In Praise of Ethiopian revolutionary Ethiopianity and modernity. By Teodros Kiros (Ph.D)

June 29th, 2015 Print Print Email Email

Gone are the days when descending from Ethiopian Airlines one had to look down at Shanty towns, when famished golden grass in spite of the golden glitter looked miserable, when paved roads where a rarity, when donkeys and dogs fought for visibility, when certain Ethiopians had to change their names to be accepted as part of Ethiopian normalcy, when there were only Two Universities for the entire nation and, when Tigrean and Eritrean students were systematically denied entry to the two universities and entitlements of all kinds had to be preserved for the elite of the Amharas, when Ethiopians were being forced to worship Haile Selassie, a human emperor.

Gone also are the days when Ethiopians hesitated to discuss politics on the phone, when mothers had to discourage their children from returning to Ethiopia afraid that the Derg will eat them up alive, when Ethiopian nationalities from all walks of life could not dance, sing or exhibit their cultural life styles freely and confidently and build a new mosaic of revolutionary diversity and multiculturalism, the very content of revolutionary Ethiopianity.

Revolutionary Ethiopianity and Ethiopian modernity has changed all the above signs of backwardness in the material zone of being. The new zones of being have new colors of Ethiopianity.

Now, when Ethiopian airlines descends in Ethiopia, one can see high rises, highways, a plethora of schools and universities for all Ethiopians. New dances, new songs and new vocabularies of Ethiopianity are now just beginning to emerge.

Beginnings are not ends. They are merely potentialities, which await actualities by the vibrant participation of new national consciousness forged by the activities of Ethiopians who have voted the regime in power to stay in power provided that in order to stay in power, it must mend its ways, not by shrinking political space but confidently expanding it and allowing genuine participation of oppositions who are guided by the people’s agenda, which is the eradication of poverty, the control of corruption, the guarantee of living wages and the birth of a new moral economy-mediated by a developmental state.

These changes are rough outlines of a new revolutionary Ethiopia which has only opened not flood gates but only narrow corridors which could expand into huge spaces under conditions of peace not war; peaceful marches for change and not a mixture of inept violence and non-violence; not playing Amharas against Tirgreans but enlightening Amharas and Tigreans to trust and respect one another; not falsely emboldening Amhras and angering Tigreans but encouraging both to build on the foundations of the last twenty-one years of peace and prosperity and objectively recognize the modest achievements of the regime in power.

The regime in power needs a new moral economy. This new moral economy must cultivate New Ethiopians who can operate the moral machinery of revolutionary modernity.

Let us begin with generosity. Generosity is a virtue. The generous person is willing to give without receiving, or is willing to give without the deliberate intent of receiving anything, or that the receiving is only an accident, and not an intentional act. The generous person then gives a particular good A to person B; and person B does not simply receive A as a matter of course. B receives A with a profound respect of the giver, and even plans, if she can, to one day reciprocate not in the same way, but in some way. The reciprocity need not be of equal goods. A and B need not be two equal goods, in which equality is measured by money. What makes the act morally compelling is the desire to reciprocate, and not the quantity of the reciprocity.

One of the economic forms of the New Moral Economy, as illustrated above, is a vision of the self as generous, and generosity itself does not require a calculated practice of reciprocity but simply the desire and the commitment to give when one can, and sometimes to give A to B, although A has to sacrifice good C for the sake of giving A to B, even when one cannot, and perhaps should not, and yet the generous gives nevertheless. One of the central pillars of NME as an economic form is the cultivation of an Ethiopian self willing and capable of acting generously in the relational moral regime of giving and receiving, or simply giving without receiving, or receiving with a profound sense of gratitude and respect. The celebrated moral features of NME are generosity, justice, uprightness, tolerance and loving patience. Indeed, these are demanding virtues that capitalism, as the dominant economic form cannot support, no matter how diligently it tries. Adam Smith, the world famous economist, but who was also a moral philosopher, argued that unless capitalism is restrained by morality, as a limiting condition of greed and superfluity, it would eat itself up. To that effect, he developed an elaborate moral theory comprising of what he called “moral sentiments” to control the excesses of the market. He proposed compassion and sociality as two powerful moral sentiments that could regulate the excesses of the market. The moral sentiment, he thought, could counter the purely instrumental features of the capitalist economic form. Of course, to this day, his warning of an inevitable doom has yet to be heeded, and capitalism itself continues to marvel its resiliency to create crises and immediately correct them, thereby proving its “naturalness” and making it easy for its proponents to present it to the world as a God chosen economic form. Any attempt to counter it with something like NME is dismissed as a pipe dream. No body in her right mind is expected to take NME seriously. And the fact the geographical origin of NME is an African civilization, conveniently results in dismissing NME as irrelevant and wishful thinking. NME as a moral form is considerably deeper than the passing moral sentiments that the Scottish moral philosopher proposed. Generosity, justice, uprightness, tolerance, wisdom and loving patience go directly against our natural proclivity of injustice, dishonesty, intolerance, closedmindness, ignorance and hate. Generosity is a virtue. It is a virtue that is willing to give without receiving, or is willing to give without the deliberate intent of receiving anything, or that the receiving is only an accident, and not an intentional act. The generous person then gives a particular good A to person B; and person B does not simply receive A as a matter of course. B receives A with a profound respect of the giver, and even plans, if she can, to one day reciprocate not in the same way, but in some way. The reciprocity need not be of equal goods. A and B need not be two equal goods, in which equality is measured by money. What make the act morally compelling is the desire to reciprocate, and not the quantity of the reciprocity. One of the economic forms of NME, as illustrated above, is a vision of the self as generous, and generosity itself does not require a calculated practice of reciprocity but simply the desire and the commitment to give when one can, and sometimes, to give A to B, although A has to sacrifice good C for the sake of giving A to B, even when one cannot, and perhaps should not, and yet the generous gives nevertheless.

As Aristotle taught, one does not become just merely by abstractly knowing what Justice is; rather, one becomes just by doing just things. The puzzling question is this: if one does not know what justice is then how can she know what just things are, so that she could choose only just things and not others? The question is not easy to answer. But an example might give us a sense of what Aristotle means, and then proceed to discuss the matter at hand, justice as one of the economic forms of NME.

It is Christmas evening and a family is gathering for a dinner and the table has been set for ten people. Among the popular dishes are five pies, and shortly before the guests arrive, one of the family members has been asked to cut the pies into exact sizes, such that no single person would feel that he has mistakenly picked one of the smallest pies, in the event that a person picked a piece and it turned out to be the smallest.
The task of the pie cutter is to observe that justice is served and that all the pies are cut evenly and fairly. This is of course an exceedingly difficult task, but justice demands it, and the just cutter must prove the worthiness of her moral action. What must this person do? That is the moral question. Well, at the minimum the person herself must be just in order to perform just action, and in this instance, justice means nothing more than cutting the pieces equally to ones best ability, and that she must do so fairly.
She must cut the pies with a moral imagination and an intuitive mathematical precision, and must pray to the transcendent to make her see justly, and that she is enabled to measure precisely. There is a spiritual dimension to the science of measurement, which could have been simply done with a measuring tape. That possibility, however convenient, is not elegant. She is not going to stand there with a tape ruler to cut pies. Rather, the expectations are two, that (1) she is going to make an effort to be precise, because her intention is to be just and (2) that her eyes are just, or that she prays that they would be. (1) and (2) are the requirements; the rest is left to moral imagination.

She cuts the pies, and it turns out that all the pieces appear to be equal, and when the guests arrived, they randomly pick the pieces, and appear to be clearly satisfied. What we have here is a display of justice in the Aristotelian sense, in which justice is defined as an activity that is guided by a measure of equality, and equality itself is manifest in the attempt at being fair to everyone, and in this example, an attempt to be fair to the guests, without their ever knowing that they are being worked on. They judge the event as illuminated by justice, and the event as uplifting. They eat, drink, converse, dance and leave.
Justice presents itself in this event, through the presence of those delicious pies, each of which was a duplicate of the other. Generalizing this to a higher level, what we can say is that any economic form must be guided with justice as an event of doing things fairly and that all the commodities that human beings should want must be distributed with such a standard, the standard of justice as fairness. Given justice as fairness, commodity A can be distributed between persons B and C in such an equitable way that B and C share commodity A by getting the same amount at any time, any place and for a good reason.
Compassion is another feature of NME; indeed, it is one of the cardinal moral forms for the new moral economy that I am theorizing here. Compassion is to moral economy as greed is to capitalism. One cannot imagine capitalism without the salient principle of greed, and similarly, one cannot imagine moral economy without the originary principle of compassion. Class, race, gender, ethnicity and groups divide the modern world. Out of these divisions it is class division that is the most decisive, as it is also the one that seems to be so natural that we cannot surmount the pain and agony that it produces. In a class-divided world, compassion is the least present because there is no compelling reason that persuades individuals to be compassionate if they are not naturally compassionate, or are inclined toward it. Of course, where compassion is not naturally present, it could be taught either by example or directly through teaching.
An example should elucidate the place of compassion in moral economy. It is summer, and exhaustingly hot. People that you encounter are hot tempered too. Everybody is on edge, including you. You happen to be a coffee lover, so there you are standing behind a long line of people to get your fix. The heat has made you really impatient, and you are ready to explode on anything around you. You are also naturally generous but not this day. Soon, before you leave the coffee shop, a homeless person smiles at you and tries to engage you in a conversation, hoping that you will understand the purpose of the conversation. Of course you understand, but you ignore him and walk by. But then something bothers you, and you come back to the coffeshop and generously give the man what he wanted. You are proud of yourself, because you have done what generosity demands, that you control your temper and perform the morally correct action. Surely, you say to yourself it was not easy, but you did it.
Now you wonder what all this means, and why you did it. It is obvious to you why you did the action. Indeed, it is because you are really a compassionate human being but also a religious person. You really have no obligation to pay attention to that person. He is not related to you, he is not an ex friend that fortune turned against, nor did you do it so as to be a hero by the media.
Your action is morally worthy only because you have internalized compassion. To you compassion comes quite naturally. It is part of your moral frame. Any repeated action becomes a habit. So compassionate action comes habitually to you. You rarely fight it. Rather, you exuberantly let it lead your way, as it eventually did on that hot and difficult day. But even on that day you conquered the temptation of doubt, and excessive self-love, by the moral force of compassion. That is why you corrected yourself, when you were briefly but powerfully tempted by forgetfulness on that hot day and returned to do the morally right thing.
Compassion is morally compelling when it is extended to a total other, which has nothing to do with our lives, other than the silent duty we have toward those who await our moral attention. It is much easier to be compassionate toward a loved one, a friend, a relative and even an acquaintance; harder is the task when the subject is a real other, such as that homeless person by the coffee shop. In order for any action to be morally worthy the motive must be pure, and the purity is measured by the quality and quantity of the compassion that is extended to any needy human being, uncontaminated by external motives, such as love, friendship, acquaintance and relation.
It is in this particular way that I am arguing that compassion serves New Moral Economy (NME). Tolerance is a crucial feature of moral economy. In fact, it could easily be argued that it is an indispensable organizing principle, which works in tandem with loving kindness. Just as we cannot love a person without respecting her, except delusorily, we cannot live with one another without tolerating each other’s needs, habits, likes and dislikes.
In the economic sphere tolerance is subtly pertinent. We cannot readily sense its inner working unless we pay attention to its musings at the work place, as we interact with one another as bosses and employees.
Consider the following example to underscore the point. There is this employee who does things in ways that many people find annoying. She customarily comes late to work; she procrastinates; she spreads papers, cans and food stuffs all around her sometimes she cannot even find herself amid the dirt, the pile and the dust. Yet, and this is the point, whatever she does is done flawlessly, as flawless as human products could be. Her boss has agonized over what to do with her; he has contemplated firing her numerous times. Lulled by the elegance of her work and his loving-kindness toward her, he decides to keep her. He has promised himself to erase those occasional thoughts of getting rid of her. As he told one of his friends, he has learned, and not very easily, the ways of tolerance as a principle of management, of managing employees who will not and cannot change their habits for the rest of their lives.
I consider this manager very wise and skilled at the art of management. He decided, obviously because he could change himself as hard as it was, rather than expect his employee to change. The structure of his thoughts could be put syllogistically.

Y cannot change her way
X can change easily
Therefore, X must change for Z

Y is the manager. X is the annoying employee. Z is the organization where Y and X work. In this situation Z is saved precisely because the manager internalizes tolerance and loving-kindness as the organizing principles of the organization. Y controls his ego and chooses to advance the interests of Z over and against his own private needs. He did not fire X because his ego demands it. Nor does he ever insist that X must change. He has intuitively and empirically concluded that it is not pointless to expect X to change, nor would it benefit Z to lose X, since X is an intelligent and skilled worker.
Where tolerance is habitually practiced at workplaces it becomes an indispensable good that could save many employers the unnecessary cost that is incurred on hiring and firing employees and ease the distress of the families and loved ones of employers and employees. Tolerance can easily remedy the situation. If it is much easier for managers to change than it is for excellent employees with annoying habits, and then it is those who can change their ways who must change for the sake of a functional and democratic moral economy.
Patience is a feature of NME. The ideal leader as well as the ideal citizen must patiently wait to witness the appearance of the Transcendent. Nothing great is accomplished without a transcendental intervention, the seal of completeness, of Generosity and Justice, two other features of moral economy, as I have argued in previous essays.
Rarely is patience, however, associated with economic forms. Economic forms are founded on seizing the opportunity before it vanishes. The activity is everything but patient. Patience and quick money making are the virtues of capitalism. In that worldview, success is measured by shrewdness, quickness, impatience and opportunism. Whereas patience is undermined by capitalism, the economic form for NME reveres it. The economic form for the Ethiopian condition demands it. Without this virtue the disadvantaged citizen of modern Ethiopia is fated to starve and die and I propose that the regime in power makes a note of this during its next term and please all those Ethiopians who voted for it, in good faith.
Patient waiting is the much-needed revolutionary virtue that both generosity and justice demand. An example might illuminate the abstraction.
Ethiopian economy has been blooming blooming lately by the measurements of Neo-Liberalism, and the Western world has been hailing it as a model for the future. The Ethiopian rich class gets spoiled and its inhabitants shop madly. No commodity is beyond their reach, so they think. Suddenly, all things, with the exception of the Transcendent change, since no condition is permanent. The mineral fields drain. The spoils of the economy are distributed unevenly.
The poor citizens become impatient and rich who had been introduced to the pangs of luxury, cannot withstand the pangs of hunger. Friends turn against friends. Ethnicities hate and fear ethnicities. The shopping frenzy slows down. Their lovers do not love the men anymore. The rate of divorce increases, since the men’s ability to maintain expensive lifestyles are no more.
Patient waiting for better days is not a norm. Loves and friendships founded on comfort, wealth and excessive wealth are not permanent. They flounder as easily as they initially sprawled. Things that last must be built slowly, in the furnace of time, and be sculpted in accordance with the laws of beauty.
Modern Ethiopia can easily become a model of hopelessness as it ones was, unless it quickly reforms. An economic form that does not institutionalize patient waiting as a way of life digs its grave when conditions change. That is why patient waiting also must be systematically insinuated in the new Ethiopian’s psyche, as an ethics of living, and a stylistics of what I have previously called-existential seriousness. A responsible economic form must inculcate the virtue of patience among its citizens, from early on. This complicated and demanding virtue must be taught at all levels of school. It must be part of economic principles, and be taught as such, and not be pushed to the sidelines, as part of religion and theology, which does not have much to do with morals, and has nothing to do with economics. It is this dogma of capitalist economics that must change.
My argument here is a modest contribution to challenge one of the foundational dogmas of bourgeois economics. The morals must guide economics and a new moral economy that works in concert with moral philosophy and religion is precisely what the Ethiopian condition requires. More morality, with a distinct religious voice, such as the notion of patient waiting, will strengthen and expand our horizons as we struggle with poverty, famine and other sorrows of modern life.
We need more people who can patiently wait as everything changes, hopeful that no condition is permanent, including the conditions of nations, when their economies get distorted and the citizens are hardened and become cruel towards one another, and that the notion of helping your fellow citizens sounds indeed very strange, to those who are comfortable. Instead, during trying times, citizens do not patiently wait for things to change; instead, they give up altogether, or become irreligious and immoral. It is in this way that patient waiting, I argue, becomes one of the pillars of moral economy, along with generosity and justice, which I examined in previous essays.
Justice is one of the features of NME and it is also a potential source of a Moral Economy, appropriate for the Ethiopian condition.
As Aristotle taught, one does not become just merely by abstractly knowing what Justice is; rather, one becomes just by doing just things. The puzzling question is this: if one does not know what justice is then how can she know what just things are, so that she could choose only just things and not others? The question is not easy to answer. But an example might give us a sense of what Aristotle means, and then proceed to discuss the matter at hand, justice as one of the economic forms of NME.

Justice presented itself in this event, through the presence of those delicious pies, each of which was a duplicate of the other.

Generalizing this to a higher level, what we can say is that any economic form must be guided with justice as an event of doing things fairly and that all the commodities that human beings should want must be distributed with such a standard, the standard of justice as fairness. Given justice as fairness, commodity A can be distributed between persons B and C, in such an equitable way, that B and C share commodity A by getting the same amount at any time, any place and for a good reason.
The celebrated moral features of NME are generosity, justice, uprightness, tolerance and loving patience. Indeed, these are demanding virtues that capitalism, as the dominant economic form cannot support, no matter how diligently it tries. Adam Smith, the world famous economist, but who was also a moral philosopher, did argue that unless capitalism is restrained by morality, as a limiting condition of greed and superfluity, it would eat itself up. To that effect, he developed an elaborate moral theory comprising of what he called “moral sentiments” to control the excesses of the market. He proposed compassion and sociality as two powerful moral sentiments that could regulate the excesses of the market. The moral sentiment, he thought, could counter the purely instrumental features of the capitalist economic form. Of course, to this day, his warning of an inevitable doom has yet to be heeded, and capitalism itself continues to marvel its resiliency to create crises and immediately correct them, thereby proving its “naturalness” and making it easy for its proponents to present it to the world as a God chosen economic form. Any attempt to counter it with something like NEM is dismissed as a pipe dream. No body in her right mind is expected to take NEM seriously. And the fact the geographical origin of NME is an African civilization, conveniently results in dismissing NEM as irrelevant and wishful thinking.

NME as a moral form is considerably deeper than the passing moral sentiments that the Scottish moral philosopher proposed. Generosity, justice, uprightness, tolerance, wisdom and loving patience go directly against our natural proclivity of injustice, dishonesty, intolerance, closed mindness, ignorance and hate. These vices seem to fit the ready to hand tapestry of our makeup, which by now has become, so second nature that no NME is going to dissemble these powerful vices which were effectively used to build empires and economic forms that support the visions of the rich and powerful. In contemporary life revitalizing the features of NEM requires nothing less than cultivating a new human being.

We must create new Ethiopians, who have to be willing and capable of acting generously, patiently, tolerantly and lovingly. We do not have such human beings in sufficient numbers that matter to construct an economic form that values justice, uprightness, wisdom, tolerance and loving patience.

  1. Teodros Kiros
    | #1

    Dear Woyanne in crisis, since that is your name. Take me on strictly on NME, if you can.

  2. ገብሬ
    | #2

    ጥቂት ተጨማሪ አረፍተ ነገሮች::በዶክ : ኪሮስ አርቲክል ዉስጥ የተነሳው ፕሮብሌም: ከብዙ ሺ አመት በፊት በ ፕላቶን በዋናነት በአሪስቶትል እና በሶፊስቶች መካከል ሲደረግ የነበረ የከረመ የሰው ሊጅ ህብረተሰብ አቢይ ጉዳይ ነው:ከነሱም በኋላ ዘግይቶ የተነስንሳው አማኑኤል ካንት ስለ ሰው ልጆች ስነምግባር ሞራል ላይ ብዙ ብዙ የጽሁፍ ስራ ሰርቷል ::እኔ ይላል ካንት ሁለት ጸኃዮች አይለሁ:: አንደኛዋ ጸኃይ እዛ ላይ ጸርኸ አርያም ዉስጥ ያለቺው የብርሃን ምንጭ ስትሆን :: ሁለተኛው ደሞ እዚህ መሬት ላይ ያለው ስነምግባር ሞራል የሚባለው ብርሃን የብርሃን ምንጭ ነው::በዛሬዋ ኢትዮጵያ መሬት ላይ ያለችው ጸኃይ ለጊዜው ጠልቃልች:: አዲስ አበባ ዉስጥ በሳምንት ሁለቴ እየታተመ የሚዎጣው ሪፖርተር የተባለው ጋዜጣ ካንዴም ሁለቴም በ ርእሰ አንቀጹ ላይ እንዲሁም በዜና መልክ ስለዚህ ጉዳይ አንስቶ ጽፏል:በ 12.07 2015 እሁድ እትሙ ላይ ደሞ ስለ አገሪቷ ላይ ስለ አለው ጋሸቦት ኢንፍሌሽን የሚከተለዉን አስፍሯል:: አንድም

  3. woyane is in crisis -politically and financially?
    | #3

    Dear Prof Teodros
    I always respect you because you respect us by answering our concerns and questions.

    I want to expalin why I commented only on your statement, ‘Tirgrean students were systemtically denied entries to universites’

    a. Because of lack of evidences to support your stament
    b. I questioned why you talked about Tigrean speaking students not the others. I callended you with evidences.
    c. Ethnic and religous based politics are the root problems which we should fight against instead of supporting it by using excuses of mistakes done by previous governments in our past histories. I am not saying that people should not fight discriminations against their culture, religion, ethnicity.

    For the above reasons I questioned what is the point of commenting on NME when your primary concerns and interest is only for Tigrean speaking people.

    Thank you again.

  4. Tamiru
    | #4

    The motive behind and the whole issue Dr. Teodros Kiros has dealt with concerns the defense and promotion of the ethno-fascsit rule of the TPLF. Any way his thesis on modernity can easily be refuted. Modernity and the other things mentioned in the text are just parts of his arguments to support the TPLF. The tribal rule of the TPLF and its Banthustanization of Ethiopia is primitive in its kind and has taken the country centuries back. It is primitive, backward and can not be by any measure described as modernity. Tribalism is primitive, not a modern system. Thus, it is clear to see the retrogression Ethiopia has been experiencing under the TPLF. It has deconstructed Ethiopia and curved out ethnic homelands (Banthustans) following the Apartheid rule that had power in South Africa. These Ethnic homelands (Banthustans) are controlled by the TPLF and do not enjoy any self rule of their own. Every year the TPLF leaders order their loyal servants in the Banthustans to organize what they publicize as the nations, nationalities and people`s day. Selected artists and musicians from them perform for and entertain the TPLF leaders.

  5. Teodros Kiros
    | #5

    Dear Joy;

    You and Gebre are the only two Ethiopians out fifty who simply condemned because I am an Ethiopian of Tigrean origin from a patriotic family. I am glad that none of the condemners have had any impact on me. I neither learned or became annoyed by them. I enjoying shaking my body to cleanse myself from hate. I will always write in love and justice.

  6. Teodros Kiros
    | #6

    corrected version.

    ou and Gebre are the only two Ethiopians out of fifty who simply condemned me because I am an Ethiopian of Tigrean origin from a patriotic family. I am glad that none of the condemners have had any impact on me. I neither learned or became annoyed by them. I am enjoying shaking my body to cleanse myself from hate. I will always write in love and justice.

  7. Shaka Zulu
    | #7

    The HUDRED TWEENTY Derg memebers who sieze state power under the little of LEWT HAWARYAT was indeed an agent of destruction. I know now mengistu and his comrades were inspired by the devil, for simple reason thy use the Biblical title of LEWT HAWARYAS”, with the exact number of 120.

    TPLF is the mother of all enemy Emeye Ethiopia ever had. It kills ,loots divides humiliates and sells our country to any bidder. To me Both derg’s and TPLF cadres are spineless creatures. Live the real Ethiopians alone.Tecola and Tedros are twentieth c century intellectual midgetsn no more no less.

  8. Boru
    | #8

    Not surprisingly, Dr. Teodros Kiros claims to be the victim of condemnation and hate. He is misrepresenting or twisting the comments made in response to his repugnant piece that has revealed his true face and mission. His piece is mainly direcetd at the Amhara community and and accuses all in it of being the sole beneficiaries of all the priveleges under the past regimes. Forget his spicing words such as modernization and benevolence here. His propaganda piece has all the flavours of the TPLF ones. The real motive behind this kind of false and groundles accusation is the deep seated hatred the Tigrean intellectuals such as him harbour against the Amhara community. Spreading hatred against this community is the hallmark of the divide and rule politics of the TPLF. Many Tireans may wrongly believe that this disgraceful act of spreading hate against the Amhara community can help the TPLF win the friendship,loyalty and support of the other ones in Ethiopia. When confronted with facts and evidences, Dr. Teodros Kiros seems to have chosen to play the card of hate which is typical of the tactic of the TPLF. He retreats to his ethnic cave and draws the TPLF card of hate. This proves that he can not cure himself from the mental ailment known as Amharo-phobia and is tormenting the Tigrean intellectuals. The TPLF leaders accuse the opposition of being anti-Tigreans and engaging in the politics of hate targeting them. This is what Dr. Teodros is doing to defend himself and his fallacious accuastions of the Amhara. But all this is an insult to our intelligence because Ethiopians know that the TPLF is a fascist and racist group that propagates hate propaganda targetting the Amharas and Oromos as a means to cling to power.

  9. Anonymous
    | #9

    Dear No 3

    NME is a discussion of Ethiopian matters. Show me a single paragraph in which I single out Tigreans, as a subject matter on NME. That is all I need to say.

  10. Teodros Kiros
    | #10

    Dear Boru;

    No matter what you say, I will not stoop down to your level to insult you. I was raised by a polished feudal family, who taught to respect people and I will extend that to you also.

    Now I have better things to do than to direct an entire article on the Amhara community. NME is for Ethiopians and by Ethiopians. No matter what you say, I will not engage any further, when you refuse to read an article carefully. Of course, that is your choice.

  11. woyane is in crisis -politically and financially?
    | #11

    Dear No 9 thank you for reading my comments and asking me to explain

    1. In the opening paragraph Proferssor started by pointing out that :
    ‘..Gone are …when Tigrean and Eritrean students were systematically denied entry to the two universities and entitlements of all kind..

    My reactions were based on:

    a. Why Tigreans only?

    b. I am fed up reading any article accusating Amharas based on what happened during Menlik period rather than focusing on today and the future. we know almost all ethnic group in Ethiopia have their own feuadaly system and we know how feuadal systems treat their own people- members of theri ethnic group.

    c. statement is baseless. there is no evidence to support it

    d. writers use openeing paragraphs to introduce their reader with issues they are going to address sometimes by presenting facts and examples related to the issue.

    Therefore I thought the article is about Tigrean speaking people,

    2. In explaining benefits from NME, Prof used the assumed rivalary that is believed exists between Tigrean and Amhara as an example:

    ‘… not playing Amharas against Tirgreans but enlightening Amharas and Tigreans to trust and respect one another; not falsely emboldening Amhras and angering Tigreans but encouraging both to build on the foundations of the last twenty-one years of peace and prosperity and objectively recognize the modest achievements of the regime in power…’

    3. NME is basically asking the Ethiopian citizen to be patient
    Y is Ethiopia and x is Woyane the hard working and Z is Ethiopia

    Are you saying 24 years being power is not enough to know them?
    what is the point being patient when you have nothing to eat or starving, lacking shelter, you have no job or nothing to hope for

    In prinicple, I do not see the point of preaching the poor when they want basic things – food, cloth, shelter, water,

    In a world where corpoarates run governments I do not see morality will have place in their eyes. Greece is a good example. Democracy mean nothing as the financial industry is run by corporates.

    I hope I explained myself regarding my comments.
    Thank you.

    Twenty seven years in power and asking to co

  12. Teodros Kiros
    | #12

    Dear Dodo;

    I think you wrote this ungrammatical scribble while you were dreaming. There is nothing wrong with that provided that you distinguish dreams from reality. Please read the article when you are awake, past the first four paragraphs and then engage me intelligently. I will look forward to that. Do it, perhaps for the first time in your life.
    Good luck, dudu.

  13. MOSES
    | #13

    This is what Ethiopian modernity and morality Dr. Teodros is preaching us.
    This is what it looks like. Please read it
    Those all intellectuals Dr. Teodros, Dr. Tecola and Dawi and the likes who have sold your souls to defend the satanic TPLF cabal you must be ashamed. Shame on you. You are defending this type of not only barbaric but also satanically possessed acts of TPLF.
    By defending such satanic power you are collaborating with Satan himself.
    Ashamed of such intellectuals who have sold their soul and are hell bent on rationalizing to justify such inhuman and satanic rule.
    One day TPLF shall get its divine judgment for such satanic acts.
    Shame on you
    Shame on you
    Shame on you
    Shame on you

  14. MOSES
    | #14

    This is what Ethiopian modernity and morality Dr. Teodros is preaching us.This is what it looks like. Please read it

    https://freedom4ethiopian.wordpress.com/2015/07/16/pol/

  15. እውነቱ
    | #15

    ውሽት የወያኒ መሳሪያ ነው ቢባል አያስደንቅም:: ይህ ዶክተር ተበዩ የሚሰራው አጥቶ ነው ጊዜውን የሚጠፋው::

    ስንት ሌባ ወያኔዎቸ አገር ይዝርፋሉ ስለጃንሆይ ይነገራናል:: እይ… ታጥቦ ጭቃ ማለት ይሄ ነው

  16. Treaty
    | #16

    Dr. Kiros wrote,

    “Gone are the …. Shanty towns, when famished golden grass in spite of the golden glitter looked miserable. ..the rarity, when donkeys and dogs fought for visibility, when certain Ethiopians had to change their names to be accepted as part of Ethiopian normalcy, … only …. when Tigrean and Eritrean students were systematically denied entry to the two universities … when Ethiopians were being [FORCED] to worship Haile Selassie, a human emperor.
    Gone also are the days when Ethiopians hesitated to discuss politics on the phone.. when Ethiopian nationalities from all walks of life could not dance, sing or exhibit their cultural life styles freely and confidently and build a new mosaic of revolutionary diversity.”

    It appears, to me, the model of the opening statement of this article might have been taken from the preamble of the’ communist manifesto’.

    I have these questions to the author.
    1- Would you please give evidences of exclusion you claimed to have occurred at the two universities?

    2-Please explain what means of force were used to coerce the population to worship King Haile Selassie?

    I remember ,growing up around Bahirdar, during Timket or [epiphany] Holiday there always was quite few groups playing in Tigrigna, Guragigna, Agawigna, Mingar and Amharic. The reason of this variety in Bahirdar is due to the 3000 Textile employs that came from all over Ethiopia, and the students of Polytechnic Institute who represent the cross section of Ethiopian society. My eye witness report I am attempting to relate to you here is directly opposed to the supposed allegations about the discrimination of students, and to the alleged prohibition of cultural songs. Friend, we have one life to live let us use our time to promote peace .Let us also remember the patriotic Ethiopians who are languishing in TPLF dungeon. I am speaking of Eskinder Nega,Abrha Asfaha,Andualm and thousands of Ethiopians who are hold without their will.

  17. Anonymous
    | #17

    Dear Woyanne in crisis;

    Thanks for the response, having the read the article and asking crucial questions, which make sense, save for one misunderstanding about my positions on the poors of Ethiopia. All my books advocate for a world without poverty, which can be done, if we globally choose to become the kind of human beings which NME is carefully building. I do not blame the poor for being poor. Rather, I suggest that we dismantle capitalism globally and replace it with NME.

  18. woyane is in crisis -politically and financially?
    | #18

    Dear Pro Teodros
    I gave you relevant, correct and important constructive comments regarding your baselss statements and assumptions in your article. You shoud be grateful. seondly, instead of asking me to skip the first four paragraphs you shoud correct it yourself or defend it if it were correct and relevant to your NME.

    Let me close my comment
    No matter what you say, I will not stoop down to your level to insult you. I was raised by a family, who taught to respect people and I will extend that to you also.
    Thank you

  19. Teodros Kiros
    | #19

    G;

    I have managed to bring this writing to the attention of my lawyer, who is investiaging the name, for what you have said hear is subject to litigation. I am sorry to inform you this, but enogh is enough.

  20. Teodros Kiros
    | #20

    Dear Shaka Zulu;

    If you cannot read what is published, why bother exposing your stupidity and insult my loving Ethiopian people to this rubbish. This is the last time you waste my time, for I now know who you are and will soon bring you to the attention of my lawyer.

  21. ገብሬ
    | #21

    ግለሰቡን : ቤተሰብን : ህብረተሰቡን ከተካፋይነት ዉጭ አርጎ መንግስት ብቻዉን ፋይዳ ያለው ለዉጥ ማድረግ ይቻላል :እንደዚህ አይነት መንግስት እንደ ትርፍ አንጀት ባእድ አካል ነው ::

  22. Dawi[t]
    | #22

    Teodros said,
    “No matter what you say, I will not stoop down to your level to insult you. I was raised by a polished feudal family, who taught to respect people and I will extend that to you also.”

    Two comments later, “dudu.” That is the kind of people we are dealing with.

  23. Dawi[t]
    | #23

    May be Tedoros should explain what he meant by “a polished fuedal family.” Teodros, Do you mind if I quote from your article entitled, “Hunting for Agame?” Please respond. Thanks. I also would like to extend my peasant upbringing to you.

  24. Teodros Kiros
    | #24

    Dear Woyanne;

    DEar Woyanne in Crisis;

    It is simply an intellectual pleasure to respond to you, even when we misunderstand each other, a function of my failure as a writer. You are right that I single out Tigreans and Amharas in that paragraph. I should have explicitly envoked a particular scholar I had in mind who is notoriously setting these two nationalities against each other as one tries to dominate the Ethiopian national tapestry, as if Ethiopia is not a mosaic of cultures with the numerical dominance of the Great Oromo peoples and the people of the south.

    That is the context and thanks for politely briging that out. Your writings are always analytic and not insulting dramas.

  25. ዘረ-ያዕቖብ ወ.ግ.ዓ.ም-ፅዮን The Eth.Korrektiv Therapeut
    | #25

    The ignored እንተእዊ ከም ዝስዕብ ኣንፀርፀረ;

    እወ ኒዒቕካኒ! እዙይ ኹሉ እንዳሓንበብኩኻስ ዋላኻ ሓንቲ ፀርፊ እንተትድብርየለይ! ምስ ከምዙይ ዝኣምሰለ ሓሳድ መንነት ዘየብሉን ብዓርሱ ዘይትኣማመንን, ግና’ኸስ ካብ ገዛ ገዛ እንዳተኻለፈ ዘረባታት ብምልቕቓም ጥራህ ዝምሓዳደር ናይ ባዕሉ ORIGINALITY ግን ነይሩዎ ዘይፈልጥ ጠንባር ኣትሓሳስብኡ ምትህልላኽ ዋጋ የለሽ እዩ ኢልካስ በቃ, ኣታ …….

    እስኪ ለማንኛውም ጠበቆቹ የሚደርሱበትን ምርምር መልስ እንጠባበቅ! ግን የፈለገውም ቢሆን, ትግሬዎችን እርስ በራሳቸው አናክሶ የማድቀቅ ዜቤ ክፍለ ዘመናት ጊዜው ያለፈበት መሰለን! ያለንበት 21ኛው ክፍለ ዘመናት ላይ የግዴታ ወደፊት መንጠቅ ይጠበቅብናል! ምክሩ ለኣይተ አቡጊዳም ጭምር መሆኑን ስናወሳ, አቡጊዳ የኢትዮጵያውያንን ምጥቀትን እያስተዋለ መልእክቶችን ተቀብሎ እንድያስነብበን በመማለድም ጭምር ነው!!

  26. Shaka Zulu
    | #26

    Dr. Kirros, you men to tell me ,unless people agree with your views you are going to take your case to a curt?Please don’t threaten the participants of this forum. Every one in here is mature and responsible adult, and may not need to be threatened . On the serious side of the matter though, who is your lawyer? I think I have hint who the lawyer might be: Dr. Tecola. ha! ha!..

  27. Teodros Kiros
    | #27

    Sharing with all my readers, solely for your enlightement.

    At present, the debate on global justice, a debate which is at the core of global ethics, is largely being conducted by European and American scholars from different disciplines without taking into account views and concepts from other regions of the world, particularly, from the Global South. The lack of a truly intercultural, interreligious, and international exchange of ideas provokes doubts whether the concepts of global justice introduced so far are able to transcend regional and cultural horizons. The article introduces concepts of justice from African scholars, whose voices have remained marginal until now, like the Kenyan philosopher Henry Odera Oruka, the Ethiopian philosopher Teodros Kiros, and the debate on ubuntu, one of the most controversial concepts in southern Africa today. These concepts focus on issues that are seldom considered in the debate on global justice, such as the importance of bodily needs as a prerequisite for human beings to act as moral beings and the importance of human relationships and solidarity. The last part of the article discusses factors which lead to exclusion from the academic discourse and the question how we as scholars can work for more academic justice.
    Keywords
    global justice, academic injustice, intercultural philosophy, Henry Odera Oruka, ubuntu
    1. Introduction
    Jump to section
    1. Introduction
    2. Concepts of global justice in modern African philosophy
    3. Injustice in academic discourses
    4. Conclusion
    Disclosure statement
    In philosophy, issues of poverty and social justice started to play a central role during the late 1990s in the so-called global justice debate, a debate which is certainly at the core of global ethics. There is currently a tremendous production of publications regarding the topic of global justice. However, is the debate on global justice a global one?
    Recent anthologies on global justice (Mack et al. 2009; Pogge 2004, 2007; Pogge and Barry 2006; Pogge and Horton 2008; Pogge and Moellendorf 2008) as well as monographs (Brock 2009; Hahn 2009; Moellendorf 2002, 2009; Pogge 2002; Young 2006) give the impression that in Euro-American philosophy the debate on global justice is a controversy between four main positions: Communitarianism, Particularism, Nationalism, and Cosmopolitanism. A characteristic of all of the first three approaches – despite the undeniable differences between them – is that they consider principles of social justice and positive duties as emanating from a special relationship between citizens of a single state or any other form of community. While it is generally admitted that we have humanitarian obligations to give emergency aid to those hit by disasters, moral obligations towards the members of our own communities are considered to be stronger. This is used to justify making the benefits of the welfare state available only to citizens of the state and giving each nation sovereignty in deciding the use of its own national wealth. Representatives of this argument are, among others, David Miller (2002, 2007), Thomas Nagel (2005), and Michael Walzer. A further prominent example is John Rawls, whose Theory of Justice (1975) remains a central, controversial work in the debate in recent decades. However, Rawls argues, in particular in The Law of Peoples (1999), that the ‘redistributive’, egalitarian liberal approach of his Theory of Justice cannot be applied to global justice; different forms of justice apply to domestic and international cases. This position was questioned by Charles Beitz and Thomas Pogge, who both represent a cosmopolitan approach to global justice and argue for extending the Rawlsian criterion of justice to the international arena.
    The cosmopolitan approach to global justice assumes that all human beings are subjects of justice, regardless of memberschip in certain groups. The approach is characterised by three criteria: individualism, that is, that each single human being is of moral importance; universalism, that is, that the status of moral importance is equal to all living people; and the universal validity of duties, that is, that everyone has duties towards all human beings, regardless of his or her own membership in a community. Proponents of this thinking besides Pogge and Beitz are Martha Nussbaum, Darrel Moellendorf, Amartya Sen, and Iris Marion Young.
    However, the competing moral perspectives in the debate are primarily based on the ideas of Aristotle, Locke, and Kant and refer to European philosophical concepts, norms, and values that centre on the relationship between social rights and individual freedom; the scope of principles of justice and national or global individual responsibility; and an alleged dichotomy between positive and negative rights and duties. Astonishingly, even though the goal of the debate is to find and justify universally valid principles of global justice, the concepts, norms, and values of regions of the world other than Europe and North America are rarely taken into account.1
    While the possibility for discourse and exchange, for example, with African philosophers such as the Kenyan philosopher Henry Odera Oruka who draws from as well as criticises the ‘Western’ discourse on justice, was and is available and waiting to be included into a more complex discussions of the cosmopolitan wave that arose in Euro-American publications in the 1990s, the lack of a truly intercultural exchange reveals the injustice of the academic discourse on principles of global justice. It seems that the academic debate itself is still rooted in a system that has yet to adhere to such fundamental principles of justice as the recognition of and respect for the opinions, concepts, and systems of norms and values of different cultures and regions or the practice of non-violent and non-hierarchical discourse (for ‘recognition’ see Honneth 1992, 1995; Honneth and Fraser 2003a, 2003b; for Discourse Ethics see Habermas 1991). Applying the principles of justice to the conditions of the discourse itself is first of all a matter of respect and, second, a matter of implementing self-designed principles in the discourse. Limiting the discourse to certain canonical authors and concepts may limit the development of philosophical knowledge. The problem of global injustice begins with the terms of the debate.
    First, using concepts of justice from the contemporary discourse in African philosophy – a region still widely neglected in philosophical discourses – I want to explore what selected non-Western concepts can contribute to the debate on global justice. Second, I will discuss conditions of academic work which can be factors for the marginalisation of authors and concepts, with special reference to the African context. Third, I will present arguments for the importance of opening the discourse for an intercultural exchange and suggest ways to change the terms of the debate.
    Although Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America equally deserve discussion here, I will use examples from modern African philosophy and the conditions of academic work in Africa here because of my years of experience with African philosophy and the African context. While I am familiar with examples from Latin American philosophy such as the Philosophy of Liberation and ideas from modern Arabian philosophy, my knowledge of the recent discourse on justice in these regions of the world is not deep enough for a substantial discussion which would avoid generalising about whole regions. A thorough study of the contemporary debate on justice and academic working conditions in different regions of the world would certainly be a fruitful contribution.
    2. Concepts of global justice in modern African philosophy
    Jump to section
    1. Introduction
    2. Concepts of global justice in modern African philosophy
    3. Injustice in academic discourses
    4. Conclusion
    Disclosure statement
    2.1. Bodily needs and political freedom: Henry Odera Oruka
    About 20 years before it started to be a central topic in the Euro-American debates of the late 1990s, the Kenyan philosopher Henry Odera Oruka (1944–1995) used the concept of global justice in two key articles, ‘John Rawls’ Ideology: Justice as Egalitarian Fairness’ (1981) and ‘The Philosophy of Foreign Aid: A Question of the Right to a Human Minimum’ (1989). Here he used the term global justice in the same way as it is used in current cosmopolitan approaches, namely as a concept that elevates the context of principles of justice to a global level, linking it to the responsibility of all to enforce justice on a global scale. In doing so, he adapted the concept of justice to the current level of international linkages in all areas.
    Odera Oruka draws in his work on two main sources: the African experience of extreme poverty and asymmetric international power relations, and ‘Western’ philosophical concepts. Especially concepts of Kant as well as John Rawls play a major role in his approach, but they undergo in his critical reflections from an explicitly African perspective significant changes. Thus, his critical dialogue with concepts from the ‘Western’ tradition leads to new and certainly radical thoughts. For Odera Oruka the question of social justice is inherently one which exceeds national boundaries, a question that can only be studied and solved on a global level. Furthermore, he considered the problem of poverty not as a moral question of charity or humanitarian assistance, not even of restitution, but as a matter of justice, and ultimately as a question of an enforceable law. In his first article on global justice in 1981, Odera Oruka used an egalitarian approach, defining global justice as equal distribution of the wealth of the world and the removal of all inequalities. He blamed the capitalist system, in particular the prevailing relations of ownership, for the extreme socio-economic differences in the world. In 1989, his understanding of global justice changed fundamentally. He restricted the ideal of global justice to the protection of a minimum standard of living for everyone, the ‘right to a human minimum’, which is founded on the inalienable right to self-preservation. Since a person’s self-preservation is the first and fundamental necessity for making use of all other rights, its refusal causes the loss of essential functions of a human person. In his essay ‘The Philosophy of Foreign Aid: A Question of the Right to a Human Minimum’ he wrote,
    For all human beings to function with a significant degree of rationality and self-awareness, they need a certain minimum amount of physical security, health care, and subsistence […] Below this minimum one may still be human and alive. But one cannot successfully carry out the functions of a moral agent or engage in creative activity. Access to at least the human minimum is necessary (even if not sufficient) for one to be rational and self-conscious. (Odera Oruka 1989, 53)
    The denial of the human minimum renders the affected individual incapable of exercising the essential functions of a person. But what is a person? ‘Personhood’ is an old philosophical concept widely discussed in the European tradition beginning with Boethius in the early sixth century.2
    Odera Oruka’s understanding of personhood follows the Kantian tradition. In Kant’s view, personhood includes qualities that go beyond merely belonging to the species Homo sapiens. Whereas in Christian theology simply being a part of the human species grants personhood to a human being, Kant offers a new paradigm. For him, the term ‘person’ is inextricably linked with the concept of freedom and autonomy. Following this approach, Odera Oruka defines a person as a rational, confident, self-conscious, morally acting being in a position to achieve a fair deal. Only persons have rights and duties. Individuals who do not obtain the status of a person are unable to act ethically. They stand apart from the ethical community, they are no longer subject to ethical rules, and take no responsibility for their actions.
    According to Odera Oruka, the prerequisite for personhood is the ‘human minimum’: physical security, health, and subsistence. Odera Oruka expands this definition of primary good in his book The Philosophy of Liberty (1991) to a certain extent, but still limits it to life-sustaining factors.
    The right to a human minimum is a universally valid absolute; every moral agent is obliged to ensure that other human beings are afforded the same right. On this basis, every human being can hold the entire world responsible for insuring his or her right to a fundamentally healthy life. If this basic right is not insured, all other rights lose their meaning because moral agency is lost. Consequently, foreign aid for economically weak nations is not a kind of charity, but a right of the poor. Rich nations are obligated to provide everybody with the human minimum.
    Odera Oruka’s concept of global justice has remained sketchy, perhaps due to his sudden and early death in 1995. Nevertheless, his concept offers important suggestions for today’s debate on global justice. With reference to the physical nature of man, Odera Oruka focuses on the one and only prerequisite of all liberties and insists that the right to a human minimum, as the basis of all other rights, has to have priority over all other rights. This is a remarkable point of view, since most of the contemporary ethical approaches do not consider such basic problems as people who lack the existential minimum. They rather start their reflections with an individual already able to be a moral agent. The lack of awareness regarding the provision of basic needs as a prerequisite for any autonomous and moral action is reflected for example (in Odera Oruka’s view) in the lexical order of Rawls’ principles of justice. Odera Oruka writes,
    But in a society where the majority are illiterate and there is widespread poverty, political and intellectual liberties are luxuries. The people either do not understand them, or they have no motivation to exercise them. Poverty-stricken people want bread, not freedom of thought and speech. (1997, 123)
    Such a radical formulation is surely an oversimplification of the political will of poor people as it finds its expression in social or civil movements or in revolutions like the Arab Spring. However, the quote above illustrates Odera Oruka’s general approach. He asserts that economic needs must always be prioritised in cases where political freedom and basic economic needs come into conflict. Only in a situation where basic needs are no longer in question, as in the industrialised nations, could one incorrectly assume that political needs are more fundamental than economic ones. However, political liberties are meaningless without material conditions conducive to enact them. Accordingly, Odera Oruka argues that the true value and the benefits of freedom are anchored in Rawls’ second principle of justice. For a hungry man, the obliviousness to bodily needs shown in such highly differentiated and sophisticated arguments on justice as, for example, the theories of Communitarianism or Particularism, appears to be a subtle defence of Western prosperity, happiness, and freedom. And thus, Odera Oruka calls John Rawls’ Theory of Justice ‘a subtle defence of welfare-capitalism’ (Odera Oruka 1997, 115).
    He derives several consequences at the global level. The practice of global justice obligates rich nations to help poor nations. For ‘Distant people, strangers, foreigners and future generations are or will be in the same moral universe as our own relatives and friends. Unlike legality, morality knows no national or racial boundary’ (Odera Oruka 1997, 90). Odera Oruka suggests the redistribution of what he calls the ‘national supererogation’. First, he argues that, since national supererogation is based on property rights, it cannot be an absolute right. There are always rights which are morally more important than property. Second, he argues that, no nation can prove the legitimate acquisition of the territory and resources it controls. Third, he argues that, the principle of supererogation makes sense only when dealing with moral agents; that is, agents possessing the prerequisites for observing rules of moral responsibility (Odera Oruka 1997, 90). However, Odera Oruka’s ideas of political action or consequences for the global politico-economic structure are rather vague and target mainly the redistribution of national wealth, leaving questions of practical realisation (political and administrative matters, etc.) unsolved (see Graness and Kresse 1997, 130; Odera Oruka 1997, 91–92).3
    However, redistribution of the earth’s wealth is not only necessary in view of the individual’s right to self-preservation and moral capability, but from an environmental perspective, too. Redistribution is, according to Odera Oruka, the only substantial means to environmental protection. In one of his last philosophical projects before his sudden death, ‘Parental Earth Ethics’, Odera Oruka emphasises that the earth is a common good for all and that global environmental concerns cannot be solved without solving questions of global redistribution. In ‘Eco-philosophy: Environmental Ethics’, he explicitly develops an ethical approach for the preservation of the harmony and balance of the entire ‘complex web of Being’. The multiple interweaving of all beings makes it necessary not only to deal with questions of social justice and redistribution on the global level, but also to transcend the needs of human beings and embrace the totality of nature.
    Traditional ethics centres around homo sapiens […] only. It judges what is good or bad to be what is good or bad for man, and is incapable of extending this sort of judgment to the rest of nature. It follows, then, that if we are to find ethics suitable for judgments beyond the domain of the human species, it is imperative that we go beyond traditional ethics. (Odera Oruka 1997, 243)
    And in ‘Parental Earth Ethics’, he underlines ‘that the earth, or the world, is a kind of family unit in which the members have a kith and kin relationship with one another and the earth is a commonwealth to all humanity’ (Odera Oruka 1997, 150). As in a family, all human beings on earth are connected to each other by their common origin and various family ties. This leads to certain obligations which we owe one another.
    In summary, Odera Oruka’s approach suggests an important change of perspective in the debate on global justice.One deficiency of the current debate is that it ignores bodily needs. The debate gives the impression of being lost in legal or moral subtleties and failing to bother about feeding the hungry. Political freedom alone will not solve the problem of world hunger. The formal right to democracy is an empty promise as long as citizens are dehumanised by their living conditions. According to Odera Oruka, the right to a human minimum is the prerequisite to becoming a moral subject, and thus for justice as such. Odera Oruka’s great contribution to the debate is to have focused discussion on the basic needs of human beings.
    Odera Oruka introduced the principle of self-preservation as a central criterion of justice. The right to a human minimum restricts prima facie rights like the right to private or national property or to luxury goods. Odera Oruka’s restriction of the right to property certainly challenges the foundations of liberalism since John Locke and encourages further reflections on the extent and justification of property rights.
    Finally, Odera Oruka’s view that morality knows no national or racial boundary transcends all borders, as well as predjudges that Africans can or should produce theories for Africa only.
    2.2. Teodros Kiros on the right to food
    The reflections of the Ethiopian philosopher Teodros Kiros follow a similar strand of thought. The starting point of his considerations was the food crisis in Africa from 1982 to 1986. Given the devastating effects of a long period of drought, particularly in East Africa, Kiros questions previous concepts of ‘development’ and ‘underdevelopment’, particularly in view of the relationship between economic and political concepts and the concepts of moral philosophy. In his book Moral Philosophy and Development (1992), he introduces two moral principles to guide Africans in designing their development strategies.
    The first principle is the recognition of food, health, shelter, and clothing as inalienable human rights. African resources must be used in such a way that they can, with proper scientific aids, be channelled to eventually (a) eliminate the urgent human needs of poverty and hunger, and (b) address other attendant consequences of mental and physical health, hopelessness and undermotivation.
    The second principle is a demand for the absolutely necessary duty humans may have in the recognition of the importance of freedom for those who think and feel that they are unfree. When the basic human material needs of the poor are met, only then may the Africans be able to think about nonmaterial human needs, such as art and religion. (Kiros 1992, 176)
    Here, the parallel to Rawls’ principles of justice is more than obvious, despite the reversal of the order of the principles. As in the case of Odera Oruka, this is in my opinion not a sign of dependency or that African philosophy is unable to offer an original alternative to European theory, an idea which is based on a kind of ‘othering’, namely the belief that every culture or region has to develop by default ideas essentially different from European theory to be worth consideration. Rather, it shows a critical discussion of prevailing theories from a deliberately and consciously chosen African perspective and demonstrates that, from this perspective, Rawls’ claim of his theory’s universality has to be seriously interrogated. The post-colonial African context asks for a different approach. Or as Kiros emphasises in his book Explorations in African Political Thought: Identity, Community, Ethics (2001),
    The first principle of justice commands categorically that food, shelter and clothing must be available to all beings in Africa, and the second principle defends freedom as a right to be extended to all Africans. The extension of democracy to all Africans is a possibility devoutly to be wished. (Kiros 2001, 5)
    Kiros (1992) pursues the interesting idea that food is a kind of natural fundamental right. He argues that the knowledge of food as an absolute basic human need was lost only when subsistence production was replaced by market production. The ideal scenario would be that food is considered an inherent right of people. However, food is today regarded as a commodity among many other commodities that can be bought with money: ‘Food is produced, circulated, exchanged, and consumed as a commodity, as a good, an object, just like any other commodity. In the market mentality, the distinctively human quality of food is forgotten’ (Kiros 1992, 14). And he notes:
    Human beings have reached the point at which they cannot longer look at food as an inalienable right of the hungry, but rather as a commodity, as a good, a thing for sale. Those human beings who do not have the money with which to buy food are condemned to die. (Kiros 1992, 168)
    This kind of market mentality or ideology is, according to Kiros, one of the main reasons for the food crisis in Africa, which is ‘caused by the indifference of human beings both inside and outside Africa. It is a moral crisis directly caused by the market that has disassociated morality from efficiency’ (Kiros 1992, 36).
    In brief, Kiros favours the primacy of the economy, that is, the fulfilment of material, biological needs over any political freedom.4 Here he even suggests dealing with food as a basic human right, not as a commodity. For him, the fulfilment of the basic needs of bodily existence is the pre-condition for a person to enjoy all other kinds of rights and to exercise all other human abilities. ‘A self which is not fed cannot think, plan, or imagine’ (Kiros 1992, 168). In his critique of John Rawls’ Theory of Justice and the lexical order of the principles of justice, Kiros emphasises that Rawls’ theory emerged from a certain historical context, namely North America, and that it is related to forms of injustice in American society. Insofar as Rawls’ theory of justice is a regional concept (Kiros 1992, 14) with a claim to universal validity, it must be adapted to the conditions of Africa.
    At this point let me remark on a general attitude; many ‘Western’ philosophers claim the universal validity of their theories, often without even being informed about the conditions and necessities of other cultural, religious, or politico-social contexts. In contrast, non-Euro-American philosophers might not receive due recognition in Euro-American circles for theories which claim universal validity, but are rather expected to develop concepts applicable to or typical of their region only. Here we are confronted with biased expectations which shape our perception of theories from different regions of the world, namely that ‘Western’ scholars formulate universal theories, whereas scholars from all other regions formulate regional theories. On the other hand, there is indeed a trend in contemporary African philosophy to search for indigenous philosophical traditions, norms, and values as sources for solutions to today’s problems in Africa. This trend in its essentialising form, for which the term ‘ethnophilosophy’ has been coined, presupposes a certain essence of African being and thought.5 Such an approach, which refutes all foreign concepts and theories as ‘un-African’, encourages the expectations mentioned above and shows a lack of awareness of the global dimension of many of today’s problems, which seem to be regional only at first glance.
    Odera Oruka and Teodros Kiros are examples of an approach which tries to avoid the pitfalls of ethnophilosophy and particularism. While referring to their experience in the post-colonial African context, especially the politico-economic situation, they use theories from different contexts to analyse and criticise prevailing asymmetrical world conditions as well as the limitations of the theories under consideration (e.g. Rawls) and try to develop a new theoretical basis for principles of global justice. In doing so, both claim to offer solutions for Africa and the rest of the world without being confined and reduced to their cultural background. Furthermore, both scholars make us aware that African philosophers are always philosophising from an intercultural situation due to their socialisation in an African context and academisation in a deeply European-influenced educational system. Thus, contemporary philosophy from Africa is on the whole already intercultural and interlingual, a dimension still widely lacking in ‘Western’ philosophy.
    Whereas these first two exemplars of contemporary African philosophical discourse base their reflections on the experience of poverty and injustice in Africa’s present socio-economic context, the third example tries to draw on traditional African values.
    2.3. Ubuntu as an African ethics
    Ubuntu is one of the most controversial indigenous concepts in southern Africa today. It is used to underline an African particularity as well as to show values of African origin with universal validity (see Praeg and Magadla 2014). Ubuntu may be considered as a human quality, an ethics or worldview, or a post-colonial ideology, to mention only a few of its meanings.
    The term ubuntu belongs to the Nguni language family of South Africa, but has equivalents in many other African languages (for the etymology of ubuntu see Ramose 1999). The translations range from ‘humanity’ and ‘charity’ to ‘common sense’ and ‘generosity’. The meaning of the term is therefore very broad.
    The South African philosophers Augustine Shutte and Mogobe B. Ramose draw from this worldview an ubuntu ethics (Ramose 1998a, 1998b; Shutte 2001). Characteristic features of ubuntu ethics are pity and compassion towards others, respect for the rights of minorities, a search for consensus and understanding, a spirit of mutual support and cooperation, hospitality, generosity, and selflessness. Since the mid-1990s the meaning of ubuntu is often illustrated with the Zulu-Xhosa aphorism umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu – ‘A human being is a human being through other people’, that is, every human being needs other people in order to be human; every person is part of a whole, integrated into a comprehensive network of mutual dependencies. Describing ubuntu the Ethiopian philosopher Workineh Kelbessa writes,
    Traditional African worldviews also recognize the interconnection between the natural and supernatural, physical and metaphysical, visible and invisible dimensions of the world. Currently living human and nonhuman beings, ancestors, the yet-unborn, and the natural world are interconnected. (Kelbessa 2011, 569–570)
    In his work, Kelbessa emphasises the importance of such a holistic worldview to modern environmental ethics.
    Mogobe B. Ramose notes, ‘Because the ubuntu understanding of be-ing involves three levels of human ex-istence, we call it the onto-triadic structure of be-ing’ (Ramose 1998b, 236). An ontological approach relating ubuntu to a specific way of being African risks falling into the trap of essentialism discussed above. Here stereotypes of Africans as communal and harmony-seeking – seen in Négritude, African Socialism, and similar approaches – are uncritically and unhistorically assumed without considering that communal orientation is not primarily a feature of being African or Asian but the result of certain social structures. It is well known and much lamented that capitalist social structures introduced to Africa since colonialism are dissolving former social structures, values, and norms.
    The South African philosopher Leonhard Praeg has suggested a more critical approach to ubuntu. He introduced the useful differentiation between ‘ubuntu’ (with a small ‘u’) as a life practise and ‘Ubuntu’ (with a capital ‘u’) as an abstract post-colonial philosophical concept (Praeg 2014, 11). He identifies five ‘conceptual personae’ in the discourse on Ubuntu: the Archivist and the Cosmopolitan, who condemn Ubuntu as anachronistic nationalism, the Conformist and the Prophet, who take Ubuntu as salvation of the African self, and the Saviour, who understands Ubuntu as a critique of the destructive individualism of the West (Praeg 2014, 100ff).6 Praeg raises interesting questions about why the concept of Ubuntu is discussed so intensely at exactly this point in time and what its function is in current social discourse. In doing so, Praeg points to the possible political instrumentalisation of the concept and the question of the social function of academic discourse in general.
    The value of harmonious human relations at the core of ubuntu as defined above has a distributive dimension which was recently explored by the American philosopher Thaddeus Metz, who lives and works since a number of years in South Africa and is currently at work on an African theory of social justice grounded in ubuntu values and norms (Metz 2007, 2011, 2013; Metz and Gaie 2010). Metz follows an intercultural, comparative approach to ethical questions by drawing on ideas from different regions of the world like Europe, Africa, and Asia (Metz 2014). Metz considers the central aspect of ubuntu to be community as an ideal form of relationship that features the core values of friendliness and respect. According to him, in any African moral theory an act is regarded as morally right if and only if it honours beings in virtue of their capacity for being the subject and object of relationships of identity and solidarity. Otherwise, an act is morally wrong, especially insofar as it prizes division and ill-will. It follows that the distribution of economic goods has to be organised in a way that gives people the opportunity to live well. ‘Living well’ and ‘the good life’ are here understood as being able to live in harmony with one’s community. Such opportunities must be distributed in a balanced manner, argues Metz. The opposite of a shared identity would be separation. An example of this kind of separation is poverty. According to Metz, from the perspective of ubuntu poverty is understood not only as a lack of material resources, but as an obstacle preventing people from living their social relationships, as in the case of a lack of financial means to take part in social events, a lack of appropriate clothes, a lack of education, etc. Poor people find themselves in contrast to or separated from other people. Poverty manifests itself in this view as a form of social separation. A more equitable distribution of opportunities and resources is discussed from this perspective.
    Such interpreters as Mogobe Ramose, Augustine Shutte, and Desmond Tutu stress that ubuntu ethics differs from ‘Western’ ethical concepts by emphasising not the isolated single human but the relational determination of human beings and conferring interpersonal relationships a moral status. Metz shares this understanding and concludes that while Euro-American discourse commonly relates distributional issues and questions of responsibility to the individual and his or her property rights, ubuntu ethics deals with the significance of issues of distribution and representation for the relationships in the community. In consequence, drastic property differences are as much rejected as property waste, for property is always associated with a commitment to the preservation of all members of the community (Metz and Gaie 2010, 277–278). The focus here is not the autonomy of the subject, but the capacity to live a harmonious communal life. According to Metz, this contrasts with a Kantian focus on the opportunity to make a wide array of choices. In this respect, the concept of ubuntu is worthy of attention from international moral theorists as an alternative to the dominant Kantian or Utilitarian moral theories (Metz and Gaie 2010, 287). Metz argues that the debate on global ethics would be transformed if values salient in sub-Saharan Africa (or in East Asia) were taken seriously (2014). The same applies to the theories of Odera Oruka and Kiros. All three ethical approaches are characterised by a very important shift of paradigm concerning the question of justice: from the paradigm of equality to the paradigm of responsibility for the other.
    Metz’ analysis of an ubuntu perspective on poverty is indeed of great importance. A radical analysis of this dimension calls property relations into question. However, property relations rarely figure in discussions about justice, where questions of ownership stay mainly untouched. This also applies to the South African debate on ubuntu/Ubuntu. Already during the negotiation process between ANC and the former South African government in the early 1990s, questions of ownership and property relations did not play a central role. The need for ownership changes in major corporations or in land ownership was not raised. Thus, the transformation of South Africa went without a thoroughgoing economic transformation. Or as Issa Shivji writes, ‘South Africa’s “independence” was born into neoliberalism’ (2014, 148). This might be one of the reasons why ubuntu has mainly been seen as an abstract ethics, unconcerned with politico-economic issues and their consequences until now. Focusing on a single aspect of ubuntu ethics, the dimension of harmony, forgiveness and reconciliation (central concerns in South African politics and education during the last 20 years), led to a cementing of existing economic inequalities and poverty. However, the concept of Ubuntu used as a comprehensive social critique – not as a way to suppress critical voices by arguing for social harmony – offers an approach which might give substantial answers to crucial social problems (see Praeg 2014; Praeg and Magadla 2014).
    The concepts presented in this section focus on issues that are seldom considered in the debate on global justice:
    The importance of bodily needs as a prerequisite for human beings to act as moral beings;
    The focus on human beings as relational beings and the importance of human relationships and solidarity;
    The consequences of material relations, for example, property relations.
    3. Injustice in academic discourses
    Jump to section
    1. Introduction
    2. Concepts of global justice in modern African philosophy
    3. Injustice in academic discourses
    4. Conclusion
    Disclosure statement
    Unfortunately, most of internationally renowned moral theorists have not drawn concepts from the African context nor are such concepts part of philosophical curricula. Why do not the ideas of the African scholars mentioned above play a role in the current debate on global justice? Why are certain theories and scholars included in the international discourse and others not?
    The lack of attention given to concepts from African scholars in academic discourses reflects the structural injustice of world economy and politics. Even though the academy claims to be free of politico-economic and ideological constraints, it cannot avoid being affected by the structural imbalance of power relations in our world. Besides persistent prejudices and academic unawareness of the work of contemporary African colleagues, a number of factors notably influence the perception of the importance of a philosopher or a philosophical concept today.
    3.1. The canon-forming power of the universities
    Universities have a very specific canonising power that flows from the formulation of curricula and the funding of research topics. Universities choose the subjects of their teaching in accordance with social or political needs, financial constraints, and – last but not least in a highly competitive academic world – trends. Establishing a canon means making a preliminary selection out of a variety of theories and concepts. Establishing a canon also means drawing attention to certain problems, theories, and authors and away from others. Given the enormous importance of the canon to the reception of a theory, it is important to ask whether it is solely the originality of an author’s idea that influences his or her inclusion or exclusion from the grand narratives reflected by our curricula, or whether the origin of one’s academic degree (e.g. Princeton or the University of Nairobi), one’s gender, religion, or race make a critical difference in the process of inclusion and exclusion.
    Here we are confronted with a cycle of exclusion. Since African philosophers and philosophical concepts are even today rarely included in surveys of the history of philosophy and other philosophical issues, there is a general lack of knowledge about African contributions to philosophy that affects the curricula of philosophy departments and perpetuates inattention outside and, surprisingly, even inside Africa.
    3.2. The place of publication
    Publishers also have great influence on the reception of a particular author. An author’s ability to choose a publisher has an enormous influence on which audience a publication will reach. Although the Internet has given African authors easier access to publishers and journals, their access to prestigious publishing houses is usually limited by exorbitantly high costs of publication. It makes a big difference whether an author is situated in Europe or America and can access the academic fund raising system or not.
    Works from African publishing houses are hardly accessible in Europe or America. This directly influences the perception and limits the reach of authors from Africa and other parts of the world. The above-mentioned concept of global justice devised by the Kenyan philosopher Henry Odera Oruka is almost unknown in Europe and America because he published almost all his work in Kenya. Written by a Kenyan philosopher geographically and academically marginalised in every way, his works have remained unknown for a long time for reasons unrelated to the quality of his theories.
    3.3. Financial resources
    The situation of African academic philosophers is to a large extent precarious. Salaries at African universities are usually low, not only in comparison to salaries in Europe and the USA, but also relative to the average cost of living in their home countries. In times of political unrest, African academics may not even get paid all. These factors do not make a philosophical career a very attractive option, which causes recruitment problems. Moreover, it leads many African academics to run small businesses outside their jobs at university. In this, contemporary philosophers in Africa are in good company; until the eighteenth century there were hardly any academic philosophers in Europe who could make a living with philosophy or practise it as a profession. Most scholars served the church, the state, or an aristocrat. Some were craftsmen like Jacob Boehme, a shoemaker, or Spinoza, the lens-grinder. Both Kant and Hegel earned their living initially as tutors before they found positions at universities. Although it may have been common for centuries to practise philosophy alongside another profession, that is hardly the case today. In a highly competitive academic world, the fact that many African academics cannot concentrate solely on their academic work is a clear disadvantage which is compounded by a basic lack of books and technical equipment at their institutions. This is one of the main reasons for highly qualified academics migrating to America or Europe.
    3.4. The language
    Today, international scientific discourse takes place mainly in English. This has led to the marginalisation not only of formerly recognised scientific languages such as French, German, or Italian, but also of widely spoken world-languages such as Chinese, Arabic, and Spanish. There are certainly clear advantages to using languages that have vast numbers of speakers, such as widespread accessibility in communication media. The Belgian philosopher Philippe van Parijs argues, for example, that the dissemination of competence in a lingua franca is a process to be welcomed, most importantly because it provides the struggle for greater justice worldwide an essential weapon: a cheap medium of communication and mobilisation. Van Parijs votes for English to be this medium (Van Parijs 2011).
    However, there are also clear disadvantages to a single dominant language. First, in human history a lingua franca has always been the language of a hegemonic power. Latin and Arabic are two examples; in the case of English, the colonial heritage is still obvious. The globalising tendencies of using English as the new world language are rightly criticised as a kind of neo-colonialism and a form of hegemony associated with the spread of market economics (see the famous critique in Ngu˜gı˜ wa Thiong’o 1993). Second, a lingua franca clearly gives native speakers an advantage over non-native speakers. Although the use of a single scientific language certainly has advantages, its negative and marginalising effects impede the perception of concepts written in other languages. Some contemporary academic discourse appears to reflect the attitude that what is not translated into English is irrelevant. However, particularly in philosophy, there should be a greater sensitivity to translation issues and the value of linguistic pluralism, since the close connection between language and thought is a core philosophical topic.
    4. Conclusion
    Jump to section
    1. Introduction
    2. Concepts of global justice in modern African philosophy
    3. Injustice in academic discourses
    4. Conclusion
    Disclosure statement
    How can we change the situation? Changing the unequal politico-economic terms under which academic work is done today will be a long process which can be influenced only partially by philosophers. However, the politico-economic terms are only one side of the coin. Equally important is our personal and political will to change the ways academic work and debates are conducted today. As we have seen with the debate on global justice, contributions from different cultures and regions are rarely taken into consideration, and a monocultural reduction of the discourse is not even perceived as a deficiency that limits the horizon of the debate.
    The Chinese philosopher Zhuang Zhou, (or Zhuangzi, fourth century BCE) once said, ‘You cannot talk to a frog in a well about the sea’. Similarly, Euro-American-dominated philosophical discourse is in its majority unaware of concepts and arguments beyond its narrow discursive boundaries. It is time to open the debate to people from all regions of the world and to recognise them as equal partners in a debate, where nothing but the better argument should count.
    This might lead to changes, for example, in the focus of the debate on global justice. At present, that debate is largely dominated by European and American scholars who draw primarily on concepts from the European history of philosophy and the experience of industrialised nations. The experiences and social conflicts embedded in geopolitical power asymmetries and other contexts determined by historical, cultural, religious, and socio-political conditions, to mention only a few, go unconsidered, which reduces the debate to a limited body of questions and topics.
    As philosophers and academics it is in our hands, if not to change the whole structure of the world, at least to change our approach to philosophical topics and concepts, to modify our discursive methods, and to work for more academic justice in our respective fields. Several considerations are of eminent importance here. First, philosophers have to be aware of their own contextuality and how it influences their thinking. They have to take on a kind of meta-critical position, reflecting on their own ‘place of thinking’7 and trying to reach a critical distance from it. To this end, one must ask, is what I think universally applicable – and if so, why?
    Second, it should be a basic principle of academic work to make a serious effort to include perspectives from different cultural, religious, and politico-economic contexts. This means undertaking the often-difficult, time-consuming search for voices and sources from other regions of the world to start a comprehensive discussion. This is not the easy way, but choosing the easy way keeps one at the navel-gazing stage. Moreover, voices from different regions have to be respected as equal partners in the respective field of research, and neither as an ‘exotic’ addition to the discipline nor as belonging to the field of regional studies like African Studies. Thus, the work of African philosophers should be integral part of debates in philosophy.
    Third, global solutions for global problems need an open intercultural exchange and the will of all participants. For culturally, socioeconomically, politically, and historically different worlds might produce not only very different questions and problems, but different answers to the same question as well. In this respect, a debate on ethical issues with global relevance has to be open to an intercultural approach that takes the realities of different contexts into account.
    Philosophical concepts do not arise only in specific historical, cultural, linguistic, religious, and political contexts; they also emerge under very specific financial, technical, and institutional conditions that are anything but philosophical. Nevertheless, these material conditions are relevant factors when it comes to the perception of a person or a particular concept by the international community of philosophers. Although the value of a philosophical argument as such bears no relation to its place of origin, its place of origin is extremely important, if not crucial, to its perception, acceptance, and inclusion in global philosophical discourse. It is in our hands as academics to change the academic injustice of our day and take the challenge of an intercultural approach to philosophy seriously; we must ‘[…] not consider a philosophical argument well founded if it has been developed by people of a single cultural tradition alone’ (Wimmer 1996, 93; my translation). This does not mean that the best argument, per se, is an intercultural argument. However, it requires examining our own arguments in one or several other contexts and in a constant dialogue with concepts from different contexts to prove their validity.
    Contemporary African philosophy offers quite a number of examples of the critical analysis of arguments and theories and fruitful exchanges that transcend borders of regions, cultures, and languages. In this respect, it is just to consider Africa not only as our past but also a window to our future (Mbembe 2014) that will enable us to interrogate present and future theories as well as social and economic structures like global capitalism. It is time for the debate on global justice to open up to concepts from different regions of the world – to become a truly global debate.
    Disclosure statement
    Jump to section
    1. Introduction
    2. Concepts of global justice in modern African philosophy
    3. Injustice in academic discourses
    4. Conclusion
    Disclosure statement
    No potential conflict of interest was reported by the author.
    Notes
    1. A well-known exception to this tendency is Sen (2009). Attempts to open an intercultural discussion on principles of global justice can occasionally be found in journal articles, for example, in Global Ethics or Thought and Practice (see Masolo 2012, 2014; Metz 2014; Metz and Gaie 2010; Ochieng’-Odhiambo 2005).
    2. The concept of personhood plays an important role in contemporary African philosophy, too. It has been intensively discussed by the representatives of Négritude and ethnophilosophy and their critics. Two general tendencies can be identified in the discussion: (1) The ‘African person’ as a kind of counter-concept to a supposed ‘Western’ understanding of person (Mbiti 1969; Menkiti 1984, 2006). By setting up a stereotypical dichotomy, the Nigerian philosopher Ifeanyi Menkiti, for example, distinguishes between ‘Western’ views, which generally hold that a person is a lone individual, and ‘African’ views, which define a person by reference to the community, which always takes precedence over the individual life. (2) A linguistic analysis of the concept of person in various African languages, such as Akan or Yoruba, including philosophical derivations of such understanding (Gyekye 1995, 85–103, 1997; Wiredu and Gyekye 1992). The analyses of the Akan concept of a person by the Ghanian philosopher Kwame Gyekye, who strongly opposes Menkiti’s approach, point to a kind of ‘moderate or restricted communitarianism’, which includes communalistic as well as individualistic values. His approach shows that strict dichotomies do not exist between ‘Western’ and ‘African’ concepts. His moderate communitarianism, which calls for a dialectical view of individualism and communitarianism, is certainly another contribution to the global justice debate.
    3. For more detailed analyses of Odera Oruka’s concept of global justice, see Graness (2011, 2012).
    4. Kiros does not explore the question of the political consequences of his principles of justice in a deeper way. On the other hand, he is in search of a new moral theory as a basis for social changes.
    5. Key works of the ethnophilosophy tradition are Kagamé (1956), Mbiti (1969), and Senghor (1964) or more recently Ramose (1998a, 1998b) and Shutte (2001).
    6. Moreover, see the different views in Murove (2009) and the different approaches in Praeg and Magadla (2014).
    7. This may be what Bruce Janz calls ‘philosophy-in-place’, which requires consideration of the geographical and historical context of ideas as well as the embodied emplacement of those ideas (see Janz 2009, 17ff).
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    3. Graness, A. 2012. “What is Global Justice? Henry Odera Oruka’s Contribution to the Current Debate.” Journal on African Philosophy 6: 31–46.
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    18. Mack, E., M. Schramm, S. Klasen, and T. Pogge. 2009. Absolute Poverty and Global Justice. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing.
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  28. ዘረ-ያዕቖብ ወ.ግ.ዓ.ም-ፅዮን The Eth.Korrektiv Therapeut
    | #28

    Hallo the አቡጊዳዎች,

    መልቲዎቹ የሆነ ያልሆነውን ሲዘባርቁ ጠዋት ማታ ታስነብቡ ነበር:: ታድያ ምነው አሁን ቀናውን አባባላችንን ስንልክላችሁ ታፍናችሁ አረፋችሁት!? ለካስ በርግጥም የሚቀጥለው አባባል ከሆኑ ፍጥሮች የተሰነዘረብን ካለ ምንም ምክንያት አይደለም;

    “አንድ/ት ኢትዮጵያዊ/ት ዴሞክራት ከሚሆን/ከምትሆን ይልቅ ግመል በመርፌ ቀዳዳ ትሾልክ ዘንዳ ይቀላል! እነዚያ slave mentalities ደግሞ ገንዘብ ካዩ ‘ሓሲበልኪ እንዳእየ’ የሚለውን ቃል ወርውረው ካወናበድዋቸው በኋላ የገዛ እህቶቻቸው Zuhälter ከመሆንም ወደኋላ የማይሉ!” መሃረነ!

  29. ገብሬ
    | #29

    ኮንፒተር ላይ ስጽፍ ሳልጨርስ ገና የምታጠፉ ቡድኖች እነማን መሆናቺሁን አውቃለሁ አልሰድባቺሁም የተሰደባቺህ ሰዎች ስለሆናቺሁ::

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