Civil society? The latest buzz word....
Libya has about 6 million people and it sells about 500 million barrels of oil abroad every year. At $100 per barrel, that's annual revenue of about $50 billion. (Put that into the Canadian context and imagine a province receiving such an equalization payment.)
IMV, Libya has no problem except how various people/factions might fight to get control of the $50 billion annual payment. Heck, it happens in Canada too so as long as the fight is peaceful, it's business as usual.
Well, therein lies the rub. In a so-called civil society, or as I prefer it, a society in which the rule of law is supreme, we have enforceable mechanisms to resolve such disputes. In a place like Libya, such mechanisms do not exist, as the state was pretty much embodied in Gaddafi, and was run at his whim.
For Libya to function properly is going to need not just constitutions and laws, but there is going to need to be a cultural shift by both the rulers and the ruled away from rule by fiat (or, more directly, rule by the sword) towards allowing the organs of state to take over. And that's tricky, because as so many point out, Libya is not a united state, it has various factions who have traditionally, even under Gaddafi's rule, not always been peaceable.
The problem with this revolution is that it's going to raise expectations, and the NTC seems to be in overdrive raising them beyond all means. They want quick elections, even while there is no formalized constitutional or government structure. They have guns all over the damned place and dubious control all of them. While everyone had one enemy, it was pretty easy, but this is the moment where factionalism could destroy everything. Somehow everyone is going to have to agree that once a constitution is written and put to a vote, that all parties will abide by that vote and bend to the law, whatever the law may be.
It's been done, to be sure, but it's a lot more difficult than the NTC seems to think.