Delusions of grandeur
"Passion lives here" they tell us! HA! Been sick as a dog, people. A very ominous start to a long-planned vacation ... um. But here come The Gooch, The Goochmeister, The Goochinator to save the day. Sorry it took me a bit to put it up. Send more, Gooch. Really appreciate, etc, etc. p.s. A couple of people asked what "Ato" means.... means "Mr." in Amharic. That's all the energy I have. Take it away, Gooch.
The other day, I was talking with my father, as usual, about politics, when he, as usual, brought up the issue of how 'the Americans' have it in for
I'm sure many of you have experienced endless discussions on this topic. I don't know how many dinner occasions I've been to where this theme has dominated the conversation. Ethiopians love to talk about being victims of big, powerful,
I must admit - I hate it! I can't stand it. The reason I hate it is that combined with our sense of fatalism, it makes for a deadly combination. Faced with as formidable an enemy as the
What is it with Ethiopians and their '
Well, I figure part of it is scapegoating, Ethiopian-style. I mean, it feels good to blame our problems on someone else. And who better to blame them on than the greatest power in the world. After all, only the great
You know whom I blame for all this - those Tigrean monks who gave us the Kibre Negest! Telling us that Ethiopians are the real 'chosen people'! Well, obviously it didn't start with them - but you can see our penchant for delusions of grandeur even way back then.
What's funny is that today, while Ethiopians blame
Anyway, you may have surmised that the idea of the 'Great Satan' as the source of all evil just does not quite resonate with me.
Don't get me wrong now, I read Chomsky way back in the 1980's, when getting one's hands on his material was extremely difficult. I understand that real
Now, it's true, there is a lot of anti-Americanism throughout the world. Much of it deserved. But I find that the most radical anti-Americanism occurs in countries where the population has the ability, if harnessed, to stand up for itself.
Consider the Arab countries, where people are in a fit because of one, tiny, American-supported country planted amongst them. Can this be an excuse for having oppressive dictatorships all the way from
What these Arab countries have been unable to do, unlike
You see, small-d democracy is, among other things, inoculation against foreign interference. Any foreign interference. In a country where there is accountability and people have a sense of collective consciousness, there will be no traitor available to be manipulated into a dictator.
Emperor Yohannes, in his quest to maneuver power away from Emperor Tewodros, solicited and got British support. Emperor Menelik, in competition with Tewodros and the Yohannes, had his little tryst with the Italians, until he didn't need them any more. The genius Emperor Haile Sellasie performed brilliantly in the foreign diplomatic arena, unlike his pre-predecessor, the hapless Emperor Iyasu.
Mengistu, of course, had the Soviets, and now we have Meles being backed, to some extent, by the
You see, all these foreigners do what is best for themselves. That is a constant. Like the sun and the rain, as surely as the earth rotates around the sun, nations will continue to look after their own interests.
The variable that Ethiopians can manipulate is themselves. If we are able to evolve and cultivate the behaviours and discipline necessary for developing a strong collective consciousness, we will, like many of the nations in this world, become more immune to external manipulations. We will also be able to generate some development and growth for a change.
So what about the 'Great Satan'. Like the real Satan, he cannot gain control of us unless we let him!