Geneva Press Club: Fear of State Collapse and Prospect of Democratic Transition in Ethiopia

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Geneva Press Club: Fear of State Collapse and Prospect of Democratic Transition in Ethiopia

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  1. As Ezkiel says the ruling coalition party and the government present themselves as developmental state and prefer to postpone democracy until the capitalist system establishes itself and takes root in the country. With capitalism, there emerges the bourgeoisie and the middle class which take over political power to advance their interests.

    The argument is democracy before the emergence of the bourgeoisie and the middle class is simply to surrender the country to few academic elites who have no known economic interest to promote or defend.

    The academic elites might carelessly – more appropriately said deliberately – squander an opportunity for the bourgeoisie and the middle class since they tend to talk a lot about democracy and fair distribution of resources and wealth. This is the discredited socialist tendency that was tried and failed not long ago.

    They are saying look at China and what South Asian countries looked like a couple of decades ago and what they look like now. The bourgeoisie and the middle class emerged and flourished and democracy became a reality. Bum! ! Demands for democracy – including violent demands – were ignored by governments without serious consequences to them once people started to enjoy capitalism.

    Ezkiel and Jawar!

    What’s the counter argument to counter this apparently coherent but seriously flawed view which member organizations of the coalition seem to have bought? You’re telling us if they do not introduce democracy, the outcome is “state collapse” and “disintegration” of the country.
    “State collapse” and “disintegration” is just a warning – a stern one at that – without a solution as to how to deal with issues “democratization” in a country where rulers are determined to postpone it indefinitely. Maybe wait for a while.

    Even the guys might think “state collapse” and “disintegration” is unthinkable since the coalition has put its house in order. Sheeee!

  2. Hi Shegitu,

    You say the ruling coalition party and the government have a policy to postpone democracy until the country becomes full-fledged capitalist with the bourgeoisie and the middle class at the top. Didn’t the present prime minister, time and again, remark that democracy is “existential” need for us? If postponement of democracy is what he’s working for, he should have called it “existential” threat because the coalition and the government will lose power in a democracy. Furthermore, if the ruling coalition party and the government keep talking about revolutionary democracy by rejecting liberal democracy, they will not have capitalism. Why they rejected liberal democracy is because they call themselves developmental state, but the basis of capitalism is liberal democracy without which they will not see capitalism.

    The other thing is though the ruling coalition and the government, as a developmental state, only to plan and lead the said “development”, economic entities associated with them are dominant economic forces dwarfing the private sector. Without the private sector being the exclusive actor of the economy, capitalism remains a dream. In fact, the longer the ties between the coalition and the government stay and the grip of their economic affiliates persist, it is state capitalism that will emerge. That is the Chinese type rather than the South Asian type capitalism that will emerge to disappoint many who pin their hopes on the developmental state experiment

  3. These two ‘elites’ are in a business of nothing else but pimping hate toward others they see not as one of them. It seems that they are telling us that they and only they know the solution for the impasse evident now over there but they don’t tell what it is. Honestly I doubt if they even are in the grip of it. One of them is somewhat eloquent but the other one, Jawar, can’t even express his mind in a calm, forceful and coherent language. It is really saddening that a seemingly ‘punk’ like this is ‘ordained’ to be a ‘leader’ of more than 50 million proud and historic people of Oromia. It is a shame at best.

  4. Ethiopians’ burning question is equal treatment and opportunities for all citizens, free from ethnic favoritism and domination , for now.

  5. One more observation I walked away from this is the effort by Ezekiel to promote the new book by Markakis. He is just like reading right out the pages of the most recent book by the Greek ‘Ethiopianist’ -Ethiopia:The last Two Frontiers. Markakis has enjoyed the longest tenure as the most trusted ‘ferenji’ by the radical left and several national ‘liberation Fronts’ leaders and participants from Ogaden to Eritrea. He was entrusted by the most secretive groups and individuals who were in the thick of it since the 1960’s. He has written books about many underground and armed groups we citizens did not even have any idea the very existence of so many groups. Those were our days of naivete because we did not have any viable media outlet to be heard. But now things have changed and changed by a lot. Well organized ‘liberation fronts’, USUAA’s. ESUNA’s and ESUE’s are extremely hard to come by nowadays. So it seems the time has come to regurgitate. The book tells us the problem we already know but it may play in the hands of those who want to fan hatred towards millions who are totally innocent. It may be used by those who do everything at their disposal to make a united front across ethnic and religious lines against despots ‘impossible’. I don’t think that is not what the professor had in mind when he wrote the book. But hate mongers are using it to do their hideous work from bottom up. The author may not have noticed this but Ezekiel is promoting his book without a book signing event. Darn it, he is not even there to participate in the book signing ceremony.

    By the way, how come this author happened to be so intimate with the leftist movements only in that country for so long? Hmmmmm! Just a thought!!!

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