Tuesday, 16 September 2008


"For us, Armenians, savior in the sky is the Christ, but on the ground - Russia" (source)


"Կամ Ռուսաստանի հետ պիտի մոխրանանք, կամ Ռուսաստանի հետ մոխրից հառնենք" (source)

says head of the Marxist party David Hakobyan in his speech during the opposition rally (15 September 2008).

This is simply an embarrassment for the opposition Armenian National Congress, and David Shahnazaryan, prominent opposition politician, understands this, as it became clear from his remarks during the rally.

I can't help myself but wonder: should people with such a differing ideologies unite within one movement - Armenian National Congress? Is this justified? The same is true, for example, for Karabakh war hero Zhirair Sefilyan whose nationalist stance puts him in a stark contrast with most of the leaders of the opposition, and notably Armenia's first president Levon Ter-Petrosyan. I understand importance of the unity against current authorities for all the known reasons. But we need clear alternatives not the ones which include 'Russia the Christ' or 'neo-ARF' sentiments.


Ani said...

Marxism believes in God now??

Actually, however, I think it's not so bad to have these extravagantly different views in the opposition. In America, with its basically two-party system, the Democrats are known as a big-tent party; the Republicans are increasingly seen as a living in a smaller ideological tent (or fortified castle).

Armenia has been a country of very small tents surrounding a luxury house for rich people. Substituting a large tent with room for everyone to have their say isn't so bad--at least it gets the sentiments out there for people to consider or reject.

Anyway, it's much easier to unite people by what they are against than by what they are for. Details to follow, as they say...

nazarian said...

I think the ideology behind the unification of such disparate views is their desire to restore the constitutional order in the country. Once it is restored then they will definitely go their own ways and build their own campaigns or blocks.

But a pre-condition for that is to restore the law and order in the country.

Haik said...

To complete Nazarian's sentence - that’s the reason that National Congress is a confederation of parties and individuals rather than a political party, hence the word “Congress” in its name.

spm said...

Ani, in Armenia the politics are not based on ideology. Except for dashnaks, who by tradition are used to think that they are socialists, which they are not, no party even bothers to manifest their ideology, present a program based on it or act according to it. Marxists in Armenia believe in god and Russian imperialism, opposition units based on hatred for authorities. Love transforms to hatred and vice versa depending how close the individual or his party stands to the administrative well of economic power. I will be not surprised to hear Tigran Torosyan giving a speech at the next opposition rally, as you were not surprised to see Artur Baghdasaryan being in charge of national security of Armenia. The only truly Armenian political party is "Prosperous Armenia" and if by Armenia we mean Gagik Tsarukyan. It does not need a political program, or ideology. The name says it all.... no matter how or with whom. Armenian politics are like betting in the roulette, you have to guess which color wins, never mind if it is red or black.

Anonymous said...

This Marxist is one of the many clowns in the rag-tag opposition. There is NO ideology unifying them other than a mad scramble to be king of the hill.

In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man (Levon) is king.

Ani said...

Okay, I'll bite. Please summarize the ideology of the Kocharian-Sargsyan Republican-ARF-Orinats-Yerkir-Prosperous Armenia coalition. Your essay should be 100 words or less. Please include the words Nagorno Karabakh, Turkey, Russia, and Azerbaijan in your response, as well as taxation, customs, courts, and police.

Haik said...

Restoring the constitutional order, justice and establishing a democratic country fits within the definition of ideology.
You don't need to have fancy-shmancy isms to have an ideology.

me said...

Politics makes for strange bedfellows, especially in Armenia.

This goes right along with what LTP is trying to do here (or claiming that he is trying to), which is to put together a forum or a medium (or say it with me, a CONGRESS) for different views to be expressed, something that can't be done in parliament and/or mass media. If that includes some lunatic who's stuck in the 70s than so be it.

Anonymous said...

"Populism is characterized by a sometimes radical critique of the status quo, but on the whole does not have a strong ideological identity as either a left-wing or right-wing movement. Some scholars argue that populist politics as organizing for empowerment represents the return of older "Aristotelean" politics of horizontal interactions among equals who are different, for the sake of public problem solving. Populism has taken left-wing, right-wing, and even centrist forms, as well as forms of politics that bring together groups and individuals of diverse partisan views."

Taling into account that this populist movement is led by LTP I can argue that twe have populist dictatorship.

Also this movement is very similar to Right-wing Populism which brough about fascism. However Marxist somehow doesn't fit in this construct. Also. if "The Nazis expressed the populist yearnings of middle–class constituents and at the same time advocated a strong and resolutely anti-Marxist mobilization" this movement calls for anti-Karabagh clan mobilization. Something that didn't work.

citations are from wikipedia: populism

Ani said...

Wanted to link to a particularly funny story about this on, but I can't. Anyway, it's called THE PRO-WEST PUPPY AND THE PRO-RUSSIAN BEAR. Here are the first and last paragraphs:

The leader of the Marxist Party Davit Hakobyan who has joined the Armenian National Congress told about the incident that happened in the rally of the opposition on September 15. Davit Hakobyan addressed the rally in Russian, and said Armenia should be Russia’s ally, not slave. Afterwards Davit Shahnazaryan addressed the rally, who asked Davit Hakobyan to speak Armenian because Armenian is the state language, and the rally is for the Armenians not for the outside.
As far as his pro-Russian stance is concerned, he does not even hide that “Davit Hakobyan is the son of the Russian people”. By the way, Davit Hakobyan said there are two tendencies in the opposition, pro-Russian and pro-West. However, he said, there had been no clash in the opposition regarding one geopolitical pole or another. According to him, what happened is the first pathetic expression.

artmika said...

Yes, I burst into laughing when read it today. The heading says it all :) Original Armenian version reads even funnier. We have our very own clown in Armenian political scene. Another contender for the title - Tigran Karapetovich of ALM. They could make a lovely couple. Entertainment guaranteed!