BY YUSIF ALIYEV
After the unexpected success of the Russian oppositionists, forgotten in the shadow of the geopolitical victories of the Kremlin in Moscow, when Navalny and other traditional leaders of protest brought dissatisfied youth and students across Russia to the streets, protest actions were also recalled in Azerbaijan. Our dilapidated home-grown opposition, which the late Heydar Aliyev branded with a merciless epithet 'naphthalene' back in the late 1990s, for all its history did not pretend to be the locomotive of the post-Soviet revolution. If, under Aliyev the elder, the opposition was 'naphthalene,' what agonistic, or, more accurately, decomposed state did it come to on the 15th year of the rule of Aliyev the younger?
The Azerbaijani opposition in the person of the Gambar-Karimli duumvirate has always been in the backyard of the post-Soviet revolution. They did not set the tone, they imitated. First, the Yeltsin cohort, then the color cause of the revolution of Yushchenko and Saakashvili. Now they began to imitate Navalny.
At the same time, the Azerbaijani opposition for some reason equated two categories - the protest electorate and the social base. Nobody, first of all, the government itself, does not dispute the existence of a protest electorate. And with the deepening of the economic crisis, the protest electorate is expanding. The laws of sociology - the science of society, the laws of its functioning and development - have not been canceled yet. And human life is still built on the traditional confrontation of power and society. Between power and society there cannot be absolute and complete harmony: it was lacking in ancient Rome, in the despotic papal Middle Ages, and in the modern liberal world too. Society is always dissatisfied - and this definition causes progress. Otherwise, the world would have frozen in its history. And the fatal mistake of the Azerbaijani opposition was that it presented the protest electorate and the dissatisfied part of the population as their social base. And not even a passive social base, but an active one!
Both Gambar and Karimli somehow thought that if the society was troubled by problems and it protested because of, say, the crisis of the banking system or economic turmoil, delay in wages and social payments, then this protest should lead to riots, with the help of which they could overthrow the incumbent government and would themselves become a new government. At the same time, the leaders of the opposition excluded the centuries-old formula of the revolution about adventurers who make the revolution and scoundrels who use its fruits. The oppositionists reserved for themselves only the role of scoundrels.
So, Karimli, pretending to the role, somewhat reminding the role of Nemtsov and Navalny in one person, decided to again violate the status quo. The self-confident government as if tempting fate and feeling the expansion of the protest electorate, allowed the opposition to rebel in the center of the capital. The opposition was given an area two steps away from the parliament and the presidential administration.
Yesterday we witnessed a new failure. The issue is not about the small number of the protest action's participants. The rally was attended by a maximum of two thousand people. The problem is different - at the rally there were no new social forces - neither youth, nor students. Familiar faces flashed under the banners of Azerbaijan and the European Union. All the same active and regular social base of the opposition.
True, the new opposition protests, especially after the last Nardaran riot, brought novelty to the traditional political show with Ottoman marches and pathos in the spirit of early Elchibeism - Islamists appeared in the square of the pro-Western opposition. And the Islamists, who are conservative pro-Iranian ones. A new ideological incident - at the rostrum of the revolutionary military council there stand a liberal with the EU flag and a Shiite-clerical with the slogan “Ya Huseyn!” What are the oppositionists calling people to - the construction of an Iranian theocracy or a European democracy? Rather, it is a manifestation of not even an ideological incident or political eclecticism, but an ideological vacuum. Some dissident pun.
The opposition lacks a development program for the country, there is no future government team, there is no conceptual vision of the future. This is evident from yesterday's speeches. Well forgotten past! The rally participants found nothing new - only the screaming slogans, the poetic spirit of the early cheer-patriotic epoch, the familiar and boring Ali Karimli, the antediluvian Gesal Bayramli, the erring Jamil Hasanli with Gultekin Hajiyeva. Moreover, half of the opposition's speeches were devoted to the small number of yesterday action's participants. Although the opposition should be concerned not by the small number, but rather by the dullness, nondescript, fatigue, the exhausted nature of its social base, which emerged on the square.
Finally, the opposition with the lips of the once zealous supporter of Ilham Aliyev - Gultekin Hajiyeva - found an explanation of yesterday's action - they say, the opposition did not allow and does not allow to turn Azerbaijan into Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. First, in Uzbekistan, with the arrival of the new president, liberalization began. And secondly, not the opposition, but the government did not allow itself to turn the country into a despotic medieval principality. After all, the authorities could have denied the opposition the right to protest, right? And this is the Turkmen approach to modern politics. And yesterday's action was coordinated not in spite of, but according to the will of the authorities.
What to boast of in an empty place and in a half empty square?
If earlier in discussions with these oppositionists we had to admit the marginalization and the complete political and social disintegration of this class, calling these subjects of the political system to revisionism and the development of new principles and methods of struggle, then after yesterday's action we have to convince ourselves of one thing - this bunch of exogenous antiglobalists is not capable of new forms of struggle. They are far from the modern world, they do not understand and do not realize the laws of a new world order and a new political philosophy, when all humanity in the post-liberal era after a new revaluation of values has entered a political impasse. Public development has reached its culmination - liberal democracy or social democracy have been unable to meet new challenges. Entire nations and countries are moving away from party politics. New intercontinental political civilizations are being formed. In politics, on the wreckage of communism, capitalism and liberal socialism, the personified factor again dominates...
Opposition is not aware of all these and does not understand. It is far from the reality of today, although it has emigrated to Facebook. But the opposition emigrated more to the network not because Facebook is a means of political communication for it. The opposition created a fictional parallel world detached from the new reality in the network. It feels comfortable in this world. Peace to your ashes, opposition...