Friday, March 21, 2008

Rose, orange, purple revolutions...

Is Armenia's color revolution going to be called 'the black revolution'? We have officially had eight dead heroes that we are still mourning for.

I was hoping it would be called 'apricot revolution' but alas, the authorities spilled blood to stay, albeit temporarily, in power.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

your assessment that "the authorities spilled blood" is simplistic and wrong. One can easily argue that LTP did everything he could to get blood spilled. His followers may not like to consider this, but I am sad to say that this opinion is as valid. Good time to pause and think.

Anush said...

well during the rallies Pashinyan called it a dance revolution, but yeah it's no longer that positive

Onnik Krikorian said...

Glad to see that you include one of the policemen (it was 7 dead among citizens -- with at least one and possibly two bystanders among that figure -- and 1 policeman). Well, glad that people include the dead on the side of the authorities in the list although there are rumors that at least one soldier died from his wounds later. Anyway.

Anonymous said...

anonymous: you're right - these people had no right to demand a normal country. this is the same reason the turks killed your ancestors - they should have kept their mouth shut. the dasnaks and hunchaks did the same thing; they did everything they could to upset the authorities. apres vor du es kan klatsi es!

reflective said...

No revolution, just evolution: Reasonably decent elections (not my assessment, just the assessment of all possible third parties), a quieting down of the post election hysteria, and an opportunity for the newly elected president and new coalition to address many of the societal ills that the previous administrationS (note capital S, underscoring the plural nature of the word) share responsibility for, and the ills which were brought up by various opposition forces (radical and otherwise) during the campaign season.

Time to respect and work to improve the state institutions. Time to develop a national plan (something other than get rich or hate the ones doing it better than we can/did). Time to take stock and reassess where our passions are taking us.

Anonymous said...

ՌՈՒՍԱՍՏԱՆՈՒՄ ՍՊԱՆՎԵԼ Է ՀԱՅԱՍՏԱՆԻ ՔԱՂԱՔԱՑԻ

Մերձմոսկովյան Պուշկինի շրջանում Հայաստանի քաղաքացի է սպանվել: Ըստ ռուսական ԶԼՄ-ների, քաղաքացուն, վզի շրջանում դանակով վիրավորված վիճակում, գտել են նախորդ օրն առավոտյան Զավետի Իլյիչա ավանի Վոկզալնայա փողոցում: Ավելի ուշ նա մահացել է: «43-ամյա տղամարդը մահացել է կտրած-ծակած վերքից բժշկական օգնություն ցուցաբերելիս», պարզաբանել են միլիցիայում: Քրեական գործ է հարուցվել, իրականացվում են օպերատիվ հետախուզական միջոցառումներ:

Things like this happens every day in Russia and no respond from our goverment and other Armenian organizations. Maybe we just lost another Hrant Dink? Or it has to be in Turkey so ANCA can make some fake noise?

nazarian said...

Onnik, that one policeman is almost as much of a victim of the regime as the dead civilians.

Anonymous said...

reflective...too simplistic analysis...in such an environment as the one in Armenia there cannot be evolution, the state, the "nomenclatura" can't evolve itself into a better, more democratic and fair establishment without any external pressure; i.e. pressure of people and its supporting opposition parties, the coalition and reforms u mention are COSMETIC in nature and can't fool the people anymore, the same parties that were in the rule are gathered again, even OYP was in the rule in the past, the ruling clan can't be the one to chose the opposition to pick for cooperation,
a hope for change MAY come again if they call for new parliamentary elections, and new presidential elections ...other than that, forget it...this organized crime-state-oligarch trend is deeply-rooted in the establishment and can only reproduce itself
if the authroities are really honets, open and sure that they have the majority, let them call for new elections, free and transparent, an honest, open and majority-backed auhtority will never be afraid of its own people when they protest and demonstrate

pomegranate said...

I've read pretty much all the official media coverage - Armenian and western as well as all the blogs I can find. I've also talked to all our relative, friends and acquaintances still in Armenia to try to get a better handle on the situation. There is something that I just don't understand in all this. The vast majority of people loathe LTP and especially loathe his divisive message of 'us' and 'them'. Let's pretend for a moment that the elections had been truly fair and there was a runoff. I cannot believe for a moment that if the choice was between Serge and LTP in a runoff and people were faced with the real possibility of LTP becoming president again, they would actually vote for LTP....

And another thing puzzles me. If the people have finally reached their boiling point and want change for the sake of change -- why didn't one of the other candidates, say Vazken Manugian or Raffi Hovanissian or Vahan Hovanissian, step forward; or why didn't they all join forces in order to ensure that Serge was soundly defeated? I just find is extremely difficult to believe that LTP was the only choice....

From all that I've read, LTP's divisive message, his inciting such virulent animosity, was bound to lead to catastrophe -- as it did.

If you can shed light on any of this, great! Thanks.

garen said...

In an academic article that I'm working on right now, I call these revolutions in Georgia, Ukraine etc "Grey Revolutions" for they do not carry a distinct ideological character, a unique set of explanandums that would be entrenched in specifically historical, global, economical, materialist (or whichever theoretical) perspectives and causalities. This is also why these "revolutions" are unable to formulate a distinct agenda (ideological or not) in a way that would effectively be targeted at the root-causes of the given socio-economic problems. This theoretical poverty of these Grey Revolutions immediately makes them too individual-centred, rather than concept driven. They often rely on populist rhetorics, rather than civic conciousness of Value Of Things. They are revolutions nevertheless, in an ironic sense that due to the above-mentioned theoretical/ideological poverty, these revolutions revolve around a cult of persona who acts as a figure of a "shaman" or a "national healer" (which are no more than empty simulacra of collective imagination and hype). These "grey revolutions" are also revolutions in a sense that they are offset by a set of social-economic-civic-cultural problems in the first place, yet due to their lack of a coherent ideological core, they find themselves unable to identify (nevermind, address) the causes of those problems -- and, thus, after completing their circle, these grey revolutions return back to where they started from.

In case of Armenia, grey-ish stills, I'd call it a "Pomegranate Revolution". :| There was simply too much blood spilt in the central streets of Yerevan. This action was unprecedented, uncalled for and gave taste of the extent of impudence, irresponsibility and brutality that the ruling bourgeois families are prepared to go to, to protect their wealth, power and "joint ventures".

There were all the obvious features of grey-revolutionism from day one of LTP's return ... even as far back as the earliest days or Aylentranq social-civic initiative. Yet, despite these Grey-Revolutionary features in RA, and the tragic (and unnecessary) loss of human lives, I see very positive trends that evolved within this new movement in recent months, which transcend the classic examples or "Grey Revolutions":
1) For one, I saw an "awakening" -- a temporary end of hopelessness and the attitude of "political depression", apathy and docile indifference which was a distinct social feature in recent years or Armenian history.
2) Levon was able to re-formulate the agenda at hand in terms of the *necessity* at hand: if his first 10 years were marked by an irreverssible commitment to neo-liberalist economic principles, then his new manifesto and the whole rhetoric carried a strongly socialist element with concerns for demographics and national security, grounded precisely in problems of social injustice and economic powerlessness within the populae. This point, combined with the first point caused the rise of what I call, the social and civic Conciousness of Value, which in itself is a healthy derivation from the "grey-revolutionary" models of populism (i.e. Georgia, Ukraine)
3) Precisely because of this point Levon, once again, was able to foster a movement that brought together over 20 political forces with overt concerns for social justice.

The awakening has started, the momentum is already built, the Civic Concioussness is now formulated not in empty nationalist or populist terms, but in terms of bold demands for social justice and economic power. The interesting question right now is will it descend into a self-destructive pattern of arrogance, radicalism and violence (as we've seen with so many examples around the world), or will it be formulated as continuously progressive force that would continue challenging the state even when someone like Levon is in power. The danger right now is that this new movement and the concioussness that it awoke still heavily relies on LTP as the central figure at the spotlight (for no other reason than the fact that he is a symbol of intellectualism, culture and intelligentsia). What could really ruin these achievements and/or channel them onto a very dangerous and unhealthy path at this stage is violent tactics. The only way to effectively challenge the brutality of the state right now is non-violent civil disobedience... and a General strike that would cause a total paralysis of economic activity within this oligarchical money-rolling machine: from transport and communications to smallest businesses and workshops. As Alexander Berkdman said "They can shoot you to die, but they can't shoot you to work" Unfortunately, the unions are weak, if not non-existent, in Armenia to pioneer such a powerful action, and the central news sources are under the tight grip of the authorities.

well... this is it for now ;)

regards

Garen

http://azat.wordpress.com

reflective said...

I also like the term Grey Revolution, in the dubbing the failed coup attempt by LTP, Pashinyan, etc. It resonates strongly with the BozKurt or Grey Wolf, the similarly racist and hate-mongering ideologically radical opposition in Turkey, the 1st country named as allies in LTP's fight against Armenia.

aiip said...

Watch comments of Rafael Ghazarian on Jirayr Sefilian's trial. They pretty much sum up the present day Armenian authorities:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4t771

Anonymous said...

the armenian revolution is like the "grey wolf" movement?? are u serious or being directed by blind hate towards LTP...the fact that u single out LTP as a topic of discussion versus others analysis on the movement itself, says it all...i will add to what Garen wonderfully put...the armenian revolution is unique in its essence, its components, followers, national character, contrary to baseless accusations not aligned with foreign powers, and LTP is only a symbol..nowadays, in streets of yerevan, if u want to irritate the police or serjik's followers just shout "Le-von" and they will go nuts as a bull seeing the red colour...

Anonymous said...

to anonymous 1
So, pause and think, my friend.
LEt's imagine a situation:
someone with a knife tries to rob you and your wife. you try to resist him, he kills your wife.
Who's to blame for the death of your wife?
You? Because you didn't just obey him?
may be, partly.
But the main culprit is the guy who actually killed her.
The same story with MArch 1.
Yes, Levon is guilty because he called on the people to fight for their rights.
p.s. just in case you wonder I'm not a Levon supporter, actually I was pretty much a strong Levon-hater until quite recently

Anonymous said...

Reflective,
which are the third parties that you are referring to - who said the elections were reasonable?
have you read the first OSCE assesments beyond the 1st paragraph?
Have you read the 2nd OSCE report?
Do you know that the final OSCE assessment is yet to coome?
Have you read the Human Rights Watch assessment?

Anonymous said...

REflective,
yes, the state institutions are improving.
the 1st thing was done - all kinds of meetings and mass manifestations were basically banned by the new law.
Sure, that's the direction we want our country to move in - towards North Korea !

reflective said...

OK, instead of "reasonably decent" elections (this is a judgment call in any case, and has to do with realistic level of expectations more than an absolute measure) how about better elections than 2003, 1996, 1995? All I am saying is that the international assessors noted improvement and fewer outright violations than in the past. Again, not my opinion, just check the record.

reflective said...

And, yes I would argue that in total, state institutions are improving. We now have an investment climate that doesn't view the Diaspora as the Enemy (note investment in the hi-tech sector which started...in 1998, coincidence?). Note the army in which hazing and abominable conditions have been replaced by less hazing (not none, unfortunately) and poor (not good, unfortunately) conditions. Note the demographic situation where for the last 7-8 years the Armenian population has not dropped (maybe not risen much, but better than the coerced flight in the early 90s).

Yes, I consider this improvement in total. That there is a bad law passed here or there should be criticized. But let's keep some sense of perspective.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
first of all color revolutions distinctive feature is foreign support. More precisely it is a battle of West and Russia on reshaping post Soviet space. In this pretext it is an ideological of sorts. However whatever happened in Armenia was not the same brand of phenomenon. There was no western support of opposition, neither of contenders was showing any big desire to change drastically country's orientation in respect of Russia. Second, in case of Georgia, Kirgizstan and to much lesser extend Ukraine, the state was failing. In case of Armenia the state is stronger than ever, and thus the situation was completely different. The fierce protests are basically result of autocratic rule of current regime. So it was basically confrontation of a extremely powerful state with the backing of Russia and the West against a group (100,000?) of people with an outspoken leader who actually was a little bit immune against authorities, but nevertheless pretty powerless. It these circumstances I think all guilt of violence and blood lies with party of power. It is just laughable argument that people on the Liberty square could overthrow this government by force.

Anonymous said...

Reflective, if you are a citizen of Armenia, do you think it's "histerya" when the only thing people want is decent elections? How else should they fight, what's your suggestion? Just tell you are satisfied with your undignified life or may be you are one of those fat cats suffering a complex of inferiority and find this country the best place to show off?