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Topic of the Month

At a crossroads


Ezekiel Gebissa, Special to Addis Standard

Addis Abeba, September 15/2007 – In his book, Moral Man and Immoral Society, Reinhold Niebuhr, the influential American theologian and ethicist, discusses the difficulty of achieving social justice through moral and rational means.  Following Thomas Hobbes, Niebuhr argues that individual humans, suffering from the anxiety of knowing the finiteness of life, tend to rely on power and self-assured security as a means of protection against competitors. This renders them incapable of considering the interest of others. While selfishness is thus an inescapable reality for both individual persons and human groups, Niebuhr reiterates, humans are endowed with unselfish impulse, which, when reason prevails over the instinct to survive, affords them the ability of self-transcendence, a measure of sympathy and a sense of justice.

Lemma and Abadula

Both Lemma Megerssa, left, and Aba Dula, have taken to the practice of speaking bold to their constituency. Will they deliver?

Ezekiel Gebissa, Special to Addis Standard

Addis Abeba, September12/2017 – The Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) is the most enigmatic actor among Oromo political parties. Unlike Oromo parties who emerged out of the Oromo national moment, the OPDO was created by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and emerged on the political scene in the early 1990s as a counterweight to the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). A quarter of a century later, the party hasn’t demonstrated any affirmative reason for its continued existence. The historic Oromo Protest of 2014-16 provided the OPDO a chance to clarify whether it is an autonomous agent working for the Oromo people or an appendage of an authoritarian plutocracy ensconced in power in the capital Addis Abeba. It was an opportunity to be or not to be on the side of the Oromo people at a critical time in the history of the Oromo national struggle.