Democracy and Treason: A Proposal for the Masses
From left, Selam Kidane (Ethiopianist), Dr. Mohamed Kheir (Islamist), Meron Estefanos (Ethiopianist), Dr. Daniel Mekonnen (Ethiopianist) - Credits: International Law and Policy Institute
Democracy and Treason: A Proposal for the Masses
By Wedi Punt
For many years now, I have seen much vitriol and hate mongering words from the so-called opposition in the heralded name of “democracy. As a Diaspora Eritrean, and lifelong student of the world, I have attempted to comprehend how those who claim to speak for the masses tend to be the most egotistical and hate mongering useful idiots. The tactics and shock jock methods they use are the type that you rarely see here in the United States, even among those who justify their actions in the name of free speech.
I have been unable to comprehend why an opposition group would even need to use such methods and alienate people when they could win them over with reason and a sound argument alone. As I have come to learn over the years, the large majority are outright treacherous, and their vile actions are documented by many Eritreans.
One is taking money from America (NED), acting more as AGO’s instead of NGO’s (from now on let us refer to them as auxiliary government organizations instead of nongovernment organizations, for they are surely that). A second is taking direct leadership from Ethiopia, and the list goes on. Not only that but a large number of these traitors are either Ethiopian or half-Ethiopian such as Selam Kidane and Meron eStefanos of infamy.
Much has been tooted about democracy by the United States, a superpower founded on genocide of Native Americans, brutal slavery of Africans, and conquest of sovereign lands from Mexicans, Native Americans, Hawaiians, and many others. This is a nation that is still plagued with racism, injustices, economic exploitation where the gap between rich and poor is ever widening, where 50,000,000 Americans go to bed hungry every night, homelessness, lack of basic healthcare, police brutality, and lastly a rigged political electoral process. There is much talk of freedom of speech, but the media is not an independent media in the United States of America. A private press does not mean an independent press.
Democracy was founded in ancient Athens (present day Athens, Greece) in the 5th century BCE. It was a model created by Solon, the mediator, in a response to disagreements by the rich and commoners in sharing power. A quick disclaimer here, they did have cultural habits that we would find disagreeable by modern standards: only native males could partake in democracy. Women, foreigners, and slaves were not allowed. Their political system served their interests in their time and based on their values.
Furthermore, it must also be pointed out that many societies that were not democracies offered much more freedom. The ancient military dictatorship of Sparta, Athens’ adversary, actually offered MORE freedom for its women and citizens in general. Quite a number of warrior-based societies were considered egalitarian for women throughout history such as the Mongols.
Even many of our ancestors had great “democratic” methods long before Western intrusion. One such method is of respected officials from different Eritrean provinces electing the Bahre Negassi-wait a minute, isn’t a vote for the leader a democratic hallmark? And isn’t the election by respected members of the Baito a hallmark of the Roman Republic? Oh yeah, but we also had many of the “democratic” ways indigenous already. Another example would be the redistribution of village lands. I encourage you to visit this blog for an excellent learning on Eritrean “democracy” on how laws were written. For us Eritreans, we have inherited an indigenous democracy that is well blended in our culture and our religion; if their democratic model clashes with our values and religions, then how can we be expected to adopt wholesale democracy by the modern West?
Issayas' blog (መኣዲ ኢሳያስ) Welcome ንቐደም በሉ
E R I T R E A: sketches of a trip. (Sketch 4, Part 2) featuring Memher Tewoldebrhan Amdemeskel, Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Retrieved from http://kemey.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2008-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2008-06-21T08:50:00-07:00&max-results=19&start=6&by-date=false
My point in bringing this history to the forefront is that every people and nation must decide what is in their best interest, and not at their expense for the benefit of foreigners. After all, democracy in the Mirriam Webster dictionary refer to:
: a form of government in which people choose leaders by voting
: a country ruled by democracy
: an organization or situation in which everyone will be treated equally and has equal rights
In other words, a people’s government. And when a so-called opposition takes umbrage at the people without a legitimate counterpoint to the reigning leadership, they are called traitors. Treachery is the highest form of political crime committed in a secular context, that is either in the same league or second only to blasphemy (which is a religious and spiritual crime). While the PFDJ ruling party is supposed to be open to legitimate criticism like any government in a free society, any time criticism is performed for treachery, there is one constant punishment meted by governments from the beginning of humanity to the very present: death
Treason: the crime of trying to overthrow your country's government or of helping your country's enemies during war.
Full Definition of TREASON
1: the betrayal of a trust: treachery
2: the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance or to kill or personally injure the sovereign or the sovereign's family
Now, let us see what the Athenians did to those convicted of treason in a democracy, for to betray and turn on a democracy is to turn on the people themselves. This is a very lengthy quote about a presumably high ranking man and his punishment was apparently standard for his time.
"Archeptolemus son of Hippodamus, the Agrylian, and Antiphon son of Sophilus, the Rhamnusian, being both present in court, are condemned of treason. And this was to be their punishment: that they should be delivered to the eleven executioners, their goods confiscated, the tenth part of them being first consecrated to Athene; their houses to be levelled with the ground, and in the places where they stood this inscription to be engraved on brass, '[The houses] of Archeptolemus and Antiphon, traitors.'
That Archeptolemus and Antiphon should neither of them be buried in Athens, nor anywhere else under that government. And besides all this, that their posterity should be accounted infamous, bastards as well as their lawful descendants; and he too should be held infamous who should adopt any one of their descendants for his son. And that all this should be engraved on a brass tablet, and that tablet should be placed where that stands on which is engraved the decree concerning Phrynichus" (Dienekes 2009).
In other words, a traitor would have his property seized, resources redistributed to the government and people, their family would be forever publicly shamed as relatives of traitors for all eternity, their houses would be demolished, and that is on top of capital punishment.
From (Allen 2003), we get a glimpse of the cause of Athenian democracy. Democracy was created by a struggle between the haves and have-nots. As democracy came to be, written law took a prominent role in the prosecution, referred to as the graphe. As this next quote will reveal, Athenians usually reserved formal public punishment for the most serious of crimes.
“For all this emphasis on the Athenian use of penalties like exile that allowed them to forget all about the wrongdoer, it is important to remember that in other cases the Athenians preferred to memorialize punishments for eternity. As we have seen, the procedure of the graphe, and the inscription that would follow it was especially used for such memorialization. The Athenians thus developed techniques for punishment that drew on the capacities of the community’s memory and others that drew on its ability to forget. In general, it placed heavy emphasis on memorializing punishments in those contexts where the wrongdoing had an especially political significance (treason, temple-robbery, impiety, etc.). In contrast, when the wrongdoing primarily concerned particular individuals and their personal conflicts, the city was willing to let it go.”
The Athenians were known to be very pragmatic, and many times they would minimize or even absolve their citizens of punishing minor crimes. However, in the worst of crimes such as treason and immoral transgressions such as temple-robbery and impiety, punishment was not only heavy, but they ensured that the transgressors would also be renowned publicly for all of posterity. I will find it amusing to see if and when Eritreans learn this very important part of democracy, the punishment of treason by pseudo-Eritreans and Eritreans. If democracy is our fate to be, then we the people are the government. So it is up to US to take personal control our freedom and security.
Dienekes’ Anthropology Blog. (2009, Jul 15.) The punishment of treason in ancient Athens. Retrieved from http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2009/07/punishment-of-treason-in-ancient-athens.html
Allen, D.S. (2003, Mar 23.) Allen, D.S. Punishment in Ancient Athens (Punishment in Ancient Athens). Retrieved from http://www.stoa.org/projects/demos/article_punishment?page=all&greekEncoding=
5 Famous Traitors Who Define the Word (Everything Is History). (2010, Jan 7). Retrieved from.
A nice read for personal examples of traitors
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