Famine of morality and superfluity of hypocrisy in the Community of Intellectuals

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By Belayneh Abate

Shamefully, some intellectuals are still relentlessly lying and shoveling up  dirt  to cover up the ongoing genocide in the Eastern, Southern, Western, Central, and other  parts of Ethiopia. [1-7] Similarly, many other intellectuals are sleeping like the Canada bears as if no life has perished because of the genocides committed with the support of the regional administrators and security forces.

It is perplexing to see these hypocrite intellectuals trying hard to conceal the genocide of Amaras, Gurages, Gamos, Christians and other groups  although some of them were vocal against imprisonment of political leaders for the last 30 years. This paradoxical stand of these opportunist intellectuals may sting one’s conscience to search for parameters that could guide to identify good from evil acts, and moral from immoral deeds. I believe the society that nurtured us and the religious- thinker Immanuel Kant has provided  some usable tools.

As meticulously discussed by Professors Will Durant[8] and Michael Sandel [9]in the early fifties, and ten years ago respectively, Kant’s supreme principles of morality lies in the motives, but not in the outcomes of deeds. According to Kant, only deeds accomplished or intended to be accomplished merely because they are the rights things to do for the causes of humanity are classified as moral deeds. In other words, if deeds are implemented only for personal gains, they should not be considered as moral deeds irrespective of their productivity. I believe this view of Kant is like the views of the society that cultivated me in general, and the views of my parents, in particular.

Growing up in the culturally rich, historically, and archaeologically decorated Ethiopia, I used to watch priests providing long religious services with no incentives in return whatsoever. Similarly, I used to see community members supporting the disabled, the dejected and the less- fortunate without expecting any forms of reward from anyone in return. My own father used to protect the community from burglars, and gangsters merely because he believed that was the right thing to do.

Walking on bare foot, my grandmother and my mother used to devote a large proportion of their time in providing social and material assistance to those who were more underprivileged than we were. They used to deliver their good will in secrecy as they did not want to receive and form of reward in the form of praise or admiration from community members. When my mother shared meat and milk products to those who were  less fortunate to buy even two or three eggs during festivities such as Easter, she had to do it either before dawn or after sunset so that no one could watch her when she was delivering the food.

As a child, although I followed their footsteps in doing so, I did not realize the significance of this secret good will. I believe now that my community and my family were strictly practicing what the holy bible teaches, and what Immanuel Kant wrote although they did not know that he even ever existed.

But what I and others who came from similar societies are doing today? Epidemics of immorality inundated Western Europe as education boomed in the 18th century. During this period, Rousseau [1] wrote in his famous essay: “Since learned men had appeared, honest men were nowhere to be found”. The legendary writer continued “a learned man is a depraved animal; education does not make a man good; it only makes him clever, usually for mischief.” Rousseau won a prestigious award for this essay.

Would Rosseau’s essay win another dignified prize today? Most probably it will not win because just men who vote for honesty are nowhere to be found since educated people flourished and infiltrated the world communities in the 20ths and 21st centuries. Those of us who consider ourselves as learned men today are slaves of power, money,  fear, envy, perfidy, theft, grandiosity, praise, fame, sexual lust, gluttony and so on.

According to Scriptures and Immanuel Kant, morality is highly connected to autonomy, defined as liberty from any form of slavery. Therefore, only free, or autonomous men can perform deeds worth of morals. People who lack autonomy (pure reason), are prone to carry out evil acts and immoral deeds. A dictator massacres people because he is an all-time slave of fear. An educated man serves ardently the callous dictators when he becomes loyal slave of excess money, power, fame, or other secondary gains. Otherwise what other plausible factors could explain harassing, jailing, and killing innocent people who just happen to have different identities, beliefs, and opinions? What else could account for actively supporting evils who mercilessly take away the lives of others including the helpless children and women?

Yes, this is an era where you observe even priests and monks threatening to discontinue spreading the massage of the gospel unless they are paid a good sum of money. This is disheartening time where you could find church leaders standing behind the killers.

Sad! This is the 21st century where you see physicians, engineers, lawyers, journalists, economists, pharmacists, sociologists, nurses, and other professionals passionately supporting and serving ruthless tyrants just for the sake of material prosperity at the expense of the victims. Similarly, this an epoch where you see politicians preaching freedom, good governance, and prosperity while, in fact, their real motive is driven by the pillars of evil- power and money. The list goes on.

The hypocrisy reaches at its zenith when the tyrants and their servants as well as other “learned people” try to cover up their treacherous acts and indifference to evil with moral blankets. However, as indicated above, only free men can carry out moral deeds. Free, here, does not necessarily mean free from tyranny but free from unholy behaviors such as excess greed for power and money as well as other self-interests.

Here is a morality litmus test we should ask ourselves when we plan or defer to execute an action. Why I am or I am not carrying out this action? If the answer does not adequately address humanity, then action in question is NOT a moral action. It does not necessarily mean, however, carrying out or not carrying out the action is immoral. All moral deeds are good acts, but not all good acts are moral deeds.

Just stare at the scene of the current dictatorial rules. Grasping all the outlets of mass media with their blood soaked fists, the despots at the different parts of the world try to convince us that they imprison, harass, and murder people for the “stability and safety of their people.” In fact, they further shamelessly proclaim their victims love them unto death for doing so. I do not think anyone will expect them to tell us that they committed such atrocities because they suffer from unfathomable fear and boundless greed. However, any rational man could understand that these wicked individuals massacre and harass people because they are prisoners and slaves of cyclical fear and greed.

With the same token, just gaze at the Western Governments’ foreign policies for a moment. These policies may not necessarily reflect their peoples’ views. At any rate, most of the western governments preach the world that their foreign policies are based on solid moral grounds although they do not hide their self-interests. However,  moral deeds do not go hand-in- hand with self-interests. What propels these sorts of policies further towards the deepest sea of moral hypocrisy is their discriminatory nature. It looks Western foreign policies categorize tyrants in to three major categories called wild, domesticated, and hermaphrodite tyrants.

As you might agree all cold-blooded tyrants are, somehow, similar in terms forcing their people to live earthly hell lives. What clearly differentiates these three forms of tyrants is their relationship with the world’s superpowers. Wild tyrants are predators with puffy testicles, and they think that they could survive their victims’ aggression without the assistance of the superpowers. The domesticated ones, on the other hand, are castrated predators who strongly believe that their survival depends on the support of the superpowers. The hermaphrodites are those despots with one puffy and another castrated testicle.

These types of tyrants manifest the characteristics of the first two kinds of tyrants alternatively based on the circumstances they encounter. Therefore, as their nature (“gene”) dictates them, the domesticated tyrants ardently serve their creators or cultivators whereas the wild despots refuse providing such services. As a pay back, the superpowers foster the domesticated tyrants as their garden mushrooms, but they turn every possible rock to overthrow the wild despots by stirring up the tyranny victims. The fate of the hermaphrodite tyrants depends on the level of their testosterone.

Unfortunately, Ethiopia has been ruled by the wild, hermaphrodite, and domesticated types of dictators for the last 50 years. These dictators have used intellectuals as slaves more than they used their killing militias as slaughtering knives. Ethiopia is bleeding and suffering from intellectual prostitutes. Standing with rulers, who failed to do their duty, these intellectual prostitutes are denying the ongoing genocides despite the overwhelming visual evidences and the continued cries of the genocide survivors.

Many believe that the major contributing factors for lack of peace are shortage of food , water, shelter and law and order. In my opinion, the major attributable factor for lack of national or  universal peace is profound famine of morality and superfluity of hypocrisy in the community of the intellectuals. Therefore, the right path towards national or universal peace is uprooting hypocrisy and nurturing morality in the minds of intellectuals.

End notes:

  1. የ 9ኝ ወር ነፍሰጡር ባለቤቴን ከ ልጆቼ ፊት የአማራ ልጅ አይወለድም ፣ ክርስቲያን አይወለድም ብለው https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KlLNCUwGeY&fbclid=IwAR35qA9M8lkO_d0C-1Qbuljqsja-XJtBp60VX0GdZtmKDZIe-frcQW_g7GY
  2. በኛ የደረሰ በማንም አይድረስ ] በአንድ ቤተሰብ 5 ሰዎች ተቆራርጠው የተገደለባቸው አሳዛኝ ቤተሰቦች https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuylgt7O6Ys
  3. ባለቤቴን በኢትዮጲያ ባንዲራ አስረዉ ነዉ ያረዱት! ፖሊስ ራሳችሁን አስመልጡ አንረዳችሁም አለን! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9RaYRZbdIs
  4. ካሜራችን- “የሴት እና ወንድ አያቴን አሰቃይተው ገደሏቸው” በኦሮሚያ አሳሳ የተፈጽመ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2_WwsdmuSA
  5. ካሜራችን – August 4, 2020, ክፍል 2 “ባሌን ገደሉት፤ ልጄን ቀረጣጠፉት” / Ethiopia news / Abbay Media news/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMynXY2tmu8
  6. ካሜራችን – August 3, 2020, በአሪሲ ዶዶታ ዴራ ከተማሰኔ 23 ምን ተፈጠረ? / Ethiopia news / Abbay Media news/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rVRD9ObL8g
  7. Genocide is Alive and Well in Africa https://borkena.com/2020/08/12/genocide-is-alive-and-well-in-africa/
  8. Will Durant, the story of philosophy, 1953 edition
  9. Michael Sandel, Justice: What is the right thing to do, First Edition 2010

More Reads:

  1. Hiding Genocide, https://www.zehabesha.com/hiding-genocide-is-hiding-life-threatening-disease-and-committing-suicide/?fbclid=IwAR2JVMHCrGf5H3mwbF4Vw9asej5y5CADg_BkJwXDeVh5EuLFpkRUEks7144
  2. Bond and Dam Preaching Intellectuals https://www.zehabesha.com/the-bond-fund-and-dam-preaching-intellectuals-why-your-pens-dry-to-write-about-amara-genocide/?fbclid=IwAR3DV4zySPgmLNd0jJCsfD8LjUrRY_sgxMqXkT9S_KQIw0nKWkjGx5A8WUc
  3. Dear Ethiopian Intellectuals, Please Stop Living the Lives of Pigs. https://www.sbs.com.au/language/amharic/dear-intellectual-ethiopians

 

 

The writer can be reached at abatebelai@yahoo.com​

August 25, 2020