IntroductionEthiopia suffered as a victim of two major wars initiated by the aggressor Italy under the guise of bringing civilization to her ‘backward’ citizens. Actually the invaders proved to be barbaric in that Ethiopians showed mercy to captured, dead or wounded Italian soldiers in the war theatre. This magnanimous act of mercy on the part of Ethiopian leaders and citizens is in sharp contrast to the cruelty unleashed by the aggressors against innocent civilians. Fascist Italy committed war crimes and crimes against humanity of which the international community found it guilty.
The legacy of Fascist Italy is still lingering perpetuated by sympathizers that were beneficiaries masked as revolutionaries embedded in the TPLF/EPRDF party… So, the struggle for freedom and independence is far from over – it must in fact intensify no matter what the cost. The regime must change substantially beyond its false propaganda justifying its achievements covering up its heinous crimes including gross violations of human rights in the 21st century.
Change occurs constantly due to a number of natural or man-made factors, inter alia: – politics, economics, environmental degradation, wind, earthquake, tsunami, flood, ad infinitum. Human beings are the only ones on our planet that worry about negative effect of change on their lives and react as an organized and relatively intelligent entity in my opinion.
The French Revolution (1787 – 99) came into being propelled by great minds of thinkers. I was stunned to read the title “A new French Revolution is about to rip apart the EU’ France is close to one of those periodic explosions that have shaped French history. When this happens the EU will never be the same again. What is interesting here is that revolution is being called for in France despite its leading role in sciences and technology as one of the richest G7 nations. What is wrong?
The land to the tiller slogan that rallied scholars and students was a mass movement demanding an end to serfdom and crowning peasants with private property rights. This demand was not underpinned by any specific ideology with significant support of duly constituted political parties, operating covertly or overtly, but was driven mostly by compassion ensuing from the heart of the youth.
The 1974 Ethiopian revolution was at first relatively bloodless and peaceful because the people wanted change. But then as now the problem is with the elites not being able to articulate a realistic political program on the way forward in combatting and eliminating retrogressive forces.
The above revolution was dubbed a creeping revolution mainly because there was not a vanguard political party to guide it. It took 40 years with issues of private and civil liberties to citizens still unresolved. However there is a flicker of hope that the ongoing popular discontent will soon transform into a debilitating civil uprising forcing the brutal ruling EPRDF regime to come to the negotiating table for it is in its best interest to avert catastrophe.
Ethiopia amidst global corruption & immorality
What credible sources in the world say about endemic corruption, widening gap in income, & moral decay is briefly submitted in the following paragraphs.
Christine Lagarde: – Managing Director of IMF Christine Lagarde on 27 May 2014 cited recent research from Oxfam that “the 85 richest people in the world, who could fit into a single London double-decker, control as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population — all 3.5 billion of them.” Adding that “With facts like these, it is no wonder that rising inequality has risen to the top of the agenda—not only among groups normally focused on social justice, but also increasingly among politicians, central bankers, and business leaders.”
The charismatic MD cites lack of integrity of rich business leaders, tax evasion, and widening gap of income distribution as the main causes of the failure of the capitalist economic model.
Oxfam calls on the leaders at the World Economic Forum to not dodge taxes in their countries or countries where they invest and operate not use their economic wealth to seek political favors, and support progressive taxation on wealth and income, among other things.
Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis Is quoted as saying: “We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of the few, but we cannot have both.”
Karl Marx said that “Capitalism carries the seed of its own destruction”. And I add that the same saying applies to “Communism” given the overly corrupt practices and widening gap in income in China. Monopoly of income held by the top hierarchy of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is responsible for the breakage of the economic growth model of the CPC, which the EPRDF is emulating.
Michael Parenti passionately argues about the widening gap in income between the rich and the poor. Few excerpts from his paper are provided below for ease of reference for readers of this piece:-
- The world’s 85 richest individuals possess as much wealth as the 3.5 billion souls who compose the poorer half of the world’s population, or so it was announced in a report by Oxfam International. The assertion sounds implausible to me. I think the 85 richest individuals, who together are worth many hundreds of billions of dollars, must have far more wealth than the poorest half of our global population.
- The number of people living in poverty is growing at a faster rate than the world’s population. So poverty is spreading even as wealth accumulates. It is not enough to bemoan this enormous inequality, we must also explain why it is happening.”
- Hundreds of millions live in debt even in “affluent” countries like the United States. They face health care debts, credit card debts, college tuition debts, and so on. Many, probably most who own homes—and don’t live in shacks or under bridges or in old vans—are still straddled with mortgages. This means their net family wealth is negative, minus-zero. They have no propertied wealth; they live in debt.
- Regarding the poorest portion of the world population—whom I would call the valiant, struggling “better half”—what mass configuration of wealth could we possibly be talking about? The aggregate wealth possessed by the 85 super-richest individuals, and the aggregate wealth owned by the world’s 3.5 billion poorest, are of different dimensions and different natures. Can we really compare private jets, mansions, landed estates, super luxury vacation retreats, luxury apartments, luxury condos, and luxury cars, not to mention hundreds of billions of dollars in equities, bonds, commercial properties, art works, antiques, etc.—can we really compare all that enormous wealth against some millions of used cars, used furniture, and used television sets, many of which are ready to break down? Of what resale value if any, are such minor durable-use commodities, especially in communities of high unemployment, dismal health and housing conditions, no running water, no decent sanitation facilities, etc.? We don’t really know how poor the very poor really are.
- Millions of children who number in the lower 50 percent never see the inside of a school. Instead they labor in mills, mines and on farms, under conditions of peonage. Nearly a billion people are unable to read or write. The number of people living in poverty is growing at a faster rate than the world’s population. So poverty is spreading even as wealth accumulates. It is not enough to bemoan this enormous inequality, we must also explain why it is happening.
- The world’s richest 85 individuals do not have the same amount of accumulated wealth as the world’s poorest 50 percent. They have vastly more. The multitude on the lower rungs—even taken as a totality—have next to nothing. Unquote
Lies and contradictions within the reclusive EPRDF
The thugs holed up at Arat Kilo in Addis Ababa are telling the suppressed Ethiopian audience that the country is classified in the category of one of the fastest growing economies in the world. This may be good news for the rich generals and owners of large businesses belonging to the minority ruling regime; the growth in terms of income means nothing to the overwhelming majority comprising the poorly paid working class; to the army of the unemployed mostly the youth, and the landless peasant languishing in serfdom.
According to the United Nations 6.5 billion Ethiopians are in urgent need for food assistance but the reclusive leaders are at the same time boasting that the country has become self-sufficient in food production. What a contradiction!!!
The real vices in Ethiopia are endemic corruption, widening gap of income immorality, lack of freedom of the individual, bad governance et al. The equality of “nations and nationalities” will be automatically taken care of by curing these vices and respecting freedom of the individual.
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) controversy
Dams on the Blue Nile River: No Ethiopian citizen would object to building dams on the river provided it is done in a transparent and inclusive participation of Ethiopian experts for the sake of self-sufficiency as in the case of design, construction and operation of large airports of international stature, to wit:- Bahr Dar, Gambella, Axum et al. The main bone of contention regarding GERD is its size and uncertainty of return on the huge investment required not to mention the concern of riparian states Egypt and Sudan, with which agreement has to be reached under international law. It does not make sense whipping up emotions for political reasons and rush into reckless adventure that would result in draconian cost in terms of resources and probable war with Egypt or sabotage by either of the riparian states.
Ethiopia must be strong and at peace with herself by fostering harmony in an environment of free speech and freedom of expression. She should seek agreement with the riparian states under the auspices of the AU and the UN for the sake of regional peace in the Horn of Africa and beyond. This was my position 40 years ago and it is now. I should add a study involving Egyptian experts also is in existence confirming the possibility of building as many as 40 dams over the Nile River, but kept in abeyance due to lack of fund.
Bloated bureaucracy is at unprecedented level in the history of Ethiopia. It is bound to fail just like the USSR did unable to provide the quality of life that its monolithic state machinery … tens of millions of communist party members plus the Communist youth League comprising 95% of the youth of Union. All this confirms that the goal of the French Revolution of forming a lean government is unmet to date in countries professing the Marxist-Leninist ideology. The weight of the parasites feeding on the sweat and blood of the working class and peasants crushed them one by one – the same fate awaits the TPLF/EPRDF Stalinist regime.
Salient points in closing
Note that “A new French Revolution is about to rip apart the EU” and “France is close to one of those periodic explosions that have shaped French history. When this happens the EU will never be the same again.” This should serve as wake up call for the brutal EPRDF regime as well.
We cannot reclaim and secure our God-given right to freedom and independence through the empty promises of outside powers but only through our own toil and sacrifice in blood and lives. All we should ask of outside powers is to stop assisting our satanic rulers and be on the right side of history by discarding partnering with tyrants.
Karl Marx said that “Capitalism carries the seed of its own destruction”. One would add that the same saying applies to “Communism” given the overly corrupt practices and widening gap in income in China where monopoly of income is held by the top hierarchy of the Communist Party of China (CPC); the economic growth model of the CPC, which the EPRDF is emulating, is broken. So, reform to both models is inevitable and the abrupt fall of EPRDF is imminent.
A world where the top 85 super-rich own as much wealth as the poorest half of its population (3.5 billion) begs for popular uprising even in the industrialized countries boasting superb roads, high rise buildings, sophisticated infrastructures, advanced aerospace industry, space exploration et al in the information age. Respect for human rights supersedes the so-called “Developmental State” of TPLF.
The world is on the verge of collapsing under the weight of endemic corruption, widening gap in income, & moral decay; EPRDF as an indisputable architect of these vices will be the first to disappear in disgrace – unless its leaders change course and secure the trust of the Ethiopian people. It should apologize to the Ethiopian people followed by releasing all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience immediately without any precondition.
LONG LIVE ETHIOPIA!