An Imaginary All Ethiopian Party By Teodros Kiros

April 8th, 2013 Print Print Email Email

“The people are no longer a herd; they do not need to be driven. If the leader drives me on, I want him to realize that at the same time I show him the way” (Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of The Earth)

The New Party in direct contrast to the Tyrannical/oligarchic party that we must peacefully rebuild will be guided by a radically different vision of the Ethiopian person.

The new party will begin with the premise that the Ethiopian person, if given ample time, compassionate attention, material resources, and most importantly respect- can govern herself with the leader as a guide, a friend and a fellow traveler. This new leader is a not a commander, but a listener and a mindful participant in a dialogical context of giving and taking, directing and getting directed, leading and getting led.

The atmosphere that the new party must patiently build is that of deliberation and participation, thinking and acting.

The new party must dismantle the existing federal system, which diffuses power to tribes and ethnicities as a method of controlling political space as well as pacifying the population by delegating power to ethnic leaders whose class
interests do not have anything to do with the interests of their ethnic groups.

Infact these ethnic lords only advance their own material interests by living in expensive houses, by sending their children to expensive schools, by driving expensive cars, are not particularly competent, but are superb at passively
taking orders and voting passively. The existing leaders of the regime are waiters and not representatives, herds as opposed to vigilant voices of the groups that they are meant to serve. This is the core of the corruption that
the new party must relentlessly overthrow by any means necessary.

Furthermore, the new basis for the recruitment of party leaders must be the national idea of Ethiopianity, expressed as the living activity of Ethiopians who consider themselves as individuals born to the Ethiopian homeland and who speak their own local languages in addition to the existing national language as a medium of communication. The corrosive DDT of Ethnicity, tribalism and class interests must be replaced by the national idea of Ethiopianity, universality and people’s interests.

This new culture will take time to build, but we must begin organizing the population by diffusing these ideas directly to the people’s ears so that they can hear them, weigh them and discuss them at home, at work places, even in prison cells, so that when we come to demand change, we will have a working vision for the new regime.

The new party will not approach the people with a blue print of the future but instead appeal to their intelligences, passions and experiences and give them forum to articulate what they want, and how they intend to achieve them. When
we do so, we are extending respect and recognition of their capacities to think and govern themselves.

The new party listens, conducts meetings by involving the people to speak for themselves. The people will collectively decide the future of the nation in systematically held meetings, and then choose among themselves those representatives who will stand for them, speak for them, to the best of their abilities.

It is at these dialogical meeting that decisions will be made about delegating power on national issues, since we cannot all execute decisons at the same time. We must divide power among those who can discuss, legislate, judge and execute. The necessary details of dividing power will be collectively decided at the appropriate time and place by the people themselves.

Our motto should always be how the people should be governed is the activity of the people themselves


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

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