Editorial: Peace, War and the Power to Choose


Editorial: Peace, War and the Power to Choose

In order to build peace Armenia needs strength and for the latter a set of prerequisites are necessary. Read our editorial to learn more about them.


Currently the Armenian public discourse is full of statements on the need of reaching a durable peace while looking for avenues to avoid further concessions. 

However before rushing into the debate it is of prime importance to clarify them the term and understand circumstances that they imply. 

Peace is a condition when the formerly opposing forces (who can continue their opposition even after the peace is established) agree that a war between them is too costly for either side and that even a victory can be only a pyrrhic one. It implies some sort of a balance of force, even though one side could have at its disposal much more power, than the other. 

Currently the Turkish-Azerbaijani side has a clear upper hand over Armenia in terms of political influence, military power, economic potential and so on. Moreover, Yerevan’s independently, albeit limited even before the war, currently is heavily crippled. 
While previously Armenia’s conditional independence was a factor to be taken into account, currently what has become a real factor to reckoned with is the eventuality of the complete loss of independence. It is rather safe to assume that this is not in the interest of even Turkey and Azerbaijan, as instead of Yerevan, they will have to deal with a far tougher negotiator like Moscow. If Baku and Ankara still could accommodate to such an eventuality, this is something, which has to be ruled out altogether in Yerevan (unless a group or an individual is championing against a nation-state in Armenia). 

While Armenia’s quickest economic, military or demographic strides are not expected in any near future, we should concentrate rather on creating such preconditions for growth and internal strength, which are relatively free of any influence from without. 

The number one precondition is the institution of a dynamic order in the society and by this I mean the proper functioning of all possible institutions, starting from the government and including – but not limiting with – such as city planning, public services, independent trade unions etc. It is easier said than done, however the realization of its necessity should serve as a trigger and facilitator to such processes and there is a vast room for suggestions how to do that. 

Our intellectual, political, cultural and other elites need to think also over the re-nationalization of the state and by this I mean the revision of historical stereotypes, a good number of which are developed under different empires and are still serving their agenda. 

Another important, yet mostly disregarded part is the reintegration of Armenian into the actual intellectual life of Armenians in all spheres. The fact is that the dominant conservatist paradigm in the language plays a counterproductive role and confines the language to specific areas, excluding it from modern discourses due to its often lack of adequacy and absolute resentment against borrowings.  

Armenia should be open to discussing its old stereotypes, Armenian should be modern and the society should create a harmonic order; all these are tasks which require lots of internal and systematic work rather than bursts of enthusiasm and individual heroes.