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Friday, August 03, 2007

The Philosopher without Wisdom

I can't resist the ad hominem here. Some Ethiopian scholars lined up to shower GE Gorfu with undeserved praise when he published one of the worst "philosophical" books ever written on Nietzsche. Now it is time to harvest what was sown. With similarly erroneous and disjointed arguments and glib assertions, Gorfu is confronting the Ethiopian pro-democracy movement.

Once you call a person who confuses Nietzsche's ethical theory of Eternal Recurrence with the belief in reincarnation a philosopher, is he to blame when, drunk with his own fame and power of thinking, he subsequently makes loud statements such as: "The police have the right to use force, but the demonstrators do not!"

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is this guy the one who is a permanent blogger on Eritrean web-site www.asmarino.com? What is he doing there if he is an Ethiopian?

Sammy said...

That is what many racist officers in the States also believe...that they have got a license to shoot and kill. Sad, G.E. too thinks the same way. If it is any consolation to us, at least, she agrees that this government has to be replaced by peaceful means (see last para). That will place our 'philosopher' with Kinjit and the rest of the opposition

Anonymous said...

Two quotations I like from Tplfiests "The government has to be replaced by peacfull means" and "We don't have real opposition so please organize and challenge us".

Tplf supporters have no shame at all. Justifaying killings makes them very happy.

Anonymous said...

EZ, I'm a big fan of yours and a CUD sympathizer, but I think GE Gorfu is right. I went and read his piece where he says "The police have the right to use force but the demonstrators don't. THAT IS THE LAW."

I put my emphasis on the last sentence. Isn't the definition of a state of an institution with a monopoly of violence within a defined area? The laws proscribing police behavior emerge from this basic assertion. Keep in mind that I haven't said anything about the morality of the law, or the case of the state's co-ercive forces being above the law.

This is what is so hard about taking the non-violence route of regime change. It boils down to denying legitimacy to the powers at hand without giving cause for the regime's coercive forces reason to use force. In the militaristic tradition of Ethiopian politics, the rulers consider any form of protest as an existential threat in the military sense. Similarly, many in the opposition camp may be tempted to see the non-volence methods as a prelude to more militant and violent means.

Now, having said that, I feel that EPRDF agent provocateurs probably played a lot more role that we heard in the disturbances that led to the killing and imprisonment of many people. Because, if you are a state, that is what you do if you want a reason to use force - point to an instance where "violence" was used by your opponent so that then you can unleash your own violence. If I remember correctly, supposedly it was a throwing of grenades at a police truck somewhere in the Ferensay Legasion area that gave EPRDF reason for detentions and arrests. Again, I believe it either never happened, or if it happened it was caused by EPRDF agents or some other forces completely outside of CUD control.

As far as Gorfu's assertion of "neat and orderly" I don't believe that. That is fantasy land.

Anonymous said...

Well EZ, first of all welcome back.

It is quite interesting to know that you are so meticulous when it comes to the opinions of the so called "influentail" personalities on issues related to democracy and freedom. My appreciation!

Well Gorfu has made his/her point in trying to make a face and line behind the current leaders. He/she is entitled to his/her opinion and i think we should not worry so much about him/her. I don't personally believe that even his/her book was as such a success. At least, the matured reviewers put is as shallow and out of line piece.

The issue is was he/she aware of the status quo in the country when the orange revolution (OR) was thought about? And does he/she have any idea about the behaviour of TPLF/EPRDF gangsters? What does he/she know about law in a lawful society and another in a lawless one?

CUDP and others who thought of the OR were truely abiding by the 'laws'. The laws of EPRDF, which can be changed anytime for some ego-centric reasons. If Gorfu is worried about respecting/breaking the law, he/she should have had a bird's eye view and identify the big and strong law breakers. No civilized country has ever given a legal right for the police to kill a person unless he/she is an unamenable criminal with an immediate threat to social interests, which was not applicable in our case. Gorfu might have some idea about what is going on Ethiopia, but I am sure he/she doesn't know much.

Sanjaw!

Anonymous said...

Poor Gorfu,.... contrary to his Engineering background, he is a very frustrated self appointed philosopher. He has been ignored in the arena of philosophers for a long time. No professional philosopher was willing to review his book,'Gorfu contra Nietchie' for its poor untrained, non analytical approach to his arguement. I had a chance to attend American philosophical society conference held in DC hence non of Nietzches' scholars acknoledged Gorfu's work as legitimate philosophical piece. Whatever assertion he made, is only coming out of his filty mind and doesn't surpise me at all. He was once the desciple of Nietzsche and now he rebeled against him. He is the pototype of meles himself. They don't back off to make anykind of statement so blindly that triggers debate and ready to slam anyone who is against it regardless. He is a crazy son of a b........

who ever wants to respond to him I will give you his e-mail address.

Peace,

Bis

Anonymous said...

"EZ, I'm a big fan of yours and a CUD sympathizer, but I think GE Gorfu is right. I went and read his piece where he says "The police have the right to use force but the demonstrators don't. THAT IS THE LAW."

EZ, first welcome back!
I agree with you on this one as well.

It amazes me to see a pattern of the same arguement used by TPLF members/sympathizers like the one above. Their standard entry into any arguement is pretending that they are on the side of the opposition and then justify the regime's actions.

It is no surprise that GE Gorfu is a 'pro-weyane'(if not directly pro-weyane, he is for sure 'anti-opposition'). I am also sad to notice that most of the so-called 'intellectuals' who hail from that region are heading that wrong path of 'justifying' the savage actions of the regime in power.

Anonymous said...

I don’t know about his philosophical work, building an argument by picking and choosing only historical instances that suit one’s argument exposes the intellectual deficiencies of the writer unless Gorfu is going to tell us on his next piece that he scribbled this bs while drunk…

Anonymous said...

The fall of the reasonables....
Within the last two days, EZ is the second to fall out of grace, second to Messay Kebede. I used to like EZ and Messay Kebede for their reasonable and logics.. Now EZ attacks Gorfu emotionally...

Anonymous said...

The Tplf supporters strategy is to camoflouge themselves as opposition supporters and attack the opposition. Weyannes please you are not fooling anybody. Tplf is naked and no amount of propoganda will cover it.

Anonymous said...

"I used to like EZ and Messay Kebede for their reasonable and logics.. Now EZ attacks Gorfu emotionally..."


No!No,
Gorfu made the most stupid and cruel statement ever. It is him who attacked those who died shot by agazi snipers and insult their family. How could you justify his the acton of the killers. You must be out of your mind to defend Gorfu thi time

Concerned said...

EZ the great, welcome back!
I am not surprised by the scribblings of the pretentious TPLF philosopher, GE Gorfu, about the horrific massacre by AGAZI mercenaries and by the direct order of Meles himself. Even though I enjoy his short Amharic poems, everyone knows GE Gorfu to be a TPLF apologist. Even though ‘Gorfu Contra Nietzsche’ was a disaster waiting to happen, that it happened to a pretentious arrogant TPLF apologist is not surprising at all; after all arrogance and the delusion of grandeur is the hallmark of all TPLF members and their supporters.

I am also a bit confused by some of the postings here, especially those blindly criticizing Gorfu’s book without even knowing his gender. I mean when we read in the media about an Ethiopian, writing a book on philosophy, boldly criticizing/contradicting Nietzsche, don’t we need to do a little research of our own to find out who he/she is and then read the book?

Anonymous said...

He is either ignorant about the then circumstances in Ethiopia or a stupid philosopher. Since the first day of the 2005 election any demonstration (peaceful or violent) has been forbidden in Ethiopia. Comparing the peaceful nature of Ukraine’s demonstration with that of a sporadic demonstration in Ethiopia is absurd. Besides CUD never called or organised a demonstration (or orange revolution)!!

Does he know that

- The peaceful gathering of more than 2 million opposition supporters on April 30th 2005 at Meskel square, which was successful and without incident !!!

- During the 2005 civil unrest in France (20 days of of riots and violent clashes, involving the burning of cars and public buildings at night ) there was only arrests without a victim except a few injured by police. In this incident more than 9 thousand vehicles were burned with a monetary damage estimated at €200 Million.

Anonymous said...

As far as GE Gorfu's comment,

instead of letting one think he is st*p*d, he has opened his mouth and proved it, as the saying goes. The latest writing is what could expect of a person with some limitations. I am not impreessed by him having read a lot of his postings now. So much for his "high standing".

Anonymous said...

Ato Gorfu could you tell us certainly who shot the armies. All what we heard from the inquiry commission that they are denied to investigate the case of the massacred polices.
I recommend Gorfu to recap the Heisenberg uncertaity principle so that any thing can happen on that little figure of plank constant (dE.dt>h).

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Gorfu
Do you have conscience?
Do you really believe in this ridiculous statement of yours or are you trying to please your bosses? It is obvious that unlike our heroes and heroines you seem to take the easy road.
What can I say that has not already been said by my fellow Ethiopians on this blog….
One comment comes to mind… “The higher a monkey climbs the more it shows its bottom”…

Anonymous said...

Civil disobedience cannot be cricumscribed by simplistic Gorfuisms. Even though the nature of civil disobedience is non-violent, too often the police initiate and provoke the violence, especially when large numbers of people are involved in civil disobedience. It's not as if the cops are perfectly well-behaved until the rowdy masses start throwing bricks and bottles. Throughout the world various social movements that have used civil disobedience to disagree with authorities have been beaten to shreds, and those times when the crowd responded in order to defend themselves, the cops shoot to kill. What sanitized world do you live in Mr. Philosopher? You'd best continue to write under your pseudonym, Engineer Ghirma! At least then nobody will know who you are when you make these silly arguments.

Anonymous said...

GE Gorfu actually extended his opposition to Nitzche... that Axum too was a civilization but by black people... into pleading for TPLF to rule Ethiopia for a hundred years undisturbed and TPLF's constitution to never be changed and for Ethiopians not to upset TPLF leaders no matter how wrong or corrupt TPLF might be; in his words, "the TPLF leaders are innocently wrong and if they get upset they might steal millions of dollars and leave us". And all that Gorfu wrote on a pro TPLF website owned by Ben. And that was a few years ago. Since then I won't read anything Gorfu writes. Gorfu being TPLF apologist or supporter of Woyane is understatmnt.

It is amazing how little or may be even never Ethiopians understand the mind of TPLF. Gorfu had a website which was full of Kebede Mikael's stories for children but Kebede Mikael is not mentioned and that isn't very bad but some of his poems that he wrote in the 1980s posted on his website are disturbing. With words like "Gedelkut...Fettefettkut...Angoloon Aferettkut..." just to mention a few, and if you can guess who Gorfu thinks his enemy was when he wrote those poems...

The hatred of TPLF goes much deeper than any Ethiopian can imagine. And few Ethiopians are still in the old respect for cuel authority...the cureller the better or more respect for more cruel authority mode of "enaten yageba hulu abate new" or even worse, "kenate gar yadere bemulu abate new"....even though most of those few won't admitt to it.

If you choose to be bombarded by TPLF propagandists who pretend to not like TPLF, this blog will not be the same. If you invite TPLF supporters for dialog here... you will end up apologizing and then being ristricted in your thinking like many freedom loving ethiopian websites did wrong before the last election.

Opposition accomodating TPLF while TPLF supporters justify AGAZI's massacre of innocent civilians is disgusting. "Famous" this blog will not be any more for sure if well paid TPLF cadres start to comment on each other's comments here. I personaly will believe that Zagol has been tortured in TPLF prison and gave away his/her blog to TPLF because the torture was too much.

Or the mighty freedom fighter Zagol was broken in by TPLF bully and will be criticizing the criticizers of TPLF while claiming to be critic him/herself who always 'gives credit to TPLF when credit is due' and if a war breaks out at Badme again God forbid... may be I'm just paranoid. I hope I'm.

wcb EthioZagol, glad to c u again and as one commentator above reminded us with:

Two quotations I like from Tplfiests "The government has to be replaced by peacfull means" and "We don't have real opposition so please organize and challenge us"

Some people know how TPLF's mind works.

Hannibal said...

It depends on the type of philosophical school of thought you believe for you to say or not to say, “the police has the right to use force but the people do not”. There are two philosophical school of thoughts that are related to this issue: The Positivist school of thought and the Naturalist school of thought.

According to the Positivist school of thought, “rights and duties” are “given or denied”, through legislation, to the people by their own governments; “rights and duties” are “creations” of governments. Once the government “creates” them, the people should or must, depending on whether the right or duty is optional or mandatory, use or abide by them. Whereas according to the naturalist schoold of thought, “rights and duties” exist by nature, even before the coming into being governments. Thus, what governments do is just “recognize” them through legislation; on top of this, governments cannot “alienate” – take away – these rights, because these rights are “inalienable” - absolute and undeniable – rights.

Dictators and tyrants (including fascists and nazis) follow the Positivists approach. Because it suits their objective of “giving” rights when they want, and “denying” rights when they do not want, as well as "imposing" duties when they want, and "lifting" duties when they do not want. Whereas Western Democracies follow the Naturalist School of thought, which is the basic foundation of their democracy.

According to the Naturalist School of thought, the people have the right to fight tyranny, be it with civil disobedience or the use of force. This is their "natural" right that cannot be taken away by any kind of government.

By stating that “the police has the right to use force, but the people do not”, Gorfu shows where he stands. He stands with a Philosophical school of thought that suits dictators and tyrants. He does just what he is accusing Nietzsche of doing - supporting a tyranny.

Anonymous said...

"Few things can be as uncommon as common sense" - for GEG.

Anonymous said...

The "Orange Revolution" was the making of Meles and company. CUD has never claimed to overthrow the government by any other means but through a democratic ballot. Gorfu's use of the term and his assertion that deadly force was justified against peaceful demonstrators is tantamount to the Meles's use of "interhamwe - genocide" against the CUD leaders. This is the case of Philosopher st*pid.

Anonymous said...

''በደምቡ ለሃገር ተቆርቋሪ ከሆኑ ባለው ደምብና ሕግ መሰረት የፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎችን መስርተው መከራከርና መረባረብ፣ ሕገ-መንግሥቱንም በድምጽ ብልጫ እስከ መለወጥ የሁሉም ኢትዮጵያዊ መብት ነው። ያም ኣልሠራ ሲል ከዚያ ውጭ የሆነው ታሪካዊ የጀግና ደምብ፤ ሱሪ ታጥቆ በርሃ በመግባት፣ ለሀገርና ለሕዝብ መብት መዋጋት፣ መሞት፣ ማሸነፍ ወይም መሸነፍ ያለ ነው። ከዚያ ውጭ ግን በእጅ ኣዙር የባዕድን ኃይል በሃገራችን ላይ እንዲሰነዘር የሚያደርግ ማንም ሰው የኢትዮጵያ ከሓዲ ነው።''

This is what Gorfu said in his recent article on Aiga Forum. Don't you think he is delusional? I said so because I cannot find him a place where he stands – is it in peaceful political process (if there is one in Ethiopia now) or in armed struggle? So philosopher Gorfu, who dared to challenge Nietzsche, can you tell us how we should describe you - an advocate of peaceful struggle or a “tegadalay” of your origin?

Lafiw

Anonymous said...

Here you go with your personal insults. You all have small minds.
typical Amharas---envious people. it is Amhara culture to be jealous and envious. Anyhow, he isn't a full time Philosopher, he is an accomplished and successful person that is also very generous.
You all can burn with jealousy

Anonymous said...

Leave Gorfu alone. He is a peasant with deep-rooted inferiority complex. His poem is very backward and laughable. It is neither classic nor modern. His poem is a poem that a farmer could make for his horse. Anybody who reads " esat woy Abeba" of Tsegaye G/medhin would Cray when reading Gorfus Gorf of unfiltered poems

Anonymous said...

A full time philosopher?
Is that like a full time husband?

Anonymous said...

If I am not mistaken E.G Gorfu was the editorial board member of
both the Ethiopian Observer (1980’s) and the Ethiopian Review
(yes, the ER in the early 90’s). In all his writing he never failed
to show his true color i.e. ethnocentric and tplf lover

Anonymous said...

Wow what happen EZ? I thought you guys were balanced and do not judge a book by its cover. I read what the guy wrote abot 'orange revolution...' and I have no idea who this guy was before your posting. He is write and I am AMHARA. He is telling the truth. Do not hate him just because you herad what really happened and what was wrong.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised most of you here are blurpping about politically motivated lines. As a no voter, I'll leave my comment. I do admire Gorfu's works- believing I overstood the messages he had given hiddenly. Like any other philosopher, GE Gorfu uses common sense for his thorough thoughts. These usually will leade into many confrontations with baised people like ya'all (Do you Remeber Rutso?). However, you can only judge his ideology using nothing but his own ideology. But, then again, how many times can you kill a man?

Anonymous said...

You may admire Gorfu's works, the children's stories, a clever poem or essay. . .but his political opinions are dreadfully short-sighted, elitist and irresponssible. If his message is that hidden, what is it's value?? As for using one's ideology to judge the ideology of other's...well...duh!
Perhaps you can re-state your ideas in a more convincing way and use words other than 'blurpping' and 'overstood' so we can understand you better. This is a forum for ideas, commentary and the tolerance of difference. That is quite a bit more generous than Gorfu's tolerance for killing civilians who dissent.
Bt the way, no one is killing Gorfu, just challenging his opportunism!