History, to Oscar Wilde, is “merely gossip.” And here is a little gossip …

History, to Oscar Wilde, is “merely gossip.” And here is a little gossip about the historical roots of the recent high-level meeting by the TPLFites, whose original aspiration was to establish a socialist order before they abandoned it in 1991. Their founders, no more than 11, took up arms to topple up a military junta and were determined to evoke a revolution that would have ascertained a classless society.

It was a classic textbook debate between Frederich Engels and August Blanqui, a French socialist who believed that a revolution would be brought to the masses by handful rabble-rousers.

Perhaps prophetically, Engels has warned, “Any revolution may be made by the outbreak of a small revolutionary minority, follows of itself the necessity of a dictatorship after the success of the venture.” He would have been pleased to see this as a dictatorship of the entire revolutionary class; but, he was terrified of a “small minority that has made the revolution, and who were themselves previously organised under the dictatorship of one or several individuals.”

In a nutshell, the recent spat within the leadership of the TPLF was due to a group at the helm of power accused of “betrayal” of the Front’s “commitment to the people” only to develop “dictatorial practices” once in power. Hence, all the TPLFites have been trying to accomplish over the past few weeks was an attempt to reclaim their place in the national politics, once they made their house in order, a role many of their leaders and the rank and file feel have waned over the past four or five years, claims gossip. But depending on who recollects the memory of the Front’s journey since the fall of the military government, some may even stretch it as back as the late 1990s and early 2000s, gossip observed.

The significant departure in the long road to degeneration might have begun following the group led by the late Meles Zenawi ousted the Front’s “hardliners” from the top leadership, and imposed its worldview of a new political order, says gossip. Although this is a view intensely contested by others – claiming that the EPRDF’s golden years followed the split within the TPLF – the recent high-level meeting in Meqelle highlighted “betrayal of the ideological path” as a primary culprit to what ails the Front.

It was a political battle between the group (with a considerable following in the military brass) which preferred continuity and those who were determined to confront the status quo over its alleged complacent style of leadership, according to gossip. It appears now that “confrontation” has prevailed over “continuity” if only this will be sealed by an army of a mid-level cadre of the TPLF called for the induction of the leaders at the helm: Debretsion Gebremichael (PhD) and Fetleworq Gebreegziyabher a.k.a Monjorino, gossip disclosed.

Another page from the books of history: It was this group of cadres, perhaps a little over 600, who had sealed the fate of the dissenters in the TPLF back in the early 2000s when its Central Committee locked horns to move forward, gossip recollects. Gossip foresees that the mid-level cadres may not have as much dispensation as they had then; nonetheless, their congregation in Meqelle can be used by the spurned leaders as a legitimate platform, before they lay their political bid down.

The foreboding question now in the minds of many at the gossip corridors is, “What next?” A regrouped TPLF’s leadership with a consolidated power, determined to embrace its declassed youth and intelligentsia, will likely move onto redefining its relationship with its allied parties in the ruling EPRDF and its allies in the peripheries, gossip anticipates. How much pragmatism and realism will dictate this move is yet to be seen, for the allied parties too have their particular power dynamics, claims gossip.

In the uphill battle to claim the soul of the EPRDF, dawn seems the era of a resurgence in populism and radical nationalism, sentimentally powerful tools none of the leaders in each party of the coalition would mind to unleash, claims gossip.

Published on Dec 09,2017 [ Vol 18 ,No 919]



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