The most important question that arises after the elections of the NA and Yerevan City Council is whether people go and elect RPA willingly.
It depends on what we are calling ‘willingly’. People are faced with a choice whether to take the 10.000 drams or not. If one does not take it, will he be shot, will he be arrested? Apparently, not. It’s just that, if he does not take the money, he will not be able to cover the half of his day, or his one day, or let’s say, some of his days. If a person is facing such a problem, then is he really free to choose? Of course. Does denying the 10.000 drams really demand heroic efforts from him? Definitely, no.
Anyways, if a person is threatened with prison or shooting, he is still choosing freely. No one will accuse him if he has chosen life and not being arrested, we will simply register that he too had a choice.
In 1930’s at the Stalin’s and Hitler’s camps, people still continued creating, helping each other out, falling in love: those people were making a choice, a more difficult one than whether to take the 10.000 drams or not. But those people who were shooting the ‘public enemies’ or taking them to gas cells, were also making a choice.
What I mean is that life is always a choice, and in not totalitarian systems that choice is not so dramatic or fatal, but it demands some effort too. I do not agree that the improvement of the social condition of people will be a reason for them to deny the bribes. Why, are only the poor taking the 10.000 or 20.000 drams in 2017? No, I tend to think that the people who are completely full and who do not have serious social issues also took the money. They took it not only because they would die of hunger, but also because they do not see anything bad in it: that is the culture formed during the last 25 years.
I call that ‘the culture of poorness’. With every opportunity, we love to exclaim ‘Oh, poor nation’, ‘poor Armenia’ and so on. The role of the victim supposes a complete lack of responsibility. And the lack of responsibility creates indifference towards the country. And if so, let’s take that small amount of money, anyways, nothing depends on us. This is also a choice, a choice of attitudes and values. And in all other cases, this choice, too, is free.