From ‘Shadow’ to ‘Illusionary’ Economy
21 July, 2011
From ‘Shadow’ to ‘Illusionary’ Economy

Shevardnadze abrogated the clandestine business in Georgia. The owners of underground businesses were all arrested and prosecuted. The private entrepreneurship disappeared and the products of private business were banished form the market. Doctoring of economic data became commonplace instead. Professor Simon Maskharashvili has more.

GJ – In the years between 1964 and 1972 the Soviet ideological machine was working hard to discredit national forces and patriotic sentiments in the Soviet republics, which the Soviet regime accomplished with great success . . .

SM – The masterfully planned Soviet propaganda gave birth to a society which took any expression of national-liberation movement as a weird act of idle loafers and insane lunatics. Even the idea of driving the Soviet troops out of the republics and the illusion of getting out of the Soviet Union had disappeared without any trace.

GJ – I can understand why the illusion of success was instilled in people’s minds, but why was deemed so abortive and not viable the dream of escaping the Soviet Union?

SM – On October the 30th of 1961, the USSR exploded the experimental 50 megaton hydrogen bomb, nicknamed as Tsar Bomba – the most powerful nuclear weapon ever. The Soviets had enough potential at that time to explode even a 150 megaton bomb. Americans did not have the bomb of the same power, which meant that the USSR was much ahead in the race because they possessed the super-weapon. The Soviets were first to put a man in space which they accomplished the same year. There were other successful scientific experiments in the USSR. This all meant that there was no mechanism in place which could have allowed the patriotic forces in the USSR, including Georgia, feel optimistic enough about the defeat of the Soviet Union.  If during World War II the patriotic groups hoped that the Fascist Germany would defeat the USSR, and America or Great Britain would as a result try to reinstate Georgia’s national independence, in the 1960’s there was not even a dream alive to do anything like that. There was practically no chance in the world to destroy the Soviet Union. Take for example the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis which had not ended in the defeat of the USSR. In the best case scenario, it was a draw, as a result of which a socialist republic (the Soviet satellite) was created in the backyard of the United States, and has remained there up until now, ruled by the Castro family clan. Look at China – the country with one-billion people! It was and still remains communist. Who could have uttered a word of protest in the situation like this? Fighting a power like the Soviet Union of those times was like tilting at wind-mills, especially because the Soviet regime was no longer the one which used to kill people like cornered rats as it used to be in the Stalinist era.

GJ – This is all understood, but what happened after?

SM – The demand to break up the Soviet Union and to secede from it sounded quite faint and miserable in Georgia. Moreover, the Georgian people were indifferent towards this idea. They were rather inclined to let business develop in the country even if it were part of the shadow economy which made so powerful roots here that in the 1970’s the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia all of a sudden formed into a semi-capitalist country. Strange as it might sound, this was a fact. Thus Georgia was concerned not as much about the national independence but rather about the systemic changes in the country. Georgia became the fourth Soviet nation after the Baltic Sea republics where private capital existed. There were factories and various miner enterprises which were formally owned by the state but in reality everybody knew that their actual owners were the families of Babunashvili, Lazishvili or Chilashvili who never touched and wronged the state budget but made a huge amount of money for themselves. The developments like this started to scare Moscow. The process needed to be stopped as soon as possible. Restrictions became necessary to undertake because the socialist system itself was threatened as a result. The biggest concern in the entire situation was that the process was lobbied by Georgia’s political elite. They certainly had a finger in the pie too. There were probable thoughts among the Mzhavanadze administration staff that the Georgian people at least deserved to be given enough freedom to live a good life and be strong and successful in the situation Georgia’s national independence was not possible any time soon. At some point, first secretary Mzhavanadze was told that some people were building luxury private houses for themselves. ‘They are building – not destroying, aren’t they?’ – was the answer of the boss. When Mzhavandze was told that oil was hit in Sartichala near Tbilisi he ordered to suspend the oil-field for the future of Georgia. Moscow was getting irritated at hearing all those anti-socialist and anti-soviet comments. So the higher Soviet authorities handpicked a person for Georgia’s leadership who would not dare utter a word against the Kremlin’s orders and decisions, and unleash a relentless war against the new anti-socialist economic scheme formed in Georgia.

Print
Other Stories
Tako Natsvlishvili at Victoria’s Secret casting 2018
Tako Natsvlishvili participated in the Victoria Secret’s 2018 casting on the 29th of August, in New York. The Georgian model was among Victoria’s Secret finalists in 2017.
International Festival of classical music to be held in Batumi
At the end of this week an International Festival of classic music will kick off for the 6th time in Batumi, Georgia’s beautiful seaside city.
Georgians who beat the world record
There are many Georgians among the world recordsmen. Georgians managed to beat the world record for 78 times to date. Today we explore four of them.
Jenny Brunt speaks about Georgia with Georgian Journal
Jenny Brunt is among the most famous models worldwide. She used to be on the covers of different international magazines in the 1990s.
Tako Natsvlishvili wearing Pain de Sucre - photographed by David Bellemere
Tako Natsvlishvili is a 19-yeal old model from Georgia. She has recently been photographed by a prominent French photographer David Bellemere.
Former Georgian plastic surgeon who owns a restaurant in New York
Maia Acquaviva is a Georgian former surgeon, who worked in one of the clinics here in Tbilisi, but decided to go to the USA and start a business there.
David Beckham first saw Victoria Adams in Tbilisi
Tbilisi is truly a magical city. It brings many people and cultures together, even connects future spouses. Do you think we are joking? Not at all.
Georgia should be at the top of every travel destination list – says German photographer about Georgia
The German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Georgia tomorrow and possibly as a result of this visit the German media is currently writing a lot about Georgia.
Alexander Julakidze - Georgian pianist based in Jerusalem
A well-known Georgian pianist Alexander Julakidze has successfully participated in a variety of piano competitions. He currently lives in Jerusalem, Israel contributing to Georgia’s popularity all over the world.
Anna Kendrick in David Koma’s dress
The readers of the Georgian Journal will definitely have heard about David Koma, a young and talented Georgian designer based in London.
Medical tourism increases in Georgia
In the first quarter of 2018, Georgia was visited by 13 900 foreigners for medical and recovery purposes. The level is 61.2 % higher than the same period in 2017.
Rebellious and successful Georgian model based in Barcelona
Remember we told you a story this week about a Georgian model Paloma Anastasia Mikadze, who currently is based in Barcelona and is quite successful there?
Georgian Rubik’s Cube solver Vako Marchilashvili breaks the Guinness World Record
Vako Marchilashvili is a young Rubik’s Cube solver from Georgia. He participated in “Georgia’s Got Talent 2017 “and introduced his genius abilities to the Georgian public.
Turkish born Georgian sisters sing a beautiful song
There are many Georgians, who live in Turkey, but maintain Georgian culture and heritage.
What types of transport can Georgia offer tourists?
Train, subway, bus, mini-bus, taxi and airplane – these are the types of transport that Georgia can offer tourists.
Chris Botti to perform in Georgia
American trumpeter Chris Botti arrived in Georgia yesterday. Today the musician is due to perform with the Georgian singer Nani Bregvadze.
Georgian schoolchildren create Robot “Vano”
Georgian students from the Guivy Zaldastanishvili American Academy in Tbilisi have created a robot named Vano.
Khatia Buniatishvili performs with the Estonian Festival Orchestra at the Proms in London
On the 13th of August, Paavo Järvi and the Estonian Festival Orchestra performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London during its famous Proms season.
Paloma Anastasia Mikadze, an Instagram star from Georgia
Anastasia Mikadze is a Georgian social network star from Georgia. She shares her ideas about fashion, interior design and healthy lifestyle with hundreds of followers on Instagram.
Georgian lifeguard who saved life of nearly 700 people
Gocha Bilvanidze, the Head of the Maritime Rescue Service has been with the organization for eight years now. He has saved the lives of around 700 people during that time.
Children of Georgian migrant to the USA Parten Chikviladze (Peter Chiglo) visit Georgia
A 16-year Parten Chikviladze from Racha (the western part of Georgia) left Georgian 1913 for America, never to return back.
 Surprising proposal by a Georgian Soldier
The video of a Georgian Cadet Soldier’s proposal to his girlfriend has gone viral on the social media. He proposed to her in the presence of other soldiers in front of the Academy.
The 10th anniversary of the 2008 war through a young graphic designer’s eye
A 23-year old Nika Chalakhshasvhili is a graphic designer from Georgia. He has created some interesting illustrations to express his protest against the Russian occupation of Georgian territory:
Georgian policewomen: stereotypes and reality
The number of female members in the Security Forces is increasing year after year.
Georgian entrant who got top marks in two subjects
Devi Oniani is a graduate of the 55th Public School, Tbilisi, Georgia.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
25.09.2018
26.09.2018
USD
1
USD
2.6226
2.6226
EUR
1
EUR
3.0868
3.0868
GBP
1
GBP
3.4416
3.4416
RUB
100
RUB
3.9814
3.9814
Other Stories
World famous British singer Jessie J has decided to wear clothes made by Anouki Areshidze, Georgian designer and wife of the mayor of Tbilisi.
Bassiani, one of the most popular underground clubs not only in Georgia but throughout Europe as well, has opened today
An amazing video made in Georgia by tourists from the Philippines have gone viral on the internet.
Over the recent two days May 12-13 Tbilisi city saw a peaceful protest rally in the center of the city.
Hundreds of people took to the main street Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi to protest the raid in Tbilisi’s popular night clubs.
Two bear cubs listed as endangered on the red list were handed over to Tbilisi Zoo,
Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze and Deputy Tbilisi Mayor Ms. Sophio Khuntsaria have gifted a food stand
Pamela Anderson, famous Canadian American actress and model has appeared in the chic sunglasses by internationally acclaimed Georgian designer George Keburia.
A ski lift accident in Georgia’s eastern Gudauri resort,in particular at Sadzele 5 lift, has left 8 people with injuries.
The ski lift in Gudauri winter resort in Georgia has broke down in the aftermath of which several people have been injured.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.6226
EUR
1
EUR
3.0868
GBP
1
GBP
3.4416
RUB
100
RUB
3.9814