The Facts about Libya
Under the revolutionary leadership of Col. Mu`ammar Qadhafi, Libya has attained the highest standard of living in all of Africa. This is all the more remarkable when we consider that in 1951 Libya was officially the poorest country in the world. According to the World Bank, the per capita income was less than $50 a year - even lower than India. Today all Libyans own their own homes and cars. In the words of two Fleet Street journalists, David Blundy and Andrew Lycett, who are by no means supporters of the Libyan Arab revolution, "The young people are well dressed, well fed and well educated. Libyans now earn more per capita than the British. The disparity in annual incomes... is smaller than in most countries. Libya's wealth has been fairly spread throughout society. Every Libyan has a job and a decent salary. He gets free, and often excellent, education, medical and health services. New colleges and hospitals are impressive by any international standard. All Libyans have a house or a flat, a car and most have televisions, video recorders and telephones. Compared with most citizens of the Third World countries, and with many in the First World, Libyans have it very good indeed." (Source: QADDAFI AND THE LIBYAN REVOLUTION)Brother Qadhafi is popular with all Libyans, especially the youth. Frequently, he will drive his own small car (green VW beetle) to factory dedications and similar ceremonies with very little personal security. He mingles freely with the people who eagerly seek to shake his hand. They frequently shout such slogans as, "I will live and die with Mu`ammar Qadhafi".(Text adapted from a document posted by LACC of Melbourne, Australia)
Unlike Nigeria and Mexico, where none of the oil wealth seeps down to benefit the populace, under Libya's system of direct democracy summed up in the popular slogan "all power, wealth and arms in the hands of the people", all the oil profits are transferred directly to the people. No longer is wealth hoarded by a select few as in the days before the 1969 Revolution. The streets of Tripoli are filled with privately-owned late model cars. Modern apartment complexes are going up everywhere making the city look like one huge construction site.
Housing projects have been developed right across the country so as to ensure every Libyan has the right to own his own home. Every citizen has been given a decent house or apartment to live in rent-free. In Col. Qadhafi's Green Book we read: "The house is a basic need of both the individual and the family, therefore it should not be owned by others." This dictum has now become a reality for the Libyan Arab people.
Large scale agricultural projects are being implemented in an effort to 'make the desert bloom' and achieve self-sufficiency in food production. Foremost among these projects is 'Jabal Akhdar' (Green Mountain) outside of Benghazi. As Mu`ammar Qadhafi has stated: "The Jafara Plain, the great Jabal Al Akhdar, the plain area and the Fezzan valleys are witnessing the great agricultural revolution that will enable the Libyan people to earn their living, to eat freely the food that was normally imported from overseas -- this is freedom, this is independence, and this is the Revolution." Any Libyan who wants to become a farmer is given free use of land, a house, farm equipment, some livestock and seed.
Great attention has been payed to the development of industry since the start of the Revolution. Between 1970 and 1988 the total number of industrial projects was 362, of which 101 were for the provision of foodstuffs.
Today, Libya can boast one of the finest health care systems in the Arab world. All people have access to doctors, hospitals, clinics and medicines, completely free of all charges.
The Green Book sets out the basis for the transfer of all power, wealth and arms directly into the hands of the people themselves through a system of People's Conferences and People's Committees. It is this system of direct democracy which has enabled the Libyan Arab people to make spectacular economic and social advances, and to govern themselves by themselves.
Certainly these material advances would not have been possible without the oil wealth. However, other oil-producing countries, such as Saudi Arabia, cannot show the same advances for all their people. In Libya the country's wealth is being used to benefit the whole community - a policy which stems directly from the ideology of The Green Book.
More than the advances in housing, agricultural, industry, health care, education, is the advance in direct popular democracy. The September 1st Revolution, instigated and led by Mu`ammar Al Qadhafi, has given the Libyan Arab people a freedom that is not enjoyed by other nations. It is the freedom to directly control their own lives and destiny.
The feelings of the ordinary Libyan people about the Revolution are well near unanimous. Speak to university students, academics, farmers or shopkeepers and the sentiments expressed are the same. The Libyan masses would rather die fighting to defend their gains than become the lackeys of some imperialist superpower. Naturally, as the Libyans freely admit, there is still much to be done. Though they are determined to overcome their problems free from outside interference.
The Libyan Arab people have something no other people have: the opportunity to participate directly in the decision-making process. To rule themselves by themselves. In the final analysis this is the greatest achievement of the Great Al Fateh Revolution which began the green march on September 1 1969 - PEOPLE'S POWER.
This is the GREAT JAMAHIRIYA.