After the fall of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, to this day, only a few people have considered the restoration of the Armenian statehood feasible, while most of the public has preferred dreams of peace, social justice, and equality.
On the eve of the establishment of the First Republic in 1918, the May heroic battles were perceived as a struggle for the salvation of the last particles of the genocide-affected people gathered on the last piece of their homeland. At the approaches to Sardarapat, Bash-Aparan, and Karakilisa, only a few people would have thought that the May battles would lead to the emergence of an Armenian Republic.
In 1988, the sinking Russian (Soviet) empire sparked interethnic clashes in the Caucasus, and years later, ironically, the so-called “Third Republic of Armenia” appeared on the political map of the world. But like the First Republic, this state was not born as a result of struggle and cherished aspirations. The Armenians merely followed relevant events, showing indifference towards the most important national issues.
As a result, the people enthusiastically voted in a referendum on September 21, 1991, but did not want to cut their umbilical cord with Russia. The result of the referendum was a state unit that would become even more stuck (comfortably so) in the Russian (imperial) swamp due to the weak idea of statehood in the minds of society and the inability to set the right priorities for state-building.
Today, again, among the public prevails not state-building but the restoration of social justice, overcoming corruption, and ensuring tolerable living conditions. Armenians’ fears remain the same and are associated with the existence of an independent state in their own homeland and with the courage of making decisions in favor of national interests both within the country and abroad.
To live in an outpost or independently – that is the main question whose answer the Armenian society is yet to give. The only thing that is encouraging is the young generation that is determined to independently build its present and future.
Awareness of the idea of independence, the desire to restore statehood, decisiveness, and gradual actions – this is what has been absent for more than 600 years from the collective consciousness of a nation living in its homeland.