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Ethiopia: The Irresponsibility of the Privileged?



  05:56:03 pm, by admin   , 2539 words  
Categories: Alemayehu G. Mariam

Ethiopia: The Irresponsibility of the Privileged?

Ethiopia: The Irresponsibility of the Privileged?

By Alemayehu G. Mariam

Recently, Naom Chomsky, MIT Professor of Linguistics and arguably America’s foremost public intellectual, gave an interview to Al Jazeera on the social (ir)responsibility of American academics and intellectuals. Chomsky, 84, has been raising hell for over four decades, getting into the faces of the powerful and mighty and whipping them with the truth. He recently excoriated President Obama as lacking a “moral center” for using drone warfare to “run a global assassination campaign”. Chomsky has been called a “left winger”, a “radical activist” and even a “communist”, and has been on the receiving end of a few distasteful epithets. But the firebrand octogenarian is undeterred and as strong, as plain-spoken and outspoken as ever. He remains a relentless critic of capitalism, neoliberalism, globalization, warfare, corruption, repression, abuse and misuse of power and human rights violations in America and abroad. Along the way, he has continued his scholarly pursuits in linguistics.

In his Al Jazeera interview, “Noam Chomsky: The Responsibility of Privilege”, Chomsky chafed at the social irresponsibility of American intellectuals and denounced the greedy and rapacious elites for using their power to disempower ordinary people, confuse and render them intellectually inert, servile and defenseless.

Al Jazeera: Is it the responsibility of academics and other intellectuals to be engaged politically?

Chomsky: Or every other human being. Responsibility is basically measured by opportunity. If you are a poor person living in the slums and have to work 60 hours a week to put bread on the table, your degree of responsibility is less than if you have a degree of privilege.

Al Jazeera: If you have privilege, are you more obligated to give back?

Chomsky: Yes. The more privilege you have, the more opportunity you have. The more opportunity you have, the more responsibility you have. It is elementary.

Al Jazeera: So why don’t we see that in the U.S.? There has been so much talk about people getting richer, many, many more people are getting poorer, and yet the rich are seemingly resistant to giving more of their time, more of their wealth and talent?

Chomsky: For the most part, that’s why they are rich. If you dedicate your life to enriching yourself and those are your values and you don’t care what happens to anyone else, then you won’t care what happens to anyone else. It is self-selecting. It is also institutional. In its extreme pathological form, it’s Ayn Rand’s ideology: “I don’t care about anybody else. I am just interested in benefitting myself and that is just and noble.”

George Ayittey, the noted Ghanaian economist and one of Africa’s foremost public intellectuals, has long been chagrined by the social irresponsibility of Africa’s best and brightest. He argued that Africa’s intellectual class is in bed with those who have built “vampire states” to suck billions of dollars out of the pockets of their impoverished people to line their own pockets. In 1996, he told African intellectuals exactly what he thought of them: “Hordes of politicians, lecturers, professionals, lawyers, and doctors sell themselves off into prostitution and voluntary bondage to serve the dictates of military vagabonds with half their intelligence. And time and time again, after being raped, abused, and defiled, they are tossed out like rubbish — or worse. Yet more intellectual prostitutes stampede to take their places…” Ouch! Ouch!

So why don’t we see more Ethiopian intellectuals engaged in politics? Are they merely following in the footsteps of their American counterparts? Could they be followers of Ayn Rand’s ideology: “I don’t care about anybody else. I am just interested in benefitting myself and that is just and noble.” Could Ayittey’s mordant criticism apply to Ethiopian intellectuals?

In a June 2010 commentary, I asked: “Where have the Ethiopian intellectuals gone?” I had no answer at the time, nor do I have one now; but I was, and still am, bewildered and puzzled by their conspicuous absence from the public square and the cyber square. Their absence reminded me of “the Greek philosopher Diogenes who used to walk the streets of ancient Athens carrying a lamp in broad daylight. When amused bystanders asked him about his apparently strange behavior, he would tell them that he was looking for an honest man. Like Diogenes, one may be tempted to walk the hallowed grounds of Western academia, search the cloistered spaces of the arts and scientific professions worldwide and even traverse the untamed frontiers of cyberspace with torchlight in hand looking for Ethiopian intellectuals.” They are nowhere to be found. They seem to be shrouded in a cloak of invisibility.

Truth be told, I was once a member of that invisible empire of Ethiopian intelligentsia-- disengaged, silent and deaf-mute. I was forced to uncloak myself when Meles Zenawi’s troops slaughtered 196 unarmed demonstrators, and shot and wounded nearly 800 more in the streets after the 2005 election in Ethiopia. I suppose there comes a time in a man’s or a woman’s life when s/he has to step out of the shadows of sheltered anonymity and silence, remove the veil of smug indifference and proclaim outrage at tyranny and crimes against humanity.

But there are tens of thousands of Ethiopian intellectuals who have chosen, made a conscious decision, to take a vow of silence and inhabit the subterranean recesses of anonymity. When they see elections stolen in broad daylight, they become afflicted by temporary blindness. When they hear innocent people being arrested and convicted in kangaroo courts, they become stone deaf. When they witness religious liberties trashed and the people crying out for freedom, they don’t try to stand with them or by them; they assuage their own consciences through a ritual of private grumbling, moaning and groaning. Above all, they have made a virtue of silence. They live a life of silent anonymity.

It is rather difficult to understand. Could it be that they are silent because they believe silence is golden? That is to say, if you want to be given the gold, stay silent? Do they not know “oppression can only survive through silence”? Could they be thinking that their silence is a manifestation of their contempt against those they consider ignorant and barbaric? Is it not true that “the cruelest lies are often told in silence” and the cruelest acts overlooked in silence? Is their silence a practical expression of Ayn Rand’s ideology: “I don’t care about anybody else. I am just interested in benefitting myself and that is just and noble.”

But silence is not golden; silence is a silent killer. Pastor Martin Niemöller expressed his silent outrage over the silence of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power:

First they came for the communists,

and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the socialists,

and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,

and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for me,

and there was no one left to speak for me.

As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. admonished, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

The Social Responsibility of Ethiopian Intellectuals?

It is said that the voice of the people is the voice of God (vox populi, vox dei). But silence is no way to communicate with oppressed people. The intellectual is to privileged to think, to speak, to imagine, to create, to understand and to envision. But silence is never the privilege of the intellectual. Silence is one of the few privileges of the oppressed, the persecuted and the victimized. Silence is the ultimate survival technique of the weak, the powerless and defenseless.

The intellectual has the moral responsibility to speak up for the silenced. S/he does not have the privilege to stand by idly and shake her head in dismay or mumble complaints under one’s breath. Those who have been privileged to study, to think, to write, to innovate and to create have the duty to give back to the people, particularly those people who have been dispossessed not only of material things but also their human dignity.

The silent Ethiopian intellectuals are missing the point. It is a privilege, not a burden, to be a voice for the downtrodden. It is a distinct honor to be the voice of the voiceless. It is a priceless gift to speak truth to power on behalf of the powerless.

The silent intellectual -- without a sense of moral commitment or obligation to something other than the pursuit of happiness through greed or without some sacrifice of personal interest -- is merely a well programmed robot of higher education. Nietzsche once remarked that all higher education is “to turn men into machines”; they did not have robots in his day.

I believe the intellectual has the responsibility not only to make a moral commitment but also to act on them. In other words, when one commits oneself to a cause, one must accept the fact that the pursuit and fulfillment of that cause will involve a measure of sacrifice of one’s self-interest. Many Ethiopian intellectuals have professed moral commitment to human rights but they are not willing to speak, write or do anything meaningful about exposing human rights abuses or defending against abuses of power. Some are timid, others are downright fearful. So they speak and sing in the language of silence.

In 1967, Chomsky wrote, “It is the responsibility of intellectuals to speak the truth and to expose the lies of governments, to analyze actions according to their causes and motives and often hidden intentions… It is the responsibility of the intellectual to insist upon the truth” and not to “tolerate the deceptions that will be used to justify the next defense of freedom.” It seems to me that Ethiopian intellectuals must shoulder the same burden. It is their responsibility to challenge not only those in power but also each other. It is their responsibility to critically think about issues and problems facing Ethiopian society and to offer and imagine better alternatives and braver futures. It is their highest moral duty to fight tyranny with the power of ideas. History shows that an idea whose time has come cannot be defeated; it cannot be stopped.

The Internet has been the great equalizer in the struggle between the practitioners of tyranny and champions of liberty. The Internet helped end the winter of discontent for millions of disenfranchised peoples in the Middle East and ushered in a glorious summer which continues to simmer. Mubarak, Ben Ali, Gadhaffi, Gbagbo and many others were simply no match for the ideas of freedom that had penetrated deep into the psyches of their citizens. Despite the complete monopoly over the press, telecommunication services and electronic radio and satellite jamming technology obtained at great cost, the tyrants in Ethiopia have not been able to censor the truth or filter out ideas they do not like from wafting into the ears, heart and mind of any Ethiopian interested in alternative perspectives. But Ethiopian intellectuals have not been able to take full advantage of this ubiquitous medium. As a result, the Internet is used by the younger generation mostly to seek cheap thrills and entertainment and conduct mindless chatter on social media.

Ethiopian intellectuals have the responsibility to be the vanguard of social, political and scientific change. They must use this burgeoning medium to provide real education to the young people and as a forum for serious discussion of the major issues facing the country. The real struggle against tyranny is for the hearts and minds of the young people (70 percent of Ethiopia’s population), and the irresistible weapons in this struggle are not guns and tanks but new and creative ideas. Until Ethiopian society, its economy and politics become knowledge- and ideas-based and its intellectuals play a guiding role in the process, that country will have great difficulty escaping from the clutches of a benighted dictatorship.

Ethiopia’s intellectuals should focus their energies and invest their efforts on Ethiopia’s young people (the Cheetah Generation). They should pitch new ideas to the younger generation; plant and cultivate the seeds of critical thinking in thier minds; promote free thinking and inquiry; encourage them to always be skeptical of not just authority but also themselves; preach against hatred, herd mentality and groupthink; give young people the intellectual tools they need to examine themselves and their beliefs; encourage them to change their minds when confronted by contradictory evidence; help them look at old problems in a new way; teach them (after learning it themselves) to admit mistakes when they are wrong, apologize and ask forgiveness; urge them to speak the truth, defend what is right and stand for human rights. They should inspire them to be all they can be.

The examples the intellectuals are setting today are disappointing and discouraging, to put it charitably. The message they telegraph to the younger generation is unmistakable: When confronted by abusers of power, be a conformist and remain silent. When faced with the arrogance of power, be submissive and obedient. When you can ask questions, seal your lips. When faced with the truth, turn a blind eye and deaf ears. When the opportunity for free thinking is available, be dogmatic, doctrinaire and obdurate. When you can speak truth to power, forever hold your peace.

In my June 2010 commentary, I urged Ethiopian intellectuals to act in solidarity with the oppressed. Since I wrote that piece, the silence of Ethiopian intellectuals has been deafening. I wish I could close this commentary with a more heartening message; but restating the last paragraph of that commentary still captures my disappointments and hopes:

As intellectuals, we are often disconnected from the reality of ordinary life just like the dictators who live in a bubble. But we will remain on the right track if we follow Gandhi's teaching: ‘Recall the face of the poorest and the most helpless man you have seen and ask yourself whether the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him. Will he be able to gain anything by it? Will it restore to him a control over his own life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to Swaraj (independence) or self-rule for the hungry and spiritually starved millions of your countrymen? Then you will find your doubts and yourself melting away.’ Let us always ask ourselves whether our actions (and words) will help restore to the poorest and most helpless Ethiopians a control over their own life and destiny.

As I point an index finger at others, I am painfully aware that three fingers are pointing at me. So be it. I believe I know ‘where all the Ethiopian intellectuals have gone’. Most of them are standing silently with eyes wide shut in every corner of the globe. But wherever they may be, I hasten to warn them that they will eventually have to face the ‘Ayittey Dilemma’ alone: Choose to stand up for Ethiopia, or lie down with the dictators who rape, abuse and defile her.

To whom much is given, much is expected.

Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam teaches political science at California State University, San Bernardino and is a practicing defense lawyer.


Comment from: [Member]


The Onion almaria with multiple layers of coats, keeps peeling himself to the final naked dried up self centerd egotistic self. Nowher to go, buut cry in the middle of the desert alone and disappointed in himself.
No wonder his idole is Chmosky, who likes to stand with outlaws and anarchism alike, and enjoy the spot lights of being a govt critic, by just aliening himself with enemies of America. After all this time, chmosky, at the age of 84, is showing his support for the islamist terrorists. He denounces and discredits the Obama adminstration for using the drone warfare to deter terrorism, which BTW, the best effective way to eradicate terrorism and used to destroy well know top ranked terrorists.
Almaria’s future fate is not different than that of chmosky. A crybaby for life!!
He trys to accuse our intelectuals, why they didn’t cry like him, why they didn’t accuse our govt with unfounded alligations, why most of them are back in Ethiopia serving the people of Ethiopia who paid for their education.
Almaria let me leave you with one more quote from Aristotle, “KNOWING YOURSELF IS THE BEGNNING OF ALL WISDOM"!!!!

01/21/13 @ 18:16
Comment from: Tarid [Visitor]

Ye saminetu Teret teret ke professor fuzo

01/21/13 @ 18:28
Comment from: [Member]

I agree about what is said about silence, but it is also a way of expression.

What is to be done about this expression to convert into action should be the right question.
We have noticed, who tried to break the silence have been attacked mercilessly by cannibals of the regime. The regime have let go their low life, scum, trash and junk cadres out to assail anyone who try to oppose them. They are very small in number; but they are well organized. They are well interconnected by family line, race or illegal benefit.

They are similar to a house built in sand without foundation. What is expected is to form the flood to hit that house and wash it ashore.


01/21/13 @ 19:50
Comment from: jazzman [Visitor]

Who ? Are you an intellectual Al ? Oh no no…NO !…as the teret goes…Ganoch Alekuna, Minchetoch Gan Honu…solve this …Mr intellectual..
you don’t even have a slight pedantic touch to your story…just full of yourself and your opinions…

01/21/13 @ 19:52
Comment from: yo [Visitor]

Thank you Addis Zemen! Specially with Aristotle’s Quote you placed at the end of your comment.
The big question is does the psuedo professor read these comments?

01/21/13 @ 19:53
Comment from: [Member]

At a glance, there is nothing wrong with your article. But as a person who read your many articles, I admire your linguistics and constructs but I have contempt and outrage for your stubborn heart and arrogant mind.Few years ago you were wishing for civil war and bloodshed regarding the poor but degnified people of Ethiopia. Instead of lifting up the ignorant, instead of building coalitions and promoting tolerance and instead of capturing the moment to provide leadership you pushed poltical parties and diaspora compatriots to disunity and fragmentation. Instead of mobilizing all of us like real and compassionate intellectual you continued to write elegant essays that can only come from useless debators like Denesh Desuza and Glen Beck.How did MLK, Bishop Tutu, Ghandi, Obama and even mother Theresa capture the heats and minds of so many? Read their history! Your writings are parables of fools unless they are augmented by compassion, intellect and love that can embrace and mobilize everybody.

01/21/13 @ 19:55
Comment from: My2cents [Visitor]

Many excellent points in an excellent article. One does not have to read the entire article for each paragraph has very good point.

Time has changed, even the normally verbal and outspoken Nigerians have uncharacteristically been silenced since the Boko Haram strife evolved facing an all out civil war. That is to say that the silence of the majority is universal.

Who remembers the El Niño weather phenomenon? The once-in-a-centuries weather phenomenon turned the predator big fishes crazy and turned the trillions schools of fishes confused and cornered. The result was a before unseen massacre of fishes that lasted months who otherwise could have reproduced and fed billions of humans. The El Niño massacre is unfolding everywhere primarily in Ethiopia. Also, just because a person is intellectual does not mean the person has conscience. Likewise, a person can not be a basketball player just because he is seven feet tall. There are enough articles being written but there is not even interest in those because a lot of people have chosen to remain, in the language of expressive Americans, “jerks", “assholes", “idiots/morons” and the like. The true picture emerges as follows - those who deserve representation and advocacy - the mass - suffer in silence and in poverty back-home, while those who could care less and the forgetful,l and the undeserving would like to have nothing to do with the principles that count.

01/21/13 @ 20:35
Comment from: Gutema [Visitor]

What do you mean the silence is deafening. There is always a stream of articles condemning this or that in sites lie EthioMedia. As for the rest, may be we have seen what is going on in the rest of Africa - eg in Eritrea ( about which you have never made a sound) Congo, Mali, Egypt, Sudan, etc etc and have come to a conclusion that situations in Ethiopia are not that bad after all. Or, even better, these intellectuals you are railing against might be busy doing some constructive work to pull their people out from poverty. Agitating for turmoil is not the only solution. It is very disheartening to see that you have been doing this haranguing from the comfort of your home in California - thousands of miles away from ground zero - and you have been at it for so many years with no result to show for your “efforts”

01/21/13 @ 20:53
Comment from: HagereEthiopia [Visitor]

Yeaaaaa AZ numero uno. I won the bet.
Yipppppppppppeee-ki-ya. Hey seriously though AZ.. get a life man.

Okay so, I’m gonna read the whole shebang and get back on topic.. okay then. Just couldn’t resist.. you being the first to post.. kekekekeeeeee

01/21/13 @ 21:02
Comment from: My2cents [Visitor]

Ethiopians & Black Americans - a basic and fair comparison.

We Ethiopians and Black Americans have a lot in common.
We abuse alcohol and drugs. We like to revel, use abusive languages, too much into songs, dancing and good times. We think too much about sex or express our sexuality. We both are degenerates having abandoned the church. Our swashbuckling, bravado, boiseterious and loud ways have gotten the better of us. As a result, we have been dis-owned and have become losers. Foreigners have descended on us. We have attracted the snakes. The last few decades, save Obama and very few successes, did not belong to us

01/21/13 @ 21:23
Comment from: [Member]


Hey dude, you’re acting like that wild teenage girl in high school. Remember? She wants you, she wants if you talk to her or give some attention to her, but when ever you try to approach her or try to talk to her, she acts so nerves and run away.
Whenever I don’t show up on this website, you become inquairing minds want to know, asking the where abouts of me. I’m sure you miss me.
And now you’re complaining why I’m posting #1.
Give me a break! Will ya!

01/21/13 @ 21:47
Comment from: Question to you [Visitor]
Question to you

You have always preached how patriotic and human you are.since you claim that you are advocate for human rights,what do you think of the people paid for your ‘intellect’ without having enough for themselves? I’m well aware of the reservation you have with current government. But does that give you the moral right to black mail your country, oppose anything and everything the nation has to offer with all it’s shortcomings.The poor has paid for and the one’s you’re accusing.
The empty bravado about your flash light and torch light mirror imaging yourself to an ancient Greeks is a complete illusion.Those Greeks you talked about centuries ago had more common sense than you and I today. You have failed to the see honest. regardless off a search you do you can’t find the flickering light that you looking for, because you’re blind.

01/21/13 @ 21:49
Comment from: GO Walias GO [Visitor]
GO Walias GO

Ato Al Mariam,

Be Arba Aratu(44) Tabotoch elemenwotalehu, can you please give us a break until we know the fate of the Walias.

01/21/13 @ 21:56
Comment from: Killsibhatnega [Visitor]

Addis Zemen fuck you

01/21/13 @ 22:04
Comment from: ment4you [Visitor]

Addis Defdef the Gay Shabian

Why are you comment first all the time? Do you spend most of your time refreshing till they post the next news?

And did you know has nothing to do woyane TPLF?

How much are they paying you to stay up all night and to stay angry?

Seems to me there are a lot of things you don’t know. You are also driven by inferiority complex to a point of addiction to it!

Calm your tits maggot! lolll

Now blow some more gasket!

Mekele or Asmera? choose one

01/21/13 @ 22:54
Comment from: My2cents [Visitor]

EVERY man naturally desires knowledge; but what good is knowledge without fear of God? Indeed a humble rustic who serves God is better than a proud intellectual who neglects his soul to study the course of the stars. He who knows himself well becomes mean in his own eyes and is not happy when praised by men. If I knew all things in the world and had not charity, what would it profit me before God Who will judge me by my deeds? Shun too great a desire for knowledge, for in it there is much fretting and delusion. Intellectuals like to appear learned and to be called wise. Yet there are many things the knowledge of which does little or no good to the soul, and he who concerns himself about other things than those which lead to salvation is very unwise. Many words do not satisfy the soul; but a good life eases the mind and a clean conscience inspires great trust in God. The more you know and the better you understand, the more severely will you be judged, unless your life is also the more holy. Do not be proud, therefore, because of your learning or skill. Rather, fear because of the talent given you. If you think you know many things and understand them well enough, realize at the same time that there is much you do not know. Hence, do not affect wisdom, but admit your ignorance. Why prefer yourself to anyone else when many are more learned, more cultured than you? If you wish to learn and appreciate something worth while, then love to be unknown and considered as nothing. Truly to know and despise self is the best and most perfect counsel. To think of oneself as nothing, and always to think well and highly of others is the best and most perfect wisdom. Wherefore, if you see another sin openly or commit a serious crime, do not consider yourself better, for you do not know how long you can remain in good estate. All men are frail, but you must admit that none is more frail than yourself. - HAVING A HUMBLE OPINION OF SELF


01/21/13 @ 23:22
Comment from: yonas [Visitor]

almariam, you dare to criticize other Ethiopian intellectuals, while being a fox in sheep cloth all your life. You have made your self an empty and useless spectator that pretend to understand Ethiopia or Africa. Your sponsor in Asmara almost got his final justices today. You sure know how to write an articles by pasting bits of other peoples writing to sound important. You may have to go back to school to learn what it means to write rationally and objectively.

01/22/13 @ 00:08
Comment from: Negus [Visitor]  

There is no doubt you are an inspirational and refreshing voice on the sorry state of Ethiopian politics. However, I take issue with your urging intellectuals to get “political". The most political of intellectuals sometimes end up being more like politicians. Your quoting George Ayittey for example, fails to account for Ayyitey’s sponsorship coming from conservative free-market liberalists like Cato and Heritage. The problem is, when intellectuals become political, pay them to speak louder, and then end up influencing their message - much like buying a politician.
Sorry for the long post - but it is only a side-note. I agree whole-heartedly with the notion that African intellectuals should make their voices heard.

01/22/13 @ 00:51
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

Adgi Ze Amice ,by stating Aristotle
when you say : “DIGNITY DOES NOT CONSIST POSSESSING HONOURS, BUT IN DESERVING THEM” .For you that means sell out Banda Scholars as Indrias Eshete deserved honours for advocating the desmanreling of the unity and sovereignty of Ethiopia ,worst submitting themselveses to Shabya .Like those actually shining agazi bandit shoes , publishing fake statistics and prophetising fake and non existance Democratic Process and rule of Law .Don’t forget all the Agazi Ass Lickers from the Diasporas
too ,like the one called Pig Ben who has sold his soul and dignity for the Tigre Mafiosis and the Sheraton Sheik ’s Moneys and JW bottles .And when you conclude with :"KNOWING YOURSELF IS THE BEGNNING OF ALL WISDOM"!!!! very
well time for you to admit your Eri-Amice behavior and meditate on the True Face of the evil Bandits for whom you have submitted yourself .

01/22/13 @ 01:43
Comment from: Heny [Visitor]

Look at the face of Almaiam,
Doesn’t this dude look like a wolf, especially the pointed chin part? haha I mean it. He must have shared some blood from the carnivorous familt, possibly the wolf.

01/22/13 @ 03:33
Comment from: nahu [Visitor]

Brilliant message Professor.

It is very good message. You need to mention what we mean by intellecutals. It shouldn’t be just intellectuals, but also those wit prvilege as in live well, and have the ability to do something. To solve Ethiopia’s issue would have been very easier at earlier years after TPLF. Today, Ethiopian society are divided by TPLF’s and their foreing friends project. Unless Ethiopians have ONE clear objective goal and reason for what they are standing for, any supports of anything within Ethiopia will back fire. That clear objective, to me is Ethiopia being at critical point. The struggle should be based on Ethiopia and not based on ethnicity, religious, etc. When struggle takes place in the form of supporting for ethnicity and/or religion then that means you are against the counter part which will not benefit for the objective of Ethiopia. I beleive this could be the dilemma from many privileged Ethiopians are facing. There should be a movement on Ethiopia and they can support that. What are they waiting for really? Ethiopia is the main issue and the right to fight for what else? They should not be distracted or buy into what TPLF and their cohorts say by making them feel guilty not supporting their sides, etc. The struggle should be Ethiopia period. That by itself is something no one should be divided about. I am sure the number is very large and it will isolate the anti Ethiopians, pro ethnic groups or religious fanatics. What is more, is that they representing Ethiopia will show this face internationally shaming those trying to destroy Ethiopia. The powr of Ethiopia is so great, that no one can do anything about it.

The other issue is that, they reason we went to privileged schools, in Ethiopia donated by foreign fund, has already made many privileged ones against Ethiopia and towards the West. These groups went to West to further their studies, so those who have privilege from childhood until today, are disconnected from Ethiopia, but you see them being professionals, etc, in the West. They are not even putting that to good use what their ultimate goal is about and what they should do. One indication is that, even when we have the opportunity to mobilize in the West forme something that benefits the community, as well as Ethiopia, this should be very easy. But even today’s diaspora is the most divided society running for themselves, some are lost, etc. There should be leadership in the diaspora for what their main goals are in life. One thing I admire about the West is that, they are not just enriched, or privilege but they have goal. Some rich ones donate to the under privileged for education, etc. Thus, we are not taking such good example from West. The diaspora should develop in community building, team work, conflict transformation, etc. Therefore let alone do something productive in Ethiopia, diaspora is even incapable of doing something productive internatiolly among the community and reaching out. In fact some go back to Ethiopia and exploit it because they haven’t done anything in the diaspora. Some go and hook up with tplf to get benefit. some who are genuine to transform Ethiopia are barred by tplf. Those who are truly struggling are those who are in Ethiopia, those who came as refugees who are trying to expose injustice in Ethiopia etc. So the intellectuals don’t even have to be in politics, but what are they doing to build Ethio communities in diaspora? We are filled with ego just because we are in the West. Good message. What is worrisome also some intellecutals could be targeted by neoliberalism to install such in Ethiopia, therefore create even more destitutions for the poor in Ethiopia instead of getting Ethiopians out of poverty. Intellectuals here also must involve themseves in politics, etc,

01/22/13 @ 04:55
Comment from: gudfela [Visitor]

Please read the article below a brilliant Ethiopian migrant worker in Lebanon. Before TPLF goes after her, she should get sponsor to come to West so that she could use her mind to good use. This lady’s “mind is a terrible thing to waste". So the intellectuals or the well-to do Ethiopains should support such Ethiopians, either to get them education in their respective nations, or sponsor them to come to West and continue their productive lives. This would be one example to be active on such story.

The other issue is that, if Embassy’s are not working for safety of ethiopians excpet for money laundering for TPLF, every Ethiopians should protest at Ethiopian embassy, have it shut it if they are useless. What a shame Addis Zemen, you alwys write about pro TPLF. What is your opinon on this. Yes, you will blame the destitute Ethiopan women. It is not your fault, it is Ye Simintegnaw Shi gize. You are pathetic by the way. Is your pay check growing so far?


01/22/13 @ 05:36
Comment from: [Member]

ፕሮፌሰር አለማየሁ ሃቅን ያዘለውን ጽሁፍ አንብቤ ትክክል ነው እላለሁ::
አዋቂ ሰዎች ከተራው ህዝብ የበለጠ ተሰሚነት ስላላቸው
የ ጋን መብራት ሁነው እንዳይቀሩ ነው መልክቱ ::
ይህንን መልክት ስታበረክት የወያኔ ቅጥረኞች
ለምሳሌ heny የተባለው ጅል አይሉት ወይ እብድነት
ቁም ነገር መጻፍ ትቶ ስለ ፕሮፌሰር አለማየሁ መልክ ያወራል!!!
በጣም የሚያስደንቅ ነገር እነኚህ ወራዳ አፍረተ ቢስ የ ወያኔ ቅጥረኞች ደንቆሮ አንጎል ይዘው ለምን አርፈው እንደ ማይቀመጡ አይገባኝም ::
ዳሩ ሳንቲማቸውን የሚያገኙት ስለተሳደቡ አይደል!!!
የ ሌባ መንግስት አፈ ቀላጤዎች በመዋሸት ስራ ስለሚሰማሩ የ ጌቶቻቸውን ውሸት ማስተጋባት ግዴታቸው ነው!!

01/22/13 @ 06:24
Comment from: Nenewe [Visitor]

If there were prizes for being the 1st to comment on, AZ would be collecting them all and headed for the beach.

You must be lurking around refreshing the site for new posts, man.


A beffiting quote for Dr/Prof of GOE’s cabinet members, too. Incidentally, they all are from TPLf.

01/22/13 @ 07:40
Comment from: HagereEthiopia [Visitor]

AZ #1,

What’s up boy/girl? I was just pointing out how your dumb self has nothing to do but come on up in here and fan your woyane propaganda before anyone else gets to the story. I was.. merely stating the facts, nothing personal. I say kill the high school story, it is idiotic. And for not showing up here.. that will be the day, no one here will miss your stench.. trust me.

Just lay back and relax if you can, you ain’t seen nothing yet!! ekekeeeee!

addis zemen [Visitor]

Hey dude, you’re acting like that wild teenage girl in high school. Remember? She wants you, she wants if you talk to her or give some attention to her, but when ever you try to approach her or try to talk to her, she acts so nerves and run away.
Whenever I don’t show up on this website, you become inquairing minds want to know, asking the where abouts of me. I’m sure you miss me.
And now you’re complaining why I’m posting #1.
Give me a break! Will ya!

01/22/13 @ 19:39
Comment from: HagereEthiopia [Visitor]

It is one aspect of the accomplishement of Tplf, the successfull corruption of the itellectual mind. Well written of course. The signor Al is a professor right? Educated, intellect in abundance but.. to AZ’s and the likes, not so because he speaks against those who fit the
“…intellectual class is in bed with those who have built “vampire states” to suck billions of dollars out of the pockets of their impoverished people to line their own pockets..”

AZ, I suggest you go back and read the article and then read your post. Compare the reality with the article and I assure you, though you will not admit it, you will see the fact.

Is this not what those educated or who were the opposition in the diaspora do when they go back home? They know but so long as they get the land, build the mansions or “ground + 1″, make thousands of birr, go out every night spend thousands.. screw around with young babes.. the “good life"? I mean is that not what intellectual and not so intellectual Ethiopians who live there do? Or when they go back for a few months at a time? Do they question why there is so much gap in the living standards? Do they question why everything costs so much? Or why there are so many locked up when all they have done is question what the so called intellectuals ignored? AZ and group.. come on now.. this is exactly what my friends and acquaintances who went back have done, some educated some not so much. They just join the vampire Tplf. Yap woyane guys, what AL Mariam is saying is exactly what’s happening. And Meles knew that was how he could kill the opposition. He bought them off, that little runt.
And of course they fit..
Ayn Rand’s ideology: “I don’t care about anybody else. I am just interested in benefitting myself and that is just and noble.”

Frankly woyane dudes, this is what makes Meles a very shrewed dictator. He created these “I don’t care as long as its good for me” people and bought their silence.

Yap Mr Al Mariam, keep it coming. It is the best way to explain the current Ethiopian mind set. Facts are facts.

01/22/13 @ 20:27
Comment from: W.Yilma [Visitor]

Empty word from empty mind. Nominal intellectualism is a chronic and debilitating disease for our country. He speaks without knowing the subject, and he talk about places and their events without knowing the places he is talking about. This man is a problem for Ethiopia. He is well educated person, but I do think he lacks intellect mind. All his talk is full of hate. A mind filled with hate never produce a good and balanced judgment. He is a good example of Machiavellian follower; when you lied every day people think you are speaking the truth.
I do not mean there are not truth from his long and uninterested articles he tirelessly posed every days in his favorite websites. What I mean is he should not be considered him self as an intellectual who stand for truth and dedicated to pay sacrifice for the true causes. Being a paper Tiger and pretending to be a vanguard of the poor and oppressed people needs an open mind, trustworthy, good heart, stand for the truth, face the challenges and most importantly be loyal to your country; and do not exposed your country to foreigners in any way. If this man said he loved his people and country, what name would be given to those heroes Ethiopians, who never licks the shoes of State department or European parliament? It is fiasco!

01/22/13 @ 22:16
Comment from: chemoga [Visitor]

how many percent of this website readers agree on articles you write every Monday?one or two.And yet you urge other “mehuran", do the same nonsense ,like you at poor Ethiopian people?

01/23/13 @ 00:30
Comment from: Ts [Visitor]

Trash article!

01/23/13 @ 10:17
Comment from: belew [Visitor]

@addis Zemen

Wow did u move to the US or did you read a book or you hired some one else to help you post. You are quoteing Aristotle now.. I am impressed that you are trying but at the saiying goes dehan biatbut temeleso chika. You are chigaram deha you can never have class so don’t try very hard

01/23/13 @ 14:37
Comment from: Kena Keb [Visitor]
Kena Keb

Leaving aside Alemayehu’s weekly hokum, one can observe an interesting notion which is slowly emerging as subtly expressed in this article. The same Alemayehu who has so far been engaged in delivering irrelevant political thoughts which are always loaded with anger, hatred, blame assignings and indiscriminate condemnation of political leaders specially in Africa(except his darling Isias Afeworki)seems to have opted to change gears to a newly discovered area of political discourse i.e to secernate between the responsible and irresponsible privileged Ethiopians!
He refers to his previous articles in which he had asked why Ethiopian intellectuals are not engaged in politics and asks where they have gone! In trying not to be classified among these “disengaged” Ethiopians he braggs that he has uncloaked himself from disengagement and is at the forefront of the “battle". But by so doing, he denies all recognition to the list of “intellectuals” both in the diaspora and at home who have been claiming that they are in opposition and fighting against the present government of Ethiopia which can, by any way of measurement, mean that they are politically engaged though the motive and quality of their political thinkings may be liable to scrutinization. But, in this article Alemayhu denies them this recognition and has summarily disqualified them as non-existants in political engagements. What does he make of Dr Birhanu Nega, Dr Aklog Birara, Professor Said Hassan,Professor Getachew Haile,Dr Merara Gudina, Jawar Mohammed, professor Beyene Petros …… and the list goes on and on
In my opinion there are too many doctors and professors who fruitlessly meddle in Ethiopian politics rather than focusing on the area of qualifications they would have contributed immensely to the needs of the Ethiopian people. To add to the mountain of “engaged” Ethiopian “politicians,” even entertainers( like Tamagn Beyene and others) and amateur politicians have suddenly become “experts” on Ethiopian politics. We have too many of them Professor Alemayehu!
So, Alemayehu’s thesis to put aside all these colossally abundant but ineffectual and unproductive engaged Ethiopian “politicans” is invalid. Professor Alemayehu the real engaged Ethiopian politicans are in Ethiopia who listen to the heart beats of the Ethiopian people and struggle with them to make lives better for them. I hope Alemayehus’s motives for this postulation will eventually be peeled off and made known to us in his successive articles to come.

Ethiopia is progressing and shall continue to progress!!

01/23/13 @ 15:37
Comment from: mek [Visitor]

It is a good idea to take responsibility but it should not end by blaming leaders. First those you who were sent to European and America based on the loan Ethiopians are still pay should pay back the money that was paid for your education to the Ethiopian people.
Also blaming others may not be the only way of improving things. You have tried for the last 50 years may be it is time to change the approach

01/24/13 @ 01:19
Comment from: [Member]


Very intersting! Hmmm!
When you call me chigaram deha, what would that make you? Or what can I call you?
are you telling us that, Aristotle is supposed to be quoted by the rich?
Most of all, you made me to pride with myself when you said somebody writing for me! HaHaHaHa!
You just showed us how stupid you’re. Nothing to add to that. Because stupid is what a stupid does!
If I may, one more qoute from Goethe which can fit you. “THERE IS NOTHING WORTH THAN AGGRESSIVE STUPIDITY!”

01/24/13 @ 08:37
Comment from: belew [Visitor]

@addis zemen
to answer your question that makes me your geta. and for your question about Aristotale you need to read understand who he was and what he did to be able to quote him you just pick up a something because it sounds good that makes you uneducated fool. And the stupid quote almost everytime a dedeb deha is cornered he calls everybody stupid. You can change who you are just accept it that the first thing you need to do to be part of socity we can not all mix to geather. koatan komata kalalut abro yefteftal..

01/24/13 @ 13:27
Comment from: [Member]


What do you know about Aristotle anyway?
Even if you wanna know about him, you need to spell his name right. Atleast you’ll be able to google him on the internate.
One can tell, you’re a broke ass, penyless, mazzafakka dirt, you think calling others poor would ease your suffering and fill your empty belly. Where do you live anyway? You must be a stranded terrified scum somewhere in a twilight zone!
People so poor minded like you always embarrass themselves by doing stupid things and saying stupid things. because stupid is what a stupid like you does.
Don’t forget to spell Aristotle right, when you google him. Don’t make that mistake again.

01/24/13 @ 15:25
Comment from: belew [Visitor]

@addis zemen yedeh lege
Now you are talking about spelling. Every day you are turning into an angery poor nothing works for me this is my only job kind of guy. Your masters are going to fire you and you will be back on living on the streets of Addis selling your self to the sex tourist. If you are smart please write some thing meaning full like the professor and lets discuss about it. That is what the rich educated people do. They read they understand and they give their openions. They don’t bark like a poor dog like you. Be civilized this is the 21st century.But this is asking to much from you. You are the guy who believes that your dead leader is Jessus and he will come back and save you. Dedeb dedeb shame shame on you…

01/25/13 @ 08:26
Comment from: [Member]

Belew, aka asmerom the asshole shabian,….

You might have thought I forgot your real name, you mazzafakka bututo lebash menati deha! I know you’re a wounded old dog, still licking your wounds, and making an ass of yourself whenever you show up here.
You’re so backward and ignorant that, you think calling people ye deha lij can offend others. In what kind of world are you living anyway?
The sawa desert mosqeuto must have fucked up your brain so bad that, your stupidity became a conscious deficiency.

01/25/13 @ 11:35
Comment from: belew [Visitor]

@addis zemen

Ante kolo lekami. I live in a mansion in France. The biggest mistake I made was starting conversation with yesfer leba. Some times we rich people try to understand why you are who you are. We don’t have to work so the extra time we have we analize things that is why we got rich we use our head and we keep our immotions in check. My bad I will not have conversation with you again. You are beneize me. Find some one your type. Deha yedha lig…

01/25/13 @ 14:50
Comment from: [Member]

Belew, aka, asmerom the asshole shabian,…

Ante qoroqonda ras, FYI, I live in Beverly Hills, on Holywood hills next to big time movie celebraty. If that satisfy your fantasy, keep on hallucinating.
A stupid broke ass beggar like you always will die dreaming and fantasizing.
Have you eaten your lunch today? Or as usual you’re walking next to a restuarant smelling the aroma of stake and seafood rubbing your empty belly, pretending to have eaten. Loser!
Living in a mansion, my foot in your stinky azz!

01/25/13 @ 17:45



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