Like twentieth-century Iran, the remnant of the Persian Empire, Ethiopia under Haile Selassie attempted to preserve the absolutist state throught an accommodation with modernizing forces in his own terms without completely subduing traditionalists. This was not a strategy of Haile Selassie's own choosing. Instead, he was overtaken by events and forced to deal with contradictions that were from the very beginning too formidable to be managed in the long term.
...in general, the traditionalists are backward-looking, conservative ; pessimists about the future and optimists about the past.Lewis Mumford
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