Colonial Muammar Ghaddafi, much maligned and much heralded in equal measure. Hate him or love him one thing is for sure, you can’t ignore his legacy and influence on Pan Africanism and African Political Thought, even as an ex-communicated Pan Arabist. But what exactly is the political philosophy and ideology of the former Libyan leader? The Green Book, as its simply known sets out just that, what Ghaddafi called the Third Universal Theory. First published in 1975 the Green Book’s ideas on democracy, capitalism, political parties and private ownership have long been dismissed as erroneous and utopian. Libya’s disparate citizens who had been forced to study and teach it would testify as such. However, in the Pan African context, Ghaddafi’s said ideologies made him a staunch anti-imperialist, playing a pivotal role in the formation of the AU, funding various Pan African initiatives, and pressing ahead with plans to introduce the Gold Dinar – a single African currency backed by Africa’s vast gold reserves. A bold brand of neo-socialism that could well have been as bizarre as ahead of its time.

At the apex of his Third Universal Theory profit and money did not exist, class did not exist, the right to own property was abolished and material needs were satisfied by the commune. The question we want to explore is, with these ideals would and  African Unity manifest a lot sooner? Could we have seen the vision of Pan Africanism fulfilled already?  Maybe, just maybe, despite his deviances and detractors one or two of those ideals may be applicable today, and in the malignant milieu of global politics, contemporary African political thought can learn from who some claim as the greatest Pan Africanist of modern times.

Third Universal Theory

Critiquing Muammar Gaddafi's Green Book

  • December 8, 2021
  • 7pm - 9pm GMT
  • Online

    Via Zoom

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