I think what the author is trying to say is that we had a system that had worked for us for thousands of years. There was an unbroken line of rulers going as far back as the time of Menelik the first. That is quite an achievement. Even after power went into the hands of the ዛግዌ dynasty, it was relinquished to “the right people” through a peaceful means, i.e., the mediation of አቡነ ተክለኃይማኖት:: ኢትዮጵያ has SURVIVED in the face of formidable odds through all those years. The task at hand now is MODERNIZING it: making sure that it keeps on surviving by adapting to the changed internal and external landscape.
In the Etyopia of ክብረ ነገስት, divine election was bestowed upon the then Etyopians who were Christians for the most part. Given the fact that (in the absence of a reliable number) a very significant proportion of the present Etyopian population is Muslim, the author is arguing for a new kind of Kibre Negest that speaks to this population as well. Instead of descent from King Solomon, the glory of this new Kibre Negest would stem from Etyopia’s victory against colonialism. That would encompass more or less the present ethnic and religious constituents of Etyopia, all of whom can stake a veritable claim to that victory. I don’t know if he is talking about an actual physical Kibre Negest or a change of national psyche.
But by spreading election to the Muslims, he was not taking about ballots and stuff; he was referring to ስለኢትዮጵያ በእግዚያብሄር መመረጥ::
About voluntary surrender, I believe his argument is that for thousands of years the Etyopian tradition has been to serve anointed kings and through them, the God who anointed them. The means of service was of a military kind and they stood to gain promotion in this world and beyond, according to their achievements based on their ዕድል:: Modernization should not entail a complete loss of tradition and he is suggesting that we reform that tradition in the following ways.
- The way we serve our rulers and our God and prove that we really are divine elects should be through the accumulation of wealth and development.
- Since Solomonic descent and warriorship may not be good criteria for conferring legitimacy upon power in our present circumstances, we need to look for other criteria which are as effective. The author is suggesting a presidential system where the president figure would be one on whom everybody agrees on. I guess then the president gets to call for elections and a prime minister would name a cabinet. And everybody lives happily ever after. He understands that people would object to his proposal as being borne of an “extravagant imagination.” But he goes on to mention similar instances in Germany, Japan, Spain, South Africa, and that the same appeal was made to Haileselassie.
The book was written in 1999. I bet he has got a few things to say regarding the developments that you mention and which took place after that time; also regarding ኮከብ አርሶ አደሮች. But if you ask me, we as a people seem to be missing something very important. I learned from the book that people in the olden days used to firmly believe that they could go places as long as they were good warriors. No Babylon could stop them. But now, I wish I could be proven wrong when I say Etyopians no longer believe that if they work (the substitute for fight) hard enough they would go places. I guess that’s why they either go places (immigration) or they become shifty (corrupt) citizens. That’s the sort of social mobility that we seem to be having currently.
Phew! I have written posts shorter than this.
Matter of fact, why don’t I post this? 🙂
Getere, I guess that tried to answer your questions.
Dr. Messay, if you happen to read this (which is unlikely), I dearly hope that I have not warped your views.
Back to Getere, this is for you “…አንች የገጠር መለሎ የገጠር ሎጋ…” 🙂 I mean not for you but maybe you could መጋበዝ it to someone 🙂
I am yet to find an English word that transmits the full meaning of መጋበዝ::