DAVID STEINMAN is an international revolutionary best known for his strategic planning role in Ethiopia’s recent democracy revolution. He exposed the Ethiopian dictatorship’s human rights abuses, theft of thirty billion dollars from famine victims and hidden mass murder in the Washington Post, International Herald Tribune and on Forbes.com. His novel about Ethiopia’s fight for freedom, MONEY, BLOOD AND CONSCIENCE, is now available on Kindle. Steinman is a Wharton-trained economist. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
7 Things I’d Like My Readers to Know About Me
Being a revolutionary isn’t glamorous. Subject expertise is only half the skill set. The ability to absorb the loss and suffering which the lifestyle imposes makes up the other 50%. If my life were a book, it’d be written by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, not Ian Fleming. Of course, the Nobel nomination is flattering. But it depresses me to think of all the sheroes and heroes who bled and broke their bones for human rights, and nobody even remembers them.
I wrote my novel, MONEY, BLOOD AND CONSCIENCE, to help shed light on the Ethiopian crisis. Those poor people are emerging from decades of horrible dictatorship that killed millions and stole billions from famine victims. Now, that tortured country is on the verge of race war. Ethiopia needs the international community’s support for its fragile democratization process. It’s the only way to break the cycle of violence, poverty and starvation.
I believe in global democracy revolution. Dictatorship must be eradicated from the face of the earth like a disease. Otherwise, these illegitimate and unaccountable regimes’ struggles to hold onto power will continue to drag us into their ruinously expensive, destabilizing regional wars, humanitarian crises and environmental disasters. People don’t understand how big a deal it is that a bloc of authoritarian governments is rapidly gaining on the democracies in international influence. We can’t free other nations. But we can do a lot more to help them free themselves.
I believe in nonviolence. It’s twice as likely to topple a dictator than war. People confuse it with pacifism, but it’s really a form of economic and psychological warfare that removes the cooperation and resources on which dictatorships depend until they dissolve.
I’m starting an experiment to test if nonviolence can be taught to foreign oppressed populations by radio. It’s called World Liberation Radio. Teaching people at the grassroots level how to liberate themselves with nonviolence--civic empowerment on a mass basis--is the best way to guarantee a free planet for the next generation.
I get asked a lot if MONEY, BLOOD AND CONSCIENCE is veiled criticism of any real celebrity. All I can say is, if the shoe fits, wear it. The heroine of my novel, Hanna, is based on someone real. But I’ll never say who it is. She’s a very shy and private person.
My work makes romantic relationships difficult. But I’d try again if I met the right one. Maybe British. They’re more tolerant of eccentricity.