A Comparison of Fascism and TPLF/EPDRF Ideology – Tselot
The predominant ideologies of today are based on the philosophies of the eighteenth century rational thinkers. (more…)
The predominant ideologies of today are based on the philosophies of the eighteenth century rational thinkers. According to this school of thought, the world is constructed according to a defined set of natural laws that can be explained in terms of “reason” such as the natural sciences and mathematical logic. By extension social problems can also be solved by ordering each case from the simplest to the most complex. For these thinkers nothing is acceptable as real without “evident knowledge of its truth.” Rationalism therefore stressed that man, not God, can understand and create his own world. In my opinion this is where humanity erred. But this will be a subject of a future article. But rational theory did not alleviate the human condition. Although progress was achieved, war, depression, economic inequality continued even to this day. As a result irrationalism, over time crept in and out of modern ideologies.
Fascism has been defined in various ways at various times. Some scholars don’t even consider fascism as a standalone ideology. These scholars point out that fascism selects elements and rejects certain aspects of every major ideology. These elements vary wildly in terms of coherence, appeal, sources and policy. Thus from conservatism, it borrows reverence for authority but rejects the slow pace of change. It has no respect for religious leaders or traditional elites. From liberalism, it incorporates the idea of social Darwinism to the extreme, to the point of exterminating the weak. Case in point, just remember what happened to the Anuak and to the people of wolkait and tegede as well as Tselemt). Yet it rejects individualism and insists on a racial or national community (Tigray first). From Marxism it incorporates a great deal including single party system and control of all aspects of social, cultural, economic and political life (the concept of EPDRF is an attempt to control other groups by TPLF). The ideal society under fascism is then one that is based on race or nationality.
Most scholars agree that fascism exhibits the following characteristics:
• Historically fascism did not come to power in “normal” times and is not voted into power.
This point needs no explanation. TPLF came to power by force at a time when the Ethiopian people were discouraged by the dictatorial administration of the Derg.
• Fascism’s mass social basis comes disproportionately from the lower middle- class (shop-keepers, artisans, small farmers…). Fascist movements gain their mass following as a reaction to earlier successes of socialist and labour party movements. Historically fascism also tried to attract and hold middle-class support by using the myth of race and/or empire to harness middle-class fears and resentment.
In the case of Ethiopia, EPRP enjoyed substantial support from the labour movement and to some extent it also obtained some support from the peasantry in areas where it operated extensively before TPLF came into the picture. TPLF, after successfully pushing out EPRP from Tigray, established itself as the new Marxist-Leninist (the Albanian type) movement in Tigray. TPLF built on the successes of EPRP and, it also played the race card to obtain mass support. Once it came to power by force, it abandoned its Marxist ideology (although it sometimes seemed like it still displays Marxist tendencies) and liberation movement. What followed is a dominance of a Tigrean group in the economic and political arena. This policy was especially important to keep its traditional support base intact. To avoid confronting its ideological inconsistencies and irrationalism, it disallowed opposing political expressions. Just like traditional fascism, race and ethnicity became very important. The struggle against the “neftegnas” (a loaded word for the Amhara) became the organizing and mobilizing principle. To obtain additional support from other ethnic minorities TPLF/EPDRF propounded that the “neftegnas” are the root the problem not just for Tigray but for the whole of Ethiopia. This strategy seemed to have worked in the past although it is currently disappearing rapidly among the major ethnic groups.
• The early core of dedicated followers consisted mainly of alienated individuals and failed members of the lower middle class. Collectively, the group may also have experienced some form inferiority complex.
No comment needed here.
• For the unorganized, mainly the young and unskilled, fascism creates a sense of community.
During the struggle for freedom, the promise of liberation to bring about a prosperous independent Tigray became so important to the unemployed youth they volunteered to sacrifice their life for the cause. In some instance coercion was also used to recruit new fighter members. It also gave them a shelter from the harsh reality outside by creating belongingness.
• Fascism practices total-authoritarianism, as opposed to communist totalitarianism. Fascist ideology becomes a religion to its followers. The individual member is totally bound by the fascist dogma. This is accomplished by monopolizing the mass media and use of terror and coercion. Fascism is also known for the use of the mass media to spread fabricated lies and theatrics
This is also obvious. Currently any independent media is not tolerated in Ethiopia. Only the government has complete control over the mass media. New technologies in communication technologies, where affordable, are employed to propagate the official line, fabricated lies and theatrics (Hawzien comes to mind as well as the current court drama). The members follow the party line as divinely inspired therefore they do not think independently. Conformity to the party line is strictly enforced. That’s why you see identical opinion from TPLF members everywhere. They never question their party’s policy but always echo the party line.
• Acceptance of irrational ideological premise combined with unqualified obedience toward the party are the tests of the determination of the fascist subject/activist. Thus simple obedience would not do: active allegiance and an internalization of the official ideology were needed. The ideal fascist thus corresponds to the notion of the “eager robot” – completely obedient in matters of ideological formulation but entirely self-sacrificing and resourceful in bringing the ideology to life and carrying out the commands of its leaders.
TPLF members follow the party line as divinely inspired therefore they do not think independently. Conformity to the party line is strictly enforced. That’s why you see identical opinion from TPLF members on every forum. They never question their party’s policy but always echo the party line as a parrot. They carry out their assignments because the leader’s command is considered to be always right.
The Verdict: Guilty as charged, TPLF is a neo-fascist organization.