- “We must either learn to live together as brothers or we are all going to perish together as fools. As nationals and individuals we are interdependent. It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied together into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality…” – Martin Luther King, 1967, “Christmas Sermon.”
Authors Note: In Part I of my commentary (Fighting T-TPLF Internal Colonialism Through EthiopiaWINet (Ethiopian-ness)) last week, I examined the political situation in Ethiopia over the past 26 years as a problem of internal colonialism driven by the voracious and insatiable appetite of the Thugtatorship of the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (T-TPLF) for land– urban land, rural land, any kind of land. I also examined the outcome of the T-TPLF’s system of internal colonialism in terms of the oppression, subordination and exploitation of majority ethnic groups in a comparative perspective with South Africa.
I expect to expound on EthiopiaWINet from a variety of perspectives in many forthcoming commentaries.
For me, EthiopiaWINet signifies a lot of things.
For me, EthiopiaWINet is a Weltanschauung, a world view, a philosophy, a way of life, a form of consciousness, a way of doing (and not) things and a methodology for understanding and transforming the Ethiopian reality and the world.
For me, EthiopiaWINet is a lens through which I see and perceive reality, the past, present and future and reflect critically upon the problems, issues and needs in Ethiopia to gain a deeper understanding and follow up with action to bring about change.
For me, EthiopiaWINet is “praxis” (“action-oriented towards changing society”, unity of theory and practice).
For me, EthiopiaWINet is the ultimate failsafe antitoxin to the poison of T-TPLF’s internal colonial rule.
I believe in the power of education and follow in the tradition of Paulo Freire and Antonio Gramsci in my notions of “EthiopiaWINet praxis.” I am always mindful of Freire’s admonition: “Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.” Gramsci understood dominant groups in society achieve “hegemony” by imposing political and ideological consensus to obtain the “spontaneous consent” of subordinate and oppressed groups. The T-TPLF has partially succeeded in manufacturing consent through its bogus ideology of “ethnic federalism”. For 26 years, the T-TPLF has exercised hegemony in Ethiopia by infecting the society’s system of values, attitudes, beliefs with bogus revisionist history, hate-mongering and institutionalizing the creed of ethnic supremacism.
While I do not aim to engage in a full discourse on “praxis”, suffice it to say that I regard EthiopiaEINet as an educational or “consceintization” process to liberate our minds from T-TPLF apartheid mental slavery, and most importantly, serve as a pathway to not only regaining our sense of “Ethiopianity” or “Africanity”, but also humanity.
Gramsci said, “Without a sense of identity, there can be no real struggle.” To that end, Gramsci prescribed, “The first step in emancipating oneself from political and social slavery is that of freeing the mind.” Of course, the great Bob Marley said it more poetically in his Redemption Song: “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;/ None but ourselves can free our minds.”
For me, EthiopiaWINet is a complete process of “unbrainwashing” from the T-TPLF ideology of ethnic division and hate. EthiopiaWINet is the means by which Ethiopians can emancipate themselves from the political, economic, social and mental slavery of T-TPLF rule. It is the ultimate means of freeing our minds from ethnic hate, sectarianism and regionalism.
For the past 26 years, the T-TPLF has fed the Ethiopian people a smorgasbord of hate, division, distrust, corruption, cruelty, lies, damned lies and statislies, bitterness, shame, injustice…
EthiopiaWINet replaces hate with love, division with unity, distrust with trust, corruption with integrity, ugliness, cruelty with compassion, despair with hope, cowardice with courage, self-doubt with self-confidence, might with right, ethnicity with humanity, dishonor with dignity, immorality with ethical rectitude, doubt with faith of our ancestors, bitterness with forgiveness and reconciliation, shame with honor, cynicism with idealism, stupidity with creativity, injustice with fairness, pessimism with optimism, war with peace, narrow-mindedness with tolerance, deceitfulness with truthfulness, and despair with hope.
I hope to employ EthiopiaWINet as a “dialogical” and dialectical process in which social and political ideas can be examined, critiqued and refined. But the dialogue on EthiopiaWINet must not remain only in the realm of reflection and abstraction. It must provide an outlet for people to come together and transform ideas into action in an atmosphere of mutual trust, respect and love. Without action, it is not possible to change reality.
That is what I mean by EthiopiaWINet praxis.
In this (Part II), I shall discuss “EthiopiawiNOT” to be followed next week by “EthiopiaWINet”.
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