The Green Book

In this post, I highlighted some of what Qaddafi identified as the problems of democracy as presently practiced in many places around the world. I will just note in passing, that he also expressed distrust for elections as currently run in many states arguing that they are tyrannical by limiting people’s choices sometimes to a yes or no question or between parties when it is possible there would be a wide array of issues where there is divergence or convergence. I am not persuaded his political solution to this problem would work for large groups.

His next problem is the economic problem and his solution is socialism. He argues, and I think the point has been made elsewhere, that extreme wealth concentrated in one person is inimical to public weal. He notes further that is only possible with the exploitation or deprivation of another person.

On education he argued that the present system is tyrannical. He argues society should have as many different schools offering different courses suited to different people instead of a few schools with a fixed curricula for almost everyone. He also adds that any society that stifles the teaching of religion is against freedom or a society that monopolizes the teaching of religion is equally against freedom.

One shouldn’t depend on someone else for their housing, food and other basic needs as this would be contrary to freedom. Your landlord can make you homeless.

On law he says most constitutions, being positive law, are sometimes in contradiction with freedom. To him all law should have its origin custom or religion. He seems to me to allow that each place can have its religion that is congruent to its customs. I think anyone of us can see where custom and religion could be in conflict with human freedom.

Finally, for this post, his views on women, and here, I will let him speak for himself

It is an undisputed fact that both man and woman are human beings. It follows, as a self-evident fact, that woman and man are equal as human beings. Discrimination against woman by man is a flagrant act of oppression without justification for woman eats and drinks as man eats and drinks; woman loves and hates as man loves and hates; woman thinks, learns and comprehends as man thinks, learns and comprehends. Woman, like man, needs shelter, clothing, and transportation; woman feels hunger and thirst as man feels hunger and thirst; woman lives and dies as man lives and dies.

And I wish he had stopped here.

But he goes on to say

To demand equality between man and woman in carrying heavy weights while the woman is pregnant is unjust and cruel. To demand equality between them in fasting and hardship while she is breast-feeding is unjust and cruel. To demand equality between them in any dirty work which stains her beauty and detracts from her femininity is unjust and cruel. Education that leads to work unsuitable for her  nature is unjust and cruel as well.

And I will quote the final excerpt, though one could read more of his views from the pamphlet

There is no difference between men and women in all that concerns humanity. None of them should marry the other against his or her will, or divorce without a just trial or mutual agreement. Neither should a woman remarry without such agreement or divorce; nor a man without divorce or consent.

In general, I would say his critique on democracy and parliaments does seem to hold true in many places. His solution to the problem is plagued with the question of practicality for large groups.