The core features of the Marxist

The core features of the Marxist - The Core features of the...

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The Core features of the Marxist-Lenist regime including its violence How would we like to describe the modern Ethiopia’s particular apocalypse? War, famine, or the doctrinaire Marxist-Leninist dictatorship might be the best key words to approach. The Ethiopian experience regarding political and economic change raises a number of very important issues that are difficult to reconcile with current theories of socialist transition. Today, I would like to talk about Marxist-Leninism in Ethiopia. The actual implementation of scientific Marxism in not an adequate measure, since no state, including the Soviet Union, has ever done this. In fact, socialist ideals have appealed to African political leaders since the earliest stages of the nationalist period. Actually, no socialist regime is exclusively nationalist or Marxist; all are some combination of the two, and the real question is where the relative balance lies. It is apparent that the doctrinal commitment of these new Third World regimes to Marxism-Leninism has led to a striking consistency in both their political structure and behavior, which sets them apart as a group and differentiates them. Firstly, in terms of internal institutions and policies, there was a steady centralization of power in the hands of a vanguard party or comparable organization, with the concomitant building of centralized Leninist political and economical and security institutions and the systematic suppression of political pluralism. The Emperor did everything to ensure that these new institutions –army, administration and education- were fully subordinate to Haile Selassie, and that he retained complete control of them. Basically, by cutting off the peripheral authorities’ access to force, depriving money, reducing the area of the authority separating the elites from their regional bases and keeping for central service, Haile sought to restrict the peripheral 1
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authorities in order to suppress them. Thus, the Emperor never allowed a group to organize itself on social, regional or religious basis to intervene in the new institutional system. Definitely, this is a revealing fact that no legal party existed in Ethiopia. In addition, those political changes had not led to the appearance of a new ruling class. He meshed into the traditional order a new order, constructed to be at his service whose purpose was above all to ensure his preeminence within that traditional order. Secondly, “in ancient Ethiopia, the mobilization of an army depended on obligations owed by the beneficiary of a grant of land to enroll himself or raise men at the bidding of the grantor: the army was nothing but the coming together of a multitude of armed groups, temporarily united to face a precise threat,” commanded by the hierarchy of nobles. (Lefort 17)
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This note was uploaded on 10/15/2010 for the course POLSCI 157 taught by Professor Peterfeaver during the Spring '09 term at Duke.

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The core features of the Marxist - The Core features of the...

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