Gadaffi and the Libyan autonomy


The world news reports of killing and violence against protesters in Libya, but Muammar Gadaffi says he will not give up. When Gadaffi threatens the people he takes the role of Father of the Nation who raises his disobedient children.

The idea that the state should reflect the family hierarchy comes from Aristotle and is called paternalism. Paternalism is a bad idea which means that the parent’s relationship with their children is a model for the state’s relationship with citizens. Parents restrict children’s autonomy. According to paternalism, a rebellious citizen is like a disobedient child.

Autonomy is the foundation of a free society. Both the people and the nations should be free to decide over themselves if they do not infringe on someone else’s autonomy, but that is exactly what is happening in Libya. Muammar Gadaffi seems to think he himself is the nation, but he is only a human being. When a dictator orders violence against his own citizens, the international community should intervene and abolish the country’s sovereignty until the dictator is overthrown.

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