Big and small thinking
06 December, 2014
Big and small thinking
The fundamental difference between Misha's United National Movement and and Ivanishvili's Georgian Dream or Otsneba movement has to do with thinking big and thinking small. The Nationals could only think big, they couldn't think small and that lead to their downfall. Otsneba can only think small, they don't seem to be able to think big.

Shevardnadze was famous for balancing. He brought stability to Georgia by handing out chunks of Georgia's economy and geography to different competing individuals. It worked
but ultimately doomed the country to corruption. And there was no vision, no portrayal of the country in any way anybody cared much about. A little silk road and transit corridor here and there, but nobody really cared about or believed that. Then Misha came along with a new vision. Georgia without Shevardnadze and all the corruption that was synonymous with him. When Shevardnadze was out of the way, Misha began portraying Georgia the way he saw himself: young, fast moving, attractive, Western oriented, dynamic, strong and in control of its own destiny. His job was the vision and the symbolism to go along with it. He was the communicator. The implementation was for others.

At first almost everybody was excited for any change. And many liked all or part of this vision. But there were others, silent at first but less so later on who actively disagreed with parts of the vision, or with the methods used to pursue it. And the vision changed along the way. With Shevardnadze out of the way and international support there were early successes. A feeling of invincibility took over. It seemed to bring with it contempt for the population. The Nationals have never had a great talent for listening but it got even worse. They polled public opinion and paid attention to how political consultants interpreted those polls, but they didn't listen to individuals. They conveniently decided that those who disagreed with them were Russian agents, grant eaters, corrupt, stupid or irrelevant. Anybody who wasn't working for their vision, was part of the problem.

And some people suffered. Many older people felt their views or interests were not being considered. The system of justice was effective at fighting crime but was not fair and many people were cruelly ground in its gears for no reason they could understand and with no recourse. Petty corruption ended but at the top the financial system was closed and corrupt. There was a great vision of national transformation, a vision that many people shared and still share, but the Nationals just didn't worry enough about individuals or listen to them, they didn't care about the details, or consider consequences. And this led to their downfall.

Otsneba is very preoccupied with individuals. The well funded leadership has transferred lots of stipends to individuals. There have been a large number of individual charity projects. These have been very important for many many families throughout Georgia. This is all good work. But where does it lead? What Georgia is it designed to encourage? What is the logic to who has been given help and who has not? What's the plan?

The leadership is expending a great deal of time, attention, political capital, and international credibility in punishing members of the former leadership. The mysterious sacking of Alasania was made no sense. The corruption charges against the ministry were simply an excuse to remove him. But why? Simply jealousy because he was popular? The campaign against the President is so childish, why do they spend so much effort on that micro-battle? There seems to be so much drama among the leadership team, who has access to the top, who is sabotaging who and why. There is always plenty of gossip about that in any government. But in this case it seems to be what they are mostly composed of. Among the leadership, doing a good job seems to be less important than the strength of personal alliances within the senior leadership.

Most of Georgia is relieved that Nationals are no longer in power. And one day the Nationals may even confront their own mistakes and shortcomings. But most people at least understand vision, although they may or may not like it. But now is the time for some big picture thinking from Otsneba. They need to be something other than the party that got rid of the Nationals and doesn't like them. Nobody I know in Georgia has a clear idea of Otsneba's vision for the country. It is time for us to know.


Print
Other Stories
The two sides of Georgia
On my first few days in Tbilisi, I stumbled across these two contrasting slogans. One is a testimony of open-mindedness and tolerance,
Mentally Ill or Not?
“The brain is wider than the sky.” Emily Dickinson.
Shall We Dance?
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” Friedrich Nietzsche.
Are We the Same or Just Getting Better?
Georgian-born Mancho Busse has been working in hospitality business for many years by now. Her husband, Robin Busse, works for the State Department of The United States,
Eco-Friendly Habits: How to Clean Your Off-Roading Vehicle Responsibly
Irresponsible waste disposal practices continue to have drastic effects on the environment.
 5 Techniques for Finding Your Inner Creativity
Whether you’re a writer, artist, or even a marketing executive, you’ve probably had days where you felt completely uninspired.
A suitcase full of wine and a heart full of memories
I left Switzerland and arrived in Tbilisi on December 28.
Five Reasons to Visit Georgia in 2017
If you've been searching for a unique place to vacation in 2017, the beautiful country of Georgia holds some hidden treasures.
PROMISING FUTURE OF COLLABORATION
“All roads lead to Rome” – states one of the most famous medieval proverbs. It’s fascinating to think how much the narrow streets and glorious walls of this eternal city have seen.
It’s Not So Bad, Chaps- Just Look at the Yanks: Ogden on Comparable Politics
Electoral fever is dying down in Georgia as it ramps up in the United States.
 “Moral Inversion” - Pre-election period in Georgia
Georgian pre-election period can be classified as “Moral Inversion”, a notion first put forward by Michael Polanyi.
America’s Trump Card
Like it or not, the name of the 45th American President will most likely be Donald Trump.
Clock is not counting down, it is adding up!
On Saturday for the ceremony in Charleston, instead of wedding gifts, the Managing Editor of Georgian Journal, Will Cathcart
A Protectionist Perspective: Ensuring A Georgian Future
Unlike many of my compatriots, I view my country as a sentient creature, a single organism. The mountains
Back in BSSR
"I remember that when I was a schoolgirl, they told us we have to be ready to give our lives for the motherland.
Thank you, father, for saving me from USSR!
On the 11th of October, the population of Belarus has elected Alexander Lukashenko to serve his fifth term
The EU Getting Squeezed in Georgia
Recent polls have shown that the EU is less and less popular in Georgia. The reason is that they
What is Georgia’s Military For?
There are two possible uses for Georgia’s military. The first would be to fight a war with an external threat or by its existence, to deter
Protohack
Last weekend I went to a hackathon in San Francisco called Protohack. In the former Soviet Union, people tend to think of hacking
European Migrant Crisis: The good, the bad and the liar
“I call an animal, a species, an individual corrupt, when it loses its instincts, when it prefers what is injurious
Refugees in Georgia
The people of Syria see the Assad regime weakening, and considering who may take over and what they might
David and Goliath: A Realpolitik Rendition
A Conservative Contrarian View on Georgia’s Geopolitical Dilemma
The Bleeding of Rustavi 2 - Our New August Surprise
When the powerful have to make something happen that they want few people to notice, they issue the statement late in the afternoon
The Good Neighbor
In 2012, Georgia was promised to witness what ex-Prime Minister Ivanishvili called “a new age.” It would be achieved by “restarting”
Independence, Institutions and Corruption
People talk about Georgia choosing between Russia and the West as if Georgia ended up at a soccer game and, well, since we’re here we may
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
07.11.2018
08.11.2018
USD
1
USD
2.7524
2.7656
EUR
1
EUR
3.1386
3.1766
GBP
1
GBP
3.5864
3.6390
RUB
100
RUB
4.1712
4.1953
Other Stories
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.7524
EUR
1
EUR
3.1386
GBP
1
GBP
3.5864
RUB
100
RUB
4.1712
November 2018
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30