Three years ago the Libyan uprising began. In the end with the help of Britain & France Gaddafi was overthrown. It never looked likely, in spite of a certain euphoria, that Libya would become a modern progressive liberal democracy. All the worst fears have been realised. Libya is in a state of anarchy. Too many people have guns. Too many have scores to settle. Libya is like so many African countries – for in the end, Libya is part of the Muslim axis which includes Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq & Iran. None of these countries has made (at least not so far) a successful transition from autocracy to pluralism.

It is a huge disappointment not just (one presumes) to the majority of people who live in these countries but also to the West which had pinned their hopes on the people who live in these countries having a better life, with more freedom & more civil liberties.

Libya is essentially, as far as one can perceive, a country made up of tribal people who do not like one another particularly. There are blood feuds to settle which are being settled. Guns & other arms seem to be commonplace almost entirely resulting from the conflict which resulted in Gaddafi being overthrown. He was eventually captured & killed as a result of Western technology locating his hideout. The manner of his death presaged the violence & disorder to come. Now it is being suggested that there is a military coup about to happen. This was how Gaddafi came to power. At the time, there were many who favoured him over the deposed King Idris who was unpopular for many reasons, not least because he was perceived as being too Western. There were many who favoured the overthrow of Gaddafi because he was perceived as not being Muslim enough. We have come full circle. Islam is an ideology which won’t go away, it seems. In Syria, Al Quaeda have been committing unspeakable acts of terror, as they have been in various African countries; Mali is one of them. The truth is that Islam is filling the vacuum left by the vacuity of modern capitalism & indeed modern socialism which offers no good reason for living apart from consumerism.

As the Middle East & North Africa descends ever further into chaos, as the West is being destroyed by the ravages of climate change, economic meltdown & crime, one can only look into the future with blank despair.

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