Ethiopia: Is it a strategic position or a strategic partner?
Eritrean politics has been morphed and swayed by different political actors since its inception. At different stages, different images were created and from these images vague realities were developed. Yet bitter experiences are on display to an open minded but ordinary reader.
Before dealing with the subject matter at hand, let me enrich some of the on-going arguments between different stakeholders of ideas.
- Political line of thinking and a strategy to contain them
A glimpse analysis will be wise if the gist is forwarded on different political lines of thinking we have at these days. Literally, line of thinking/thought can be defined as “a particular way of thinking that is characteristic of some individual or group”. It becomes sophisticated when trying to read what it means in its sensational definition. According to Professor Michael Freeden , there is no well established disciple that deal with this subject matter and trying to apply in a complex atmosphere like that of Eritrea where cold war ideologies still survives among the elietes might usually ends being a like a mockery.
Professor Michael Freeden when asked about what Political line of thinking, he responded by saying, “ my current work is taking me beyond the study of ideologies to the broader study of the ubiquitous practice of thinking politically a practice in which we all engage at different levels of sophistication and frequency. As students of politics it is incumbent on us to explore and understand the actual political thinking that takes in all societies. I am trying to fill an underdeveloped gap that has existed in our discipline, one between the normative study of political theory and the (often canonical) history of political thoughts. I contend that we cannot give adequate-practices and establish what their enabling and constraining features are, both as employed by professional thinkers and in the vernacular. “ 
From the above response it is of no doubt that the diversity within the political line of thinking resides within the elites. When it comes to Eritrea, the value of elite was belittled in a broad-day bashing as part of the PFDJ political line of thinking, a thinking that opposes rejuvenation of ideas and exerted on it a volcanic blow within its territories. Despite such bullying, the term elite has maintained its existence in the well established cyber world and Awate Forum has never failed to attract a good number of these elites which were once ruled to vanish. The elites who live in this forum are diverse in their way values and norms, educational level and profession, origin and nationality, motives and intentions as well as their passion to forward their political line of thinking.
The form being lead by active and dynamic team plus their strong take on responsibilities has encouraged many elites to make their political hegemony come to the surface. It is a very rare achievement. The reason for having such center hub of different political line of thinking starts right from the co-founders* of this forum. Reading in between the lines of the co-founders, one can learn how diversity can be managed and harvested for good.
- Impact of line of thinking
It is not an easy to identify who is who in regard to the way he thinks based on what he writes only as writing is only one from the overall activities that an individual can be described of. Despite such handicaps, consistent follow-up of lines for longtime and cross-examining of intentions, contents, feelings, passion, persistence and consistence of lines can help to construct a general but vague image. Through this image making infancy categorization is step forward in the general hypothesis of line of thinking.
This classification system might be supporting through logical, objective and subjective reasoning. It is not a surprise though if such classification systems are rejected by the target in study. Yet, the arguments that might develop within can add a value thoroughly until they finally are considered as existing norms. Even though such methodologies are of purely from individual lines observation, their existence beyond the person in scrutinization is of high probability.
The advantage of such political line of thinking identification processes and clustering them to where they belong help to understand the source of disagreements and sometimes to prevent an escalating and unwanted political heat diffusion to the masses. Not only this, strategies followed by different thinkers can also be studied and challenged.
At larger scale, clustering system can be introduced so that different political organizations in existence today based on the principles and methodology to reach their set objectives, visions and missions. Clustering of political diversity can start right from where they are and gradually can be combined with those who are close enough in their overall objectives, till they finally stand together and advance their cause.
A primary step of identifying different line of thinking has been introduced at Awate Forum. Some of the Forumers saw such classification system with suspicion. Many where in doubt as the intention can be for negative means. The fact is, it is of purely scholarly exercise to advance our collective missions.
Some of the known line of thinking are:
Fine School of Thought: Political thinkers on this line care less for ideologies and nationalism centered ideals. All they advocate for is for rights of human being. They respect humanity as they are and want to live the values and norms owned as it is. They do believe on co-existence of people no matter what affiliation they have. Secular system not welcomed in its grassy nature. The state for them is a collective entity. What the society has the state has it is their main line of core message. History and collective values of the society they advocate for is their base. Above all, grievances are their driving motto. They care more on social well-being rather than big political terms such as democracy. Fine School of Thought believes that freedom contains democracy not the other way round. Hence, they fight for complete emancipation of human freedom. People who are found in this line of thinking embrace everyone as far as there exists humanity within it. History and values of the society they work for is the most important thing. Anyone trying to ruin are ready to defend it.
Chauvinists’ School of Thought: This school has a blind submission to patriotism. Sometimes their attachment with their country is complicated enough to make a synthesis of their advocacy. It is a mix of externalizing issues and being ambivalent internally. It is not unusual to see an attitude of superiority towards other group or society. Though their base is history like that of the fine school of thought, values and norms of the society they advocate for is always bottlenecked. They do this for their extreme power ambitions. As far as there is a power grip at the center and the people get relative freedom to breathe on, living on past patriotism is an accepted norm. Power for this line of thinkers is of legitimacy not of process issue. They have strong affinity to past glories no matter how they were achieved. For them, the end is more important than the means.
School of Opportunists: unlike the other two previous schools, the followers of this school have very narrow mindset and always look for loopholes to make their case happen. History, values and norms are their arch-enemy. They advocate none except for their dead soul. Opportunists have developed a strong mechanism to happen their dream come true and this is by deleting history that goes against their objectives and glorifying a selected portion of it for demonization process, conspiring the future. Existing situation is the most important as they believe that it because of historical mistakes. This school never proposes a solution for the predicament they mention loudly from within rather they work hard to contain it within lost opportunities as per their claim. Followers of this school are always ready to broker in state selling business and do not bother who buys it as far as there is a buyer.
School of Abyssinian Fundamentalists: one might confuse looking from the surface the political terminologies utilized by the school of opportunists and the Abyssinian fundamentalists. Nevertheless, their methodology is quite different. Their main reference is a 3000 years myth constructed during the political hegemonic ambitions of the 19th C emperors. Their advocacy is yet unlimited adventure to the North. The North of Abyssinia, as they used to refer during their ambitious political fantasy, holds their main center hub of expansion agenda. No matter what the objective reality is, no matter how the international norms are valued, still they believe marching to North is the means to a century old march.
There are other types of schools that might be fit to be categorized as line of thinking. Institute of PFDJ mindset multiplication center is one. There are accepted standards to categorize thoughts as political lines and PFDJ lines terribly fails to fulfill such criteria’s and hence it is an institute set for a well defined objective and hence PFDJ mindset multiplication center. A corrupted version of habesha identity is their main tool to rich the masses. Instead of Abyssinia, today they have borrowed a new name called “habesha land”. Just like before, many within the declared Abyssinian land do not belong the reference identity they advocate yet as usual they preach for an a nonexistent and born out of illusionist harmony.
Institute of PFDJ mindset Multiplication Center: As its name implies, it has nothing to do with thinking but with multiplication of an already existing set objectives. Some might mistakenly mix EPLF and PFDJ mindset while it is not. Just like that of Making Greater Tigray State original manifesto, PFDJ has brought back on table the long shelved manifesto of “Nihnan Elaman –we and our objectives” after successfully liquidated all the enablers of EPLF war time heroes. Today, PFDJ is completely dissociated from the true nature of EPLF. It has an ideology copied from North Korea and enablers throughout the world. Sadly, there is nothing new idea manifested except a portrayed image of the 1971 manifesto and a dictatorial rule to make that happen. Every mind selected crams the manifesto and is equipped with an ideology that creates terror among its outreaches. This institute was born from hate and lives in hate. It equips itself words of hate and propagates hate. Above all, it has no mercy to kill humanity. Graduates of this institute do not know history, de-value humanity and are guided out of normality. They try to justify their means through coerciveness. Everywhere they land; their lines are full of hate and dictum of order.
Other minor schools are School of Undoings though their existence is always in co-existence. Many ethnic based and grievance based line thinkers might fall under this category. This school has acceptable social, economic and political grievances. But their approach to solve their problem has being hijacked by past glories. They meditate on their past heroes and try to select groups which sympathize with their deeds.
- Political line of thinking and its interaction
Eritrean politics is always at a cross road. Its outreach programs is
Strategic position analysis is of pivotal importance to assess whether these political organizations are connected with the people and objectives they advocate for. The methods that can help to perform such analysis might vary greatly based on the objectives available at hand and its long impact among the actors. Some of the methods that can be applied are:
- Political performance: Performing performance analysis is of paramount importance in strategic position assessment. If politics is tangled, its position is equally damaged in such a level that an expected position is at a loss.
|||“eAnswers,” Wikipedia, [Online]. Available: http://wiki.eanswers.com/en/Michael_Freeden?ext=t&cid=5062. [Accessed 25 04 2015].|
|||A. Ewing, “Politics in Spires,” 17 03 2012. [Online]. Available: http://politicsinspires.org/what-is-political-thinking-a-qa-with-professor-michael-freeden/. [Accessed 2015].|
|||EPLF, “Nihnan Elamanan-OUR STRUGGLE AND ITS GOALS , english version 1971,” Liberation, vol. II, no. No. 3, pp. 5-23, 1973.|