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#1 ara baliozian

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Posted 10 June 2001 - 10:15 AM

BETWEEN PROGRESS AND PARALYSIS
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
In every nation, even the most backward and authoritarian, there are progressive and pro-democracy forces that are for human rights, peace, cooperation, and coexistence. It is in our long-range interests to side with these forces, which is something we cannot do if we adopt a purely nationalist stance.
We have friends among our enemies, including the Turks and the Azeris, if only because, after centuries of cohabitation and intermarriage, half of them are very probably half-Armenian.
I was brought up to believe the Turks are bloodthirsty savages and to this day I cannot help hating them with every fiber in my being. But I have also come to realize that, when reason contradicts emotion, it is wiser to follow the dictates of reason.
Understanding this means taking a step in the right direction. Refusing to understand it means wallowing in rage, self-pity, lamentation, and ultimately political paralysis.

To write is an act of optimism.
To hope that what you say will be read and understood is an act of faith.
Some of our greatest writers (from Abovian to Zarian) committed suicide or fell silent exactly because they did not see any future in Armenia and Armenianism.
I refuse to believe I am being pessimistic when I speak against lies, propaganda, intolerance, bigotry, arrogance, ignorance, and stupidity.
I reject the notion that to oppose fascism is unpatriotic.


The central message of our literature (from Movses Khorenatsi to Charents) has been solidarity.
The central activity (repeat, activity) of all our organizations (especially political org/s) has been the exact opposite: divide and rule, which translated into practical terms also means: divide and alienate.
Seen from that perspective, Zarian’s dictum is as true today as it was 60 years ago: "Our political parties have been of no political use to us!"

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Posted 10 June 2001 - 06:48 PM

Fashism is not the biggest threat which threatens the Diaspora but it is assimilation.

Opposing fashism does it mean destroying national pride, attacking values which constitute the essence of the armenian spirit and without which armenians wouldn't survive in the american(and canadian melting pot). If your remarks are about Armenia itself I must say a country which struggles to survive, which has lost half of its population cannot afford the luxury of having the best human rights record and democracy. Our priorities and yours are obviously in conflict.

Strangely nobody in the West seem to be interested in promoting democracy in countries like Saudi Arabia or the gulf countries where the West has oil interests but in former eastern bloc and CIS or in Iran where western agents are trying to take over. This in itself proves that the urge for democracy or the improvement of human rights in those countries seem to be motivated by political interests and the greed of the West to get hold of energy sources in Central Asia.

By the way our long range interests is not in siding with the so called progressive and pro-democracy forces which offer no guarantee as to an eventual turkish intrusion(like they frequently do in Northern Iraq) but to side with countries which allowed and guaranteed the survival of our nation during more than 70 years and protected us from turkish aggression.

It should also be noted that the number of our 'friends' among our enemies can be counted on the fingers of one hand and these people as we have seen in the case of 'Akin Birdal' are very vulnerable and at the mercy of a bullet. These people who are the equivalent of yourself for turks(if you see what I mean) are far from being able to influence their public opinion which is overwhelmingly nationalistic.

Finally I think nobody says anymore that turks are bloodithirsty savages, instead they have a well thought strategy of becoming a regional power, of subordinating their smaller and weaker neighbours(and not only Armenia) to their will and opening a corridor through Armenia towards their brothers in Central Asia. This is simply greed. Greed for oil and natural resources and some people among us seem to serve that greed unfortunately.

#3 THOTH

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Posted 10 June 2001 - 08:14 PM

Ara (very well said - as usual)

Hovik - also some good points. However, IMO facism is a far worse issue than assimilation. (in some ways I think this is so obvious that it needs no explanation)

IMO - assimilation to Western (and specifically American) culture is basically a given. The various offerings from such are just too enticing to be eaisily resisted (the empirical evidence seems to support this). And most will not. This has been true with all immigrant groups (and even of nearly all nations - to US influence...Hollywood & Henry Ford etc - cheap and plentiful versus quality & with character...). I share you dismay - our vanishing diversity etc. and regarding certain values and traditions etc. And of course I feel for Armenians such as yourself who watch it slip away (and I am sad for the diloution of Armenian culture...even of the future of the Church [I think it is very bleak]).

But what makes Armenians so special? (in this sense) They will be like the rest - for the most part (I can certainly give Armenians credit for cultural resitance to outsiders for milenia etc - even while surrounded & overun - sure...but do you not think that significant elements of each of these has been absorbed? (this is perhaps a whole nother thread/subject for discussion - and the significance of homeland versus Diaspora...). The bottom line - Armenians in their diasporas (particularly in the US/North America) will be (for all intensive purposes) absorbed - it will happen - what an I say?. (and I could make an argument that perhaps this is not as bad a thing as is commonly beleived...but I would have to first convince you of the value of Western civilization at its curent state of evolution and where its headed - etc...and I am not sure I am totally convinced myself)

So where does that leave us? I think Armenians must look to the Jews for inspiration (perhaps Armenians should convert to Judiasm - eh? [or something besides Christianity...to ensure a {much more clearly} set apart tradition]...just a thought) (and the Armenian Church(s) in general is/are just so out of touch [and seemingly lame...I don't profess to be an expert...just an observer...]...perhaps we need to split into conservative [national(ist)], liberal [for rich aloof Armenians] and reform [for the rest of us...even including non-beleivers...just like the Jews...eh?] or some such...).

Jews have been able to maintain their cultural uniqueness no matter where they have been (pretty much). And now - they both have a homeland to rally around and unite them - and exist in their Diaspora...as Jews. (and as fully assimilated - for the most part - citizens of their adopted nations.

I feel that I have introduced enough here at this time so I will leave it at this.

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Posted 10 June 2001 - 10:37 PM

THOTH:
What is presented as fashism is not necessarily fashism.Only those who serve western interests present armenian nationalism as fashism in order to dilute them more easily in the north american societies.

As for the virtues of the West and its values. Well, they say in some west european countries that democracy is an expensive luxury you know...so do you claim that among all these political parties(you have actually only two ) you have a variety of choice? Do you really believe that the american people is really offered several political choices-several alternative programs by their parties. Both formations achieve the same goals with minor differences and if you look at other 'democracies' they all do the same, that is what needs to be done and is in the interest of the nation, is done whatever happens and whichever political party is in power. That explains the disappointment of the public when the newly elected poltician implements the same policy of his predecessor with some fresh make up. So why do armenian politicians need to be different than them? Why do we need to be perfect when we know that the West itself is lieing about its virtues.

As for the assimilation issue nobody claims that armenians should live like they were living in the 11th century. All armenian communities evolved and even those located in the middle-east and arab countries or Iran represent the most progressist and modern elements of the societies in which they are living. So why is that rush to assimilate them in western societies? Do they represent any danger to USA, Canada or France? People like Mister Baliozian are doing nothing less than trying to accelerate this assimilation process by convincing armenians that what they believe in is rubbish, that their writers are hopeless and that their culture is not worth anything.

I agree with you that america like Canada or France and other countries will absorb these immigrants if they stay in there. The experience of the first generations of armenians(among which there are people from my family) having fled the genocide shows that after 2-3 generations the language is lost and without language the best one can be is an american of armenian heritage.

This explains the confidence with which american authorities accept immigrants from Armenia by tens of thousands: they know they will be assimilated. In this attitude of delivering visas to armenians from Armenia(for example it's much more difficult to get an immigrant visa for an armenian of Turkey) I glimpse their nasty intention of depopulating the southern regions of Armenia in order to make that region more vulnerable. I am glad to say that not all western nations behave in the same irresponsible and cynical way: for instance France refuses armenian immigration(the reason for this is that may be France's ability to absorb immigrants is less than USA's or that they are already saturated with all sorts of immigrants. But the fact is that their attitude is beneficial for us.

I would like to point out a major difference between jews and armenians: their religion. Armenians by their religion are more prone to be assimilated in a christian society whereas judaism makes jews more resistant to the surrounding culture.

Why should armenians convert into another religion? Is one religion better than the other? Conversion means loss. Look at armenians of Poland who got assimilated after they have been converted into catholicism in the 18th century. But I guess this is what you are looking for...

By behaving the way it behaves the West will never convince Armenia to be part of the american empire. At least this is what I hope.

#5 THOTH

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Posted 11 June 2001 - 08:03 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Hovik:
THOTH:
What is presented as fashism is not necessarily fashism.Only those who serve western interests present armenian nationalism as fashism in order to dilute them more easily in the north american societies.



There is Armenian nationalism (which is perhpas both good and bad - necessary and unfortunate...all depending on application and extent) - etc. Then there is facisim. I was refering to the latter of course (regardless of context)

quote:
Originally posted by Hovik:

As for the virtues of the West and its values. Well, they say in some west european countries that democracy is an expensive luxury you know...so do you claim that among all these political parties(you have actually only two ) you have a variety of choice? Do you really believe that the american people is really offered several political choices-several alternative programs by their parties. Both formations achieve the same goals with minor differences and if you look at other 'democracies' they all do the same, that is what needs to be done and is in the interest of the nation, is done whatever happens and whichever political party is in power. That explains the disappointment of the public when the newly elected poltician implements the same policy of his predecessor with some fresh make up. So why do armenian politicians need to be different than them? Why do we need to be perfect when we know that the West itself is lieing about its virtues.




Perhaps, though there is more to "Democracy" then just elections/parties & the like. (and LOL - you are preaching to the wrong American - as i have never voted for a major party Presidential candidate nor do i support either political party - I am perhaps disenfranchised to a degree - but do not feel too badly represented [by the State/nation as a whole] - thgough i agree - i would like to see wider representation reflecting the more varies aand minority positions). Besides just "free" elections and political parties etc do not constitute all there is to a proper Democracy (look - 80% turnout in Iran - there is Democracy in action for ya - yea?...somewhat perhaps but we can clearly see some of the missing parts...)...there is also the rule of law, respect for property and individual rights, and limitations of the power of Government(s) (and limitations/restrictions on concentration of power) are all important factors. I don't think that the West is lying per se. Certainly developing nations such as Armenia have particular situations that must be dealt with etc - but I still beleive that ultimatly what is best for the people and the society is something along the lines of the Western Democrocies of today. There are standards set and goals to achieve etc that I think could do Armenia much good...(no one expects miracles...or perhaps they do...but others are realistic)

quote:
Originally posted by Hovik:

As for the assimilation issue nobody claims that armenians should live like they were living in the 11th century. All armenian communities evolved and even those located in the middle-east and arab countries or Iran represent the most progressist and modern elements of the societies in which they are living. So why is that rush to assimilate them in western societies? Do they represent any danger to USA, Canada or France? People like Mister Baliozian are doing nothing less than trying to accelerate this assimilation process by convincing armenians that what they believe in is rubbish, that their writers are hopeless and that their culture is not worth anything.



I don't know that there is a rush - not any more than the speed at which western society is moving in general...

I think you are to harsh on Ara (as he is perhaps too harsh on Armenians - though not on those who perhaps may be specifically targetted...he just dismisses the rest as being of no consequence [and foer making his points he is perhaps (again) correct]).

quote:
Originally posted by Hovik:

I agree with you that america like Canada or France and other countries will absorb these immigrants if they stay in there. The experience of the first generations of armenians(among which there are people from my family) having fled the genocide shows that after 2-3 generations the language is lost and without language the best one can be is an american of armenian heritage.



I am that 3rd generation of which you speak. I am an American of Armenian heritage

quote:
Originally posted by Hovik:

This explains the confidence with which american authorities accept immigrants from Armenia by tens of thousands: they know they will be assimilated. In this attitude of delivering visas to armenians from Armenia(for example it's much more difficult to get an immigrant visa for an armenian of Turkey) I glimpse their nasty intention of depopulating the southern regions of Armenia in order to make that region more vulnerable. I am glad to say that not all western nations behave in the same irresponsible and cynical way: for instance France refuses armenian immigration(the reason for this is that may be France's ability to absorb immigrants is less than USA's or that they are already saturated with all sorts of immigrants. But the fact is that their attitude is beneficial for us.



Interesting points...though not sure reasons are so conspiracy based...

quote:
Originally posted by Hovik:

I would like to point out a major difference between jews and armenians: their religion. Armenians by their religion are more prone to be assimilated in a christian society whereas judaism makes jews more resistant to the surrounding culture.



This was somewhat my point. If you worry about assimilation - if it is the #1 threat - then of course you must take radical action - if you wish to prevent such. The status quo is a loser in this regard I think

quote:
Originally posted by Hovik:
Why should armenians convert into another religion? Is one religion better than the other? Conversion means loss. Look at armenians of Poland who got assimilated after they have been converted into catholicism in the 18th century. But I guess this is what you are looking for...


See above. Of course I presented this concept somewhat in jest - but to get folks thinking as well. Your question "Is one religion better than the other?" is a good one (and I imagine we [all of us] might spend a lifetime debating it...)

Your example of conversion to Catholicism is the opposite to what I propose...

quote:
Originally posted by Hovik:

By behaving the way it behaves the West will never convince Armenia to be part of the american empire. At least this is what I hope.



Well good for Armenia - in a sense. How long will America continue to rule the roost however? And what will the follow-on be? What are the actions/factors which will determine success/failure? Armenia is a small nation - though I would argue with many unique and special assets (though with perhaps even more liabilities....we shall see). Can Armenian take (proper) advantage of these assets (rich Diaspora and international Armenian identity)? So far i would say - no. To do so - Armenia must both look West - and more...(and looking East - to the bear - is no long term future for Armenia I think...though perhaps both can and will be possible/forced etc)

[ June 11, 2001: Message edited by: THOTH ]

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Posted 12 June 2001 - 01:58 AM

Glad to see that we agree on several points and also to see someone who doesn't just spit the prevailing opinions of the day.

'but I still believe that ultimately what is best for the people and the society is something along the lines of the Western Democrocies of today'

I had heard that speech from a teacher in europe who was saying 'our model of democracy is exportable to the entire world'. Well, Saudis will claim their shariah is the best for muslim states and many people in the third world are ready to believe them, and so on... But why to export? Let's every nation find its way in its context.

Conspiracy theories are mentionned each time there is question of a secret US activity that they want to hide. This term which is even used here today by supporters of US, has become a screen to distract people's attention from the reality. Though I cannot say anything about conspiracy theories of Kennedy's assassination there are cases here where they use it with an obvious lack of good will. So I beware of it when you use it sorry

#7 THOTH

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Posted 12 June 2001 - 07:46 AM

quote:
Originally posted by Hovik:
Glad to see that we agree on several points and also to see someone who doesn't just spit the prevailing opinions of the day.


'but I still believe that ultimately what is best for the people and the society is something along the lines of the Western Democrocies of today'

- Let me just say - I am just not smart enough to know anything better...

quote:
Originally posted by Hovik:

I had heard that speech from a teacher in europe who was saying 'our model of democracy is exportable to the entire world'. Well, Saudis will claim their shariah is the best for muslim states and many people in the third world are ready to believe them, and so on... But why to export? Let's every nation find its way in its context.



I don't deny that the "Western model" was built upon slavery, exploitation/Imperialism etc and that some of this is still alive today. (I also thing there are some very excellent philosophical underpinnings as well - do they apply universally? perhaps much/most do?) I do believe that all people value individual freedom (which may mean different things and to perhaps differing degrees - though I think there are some universals as well) and I think that individuals (and minority groups - by whatever definition - ethnic, religious, particular belief/practice etc or otherwise) are deserving to practice such and live without undue Government repression (and with protection from the majority and without coercion to conform) etc. These concepts - and the concept of rule of law - no man (or government etc) above another are properly "exportable" concepts (I think that they are inherent concepts - to a degree). Certainly every nation must decide what is best on its own - but I think that criminally exploitive and repressive regimes (and those based upon religion which stratifies people - in particualr females) should (to some degree) be opposed and I caution against too much State power etc - as it will (usually) lead to abuse - IMO. The West often errs IMO - in thinking that our concepts can just be taken up without proper buld up of infrstructure - and of course we are overly judgemental that other avenues are necissarily wrong. And certainly - much motivation to force the hand of nations of the world to "open up" politically is to "open up" these nations to commercial exploitation (I do not deny this). However, there can be no doubt that we (the wrold) is/are moving along a path of interdependency and acceptence of the "Western way". How long will it last - where will we go with it - and what is in store for us in the future....? I do see some (even near term) difficulties. Obviously energy (use and exhaustion of), environment (perhaps irreparable damage to), and population growth are chief among them. Can technology "solve" these problems (as some think) - I am not entirely optimistic. There is also the concern (IMO) regarding the enourmous resouces geared toward war - and the (potential) destructiveness of such - particualrly as our economics/structure becomes more fragile and interdependent....

I also am very much nervous that we are charging foreword without any real plan or vision - letting the technology determine our direction. Will this lead to a better future - certainly in many senses - but where and who will we be ultimatly? Are there choices/oppurtunities being missed? Will the "market" as the ultimate determiner really ensure us a good future? At what point do the machines fully take over? or do we develop some bio (or combination) organism which surpasses us in intellect/technology/capability and determines we (ordinary humans...or perhaps those who are left...in the developing world etc) are just a lodestone and are unecessary...what will the morality of our future bio-tech selves be? I know i have gone far afield of our discussion - but these are importnt issues for all of us (IMO - well they are at least issues that concern me...)

quote:
Originally posted by Hovik:

Conspiracy theories are mentionned each time there is question of a secret US activity that they want to hide. This term which is even used here today by supporters of US, has become a screen to distract people's attention from the reality. Though I cannot say anything about conspiracy theories of Kennedy's assassination there are cases here where they use it with an obvious lack of good will. So I beware of it when you use it sorry



Perhaps...

#8 nairakev

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Posted 12 June 2001 - 08:10 AM

quote:
Originally posted by Hovik:
I had heard that speech from a teacher in europe who was saying 'our model of democracy is exportable to the entire world'. Well, Saudis will claim their shariah is the best for muslim states and many people in the third world are ready to believe them, and so on... But why to export? Let's every nation find its way in its context.


Hovik, baby!
Human society is a market place.
And as usual, in any market place there is a competition to sell smth.
Each micro-society (EU, US, Saudi Arbia) China, Russia, Pan-Turkists, Zionist) is trying to market its values and vision.
So, we are condemned. We didn't invent anything. We were born like that.
Competetion is our trouble, but do we have a choice, since we know what is a competetion?

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Posted 12 June 2001 - 12:58 PM

I agree that in the west the basic rights of ORDINARY individuals are respected...
I also admired the way they are treating individuals equally independently of their social status or other things unlike in developping countries. Yes of course there are good things to take. I would say human rights exist but democracy is an illusion.

#10 nairakev

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Posted 12 June 2001 - 01:45 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Hovik:
...I would say human rights exist but democracy is an illusion.


Hovik, you are exagerating. There are always problems in democratic societies.

European leftists repeat often the same thought: "Democracy is not perfect.(they smile and then comes ...) Do we have any options?"

For the time being (democrasy) it is the best option that we have. All other options have been explored. (Right?)

But we are still looking for new options. And we all contribute to it by our experiences.

Democracy is a reality in the west. It is not an illusion. Illusion is when you imagine something unreal and you take it for "real". Here (in Europe) democracy feels the beginning of social crisis. Human rights are respected in real life. Talking about human rights, it is a long issue. That I do not want to go deep into. But I know that human rights are something connected to social phenomenons and they mutate in the same direction that the human society does.
It is a never-ending process.

Democracy is a fruit of the principal right - the right to elect.

Electing its rulers, its executioners and its governors.

#11 nairakev

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Posted 12 June 2001 - 02:22 PM

quote:
Originally posted by ara baliozian:
BETWEEN PROGRESS AND PARALYSIS
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
In every nation, even the most backward and authoritarian, there are progressive and pro-democracy forces that are for human rights, peace, cooperation, and coexistence. It is in our long-range interests to side with these forces, which is something we cannot do if we adopt a purely nationalist stance.
We have friends among our enemies, including the Turks and the Azeris, if only because, after centuries of cohabitation and intermarriage, half of them are very probably half-Armenian.
I was brought up to believe the Turks are bloodthirsty savages and to this day I cannot help hating them with every fiber in my being. But I have also come to realize that, when reason contradicts emotion, it is wiser to follow the dictates of reason.
Understanding this means taking a step in the right direction. Refusing to understand it means wallowing in rage, self-pity, lamentation, and ultimately political paralysis.

To write is an act of optimism.
To hope that what you say will be read and understood is an act of faith.
Some of our greatest writers (from Abovian to Zarian) committed suicide or fell silent exactly because they did not see any future in Armenia and Armenianism.
I refuse to believe I am being pessimistic when I speak against lies, propaganda, intolerance, bigotry, arrogance, ignorance, and stupidity.
I reject the notion that to oppose fascism is unpatriotic.


The central message of our literature (from Movses Khorenatsi to Charents) has been solidarity.
The central activity (repeat, activity) of all our organizations (especially political org/s) has been the exact opposite: divide and rule, which translated into practical terms also means: divide and alienate.
Seen from that perspective, Zarian’s dictum is as true today as it was 60 years ago: "Our political parties have been of no political use to us!"


Ara, I admire the way your express your message. But your poetry starts to smell. I don't know your culinary preferences but I don't eat when something smells the way I hate.
We have friends among our enemies, including the Turks and the Azeris, if only because, after centuries of cohabitation and intermarriage, half of them are very probably half-Armenian.

I care less if an average turk or "inaverage half-armenian" even being friendly should deserve my friendship because of his origins.
I'm not interested in "antropology" of any humanitarian philosophy. We had in the past some very distinguished specimen of that "humiliating" and "stinking" guild of "anthropologists".
As an average human being I have as many enemies as many friends. I prefer ignore my enemies which I didn't choose, and talk about friends.

My friends, them, I had a chance to choose. And they do not belong to any particular race or particular ethnicity, I love them for their deeds and thoughts.

If I feel thinking one day that evry good deed of a friend, was possible because of his race or ethnicity, I should have to choose between all good deeds.

I refuse to choose, I take them all. The choice is the worst deed among all good deeds.

I can have a friend who can be turk, but I do not want to have a friend because he is turk. A do not want a friend because he is Armenian, either

I reject the notion that to oppose fascism is unpatriotic.
What do you want to say? Did you understand a word from this phrase? I din't. What did bring to your head such a "bezork" contstruction of words in a very "mauvais goût" selection of contrasts? ... Are you in "surealism". But that's so "retro". And it degrades retrospectively. Don't you think?

#12 nairakev

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Posted 12 June 2001 - 02:43 PM

quote:
Originally posted by THOTH:
But what makes Armenians so special? (in this sense) They will be like the rest - for the most part (I can certainly give Armenians credit for cultural resitance to outsiders for milenia etc - even while surrounded & overun - sure...but do you not think that significant elements of each of these has been absorbed? (this is perhaps a whole nother thread/subject for discussion - and the significance of homeland versus Diaspora...). The bottom line - Armenians in their diasporas (particularly in the US/North America) will be (for all intensive purposes) absorbed - it will happen - what an I say?. (and I could make an argument that perhaps this is not as bad a thing as is commonly beleived...but I would have to first convince you of the value of Western civilization at its curent state of evolution and where its headed - etc...and I am not sure I am totally convinced myself)

So where does that leave us? I think Armenians must look to the Jews for inspiration (perhaps Armenians should convert to Judiasm - eh? [or something besides Christianity...to ensure a {much more clearly} set apart tradition]...just a thought) (and the Armenian Church(s) in general is/are just so out of touch [and seemingly lame...I don't profess to be an expert...just an observer...]...perhaps we need to split into conservative [national(ist)], liberal [for rich aloof Armenians] and reform [for the rest of us...even including non-beleivers...just like the Jews...eh?] or some such...).



THOTH:
I don't think that bringing Jews as an "inspiration" example is a good idea.
The religious war didn't start yet and Armenians didn't live yet that period.

The future is what you said. It is a US model of "melting pot" - some consider it as "assimilation".

US though being a today's flagman doesn't necessarily have garantees to be the same tommorow. What is positive from US example which spread world-wide (just check demographic statistics from the UN and you'll see what I mean).
US has started building this "melting pot"
But will not be able to control the "war of religions", as far as I know it will be involved int it deeply.

Jews are fighting to protect their religion. And there going to fight till the very end alike christians, hindus, moslims and budhists.

Talking about assimilation.
Think about religious assimilation or "melting pot". It will give you some new ideas, heh?

[ June 12, 2001: Message edited by: naira ]

#13 THOTH

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Posted 12 June 2001 - 06:30 PM

quote:
Originally posted by naira:


THOTH:
I don't think that bringing Jews as an "inspiration" example is a good idea.
The religious war didn't start yet and Armenians didn't live yet that period.

The future is what you said. It is a US model of "melting pot" - some consider it as "assimilation".

US though being a today's flagman doesn't necessarily have garantees to be the same tommorow. What is positive from US example which spread world-wide (just check demographic statistics from the UN and you'll see what I mean).
US has started building this "melting pot"
But will not be able to control the "war of religions", as far as I know it will be involved int it deeply.

Jews are fighting to protect their religion. And there going to fight till the very end alike christians, hindus, moslims and budhists.

Talking about assimilation.
Think about religious assimilation or "melting pot". It will give you some new ideas, heh?

[ June 12, 2001: Message edited by: naira ]



Naira

I am not advocating such in any real sense. Hovik stated his concern that assimilation was in his mind a worse threat (to Armenians?) than fascism. My response was that assimilation will happen - particualrly because there is not enough IMO to set Armenians apart (and the lure of "fast food" etc culture is just to great...) - while the Jews have their unique religion which sets them apart. I was not actually advocating such - only making an example to illustrate my point. (and if this was his concern I was suggesting perhaps the lengths one might need to go...). I share your fears concerning religion in general I think...

While I certainly do lament the homoginization of culture that is occuring in the US and worldwide - I understand (and am a product of) the US melting pot - and in general I see it as a good thing. I see so much "us" and "them" based hatreds (and unending history of revenge based motivation etc) and conceptions on these various ethnic forums and I think - we (in the States) are free of this (for the most part) - and this is a good thing.

As for religion - I agree - I think religious based categorization of people into "us" and "them" is and has been perhaps the worst phenomon among humans that has contributed to bloodshed, war and continuing conflict. The continuing hold of (and recent rise in) fundementalist religion (in the US) is IMO one of the most unfortunate aspects of our society (stemming from its origins and IMO ignorance among Americans concerning what truly is important for people today). (Dwelling on) Christainity IMO is such a waste of time - and while there are many fine lessons and reflections of univeral truth (for mankind) (and much of this appears in various other religious doctrine as well to varrying degrees) so much is missing as well (East & West and all are only reflecting aspects....not whole...) - and there are fundemental flaws in its (Christianity and related Jewish/Muslim) philiosophical underpinnings (Do you read Niestche?). And I have severe personal problems with the concept of some alien being lording over mankind and demending our love and obediance when he arbitrarily kills us, allows such cruelty to innocents, and threatens us with "hell/eternal damnation" for just doing otherwise (not buying into his plan)...well excuse me - I don't buy it, nor do I buy much of the baggage that comes with it (and the various narrow anti-human interpretations many/most sects beleive...). And I do not have the capacity to believe in any event...

#14 alpha

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Posted 13 June 2001 - 12:23 AM

Naira, your argument that democracy is a reality in West is a myth promoted by Western governments. The whole political elite is corrupted by special interests. It takes huge amount of money get elected, and people who sponsor the elected officials expect return on their investments. Examples of these are bluntly evident in US, (gun lobby, cigarette lobby, etc.) You are right people actually choose their elected officials, but that’s not such a positive thing. Remember that Hitler was elected also; do you think it was a right choice by German people? General populace is incapable of electing. It’s too naïve and dumb. That’s why there are political strategists who manipulate the public, with money obtained from special interest groups. A great example of manipulation of general populace are the presidential elections of Russia in 97, and the stupid “vibiray ili proigrayesh” slogan. A few months prior to elections Yeltsin had popularity only among 5% of Russians, and only in a matter of few month political strategists were able to portray a different image of Yeltsin.


Democracy advocates rule of majority, which in respect ignores the concerns of the minority. In US swing vote obtains disproportionate power during close elections, thus ignoring the views of minority. That’s what happened in US. Right centrist has won the last presidential elections with the help of ultra right religious conservatives, and now we have Ashcroft as Attorney General, and left is being squeezed out.

I find the constitutional monarchy the best model for governance. It gives stability to government and minimizes the affects of special interest groups. The monarch should have some real powers, not be a figurative persona as it’s in Great Britain.

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Posted 13 June 2001 - 03:27 AM

Naira,

It's true that formally democracy exists in the West. I am not saying anything about voting procedures. I don't say they are stuffing ballot boxes like in the third world. The procedures they use are much more refined than that. Generally I believe that the selectivity takes place inside parties during the election of candidates to the candidacy or even before and the most 'system compliant' candidate is elected to be candidate or something like that I guess. This is my feeling I cannot produce any proof

I feel also that 'tout pour le peuple rien par le peuple' still holds good today. The only difference being nobles are replaced by a handful of handpicked conservative gentlemen who decide of the future of a nation. I am not saying this is bad as the people don't have a general and complete view of things and can make wrong decisions.

As for monarchy I cannot imagine a worse system than absolute monarchy we have seen how bad monarchs ruined their nations. The last tsar Nikola isn't he a good example to that may be you can tell us...

#16 nairakev

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Posted 13 June 2001 - 03:28 AM

quote:
Originally posted by alpha:
Naira, your argument that democracy is a reality in West is a myth promoted by Western governments. The whole political elite is corrupted by special interests. It takes huge amount of money get elected, and people who sponsor the elected officials expect return on their investments. Examples of these are bluntly evident in US, (gun lobby, cigarette lobby, etc.) You are right people actually choose their elected officials, but that’s not such a positive thing. Remember that Hitler was elected also; do you think it was a right choice by German people? General populace is incapable of electing. It’s too naïve and dumb. That’s why there are political strategists who manipulate the public, with money obtained from special interest groups. A great example of manipulation of general populace are the presidential elections of Russia in 97, and the stupid “vibiray ili proigrayesh” slogan. A few months prior to elections Yeltsin had popularity only among 5% of Russians, and only in a matter of few month political strategists were able to portray a different image of Yeltsin.


Democracy advocates rule of majority, which in respect ignores the concerns of the minority. In US swing vote obtains disproportionate power during close elections, thus ignoring the views of minority. That’s what happened in US. Right centrist has won the last presidential elections with the help of ultra right religious conservatives, and now we have Ashcroft as Attorney General, and left is being squeezed out.

I find the constitutional monarchy the best model for governance. It gives stability to government and minimizes the affects of special interest groups. The monarch should have some real powers, not be a figurative persona as it’s in Great Britain.



Alpha, there is a huge difference between the US democracy and the European.

I prefer european

#17 nairakev

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Posted 13 June 2001 - 03:40 AM

quote:
Originally posted by Hovik:
The last tsar Nikola isn't he a good example to that may be you can tell us...


Hovik, I don't feel like talking on monarchies. I thought you understood what I've said previously.
If I think that democrasy is the best but not the perfect option for a society, so how can I look for solutions in monarchy.
Monarchy is in the past.... it's gone. It doesn't exist for me.
So no really motivation to talk about it.
I think the British and the Dutch suffer because of their monarchies, but should they follow the Russian way.
Unhead their monarchs? Hehe?
Very bolshevik idea?
No to monarchism, Hovik!
Let's talk about the democracy in Armenia. You turn is the second ...
Two rows.
First row - what's good.
Second row - what's bad.

So my trun!
What's good - the right to elect.
What's bad - the death penalty. t should be abolished.

----------
Your turn!

[ June 13, 2001: Message edited by: naira ]

#18 THOTH

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Posted 13 June 2001 - 05:12 AM

I agree that there are serious issues with Democracy (both as practiced in the US and in Europe). In the US the restrictive two party system and the overwhelming power of big money special interests distorts proper representation and policies enated - etc - It is a big problem. However, to only focus on this(admittedly major) aspect of how representative government works in the States really misses some underlying processes whereby individuals and groups can and do have influence on their representatives. It is amazing what one can sometimes do through letters and personal contacts etc. Most representatives are in fact fairly responsive to such (not that every effort to make ones voice heard will succeed - but there are avenues - and I think many people tend to ignore/discount this).

Europe and parlimentary democracies also have their drawbacks (and some lead to gross distortions - having to kowtow to extreme political parties who hold undue sway in coalitions is one example...look at the Israeli situation for instance and of course the issue of stability (Italy etc) and thus inefficiency etc...and would the world want a US even less predictable than it is now?). Overall though I personally prefer the parlimentary, multi-pary system (though I like the idea of electing an executive directly...think about it...). I make it a point to never vote Republican or Democrat (can't stand either of them) in Presidential elections (and otherwise if there is a decent choice). I agree though, there is too much concentration of power and distortions in the US two party system - and the powers that be have no-self interest to change things... There is talk of term limits and such...I say - don't vote incumbent and don't vote Rebublican or Democrat...though I know this has little chance of acctually catching on...and yes, the US electorate can be pretty dumb sometimes...though I am not sure I can agree with the blanket statement that electorates in general are...

#19 nairakev

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Posted 13 June 2001 - 08:25 AM

quote:
Originally posted by THOTH:
...Israeli situation ...

THOTH, baby!
I agree with you. In the US and in the Europe as well, democratic institutions work better than elsewhere in the World. The way citizens get in touch with their representatives is an example. True it's sometimes very easy to contact them and to have a response. That's true...

---
Talking about Europe, I meant EU or let's say the Western Europe.
Israel is far away from the European tradition, I don't think it can be considered as a european democracy, though Israel (Mid East country) takes part in annual EuroVision Song Contest, but not Armenia or Azerbaijan, which participate in many activities of the Council of Europe and soccer teams play in European Soccer Championships.

I don't mind Israel's participation in EuroVision song Contest or even Soccer championship, but I would mind it be considered as a european democracy cause it is not.

#20 THOTH

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Posted 13 June 2001 - 10:28 AM

Naira - in this case I use Israel as an illustrative example of extreme distortions of the policies of a government based upon the undue influence of minority (extreme) coalition partners. Certainly most Eurpean Governments suffer from this to a much lesser extent..though it can be a factor. I never claimed that Israel was a European nation (though perhaps from the Arab perspective Israel could be thought of as the Crusades part 2, seven centuries later...)

I find it interesting that you wish to distance Israel from Europe in this instance (and warn away from the Jewish example in a previous post)...LOL...I understand your reticence and I too have problems with Israeli style Apartheid (otherwise called Zionism) and extreme reactions to the Palestinian/Arab "threat". We must understand though - Israel is a representative Democracy (largely of the Jewish subset) and does contain a divergence of opinion on these issues - it is not monolithic in view. I know/have known Israeli's who are very opposed to Israeli settlement, retribution and other policies vis a vis the Palestinians. And not every American suffers from saddle sores you know...etc.




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