“Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who would have acted; the indifference of those who would have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph”
May be this very call by Himself prompted my generation to work against his rule for a better vision, a fundamental structural change- with all the disaster that followed. Hope is still a principle, the vision never dies and a Just and Genuine Democratic Ethiopia is on the horizon.
Therefore, as an old child of the “protest generation of the 60s”, I am neither someone who would dream on the restoration of the old feudal order, with an illusion to change the flow of time, nor a promoter of any of the modernist social agencies, which would reformulate any discourse of philosophy or faith to present it as a structural model to run modern nations, (cf. constitutional monarchy etc. The real parody of the queen of England or the “copulation” of “William and Kate” attended by millions, makes me always smile on our naivety, to be in need of such projections to unfold the mind). I am an opponent of such ideas by all standards, since I am “an apostle” of enlightenment a la Kant, – Sapere Aude!- to which I am fully committed, in the faith of the authentic, autonomous and sovereign Human, embodied in every single of us! Nonetheless this would not by all means prevent me to critically appraise all leading figures of history, in their role of the formation of nations and states. Given his rule of Absolute Monarchy my generation has witnessed, and the great outstanding role he played in the anti-colonial & anti-racist liberation struggle of Africa on the other side, the last Emperor Haile Selassie I of ETHIOPIA belongs to this category of prominence…
And in this context, and on the occasion of his birthday, I would not be weary of reiterating and promoting such profound & still relevant statements from him like:-
“ Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who would have acted; the indifference of those who would have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph” (HSI)
HIM Emperor Haile Selassie I – 1963 UN Speech
“And we must look into ourselves, into the depth of our souls. We must become something we have never been and for which our education and experience and environment have ill-prepared us. We must become bigger than we have ever been: more courageous, greater in spirit, larger in outlook. We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice, owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations but to our fellowmen within the human community”
(1*This, together with the above telling civil (not the pomp and splendor) picture, is so relevant in these days of African struggle for dignity against all tyrannies, that one would always be tempted to reproduce it again and again!
A telling art of photography!
The picture for modesty;
The pose for reflection;
The look for humility;
“Tizibt”/ትዝብት/regret, for our failure to make it better,
The whole in its entirety for the serious plight of Ethiopia,
calling for an immediate change!