What is wrong with the Political Reasoning Power of our Intellectuals?

April 7, 2018

Tegenaw Goshu

The very critical situation we are facing in our country and the very efforts being exerted by the ruling circle for the very survival of its political power by any means available including “smart political game” of telling the people what they are hungry for and desperately want hear as well as offering them with some “generous concessions” cannot and should not be characterized as the real and serious signals of change let alone being the source of excitement and real hope.

Unfortunately, what we are witnessing/hearing/reading from most of our intellectuals or educated fellowmen and women with regard to this very tricky political event sounds so poor and clumsy.  Did we witness or are we witnessing any real signal or clear and detailed vision? Not at all! Yes, we hear and read opinions, comments, and even ideas that declare going to the right direction toward the right and fundamental change through the newly selected and assigned prime minister has no any other option but to move forward.  To my understanding, the prime minister has options, not just one option.  Either be courageous enough and determined to practically show that his premiership is not to serve as a survival agent or tool of his political godfather (TPLF) and the Trojan horse of TPLF (OPDO, ANDM, and SEPDD) and go ahead with his project of bringing about fundamentally democratic system, or else try to mess with people’s real demand and be ready to be forced to resign or pushed out with terrible disgrace.    Because it is crystal clear to any genuinely concerned ordinary Ethiopian that failure and the continuation of politics as usual cannot be or should be an option at all.

The failure or success of the newly selected and assigned prime minister is totally dependent on whether he is a man of his well-received words of political rhetoric.  I strongly doubt as he is a prime minister who is still the very captive of a political game that will never give up its power without the viability of strong and well-coordinated opposition forces that should strongly and persistently be accompanied by peoples’ movement that has been going for a couple of years.

Unfortunately enough, the movement seems slowing down or even sliding back by being victim of the words of the newly assigned prime minister that are not and will not be able to change the very political nature, behavior, attitude, norm, and action of the ruling circle which he has been belonging to more than half of his forty-two years of age. I strongly disagree with the notion that politicians of EPRDF who are forced to speak the very language of the people (Ethiopia/Ethopiawinet, togetherness, democracy, good standard of living, remarkable history and history makers, freedom and justice loving etc.) not because of their own self-initiation and motivation can be agents of fundamental democratic change without the continuation of the struggle in a much more powerful and timely manner. What we are hearing and witnessing is a fairly articulated and seemingly well-intended rhetoric (speech for the general public consumption), not signs of walking the serious walk. Intention is good. But it could be terribly misleading and with disastrous consequences if it is not accompanied by timely and effective deeds. Is it a matter of being pessimistic if we are concerned about what the new PM is doing and how is doing where as he is still an element of the same notoriously anti- fundamental democratic change ruling political club  ? I would argue absolutely not! On the other hand, optimism is not complacency or behaving foolishly toward a serious matter such as ours. Optimism requires a ground to emerge and rise up, grow and become a powerful material force of achieving what we aspire or dreamed.  Any optimism less than this is not only misleading but self-defeating state of mind (mentality).

Yes, the new PM  has delivered  a relatively great political rhetoric which is not  actually new in its essence,  but the reflection of  peoples’ words of  deeply painful cry and decry for  more than a quarter of century  . Would he be able to turn around this horrible political and socio-economic quagmire and dehumanizing practice of his terribly brutal and stupidly arrogant ruling front (TPLF/EPRDF) and create a situation for fundamentally democratic system while he remains in the very political basket of it? Not at all!

We may argue that this kind of argument of mine is pessimistic or badly negative. I would say it is foolish enough  to be victim of extremely simplistic and emotion-driven political way of approach to the very difficult , cynical, hypocritical, and terribly conspiratorial ruling circle which is trying its best to survive and to come back with its heavy and brutal political arm by offering its “best”  piece meal of its “deep and genuine reform or democratic revitalization”  through a prime minister who is much more smarter than the very clumsy and lousy former PM, Ato Hailemariam Desalegn . Yes, his (the new PM’s) ruling circle will allow him or instruct him to be “generous enough” by offering some highly deceiving (mischievous)   piece- meal approaches and actions which essentially means ” you the Ethiopian people, that is what you deserve, not removing the ruling party of ‘revolution democratic centralism’ from its gracefully successful throne of Arat Kilo palace. ”   I wish it could be otherwise. But that is what it is!

To my understanding, it is very disappointing, if not sad to witness the very terribly simplistic, self-degrading, emotion-driven, extremely shallow, and highly misleading optimism coming even from the most highly experienced and educated fellowman and women especially in the diaspora. Is that the way we are seeking for fundamental democratic change and prevalence? I hate to say but I have to say that an ordinary and illiterate man or woman of my country knows how to bring about the change the country is desperately waiting for and  can explain much better than most of our well-educated fellowmen and women who seem just expressing their excitement about the selection and assignment of the new PM without  at least meaningfully and seriously critical  way of discussing and analyzing the very political reality of the country that has been horribly messed up and deeply contaminated by the ruling party still in control of both political  , economic , military and security power . Have we detached ourselves from the very hard reality of our country in practical terms while we simply keep pretending that we are doing great and enjoying kind of never- happened excitement ? Terribly worrisome!

Yes, showing the very obsession (excessive excitement or a mentality of political fantasy) towards the newly selected and assigned PM for the simple reason that he has given a political rhetoric that deeply touches our feelings and tells us what we want to hear is terribly clumsy and frustrating. Not because his words are not great or a matter of dismissing the probability (though minimal) of his personal good intention and desire. But when our intellectuals  including those with great reputation of both their academic level and longtime experience such as professor Mesfin W/Mariam  overwhelmingly excited and intended to believe that the new PM is going to make a historic chapter in our political history does not show the  critical, rational, positively challenging and constructive political personalities of our intellectuals. Not at all!  Hearing these kinds of highly simplistic and   emotion-driven intellectual excitement after the untold sufferings we have gone through for more than two decades is not a good example for this generation whose future should be determined by its own independently led struggle to achieve a fundamentally democratic Ethiopia. To this end, the movement must either make the new PM its own agent coming from his dangerously toxic godfather (TPLF) or the Trojan horse (EPRDF) or let him unequivocally  know that he has to distance ( step down) without killing more time and energy , and consequently  hurting the movement .

I am afraid if we do not try hard to get out from the very mentality of the very self-degrading of feeling happy and excited with the drip and drip and rip or shamefully trickle down change within the existing ruling circle, the bright future we are desperately longing for will stay far and far away, not getting closer and closer. And that would be disastrous.

I am not saying that the newly assigned PM may not personally have good intention and the desire to do the best he can do and make his own political personality and the political history of his ruling circle free from the very deadly criminal political behavior and practice for more than two decades by taking necessary but painful measures.  What I am strongly arguing is that the new PM cannot and will not be expected to bring about any new and democratic change other than piece meal or trickle down offerings as long as he remains the prime minister selected and assigned by his old political godfather (TPLF) and his Trojan horse (EPRDF). I am afraid he may end up being a “better” driver of that Trojan horse than the former used to be. I wish I could be a politically damn person and miracles could happen. Unfortunately, that does not work in the political reality of our country.

What is to be done?  The wave of peoples’ struggle must move much more powerfully and successfully and let the new PM know that if he is not going to be a real agent for a real and genuinely fundamental democratic change and development with an excuse of needing more time and patience, he has to resign or get out from the very politically contaminated palace politics that he could not able to clean it up and make it a real palace of the people. The people cannot and should not shoulder the very deadly and dehumanizing ruling circle in the name of give me, give me, give me and give me time political game anymore!!  Absolutely not!!

I wish not only him but all of us all the best!!!


  1. Thank God, there is some sober intellectual, who has not lost clear vision in this time of political theatre!!

  2. Dear writer,

    Thank you for your well-thought piece of writing. I am 100% with you with everything you said. It is puzzling for our intellectuals and the so-called politicians to be carried away with this new TPLF’s drama.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here