Monday, March 14, 2011

Week 7-13 March: A question of time

An old dictum suggests that something works when the right person is in the right place at the right time.
It seems to be time again for revolutions (color/flower/colorless/flowerless), the place is the Arab Muslim world, and the persons, peoples. Or some of them. Perhaps, few of them, compared to the total population. But still, this new wave of anti-authoritarianism gave hope to some activists and observers that time has come to change what they feel needs to be changed in Azerbaijan as well.

It sounds very unlikely that a (color) revolution will take place in Azerbaijan. Albeit the Umma vibrates with some of the notes coming from North Africa, none of the Turkish Muslim countries seems deeply affected by what’s going on, apart from human sympathy. Azerbaijan in particular is already where the crowd prevented Egypt from going: in Azerbaijan the Republic has already been transformed into a kind of electoral monarchy. Not the right time, probably, for a rebellious contamination. Had this all happened in 2002, with a sick Heydar Aliev and a not yet popular Ilham waiting for succession, there would have been room for spreading the infection. Time expired for that.

The first victim of revolutions, coups, uprising is always rule of law. This makes all these phenomena, whenever, wherever, whoever, at least the very second best. Not to mention the human dramas they all imply. Every case is specific, and generalizations are really out of place. Still, rule of law is so difficult to be established, so important, that it is definitely one of the main pillar for any society to function properly. Once – or regularly – broken, societies become very unstable. A successful turn down of regime through the square may lead to the mis-perception that the square is indeed a proper place for political confrontation. And used again and again. Kyrgyzstan is trying to avoid this process. In Georgia, on the contrary, radical opposition is claiming revolution to be unavoidable.

Are the Azerbaijan government or the Georgian one really threatened by the young activists of the Great People’s day or by Nino Burjanadze and Levan Gachechiladze?
No. They are not.

Still, there’s something going on. Guys somewhere get shot, arms are spreading.
The international crisis hasn’t eased its grip, economic distribution is not working.
Powers crystallised, the ruling classes are turning into a reservoir, unable to react properly and to perform efficiently their mandates. Internal struggles mine their stability (in the end, where does Nino Burjanadze come from?)

So the light of the full moon that could shine in the darkness of the east (and not just South Caucasus) may not be the smiling faces of pro-democracy supporters holding roses in their hands, but “the third eye of Shiva the destroyer”.

It’ high time to be cautious, and still fast and reasonable.

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