The title of this monologue is taken from a video clip depicting the speech of an orator “Դասախօս” during the celebration of the Armenian independence day in Toronto. He stated among other things that, we have become “rusty”, Դարերու ժանգ կապած ենք, and continues to say, the time has come to rise above the partisan politics, and cease becoming self-centered “Անձնակեդրոն” and, subservient “Համակերպող” and then emphasizes that, it is time to develop a state mentality “Պետական մտածողութիւն”. It is hard to disagree except to quote the Armenian saying, “Խօքով փիլաւ չեփիր”. (In loose interpretation “talk is cheap”).
I comment on this issue due to the fact that the Armenian news media, both online and in print, has been, and still is, full of this kind of rhetoric by Armenian wordsmiths in every sphere of the Armenian political, social, cultural, and religious life. Especially so by the leadership of these institutions, while no one leading the way to do something about it and create the necessary changes. It seems the “buck stops” with nobody, so to speak.
Since the establishment of the Republic of Armenia, the “state mentality” in the diaspora had to take root. Especially so after the return of the three so-called “Traditional Political Parties” (TPP) from exile to the Republic of Armenia and starting true politics with a “state mentality”. Regrettably, this did not happen. (So far only one of the TPPs, has participated in parliamentary, presidential, and local, electoral campaigns in the Republic of Armenia, and earned the support of about 3% to 10% of electoral votes).
The mission of these three TPPs as “Political Parties”, (in the true sense of the word), ended the day they returned from exile to the Republic of Armenia twenty-five years ago. The true meaning of the “state mentality” is that the political parties live and die in the countries they get established in, according to the laws governing the political party activities within the country.
Basically, they strive to get “state power” through elections, form a government, govern the country and protect the safety of the people living within the boundaries of the country, and improve their standard of living, plus, etc., etc. This is the norm.
It seems the only justification for the TPP’s existence in diaspora(s) seems to be the glorification and the celebration of their distant past achievements, while ignoring the fact that, although remembering the past is important, glorifying and worshipping it is not. It is the future that will make us great, and the future is now.
All talk that we need “political parties” in diaspora(s) to pursue HY TAD, is simply self-justification for TPPs for their unnecessary existence under fancy names, especially in the language of the countries they operate in.
The preservation of the Armenian identity is the most important issue of the Armenian Diaspora(s) and are be best preserved and enhanced through schools, churches, cultural associations, social activities, the revival of the Armenian traditions, etc. They do not need the “umbrella” may be rather the hegemony of the TPPs as “political parties” to be able to function and survive.
This is the case for large Jewish, Greek, Italian, Chinese, etc diaspora communities, and they are doing rather well without having any political party affiliations with their homelands the way we Armenians do. It is outright illegal. They all have good consultation processes and try to help their home country, and even benefit from it too. They do so through business, cultural, benevolent, and professional associations, lobbying, etc.
Needless to say the chances of this political “normalcy” happening in the Armenian Diaspora(s) is almost zero to nothing. If the independence of the Republic of Armenia could not help develop a “state mentality” in the Armenian Diaspora(s), it is hard to imagine anything else will do. I say this because we lack intellectual depth, and the courage, to have intellectual discussions on these issues in an open and free forum.
(Unfortunately during the past more than a hundred years the divisive politics of the TPPs has divided the old diaspora(s) հին գաղութները along the Party lines, and has created a sort of Կուսակցահայութիւն, and thus has encouraged and enhanced the subservient mentality)
The irony is that we have the best-educated and the most successful post-Armenian Genocide third and fourth generation Armenians full of energy and vigor who as the victims of this subservient mentality are wasting their youthful energy in useless and noisy demonstrations and “parroting” age-old worn-out slogans, while the vast majority of this generation members are getting assimilated.
Needless to say, this is in large part, due to the old anachronistic and indoctrinating Armenian educational system, be it the schools, the youth organizations, etc, that are brainwashing the young minds and reducing them to such noisy “parrots”.
Unfortunately, this is one of the main reasons and the sad reality that, diaspora(s) will continue to remain “self-centered”, “subservient”, and the “rusting” process will continue unabated, and so will the hollow rhetoric of “Պետական մտածողութիւն”.
Zohrab Bebo Sarkissian.