Thursday, August 28, 2008

#65 - The Other Side of the World- N. Pashinyan

65. Ռուսաստանը` ժամանակից անդին

Վագոն-ռեստորանում սուրճի ընթացքում մեր խոսակցությունը շարունակվեց: Իմ վերջին դիտարկումը Պավելին, որքան էլ տարօրինակ է, կռվան տվեց:

The Other Side of the World - N. Pashinyan

65. Russia, Beyond Time

Our conversation continued in the restaurant wagon. My last comment to Pavel, as strange as it may seem, started a fight. He said that by bringing dead souls to the elections, he helped actualize, much like the heavenly host, that which would take place anyway. I didn’t understand what he had in mind, so he explained:

“It’s all the same. The winners of the election are those who’re supposed to win; so I help them achieve that victory without much of a fuss.”

“Excuse me, but the winners of the elections aren’t supposed to be those who somehow win without much of a fuss, but those who vote,” I said.

“Don’t tell me you’re talking about Democracy,” asked Pavel with a cynical smile on his face, but realizing that I wasn’t appreciating his cynicism, he added, “That is not possible in Russia.”

“And what is not possible?” I asked for clarification.

“Democracy, free elections and things like that.”

“The interesting thing is that they say the same things at all falsified elections, that free elections are not possible in their country,” I said, upset.

“I don’t know how it is in other countries, but in Russia that really is not possible; believe me and understand it.”

“Explain it to me, and I’ll try to understand.”

Pavel began to explain.

“To establish freedom and democracy in Russia would mean to destroy the state,” he said.

“But how is it that other democratic states are not destroyed?” I asked, naively.

“Can you show me any multi-national state with a population that has a firm national identity and is democratic? There can’t be such a state, because Democracy and freedom propel them toward independence, toward the creation of an independent state. The most outstanding example is Czechoslovakia. That country became truly democratic and free but then ceased to exist. The Slovaks aspired for independence and received it. They knew that no one would crush them under tanks for that objective.”

“Like you did with the Chechens.”

“Yes, we crushed them. But I think you yourself understand that in Groznyy it wasn’t the fate of Chechnya that was being decided, but Russia’s. If Chechnya got independence, the next in line would be Dagestan, then North Ossetia. But the important thing is that after the Chechens get their freedom from Russia, they, the people of Dagestan and North Ossetia will slaughter each other. This, by the way, is a matter of opinion, proven in other areas. Yeltsin tried the model of a free and democratic Russia but that which I have described to you had already begun. If we’re talking about democracy and freedom, it means we’re talking about the collapse of Russia. Democracy, if such a thing exists, can exist only in nation states. Let’s take, for example, yours and mine dear Yugoslavia. It has now become a small Serbia and can be democratic. But at that time it had no choice but to be cruel, just so it could survive. They couldn’t be cruel enough, and were destroyed. And Russian rule, if it wishes to keep Russia, should be harsh, as evidence by the fate of your native Serbia.”

“You know, there is truth in what you say, but even your own opinion testifies that what will happen some day is what you’re trying to avoid,” I pointed out.

“What do you mean?”

“What I mean is that if you justify the lack of freedom with the intention of suffocating the goals of people living in Russia, for freedom it means that those aspirations are there, that they are taken seriously, and that one day they will explode. If they haven’t been able to uproot those motivations for 200 years, they you should give up; and you should be prepared for a different scenario, so that at the end it doesn’t become a tragedy for you.”

“Well, my brother, do you know how many people have predicted the collapse of Russia? It’s a familiar tale that will never become a reality; Russia will always have enough power to protect itself and will find a way to protect itself,” said Pavel proudly.

“Don’t tell me your dead souls are included in your concept of protecting Russia,” I asked.

“That’s exactly what I’ve been explaining to you,” he said, surprised.

“You mean that you, by turning the citizens of your country into corpses, are protecting Russia? But isn’t Russia those very people whose voices you silence, to whom you deny their rights?”

“Well, look, you don’t know Russia. Russia is not civil. There are no men and citizens in Russia. In Russia there is a czar and the czar’s subjects who live in the czar’s vast realm, which is called Russia. Russia is the property of the czar and not of the nations or citizens. He who doesn’t want to live in Russia can go to the states. But no on can take from Russia the land that belongs to the czar.”

“Pavel Ivanovitch, tell me, like a brother, that you’re not serious.”

“I swear I’m serious. I’ll tell you a secret. The entire Russian elite, the Russian and not the Jewish-Masonic elite, thinks this way. We don’t expand on it, but you feel it instinctively.”

“Excuse me, but it seems to me that we’re talking about a medieval feudal lord,” I said, troubled.”

“Don’t be offended, but I’ll tell you that time does not exist in Russia; the Middle Ages, the 20th century, the 21st century—those are all worthless things. Russia is always the same regardless of the century, and this is our ‘Tserjava’ charm, my brother. Russia is beyond time and all predictions about its collapse have failed. Do you know why? Because for those predictions to come true, you need time, and time has no effect on Russia. Russia is above time, time does not exist in Russia.”

Pavel Ivanovitch’s thoughts, his smug expression were making me furious. I was constantly looking for some way to counter argue. Finally, I exploded:

“That’s why you not only control your own citizens, but you help enslave other people and assist murdering martinets,” I said.

“Who do you have in mind?” he asked.

I didn’t want to say Armenia, and mentioned Central Asia, Belarus.

“Just between us, they’re also in Russia. But if you look at them as independent states, well, okay. In those countries our policies are equally simple and understandable. First of all, like I said, freedom and democracy are fatally infectious diseases for Russia and we can’t allow for that infection to spread near our borders. Also, the countries you mentioned got their independence from us, didn’t they? Now we should do everything to make sure that their independence fails, that it becomes a tragedy for them so that they set an example for the others in Russia, who will see that the thing called independence is just a headache. Oh, by the way, the more despots there are in the world, the safer the world will be for Russia. So, this is the whole secret.”

I couldn’t argue with Pavel about this topic because he was talking about Russia’s interests, about Russia’s point of view. I wasn’t the one who would explain Russia’s interests to him. On the other hand, however, I explained my own point of view to him in detail:

“I don’t know how many nations and peoples your policies are destroying, but I have no doubt that it is also destroying Russia,” I said.

Pavel, needless to say, laughed at my opinion. But this conversation served its purpose. We made up. More to the point, I couldn’t actualize my decision to boycott him.

Some time after this conversation, the Russians were fighting for the rights of Abkhazia and South Ossetia to gain independence from Georgia. In reality, the purpose of that war was to make Abkhazia and South Ossetia subjects of the Russian Federation. I thought it was so absurd that the Russians called the Georgian operations in South Ossetia’s capital, Tskhinvali, a humanitarian tragedy. By comparison to what the Russians did in Groznyy, Tskhinvali was a light movie for teenagers.

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