"Our nation has stuck in the past"

Vardan Harutyunyan
"Our nation has stuck in the past"

Our nation has stuck in the past. We stuck in the past, unable to learn values of the 20th century and move to the 21st century. We're in the 19th century at best. Our values, our world outlook, our everyday problems, our dreams, they all belong to the past. We're in the past, we're solving problems of the past, we're still fighting with Sultan Hamid, we sing songs that were created at that time and we repeat the same thoughts, human rights defender, Vardan Harutyunyan, wrote in 2006. Almost 12 years have passed since then, but almost nothing has changed.

Vestnik Kavkaza presents fragments from his article, originally published by southcaucasus.com

We still consider Chavush, Dro, Andranik, Sose and Serob best examples of patriotism. Bandit-socialist-terrorist-nationalist nature is a part of their patriotism, since it was natural for those years.

We took all of our hatred with us into the 21st century. Our patriotism and our anti-Turkism are directly proportional. Genocide remains our business card.

We can't free ourselves from shackles of the past. This past is a heavy burden, which pulls us down instead of leading us to the future.

Showing our patriotism, we proudly hang maps from the time of Tigranes the Great's campaigns on the walls. Based on this map, we declare that our borders stretch from sea to sea. We believe in what imagined and create illusions about possible return of these borders.

After losing the war, we begin to glorify our small and temporary victories on the battlefield. We can't see difference between war and battles. We erect monuments and mausoleums in memory of these battles. We pompously celebrate in front of those who actually won and tasted all the glory. We don't understand that we seem ridiculous in their eyes and aren't save from future defeats.

We celebrate 2000th anniversary of our theater, only because 2000 years ago one ruler wrote theater plays in Armenia. No one else did this in the following 2000 years. But in our eyes, "2000 years ago" is equal to "for 2000 years". Denying any logic, we talk about 2000 years of our theater, we write books and articles, because we need it.

We don't pay attention to traffic lights. We cross intersection diagonally, slowly, while chatting. When we're driving, we stop at pedestrian line or at the very center of intersection. We don't want to accept the fact that it can be life-threatening.

We're proud of our centuries-old history, but couldn't save or maybe even create nothing except churches. Our most ancient city doesn't even have 200 years of history. When there was statehood, our kings didn't respect this statehood so much that they transferred capital from city to city. As a result, we don't have a decent capital for such an ancient nation.

We have big and patriotic diaspora, dreaming of a "country", suffering from nostalgia and speaking in all popular languages, which lives by worling on a serious matter - Armenian question. Over decades this idea became a religion and, just like it happens in such cases, it's already debated about who is more committed to this religion and is close to its origins.

We sell our votes and our right to elect, then, in private conversations, we wonder where these fools and clowns came from, without admitting that we sold our own votes for 3 thousand drams.

We falsify elections, because a guy from our block, a relative or a friend asks for it. In return, we expect to receive benefits. Usually we don't get what we expected, and then we criticize falsifiers, those who won the elections and the rest of the world, absolutely not acknowledging our own share of guilt. And we're waiting for the next elections in order to get revenge, choosing another team.

Flattery and bootlicking is our way of life. We accept secret agents, whistleblower and traitors, who must be outcasts in any normal society. They live quietly among us, and in some cases they rule us. We don't tell our children about them. On the contrary, we believe that they understand life, they know how to live, that they are business people who haven't missed their chance. We talk with them and, at the same time, wonder why our children have such distorted idea about the world and people. We fear for their future

We explain all our failures by presence of bad neighbors, as if we're an exception, as if all other nations have better neighbors and they never lived under someone else's rule. Our present is the same as the past. Once again we call our neighbors enemies, once again we turn into someone's outpost and are looking for salvation abroad, once again we don't respect our own country and tolerate unworthy and incompetent, government. Another defeat awaits us.