Meles Zenawi and the unfinished project of Ethiopian modernity

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27 Responses

  1. B Asfaw says:

    I am so moved by your thoughts and analysis. I am no where near to critically analyse or comment on your thoughtful ideas. I am a lay man, read your article from my phone and genuinely impressed by your thoughts. In contrast to those who waffle and suggest juvenile comments, the likes of Birhanu Nega, motivated by self interest, I enjoyed reading your article and share your thoughts. It is quit recently, I mean after his death that I started to read about late Meles Zenawi and didn’t really give enough attention before. However, one could imagine the journey he passed probably started at young age must have taught him enough to become such a mature intellect which in my opinion is a big loss for the country and the continent as a whole. It is unfortunate there is hardly no leader in this world who is free from corruption, power abuse, cultivate repression regime, killings etc. I doubt Meles or his government is not immune from this. Despite this, I think Meles or his government in my opinion have done better than previous regimes and managed some how to crack down the most annoying bureaucratic system the country has inherited for centuries, single ethnic group domination. Those who wish this single ethnic domination, they must know that it is a thing of the past and try to move on. Rather if you have genuine concern about your people or country learn from articles like this and try to put your points across. Well done Teodros, let me know when you publish your book I love to read them. Biruk

  2. Germame Neway says:

    I find the article incrdebly confusing at best postmortem apologist at worst.
    The writer,supposedly an enlightened observer of Ethiopian conditio calls the the most brutual and tresanous dictator in the annals of Ethiopian history ” an archtecht of Ethiopian modernity”. It is an insult to injury to most Ethiopians other than the Meles’ psycophants and ‘zer ke liguam yisbal’types. The truth of the matter is Meles and his TPLF NEVER LIKED ETHIOPIA AS NATION STATE.THEY FOUNDING PRINCPLE IN DEDBIT SEMIDESERT ENCLAVE WAS ,ITS ESSENCE WAS TO DISMANTLE ETHIOPIA AS WE KNOW IT AND ESTABLISH BANTUSTAN LIKE MINI STATES(ETHNIC/LANGUAGE BASED)AND WEAKEN ETHIOPIAN NATIONLISM FOR THE BENEFIT OF SHABIA AND ITS CRONIES TO EVER EXPOLOTIT AND AND TURN eTHIOPIA AS BASE OR REBULID ON ERITREA AND THE GREATER TIGRAY REPUBLIC..all these pipe dreas never realized not because of lacke of effort form these twin enemies of the Ethiopia state and Ethiopians but persistent and reletles struggle of the rest of the Ethiopian people. THUS all this aplogist papers sounding or seemingly fair analysis is geared towards as signal/alarm alerting to the ruling elites to continu MELES’ LEGACY AND REFORM WITH-IN ..AS A WARNNING OR FACE THE CONSQUENCE…THE WRATHE OF THE ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE.
    THAT IS MY TAKE..

    • Teodros Kiros says:

      Dear Neway;

      I have forgiven you for this uncalled for judgement. It is your right to criticize me, although unfairly. That said, I thank you for attempting to read my work, in the best way you know.

  3. Alonso says:

    Multiple jargon of empty words with no substance – writer, like many seudointelectuals is trying to hide himself in the wall of incomprehensible and meaningless jargon. Do you have any thought? Write in simple words so that an ordinary citizen understands you. When you stock your article with such nonsense then no body cares – except yourself

    • teodros Kiros says:

      Dear Alonso.

      There is no need for this harshness. I am simply an honest scholar trying to do the Lord’s work with my limited abilties. Encourage me, instead of savaging me this way.

  4. Abera M says:

    It is a very confused article, Mr Kiros tells us the brilliance of the late prime minister, while he admits the mistakes he made during his authoritarian leadership. Meles do not love anything but himself, the purging of his political opponents, the arrest and killing of his rivals, his hate for Ethiopia and its intellectuals (perhaps a sign of inferiority complex on his part).
    His theory of developmental state, which the author admits to be copied from Chinese thinkers, is not aimed at creating food security, rather it was his strategy to keep his authoritarian rule and his love for power and wealth. Let me ask the author some major questions.
    1. Why did Meles chose to give Assab to Eritrea against the advice of the mediators (the West)?
    2. How come the brilliant Meles pushed his wife to be a member of CC while pushing out other veterans of TPLF?
    3. Why hasn’t he give a single interview for the local free press in his life time? Is it because it is easier to lie and cheat the foreign “journalists” who knew little or none about Ethiopia?
    4. Why did he set up EFFORT and put his wife at the helm? perhaps for corruption?
    5. How come the wife of this “brilliant” prime minister owns many businesses? Do you think he doesn’t know about the build up of wealth? perhaps it is OK for him to be rich at the expense of those poor farmers, who became his responsibilities?
    6. How come he doesn’t allow any opposition or any press to develop in Ethiopia? Perhaps his love for power, unchallenged power?
    7. Why would he surround himself with Eritrean hybrids, is it his tribalist belief? Is it his loyalty to Eritrea? Why?
    8. He knew that all his cronies were corrupt, he openly said it to the public, how come he did not take any measure? Is it because he has a policy of looking the other way as long as the looter is not his opponent or threat?
    9. All the TPLF members are given a free hand to do what ever they wish, some of them are billionaires and some are millionaires, is it his revenge and balancing act for the grievances TPLF has against the Ethiopian state?
    I have many questions, but could you answer these questions without being clouded by who you are?

    • teodros Kiros says:

      I appreciate your excellent questions and I promise to address them in my next scholarly paper, ” Meles Zenawi and The unfinished Project of the Idea of Ethiopianity. Stay tuned, and thanks again for reading my paper and sensing its flaws.

  5. mombba says:

    this writer is confused as meles whom he tries to aggrandise as the’archtect’ of tigre liberation front.

    what does the massacre of innocents by zenawi and the TPLF FASCIST JUNTA contribute to ‘development’ that meles is promoting.

    What does inciting inter ethnic violnce by neles and his stooges contribute to freedom and modernity

    meles himself said democracy is not necessary for development, borrowing his phrase from other dictators who like to stay in power until they loose all their teeth and hair.

    meles was hoping to do just that. but his wickdness nad cruelty was so disruptive to his survival that he contracted cancer and died and was removed from the backs of the people whom he treat as ‘idiot’, ‘donkeys’, ‘worada lebas’ etc etc

    ethno-fascism that meles built has died with him and will be totally buried with the remaining cadres and stooges. that is inevitable .

    • teodros Kiros says:

      DEAR Mombba;

      I truly hope that you cleanse your self from the hate that you have piled on me. I wish I could be kinder, but I simply cannot.

  6. Zemzem says:

    Ego has been at work among the Ethiopian intellectual. Everybody understands the importance mutual understanding and benefit of respect, but deliberately ignore them for personal reasons.Zemzem can be an Afar,Kiros can be Tigrian,Gremame can be an Amhara,Alenso can be an Oromo and so on.The bottom line is we all are Ethiopians,unless we choose to be otherwise.The writer of the article has a point. He wants to resolve the issues, Ethiopia has faced today in peaceful dialogue.
    Mr. Gremame has a point to. His choice of resolving the country’s problem is totally different.We, the average and less educated,who know very well what is best to our common good don’t buy some of your opinions and personal diatribe.

    • Teoros Kiros says:

      Dear Zemzem;

      Your response is as melodic as your name. I respect and envy your unprejudiced mind. Ethiopia needs gifted thinkers like you.

  7. Waf waf says:

    I am so moved by your thoughts and analysis. I am no where near to critically analyse or comment on your thoughtful ideas. I am a lay man, read your article from my phone and genuinely impressed by your thoughts. In contrast to those who waffle and suggest juvenile comments motivated by self interest, I enjoyed reading your article and share your thoughts. It is quit recently, I mean after his death that I started to read about late Meles Zenawi and didn’t really give enough attention before. However, one could imagine the journey he passed probably started at young age must have taught him enough to become such a mature intellect which in my opinion is a big loss for the country and the continent as a whole. It is unfortunate there is hardly no leader in this world who is free from corruption, power abuse, cultivate repression regime, killings etc. I doubt Meles or his government is not immune from this. Despite this, I think Meles or his government in my opinion have done better than previous regimes and managed some how to crack down the most annoying bureaucratic system the country has inherited for centuries, single ethnic group domination. Those who wish this single ethnic domination, they must know that it is a thing of the past and try to move on. Rather if you have genuine concern about your people or country learn from articles like this and try to put your points across. Well done Teodros, let me know when you publish your book I love to read them. Waf waf

    • teodros Kiros says:

      Dear Waf Waf.

      I write to simply say, thank your for this profound reading of Meles’ legacy. I fully share your vision and your encouragement. You read subtly and fairly. What a gift!

  8. Sara Getachew Meles says:

    ATTENTION TO ALL ETHIOPIAN OPPOSITION:
    IT IS REALLY SHAME ON YOU TO DENY THE RECENT DEATH OF THE TALENTED AND PROVEN LEADER H.E MELES WAS BELOVED BY HIS PEOPLE. WHAT MAKE MELES WAS BECAUSE MELES WAS BORN AS A GIFT FOR ETHIOPIA AND A BAD NEWS FOR YOU WHO LIE AND CONFUSE YOUR OWN PEOPLE FOR THE SAKE OF DREAMING TO BRING MENGISTU ERA IN THE BLESSED ETHIOPIA. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! LIKE HAILE G/SELASIE SAID YOU CAN HAVE FAKE SMILE OR LAUGH BUT NOT A FAKE CRY FOR MELES. YOU ARE SITTING IN A MODERN WORLD OUTSIDE YOUR COUNTRY AND YOU HAVE BEEN IGNORANT TO WITNESS THE REALITY OF MELES AND DISRESPECTING ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE? ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE ARE MOURNING FOR THEIR DEATH OF PROPHET OF BETTER THAN BEFORE ETHIOPIA AND THIS SHOULD BE ENOUGH FOR YOU TO GET ASHAMED AND LEARN FROM YOUR JEOLOUS FEELING AND BLOODY THOUGHT AND RACIST SENTIMENT TOWARDS THE BRAVE HERO OF REAL ETHIOPIAN WHO STRUGGLE TO OVERTHROW YOUR FAVOURITE MENGISTU. DON’T YOU THINK THEY DID A HISTORY NEVER HEARD AND SEEN IN THIS MODERN WORLD?
    THE RESPECTED HERO’S FLESH HAS BEEN DEAD BUT HIS SOUL WILL BE IN MAJORITY OF ETHIOPIANS AND ETHIOPIA WILL NOT STOP ADVANCING TOWARDS BRIGHT ETHIOPIA WHICH WAS STARTED DURING MELES’S ERA. THE WORLD AND YOU HAVE BEEN ADMIRING WHY THE ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE ARE MOURNING ABOUT THIR FALLEN HERO “MELES THE GREAT” AND THE “MELES THE FATHER OF POOR AND SO MANY GOOD THINGS IN ETHIOPIA” .
    YOU SHOULD GET ASHAMED TO BROADCAST AND BREACH POLITICAL LIES AND HATRED TO THE BEUTIFUL PEOPLE OF ETHIOPIA AND GUESS WHAT? THE PEOPLE OF ETHIOPIA HAVE REALIZED THAT YOU ARE DEAD NOT MELES. ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE HAVE BEEN WEARING BLACK CLOTH BECAUSE YOU NOT “MELES” IS DEAD. THE WORLD LEADERS ARE BETTER THAN YOU AND HAVE BEEN WITNESSING AND CRYING WHY ETHIOPIA LOST SUCH A WONDERFUL AND GREAT LEADER AT THIS WRONG TIME BUT BELIEVE HIS IMAGINATION AND GOOD DEEDS WILL BE ACOMPLISHED BY HIS BRAVE FOLLOWERS NOT BY YOU. YOU ETHIOPIAN OPPOSITION ARE WASTING YOUR TIME FOR NOTHING BECAUSE YOU HAVE WITNESSED ETHIOPIA NO MORE WANT YOU AND EXPECT GOOD THINGS FROM YOU. EVERY BODY DIES EXCEPT GOD AND THE DEATH OF OUR HERO IS A BLOW TO YOU WHEN ETHIOPIA WAS MOURNING FROM CHILD TO OLD PEOPLE. IT IS YOU WHO ARE BORN AS A DICTATOR AND HAVE THE DICTATOR SOCIALIST MENGISTU DOCTRINE IS IN YOUR MIND AND BLOOD. IT IS YOU WHO DON’T ACCEPT REALITY BUT OPPOSE WHAT EVER IS ACHIVED IN ETHIOPIA. YOU DON’T EVEN GIVE RESPECT TO ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE. I WILL GIVE YOU MORE AND SEE YOU. FROM DC

  9. selam says:

    Unfinished project….

    Well I have a mixed feeling regarding your analysis or do help us to clarify why the need to glorify the guy who set up Ethiopia for disintegration The above mentioned not necessary addressing all the issue that current regimes exercise on the people of Ethiopia. When there’s an establishment which’s a concentration of power is by one minority group, which is dubbed, “progressive” to whose favor one might ask? to put above his own ethnic group above everyone else, how such a police will be productive in a long run. Who consider himself he’s the only genius and know the remedy for every issue that’s from farming to foreign politics. It’s hard for anyone to shine under him, no one will give suggestion related to it’s local are problem since the central government decide what’s best for you. You can’t build democracy on unrealistic basis thinking everything will work out. Where the majority is a stakeholder but benefits few will lead only to catastrophic result, it’s just a mater of time before it collapse. Somehow you failed to indicate the major issue why people want to cooperate wit out any incentive for them. If they can’t participate in the system freely what’s in it for them there’s no incentive if they feel they are second class citizen:
    “The existential imperative of food security ought to be mediated by the democratic right of freedom for every Ethiopian. Meles Zenawi was very much mistaken when he thought that freedom and food security couldn’t be realized simultaneously. I think they can.”

    You failed to elaborate on the power struggle of the tigrian who take for everything credit and want to be the only power in the country. They discredit the Ethiopian people fought against Mengistu regime, Haileslassie,…but they discredit the people as if they achieve the power solely by tigray liberation front. As long as they don’t abandon their ideology of minority leadership it’ll only lead to another major catastrophe…people will not cooperate become disobedient or civil war.

    • teodros Kiros says:

      Dear Selam

      Your observations are sound and I need to address them in my future article on Ethiopianity. That is where these penetrating questions belong.

  10. Teddy says:

    It is interesting to read some stupid comments such as the one forwarded by “germame neway”, who is endowed with an amazing ability to dump sheer hate and ignorance. It is funny to see him intimidated by the excellent analysis from another of our world class minds like Meles, i.e. Dr. Tewodros Kiros. I wonder, for how long the likes of germame will continue to reside in an abyss-like world of ignorance just in the name of politics. I feel Pitty for these prisoners of hate and darkness.

    • Teodros Kiros says:

      I write to thank Teddy, not because he praised me, but he actually read the paper, not as” eulogy”, as a certain irresponsible reader wrote, but as an argument for continuing the modernity project by the developmental state, with all its weaknesses, to a higher moral level, so that the basic needs of the Ethiopian poors could be realized, with a democratic regime, willing to invite the best minds in the country to finish the ongoing project of modernity.

      My goal is an analysis of the Ethiopian present, now that the architect has passed away, and that we must deal with what he left.

  11. Dany says:

    Professor Teodros,
    I have been reading your articles with much passion and excitement so far.
    But this article has washed away my high regards to you .You deceived me a lot.
    how is modernity conceivable under Apartheid like social set up , exclusive political space and highly corrupt practices?Would you be for Italian occupation of Ethiopia seeing the many roads and bridges the fascists built in lieu of freedom of Ethiopia if you were living at that time ???

    • Teodros Kiros says:

      Dear Dany;

      Please do not give up on me, as I continue to develop the arguments, which I have just began, to complete the modernity project by giving it a moral foundation thru the two principles of justice, which I developed thirty years ago. Their time is now.

      I need your respect and love to do the job well, as a scholar should.

  12. Solomon says:

    Professor Teodros,

    You used to write – let’s say you write – pieces that sound against the brutal rule of Ato Meles. Now I found you writing an eulogy. Since when did that happen, professor turncoat? You also thank two professors for editing your paper. What paper? That made me laugh my heart out. Hahahahha……”paper”

    • teodros Kiros says:

      Indeed, this is a full fledged paper. I am sorry that it is short and has no foot notes, save for the references to my three books, in a relevant way.

  13. hagos says:

    Professor Teodros:
    I really appreciate this article. It is great and balanced article. As we know, Meles accomplished many things. But he is a human being then he might have done bad job beside of his good job. No one can be perfect. Only GOD is perfect. But most of his work was good. Then he was a good leader when we compare him with the past leaders.Of course we Ethiopians expect many things from one leader but he can’t do many things in a single minute. He needs time to finish one project so that he can satisfy all Ethiopian people. This is a fact we can’t change it.

    • teoros Kiros says:

      Dear Hagos.

      Thanks for this well thought out comment written plainly, intelligently and decently.

      • Hulum Yalfal says:

        Hello, it always amazes me how all the people from the late PM ethinc group “worship” him don’t see any flaws on what he say or does? Even a mother can say he/she is wrong about her own child when they do wrong…? You know, the fact that I don’t see or hear ANY balanced/fair suggestion regarding him from anyone who belongs to his ethnic group makes me think more deeply about what may be sitting at the back of their mind…intellectual or no, man or woman, young or old…any one from any walk of life…if he/she belongs to the PM’s ethinc group, then they CANNOT see any wrong doing at all, they all turn a blind eye…it is very SAD. Forget the PM, but the rest of the people from his ethinc group are the ones that always puzzel me, what is it they have against the rest of the Ethiopian people? Dear Professor, I am addressing these question to you and to everyone who reads it…I know you may say I am off of the subject or your writing…but still, can you help me understand? May God bless Ethiopia and all her citizens! May A bright day come for us and the generations to come.

  14. Abba Tobia says:

    When can u understand that meles’ only objective was to implement ethnic federation and article 39 and the question for the rest of us was and still is whether ethiopia deseves it or not.

    When checking history of ethiopia and its peoples, the answer is simply “not at all”.

    Meles is an idiot or an evil full of hatred towards the Amharas!!!

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