Ethiopian social movement must begin now By Teodros Kiros

January 31st, 2011 Print Print Email Email

The Ethiopian people do know what they are against, but do not know what they are for. The first kind of knowledge is an essential property of the Ethiopian people’s instinctive right to revolt against tyranny. The second form of knowledge is the property of leaders and active intellectuals. We will soon have spontaneous social movements in Ethiopia, but we do not have a well-articulated vision of a new Ethiopia. Before it is too late, we must begin articulation of a vision of a new Ethiopia organized by a genuine principle of Ethiopianity cleansed of the DDT of Ethnicity and cultural decadence. I for one, am making a modest attempt at cultural transformation and our leaders and other active intellectuals must begin preparing a manifesto for an Ethiopian social movement, which ought to work hand in hand with the people’s social movement, which SMNE can mobilize in the Diaspora and link it with the people’s movement in Ethiopia.

The people are ready to spontaneously rise as their brothers and sisters are doing in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and many more. Spontaneous uprisings are the necessary engines of social movements. They are infact the necessary conditions for the possibility of organized and disciplined revolutions.

Spontaneity has its strengths but also its weaknesses. We must positively exploit the strengths and protect the people’s movement against its weaknesses. The strengths of the Ethiopian people, particularly the country people, are their generosity, patience, and loyalty. They will respond to our call in record numbers. They will join the struggle body and soul; and we in return must be ready with an alternative vision of Ethiopianity freed from the DDT of Ethnicity and the corrosive effects of cultural decadence through acts of cultural transformation. I continue to address these themes through my weekly columns and my new books, Philosophical Essays and Ethiopian Discourse, which were recently reviewed by our renowned Professor Tecola Hagos.

Let us make use of the strengths of spontaneity, namely our Ethiopian people’s moral frame. They know from the experience of the last twenty years that the regime has betrayed them, and that they want to topple it. We in the Diaspora can mobilize these strengths by doing our part, which is to unite ourselves with the voice of Ethiopianity and extend material support and intellectual support. Our intellectuals must soon write a manifesto of what we want, and what we can deliver to our people, once they join us and die in record numbers. Unless we organize spontaneity with a disciplined resolution to culturally change ourselves, we will miss an opportunity to have a genuine regime, inhabited by culturally changed Ethiopians, who know and can express what they want and how they can obtain it.

Our duty is massive, time is short, and the work must begin now.

Now is the Time.

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