Monday, 01 March 2021

E Editorial

Responsibility and free will

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There are certain human qualities at the heart of the state, society and the formation of any organization, without which it is impossible to accomplish any vital activity, let alone make progress. One of the most important of those qualities is the notion of “responsibility,” the lack of which destroys any organism, be it a person, a state, a community, or a business structure.

Responsibility as a profound understanding of an individual’s own duty, extends to two main dimensions a) group, corporate and official duty or other similar type of private responsibility, which is interrelated to the notion of “accountability” and b) individual’s own responsibility, which is interrelated to the notion of “obligation.”

Responsibility is often associated with the notion of "freedom" in philosophical thought. The connection seems to be clear: an individual or an organization is responsible for the activity or inaction that has been done on their own free will, For example, during the Nuremberg Trials, German officers justified their actions by saying that, as military officers, they were obliged to carry out superior orders without discussion. But in this case there is also the concept of "collective responsibility", that is, being a member of a criminal organization does not absolve them from responsibility.

Those were the theses of a brief and philosophical approach to the notion of "responsibility", but let us return to our reality.

Our most vulnerable problem for at least the last thirty years of Armenia's history, has been related to responsibility or, more precisely, its absence. In areas where the official is not subject to adequate liability for gross mistakes, violations, and sometimes even criminal acts, permissiveness and misconduct are commonplace.

Irresponsibility destroys our state and social structures, deteriorates interpersonal relations. Breaking the word, cheating, misleading the public have become a common phenomenon, and failure to complete one’s duties - a natural behavior.

Many sectors of the public administration system are from top to bottom imbued with irresponsibility and impunity, which was one of the main reasons for our defeat in the war. In this regard, it is significant that the Government and, in particular, some representatives of the Ministry of Defense are irresponsible. They periodically distorted the reality, misled the public and remained unpunished during hostilities.

After the "revolution", we were promised a "New Armenia", linking it with new people, ostensibly ready for effective governance. However, since the "new people" lacked "new values", that is, not to cheat, to bear responsibility, etc., nothing in our lives has changed or even changed for the worse in the past two and a half years. During that period we heard so many lies and saw so much irresponsibility, that we had not seen before.

Now the myth of building a "new life" is circulating on public platforms again, ostensibly considering the lessons of defeat. However, these hopes are again vain and ungrounded because the perception of the transformation of the value system is again lacking. There is not even a talk about that.

The Armenian Center for National and International Studies

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Yerevan, Armenia


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