The Tragedy in Saudi Arabia is a clarion call for Moral Action (Teodros Kiros, PhD)
Our leading scholars and activists have already poured rivers of ink to respond
to an Ethiopian tragedy, for which I commend them and by whom I have been
historically, legally and psychologically enlightened. I have nothing to add
beyond what has been said, but I can modestly contribute on the level of
This tragedy needs actionality propelled by a moral vision for a new Ethiopia.
Now that our Ethiopian sisters and brothers have been killed, brutalized,
savaged and traumatized, our momentous task is to remember through the darkness
of November by seeing to it that this does not ever happen again to our
historical nation- a nation of valiant heroes who resisted fascism, colonialism
and niggerazation with inimitable actionality.
We must repeat this valor and we move forward to protect our people from ever,
ever again being savaged by barbarism in the twentieth century.
What we must analyze is why are our people leaving the lush and green of
beautiful Ethiopia to foreign lands to subject themselves to niggerization.
Perhaps this tragedy is asking us to recover our Ethiopianity and challenge and
help our leaders to forge a new National Consciousness and rebuild our
institutions to feed, shelter, clothe and employ our people by a means
One such means is to free our people from the pangs of hunger and the ravishes
of famine, so that they can stay home and develop the Ethiopian nation.
Our leaders must put our New House in Order by building responsible economic
form, which must inculcate the virtues of patience, compassion, justice and
tolerance among its citizens, from early on. These complicated and demanding
virtues must be taught at all levels of school. It must be part of economic
principles, and be taught as such, and not be pushed to the sidelines, as part
of religion and theology, which does not have much to do with morals, and has
nothing to do with economics. It is this dogma of capitalist economics that
must change. My argument here is a modest contribution to challenge
one of the foundational dogmas of Liberal Democracy and Capitalism. The morals
must guide economics and a new moral economy that works in concert with moral
philosophy and religion is precisely what the Ethiopian condition requires.
More morality, with a distinct religious voice, such as the notion of patient
waiting, will strengthen and expand our horizons as we struggle with poverty,
famine and other sorrows of modern life. We need more people who can
patiently wait as everything changes, hopeful that no condition is permanent,
including the conditions of nations, when their economies get distorted and the
citizens are hardened and become cruel towards one another, and that the notion
of helping your fellow citizens sounds indeed very strange, to those who are
comfortable. Instead, during trying times, citizens do not patiently wait for
things to change; instead, they give up altogether, or become irreligious and
immoral. Market Socialism must be guided by two foundational
principles of justice relevant to the Ethiopian condition.
(1) The procurement of food, shelter, clothing and health must be available to all Ethiopian citizens via making available (a) necessary resources and (b) enabling environment
(2) Freedom and opportunities must be extended to all citizens so as to enhance
their capacities in order that they can actually make the right decisions.
The writer, Teodros Kiros is Professor of Philosophy and English (Liberal Arts)
Berklee College of Music