Can Ethiopia and its “civilization” be saved?
“It is hard not to feel that we are now encountering some of the same kind of forces that have traditionally been involved in the fall of civilization” Ian Morris Professor of History at Stanford University.
“All great empires die from within” Terry Bradshaw.
Gebru Boj’Boj. October 9, 2020
From the very first civilization to the eight major civilizations, that include Western, Confucian, Japanese, Islamic, Hindu, Slavic Orthodox, Latin Americans and African civilizations, including our Axum, all had collapsed one by one and their collapses were speeded up by lack of insight and plan, lacking or inadequate situation awareness, human errors, lack of understanding of the depth of problems faced, unpreparedness, late actions, and blinded by greed and power. Many countries have come and gone, changed in to multi and small states. Even the modern civilization that we call American will likely not be exempt. The case of the blue and red states narratives, the controversial electoral college system, the validity and importance of the deliberative assembly or Senatorial system, the popular and non-popular voting system, etc. are testing whether America is really a United State.
When historians say that an empire fell, they mean that the central state no longer exercised its broader power and unable to keep law and order, that there is unsustainable complexity, and decay of social cohesion among may reasons.
Before I succinctly mention the Ethiopian civilization and relate it to the reality mentioned above, let me share with my readers the experience I had encountered back during the dreg era.
Back in the days of my prison time, one of my animal-like, airheaded, imbecile and idiot interrogators, Wokaw was his name, in the middle of my interrogation once told me that every Tigran from four years old to 84 old are no good for Ethiopia and need to be annihilated or wiped out and that is when Ethiopia will be safe and continue for eternity. I guess, why he spared the children under four was that they can be raised in a such a way that they will have no clue that they are Tigrayans when they grow up and those who are over 84 are dying and heading out to their graves and are inconsequential. When such weird and nonsensical words spewed out from his disgusting mouth, I was not really hurt. I just felt sorry for him to have such deep and disease-like hatred against his follow Citizens. I did not go further from it and did not draw any bad consequential conclusion from his words, and I moved on.
The only thing I did as soon as I went back to my cell was share it with the respected and my mentor Dr. Mengesha Gebrehiwot (may his gentle soul rest in peace whose life was taken away by derg while in prison) who was imprisoned in the same building where I was staying. After sharing the information, he told me” any interrogation has mental and physical torture, and what you went through is a mental torture on purpose besides to your physical. Accept it, learn from it, and move on. Do not dwell too long on it. Let us play our Game (we used to play chess).” And we played, and he won-true story.
Why didn’t I get upset? Well, the construction of false, hateful, and negative narratives against Tegaru in the minds of him and his likes have been going on for over a Century anyways.
Back then, such ridiculous, derisory, and risible statement did not change even an iota of my Ethiopiawinet feeling. However, in today’s Ethiopia in general and abiy’s administration in particular, such mental illness is not only is continuing but continuing or increasing at an increasing scale and gaining depth. In today’s Ethiopia, it is common to hear from abiy and his trojan horses that Ethiopia minus Tigray is equated to peace. Or Ethiopian without Tigray is the best and optimal solution. Given all this, it is forcing me to pose a question to myself; how long is this going to continue? When is enough is enough? Do we have to have an infinite like patience to such nonsense? Don’t we have to seek an end point to this trash?
In today’s Ethiopia, what I am observing and seeing being committed by this dictatorial regime and his enablers makes you rethink your Ethiopiawinet. Derg 2.0 is committing crimes of many folds compared to derg 1.0. The crimes and other gross and large-scale human rights violations being committed by abiy administration are multi-dimensional. The crimes committed and the blatant violations are primordial catastrophe of our time that is threatening its unity more than any other time.
The targeted policy against Tegaru and their State, the closure of gateways or highways, uprooting, imprisonments, business takeaways or closures, layoffs, psychological malaise, etc. forces you to think seriously about being Ethiopian. Eventually, this can or may lead to the divorce of Tigrai and Ethiopia. After all being Ethiopian is a kind of like social contract, non-binding where the things that made you part of the union become broken, then the contract becomes null and void. Tegaru had seen the atrocities and crimes of minilik, haileselassie and derg. And never questioned their Ethiopiawinet. Today’s regime has added another added dimension of crimes that is forcing us to re-think about our Ethiopiawinet.
Yes, we Ethiopians have been around for long time, longer than we could ever conceive. However, here we are now sleeping in the shadows and waiting for right moment to see the continuity of our union. The reality is though, in the beneath of the ground of our land there is plague, evil, and stupidity pushing its way out to the surface.
There is one strong universal truth when it comes to civilization or countries that every single civilization to date has collapsed without sparing any. To say that Oh we have a history of three thousand years of unity, we are intermingled, , tied by blood and marriage, and we have fought in unity against foreign aggression, and we will not be disintegrated and collapse is a hogwash. Neither we as people nor Ethiopia is not unique and immune from the historically proven fact – All civilization, big and small, has collapsed. It would be foolish and hubristic to think that we would be immune from this historically proven fact. What is happening in Ethiopia today could be the beginning of the end of Ethiopia as we know it or could be the catalyst on a downturn that started with, mainly, abiy coming in to power. I believe the collapse is happening before our eyes. There are already an incredibly unsubtle signs to prove my point. The indifference of the Ethiopian mass to the pain and suffering, targeted attack is also speeding up the disintegration of the country. Ethiopia should learn from the disintegration of Yugoslavia which live now only in history: Why did Yugoslavia disintegrate? How and why Slovenia and Croatia effectively ended SFRY’s existence? Who started the Yugoslavia war? We have a relevant experience to derive from Yugoslavia’s failure.
The collapse and disintegration of Ethiopia may look like what Rome experienced in the 5th Century – un ability to essentially share the wealth, information, technology across a vast region was what made the Roman Empire so advanced for its time. When people, goods and services, information, etc. could not get from point A to point B and Roman Empire collapsed for good. It always takes a perfect storm of coinciding stressors to bring down civilization exploited by unfriendly environments and neighbors.
Do we have the self-awareness to this end? Do we Ethiopians know we are living in a collapsing empire speeded up by the current headless and spineless leader? The Romans did not see the fall of their empire until it was too late. I am very certain that after we all understand, see, and recognize the reality of the imminent collapse, we will be reminiscing and glorifying the era of the so called 27 “dark” years that had come and gone: the civilization ( with all its weaknesses and issues ) of the harmonious living, the schools and colleges mushrooming, the Federated system and elimination of the unitary system, the recognition and empowering all nations and nationalities, the building of roads and highways, the building of state of the art metro train and rail ways, the nation-wide health care services, clinics, and hospitals, the peace and rule of law, etc. are gone before our eyes, not to be coming back. The civilization of our co-existence, federated system and living in harmony is collapsing forever.
Is the seemingly imminent collapse preventable? Can we prevail as Ethiopians living in the union? The apocryphal princess of Troy who was blessed with an ability to foretell the future and cursed never have her prophecies believed. This meant that she could predict the fall of Troy but not prevent it. But Troy did fall. I see a clear parallel between old civilizations and what is happening right now in Ethiopia. Too many to feel uncomfortable. It is my best hope that things could be reversed. To fight off this perfect storm and the confluence of negative forces demand huge task and urgency. I am clinging now to the hope that a good understanding of all the challenges we are facing will save us. Understanding a problem after all is halfway to the solution, at least.
To my understanding and fear, there is one final straw that is going to break the camel’s back which is the longevity of the abiy administration, the more time we give him the less chance we have to maintain the union. I sometimes try to feel optimistic that we are smart enough to get ourselves off the mess that we are in. However, and to be frank, every time I look at what is going on, well, maybe I am overestimating our understanding of the situation and capabilities. Maybe we are not that smart.
The flame of love we have for our Ethiopia is almost being extinguished and our sweetheart for our belongingness in the common union is growing so cold. I am afraid that it can fully soon be past and gone if we Ethiopians do not act soon in unison, reciprocity, unanimity, and consonance. I feel like the mistake made against Eritrea and Eritreans during the Hailselassie regime is being repeated on tigrai and Tegaru even though the nature, magnitude, and depth of the problems are different. History regrettably seems repeating itself. I am sure that all Ethiopians know about the targeted attack policy in Addis and beyond against Tegaru and the actions being taken by the rest of Ethiopians against these atrocities is not only negligible but also non-existent and many seem even trying to conceal these facts. We need to adopt quickly and in Unisom a framework decision on stopping these crimes by the current regime if our union is going to be saved. That is how we can save our civilization of living together, the civilization of tolerance and free movement of people, goods and services, and the civilization of federated system of governance, not unitary government. Anything less, will not save our union and can only speed up its collapse like all other civilizations that happened and gone before.
To the Ethiopian people: it is better to be late than never. It is still not late to save Ethiopia. The Ethiopia as we know it is collapsing for good. To help her stay as our common union, we need to understand the pains of Tegaru who are being targeted all over the country in general and in Addis Ababa in particular as if they are from other unwanted country. Their assets and wealth are being targeted and confiscated. Whether it will be saved or not is in your hand. Your inaction and negligence are tantamount to cooperating with the dictator’s actions. In the continued atrocities and crimes targeted against us Tegaru, we Tegaru can say enough is enough as we will have nothing to lose except misery, pain, and subjugation. Silence or not acting on time will only speed up the collapse of the union. Realize that you can even listen to your silence, the silence of patience for our common good and union. Realize that such patience, and tolerance, is reaching a boiling point. Tigray is saying that I must be myself. I can not break myself any longer for you (Ethiopia). If you can love me for what I am, we shall be happier together. If you cannot, I will still seek to deserve that you should. I must be myself, and for myself. I can go back to my original life that I had way before you were created. I had lived in it and it was beautiful and with a created World class civilization.
Tigray is saying to its true children; I need help for me and my children, do not delay my freedom and I had enough. Anything less is unacceptable. Free me and my children. Let me be galloping like a free and healthy horse. Then after, I will show you how I and my children will fly high and fast and reach the ultimate promise land.
To little abiy, the skullduggerous and underhanded: I have an information from reliable sources that you love to spend your time reading Facebook pages, opposition websites, the respected and well-read AIGA and Tigrai online forums. As a result, I have no doubt that you are reading my piece as well. Hear me out, you are not long for this World. You are not in the land of Cameroon and Republic of Guinea whose leaders are the longest serving non-royal presidents in the World where the former has been in power since 1975 and the later since 1982. You are not also in the land where you can rule close to thirty years and lead a country devoid of its children. You cannot be a Kind in the land of heroines and heroes. I am seeing many ways of your eventual death, though I am not sure which one it will be. I am very sure that we will outlast you. Thanks to your actions and the actions of your enablers and sympathizers, there are Tigraways’ ruins all over Ethiopia, testaments of the atrocities and burial chambers of our lost souls. And for this reason, we will resolutely fight you all the way and we will triumph, not you.
The Tigray matter for us Tegaru at this juncture is like mathematics where there is no room for argument and error. Tigray’s political equation depending on the political parameters and slops has two clear answers: either you will be chased out and continue to see Ethiopia with democracy and federal system or Tigray will declare its independence. We are not born to be forced. It is the land of heroines and heroes. It is a land where sacrifice is accepted as a bless. It is a land where fear has no place.