Muammar Qaddafi: Five ways Libya's leader has held onto power

What is his political philosophy?

Qaddafi’s personal political philosophy of Islamic socialism is outlined in “The Green Book,” a book he penned and published in the 1970s. He professes to support a direct democracy and has run Libya through a system of popular committees and conferences. The lack of other figureheads in Libya’s “democracy” – a result of his pursuit of direct, rather than representative, democracy – has allowed him to further concentrate power.

He has professed a desire to end tribalism, but Reuters describes his way of handling Libya’s tribes as “a system of divide and rule,” pitting them against each other to prevent challenges to his power.

He has also attempted to paint himself as a champion of small nations, standing up against world powers. In his rambling speech Tuesday, he described Libya as a country that others could look up to, and said it would someday lead the world.

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