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Only an Ethiopian uprising can save the economy

By Teodros Kiros

A careful study of world uprisings has convinced George Katsiaficas, the leading expert on social movements, that uprisings empower people and unleash their hitherto untapped passions and energies that fuel dormant economies and revive them in extraordinary ways.

Uprisings create spaces of organized political actions during which time the people develop some distinctly political qualities of leadership. The world has recently witnessed these new qualities in the spectacularly new models of people’s resistance to dictatorships of pharonic Egypt, a polity that was oppressed for 5000 years of successive dominance under its own pharaohs, the Greeks, the Romans, and the Mamluks.

Tahrir square gave us a new model of political action on the enterprising streets of Cairo, Alexandria and many other Egyptian towns.

George Katsiaficas defended this thesis in African Ascent, hosted by Teodros Kiros, and the interview can be viewed in YouTube by March 25th, 2011.

When people’s passions, imaginations and intelligences are freed from the snares of dictatorship; when people discover their powers and abilities on the streets of democracy; when the people learn that their liberation is tied to the liberation of the nation, then they draw from the hidden fountain of their intelligence to revive the economy. The economy can be revived only if they participate, only if they disalienate themselves and becoming the living engine of the economy.

We recently learned from Egypt that new social movements of youth, women, workers and other professionals created new spaces of action for themselves.

It is uprisings, which disclosed the protesters of Tunisia, Egypt and now Libya as actional and erotic beings and not passive and alienated spectators.

So the dormant Ethiopian economy can be energized and revived by peaceful uprisings, which will take power from dictators and their cohorts and give power directly to the people themselves.

A new vibrant Ethiopian economy is the consequence of the people’s activities.

The current Ethiopian economic crises, which the Prime Minister refuses to see from the invisible space of the palace, can be saved only by the people themselves if they are freed from political darkness, civil boredom, ethnic narrow-mindedness, skepticism and cultural decadence, and come out in millions to Meskel square and demand regime change.

If and when this happens they will immediately embark on the long road of national development organized by the empowering principle of Ethiopianity. We can for the first time witness what the people can do, when they are trusted and coached to work for the nation-selflessly and intelligently.

5 thoughts on “Only an Ethiopian uprising can save the economy

  1. The system that Meles Zinawi built twenty years ago never had worked and never had to be waited to collapse by itself.It must be demolished by all necessay meanses;one such meanse is Ethiopian Revolution:- A revolution that changes everying that has never worked before and puts in place a new paradigme to see what has not been seen and to visualize and imagine better economy,better social collaboration and dynamisim and interdependency among all stakeholders;a revolution that empoweres people to bring out change in what we have been doing and in what we are doing in the future.The future is now.

  2. Hi Teddy,

    YOU stated a seemingly nice hypothesis:

    “The current Ethiopian economic crises, which the Prime Minister refuses to see from the invisible space of the palace, can be SAVED ONLY by the people themselves if they are freed from political darkness, civil boredom, ethnic narrow-mindedness, scepticism and cultural decadence, and COME OUT in millions to Meskel square and demand regime change.”

    Shall I try to illuminate other perspective to your hypothesis, why it is not always the case?

    YOUR hypothesis suggests an economic crises is only to be solved by a political uprising (or crises). I am sorry to tell you that political uprisings have rarely lead to a better economy. Political uprising might have a huge part in shaping the playing field -it increases the voice of the people but rarely took the power and gave it back to the people.

    Let’s see some examples – Civil Right Movement (MLK in his “I have a dream speech”, he, among other things, referred to economical inequality between the whites and the blacks). Does the civil rights movement close this gap significantly in terms of ECONOMY? NO. Does his movement help create political voice for the blacks? Definitely, YES!

    Now, let’s go to South Africa – Mandela. Fighting apartheid was not only a political and moral issue but also an economical equality issue that was conspicuous between the colonizers (whites) and the landowners (blacks). Did ANC’s movement bring significant equality in terms of Economy? NO. Does it created handful of rich blacks using a program called “Black Empowerment”? Yes. But ARE the majority of blacks living to the fullest considering the country’s natural wealth? NO. However, what the ANC’s movement gave to the people was a voice in the political landscape.

    Sometimes, we witnessed when this newly gained political voice abused by leaders such as Mugabe. While Mugabe’s “land distribution” policy was just, his way of implementation to bring economical equality was flawed. His political power to correct the injustice in the land distribution over reached. It backfired and led to the nation often dubbed as the breadbasket of Africa in to misery.

    Moreover, we vividly recall how political uprisings can be hijacked. To mention a few, the 1960s students’ revolution against the Haile Selassie’s kingdom; and the recent flawless youth movement in Egypt that you put as an example “TAHRIR SQUARE” uprising. Guess what? Mengistu’s clueless regime tried to “SAVE the ECONOMY” by introducing socialism to ETHIOPIA. Did it work? Heck NO! Ironically, Mohamed Hussein Tantawi’s regime will never deliver on the economy. Trust me, in a country where the Egypt military dominates almost the entire business spectrum from selling chicken to import export sectors, it is extremely hard to bring double-digit economical growth. How do you expect an economic reform in Egypt from this current regime while you have basically the military acting as “a commercial enterprise”.

    Last but not least, The current regime in Ethiopia, which is totally impotent in stabilizing the economy, claim that it came to power to “create democracy and economical development”. How do they come to power? Via arm fight? Do they deliver on the economy? NEVER.

    Teddy, while I share your deep feeling in throwing this impotent government, you and I seem to defer in the way to “how to throw down” this tyrant regime.

    We’ll be waiting to see your presentation on March 25th.

    Best of luck

    ps -I would love to send you what I think is the best way to throw out this tyrant government and at the same time govern to stabilize the economy.

  3. Hi Teodros,

    We all are for regime change and better economy. Nonethless, “Uprising at Meskel Square”, when the regime has the most brutual army equipped with the best artillery (thanks to US and its ‘war on terror’) will do nothing other than going to negative from zero!

    Don’t be fooled by the media focus on Egypt or Libya. No media will spend two seconds of its air-wave on Ethiopian problems – they think we will die anyways because of food shortage. Remember – its all about interest when it comes to getting western media and support. Need to have OIL or protect Israel. Otherwise, who gives a rats as! Case in point – see waht is happening in Abijan!

  4. Meles in his recent video was really a frightened cat. I have watched many of his videos where he looked intellectual, but in this one he looked like the most frightened and scared man. He talked about diversion relating it to Egypt and Tunisia. Exactly diversion is what he is attempting with inciting Muslim Christian conflict and shown it to world as it is new extremist Muslim act, and his actions of sending Ethiopian people back to Somalia to be dragged in streets of Somalia.

  5. Yes, Ethiopian revolution will save Ethiopia’s economy controlled by a few vicious greedy ethno-apartheid pushers. Ethiopia’s economy is experiencing difficulties because a certain group is controlling the spigots of economic flow.

    Once we removed this entity, wealth distribution and economic opportunities will lead to a natural flow, which will increase the chance for citizens to participate and ultimately win over their economic challenges.

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