(3) -HI series


Revolutionary Democracy (RD) by the TPLF/EPRDF June 1966 ETR Issue pp. 20-29



[The article on Revolutionary Democracy has identified basically two interrelated goals.  Then the article goes on to provide objectives, strategies and tactics. It appears that the folks who wrote the article had been schooled in articulating goals, objectives, strategies and tactics that are typically used in running a business, a firm or any organization for that matter, perhaps through the David Mercer connection http://aboutethiopia.com/a4-David-Mercer.htm. Their business is to transact an enterprise they call Revolutionary Democracy for the benefit of the ruling TPLF/EPRDF but disguised as though it is beneficial to Ethiopians.  The summary given below is lifted from the June 1996 article in Ethiopian Register, p. 20-29. Quotations refer to the pages in the Ethiopian Register. Most of the bold sentences were also given in the Ethiopian Register. Underlining, giving numbers that are in brackets and the sectioning into parts are done by me. The Ethiopian Register article has also been scanned by me:[RD-Etr96.pdf. HG: 12/09/6006]



Part A.  Mission Statement



The Vision and Mission off TPLF /EPRDF program is not stated. However from the totality of the goals-objectives-strategies- tactics described in the program the mission appears to be: To Destroy and Disassemble Ethiopia for the economic benefit of TPLF/EPRDF Leaders by means of transacting a program called Revolutionary Democracy .



Part B.  Goals



Goals of the Revolutionary Democracy that meet the mission


I…Introduction: Though internal and external conditions may force an adjustment, “The aim of this adjustment cannot and should never be to do away with the pillars of our Revolutionary Democracy.”—P.21


II. Goal 1.   Political and Economic. 


The RD has a partisan outlook.  A litany of well sounding rights of the masses is enumerated. Then it offers “two basic reasons why it will not be possible or anymore necessary to continue indicating in our Program that the rights of the people would continue to be respected fully..”

  “In the first place, such an approach will be unacceptable in the eyes of Western Democracy and would invite the fierce opposition of imperialism..  the hegemony of the imperialist power led by the United States.”


Secondly,”it is possible to ensure the human and democratic rights of the masses without suppressing all the rights of the oppressors.. here are two reasons for this, too.”

-         A) the enemies of RD “are poor

-         B) the vacillating national bourgeoisie had been weakened by Haile Sellasie and then by the Derg. –p.21

By comparison our RD power is superior, and we can punish our enemies. “we can cite any relevant legal article and them.” –p.22

Multi-party political system will be organized. However, “Revolutionary Democracy will use the constitution and other laws to punish them..” --p.22


The Defense Forces will become an army of the state that “will have to severe its direct organizational link with the EPRDF..  But severing its direct links with EPRDF does not mean abandoning its Revolutionary democratic character … Thus although it becomes free and neutral in appearance, the army will be revolutionary democratic in content….”- p.22

Setting up governance of the masses. High sounding structures are mentioned.


Ensuring the people’s right to self-determination and building Ethiopians unity based on equality and free choice.  The oxymoronic principle is  described  under this heading


III. Goal 2. Economic

Though very poorly rendered, the introduction to the so-called economic goal refers to building economy with sectors for the purposes of attaining fast growth and social justice. 

Sectors that are alleged to be beneficiaries.

            a) The peasantry. An allusion is provided but no objectives or strategies are provided.

            b)The urban petty bourgeoisie.  Likewise an allusion is made  without providing objectives or strategies that will result in the proposed benefits.

            c) The proletariat.  This is claimed as a supporter merely because of the promise of Revolutionary Democracy.

             d) The National bourgeoisie.  This is a vacillating sector, which does not provide support to the EPRDF. The upper stratum of this section should be neutralized so that it remains a middle-roader and does not obstruct the realization of our goals.”

            e) Those who are not beneficiaries. “Those who do not benefit from our goals and consequently stand as our main enemies are imperialism and the comprador class.”


The only alternative available for the continued survival of Ethiopia as a country is the realization of our revolutionary democratic goals.”- p.23



Part C.  Objectives and Strategies.


IV. Economic strategies for our Revolutionary Democracy.  [HG’s appellation: Objective 1]


 “Strategies define the direction in which the general goals could be implemented and the main economic forces that play a role in this process.”


--Rural and peasant-centered economic activities. [HG’s comment.  Identification of the central objective] “Therefore we should continue to pursue our principle that land should never be sold or exchanged.”-p. 24


The motive forces of our economic strategy and their roles [HG’s comment.  Battery of strategies designed to meet a stated objective.]


[IV1]-- The role of the government.  Governments are not expected to be involved in production of activities. Where a government has to be involved in such activities it should be guided by principles of profit making.  The productive industries and services that the EPRDF proclaims it will control and hence profit from include, foreign currency exchange, import export of fuel, coffee, rails, airways, electricity, telephone, water supplies, textile industries, engineering works, chemical industries, metal foundries, mining, etc..- p.24


[IV2]---  The role of local investors.  By local investors we do not mean the national Bourgeoisie only. There various revolutionary democratic associations, organizations, and individuals who can be involved in investment.”


[IV3]----The role of revolutionary democratic forces.  “… these revolutionary democratic forces should take over the role of state and invest as one individual in those economic sectors which have no direct state influence.” –p. 24


In order to facilitate the attainment of the revolutionary democratic goals, these revolutionary democratic forces should make it their primary objective to monopolize rural credit services throughout Ethiopia and mobilize their resources to this end.  They should also select strategic places and, in accordance with local conditions, be highly involved in rural transport, wholesale trade, import/export, rural banking services, production of agricultural row materials, manufacture of fertilizer and other modern agricultural imputes.  Some of these, such as wholesale trade and transport, should be extended to the urban areas, too. They should establish banks, insurance companies, small-scale industries, and the service cooperatives in the urban areas. They should also invest in mining.” –p. 25


[IV4]-----The role of local investors.  The upper stratum of this section should be directed by and disciplined to follow the direction of Revolutionary Democracy.”



[IV5]-----The role of foreign investor.  If the major international financial institutions or banks are allowed access to this economic sector, they will twist the state’s arms and those of revolutionary Democracy.”


Foreign investors should be geared to invest in restricted sectors of the economy, and “they should be denied the necessary incentives and be pressurized by legal instruments to toe the line.. [If they, cooperate with us] they will serve us as a means of access to international markets, and… enable us locally build the capacity to replace them eventually.”

  This instrument allows us to encourage the growth of the targeted economic spheres and forces and destroy those that are not in line with the goals of revolutionary Democracy. We will reduce or write off for some years that taxes due from those forces or economic spheres which we support and pile up the tax burden on those we do not support.” – p.25”


V. Political Strategies of our Revolutionary Democracy Ensuring the hegemony of revolutionary Democratic out look.    [HG’s appellation: Objective 2]


“We can attain our objectives and goals only if Revolutionary Democracy becomes the governing outlook in our society, and only by winning the election successively and without let up can we securely establish the hegemony of Revolutionary Democracy. If we loose the elections even once, we will encounter a great danger.  So in order to permanently establish this hegemony, we should win in the initial elections and then create a conducive situation that will ensure the establishment of this hegemony. In the subsequent elections, too, we should be able to win without interruption. Hence we need to work towards this end.”- p.26


The motive forces of Revolutionary Democracy [HG’s comment.  Battery of strategies designed to meet the stated objective.]



[V]—The peasantry.  We should lead these peasant associations through loose organizational ties.  We should identify and transform into our strong cadres those prominent peasants who have earned the respect of their communities. We should try to increase the number of such rural cadres and, through them, we should increase the influence of our member organizations.”


[V2]—The Urban petty bourgeoisie. We should pay serious attention to the intelligentsia, which can be divided into the upper and lower stratum. We should encourage its associations and influence the same.


“The other means of persuading the intellectuals is to fill their bellies and their pockets.”


“The combined strength of the state and Revolutionary Democracy’s economic institutions should be used either to attract the support or to neutralize the opposition of the intelligentsia. We should demonstrate to it that our economic strength could serve its interests, and, in the event of its opposition to us, its belly and pocket could be made empty.”-p. 27


[V3]— The proletariat..Those workers who are employed in the business companies of Revolutionary Democracy should be given pays and training s far better than those of their compatriots working in other enterprises at the same level. Thus we can use our workers to infiltrate the national trade unions and play a leading role in drawing the rest of the proletariat to our side.” – p.27


[V4]— The local investor. “It is imperative to make the upper stratum of this sector our firm supporters….Through the representatives of our own firms, we should penetrate and lead the organizations which it forms. If this is not possible, we should neutralize it so that it does not take an antagonistic stance toward us.  We should ensure that the livelihood and profit of this sector are tied up with the goodwill and support of the state as well as our economic institutions, and restrain it from taking extreme positions by filling its belly and pocket.” –p. 27


Part D. Tactics


VI. Tactics used to implement our political strategy.


“Our major slogan


Tactics are instruments used to mobilizing the people for the fulfillment of our revolutionary democratic goals and for [taking] concrete actions against our enemies.”  Seven main slogans are listed. P. 27


Our Propaganda machinery. These include mass media, schools, religious organizations, and various mass organizations.


[VI1]— Mass Media.

 Popularizes government policies and activities.Apart from the newspapers, radio and television, theater, and cinema houses controlled by the state should also be reorganized and their practices reoriented to serve as useful propaganda tools.”- p.28



“In the wealthy countries of the West, schools are not openly regarded as propaganda tools.  In practice, however, they are indirectly used as sophisticated propaganda tools. We can do the same in our country too.  This can be done in various ways…  In the name of introducing the constitution of the country’s Constitution, we can inculcate the basic goals of our revolutionary democratic system and because this is not openly presented as propaganda, it will effectively serve its purpose.   The other key factor is the molding of the teachers’ outlook. …. [to make them our supporters] we must first involve then in the designing of the curriculum and convince them about the need for changing the educational system  [and align it to support] …Revolutionary Democracy.” 




[VI1]—Religious organization.

  These are always propaganda tools..{and} these organizations should be used to disseminate the views of Revolutionary Democracy…



[VI1]—Mass organizations.

            “These should be used as forums for political and propaganda work to ensure the hegemony of Revolutionary Democracy.  Seminars and panel discussions should be organized to draw their numbers to our camp: p.28



 The question of organizations.

    While maintaining our influence on the organizations we should permit them to practice some autonomy as doing so will help us ferret out corrupt tendencies in our cadres.

 Six organizations are described

a) organization of the peasantry

b) The Democratic petty bourgeoisie’s Urban organizations

c) Worker’s Association

d) Government organizations

e) Nation-wide Organizations formed from Democratic Nationality (Ethnic) Organizations



An example to show how the RD might be applied


(3) –HI series (B)


Have people realized how the TPLF/EPRDF Revolutionary Democracy document provides the TPLF tactics by which they wish to enrich themselves while pillaging Ethiopia?  Their tactics include using schools, religious organization, and other social and mass organizations to serve their purpose (EtR article of June 1996, pages 28-29 - http://kinijit.org/content.asp?contentid=2144).


Upon reading the Revolutionary Democracy, have people realized how the TPLF/EPRDF treat investors for the purpose of enriching party leaders and their associate while pillaging Ethiopia.   Assume that one wanted to invest in Ethiopia.  What does the Revolutionary Democracy indicate how the TPLF/EPRDF would act?


The answer can be gleaned from strategy V, pages 24-25, and may be revealed as follows.

(1)    Since the TPLF owns all land in Ethiopia, your investment would bring foreign exchange as you pay taxes for land use, and for initiating an investment.

(2)    The TPLF has it own investment groups and organizations that your investment has to compete with.  The TPLF investment vehicles may not have to pay taxes, whereas you would be.  Depending on how you behave, the TPLF has clear ways of using “the law” to deal with you.  The cards being stacked against you as indicated you may be treated in one of two ways depending on the nature of the investment that you bring.


2a) If your investment type is similar to what the TPLF investment group already are engaged in, you will be welcome to compete, for you will loose after paying exorbitant taxes, and the TPLF investment group may appear to do you a favor by giving pitons for selling your failing or failed business to them.


2b) If you are investing by bringing a new type of factory or industry, you would be welcome provided you play by “the laws of the land.”

(i)                 You will be land tax to the TPLF for it owns all land in FDRE.

(ii)               You will pay bribes to TPLF functionaries that will cause you to go from one official to another

(iii)             You will be required to have minders, who will study your investment and cause the TPLF investment groups to open a similar investment to yours.  They will be provided start up funds and would not pay any taxes, while you will be taxed.  When it dawns on you that your investment is not becoming profitable to you, they will be willing to buy your investment at a great loss to you.  If they have pity on you and you become their collaborator you may be permitted to function.


The Revolutionary Democracy of the TPLF/EPRDF exposes the goals-objectives, strategies- tactics system by which the TPLF/EPRDF leaders and associates enrich themselves and systematically pillaging Ethiopia and investors who are not their agents or collaborators.  Local investors who may not be collaborators will be working under “the law of the land” and will be unable to flourish to their potential.



HG: 12/11/06