‘Modern Ethiopia’ has been around in one form (of state) or another for at least a couple of centuries, which is longer than almost all colonially configured African states. We do not want to push our framing of ‘modern Ethiopia’ farther back, lest we invite ferocious tribalists who are comfortably circumscribed in their own ethnography! Moreover, since the issues we want to discuss today are relevant to all broadly organized societies, irrespective of their peculiarities, interjections from the obsessively parochial might not be necessary. Some of the time-honed societal values we are going to look at have been around for eons serving as critical social glue that hold humanity together!
One has to admit Ethiopia’s governance system, which has been in place for about a quarter of a century, has managed to erode, maybe inadvertently, some of the traditional societal values that evolved throughout the centuries. Be that as it may, these societal values still remain the corner stones of modern Ethiopia. Why the lack of interest in nourishing these critical values that cemented bonding in our diverse society? To start with, why were lawlessness encouraged and why the shallow and cheap attempt to swap justice for legality? Ethiopia’s court system, which has been somewhat autonomous and quite impartial (relatively speaking) and whose primary concern was the delivery of justice to all and sundry, was forced to become an effective tool to disfranchise and criminalize selected citizens? By and large, the function of the courts in the last two decades seem to have been, the settling of score against those deemed adversaries by TPTB (the power that be). Ethiopia’s judiciary/court system was once a reputed institutional mechanism on which the voiceless/downtrodden could rely on, especially to redress grievances inflicted on them, not only by the preponderance of the massive state bureaucracy, but also by those with financial and other wherewithal. One should realize that leveraging political power to undermine collective societal integrity is more than a mere crime; it is more like a sin, a mortal one at that, as it is the main source of a country’s persistent destabilization! Let us look at some of our more diluted and distorted societal values.
Humility/Humbleness/Modesty: We understand humility as a psychological disposition that continuously tries to play down one’s forte. It is an indirect effort to put oneself at par with those who might not be so blessed. It helps to make encounters with the less fortunate rather easy. Egotism might well be its direct antonym. In Ethiopia, just like in many mature cultures across the world, humility was considered as one of the virtues of collective existence. Self- effacement was not mere meekness, but most of our presiding degenerates who have taken it on their own to be our ‘spokespersons’, construe humility as ‘shyness’! These imbecilic goons assume that by pointing out one’s weakness/ shortcoming, rather rudely, they will have the upper hand and increase their societal stature. Despite our current deterioration in values department, we must start to reinvigorate this spiritual-like value within our society. Humility is one of those societal virtues that help ease confrontation by taking the ego out of deliberations, serious or frivolous. Its collective societal negation will create social discordance, which we are currently experiencing in our country! Let us look at some more diluted and distorted societal values.
Competence, in the world of ‘empty suits’ has been relegated to mere BS! The final arbiters of competence are no more experience, wisdom, knowledge, etc. but rather idiotic diktat: political, corporate, etc. It seems buffoonery and impostering are officially substituted for erudition and wisdom. For example, it is connection and corruption that will most likely land one a good job, a big contract or a juicy tender. In our currently perverted value system creative hard work is only for losers. That is why our ‘losers’ are packing and moving out of the country in droves; by foot, sea and air!
Courage: We conceive of courage as the condition of actively resisting as well as withstanding, frequent adversities (while suffering consequences thereof) because of one’s internalized principles. Again, our degenerate elites have sufficiently distorted the very meaning of the word and seems the sheeple (human mass) is forced to replace the notion of courage with cowardice and more.
Confidence: to our cretins, confidence is vacuous loud mouthing. By parroting nonsense profusely, our elites, hyphenated or not, reckon they are effusing confidence. Attires that cost a fortune cannot hide the naked shallowness of these particular idiots of ours, whether learned or unlearned! Bragging is used to sugar coat their severe inadequacy.
Commitment: commitment is not fashionable in today’s Ethiopia. For psychopaths, humility, empathy, etc. do not exist. For ignorant psychopaths, eve us do not exist, unless of course we are to be used and abused to their satisfaction. The only commitment our degenerate ruling elites amply display is; continuous embezzlement and grandstanding in full armor of freighting mediocrity. Criminal accumulation, thanks to the well-entrenched ‘Mafiosi state’, is regarded as achievement of the highest order. Connected oligarchs that have and continue to abuse the system are considered the nation’s ‘heroes’! See the article next column.
The Roots of Violence: “Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principles.” Mohandas K. Gandhi. Good Day!