Saturday, 11 July 2020

E Editorial

The 7th Point: With What to Replace the Old System

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In 2018, in the days of the regime change carried out under large waves of popular pressure, Nikol Pashinyan promised to change the incumbent “corrupt system” with a new democratic one.

As a slogan, such words leave a strong impression, but complications set in when one tries to understand what kind of system used to prevail and, as a consequence, what kinds of system change need to be made in order to achieve the new one.  The new government has not presented to the public any concrete or conceptual approaches in this regard.  Only recently Mr. Pashinyan attempted to propose such a concept, composing a six-point “all-national consensus.”

Naturally, it is laudable that even belatedly they are trying to give meaning to the “revolution” and to present a vision for the future. But these six points, whether or not they end up getting implemented, are incomplete.

What, for example, does systemic corruption mean?  These are relations upon which the system is built and functions according to the principle of written and unwritten laws.  The written laws are for the people, while the unwritten ones are for the ruling circles.  Hence big capital is formed and set into action, offices are distributed, and the country is divided into spheres of influence.  In short, the nation is governed by shadow levers.

When systemic corruption is overcome, and the system enters the evolutionary phase, the members of the system now begin to live and work according to the written rules.  In other words, the system once run on closed, shadow-based understandings is replaced by an open one, transparent before the public and operating under laws.

Once that transition takes place in our life, it will be possible to assert that in 2018 a revolution truly took place, bringing with it a new, fundamental and deep transformation in our relations.

Welcoming of course Nikol Pashinyan’s six points, we must note that it is time to give effective solutions to a string of pressing mainstream issues.  And so, a) in domestic political life, violence must be ruled out and the destiny of the country must be determined exclusively through elections; b) in the case of Artsakh, the people of Armenia and the entire Armenian nation have long expressed their united standpoint and, in the name of national reunification, voluntarily endured many sacrifices; and c) real, not rhetorical reforms in the judicial system are the imperative of the time--the courts must be really independent.

The list of issues that have ripened long ago can go on and on.  But let us not be carried away by dreams or illusions, registering instead one simple fact.  No thought, idea, program or concept can see the light of day without the seventh consensus or, as it is often referred to in the intellectual heritage of humanity, the “social contract.” This relates to rights, social life, and the bedrock of economy that is known as the right to property and the sanctity of property.

Without coming to a popular consensus on this matter, we will be unable to build the rightful state of our dreams, under the rule of law and, as its result, with quantum progress.

The Armenian Center for National and International Studies

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Yerevan, Armenia


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