Saturday, 04 April 2020

E Editorial

The Time for Crushing All Resistance

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At one of the recent government sessions prime minister Nikol Pashinyan announced that “the entire state system is resisting the revolution, and I am going to crush that resistance.”

The announcement has given rise to diverse interpretations.  In the perception of one part of the people, the state apparatus is full of counter-revolutionaries who are subjecting the prime minister’s fundamental reforms to sabotage; this is reminiscent of the struggle against the “provocateurs” in the Stalin era.  Among other people, the main problem is the specialized bankruptcy of the “revolutionary” personnel, as well as the absence of necessary incentives to ensure dedicated work.  There also are other observations according to which the premier is merely seeking scapegoats for the cross-reference of his own shortcomings.

Only the very few are trying to understand whether in reality serious reforms have truly been launched in the “state system” and, if so, where one can find the concept of those reforms, their scientific foundations and objective, and what in the end we want to receive.  And from the aforementioned announcements and the circulating opinions, it is difficult to say what common conclusion an average analyst might reach, because no comprehensive, systematic viewpoint has been posited to date.

The system of governance is a very complex organism.  In order through normal reforms to render it a smoothly operating mechanism, first and foremost enormous brain-powered work is required, which assumes efficient management and a deep knowledge of various theories of systems and human resources administration.

Before getting there, however, it must be clarified as to what “revolution” is being spoken of, who is resisting it and for what reason, what kind of state apparatus have we had and with what kind of apparatus do we want to replace it, and then accordingly the instrumentalities and standards for the selection of personnel can be determined.  Since the matter at hand is the state system, the realization of such reforms also entails a concomitant policy, state propaganda, and a relevant public information campaign about the adopted course.

There exist closed and open systems.  For the creation of closed systems one needs one’s own loyalists and aliens, against which struggle is waged.  In open systems democratic rules apply, both in the presence of flexible systems of social promotions and with clear criteria for the selection of cadre.

Since the change in regime one has the sense that we are dealing with a closed system where the borders have been drawn between us and them.  The “us” loyalists have entered the state apparatus from the street, literally, as a result of street struggle.  As opposed to workers in the middle and lower rungs of bureaucracy, they receive extravagant bonuses.  That is a consequence of dividing people into types.  Parameters of age, “the old” and “the new,” also have been delimited. 

Meanwhile, the new priorities of the state system have not been announced, nor have the standards of specialized aptitude for new personnel and, finally, the objectives and prospects of the changes.

From the prime minister’s words it can be assumed that he has in mind the “old” guard who are “resisting” the changes and whose resistance must be “crushed.”

The former system is characterized as corrupt, that is to say that corruption was the engine that cemented and moved the state apparatus.  According to the premier, systemic corruption no longer exists, and the new leadership is receiving bonuses as incentives for honest and conscientious work.  “The new ones,” it seems, have an incentive for dignified work, but what has changed in the life of the “old ones” still working in the system?

Having been deprived of presumably corrupt “extrapayments,” they do not have incentives for dignified work and, according to the prime minister, are “resisting” or are just “working” as much as they deem fitting of their non-dignified salaries.  In order to change the situation solutions are in order, but which ones—it is not clear.

After all this, the first question that arises in one’s head is the following:  whom and what does the prime minister want to “crush,” and is crushing any way to construct New Armenia?

The Armenian Center for National and International Studies

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Yerevan, Armenia

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