Understanding the new youth: Interesting…
If you have observed some of the clips in the “Tunisian Popular Uprising” these days, the youth is its undisputed pillar, like it was no doubt four decades ago in Ethiopia – unfortunately without any prior precedence and indigenous national political experience, with the disasterous outcome as we know, for all the protagonists and the people in the final effect. When one day Ethiopia comes to the pleasure of hosting such a change towards an enlightened social order, it is of paramount significance understanding the new youth appropriately; and the sooner the better – The new youth, which has today fortunately a lot of prior experiences at its disposal (*1 albeit failures at several levels, from which it can learn and nurture its political course, if only it is ready to invest its moral and intellectual courage in the due reflections, at the latest beginning from today (2*.
The following article of “Addis Neger”
Addis Neger 15.01.2011:
is interesting in this perspective. All the more, respect for beginning the reflection, at this time, when the so-called “Ya tiwlid” is still employing its “ostrich play of hiding its head in the sand” by refraining to make an overall thorough critic of its political past, depicting the undisputed commitment of the generation and their eventual failings behind an “epic” of misleading “heroism” and instrumentalized “activism”.
In this context I made some remarks in my “Notes on Identty Politics”, to save the new generation from making a new “roll out” of debate on the “national question”, which I believe today, in post-modern politics of Ethiopia is somehow anachronistic, unless it has the usual purpose of “utility” to employ it for the further consolidation of the ethnic based autocratic regime of Melesse. Since ” the problem in my opinion is not “identity politics” or anything of that sort”, but “a problem of the Ethiopian political LEFT”, ……” The Left, ….has to clear all the turmoil and the mess of its past ideological infantilism, to dare and make a political RENAISSANCE to go forward into post-modernity, where a healthy and peaceful political interaction with the rest of the political spectrum in the Ethiopian state would be inaugurated. ” This would only be a sign of maturity and there is nothing wrong with defining one’s political position to be “leftist” in the political spectrum of the Ethiopian State, which for sure has still a tremendous room for it, with so much unresolved in the social perspective of our community.
This would be a big contribution and it could save the “New Youth” a lot of energy and intellect if this takes place …
“…in this passion and sovereignty, it would have been a big step forward, a new beginning and a process of a political catharsis towards a modern political culture etc. if the discussion were of the following nature like:-
1. The Left as a whole made this and that mistake.
2. This or that section made this or that perceptual and conceptual errors.
3. The nationalists (ethno) are in this or that aspect by proxy counter to their own national interest.
4. The left was and is this sort of a social category historically incapable of this and that.
5. Politically conscious or not, as a matter of fact instrumentalized by these or those international social and political forces.
5. This and that pragmatic position was immature and full of insufficient reflection.
6. The military was this and that kind of social force unable to resolve this or that problem.
7. The left and the right could have been allied in this and that common interest of national caliber. etc…
8. The right political sector was and is parasitic and was doomed not to be sovereign in this and that aspect.
9. This or that social, psychological, cultural and economic foundations of these and those forces are products of this or that social evolution and …and…..
10. Specially the evolution of the “Ethiopian State” supported by facts and actors, how these mosaic of cultures and peoples could build a vibrating future under this or that form of state;
what failed and not etc…………………….
11. Whither Ethiopia, suffering and coming out of the fake “internationalism” of a defunct Leninist dogma and its contemporary agency; with Ethiopia, as a victim of the globalization of the new form of colonialism; with the new one party system inaugurated after the “2010” election farce. etc. etc.. (cf. http://berhane-aymero.blogspot.com/2010/08/note-on-identity-politics.html)
*1) By far not adequate, since the “synthesis” is missing, but valuable – Prof. Bahru Zewde’s Paper – “Documenting the Ethiopian Left: Workshop on Oral History of the Ethiopian Student Movement” can be an initial source of discourse.