Nagorno-Karabakh: Marxist Point of View

Nagorno-Karabakh: Marxist Point of View

Confrontation between the government and the opposition

The active phase of anti-government rallies, which lasted more than two months, has ended in Armenia. The “Armenia” and “I have the Honor” alliances, two opposition parliamentary factions, have been organizing demonstrations since April 25 in response to what they consider the government’s willingness to cede Artsakh to Azerbaijan. The movement arose in response to Pashinyan’s speech on April 13, in which he said that Armenia should “lower the bar” on the status of Artsakh in negotiations on a peace agreement with Azerbaijan.

The opposition organized a demonstration march to Yerevan from four districts of Armenia, recalling how four years ago Nikol Pashinyan, with one backpack on his back, left Gyumri for the capital, where, with the support of hundreds of thousands of fellow citizens, he overthrew the regime of Serzh Sargsyan.

As a result, the protesters regularly gathered tens of thousands of people in Yerevan on France Square, who blocked the central streets and administrative buildings. Such tactics led to violent clashes with the police.

Perhaps the most violent clash occurred on June 3, when protesters marched to the Prime Minister’s office after the ruling party boycotted an emergency parliamentary session convened by the opposition. The opposition planned to push through a parliamentary resolution stating that Pashinyan cannot surrender Artsakh to Azerbaijan or make any other territorial concessions during the planned demarcation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.

Parliament Speaker Alain Simonyan said that the Civil Contract party is boycotting the session, which he called an attempt to strengthen the failed opposition campaign.

Opposition leaders condemned the boycott by the ruling party. Thousands of protesters blocked all entrances to the government building for two hours before heading to Pashinyan’s official residence. They were met by hundreds of riot police officers at the intersection of Proshyan-Demirchyan streets near the building. Police began beating demonstrators with batons and shields and throwing stun grenades into the crowds of protesters.

Eleven people were detained by the police because they “did not obey the legitimate demands of law enforcement officers, used violence against them, and also threw bottles, stones and metal objects at the police,” according to law enforcement agencies.

The Investigative Committee of Armenia has opened criminal cases against 15 people for “organizing mass riots” and “creating a threat to public security.”

During the “velvet revolution” of 2018, the Karabakh issue was pushed into the background, and the main agenda was social. Today, the Karabakh issue has come to the fore again.

However, the opposition failed to gather a critical mass of people on the square. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, among the leaders of the protests were political forces that have long discredited themselves. Secondly, the opposition failed to convey to the population any clear plan of action in the event of the removal of the Pashinyan government from power. This was regarded by most of the country as a zero-sum game.

Given this, the opposition was forced to change tactics. The tent camp from France Square was curtailed, and parliamentary factions decided to boycott the work of the National Assembly.

The paradox lies in the fact that the ruling regime, which has demonstrated its total incompetence in the fight against covid, in the economy, in foreign policy, in military affairs, and has lost the war, still remains in power.

Thus, we have a stalemate situation in which the failed government opposes the failed opposition.

Bankruptcy of capitalism

Political scientist Stepan Danielyan claims that the biggest blow that Nikol can inflict on the opposition is to resign and return power to her so that she comes to the National Assembly with her “agenda”.

“The reality is that the opposition does not have a specific agenda. The opposition is saved by the fact that Nikol is not going to leave. The opposition’s lack of an agenda is not only its problem, but also the problem of all of us, because Armenia has no agenda,” Danielyan writes.

Another political scientist Beniamin Matevosyan suggests the opposition use the experience of the Karabakh movement.

“If at the initial stage the Karabakh Committee focused only on the Artsakh issue,” writes B. Matevosyan, “on the problem of Karabakh’s annexation to Armenia, then over time the political tribune and speakers began to offer society a model of complete transformation of the political, democratic, economic, and social systems of Soviet Armenia. The sphere of political interests of the “Karabakh Committee” began to extend far beyond the borders of Karabakh. The movement also turned into a network organization, replacing the existing institutions of state power and district communist committees throughout the country. At the current stage, the unfolding political movement must also go through this transformation. Many of the problems that people took to the streets in 2018 have not been solved but have become more obvious…”.

But was the work of the political institutions formed by the “Karabakh Committee” effective? We can definitely answer this question in the negative, given that one reactionary regime after another is being generated in Armenia. Even more striking evidence of this fact is the Armed Forces of Armenia, which for a long time was considered the most established state institution. Having emerged victorious in the first Karabakh war, the Armenian army eventually turned into a kind of Iraqi army.

This is not about the depravity of the Karabakh movement, but about its nature and content. This Movement was a vehicle for the restoration of capitalist relations. During the restoration of capitalism, we could not find ourselves anywhere else but on the periphery of the international division of labor. This is evidenced by the experience of all other former Soviet republics.

The inefficiency of the political system, chronic poverty and technological backwardness of the periphery countries is due to the fact that they specialize in several export-oriented labor-intensive industries with low added value (mining, agriculture, processing industries of low degree of redistribution). At the same time, industries with high added value are located mainly in the countries of the center.

In the conditions of world capitalism, there is a global exploitation that turns individual countries into technological locomotives, the fuel for which is part of the surplus product created on the periphery. The redistribution of the surplus value of the periphery in favor of the center occurs through the underestimation of the level of wages in the periphery, price control by the center countries and the consolidation of high-tech technologies for them through the patent system, as well as the losses of individual periphery countries due to the devaluation of national currencies, net capital outflow and interest payments on foreign debt.

The countries embedded in the world capitalist system are connected by strong threads that do not allow a participant in the world economy to easily escape from the embrace of this system. Relations under global exploitation play a similar role in social development as the subordination of labor to capital in relations between social classes.

We see firsthand the confusion and theoretical bankruptcy of the strategists of capital, which expresses the bankruptcy of the Armenian peripheral capitalism itself. This is reflected in social psychology.

Commenting on the sharp increase in the number of suicides in Armenia, psychologist Karine Nalchajyan notes:

“There are many reasons why people decide to take their own lives, but if you try to express them in one word, it’s hopelessness. A person is overcome by a feeling of hopelessness, it’s like a wall where there is no way out. Turning to our reality, we cannot ignore the many factors that can nurture this very feeling of hopelessness in a person. More than 5 thousand war dead, disabled people, refugees, a difficult social situation, the present and the future with many unknowns.”

At the same time, she correctly emphasizes that “a struggling person does not get stuck in despair, does not give up.”

The Marxist method is the key to the solution

However, for such a struggle to succeed, it is necessary to have a detailed, scientific understanding of other fundamental issues. No society has ever developed in isolation from the rest of the world. On the contrary, all human societies have historically developed under mutual influence.

Whether it’s a scientific discovery or some kind of social development, everything has an international impact. Similarly, all social phenomena, including wars, imperialist plunder, and revolutions, have deep historical causes. To understand the reasons for our current state, we must have knowledge of the general historical laws that determine the historical evolution of society.

In fact, the historical process does not depend on the goals and objectives of individuals but is based on historical necessity and the interaction of cause and effect. The society in which we live is the result of a long process of historical evolution. In order to understand its current contradictions and build a perspective for the future, it is necessary to scientifically study the various stages of its development, comprehending the general laws of historical development. Only on this basis can our actions lead to the desired results.

That is why the scientific analysis of society is not an intellectual exercise. Rather, it is directly related to the practical struggle against national and social oppression. The national liberation struggle is dominated by a tendency that considers theoretical and ideological debates unimportant and argues that all attention should be focused on immediate practical actions. This trend has created a general atmosphere of contempt for ideas and theory. Similarly, following this logic, the youth of oppressed nations are deprived of the opportunity to learn significant lessons from the liberation struggle of other oppressed nations. In this atmosphere, history is studied through a metaphysical and isolationist lens. Much attention is paid to several so-called golden epochs. This point of view contributes to the formation of national narcissism among the people. This is also inherent in Armenians, given the history of Armenia in recent centuries.

It is true that the history of ancient peoples contains periods when there was some relative general prosperity, but this view of history does not give us a scientific understanding of the historical evolution of these societies. In addition to knowing these “golden epochs”, we must have a complete understanding of the historical stages through which a particular society has passed. Similarly, without a concrete understanding of the various modes of production through which a given society has passed, it is impossible to objectively comprehend its evolution.

We live under capitalism, and we have to decide whether national liberation is possible today under the influence of this system or we have to overthrow it in order to achieve our liberation. If we believe that our national liberation can still be achieved under capitalism, then we must prove that capitalism still has progressive potential.

However, this system is in decline all over the world, and the masses of even developed countries are protesting against it. We don’t see any reason why we should have any hope for that. But at the same time, it is necessary to identify the only socio-economic system capable of replacing the dying capitalism in the historical arena. These are not such extensive issues that they can be postponed until the advanced stage of the liberation struggle. Rather, the practical struggle should begin with a detailed, correct, and scientific understanding of all these problems.

Armenians show interest in their history (although the knowledge of the history of most of them leaves much to be desired). This interest is important, and it should be strengthened so that the historical distortions made by the ruling class can be countered. However, the general opinion that dominates the study of history reduces it to an absurd collection of the deeds and adventures of individual leaders or rulers, kings, conquerors, and generals.

Hence the constant search for the “savior of the nation”, appeals to the spirits of long-deceased historical figures (Garegin Nzhdeh, Vazgen Sargsyan, Monte Melkonyan). This version of history tells us nothing about the struggles and sacrifices of millions of ordinary men and women on whom the evolution of society actually depends.

No human society is built on the efforts of just a few individuals. Let’s take the example of any big war. Usually the victory is attributed to the genius of several leading personalities. Thousands of ordinary soldiers who died on the battlefield are simply forgotten.

Although it is true that leadership plays an important role in achieving victory in any war, revolution, or liberation struggle, attributing success entirely to leadership and completely ignoring the role of the masses is a very unscientific and one-sided approach. This is precisely the point of view of the ruling elite, which does not want the masses to organize and lead a revolutionary struggle.

This view of history promotes individualism and personality cults, which are extremely harmful to mass movements and the struggle for national liberation. A struggle that is not organized on the basis of the most advanced scientific ideas of this period is doomed to failure, no matter how strong and bold it is. At the same time, the ideological mistakes of such a struggle give the ruling class a chance to win and crush it.

So, the correctness of any strategy depends on the ideology and philosophy from which it is formed. That is why a correct and scientific ideology is so important for the success of any mass struggle. But in order to achieve this, it is necessary to make a patient and correct analysis of local and international conditions and build the struggle on a solid foundation.

We cannot afford to ignore the scientific study and the historical evolution of the socio-economic system under which we are economically and politically dependent. It is impossible to ignore the political, social, and economic changes taking place on an international scale, which have a direct impact on our society. Similarly, it is necessary to critically analyze the history of our national liberation struggle, the experience of the national liberation struggle of other nations, and discard ideas and strategies that have failed again and again in practice.

After a critical analysis of all political ideologies, we must adopt the most advanced ideas of our era. In our opinion, the most advanced ideas of our time are found in the works of Marxist thinkers. Like any other science, Marxism welcomes scientific criticism and believes in advancing the struggle through democratic discussion of ideas and theory.

For Marxists, the national question is one of the most difficult we face. There is no simple, magic formula for all times and all places. Rather, it is necessary to study each national issue in its historical evolution. Marxists must carefully distinguish between what is progressive and what is reactionary in any national movement, just as a surgeon carefully distinguishes between healthy and diseased tissue. First of all, we take as a starting point the need to unite the working class on a global scale to overthrow international capital.

Fortunately, there is a rich body of literature on this subject to help us, from the writings of Marx and Engels on Ireland, Poland, and India to Lenin’s extensive works on the national question, from Shahumyan’s works on the Caucasus to James Connolly on the Irish question, etc. [1]. For today’s revolutionaries, this treasure trove of literature is an indispensable arsenal in the struggle for the overthrow of capitalism.

The national question today

Although most people think of the nation-state as something natural and, therefore, rooted in the distant past, if not in the blood and soul of men and women, in fact it is a relatively modern creation, which, strictly speaking, has existed only for the last 200 years. The only exceptions to this rule would be Holland, where the bourgeois revolution in the XVI century took the form of a national liberation war against Spain, and England because of its unique position as an island kingdom, where capitalist development occurred earlier than in the rest of Europe (from the end of the XIV century onwards).

In the United States, this happened on the basis of the revolutionary national liberation war in the XVIII century and was consolidated by the bloody civil war in the 1860s. In Italy, this was also achieved through the War of National Independence. The unification of Germany — a progressive task of that time — was carried out by Junker Bismarck in a reactionary way, on the basis of war and the policy of “iron and blood”. But the creation of most modern nation-states begins with the French Revolution.

Prior to this period, there were no nations and nation-states, but only tribes, city-states, and empires. From a scientific point of view, it is incorrect to call the latter “nations”, as is often done. A pernicious feature of nationalist writers is an attempt to create the impression that a “nation” (especially their particular nation) has always existed. In fact, the nation-state is a historically formed entity. It has not always existed and will not always exist in the future.

In fact, the nation-state is a product of capitalism. It was created by the bourgeoisie, which needed a national market, which destroyed local restrictions within small local areas with their local taxes, toll roads, separate monetary systems, separate measures of length and weight.

The overthrow of this local particularism was a giant step forward at that time. The unification of the productive forces into one national state was a colossally progressive historical task of the bourgeoisie. The foundation of this revolution was laid in the late Middle Ages, during the decline of feudalism and the rise of the bourgeoisie and cities, which gradually defended their rights.

The national question, from a historical point of view, thus belongs to the period of bourgeois-democratic revolutions. Strictly speaking, the national question is not part of the socialist program since it had to be solved by the bourgeoisie in its struggle against feudalism. It was the bourgeoisie that created the nation-state in the first place. And this at one time was an extremely revolutionary and progressive development, which was not achieved peacefully and without a struggle.

But in the current era, the situation has changed. The means of production have long outgrown the narrow borders of the nation-state. The latter has now become reactionary fetters in the development of productive forces. This is indirectly recognized by the bourgeois themselves.

In general, the next historical step, after the overthrow of capitalism, will be the abolition of all borders. This is not our whim, but the objective course of things. And yet the position of the Marxists, developed, in particular, by Lenin and the Bolsheviks, was to defend the democratic right of nations to self-determination up to secession. This may represent an obvious contradiction. Don’t we want to get rid of all borders? Why then defend the right to create new ones?

Without a correct assessment of the national question, the Bolsheviks would never have succeeded in coming to power in 1917. Only by putting itself at the head of all the oppressed strata of society could the proletariat unite under the banner of socialism the mass forces necessary to overthrow the rule of the oppressors. Failure to appreciate the problems and aspirations of the oppressed nationalities of the tsarist Empire would seriously undermine the revolutionary struggle of the proletariat.

However, defending the right of nations to determine their own destiny is clearly not the same as always advocating independence and separation. You can draw an analogy with divorce. Of course, we protect the right of any of the parties to a marriage to divorce. Does this mean that we need to argue that every marriage ends in divorce? Of course not! The question of whether Marxists advocate self-determination in one case, or another is always a concrete question. Their criterion has always been: how does it serve the interests of the working class?

But then what should be the position of the Marxists on the Karabakh issue?

Self-determination of Nagorno-Karabakh

In personal conversations with us on this issue, the Azerbaijani communists took an opportunistic position, capitulating to Azerbaijani nationalism. They fear that if they support the right of Armenians to self-determination, they will be considered traitors in their homeland, and they will not be able to enlist the broad support of the masses.

However, if they supported the democratic rights not only of Armenians, but also of the Caucasian-Iranian-speaking peoples of Azerbaijan (Lezgins, Avars, Talysh, Tats, etc.), whose cultural rights are grossly violated, they would be able to enlist the support of the workers of the entire region. For comparison: the clear determination of the Albanian and Serbian delegates of the People’s Liberation Committee of Kosovo and Dukagjin to support the right of the people of Kosovo to self-determination at the Bujan Conference in 1943, as well as the disinterested assistance of Yugoslav partisans to Albanian comrades during the war helped to weaken the prejudices of Albanians in Kosovo towards Serbian communists.

The ideas of patriotism and nationalism are consciously promoted by the ruling class with all the means at its disposal to divide the workers and strengthen the national cliques of capitalists. Communists should have nothing to do with this nationalist poison.

Faced with merciless nationalist and patriotic bourgeois propaganda, we must firmly stand on a principled internationalist program that ruthlessly exposes the empty lies of patriotism and nationalism. If we capitulate to this propaganda by even an inch or try to somehow combine socialism with bourgeois patriotism, we will find that instead of turning nationalists into socialists, we will turn socialists into narrow nationalists.

After all, shouldn’t the revolutionary party be the memory of the working class? As Communists, we need to know our history in order to learn from it. In 1920, the Chairman of the Revkom of Azerbaijan, Nariman Narimanov, took an uncompromising position on the Karabakh issue, pandering to Muslim nationalism, of which G. V. Chicherin accused him.

In a letter to Lenin dated June 19, 1920, Chicherin wrote that “Nariman’s policy of pandering to Muslim tendencies … leads to the strengthening of Dashnaks, to bloody conflicts, to the aggravation of crises” [2].

Meanwhile, prominent Bolsheviks working in the Caucasus — G. K. Ordzhonikidze, S. M. Kirov and others — stood for the ethnographic solution of this issue. On June 26, 1921, G. Ordzhonikidze and S. Kirov telegraphed N. Narimanov:

“If you are interested in our opinion, it is the following: in the interests of the final resolution of all tensions and the establishment of truly friendly relations, when resolving the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh, it is necessary to be guided by the following principle: no Armenian village should be annexed to Azerbaijan, just as no Muslim village can be annexed to Armenia.”[3]

However, in the end, Narimanov’s position prevailed in the Caucasian Bureau of the RCP(b). Nevertheless, the decision of the bureau of July 5, 1921 on the transfer of Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan even as an autonomous region did not solve this problem. This was due to the lack of democracy, deformations in development and nationalism of the Azerbaijani Soviet bureaucracy.

Probably fearing that in the future the decision of the bureau would be revised in favor of Armenia (especially since the Karabakh issue was initially resolved in favor of the latter), the Azerbaijani leadership, instead of promoting the full integration of Karabakh Armenians into Azerbaijani society, as happened with Armenians in other regions of Azerbaijan, sought to squeeze the local Armenian population out of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region.

During a meeting with representatives of the Azerbaijani media on July 22, 2002, the then President of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev, publicly admitted this:

“… I am talking about the period when I was the first secretary, I helped a lot in the development of Nagorno-Karabakh at that time. At the same time, I tried to change the demographics there. Nagorno-Karabakh has raised the issue of opening an institute, a university there. There were a lot of objections. I thought about it and decided to open it. But with the condition that there are three sectors – Azerbaijani, Russian, and Armenian. Opened. We did not send Azerbaijanis from the adjacent regions to Baku, but there. They opened a large shoe factory there. There was no labor force in Stepanakert itself. Azerbaijanis were sent there from places surrounding the region. With these and other measures, I tried to have more Azerbaijanis in Nagorno-Karabakh, and the number of Armenians decreased.”

This policy has led to a significant reduction in the share of Armenians in the total population of Nagorno-Karabakh. Thus, in 1926-1979, the number of Armenians increased by only 10.2%, while the number of Azerbaijanis, at quite comparable rates of natural growth, increased almost 3 times. And if in 1926 the share of Armenians in Nagorno—Karabakh was 89.2% (according to other sources – 94%) of the total population, then according to the 1979 census only 75.9%.

Demographic changes in general reflected the situation in the socio-economic and cultural spheres, which is a continuation of the policy of the Azerbaijani authorities to infringe on the interests of the Armenian population, “survival” of Armenians from the region.

In the 1950s, the NKAR had ten times less capital investments per capita than the average for Azerbaijan[4]. When Heydar Aliyev came to power in the Azerbaijan SSR in 1969, the socio-economic policy took a slightly different form, under him the intensified development of Azerbaijani settlements began to be encouraged, which led to the aforementioned demographic shift[5]. But even at the same time, investments per capita in the NKAR were inferior to the average indicators for Azerbaijan in 1981-1985 by more than two, and since 1986 by 2.7 times [6].

Moreover, according to the recognition of the supreme union governing bodies, the presence of Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan led to a significant socio-economic lag of the region from the general level of development of the republic [7].

Thus, Armenians in the NKAR became increasingly alienated and open to nationalist ideas promoted by underground bourgeois organizations.

The recent war in Nagorno-Karabakh shows us that frozen conflicts leave room for a new outbreak of war, and the war in Donbass demonstrates that territories with disputed status can easily lead to a larger imperialist conflict.

Many who adhere to the slogan “Karabakh is Azerbaijan” do not know that in the latter case it is a call for war and ethnic cleansing, which will cost the lives of a large number of Azerbaijanis and Armenians.

There is no other way to restore Azerbaijani control over the population that is completely opposed to this. In all the wars on the territory of the former USSR, criminals, politicians, and capitalists won the most, while the workers who served as “cannon fodder” bore the brunt of the restoration of capitalism. Many war veterans became disabled and were abandoned by the newly created States as soon as they fulfilled their military duty.

The same thing happened after 2020. In any new nationalist war, the situation will not change. In addition, combat units and weapons purchased by the Azerbaijani state will be used against Azerbaijani workers at a time when they are more seriously organized in the struggle for their social and political rights. During the twentieth century, the Azerbaijani state had the opportunity to show that it was capable of developing Karabakh and gaining the trust of the majority of the Armenian population.

Instead, it acted in a discriminatory and chauvinistic manner. And even today, only threats and racist demagoguery are pouring out of Aliyev’s mouth. After such a historical experience, it is quite clear that the Armenian people will no longer want to live under the rule of the Azerbaijani state.

Therefore, the resumption of the revolutionary union of the Armenian and Azerbaijani peoples in Transcaucasia today should begin with the fact that the Communists will unequivocally support the historical aspirations of the Karabakh Armenians to live in their own state.

Transcaucasian Communists’ support for the right of Armenians to self-determination does not imply support for the puppet capitalist regime in Stepanakert, nor does it imply support for the presence of imperialist forces (whether Russian, Turkish, or otherwise) in Nagorno-Karabakh. On the contrary, supporting this right, we call on the workers of Artsakh to join the common struggle for the expulsion of all imperialist forces and their servants from the entire South Caucasus region.

Our call for a joint struggle does not contain hidden “ifs” or “buts”. We do not impose any special conditions that we want the Karabakh Armenians to fulfill in order to “earn” our support. Our support for Artsakh’s right to self-determination remains regardless of who currently governs it. We reject the approach that requires an oppressed nation to “prove” to the oppressors that it is “worthy” of the right to self-determination! This approach is a reflection of the national arrogance of the dominant nations and an obstacle to the unity of workers.

We also disagree with those leftists who classify the problem of the national oppression of Karabakh Armenians as abstractions and believe that the solution to this problem should wait for class liberation. Today, the Armenian masses are indeed exploited by Armenian capitalists and multinational companies, but they are not directly threatened with harassment and persecution by the Azerbaijani army or paramilitary groups, while prisoners of war and civilians are still in the dungeons of Azerbaijan after the end of the war and are subjected to cruel torture.

The security of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, at least provided by the Russian peacekeeping contingent, is a great relief for the daily life of the local population and a prerequisite for the further development of the organization on a class basis.

At the same time, it is our duty to openly declare to the progressive youth and workers in Artsakh that our support for the right to self—determination does not mean that we have illusions that national independence will solve many economic and political problems facing the entire population of Artsakh today. As long as the Transcaucasian countries are under the rule of their bourgeoisie, all historical problems will persistently come back again and again, regardless of how the borders are drawn. The formal independence of Artsakh does not entail automatic national sovereignty or economic progress.

Despite all the shortcomings of the Soviet Union and the fact that the national problems of the Armenians of the NKAR were ignored, nevertheless, its experience shows that comprehensive economic, social, and cultural prosperity is possible only within the framework of a working state and a planned economy.

Therefore, in order to achieve true self-determination and independence, the progressive movement in Armenia and Artsakh will have to break political alliances with Armenian nationalist and bourgeois political movements. The struggle for the national liberation of these privileged strata and the masses of the people is a contradictory aspiration.

The national independence of small nations in the imperialist world order is a mirage, because the local comprador bourgeoisie is firmly tied to global imperialist capital. They are all looking for defenders in the imperialist forces. In exchange for foreign sponsorship, they offer cooperation in exploiting their own people and oppressing other small States, especially neighboring ones.

Finally, we may be asked: what is the difference between the position of the Armenian Marxists and the Armenian bourgeoisie, if both are in favor of the self-determination of Nagorno-Karabakh?

As the outstanding Soviet philosopher M. A. Lifshits wrote:

“No matter how opposite the points of view are, there is an objective content of human thought. Therefore, coincidences are possible. But when two people say the same thing, they are not saying the same thing, but quite different” [8].

Our position can be identified with the bourgeois one only if we consider it from the point of view of formal logic. But dialectics teaches that at a certain moment things turn into their opposite. Unlike bourgeois-nationalist parties, we recognize the right to self-determination of Artsakh not to erect national barriers, but quite the opposite.

The logic of economic and social development dictates that the revolutionary socialist system can flourish only by overcoming national borders and creating a federation of workers’ states. For such a federation to be successful, it is necessary that all nations join it completely voluntarily and be completely equal. That is why we stand for the recognition of Artsakh’s right to self-determination as a prerequisite for the Transcaucasian socialist revolution and the unification of all Transcaucasian workers into the Transcaucasian Socialist Federation.

Author: Edgar Kostanyan


  1. Касательно марксизма и армянского вопроса автор отсылает читателей к своей обзорной статье «Освещение “армянского вопроса” в марксистской литературе» ( в переводе на арм. яз.: «Հայկական հարցի լուսաբանումը մարքսիստական գրականությունում»).
  2. РГАСПИ , ф. 2, оп. 1, д. 14516, м. 2, 2 об.; Казанджян Р. В. К предыстории самоопределения Нагорного Карабаха. М., 1997. С. 28, прил. 1.
  3. РГАСПИ, ф. 85, оп. 18, д. 229, л. 1—2.; К освещению проблем истории и культуры Кавказской Албании и восточных провинций Армении. Т.1. Ер., 1991. С. 57.
  4. Народное хозяйство Азербайджанской ССР : К 70-летию Великого Октября. Баку. 1987. С. 11; Нагорный Карабах. Историческая справка. Ер. 1988. С. 49.
  5. .: Пономарев В. А. Социальные и демографические проблемы развития армянского социума Нагорного Карабаха в Советском Азербайджане // Известия Томского политехнического университета. 2010. Т. 316. № 6. С. 211.
  6. Народное хозяйство Азербайджанской ССР…С. 3, 11, 270, 279; Нагорный Карабах. Историческая справка. С. 50.
  7. . «ГазИзвестия», М., 1988, 25 марта — ответы первого заместителя Председателя Бюро Совета Министров СССР по социальному развитию В. П. Лахтина на вопросы корреспондента газеты.
  8. Лифшиц М. А. Сейчас вам кажется, что истины нет… // Свободная мысль. 1992. № 6. с. 106-107.