Friday, August 26, 2011

After the collapse of the Gaddafi regime: Where now for the Libyan Revolution?

Resolution of the Revolutionary Communist Organisation for Liberation (RKOB), 24.8.2011,, e-mail:

1. According to many media reports the Gaddafi regime is about to collapse. This is great news for the rebelling working people in Libya and the whole Arab world and also for the international working class movement. As the RKOB has repeatedly stated the Gaddafi regime was in no way socialist or anti-imperialist. It was a state-capitalist, bourgeois-bonapartist regime based on the fortunes of huge oil reserves and the exploitation of nearly 700.000 migrant workers (close to a half of the total work force!). In the last years the Gaddafi regime has closely collaborated with European imperialism in stopping people from migrating via the Mediterranean Sea to the EU. It also started to privatise its companies and sell them to imperialist capital.

2. We restate our assessment that the uprising and the civil war in Libya was and is part of the Arab Revolution. This was clear from the whole history of the uprising which started as part of the revolutionary wave in spring 2011. This was also obvious from Gaddafi’s repeated expressions of condemnation toward the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions and his solidarity with the fallen dictators Ben Ali and Mubarak. The final stage of the civil war was marked by the popular revolt in the working-class districts in Tripoli which is why the rebels coming from Western Libya met only little resistance. This once more demonstrates how empty the regime's claims about its popular support were. The popular masses did not raise a single finger to defend the dictatorship but instead supported the revolution.

3. Imperialist NATO undoubtedly played a role in finishing off the Gaddafi regime. Indeed they did everything possible to derail the revolution and to bring it under their control. This is why they have built close relations with the leadership of the rebels in Benghazi. However this was not of decisive importance and did not determine the character of revolution against Gaddafi. The lack of modern weapons, the militia character of the rebels, and their lack of coordination (indeed NATO was surprised about the sudden fall of Tripoli) all make a mockery of the claims by some Western socialists that the rebels were not part of a popular revolution but rather stooges of a CIA-conspiracy against Gaddafi.

4. However after the successful and welcome overthrow of the Gaddafi dictatorship it is necessary to repeat our warning about the dangers for the Libyan revolution. These dangers come from the bourgeois leadership around the Transitional National Council (TNC) which is prepared to serve the imperialists as their marionette government. This is why the RKOB spoke about the process of bourgeoisification of the rebel movement and the danger of counter-revolution within the revolution. This danger becomes now particularly urgent.

5. Indeed the main danger now is that the victory of the Libyan popular masses will be snatched away from them and that they become politically expropriated by the imperialist powers and their stooges in the TNC. The Bolshevik-Communists therefore consider the following demands and tactics as essential for the working and oppressed masses in Libya to defend their interest:

  • Build councils of actions in all enterprises, urban districts and villages! Elect delegates to form a workers and peasant government based on these councils! Down with the TNC!
  • Don’t dissolve the militias but rather transform them into a national army under the control of the councils! Smash the remaining elements of the regimes military and security apparatus!
  • No to any privatisation of the oil industry! For the nationalisation under workers control of the central sectors of the industry, the financial sector and the service industry!
  • Expropriate the foreign multinational assets! The Western government must give back the assets of the Gaddafi regime to the Libyan people!
  • No to any NATO military and advisors in Libya!
  • For an election of a revolutionary Constitutional Assembly!
  • For full citizenship rights for the migrant workers! Equal wages for equal work!
  • Equal rights for all national minorities like the Berber and the Tuareg and Tebu people! Down with Arab chauvinism against them! No discrimination of their languages! For their right of national self-determination including the right to have their own state
  • A central task of the works movement in Europe is to fight against the racist policy of immigration control. They must demand from the EU governments to open the borders for all refugees from Libya and North Africa! 

6. The victory of the Libyan Revolution over the Gaddafi dictatorship must be used for a new push for the Arab Revolution – in particular in Syria where the masses are struggling against the repressive apparatus of the Assad regime. The only road forward is the strategy of the permanent revolution!

7. However the permanent revolution will not succeed if a revolutionary party, as part of the Fifth Workers International, is not built in the coming period. Because only such a party – composed of dedicated fighters for socialist revolution and based on a revolutionary program – can lead the masses to victory against the imperialist powers, the local ruling class and their various liberal and reformist lackeys. The RKOB is dedicated to this task.

For a workers and peasant government in Libya!

Victory to the Arab Revolution!

For a socialist federation of North Africa and the Middle East!

As a background for the RKOB’s analysis of the Libyan civil war we refer readers to excerpts of our recently published book on the Arab Revolution:

The Intervention of the imperialist powers in Libya, the struggle of the masses against Gaddafi's dictatorship and the tactics of revolutionary communists

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