Let us not deceive ourselves – what is happening to us should not be blamed on either the 70-year Bolshevik regime or the two-century-long Russian occupation. If you do not trust me, just read the notes of those travelers who visited Georgia over the ages and they will convince you of that.
The main enemy of Georgia has always been our "traditions" – the traditions that were cultivated by our domestic conformist "elite" who always felt at ease and in harmony with the enemy:
the lack of sense of being a community and the absence of feelings of communion; jealousy and a refusal to help others; base disobedience to any kind of order, and attributing such an approach to the struggle towards freedom; the unacceptability of any authority aside from sheer force; effrontery stemming from an inferiority complex; maliciousness; inbred carelessness in both reasoning and action; romanticization of theft and violence; corruption and nepotism; laziness; hypocrisy; betrayal....
Injustice is also a Georgian tradition. The majority of our nation's long and painful history was spent in injustice. In Georgia it has always been difficult to call things or events by adequate names. As a rule, good things were called good and bad things were called bad only after many years, or even centuries, had passed from their occurrence. However, when the likes of such luminaries as Davit Aghmashenebeli, Giorgi the Brilliant, or Ilia Chavchavadze were alive, we Georgians hated them with pagan zeal and fought against them and others who tried to expose and change our traditions.
Since the end of 2012, the process of the "reinstatement of justice" has been in progress in Georgia. A segment of voters disapprove of the tempo and the scale of this process. Let me act as an advocate of the government – the process of the "reinstatement of justice" has only been slow and painful because it has been impeded by the civilized rules of developed countries and not because the government lacks the desire or ability to do that in its own way! Had it not been for the West, the Georgian Dream would have already shown us what "true" justice is....
Ok, but what does "justice" mean? How do we understand that notion?
My subjective observation (even that implemented within the realm of my professional activity) might prove insufficient for generalization, but it is still very indicative: in Georgia, a country which has gone from crime being a mode of life to one of the safest countries in the world, I have not met a single relative of any prisoner who would admit that their brother, son, father, neighbor or friend was serving their sentence deservedly.
In general, there is no universal formula of justice. For Marx, one idealist misanthrope, the notion of justice was encapsulated in the slogan: "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs." Thank god the state built according to his ideas fell apart. For me, the notion of justice is much simpler: justice means being able to live and develop in a way you "deserve" (in the metaphysical understanding of this word) – in accordance with your knowledge, abilities and diligence – in the conditions of freedom, with no one impeding you.
I will remain a skeptic to the end and say that we will not be able to reinstate justice in Georgia, because it is impossible to find a reference point when there was a higher degree of justice in our country than during those "nine years." Having realized that, the intellectual heavyweights of the Georgian Dream coalition have tried to rename the "reinstatement" into the "establishment" of justice. However, under the conditions of the Georgian Dream, this idea is also stillborn.
Imagine the sort of justice that rests on the artistic talent of the likes of Vladimer Bedukadze, the jailor-filmmaker who was accused of torturing inmates, but was subsequently released from criminal liability by the Georgian Dream and then awarded a prize by the Russian Federation for his journalistic prowess.
Imagine the form of justice promoted by idealists united by only two things – Russian money and the hatred of one of the most, by all measurable criteria, successful governments in the history of Georgia.
Imagine a justice that exists under an electoral base consisting of the red intelligentsia, a darkness permeated with awe towards our co-religionist enemy, and collective xenophobia.
Imagine a justice that implies the release of Russian intelligence officers from prison under the status of political prisoners and the incarceration of those very patriots who fought against them...
It is logical – and perfectly fits into the narrative of those people who came to power under the slogan of the "reinstatement of justice" – that today in Georgia:
- Vano Chkhartishvili is able to "restores" his property for 1 GEL;
- Some 35 MPs from the ruling coalition (including Tamar Kordzaia and Davit Berdzenishvili) have offered to stand as guarantors for the pre-trial release of Emzar Kvitsiani, who is currently detained for taking armed resistance against the Georgian state before fleeing to Russia;
- The Secretary of the National Security Council conducts an inquiry into 400 GEL spent on Viktor Yushchenko's visit to a sulfur bathhouse in Tbilisi; whereas the finance minister, who oversaw the state budget underperform by one billion GEL, spends tens of thousands of lari on receptions and entertainment;
- Gia Volski runs parliament; Otar Partskhaladze still runs the Chief Prosecutor's Office; Giorgi Zhorzholiani controls students; a clan of Tsiteltskaro policemen dominate the Kakheti region; and Paata Zakareishvili is in control of the process of reconciliation and collaboration....
The list can be continued and endlessly updated with new examples, but it would become too boring to do so. The picture is crystal clear:
The process underway has nothing to do with the reinstatement of justice. What is happening in Georgia today is the restoration of injustice. The injustice returning to our daily lives has the face of personal hopelessness, a nationwide lack of ambition, tolerance of an unacceptable reality and the placation of the enemy. It does not give the possibility of free development to ordinary, honest people.
Although restored injustice will be a familiar situation for the ordinary Georgian voter, the disaster is that such ordinary Georgian voters will not admit that. "Georgia is hopeless anyway," they will lament and thus try to convince themselves that they have had nothing to do with it. Such apathy, however, is precisely the aim that Russia and its Georgian supporters want to achieve....
What, then, shall we do?
A concise answer to this question was given by Thucydides about 2,500 thousand years ago. It serves as the epigraph of this article.