The revolutions in the Middle East currently under way are extraordinary. The level of bravery shown by citizens of this region is inspiring. They are literally willing to risk their lives for freedom. Libya’s leader-in-name-only Muammar Gaddafi has explicitly told the people that he will kill every single person who dares defy his rule. His reasoning for the statement is since he is the ruler and they are the ruled, what he says goes. Predictably, western leaders have been quick to condemn Gaddafi’s violent response to the protests, but what are they really condemning?
All states are predicated on force, do what we say or we will lock you up, or worse. Why do we pay our taxes? Because if you don’t, you go to jail and your life is probably ruined. What do our taxes go to? War, welfare, foreign dictators, bankers, the list goes on. How do we register our dislike of where our tax money goes? We get to put a piece of paper in a box every few years. In reality, both parties who control Washington believe the same things. They believe in war, welfare and corporatism. What choice do American citizens really have by way of the vote? As someone once said, if voting made a difference it would be made illegal.
What western leaders are really condemning in Gaddafi’s murderous rantings is his honesty. As the leader of the state apparatus, he has force and coercion at his disposal. Like every other state leader he is willing to use force to protect the regime. It is extremely rich and hypocritical for American “leaders” to condemn Gaddafi for violence when the entire US government, like all governments, is predicated on it. From Lew Rockwell’s blog about the proposed sanctions on Gaddafi:
[Gaddafi’s] funds are stolen from the people? Of course, just like all US and other government funds. He’s a monster? Of course, just like the head of virtually every government in human history. [Although] He has yet to kill a million Iraqis like G.W. Bush.
The state has powers no citizen has, or even wants. The state can steal, kidnap, imprison and murder with virtual impunity. How many people have been killed by the US government in Iraq and Afghanistan and the wider “war on terror”? How many lives have been ended by the prohibition of certain drugs through the “war on drugs” both in the US and abroad? Yet, American politicians condemn Gaddafi without a trace of irony in their voice. Murder is ok in the service of the American State. Whether it is a Bush or an Obama, when it comes to denouncing foreign dictators, they would do well to shut their mouths and pray their turn doesn’t come.