Wednesday, 28 October 2020

E Editorial

Revolution without Theses

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In 1917, the leader of the Russian revolution, Vladimir Lenin, returning from abroad to Petrograd (St. Petersburg), presented his famous "The Theses of the April" - the program of the future socialist revolution. A few months later the theses became the ideological basis for the Bolshevik revolution. Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, high school students and university students had to know them by heart and explain their content and historical significance in examinations.

Nikol Pashinyan, who became the symbol of the Armenian revolution in April 2018, came to power without the "April theses", leaving us all the heavy burden of searching for the possible content of the "New Armenia" concept.

Today for the public there are two questions, the answers to which are important for our understanding of our common future.

a) What kind of power is formed in Armenia?
b) What political system will be built in Armenia?

The revolution in Armenia was personalized, which is directly related to the answer to the second question: authoritarianism is inevitable at the current political stage of Armenia. In post-revolutionary times, this was typical for all countries, whether in Africa or Europe. The form of authoritarian rule is due to uncertainty in the post-revolutionary era. In other words, public and state life is regulated by the logic of the revolution, and not by laws.



According to the classical approach, the society has three peaks: the leader of the country, the ruling class and the people. Or the ruler of the country suppresses the ruling classes with the help of the people or suppresses the ruling class with the support of the people. Serzh Sargsyan's system was the first option: the current government seems to be moving the second way. Both methods represent an authoritarian system.

An alternative to authoritarianism is a stable democratic system based on the rule of law, recognition of property rights and deep social traditions. In other words, the role of personalities is reduced to a minimum, increasing the balance of branches of power - their mechanisms and legitimacy for control over each other.

According to the classical approach, after any revolution, even democratic, the possibility of establishing authoritarianism increases, since revolutions occur when the existing legal system does not function or can not solve existing problems. Revolutions violate existing legal systems and form a new, revolutionary force that must fight counter-revolution and formulate new rules of the game. As a rule, after the revolution, repressive systems are formed, which are mostly welcomed by the public.


The Armenian Revolution

No sensible person can say that General Manvel should be justified and avoid punishment, and he can not say that those who have usurped the state through criminal schemes for decades should quietly continue their lives. The people of Armenia paid a very high price for this: hundreds of thousands of immigrants, more people in poverty, ruined destinies, billions of dollars of public debt. This list can be much longer. It is impossible to reconcile with all this, but there is also a historical experience of countries in such situations.

During mass crimes it is difficult to determine what they are punished for, why they pay compensation, and for what they are forgiven. Who is the real defendant, and who by the coincidence of circumstances obeyed and who put up with the situation?

In such cases, the problem of "national consensus" arises. This requires a complex and balanced national solution. This route was followed by Poland, Hungary, East Germany, Chile, Argentina ...

The group of those guilty who must be punished can consist of those who are politically responsible for such a criminal system, those who commit serious crimes, in our case, those who commit illegal actions in the army, given the military situation. Compensators can be economic criminals. There may also be special penalties, such as restrictions on the ability to hold public office and policy barriers that can be applied to some persona and some parties may be dissolved.

However, here are two key questions:

a) Who decides who and how will be punished?
b) By what laws are these decisions made?

It is also impossible to allow repressive systems to work in accordance with the logic of the revolution, because they are easy to establish, and difficult to stop.

This serious problem can be solved only through national consensus and having as a guide what country we will build.

In this sense, without "theses" or concepts, we can not go forward.

The Armenian Center for National and International Studies

Yerznkian 75, 0033
Yerevan, Armenia


+374 10 528780 / 274818



The views of the authors do not necessarily reflect those of the Center.

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