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Noi Zhordania

Noi Zhordania

Noi Zhordania, the son of a small landowner, was born in Guria in 1870. He attended the Tiflis Seminary and the Warsaw Veterinary Institute.

Converted to Marxism Zhordania he established the Mesame Dasi group in Georgia. Threatened with arrest he left the country and became editor if the radical journal, Kvali that supported the Social Democratic Labour Party.

At the Second Congress of the Social Democratic Labour Party in London in 1903, there was a dispute between Vladimir Lenin and Julius Martov, two of the party's main leaders. Lenin argued for a small party of professional revolutionaries with alarge fringe of non-party sympathisers and supporters. Martov disagreed believing it was better to have a large party of activists. Martov won the vote 28-23 but Lenin was unwilling to accept the result and formed a faction known as the Bolsheviks. Those who remained loyal to Martov became known as Mensheviks.

Zhordania joined George Plekhanov, Pavel Axelrod, Leon Trotsky, Lev Deich, Vladimir Antonov-Ovseenko, Irakli Tsereteli, Moisei Uritsky and Fedor Dan and supported Julius Martov.

On his return to Russia he published the Sotsial Demokratia in Georgia. In this role he successfully persuaded the Social Democratic Labour Party in Georgia to support the Mensheviks.

In 1914 Zhordania worked with Leon Trotsky on the journal Borba (The Struggle). After the February Revolution he was elected chairman of the Tiflis Soviet. In June, 1918 he became head of the new Georgian government. However, he was forced out of power by the invasion of Georgia by the Red Army in February, 1921.

Zhordania went to live in exile in Paris. Noi Zhordania died in France in 1953.


Abkhazia, Georgia and the Caucasus Confederation, by Stanislav Lakoba

The post-Soviet period, reminiscent of and in many cases seeming to repeat, the events of 1917-1921 after the break-up of the Russian Empire, has demonstrated quite clearly that the difficulties in Abkhazian-Georgian relations cannot be resolved by those two countries alone, without involving the Caucasus as a whole in this issue.

At the same time it is obvious today that the entire Caucasus has become the arena for a struggle for energy resources and fierce clashes between the geopolitical and strategic interests of Turkey and Russia, Iran and the West. The marked weakening of Russia's position in this key region was a result of the war in Chechnya and of the continuing complete blockade of Abkhazia. The battle for the pipeline, or rather for the route for transporting Caspian oil, cannot fail to influence political developments and automatically puts the people of the Caucasus on the knife edge between war and peace.

In this state of imbalance, neighbouring countries and powers are trying to create their own areas of responsibility, new alliances and regional as well as international associations under the aegis of the United Nations, the OSCE and NATO. Over the centuries the entire Caucasus, or portions of it, has been alternately or simultaneously part of Iran, Turkey or Russia, which still regard these territories as traditionally theirs. Thus Turkey sees a substantial part of the Caucasus as part of an extensive Turkic state, Turan. Iran in turn sees the future of some Caucasian countries in an alliance including Iran itself and certain Central Asian republics. Russia, though still laying claim to Transcaucasia ("Transcaucasia" is a peculiarly Russian term, resulting from its wars with Iran and Turkey), mostly because of oil, is now forced to keep an eye on the North Caucasus, realising late in the day what is happening on its southern flank.

Early pacification of the explosive Caucasus region is most unlikely, given this distribution of forces in obvious conflict. As regards the prospect of future state and legal relations between Abkhazia and Georgia, the way forward seems to be within the framework of a Caucasus Confederation.

Not long before the break-up of the USSR the eminent Sovietologist A. Avtorkhanov gave the following warning and advice:

Caucasians must understand that if they fight among themselves they will never be either free or independent. In the eyes of the outside world such a region does not deserve freedom, but should be permanently occupied by a strong state and its armed forces. I would recommend all autonomous regions in the Caucasus to combine in one republic, which already existed under the name of "Gorskaya Respublika" (Mountain Peoples' Republic). In spite of our multilingual nature, but in view of our common historical, social, cultural and geopolitical heritage, the outside world gave us one general national name - the Russians called us the "Caucasus gortsy" (mountain people)" and in the West we were known as "Circassians". We have never known racial discrimination or religious friction.[1]

The idea of a Caucasus Confederation had its origins in the spring of 1917 and was developed further in 1918. Caucasian unity was proclaimed at the first Mountain People's Congress on 1 May 1917 in Vladikavkaz. At the Congress the "Alliance of United Mountain People of the North Caucasus and Dagestan", headed by T. Chermoev, a Chechen, R. Kaplanov, a Kumyk, P. Kotsev, a Kabardian, V. Dzhabagiev, an Ingush, and others, was officially established. The Abkhazian people also became full members of this alliance. A Mountain Peoples' Government was formed in November 1917. S. Ashkhatsava represented Abkhazia in it.[2]

On the eve of this important event, on 8 November 1917, the Abkhazian People"s Congress in Sukhum elected the first parliament, the "Abkhazian Peoples Council" (ANS) and the following vital documents were approved: "Declaration by the Abkhazian People's Congress" and the "Constitution of the Abkhazian People's Council". It is interesting to note that the representative of the Abkhazian Parliament gave the following address on 19 November 1917 in Tiflis at the opening of the first Georgian parliament (the Georgian National Council): "I am happy that the high honour of conveying warm greetings to you on behalf of the Abkhazian People's Council has fallen to my lot. The Abkhazian people, as part of the Alliance of united mountain peoples, congratulate fair Georgia on its first steps on the way to national self-determination. The Abkhazians, having formed an alliance with their northern brethren are therefore convinced that in the near future they will join the noble Georgian people in a common alliance of all the peoples of the Caucasus. In this future alliance the Abkhazian people see themselves as full members of the United Mountain Peoples' Alliance".[3]

However, according to Emir-Khassan, a prominent figure in North Caucasus emigration, this was the period when a number of mistakes were made, which led to the isolation of the South Caucasus from the North Caucasus and the creation of the "so-called Transcaucasian Federation". Emir-Khassan observed:

The differences that began to appear even during the first revolutionary period became even more pronounced. A narrow national egoism flourished. The minds of Caucasian statesmen were entirely directed to organising separate nations each one was protecting and establishing only his own frontiers, without regard to what neighbouring peoples were doing.[4]

The situation in the North Caucasus very quickly worsened, with the increasing savagery of the civil war and the formation in March 1918 of the Terek Soviet Republic. However, the previous 1st Mountain People's Congress still traced "the outlines of national ideology", which led the North Caucasus to proclaim its independence within a year. It is clear from the minutes of the first meeting of the Batumi peace conference dated 11 May 1918 that it was attended by delegations from Germany, Turkey, the Transcaucasian Republic and the mountain peoples of the North Caucasus and Dagestan.[5] On the same day the independence of the Caucasus Mountain Peoples' Republic and its separation from Russia were announced. The Republic included Dagestan, Chechen-Ingushetia, Ossetia, Kabarda, Karachai-Balkaria, Abkhazia and Adygeya. Its territory extended from the Black Sea to the Caspian and amounted to 260,000 square kilometres, with a population of almost 6.5 million.[6]

The deputies from the Abkhazian People's Council, A. Shervashidze (Chachba), T. Marshaniya, S. Basariya and others then appealed to the Turkish government and declared at the Batumi Conference that "Abkhazia does not wish to be included in the group of Transcaucasian peoples, but aligns itself with the North Caucasus union of mountain peoples, which should build a separate state under the protection of Turkey".[7] Later, during the years of Stalinist repression, particularly in 1937-1941, this was the pretext for eliminating practically all the Abkhazian intelligentsia,[8] who were in sympathy with the idea of a Caucasus Confederation.

The territory of the independent Mountain Peoples' Republic of 1918, which was recognised internationally, coincided precisely with that pan-Caucasian area that had been involved in the mountain peoples' national liberation campaign in the nineteenth century and developed under the banner of Shamil. After Shamil had been forced to lay down his arms in 1859, the Ubykh, Adygeyans and Abkhazians continued their unequal struggle with tsarism for a further five years. This ended on 21 May 1864 with a parade of Russian and Georgian forces on the Krasnaya Polyana, in historic Abkhazia. This marked the end of the Caucasian war (1817-1864). The historian Ali Sultan made the following comment with regard to the tragic events of those years:

In none of the conquered regions did Russian imperialism produce such devastation as it did in the North Caucasus. Here, as a result of many years of aggressive war, many localities settled since ancient times disappeared from the face of the earth, the boundaries of areas settled by individual autochthonous tribes were altered and the cultural monuments of the past and an ancient civilisation were destroyed. In many cases entire ethnic units were uprooted and sent into the unknown. The western provinces of the Caucasus, Western Adygeya and Abkhazia were particularly hard hit: their populations were forced into large-scale emigration in the second half of the nineteenth century and found refuge in what was then the Ottoman Empire.[9]

This is a suitable place to note that on 9 May 1984 the US Congress approved an address of welcome to the peoples of the North Caucasus to mark the 66th anniversary of their declaration of independence. On that portentous day Congressman Robert Roy addressed the House of Representatives on the anniversary of the proclamation on 11 May 1918 of the Caucasian Mountain Peoples' Republic. The Congress documents also included a "Brief historical note on the struggle by the oppressed peoples of the Northern Caucasus for independence. "[10]

The Transcaucasian Democratic Federal Republic (ZDFR) broke up after the formation of the Mountain Peoples' Republic and on the same day, 26 May 1918, following an ultimatum by Turkey, the Democratic Republic of Georgia was proclaimed (the Azerbaijan Republic was proclaimed on 27 May and the Armenian Republic on 28 May). This period in the history of the Caucasus has been called the "Caucasian May", and it was said in this connection in one of the proclamations: "When the anti-nationalist storm of bolshevism was raging in Russia, the idea of healthy national statehood was triumphant in the Caucasus".[11]

The instrument of Georgian independence was adopted on the day on which the republic was formed (26 May 1918) however, this did not define the frontiers of Georgia. Preliminary outlines of the frontier were drawn for the first time by someone with a very keen interest in the matter, in a secret letter to Tiflis dated 28 May 1918, by the German general von Lossow, who undertook to make every effort to ensure that "Germany would assist Georgia in securing its frontiers".[12]

However, even von Lossow, an ally of the Georgian government and at the same time a supporter of the Caucasian Confederation, proposed the temporary inclusion of the Sukhum district - Abkhazia - within Georgia (i.e. within Germany's area of influence) with a reservation to prevent interference by his ally (Turkey). In commenting on this letter the international lawyer Z. Avalov (Avalishvili), a distinguished figure in the Georgian republic, wrote:

The reservation in the letter is curious: the Sukhum district (including Gagry) shall be part of Georgia until Georgia forms a separate state within the Caucasus. However, should a confederation of Caucasian peoples (italics mine - S.L.) be formed involving Georgia the population of the Sukhum district should be allowed to determine its position among the Caucasian countries. In other words, in this case the population of Abkhazia would have the choice of union with Georgia, entering the Union of Mountain Peoples or being part of the Caucasus Confederation as a separate state-canton (italics mine - S.L.). It is apparent from this what importance was attached to the plan for political union of the Caucasian peoples at the precise time when circumstances made dissolution of the Transcaucasian Union essential.[13]

Thus Abkhazia was outside Georgian territory when Georgian independence was proclaimed on 26 May, because since 11 May 1918 it had been part of the Caucasus Mountain Peoples' Peoples' Republic, which unfortunately lasted for only a year.

In breach of the arrangements with Abkhazia, as early as 17-19 June 1918, troops from the Georgian republic supported by the military might of Germany landed in Sukhum and virtually occupied the country. General A.S. Lukomskii, Denikin's comrade-in-arms, wrote in this connection: "Taking advantage of German support, Georgia occupied Abkhazia and the Sochi district against the wishes of the population . "[14] By this time Abkhazia was in an extremely difficult position, because it was virtually deprived of real support from the "Mountain Peoples' government" due to the increasingly brutal civil war in the North Caucasus. However, the Mountain Peoples' Republic government condemned the Georgian invasion of Abkhazia. Thus in June 1918 the Foreign Minister of the Caucasus Mountain Peoples' Republic (Gaidar Bammat) lodged a protest with the government of Georgia and with Schulenburg, the head of the German government diplomatic mission in the Caucasus about the incursion by German troops into Sukhum and "the presence of Georgian bands in Abkhazia".[15]

Several months later, in August 1918, T. Chermoev, the president of the Mountain Peoples' government, again protested to the German government about the occupation of Abkhazian territory by Georgian troops supported by regular German army units. At the same time he gave a warning that the peoples of the North Caucasus, linked to Georgia by "race and a long-standing community of interests" must not allow any political complications to interfere with their drive for "the closest possible ties, up to and including confederation" (italics mine - S.L.), and subsequently

On behalf of my Government I protest in the strongest terms against Georgian policy in Abkhazia, a constituent part of the Federal Republic of the Union of Caucasus Mountain Peoples (italics mine - S.L.) and my Government considers it essential for Georgian troops, civil servants and emissaries to be withdrawn from Abkhazia immediately, in order to avoid the serious complications that may result from this Georgian Government policy.[16]

It was during this period, in June-August 1918, that Aleksandr Shervashidze, Tatash Marshaniya, Simon Basariya and other influential Abkhazians appealed for aid to Abkhazian Makhadzhirs living in Turkey whose forefathers had been compelled to leave their motherland in the nineteenth century as a result of the Russo-Caucasian war. The people and parliamentary deputies of Abkhazia regarded the forcible action by Georgia as armed intervention in the Mountain Peoples' State. Noi Zhordania, the president of the Georgian Republic government, recalled that at that time the representatives of the North Caucasus gave Georgia an ultimatum: "Abkhazia is ours, get out!"[17] The Turks in their turn were dreaming of Sukhum and planning to "protect Abkhazia from the Georgians" with the help of the Chechens.[18]

On the night of 27 June 1918 an Abkhazian armed force from Turkey landed near the River Kodori. Turkey was not involved in this conflict at the official level the landing party was essentially an armed force of the Mountain Peoples' Republic. In addition, German sources make clear that in June-August 1918 the "Mountain Peoples' government" was still laying claim to Abkhazia and the port of Sukhum. It is not surprising, therefore, that there were repeated seaborne landings by Abkhazian makhadzhirs in Abkhazia during the same few months. These aspirations were fundamentally at variance with German policy interests in this region.

The Mountain Peoples' Republic government continued to regard Abkhazia as part of its state, in spite of the fact that it was occupied by Georgia. Thus a coloured ethnographic and political map of the Caucasus Mountain Peoples' Republic intended for the Paris Peace Conference was printed in French on the orders of the Mountain Peoples' Delegation in 1919 in Lausanne (a representative of Abkhazia also travelled to the conference as part of the Mountain Peoples' delegation[19]). On this map both Abkhazia and South Ossetia were shown as within the Mountain Peoples' State,[20] not in Georgia.

Carl Erich Bechhofer, who was in the Caucasus at the time, described Georgian government policy as follows:

The "Free and Independent Social-Democratic State of Georgia" will remain in my memory forever as a classic example of an imperialistic "small nation", both in the matter of external territorial seizure and in bureaucratic tyranny within the country. Its chauvinism passes all bounds.[21]

The Georgian politician Z. Avalov also described the situation at the time very accurately:

At the beginning of 1921 Georgia had a simple party organisation in its government and in the form of the Constituent Assembly. Georgian democracy in 1918-1921, which was a form of social-democratic dictatorship, i.e. right-wing Marxism, was the preparation for the triumph of Soviet dictatorship in Georgia.[22]

The "Mountain Peoples' Government" was forced to emigrate in 1921 as Soviet power became established in the Caucasus. In the 1920s and 30s representatives of the Caucasus Mountain Peoples' Republic in Prague, Paris and Warsaw published the journals "Vol'nye gortsy", "Gortsy Kavkaza", "Severnyi Kavkaz", etc. During this period the political exiles carried out an enormous amount of research on the future national state structure of the Caucasus. They published a large number of articles, recommendations and books on this pressing problem, and on 14 July 1934 in Brussels representatives of the national centres of North Caucasus, Georgia and Azerbaijan signed an international treaty of great political importance - the Caucasus Confederation Pact - with a place kept in the pact for Armenia.[23]

The Caucasus Independence Committee and the Caucasus Confederation Council, the governing body in all diplomatic activity, were set up at the same time. The Caucasus Confederation was to have been an alliance of states retaining a sovereign existence but bound together by several common ties: common customs frontiers, defence and foreign policy. The Caucasus Confederation Pact has been called a "tactical-strategic document".[24] The Polish journal "Vostok" made this comment in 1934: "An independent and united Caucasus will cease to be a source of military conflict and will become a vital element in maintaining the overall balance".

Eminent political figures spoke in defence of the Caucasus Confederation, but were against a "Caucasus community" on a federal basis, rightly regarding it as an imperfect model. Thus B. Bilatti wrote:

A federation cannot stand compulsion. A federal link can be forged only between materially and spiritually equal values otherwise it is likely to turn into a screen, under cover of which the strong will strive to absorb the weak. The great-power aspirations of large nations are organic phenomena derived from the very nature of mankind, and for that reason the cohabitation of large and small nations, even where such cohabitation is initially absolutely voluntary, is likely to end in conflict. This has been the fate of all states in which small nations have united round large nations. The former were either absorbed by the latter or finally joined forces to bring down the state and free themselves from the tie. [25]

The issue of Caucasian unity was raised several times, but came into the open again on the eve of the break-up of the USSR, when Georgian-Abkhazian differences reached their high point and developed into conflict on 15-16 July 1989. This was the negative background against which a hasty consolidation of the North Caucasus nations and Abkhazia took place. The foundations of this movement were laid in Sukhum, the capital of Abkhazia, on 25 August 1989 at the first congress of Caucasus mountain peoples, which formed the Assembly of Caucasus Mountain Peoples (AGNK), by analogy with the 1917 United Mountain Peoples' Alliance.

The second AGNK congress on 13-14 October 1990 in Nal'chik (Kabardino-Balkaria) was a vital stage. It was announced then that a period of practical work to implement a programme for a new state structure for the North Caucasus and Abkhazia was on the way. Special attention was given to the unity of the Caucasus nations, put into effect on 11 May 1918 by the proclamation of an independent state - the North Caucasus Republic.[26]

Great events followed this congress. The Russian Federation showed signs of breaking up after the collapse of the USSR, and the existence of former "union-republic" small empires was called into question. The resolve of the Chechen nation, the proclamation of an independent Chechen Republic and the election of a president in October 1991 raised the Caucasus mountain peoples' movement to a new level. The third AGNK congress was held in Sukhum in the context of the political turbulence in Chechnya (on 1-2 November 1991). It was attended by plenipotentiary representatives of the Abaza, Abkhazian, Avar, Adygeyan, Aukhov-Chechen, Darghin, Kabarda, Lak, Ossetian (North and South Ossetia), Circassian, Chechen and Shapsug nations. Representatives of social and political movements in Georgia were also present. In his speech a Georgian parliamentary deputy also called for the entire Caucasus to merge to form a "single fist".[27]

Following a proposal by the deputies the AGNK was changed to the Confederation of Caucasus Mountain Peoples (KGNK) and a little later, in Groznyi in 1992, was renamed the Confederation of Caucasus Nations (KNK). The following declaration in particular had been made at the third KGNK congress:

It is quite probable that, in the first stage at all levels, the Caucasian autonomous republics and oblasts will declare themselves sovereign states, and after this act of national self-assertion will in all probability begin to unite to form a new alliance - a Caucasus Confederation, which Chechnya, Dagestan, Georgia, Ingushetia, Ossetia, Kabarda, Karachai-Balkaria, Abkhazia, Adygeya, etc. may join as equal members.[28]

A Treaty was signed at the third congress and a "Declaration on a Confederated Alliance of Caucasus Mountain Peoples" was adopted. Decisions were taken to form a Caucasian Parliament, an Arbitration Tribunal, a Defence Committee, a Caucasus Communities Committee and other structures for confederation, the headquarters of which would be in Sukhum.

Even during the Georgian-Abkhazian war, in April 1993 at the London conference on the problems of the North Caucasus, representatives of Abkhazia also put forward a plan for the Caucasus Confederation.[29]

Under present conditions, such an alliance of sovereign Caucasus states in the form of a confederation is becoming a matter of particular urgency. Even in 1934 Emir Khassan was stressing in his paper "A Caucasus Confederation" that "the Caucasus can be liberated and can retain its freedom only provided that all the Caucasus nations unite fully".[30]

Today it is quite obvious that only the Caucasians themselves, within their own union and with the support of the international community, are capable of settling vexed questions and resolving conflicts in the North and South Caucasus. Inter-Caucasian peacekeeping forces will also be needed to implement such a programme. At the present stage this seems to be essential in building a "Caucasian home" and, as the Azeri academic R. Aliev rightly observed, the "concept of inter-nation reconciliation"[31] must prevail in this process.

Of course, today it would be Utopian to raise the matter of immediate union of all states and nations in the Caucasus to form a confederation, in view of the political, territorial and religious differences between them and the lack of any single unifying ideology.[32] However, it seems quite possible at this stage to create the nucleus of such a confederation, which could consist of, for example, three countries: Abkhazia - Georgia - Chechnya. Unfortunately some Georgian academics have seen the threat of "Georgian centrism" in this model the problems inherent in this will recede into the background, while the importance of the Caucasus Confederation to the world community may become of paramount importance.

Later Ingushetia, Dagestan, Ossetia (North and South), Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia, Adzharia, Kabarda, Karachai-Balkaria, Circassia, Adygeya, etc. may join the A-G-C triangle, given the enormous popularity of the idea of a confederation among the Caucasian nations. A horizontal, not a vertical, structure for state legal relations among the Caucasian countries in a confederative alliance can solve the basic problem: together or apart? It appears that in such a confederation not only Georgia and Abkhazia but other Caucasian states will be both together and apart at the same time in their mutual relations. This is undoubtedly necessary at the present stage in order to overcome the existing mistrust and to build relations among the nations of the Caucasus based on equality and trust. It is quite probable that in the historical long term the Caucasus Confederation will transform itself into a federation, but this will occur peacefully and painlessly. However, to propose federal relations in the Caucasus today means complicating the situation and resorting to force and compulsion, which will never lead to pacification and stabilisation throughout the Caucasus. There cannot be partial freedom: only the Caucasus as a whole can be free.

1. Gazeta: Kavkaz (Sukhum), 1990, no. 1.

2. Soyuz obedinennykh gortsev Severnogo Kavkaza i Dagestana (1917-1918), Gorskaya respublika (1918-1920). Dokumenty i materialy, Makhachkala, 1994, p. 4-5, 134.

3. TsGVIA RF, f. 1300, op. 1, d. 130, l. 135 ob.

4. Severnyi Kavkaz, 1934, no. 2, p. 11.

5. Dokumenty i materialy po vneshney politike Zakavkaz'ya i Gruzii, Tiflis, 1919, p. 312-313.

6. Ahmet Hazir Hizal, Kuzey Kafkasya (hurriet ve istiklal davasi) (Ankara, Orkun Basimevi, 1961), p. 143.

7. Istoriya Abkhazii, Sukhum, 1991, p. 291.

8. R. Clogg, "Documents from the KGB archive in Sukhum, Abkhazia in the Stalin years", Central Asian Survey, 1995, 14(1), pp. 181-188.

9. Severnyi Kavkaz, 1935, no. 9, p. 16.

10. US Congress Bulletin, 9 May 1984, 2nd Session, sitting 98, vol. 130, no. 59 (in English).

11. Severnyi Kavkaz, 1937, no. 37, p. 13.

12. Z. Avalov, Nezavisimost' Gruzii v mezhdunarodnoi politike 1918-1921, Paris, 1924 New York, 1982, p. 68.

13. Ibid., p. 68-69.

14. Arkhiv russkoi revolyutsii, Berlin, 1922, Vol. 3(5-6), p. 114.

15. Soyuz ob'edinennykh gortsev, op.cit., p. 132.

16. Ibid., p. 133-135.

17. N. Zhordania, My Life, Stanford, 1968, p. 98.

18. G. Avetisyan, 'K voprosu o "Kavkazskom dome" i pantyurkistskikh ustremleniyakh', in: Alexei Malashenko, Bruno Coppieters, Dmitri Trenin (eds.), Etnicheskie i regional'nye konflikty v Evrazii, vol. 1, Moscow, 1997, p. 140.

19. Soyuz obyedinennykh gortsev, op.cit., p. 197.

20. S. Kiladze, 'Edinstvo Kavkaza: popytka vykhoda iz krizisa', Tbilisskii meridian, 1997, no. 1, 20-22.

21. C.E. Bechhofer, In Denikin's Russia and the Caucasus. 1919-1920, London, 1921, p. 14.

22. Z. Avalov, Nezavisimost' Gruzii v mezhdunarodnoi politike 1918-1921, Paris, 1924, p. XI-XIV.

23. Severnyi Kavkaz, 1935, no. 9, p. 11.

24. Severnyi Kavkaz, 1934, no. 8, p. 26.

25. Severnyi Kavkaz, 1934, no. 8, p. 13-14.

26. Edinenie (Sukhum) 1991, no. 1 Kavkaz, 1990, no. 1.

27. Abkhazia, 1991, no. 51, 1st issue, December.

28. Abkhazia, 1991, no. 51, 2nd issue, December.

29. See Central Asian Survey (1995), 14(1), p. 103.

30. Severnyi Kavkaz, 1934, no. 2, p. 12.

31. R. Aliev, '"Kavkazskii dom": vzglyad iz Azerbaidzhana', in: Alexei Malashenko, Bruno Coppieters, Dmitri Trenin (eds.), Etnicheskie i regional'nye konflikty v Evrazii, vol. 1, op.cit., p. 162.

32. Ibid., p. 168.

Source: Georgians and Abkhazians. The Search for a Peace Settlement © August 1998, Vrije Universiteit Brussel - Chapter 7


Contents

Origins Edit

As a term, the third way has been used to explain a variety of political courses and ideologies in the last few centuries. [23] These ideas were implemented by progressives in the early 20th century. The term was picked up again in the 1950s by German ordoliberal economists such as Wilhelm Röpke, resulting in the development of the concept of the social market economy. Röpke later distanced himself from the term and located the social market economy as first way in the sense of an advancement of the free-market economy. [24]

During the Prague Spring of 1968, reform economist Ota Šik proposed third way economic reform as part of political liberalisation and democratisation within the country. In historical context, such proposals were better described as liberalised centrally-planned economy rather than the socially-sensitive capitalism that Third Way policies tend to have been identified with in the West. In the 1970s and 1980s, Enrico Berlinguer, leader of the Italian Communist Party, came to advocate a vision of a socialist society that was more pluralist than the real socialism which was typically advocated by official communist parties whilst being more economically egalitarian than social democracy. This was part of the wider trend of Eurocommunism in the communist movement and provided a theoretical basis for Berlinguer's pursuit of the Historic Compromise with the Christian Democrats. [25]

Harold Macmillan, British Prime Minister from 1957 to 1963, based his philosophy of government on what he summarised in the 1938 book The Middle Way. [26]

Modern usage Edit

Third Way politics is visible in Anthony Giddens' works such as Consequences of Modernity (1990), Modernity and Self-Identity (1991), The Transformation of Intimacy (1992), Beyond Left and Right (1994) and The Third Way: The Renewal of Social Democracy (1998). In Beyond Left and Right, Giddens criticises market socialism and constructs a six-point framework for a reconstituted radical politics that includes the following values: [27] [28]

  1. Repair damaged solidarities.
  2. Recognise the centrality of life politics.
  3. Accept that active trust implies generative politics.
  4. Embrace dialogic democracy.
  5. Rethink the welfare state.
  6. Confront violence.

In The Third Way, Giddens provides the framework within which the Third Way, also termed by Giddens as the radical centre, is justified. In addition, it supplies a broad range of policy proposals aimed at what Giddens calls the "progressive centre-left" in British politics. [29]

During his 1992 presidential campaign, Bill Clinton espoused the ideas of the Third Way. [30]

The Third Way has been defined as such:

[S]omething different and distinct from liberal capitalism with its unswerving belief in the merits of the free market and democratic socialism with its demand management and obsession with the state. The Third Way is in favour of growth, entrepreneurship, enterprise and wealth creation but it is also in favour of greater social justice and it sees the state playing a major role in bringing this about. So in the words of [. ] Anthony Giddens of the LSE the Third Way rejects top down socialism as it rejects traditional neo liberalism. [31] [2]

The Third Way has been advocated by its proponents as a "radical-centrist" alternative to both capitalism and what it regards as the traditional forms of socialism, including Marxian and state socialism. [31] It advocates ethical socialism, reformism and gradualism that includes advocating the humanisation of capitalism, a mixed economy, political pluralism and liberal democracy. [31]

Within social democracy Edit

The Third Way has been advocated by proponents as competition socialism, an ideology in between traditional socialism and capitalism. [32] Anthony Giddens, a prominent proponent of the Third Way, has publicly supported a modernised form of socialism within the social democracy movement, but he claims that traditional socialist ideology (referring to state socialism) that involves economic management and planning are flawed and states that as a theory of the managed economy it barely exists any longer. [17]

In defining the Third Way, Tony Blair once wrote: "The Third Way stands for a modernised social democracy, passionate in its commitment to social justice". [33]

Australia Edit

Under the nominally centre-left Australian Labor Party (ALP) from 1983 to 1996, the Bob Hawke and Paul Keating governments pursued many economic policies associated with economic rationalism such as floating the Australian Dollar in 1983, reductions in trade tariffs, taxation reforms, changing from centralised wage-fixing to enterprise bargaining, heavy restrictions on trade union activities including on strike action and pattern bargaining, the privatisation of government-run services and enterprises such as Qantas and the Commonwealth Bank and wholesale deregulation of the banking system. Keating also proposed a Goods and Services Tax (GST) in 1985, but this was scrapped due to its unpopularity amongst both ALP and electorate. The party also desisted from other reforms such as wholesale labour market deregulation, the eventual GST, the privatisation of Telstra and welfare reform. The Hawke Keating governments have been considered by some as laying the groundwork for the later development of both the New Democrats in the United States and New Labour in the United Kingdom. [34] [35] One political commentator agreed that it led centre-left parties towards the path to neoliberalism. [36] Meanwhile, others acknowledge several neoliberal reforms, but at the same time disagreed and focused on the prosperity and social equality that they provided in the "26 years of uninterrupted economic growth since 1991", seeing it as fitting well within "Australian Labourism". [37] [38]

Both Hawke and Keating made some criticism too. [39] [40] In the lead-up to the 2019 federal election, Hawke made a joint statement with Keating endorsing Labor's economic plan and condemned the Liberal Party for "completely [giving] up the economic reform agenda". They stated that "[Bill] Shorten's Labor is the only party of government focused on the need to modernise the economy to deal with the major challenge of our time: human induced climate change". [41]

Various ideological beliefs were factionalised under reforms to the ALP under Gough Whitlam, resulting in what is now known as the Labor Left, who tend to favour a more interventionist economic policy, more authoritative top-down controls and some socially progressive ideals and Labor Right, the now dominant faction that is pro-business, more economically liberal and focuses to a lesser extent on social issues. The Whitlam government was first to use the term economic rationalism. [42] The Whitlam government from 1972 to 1975 changed from a democratic socialism platform to social democracy, their precursor to the party's Third Way policies. Under the Whitlam government, tariffs across the board were cut by 25 per cent after twenty-three years of Labor being in opposition. [43]

Former Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's first speech to parliament in 1998 stated:

Competitive markets are massive and generally efficient generators of economic wealth. They must therefore have a central place in the management of the economy. But markets sometimes fail, requiring direct government intervention through instruments such as industry policy. There are also areas where the public good dictates that there should be no market at all. We are not afraid of a vision in the Labor Party, but nor are we afraid of doing the hard policy yards necessary to turn that vision into reality. Parties of the Centre Left around the world are wrestling with a similar challenge—the creation of a competitive economy while advancing the overriding imperative of a just society. Some call this the "third way". The nomenclature is unimportant. What is important is that it is a repudiation of Thatcherism and its Australian derivatives represented opposite. It is in fact a new formulation of the nation's economic and social imperatives. [44]

While critical of economists such as Friedrich Hayek, [45] [46] Rudd described himself as "basically a conservative when it comes to questions of public financial management", pointing to his slashing of public service jobs as a Queensland governmental advisor. [47] [48] Rudd's government has been praised and credited "by most economists, both local and international, for helping Australia avoiding a post-global-financial-crisis recession" during the Global Recession. [37]

France Edit

Examples of French Third Way politicians include most notably Emmanuel Macron and to a lesser extent François Hollande, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Manuel Valls. [49] [50] [51] [52]

Italy Edit

The Italian Democratic Party is a plural social democratic party including several distinct ideologic trends. Politicians such as former Prime Ministers Romano Prodi and Matteo Renzi are proponents of the Third Way. [53] Renzi has occasionally been compared to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair for his political views. [54] Renzi himself has previously claimed to be as supporter of Blair's ideology of the Third Way, regarding an objective to synthesize liberal economics and left-wing social policies. [55] [56]

Under Renzi's secretariat, the Democratic Party took a strong stance in favour of constitutional reform and of a new electoral law on the road toward a two-party system. It is not an easy task to find the exact political trend represented by Renzi and his supporters, who have been known as Renziani. The nature of Renzi's progressivism is a matter of debate and has been linked both to liberalism and populism. [57] [58] According to Maria Teresa Meli of Corriere della Sera, Renzi "pursues a precise model, borrowed from the Labour Party and Bill Clinton's Democratic Party", comprising "a strange mix (for Italy) of liberal policy in the economic sphere and populism. This means that on one side he will attack the privileges of trade unions, especially of the CGIL, which defends only the already protected, while on the other he will sharply attack the vested powers, bankers, Confindustria and a certain type of capitalism". [59]

After the Democratic Party's defeat in the 2018 general election [60] in which the party gained 18.8% and 19.1% of the vote (down from 25.5% and 27.4% in 2013) and lost 185 deputies and 58 senators, respectively, Renzi resigned as the party's secretary. [61] [62] [63] In March 2019, Nicola Zingaretti, a social democrat and prominent member of the party's left-wing with solid roots in the Italian Communist Party, won the leadership election by a landslide, defeating Maurizio Martina (Renzi's former deputy secretary) and Roberto Giachetti (supported by most Renziani). [64] Zingaretti focused his campaign on a clear contrast with Renzi's policies and his victory opened the way for a new party. [65] [66]

In September 2019, Renzi announced his intention to leave the Democratic Party and create a new parliamentary group. [67] He officially launched Italia Viva [68] to continue the liberal and Third Way tradition [69] [70] [71] within a pro-Europeanism framework, [72] especially as represented by the French President Emmanuel Macron's La République En Marche!. [73] [74]

United Kingdom Edit

In 1938, Harold Macmillan wrote a book entitled The Middle Way, advocating a compromise between capitalism and socialism which was a precursor to the contemporary notion of the Third Way. [75]

In 1979, the Labour Party professed a complete adherence to social democratic ideals and rejected the choice between a "prosperous and efficient Britain" and a "caring and compassionate Britain". [76] Coherent with this position, the main commitment of the party was the reduction of economic inequality via the introduction of a wealth tax. [76] This was rejected in the 1997 manifesto, [77] along with many changes in the 1990s like the progressive dismissal of traditional social democratic ideology and the transformation into New Labour, de-emphasising the need to tackle economic inequality and focusing instead on the expansion of opportunities for all whilst fostering social capital. [78]

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair is cited as a Third Way politician. [79] [80] According to a former member of Blair's staff, Blair and the Labour Party learnt from and owes a debt to Bob Hawke's government in Australia in the 1980s on how to govern as a Third Way party. [81] Blair wrote in a Fabian pamphlet in 1994 of the existence of two prominent variants of socialism, namely one based on a Marxist–Leninist economic determinist and collectivist tradition and the other being an ethical socialism based on values of "social justice, the equal worth of each citizen, equality of opportunity, community". [82] Blair is a particular follower of the ideas and writings of Giddens. [80]

In 1998, Blair, then Labour Party Leader and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, described the Third Way, how it relates to social democracy and its relation with both the Old Left and the New Right, as follows:

The Third Way stands for a modernised social democracy, passionate in its commitment to social justice and the goals of the centre-left. [. ] But it is a third way because it moves decisively beyond an Old Left preoccupied by state control, high taxation and producer interests and a New Right treating public investment, and often the very notions of "society" and collective endeavour, as evils to be undone. [17]

In 2002, Anthony Giddens listed problems facing the New Labour government, naming spin as the biggest failure because its damage to the party's image was difficult to rebound from. He also challenged the failure of the Millennium Dome project and Labour's inability to deal with irresponsible businesses. Giddens saw Labour's ability to marginalise the Conservative Party as a success as well its economic policy, welfare reform and certain aspects of education. Giddens criticised what he called Labour's "half-way houses", including the National Health Service and environmental and constitutional reform. [83]

In 2008, Charles Clarke, a former United Kingdom Home Secretary and the first senior Blairite to attack Prime Minister Gordon Brown openly and in print, stated: "We should discard the techniques of 'triangulation' and 'dividing lines' with the Conservatives, which lead to the not entirely unjustified charge that we simply follow proposals from the Conservatives or the right-wing media, to minimize differences and remove lines of attack against us". [84]

Brown was succeeded by Ed Miliband's One Nation Labour in 2010 and self-described democratic socialist Jeremy Corbyn in 2015 as the Leader of the Labour Party. [85] This led some to comment that New Labour is "dead and buried". [86] [87] [88]

The Third Way as practised under New Labour has been criticised as being effectively a new, centre-right [89] and neoliberal party. [90] Some such as Glen O'Hara have argued that while containing "elements that we could term neoliberal", New Labour was more left-leaning than it is given credit for. [91]

United States Edit

In the United States, Third Way adherents embrace fiscal conservatism to a greater extent than traditional economic liberals, advocate some replacement of welfare with workfare and sometimes have a stronger preference for market solutions to traditional problems (as in pollution markets) while rejecting pure laissez-faire economics and other libertarian positions. The Third Way style of governing was firmly adopted and partly redefined during the administration of President Bill Clinton. [92]

As a term, it was introduced by political scientist Stephen Skowronek. [93] [94] [95] Third Way Presidents "undermine the opposition by borrowing policies from it in an effort to seize the middle and with it to achieve political dominance". Examples of this are Richard Nixon's economic policies which were a continuation of Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society as well as Clinton's welfare reform later. [96]

Along with Blair, Prodi, Gerhard Schröder and other leading Third Way adherents, Clinton organized conferences to promote the Third Way philosophy in 1997 at Chequers in England. [97] [98] The Third Way think tank and the Democratic Leadership Council are adherents of Third Way politics. [99]

In 2013, American lawyer and former bank regulator William K. Black wrote that "Third Way is this group that pretends sometimes to be center-left but is actually completely a creation of Wall Street—it's run by Wall Street for Wall Street with this false flag operation as if it were a center-left group. It's nothing of the sort". [13] [14] [15]

Other countries Edit

By the 2010s, social democratic parties that accepted Third Way politics such as triangulation and the neoliberal [34] [35] shift in policies such as austerity, deregulation, free trade, privatisation and welfare reforms such as workfare experienced a drastic decline [124] [125] [126] [127] as the Third Way had largely fallen out of favour in a phenomenon known as Pasokification. [128] Scholars have linked the decline of social democratic parties to the declining number of industrial workers, greater economic prosperity of voters and a tendency for these parties to shift closer to the centre-right on economic issues, alienating their former base of supporters and voters. This decline has been matched by increased support for more left-wing and populist parties as well as Left and Green social-democratic parties that rejected neoliberal and Third Way policies. [129] [130] [131] [132]

Democratic socialism has emerged in opposition to Third Way social democracy [5] on the basis that democratic socialists are committed to systemic transformation of the economy from capitalism to socialism whereas social-democratic supporters of the Third Way were more concerned about challenging the New Right and win social democracy back to power. This has resulted in analysts and critics alike arguing that in effect it endorsed capitalism, even if it was due to recognising that outspoken opposition to capitalism in these circumstances was politically nonviable and that it was anti-social democratic in practice. [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] Others saw it as theoretically fitting with modern socialism, especially liberal socialism, distinguishing it from both classical socialism and traditional democratic socialism or social democracy. [133]

Third Way economic policies began to be challenged following the Great Recession, and the rise of right-wing populism has put the ideology into question. [128] Many on the left have become more vocal in opposition to the Third Way, with the most prominent example in the United Kingdom being the rise of self-identified democratic socialist former Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn as well as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders in the United States. [134] [135] [136]

The Third Way has been criticized as being a vague ideology with no specific commitments:

The Third Way is no more than a crude attempt to construct a bogus coalition between the haves and the haves not: Bogus because it entices the haves by assuring the that the economy will be sound and their interests would not be threatened, while promising the have-nots a world free from poverty and injustice. Based on opportunism, it has no ideological commitment at all. [31]

After the dismantling of his country's Marxist–Leninist government, Czechoslovakia's conservative finance minister Václav Klaus declared in 1990: "We want a market economy without any adjectives. Any compromises with that will only fuzzy up the problems we have. To pursue a so-called 'third way' [between central planning and the market economy] is foolish. We had our experience with this in the 1960s when we looked for a socialism with a human face. It did not work, and we must be explicit that we are not aiming for a more efficient version of a system that has failed. The market is indivisible it cannot be an instrument in the hands of central planners". [137]

Left-wing opponents of the Third Way argue that it represents social democrats who responded to the New Right by accepting capitalism. The Third Way most commonly uses market mechanics and private ownership of the means of production and in that sense it is fundamentally capitalist. [138] In addition to opponents who have noticed this, other reviews have claimed that Third Way social democrats adjusted to the political climate since the 1980s that favoured capitalism by recognising that outspoken opposition to capitalism in these circumstances was politically nonviable and that accepting capitalism as the current powers that be and seeking to administer it to challenge laissez-faire liberals was a more pressing immediate concern. [139] With the rise of neoliberalism in the late 1970s and early 1980s and the Third Way between the 1990s and 2000s, social democracy became synonymous with it. [5] [140] As a result, the section of social democracy that remained committed to the gradual abolition of capitalism and opposed the Third Way merged into democratic socialism. [141] [142] Many social democrats opposed to the Third Way overlap with democratic socialists in their committiment to an alternative to capitalism and a post-capitalist economy and have not only criticised the Third Way as anti-socialist [90] and neoliberal, [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] but also as anti-social democratic in practice. [90]

Democratic and market socialists argue that the major reason for the economic shortcomings of command economies was their authoritarian nature rather than socialism itself, that it was a failure of a specific model and that therefore socialists should support democratic models rather than abandon it. Economists Pranab Bardhan and John Roemer argue that Soviet-type economies and Marxist–Leninist states failed because they did not create rules and operational criteria for the efficient operation of state enterprises in their administrative, command allocation of resources and commodities and the lack of democracy in the political systems that the Soviet-type economies were combined with. According to them, a form of competitive socialism that rejects dictatorship and authoritarian allocation in favor of democracy could work and prove superior to the market economy. [143]

Although close to New Labour and a key figure in the development of the Third Way, sociologist Anthony Giddens dissociated himself from many of the interpretations of the Third Way made in the sphere of day-to-day politics. [83] For him, it was not a succumbing to neoliberalism or the dominance of capitalist markets. [144] The point was to get beyond both market fundamentalism and top-down socialism—to make the values of the centre-left count in a globalising world. He argued that "the regulation of financial markets is the single most pressing issue in the world economy" and that "global commitment to free trade depends upon effective regulation rather than dispenses with the need for it". [145]


Sardarapat: A Miracle in the Shade of Mount Ararat

It seemed in May of 1918 as if it were the final days of the existence of the Armenian nation in their historical homeland. Gathered in the shade of Mount Ararat, Eastern Armenians and a segment of Western Armenians – genocide survivors –were left alone, facing several Ottoman units who had crossed the Akhurian and the Araxes rivers, and were attacking in the directions of Gharakilisa (Vanadzor), Bash-Aparan (Aparan), and Sardarapat.

The Muslims of the province of Yerevan– the Turks, the Tatars, and the Kurds– had also risen in the second half of 1918, and the fertile Ararat plain was surrounded by enemies.

The fall of Kars and Alexandrapol (Gyumri) and the assault of the Turks towards the Ararat plain had generated indescribable chaos and fear in Yerevan. To many people, resistance seemed impossible and pointless. But where to run? Roads to Tiflis (Tbilisi)and Baku were closed, the railroad to Iran was not working, and Nakhijevan was in the hands of the Muslims. Only the roads from the west and the north were open, from where the Turkish troops were entering and occupying the Armenian towns and massacring its residents. The only option was to resist and die honourably.

“We are alone and we must rely on our powers, both to defend the front and to establish order in the country,” said Aram Manukyan (Sargis Hovannisyan), one of the founders of the First Republic of Armenia.

In the early spring of 1918, the people and the military of Yerevan declared Aram Manukyan dictator and handed him absolute authority. Under his command, Aram managed to link all of the active elements in the region and put everyone to work. Through collaboration with Drastamat Kanayan (Dro), General Movses Silikyan, and Daniel Bek-Pirumyan, State Commissar Sahak Torosyan, political parties, and governmental and non governmental bodies, he managed to generate extraordinary energy and, at the most decisive moment, skilfully directed the fate of the Armenian people in the Ararat plain.

After the fall of Alexandrapol, one section of the Armenian forces had retreated, fighting, towards Yerevan, having reached Sardarapat on May 19.

The Catholicos of All Armenians Gevorg V Surenyants addressed the nation: “The Turk, the bloodthirsty enemy of our reasonable flock, is moving towards the heart of our country, our faith, our life’s story– towards Etchmiadzin. Our generals are suggesting to the Catholicos of All Armenians to leave to the enemy’s maws the Holy See of Etchmiadzin, our holy places, the Armenian people, and to take refuge in Byurakan. No and no, a thousand times no. I will not abandon the Holy See entrusted to me by our forebears. I will not leave the hearth of the Armenian Apostolic faith. If the Armenian soldiers themselves, if the Armenian nation is unable to stop the enemy’s progress, if they are powerless to save our relics, then let me be martyred right here, at the threshold of the Holy Mother See of which I have the privilege of being the Catholicos, by the just intercession of our sacred forebears and God’s mercy.”

General Silikyan, commander of the Yerevan forces, exhorted every single Armenian with a special call to gather their utmost strength and strike the enemy for the sake of the salvation of the fatherland, in defence of the honour of all their wives and daughters: “ARMENIANS! It is not time to slow down. Every man up to the age of fifty is obliged to take arms and I DEMAND that they report with their firearms and ammunition for the defence of the homeland. For the sake of the physical existence of this eternally-tortured people, in the name of violated justice. Rise! To work! To Holy War!”

After occupying Alexandrapol in mid-May and Gharakilisa from May 24-28, with fatalities on both sides during heavy battles, the Turks moved towards Tiflis. The Western Armenians who had found shelter in the city were particularly terrified by the Turkish invasion. Thousands of people – young and old, villager and city dweller, worker and intellectual – rushed towards the Georgian Military Highway with whatever they could. One end had already reached Vladikavkaz (North Ossetia-Alania) and Armavir (Russia), while the other was only just leaving Tiflis. The migration was disorganised, spontaneous, and attacks on the migrants were commonplace.

The setback in Gharakilisa did not determine the fate of the Armenian people because the Armenian forces – responding to an appeal from the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and with the help of the people – were able to stop the Turks at Bash -Aparan and Sardarapat, and then even to push them back.

Over the course of the fierce, decisive battles at the front during the last days of May, the Ottoman forces were thrown back towards Alexandrapol. The Armenians, inspired by victory, were moving forward, convinced that they would clear Russian Armenia of Turks. General Silikyan wanted to chase the fleeing Turkish army. Silikyan and Commander Vekilov believed that the Armenian forces could liberate the city in two days.

On May 29, he made his second appeal to the Armenians: “We must take Alexandrapol back from the Turks. They are demanding the towns of Akhalkalak, Alexandrapol, and Etchmiadzin, and the majority of the province of Yerevan and Nakhijevan. Can we allow such an insult? Never! We must seize Alexandrapol from them.”

By May 28, the Armenians of Yerevan guberniya (the administrative division of the Russian Empire) were certain that Alexandrapol would be retaken. Some even had visions of advancing as far as Kars. But Silikyan received a startling order from Corps Commander Nazarbekyan (Nazarbekov). Hostilities were to cease, for news had just arrived that a truce had been concluded in Batum (Batumi), and the Armenian delegation was negotiating for peace. It would have been difficult to find an Armenian who would not have welcomed the tidings a week earlier. But now the circumstances had changed and the voices of disapproval and anger echoed throughout the land.

The military leaders and Aram Manukyan received scores of appeals to ignore the order and to continue the advance to Alexandrapol. Many urged Silikyan to declare himself commander-in-chief and to save the nation by force of arms, the only language the enemy understood. Now that the Turks were retreating, how was it possible to cease fire and permit the invaders to maintain possession of Armenian lands? General Silikyan, however, refused to yield to such counsel and instructed his troops to halt. Though widely and caustically chastised for agreeing to a truce, the Corps Command and the National Council had been compelled to take account of the fact that the stores of ammunition were either empty or nearly exhausted, and that sizeable Turkish reinforcement were close by. If peace was not concluded and if then the tide of victory turned in favour of the Ottomans, the consequences would be disastrous.

In mid-1918 the remnants of the Armenian people were left a mangled bit of land, for lack of a better term, that they called a republic. But as pitiful a state as was the Republic of Armenia in May 1918, its very existence was, nevertheless, an amazing accomplishment.

It was not a republic, but aninfertile and isolated piece of land, filled with cliffs and mountains, orphans and refugees, and suffering and adversity.

The country was in an exceptionally grave state. Tiny Armenia was filled with an army of migrants, while existing resources were not enough to satisfy the essential needs of the locals. Without exaggeration it can be said that hunger ruled the newly-formed state. People were dying from hunger in the streets, markets, and parks of Yerevan moans and groans and whimpers could be heard the entire day. Skeletal children were searching for something to eat in the garbage, digging in the rubbish with their hands. According to an eye-witness account, “On walking along the street on your way to work, you could see a woman and child in rags, curled up under a wall on the pavement, shivering from the cold and whining. They were not holding out their hands, they did not want anything. Little by little they were dying from hunger in front of your eyes”.

The inglorious birth of the republic followed four years of devastating warfare, the decimation of the Turkish Armenian (Western Armenian) population, the illusory hopes prompted by the first Russian revolution of February1917, the disastrous policy of the Sovnarkom at Brest-Litovsk, the relentless Turkish invasion of 1918, the disintegration of Transcaucasia, and, finally, the frantic efforts of the Armenian leaders to save the nation from total annihilation.

At three o’clock in the afternoon on May 26, 1918, the Democratic Federative Republic of Transcaucasia was no more. President Nikolay Chkheidze wired the obituary to the capitals of eighteen nations. That same evening, the Georgian National Council declared Georgia’s independence and appointed Noi Zhordania as the head of the government. The Muslim National Council convened in Tiflis on May 27 and endorsed a proposal to declare “Eastern and Southern Transcaucasia” an independent, sovereign, democratic state. The official act establishing the republic of Azerbaijan was proclaimed on the following day. In the middle of June, 1918, the MuslimNational Council relocated from Tiflis to Ganja (Gandzak, Elizavetpol), the temporary capital of Azerbaijan, and with the permission of Ottoman military commander Nuri Bey formed a cabinet headed by Fathali Khan Khoyskii. Nuri Bey was already in Ganja and actively organising hundreds of irregulars into the Army of Islam to conquer Baku.

While Georgians and Azerbaijanis took concrete steps to strengthen the foundations of their newly-proclaimed republics, the Armenian leaders were thrown into turmoil. The Armenian Social Democrats and the Populists called for independence, insisting that no alternative existed. The ARF (Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutyun Party) was badly split. Council Chairman Avetis Aharonyan, together with Ruben Ter-Minasyan and Artashes Babalyan opposed independence, while Simon Vratsyan and Khachatur Karjikyan favoured taking the momentous step. Hovhannes Kajaznuni and Alexander Khatisyan stressed that the only possibility for survival required declaring independence and securing peace with Turkey, no matter the cost. “The Armenian National Council was forced to announce Armenia’s independence,” wrote Vratsyan. “I emphasise, was forced, because at that time everyone considered independence an awful prospect and a risk, placing the Armenian nation under the Turkish yoke.”

After a long debate, Armenia was declared independent, but the May 30 declaration made no mention of “independence “or “republic”. Only after news of Armenian military successes near Yerevan had been confirmed and peace had been concluded at Batum did the National Council dare publicly to use the title “the Republic of Armenia”.

Thus, during the last days of May, 1918, three independent republics were born amidst the chaos and ruin of the Transcaucasus. The failure to gain peace through the Batum negotiations, the Turkish drive deep into the Tiflis and Yerevan guberniyas, and the absence of cohesion among Georgians, Armenians, and Tatars shattered the wobbling foundations of the Transcaucasian Federation. In contrast to their neighbours, the Armenians shuddered before the prospect of independence. Having been abandoned and thrown upon the mercy of the same Turkish rulers who had annihilated the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire, they searched desperately for a glimmer of hope.

In Vratsyan’s words: “In March 1918, the Turks were capable of occupying both Yerevan and the whole of Armenia, but they did not do so. On the contrary, on June 4, they signed a peace treaty with the representatives of the government of the newly-formed Armenia, and thus, de facto, recognised the independence of Armenia. And so, with the bitter irony of history, the first international recognition of the independence of Armenia was by the Turks.”

On May 28, the Armenian National Council had selected Khatisyan, Kajaznuni, and Papajanyan to return to Batum with unlimited powers for negotiating a peace with the Turks on behalf of the Armenian people. “We stayed in Batum for eight days, until June 5, and during the entire time we were busy with the drafting of a peace treaty,” wrote Khatisyan. “It was the first international act that Armenia had to implement. During the first session, Vehib Pasha personally drew Armenia’s borders on that historical map which had been with me in Trebizond and would be later in Constantinople, Alexandrapol, and Europe. When we took a look at the map, we were overwhelmed with two sharp feelings. The first was pride – after dreaming for centuries, we would finally have a little corner of our own on the map of the world. The second was bitterness– this corner was barely 9,000 sq km, absolutely inadequate for accommodating our people.”

During the negotiations, the Turks agreed to give Armenia another one thousand square kilometers territory “in the spirit of good relations ”. Armenia was limited to the province of Nor Bayazet, and the eastern portions of the provinces of Alexandrapol, Etchmiadzin, Yerevan, and Sharur-Daralagyaz.

On June 6, the Armenian delegation returned to Tiflis and presented the Treaty of Batum to the National Council. The assessment of the losses showed that the Transcaucasus had been sheared of over 20%of its territory on which nearly 20%of its total population had lived in 1914. Nearly three-quarters of the ceded territory had been wrenched from the Kars oblast and Yerevan guberniia. The population in the remaining districts of the Yerevan guberniya, that is, in the Republic of Armenia, was composed of approximately 300,000 of the two million Russian Armenians and at least an equal number of refugees from Turkish Armenia and regions surrendered at Brest-Litovsk and Batum. Even in this pitifully tiny area, there were nearly 100,000 Muslims.

On August 1, 1918, on the official opening day of Armenia’s Council (parliament), its president Avetik Sahakyan, reminded those present that, “After the collapse of the Transcaucasus our country was left at the mercy of fate, thus the Armenian National Council rushed to take on itself all of the functions of the government. It was at that time (end of May- beginning of June), that the infamous ultimatum of the Ottoman Empire was received, demanding an answer in 48 hours. A delegation was sent to Batum, headed by Kajaznuni, Papajanyan and Khatisyan. Our delegation was forced to accept the ultimatum and sign a peace agreement with Vehib Pasha and Khalil Bey. The Armenian National Council clenched its teeth, and with cold diligence decided to accept the ultimatum and recognise Armenia’s independence, handing itself over to the unbiased judgment of history. Yes, our republic is small, with constricted boundaries. Our country’s borders cannot remain fixed forever. I believe that our county’s borders will expand with the iron power of life and with our new good-will treaty with Turkey and its allies, the representatives of which are present here.”

In the words of one of the ARF leaders, Ruben Ter-Minasyan: “Even though the Republic of Yerevan was independent in 1918 and even though the ideology of a United and Independent Armenia was proposed in1919, those were in fact only incomprehensibl and empty words for the majority of the RussianArmenians. Even for state establishments and many of their representatives, the independence acquired was a temporary phenomenon. Armenia was considered a part of Russian territory and even the Armenian army a part of the Russian army.”

The first government (cabinet) of Armenia formed in Tiflis (Tbilisi), and the Armenian National Council only reluctantly moved to Yerevan. In Vratsyan’s words the members of the Council “did not want to part from Tiflis”. There were heated arguments during consecutive sessions. “Moving to Yerevan was unacceptable to many.” The issue of moving to Yerevan was firmly raised during the joint session of the National Council and the government. The ARF demanded that the National Council and the government immediately move to Yerevan with their entire structure. The Armenian Popular Party proposed sending a delegation to Yerevan and forming a local government and keeping the Armenian National Council, as a national body, in Tiflis. The Socialist Revolutionaries were proposing sending the National Council and government to Yerevan to form Armenia’s local authorities, after which the National Council would return to Tiflis and this wealthy country in the Caucasus,to remain as a “general national authority”. In the beginning, the Social Democrats were for moving to Yerevan, but after a short while they started “hesitating”. Kajaznuni announced that should the National Council remain in Tiflis or should two National Councils be formed, he would resign from his position as Prime Minister. With seven for and five against votes it was decided to move the National Council and government to Yerevan.

On July 17, the National Council and the government moved to Yerevan from Tiflis. From Sanahin station onwards, the railway was in the hands of the Turks and passing through Alexandrapol was dangerous. It was decided to move from Tiflis to Aghstafa and reach Yerevan, the dusty and poor capital city of the newly-formed republic, via Dilijan. Kajaznuni, Khachatur Karjikyan (Minister of Finance), General Hovhannes Hakhverdyan (Minister of War), and the members of the National Council were amongst those departing. Two German and one Turkish officer were leaving for Yerevan with them.

Artashes Babalyan writes, “The Georgian government displayed a rough and uncivilised attitude. They did not provide wagons on time and they did not allow us to take the National Council’s few old and worn-out vehicles. Only after long negations did they allow us to put a few necessary items and vehicles on the train. None of the representatives of the Georgian authorities had come to bid us farewell. The Armenian general public was totally indifferent. We received a warm welcome from Azerbaijan’s authorities, in Ghazakh”.

From Ghazakh the delegation reached Karvansara (Ijevan) and Dilijan in the evening. It had been proposed in Tiflis that Kajaznuni and Khatisyan be candidates for the post of Prime Minister and that there should not be a single-party government. However, the Populists demanded the post of the Prime Minister, putting forward the candidacy of Papajanyan. They said that the Turks did not trust the ARF and that they would create difficulties. Kajaznuni proposed the candidacy of Populists Papajanyan and Samson Harutyunyan for the post of Foreign Affairs Minister, but they both refused. Kajaznuni had no other choice but to form a single-party government. The delegation reached Yerevan on July 19.

Arshavir Shahkhatuni, the commandant of Yerevan, writes, “At three o’clock the battalions were standing at the head of Abovian Street, at St. Sargis Church. Aram arrived by car and announced that the government was coming. Several minutes later the governmental group with their vehicles appeared at the corner of the main avenue. I ordered, ‘Ceremonial parade, ready,, salute!’. And, drawing my sword out of its sheath, I approached the members of the government, together with fifty cavalrymen. I lowered my sword in front of Armenia’s Prime Minister, while my horse was rearing up on two legs. I said, ‘Your Excellency, as the Military Commander of the capital city of Armenia, I welcome your arrival. I am immensely happy that after many centuries I am the first officer lowering his sword in front of his government. At this moment I am proudly putting my sword back in its sheath and will take it out when you give the command to defend our unmatched homeland’. Kajaznuni replied very emotionally, just holding back his tears. This is how the entrance of Armenia’s first government into Yerevan took place”.

Kajaznuni’s government had four ministers: Manukyan (Internal Affairs), Khatisyan (Foreign Affairs), Hakhverdyan, and Karjikyan. All, apart from Hakhverdyan, were members of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation – Dashnaktsutyun Party. Prior to departing for Yerevan, Kajaznuni and the National Council had appointed Armenia’s diplomatic representatives in several locations: Arshak Jamalyan in Georgia, Hovhannes Saghatelyan at the Russian volunteer army, Grigor Dzamoyan at the Alexander Kolchak army, and Simon Vratsyan to the governments of Kuban and Don.

Prior to Armenia’s government moving to Yerevan, Aram was governing the republic. He had carried out vast organisational works aimed at creating state structures and establishing law and order. It was necessary to create a state apparatus, a legal system, to bring the country out of anarchy, provide the migrants with food, resolve border conflicts with neighbours and settle the internal revolts of the Muslims which were aimed at the Armenian majority and their newly-appointed government. The largest and most effective power in Armenia and, generally speaking, in the Armenian worldwas the ARF, which carried the entire political responsibility of the newly-independent republic on its shoulders.

Although peace had been signed in Batum, the Armenians and Turks interpreted the subject matter of the treaty differently. In order to resolve issues connected with the treaty, the National Council of Yerevan sent a special delegation to Alexandrapol headed by Mkrtich Musinyan, who was assigned to negotiate with Turkish commander Kâzim Karabekir around several issues arising from the Batum treaty: the return of the refugees to their homes, the exchange of hostages, the conditions for the Turkish army to pass through Armenia, the issue of handing over the railway, and relinquishing Gharakilisa to the Armenians. The Turks did not accept the demands of the Armenians. On July 7, without interrupting the Alexandrapol negotiations, the Turks once again moved forward towards Sardarapat. Silikyan ordered the army to leave the railway and take position in the region of Etchmiadzin. The trench battles continued until July 9 when the Turks occupied positions seven kilometres away from Yerevan, directing their artillery towards the capital city of Armenia.

Those were difficult and troubling days. Without the knowledge of Yerevan’s National Council, the Georgian National Council had declared independence in Tiflis, and a small Armenia around Mount Ararat, under the forceful and alert control of Aram, was living gloomy days of uncertain destiny, writes Vahan Navasardyan, one of the ARF figures of that time. It was an exceptional situation surrounded on all four sides by a round chain, deprived of almost all means of communication with the outside world. It was a country in which the Foreign Affairs Minister held the title only because it is hard to imagine a government without such apposition. Encircled and chained by Turkish armies and a Muslim Tatar population, Armenia was living by itself, with its thoughts and sufferings, condemned to the horror of a doomed future.

In Vratsyan’s words, during those days Armenia was a “mound of formless chaos and ruins”.

“The birth of the republic was not welcomed with sounds of joy and applause. On the contrary, for many it was viewed as an untimely birth. Some could not believe in it they put the words ‘independence’ and ‘republic’ in brackets. And the bases to do so were very strong. The conditions were truly horrifying and independence seemed ironic in those conditions. A tiny piece of land, twelve thousand square kilometres, was left in the hands of the Armenians. A poor and semi-destroyed country squeezed between arid mountains, in a forsaken corner of the world, overloaded with migrants and orphans, surrounded by teeth-grinding enemies, without bread, without medication, and without help hunger and epidemic, looting and ravage, tears and misery, massacre and terror. On the other hand, there was the triumphant army of Enver, inspired by pan-Turkist dreams which aimed towards Absheron and Turkestan through Armenia. Such was the situation in Armenia, while there was total chaos in Tiflis. After May 26, Armenian-Georgian relations had become tense. The Georgians, high on their independence and German support, were treating the Armenians, clutching at the hem of Russia’s robes, with enmity. The Armenians, in their turn, considered the Georgians conspirators and traitors.”

The humble birth of Armenia was preceded by the collapse of the Tsarist regime in Russia. And so, in May 1918, the Republic of Armenia was declared on a small piece of Armenian land attached to Russia – about nine centuries and more than five hundred years after the fall of the Bagratid Armenian kingdom and the Armenian state of Cilicia respectively. Although in the following months Armenia was going to gradually expand, turning from formless chaos into a true republic, the Armenian regions under the military-political control of the Ottoman Empire and the Kemalists never did become a part of Armenia’s republic.

More than ninety years later, and today the Armenian dream to have a “Free, Independent, and United Armenia” continues to crumble on the slopes of Ararat.

From Tatul Hakobyan’s book – ARMENAINS and TURKS

Photo- Soviet Georgia’s, Soviet Armenia’s and Soviet Azerbaijan’s leaders Eduard Shevardnadze, Karen Demirchyan, and Haydar Aliyev


“With the bitter irony of history, the Turks first recognized Armenia’s independence”

In mid-1918 the remnants of the Armenian people were left a mangled bit of land, for lack of a better term, that they called a republic. But as pitiful a state as was the Republic of Armenia in May 1918, its very existence was, nevertheless, an amazing accomplishment.

It was not a republic, but aninfertile and isolated piece of land, filled with cliffs and mountains, orphans and refugees, and suffering and adversity.

The country was in an exceptionally grave state. Tiny Armenia was filled with an army of migrants, while existing resources were not enough to satisfy the essential needs of the locals. Without exaggeration it can be said that hunger ruled the newly-formed state. People were dying from hunger in the streets, markets, and parks of Yerevan moans and groans and whimpers could be heard the entire day. Skeletal children were searching for something to eat in the garbage, digging in the rubbish with their hands. According to an eye-witness account, “On walking along the street on your way to work, you could see a woman and child in rags, curled up under a wall on the pavement, shivering from the cold and whining. They were not holding out their hands, they did not want anything. Little by little they were dying from hunger in front of your eyes.”

The inglorious birth of the republic followed four years of devastating warfare, the decimation of the Turkish Armenian (Western Armenian) population, the illusory hopes prompted by the first Russian revolution of February 1917, the disastrous policy of the Sovnarkom at Brest-Litovsk, the relentless Turkish invasion of 1918, the disintegration of Transcaucasia, and, finally, the frantic efforts of the Armenian leaders to save the nation from total annihilation.

At three o’clock in the afternoon on May 26, 1918, the Democratic Federative Republic of Transcaucasia was no more. President Nikolay Chkheidze wired the obituary to the capitals of eighteen nations. That same evening, the Georgian National Council declared Georgia’s independence and appointed Noi Zhordania as the head of the government. The Muslim National Council convened in Tiflis on May 27 and endorsed a proposal to declare “Eastern and Southern Transcaucasia” an independent, sovereign, democratic state. The official act establishing the republic of Azerbaijan was proclaimed on the following day. In the middle of June, 1918, the MuslimNational Council relocated from Tiflis to Ganja (Gandzak, Elizavetpol), the temporary capital of Azerbaijan, and with the permission of Ottoman military commander Nuri Bey formed a cabinet headed by Fathali Khan Khoyskii. Nuri Bey was already in Ganja and actively organising hundreds of irregulars into the Army of Islam to conquer Baku.

While Georgians and Azerbaijanis took concrete steps to strengthen the foundations of their newly-proclaimed republics, the Armenian leaders were thrown into turmoil. The Armenian Social Democrats and the Populists called for independence, insisting that no alternative existed. The ARF (Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutyun Party) was badly split. Council Chairman Avetis Aharonyan, together with Ruben Ter-Minasyan and Artashes Babalyan opposed independence, while Simon Vratsyan and Khachatur Karjikyan favoured taking the momentous step. Hovhannes Kajaznuni and Alexander Khatisyan stressed that the only possibility for survival required declaring independence and securing peace with Turkey, no matter the cost. “The Armenian National Council was forced to announce Armenia’s independence,” wrote Vratsyan. “I emphasise, was forced, because at that time everyone considered independence an awful prospect and a risk, placing the Armenian nation under the Turkish yoke.”

After a long debate, Armenia was declared independent, but the May 30 declaration made no mention of “independence “or “republic”. Only after news of Armenian military successes near Yerevan had been confirmed and peace had been concluded at Batum did the National Council dare publicly to use the title “the Republic of Armenia.”

Thus, during the last days of May, 1918, three independent republics were born amidst the chaos and ruin of the Transcaucasus. The failure to gain peace through the Batum negotiations, the Turkish drive deep into the Tiflis and Yerevan guberniyas, and the absence of cohesion among Georgians, Armenians, and Tatars shattered the wobbling foundations of the Transcaucasian Federation. In contrast to their neighbours, the Armenians shuddered before the prospect of independence. Having been abandoned and thrown upon the mercy of the same Turkish rulers who had annihilated the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire, they searched desperately for a glimmer of hope.

In Vratsyan’s words: “In March 1918, the Turks were capable of occupying both Yerevan and the whole of Armenia, but they did not do so. On the contrary, on June 4, they signed a peace treaty with the representatives of the government of the newly-formed Armenia, and thus, de facto, recognised the independence of Armenia. And so, with the bitter irony of history, the first international recognition of the independence of Armenia was by the Turks.”

On May 28, the Armenian National Council had selected Khatisyan, Kajaznuni, and Papajanyan to return to Batum with unlimited powers for negotiating a peace with the Turks on behalf of the Armenian people. “We stayed in Batum for eight days, until June 5, and during the entire time we were busy with the drafting of a peace treaty,” wrote Khatisyan. “It was the first international act that Armenia had to implement. During the first session, Vehib Pasha personally drew Armenia’s borders on that historical map which had been with me in Trebizond and would be later in Constantinople, Alexandrapol, and Europe. When we took a look at the map, we were overwhelmed with two sharp feelings. The first was pride – after dreaming for centuries, we would finally have a little corner of our own on the map of the world. The second was bitterness– this corner was barely 9,000 sq km, absolutely inadequate for accommodating our people.”

During the negotiations, the Turks agreed to give Armenia another one thousand square kilometers territory “in the spirit of good relations ”. Armenia was limited to the province of Nor Bayazet, and the eastern portions of the provinces of Alexandrapol, Etchmiadzin, Yerevan, and Sharur-Daralagyaz.

On June 6, the Armenian delegation returned to Tiflis and presented the Treaty of Batum to the National Council. The assessment of the losses showed that the Transcaucasus had been sheared of over 20%of its territory on which nearly 20%of its total population had lived in 1914. Nearly three-quarters of the ceded territory had been wrenched from the Kars oblast and Yerevan guberniia. The population in the remaining districts of the Yerevan guberniya, that is, in the Republic of Armenia, was composed of approximately 300,000 of the two million Russian Armenians and at least an equal number of refugees from Turkish Armenia and regions surrendered at Brest-Litovsk and Batum. Even in this pitifully tiny area, there were nearly 100,000 Muslims.

On August 1, 1918, on the official opening day of Armenia’s Council (parliament), its president Avetik Sahakyan, reminded those present that, “After the collapse of the Transcaucasus our country was left at the mercy of fate, thus the Armenian National Council rushed to take on itself all of the functions of the government. It was at that time (end of May- beginning of June), that the infamous ultimatum of the Ottoman Empire was received, demanding an answer in 48 hours. A delegation was sent to Batum, headed by Kajaznuni, Papajanyan and Khatisyan. Our delegation was forced to accept the ultimatum and sign a peace agreement with Vehib Pasha and Khalil Bey. The Armenian National Council clenched its teeth, and with cold diligence decided to accept the ultimatum and recognise Armenia’s independence, handing itself over to the unbiased judgment of history. Yes, our republic is small, with constricted boundaries. Our country’s borders cannot remain fixed forever. I believe that our county’s borders will expand with the iron power of life and with our new good-will treaty with Turkey and its allies, the representatives of which are present here.”

From TATUL HAKOBYAN‘s book ARMENIANs and TURKs


Contents

The term ‘social services’ is often substituted with other terms such as social welfare, social protection, social assistance, social care and social work, with many of the terms overlapping in characteristics and features. [1] [4] What is considered a ‘social service’ in a specific country is determined by its history, cultural norms, political system and economic status. [1] [4] The most central aspects of social services include education, health services, housing programs and transport services. [7] Social services can be both communal and individually based. [1] This means that they may be implemented to provide assistance to the community broadly, such as economic support for unemployed citizens, or they may be administered specifically considering the need of an individual - such as foster homes. [1] Social services are provided through a variety of models. [1] Some of these models include: [1]

  • The Scandinavian model: based on the principles within 'universalism'. This model provides significant aid to disadvantaged groups such as people with disabilities and is administered through the local government with limited contributions from non-governmental organisations. [1]
  • The family care model: employed throughout the Mediterranean, this model relies on the aid of individuals and families which usually work with clergy, as well as that of NGO's such as the Red Cross. [1]
  • The means-tested model: employed in the UK and Australia, the government provides support but has stringent regulations and checks which it employs to determine who is entitled to receive social services or assistance. [1]

Recipients Edit

Social services may be available to the entirety of the population, such as the police and fire services, or they may be available to only specific groups or sections of society. [1] Some examples of social service recipients include elderly people, children and families, people with disabilities, including both physical and mental disabilities. [1] These may extend to drug users, young offenders and refugees and asylum seekers depending on the country and its social service programs, as well as the presence of non-governmental organisations. [1]

Early Development Edit

The development of social services increased significantly in the last two decades of the nineteenth century in Europe. [8] There are a number of factors that contributed to the development of social services in this period. These include: the impacts of industrialisation and urbanisation, the influence of Protestant thought regarding state responsibility for welfare, and the growing influence of trade unions and the labour movement. [8] [3]

Europe: (1833–1914) Edit

In the nineteenth century, as countries industrialised further, the extent of social services in the form of labour schemes and compensation expanded. The expansion of social services began following Britain's legislation of the 1833 Factory Act. [9] The legislation set limits on the minimum age of children working, preventing children younger than 9 years of age from working. [9] Additionally, the Act set a limit of 48 working hours per week for children aged 9 to 13, and for children aged 13 to 18 it was set at 12 hours per day. [9] The Act also was the first legislation requiring compulsory schooling within Britain. [9] Another central development for the existence of social services was Switzerland's legislation of the Factory Act in 1877. [10] The Factory Act introduced limitations on working hours, provided maternity benefits and provided workplace protections for children and young adults. [10] In Germany, Otto von Bismarck also introduced a large amount of social welfare legislation in this period. [10] Mandatory sickness insurance was introduced in 1883, with workplace accident insurance enacted in 1884 alongside old age and invalidity schemes in 1889. [10] Insurance laws of this kind were emulated in other European countries afterwards, with Sweden enacting voluntary sickness insurance in 1892, Denmark in 1892, Belgium in 1894, Switzerland in 1911, and Italy in 1886. [8] Additionally, Belgium, France and Italy enacted legislation subsidising voluntary old-age insurance in this period. [8] By the time the Netherlands introduced compulsory sickness insurance in 1913, all major European countries had introduced some form of insurance scheme. [8]

South America: (1910-1960) Edit

According to Carmelo Meso-Lago, social services and welfare systems within South America developed in three separate stages, with three groups of countries developing at different rates. [3] The first group, consisting of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica and Uruguay, developed social insurance schemes in the late 1910s and the 1920s. [3] The notable schemes, which had been implemented by 1950, consisted of work injury insurance, pensions, and sickness and maternity insurance. [3] The second group, consisting of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela, implemented these social services in the 1940s. [3] The extent to which these programs and laws were implemented were less extensive than the first group. [3] In the final group, consisting of the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras and Nicaragua, social services programmes were implemented in the 1950s and 1960s, with the least coverage out of each group. [3] With the exception of Nicaragua, social service programs are not available for unemployment insurance or family allowances. [3] Average expenditure on social services programs in as a percentage of GDP in these states is 5.3%, which is significantly lower than that of Europe and North America. [3]

Asia: (1950-2000) Edit

Within Asia, the significant development of social services first began in Japan after the conclusion of World War II. [5] Due to rising levels of social inequality in the 1950s following the reformation of the Japanese economy, the incumbent Liberal Democratic Party legislated extensive health insurance laws in 1958 and pensions in 1959 to address societal upheaval. [5] In Singapore, a compulsory superannuation scheme was introduced in 1955. [5] Within Korea, voluntary health insurance was made available in 1963 and mandated in 1976. [5] Private insurance was only available to citizens employed by large corporate firms, whilst a separate insurance plans were provided to civil servants and military personnel. [5] In Taiwan, the Kuomintang government in 1953 propagated a healthcare inclusive workers insurance programme. [5] A separate insurance scheme for bureaucrats and the military was also provided in Korea in this time. [5] In 1968, Singapore increased its social services program to include public housing, and expanding this further in 1984 to include medical care. [5] Within both Korea and Taiwan, by the 1980s the amount of workers that were covered by labour insurance had not increased above 20%. [5]

Following domestic political upheaval within Asian countries in the 1980s, the availability social services considerably increased in the region. [5] In 1988 in Korea, health insurance was granted to self-employed rural workers, with coverage extended to urban-based self-employed workers in 1989. Additionally, a national pension program was initiated. [5] Within Taiwan, an extensive national health insurance system was enacted in 1994 and implemented in 1995. [5] During this period the Japanese government also expanded social services for children and the elderly, providing increased support services, increasing funding to care facilities and organisations, and legislating new insurance programs. [5] In the 1990s, Shanghai introduced a housing affordability program which was then later expanded to include all of China. [5] In 2000, Hong Kong introduced a superannuation scheme policy, with China implementing a similar policy soon after. [5]

Quality of Life Edit

There have been several findings which indicate that social services have a positive impact upon the quality of life of individuals. An OECD study in 2011 found that the countries with the highest ratings were Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland, whilst the lowest ratings were given by people from Estonia, Portugal and Hungary. [12] Another study recorded by the Global Barometer of Happiness in 2011 found similar results. [12] Both of these studies indicated that the most important aspects of quality of life to people were health, education, welfare and the cost of living. [12] Additionally, the countries with the perception of high-quality public services, specifically Finland, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands, scored the highest on levels of happiness. [12] Conversely, Bulgaria, Romania, Lithuania and Italy, who scored low on levels of satisfaction of social services, had low levels of happiness, with some sociologists arguing this indicates there is a strong correlation between happiness and social services. [12]

Poverty Edit

Research indicates that welfare programs, which are included as a part of social services, have a considerable impact upon poverty rates in countries in which welfare expenditure accounts for over 20% of their GDP. [13] [14]

However, the impact of social service programs on poverty varies depending on the service. [15] One paper conducted within China indicates that social services in the form of direct financial assistance does not have a positive impact on the reduction of poverty rates. [15] The paper also stated that the provision of public services in the form of medical insurance, health services and hygiene protection have a 'significantly positive' impact upon the reduction of poverty. [15]


Revoluce a nezávislost [ editovat | editovat zdroj ]

Během Únorové revoluce v roce 1917 se dostal do čela tbiliského sovětu a v březnu 1917 byl zvolen komisařem výkonného výboru tbiliského sovětu. V srpnu téhož roku pak byl zvolen opět do Ústředního výboru RSDDS. 3. září téhož roku se uskutečnila schůze tbiliského sovětu a Žordanija pronesl projev, ve kterém vyzýval dělnictvo, aby nepodlehlo bolševickým tendencím a místo toho podpořilo vytvoření nezávislé parlamentní republiky. V říjnu 1917 se krátce přidal k tzv. „Všeruskému parlamentu“, ale znechucen místními poměry se rozhodl vrátit do Gruzie. 26. listopadu se stal předsedou Prezidia Národní Rady Gruzie a sehrál značnou roli při upevňování vlivu menševiků na úkor bolševiků na dění v Gruzii. V důsledku Velké říjnové revoluce dlouho váhal, jak se má k nastalé politické situaci postavit, ale v květnu 1918 se rozhodl odštěpit se definitivně od bolševického Ruska. Nejprve vznikla nakrátko Zakavkazská federativní republika, ale Žordanija pak inicioval schůzi parlamentu Gruzie, která vyhlásila nezávislost Gruzínské demokratické republiky. 24. června 1918 byl zvolen předsedou vlády Gruzie.

Během své vlády provedl úspěšně pozemkovou reformu a věnoval se vytvoření sociální a politické legislativy. Dalším jeho úspěchem byla jeho zahraniční politika, protože se mu povedlo navázat diplomatické styky po světě a tím získal pro Gruzii mezinárodní uznání nezávislosti, dokonce i ze strany sovětského Ruska. Kromě toho, že jeho vláda měla podporu především u rolnického obyvatelstva, se podařilo prostřednictvím kombinace socialismu, demokracie a nacionalismu získat si náklonnost i střední třídy, gruzínské inteligence a šlechty, takže prakticky nic nestálo Gruzíncům v cestě stát se moderním vyspělým národem. Nicméně invaze Rudé armády v únoru a březnu 1921 způsobila zhroucení Gruzínské republiky a zastavení slibného rozvoje. Žordanija a většina jeho přátel z politiky i mimo ni musel emigrovat.


Contents

Early life and education Edit

Philip Randolph was born April 15, 1889, in Crescent City, Florida, [3] the second son of the James William Randolph, a tailor and minister [3] in an African Methodist Episcopal Church, and Elizabeth Robinson Randolph, a skilled seamstress. In 1891, the family moved to Jacksonville, Florida, which had a thriving, well-established African-American community. [4]

From his father, Randolph learned that color was less important than a person's character and conduct. From his mother, he learned the importance of education and of defending oneself physically against those who would seek to hurt one or one's family, if necessary. Randolph remembered vividly the night his mother sat in the front room of their house with a loaded shotgun across her lap, while his father tucked a pistol under his coat and went off to prevent a mob from lynching a man at the local county jail.

Asa and his brother, James, were superior students. They attended the Cookman Institute in East Jacksonville, the only academic high school in Florida for African Americans. [5] Asa excelled in literature, drama, and public speaking he also starred on the school's baseball team, sang solos with the school choir, and was valedictorian of the 1907 graduating class.

After graduation, Randolph worked odd jobs and devoted his time to singing, acting, and reading. Reading W. E. B. Du Bois' The Souls of Black Folk convinced him that the fight for social equality was most important. Barred by discrimination from all but manual jobs in the South, Randolph moved to New York City in 1911, where he worked at odd jobs and took social sciences courses at City College. [4]

Marriage and family Edit

In 1913, Randolph courted and married Mrs. Lucille Campbell Green, a widow, Howard University graduate, and entrepreneur who shared his socialist politics. She earned enough money to support them both. The couple had no children. [4]

Early career Edit

Shortly after Randolph's marriage, he helped organize the Shakespearean Society in Harlem. With them he played the roles of Hamlet, Othello, and Romeo, among others. Randolph aimed to become an actor but gave up after failing to win his parents' approval.

In New York, Randolph became familiar with socialism and the ideologies espoused by the Industrial Workers of the World. He met Columbia University Law student Chandler Owen, and the two developed a synthesis of Marxist economics and the sociological ideas of Lester Frank Ward, arguing that people could only be free if not subject to economic deprivation. [4] At this point, Randolph developed what would become his distinctive form of civil rights activism, which emphasized the importance of collective action as a way for black people to gain legal and economic equality. To this end, he and Owen opened an employment office in Harlem to provide job training for southern migrants and encourage them to join trade unions. [4]

Like others in the labor movement, Randolph favored immigration restriction. He opposed African Americans' having to compete with people willing to work for low wages. Unlike other immigration restrictionists, however, he rejected the notions of racial hierarchy that became popular in the 1920s. [6]

In 1917, Randolph and Chandler Owen founded The Messenger [7] with the help of the Socialist Party of America. It was a radical monthly magazine, which campaigned against lynching, opposed U.S. participation in World War I, urged African Americans to resist being drafted, to fight for an integrated society, and urged them to join radical unions. The Department of Justice called The Messenger "the most able and the most dangerous of all the Negro publications." When The Messenger began publishing the work of black poets and authors, a critic called it "one of the most brilliantly edited magazines in the history of Negro journalism." [4]

Soon thereafter, however, the editorial staff of The Messenger became divided by three issues – the growing rift between West Indian and African Americans, support for the Bolshevik revolution, and support for Marcus Garvey's Back-to-Africa movement. In 1919, most West Indian radicals joined the new Communist Party, while African-American leftists – Randolph included – mostly supported the Socialist Party. The infighting left The Messenger short of financial support, and it went into decline. [4]

Randolph ran on the Socialist Party ticket for New York State Comptroller in 1920, and for Secretary of State of New York in 1922, unsuccessfully. [7]

Union organizer Edit

Randolph's first experience with labor organization came in 1917, when he organized a union of elevator operators in New York City. [7] In 1919 he became president of the National Brotherhood of Workers of America, [8] a union which organized among African-American shipyard and dock workers in the Tidewater region of Virginia. [9] The union dissolved in 1921, under pressure from the American Federation of Labor.

His greatest success came with the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP), who elected him president in 1925. [7] This was the first serious effort to form a labor institution for employees of the Pullman Company, which was a major employer of African Americans. The railroads had expanded dramatically in the early 20th century, and the jobs offered relatively good employment at a time of widespread racial discrimination. Because porters were not unionized, however, most suffered poor working conditions and were underpaid. [4] [10]

Under Randolph's direction, the BSCP managed to enroll 51 percent of porters within a year, to which Pullman responded with violence and firings. In 1928, after failing to win mediation under the Watson-Parker Railway Labor Act, Randolph planned a strike. This was postponed after rumors circulated that Pullman had 5,000 replacement workers ready to take the place of BSCP members. As a result of its perceived ineffectiveness membership of the union declined [4] by 1933 it had only 658 members and electricity and telephone service at headquarters had been disconnected because of nonpayment of bills. [11]

Fortunes of the BSCP changed with the election of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932. With amendments to the Railway Labor Act in 1934, porters were granted rights under federal law. Membership in the Brotherhood jumped to more than 7,000. After years of bitter struggle, the Pullman Company finally began to negotiate with the Brotherhood in 1935, and agreed to a contract with them in 1937. Employees gained $2,000,000 in pay increases, a shorter workweek, and overtime pay. [12] Randolph maintained the Brotherhood's affiliation with the American Federation of Labor through the 1955 AFL-CIO merger. [13]

Civil rights leader Edit

Through his success with the BSCP, Randolph emerged as one of the most visible spokespeople for African-American civil rights. In 1941, he, Bayard Rustin, and A. J. Muste proposed a march on Washington [7] to protest racial discrimination in war industries, an end to segregation, access to defense employment, the proposal of an anti-lynching law and of the desegregation of the American Armed forces. [14] Randolph's belief in the power of peaceful direct action was inspired partly by Mahatma Gandhi's success in using such tactics against British occupation in India. [15] Randolph threatened to have 50,000 blacks march on the city [11] it was cancelled after President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802, or the Fair Employment Act. [7] Some activists, including Rustin, [16] felt betrayed because Roosevelt's order applied only to banning discrimination within war industries and not the armed forces. Nonetheless, the Fair Employment Act is generally considered an important early civil rights victory.

And the movement continued to gain momentum. In 1942, an estimated 18,000 blacks gathered at Madison Square Garden to hear Randolph kick off a campaign against discrimination in the military, in war industries, in government agencies, and in labor unions. [17] Following passage of the Act, during the Philadelphia transit strike of 1944, the government backed African-American workers' striking to gain positions formerly limited to white employees. [18]

Buoyed by these successes, Randolph and other activists continued to press for the rights of African Americans. In 1947, Randolph, along with colleague Grant Reynolds, renewed efforts to end discrimination in the armed services, forming the Committee Against Jim Crow in Military Service, later renamed the League for Non-Violent Civil disobedience. When President Truman asked Congress for a peacetime draft law, Randolph urged young black men to refuse to register. Since Truman was vulnerable to defeat in 1948 and needed the support of the growing black population in northern states, he eventually capitulated. [4] On July 26, 1948, President Harry S. Truman abolished racial segregation in the armed forces through Executive Order 9981. [19]

In 1950, along with Roy Wilkins, Executive Secretary of the NAACP, and, Arnold Aronson, [20] a leader of the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council, Randolph founded the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR). LCCR has been a major civil rights coalition. It coordinated a national legislative campaign on behalf of every major civil rights law since 1957.

External audio
National Press Club Luncheon Speakers, A. Philip Randolph, August 26, 1963, 55:17, Randolph speaks starting at 4:56 about the forthcoming March on Washington, Library of Congress [21]

Randolph and Rustin also formed an important alliance with Martin Luther King Jr. In 1957, when schools in the south resisted school integration following Brown v. Board of Education, Randolph organized the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom with Martin Luther King Jr. In 1958 and 1959, Randolph organized Youth Marches for Integrated Schools in Washington, D.C. [4] At the same time, he arranged for Rustin to teach King how to organize peaceful demonstrations in Alabama and to form alliances with progressive whites. [16] The protests directed by James Bevel in cities such as Birmingham and Montgomery provoked a violent backlash by police and the local Ku Klux Klan throughout the summer of 1963, which was captured on television and broadcast throughout the nation and the world. Rustin later remarked that Birmingham "was one of television's finest hours. Evening after evening, television brought into the living-rooms of America the violence, brutality, stupidity, and ugliness of Eugene "Bull" Connor's effort to maintain racial segregation." [22] Partly as a result of the violent spectacle in Birmingham, which was becoming an international embarrassment, the Kennedy administration drafted civil rights legislation aimed at ending Jim Crow once and for all. [22]

Randolph finally realized his vision for a March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963, which attracted between 200,000 and 300,000 to the nation's capital. The rally is often remembered as the high-point of the Civil Rights Movement, and it did help keep the issue in the public consciousness. However, when President Kennedy was assassinated three months later, Civil Rights legislation was stalled in the Senate. It was not until the following year, under President Lyndon B. Johnson, that the Civil Rights Act was finally passed. In 1965, the Voting Rights Act was passed. Although King and Bevel rightly deserve great credit for these legislative victories, the importance of Randolph's contributions to the Civil Rights Movement is large.

Religion Edit

Randolph avoided speaking publicly about his religious beliefs to avoid alienating his diverse constituencies. [23] Though he is sometimes identified as an atheist, [4] particularly by his detractors, [23] Randolph identified with the African Methodist Episcopal Church he was raised in. [23] He pioneered the use of prayer protests, which became a key tactic of the civil rights movement. [23] In 1973, he signed the Humanist Manifesto II. [24]

Death Edit

Randolph died in his Manhattan apartment on May 16, 1979. For several years prior to his death, he had a heart condition and high blood pressure. He had no known living relatives, as his wife Lucille had died in 1963, before the March on Washington. [25]


S tanislav L akoba

The post-Soviet period, reminiscent of and in many cases seeming to repeat, the events of 1917-1921 after the break-up of the Russian Empire, has demonstrated quite clearly that the difficulties in Abkhazian-Georgian relations cannot be resolved by those two countries alone, without involving the Caucasus as a whole in this issue.

At the same time it is obvious today that the entire Caucasus has become the arena for a struggle for energy resources and fierce clashes between the geopolitical and strategic interests of Turkey and Russia , Iran and the West. The marked weakening of Russia 's position in this key region was a result of the war in Chechnya and of the continuing complete blockade of Abkhazia. The battle for the pipeline, or rather for the route for transporting Caspian oil, cannot fail to influence political developments and automatically puts the people of the Caucasus on the knife edge between war and peace.

In this state of imbalance, neighbouring countries and powers are trying to create their own areas of responsibility, new alliances and regional as well as international associations under the aegis of the United Nations, the OSCE and NATO. Over the centuries the entire Caucasus, or portions of it, has been alternately or simultaneously part of Iran, Turkey or Russia, which still regard these territories as traditionally theirs. Thus Turkey sees a substantial part of the Caucasus as part of an extensive Turkic state, Turan. Iran in turn sees the future of some Caucasian countries in an alliance including Iran itself and certain Central Asian republics. Russia, though still laying claim to Transcaucasia ("Transcaucasia" is a peculiarly Russian term, resulting from its wars with Iran and Turkey), mostly because of oil, is now forced to keep an eye on the North Caucasus, realising late in the day what is happening on its southern flank.

Early pacification of the explosive Caucasus region is most unlikely, given this distribution of forces in obvious conflict. As regards the prospect of future state and legal relations between Abkhazia and Georgia, the way forward seems to be within the framework of a Caucasus Confederation.

Not long before the break-up of the USSR the eminent Sovietologist A. Avtorkhanov gave the following warning and advice: Caucasians must understand that if they fight among themselves they will never be either free or independent. In the eyes of the outside world such a region does not deserve freedom, but should be permanently occupied by a strong state and its armed forces. I would recommend all autonomous regions in the Caucasus to combine in one republic, which already existed under the name of "Gorskaya Respublika" (Mountain Peoples' Republic). In spite of our multilingual nature, but in view of our common historical, social, cultural and geopolitical heritage, the outside world gave us one general national name - the Russians called us the "Caucasus gortsy" (mountain people)" and in the West we were known as "Circassians". We have never known racial discrimination or religious friction.

The idea of a Caucasus Confederation had its origins in the spring of 1917 and was developed further in 1918. Caucasian unity was proclaimed at the first Mountain People's Congress on 1 May 1917 in Vladikavkaz. At the Congress the "Alliance of United Mountain People of the North Caucasus and Dagestan", headed by T. Chermoev, a Chechen, R. Kaplanov, a Kumyk, P. Kotsev, a Kabardian, V. Dzhabagiev, an Ingush, and others, was officially established. The Abkhazian people also became full members of this alliance. A Mountain Peoples' Government was formed in November 1917. S. Ashkhatsava represented Abkhazia in it.

On the eve of this important event, on 8 November 1917, the Abkhazian People"s Congress in Sukhum elected the first parliament, the "Abkhazian Peoples Council" (ANS) and the following vital documents were approved: "Declaration by the Abkhazian People's Congress" and the "Constitution of the Abkhazian People's Council". It is interesting to note that the representative of the Abkhazian Parliament gave the following address on 19 November 1917 in Tiflis at the opening of the first Georgian parliament (the Georgian National Council): "I am happy that the high honour of conveying warm greetings to you on behalf of the Abkhazian People's Council has fallen to my lot. The Abkhazian people, as part of the Alliance of united mountain peoples, congratulate fair Georgia on its first steps on the way to national self-determination. The Abkhazians, having formed an alliance with their northern brethren are therefore convinced that in the near future they will join the noble Georgian people in a common alliance of all the peoples of the Caucasus. In this future alliance the Abkhazian people see themselves as full members of the United Mountain Peoples' Alliance".

However, according to Emir-Khassan, a prominent figure in North Caucasus emigration, this was the period when a number of mistakes were made, which led to the isolation of the South Caucasus from the North Caucasus and the creation of the "so-called Transcaucasian Federation". Emir-Khassan observed:

The differences that began to appear even during the first revolutionary period became even more pronounced. A narrow national egoism flourished. The minds of Caucasian statesmen were entirely directed to organising separate nations each one was protecting and establishing only his own frontiers, without regard to what neighbouring peoples were doing.

The situation in the North Caucasus very quickly worsened, with the increasing savagery of the civil war and the formation in March 1918 of the Terek Soviet Republic. However, the previous 1st Mountain People's Congress still traced "the outlines of national ideology", which led the North Caucasus to proclaim its independence within a year. It is clear from the minutes of the first meeting of the Batumi peace conference dated 11 May 1918 that it was attended by delegations from Germany, Turkey, the Transcaucasian Republic and the mountain peoples of the North Caucasus and Dagestan. On the same day the independence of the Caucasus Mountain Peoples' Republic and its separation from Russia were announced. The Republic included Dagestan, Chechen-Ingushetia, Ossetia, Kabarda, Karachai-Balkaria, Abkhazia and Adygeya. Its territory extended from the Black Sea to the Caspian and amounted to 260,000 square kilometres, with a population of almost 6.5 million.

The deputies from the Abkhazian People's Council, A. Shervashidze (Chachba), T. Marshaniya, S. Basariya and others then appealed to the Turkish government and declared at the Batumi Conference that "Abkhazia does not wish to be included in the group of Transcaucasian peoples, but aligns itself with the North Caucasus union of mountain peoples, which should build a separate state under the protection of Turkey". Later, during the years of Stalinist repression, particularly in 1937-1941, this was the pretext for eliminating practically all the Abkhazian intelligentsia, who were in sympathy with the idea of a Caucasus Confederation.

The territory of the independent Mountain Peoples' Republic of 1918, which was recognised internationally, coincided precisely with that pan-Caucasian area that had been involved in the mountain peoples' national liberation campaign in the nineteenth century and developed under the banner of Shamil. After Shamil had been forced to lay down his arms in 1859, the Ubykh, Adygeyans and Abkhazians continued their unequal struggle with tsarism for a further five years. This ended on 21 May 1864 with a parade of Russian and Georgian forces on the Krasnaya Polyana, in historic Abkhazia. This marked the end of the Caucasian war (1817-1864). The historian Ali Sultan made the following comment with regard to the tragic events of those years:

In none of the conquered regions did Russian imperialism produce such devastation as it did in the North Caucasus. Here, as a result of many years of aggressive war, many localities settled since ancient times disappeared from the face of the earth, the boundaries of areas settled by individual autochthonous tribes were altered and the cultural monuments of the past and an ancient civilisation were destroyed. In many cases entire ethnic units were uprooted and sent into the unknown. The western provinces of the Caucasus, Western Adygeya and Abkhazia were particularly hard hit: their populations were forced into large-scale emigration in the second half of the nineteenth century and found refuge in what was then the Ottoman Empire.

This is a suitable place to note that on 9 May 1984 the US Congress approved an address of welcome to the peoples of the North Caucasus to mark the 66th anniversary of their declaration of independence. On that portentous day Congressman Robert Roy addressed the House of Representatives on the anniversary of the proclamation on 11 May 1918 of the Caucasian Mountain Peoples' Republic. The Congress documents also included a "Brief historical note on the struggle by the oppressed peoples of the Northern Caucasus for independence. "

The Transcaucasian Democratic Federal Republic (ZDFR) broke up after the formation of the Mountain Peoples' Republic and on the same day, 26 May 1918, following an ultimatum by Turkey, the Democratic Republic of Georgia was proclaimed (the Azerbaijan Republic was proclaimed on 27 May and the Armenian Republic on 28 May). This period in the history of the Caucasus has been called the "Caucasian May", and it was said in this connection in one of the proclamations: "When the anti-nationalist storm of bolshevism was raging in Russia, the idea of healthy national statehood was triumphant in the Caucasus".

The instrument of Georgian independence was adopted on the day on which the republic was formed (26 May 1918) however, this did not define the frontiers of Georgia. Preliminary outlines of the frontier were drawn for the first time by someone with a very keen interest in the matter, in a secret letter to Tiflis dated 28 May 1918, by the German general von Lossow, who undertook to make every effort to ensure that "Germany would assist Georgia in securing its frontiers".

However, even von Lossow, an ally of the Georgian government and at the same time a supporter of the Caucasian Confederation, proposed the temporary inclusion of the Sukhum district - Abkhazia - within Georgia (i.e. within Germany's area of influence) with a reservation to prevent interference by his ally (Turkey). In commenting on this letter the international lawyer Z. Avalov (Avalishvili), a distinguished figure in the Georgian republic, wrote:

The reservation in the letter is curious: the Sukhum district (including Gagry) shall be part of Georgia until Georgia forms a separate state within the Caucasus. However, should a confederation of Caucasian peoples be formed involving Georgia the population of the Sukhum district should be allowed to determine its position among the Caucasian countries. In other words, in this case the population of Abkhazia would have the choice of union with Georgia, entering the Union of Mountain Peoples or being part of the Caucasus Confederation as a separate state-canton. It is apparent from this what importance was attached to the plan for political union of the Caucasian peoples at the precise time when circumstances made dissolution of the Transcaucasian Union essential.

Thus Abkhazia was outside Georgian territory when Georgian independence was proclaimed on 26 May, because since 11 May 1918 it had been part of the Caucasus Mountain Peoples' Peoples' Republic, which unfortunately lasted for only a year.

In breach of the arrangements with Abkhazia, as early as 17-19 June 1918, troops from the Georgian republic supported by the military might of Germany landed in Sukhum and virtually occupied the country. General A.S. Lukomskii, Denikin's comrade-in-arms, wrote in this connection: "Taking advantage of German support, Georgia occupied Abkhazia and the Sochi district against the wishes of the population . " By this time Abkhazia was in an extremely difficult position, because it was virtually deprived of real support from the "Mountain Peoples' government" due to the increasingly brutal civil war in the North Caucasus. However, the Mountain Peoples' Republic government condemned the Georgian invasion of Abkhazia. Thus in June 1918 the Foreign Minister of the Caucasus Mountain Peoples' Republic (Gaidar Bammat) lodged a protest with the government of Georgia and with Schulenburg, the head of the German government diplomatic mission in the Caucasus about the incursion by German troops into Sukhum and "the presence of Georgian bands in Abkhazia".

It was during this period, in June-August 1918, that Aleksandr Shervashidze, Tatash Marshaniya, Simon Basariya and other influential Abkhazians appealed for aid to Abkhazian Makhadzhirs living in Turkey whose forefathers had been compelled to leave their motherland in the nineteenth century as a result of the Russo-Caucasian war. The people and parliamentary deputies of Abkhazia regarded the forcible action by Georgia as armed intervention in the Mountain Peoples' State. Noi Zhordania, the president of the Georgian Republic government, recalled that at that time the representatives of the North Caucasus gave Georgia an ultimatum: "Abkhazia is ours, get out!"

The Turks in their turn were dreaming of Sukhum and planning to "protect Abkhazia from the Georgians" with the help of the Chechens.

On the night of 27 June 1918 an Abkhazian armed force from Turkey landed near the River Kodori. Turkey was not involved in this conflict at the official level the landing party was essentially an armed force of the Mountain Peoples' Republic. In addition, German sources make clear that in June-August 1918 the "Mountain Peoples' government" was still laying claim to Abkhazia and the port of Sukhum. It is not surprising, therefore, that there were repeated seaborne landings by Abkhazian makhadzhirs in Abkhazia during the same few months. These aspirations were fundamentally at variance with German policy interests in this region.

The Mountain Peoples' Republic government continued to regard Abkhazia as part of its state, in spite of the fact that it was occupied by Georgia. Thus a coloured ethnographic and political map of the Caucasus Mountain Peoples' Republic intended for the Paris Peace Conference was printed in French on the orders of the Mountain Peoples' Delegation in 1919 in Lausanne (a representative of Abkhazia also travelled to the conference as part of the Mountain Peoples' delegation). On this map both Abkhazia and South Ossetia were shown as within the Mountain Peoples' State, not in Georgia.

Carl Erich Bechhofer, who was in the Caucasus at the time, described Georgian government policy as follows:

The "Free and Independent Social-Democratic State of Georgia" will remain in my memory forever as a classic example of an imperialistic "small nation", both in the matter of external territorial seizure and in bureaucratic tyranny within the country. Its chauvinism passes all bounds.

The Georgian politician Z. Avalov also described the situation at the time very accurately:

At the beginning of 1921 Georgia had a simple party organisation in its government and in the form of the Constituent Assembly. Georgian democracy in 1918-1921, which was a form of social-democratic dictatorship, i.e. right-wing Marxism, was the preparation for the triumph of Soviet dictatorship in Georgia.

The "Mountain Peoples' Government" was forced to emigrate in 1921 as Soviet power became established in the Caucasus. In the 1920s and 30s representatives of the Caucasus Mountain Peoples' Republic in Prague, Paris and Warsaw published the journals "Vol'nye gortsy", "Gortsy Kavkaza", "Severnyi Kavkaz", etc. During this period the political exiles carried out an enormous amount of research on the future national state structure of the Caucasus. They published a large number of articles, recommendations and books on this pressing problem, and on 14 July 1934 in Brussels representatives of the national centres of North Caucasus, Georgia and Azerbaijan signed an international treaty of great political importance - the Caucasus Confederation Pact - with a place kept in the pact for Armenia.

The Caucasus Independence Committee and the Caucasus Confederation Council, the governing body in all diplomatic activity, were set up at the same time. The Caucasus Confederation was to have been an alliance of states retaining a sovereign existence but bound together by several common ties: common customs frontiers, defence and foreign policy. The Caucasus Confederation Pact has been called a "tactical-strategic document". The Polish journal "Vostok" made this comment in 1934: "An independent and united Caucasus will cease to be a source of military conflict and will become a vital element in maintaining the overall balance".

Eminent political figures spoke in defence of the Caucasus Confederation, but were against a "Caucasus community" on a federal basis, rightly regarding it as an imperfect model. Thus B. Bilatti wrote:

A federation cannot stand compulsion. A federal link can be forged only between materially and spiritually equal values otherwise it is likely to turn into a screen, under cover of which the strong will strive to absorb the weak. The great-power aspirations of large nations are organic phenomena derived from the very nature of mankind, and for that reason the cohabitation of large and small nations, even where such cohabitation is initially absolutely voluntary, is likely to end in conflict. This has been the fate of all states in which small nations have united round large nations. The former were either absorbed by the latter or finally joined forces to bring down the state and free themselves from the tie.

The issue of Caucasian unity was raised several times, but came into the open again on the eve of the break-up of the USSR, when Georgian-Abkhazian differences reached their high point and developed into conflict on 15-16 July 1989. This was the negative background against which a hasty consolidation of the North Caucasus nations and Abkhazia took place. The foundations of this movement were laid in Sukhum, the capital of Abkhazia, on 25 August 1989 at the first congress of Caucasus mountain peoples, which formed the Assembly of Caucasus Mountain Peoples (AGNK), by analogy with the 1917 United Mountain Peoples' Alliance.

The second AGNK congress on 13-14 October 1990 in Nalchik (Kabardino-Balkaria) was a vital stage. It was announced then that a period of practical work to implement a programme for a new state structure for the North Caucasus and Abkhazia was on the way. Special attention was given to the unity of the Caucasus nations, put into effect on 11 May 1918 by the proclamation of an independent state - the North Caucasus Republic.

Great events followed this congress. The Russian Federation showed signs of breaking up after the collapse of the USSR, and the existence of former "union-republic" small empires was called into question. The resolve of the Chechen nation, the proclamation of an independent Chechen Republic and the election of a president in October 1991 raised the Caucasus mountain peoples' movement to a new level. The third AGNK congress was held in Sukhum in the context of the political turbulence in Chechnya (on 1-2 November 1991). It was attended by plenipotentiary representatives of the Abaza, Abkhazian, Avar, Adygeyan, Aukhov-Chechen, Darghin, Kabarda, Lak, Ossetian (North and South Ossetia), Circassian, Chechen and Shapsug nations. Representatives of social and political movements in Georgia were also present. In his speech a Georgian parliamentary deputy also called for the entire Caucasus to merge to form a "single fist".

Following a proposal by the deputies the AGNK was changed to the Confederation of Caucasus Mountain Peoples (KGNK) and a little later, in Groznyi in 1992, was renamed the Confederation of Caucasus Nations (KNK). The following declaration in particular had been made at the third KGNK congress:

It is quite probable that, in the first stage at all levels, the Caucasian autonomous republics and oblasts will declare themselves sovereign states, and after this act of national self-assertion will in all probability begin to unite to form a new alliance - a Caucasus Confederation, which Chechnya, Dagestan, Georgia, Ingushetia, Ossetia, Kabarda, Karachai-Balkaria, Abkhazia, Adygeya, etc. may join as equal members.

A Treaty was signed at the third congress and a "Declaration on a Confederated Alliance of Caucasus Mountain Peoples" was adopted. Decisions were taken to form a Caucasian Parliament, an Arbitration Tribunal, a Defence Committee, a Caucasus Communities Committee and other structures for confederation, the headquarters of which would be in Sukhum.

Even during the Georgian-Abkhazian war, in April 1993 at the London conference on the problems of the North Caucasus, representatives of Abkhazia also put forward a plan for the Caucasus Confederation.

Under present conditions, such an alliance of sovereign Caucasus states in the form of a confederation is becoming a matter of particular urgency. Even in 1934 Emir Khassan was stressing in his paper "A Caucasus Confederation" that "the Caucasus can be liberated and can retain its freedom only provided that all the Caucasus nations unite fully".

Today it is quite obvious that only the Caucasians themselves, within their own union and with the support of the international community, are capable of settling vexed questions and resolving conflicts in the North and South Caucasus. Inter-Caucasian peacekeeping forces will also be needed to implement such a programme. At the present stage this seems to be essential in building a "Caucasian home" and, as the Azeri academic R. Aliev rightly observed, the "concept of inter-nation reconciliation" must prevail in this process.

Of course, today it would be Utopian to raise the matter of immediate union of all states and nations in the Caucasus to form a confederation, in view of the political, territorial and religious differences between them and the lack of any single unifying ideology. However, it seems quite possible at this stage to create the nucleus of such a confederation, which could consist of, for example, three countries: Abkhazia - Georgia - Chechnya . Unfortunately some Georgian academics have seen the threat of "Georgian centrism" in this model the problems inherent in this will recede into the background, while the importance of the Caucasus Confederation to the world community may become of paramount importance.

Later Ingushetia, Dagestan, Ossetia (North and South), Azerbaijan , Nagorno-Karabakh , Armenia , Adzharia, Kabarda, Karachai-Balkaria, Circassia , Adygeya, etc. may join the A-G-C triangle, given the enormous popularity of the idea of a confederation among the Caucasian nations. A horizontal, not a vertical, structure for state legal relations among the Caucasian countries in a confederative alliance can solve the basic problem: together or apart? It appears that in such a confederation not only Georgia and Abkhazia but other Caucasian states will be both together and apart at the same time in their mutual relations. This is undoubtedly necessary at the present stage in order to overcome the existing mistrust and to build relations among the nations of the Caucasus based on equality and trust. It is quite probable that in the historical long term the Caucasus Confederation will transform itself into a federation, but this will occur peacefully and painlessly. However, to propose federal relations in the Caucasus today means complicating the situation and resorting to force and compulsion, which will never lead to pacification and stabilisation throughout the Caucasus . There cannot be partial freedom: only the Caucasus as a whole can be free.


Watch the video: strong enough - marika zhordania (December 2021).