All posts by Tesfabirhan

Rule of the Jungle and my Search to it

Part III

My reflections on Part II

Non-intervention! What does this exactly mean to PFDJ system of politic? When they diffuse their political propagandas, they use the term called, “National Sovereignty and we are the master of our politics.  Let’s see how Juche ideology states this:

Juche ideology asserts that every state has the right of self-determination in order to secure the happiness and prosperity of its people as it best sees fit. These political tenets – equal sovereignty and non-intervention – would satisfy the fierce desire for respect and security of a small and weak nation-state such as North Korea.”

There are two points mentioned here; “Equal sovereignty and non-intervention.”As a matter of fact, EPLF formed a strategic mutual friendship with TPLF throughout the late 1970’s and 1980’s. Though it can be seen as the right political game, the TPLF had their own objective when they started the revolution. But, EPLF intervened in this objective which forced them to change from self-determination into abolition of the oppressor in Ethiopia. This intervention had resulted many tensions between the two revolutionaries in the early 1980’s.

worse to this, the political complexity of the horn of Africa was and is one of the most complex developments to draw a scientific analysis because of such interventions. EPLF and now PFDJ had intervened and is still intervening in almost all conflicts in the east and sub-saharan African countries. The Somali case, the Chad case, Sudan, Ethiopia, Djoubiti, Yemen,Congo, etc.

I mentioned these countries because I heard a firsthand testimony from Yemane Gebreab, the head of political affairs of PFDJ in 2008, while he was teaching us in the cadre school of Nakfa. I never imagined before such direct and very far reached interventions was involved by this ruling regime. He brought this because he was explaining the political developments in the horn of Africa and the way they see it.

From his words, Yemane spent one month in Chad to see and analyze how the Darfur case was running and what possible means can be done to intervene in the conflict resolution. Wow, how interesting! Yemane, the political leader, spending one month in Chad. This is just from his own words.

The Darfur rebels were having direct contact with the PFDJ ruling elites to get help. But, an unofficial visit, and creating chaos in the region! How bad is this?

I remember those days with high conflicts in Chad, and tensions between Sudan and the Chadian government. Can you draw easily a link from such interventions?

And worse, Abdela Jabir, the x-orgnanizational affairs of PFDJ was representing Eritrea in the peace talksof Abuja between Darfur rebels and the Sudan’s government. Only Eritrea opposed the agreement reached on that time. This was just a concurrent lectures delivered to us by those ruling elites of the PFDJ. One participating in the ground, in intermingling the issues and another sitting on the table saying, “NO to agreement!” What a satanic mission is this. Why don’t the Darfur and the Sudan’s people solve their case themselves, if you are rejecting any intervention on your own case? And how far you are going to intervene?

See, the information media was talking day and night on the conflict in Chad, Darfur and Sudan at large. Yemane was there personally for one month in Chad and Abdela Jabir on the table, the diplomatic media to decide the future fate of other people.

Can you draw the line? The mass-media raising the issue, direct involvement and then sitting table to decide on behave of the others. Simple!

This is how the tyranny regime in Asmara works in his policy of non-intervention. Kkkkkkk.

And worse, Eritrea is considered as member of neutral countries, “shara zeybilen hagerat” How can this be?

Many examples can be listed: Eritrean intervention in Somalia by saying a historical friendship, Eritrean intervention in Sudan (Sudan and South Sudan now, in intervention that lead the division of grand Sudan, Sudanese central government and eastern Sudan intervention- the asmara peace talks, Sudan and Chad, Sudan and Darfur case), Ethiopia (The list is many, may be I will leave you to search by your own, but just to give you a recent example, the Demhit case), which I personally saw their camp in Tessenai, in Wedi-Leges’s farm land), in Assab, the Afar opposing Ethiopia, May-7 the list is endless.

I can conclude that, if the media is bringing any conflict news, then, there is intervention. I can justify my conclusion in a number of ways, but please do your own search also.Information can be just searched and sure you will have it.

In this regard then, the PFDJ has failed to follow the concept of “Social Justice” in which they claim that they follow it. But rather, they have a Maoist mentality in this regard. “Killing your enemy by his own weapon and to do this trying all your best to make it happen!”

But unlike going to others, the PFDJ remained closed in himself and this made him one of the most secretive tyranny in the world. The Juche ideology is furtehrly analysed as,

According to Juche as interpreted by the DPRK, yielding to foreign pressure or tolerating foreign intervention would make it impossible to maintain chaju, or the defense of national independence and sovereignty. This in turn would threaten the nation’s ability to defend the interests of the people, since political independence is seen as being absolutely critical for economic self- sustenance and military self-defense.

This is what is exactly happening domestically inside PFDJ political line. Closing everything by imaginary, illusionary or false proportions of threats. The cold-war psychology a self created imaginary enemy. Is it a left-out of the old Soviet-Union strategy? Or just a carbon copy of North Korean way of handling their own case.

Regarding the economic independence, (as it is called Charip), Juche says;

An independent and self-sufficient national economy is necessary both in order to secure political integrity and to achieve national prosperity.

And it continues,

Kim II Sung feared that economic dependence on foreign aid would render the state a political satellite of other countries.

What a clear coincidence is. When NGO’s were expelled from Eritrea, the reason given was exactly what Kim II Sung said it 20 or more years before. Is PFDJ acting as a puppet? We were told and still are being preached in a way so that our mind will consider those international organizations are only a means of surveillance. How much is the innocence to this approach?

 I am not in favor of foreign aid, but, when I fail to help myself, it is not a crime someone to come and help me. The notion NGO-by itself stands for non-governmental organizations, but they do governmental jobs. They help the people or country in need in different ways. And no one can deny such great contributions in the world history and even in the Eritrean war to independence;

let’s come and look how the government ministries were so dependent on NGO’s and international funds. The so called governmental ministries which were highly dependent on such funds and helps of NGOs’ are Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health, Minsitry of Fisheries and Minsitry of education. The rest were just working at a very small scale. And it is hard to trace the damage caused when funds that comes from international organizations. But since the ministries such as ministry of Health were so dependent on these funds, their existence became into question. Worse is, all the structures were formed in such a way that they were direct beneficiaries of NGO’s. I can say, it was just like a blood for their proper functioning. And more, the heart was with the NGO’s.

See now, those NGO’s own the heart and have the blood with them. If these two are removed then, how can you replace them. You might install an artificial heart and this where the PFDJ came-in after 2004. You know the consequence. Just I remember my many friends remained idle after many projects were cancelled because of their direct funds from these groups. Guerilla is really a guerilla. I remember these days they rushed to Asmara from Sahel. Leaving all the infrastructures behind and never going back.

In a normal life, there is always away out from the life that you were living. You can’t just escape, and if you escape, the consequence will not be easy and that is what we have for the last 10 years.

The Juche continues as

Independent food production was seen as being of particular significance because successful farming would provide the people with stabilized living conditions and means to independently support themselves.

Food security!as an agricultural expert, I have seen the hollow preaches and the way this policy was implemented. I taught for six years in the only existing agricultural college in Eritrea, Agricultural college of Hamelmalo. I believe that students which graduate from this were capable enough at least to run the transitional food security projects. But in the ground, it is so hollow. Imagine, in Sub-Zoba Keren, branch office of the ministry of Agriculture, 90 staffs members were stranded in just three rooms, each room not greater than 4 by 5 m, 20 m2. No labs, no computer, no clear project. They have to come, sign and leave. All of them, except the head officer, have a 12+, I said plus, because recently many graduates are coming with basic technical skills from Sawa and hagaz technical schools. The head officer is just bTemekro diyom ziblwo.

I just mentioned this, but everywhere, it is the same. Then how can you secure food? When the cabale intellectuals have no place even to sit and think.

I will letter discuss in detail on the agricultural policies and the way it is implemented, but, I said, it is just hollow.

…. to be Continues

Refernce

Lee G. 2003. The Political Philosophy of Juche. Stanford Journal of East Asian Affairs, Volume 3,  Number 1.

Rule of the Jungle and My Search to This

 

Reflection on part I

From the first part, we came to learn that “Juche” as an ideology came into the surface in 1972. I said, “to the surface” because this is just an official use of the term as an ideology. We will see in detail on its historical developments just let’s have patience.

And second, the term is referred by foreign scholars as “Self-Reliance.” Did you get the point? I am highlighting this because; my focus is to co-relate it on how the PFDJ regime is using the word self-reliance. As quoted from Kim II Sung explanation, we can compartmentalize the statement into a number of segments for visualization. Here it follows;

Establishing Juche means, in a nutshell,

1.      … “Being the master of revolution”

2.      … “Being the master of reconstruction” in [one’s own country].

3.      … “This means holding fast to an independent position”,

4.      … “This means that, rejecting dependence on others,

5.      … “Using one’s own brains”,

6.      … “believing in one’s own strength”,

7.      … “displaying the revolutionary spirit of self-reliance”,

8.      … and “thus solving one’s own problems for oneself on one’s own responsibility

9.      … UNDER ALL CICUMSTANCES.”

What a number of points are coming into flash? I could have left you here, because no additional points will be mentioned outside this. Did you come to read some points which we have been bombarded for the last 10 years? I am saying 10 years, just to emphasis on the years in which the dictatorship was officially came into air. For acceptable reasons, I have left the years before as they are.

Another point that we learned from the first part is, Kim II Sung as initiator and credit holder and his son Kim Jong II as a successful wielder of the Juche idea. Jong II formulated this idea as a political shibboleth to evoke a fiercely nationalistic drive for North Korean independence. He almost converted it as a religious cult. What can he not do if he has to prove the dynasty of his power? And worse, he did this to justify policies of self-reliance and self-denial any external aid even during worst times his own people.

Thanks to our people that we have a strong belief, a belief that has long and strong foundation that sustained almost 2000 years. Both Moslems and Christians. It is impossible to dig this foundation to destroy the existing one and wield it as a political shibboleth. But, PFDJ got a fertile land in formulating his policies according to “Self-reliance approach.” Even this has lots of draw-backs and bold rejection by the major policy makers. But, as the ideology beliefs on one man-rule, those who confronted to such policies became victims. Please check the number of prisoners, more than 10,000! What a shocking phenomenon is this? Just to build the one man system, putting these number in under-ground detention centers.

Are you surprised? Don’t please. Just stay in touch and continue reading.

Juche ideology has three major components. Just three major components, as a specific guidance for its application

a.      Political and ideological independence, especially from the Soviet Union and China

b.      Economic self-reliance and self-sufficiency; and

c.       A viable national defense system.

Now everything is clear like morning sunshine of Massawa. Those who know Massawa, you know what it looks, if not, I wish you to have visit soon. If you read Soviet Union, sure, communism, the Marxism-leninsm, cold war, as a powerful union will come in the front. And not less than this, though not of the same scale, with the word, China, Mao will come. Mao and China are two faces of the same coin. “Maoism,” hard to describe it as an ideology, but because of his powerful figure in the communist China makes him to have such credit. Then what is coming into your mind.

Escaping from these two ideologically powerful countries is hard. Especially by considering the geographical location of North Korea and the hunger they had in disseminating their ideology. In addition to this, NK was totally inspired by such movements to make herself free from the Japanese oppression. How is then possible to be politically and ideologically free? If they can win on this regard, of course the other will be easy. Anyway, they had to device and also became the winners in introducing their own kind of ideology, the Juche ideology, with it’s own components as it is noted.

The question again remains on the economic side. Despite some important mineral resources, such as coal and iron, North Korea did not have sound economic bases. Every decision taken then will lament the situation.  Whatever it demanded  they sticked to their political ideology and as we can today North Korea is the most secretive nation in the world.

What relevance does it has to the Eritrean dimension? Can we read that such decisions were taken in the new millennium? Did they follow the same course of history or Eritrean case is also a new paradigm of the new millennium? Keeping such critical questioning, let’s march.

As noted above the key components are

1. Domestic and Foreign Independence (Chaju)

2. Economic Independence (Charip)

3. Military Independence (Chawi)

Nothing is here known from the points outlined before. Just to be more targetful, the names are clearly elaborated and discussed as it is extracted from the reference paper.

The article continues to say,

Chaju: Domestic and Foreign Independence

The principle of political independence is one of the central tenets of Juche ideology. With respect to international relations, the principles of Juche stress complete equality and mutual respect among nations. Furthermore, Juche ideology asserts that every state has the right of self-determination in order to secure the happiness and prosperity of its people as it best sees fit. These political tenets – equal sovereignty and non-intervention – would satisfy the fierce desire for respect and security of a small and weak nation-state such as North Korea.

In practice, this political stance has caused North Korea to truly become a hermit kingdom because of the huge stigma Juche places upon cooperation with outside powers. According to Juche as interpreted by the DPRK, yielding to foreign pressure or tolerating foreign intervention would make it impossible to maintain chaju, or the defense of national independence and sovereignty. This in turn would threaten the nation’s ability to defend the interests of the people, since political independence is seen as being absolutely critical for economic self- sustenance and military self-defense. Kim Jong II predicted that dependence on foreign powers would lead to the failure of the socialist revolution in Korea.

Among countries that he considered socialist peers, such as China, the USSR, Cuba and several African countries, Kim II Sung urged cooperation and stressed the need for mutual support and limited  dependence.  However, while acknowledging that it was important to learn from the examples of other socialist countries, Kim II Sung was highly sensitive to the problems of flunkeyism towards Moscow and Beijing and the inevitable Marxist-Leninist dogmatism that he abhorred during his guerrilla days. In constructing the socialist revolution in North Korea, he warned that the North Koreans must “…resolutely repudiate the tendency to swallow things of others undigested or imitate them mechanically.”

Furthermore, he claimed that his regime’s “success” was credited to the independent manner in which all problems were solved, conforming Marxist-Leninist principles to the specific conditions of North Korea without altering their fundamental substance.

Domestically, Kim asserted that it was imperative to build internal political forces to ensure chaju. The pivotal factor in the success of achieving chaju would be the extent to which the people rallied around the party and the leader Kim II Sung, and later Kim Jong II himself. This insistence on internal unity of support, stemming perhaps from the elder Kim’s disgust with internal factionalism before the Korean War, conveniently helped to justify his consolidation of personal power.

Charip: Economic Independence

An independent and self-sufficient national economy is necessary both in order to secure political integrity and to achieve national prosperity. Charip – economic independence – is seen as the material basis for chaju, or political independence. Kim II Sung feared that economic dependence on foreign aid would render the state a political satellite of other countries. He believed that it would be impossible to successfully build a socialist republic without the material and technical foundations that would come from an independent national economy. This economy would consist of a powerful base of heavy industry with the machine-building industry at its core, which would equip light industry, agriculture, transport, and all other branches of the economy.

According to Kim Jong II,

“Building an independent national economy means building an economy which is free from dependence on others and which stands on its own feet, an economy which serves one’s own people and develops on the strength of the resources of one’s own country and by the efforts of one’s people.”

Independent food production was seen as being of particular significance because successful farming would provide the people with stabilized living conditions and means to independently support themselves. Just as important to the survival and independence of the national economy was the establishment of reliable and independent sources of raw materials and fuel. Extensive modernization of the economy and training for technically-minded cadres were considered indispensable for the construction of an independent national economy as well.

Kim II Sung was careful to maintain that building an independent national economy on Juche principles of self-reliance was not synonymous with building an isolated economy. Looking at the size of American aid to South Korea, which equaled its fledgling economy’s gross domestic product during the immediate post-war years, Kim Il Sung recognized that North Korea would not be able to survive without significant aid from its communist sponsors. Thus, he encouraged close economic and technical cooperation between socialist countries and newly-emerging nations as an aid in economic development and ideological unity.

… To be continued

Refernce

Lee G. 2003. The Political Philosophy of Juche. Stanford Journal of East Asian Affairs, Volume 3,  Number 1.

 

Law of the Jungle and my Search to it

Part I

Rule of the Jungle and My Search to This

Tesfabirhan Redie

France 31/12/2013

My New Year gift to all my friends is just ideas. I know everyone is busy in saying “Good Bye to 2013 and saying welcome to 2014.

But, me, as usual, thinking deeply and meditating in life from all dimensions.

I am still feeling all the sorrow that I had for the whole year after losing my beloved brother and in addition to this, the loneness that I experienced was not an easy especially being away from home. But, yet I have to go on thinking as usual.

And for those who had a good 2013, may 2014, be with double happiness and a prosperous year. Let joy shower your soul and your spirit be conquered by love.

After saying this,

Here is my sharing idea and of course it will continue, but for 2013, it is just enough. I want to say this year good-bye by contemplating on ideas and to be ready for 2014 in all dimensions. I am promising myself to write more articles aiming at fighting and exposing PFDJ for the sake of Justice back home.

Enough is enough! No Eritrean should pour a single tear. It is enough and it is time for family re-union. But this cannot be achieved from wish-full thinking, let’s act together in whatever we can.

I don’t want to mess your New Year party, but if interested, I wish you a good reading time.

Here it goes…

I was always wondering what type of ideology is the current ruling tyranny in Asmara follows in his guidance. I remember one student asking to the political instructors of Cadre school in Nakfa this same question in 2008.

Ahferom, the school director, responded by saying, “the political ideology followed by PFDJ is SOCIAL JUSTICE.” Since then, I tried to look into this ideology if it was really in implementation or not. And I came to find many clues on how the ideology is being tried to be implemented. And this is by tracing how the word “Social Justice” is used in Information Medias and community based works and organizations.

In a new and organized form, since 2002 or may be later years, the word, SOCIAL JUSTICE, in Tigrigna translated as , “Mahberawi Fithi” became a mouth piece of daily news and political propaganda.

I was not aware in detail what it means before, but from mid 2008 on-wards, I started to give a special focus on how the term is coined in the daily lives of the Eritrean Society. Sadly, the majority, including me, consider the term as safe as it sounds. The reason is, the social norm of our society was such a kind where sharing, social campaign and mutual help are such a long standing character of the society. As a result, when the ruling regime use it, it is not easy to pick-point it as a political ideology.

In the ground, just as the way the daily administration is running, the society was tired of the “Kupons” and “Dukan Hidri, as well as “Tumur Mahres” In addition, terminologies like community health center, community recreation center, community kinder garden, community courts, community hospitals, campaigns, etc, were and still now common words to hear.

Such terminologies which became part our daily life, inside and abroad conquered our daily activities. And the worst is, those who fight for democracy to prevail in the country are using them unconsciously in performing for their organization campaigns. I am saying this, because, in many political parties and civil organizations, “Social Justice” is one of the major objectives. And this is creating similarity at least on the surface as well as information diffusion. 

Here is then my interest to dig out what a social ideology is and how it is implemented. Months before, I had posted a document which tries to speak about social justice. But, my understanding was so shallow that today I came to understand neither of the existing ideologies was followed by PFDJ. The reason is “Social Justice and the way PFDJ regime is trying to us has a different approach.

Then, what we will be next?

Having this question in my mind, I continued to search the political life of North Korea. I did this because; it has been now almost a decade to compare Eritrea and North Korea in a number of issues. As a motive then, I went to their political philosophy and I came to know, what they have is different. A political ideology that I never heard of, “JUCHE IDEOLOGY”.

After reading a number of articles on Juche Ideology, I came to understand similarities between the political systems. Under this consciousness, i came to realize the terms used by DIA were not his.

To mention some, “Self-Reliance”, “nation first”, All for national sovereignty”, “National security”, “Technically minded youths”, “Politics of our own nature and based on our experience”, “one man centered leadership”, “one idea” etc… The list is infinite.

But, yet, I found that NK has a constitution based on their own ideology. Then, what is going on in Eritrea?

Question after question will throw me of course into the jungle, where I can only find the address of PFDJ ruling elites. No ideology, no constitution and no definite political line. And of course, they have “Rule of the Jungle.” Anyway,

To help my argument, I will post a serious of 8 volumes on an ideology followed by North Korea, called “Juche Ideology” as a base and then I will have my own analysis by reviewing critically, what Juche ideology and Social Justice is.

Here is a paper extracted from an article written by Grace Lee published in Stanford Journal of East Asian Affairs, volume 3, Spring 2003, titled by, “The political philosophy of Juche”

The Political Philosophy of Juche

The political philosophy known as Juche became the official autarkic state ideology of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in 1972. Although foreign scholars often describe Juche as “self-reliance,” the true meaning of the term is much more nuanced. Kim II Sung explained:

Establishing Juche means, in a nutshell, being the master of revolution and    reconstruction in one’s own country. This means holding fast to an independent position, rejecting dependence on others, using one’s own brains, believing in one’s own strength, displaying the revolutionary spirit of self-reliance, and thus solving one’s own problems for oneself on one’s own responsibility under all circumstances.

The DPRK claims that Juche is Kim II Sung’s creative application of Marxist-Leninist principles to the modern political realities in North Korea. Kim II Sung and his son Kim Jong II have successfully wielded the Juche idea as a political shibboleth to evoke a fiercely nationalistic drive for North Korean independence and to justify policies of self-reliance and self-denial in the face of famine and economic stagnation in North Korea. Kim II Sung envisioned three specific applications of Juche philosophy: political and ideological independence, especially from the Soviet Union and China; economic self-reliance and self-sufficiency; and a viable national defense system.

This paper begins with a discussion of the three key components of the Juche ideology – political, economic and military independence – as promulgated by the DPRK. The second section is a discussion of the ideological origins of the Juche philosophy, followed by a third section on the philosophical bases of the Juche idea. The paper concludes with an examination of Juche as a political body of thought and an evaluation of the success with which Juche policies have responded to the political and economic realities of North Korea.

Key Components of the Juche Ideology

The governing principles of Juche were clearly expressed by Kim II Sung in a speech entitled “Let Us Defend the Revolutionary Spirit of Independence, Self-Reliance, and Self-defense More Thoroughly in All Fields of State Activities,” which he delivered to the Supreme People’s Assembly on December 16, 1967. In it, he declared that

” …the Government of the Republic will implement with all consistency the line of independence, self-sustenance, and self-defense to consolidate the political independence of the country (Chaju), build up more solidly the foundations of an independent national economy capable of insuring the complete unification, independence, and prosperity of our nation (Charip) and increasing the country’s defense capabilities, so as to safeguard the security of the fatherland reliably by our own force (Chawi), by splendidly embodying our Party’s idea of Juche in all fields.”

… To be continued

Reference

Lee G. 2003. The Political Philosophy of Juche. Stanford Journal of East Asian Affairs, Volume 3,  Number 1.