FREEDOM OR DEMOCRACY?
Hayots Ashkhar Daily
Published on July 25, 2008
As it was expected the visit of PACE Chairman Luis Maria de Puichy
to Armenia was followed by numerous lectures on democracy. Of course
we don’t intend to contradict the regular guru of democracy, but
nonetheless, we must introduce our observations regarding this topic.
Should we consider people’s opinion?
For a long time people mix up the notions such as "democracy",
"freedom", "fair social structure" and other similar phenomena. That is
why they forget that democracy can be unjust and non-liberal. Democracy
can even contribute to the consolidation of the authoritarian power.
Moreover, even in the developed countries, especially in the United
States the surplus of democracy leads the society to deadlock.
Let’s take one example: in 1960-ies 88 referendums have been hold in
the USA on the level of the States and 378 – in 1990-ies. California
is the most progressive in such "democratization" process. The
authorities of the state are very sensitive towards the people’s direct
opinion. 85% of the budget goes to funding the programs approved by
the people. As a result the state faces financial crises.
We must take into account the fact that massive consciousness is
very often illogical: people can very easily vote for two quite
contr adicting things – for instance tax-reduction and increase of
Thus, we can draw the following conclusion that can arouse indignation
among some people: when the authorities consider the people’s opinion
they become unable to take strategic decisions, spontaneous problems
Democracy is a pleasure for the well-off
As we know democracy is a social tool, form of establishment of
Why did it appear in the West and why doesn’t it strike roots among
Because in the West it attracted those layers of society that
understood what benefits they could get from democracy: firstly –
aristocrats who wanted to restrict the power of the king, citizens –
dissatisfied of the power of aristocrats, craftsmen and tradesmen who
wanted to have guarantees for private ownership, and finally the poor
layer of society.
But if you want to establish democracy in the society with a very
law level of democracy and not clear social structure, then you must
ask yourselves, "Why are you doing that?" "Who will benefit from
By statistics in the countries, which have less than 3000 dollar’s
individual income, democracy degenerates within 8-15 years and
gradually turns into an authoritarian system.
Freedom More Important Than Democracy
There are certain things, which are not less important if not more
important than democracy. Let’s take Singapore’s example. It is an
absolutely free and meanwhile non-democratic society. In the beginning
of 1960-ies, from the moment of the establishment of independent
Singapore, there have been no elections in this country. The power
belongs to the State Council, which elects a prime minister from
Even so the West doesn’t try to establish democracy in Singapore,
because there is no reason for that. Everything takes place by the
system of a clock in this country.
By the way within 50 years, practically "economic miracles" have taken
place only in the countries that are ruled by authoritarian political
power, such as Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Chilly, China…
For Armenia, at present freedom is more important than democracy. Which
means we must maintain human rights, create wonderful conditions for
business, elaborate perfect legislation, etc.
By becoming well-off people will demand democracy. But at the moment
the majority of our people feel sick by hearing the word "democracy".