October 31, 2011
Likely the first thing the new government in Libya will do will be to attempt to implement some form of democracy. Achieving that goal in a nation run for 42 years by a psychotic tyrant will be much more difficult than establishing new institutions with good procedures.
Psychosis at the top infects the entire society, creating a fearful populace and leaving people dependent on secretly whispered rumours rather than the free flow of information. A long history of decisions being made by cronyism and corruption has been established. Political opposition in such a situation is defined not by putting flowers in the gun barrels of tanks, but by taking up arms and killing thousands of people. There is no place for the reasoned, thoughtful consideration of alternatives.