Saturday, November 26, 2016

Quote of the Day: Power and the State

“[T]he attitude of Marxists toward reform and fundamental change is very clear and unequivocal. Marxists are not against reforms as long as the ‘reforms’ do not create obstacles to the strategic aims of the proletariat; peoples’ democracy and socialism. Similarly; we are not against the Dergue’s decree on land. What we are saying is the hard fact that Lenin taught us on the one hand and what the practical reality in Ethiopia has shown on the other; namely the decree alone won’t be the solution so long as it is devoid of the political power of the popular masses. The Dergue’s decree is simply equalised land tenure, which Lenin castigated as petty-bourgeois utopia and more over, ‘useless.’ Land reform cannot be carried out without the political power of the proletariat and peasantry and against their political participation. History has many cruel examples where attempts to use the feudo-bourgeois state, which is an instrument of enslavement, as an instrument of liberation brought untold sufferings…. It is for the building of the proletarian-peasant dictatorship through a revolution from below to resolve the agrarian question in a revolutionary manner that the EPRP stands.”
From “When Ethiopian Opportunists Are in Trouble Their European Counterparts Also Make the Loudest Noise” by Kelisen Belew, Abyot, Published by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party Foreign Section, Vol. 2, Number 4, March 1977

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Quote of the Day: Prescience

“The demand for the creation of a provisional government is not an idyllic dream as the RIGHT OPPORTUNIST trend in our movement miserably try to blabber but is dictated politically by the urgent need of a popular organ of power to execute and implement these immediate tasks of the revolutionary movement…. What miserable pedantry and lack of political vision that this impotent clique in our movement cannot provide a concrete political alternative to this transition of power and the proper organ necessary that could be instrumental in its execution, except that frantically shrieking the strategic slogan ‘Down with imperialism and feudalism’. It should be observed that the position of RIGHT OPPORTUNISM in our movement contains a dangerous liquidationist character. By evading the concrete issue of transition of power, it disarms the masses politically and exposes the revolutionary movement to the swindling and usurpation of its legitimate right by a self-styled military junta…. In our eyes, the decisive battle between revolution and counter-revolution both within the Armed Forces and in the political life of the country at large will be decided by the urgent political question whether the popular will triumphs in the constitution of a provisional democratic government or in its defeat to be replaced by a rabid cry of ‘law and order!’” —Editorial, Bulletin of the World Wide Federation of Ethiopian Students, Vol. 2, No. 1, Oct. 1974, (published in Geneva, Switzerland)

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Quote of the Day: Democracy

“...the Derg cannot fulfill the democratic demands of the people because what the people demanded is not to have a babysitter (guardian of power) but to elect their own representatives, to have freedom of speech, of the press and to organize political parties. A body (the Derg) which has undemocratic policies and working methods cannot guarantee democracy…. If demanding democracy is considered as turning back the wheels of history, then what the Derg is saying is that the solution is to move from the autocratic dictatorship to a military fascist one. In this case it (the Derg) has no other solution but to rely on its brute force.”Democracia, August 23, 1974, as quoted in Babile Tola’s To Kill A Generation, p. 26

(“Babile Tola’s” excellent book can be downloaded for free as a PDF from the website of today’s no-longer Marxist-Leninist EPRP.)