Everyone gets it. The ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front does not have strong ideological foundation. Of course, what happens when ideology is in a collision course with values cherished in the society is a legitimacy crisis. And that is what the minority Tigray regime has been living for well over two decades now. Apart from divergence in political world view, the regime entrenched multifarious social and cultural malaise in the Ethiopian society, purposely and by design, as a strategy to weaken the resistance of Ethiopians.
We also get it that the regime didn’t pay the price for its legitimacy crisis. To date, it got away with it through excessive, if not sole, use of its military and intelligence apparatus, which was in fact weak when it took over government power.
With no doubt, western powers -primarily the United States and United Kingdom -supported the regime to transform itself to its current military posture under the guise of partnership on the fight against terrorism in Somalia. But it is now clear that the partnership in fact transcends the task of fighting religious extremism in the region. There are pockets of political supports to Ethiopians’ struggle in North America and Europe. But governments are silently supporting TPLF – for what it is ; a tool for their interest.
One of the ways the TPLF regime dealt with legitimacy crisis is by taking actions that would actually worsen it. No estimate seem to be available so far on the number of Ethiopians killed while asserting and pursuing freedom, and rejecting TPLF and its ideology since it took over power. But if we just add up just figures by human rights organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch for all these years, it is four digits number. Well, if we are to add up unreported number, it soars to five digits. But it has been called democratically elected and what not.
After all these sacrifices, Ethiopians are not yet free. Why chauvinist Tigray minority regime still in power? Obviously, unfettered support from the west can not entirely explain it.
What is it that the opposition hasn’t done to enable Ethiopians attain their freedom and restore their dignity or something that has been done wrongly? Possibly, the answer to that could leave us with a long list of failures related to principle,strategy and leadership – among other things.
Why the opposition does not see exploring impacts of moral corruption entrenched by TPLF and the social malaise brought about by western cultural conquest which gave rise to narcissistic, self-serving, opportunistic ways of life in Ethiopia – which was not the case at least before 1991 – as an imperative is something that politically conscious Ethiopians need to grabble with. Also, whether we have a sensible conception of freedom or not is something that needs to be given a sober thought.
True that to some extent a generation is a measure of its time. But we have seen in history a generation that influenced an era rather than being influenced by social malaise that prevailed in an era. We have an example from the early 20th century Ethiopia and from other societies as well. When a force for revolutionary change- young people in their early 20’s – live narcissism,mediocrity,hedonism and opportunism as worth while values and when the opposition is not doing anything about it, it is hard to imagine if Ethiopia has a future at all.
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