Saturday, January 13, 2007

Acts of Civil Obedience – Putting an end to Corruption in Armenian

The Armenian and Artsakh governments are infested with corrupt officials that the majority of the active Armenian nation at one time or another has fed these people, making it profitable to remain in power.

By people paying bribes to ascertain services or buy their way out of trouble, or in the case of the Diaspora, blindly supporting benevolent projects in Armenia without demanding accountability, have made it profitable for those in power to fight for the seat they occupy.

Instead of a revolution to overthrow the Armenian and Artsakh governments and replacing them with persons who we can’t guarantee will not be worse than those presently running the country, it would be more effective to start a civil obedience campaign to stop feeding into corruption.

If the Armenian population and Diaspora stopped cold turkey paying bribes or blindly supporting benevolent projects, the majority of those who live from the income of bribes or misappropriation of funds intended for benevolent projects would have to resign their posts and/or implement a viable system so their salaries could be increased to a living wage and not require supplementation.

Of course this is not a fix-all to our problems. In the beginning it will be very difficult for the natives who are use to buying their rights and would initially be denied their needs by not paying bribes, but eventually if everyone bought into being obedient and not paying for their rights, things would level out and the real civil servants would occupy government posts and serve the people.

I am also in favor of not punishing those who take bribes, but to punish those who give bribes. Once the common citizen sees that it is not profitable paying bribes and in fact is a criminal offence, it should become common place not paying under the table and following the law. And of course I’m most in favor of punishing those that clearly are trying to buy their way out of a criminal offence they have committed, like drunk driving, violent crimes or defrauding the government.

The question for me now remains on how to implement a civil obedience movement in Armenia? It should also be asked why the “opposition” does not implement such a movement now, since theoretically it does not take financial means to make it happen, nor do they have to be the government in power. In fact there is no reason why the Diaspora can’t be involved in implementing such a movement. How about we print and distribute a one page flyer to the entire population?

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