Friday, August 8, 2008

Pashinyan # 45

45. հեղափոխականի մահը

Հավանայի հենց օդանավակայանում ինձ թվաց, թե հայտնվել եմ ԽՍՀՄ 16-րդ հանրապետությունում, որտեղ հեռու լինելու, կղզի լինելու պատճառով մարդիկ չեն լսել «Մայր հայրենիքի» փլուզման մասին եւ ապրում են նախկին իներցիայով: Կարելի էր այլ բան էլ մտածել` սա մի մեծ թանգարան է` ցուցանելու համար, թե ինչպիսին է եղել հին աշխարհը:

The Other side of the world - Nikol Pashinyan

45. Death of a Revolutionary

Right there at the airport in Havana I felt I was in the 16th Republic of the USSR, where, due to its distance and the fact that it was an island, people had not heard about the collapse of the “Mother Country” and continued to live with the same inertia. You could even think of it as a museum to show how the old world had been.

Actually, this empty airport, the empty streets where there are no traffic jams or parking problems, where ridiculous and disgusting advertising billboards don’t crush people—all these may even seem to be calming.

For a moment it was even pleasant that you could see trees and more trees, bushes, and more bushes all along the streets. But in the end, misery surfaces from beneath this seeming calm. A thousand years old “Ksanchors”, “Tchori,” “Ksanmek,” and even “Zap,” and “Pisyaddi,” the worn out examples of ancient models, are what you see in Havana. Well, there are “Mercedeses” and some other models, too, but they are equally worn out, equally old. There are also large advertising canvases. But these don’t advertise consumer goods, only Fidel’s and Raul’s unshakable brotherhood.

Cuba, Fidel’s Cuba, obviously plays on time. That Cuba, that Fidel, which at one time evoked admiration, now appear like nothing but ghosts, sad ghosts. This means that something in the Cuban revolution wasn’t quite right. Generally speaking, it seems that in many of the revolutions that have occurred till now, something was missing because very often the basic principle of the revolutionary is displaced.

The most important issue for a revolutionary, the ultimate goal for the leader of a revolution should be not to ever become that against which the revolution is struggling. Fidel couldn’t solve that problem, Lenin couldn’t solve that problem, and Napoleon couldn’t solve that problem.

But mea culpa, this place doesn’t belong to the list of unsolved problems in the history of humanity because that problem was solved by him who entered the capital victoriously and whose name is Ernesto Che Guevara: the greatest revolutionary in the history of mankind, the greatest, the first, the unsurpassed.

And where is his greatness? In the first place, in a very simple but in terms of applicability, indescribably difficult formulation: to win and to decline the benefits of the conquest. Perhaps Che Guevara understood that power is the death of a revolutionary, that the real revolutionary should never be the power, the real revolutionary should overthrow the authorities but should never establish authority and laws. This is how I understand Che Guevara. Time and the examples of history allow us to say: the real revolutionary should be like the Wrath of God, which comes unexpectedly and leaves unexpectedly.

The real revolutionary should overthrow the authorities, but the real revolutionary should not establish laws and should not have power.

But to whom should power belong in countries that experience revolution? To the citizen, to the community of citizens, which is called the people. Fidel would have been just as great if he had followed the example of Che Guevara, he didn’t have to go after him to Bolivia. It would have been enough for the people of Cuba to have the chance to say, “Excuse us, Fidel, but you’ve been fired from your job.” Now, he is no longer a hero but a common tyrant.

For the real revolutionary, power is death, because the real revolutionary destroys the rotten system, the real revolutionary even takes up arms. But woe is the revolutionary who does so for the sake of personal power. The real revolutionary should liberate the halls of authority, to clean those halls of self-breeding ignoramuses, but the real revolutionary must not stay in the halls of power and should leave only a reminder about him and plaster the fear of his return on the walls of those halls. The real revolutionary should be like the Wrath of God, to all those who believe only in what they see and have contempt for the virtual threats of the Wrath of God.

The real revolutionary should remain vigilant after the victory of the revolution because the victory of the revolution should be crowned by the self-government of the people, when the people is free to shape authority and be rid of the authority that has been shaped for them, when the people, the citizen is free to express his thoughts, is free to express his complaints and satisfactions, when the people is free to work, to create, to express its tendencies. This is power by the people. And when the people are sovereign, the real revolutionary should be ready for new revolutions, lest there be threats to the sovereignty of the people, the freedom of the people. If that is so, the revolutionary should be reborn, to appear as the Wrath of God, as an unexpected tempest, as the flood in Noah’s time, and overthrow the system, cleanse it, wash the halls of power, and equally unexpectedly leave, like a summer storm. And he will appear just as suddenly when the people is burning with a thirst for Justice.

And when he is convinced that the people’s sovereignty is not threatened, that in the foreseeable future it will not be threatened, even from him or from his revolution, at that time he is free to become a regular citizen, with the rights of a regular citizens.

The greatest revolutionaries probably never even thought about this. Only Che Guevara, maybe, but rather than think about it, he had felt it, he had sensed the problem. But they, the well-known revolutionaries of history, through their lives, their commitment and determination, sometimes through fear and sensitivity have given us the opportunity to think about it.

They have given us the opportunity to answer to the call that is heard more and more frequently: Evolution or Revolution? The proponents of evolution themselves don’t understand that there can not be evolution without revolution. To think otherwise is simply naïve. Had there not been revolutions and revolutionaries in the world the human race would not have progressed from the prehistoric era. Why are the British Queen Elizabeth and the other queens and kings so loved by their own peoples? Because the memory of the revolutions against their ancestors is alive in their minds, and which had become the awakening slap in the face of all those who refused, didn’t wish to understand that things can not remain as they were.

Che Guevara’ silhouette looks at me from one of the tall buildings in Havana’s center. Many think that he is alien to the new world, to the free world. But no, I’m convinced: if there had not been Ernesto Che Guevara in this world, there would not have been Nelson Mandela, Vaclav Havel, Lech Walesa.

I now look strangely at the red star. But if I had lived in Cuba in the 1960’s, I would have been his, Che Guevara’s soldier. How I would have liked to answer, ‘Yes,’ and that ‘Yes’ to sound clear and loud, indubitable and final. But ‘Yes’ is just talk that needs, that needs proof, and more proof, which must be merited, must be merited.

(to be continued)

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