Libya and Italy’s alliance: cemented through economic investment and trading women for political allegiance

23.02.2011 § Leave a comment

So, Libya was a distant outpost of Italian Colonial expansion. As in many colonial relationships, the dynamic has morphed into a  some different contemporary capitalist version.

in 2010, a guardian article was published “Gaddafi flies Italian women to Libya for ‘cultural’ tours – and romance”. It reads:

Building on his friendship with Silvio Berlusconi, Libya’s leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has begun flying groups of Italian women to Libya for “cultural” tours of the country, with the aim of marrying them off to local men – starting with his nephew.

Because of the recent uprisings and massacres in Libya, the economic ties between the two countries have revealed themselves as extremely strong:

Italian bonds are blowing out. If sustained, this is bigger deal than the stock market swoon across Europe: CAC down 1.45%, FTSE down 1.1%, Dax off .4%. A lot of Libyan shares apparently in Italy and Libyan interests own over 7% of Unicredit, the biggest bank in Italy. Ouch.

(from naked capitalism)

This not an oddity, but a perfect articulation of the way nation-states function. We cannot really understand the way that states act in this capitalist world without considering states as inherently patriarchal, protecting, reproducing, and being produced by the hierarchical gender distinction (See, e.g., Pateman, Rajan), in the same movement by which they protect, reproduce, and are reproduced by the distinction between the working class and the capitalist class… Just as Maria Mies shows that colonization and racialization hinged on the way that colonizing men dealt with, treated, subordinated colonized women, as a major means by which the relationship was constructed between colonizer men and colonized men, so we can see that relationships between nation states today are formed by the way in which women are treated and exchanged by the elite men of each country…

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