Messay Kebede and his “Manifesto” By Tecola W. Hagos

June 19th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

In our troubled times, the written word is a powerful tool. I am referring to the recent article by Professor Messay Kebede titled “Meles’s Political Dilemma and the Developmental State: Dead-Ends and Exit” that has been posted in most Ethiopian Websites on 15th June 2011, which has started a tsunami of controversial ideas. I found also some well written pieces in response to the article by Messay Kebede, which comments and criticisms I read with great interest, such as the pieces by Said Hassan [“A Rejoinder of Professor Messay’s article: ‘Meles’s Political Dilemma…’”], Abiye Teklemariam [“Mind the Jump: A Brief Response to Prof. Messay Kebede”] et cetera. Thus, let me interject that one must read the statements of our fellow Ethiopians with alertness, care, and respect.

This article or “manifesto,” as Messay identified it, is a piece of writing which raised and resolved several complex issues in mere twelve pages that others would have written books and still fail to reach the profound insights that Messay generously shared with us. I wish Messay had not used the word “manifesto” to identify his article, for the piece is far more insightful and reasoned than being mere reductionist declaratory advocacy that a “manifesto” usually is.

First, let me consider in much generalized form what some of the critics of the Article by Messay had written: in case of Said, the criticism revolves around allegation that Messay had left out some significant aspects of a “developmental State” vis-à-vis the situation of Ethiopia under Meles Zenawi and his EPRDF supporters; and in case of Abiye, an expressed “deep disenchantment” of Messay’s “abandonment” of the election based democratic development struggle, for elite-controlled authoritarian “developmental state” processes. Of course, both Said and Abiye have stated much more in their responses, both authors have augmented their comments with theoretical insights and practical observations of our Ethiopian struggle for “democracy.” I understand the concerns of both, for their concerns are genuine and very much well known to us all from their long list of articles and commentaries posted in Websites and their long standing unwavering opposition to oppressive and dehumanizing political and economic systems focusing on Ethiopia under the iron-rule of Meles Zenawi and his supporters.

I see misunderstanding in the reading of Messay’s Article by very many other readers as well, who actually cared to read the Article (highly commendable) and shared their comments. I read also very few belligerent and irresponsible statements that were completely out of line. Personal attack in all instances is ad homineum, it does not enlighten or expand the discourse at hand; it is more of a detraction and undermines the seriousness of the subject matter under consideration. As an aside, I have noticed in general in recent time that there is a decline of Ethiopians attacking each other in delinquent and irresponsible manners in blogs/websites except in Warka. I give great credit for such positive changes in the polite and disciplined responses of very many Ethiopians, such as Eskinder Nega, Abebe Gelaw, Abiye Teklemariam, Said Hassan, Teodros Kiros, Lt. Ayal-Sew Dessie, Seyee Abraha, Fekadu Bekele, Aregawi Berhe, and Messay Kebede himself who under fire in websites, public conferences, and/or radio programs lead the way in civility. Actually, several more could be listed here. I do have serious disagreements with some of the aforementioned individuals; nevertheless, I acknowledge here their contributions in presenting their ideas with manifest respect of their audience, for they have greatly ennobled public discourse. I hope we all adopt their public demeanor in dealing with some belligerents or hacklers.

What seems to have irked both Said and Abiye, for example, Messay in his article is not defending or writing an apology for “developmental states” economic theories. For example, Abiye wrote, “It seems to me that what prompts Messay to consider this path to democratization is his enthusiasm for the developmental state.” Here is where the first misunderstanding starts. Messay is merely explaining what “developmental states” stands for, what local conditions need be taken into account, how genuine the leadership ought to be or whether the leadership has the capacity to carry out the intricate structural adjustments that need be made, et cetera. I understand there is a very thin line between explanation and justification. Some may have misunderstood the essence of Messay’s article and may have read it as justification rather than for what it truly is—an explanation and discussion of a concept. Messay is not supportive of the “developmental States” let alone the brutally oppressive Government of Meles Zenawi. It would require some tortured logic to squeeze out such finding form the Article by Messay.

There are, on the other hand, some pointed superb discussions on the point of democratization (on its philosophy and manifestations), about a magical point in the life of a struggle where the breakthrough to democracy manifests. Especially, I find Abiye’s statements, in defending views that he thought was abrogated or abandoned by Messay, namely the roughs in liberal democracy vs. neo-liberal democracy and the process of development quite impressive, but presumptuous. The attempt to delaminate philosophical theory from economic theory is futile, for we may be surprised to find how interconnected the two are. This is a situation where we are in circular argument, the old dilemma of the “chicken or the egg.” My concern goes beyond mere issues of rhetorical arguments, but why must we need to have contrasts to understand problems. I find the same type of problems in mathematics “equalization” process too, to mention an analogy to better understand my concerns. Why should there be such designation in order to understand a situation. The economic ramifications is even more problematic, bordering the absurd if we try to use the economic concepts that go with neo-liberalism in case of Ethiopia whose economy is not of consequence in the global economic system of globalization.

I find it quite presumptuous for us Ethiopians to be hairsplitting between liberalism and neoliberalism when we are the list developed nation on earth with minuscule involvement in the global economy. Labeling and categorization had done us tremendous harm in the past. I cannot forget the countless Ethiopians murdered as a result of pseudo Marxist theoreticians and military thugs who wiped out whole generations of Ethiopians by labeling them “Adharis,” Tsere Abyotegnoch” et cetera. I am always skeptical about any argument that is based on definitions of particular words. I prefer to consider the facts of a case and the circumstance in which it figures rather to match label to some selected facts or situation.

The dispute whether a “developmental state” is a democratic state seems superfluous, for it seems to equate economic development with democratic system of government, which of course is not a bright argument or supposition. All one needs to present is the case of China, or the case of former Soviet Union, or the cases of countless East European countries and Latin American countries; even the United States is a borderline socialist state with its social welfare system and extensive regulation of production not to mention its extortionist tax system that effectively redistribute income. We soon find out that we are dealing with shades rather than stark or sharp contrasts. The dispute could be resolved by defining what is meant by development and what is meant by democracy. It is possible to see a confluence point for such understanding, and we will have less zeal in establishing differences, but devotion in finding solutions.

Messay is not a hasty thinker; he is capable of maintaining sustained discourse on a subject matter for years at times. He is a reflective thinker, as would be expected of his caliber and stature. We had several conversations on such issues on Meles Zenawi and the political and economic situation of Ethiopia. Although our discourse were contentious, we usually seem to end up with similar conclusions on a number of controversial issues including the many points Messay discussed in his article. The reason I am saying all this is to lay out some background setting. However, I have serious disagreement on some suppositions Messay has made in his article, although not that important in the overall picture of his analytical essay. He made the unnecessary delamination between power and wealth in characterizing the leaders of the EPRDF and TPLF, namely between Meles and his supporters “cronies” as Messay would call them.

“One outcome of Meles’s rise to absolute power that could turn out positive is his ability to dismantle the rent-seeking state. I venture to say that absolute power has given Meles some autonomy vis-à-vis his followers; I even suggest that a disparity between his interests and that of his followers is inevitable. The passion of Meles is power; the goal of his followers is enrichment. The rent-seeking activities that they use to enrich themselves prevent Meles from achieving the economic growth by which he can justify his control of absolute power. He has now the choice of maintaining the old structure, with the consequences that his power will become increasingly fragile, or resolutely dissolve it through reforms. In order to do the latter, he needs the support of the opposition.” [page 11]
I believe in order to make such grand distinction about the motives of political players, Messay, must depend on careful individual psychological profiling of Meles Zenawi and his supporters. In short of that, one may make guarded suppositions based on empirical evidences collected over a period of time on the life-histories of the same. In both Meles and his supporters’ cases, their families’ histories establish the facts of their poverty, almost all coming from poor rural or semi-urbanized peasant families.

Meles’s primary needs from childhood to the time of his adulthood were of the material kind; he is no different than Mengistu Hailemariam’s social and economic poverty as his background. He suffered social ostracization, poverty, and social stigma of a different kind, but no less traumatic than the one suffered by Mengistu. Thus, in contradistinction to what Messay’s thesis, I hold that Meles’s first and foremost motive must have been the acquisition of wealth and material security rather than power. And he used that control of material wealth to acquire political power, and more wealth, with the absurd result that he now controls fabulous wealth estimated to be worth billions of dollars. Even now with all his billions, people who knew him closely say that he is the stingiest/miserly individual in the TPLF. Thus, the deriving motive for Meles and almost all of the TPLF members first and foremost was materially secured existence. I have not seen in my research of over fifteen years any convincing evidence of Ethiopian nationalism or patriotism in the history of TPLF and its Leaders. The moving force behind all the power struggle and tenacious attachment to power is insatiable greed for money and wealth.

Messay is clearly convinced that Meles cannot bring about even the “developmental State” let alone democracy based on elections because Meles’s interest is in staying in power, and not economic development per se, but Messay also points out the eternal contradiction that Meles’s pursuit of power stands in conflict with economic developmental changes that need be in place to maintain the state structure and Meles’s power. Messay was not advocating that Meles must do this or that, but simply pointing out the fault lines where Meles Zenawi falters and the deep chasm of political and economic outlooks and understanding between Meles and his supporters in Government and/or the EPRDF.

“To the question of whether Meles and his cronies are anywhere close to being a developmental elite, the answer is, of course, no. This negative answer does not, however, mean that they are unable to become developmental. I am not saying that some such transformation will occur or that it is inevitable. As a strong skeptic of determinism in history, I am simply referring to the possibility inherent in the human person to finally make the right choice and laying some conditions necessary to effect the transformation. Since my position will certainly cause an array of objections, even angry attacks, it is necessary that I set out the arguments liable to back it up.” [page 9, emphasis mine in bold]

Messay went on explaining the basic theory of transformations and theories on power. His statements are not justifications for a particular action or program helpful for Meles and his supporters; rather it explained the situation most likely to be the case. In this instance, Messay is at best just sharing his conjectures based on his deep understanding of both philosophical underpinnings of political systems and the surprises of historical reality in the day to day life of a system with people in it, and at worst one may dismiss it as some wild speculation of an aging Marxist. I prefer the former.

I admire Messay Kebed greatly, he is one of the finest philosophers I had the good fortune to have met in my life, even comparing him with some of my own teachers who are quite renowned philosophers. He is my enduring good friend, a man of great charm, who is a truly polite and civilized man. And I say all these with emotion, for I am witness of Messay’s greatest love being Ethiopia, all of it. He is someone I could entrust the fate of Ethiopia. It is of no interest to me how he lived his intellectual life before 1991. What I see in Messay now is a sincere deep thinker who loves his country and his people dearly. It pains me greatly when we translate our failure in understanding his profound and deep thoughts and attack his person because of our own mediocrity or hasty conclusions.

The highly informative and well presented criticisms and/or statements by Said Hassan and Abiye Teklemariam on Messay’s Article are not in the categories I am castigating. In fact, such brief responses by two greatly gifted and skilled scholars are of tremendous importance in promoting discourse and understanding with depth. I commend them both. My concern here is that even the best of us could make mistaken assessments under our overcharged political and economic circumstances. And such differences of views ought not be raised to a point of condemnations or personal attacks. I believe there is a misunderstanding, maybe a confusion between what is being offered by Messay as an explanation and hypothetical positing of our current political and economic situation, and a perceived justification of unacceptable flirtation with the work of a deranged and brutal dictator Meles Zenawi, whose traitorous crimes against the State of Ethiopia and the People of Ethiopia will never be excused on any ground.

God Bless Ancient and Lovable Ethiopia.

Tecola W. Hagos
Washington DC
June 18, 2011

E-mail contact: tecola_w_hagos@hotmail.com

  1. Sheger
    | #1

    Dear people we are all Ethiopians any ways. Don’t worry that will never change. People tel us that by looking at our
    Faces most of the time no matter which ethnic group we say we come from.

    What we need to do is that stand for our unity and live by it. And also we need to think about all kinds of alternatives
    For change in our country. For example.

    We can say no to being taxed while the whole nation is stat owned. Or at least say No to paying tax to the federal
    Government but to the city’s and towns and kebeles and invest it to improve the peoples life of the given places.
    Like for example…..bringing the city’s our of dust by beulding the roads all around the towns which is a great danger
    To people health if the dusty roads don’t get sealed. And planting trees, get clean water, emproove education, create
    Technical schools based on the demand of the present and future of the country and peoples survival and independence.

    And the other thing is how do we create a democratic political sistem that will work for the whole nation in a healthy way.
    If ethnic federalism wins the vote on this then until some thing changes we have to accept that and work on to the direction of making it work for all of us. And instead of complaining night and day we can actually can come respecting
    Each other and make that work in our benefit. But the problem again is that EPRDF/TPLF are not even worthy of their
    Own words and political sistem even for the sake of it. They don’t even do what they say. And it is difficult to do that
    To a country Biblical old. I don’t no when they going to get sober of their drunkenness. Some us drink to but we don’t get that drunk. May be their is some cocain on the mix.

    Happy Fathers day to all Fathers.

  2. Gadissa W. Kahsay
    | #2

    As an ordinary citizen of Ethiopia, I have some concerns about the writers’ views.
    I have read the articles written by four of you. I am not sure if you are further ahead the point of return but you are missing something and you need to go back and fetch/fix it. Get some healing or psychoanalysis if it helps you. I mean, you think you are writing a balanced and scholarly articles but you are spewing your hatred abundantly.
    Somehow, different reasons, all of you share hatred for EPRDF/TPLF which you have, proudly, included in your articles. I don’t think you understand the problems of demonizing your opponent; and why are categorizing the supporters of the government. Do you even know that millions of Ethiopians support the government, not because of fear.

    Well, Mr. or Prof. or whatever Messay Kebede has written us his “manifesto” which for me is a borderline between a wish and a pessimistic analysis. My “Manifesto” is that Ethiopia will come out of this chaos when old people like you and the leaders die without poisoning the attitude of the young generation. To help Ethiopia, try to keep your hatred or whatever out of your articles, if you can do that.

    Oh, btw, I am a student abroad and not an EPRDF member in case it helps you read my comments with a clear head.

  3. Sam
    | #3

    Tecola wrote a well-thought-out article. His reasoning is sound and defensible. But I have a problem with one of his sentence. It is not about Ethiopian politics; It is about American politics. Tecola wrote “even the United States is a borderline socialist state with its social welfare system and extensive regulation of production not to mention its extorionist tax system that effectively redistribute income.” I totally disagree, sir. The United States is not “a borderline socialist state.” Way far from it. In fact, the danger cropping up in US economy is the staggering income difference between Americans. Only two percent of Americans have equal wealth as the bottom fifty percent of Americans have. I might be a bit off with the numbers, you might check it, but even if I am not by far. Does liberal democracy survive when the middle class is squeezed out of the system as such? I do not believe that is to be the case. The American economy flourished for more than two centuries because it was able to create a vast middle class. That might not be the case if the economy functioning the way it does now. Just read the headlines. When Americans are experiencing severe recession, the big guys in Wall Street their incomes keep increasing. About your assertion about Americans being bleeding with “extortionist” tax, I beg to differ. Americans pay less tax than any other industrialized countries. Tecola, you might sound as the spokesperson for the Republican party. There is nothing wrong being Republican. But your throwing away to the readers their slogans as truth is not. There is no income distribution in America, Tecola. If you are talking about those on welfare they do not get even one percent of what the government collect from the taxpayers. The taxpayers money usually goes for the billionares. Those defense contractors we hear about them a lot. Those who manfacture war to sell ammunition. Tecola, you get it right about Ethiopian politics. But you are damned wrong about US politics. If you have said some European countries are ” borderline socialists” I might have agreed with a little reservation. Not USA. Had Rush Limbaugh read your article, it might have made his day.

  4. Ethiopis
    | #4

    I HAVE GREAT RESPECT FOR ETHIOPIAN SCHOLARS AND INTELLECTUALS WHO WRITE ARTICLES AND COMMENTARIES ON ETHIOPIA.
    DEAR COMPATRIOTS! TPLF SOLD PART OF ETHIOPIAN LAND TO INDIANS AND OTHERS, AND AS YOU KNOW IT IS ALREADY THE SIZE OF ISRAEL. WHY YOU SO RESPECTED ACADEMICS ARE SO QUITE ABOUT IT?DON’T YOU SEE THE DANGER THAT ETHIOPIA IS FACING IN THE VERY NEAR FUTURE? LAND GRAB IS THE MAIN PROBLEM AND DANGER FOR OUR COUNTRY!!!
    DR. GEBISA EJETA, PLEASE SAY SOMETHING. THE PEASANTS THAT YOU KNOW VERY WELL ARE CRYING BLOOD!

  5. Gonderew
    | #5

    Hi Tecola Hagos:

    We know you as a Dead Man’s prosecutor. Didn’t you said that you would bring Emperor Tewodros to the world court of justice (in the Haig) for the alleged genocide against humanity had Tewodros lived to this day? or did you have not said that you would arm every Tigrians if you had a chance to be a prime minister Ethiopia? or didn’t you have said you would take the capital of Ethiopia to the North if you had a chance to be a prime minister of Ethiopia. Why you chose to live in a fantasy world at this age rather than to go to church and worship whoever you worship and stop criticizing other Ethiopians who are not ethnocentric??

  6. aha!
    | #6

    I find this arguments and or narratives in support of Prof. Messay Kebede’s developmental State economic theories vs rent-seeking theory and the articles written in reponse to it mind-boggling and yet peripheral to central issue of economic and poitical freedom and liberty of the individuals, suerceding ethnic and secessionist rights as the core issue. To say the least the narratives are philosophical in nature and does not contribute to rallying the public to an uprising/reaction to freedom from autocratic rule, ethnocratic rule/ethnic dictatorship (minority ethnic or majority ethnic rule), totalitarianism under ethnic federalism and secessionism in place as a hinderance to either ‘devlopmental state’ or ‘rent seeiking economic theories’ as they call it, where the first order of business is economic and political freedom of the individuals, who form parties based on Ethiopian nationalism and Ethiopian National Interests, all these narratives on developmental state and rent seeking economic theories, is leaning towards seeking improvement with TPLF/eprdf regime, which is entrenched by way of constitution as a multi-layer, hirarchal model with ethnic agenda at its core, similar to the party the Prof. Tecola Hagos and Professor Messay Kebede are anchored on perhaps, which disables to to look into the Ethiopian economic and political from a modular context of the political parties as TPLF/epdf, Medrek/fdd/fdre, with ethnic rather than national agenda at its core and the others like KAEUP, EPRP, etc with national agenda, thus tending towards two forces: one positive forces of integration and the the other negative forces of disintegration. The question is how does this philosophical narratives fit into any of these three political models.

  7. Abebe Haile
    | #7

    “I have not seen in my research of over fifteen years any convincing evidence of Ethiopian nationalism or patriotism in the history of TPLF and its Leaders.” Thank you Professor Tecola for putting it as vividly as can be. No matter what Meles Zenawi and his top partners in power have said about the soverneighty and unity of Ethiopia, their actions have time and again proven that they are totally devoid of Ethiopian nationalism and patriotism, two essential leadership qualities that are a priori for leading a developmental state. Abebe Haile

  8. Sheger
    | #8

    And no matter what kind of an Ethiopian we are as far as our skin color and sattuf, that is not always what makes us or idetifys us as Ethiopians it is also the way we act and behave and live and the way we do things that makes us Ethiopians despit our ethnic,
    Religious or what ever differences. When I say “my dear people” I mean to say my country, or my people, and I also meant to say I love you. I am a very proud Ethiopian and I would not allow any body taking that prid from me. I say that not to be an enemy of any body but just saying that I love my country and people. And most Africa if not most human beings are honest and open and hopefull and loving and sweet and kind and ……..caring and so on.

    May God protect us all.

    Long live Ethiopia, and long live man kind!!!!!!!!!

  9. tn.
    | #9

    EPRDF/TPLF IS itself nothing but a rent seeking Oligarchy with an ever widening pyramidal base, that has become so ominpotent in all aspects of ethiopian life. At this point it is structurally impossible to reverse even if there is full intent. Its nature is that it will need larger share of the rent to what we have now in the form of whole sale of massive land and the “demand” on commercial banks that 25% of reserves be held in bonds to be spent in wild adventures. In these two acts, it has now squeezed remaining assets of the coutry namely its land and its savings.

  10. Zerayakob Yared
    | #10

    People in ዓዲ ኣርባዕተ(ዓዲርባዕተ)-መረብ say:- ኣንታ ቀባኢ ፀለሎ, ፎተኻ-ፀላእኻ ኣነ እየ ወለተ ኣደኻ !

  11. DAN
    | #11

    The most damning commentary on Professor Messay Kebede titled “Meles’s Political Dilemma and the Developmental State: Dead-Ends and Exit” came from Prof. Minga Negash. It is written on Ethiomedia.

    He said:

    “..Meles unfortunately elected to label his adversaries, including the legal opposition, as Eritrea’s agents and terrorists. On June 15, 2011 the House of Peoples Representatives (Parliament) regrettably failed to correct Meles’s excesses…”

    “..Meles could have exited honorably from both party and State power just after the May 2005 election. He could have opted for sharing cabinet positions. He could have kept his words and exited after the May 2010 election….”

    “… In other words he is at a point of no return.”

  12. Youhne negn
    | #12

    Whether melese and TPLF arrived to this juncture of history by design or accidently, what we have in todays’ Ethiopia is Tigray/Ttigraians, becoming the intellectual and the capital powerhouse (looted) of Ethiopia and the rest of us the source of cheap labor and raw material to them. It is as simple as that. The inequality between us and them is so staggering, one need not to be a philosopher or an economist to see it. You only need to go Ethiopia, the manifestation of the disparity starts from the bole airport itself and already there it them (the privileged to be free in Ethiopia) and us (who needs their permission to be in Ethiopia). I would dare to say that we do not need to go to Ethiopia to see that, the Tigirains are already flocking with looted money to Europe and North America. Nowadays, every European city has Tigrai euro- millionaires. The huge disparity between us and them is not limited to income and wealth or access to resources. It also goes deep into everything including opportunities to work, and an education decent quality. They are already comfortable in that position so much so, they now think it is their God given right. Let alone them, those whom they use as vector to subjugate us, people like Hailemariam, Abera Deressa, Jarosso, Girma biru, and the like of them also brain washed to think that way. So everyone should know that there are no way our brothers north of Gondor and Wello will just give up that kind comfort easily. They for sure wouldn’t do that just because a distinguish Ethiopia Prof. wrote a philosophical essay. So my message to my good professor is please do not spend your precious time writing plea to a guy who doesn’t have an allegiance to Ethiopian and Ethiopians instead use your intellectual power to devise a strategy on how remove this scum bug from our shoulder and how to bring the right kind pressure on our northern brothers so that they return to their sense. The guy is busy creating Indian, Saudi, Chinese enclaves in the heart of Ethiopia as we debate these philosophical essays. This madness should be stopped before too late.-

  13. Youhne negn
    | #13

    Whether melese and TPLF arrived to this juncture of history by design or accidently, what we have in todays’ Ethiopia is Tigray/Ttigraians, becoming the intellectual and the capital powerhouse (looted) of Ethiopia and the rest of us the source of cheap labor and raw material to them. It is as simple as that. The inequality between us and them is so staggering, one need not to be a philosopher or an economist to see it. You only need to go Ethiopia, the manifestation of the disparity starts from the bole airport itself and already there it them (the privileged to be free in Ethiopia) and us (who needs their permission to be in Ethiopia). I would dare to say that we do not need to go to Ethiopia to see that, the Tigirains are already flocking with looted money to Europe and North America. Nowadays, every European city has Tigrai euro- millionaires. The huge disparity between us and them is not limited to income and wealth or access to resources. It also goes deep into everything including opportunities to work, and an education of decent quality. They are already comfortable in that position so much so, they now think it is their God given right. Let alone them, those whom they use as vector to subjugate us, people like Hailemariam, Abera Deressa, Jarosso, Girma biru, and the like of them also are brain washed to think that way. So everyone should know that there are no way our brothers north of Gondor and Wello will just give up that kind comfort easily. They for sure wouldn’t do that just because a distinguished Ethiopian Professor wrote a philosophical essay. So my message to my good professor is please do not spend your precious time writing plea to a guy who doesn’t have an allegiance to Ethiopian and Ethiopians, instead use your intellectual power to devise a strategy on how to remove this scum bug from our shoulder and how to bring the right kind pressure on our northern brothers so that they return to their sense. The guy is busy creating Indian, Saudi, Chinese enclaves in the heart of Ethiopia as we debate these philosophical essays. This madness should be stopped before too late.-

  14. Nahuda
    | #14

    I feel better now. I love Messay, but this time… His article didn’t taste me good, to say the least. While I was struggling as to how to express my mixed feelings, for I was not in a position to write a reply/rejoinder of the sorts that have been flooded, Tecola came to my help. If I were to think that an angel must have taken particular feelings out of my heart and put them in Tecola’s pen in the form of words, they are the following:

    “I have not seen… any convincing evidence of Ethiopian nationalism or patriotism in the history of TPLF and its Leaders.
    “…a deranged and brutal dictator Meles Zenawi, whose traitorous crimes against the State of Ethiopia and the People of Ethiopia…”

    Here is my point: we may all be concerned more about democracy than development or vice versa. This, however, we can do simply as humans and hence anywhere. As essential as such issues may sound, we cannot deny that they are general. I think what brings us Ethiopians particularly together is our interest to materialize these or any other human good concretely in a particular place called Ethiopia and at a particular time/age/generation: ours. For which reason I take “Ethiopian nationality” the one essential criterion to assess the significance of our discourse and action!

  15. aha!
    | #15

    Youhgne negn has the right perception of the reality on the ground that none of the elite writers touched upon the TPLF/eprdf regime through its constitutional apparatus, which need to be dismantled to restore Ethiopian Nationalism and Ethiopian National Interests, the security forces, the fedral police and the non-independent branches of the government and the establishment of TPLF and TPLF afiliated enterprises, the major one being conglomerates under EFFORT, enjoying free enterprise/capitalism and democracy to themselves have contributed to the situations elaborated by yehoune in Ethiopia today.

  16. Belay
    | #16

    That is what I am saying. Professor Hagos is a diehard ethnocentric who dreams Greater Tigray on the expence of Ethiopia. @Gonderew

  17. Balcha Gebeyahue
    | #17

    Youhne negn has put the matter to rest. We are not sure why professor Messay keeps on bringing issues after issues in such a complex context at a critical stage of the struggle to get rid of Meles & and his mafia group. The current burning issue is how the united progressive forces can bring down this eveil system rather than how we work with the Meles & Co. to bring democracy and the rule of in Ethiopia.

    Any discussion of all the literature review on developmental state, rent-seeking, philosophical discourse etc are good and fine….but we can’t afford to spend too much time to figure out who is saying what & for what purpose.

    Folks our citizens are burning with rage…..let us focus on the main point…..why & how soon to end the dictatorship of Meles and Co.

    God Bless Ethiopia and may the democractic wave reaches our cities!

  18. Oda Tulu
    | #18

    @ Balcha: I thank you very much for sayng “Folks our citizens are burning with rage…..let us focus on the main point…..why & how soon to end the dictatorship of Meles and Co.”. Indeed the main question now is to bring down tyrant Meles and his henchmen in power

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