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Armenia: Libertarian Paradise?

At the end of last week, in response to an article scrutinizing the problems of 1787, a new political party in the USA, one of our readers, Stephen Kent Gray, took objection to a brief dismissive comment made about the Libertarian Party. Gray bemoaned what he described as common liberal misperceptions about libertarian politics. “You can look at any libertarian or relatively libertarian society to disprove your predictions,” he wrote, before listing a number of nations that have admirable libertarian policies.

Let’s look at one of the nations he listed: Armenia.

Armenia is a former Soviet Republic north of Iraq and Iran, and east of Turkey. The nation has an ethnically nearly homogenous population of approximately 3 million people. Armenia’s national motto is “One Nation, One Culture”, which sounds more Nazi than libertarian.

Armenia has a high rate of literacy, achieved under the Soviet centralized system of education, and maintained since independence. The dominant school of higher learning, Yerevan State University, is government run. Some decentralization of the educational system has taken place in Armenia since the disintegration of the Soviet Union, but schools remain government-run, with a national curriculum, and what decentralization has taken place has been under the direction of international bureaucracies such as the World Bank, the Soros Foundation, and the United Nations. Armenia’s educational system is not libertarian.

It’s true that, in reaction to Soviet-era centralization, Armenia’s post-Soviet government has emphasized economic liberalization in which capitalist entities are relatively unregulated. As a result, there have been serious environmental problems: Garbage dumps in Armenia are untreated and unlined – simple, old-fashioned dumps. Industrial activity such as mining is able to spew pollution without much regulation, as reported by one volunteer who writes that the “Lori region is rich in copper-molybdenum deposits which has opened the doors for people to use it to produce copper. Certainly, it would only make sense to make use of natural resources to make something useful for people to use. But, the problem lies in the fact that the waste is not disposed of properly. Specifically, in between the monastery and the copper mine, runs the Akhtala River where part of the waste is dumped into while the rest is left out in the open, instead of being fenced by cement, diffusing all through the town and making its way into the lungs of the locals. I was truly heartbroken when I learned that Akhtala’s Monastery did not qualify as one of UNESCO’s world heritage sites due to the radioactive waste produced by the open-pit copper mine across from it. What a shame.”

While corporations and wealthy individuals get libertarian-style freedom from strong government regulation, ordinary citizens in Armenia suffer from brutal governmental authoritarianism. The secret police are a strong presence in the country, and human rights abuses are serious. Amnesty International cites “harassment and intimidation suffered by civil society activists and journalists who question the mainstream view”, in which “public officials condone violence against those with dissenting opinions. The targets of such attacks are often left without adequate protection and offences against them go unpunished, which has a chilling effect on others.” Human Rights Watch notes manipulation of results in recent national elections, intimidation of protesters, and a centralized health care system that prevents people from gaining access to the medicines they need.

Stephen Kent Gray tells us that the United States of America would benefit if it became more like Armenia, an exemplar of libertarian ideals. However, conditions in the real Armenia merely illustrate what goes wrong when libertarian ideals are put into practice: The powerful get all the benefits of being above the law, while everybody else’s freedoms and economic conditions are diminished. The supposed economic benefits of libertarianism are not realized, as the powerful gain more power at the expense of the rest of the nation, creating a level of corruption that drains the national economy of 5 percent of its wealth every year.

Is it any wonder that Americans overwhelmingly reject libertarian politics, when the libertarians suggest that we move to the Armenian model?

32 comments to Armenia: Libertarian Paradise?

  • Bill

    Libertarian advocates face the daunting problem of having absolutely no data, and no useful case studies, to point to in order to back up their utopian claims. Thus, every example they cite is going to be absurd, as Gray’s list of libertarian paradises was.

    Overall, the libertarian argument is so weak that it hardly needs to be opposed. Yet there’s no denying it has found at least a little traction among a few otherwise intelligent and mostly young people. The most effective thing we can do to counter the spread of libertarianism among young people would be to continue the fight to legalize marijuana. Take that one away from the libertarians and they got nuthin of interest to any moderately sensible person.

  • Armenia isn’t listed on any libertarian indices as a libertarian society. It’s listed in neither top 30 in economic freedom of either index.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_economic_freedom

    Armenia is number 38-39 in recent years. For comparison, the United States was number 10 for both years. So you used a society less libertarian than America for your argument actually.

    Are you just going to randomly post various random pseudo libertarian societies based on false analysis of their economies rather than mathematical indices?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_Freedom_of_the_World
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Index_of_Economic_Freedom

    Armenia’s economic freedom score is 69.4, making its economy the 38th freest in the 2013 Index. Its overall score has increased by 0.6 point from last year, mainly reflecting the better management of public spending. Armenia is ranked 17th among the 43 countries in the Europe region, and its score puts it above the world and regional averages.

    Considerable diversification of the economic base has increased economic dynamism in Armenia, and a decade of strong economic growth has reduced poverty and unemployment rates. Regulatory efficiency has been facilitated by a broad simplification of business procedures. Following expansionary fiscal policies in recent years, steps have been taken to limit the cost of government through more prudent public finance management.

    Although Armenia performs relatively well in many categories of economic freedom, stronger foundations are needed in areas like judicial independence and government transparency. Despite progress in tackling corruption, particularly within the tax and customs administrations, the close relationships within political and business circles raise concerns about cronyism and undue influence by vested interests.

    The United States, with an economic freedom score of 76, has lost ground again in the 2013 Index. Its score is 0.3 point lower than last year, with declines in monetary freedom, business freedom, labor freedom, and fiscal freedom. The U.S. is ranked 2nd out of three countries in the North America region, and its score remains well above the world and regional averages.

    Registering a loss of economic freedom for the fifth consecutive year, the U.S. has recorded its lowest Index score since 2000. Dynamic entrepreneurial growth is stifled by ever-more-bloated government and a trend toward cronyism that erodes the rule of law. More than three years after the end of recession in June 2009, the U.S. continues to suffer from policy choices that have led to the slowest recovery in 70 years. Businesses remain in a holding pattern, and unemployment is close to 8 percent. Prospects for greater fiscal freedom are uncertain due to the scheduled expiration of previous cuts in income and payroll taxes and the imposition of new taxes associated with the 2010 health care law.

    Restoring the U.S. to a place among the world’s “free” economies will require significant policy reforms, particularly in reducing the size of government, overhauling the tax system, transforming costly entitlement programs, and streamlining regulations.

  • http://www.heritage.org/index/country/armenia

    The closer to 100 the more libertarian, the further away the less.

    http://www.heritage.org/index/visualize?countries=armenia|unitedstates&src=country

    Compared to America. You can add any third country as well.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_Freedom_of_the_World

    I listed the top 30 in the other post, but you should really only use the ones with a higher rank than America.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Index_of_Economic_Freedom

    I personally prefer this index, but both indices are good. I’d prefer an analysis of each and every country starting from 1-United States or 1-30 or 1-last mostly free. You should have started with Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, or Switzerland.

    • I notice your list is one of “Economic Freedom,” which is synonymous for a party by rich people exploiting desperate poor people.

      If Singapore is your idea of a Libertarian paradise, then you shouldn’t have to wonder why I don’t vote Libertarian. Censored media, restrictions on speech, prohibitions on free assembly and show trials for political crimes are not my cup of tea. Singapore is a country of freedom for the richest of the rich and restrictions for everyone else.

      • If you read the article on economic freedom, you’d know that’s not what it’s about.

        Economic freedom or economic liberty or right to economic liberty denotes the ability of members of a society to undertake economic direction and actions. This is a term used in economic and policy debates as well as a politicoeconomic philosophy. As with freedom generally, there are various definitions, but no universally accepted concept of economic freedom.[1][2] One major approach to economic freedom comes from classical liberal and libertarian traditions emphasizing free markets, free trade and private property under free enterprise, while another extends the welfare economics study of individual choice, with greater economic freedom coming from a “larger” (in some technical sense) set of possible choices.[3] Other conceptions of economic freedom include freedom from want[1][4] and the freedom to engage in collective bargaining.[5]

        The free market viewpoint defines economic liberty as the freedom to produce, trade and consume any goods and services acquired without the use of force, fraud or theft. This is embodied in the rule of law, property rights and freedom of contract, and characterized by external and internal openness of the markets, the protection of property rights and freedom of economic initiative.[3][6][7] There are several indices of economic freedom that attempt to measure free market economic freedom. Empirical studies based on these rankings have found higher living standards, economic growth, income equality, less corruption and less political violence to be correlated with higher scores on the country rankings.[8][9][10][11][12]

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Politics_country_lists

        • Jim Cook

          Thanks for the Wikipedia theory, Stephen. In practice, it means just what I said it does.

          The point also remains that you just identified a nasty autocracy as a libertarian paradise.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Politics_country_lists

    There is a whole six sets of political indices with two to six indices each you can set up a profile of a country by. First create a profile of each of America’s score and compare it to thirty to sixty other countries.

  • A libertarian society should have atleast one libertarian party in it. Other societies may make libertarian decisions on some issues, but aren’t that consistently libertarian to use as good examples.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_libertarian_political_parties

    List may be incomplete, so click the category as well. Also, in future examples list all indices scores and the parties there if any.

    • In addition to the above:

      Libertarian writer David Boaz argued that terms left and right are used to spin a particular point of view rather than as simple descriptors, with those on the “left” typically emphasizing their support for working people and accusing the right of supporting the interests of the upper class, and those on the “right” usually emphasizing their support for individualism and accusing the Left of supporting collectivism. Boaz asserts that arguments about the way the words should be used often displaces arguments about policy by raising emotional prejudice against a preconceived notion of what the terms mean.[45]

    • ^ David Boaz, The Politics of Freedom: Taking on The Left, the Right, and Threats to our Liberties, Cato Institute, 2008, ISBN 978-1-933995-14-4

      I forgot the reference in the earlier post.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left%E2%80%93right_politics

  • Bill

    Sorry Stephen, your argument just doesn’t hold water. First, you’re attempting to set the debate in strictly economic terms, when the human experience and quality of life both encompass so much more. As but one small example: the Index of Economic Freedom you so glowingly cite ranks Chile substantially higher than the U.S., yet Chile’s infant mortality rate (a factor not considered in the Index) is significantly (22%) higher than the U.S. rate. Why wouldn’t a concern for individual freedom include a concern for freedom from dying as an infant? Seems like a no-brainer to me.

    Second, you treat these indexes like they’re pronouncements handed down from God, objective measures one can do math on and decide arguments with, when they’re no such thing. They’re about as objective as David Letterman’s Top Ten lists. Your favored Index of Economic Freedom, for example, is assembled by the universally respected Heritage Foundation and that champion of the common man, the Wall Street Journal. And, thus, it prefectly reflects the assumptions and the values of those notorious minions of the plutocracy.

    Try harder; you’re making this too easy.

    • Yes, they’re conservative, but those are cacophemism for conservatism as mentioned in the David Boaz quote posted earlier.

      Libertarian writer David Boaz argued that terms left and right are used to spin a particular point of view rather than as simple descriptors, with those on the “left” typically emphasizing their support for working people and accusing the right of supporting the interests of the upper class, and those on the “right” usually emphasizing their support for individualism and accusing the Left of supporting collectivism. Boaz asserts that arguments about the way the words should be used often displaces arguments about policy by raising emotional prejudice against a preconceived notion of what the terms mean.

      I could say that they are liberty respecting, Promethean torch bearers of Individualism.

      • Bill

        Certainly you could…but of course you’d be wrong.

        • Yes, I would prefer Libertarian sources over Left and Right ones.

          http://www.politics1.com/issues.htm

          David Boaz exposes both the Left and Right as enemies of Individualism in his book.

          • Bill

            A false trichotomy, Stephen. In every practical sense that matters, libertarians are extremist fiscal conservatives…i.e., way over on the right, arm in arm with the Tea Party. Just because you smoke pot, or don’t care if others do, doesn’t mean you’re not a corporatist and Fiscal Darwinist.

            • In 2006, while working as the Washington bureau chief of Investor’s Business Daily, Mitchell published Eight Ways to Run the Country: A New and Revealing Look at Left and Right (ISBN 0275993582), improving upon a theory of political difference first presented by Mitchell in the short-lived journal Theologies & Moral Concerns in 1995.[2] Eight Ways analyzes modern American political perspectives according to their regard for kratos (defined as the use of force) and archē or “archy” (defined as the recognition of rank). Mitchell rooted his distinction of archy and kratos in the West’s historical experience of church and state, crediting the collapse of the Christian consensus on church and state with the appearance of four main divergent traditions in Western political thought:

              republican constitutionalism = pro archy, anti kratos
              libertarian individualism = anti archy, anti kratos
              democratic progressivism = anti archy, pro kratos
              plutocratic nationalism = pro archy, pro kratos

              Mitchell charts these traditions graphically using a vertical axis as a scale of kratos/akrateia and a horizontal axis as a scale of archy/anarchy. He places democratic progressivism in the lower left, plutocratic nationalism in the lower right, republication constitutionalism in the upper right, and libertarian individualism in the upper left. The political left is therefore distinguished by its rejection of archy, while the political right is distinguished by its acceptance of archy.
              For Mitchell, anarchy is not the absence of government but the rejection of rank. Thus there can be both anti-government anarchists (Mitchell’s “libertarian individualists”) and pro-government anarchists (Mitchell’s “democratic progressives,” who favor the use of government force against social hierarchies such as patriarchy). Mitchell also distinguishes between left-wing anarchists and right-wing anarchists, whom Mitchell renames “akratists” for their opposition to the government’s use of force.

              In addition to the four main traditions, Mitchell identifies eight distinct political perspectives represented in contemporary American politics:

              communitarian = ambivalent toward archy, pro kratos
              progressive = anti archy, pro kratos (democratic progressivism)
              radical = anti archy, ambivalent toward kratos
              individualist = anti archy, anti kratos (libertarian individualism)
              paleolibertarian = ambivalent toward archy, anti kratos
              paleoconservative = pro archy, anti kratos (republican constitutionalism)
              theoconservative = pro archy, ambivalent toward kratos
              neoconservative = pro archy, pro kratos (plutocratic nationalism)

              A potential ninth perspective, in the midst of the eight, is populism, which Mitchell says is vaguely defined and situation dependent, having no fixed character other than opposition to the prevailing power.
              Eight Ways has been used to teach political theory at Yale University.[3] It was largely ignored by the political mainstream but received favorable reviews from libertarians and paleoconservatives, who welcomed the attention and the critique.[4][5] Anthony Gregory of the Independent Institute named Eight Ways “the best explanation of the political spectrum,” saying it “makes sense of all the major mysteries.”[6]

              Actually, Libertarians are in the Libertarian Individualism quadrant which is opposite the Plutocratic Nationalists quadrant.

            • http://entelechy.newsvine.com/_news/2007/06/05/757978-political-charts-where-do-you-fit

              I forgot to include the link on where you vote on the Eight Ways to Run the Country. I’m throughly anarchic and akratic which makes me an Individualist.

              Individualist (Anarchic and Akratic) Critical of social mores that fail to treat people equally, and also distrustful of policy that forces people to live a certain way against their will.

              Paleolibertarian (Akratic and indifferent to Arche) Deeply distrustful of policy that keeps people from choosing their own way in life, and only cares about morals and traditions to the extent that they become a focus of the legal system.

              Paleoconservative (Akratic and Archic) Distrustful of policy that keeps people from choosing their own way in life, but very supportive of the informal rules and traditions that undergird society.

              Radical (Anarchic with indifference to Kratos) Sharply critical of any social mores that fail to treat people equally, and only cares about government policy to the extent that it reinforces or challenges stale traditions.

              Theoconservative (Archic with indifference to Kratos) Supports social traditions but their support for government action varies depending on whether a policy supports or opposes the informal structure of society.

              Progressive (Kratic and Anarchic) Supports a strong government to direct activity, but is critical of social conventions that may hold people back from their full potential.

              Communitarian (Kratic with indifference to Arche) Supports a strong government to direct activity, but only cares about cultural matters to the extent that they impact the extent to which society can pursue big projects.

              Neoconservative (Archic and Kratic) Generally supportive of social heirarchies and believes that strong policy is often necessary to maintain stability and promote growth.

            • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Individualism

              Wikipedia link on Individualism, because people don’t even know what it means.

              Individualism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that emphasizes the moral worth of the individual.[1][2] Individualists promote the exercise of one’s goals and desires and so value independence and self-reliance[3] and advocate that interests of the individual should achieve precedence over the state or a social group,[3] while opposing external interference upon one’s own interests by society or institutions such as the government.[3]

              Individualism makes the individual its focus[1] and so starts “with the fundamental premise that the human individual is of primary importance in the struggle for liberation.”[4] Liberalism, existentialism and anarchism are examples of movements that take the human individual as a central unit of analysis.[4] Individualism thus involves “the right of the individual to freedom and self-realization”.[5]

              It has also been used as a term denoting “The quality of being an individual; individuality”[3] related to possessing “An individual characteristic; a quirk.”[3] Individualism is thus also associated with artistic and bohemian interests and lifestyles where there is a tendency towards self-creation and experimentation as opposed to tradition or popular mass opinions and behaviors[3][6] as so also with humanist philosophical positions and ethics.[7][8]

              An individual is a person or any specific object in a collection. In the 15th century and earlier, and also today within the fields of statistics and metaphysics, individual means “indivisible”, typically describing any numerically singular thing, but sometimes meaning “a person.” (q.v. “The problem of proper names”). From the 17th century on, individual indicates separateness, as in individualism.[11] Individuality is the state or quality of being an individual; a person separate from other persons and possessing his or her own needs, goals, and desires.

  • Kevork

    Are we allowed to state the author of this piece is a downright moron? A moron for being someone who has absolutely no clue about Armenia or history and is talking trash.

    “Armenia’s national motto is “One Nation, One Culture”, which sounds more Nazi than libertarian.”

    Firstly Armenia does not have a “national motto” and if it did, that is the best motto it could have, considering it is surrounded by Turkish Muslims intent on destroying the ancient Armenian civilization, which started as invasions from central Asia, then resulting in the Armenian Holocaust (which the US condescendingly refuses to acknowledge), and now with two Turkic terrorist states on either side, Turkey and Azerbaijan, intent on finishing the job, two countries I might add being supported by the misguided fools of America in the interests of fat bellies, SUVs and central Asian oil. Of course you idiots will play your “multiculture is great” trumpet to a tiny nation of 3 million surrounded by 100 million hostile terrorists, but wouldn’t be caught dead doing the same to a mono-ethinc nation of more than a billion like China, since after all, your favorite whoopie cushion is made there. Just who do you delusional tree-huggers think you are fooling?

    • J Clifford

      Okay, Kevork. Keep in mind, when I ask this question, that I am a moron, a downright moron.

      What’s your source on there being 100 million hostile terrorists surrounding Armenia? 100 million? Terrorists?

      I’m just writing this in the interest of fat bellies, you understand.

      P.S. I think I’m fooling my mother. She still thinks I go to church every Sunday… Hold on… I was just hallucinating that I was embracing an oak… whoah.

      • Armen

        Hey Clifford, you got a harsh response because you are touching on a sensitive subject. You should first study the history of the region before accusing an entire nation of being Nazis without understanding what’s going on. Turkey, Iran and Azerbaijan touching Armenia all together number under 200 million Muslims. Iranians are not hostile to Armenia, but the other two are, while Azerbaijan claims there are 30 million Turkic Azeris in Iran which are on its side. In the Armenian Genocide, the Armenian race survived by a miracle and was nearly wiped out by these same countries, and today they have the same objective and they don’t make it a secret either. They call that genocidal dream of theirs “Turan”, which is a policy of wiping out Armenia, the last Christian stronghold in the Caucasus so that from Turkey to the borders of Russia they can make a new Muslim Turkic “empire”. Pakistan is in on this too, despite not being Turkic, for them a “Muslim empire” is more important.

        Have you even researched the history of Armenia and its people? You need a magnifying glass to find Armenia on the map today, while in ancient times, Armenia reached from the Caspian sea to the Black sea to the Mediterranean sea. Today it is maybe 5 or 10 percent of its former self, thanks to invasion after invasion from Islamic tribes. Now they want to wipe the rest of it out, and here how do you expect the Armenians to behave? Whatever they are doing to survive, do you feel good about yourself calling the nation Nazis? What is your idea that they should extend their hand in friendship to those that want to destroy them? Turkey despite having lots of US and EU interest in it is today run by the same genocidal maniacs of 1915, except they do a better job of hiding it, while its baby sister Azerbaijan is daily engaged in a crude clownfest threatening to invade and destroy Armenia outright. These two nations call themselves “two nations one state”.

        The Armenians used to be the creative and business force in the Ottoman empire. The Turks ultimately thanked them by handing them a Genocide and stealing their country. That they could care less today while having usurped Armenia’s territory and spending millions every year on lobbies to deny their crimes has taught Armenians to never trust these people no matter how large their smile or their lies. Terrorist or not, they are a crude bunch unfit to be labeled as being part of modern society.

        • J Clifford

          Armen, I know all about the genocide, but the topic of the article is not the genocide. It’s whether Armenia is a libertarian ideal. Focus. Not every story about Armenia has to mention the genocide.

          Also, the number of Muslims around Armenia does not equal the number of terrorists around Armenia. If you think it does, then you’re including Muslim children among the ranks of terrorists, and your definition of “terrorist” becomes absurd.

          I didn’t call Armenians Nazis. Read. I said that a motto “sounds more Nazi than libertarian”. Now, step back, breathe, and ask yourself this question: Does the motto “One Nation, One Culture” better match libertarian politics, or Nazi politics?

        • Bill

          I’m guessing J’s original citation to the “One nation, one culture” motto may have been sourced from Wikipedia, which does indeed claim that…but its claim is unattributed, and after spending some time looking at official Armenian web sites I haven’t been able to find any support for it (though that phrase is certainly widely used by Armenians, for example in the Pan-Armenian Cultural Festival.

          A good general rule-of-thumb, for all of us, may be to think twice before likening anyone or anything to the Nazis, if only because this so seldom yields good results.

          But that wasn’t the point of J’s article. Tragic and unjust as the Armenian genocide was (I’m Hungarian, so it may be easier for me to sympathize) not every discussion in which the word “Armenia” occurs needs to be about the Genocide, just as not every discussion in which the word “Japan” occurs needs to be about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nor the word “Germany” needs to trigger discussion of the Holocaust. We live in a world that is totally screwed up by cultural, racial, regional, and national hatreds, founded mostly on wrongs that happened generations ago. Many Chinese and Japanese hate and fear each other, as do too many Turks and Armenians, Jews and Arabs, Saudis and Iranians, Hutus and Tutsis, Irish Protestants and Catholics, Muslims and Christians, American blacks and whites…I could go on and on. The question is, what’s more important to you: propagating old hatreds into the future without end, which only insures further tragedies, or recognizing that the past, however horrible it might have been, is the past…and that the future is the only thing that matters? If you can’t let go of your old hatreds then your hands are too full to pick up your tools and build the future. America, Germany, and Japan are, arguably, three of the strongest nations and economies on earth today, largely because they dusted themselves off after WWII and set to work building the future, despite the fact that they had every historical reason to just waste their time hating each other instead. It’s a too-rare example of something America did exactly right. Others can learn from this, or they can continue to poison themselves with eternal fear and hatred.

          • Bill

            I forgot to add this important point: Armenia is a justly proud Christian culture and nation, and Jesus had some very important things to say about how to deal with your neighbors and your enemies. ‘Nuff said.

        • Armen

          Well you guys are comparing Armenia’s situation to other nations like Japan, China etc. It can’t be done. Armenia’s situation is unique, and I would say the most tragic. Armenia was a very enlightened nation in ancient history, certainly way ahead of any European nation. And while Europe largely enjoyed its isolation and thus progress, Armenia had to endure onslaught after onslaught of Islamic invasion. And yet, it is still not over. How many countries can you name in the world where its population is two times it in its diaspora? Certainly not Japan, China et al. Israel maybe, and maybe Lebanon, however, these nationalities are not as clearly defined as Armenians, for example, Lebanese would qualify as Levantine Arabs, while Jews as a nationality is complicated since they are both a nationality from various countries and also a religion. And yes, Armenia being surrounded by Turkic enemies, they do number at least 100 million. Turks brainwash their population and children to be extremists from a young age and feed them historical lies in order to cover up their past crimes. Thus we can safely see that you may not see a far away people as terrorists, but their neighbors perhaps do, because their existence is in jeopardy. This is even more true of Azerbaijan than Turkey, now if you want to observe a modern-day totalitarian Nazi state, you can study that country. We know there are nice Turks, they are maybe a few %, while in Azerbaijan the figure is closer to 0%. The point is, what Nazis are to Jews, Turks/Azeris are to Armenians, it is simple as that.

          I know the topic of the article is not the Genocide, but the point I am making is, you need to understand the Genocide to understand how Armenians have to be in order to survive amongst hostile and aggressive Turks and Azeris, you cannot use your rosy western liberal ideas and accuse them with negative labels to apply to people around the world simply because they don’t fit in the mold of your imagination. Like I said, there is no such official motto in Armenia, and if there was the Armenians certainly need it to survive. Bringing up whether that sounds Nazi or not is inaccurate and not applicable here.

  • Joshua Budden

    I really enjoyed the list of “Libertarian nations” when I read the first article. Can we get Libertarians to help us push for a education system like Finland has, since apparently that’s Libertarian now?

  • Dave

    Bill, off topic a little, but as I believe you think well of attempts here in the U.S. to move medical care toward a single payer system, your citing Chile as having a higher infant mortality rate actually should give one pause for the cause. Chile has had a National Health Service since 1952, and began with a high Infant MR. Allende (the Chilean version of Obama) greatly expanded the service beginning in 1970 with a corresponding small reduction in IMR. After the Coup, their version of the Republicans reintroduced choice in medical financial decisions in 1975 which resulted in essentially a two tier system. The IMR dropped precipitously after that transition from 68/1000 down to its current 14/1000. What is a high IMR in comparison to the U.S. is something Chile should be quite proud of in comparison with the results they were getting under the old completely socialised system. Of course there are other factors to consider, but if one is going to consider Chile’s IMR in the context of economic freedom, well, this may be one positive result of people having more medical/financial choices, not fewer.

  • Out of all post Soviet states, I’m only knowledgeable of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. So forgive me if I don’t know that much of the others (especially the unrecognized ones like Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Nagorno Karabhakh).

  • Jack

    Mr. Clifford, Armenia is NOT a Libertarian state. I wish it was. Since its independence in 1988, Armenia is ruled by corrupt strongmen who come to power threw fraud and bribery, and use the Army and police to maintain power and silence the opposition. Hardly a Libertarian state.
    Your comparison of Armenians to Nazis is also wrong since they were the victims of Genocide at the hands of the Turks not the other was around.
    Approximately six million Armenians live in the diaspora and three million in Armenia proper. If your motto “One nation, One culture” was true, we would all be living in Armenia.

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