Sunday, 11 April 2021

E Editorial

Compromising Materials and the Fall of Moral Barriers

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When states find themselves in a most difficult situation, societies come together.  A common calamity carries great potential to unite people.

But sometimes the opposite prevails.  Amid pandemic circumstances, for example, in the United States passions are boiling and spilling over into street clashes.  In Armenia, the matter has not yet reached street level, not counting the couple of instances of "forcing culprits to the asphalt," but such threats are gradually intensifying.

It is a fact that the coronavirus was unable to pacify the rising political tides.  The Prosperous Armenia party is demanding a complete resignation of the government. The Armenian Revolutionary Federation is making harsh anti-government pronouncements.  Former security chief Artur Vanetsyan has formed the Fatherland party and continually calls on the prime minister "to stop and sober up" in response, Mr. Pashinyan promises to throw his political opponents into "the garbage dump of history" and almost simultaneously changes his top personnel in the security field.

Leaving aside the deepening crisis in state governance, we are entering the phase of publishing compromising materials, and all moral barriers are collapsing.  The "kompromat" attack against Prosperous Armenia's leader on a 40-year-old matter is just the beginning.  A new wave of political persecutions is expected.  After all, the newly-appointed law enforcers have a wide range of possibilities with which to manifest themselves.

How will this dilemma be resolved?  The question is not rhetorical, many people are interested, but it is hard to find any logical answer. But one thing is clear:  If this continues, the political struggle for power currently underway will turn into a life-or-death conflict that defies the possibility of compromise.  Or maybe Armenia's principal problem is the lack of room for compromises, which also is in the realm of collapsing moral barriers.

Let us try to understand why this happened.  Compromise is the result of political processes in which the parties present their positions, through the rapprochement of which certain agreements are reached. This is the political process.  The terms "good guy," "bad guy," "former" or "current" are not political categories.  And there are no other categories or standards in our political life at present. So should we rely on "non-political" categories, which are unlikely to reconcile the "good" and the "bad"?

There is no political discourse, so there is no political dialogue. Either you win and take power, or you lose and find yourself in prison.  But this is not a solution.  This is a familiar scenario we have already witnessed.

One new way forward for the parties, however, is for each of them to attempt to gain the public's trust by presenting its political stances and roadmap, comprehensive programs, and anti-crisis vision. The Armenian public is sick and tired of populist nonsense.  The era has come for realistic plans, wise judgments, and healthy pragmatism. The people vitally need fresh political air.  And it is then that life itself will show who remains present in history and who ends up in its waste bin.

The Armenian Center for National and International Studies

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