I've been following the recent events in Libya and I learned about the Green Book, which outlines Gaddafi's vision for a democratic socialism. Published in 1975, it proposed a form of direct democracy supposedly implemented in Libya called Jamahiria.
"This new theory is based on the authority of the people, without representation or deputation. It achieves direct democracy in an orderly and effective form. It is superior to the older attempts at direct democracy which were impractical because they lacked popular organizations at base levels."
Gaddafi was widely critical of the different forms of dictatorship through history, and he even counted representative democracies among them. "The most tyrannical dictatorships the world has known have existed under the aegis of parliaments."
He claimed western democracy is not democratic enough; that he was not "the leader", and "you don't understand the system here".
How well do we understand the system there? How did Jamahiria actually work in practice, was there actually a process of direct democracy, to any degree?