Someone mentioned the the Eritrean freedom movements abroad (aka the ‘opposition’). My friend at the table had one thing to say about them, “I hate the opposition!”. He said these words with more passion than when he was talking about the oppression of the government.
This is hardly a surprise, right. In fact I have more friends that hate the opposition organizations than those that don’t. Hate and anger towards those poor opposition often gets more agreement among Eritreans than hate and outrage against the dictatorship itself! To be honest, there are times that I pretend not to like the opposition. Just to look normal among people. I am not proud of those moments, but it is true.
But why do those fine Eritreans hate the opposition? Following are some reasons that I think lead people to unjustly hate the opposition, I have them in two categories:
1. Lack of experience of social freedom and democracy
– Unfairly expecting all opposition organization to agree on all and everything. That is, to expect all of them to have the same opinion on every political, social, economic or moral issue.
– Unrealistic expectation to agree with all and every point of an opposition organization’s view. Otherwise aggressively denouncing such organization based on few or minor points of disagreement.
– Expecting the organizations to have success without failures at first.
2. Successful negative propaganda by the government,
– The opposition have hidden intentions of financial gain (even though most people have absolutely no proof or reason to suspect that),
– Exaggerating failures of the opposition when they happen. Labeling them ‘losers’ effectively confuses the opposition’s just cause with the organization’s current state of failure.
– Blaming the opposition for things they did not do. For example, blaming the opposition for starting the false rumor that the President died (when in fact there is no proof that they started it)
– False information about the ‘kind of people’ that join the opposition. False propaganda that people of the opposition are old, ideological fools that do not make honest living.
What other reasons can you think of that made people hate the opposition? (please do not mention those that still support the dictatorship).