The subject of western democracy and implementing it has always been the most mysterious phenomenon with a degenerative difficulties, to the mainstream of the Ethiopian society, as well as for every Ethiopian intellectual and to the elite of the country, who has the audacity to shove it in, into the populous. It is however to me, surprisingly mind boggling and incoherent, why the simplest question is not asked! Which is, as to why, “western democracy” has become elusive to Ethiopians, despite the fact that, it’s disparately wanted and sought for, by every single walk of life from within the Ethiopian society. Personally, I think about it every time I read articles regarding Ethiopia and African politics, which gives me a pause of thoughts every time I think of “western democracy.”
I am always adamantly challenged and hard pressed by the thoughts and questions of, what is a western democracy and what it means for the country of Ethiopia and its habitats, in terms of its effect on which the country can benefit from and its ramifications.
I finally have come to conclusions that, “Western democracy” is not any different than communism was, as far as being outlandish to the ancient land of Ethiopia and it’s population, both in terms of cultural, historical values, traditions, and a dip seeded Orthodox Christianity, as well as adherents of Sunni Muslim, believes. When the communist manifesto was written during the brutal Derg regime, by a French-educated hardcore communist Ethiopian man, by the name of Dr. Senay Like and his comrades to become the essence of truth in Ethiopia, to which the essence of communism became a pain in the rear end to the ruling Derg,and later revoked by the majority of Ethiopians due to lack of its compatibility with the country’s cultural and religious foundations. Marx once wrote, “The so-called revolutions of 1848 were nothing but small episodic events, slight fractures, and fissures in the hard crust of European society. However, they were sufficient to show the abyss that lay below. They demonstrated that, beneath that surface, so solid in appearance, there were variable oceans that had only to start moving to make entire continents break up into bits of hard rock”. And therefore, it does not mean, the western way of democratic analysis or western democratic dogmatism can apply to Ethiopia and be effective as it has been, in the western cultures. It is simply because, the western way of democracy has been created, written and implemented, by the westerners themselves who came from within their societies, cultures, traditions, based upon the needs of improvements on socio-economic difficulties, notably on the causes of human liberties and for rectifications of human right mishaps in the western hemisphere of Europeans.
At the core of many questions and discussions conducted by Ethiopian intellectuals abroad and inside the country, I would like to open up few tantalizing suggestions, episodes of discussions and ideas which may or may not be helpful to galvanize democracy in an Ethiopian way, and in to the psychology of Ethiopian political culture of my way or the highway, in which I am sure many Ethiopians have thought and contemplated with, for sometime.
It is a paramount importance that, we Ethiopians as a people and society of intellectual ability must explore, as well as set forth a grass root based social, civic and intellectual foundation of human societies, to effectually implement an indigenous Ethiopian-born democratic system, which must come from within the Ethiopian society, cultural, traditional, ethical, and even religious values, which can be understood by all Ethiopians, from all walks of life. For the sake of practicality and logics, adopting a system of homegrown democracy can be much conducive to an ancient society and can be a national pride to the soul of Ethiopiawinet, rather than adopting a strange democratic system, that consists of strange cultural, social, traditional, as well as linguistic values unlike to that of Ethiopia, which can be very easily misunderstood and mistranslated, to make things worse and complicate our social and political end over as it already has, and therefore Ethiopian intellectuals, civil societies, elite of the country must form an alliance of some sort, to eradicate a culture of one-way stagnant political bureaucracy and a belligerent governance of successive governments, that is holding back the country to backwardness of social, political changes and replacing governments by means of force rather than by way of democratic and fair electoral elections.
By Gideon Demiss