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ALIENATION: A RESULT AND IMPACT OF WESTERN EDUCATION ON ETHIOPIAN INTELLECTUALS
By Fikre Tolossa, Ph. D.
It is my contention that Western education has alienated Ethiopian intellectuals by uprooting them from their history, culture, language and society. This paper, which was presented at an Ethiopian studies conference at the University of Dayton, Ohio, in the summer of 2006, attempts to elaborate my contention by providing a brief account of the history of Western education in Ethiopia and its negative impact on Ethiopian students. It also demonstrates how Marxism damaged Ethiopia and reveals the secret forces behind Marxism and its hidden agenda. In conclusion, it suggests ways and means of improving the core-curriculum of Ethiopian education.
When Emperors Menilik II and Haile Selassie I introduced and spearheaded Western education to and in Ethiopia in the 19 nth and 20th centuries, they didn’t foresee that it will alienate and uproot Ethiopian children from their origin: Ethiopian history, culture, language, psychology, philosophy, religion, music, literature, arts, and even society. These emperors introduced and spearheaded it with the sole purpose of modernizing Ethiopia by the acquisition and transfer of knowledge in the form of science, technology and education. When parents wouldn’t allow their children to go to Western schools fearing they would be exposed to foreign ways of life and religion such as Catholicism, Emperor Menilik II made a decree to punish them severely. This phenomenal Emperor who had cultivated the love for technology when he was growing up at the court of Emperor Tewodros who was himself a fanatic for technology, particularly weapons’ technology, set an example to his people by doing menial works, demonstrating an interest in engineering, and even himself repairing watches, driving car, encouraging his wife Empress Taitu to ride bike, introducing electricity, telephone, telecommunications, cinema, railway transportation, etc. to his country. Following in his footsteps, Emperor Haile Selassie laid a modern infrastructure and stressed the importance of Western education. As a matter of fact, he volunteered to serve as the Minister of Education for many years to see to it that his educational policy was implemented properly. To this end, he went to different schools in person and supervised the classes and the foods his “kids” ate and drank. At times, he sent fruits to his students from his palace. During Christmas, he offered thousands of students in his palace with cakes and special sweaters. To high achievers, he awarded special watches with his profile and inscriptions of his name.
Modernization and “civilization” were understood to be two words defining the same concept. Westerners were supposed to be highly civilized. Hence the acquisition of Western education to “civilize” and modernize Ethiopia after their model. This implied that Ethiopia was not civilized or was less civilized than the West. If one was to define civilization as a high achievement in science and technology, Ethiopia was not indeed civilized. However, if civilization meant a high achievement in religious moral, ethics, philosophy in general, music, culture, literature, arts, architecture, history, warfare and even politics, then Ethiopia was highly civilized. The concept of civilization was not then explicitly defined.
What Ethiopian leaders overlooked was that Western science, technology and education brought with them an unexpected baggage: Western culture, history, geography, literature, psychology, sociology, and most of all, political economy and revolutionary philosophy championed by Karl Marx which not only formed their world outlook, but also affected the behavior and political practice of the youngsters. As Karl Marx himself stated, philosophers before him had interpreted the world, but his philosophy was to change the world, whatever change meant, by revolutionary means.
After all was said and done, after having gone through Western education, Ethiopia produced many technocrats who didn’t contribute an iota to the betterment of the life of the toiling masses, a few scientists from whom she didn’t benefit much, philosophers who were ignorant of the existence of Ethiopian philosophy, economists who didn’t have any impact on the economy of the county, revolutionaries who didn’t know the culture, tradition, history and mentality of the people in whose name they were dying and killing, political scientists, psychologists, sociologists and anthropologists who didn’t know a lot about the politics, psychology and sociology of their people, in addition to specialists and experts in various disciplines whose expertise had no relevance to Ethiopian realities.
It would have been a different story had these students dealt with these subjects in terms of their application to Ethiopian realities. In order for them to do so, nonetheless, the Ethiopian subject-matters mentioned above should have been systematized and included in the Ethiopian school curriculum and studied side by side with those of the West. This doesn’t mean that there were not conscious Ethiopians who didn’t understand the dangers of unchecked Western education and didn’t suggest otherwise. His excellencies Ato Mekonen Desta and Haddis Alemayehu who served as ministers of education in their own times had foreseen it and suggested the integration of Ethiopian subjects with Western education; but nobody took them seriously. The zealots of Western education, such as His Excellencies Mersaehazen Woldeqirkos and Ato Abebe Retta nevertheless, went to the extent of proposing to replace even one of the oldest if not the oldest alphabet in the world, Geez, with the Latin alphabet and to make changes in the alphabets. Aleka Lema who had a debate about this matter with other groups of scholars and his witty son who had just graduated from high school, Mengistu Lema, he who had later challenged Bertrand Russell ’s ( the famous British philosopher and mathematician) colonialist contentions at the London School of Economics, exposed the errors of those who wanted to alter the Geez alphabet and nipped the proposal in the bud. (Mengistu Lema, Autobiography. P.116-124)
Indoctrination in the form of Western education begins at an early age. The process of alienation starts when a child is placed in the first grade of a Western school. The moment a child attends first grade and moves to grade two, he moves away farther from his Ethiopian roots and gets a step closer to becoming westernized; so that, at the end of twelve years of schooling and four years of college he has strayed away from his “Ethiopianess” for 16 years. By then, his mentality, psyche, manners, cultural orientation and life-style will have been influenced profoundly. The more this young person acquires Western education and culture, the more he becomes westernized, and the less Ethiopianized. If he moves to the West for further education, he is even alienated more from his Ethiopian roots. Outwardly, this person has an Ethiopian look. However, inwardly, he feels and thinks like a “Ferenj”. The fact that the color of his skin and even his citizenship is Ethiopian doesn’t mean much with respect to his mentality and psyche. A white person who is deeply rooted in Ethiopianess could be more Ethiopian than such a person. A case in point is the situation of Ayana and Ayantu, a white twin living in an Oromo region of Ethiopia.
When Ayana and Ayantu were babies, they strayed away from their parents, got lost and were taken by some Oromo peasants who raised them like Oromo peasants in the remotest part of Ethiopia. Now they are adult peasants married to Oromo peasants. These two white individuals were never exposed to Western education, culture and language after they were kidnapped. Their parents traced them later. But alas! They had become totally Oromos in their language, mentality, psyche, manners, culture, cloth and life-style. Their parents traced them after it was too late, and left them sadly. Despite their white color of skin and their place of birth, Ayana and Ayantu are more Oromo, and as such, more Ethiopian, than a westernized Oromo, or any person belonging to any other Ethiopian ethnic group, thus proving the fact that the color of one’s skin alone doesn’t always determine one’s identity.
Alienation as a result of Western education within the Ethiopian context was best reflected on the generation of Ethiopians who received Western education after the end of the invasion of Ethiopia by Fascist Italy and the subsequent years (1941-1980). The reason for this was the fact that Ethiopia flung opened her gates for the West to engage in the construction and reconstruction of the infrastructure, as well as in the building of the nation itself. The generation that received Western education before the Invasion had been exposed more to Ethiopian traditional education, culture and way of life than the generation which followed. They had already been adults when they entered grade one having spent so many years in Kine and Zema bet or serving as shepherds, and even farmers contrary to the generation after the War which joined Western schools at relatively early ages without being too familiar with Ethiopian culture and way of life.
The Westernized Ethiopian exhibits a few distinct characteristic features. Such an Ethiopian has tendency to look down upon Ethiopian things labeling them as backward and feudal, and looks upon anything Western highly. If there is anything Ethiopian he appreciates, it is the food- the Kitffo and Doro Wot. As such, he dreams to visit Paris and New York instead of Axum and Laibella. Given the choice to read between Charles Dickens and Haddis Alemayehu, he prefers the former. He esteems highly Marx and Kant, but is not even aware of the existence of Ethiopian philosophers such as Zera-yacob and Welde-hiywot. If he is cultured in the Western sense, whether his appreciation and knowledge are superficial or not, he appreciates and gives the impression to know Mozart than St.Yared. He values more the guitar than the Kirrar, any Western dance than isqista and dankira, Western outfits than Shema and Ye tibeb libs, beer than Tella, wine than Tedge, and whisky than Katikala. He is well-versed in China’s, Russia’s and West Europe’s history, politics, music, languages, literature, philosophy, etc. but very little, if any, in those of Ethiopia. He knows the cities and states of Europe and America like the palms of his hands, but not of his native land. He prefers to speak in European languages than any of his native tongues. He speaks to his children and encourages them to speak European languages than his native languages thinking his children will be more “civilized” if they spoke European languages. In an extreme case of his identity crisis, he will also give his children European than Ethiopian names.
Teens who grew up during the Era of the Derg were reared upon the so-called Socialist-Realist culture which emphasized the deployment of the “culture of the masses”. As such, contrary to those who grew up in the 1940s and 1950s and even the 1960s, the “children of the Derg” appreciated and practiced the Kirrar, than the guitar, Isqesta and dankira than Western dances as well as traditional costumes (more women than men). “Ye Kinet Kibebes” (traditional art groups) mushroomed in different Kebeles in Ethiopia, and those youngsters became experts in traditional music and dance. Hence, the frequent appearance of young people performing traditional music and dance in weddings and dance floors in Ethiopia proper and in the West where Ethiopians have been exiled.
When the revolutionary youngsters were not yet revolutionary, they wee influenced highly by the so-called “imperialist culture”. When they became revolutionaries they rejected “cultural imperialism” and fought it tooth and nail, labeling it us “Jolly-Jackism” on the campus level. “Jolly-Jackism” was understood to be wearing bell-bottoms (the fashion of the day), Afro-hair-styles, fancy shoes and attires in general, partying, singing, looking good as opposed to looking shabby, and even having boy and girlfriends in the open (Visiting prostitutes in the dark was the order of the day). Ironically enough, being a “revo” was like being a “Pente”. The only difference between being a “revo” and a “Pente” was that the former didn’t believe or pretend not to believe in the existence of God. Even the military junta led by Colonel Mengistu Hailemariam echoed this sentiment shouting slogans such as “Down with imperialism! Down with imperialist culture and Joly-jackism!” etc. What was shameful was that all who condemned Western imperialism ended up in the West. Nobody sought asylum in the East Block and China though every revolutionary dreamed of making Ethiopia like the Eastern Block countries and China. I remember only one person who naively chose to seek asylum in the East Block. Funny enough, he was rejected everywhere! So, he headed for Seattle, USA and found a safe haven in the imperialist West against which he had fought. There was a widely spread jock then: “sew-belaw (man eating, swallowing) imperialism “minew innen bewategn” I wish I was eaten up (swallowed up) by the man-eating (the cannibal) imperialism”. The situation is not any different at present when it comes to Ethiopian Exodus.
Things reversed themselves when Weyane took over from the Derg. Weyane itself was Communist and nominally “anti-imperialist” up to the eleventh hour. In that sense it was not any different than the other Ethiopian radicals, as both groups were the result of the student movement. Since communism was crumbling at its source (USSR and East Block), Weyane betrayed its communistic convictions to impress Western donors and wore the mask of a democrat the day it entered Addis Abeba from the bush in which it was waging guerrilla warfare. The West flooded over Ethiopia through the floodgate with its religion and “imperialist culture” including pornography and strip-dance clubs. Sadly, everything Western in general, and American in particular, is being worshiped to this day. Many Hotels and even “Tela Bets”in the remotest part of Ethiopia bear American names and states instead of local Ethiopian names. This is a reflection of cultural subjugation, low self-esteem and identity crisis. Furthermore, the fact that Ethiopians endured sever drought and famine as well as tragic civil-wars has affected negatively the former self-pride and self-reliability of Ethiopians. This has debilitated Ethiopians so much so that they are compelled to deny themselves and to lie about their nationality and identity. Unless something is done about this on the national level, Ethiopia will sink in a bottomless abyss. To overcome this grim and shameful situation, a lot of work should be done on the educational and cultural fronts.
Even though Western education is idealized by many Ethiopians, Western education per se, is deliberately distorted when it deals with the humanity subjects in general, and with history and politics in particular. Let me illustrate my point with a few examples. I will take Marx, communism, the French Revolution, the October Russian Revolution, the First World War and the Second World War.
Marx told us that religion was the opiate of the poor and that neither God nor the devil existed. And yet, when he was in high school, he believed in God and wrote a poem in adoration of Jesus. The same Marx joined a Satanist group in college, wrote an ode to Satan and vowed to dethrone God from heaven. ((Richard Wurmbrand. Marx & Satan. P. 11-35). Well, how would he dethrone God, if God didn’t exist. The truth is that Marx believed that God existed, and knew there was Satan, because he practiced witchcraft and worshipped Satan. Not knowing the darkest side of Karl Marx, “progressive” Ethiopian students denounced religion, denied the existence of God, destroyed the foundation of their ancestors’ faith, created social upheaval, got engaged in a civil-war and caused much bloodshed and sorrow in the name of Marxism.
They thought that the tenets of communism were formulated by Karl Marx and Frederick Engle who were “so concerned” with the well-being of the down-trodden. And thinking so, they tried to implement them in Ethiopia at the cost of the lives of others and their own lives. Meaning to improve the tragic lives of their people, they sacrificed their youthful lives for the realization of communism which promised a utopian system of government. The bitter fact was that the tenets of communism were formulated by a Satanist evil man named Adam Weishaupt a century or so before the appearance of Marx and Engle on the European political scene. He was himself recruited by other Satanists such as Mendelssohn and Rothschild who were aspiring to bring about a New Atlantis; and was organized under a Satanic secret society known as Illuminati to destroy the then prevailing monarchies, religions (Judeo-Christianity), feelings of nationalism, families, and abolish ownership of private property with the sole purpose of bringing about one world government under a Satanic religion, economy and army to exploit the world’s resources, spread Satanism and enslave the peoples of the planet Earth. ( Milan Martin, Lucifer’s Children. P. 84-87) To launch this, he attempted to eliminate everything people cherished dearly such as religion (the belief in one God, particularly Christianity and Judaism), the family unit, private property, and feelings of nationalism which would hinder internationalism or one world government. (William Cooper.Behold A Pale Horse. P. 76) According to his vision, a Satanist elite was to be on top of this Satanic world government with absolute power to control the world army, police, economic resources and Satanic religion. Today, this kind of system is called the New World Order. The Bushes, the Clintons, the Gores, the Kissingers, Fords, Rockfellers, the Carnegies , etc. in the US and many of the European elites are ready, willing and able to make it happen. They will use the United Nations and the European Union to achieve this.
Adam Weishaupt founded the Illuminati secret society on May 1, 1776 to conquer the world. His ideas deceitfully infiltrated into the international trade union movements so that the first day of May became Labor Day. (If you observe May First as a labor day, you are a victim of Weishaupt’s plot). Though he was a professor of Canon Law and lived in Bavaria, Germany, he thought France was more conducive than Germany to experiment his communistic theory. So, he recruited French revolutionaries such as Robespierre, organized the Jacobins (Martin, Milan. Ibid. p. 106-109) and led the bloody French Revolution in disguise. To motivate and allure the French masses he used high sounding and meaningless words, such as “liberty”, “equality” and “fraternity”. We know the havoc and bloodshed which followed the French Revolution. It is enough to recall that most of the victims were innocent Christians who were a threat to the Satanic religion of the Satanist Adam Weishaupt.
Marx followed in the footsteps of Adam Weisehaupt about 80 years later, and expanded and propounded his Illuminati ideas. He was financed by the powerful members of the Illuminated-Masons in secrecy.
One half a century later, the Illuminati-Freemasons found another puppet and volunteer to pursue their vicious agenda further. This person himself was a high level Illuminated-Mason by the name of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. His successors and Lieutenants, Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky too, were Masonic-Satanists. (Texe Marrs. Codex Magica. P. 44, 256) Stalin, before he became a Satanist had attended a theological seminary to be a priest. The Illuminati bankers and financiers smuggled Lenin from Switzerland to Russia in a closed train with millions of Dollars at his disposal. Trotsky was smuggled by the same groups from New York to run the Bolshevik Revolution together with Lenin. He was given an American passport and $10, 000 USD by the Illuminate US President who plunged Americans into the First World War so that the League of Nations, the first stage to World Satanic Government is established at the end of the War. When the Red Army of Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin were almost destroyed by the Nationalist forces of the Mensheviks, the same group of Illuminated-Masons “capitalists” financed and equipped, and rescued the Red Army by levying arms and supplies embargo on the armies of the Mensheviks and by sabotaging them in many ways. (Stanley Monteith. Brotherhood of Darkness. P. 69-72) They also lent Lenin over $100 million USD later. He paid between 1918 and 24 over $400 million Rubles in interest and principal to these “capitalists”. But if these Satanic bankers and financers were capitalists, we wonder, how come they championed communism? Was it because capitalism was a system of exploitation to enhance communism which was the future form of world government. David Rockefeller is a good example of what I was saying. He was the first capitalist Illuminati-Mason who visited Communist China in 1973. After he met his fellow Illuminati-Mason Satanist by the name of Mao Tse-tung, (David Icke. The Biggest Secret. P.285) who had wiped out 40 to 60 million of his people for the sake of Illuminati agenda, David Rockefeller said, “… The Social experiment in China under Chairman Mao’s leadership is one of the most important and successful in history.” (Monteith, Stanley. Ibid. P.44)
Think of it. This is the capitalist of all capitalists stating this. By “social experiment”, of course, he meant the Illuminati communistic social experiment which will be applied world-wide in the future. So, if you think the communism of the past was horrible, you haven’t yet seen anything. There is no escape. These vicious people have done their homework, and they will launch their “new” brand of communism soon.
It is the same Illuminati-Masonic group which artificially and deliberately caused the First and the Second World Wars. Since people wouldn’t willingly surrender their rights, their religious convictions and the sovereignty of their nations in peaceful and prosperous times, argued these Satanists, we had to plunge them into world wars so that they would accept the formation of world government at the end of such tragic wars. True enough, people didn’t object to the establishment of the now defunct League of Nations, and the currently active United Nations at the end of the First and Second World Wars to serve as platforms for a Satanic-Communist one world government which is otherwise known as “The New World Order”. Now they are scheming a Third World War which should go as planned by Albert Pike and his followers who envisioned to wage three world wars to materialize the one world government of their dream.(Martin, Milan. Ibid. p. 34) They are now plotting to add more fuel into the already flaming Arab-Israeli relationship which they conspire to transform into Christian-Muslim global war. They have no doubt that the end of the Third World War will grant them their one world government. The question is whether they will find any survivor to enslave and rule even if they themselves outlive the forthcoming war.
How many of us knew these facts? How many of us know them now? Formal Western Education is not that enlightening, is it? Western history and political text books as well as the mass media, being controlled and censored by the Illuminati, told us that Communist wars were fought by the oppressed masses of the world. We were led to believe by the unseen hands that the First World War took place because Gavrilo Prinzip assassinated the Archduke of Austria. True, Gavrilo Prinzip assassinated the Duke, but the assassin was a Mason who was sent to kill him to trigger and escalate the First World War which had been “concocted” by the invisible rulers of the world in an effort to bring about a one world government besides making tons of money by financing all sides of the belligerent nations during the War, and at the end of the War, by reconstructing what they had helped to demolish. By the same token, they make us think that WW II was fought because Hitler invaded Europe. They didn’t reveal to us that Hitler, who was himself a Satanist-occultist and National socialist who aspired to unite Europe and conquer the world by reviving the Roman Empire which had ruled the world, was financed, equipped and armed by the same invisible rulers of the world- members of the Illuminated-Masons such as the Fords and Rockefellers in the US, and bankers and financers in Europe such as the Rothschilds.(Martin, Milan. Ibid. P. 276-277/)
All miner and major wars and revolutions including the French Revolution, the American War of Independence, the American Civil War, WWI, WWII, the Russian Bolshevik, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Cambodian,, Cuban, Ethiopian, Congolese, Angolan, and Mozambican communist revolutions which ruined these countries were led behind the scene by the Illuminati-Masons. Speaking of Cuba, Fidel Castro is Illuminated-Mason (Marrs, Texe. Ibid. p. 165) who was put in power by the CIA knowing full well that he was one of their buddies who would experiment on the Cuban people their “social experiment”, as David Rockefeller bluntly and brutally stated. Do you find this information I furnished you with in the text books of Western schools? No way. This is a top secret. The evil Adam Weisehaupt once said that their power lies in their secrecy. That is why they are called secret society. The revelation of their secret to the public at large will definitely weaken them and expose their scheme. So, they keep us in the dark. As long as we are ignorant, they can control and rule us with ease.
Our ignorance of this bitter truth in part propelled us Ethiopian intellectuals to destroy our country, to kill each other and to die for the Ethiopian Revolution which strove to attain the so-called communism which was alien to Ethiopia. Thinking that we were killing and dying for the welfare of our people, actually we killed and died for the realization of the satanic aspirations of the Illuminati-Masons. Isn’t this tragic? Our tragedy was not only in enduring and inflicting physical pain and death, but also in destructing whatever we had achieved culturally. A case in point is the destruction of and the attempt to destroy the cultural relics and rare books written before the outbreak of the February 1974 communist inspired Ethiopian Revolution which toppled over the government of Emperor Haile Selassie. Ethiopia’s glorious past was ignorantly labeled as “feudal”. As such, Ethiopia’s glorious past: her culture, history, religions (both Christianity and Islam), and most of all, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church which was the cradle of Ethiopian civilization, were under attack. Ethiopia’s four thousand plus years of recorded history was reduced to one hundred years of colonial history to suit the needs of the political protagonists of the day.
At present, the politically-disillusioned youth has embraced Western culture as a role-model in terms of outward appearance, music and dance. Moreover, almost every Ethiopian, be it young or old aspires to get out of Ethiopia to head for the heavenly West for economic, political and cultural reasons. In addition to the above factors, the fact that Ethiopians endured sever civil-wars, famine and drought have contributed to the crisis affecting the self-esteem of Ethiopians. This has affected some Ethiopians so much so that they deny themselves and declare their original nationality to be any other but Ethiopian. Unless something is done about this on the national level, Ethiopia will sink in a bottomless abyss. To overcome this situation, a lot of work should be done on the educational and cultural fronts.
On the educational front, the core curriculum should be redesigned to reflect Ethiopian folklore, culture, literature, history, geography, theology, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, psychology, traditional medicine, arts, crafts, architecture, music and dance among other subjects. This doesn’t mean that the existing Western Science and humanity courses should be precluded totally. Science is science no matter what, unless it is mixed up with politics. The new core curriculum should aspire to transfer from the West science and technology selecting the ones applicable to Ethiopia. However, when it comes to humanity subjects, an alternative research should be conducted to seek and find the truth concealed by the invisible rulers of this world instead of continuing the status quo which is filled with distortions and lies.
On the cultural front, the performing and fine arts too, should reflect the beauty and splendor of Ethiopian culture, arts, history, society, literature and other subjects pertaining to Ethiopia. Ethiopian traditional schools, which are going out of existence due to lack of funding and moral support should be identified, recognized and incorporated under the Ministry of Education and be given equal status with the other schools or assisted separately. The Ministry of Education should indeed provide traditional schools with class rooms, educational materials and put the teachers on its payroll. As things now stand, these dedicated teachers who are the foundation and promoters of Ethiopian education, culture, literature, arts, music, philosophy and medicine are neglected. They are not paid for the great task they accomplish. In most cases, they depend even for their foods on their students who themselves beg their daily meals from the public, as it has happened for the last two thousand years.
If such an action is taken as soon as possible in both the educational and cultural spheres, Ethiopians will regain their pride and self-esteem and also avoid and avert unnecessary personal and national crisis and tragedy which occur because of alienation and due to lack of self-awareness, appreciation, and information.
Fikre Tolossa, Ph. D., is professor of literature and writing at Patten University, Oakland, CA. He could be reached at email@example.com for feedback.
Lema, Mengistu, Gile-Tarik. Mega Publishing Enterprise. Addis Abeba. 1988
Wurmbrand, Richard, Marx & Satan. Living Sacrifice Book Company. Bartlesville, Oklahoma, seventh Printing 2001.
Martin, Milan, Lucifer’s Children. New World Order Books. Tulsa. OK. 2002
Cooper, William, Behold A Pale Horse, Light Technology Publishing. Sedona, AZ. 1991.
Marrs, Texe, Codex Magica, River Crest Publishing. Austin. Texas. Second printing, 2006.
Monteith, Stanley, Brotherhood of Darkness. Hearthstone Publishing. Oklahoma City, OK. 2000.
Icke, David, The Biggest Secret. Bridge of Love Publications, Scottsdale, Arizona. 1999
such a wonderful, thought-provocking, scholarly article!!
don’t worry, forget the diaspora…they have even changed citizenship and they are no more Ethiopians.
The people from inside will make sure its history and culture is intact and at the same time enhance its scientific and technological foundations for the betterment of the nation….
You are an i from no where instead of just jumping to insult diaspora try to understand the thought and Analise of this gentleman research and studies. You just some sort of pupate and generalize peoples please don’t be stupid as always
There is an old saying - “An empty can makes the most noise!” This saying applies to those of you who try to criticize Dr. Fikre without telling us why. Please, be specific if you have some thing to say and make sense. Also, be respectful if you want to be called Ethiopian or this web site. I know the author Dr. Fikre for many years and I am glad Ethiopia has some one like him.
Dr. Fikre, Please, please …don’t let these little guys discourage you.
Anonymous from San Diego, CA
PS - We missed your Pomes! I have not seen one since you posted on ER about six month ago. I still enjoy the one I got from you @ the soccer tournament in LA. Keep it up!
Well, I am not sure whether i understand your point. It is deep and it has a strange opinion. But I understand clearly the influence of th e western education on us. It gave us a lot of problem and confusion. It did more harm rather than benefiting from it. By the name of socialism and democracy an individual killed his own brother and sister, his own mother’s child and his/her own society.
More over I got your point about traditional school problems and suggestion , that is incredible,new thought, I appreciate that.
What a waste of ink; a confused writer who tries to confuse others with an old and third rated story about illuminati and free masons. If you sit in front of a mirror and read your own article, you will see it personified at the other side. Sir, I am looking forward to reading from you again–next time about the Holy Grail or the Nights Templar and how they are related to our suffering?
Ach yeah, very funny too! The writer opposes Western education and at the same time boasts and presents us ideology and literature from anti-Semitic white supremacist’s corner.
Shorter version pleeeeaase.
No time to read this very long article.
“It is my contention that Western education has alienated Ethiopian intellectuals by uprooting them from their history, culture, language and society.” I have subscribed to this school of thought for some time now. Some how most professionally trained Ethiopians see everything Ethiopian as backward (’huala ker’). I refer to them as professionally trained because to be educated means to be matured and cultured.
lets get our priorities inline
this article tries to minimize the problem of ethiopia to not teaching eshetu tesema’s kinae, semna work’ or reading geez bezema. not only such curricula is primitive and small there is a thing called globalization these days and we had no newton in our litrature so i found the whole article irrelevant to the way forward but it may boost our vanity, but once again i believe we got enough of that.
rather we need to fund our universities, increase the quality of education, equip labs, build so many libraries and we need to reverse the brain drain and most probably our country would be at more than our expectations.
by the way my granda mother is the wisest person i know of her age she had no formal education except the traditional but will she get a job in todays working world, no nope oh no.
This is a well written article.However first of all the purpose of the western society is been always to educate us there way of living in propagandas like books,movies,etc…so there is a lot of brain washing happened not only on Ethiopians but the whole third world so they can be able to be obeyed on demand as we can see it at the present time in the world.Second your writings on Illuminati is best elaborated but my opinion on this matter is a few elite rich people like Rothschild’s, Rockefeller’s,etc…are always trying to create wars anywhere, anytime in order to control there investments or banks loans.And also it could be conspiracy theories.
i correct my assessment of the traditional (original ethiopian) education as useful rather than full of vanity.
but i still believe than practical western science should be given way emphasise.
i recommend our own as a side order when we have surplus.
N.B. i like his highness fitawrari Habtegiorgis.
This is Fikre Tolosa, and I am not surprised why some of you ddnt understand what he is writing about. It is about you and you can’t see yourself unless you pose infront of a mirror. Go get one! dummy. Fikre Tolossa is more philosophical and more at home with this article and score a big point especially after the debacle of the now infamous Almariam article.
Thank you Fikre.
I have nothing to add except to celebrate that the country had a few intellectuals left here and there; who could lead like Joshua after Moses, to the promised land.
“…S.O.S. Shorter version pleeeeaase….”…wozeiro condjo
Dear wozeiro condjo,
I am in total agreement with goraw here, you really don’t need a shorter version of this beautifully written and well reasoned article. This is all about the ‘woman/man in the mirror’. Please go get one quick, and look if you dare!
A lot of generalizations and assumptions in this article. What is Dr. Fikre saying here. Is he blaming “western eduction” for what ails Ethiopia? What is western culture anyway? Why does he think it is bad for Ethiopia? What makes Ethiopia a unique country in the world not to embrace “westernization"? Is driving a car and living in a modern home being westernized? Are countries like Japan, china and India being westernized? In my opinion, Ethiopia’s problem is not an overexposure of western culture but exactly the opposite, which is underexposure to the western culture. Using modern transportation, modern medicine, modern infrastructure is a necessity. And one does not have to be called westernized to when trying to achieve modern things. The Taliban in Afghanistan, the Medrasas in Pakistan, Hindu purists in India and Alquida all try to teach their followers the threat of “western culture". But who exactly in his right mind wants to follow those purists?
Isn’t funny folks that i felt asleep while reading this long, very long monotonous article?
Plz. Dr. Fikre try to be precise when you turn up next time.
Read carefully before you comment. Dr. Fikre is talking about “educated” Ethiopians not the problem of Westernization - I think the two are completely different.
I am working on my Ph.D dissertation and
found this article timely and interesting.
I have taken several humanity courses and
agree (in most respect) with Dr. Tolossa.
I thank you for hosting such kind of thought provoking piece
Very thought stimulating article. Unfortunately, this is a reality for Ethiopians not only in diaspora, but also at home.
Unless we do have a firm understanding of our history, we will be a second citizen in our own country.
I just want to say to everybody, please do evaluate any concept and/or principle from different perspective particularly from your culture. Remember, every person that your read about is made famous by some else! Don’t expect others to go out of their way to make our people’s work famous. That is why we are here!! Don’t you think so?
members of the Illuminated-Masons
Your article sound very much of that famous book who was on best seller for over two years some 3 or 4 years ago - The Da Vinci Code with all these secret membership for this group of elite people who are all famous in the past and have this very secluded membership dating back to the christ.
unfortunately, we cannot make a movie about your article there is no plot or protagonist.
I don’t know what you are trying to convey but if the essence of your article is that we Ethiopians should stick to our culture, language and religion and don’t assimilated in the alien culture of the West then one of my question is which “Ethiopian culture” you are talking the one that is Islamic, oromo or somali language??? because FYI they are Ethiopian also. or are you talking about the habesha culture and religion and so on??
My suggestion is you probably read a lot of books and plus with the typical inherited suspicious mind of habesha that the rest outside are after us… to control us etc.. your mind is a little too confused.
You have presented the reality of the
hiden movements that exist in our world.
You did ur part for atleast trying to
make our people to be aware of the
movement of Freemasons.
But concerning western education,
the way u discussed in not adequate.
The problem is not only the western
education rather the way it is
introduced and our culture too.
I cann’t boast over the way we ar
reacting over things and the way we
re eating, the way we ar treating
womems, children. Lots of problems we
do ‘v. Our culture need some adjustment
in the same way as u criticized the
introduction of western education.
One should note that saying cultural
change is inevitable for prosperity of
Ethiopia, it doesn’t necessarly mean
that he has changed the value he has
for his identity. Culture is always
Furthermore, I would have been glad if
u have scrutinized more on the real
impact of Ethiopian Intellectual
who had been educated during
Hailesillase on the current Ethiopian politics. They ar responsible for
the existing problems of the country.
They were educated to build the country, but they betrayed. It is worth if i mention one instance of culture they inherited
to their children. Einistein says
‘I know only one thing that
I know nothing’. But ours says
‘Yalane Awaki Man’al’.
It’s not the western living style or studies
that have created problems in our society.
But only tribal ignorency philosophy intensified by the TPLF regime .Ethiopians
peoples deserved too freedom ,democracy
and prosperity .The only problem is the tyrant
Zenawi and all his ethnical mafia groups
looting the country .
LONG LIVE THE TRUE ETHIOPIANS !!!
Dr. fikire your article is well written with facts and merits.Even so i differ on some part of your article to the most part it holds water.I belive we should not be scared of any cultue,education ,psychology,etc.as long as we give priority to our own history ,culture and family value .We can keep whats good of wester cultuer or eastern as long as it has a good value and fits our way of life. Indeed ethiopian history is the world history,but do to some selfish so called educated ethiopians we were drag back atleast for a centrie.I have a high hope our culture,politeness,respect to others will survive for the next three thousand years.
We are what we repeatedly do!
God bless ethiopia!
Doctor Fikre Tolosa did sumptuously analyzed the gravity of Western Education on long held and time tested values and norms of developing nations. He deciphered the complex, deceiptive and ruthless nature of avaricious forces that handcuffed the poor nations of the world in their stride towards self reliance and development. This is an interesting article to ignite intellectual debate and assess our ill fated experience of wholesale Western mimicry.
It is not surprising to have the usuall old foes frantically attacking an intelligentsia that aimed to lift and rekindle the hearts and spirits of citizens to be aware and safeguard the interests of their nation. God job, Let them feel the heat!
My hat off to you Dear compatriot Dr. Fikre Tolosa
This is all about the ‘woman/man in the mirror’. Please go get one quick, and look if you dare!
I went, I saw, and discover a very beautiful and interesting person. And believe me that my mirror does not lie.
If you are trying to tell me that this article is a little too philosophical ???
My dear Gundan, you are talking to this beautiful (Old???) woman who used to dissect and debate for hours both social and political philosophers at
universities of Europe on Nietzsche, Spinoza, Hegel, Kant, Sartre, Ramendra Nath and so on….
This article is pure garbage as far as I am concerned but give us the opportunity to express our views on different level.
So, before you open you mouth to disparage other people, learn who you talking to.
Yes, Madame Condjo is right. You are talking to this woman who didn’t finish her first degree, who had to give up after the second year because it was too difficult.
The problem is not only the western education rather the way it is introduced and our culture. Look at Japan who completely westernized it’s economic and political system. After WW2 Japan adopted American style economy and politican party. But while doing that never lost their cultural identity. Infact it strengthned it. Look at where it’s at now. Look at India, Emirates, Indonisia, Malaysia, South AFrica…etc. countries that are growing at a rapid rate with western style education. Dr Fikre I highly respect you as an intellectual but I disagree with your article.
The analysis regarding post colonial Ethiopia generation could be classified into four distinct characteristics.
1941-1965 patriotic youth
1966-1974 rebellous youth
1975-1991 Pseudo-revolutionary youth
1992-2004 apathic youth
since 2005 critic youth
bei 2010 democratic youth
I am the admirer of Dr. Fikre’s writings.
In fact Dr. Fikre is a substitute for the poet, Laurate Tsegaye G/Medhin, in my understanding of literature. Be it Amharigna, English or German.
Dr. Fikre is a historian,a playright, a poet and a good political analyst and observer.
et cetra, et cetra.
What he mentioned above could be preserved as a good reference and retrospect.
The present leadership of Ethiopia is set up by the will of foreign power. The guys were pretending to be one of the most revolutionaries in the world. They were preaching against soviet “Social imperialism” and US imperialism. However they are the ones that kneeled down to be a puppet of foreigners. They are shameful elements.
And the previous leadership was boasting of its bravery. Unfortunatelly it was the first of its kind to have left the country.
Alas ! (Amh: Asafari Tewlid)
I suggest Dr. Fikre to write a short story concerning the above mentioned event in Amharigna to be read also at home. so that the present generation could learn something about it.
Yes, you are talking to this woman who didn’t finish her first degree, who had to give up after the second year because it was too difficult.
Is it the reason who became a yoga teacher for those maids who work for the French women???
Education has no age boundary so please go back and learn something that you can be useful for the country. At the present time or in the near future, Ethiopians have no need for a mediocre yoga teacher.
Good luck and never be constrained by time.
Dr. Fikere raised an importatnt point. According to my interpretation, what he is trying to tell us Is: „Knowledge is power“. He is not telling us that ‘Western Education is bad for Ethiopia’, rather the Western Education System lucks some components of Education that could impede individuals from effectively becoming better human beings, with a better knowledge of their sorroundings, their world.
In Ethiopia, most Ethiopian families orient their children in such a mindset that social acceptance, earnings, position, status are important and that should be the sole goal and objective-so get in to a education which makes you achieve that irrespective of your native skills.
How many of us were told time and time again that History, Geography or Litreature are good for nothing?
We often were forced not to know what we are good at but align ourselves in such a way that we adapt to the new surrounding to make sure we deliver the best; which alternatively makes us defensive. The reason we are always doing something which we have been given but not something which we give in with passion.
This Education-related problem is not limited to countries like Ethiopia. Take for instance The United States:
The US are the leader of this globalaized World, yet the large majority of American youth do not (at least yet) have the faintest ideas of life in other countries. The Educational system of The United States, in many places though not in all, is so antiquated that at times it seems that instead of teaching to think global, they are teaching students to be provincial, closed-minded, economically-challenged, and financially inept. It almost seems if they are taught from 1st through 12th grade to believe that the U.S. is the only country in the world, the only one that matters, and that their goal after they leave school should be to search for a secure well-paying job. These ideas will not produce the dynamic innovators and leaders needed to tackle the problems of this different new Millennium.
It is not he who works the hardest that succeeds; it is he who has the best knowledge or ideas and works with the most intelligence. The ability to adapt to change and ability to learn quickly is as important as what you know right now.
Education is important, both in school and out, but formal academic education will not give us all the necessary knowledge we need to be successful in life.
That’s what Dr. Fikre is talking about: Let’s not copy everything what we see in the developed World, as most of their citizens have even no idea who their neighbours are. The world is growing smaller by the day, and anyone who does not understand world culture, history, speak another language, or grasp globalization will have a glass ceiling in their profession and in their life.
Those Satanic Organisations that Dr. Fikre mentioned are the ones who could profit from knowledge-ignorant stupid individuals or populations. Dr. Fikere is trying to tell us that we should study our sorroundings carefully, and with courage. We should fight everything that we could force us to remain thinking in a provincial manner. We better stop right away insulting eachother day-in day-out, because this way we only give away ourselves to those evil, secretive forces who are trying to control you, me and the rest of the world.
Dr. Fikre tells us chronologically the history and development of secret societies like the Illuminati. The existence of the Secret Society or Societies in question can be traced back into antiquity. Let’s do our own researches, compare current developments, find out who we are, and we would certainly be able to see facts and the truth infront of our eyes. Nowadays, The all-Antichrist Secret Societies are everywhere: They are out there, at your school, at your Workplace, in your neighbourhood, in Africa, Asia, America or Europe….
They all are powered by their master – Satan, and they frequently use different Ideologies: They used Communism, Nazism, Fascism and now they are using Islamism as their next victim. They all claimed to bring the world under their sphere of control in the name of Satan. They all told us; Proletariat/Aryans/Moslems Of All Countries – Unite!
Thanks to Dr. Fikre
“Live the life you have imagined. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams"- Henry David Thoreau
“….And believe me that my mirror does not lie….”…..wozeiro condjo
Perhaps your mirror does not lie, but unfortunately we all know that you do. Did you deliberately misunderstand Mazash or that was just your usual haughty misreading of concepts?
In addition to Ayana and Ayantu, you should be added as a classic case of Dr. Fikre’s assertion. You always look down on anything and everything Ethiopian. You are continuously agitating and advocating for:
• The abolition of our alphabet and adopt the Latin alphabet
• The abolition of all Ethiopian languages and adopt English as our official language
• The ban of all our unique and beautiful traditional clothes from all ethnic groups and import our garbs from Paris
• The ban of using the name Ethiopia in reference to anything Ethiopian
Now tell me, if this is not a classic case of self loathing, I don’t know what is. It looks to me you are the type who will never ever invite her parents to dinner because they are not as cool as you wish them to be.
Going back to the mirror thing, you love throwing around names of famous foreign philosophers and writers, thinking it will put you on equal pedestal. Looking at you my dear, your life resembles that of a pathetic orphan, who is proud of her best friend’s parents and clueless about her own. Force yourself to learn a little about our illustrious history, philosophy (yes! We do have philosophers too) and read Zera Yacob.
Dear Dr. Fikre Tolossa,
Thank you,for the scholarly analysis of Diaspora and Domestic “scholars” west-indoctrinated-mentality!
May GOD bless your esteemed career!
It is good to know Ethiopia has atleast some scholars, like you, who are capable of getting out of the Alienation-box. This is an article that should be forwarded to all African “scholars".
Please post similar articles wherever convenient to access African “scholars".
I hope Dr Fikre Tolossa , Professor Efraim Isaac, Philosopher G.E. Gorfu and others would have their own separate interactive website(or atleast blog) soon, where we can learn from their hard-won knowledge.
Dr. Fikre, you wrote a very interesting article, about the satanism of karl marx and western leaders I have read that on a book few years back, it is true. Yes the devil rules this world as he is the fallen angel, much of europe and america to this day is pagan, even those who claim to be Christian go to the fake churches like the catholic, pente coastal etc. Once I have seen western priest advocating to kill a leader of another country. This is not the type of behavior one would expect from a priest, but as Jesus Christ teaches, many fake priests and many fake churches that mislead people will be visible. God be with us all. Pray for the wicked ones (western leaders) who worship the devil.
woizero kondjo, from your comment I would rather call you woizero askeyami, as usual you ended up being negative. From your usual comment there is no doubt that you are one of those bandit who support the CIA agents/anti Ethiopia liberation fronts. By Ethiopian culture Dr. Fikre meant ETHIOPIAN culture. Islam is a religion and Ethiopia is one of the ancient countries that accepted Islam, to your surprise the Christian Ethiopian King saved Islam, eat your evil heart out. Ethiopia has 80 languages and many tribes which makes Ethiopia unique and indivisible, Ethiopians have intermarried through the years, above all else, Ethiopians worship the almighty God unlike you the devil worshiper who always try to create division. You are so wicked, I will pray for you so that God will deliver you from your wickedness!!!!!
Dear Weyzero Konjo:
You said that you were capable of discussing European philosophers such as:
“Nietzsche, Spinoza, Hegel, Kant, Sartre, Ramendra Nath and so on….”
I believe you. And it is great you did so. I used to do the same in my student days. However, are you able also to discuss Atse Isyael, Zegdur, Kifle-Yohanis, Tewaney,Zera Yacob, Woldehiywot, Ophelas, and even Shaek Hussien Gibril?
My answer is I doubt it. You are well-versed in Europen philosophers and thinkers, as you proudly state, but ignornat of your own. that is why that you and your likes are alienated from your roots. Isn’t it regretable that you are devoid of your rich and wonderful culture, history, philosopy, literature and arts? Is it then untrue if I say that you and your likes are black outside and white inside? Will it be then fals to say that you are victim of Western Education because you look down upon your own and your own self whether you admit it or not and and esteem m the Fernji highly? My article struck home. So, you called it rudely, “garbage!". You didn’t even hold the bridle of your mouth to speak so un-ethiopianly and unladily, though you claim to be a “Konjo” Ethiopian lady. I would have respected you, had you said I am willing to to learn about my roots. In any case, I won’t provoke controversy with you. You are entitled to your opinion. This is will be my first and last response to you.
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