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Haile I Selassie (1892 – 1975)


Born Tafari Makonnen, was de jure Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974 and de facto from 1916 to 1936 and 1941 to 1974.
Haile I Selassie
Democracy, republics: What do these words signify? What have they changed in 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 interest of a nation before subverting it with words. Democracy is necessary in some cases and We believe some African peoples might adopt it. But in other cases it is harmful, a mistake.
Selassie quotes
What we seek is a new and a different way of life. We search for a way of life in which all men will be treated as responsible human beings, able to participate fully in the political affairs of their government; a way of life in which ignorance and poverty, if not abolished, are at least the exception and are actively combatted; a way of life in which the blessings and benefits of the modern world can be enjoyed by all without the total sacrifice of all that was good and beneficial in the old Ethiopia. We are from and of the people, and our desires derive from and are theirs.
Can this be achieved from one dusk to the next dawn, by the waving of a magic wand, by slogans or by Imperial declaration? Can this be imposed on our people, or be achieved solely by legislation? We believe not. All that we can do is provide a means for the development of procedures which, if all goes well, will enable an increasing measure and degree of what we seek for our nation to be accomplished.
Selassie
I assert that the problem submitted to the Assembly today is a much wider one. It is not merely a question of the settlement of Italian aggression.
It is collective security: it is the very existence of the League of Nations. It is the confidence that each State is to place in international treaties. It is the value of promises made to small States that their integrity and their independence shall be respected and ensured.




The Charter of the United Nations expresses the noblest aspirations of man: abjugation of force in the settlement of disputes between states; the assurance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion; the safeguarding of international peace and security.
But these, too, as were the phrases of the Covenant, are only words; their value depends wholly on our will to observe and honour them and give them content and meaning. The preservation of peace and the guaranteeing of man's basic freedoms and rights require courage and eternal vigilance: courage to speak and act and if necessary, to suffer and die for truth and justice; eternal vigilance, that the least transgression of international morality shall not go undetected and unremedied.
These lessons must be learned anew by each succeeding generation, and that generation is fortunate indeed which learns from other than its own bitter experience. This Organization and each of its members bear a crushing and awesome responsibility: to absorb the wisdom of history and to apply it to the problems of the present, in order that future generations may be born, and live, and die, in peace.
Selassie Haile I of Ethiopia
No one should question the faith of others, for no human can judge the ways of God.
Haile I Selassie quotes
The Emperor himself amassed his great riches. The older he grew, the greater became his greed, his pitiable cupidity... he and his people took millions from the state treasurer and left cemeteries full of people who had died of hunger, cemeteries visible from the windows of the royal palace
Haile I Selassie
We have decided to bring to an end the most unequal, most unjust, most barbarous war of our age, and have chosen the road to exile in order that our people will not be exterminated and in order to consecrate ourselves wholly and in peace to the preservation of our empire's independence ... we now demand that the League of Nations should continue its efforts to secure respect for the covenant, and that it should decide not to recognize territorial extensions, or the exercise of an assumed sovereignty, resulting from the illegal recourse to armed force and to numerous other violations of international agreements.
[Haile Selassie] never had the time, nor the means, to live through the age when one learns to distinguish between right and wrong. Raised among plots, intrigues and cruelty, he learned to survive through cynicism and all his life was focused on the struggle to conquer power and to hold onto it. He achieved this without any scruples, often turning to methods which would have shocked the Borgias and Machiavelli put together.
Selassie
Twenty-seven years ago, as Emperor of Ethiopia, I mounted the rostrum in Geneva, Switzerland, to address the League of Nations and to appeal for relief from the destruction which had been unleashed against my defenceless nation, by the Fascist invader.
I spoke then both to and for the conscience of the world. My words went unheeded, but history testifies to the accuracy of the warning that I gave in 1936. Today, I stand before the world organization which has succeeded to the mantle discarded by its discredited predecessor. In this body is enshrined the principle of collective security which I unsuccessfully invoked at Geneva. Here, in this Assembly, reposes the best perhaps the last hope for the peaceful survival of mankind.
Selassie Haile I of Ethiopia
When we talk of the equality of man, we find, also, a challenge and an opportunity; a challenge to breathe new life into the ideals enshrined in the Charter, an opportunity to bring men closer to freedom and true equality. and thus, closer to a love of peace.
The goal of the equality of man which we seek is the antithesis of the exploitation of one people by another with which the pages of history and in particular those written of the African and Asian continents, speak at such length.
Exploitation, thus viewed, has many faces. But whatever guise it assumes, this evil is to be shunned where it does not exist and crushed where it does.
Haile I Selassie
It is my duty to inform the Governments assembled in Geneva, responsible as they are for the lives of millions of men, women and children, of the deadly peril which threatens them, by describing to them the fate which has been suffered by Ethiopia. It is not only upon warriors that the Italian Government has made war. It has above all attacked populations far removed from hostilities, in order to terrorize and exterminate them.




Haile I Selassie quotes
A qualified man with vision, unmoved by daily selfish interests, will be led to right decisions by his conscience. In general, a man who knows from whence he comes and where he is going will co-operate with his fellow human beings. He will not be satisfied with merely doing his ordinary duties but will inspire others by his good example. You are being watched by the nation and you should realize that you will satisfy it if you do good; but if, on the contrary, you do evil, it will lose its hope and its confidence in you."
Haile I Selassie
Among today's Italians, when treading upon Haile Selassie's memory, the sense of guilt and shame is such that they react by seeing only his positive traits: the merits of his past actions. His portrayals always brim with excessive deferance, unwarranted admiration and delusion. They go on and on about his priestly composure, his regal dignity, his great intelligence and his generosity towards former adversaries. They never explain who this sovereign, who we made into a victim, really was. They never dare tell us if he was something more, or less, than a victim. For example, that he was an old man hardened in principles which were centuries out of date; that he was the absolute ruler of a nation which has never heard the words rights and democracy, which lives in a near prehistoric fashion in the suburbs, opressed by hunger, disease, ignorance and the squallor of a feudal regime which even we did not experience during the darkest years of the Medieval period.
Selassie quotes
Haile Selassie was not an evil man, but his priorities were misplaced. He was so concerned with establishing a strong central government and modernizing the country that he failed to meet the challenge of natural disaster... It was his false pride, this lack of courage to admit mistakes, that brought about his downfall.
Selassie Haile I of Ethiopia
Leadership does not mean domination. The world is always well supplied with people who wish to rule and dominate others.
The true leader is a different sort; he seeks effective activity which has a truly beneficient purpose. He inspires others to follow in his wake, and holding aloft the torch of wisdom, leads the way for society to realize its genuinely great aspirations
The atrocities for which [members of the Derg regime] are now collectively indicted can tempt the unwary into nostalgia for Haile Selassie. It is easy to forget that the emperor used to authorise public hangings, that his opponents were routinely tortured, that courtiers who fell from grace were not only jailed but frequently held in chains as well, and that concepts of justice, liberty and democracy were effectively outlawed from public debate.
Haile I Selassie
Misguided people sometimes create misguided ideas. Some of my ancestors were Oromo. How can I colonize myself?
Haile I Selassie quotes
The United Nations continues to sense as the forum where nations whose interests clash may lay their cases before world opinion. It still provides the essential escape valve without which the slow build-up of pressures would have long since resulted in catastrophic explosion.
Haile I Selassie
In the history of the human race, those periods which later appeared as great have been the periods when the men and the women belonging to them had transcended the differences that divided them and had recognized in their membership in the human race a common bond.
Selassie Haile I of Ethiopia
We know God is Haile Selassie, Him Mighty God. Now Him save the poor earth right now, and Him save the people. If it weren't for Haile Selassie, would anyone know Rastafari? No one would know Rastafari. So Haile Selassie save the eart', and true dat dem overthrow 'im. In a sense, all a de people around him was really weird. But just how it go few people overthrow 'im, but 'im save the whole of the people 'pon the face of the earth.


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