George Orwell’s dystopian 1984 country is becoming reality in Ethiopia

A year after winning the Nobel Peace Prize thousands of Ethiopians were arrested, dead, and silenced

Abiy Ahmed is bringing the fantasy of George Orwells 1984 into reality in Ethiopia. He once promised a new era of free speech, free press, and exchange of ideas among different ethnicities but now his metamorphosis to one described by Jeffrey Felts as one “whose behavior no person of conscience can accept” has brought Ethiopia to the brink of ruin if not complete destruction.

Anyone with any previous tie to Tigray without current evidence of intention to act against Ethiopia can have their possessions taken, their livelihood destroyed, and imprisoned without due process. News organizations must register and promise to only publish news that is approved to strictly follow government’s dictations. Ordinary citizens who voice any opinion in opposition to government in person, on the street, or in social media are to be considered terrorists.

In the case of Big Brother in George Orwell’s classic tale of a completely dominating dystopian state,  1984, his name was unknown but in the case of Ethiopia which now seems to be following the same theme we know the protagonist is Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed. Unfortunately this is not fiction but a growing epic catastrophe causing millions of people to suffer and die. There is no morality above that which serves the state. All actions to preserve the stability of the state are allowable.

In 1984 Big Brother constantly watches every citizen all the time. Not only what they do and say but even analyzing what they think to insure that everything is being done for the benefit of state stability and security. History, education, and media are strictly controlled and manipulated to further the state’s goals while truth has no relevance. There is only one official nationalism and all others are forcefully quashed. The citizens live in poverty and deprivation to keep them in a state of continual dependence on government assistance tied to perfect individual support of the state. Failure to fully cooperate results in severe penalty.

Author: Professor Tony Magana

Professor Tony Magana is Head of the Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences at Mekelle University in Mekelle, Ethiopia. He directs a neurosurgery residency and training program as well as neuroscience research.

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