14 July, 2011


Interview with Zaza Piralishvili, Philosopher

According to US Department of State, the investigation will hopefully put forward convincing arguments. This statement concerns the press photographers detained last week on espionage charges, one of them being the President’s personal photographer. Some people thought that all this was concocted to hush up the events connected with the law on ‘Religious associations’. Every version has the right to exist.

We started the interview with philosopher Zaza Piralishvili with last week’s key issue -

religious status.

Z.P.- Actually, there is the necessity for  such a law. As a matter of fact, the Orthodox Church participated in the process of working out the legislative amendments. As it is evident from the Patriarch’s declaration, they supported this legal norm. At the same time, the Church needed the guarantees that the legal amendments wouldn’t be tied to property problems or in case of connecting them the issue would be put fairly. We may not agree with the position of the Church and argue that this kind of formulation is against the principles of liberalism but whether you want it or not, one of the most influential institutions of the country puts the question this way. Tens of thousands of believers support them and it must be considered. Unfortunately, those who passed the amendments so hastily, didn’t mull over it.

The Armenian factor is there as well and we shouldn’t close our eyes on it. Religious nationalism – one of the products of globalization, is present in Armenian as well as in Georgian people. Karekin II’s declaration that at the given stage the issue of only six churches is valid willy-nilly reminds me about the alleged 600 Armenian cult buildings situated in Georgia that are mentioned in different mass media. The published issues can easily be understood as the plan of total religious expansion. One cannot close the eyes on this. Under these circumstances any legislative Bonapartism and revolutionary light-mindedness may play the role of a detonator. God grant that I’m mistaken.

The Church wanted to have a natural partner in the person of authorities that would assist it to connect the issue of handing over of Armenian churches situated in Georgia with the fate of Georgian churches situated in Armenia. There is no doubt that putting the question in this manner is wise because it creates a mechanism of securing from mentioned desire of expansion. It would be fair to study the problem of Armenian churches situated in Georgia like Georgian churches in Armenia. As it seems, many representatives of our Authorities are infected with political claustrophobia and they analyze the problems in the categories of world liberal revolution just like Bolsheviks viewed them in the categories of proletarian revolution. The way of conduct is the same.

Q. – What’s your assessment of creating the coalition by ‘Oppositional ‘Six’? What is the prospect of holding fair elections in Georgia?

Z.P. – Today we need a political alternative of the Authorities that will collect our spiritual and cultural, economic and political problems and express them in the manner appropriate for the modern world. In my mind, this force, whose existence is essential, should oppose the liberal extremism that leads our people to economic, political and, what’s the most hypersensitive issue, cultural impasse.

Q.- Can this newly created coalition fulfill this mission?

Z.P. – The new coalition consists of experienced subjects. They realize that the attention directed to them may vanish the same way as it appeared. The May events have shown that without a reliable political alternative our life as of a State is by and by coming to cul-de-sac. Today the powers can implement any of their intentions: sell strategic facilities, natural resources, abandon agriculture, neglect out religious interests. For this reason, as I’ve said, big interest is attracted by the opposition.

I don’t rule out appearance of one or two new coalitions in the nearest future. And the aim of the authorities will be clear – the fact of this creation must be lost in the informational chaos. This is their old and favorite method and it will be a very important test on resilience of the ‘Six’ and the hopes entrusted to them.

Today the authorities are opposed by quite incompatible forces. They are lagging behind in terms of human resources, instruments of influencing public opinion, ability of self-organization, etc. Currently, as I’ve said, the main goal is creation of strong alternative to the authorities. The coalition has taken this very niche.

As for the elections, they are unavoidable. For this reason there is no need in asking whether we can hold fair elections and what’s more, to think of revolution as an alternative. We must manage and prove to ourselves that we are the worthy part of the modern world capable of taking care of ourselves.


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