The Political and moral Dimensions of our recent tragedy in Libya By Teodros kiros
In “ The Tragedy of Our Midst” (Abugida April 27, 2015) I wrote that, for the past twenty years I have shed tears of unbearable pain for the Ethiopian and African victims of poverty, of relentless sorrow of the poors of the continent. I am shedding those tears again.
At what one point I was so desperate that I designated famine as the language of African tragedy.
Tragedy has now targeted Ethiopia in the face of terrorism, as if poverty and famine are not enough, and I have to cry with my people again. I have to appeal to the Transcendent to let my people go, to protect my people from the hands of Barbarism.
Dear God: Please speak; please calm the devastated mothers and the traumatized Ethiopian children who have seen savagery on Television. Please God command our people not to hate any body but to pray to you to control their anger, and in unison say, “ Enough is enough. Feed, clothe and shelter our people to stay home and die at home in dignity and the company of their families and participate in constructing a prosperous, safe Ethiopia which could feed, shelter and cloth themselves, so that they do not have to die in search of a better life.
Please God protect the existential rights of Ethiopians to be born, grow and die in historic Ethiopia.
This characterization of our condition is the Transcendental Dimension. I will now augment my philosophical intervention from a moral and political horizon. This concern directly leads me to appeal to the present regime to address this condition through the prisms of resources and political imagination at its direct command.
Regimes are chosen to take care of their citizens needs by any means necessary. The Ethiopian regime is not an exception to this political and moral rule. Infact, it is imperative that a functional regime takes this responsibility as its highest priority. For this reason is a political regime’s reason in concert with the public reason of the citizens. The exercise of this reason is the absolute condition for the existence of any regime in power. Both reasons work in tandem. However, in times of crisis, as the present fact in Ethiopia, the political and moral reason of the regime must prevail. This is an imperative of moral reason, a morality that ought to function as the organizing principle of the regime’s political reason.
The political reason of the Ethiopian regime can draw from the written constitution as Professor Tecola Hagaos has been wisely suggesting and from the policy possibilities that the regime can garner from its seasoned experts by merely asking,
“ What should and can we do to contain the flow of our youth from fleeing to unknown places to encounter early death”. This existential question can be addressed as a policy question in two senses.
The first sense engages the constitution, which articulates the rights of the citizens. One such right is that the regime must house, feed, shelter and procure the health and well being of all its citizens. If the Ethiopian constitution does not promulgate this right, then the time is up for the citizens to peacefully rise and demand this right. This right is both legal and existential.
Once this right is constitutionally guaranteed, then the second sense ensues, and the Ethiopian regime must develop policies, which realize this right and see to it that no Ethiopian is forced to leave her country in search of a better life. All Ethiopian resources must be mobilized and enable all Ethiopians to live, work and die in their own country.
A future article will delve deeply into this thesis, which I have just announced.