The Triumph of the Triumvirates Patriots or Scoundrels?
Posted on June. 14. 2020
By Z. S. Andrew Demirdjian
“The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.” Julius Caesar
In its simplest definition, a triumvirate is a political office in which power is shared by three individuals. The aim of the union is to exercise wide power over its constituents either for the common good or for the benefit of the three individuals. Moreover, the three may resort either to fair methods of accomplishing their mission or to subversive strategies to enhance their positions.
A perusal of history gives us examples of two major kinds of triumvirate coalitions: Patriotic and Scoundrel triumvirates. The first patriotic triumvirate appeared in ancient Rome in 60 B.C. The term Triumviratus signified the rule by a 3-men coalition, whether formally recognized or not. The first was an informal arrangement between Julius Caesar, Marcus Licinius, and Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (known as Pompey who fought against the Armenians in the Black Sea region). The second triumvirate was legally recognized and consisted of Octavian (later known as Augustus), Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, and Mark Antony.
Julius Caesar was known to have been a renowned general, a great politician, and an erudite scholar in ancient Rome. He conquered the vast region of Gaul and helped initiate the end of the Roman republic. Later, he became the dictator of the Roman Empire.
The two Roman triumvirates proved to be rather patriotic. The interest of the nation came first. They worked hard to establish a society wanting to improve their lot and by the formation an invincible Roman army consisted of mercenary soldiers. The result was the establishment of the Roman Empire, the mightiest and the longest lasting power the world had ever known.
A second example of a patriotic triumvirate happened in America’s early days. A group of three people shared power: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison were a triumvirate. These three men whose leadership helped shape America. The fruit of their labor of these three people blossomed in building the world’s longest-enduring democracy, the United States of America, which lasted over 242 years —uninterrupted, a milestone in the history of humankind.
As for an example of a scoundrel triumvirate, it happened in the Ottoman Empire of present-day Turkey. In the early days of the 20th century, three unscrupulous individuals formed a political triumvirate, namely Talat, Enver, and Djemal; the alliance was also known as the Committee of Union and Progress. With their simple, unprofessional backgrounds, they gave themselves important offices and titles. The result: they abolished the Ottoman Empire, dragged Turkey into WWI, committed the first Genocide of the 20th century, and created a more brutal image of the Turkish people around the world including of the Moslem countries. The world shall never forget this scoundrel triumvirate’s heinous crime against humanity by trying to wipe out an entire indigenous people of the Armenian Highlands and the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia.
Currently, another triumvirate seems to be forming in the Armenian political landscape. The galaxy of the cast of characters in this union consists of the Catholicos Karekin II, Abp. Hovnan Derderian, Mr. Joseph Kanimian. According to very reliable sources, such as eye-opening editorials of Mr. Appo Jabarian of USA Armenian Life Magazine to mention one, all three of these gentlemen are “…collaborating to execute of [sig] a Big Plan?”. Supposedly, they are plotting to take over several vital interests of the Armenian people for personal gains and prestige.
One area of great concern to me as a member is the governance of the great Ararat Home of Los Angeles. The aim is to change the governance of this institution from democratic (rule of the many) to an oligarchic (the rule of the few) style of management.
Now, back to triumvirates. The pivotal question is: will this new Armenian triumvirate prove to become patriotic union or a scoundrel oligarchy? You might say time will tell. But wait a minute, for over several years, editorials after editorials, articles after articles, pamphlets after pamphlets, TV interviews after interviews, and so on and so forth, have been written on the malfeasances of Catholicos Karekin II and Abp. Hovnan Derderian. No, one tried to disprove the allegations levied against them in Armenia as well as in the Diaspora.
Given all that has been said and done, would it be premature to draw a conclusion that this triumvirate may engage in subversive operations if they are sneakily trying to undermine something from the social structure of a retirement house to an entire system of government of the Armenian Orthodox Church?
As you know, triumvirates do not form in a vacuum. They take root into a social, political setting. They spring into existence when three astute individuals see the opportunity to seize power, either for the common good or for their own personal gains. As we have seen, some triumvirates are very patriotic, and other are disdainfully selfish creatures.
We, as a society, at the first blush of a scoundrel type of a triumvirate is being formed, we should not allow them to grow and to reap the benefit of the use of their power —if they are identified with supportive evidence that they are nothing but a pack of wolves trying to take advantage of their own people; these are the survivors and descendants of the Genocide, who need every bit of help to regain from the calamity of their recent past. The formation of a triumvirate of scoundrels would be a shameful act and would put the Armenian nation in deep disgrace.