By Abel Merawi
November 24, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- A friend once told me a modern day parable that I labeled ‘Do the chickens know!?’ There once lived a schizophrenic man who believe that he was a chicken. To make matters worse, he refused to leave his house, assuming that other chickens conspired to peck him to death. With relentless intervention from family, friends and psychologists, he was finally convinced that he is a man; not a chicken. However, he still refused to leave his house and his loved ones inquired the reason. He replied, “I’m not crazy! I know that I am a man. But, do the chickens know? If they don’t, they can still attack me!”
The above parable describes the mentality of TPLF, OLF Shene and every other political entity that advocates ethnic superiority when compared to the rest of the people. It also represents their followers, who fit the portrayal of a ‘schizoid society’ that Rollo May describes. The schizoid society is the equivalent of the schizoid person who lives in a detached and fictional world. In Ethiopia, ethnic division and superiority has been a national sickness. After Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed took office, the healing process began, in which national identity took primacy over an ethnic one. Majority of Ethiopians recovered from the hypnotic fantasy of ethnicity and have begun the journey to unity. But sadly, there remained political entities whose existence depended on ethnicity. TPLF personifies the dying ethnic ideology. It now declared war on Ethiopia by attacking the Northern Regiment of the National Defense Force, according to reports.
The completely opposite narration taken by TPLF and Ethiopian government in defining the conflict can help us comprehend the ideological battle. TPLF is fighting for ethnic identity. The funding of OLF Shene, the attack on the National Defense and the statements from TPLF’s high officials are ample evidence to conclude they desire to divide the country. While TPLF has not benefited the people of Tigray, it now calls them for war. I will return to this idea because it demands more attention. Let us now turn to the narrative of Ethiopian government.
Currently, the national government is fighting for justice and national unity. Looking back at all the statements made by Prime Minister Dr. Abiy, you will not find many references to ethnic identity. But you will find plenty of statements and legislative acts that called for national unity and identity. Simply observing the stand of the government and the national defense force is enough to show this. Following the attack on the Northern Regiment, the Prime Minister specifically called for action in the name of justice and rule of law. He maintained the idea of national unity by publicly declaring that the fight is against TPLF but never against the people of Tigray. The same stand is reflected by the national defense force.
After TPLF attacked the Northern Regiment of the National Defense Force by ethnically dividing the troop, people all across the nation were in a frenzy. Yet, General Berhanu Jula, Chief of Staff of the National Defense Force, and every representative of the national defense calmed the people by taking a sober and rational stand. They did this by showing that they are fighting solely with TPLF and their crony, OLF Shene. They were also fighting to liberate the people of Tigray from the tyranny of TPLF. This is an honorable move because national unity cannot be attained by ethnic antagonism. The TPLF ‘Junta’ can win if we shifted our anger on the innocent people of any region. Let us now return to the idea that TPLF doesn’t represent Tigray.
From its inception, ‘Ethnic Federalism’ has been used as an excuse by TPLF and its affiliates to rob the country. More specifically, it has been orchestrated in a way that makes the people of Tigray a scapegoat of TPLF. It is worth remembering the pretension behind the link of economic benefits with ethnic identity. In reality, it was tied to party affiliation and gang membership. Land grabbing in Oromia was done by jointly working with officials in Oromia region. The same holds true for crimes committed in Amhara, SNNP, and all other regions. Like every other region, Tigray doesn’t benefit from the profits of TPLF. A prime example can be the TPLF conglomerate called ‘Endowment Fund for Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFFORT)’. In other words, there was no rehabilitation in Tigray from EFFORT. The real intention is revealed when bank accounts of 34 enterprises owned by TPLF were blocked recently by the Federal Attorney General that accused them of financing TPLF’s terror activities. When I see how every ethnic based political party uses the people as an excuse for personal profit, I remember the statement of Stalin. It is remarked how Stalin once said that the Proletariat were a way of achieving the revolution because of their sheer number and nothing more. We, the people, have numerical value to cover their real intention.
Currently, the end of ethnic division is nearing and Ethiopia will unite. As Gustave le Bon demonstrates in ‘The Crowd’, every civilization (government) depends on the foundational ideology. The decadence of the ideology is also the end of its representatives. Then, the next government will create a different ideology upon which a new civilization will flourish. In showing the death of an ideology, Gustave le Bon contends, “This inevitable hour is always marked by the weakening of the ideal that was the mainstay of the race. In proportion as this ideal pales all the religious, political, and social structures inspired by it begin to be shaken.” This can be better understood with a brief historical reference to the decisive ideological transformations of Ethiopia.
As Gustave le Bon stated, with the death of the ideal also dies its religious, political and social manifestations. In the case of Ethiopia, the end of Monarchy was marked the fall of Emperor Haile Selassie. When the ideal of divine rule ended, so did the overarching power of the church and the feudal structure. Then, the end of Socialism was marked by the fall of Derg Regime. Once again, when socialism left the country, it took even the clandestine cells and oppositions with it because they too were dependent on socialist ideology. Now, ethnic segregation will end with TPLF and with it we may finally rid of its religious, political and social manifestations in every part of the country. In summation, to many, this is not just a ‘fight against’ TPLF, it is principally a ‘fight for’ justice and unity.
Abel Merawi is Addis Ababa-based contributor for Ezega.com. He can be reached through this form.
Other articles by Abel Merawi:
Ethiopia in Conflict - Part I: EPRDF and the Creation of Ethnic Division
Forms of Human Violence (Part II)
Forms of Human Violence (Part I)
The ‘Having’ Mentality
Free but in Chain, Part IV: Personal Bondage
Free but in Chain. Part III: Economic Bondage
Free but in Chain. Part II: Social Bondage
Free but in Chain. Part I: Bondage of Worldview
Unemployment and Economic Growth in Ethiopia
The Underestimated Human Ignorance
Is America the Land of Freedom? (Part II)
Is America the Land of Freedom? (Part I)
Capitalism Becoming an Impediment to Morality
Ketman: Living in Disguise to Gain Acceptance
The System and the 'Criminal'
Trust as an Economic Force
Do You Trust the Government?
Our Online World
Fame Mistaken for Expertise
The Heavy Burden of Healthcare Workers
A Time to Reflect
The Plague by Albert Camus: Fiction Becomes Reality!
History of Pandemics in Ethiopia
Human Struggle Against Pandemics: Historical Perspective
You Can Make a Difference
Rule of Law for a Free Society
The Origins of Law
Determinants of Market Value: Part II
Determinants of Market Value: Part I
Your life Matters Too
Manifestations of Artistic Expression
Achievements vs Natural Accidents
The Grip of Sacrifice
Injustice is Never Justifiable
Education Demands of the Future
Job Security, Life and the Unpredictable Future
The Shift From Racism to Culturism
Sacrificing Meaning for Power?
Culture and Market Forces
Seeking Cosmic Justice
National Myths: Makers and Destroyers of Nations
Are We Truly Free?
Maturity: The Prerequisite to Freedom and Democracy
Loyalty to Truth, Not to Group
The Value of Work
The Flaws with Ethiopian Political System
Intellectuals and the People
Where Are Our Pathfinders?
The Allegory of the Cave and Its Lessons to Leaders
The Truth Behind Humanity
The Seven Virtues
The Seven Deadly Sins
What is the right thing to do?
Building National Identity
Adey Abeba and the Spirit of Change
Living the Truth as a Human Being
Hubris - The Tragedy of Not Learning from Others
The Era of Group Mentality: Us vs Them
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