Our Analytics 30 december — 19:40

Outgoing year: Zangezur, Aliyev above power and Stadler on Soviet railway tracks (Time to gather stones)

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BY EYNULLA FATULLAYEV

The outgoing year for Azerbaijan in a strange way, but somehow harmoniously merged with the previous year. If for Armenia, which resembles the hero of the famous Salinger novel -- Holden -- with his heightened and inadequate perception of reality, the past year has become the end of history, which prompts continuous philosophical searches over the abyss, then for Azerbaijan the last two years, intertwined in one fate, have become the beginning of a new history.

Ilham Aliyev won a difficult and bloody two-century battle for historical justice. And this notorious justice, achieved at too high a price and incredible efforts, as Mark Yuryevich Urnov accurately put it, is not a phantom, but a real category and even an important element of culture. The second Karabakh war proved that historical justice has no statute of limitations. Moreover, only the triumph of historical justice can help correct severe psychological trauma. The Karabakh victory debunked another entrenched stereotype of the chronic conflict syndrome that emerged following the emergence of the chronic Palestinian intifada.

In the minds of Azerbaijanis, after historical victories, Ilham Aliyev rose above the power

The victory in the war and the return of Karabakh, especially the entry of Azerbaijani troops into Shusha, seemed like a kind of ghostly phantom back in 2020. But the Karabakh war gradually spilled over from a fierce military confrontation into an information and diplomatic channel. Last year, Ilham Aliyev outlined another symbolic element stemming from the eternal Armenian-Turkic confrontation: the Zangezur corridor.

With his new geopolitics, Aliyev also awakened historical memory -- not myths, but rather refracted reflection on the past. And by the rebirth from the ashes of the history of Eastern Zangezur -- after all, the Bolsheviks suffering from childhood illness of leftism and poisoned in the post-Leninist period by nationalist intoxication tried to turn it into a kind of 'Red Kurdistan' -- Aliyev, as it were, casually recalled the annexation of Western Zangezur. With his new geoeconomics, Aliyev returned the lost toponym to the Armenian political vocabulary instead of the fictional prehistoric one from the era of the Roman Empire. Historical justice not only reunited Azerbaijan with Nakhchivan, but also tied the entire Caucasus region to global transport corridors and communications.

The balance of national and state interests of all countries took over the separatist aspirations of redrawing borders. Paradoxically, Aliyev accomplished an unprecedented geopolitical revolution: he restored the status quo of the era of late Sovietism. The entire year has passed under the sign of the restoration of the historical borders between Azerbaijan and Armenia. The region is back to the reality of 1988. Azerbaijani troops stood at the borders of Zangezur, divided by the Bolsheviks! Another great Victory!

Aliyev's geopolitical revolution: Zangezur Corridor

In the era of de-globalisation, the New Middle Ages predicted by Berdyaev, caused by the devaluation of liberal values, the scourge of disease and the global crisis, when humanity returned to the pre-Yalta dominant of the nation-state, Aliyev's concept of 'strong national sovereignty' predetermined the construction of a new architecture of the old scattered Caucasus. Aliyev's concept of 'six equal states' -- 3+3, proclaimed behind the walls of the mother of Azerbaijani cities -- in Shusha, over the whole of Karabakh, fully correlates with the new realities of the post-unipolar divided world -- the world order of regional powers. And in this new world coordinate system, Aliyev managed to turn Azerbaijan into a geopolitical regional overpass connecting Russia with Turkey, Armenia with Turkey, Georgia with Russia, Turkey with Iran, Armenia with Iran... scale and prospects can be compared with the Eurasian doctrine of Nazarbayev.

Aliyev accurately predicted the collapse of 'unipolar polycentricism,' the collapse of the international security system and the emergence of a new confrontational and chaotic order, or rather disorder, in which the system of collective responsibility for security ceased to work. Only the nation-states themselves can ensure their own security. The power of law gave way to the right of strength. And the freedom of the human spirit is no longer above the interests of society and the state. Moreover, this freedom was drowned in blood for the sake of the interests of one state that entered into a civilisational conflict with a part of the planet. And the boundaries of this conflict turned out to be very blurred. The war is expanding not only in Baghdad, Tripoli and Damascus, but also in the streets of London, Frankfurt and New York. The civilisational conflict also developed into a clash between society and the state, which predetermines a complete revision of the social contract that has been established since the birth of Marxism. The pillars, ideologies, values ​​on which the Western society stood and which was implanted all over the world are crumbling...

Aliyev's historic breakthrough: 3+3

15 years ago, Aliyev noticed, realised and rethought the emergence of a new history that threatened the undermined and destroyed global order, under the ruins of which Azerbaijan could remain. The concept of the nation-state of Ilham Aliyev, put forward against the expansion of the neo-velvet revolution to the East, showed its superiority against the background of the complete decomposition and final decline of state institutions in Armenia, Ukraine, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova.

Thanks to this concept, which shaped the internal policy of strengthening the state organism, which in the West is called the 'police regime,' Aliyev managed to create a strong national state that won the war and imposed its own agenda and development program on the region.

Aliyev was far ahead of not only his time, but also his government. The phenomenal successes of the Azerbaijani leader in international and regional politics, as well as in creating a new system of regional security -- Aliyev completely shouldered this mission -- should serve as an example for the members of his new team, to whom the President entrusted domestic, in particular economic policy.

Aliyev is absolutely right in his vision of the internal political situation, that the people and the authorities in Azerbaijan are united. For the people do not imagine power in Azerbaijan without Aliyev. The historic victory over the world Armenianship disarmed the ideological opponents of the President and armed his adherents and supporters. In the minds of Azerbaijanis, Aliyev is no longer even a power, but a certain separate substance that stands above power. Power is somewhere below. At the level of cabinet ministers and officials.

Azerbaijan needed a new technocratic reform government. Personnel reform of the President has led, on the crest of its wave, a galaxy of a new generation to governing the country and regions. This is what the progressive part of society dreamed of. Did the Young Guard cope with the cleansing of the Augean stables inherited from tribocracy and bureaucratic capitalism?

Are there any problems? Yes, the economy! Which looks like Stadler on Soviet railway tracks

First of all, the successes of the security apparatus are striking. The success of the security forces is obvious when the economy is not all right. It is a mission to eradicate the consequences of problems created by another part of the bureaucracy. A vicious circle: one part of the officials creates problems, while the other is fighting to overcome them. Overcoming problems!

We must admit the obvious -- the country's economy needs to accelerate systemic reforms. Agrarian reform is still stalled. Years go by, but denationalisation and privatisation of unprofitable state-owned companies has not moved off the ground. But back in the summer of 2019, Aliyev called for a complete dismantling of economic management! Small and medium-sized businesses still face official bureaucracy and suffocate under a heavy tax and customs burden. Azerbaijan's economy is pregnant with the new Tax Code. The banking system also needs reform... And the main problem of national security has become another systemic challenge -- the crisis of the country's food security. The Azerbaijani economy lacks strength in the fight against monopolism, the improvement of the Azerbaijani market requires more and more competition.

We try to hide the sometimes banal and obvious old problems standing on the surface under fascinating but meaningless rhetoric. Although, everything is very commonplace and simple: fools, roads and embezzlement. As another great Russian, Karamzin, said, there are three well-known misfortunes of medieval Russia...

Technocrats still have not offered Azerbaijani business a new market economic model -- how to develop and coexist with government intervention?

Alas, the Azerbaijani economy resembles the ultra-modern Swiss train Stadler, which was put on Soviet railway tracks in Sumgayit.

The country is slowly moving towards the fourth industrial revolution, which will completely revolutionise our understanding of human life. Maybe the new revolution will end the Middle Ages that invaded our lives?

Our Stadler rushes forward. I take a final look at the outgoing year 2021. Despite the hardships and difficulties, this was the year of a great historical breakthrough...

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