By Abel Merawi
January 11, 2021 (Ezega.com) -- For years, we have witnessed crowd leaders striving to segregate the people of Ethiopia, which ultimately threatened our sovereignty. We have seen them conniving, in a grand chess-player style, to sacrifice the people as pawns with the aim of crowning themselves. The crowd leaders of Ethiopia appear different only from distance. You see their glaring similarities once you take a closer look. It reminds me of James Baldwin in ‘The Fire Next Time’ when he remarked how the chief of the American Nazi Party, George Lincoln Rockwell, contributed to Malcolm X because they both work to have a separate nation through racial superiority.
Here too, we find crowd leaders from various ethnic groups working together toward ethnic victory at the expense of national unity. Driven insane by their shallow perspective, they try to save the branch by cutting the tree. Their mentality is the same as the crowd they lead. And crowd-acceptance makes them feel smart. This endless loop is how mass hysteria takes hold and engulf a nation.
To understand the mind of the crowd leaders, we need to think like a psychoanalyst working with the mentally sick. Our search will be in vain if we attempt to find logical reasons that support the path of crowd leaders. But if we, like Gustave le Bon in ‘The Crowd’, look for the dominant characteristics of mob leaders, we may find how they hold their followers enchanted. This helps us connect the criminal acts of their followers directly to them, and label them public or national enemies.
To form the opinion and beliefs of a crowd, there are common yet powerful elements employed by crowd leaders. Amongst them, race and tradition serve to cast a spell on crowds. This creates danger when it is eloquently misconstrued by sophistic crowd leaders. Race and tradition can be used to unite, but it is always used by crowd leaders to divide the people.
In Ethiopia, we have seen crowd leaders transforming national heroes into ethnic idols. The dead do not speak so crowd leaders speak for them in a way that fits their agenda. Our ancestors died defending our nation against foreign colonizers, so it is utterly wicked of crowd leaders to dress them in ethnic garb and reduce their greatness. They play on words as they use race and traditions to drive the crowd wild. Gustave le Bon argues, “It is illusions and words that have influenced the mind of the crowd, and especially words−− words which are as powerful as they are chimerical.” Indeed, their words are powerful because they are imaginary and fanciful.
The misuse and abuse of words is the very weapon of crowd leaders. When it serves to justify their call upon the crowd, their vile tongue desecrates noble words of humanity, democracy, and justice. Humanity becomes empty articulation as they use it to commit inhumane acts on others. In their eyes, democracy is justified when it satisfies their childish demands. Justice becomes unjust when crowd leaders use it to pillage and murder. Simply put, they use moral principles in a compartmentalized and truncated manner to further their group and/or personal ambitions. Their aim is arousing vague images that appear as the ultimate solution to every problem, and to justify their crimes and rally their followers.
Engaged in empty rhetoric, the crowd leader lacks political consistency and moral integrity. In ‘Black Prophetic Fire,’ Dr. Cornel West implores, “If the boot is on our neck, does it make any difference what color the foot is in the boot?” In the same tone, I ask: If you are suffering from the inhumane, undemocratic, and unjust oppressiveness of any tyrant, does it matter what race or ethnic group the despot belongs to? Even worse, crowd leaders proudly announce that they operate through permanent interests, and so do not have permanent friends or enemies. When they find it advantageous, they speak of their former enemy as a historical friend and vice versa. In the words of Brother West, “How morally empty and ethically deficient this motto is—no reference to moral principles, ethical standards, or grand visions of justice for all; just permanent interests….” To see such unprincipled people become leaders through the force of their crowd invites melancholy.
From the above observations, we can identify the features of crowd leaders and their means of persuasion. Gustave le Bon argues that they are persons of action than thinkers. He portrays them as, “morbidly nervous, excitable, half−deranged persons who are bordering on madness.” Hitler aroused the people by wielding his deranged personality and despotic authority in the name of nationality. The crowd feeds on servitude to a despotic master. And as we witness in Ethiopia, deranged ethnic leaders are leading servile followers to commit crimes against humanity.
Despite the corrupt nature of crowd leaders, they manage to persuade crowds using simple affirmative statements that are devoid of reasoning. Through repetition, they fix their contagious ideas into the minds of crowds. Crowds leaders not only create opinions but also feelings towards their opinions. Gustave le Bon claims, “Contagion is so powerful that it forces upon individuals not only certain opinions but certain modes of feeling as well.” Therefore, Ethiopian crowd leaders form an ethnic opinion and also the reactive feelings that make the crowd act out the criminal will of their leaders. Recently, we have seen how madness can take hold due to lies and repetition in one of the most civilized countries in the world, the USA.
More than ever, it is vital to expose their true identity as crowd leaders currently hold center stage in Ethiopian politics. As they have reached a point where tolerating them becomes catastrophic, we must not stand aside and let them run wild. Their power rest on the illusions they feed their followers, so it is by examining their fictions that we can stop them. As Gustave le Bon clearly states, “The precise moment at which a great belief is doomed is easily recognizable; it is the moment when its value begins to be called into question.” Using this Socratic method of examination, let us question the ethnic narrative of Ethiopian crowd leaders. If we can manifest the dangers of ethnic narratives and work for unity, the preachers of ethnicity will crumble with their illusions.
I end by speaking to the uniting and loving part in all of us. Although the voice of crowd leaders is loud and shrieking, it lacks the unifying force of morality that millions of Ethiopians possess. The words of Martin Luther King Jr. now speak to us by saying, “There is amazing power in unity. Where there is true unity, every effort to disunite only serves to strengthen unity.” Verily, the devious work of crowd leaders and foreign aggressors will only unite the peace-loving majority of Ethiopians. We are all Ethiopians, and our forefathers have defended the land for all of us. The effort to split this historical bond of the people will only strengthen our harmony. We must present a united front against any entity that threatens our unity.
Abel Merawi is Addis Ababa-based contributor for Ezega.com. He can be reached through this form.
Other articles by Abel Merawi:
Ethiopia Under the Threat of Crowd Mentality
Conformist Realism in Ethnic Federalism
Alternatives to National Identity
Ethiopia in Conflict - Part II: A National Stand for Unity
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
Join us on social media:
Like Ezega.com on Facebook and get Ethiopian News updates regularly.
Get the latest Ethiopia News by following us on Twitter @Ezega_Official.
Follow Ezega on LinkedIn for Ethiopia Jobs and Ethiopian News Today.