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HomeAcademic ArticleCommentary: Take lesson from Kautilya (350-275 BC) and Machiavelli (1469-1527AD) 

Commentary: Take lesson from Kautilya (350-275 BC) and Machiavelli (1469-1527AD) 

 By Agenagn Kebede

(Editor, Reviewer, Blogger, Mentor, SYRFM, and Asst. Prof. of Political Science)


Ethiopia, which is taken as the heart of Africa, has been facing the worst political scenario. Westerns and Americans are doing all efforts either to plant neo-colonialism or if they cannot do that to destroy Ethiopia at all. Related with this, Tigray People’s Liberation (TPLF) has served as a wagon of Westerns and Americans to achieve the impossible mission of destroying Ethiopia.  Albeit, Ethiopia, which gets loyal and strong leaders, has still upheld all political evils and in this event, the leader is advised to hear the political philosophers to safeguard the sovereign country. By using snapshot qualitative case study with philosophical analysis, this commentary forwards the political advice of Kautilya and Machiavelli for the loyal and honored Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmmed.

Key words:Abiy Ahmmed, Advice, Kautilya, Machiavelli


Ethiopia is in a critical situation. It is fighting with both terrorism and Neo-colonialism.  The terrorist group, which is supported by Westerns and Americans, has done all damages of dismantling Ethiopia.  On the other hand, beyond helping TPLF, Neo-colonists, which care for their own ego, are doing political, economic, and diplomatic conspiracy to end the state of Ethiopia because this country, which is taken as the spine of Africa, has not become comfort for the Western that desires to impose their interest in Africa in the name of aid, democracy, and human rights (Vaknin, 2006). In this paradoxical condition, saving this historical country at any cost is becoming the first and the last choice since conserving Ethiopia means saving Ethiopians, Africans, and blacks. Accordingly, the fate of saving the country is in the hands of Ethiopians and particularly the   dearest Prime Minister Abiy Ahmmed will take the primary role of facilitating in the reprieve of the country. Having said this, the writer of these manuscripts memorized the idea of Kautilya and Machiavelli which is forth to the leader to save his country. These two political philosophers direct the leader to give lofty attention to wises, spys, militaries, immorality, religion, and security. Hence, dealing with this,  how and why these political philosophers forwarded their guidance of recouping a country for the leader is discussed by considering the current condition of Ethiopia and it’s loyal leader; Prime Minister Abiy Ahmmed.


By considering the current political case of Ethiopia, the writer articulated the advisory work of Kautilya and Machiavelli for the leader by using snapshot case qualitative study.  A snapshot case qualitative study is a kind of study which enables one to examine a case of a current event with the analysis of a temporal combination of events (Mohajan, 2018).

Discussion and Recommendation Part

I hope that Abiy is working to save this country.  If so, it is the time to hear the advice of Kautilya (Chanakya) and Machiavelli. Kautilya, who was an ancient Indian Political Scientist and Economist, in his book “Arthashastra (Science of Political Economy), gives advice for Rajarshi (The King). Similarly, Machiavelli, who was Political Philosopher of Italy at the end of Medieval Age, in his book “The Prince ”, gives advice for the king (Rees, 2004; Mathai, 2011 and Sadanandan, 2011). Indeed, these two scholars made politics empirical and set their contribution for the coming of secured great India and Italy.  Their ideas have similarities and it is accepted when the state is in a risky situation. Accordingly, it is time to hear their ideas to save our country, Ethiopia.  Their advice for the King can apply to our Prime Minister Abiy Ahmmed, too. I try to articulate their advice and connect with Abiy’s administration as the followings:

  1. The leader takes advice from elders and wises:  I know that the Prime Minister has advisers in different areas but sometimes I have seen that he has become out of self- control. He has spoken about unnecessary issues which either give utopian hope or upset the peoples. In addition to this, even if it is not usual, he has missed which action takes priority and he tries to kill his effort on cases which are not timing.  I hope to see that skill, profession, and knowledge based wise advisers around the Prime Minister who tell not what makes him happy but what makes him more strong and wise.
  2. The leader should keep his eyes open through spies and should have spies in every corner:  I know that A Boy is coming to power within the unchanged institutions. In these institutions, TPLF paved spies are found. This needs a radical shift. TPLF is still using its spy to take political and military advantage over Abiy. Abiy should do all endeavors to cultivate many skilled spies and be fast to sow them in every part of the country.
  3. The leader should avoid daydreaming and falsehood; further, he should be careful to avoid flatterers: This strong guy, Abiy Ahmmed, needs to control and count every work and achievements of his cabinets and ministers. If he cannot do this, all things will be day dreaming and falsehood to him.
  4. Ensures people’s security and welfare: For the last three years, the security and the welfare of the people are getting worse. In different parts of the country, properties and lives of the people have been taken by different rebellion groups. Because of this, few people are giving up on Abiy’ administration. I think Abiy must clarify the fact of why he cannot give guarantees for people’s security and welfare. He should explain how the rebellion groups and their supporters in the government wing work together. Thereafter, people will give support for Abiy and be part of securing themselves.
  5. Do not care about morality: In fact Ethiopia has faced heathen enemies: The enemies which are immoral, unethical, and atheist.  So, for such enemies being moral and giving the justification of right and wrong actions is foolishness. Abiy must be opportunist. He must oppose evil by evil. He must be ready to sin, immoral, and dishonest for the sake of Ethiopia. 
  6. Ensure economic prosperity: Ethiopia is getting down-hell in economy. Our living is getting painful because of the economic crisis of the country. Even though it is hard to control the economic crisis which is caused by imperialists, it is possible to control the crisis which is caused by agents. Abiy must supervise economical institutions and should punish those agents who are actively engaged in the making of a conspired economy.
  7. A leader must realize the importance of a strong army for the sake of the State:  As history tells that Ethiopia has passed in different wars.  Enemies from internal and external could not win Ethiopia in the battle fields because of the strength of Ethiopians to fend off the enemy. But for the past 27 years, TPLF, who ruled the country, had weakened the military wings for securing power and to prevent the coup from the military. Nowadays, Abiy is trying to construct a huge military which is advanced in technology.  However few members of the military wing lack loyalties, feeling of patriotism, and readiness for mission. Accordingly, like military technology, Abiy should work on the minds of military members. Having a strong military in man-power and technology determines the country’s survival. Ethiopia cannot survive without a powerful army. In addition to this patriotic institutions, like “Fano”, should strengthen logistics since its aim is protecting the state.
  8. Exploiting religious feelings of the people: As Marx said, sometimes religion can be the opium of the people. By wishing for the here-after life, people may accept miseries and injustice in the state but after all if the injustice and misery cause the destruction of state, no home, no place and no doctrine described on earth to enjoy religion.  Accordingly, the leader has to say that saving the state means saving religion, institutions of religions, and wishing off sin to get in heaven. Through religious figures, the leader should preach that death for saving the state implies the holy action. The Abiy’s administration should pass messages to all religion fellows to save the state. 
  9.  Be skeptical: today’s friend may be your enemy tomorrow; today’s enemy may be your friend tomorrow. In short, no permanent enemy and friend. The leader looks after his friends. It is good to plant spies at their back. This has good advice for Abiy. He should take care of his cabinets and intimates. They may serve as agents of the enemy and take the key secret of the country from leader to enemy. Moreover, they may lead a coup and hire assassins to avoid the leader. 
  10. The leader should have the quality of a fox in diplomatic matters. A fox is wise. It is amazing nature to protect the enemy by farting and digging many holes to escape the foe. Yes, the Abiy’s administration needs to follow wise diplomacy. It is good to do diplomacy with Western to minimize their role of helping terrorists; and similarly it is also useful to make diplomacy with ant-Western countries to get technological, economical, and military help.  


Mathai, J. (2011).  Ancient Medieval Political Thought. India: Calicut University.

Mohajan, H. (2018). Qualitative Research Methodology in Social Sciences and Related Subjects.   Journal of Economics Development, Environment, and People, 23-48.

Rees, E. (2004). Political Thought from Machiavelli to Stalin: Revolutionary Machiavellism. New York: Macmillan.

Sadanandan.(2011). Modern Political Thought. India:Calicut University.

Vaknin, S.(2006). Wars and Empire(2nd edition). A Narcissus Publications Imprint.

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