Emperor of Ethiopia speaks | Interview with RasTafari
The Emperor of Ethiopia speaks, a rare interview with RasTafari, His Imperial Majesty speaks on the monarchs, republics, democracy and more.
Interviewer: Your Majesty, of all the monarchs still occupying their thrones you are the one that has ruled longest. Moreover, in an age that has seen the ruinous downfall of so many kings,
You are the only absolute monarch. Do you ever feel lonely in a world so different from the one you grew up in?
H.I.M: It is our opinion that theworld hasn’t changed at all. We believe that such changes have modified nothing. We don’t even notice any difference between monarchies and republics.
To us they appear two substanstially similiar methods of governing a nation. Well tell us, what’s the difference between a republic and a monarchy?
Interviewer: Actually Your Majesty… I mean to me it appears that in republics where democracy reigns the leader is elected. But in monarchies he isn’t.
H.I.M: We don’t see where the difference lies.
Interviewer: Never Mind, Your Majesty. What is your opinion of democracy?
H.I.M: Democracy, Republic, what do these words signify? What have they changed in all the world? Have men become better, more loyal, kinder? Are the people happier? All goes on as before, as always. Illusions, Illusions.
Besides, one should consider the interests of a nation before subverting it with words. Deomocracy is necessary in some cases and we believe some African people might adopt it. But in other cases it is harmful, a mistake.
Interviewer: Your Majesty, do you mean to say that some nations, your nation in fact, are not ripe for democracy and therefore don’t deserve it? Do you mean to say that freedom of speech, of the press, couldn’t be tolerated here?
H.I.M: Freedom, freedom. Emperor Menelik and our father, both illuminated men, examined this world in their day and studied these problems closely. They raised them, in fact, and granted many concessions.
We have already mentioned that We it was who abolished slavery. But, we repeat, some things are good for the people and others not.
It is necessary to know our people to this. It is necessary to proceed slowly, cautiously, to be a watchful father to one’s children. Our realities are not yours and our misfortunes endless.
Interviewer: Your Majesty, have you ever regretted your kingly fate? Have you ever dreamed of living a life of an ordinary mortal?
H.I.M: We don’t understand your question. Even at the hardest, most painful moments, we have never regretted or curse our fate. Never. And why should we have? We were born of royal blood, authority is Ours by right.
Since it is Our by right and since Our Lord the Creator has deemed We might serve Our people as a father serves his son, being a monarch is a great joy to Us. It is what We were born for and what We have always lived for.
Interviewer: Your Majesty, I’m attemtping to understand you as a man, not as a king. So i beg to insist and I ask you whether this job ever constitutes a burden, for instance when you have to use force to accomplish it.
H.I.M: A king must never regret the use of force. Painful necessities are still necessities and a king must not stop when he is faced with them. Not even when they hurt him. We have never been afraid to be harsh.
The king knows what’s best for the people, the people themselves don’t know it. As regards punishments for instance. We must apply what Our conscience dictates, nothing more.
And we never suffer when We inflict punishment because We believe in that punishment, We trust Our judgement completely. So it must be and so it is.