`We have to abandon bowing to West`
21 March, 2013
`We have to abandon bowing to West`
Exclusive Interview with businessman levan Vasadze

“Three types of people go into politics: rats who seek ultimate delight in power and enrichment, the infantiles who think they are doing good for the country but easily lose their heads to dishonesty and the bravehearts who enter the battlefield and get crucified expecting and receiving nothing in return by way appreciation,” – said the businessman Levan Vasadze in an exclusive interview. We are presenting below an abridged version of the article.

Could you please introduce your business an educational activities to the readers because they are unlikely to know it.
A: My background is in geophysics. I and Lado Gurgenidze (the former PM) were the first among those Georgians who were taken by Americans to high school studies in the United States during the Gorbachev era. We managed to pass through all the competition rounds and found ourselves in the first batch to receive high education in America in 1990. I came back to Tbilisi during the civil war. Later I became the First Vice-President of “Ñèñòåìà”, one of the largest Russian business corporations at the time. Thanks to profound transparency and a high level of the civilized attitudes, the corporation was the only one to enter the London Stock Exchange in 2005.
Q: Your letter “Nation and State” is both review and vision of past and future of Georgian Nation and State. What made you write this letter? What do you seek to achieve?
A: The Soviet Socialist System is in grave and replaced by Western consumerist system. Replacement of ideologies has been repeatedly occurring in the history of our country. Every new ideology dictates us –the ancient nation – to get rid of the older ideology because everything it brought is bad and that the new one is good in the absolute sense. We have to reflect on our identity in this circulation of epochs. Certainly we have to stay clear of becoming fanatical about the past in our vain belief that everything new is bad. A lot of good come along with the new things. Conversely, we need not believe that all the new things are pure, good and useful. They adoption without any differentiation will wrack a havoc to our national organism. My letter is an attempt to delineate between good and bad coming from the West. Today, whoever criticizes the West is instantly tagged as a conveyor of Russian values and even a KGB agent. They blackmail us not to even question anything about the West, their absolute idol. This is a mistake. I am always sympathetic of the West but we have to learn of its worthwhile qualities and transcend on to our world outlook, traditions and lifestyle. What is the difference between those who impose such ideologies on us and Bolsheviks who were proposing us to become their slaves in return of freedom from Ottomans? Had all the Georgians accepted their proposal, what would have become of us today? We must seek distinction. We have to adopt the useful thing and reject harmful ones. All the new ideologies have one thing in common: all of them require slavish obedience. You are going to be chastised as an enemy, should you beg to differ even on a single topic.
The second part of letter is an analysis of the Saakashvili’s rule. I do not intend to go personal but a sea of facts lead us to conclude that his regime pursued a vector which was very dangerous for our country and world outlook, perpetuated injustice and tramped upon human decency. Nowhere else in the world 9960 businessmen have given their property and businesses to the State in nine years. It happened only here.
The third part of the letter unfolds my vision of future development of Georgia. There are five thousand ethnicities in the world but only about two hundred states. We are among those 3% ethnicities which were endowed with statehood. A pious man would say it’s a God’s mercy. An atheist would chose to think about fortunate historical circumstances. In any case, we have to know what to do now. Why don’t we reckon over the loss of this statehood in the past and its subsequent re-gaining? Is then Statehood an award or obligation? This is exactly what I delve into there.
Q: The Saakashvili’s regime formally vowed the pro-Western course. But were we really heading for the West?
A: I belong to the group of those who lauds the West. I love Hemingway, Picasso, “Barcelona” but it just can’t be correct to idolize everything western and think that everything is just superb there. I am among those first who went to the United States. I lived there for years and arrived to a conclusion that the historical West that created all these is different from the today’s West which experiences decadence of values in the last fifty years. Family that brings happiness to us is losing the ground in the West.
According to statistics, every other family is disintegrated. The United States, the freest country, “boasts” the largest prison population in the world. Lewdness has acquired unbelievable forms. They order us to accept all these. In other words they advocate for the youth to live in such a sexual profligacy to get “seasoned” and create a stable family. What a hypocrisy! If this doctrine is correct why over half of families end in separation? Why has not the logically thinking West had a ready answer for it? In reality the humankind knows it since ancient times that the deeper you sink into sins the harder you extricate yourself from the abyss. Political movements are being set up to protect pedophiles and lower the allowed age for sexual life to 12-14. Why is the suicide rate highest in the well-off and stable western countries? The highest violent juvenile death rates are registered in USA and Canada. In the same way, consumption of addictive anti-depressants and semi narcotic substances is also highest there. Population in these freest countries there is knee deep in credit debt and enslaved much more than us. We are so far spared of such problems. The Western countries vehemently seek economic enrichment but paradoxically are first in the line of candidates for bankruptcy. I love and am interested in the West but what can we do about these facts? Shall we do away with our reasoning facility and turn into blind followers? We are demanded to accept everything western if we want into the EU? Why do we have to? There is no concept of a sin in the West any more. Religiousness gets only scolds and is seen a sign of retardation.
But the Georgian culture doesn’t consider so. I’ve been brought up in an atheist empire but the families kept morale and fear of God. We have to abandon bowing to West. Let’s look at western ideology as an interesting one that is good for us in one respect but bad in the other. Let’s take from the west whatever is useful for us, indulging ourselves to select, perform selective westernization. There are liberals in the west and diversity of opinion is acceptable for them so let them learn that we don’t like exactly the same that they do.
Q. – How do you see the future of Georgian-Russian relations?
A. – If there is goodwill Russia may not take back recognition of our regions as independent states but at the same time create no obstacles to reconciliation and reintegration with them. These are logically quite compatible notions because statehood of Ossetia is inconvenient for Russia. Russians will by and by realize the threat of the trap, and they may have already guessed it. If they haven’t yet, then they will face much trouble.
Recognition of Samachablo and Abkhazia as independent states is nothing else but reflex of internal threat of Russia about disintegration of their own state. The Kremlin desired to make projection of this awesome, irrational and masochist fear on our state, unfortunately not without our stupidity or purposeful betrayal of our national interests. How can we otherwise explain self-subversive declaration by Russia that Ossetians, 95% of who live in Russia deserve their own state? The trap of their own emotional stupidity, the results of which Russia is reaping by having the status of international occupant, can be eluded with only heavy losses unless measures are taken by them to promptly improve the situation.
Despite everything I’ll dare express the most unpopular and dangerous idea in Georgia:
Russians, having the same faith, culturally as well as morally are not our enemies but allies and it’s the mistake of both of our nations and the result of our enemies that we came to such confrontation.
For years I’ve been thinking about integration of Akhalkalaki and Marneuli – our two ethnic regions. I consult my spiritual fathers, wiser people than myself and I’ve come to conclusion that two projects must be prepared. Administrative buildings of the state (not municipal) level must be taken to the territory of Akhalkalaki cantonment. By doing so we’d give Armenians colossal profit, employ them on construction sites, they’d sell us milk and potatoes and enjoy the income. As a result, they’ll be integrated with us, learn Georgian better and feel themselves much comfortably in our country.
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