english

manifesto

2021 February 18

We - the Jaragayt Left collective - believe that the problems of the Republic of Armenia and the Armenian people collectively are rooted in the liberalist economic policy that has dominated the state consciousness since independence. We are negatively affected by the resulting selfishness, and public discourse based only on individual interests and the market.

Those who control the wealth have been the only class that has formed a significant class consciousness. With their political monopoly, they have been able to dictate their interests above all others. The broader public finds itself divided under the yokes of exploitation, poverty, and lack of organizing entities or political representation. There is no political party representing their interests. In the 30 years of independence, in the conflict between governments and oppositions and the liberal ideology have never been questioned.

Non-governmental organizations in Armenia also adhere to the liberal ideology. The significant portion of civil society is financed by the Western financiers of global capitalism. This enforces an ideological dependence that makes civil society into a new column of their political interests in Armenia. Among these organizations are some that speak in leftist terminology. They do not represent the social and economic interests of the Armenian people. Instead, they use injustice to advance the interests of their foreign sponsors.

Therefore, in Armenia, power is imbalanced. There is a great disparity between the people and the ruling elites.

On the basis of this discontent that had accumulated over the past 30 years, in 2018, even more radical liberals came to power under the auspices of revolution. In service to the interests of global capitalism, they drew the country into a catastrophic war. As a result, the statehood of Artsakh collapsed, and the sovereignty of Armenia came under threat.

Therefore, it can be argued that the Armenian people are politically orphaned by liberal forces offering no alternative except captivity.

The vision of this initiative is to be that alternative.

It is our conviction that the preconditions for a cohesive and creative society are the principles of justice and the elimination of exploitation.

The other major challenge is the issue of Artsakh. We consider it essential to observe the issue of Artsakh through the lens of history. This includes the ethnic cleansing of Armenians from the cradle of their civilization in the then Ottoman Empire through to the continuation of that policy by Turkey and its satellite state, Azerbaijan. Within this context, the decision of the Armenians of Artsakh to either become independent or to join Armenia is critical. We argue that the intrinsic right of a people to self-determination cannot be suborned by the ambitions of another country under the auspices of the modern concept of territorial integrity. The international left-wing position enshrines national and cultural identity. Without this fundamental identity it is difficult to imagine other collective identities such as class or gender. This question of identity is constant among Armenians due to its complexity. The Armenian identity is a complex assembly of many millions in Armenia and the broader Diaspora. Only the international left-wing conceptualizations are capable of building the aura of solidarity needed to unite these varied identities in order to transform them from an ethnic to political focus.

The realization and development of national-ethnic identities not only represents the cultural wealth of mankind, but also indicates a potential path of resistance against the threat of global capitalism and insatiable consumption.

Armenian political identity is a history of centuries of resistance and striving for justice. Therefore, the homeland of Armenians must be anchored in the social system of justice and equality.

Our collective calls for unity. We are called to observe the struggle for Artsakh’s self-determination as a single ideological continuum and to anchor a socialist system in Armenia. We support and strive to participate in the socially harmonious movements of oppressed peoples throughout the world.

Byurakn Ishkhanyan
Eva Hakobyan
Soseh Hovsepian
Ani-Tsovinar Vanetsyan