Monday, February 28, 2011

Gadhafi's Ironic Failure to Learn from History

It's unfortunate that for all of his shouting and fighting, Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi has failed to follow the learned advice from a celebrated philosopher who wrote nearly two centuries before Gadhafi's imperilled reign. This thinker even expounded his opinions wrote with Tripoli's head of state in mind.

In "Securities against Misrule and other Constitutional Writings for Tripoli and Greece", utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham outlined the necessary liberal reforms for Mediterranean States to establish stable and healthy democratic governments. The philosopher's main arguments maintained the superiority of elected representatives in serving the people and media publicity as the chief means for stopping the abuse of political power.

What a strange irony that the current, illiberal leader stationed in Tripoli, Libya, is resorting to Western media outlets to justify himself and shore up his role as firmly-established leader of his nation.

The very principle he employs, publicity, is the very resource which is his undoing: one of Bentham's original arguments. The chief security against misrule or abuse of power is . . .publicity. Trapped in his own arrogance, Gadhafi is proving a fundamental principle of the liberal state, originally published in support of the head of state in Tripoli!

"Those who fail to learn from history . . . ."

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