[Marxism] NYT: "Qaddafi gave us dignity, ' a captured loyalist says

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Aug 30 08:57:18 MDT 2011

On 8/30/2011 10:41 AM, Dennis Brasky wrote:
> By not providing any of his usual prefatory comments, is Fred in agreement
> that Qadaffi gave the Libyan people dignity?

Actually, he did. So did Saddam Hussein give Iraqis some sense of 
dignity, as does the Islamic rulers of Iran. So did Stalin for 
that matter. The sense of Ostalgia in the former Soviet Union is 
based on the reality that the USSR became a world power under Stalin.

For me the interesting question, however, is why this matters to a 
veteran of the Trotskyist movement. Now that I have received a 
torrent of comments from Fred's co-thinker Walter Lippmann on my 
blog about my "decent leftism", it dawns on me that there is a 
strong current of paternalism in the thinking of uncritical 
supporters of the Cuban revolution. The caudillo style lends 
itself to people who think that the masses need someone to make 
decisions for them.

Socialism, of course, means rule by the working class--like the 
Paris Commune. I find much more inspiration from the 
citizen-soldiers of Libya who risked their lives to rid themselves 
of a 42 year old dynasty that tortured those who dared to 
challenge the authorities but Fred is free to elect his own 

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