Tuesday, 04 August 2020

E Editorial

The power and opposition of our reality

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According to the 19th-century French writer Adrien Decourcelle, today's opposition is tomorrow’s retrograde. Political forces that are not prepared to tolerate dissent are considered retrograde or "reactionary." Several revolutions took place in France in the 19th century, and many French writers and publicists noticed that people who came to power as a result of revolutions were more intolerant and ready to use violence against their opponents.

Those who came to power in Armenia in 1988 were revolutionaries, and those who remember those times can say that the most intense persecution against dissent was in those years: parties and newspapers were closed, and opposition figures were labeled.

The forces that came after 2018 also call themselves revolutionary. True, unlike those who came to power as a result of the 1988 Movement, the new ones did not go through prison and war, intolerance of "velvet" or "asphalt" dissidents did not receive violent expression, but any dissent nonetheless gets a label.

In the homeland of modern democracy, in the UK, there are different approaches to opposition forces. The 19th-century English statesman and writer Benjamin Disraeli was of a different opinion about the opposition. He said: "No government can feel secure if there is no strong opposition force."

It is very important that when making crucial decisions for the state, the authorities and the opposition come to a common denominator, that is, the political system, of course, must be guided by the interests of the state.

When the ruling and opposition political forces cannot form acceptable rules of the game, and the competition turns into a struggle for existence, talking about a healthy political system is useless.

In accordance with the pre-revolutionary, revolutionary and post-revolutionary realities, the political reality of Armenia has long been unable to form a stable political system. Apparently, we always have bad authorities and bad opposition.

If the authorities after a while find themselves in an atmosphere of permissiveness and injustice, the opposition becomes intolerant, populist and unconstructive. Power and opposition are two different sides of the same phenomenon, and competition has no barriers. This picture is a description of the current situation in Armenia.

In the spring of 2018, stagnation replaced with populism and idiocy: power and opposition switched places and roles.

For the country, this is a good experience - a “change of power”, “a change of generation”, a “good or bad” person — these are vain ideas if they do not have meaning and content.

Understanding this formula will serve as the basis for a citizen to make a more prudent, mature and informed choice during the inevitable early elections to the National Assembly.

The Armenian Center for National and International Studies

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Yerevan, Armenia


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