Interview with ethnographer Aghasi Tadevosyan
In comparison with the previous elections, one can feel indifference and deep apathy this time. What is the reason that few people attend campaign rallies? Do you see any difference?
In terms of prospects, the political situation is very sad and critical but under such conditions there is more hope than in half-critical and pre-critical situations. It is common truth that any society is able to find the resource to overcome the crisis in deeply critical situations. Even though the political situation is desperate, I believe it is even better that the crisis is deepening.
The crisis has an important role for the Armenian society. In general, as far as I can notice, people like living in the range fraud and reality. For example, many of us prefer buying food from traders who offer us a lower price for 1kg than other traders but then it turns out that what we bought is 750-800 grams, while other traders offer the real price and do not deceive in weight. So, there are a lot of people who like being deceived. This example shows that we live in the range of false and real interpretations. The same goes for the civil and political life. If people really want to have a democratic political system, they need to pay the price for overcoming degradation. The price could also be looking forward instead of looking back. The price is modernization of our civil, cultural and daily life. But if the society thinks that modernization threatens our national identity and doesn’t want it, it means these people don’t pay the price for the democratic political system.
I will repeat that the price for democracy is to overcome degradation though it is risky. Our society can’t ensure the cultural resource necessary for the modernization of the political system in any other way. In other words, our society is unable to define the price that it is ready to pay in order to have a developed economy and political system and it keeps living in the range of fraud and reality. Under these conditions, the deepening crisis is useful for us since the spring is pulled towards the reality which needs to be defined. Only after this will it be possible to take steps towards effective activities. You can see a variety of steps are being taken which are not adequate to the political process – they lay asphalt in Yerevan, rallies are held with catering or so. The cause of these things is the current situation between the reality and fraud.