Abiy Ahmed and Vladimir Putin demonstrate the difference between immoral demagoguery and moral democracy. Many times over the past year supporters of the Russian as well as the Ethiopian government’s trampling of human rights and acts of violence against civilians justify these acts because the leaders prosecuting these actions are popular. Some would put this simply by saying “might makes right”. The Greek philosopher, Thrasymachus, in the fifth century BC believed that social norms were artificial. Later Greeks including Socrates believed that society could not function without having guiding principles which guide civilized men and their governments. The Abrahamic faiths recognize the Ten Commandments as basic rules God gave man as a guide to how to live with others.
African slavery was allowed in the United States by popularly elected leaders for many years. Hitler and his NAZI movement was elected to power in Germany by popular vote yet killed millions. Even if Abiy Ahmed was “democratically elected” this did not give him license to govern immorally. This confusion that the sovereignty of popular demagogues should be protected at all costs to protect democracy is a blasphemy to universal values of equality and fair treatment of all mankind. Allowing such leaders as Abiy Ahmed and Vladimir Putin to escape normal social constraints has lead to the chaos and death we are seeing today.