Causes and Consequences (Part One)
10 March, 2011

Those who were executed by the Stalinist regime were liberal-democrats for whom the Bolshevik totalitarianism, as the form of the country’s administration, was totally unacceptable. Professor Simon Maskharashvili has more.
GJ – History has clearly demonstrated that in a nation’s political life, especially when it comes to a national-liberation movement, the role of a locomotive is usually played by the intellectual elite of the country. This is why it seems understandable that in Georgia the intelligentsia (intellectuals), the elitist part

of the society were so widely made the victims of communist repressions.
SM – In the first place, those people truly loved their country. They clearly understood that Georgia was once again occupied by Russia, and as real patriots of their motherland, they fought against the foreign occupation as they possibly could and actually did. Although they had no weapons on their hands (because people were disarmed), they kept on fighting with the help of their arts, philosophy and scientific activity. Secondly, these people, with their faith, the way of thinking and ideas were typical liberal-democrats, opposed to Bolshevik totalitarianism – and totalitarianism in general – as the mode of ruling the country.
GJ – Would this not mean that the communists, based on their own faith and philosophy, were justified in having undertaken the purges? They have been fighting their vested enemies, weren’t they?
SM – I totally agree with you. On part of the Bolsheviks, the liberal-democrats were to be eliminated in order for them to achieve their goals. In any case, Bolshevism would have been confronted with dangers because their opponents would never have restricted their activity only to verbal actions – some day they would definitely have armed themselves accordingly notwithstanding their elitist social status because they felt and considered themselves an occupied and enslaved people with unfairly limited human rights. In Georgia, the Stalinist purges had one additional streak to it. For those Georgian Bolsheviks who had in 1921 supported and fought for the establishment of the Soviet rule in the country, at some point, Georgia’s occupation by the Soviet Russia became clearly objectionable. On top of all that, the ideals they had fought for, like getting rid of the vicious Tsar and the overwhelming depression, had remained unfulfilled. They understood that nothing had changed as a result of their selfless fight for justice. What happened was that one kind of evil was substituted by another one. They were openly objecting to the onset of the new social and political situation, being motivated by regular human ideals. Even the members of the new government were against the radicalism suggested by the Soviets. The psychological aspect was a player too. The new rulers of the country, who previously used to be the members of the opposition, now that they became part of the government, went after a good life, avidly grabbing the fringes like nice apartments, country houses, chauffeured cars, honors and comfort. Ironically, the Stalinist ‘equality’ meant everybody living in poverty, not just the poor turning into the rich. But the new ruling elite were adamantly refusing to live in poverty. The former terrorists now wanted to enjoy all the amenities of the bourgeois life which they once had fought against so vehemently. This became especially noticeable after the abrogation of the NEP (New Economic Policy). As soon as the food deficit began in the country, the borders were tightly closed, and import of goods practically had desisted as a consequence. Many things became scarce not only for the lower layers of the society, but for the elite too (Continued in the next article on this page).