Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sport, Horsemanship and the Stage According to the Green Book of Maummar Qadaffi


The following excerpt from Col Maummar Qaddafi's "Green Book," is provided in the hope that it will provide the guidance necessary for the NFL and NBA to make rationale choices about the futures of their sports.

Sport is either private, like the prayer which one performs alone inside a closed room, or public, performed collectively in open places, like the prayer which is practised corporately in places of worship. The first type of sport concerns the individuals themselves, while the second type is of concern to all people. It must be practised by all and should not be left to anyone else to practise on their behalf. It is unreasonable for crowds to enter places of worship just to view a person or a group of people praying without taking part. It is equally unreasonable for crowds to enter playgrounds and arenas to watch a player of a team without participating themselves.
Sport is like praying, eating, and the feelings of coolness and warmth. It is unlikely that crowds will enter a restaurant just to look at a person or a group of people eat. It is also unlikely that they will let a person or a group or people enjoy warmth or ventilation on their behalf. It is equally illogical for the society to allow an individual or a team to monopolize sports while the society as a whole pays the costs of such a monopoly for the exclusive benefit of one person or team. In the same way, people should not allow an individual or a group, whether it is a party, class, sect, tribe or parliament, to replace them in deciding their destiny and in defining their needs.
Private sport is of concern only to those who practise it on their own and at their own expense. Public sport is a public need and the people cannot be either democratically or physically represented by others in its practice. Physically, the representative cannot transmit to others how his body and morale benefit from sport. Democratically, no individual or team has the right to monopolize sport, power, wealth or arms for themselves. Sporting clubs represent the basic organization of traditional sport in the world today. They retain all expenditure and public facilities allocated to sport in every state. These institutions are social monopolistic agencies like all dictatorial political instruments which monopolize authority, economic instruments which monopolize wealth, and traditional military instruments which monopolize arms.

As the era of the masses does away with the instruments monopolizing power, wealth and arms, it will, inevitably, destroy the monopoly of social activity in such areas as sports, horsemanship, and so forth. The masses who queue to vote for a candidate to represent them in deciding their destiny act on the impossible assumption that this person will represent them and embody, on their behalf, their dignity, sovereignty and point of view. However, those masses who are robbed of their will and dignity are reduced to mere spectators, watching another person performing what they should naturally be doing themselves.

The same holds true of the crowds who, because of ignorance, fail to practise sport by and for themselves. They are fooled by monopolistic instruments which endeavour to stupefy them and divert them to indulging in laughter and applause instead. Sport, as a social activity, must be for the masses, just as power, wealth and arms should be in the hands of the people.
Public sport is for all the masses. It is right of all people for their health and recreational benefit. It is mere stupidity to leave its benefits to certain individuals and teams who monopolize these while the masses provide the facilities and pay the expenses for the establishment of public sports. The thousands who crowd stadiums to view, applaud and laugh are foolish people who have failed to carry out the activity themselves.
They line up lethargically in the stands of the sports grounds, and applaud those heroes who wrest from them the initiative, dominate the field and control the sport and, in so doing, exploit the facilities that the masses provide. Originally, the public grandstands were designed to demarcate the masses from the playing fields and grounds; to prevent the masses from having access to the playing fields. When the masses march and play sport in the centre of playing fields and open spaces, stadiums will be vacant and become redundant. This will take place when the masses become aware of the fact; that sport is a public activity which must be practised rather than watched. This is more reasonable as an alternative than the present costum of a helpless apathetic majority that merely watches.
Grandstands will disappear because no one will be there to occupy them. Those who are unable to perform the roles of heroism in life, who are ignorant of the events of history; who fall short of envisaging the future, and who are not serious enough in their own lives, are the trivial people who fill the seats of the theatres and cinemas to watch the events of life in order to learn their course. They are like pupils who occupy school desks because they are uneducated and also initially illiterate.

Those who direct the course of life for themselves have no need to watch life working through actors on the stage or in the cinema. Horsemen who hold the reins of their horses likewise have no seat in the grandstands at the race course. If every person has a horse, no one will be there to watch and applaud. The sitting spectators are only those who are too helpless to perform this kind of activity because they are not horsemen.

Bedouin peoples show no interest in theatres and shows because they are very serious and industrious. As they have created a serious life, they ridicule acting. Bedouin societies also do not watch performers, but perform games and take part in joyful ceremonies because they naturally recognize the need for these activities and practise them spontaneously.
Boxing and wrestling are evidence that mankind has not rid itself of all savage behaviour. Inevitably it will come to an end when humanity ascends the ladder of civilization. Human sacrifice and pistol duels were familiar practices in previous stages of human evolution. However, those savage practices came to an end years ago. People now laugh at themselves and regret such acts. This will be the fate of boxing and wrestling after tens or hundreds of years. The more the people become civilized and sophisticated, the more they are able to ward off both the performance and the encouragement of these practices.

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