“Every dictator is an enemy of freedom, an opponent of law,” the Greek Orator Demosthenes once exclaimed. The dictionary definition of the word “dictator” is a ruler exercising absolute power who has unrestricted control in a government. (Dictionary.com) Dictators are generally known to be decisive, forceful, and harmful people. Dictatorship, like all other forms of government, is a method of controlling a country. Dictatorship has been a form of government since Ancient Rome. A very well known dictator is Muammar Qaddafi, who ruled Libya from 1969 until October of this year. Before Mummar Qaddafi, Libya was a kingdom. Muammar Qaddafi was a general in the army and always despised the way the Libyan king, King Idris, ruled. As a middle schooler, Qaddafi diabolically planned to overthrow the Libyan monarchy, and he did, becoming the dictator of Libya (Encyclopedia Britannica, “Qaddafi”). Muammar Qaddafi is well-known for several actions, however, the way he controlled his nation for all this time is very important to understand. Muammar Qaddafi used propaganda, indoctrination, and terrorism as effective methods of control while he was in power.
Muammar Qaddafi used propaganda as an effective method of control while he was in power. Propaganda is a tool used by leaders or other politicians to impress upon the public their greatness, at the same time, suppressing knowledge or information about their injustices or cruelties. Firstly, Qaddafi took control of the media and made them speak positively about his methods of ruling. When the rebel uprising against Qaddafi commenced in early 2011, all TV channels, Internet sites, and phone lines were blocked in Libya (Sherwood). This means that when people were after him and trying to speak negatively of him, he put down all media so commoners couldn’t hear the negative insight regarding him and his power. Secondly, Qaddafi had his government show he was great by using billboards and posters. Posters were put up of him all over Libya describing how powerful and great he was (Sherwood). Both of these pieces of evidence demonstrate use of propaganda because they illustrate Qaddafi doing things simply to make him shine under a positive light. My third piece of evidence that shows how Qaddafi used propaganda took place on March 5, 2011, when the rebel uprising against Qaddafi began. At this point in time, 30 innocent civilians were murdered for criticizing his power (Boyle). Qaddafi committed such a despicable crime, just to silence his critics and build up his supporters, hence, showing use of propaganda. Basically, he used propaganda by banning media, putting up posters of his greatness, and killing people so nobody would hear negative comments regarding his rule.
Another effective method of control Qaddafi used while he was in power was indoctrination. Indoctrination can defined as when people are presented, and often brainwashed, with such information that transforms the opinion of the public regarding their government in to one that is more admirable.Qaddafi preached to school children that terror on countries that he disliked was a positive action. Qaddafi also did not use any Western style of teaching. For example, he thought that using units like centimeter or kilogram showed that the West was a friend. Instead, he used his own Arabic symbols. (Duncan). “Over his more than four decades of dictatorship, Qaddafi used the country’s schools to get his ideology in the the minds of his citizens” This showed him using indoctrination because he educated people with own beliefs about how the West was bad and Libya was good. Furthermore, he gave the families of the victims’ of the 9/11 terror attacks billions of dollars to basically show that he was sorry about what happened after he admitted that he was an active participant in planning the events of the attack (Davis). This was using indoctrination because the deed was undoubtedly