It is difficult to summarize this discussion paper without retelling the story, but I’ll try to do that. The paper is an interesting read, even if you don’t have a drop of Armenian blood. It is very ambitious, which makes it thrilling. From the very preface, the authors up the ante of your expectations. Let us create a model, a concept of the future for a whole nation, country, world, they suggest. And they lead the reader – very conclusively – through this nation’s history showing both its difficulties and unique features. Then they bring you to the modelling itself when you are ready to understand and accept both their logics and motives.
The paper is indeed very modern. Like in the real world, the “Armenian World” in the paper is alive and is not at all archaic – it is, like you are, here and now, and not just on the pages of history. The authors know how to deal with today’s realities and trends: from the high-tech trends to talentism and many others. You will be delighted to read your own thoughts in the paper: the future is people and everything related to them. It’s not oil, or resources, or even technologies.
The paper is indeed honest. The authors feel proud about, and value, their people, their country and ethnos; yet, they are not afraid to write about the difficult pages in its history, as well as about difficult external circumstances. This is how the paper wins the reader. It is, in a good sense, very pragmatic, which sets it apart from others. You are not urged to rely on the state, or even the society or Diaspora (which is often the focus of discussion). All of these parties are positioned as unique actors having their own goal and function, with no full-scale change being possible without each of them. They all have much to do – all of them acting together.
The paper offers a global perspective. We observe the Armenian World, it’s the Armenian World’s book and a book about the Armenian World; however, being an integral part of a bigger World, this World is ready to contribute a lot to the latter. Maybe that’s why the paper thrills, even if you are not an Armenian. The paper is visionary. It’s more than a set of historical facts and theories. It is a large-scale contemporary model – the authors invite you to put together a huge spaceship (for the first time in history!) and launch it into space. They are not afraid to speak globally – the states are important actors for them, but they are not the only ones, because it is clear that the Armenian World is, of course, a major archetype. As an intelligent thinker, you’ll find lots of things to indulge your brain with while reading.
The paper and its authors help us understand the nation’s unique qualities rooted in centuries before, but it’s not a historical documentary. A few chapters after they have convinced you of this uniqueness, the authors remind you of it and offer building the new world generally on this basis – and you understand why. Network structure, a mediator nation, a hub country, special learning capabilities – and you feel all of this is true.
And, perhaps, the most important thing: the task the authors are trying to solve is conceptual and serious, but it is still a live task and a roadmap, to a certain extent. You believe that you can do it the way they describe, that by adopting this logic and this plan you can really make happen the changes the authors are talking about and answer the questions they ask at the very beginning. It is a very important feeling in our world where there are so many words, but not always room for action, especially such a thrillingly major one.