The Pseudo Political Party of Tyranny/Oligarchy By Teodros Kiros

March 10th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

The political party in many parts of Africa which are today independent is puffed up in a most dangerous way. In the presence of a member of the party, the people are silent, behave like a flock of sheep and publish panegyrics in praise of the government of the leader. But in the street when evening comes, away from the village, in, the cafes or by the river, the bitter disappointment of the people, their despair but also their unceasing anger makes itself heard.

The party, instead of welcoming the expression of popular discontentment, instead of taking for its fundamental purpose the free flow of ideas from the people up to the government, forms a screen, and forbids such ideas. The party leaders behave like common sergeant-majors, frequently reminding the people of the need for ‘silence in the ranks’. This party which used to call itself the servant of the people, which used to claim that it worked for the fail expression of the people’s will, as soon as the colonial power puts the country into its control hastens to send the people back to their caves. As far as national unity is concerned the party will also make many mistakes, as for example when the so-called national party behaves as a party based on ethnical differences. It becomes, in fact, the tribe which makes itself into a party.

This party which of its own will proclaims that it is a national party, and which claims to speak in the name of the totality of the people, secretly, sometimes even openly organizes an authentic ethnical dictatorship. We no longer see the rise of a bourgeois dictatorship, but a tribal dictatorship. The ministers, the members of the cabinet, the ambassadors and local commissioners are chosen from the same ethnological group as the leader, sometimes directly from his own family. Such regimes of the family sort seem to go back to the old laws of inbreeding, and not anger but shame is felt when we are faced with such stupidity, such an imposture, such intellectual and spiritual poverty. These heads of the government are the true traitors in Africa, for they sell their country to the most terrifying of all its enemies: stupidity. This tribalizing of the central authority, it is certain, encourages regionalist ideas and separatism. All the decentralizing tendencies spring up again and triumph, and the nation falls to pieces, broken in bits. The leader, who once used to call for ‘African unity’ and who thought of his own little family wakes up one day to find himself saddled with five tribes, who also want to have their own ambassadors and ministers; and irresponsible as ever, still unaware and still despicable, he denounces their ‘treason’. (Fanon, The Wretched of The Earth, 1961)

Fanon wrote this fifty years ago. Having stood the test of time, it stands as a living description of the tyranny of our existing regime. This is contemporary Ethiopia without modification. The living ideas of the Ethiopian people are willfully ignored, and if they are deemed radical those who hold the ideas are gunned down on daylight. The people’s wishes are ignored; individuals who are popularly disliked are promoted to new positions by way of sending signs to the people that their wishes are immaterial. Those whom the party hires are blind followers, often incompetent, and always corrupt and corruptible. The party
created and uses ethnic differences and foments trouble among the population in order to stay in power. The party becomes the ethnic party of dictatorship and not the national party of unity. Positions and power are selectively given to ethnicities such as to the Oromo’s, the gurages, the Tigreans, the Amharas, organized not by merit but by tribal belonging.

For all these reasons it becomes imperative that Ethiopians ask peacefully for regime change, so that the people can collectively organize a new Ethiopia with a national political party organized by the General Will of the people.

Teodros Kiros
Professor of Philosophy and English (Liberal Arts)
Berklee College of Music

  1. Mebrate Million
    | #1

    When I read Teodros, I always read him with a profound sense of emotion blended with gratitude, admiration, hope and self renewal.

    Although I do not remember the exact words, I conceive my reaction to Teodros’s deep love of the truth and moral rectitude as reflected in his beautiful writings the same way the late Edward Said conceived his towards the integrity and defence of the truth through the writings of Noam Chomsky.

    It takes courage to stand alone for the truth.

    Teodros writes the kinds of pieces he writes shunning ethnic gregariousness and all the other material blandishments that come along with it while belonging to an Ethnic ‘club’.

    More than anybody else writing at these sites, Teodros’s corteous, gentle but truthful pieces, I have seen time and again, provoke the wrath of TPLF loyalists who are down him like tonnes of bricks. The loyalists are ferocious in their verbal thuggery against him because he is a ‘Tigrinya renegade or heretic’ who has the audacity to see the truth beyond the confines of Ethnic loyalty.

    Teodros is attending to the call of the ‘transcendent truth’ and is a free man in the deepest sense of the word.

    He is the example I love to emulate and reserve great affection for.

  2. Sheger
    | #2

    How is it so difficult for this people to understand the importance of the nation to stay together for all Ethiopians.

    How many people live in America today? Isn’t it the Irish, the Germens, Italians, Chinese, Afiricans, name it or call it the
    Whole world, but what do they speak to communicate with? Isn’t it one languej as a national languej? But that doesn’t mean the Firenches or Italians or who ever doesn’t speak their own languejs too. Do we all live in one country yes we do. So what is the problem? And why do this strong nations help them when they know this Ethiopian Government is
    Not working for intrest of the majority in Ethiopia exept for them selves?

  3. Wegonoche
    | #3

    Dear Professor

    What is missing in your articles is about corrupted leaders of Europe and USA who support African dictators. Some of the Western leaders depend for funding their election campaign and other business (e.g. selling arms) on African dictators.

    All corrupted African leaders save the money they have stolen from their own countries in the west; and they stay in power because of unconditional support from the western leaders, intellectuals, universities, charities, political parties and so on.

    Therefore, Political parties of West are also corrupted because their leaders support African dictators and political parties.

    For example France presidents were very family-friends of Mobutu when he was in power and also French leaders used to get funds from Mobutu during their election campaign.

    Former French president Jacques Chirake is now on trial for creating bogus jobs so that to channel money to his political party.

    I expected our opposition politicians, scholars and academics to mention or write about what is happening outside Africa when they write about Africa. Otherwise we are not giving balanced view or picture of issues we write about. If we do not expose link between African dictators and West leaders we are not telling full stories.

    Take for example, Italian leader. Does he have any respect for his people and country from moral aspect?

    My view: Even in democratic and developed country there are corrupted leaders and parties.

    Africa dictators and political parties are not different from Western leaders because they do have business link with western leaders to stay in power.

    What I am saying we have to expose those political parties, business, charities, in the West that do business with our dictators.

    There is no African dictator that survive in power for many years without getting military weapons and arms from West or East.

    Balanced view helps image of Africans.

  4. aha!
    | #4

    What ever narratives you may have following this title, TPLF/eprdf is not a pseudo political party by virtues of being a party with ethnic agenda as its core politics, and so are the loyalist opposition parties and lately the coalition of UDJP and loyalist opposition parties called Medrek/fdd/fdre, a mirror image of TPLF/eprdf regime are the truths, revealing that they exist as true political forces, nevertheless negative forces of disinintegration, where the teletafi parties directly support the current regime, and the loyalist parties implicitely support the current regime by virtue of sticking to ethnic agenda at the core of their platforms and UDJP by putting forth as its agenda of “No change but durable democracy”, and engaged in a pro-democracy movement with a subset of the national agenda for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians.

    In the light of the above assertions, your title would have the correct label or identity, if you called the eprdf part as pseudodemocratic, rather than pseudo polical party which it is not, nevertheless a formidable party with negative consequences to the existence of Ethiopia, as a nation, holding together to rise up against autocratic, ethnocratic,and/or ethnic dictatorship under ethnic federalism, with ethnic rights superseding individual rights and secessionist right with an apartheid system of governance and/or adminstration, and with underlying Marxist ideology imposed on the silent majority of Ethiopians.

    As you may know the fate of the silent majority of Ethiopians is in the hands of diaspora elites and their party leadership, who are behind TPLF/eprdf, Medrek/fdd/fdre to abandon their ethnic and secessionst-based agenda and tacle the current regime headon for economic and political freedom and liberty of the individuals to create a truly democratic regime/parties based on Ethiopian nationalism and Ethiopian national interests, by rallying the masses to un uprising in “Non-violence reaction to freedom, not democracy, which is unique to Ethiopia to get rid of ethnic and secessionist politics and/or policies from Ethiopia. It is a mulifaceted regime with a system of exploitation, corruption, as well as political and economic stranglehold of the counry’s resources and its people by TPLF and TPLF affiliated enterprises. What makes it pseudo political party is not whether it claims to be a national party, which it did not, because of its ethnic agenda which is inscribed in the constitution and its ethnic agenda, but its claim to be a democratic party to appeal to/to bluff the Western donors and democracies in order to receive aid as an alliance on the war agaist terrorism.

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