Qaddafi son calls for democracy in dissertation

 Muammar Qaddafi's son Saif, has just completed his doctoral thesis at the London School of Economics, titled, "The Role of Civil Society in the Democratisation of Global Governance Institutions: From Soft Power to Collective Decision Making?". This is an interesting topic given what his father does for a living. The BBC reports: 

He hit out at undemocratic states whose governments were "authoritarian, abusive and unrepresentative".  [...] Mr Gaddafi wrote: "I shall be primarily concerned with what I argue is the central failing of the current system of global governance in the new global environment: that it is highly undemocratic."

He continued that his dissertation would "analyse the problem of how to create more just and democratic global governing institutions", focusing on the importance of the role of "civil society".

Mr Gaddafi wrote that elected representatives should be introduced into non-governmental organisations, and that would result in more democratic global governance.

Libya might get a chance to put Saif's ideas into practice, having just taken over the presidency of the U.N. General Assembly.

Update: It must be pretty nice to be able to hire Monitor Group to do research for your thesis.



Stalin in the Metro

Russian liberals are outraged by the recent decision to restore a Moscow's Kurskaya Metro Station (Shown above) to its original 1950s appearance, including a quote praising Joseph Stalin:

A fragment of the Stalin-era Soviet national anthem, it reads: "Stalin reared us on loyalty to the people. He inspired us to labour and heroism."

It will be seen by millions of Muscovites. The metro, which is state-owned, estimates 7-9 million people use it every day, making it the busiest underground transport system in the world.

Giant sword-shaped commemorative plaques dedicated to the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War in the same station have also been altered with the name of the modern-day Russian city of Volgograd changed back to its wartime name of Stalingrad.

"For the Motherland! For Stalin!," reads another newly restored slogan.

"This is the fruit of creeping re-Stalinization," said Arseny Roginsky, Chairman of human rights group Memorial. "They (the authorities) want to use his name as a symbol of a powerful authoritarian state which the whole world is afraid of."

A lot of the original Soviet artwork is still up in Moscow's stations, especially the larger ones on the city's ring line. Ideology aside, these stations are absolutely gorgeous and are one relic of this very dark period that Russians can justifiably be proud of. It would be a shame for them to be completely redone.

On the other hand, it certainly seems like it wouldn't that hard to maintain the stations' original aesthetics while eliminating mass murder-glorifying rhetoric that went out of style during the Krushchev era.