Do Armenians Want a ‘Revolution?’

The Armenian Weekly just published an opinion piece that I wrote in which I discuss whether “revolution” is bound to happen in Armenia, given the opposition’s alleged encouragement by the events unravelling now in Libya and Egypt not too long ago. Here’s some excerpts:

A convincing, compassionate leader is needed in the opposition camp, a person who would be able to negotiate with the oligarchs from the start of a “revolution” to ensure that a somewhat smooth transition can be effective without much obvious turbulence. The oligarchic structure in place is deep-rooted in the economy, with certain families enjoying monopolistic control of staple foodstuffs or basic consumer goods; any abrupt rupture could feasibly cause the entire Armenian economy to collapse within a day.

Nevertheless, for change in the form of “revolution” to happen, it will mean massive upheaval as an indignant public attempts to transform an institution known to be undemocratic, corrupt, and unjust into one that satisfies their interests of proper government. As we’re seeing in North Africa now, change will also bring about violence, death, and more importantly, wild uncertainty. And no one who is living a relatively decent life today, especially those comprising the nouveau riche of Armenian society, is willing to take such a gamble—to risk their own lives and those of their loved ones without promises of a better future.

You can read the entire article here.

What do you think? Please leave comments here or on the Weekly’s site (or even better, on both sites).

1 thought on “Do Armenians Want a ‘Revolution?’

  1. Like I commented on the weekly site – many blame LTP for “creating” a host of the problems facing Armenia today – corruption, nepotism, clan rule, etc.

    I would argue that many of these negative manifestations are holdovers from the Soviet era. I know, I spent several years in Soviet Armenia in the 1970’s.

    True, LTP did little to get rid of these problems, but to claim that he single-handedly created them is quite a stretch…

    Let’s get real here for a moment. Other than the HAK (ANC), who else is getting people out on the streets?

    What HAK must now do, instead of issuing rhetorical ultimatums, is to engage the people and educate them in the ways of longterm civil protest. This is what is really lacking.

    People show up, listen to some long-winded speeches, march down Prospect and then go home.

    The upshot? More show than substance. Has HAK reached out to the many social, environmental, cultural and other NGO’s out there? Are steps being taken to coalesce all dissident forces and voices?

    The answer, sadly, is NO!!!

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