of what the country and the people wanted. Singers were enchanting, poets were romanticizing, supporters were complementing, and intellectuals were justifying.

The new regime was in shock of this unconditional and unbelievable acceptance. It never thought it was going to be that easy. It was prepared for the worst, but gladly welcomed this acceptance by exploiting the naivete of the Libyan people to its advantage. It did so by promoting emotionalism and national fervor, and fighting rationalism, realism, and critical thinking. The regime argued that the change that occurred really represented the desires and aspirations of the simple Libyan masses. It is a revolution that came to fulfill the peoples desire for change. Therefore, the revolution and the people become synonymous. And since the people can't be wrong, then the revolution can't either. To firmly engrain this new philosophy, the regime must concoct a new method of governing that is as far away from the norms as possible. Shrewdly, Gaddafi came up with the rule of the masses! Gaddafi is not a ruler, he is only a leader. The regime declared that the rule, the wealth, and the arms are in the hands of the masses! To perpetuate this myth and insanity, Gaddafi and his bandits must ensure that fear, oppression, obedience, ignorance, blackmail, terror, deception, dishonesty, thievery, economic degradation, and administrative chaos are firmly integrated within all aspects of everyday life. Therefore, the regime has mobilized all of its resources in achieving the above so that it can have a firm grip on the Libyan people and ensure its survival through the years.

Approximately thirty-years later, Libya has undergone a tremendous amount of change. The country's culture, people, economy, values, and future has forever been changed by the Gaddafi regime. In this short period of time, freedom became a lie, wealth is squandered, knowledge is lacking, emotions are disturbed, tradition is derided, generosity is rare, history is fabricated, wisdom is replaced by ignorance, bravery is manufactured, honor is disposable, work is hardly available, poverty is common, fear is abundant, confidence is lacking, oppression is practiced, terror is legitimate, deception is applauded, and most of all CHANGE IS NOT PERMITTED.

Anonymous

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