by Teshome Debalke
The ruling regime of Ethiopia is in a rush to the bottom and taking the people of Ethiopia down with its empty propaganda. If anything, Woyane should officially declare itself as a criminal organization that corrupted as many people as it could in hope of legitimizing itself and its rule. So far, it managed to doge accountability with its elaborate diversion and misinformation. The new hand picked Prime Minster also proven to be the same old diversion before he even began.
At this moment, if there is any living and breathing human being that believe the ruling regime in Ethiopia is anything but… he/she must be mentally challenged, a causality of Woyane’s propaganda or he/she is corrupt to the bone. There is noting more to it. It is a matter of how long Ethiopians collectively tolerate such blunt criminality. It also depends on how the leadership of the oppositions takes the peoples matter serious enough to stop squabbling over noting.
We humans are emotional beings prone to do irrational things out of impulse-depending what information we absorb and how we interpret it. Our decisions; from as big as national issue that affect millions of our people to a simple individual matter we frequently make irrational decisions with far more consequences. What distinguishes us from other mammals is our ability to take-in infinite information, interpret them in logical order and hopefully rationalize them to act with a degree of predictability. Even our closest kin, the primates posses similar traits but absorbs limited information, interpret it in some logical order and are less rational to predict their behaviors and actions.
Therefore, we are susceptible by whoever manipulates the information we absorb to sort out the reality from our perception; often stirring us in the directions with unfavorable outcomes. Even in the free societies; where information is abundantly available there are willing ignorant people that act irrationally on misinformation- causing havoc in societies. In that case, a combination of self inflected insecurity, laziness, self interest and criminality plays in their behaviors and actions.
In societies like Ethiopia where information is the domain of the ruling regime where spewing daily rubbish in the public airwaves is the norm it is inevitable the behavior of many people can be altered in the wrong direction. That’s why people feed with tinted information do irrational things; often against their own interest and their society.
In fact, if there is one society in the world that is extensively exposed to misinformation for an extended period it is Ethiopians. No research we know of has been done to the damage caused on individuals, institutions and the general population. But, the problem of misinformation is reflected through conflicts, poverty, underdevelopment, migration, corruption and a whole lots of society’s ills to the benefit of the ruling regime and others with similar aims.
By far the most damaging of all is the collective inability of misinformed or uninformed people to change the condition the regime put us in. We seldom know the problems even exist. The saying, ‘What you don’t know doesn’t hurt’ is the standard way of thinking for an average person under the rule of authoritarian regimes like Ethiopia. In fact, the motto of the Woyane regime is to keep Ethiopians as ignorant and confused as possible by depriving them any information that doesn’t benefit the regime’s survival. Therefore, vital information is to the public is reduced to the survival of Woyane than the wellbeing of the people.
What do we know?
We don’t know much except what the authoritarian regime wants us to know. Thus, we confront or support the regime with trickle down info from the regime and its operatives or with no knowledge at all; causing more confusion in our society as intended. This phenomenon has never been addressed as it should.
For example, the efforts to challenge Woyane tyranny are often reactive on what the regime does, than what ought to be. Taking sample of the independent Medias and civic societies’ activities reflect that phenomena. Several reasons are at play. The elaborate propaganda of
Woyane and its operatives took its toll in our society. Loss of fate in our public institutions because of extended exposure to misinformation under authoritarian regimes in our long history also played a major role. Contemporary Ethiopians’ tolerance rumors and criminal behavior of individuals among our mist, in our institutions and governments contributed greatly.
Alternatively, the rumor mills strived as major sources of another misinformation that further complicated matters. At both ends of the misinformation game, scrupulous interest groups exploit the vacuum created to get what they want while the general public is confused and discouraged; forcing many to withdraw from the struggle for freedom to the benefit of the ruling regime.
The absence of independent institutions to produce factual information and fact check public information made it impossible to sort-out the facts from the fiction coming from the ruling regime and various interest groups in the battle to win/confuse the minds and hearts of the public.
Falsehood is the hallmark of all tyrannical regimes for the obvious reasons. Therefore, misinformation is a commodity that sustains political and economic corruption of tyranny.
Until enough independent institutions and advocates emerge to create the necessary conditions to provide factual information in the public interest the struggle to institute democratic governance, political and economic freedom would remain a long journey to the benefit of the status qua. Several examples indicate the people’s struggle for freedom staled because of the absence of capable and independent institutions that stood up for the public interest by providing factual information.
Many Media outlets made tremendous contribution against all odds to gather factual information in the public interest. But, the cost of gathering and disseminating information to the larger population remain an expensive proposition made worst by the ruling tyranny complete control of the public institutions and the airwaves.
The establishment of the Ethiopian Satellite Radio and Television a few years ago was ground breaking and a positive development in the history of Ethiopia. It should be supported by all means necessary regardless of the temporary setbacks that might come from time to time as anything pioneering. Without such institution there is neither freedom nor development. Therefore, any attempt to undermine the noble causes of institutions like ESAT only comes from the ruling regime and interest groups that has no interest in freedom or democratic rule of the people or development at the expenses of the people.
As it is evident, since the establishment of ESAT politics has never been the same. The ruling regime and its operatives are frantically working hard to undermine it; knowing the truth reaching the vast majority of Ethiopians is the demise of Woyane. Others that can’t tell the difference between individuals and institutions continue to undermine it by tagging it with one or another group.
In contrast, the mouth pieces of the regime pose as Media institutions continue to perpetuate misinformation campaign to extend the life of tyranny against the freedom of the people. Their moral fabric is compromised beyond repair to the extent their physical presence in free societies where they have access to facts wouldn’t deter them doing the dirty bidding of tyranny at home. This bottom feeding behavior comes for two distinctive reasons; rampant corruption and self hate. In both cases it isn’t by choice but an escape from reality; like a drug junkies or alcoholics trapped in bad habits; searching for escape to justify what they do.
Media establishment like ESAT are obligated to create a dedicated program to explore the state of Media in Ethiopia and the behavior of the regime’s mouth pieces, including the pseudo Medias they run under the regime’s directives. For freedom and democratic rule to come as it should the ruling regime must be banned from owning and operating any Media outlet to spew its propaganda, as it shouldn’t involve in businesses to robe the nation. The regime must be forced to surrender the public institutions it uses to prop up its political and economic of corruption. It mustn’t be allowed to run amok spewing rubbish in the public airwaves.
As the hand picked ‘Prime Minster’ took responsibility of the nation wounded by 21 years of Woyane’s onslaught, he should realize he stumbled to power at the death bed of tyranny. Extending tyranny further through propaganda isn’t an option but dismantling it by speeding up the process. A Wiseman doesn’t revive a dead tyranny; hoping something good will come out of tyranny is foolish of the biggest proportion.
So far, the direction the new PM is taking is not promising. His declaration to continue his mentor and ‘great leader’ Melse Zenawi’s policy reviles the man is a willing causality of TPLF’s misinformation. His TPLF handlers are as confused as him; beside their wish of preserving their corrupt and dying regime.
The American essayist, lecturer, and poet, -Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best when he talks about wise men that live for ideas than circumstances.
‘It is a lesson which all history teaches wise men, to put trust in ideas, and not in circumstances.
The new ‘Prime Minster’ should take a lesson. Good ideas don’t have traction in tyranny he is designated to run. They come from free flows of information and association where best ideas emerge. After all, he is ‘educated’ enough to understand tyranny don’t generate good ideas but create the circumstances to commit crime of many kinds against the people. It is about time he submits to his professional ethics than his corrupt TPLF handlers. He should realize; it isn’t why but when tyranny will go down. As he rehashes the same thing over to preserve tyranny, he has hard choices to make; to be or not to be part of the solution or remain the problem and pay the consequences.
Ethiopians also understand the sorry TPLF stooges’ cry for help. Their only hope against all hope is to distract us enough from the struggle for freedom in order to preserve their corruption, noting more. Building with stolen bricks and cement financed with blood money isn’t going to do it. Spending public money for a make over wouldn’t cut it. Bribing Ethiopians with public resources to join their criminal enterprises wouldn’t save them. Handing over the public resources to foreigners in the name of investment wouldn’t be an escape route from accountability.
Without even knowing it, the stooges declared themselves criminals before the court of justice did. They surrender their humanity before their creator did. Running around like mad dog biting innocent people and spewing propaganda to cover up their crime is not going to help them from the day of reckoning. The sooner they come clean the better they will be.