The Notion “Hungry People Revolt”: An Offense to Humanity Belayneh Abate

February 21st, 2011 Print Print Email Email

You read any news paper; you open any magazine; you log in to any website; you listen to any radio; you watch any channel; you may find attempts to correlate the current revolts across North Africa and Middle East to economical problems. In my opinion, this futile effort to ascertain the economical crisis as the root cause of peoples’ revolt is an insult to humanity.

The question how humans differ from other animals is perhaps as old as human species itself. Many thinkers dedicated their lives in search of an answer for this question and many still continue exploring further. Some scientists think the ability to make tools; and others suggest the ability to work distinguishes humans from other animals. Research works of some cotemporary biological anthropologists have demonstrated that humans diverge from animals in their cognitive abilities. Anatomically, this cognitive ability subsists in the cerebrum, not in the lower part of the brain, certainly not in the stomach and colon where chewed food and feces reside respectively. Even intuition dictates that cerebrum where information is meticulously processed, where knowledge is categorically stored, where righteous judgment begets from, and where the moral thermostat- conscience resides in differentiates us from other animals. Otherwise, we do share all the other parts of the body, including the lower brain, with donkeys, hyenas, pigs, and so on.

Since grade school, I have been taught that the basic necessities of life are food, water and shelter. This perception may still be true for sub-humans; However, I no more believe this applies to humans. As a human living in the 21st century, I believe humans’ basic needs should include ingredients such as reign of justice, autonomy to think, freedom of speech, and other components of human rights that gratify commonsensical and righteous cerebrum. If sub-human dictators do not rip off these necessary inborn human traits and priceless wealth, enabled- people may hardly run homeless or live starved.

Under the premises of “hungry people could revolt and be involved in criminal activities”, many western-based giant governmental and non-governmental organizations including World Bank and IMF toil to reduce hunger, not to mitigate human rights abuses or injustice in the poor nations. And yet, they call this endeavor humanitarian work. Alas! A humanitarian work! I suggest an alternative name for this misguided enterprise: animalitarian work-feed them to keep them hushed. As many of you may agree, humans crave to feed their cerebrum in addition to their stomachs. Perhaps, only sub-human animals with packed bellies sleep quiet while their brains starve.

Under despotic rules, the fact on the ground shows that hungry people live more fearful lives than even hunted deer live. People under tyranny rules are continuously subjected to corruption, intermediation, torture, migration, crimes against humanity and genocide. Their quest for free speech and social justice is severely impaired by tyranny- induced fear, diseases and starvation. These unfortunate people walk their bones anchoring their skin with no meat in between. These people live extremely exhausted with too little stamina to revolt. They are deprived of access to modern communication technology. Under these scenarios, the only individuals who could be involved in criminal activities against their own people or others are the inhumane dictators and their supporters (the very individuals who snatch the AID from the above mentioned organizations.) Unfortunately, supported by the some wealthy nations, many dictators have committed all sorts of crimes one can imagine to keep their tummies jam-packed and their power secured. I tend, in fact, to argue that tyrants are far more dangerous than beasts for the following reasons. Firstly, beasts rarely slaughter their predator if they are full. On the other hand, tyrants do not stop butchering and harassing their citizens even after they amass public property in billions and stay in power for decades. Secondly, no beast tends to commit massive crimes and genocide against its own species.

Contrary to the popular claim, which goes “hungry people revolt”; history has shown people rebel when they are treated like sub-humans, not just by the time they feel extremely hungry like hyenas. Gandhi revolted not because his belly was vacant but because the world, especially the Indian subcontinent, was suffering from famine of justice and human rights respect. Martin Luther King Jr. marched not because his tummy was growling but because he was watching injustice in action everywhere. Mandela rebelled not because his plate was bare but because he had been witnessing state sponsored crimes and injustice against his people. Hello people! If we tend to revolt merely because our bellies are unfilled, we should deem ourselves as beasts, certainly not as humans. With the same token, if we tend to hide behind the scenes merely because our bellies are full of baloney, we shall label ourselves as pigs, frankly not as humans.

In conclusion, even scriptures proclaim “man shall not live on bread alone!” We humans need more than just our daily bread. We indeed quest something supratentorial-something cerebral. Conscientious humans revolt not because their bellies are vacant but because the traits of humanity are dreadfully endangered and damaged. In my view, the general notion that people revolt merely because they feel hungry or face economical crisis is an offense to humanity. Thank you, reader.

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  1. DRAMA
    | #1


  2. Compromise
    | #2

    YES, man shall not live on bread alone, but also on FREEDOM! The REVOLUTION for FREEDOM surely will come to Ethiopia. That is why Weyane cadres are nowadays very busy to hinder the revolution from taking place in the Ethiopian empire by using the fact that the peoples of the empire are not homogeneous, but different (the colonized and the colonizer), as an instrument of division and polarization. If the scare tactics, which they try to use, hinder the revolution, the only option we the colonized people do have is the anti-colonial armed struggle, on which we have to concentrate and invest most, even though it is a very difficult job, given the little support we do have from the international community. For the revolution possibilly not to take place, unfortunately also the pro-independence freedom fighters (the Oromo, Ogaden, Sidama… liberation forces) and the pro-unity freedom fighters (the Amhara, Gurage, Harari… patriotic forces) are still mistrusting each other. Both want to secure the direction of the move after the FREEDOM from Weyane (to secure the result after the revolution). The first bloc wants no reversal of the already achieved victory of a limited cultural autonomy on the way towards national independence (self-determination), whereas the second bloc wants to be sure that the empire stays intact and possiblly the process will be reversed back to the unitary country.

    But, why should these people worry too much about the situation after the revolution? Is the caution regarding the unity of the empire, which is lamented by the pro-unity freedom fighters, different from the scare tactics used by the Weyane cadres? The cadres go to Oromo forums and tell us the “worse will come = Amhara will take over and there will never be the reality of Aayyo Oromia, if you push for the revolution”; and then they go to Amhara forums and tell them “take care, the worse will come = OLF can take over and it will be the end of Imiyee Ethiopia, if you make a revolution”. Both Aayyo Oromia and Imiye Ethiopia are actually taken hostage by the Weyane. Whenever Oromo force is stronger, Weyanes threaten with the possibility of dismantling Oromia; and whenever Amhara force is stronger, they threaten with dismembering Ethiopia!

    Weyanes use the opportunity of such division among the opposition to threaten both camps of the freedom fighters. If the revolution should happen, the two camps of the freedom fighters need to be bold enough to take risk of losing their ideals after the revolution and live with a possible compromise solution: the first bloc should be ready to lose for instance Oromia, Ogadenia… and the second camp should be ready to risk Ethiopia! Otherwise, in short, Weyane is really lucky, there will never be any revolution; and getting rid of Weyane through election is of course minimal, that is why armed struggle then will be the only option left. If both the public uprising and the armed struggle are not effective, shouldn’t we then be ready to be ruled by Weyane for the next one century? In short the scare tactics, which the Weyane cadres nowadays are using in forums and paltalks are:

    - “if revolution happens, Amharas can take over and dismantle Oromia”
    - “if revolution happens, Oromos will be in power and dismember Ethiopia”
    - “if revolution happens, Weyane army is not like Tunisia’s army, but will massacre the civillians and take over power”
    - “if revolution happens, there can be a mayhem against the Tigreans, like that of Ruanda”
    - “if revolution happens, there will be absolute chaos and civil war among different ethnies”

    Are the freedom fighters from both blocs (pro-independence freedom fighters and pro-unity freedom fightrers) ready to tacle this scare tactics of Weyane? Can they agree on the middle ground: FREEDOM and REFERENDUM (on self-determination of citizens and nations)? Those freedom fighters, who just sing about the UNCONDITIONAL independence of nations must cool down and accept the public verdict, as well as those freedom fighters who now cry for UNCONDITIONAL unity also should learn to be moderates and accept the public verdict. That means both camps must agree on first to get FREEDOM from Weyane fascists and racists, and then democratically decide for either Independence or Unity per REFERENDUM. That means, only democratic independence or democratric unity (independence or unity based on public verdict) can be a lasting solution. We like it or not, all peoples in that region are interdependent, be it they decide for political Independence or for political Union. The political WILL of the peoples in the empire/region is what matters at the end!

    Unfortunately, there are still blind nationalists in both the Amhara and the Oromo camp, who yet couldn’t see the common CONVERGENT short term goal of the two BIG nations, i.e. the ‘FREEDOM from Weyane’s fascism’. Such blind nationalists concentrate on only their divergent long term goals: independent Oromia (Oromo’s goal) vs united Ethiopia (Amhara’s goal)! But the smart nationalists from both the Amhara and the Oromo camps are trying to forge an alliance to achieve together their convergent common short term goal and then to decide on their respective long term goals per public verdict (by REFERENDUM). The blind ones are too far from accepting and respecting the WILL of their respective public as a final verdict. That means, in short, the blind nationalists do preach democracy, which includes the referendum, but they are not yet ready to practice what they do preach! We hope the few smart and genuinely democratic nationalists in both camps, who try to practice what they do preach, will prevail to cooperate and make Weyane’s fascism be history! Here we also can call the blind nationalists as dictatorial nationalists. Those who want to achieve either ‘Independent Oromia’ or ‘United Ethiopia’ per public referendum are democratic Oromo nationalists and Amhara nationalists respectively. The others who just want to achieve their long term goal without a public verdict are purely dictators, who can talk about freedom and democracy, but know nothing what freedom and democracy really mean!

    Those of us, who do have a cognitive ability to imagine something in abstract way, let’s just try to imagine a very big letter ‘Y’ and try to distinguish four points on the letter (the bottom tip, the middle junction, the left top tip, and the right top tip). Then let’s imagine that the bottom tip is the status-quo of Ethiopian politics, where both the Amhara and the Oromo are under the TYRANNY of Weyane; the middle junction is a point for FREEDOM of both nations from the tyranny; the left top tip is the point of Oromian INDEPENDENCE; and the right top tip is the point for Ethiopian UNITY. Then let’s imagine that this letter ‘Y’ is a route of the liberation journy for both the Amhara and the Oromo from the tyranny, from their present common situation, towards their short term and long term goals. Can we imagine that these two oppressed nations do have a possibility to move from the bottom tip (point of tyranny) to the middle junction (point of freedom) together? This is our common route of the journey towards the common CONVERGING short term goal (kaayyoo). Then after will come the two DIVERGING routes towards two different and diverging long term goals of the two nations: the left top tip = Oromian Independence (long term goal of Oromo) and right top tip = Ethiopian Unity (long term goal of Amhara).

    Now if we could imagine this well, it is not hard to comprehend that we need the Amhara-Oromo alliance (the all-inclusive alliance) to move from the status-quo of tyranny to the point of Freedom, not to move together to the right top tip (together to the Ethiopian Unity goal of the Amhara) or together to the left top tip (together to the Oromian Independence goal of the Oromo people). After achieving our Freedom together, it is upto the Oromo public to decide per REFERENDUM which direction to move further: to the left top tip of Oromian Independence or to the right top tip of Ethiopian Unity. If the Oromo majority will choose to move to the right top tip, then our long term Kaayyoo will be similar to that of the Amhara. Otherwise, if the Oromo majority will choose to move to the left top tip, no Amhara can hinder the Oromo nation from achieving this Oromian Independence. May Waaqa/Igzabiher help us all to understand this move!!

  3. T-Araya
    | #3


  4. Ye drama neger
    | #4

    Ato/Wro Drama,

    It looks you completely missed the writers point. If I understood him correctly he is saying you are subhhuman if you uprise only when you are hungery. Beacuse cattles and other animals do that too. Are you one of those people, Drama?

  5. Surafael
    | #5

    Drama and T-Araya,

    I do not think this kind of writings are for people like you. You guys go shout and blow according to the wind. We want to read important stuff, learn and improve ourselves. It looks like you do not even deserve to comment on this deep subject.


  6. Dirshaye
    | #6

    Someone forwarded me this article and I read it with passion three times. Then I saw Drama’ drama comment.

    Ato Drama,

    May be this article is not for you but about you! If you do not want to use the top part of your body it is up to you. But we definately need this kinds of teachings.

    The article deals with the invisible forces that guide the drama and characterizes the actors. Your are just stuck with the visible drama which even other creatures can see.

    It looks like the stuff in your skull is frozen. Get out of arctic and warm it up. If your read this article about 5-10 years later (after you warm up your head) your find it fascinating.

    Thank you!


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