HOW LONG WOULD IT TAKE FOR THE ETHIOPIAN POLITICAL CLASS TO COME OUT OF THE BOX?
The big obstacle for the emergence of the New is the legacy of the Ethiopian political class(0*
(Simple notes and suggestions for inquiry and reflection … (1*🙂
Every section has to consult its “political wisdom and conscience” from the vantage point of the aftermath, which renders us all a “better mind”, in the new collective mind of the new political world!
The global relation of forces have changed, the “cold war” is over, more than five decades have elapsed since the initial aspirations for a substantial change of the Ethiopian political system ever came in the minds of the protagonists; and we, including Ethiopia are in the 21st century!
IT IS HIGH TIME we “arrive in the future“!
Let us come out of the box!
The more we wait and live in the “blockade” the more time it takes to come to the Ethiopian NEW Era of Enlightenment against autocracy! In this aspect the old generation is especially deeply indebted to the new generation, so that the latter makes a real new beginning and renaissance! Progress comes more through learning from past failings rather than narrating once own saga and epic a hundred times to worship the presumable self-honored “heroic” deeds. Let THIS be the task of the far-would-be generation…to come.
1. The Political Left:
What were the political blunders common to the whole legacy left!?
The main sections of the legacy Left:
– EPRP –— What are the failings and political blunders of EPRP?
– Meison –– What are the failings and political blunders of Meison?
– Other allies of Dergue (the military) – What are the failings and political blunders of these sections as a collective?
– Dergue – What was the political nature of Dergue and how can the political failings and crimes of the latter be characterized?
– EPRDF/TPLF – What was TPLF; what has changed so far and what is the political tenor of its regime & how can the political failings and crimes of the latter be characterized?
– ELF/EPLF and Other nationalist & “liberation” groups – What was and is the role played by these groups; specially in the context of international power relations and sphere of political influences … and what is the political significance of these political forces as a collective; specially what position has been promoted and/or perhaps changed in the context of the Ethiopian statehood and the global political relations?
– The “Progressives” – from the social-democratic section up to a possible “radical left”; apart from the above affiliations; if there were any; what was their role and how would they position themselves today?
2. The Feudal class/aristocracy and Monarchy: What explains the political substance of this class in its specific Ethiopian context of the past and in the aftermath of Absolute Monarchy?
3. The Political Right: What was the collective role and historical failings of the political “right” / the classical conservative section of the Ethiopian political landscape?
– Absolute Monarchy – The past role of absolute monarchy? And its anticipated future, if there is any at all?
– The aristocracy – How could the aristocracy be positioned in the past and the role of this in the Ethiopian collective political mind of today?
– The modernists/the “liberal section” – What was/is the role and short-comings of the “modernist” section of the political class before and after the fall of absolute monarchy; especially in the context of Ethiopian statehood, and the Ethiopian cultural diversity
– The “regional nationalist” including some “liberation” groups- What was the constructive or deconstructive role played by the “nationalist” sections of the past and the present Ethiopian polity; what was their objectives and how well was it addressed or not? Their positions and how much sovereign and authentic was their status in the international and regional political relations and interactions?
4. Middle class – Where and how was / the Ethiopian middle class to be positioned in the Ethiopian political spectrum? Why were their presumable political representatives’ dormant or conspicuously inactive or lacking political moral courage in the past? Can they be represented today by the whole spectrum of the contemporary “opposition” parties? How authentically democratic and independent are they from the legacy active “groups” – their ideologies and political outlooks?
These stratifications of the social body are predominantly common objective products of our specific social evolution, with all the factors and functions of our own history prevailing in the context of the centuries-old Ethiopian socio-economic reality.
Perspective & Vision
Today, even after more than three decades of social evolution, in the aftermath of absolute monarchy, the tenor of the political landscape has not substantially changed and the Ethiopian political spectrum as a whole is highly loaded with the above legacy. Therefore the stalemate to make a real change and a new beginning; giving enough room and opportunity for the reign of autocracy!
There would be no substantial progress and a down-to-earth political reconciliation towards an authentic post-modernist democratic world-outlook in the political platform of the Ethiopian political class unless these essential legacy blunders of the Ethiopian political past (be it left or right oriented in the nationwide political spectrum) are reiterated and explicitly declared as political failings without any distinction and relativizing qualifications!(2*. I.e. Unequivocally and clearly specified to be chucked out for good to initiate a thorough renovation in the construction of a politically New Democratic Ethiopia – the Perspective & Vision – with the whole political spectrum (from the radical right through the center to the radical left playing their roles and defining their positions) with clear political distinctions and possible alliances like all healthy democratic communities all over the globe!
(0* Political class meaning, the politically contentious multiplicity of the Ethiopian elite in ca. the last five decades . (See more on social multiplicities: A Simple Algebra of Social-Dynamics )
(1* I know that it is simple to pretend wiser in the aftermath. But I know too that every section has its blunders and it doesn’t get us forward if every section raises its finger to the other – “the other” – the “initial evil” -always looking for “the scapegoat”.
In this context I remember what used to be said way back in 1968 at the summit of the HSI University student movement. During a stalemate in the student uprising, delegates were sent to the Emperor to present their cases. The Emperor in his customary calm plural form, asked the delegates:
” Now you young men & women ; whose failing is taking place these days: “Yours” or “Ours”?
/”Inante gena tadagi lijoch nachihu, lemehonu, yatefanew egna nen weis inante ?”
እናንተ ታዳጊ ልጆች ናችሁ ለመሆኑ ያጠፋነው፦እኛ ነን ወይስ እናንተ? /
To this challenging inquiry one of the delegates, it is said, responded, in the following form:
“Your imperial majesty, neither You nor We made the mistakes, but it is “The TIME”‘s error ” –
“Janihoy, Tifategnaw ignam irswom aydelum, tifategnaw gizew new”
„ጃንሆይ ጥፋተኛው እኛም እርስዎም አይደሉም፦ ጥፋተኛው ጊዜው ነው!“
and managed to escape the challenge and incrimination.
Nonetheless, out of my perception, I would like for instance to make the following notes on the topic:
The legacy of the Ethiopian political class (simplified notes):
1. The Political Left:
Ideologically dogmatic, devoid of Ethiopian-nationalist pragmatism; unaware of statehood – the Ethiopian state formation. A political blunder common to the whole legacy left!
– EPRP – terrorist activities –liquidation of its opponents moved by utilitarianism political policies; including the support of the liberation of Eritrea outside the Ethiopian context; (“Eritrea – Ethiopian colony “ / the consequence – Autocracies in both regions) substantially undemocratic, pragmatically revolutionary motivated but unequivocally authoritarian; a political destabilizing object utilized by USA, in the hegemony struggle against Russia.
– Meison – revolutionary romanticism and tacit alliance with the military in the escalation of the social and political antagonism; including the none-judicial initial tracking of its opponents, i.e. the so-called “ free measures” –with “self-defense” as self-justification; democratic & revolutionary motivated, but ideologically dogmatic and undemocratic; none-pragmatic naïve revolutionarism, dilettantism in power-politics.
– Other allies of Dergue (the military) – crude opportunism lacking any political moral courage and ahistorical pragmatism; a political object of the Russian block.
– Dergue – political stupidity combined with blind nationalism; crude Machiavelli power-politics and object of the international political game for hegemony and sphere of influence (USA vs. Russia), i.e. counter authentic sovereignty and a satellite of the Russian political block; substantially undemocratic and authoritarian and “fascistic” in action (“red-terror”)
– EPRDF/TPLF – dogmatic-leftist nationalism, moved by utilitarianism political policies for the “decolonization” of Eritrea and Tigrai in consequence (“Eritrea – Ethiopian colony”); substantially undemocratic but pragmatic combined with crude Machiavelli power-politics; a political destabilizing object utilized by USA in the game for hegemony and sphere of influence (USA vs. Russia)
– ELF/EPLF & Other nationalist groups – dogmatic-leftist nationalism, moved by utilitarianism political policies, serving their petty regional objectives; political destabilizing objects utilized by regional and international powers with specific self-objectives; – substantially undemocratic, pragmatically revolutionary motivated and authoritarian
2. The Feudal class/aristocracy and Monarchy: Resisting any political reform and economic change; failed to introduce an authentic Constitutional Monarchy and land reform (or why not – “land to the tiller”)
3. The Political Right: undemocratic, narrow nationalist up to chauvinistic and none-coherent at all levels; devoid of historical national mission; utilitarianism political policies
– Absolute Monarchy – none-enlightened entangled between modernists and the aristocracy ineffective in reformation and political change; Authoritarian and undemocratic
– The aristocracy – none-enlightened, conservative exploitive and backward
– The modernist – not anti-authoritarian and undemocratic, not enlightened enough; perceptively caught in the perspective of Ethiopian statehood, unaware of the dynamics of the Ethiopian cultural diversity
– The nationalist- narrow, local, authoritarian and none-reformists; moved by utilitarianism political policies, serving their petty regional objectives; political destabilizing objects utilized by regional and international powers with specific self-objectives
4. Middle class – A genuine nationalist middle class was either negligible or non-existent independently; it has subsumed itself to one of the other 3 strata.
(2* Once the legacy problems and failings of the political past are clarified and as long as they are politically interpreted in a transparent manner, mutual trust would develop and every protagonist would be taken at his own contemporary face value and new or old mind; without any form of backdoor incrimination alluding to the past!