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Anarchism, Armenia

Ryan Robert Mitchell


Armenia has long been contested and subjugated by two regional and competing powers, Russia and the Ottoman empire. The revolutionary nationalist movement was formed in Armenia in the absence of any liberal parliamentary movement that sought to represent Armenian interests. In fact, after decades of alternate subjugation to Russian or Ottoman power, the majority of Armenians trusted neither the bourgeoisie nor the Armenian Church, who they saw as colluding with their oppressors. It is in this environment that radical nationalist movements were formed in Armenia. The Hay Heghapokhakan Dashnaktsutiun or Armenian Revolutionary Federation (most commonly known as either the Dashnaktsutiun or Dashnak Party) was founded in Tbilisi in1890 as both an outgrowth of and response to the sterile scientific socialism of the social democratic Hunchak (Alarm Bell) Party that had been formed three years earlier in Geneva, and was at that point Armenia's sole political party. Premised on the idea that socialism would be the best way to mobilize the worker population who were horrified by Ottoman oppression and massacres, the Dashnaktsutiun was a loose federation that attracted socialist revolutionaries, national liberationists, and social democrats. Lacking any ideological coherence, the party was defined by the objective of liberation rather than ideology. Unlike the earlier Hunchak Party, which ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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