Mengistu D. Assefa
Political party is a human engagement, agency coming together, establishment (an establishment that doesn’t remain an establishment), organization, movement, never a stagnant dogma.
If it is a dogma, it is a dogma in a sense that it isn’t.
Uncalculated mistakes, grave disillusionments, unforeseen aftermaths of foolish decisions: all and any are there mixed with and at times masked by commitment to public service. Commitment to public service, better unity, peace, progress and prosperity are the “cardinal confessions“. Do political parties live up to their confessions? They try, but they don’t usually attain its fulfillment. Which believer does anyway? Aren’t we all falling and fumbling believers after all?
As believers we beg for grace. As politicians we cry for understanding of our weakness and move on.
This is not to mean to underscore meanness, crime, tyranny, greediness and hollow promises just to get to the helm of civil, economic or military power. What underlies the motif though is never neutral. It’s either for or against the truth, nothing far from it, as nothing exists neutral. Then who is gonna judge the motif? The motive? I am not indifferent to judgement and penalty both by opinion and law. I am saying about the judgement of the morale. For that to take place, perfectly, we need someone with the highest moral ground, who is absolutely selfless, anybody who is has zero self interest (to use economic term), but me. Because, for today, I resolved to praise the progress. Who would expect a hug between Lencho Lata and Aba Dula Gemeda? With my grave misgivings about these individuals, I still see a progress. I know they are not saints, even far from being favourites (at least for me), but I can see a force, a compelling one which gave birth to this “political bromance”. That force is Qeerroo and other “freedomhungry” Ethiopians who with bare hands and peaceful mouths brought one of Africas repressive governments to its knees. That is progress. Historically grand scale miscalculations? Yes. And do they still have something to contribute? Absolutely yes.
Why do I praise the progress despite the fault in the means to this end? This isn’t the end though. Why are millions praising the move? Why is Lencho Leta calling his coming to Ethiopia “Heading Home? He once held the colonial thesis (I don’t know if he dropped it), and he is calling that land “home”? Homeland? Yeah. Home.
Why are million others remained critical, calling it prostitution, opportunism, betrayal, treason, a cry for attention, or panting for last chance of doing another bad? They laughed, laughed and again laughed when Lencho Leta called Ethiopia “his homeland“. They have to do that because they have to.
The reason why these two groups exist regarding ODF is not clear to me, at least for now. Believe me I will dissect every move they will take, every word they will utter and every term they will demand.
For now, I am all about what is the reason we are so manic about them? Why are so many other of us so phobic about it? Like I said it’s not absolutely clear to me. But not so to John Stuart Mill. He has something to say why we as human beings think, say, or do what we chose to thing, say or do.
“Men’s opinions, accordingly, on what is laudable or blamable, are affected by all the multifarious causes which influence their wishes in regard to the conduct of others, and which are as numerous as those which determine their wishes on any other subject. Sometimes their reason—at other times their prejudices or superstitions: often their social affections, not seldom their antisocial ones, their envy or jealousy, their arrogance or contemptuousness: but most commonly their desires or fears for themselves—their legitimate or illegitimate self-interest”.
I will come back with another piece, a more critical one.