A deep-rooted old has always stood on the way of any new – be it in myths or various complexes. Within the context of our topic, I would like to discuss three main psychological complexes, which the Artsakh society is still unable to overcome.
Complex one: as far as the situation has not changed in Armenia, nothing will change in Artsakh either. It is especially pity in the case with our generation, which had already proved in 1988 that something contrary can happen. In 1988 in Artsakh we witnessed the most powerful national-liberation and democratic storm, which resonated not only in Armenia and Armenian Diaspora, but far beyond, particularly the former Soviet Union. They say that it is just in the Karabakh rallies and manifestations that Gorbachev’s paper slogans about Perestroyka and democracy turned into a real process, and a small people (for the USSR scales) became a detonator of democracy. Probably, the opinion that it is just the democratic impulse in Karabakh that finally led to the collapse of the Soviet totalitarian system is hypertrophy to some extent, but the Artsakh events undoubtedly triggered a wave all over the Soviet space.
However, although so little time has passed since then (in historic scales), but the Artsakh society has found itself within the frameworks of a complex that seemed already overcome. Really interesting metamorphoses have occurred in this period. The society that released itself from the slave chains and servile psychology just a few years later is now again captured by a unique slavery. At one of the first rallies in Stepanakert in 1988, one of the leaders of the Karabakh Movement declared, “from now on the Artsakh people killed slave in themselves.”
I also remember that then a well-known Soviet intellectual wrote in one influential Moscow-based newspaper, having in mind some other case, that he did not believe in the collective maturity, moreover and synchronic and sudden maturity of people, and added that it is a much more complicated and long-term process, than it might seem. Probably, he meant that the real collective maturity is a conglomerate of already mature individuals.
Anyway, times has showed that the salve was not killed in all Artsakh people in 1988. While people were actively and collectively matured, the slave concealed himself in the folds of the wide Artsakh soul, and when all finally got quiet, he started to raise his head. Time has made us wiser, and now neither enthusiasm, nor thunderous events are able to hide him. At present each person has to overcome a slave in himself or herself, as far as only when the majority overcomes the slave, the society as a whole will be able to release itself from this fatal complex.
However, that complex is only strengthening, including thanks to the wide-spread opinion inArmeniathat as long as nothing has changed inRussiawith its influence on the region, nothing will change inArmeniaeither. And, as it turns out, the perspectives of changes are equal to none. At least, for today.
Complex two: we cannot let ourselves disagreements with Armenia, because it is dangerous while Azerbaijan makes militaristic statements each and every day. The danger of this complex is that it associatesArmenia with the leadership of theRepublic ofArmenia. Making a correct judgment that it isArmenia that provides the second Armenian state so important intergovernmental loan, maintains its security on the international level and combat ability of the Artsakh Army, the most of people think that it is a desert, monopoly and mission of the leadership of theRepublic ofArmenia. Meanwhile the arguments that Armenian budget, as all other budgets, is created by the taxes of the citizens, and the authorities does not provide the loan from their own pocket, are taken with irony, or with complacence, at best.
But it is only one side of the coin. What is making the situation even worse is that such approaches ignore or, at least, diminish the role of the public opinion inArmenia. So, the gratefulness of the Artsakh people comes just to the leadership of theRepublicofArmenia. And as far as the public opinion is underestimated in Artsakh as well, then it turns out that it is the authorities, not the peoples of the two Armenian states, cooperated with each other. And it is no coincidence thatArmeniaand Karabakh have been integrated on the level of power much closer, than on the level of societies in these years. Only during the war the societies of both countries were tied up with each other with multiple threads. However, the phenomenon that successfully passed the test of war in this issue, has failed to pass the test of peace.
Recently, quite a lot of representatives of the opposition inArmenia, especially those who support the first President of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrosyan, argue that as far as Artsakh is on the watch of the current leadership ofArmenia, then it is also responsible for the whole negative that now exists inArmenia. It is true that in the Artsakh society there are moods, supporting the present leadership ofArmeniajust for the fact that they are of the Artsakh origin, and there are concerns that in case of non-Artsakh leadership inArmenia, Karabakh might suffer serious losses. However, the true reason of such relations is different. As one of Yerevan-based experts noted, Artsakh people have always been on watch of the Armenian leadership and always out of their own security, including in the times of Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s rule.
The manifestations of such a support, not only moral, but quite applicable (especially in the hard periods for the Armenian leadership and during the internal political tensions), could be seen long before the appearance of the Artsakh-born people in the leadership of theRepublicofArmenia. So this phenomenon lacks any internal political nature and political or ideological sympathies or antipathies.
The concerns of the Artsakh people are not abstract at all: at the initial phase of creation and establishment of the second Armenian state, the leadership of theRepublicofArmenia, headed by Levon Ter-Petrosyan, did not recognize the authority in Artsakh, headed by Artur Mkrtchyan, which caused most serious problems for the newly independent statehood, struggling life-and-death for itself. Finally, the people, enjoying protection by the leadership ofArmenia, came to power in Artsakh. That is why Artsakh people avoid confrontation with the authorities ofArmenia.
But the most horrible consequence of the complex of moving forward just as the Armenian leadership would like it, is that the Artsakh people ceased to be not only a party in the negotiating process of the Karabakh settlement, where Armenia represents its interests, but on other levels as well. The Artsakh society, so tolerant toward such a complex, should also comprehend its colossal danger.
Complex three: while the threat of Azerbaijan’s war increasing, fundamental democratic reforms are dangerous. According to the logic of such a complex, apart of other numerous sins, Azerbaijan is also the main enemy of democracy in Artsakh. Not the corrupt bureaucracy, the monopolies, killing the economic competition (which are also preventing the political field from poli-polarization), the lack of accountability and control, the use of the administrative resource, but just the external threat and external enemy.
People consciously refuse for a time (not even trying to outline the limits of that time) to fully realize their own rights for the sake of security of the country. As a matter of fact, patient, tolerant Artsakh people, ready to sacrifice their own rights for the sake of the common interest, have become an ideal platform for preservation and reproduction of the authority. But these people, who have consciously gave up the realization of their own rights and being concerned with the common prosperity, even do not want to notice that some persons or forces are not only unwilling to give up their own rights, like the others, but are now capturing the rights, that have been ceded by ordinary Artsakh people. For the sake of their own spiritual balance, people do not wish to notice that the slogan of the common unity, which has been proclaimed in Artsakh in the recent years, is not built on the common equality, including equal rights, making the idea of unity meaningless.
Apparently, time is needed that people understands, democracy does not threat security, it is one its guarantees, as far as only free person can live in security, at least by the reason that he (she) does not deprive himself from the right to take part in making the decisions, related to his own destiny.