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Nationalism as resistance to economic globalization and as a vehicle for development in the Republic… Hernandez, Andreas 2001

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NATIONALISM AS RESISTANCE TO ECONOMIC GLOBALIZATION AND AS A VEHICLE FOR DEVELOPMENT IN THE REPUBLIC OF GEORGIA by ANDREAS HERNANDEZ BSW., The University of Washington, 1995 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK in THE FACULTY OF SOCIAL WORK AND FAMILY STUDIES We accept this thesis as conforming to the retired standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October, 2000 © Andreas Hernandez, 2000 In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements for an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thesis for s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by h i s or her representatives. It i s understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of ^^.^1 Cx^^c c^J( -f-g^-ij cSM''*^ The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date * ° ° ABSTRACT This thesis explores nationalism in the Republic of Georgia in the context of the worldwide emergence of diverse coalitions of movements coming together to work towards social goals and to counter the excesses of economic globalization. The common contemporary notion that nationalism is a reactionary force is challenged. Through interviews and a survey, nationalism in Georgia is examined as a form of resistance to economic globalization and as a movement actively working in a non-violent manner towards political, cultural and social welfare goals. The mechanisms by which neoliberalism came to Georgia without popular will or consent are also analyzed. Accompanying this is an examination of the effects of the coming of neoliberalism to Georgian social welfare. Of particular importance throughout this work is the intimate relationship between the social, cultural and political spheres in Georgia. The implications of the Georgian situation for the global network of grassroots movements, global social welfare and to the profession of social work are examined. Nationalism in Georgia is identified as a potential powerful ally in the global grassroots movement working against the excesses of economic globalization and for social, cultural and political justice. It is concluded that social work must, in the new context of globalization, work internationally and supranationally with the global network of movements, as the former terrain of contest for social welfare, the nation-state, is in decline. TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract ii List of Tables v Introduction 1 Georgia 3 Methodology 5 The Rise of a Modern Georgian Nationalism 10 Economic Globalization 19 The Corporate Charter 19 Neoliberalism 20 Biospheric Limits . 22 Trade Agreements and Re-Colonization 24 Regimenting the Public Mind 27 Undermining Democracy 30 The Mechanisms by which Neoliberalism came to Georgia 31 Part One of Four: The Violent Attack 32 Part Two of Four: The Velvet Takeover 44 Part Three of Four: Civil Society Held Down While Neoliberal Reforms Take Hold . 53 Part Four of Four: Georgian Minds Under Siege 61 Nationalism as Resistance to Economic globalization and as a Vehicle for Development . . 65 The Independence Movement 72 Implications for Social Welfare 79 Current State of Georgian Social Welfare 80 Social Welfare in Soviet Georgia 87 Nationalism and Social Welfare 89 National Welfare and Global Capital 96 iv The Potential Contributions of Social Work 99 Conclusion 102 References 104 LIST OF TABLES Table 1. Sector Ownership 49 Table 2. Foreign Investment 50 Table 3. People and Government 59 Table 4. Human Development Indicator Ranking 79 Table 5. Per Capita Real Income 80 Table 6. GNP per Capita 80 Table 7. Gender Related Development Index Ranking 80 1 NATIONALISM AS RESISTANCE TO ECONOMIC GLOBALIZATION AND AS A VEHICLE FOR DEVELOPMENT IN THE REPUBLIC OF GEORGIA A professor of art and an architect led the researcher up the worn, colonial stairs of the Georgian Academy of Arts, which sits steadily in the hills above downtown Tbilisi. We arrived at the studio of a painter who greeted us graciously, offering us chairs among hundreds of paintings and rolled up canvas scrolls. Drinking Turkish-style coffee we happily exchanged pleasantries and backgrounds. Soon however, we were immersed in paintings. A fifteen-foot scroll was unrolled across the studio floor revealing a primitivist chronicle of the tales of Gilgamesh. We engrossed ourselves in the painter's metaphorical religious works. Later, as we sat down needing rest, a small photograph of a painting was taken from a notebook, 'Saint George Slaying the fox' said the architect, as if the photograph needed no additional explanation. The researcher knew of Saint George slaying the Dragon, but could not make sense of this icon of Saint George thrusting his spear into a wily, wide-eyed fox. Seeing the researcher's obvious perplexion, the architect explained that Saint George is the spirit of Georgia, the Patron Saint of Georgia from whom the country gets its name. He said that in the past, Georgia's enemies were huge and strong. These evils were powerful dragons that could be seen and faced. Georgia had defeated these dragons; Saint George had slain these invading evils that had come in the form of armies. The architect explained that now the evil that comes to Georgia is clever, and it is tricky. He said one cannot see it or face it directly, it is like a fox. This evil comes and pretends to be your friend, makes a show as if it is helping you, and all the while it is destroying you. Now, he said, Saint George must slay the fox. Introduction The past ten years have witnessed phenomenal change in global society. The collapse of the Soviet Union ended a fifty year stand-off between global superpowers. This geo-political shift, along with rapid changes in communications technologies have resulted in increased communication and the possibility for cultural, economic and political exchange worldwide. Unfortunately, perhaps due to the vacuum of a global democratic system, it is argued that 2 financial powers have become the new de facto world powers. Chomsky (1999) argues that executives of transnational corporations are making the decisions that in democratic societies would be made through democratic process. Chomsky documents the socio-cultural, political, economic and ecological oppression of the emerging global financial system that benefits only the wealthiest few at the expense civil societies. Korten (1995) describes how this global neoliberal system has drastically decreased levels of social welfare both in the South and in the North. Mullaly (1995) argues that the crisis of social welfare can only be understood through the context of the larger international economic system. Drover (2000) discusses how it is becoming increasingly difficult for nations to provide social welfare services in the face of a globalizing economy. Ife (2000) argues that it is now inadequate to approach social welfare from a national standpoint and that the global arena is taking on significantly more importance. Chomsky (1999) posits that resistance against the neoliberal project is necessary for social functioning and democracy at any level, from the local to the global. Social work writers are increasingly suggesting that social work could be involved in many areas of resistance to economic globalization. For example, Midgley (1996a) writes that social workers should be involved with economics and Tester (1997) writes that social work could be increasingly involved with the environmental movement. Torczyner (2000) and Ife (2000) have argued that social work should become more involved with international human rights. Ife (ibid.) has also argued for social work to become more politically involved. Worldwide, an amazing diversity of grassroots movements have sprung up and formed webs of coalitions to counter the global financial system and to work towards social goals (McKenna, 2000). Canel argues that many of these movements are working towards social welfare goals on many fronts (1997). Social work has the potential to be intimately involved in these movements and to act as a catalyst for further action across the planet on many different levels (Midgley, 2000, Ife, 2000). However, informed action is essential. Without an understanding of the mechanisms of the global financial system and an understanding of the individual movements, social workers could simply exacerbate the current situations or impose their worldviews. A sincere attempt to understand the movements and economic globalization could make the difference between empowerment and continued oppression in another guise. One participant in this research expressed 'the flag of help is the worst'. 3 It is in the context of these global coalitions that this thesis examines nationalism in the Republic of Georgia as a form of popular resistance to economic globalization. It is suggested that the forces of nationalism in Georgia could be powerful allies in the growing global networks emerging to counter economic globalization and to work for social betterment 'from below'. Currently, nationalism is generally held to be more of a reactionary political force (Ignatief, 1993) than a movement to further social goals or a movement open to international networking. Particular attention in this examination is given to the intimate relationship between culture, social welfare and political rights in Georgia, Georgia's relationship to the rest of the world, the relationship between individual and national rights, and the independence movement. This thesis also explores the mechanisms by which Georgia has become vulnerable to the forces of economic globalization, and then later, the affects on the country's social welfare. These mechanisms and their relationship to nationalism may add to an overall understanding of how the forces of economic globalization operate and affect social functioning. Many participants in the research for this thesis spoke of similar themes when discussing the events that have occurred in Georgia since the fall of the Soviet Union. These themes have been brought together to create an analysis of the mechanisms by which neoliberalism came to Georgia. This analysis consists of four parts: Violent Attack; Velvet Takeover; Civil Society Held Down While Neoliberal Reforms Take Hold; Georgian Minds Under Siege. To set the stage for the above examinations, a brief introduction to Georgia and a discussion of research methodology are presented, followed by a background to provide context for the contemporary situation in Georgia. This background consists of a chronicle of the rise of a modern Georgian nationalism and a critique of economic globalization in five parts. Discussed in the critique are: the corporate charter, neoliberalism, biospheric limits, trade agreements and recolonization, the regimentation of the public mind by commercial forces and the undermining of democracy. Georgia Georgia's geographical location has made for an extremely tragic and violent history. As a crossroads between north and south and east and west, invaders have marched through from all directions for millennia. Historical invaders have included, among others; the Greeks, Romans, 4 Mongols, Byzantines, Persians, Arabs, Turks, and more recently, the Russians who then became the Soviets (Jones & Parsons, 1996). Georgia's survival as a distinct culture has come from rooting itself firmly in its unique traditions, especially as the second country in the world to adopt Christianity in 304 AD, an event critical to the formation of a national identity (ibid.). Three years earlier, Armenia, Georgia's neighbor to the south, had been the first country to officially adopt Christianity (Herzig, 1996). Indeed, while Peter went to Rome, the disciples Simon and Andrew are believed to have come to Georgia to preach, after the death of Christ (Nasmyth, 1998). A touchstone of Georgian culture is the eighth century epic poem by national hero, Shota Rustaveli, entitled A Knight in Panther's Skin (Wardrop, 1912). Rustaveli's masterpiece is a chivalrous work, predating European counterparts, that defines the Georgian values of 'the cult of friendship' and 'perfect love', which are 'indisputably linked with the convention of hospitality', a hospitality perhaps unrivaled (Nasmyth, 1998: 82). Rustaveli writes of friendship 'We must loyally serve our chosen friends, those with whom we have formed a bond stronger than the ties of blood: for such we must die for if need be' (Rustaveli, translated by Wardrop, 1912: 81) Both Georgia and Armenia have existed as a Christian island in a sea of Muslim nations, as Islam spread across Asia Minor. When the Armenian state collapsed in the 11th century, Georgia became a lone Christian outpost, and reached a peak in power. Sarkartuelo was used to describe all Georgian land from the Black to Caspian Seas and into present day Turkey and Iran. Mongol invasions in the 13th century fractured the nation into smaller kingdoms (Jones & Parsons, 1996). Many Georgians claim it is the fierce defense of their values and traditions that have kept them from being washed away throughout centuries of relentless physical and cultural attack (Hunter, 1994). Historically, wherever Armenians have given up their church and their language, assimilation into larger and more powerful communities was quick to follow (Herzig, 1996). The Albanians (no relation to present day Albania) of present day Azerbaijan, Georgia's neighbor to the east, disappeared with the appearance of Muslim conquerors, gradually losing any distinct linguistic, religious or cultural identity. Those that did not convert to Islam merged with the Armenians (Herzig, 1996). The researcher found many Albanian churches still dotting the Azeri countryside. One participant for this thesis, the leader of a political front, explained that Georgia is still here long after the Babylonians have vanished from the world because of its want to be free. Tf the present is not ours, the future will be ours' - Georgian hymn, sung at a rally in Tbilisi against the present Georgian government 5 Georgia, as a former Soviet Republic finds itself, as do all of the 15 once-member republics of the Soviet Union, in difficult times on may fronts (Smith et al, 1998). Difficult times however, are hardly new to Georgia, after enduring thousands of years of invasions (Jones & Parsons, 1996). Twelve centuries ago Rustaveli wrote 'There are grievous troubles, but they are to be battled against; it is a law with men that they should struggle and suffer' (Rustaveli, translated by Wardrop, 1912: 181). This resiliency that has kept Georgian culture vital to this day can be found throughout Rustaveli's great work 'It is after all a good world, fair to look upon despite its horrible deserts, a world to sing in either because one is happy or because one wishes to be so' (ibid.: 81). Methodology This thesis began in another guise, but quickly transformed early into the research process. The researcher originally traveled to Georgia to examine traditional values towards the land of the Georgian Eastern Highlanders and the implications of these values for sustainable development in the Caucasus. Upon interviewing ecologists and environmental activists in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, to get a sense of the environmental situation, it became apparent that the participants were considerably more interested in speaking of the current socio-political scene in Georgia and usually shifted the conversation towards that direction. Informal conversations in the cafes of Tbilisi's Rustaveli Street also leapt quickly to the contemporary political situation, with seemingly no prodding on the researcher's part. These discussions all covered similar ground; the current Georgian government, Russia, the United States, Georgian culture, and Georgian history were the themes the researcher noted at the time. It was then decided to discard preconceptions as much as possible and allow a substantive theory to emerge through employing the tradition of grounded theory. The interviews that had already been conducted were reviewed for themes. The strongest theme that came of this review was that of the interrelationships between the political, cultural, economic and ecological spheres in Georgia. From this theme a fairly general survey was prepared, through the Georgian State University, with the aid of a professor of sociology in order to ensure cultural relevance. The professor was also an interview participant, thus with her permission, she shall remain unnamed to maintain confidentiality. A richness and depth was sought through continuing with more interviews, and breadth was sought through the survey. 6 As the researcher is an outsider to Georgian culture, aspects of the tradition of the ethnography were utilized. Through the research process up to that to that point, several key informants had emerged. The sociology professor who aided with the survey was well connected to the Tbilisi intelligentsia, and acted as a gatekeeper to parts of Georgian society it would have been difficult for a tourist or an outsider to access. Another key informant was an english teacher who, despite the difficult economic situation in Georgia, offered at no charge her services as a translator. She considered this research to be seeking the voices of Georgians and wished to aid such research. The third key informant was a professor of art and culture who was deeply involved in the independence movement. She acted as a gatekeeper to people in sensitive and dangerous positions, as they were actively working against the government. Interviews were conducted until the point of saturation was reached, with a total of twenty-five interviews in all. This number fits in the range that Cresswell (1998) recommends for saturation. A multiplicity of views were actively sought by the researcher in order for a more complete image of the contemporary Georgian situation to arise. However, the majority of the interviews were with Tbilisi specialists in either the political, social, ecological or economic spheres (many of which of course overlapped) in order to examine the interrelationships of these spheres. The survey shows these specialist's views as being quite representative of the larger population. The survey was conducted only in Tbilisi, not reaching the outlying areas or other cities of Georgia. The countryside of Georgia tends to be more conservative and nationalistic than Tbilisi (Nasmyth, 1998, Jones & Parsons, 1996), so the point of view represented in this thesis may err to the more internationalist view of an urban center. The researcher has traveled extensively in Georgia, and observations from these travels were considered while formulating an analysis from the data. Interviews were generally begun by the researcher introducing himself and stating his interest in the relationships between the political, economic, ecological and cultural spheres in Georgia. Most interviews then moved to discussions about the participant's work. Discussions were then left open to go wherever they may, with the researcher attempting to let the participants lead the conversation. This was aided by the researcher's relative lack of knowledge at the time about the socio-political situation in Georgia. Participants were recruited largely by the key informants who were aware of, and actively sought to aid, the researcher's intent to gain a diversity of viewpoints. The key informants were also 7 selected themselves by the researcher for their different slants on the situation in Georgia, to further increase multiplicity in the interviews. A portion of the participants were recruited through chance meetings and referrals through casual and new acquaintances of the researcher. Unfortunately, towards the end of the fieldwork, the researcher was robbed in the Tbilisi subway, losing both a camera and the Russian language consent forms. The English language consent forms remain in the researcher's possession. Because of the volatile situation in Georgia, where the U.S. Department of State (1997, 1998) has reported state sponsored extra-judicial killings of people who have worked against the government, confidentiality is extremely important for the continued well being of the participants. Therefore, names will of course not be used, but neither will other identifying characteristics. The titles of the participants are listed here and not used again in the body of this thesis to connect them with their words. Instead each participant is assigned a number (eg. participant 3). Leader of a political front Ecologist Political psychologist Owner of a large factory Member of the University Society (A Georgian State University group opposed to the government) Civil rights activist Professor of art Sustainability activist International law organization employee (A Georgian citizen) Sociologist from the Academy of Sciences Urban ecologist for the Ministry of Environment Mafia Don Former economist for Zviad Gamsakhurdia (The former president of Georgia) Student protestor Psychiatrist Director of a major Tbilisi newspaper Former Press Secretary for Zviad Gamsakhurdia Painter Paleontologist Environmental planner 8 Photographer/conceptual artist Human rights activist Former Gamsakhurdia parliament member running for re-election Environmental activist Political party leader Several participants, when told the research was confidential, insisted that they wished their names to be used. In compromise, their titles - Gamsakhurdia's former economist, the political psychologist, Gamsakhurdia's former parliament member, the human rights activist, Gamsakhurdia's former Press Secretary and the leader of the political front - will be used in the body of this thesis along with their words. Interviews varied considerably in length and in context. The shortest ran for about fifteen minutes, and the longer ones up to about five hours. Many interviews were conducted in people's homes, some in their places of work and some in more extraordinary situations. In one case an interview took place in a demonstration while the military moved in to disperse, beat and arrest the crowd. Another interview was conducted with a hunger striker, who had not eaten for eight days, in the bombed-out house of the deposed president. Participants were highly reticent to be recorded onto audio-tape. The researcher speculates that this is at least in part due to the Soviet legacy of the region. Therefore, interviews were recorded by hand. As roughly three-quarters of the interviews required translation, increasing the time needed to communicate a given amount of information, it was possible to capture many quotations. Some of the interviews in English proved to be more difficult to record word for word, requiring more paraphrasing in the transcripts. In two interview situations the researcher found it highly inappropriate to take notes and thus relied on memory for recording the interviews. Through employing aspects of the ethnographic tradition, the researcher attempted to immerse himself into Georgian culture as much as a five week visit would permit. The researcher attended rallies, church functions, demonstrations, formal dinners, a hunger strike and many other activities, in the company of Georgians. The researcher was allowed access to the independence movement, conversing with its leaders and the wife of the former president (the symbolic leader of the movement) and helping to plan future strategies. In this participatory setting the researcher 9 recorded observations and collected relevant material, both of which informed the analysis of the interview data. Reciprocity was an important part of many of the interactions. As the researcher was perceived to be seeking the Georgian voice, many people went greatly out of their way to assist and participate in the research in a myriad of ways. In turn, many people who were involved in the research expect the research to be made public in North America. During the fieldwork process, transcripts were reviewed for clarification, keeping the interview process fairly iterative and continuous. Despite this, upon leaving Georgia, the researcher felt as he had enough information for a formal theory or proposition, but was unclear on exactly what form it would take. It was not until using the method of open coding, creating categories and subcategories, that strong, precise themes emerged. Axial coding was then utilized to examine the relationships between these categories and subcategories. The story-line did not emerge until the context, in this case the international financial system, was considered. The final categories were: 1. ) Ecological Situation 2. ) Current Social Welfare Situation 3. ) Globalization/Neoliberalism 4. ) Relationship Between Individual and National Identity 5. ) Nationalism as Resistance 6. ) Georgian Democracy and Globalization 7. ) Shevardnadze 8. ) Gamsakhurdia From the story-line came the thesis' proposition found in the title as well as an analysis of how neoliberalism came to Georgia. This process is based on the process outlined in Cresswell 10 (1999), and was influenced by Rubin and Rubin (1995), Coffey and Atkinson (1996) and Maxwell (1996). The survey encountered a variety of difficulties. The researcher had little control over how the survey was conducted. .Students of the professor who aided with the survey went out on a voluntary basis and surveyed people in the street. Recruitment was less than random. However, the students did appear to go out of their way to seek respondents not known to them. It was hoped that 200 respondents would be reached, but in the end there were only 44. As there is virtually no similar data in the literature, the researcher has included the survey's findings nonetheless, but only to suggest Georgian public opinion, not to define it. The respondents do seem to represent the range of Georgian citizenry more closely than the interviews with specialists. As noted previous, the results of the survey seem to support the findings in the interviews. Grounded theory is desperately needed for all regions of the Former Soviet Union (FSU). The majority of writing and analysis of the situation in the FSU is either descriptive and travel oriented or comes from a liberal economic point of view, in what might be seen as an extremely modernist attempt to apply the Western economic agenda on a multiplicity of worldviews and cultures. This thesis has attempted an analysis grounded in Georgian civil society, the result of which is an analysis much different from others in the literature. The Rise of a Modern Georgian Nationalism The desire for self-determination of nations and cultures has been termed nationalism. Webster's New World Dictionary defines a nation as "a stable historically developed community of people with a territory, economic life, distinctive culture, and a language in common" (1991: 902). This dictionary then defines nationalism as "the doctrine that national interest, security, etc. are more important than international considerations." (ibid: 903). Freeman takes a more pragmatic approach, defining nations as 'human collectivities that believe they are nations'. Nationalism is then, according to Freeman, 'a doctrine that gives especially high value or priority to the nation' (1994: 83). Smith et al theorize that 'the place where memory is rooted' is a homeland, a key building block of national identity (1998: 48). T.S. Elliot described nationalism as 'the whole way of life of a people' (Gilbert, 1994: 9) 11 Nationalism is closely related to the roots of modern democracy, such as the French revolution. However, it has been discredited in the early 20th century because of its associations with fascism, imperialism and war (Freeman, 1994). Semantics is rather problematic here, as it is important to make a distinction between the aggression of imperialism, and the defense of culture or the defense of autonomy and democracy. The violence of national disputes, since the fall of Soviet-led Communism, has additionally maligned nationalism. Here however, it is imperative to note that the central Soviet power under Stalin purposely and precisely set up volatile national borders, in a program of 'divide and conquer' in order to keep regions weak and under the Soviet wing (Smith, 1996). While there are certainly aggressors in the former communist bloc using nationalism for the gain of power (Ignatieff, 1993), much of the strife stems directly from the Soviet demarcation of borders (Goltz, 1993). A clear example of this is the situation in the Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabagh in Azerbaijan (ibid.). These conflicts are then exacerbated by continued Russian involvement. In the case of Nagorno-Karabagh, the Russians have armed both sides, and fought alongside with the Armenians, continuing the Soviet program of 'divide and conquer' (ibid.). However, Lech Walesa, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, has come to be 'the symbol of the national revival of Poland, and the victory of Polish national consciousness over communism and the myth of internationalism' and 'His selection by the members of the Nobel Committee pointed to their awareness of the part played by nationalism in the process of Poland's emancipation and in the revival of dignity throughout the Polish community' (d'Encausse, 1995: 12). Georgian independence appeared as a major theme throughout almost all of the interviews. Initially quite surprisingly to the researcher, participants often expressed that Georgia was not independent, despite being a recognized country by the world community, and a member of the United Nations. According to the Political Psychologist, in a recent unpublished survey by Shota Nadirashvili, Chair of the Institute of Psychology in the Georgian Academy of Sciences, it was found that nearly 80% of Georgians believed Georgia was not independent, even though the Soviet Union had fallen years previous. 'My ideal and my generations ideal, I am 43, twenty years ago. There was democracy, USA, America, Canada. We wanted to establish such kind of democracy...We were happy the Soviet Union was destroyed. Liberty for Georgia! Up to this day, this liberty, nothing comes to us, only sorrow and sorrow.' - Participant 9 12 To begin to understand how independence is defined and understood in Georgia today, it is useful to go back and explore modern Georgian history, from the time the Russian Tzar annexed Georgia. This period chronicles the rise of a modern Georgian nationalism in reaction to imperialist forces (Jones & Parsons, 1996) In an environment of hostility from Persia to the south and Russia to the north, King Irakli the Second signed the treaty of Giorgievsk with Russia in 1783. This treaty gave control of foreign defense and defense policy to the Russian crown, but kept Georgian sovereignty over internal affairs. Soon afterwards, Tzar Paul forcibly annexed the Kingdom of Kartl-Kakheti (East Georgia). The rest of Georgia was taken over the following 60 years (ibid.). Resistance to the Russians took the form of nationalism which was politicized by a literary group that had studied in, and been expelled from, St. Petersburg. The most notable figure was Ilia Chavchavadze (Suny, 1996). He put forth the notion that Georgia had three great strengths: the Georgian language, Georgian homeland and Georgian Orthodoxy (Jones & Parsons, 1996). By the late 19th century, opposition to the Russian crown had become a national liberation movement among the intelligentsia. This movement then spread to the working and peasant classes. The socialists quickly became prominent and the Menshevik wing of the Russian Social Democratic Party had created a large organization, with branches all over the country (ibid.). In 1917, Russia witnessed the October revolution. The Mensheviks did not recognize the legality of the revolution and preferred to lead Georgia to independence. The need for a state was recognized, but the Georgians had not had an autonomous state for centuries and thus generally regarded the state as alien and hostile. A mass participation electoral process was established, along with programs of Georgification. Local elections were held in 1918, and national ones in 1919. The Georgian language became the medium of instruction and education. A program of school and library construction was carried out in rural areas and the first Georgian university was established (ibid.). Several academic participants reported that this University exists to this day as the premier educational facility in Georgia. Vladimir Lenin signed a treaty renouncing Soviet Russia's claim to Georgia. The Social Democratic Party continued to have enormous support, particularly among workers and peasants. In 1921, a series of uprisings began. Soviet historians later conceded that these protests were engineered by Sergo Ordzhonikidze, a Georgian and a close associate of Stalin, who was also Georgian (ibid.). Jones and Parsons write that among the areas where Bolsheviks created uprisings were Abkhasia and Ossetia (1996), which 13 are also areas of contemporary strife linked with modern Russian interference (Goltz, 1993). In the month of February, under the pretext of an uprising in the neutral zone of Lore, a region in between Georgia and Armenia, the Red Army invaded. Six weeks later Georgian independence was a memory (Jones & Parsons, 1996). Participant 6 expressed how the first Republic of Georgia exploded in cultural activity and then ended as quick as it began. The Bolsheviks were not liked before the invasion, and even by 1924, there were fewer than 6000 Bolsheviks in Georgia. Among the majority of recruits were peasants without access to education. However, Soviet authorities saw particular threat in the peasantry of the Caucasus and believed that economic and national grievances would create an armed uprising. Even the Georgian Communist Party fought for less center leadership limiting its autonomy. Georgian Bolshevik leaders favored loose political arrangements by treaty with Moscow, keeping the socialist states sovereign. They rejected the proposed federation leading to union (ibid.). Stalin worked for 'automonisation' which meant withdrawing sovereignty and granting only a limited autonomous status (Smith, 1996). Subsequently, the entire Transcaucasian region was made into the Transcaucasian Socialist Federal Soviet Republic. This move brought in more central control from Moscow and made it difficult for the different nations of the Caucasus to secede (Jones & Parsons, 1996). A Georgian popular uprising in 1924 resulted in the execution of 4000 people. Shortly thereafter, brutal purges began. Collectivization (in four months the percent of collectivized families went from 3.4% to 65.2%) and political purges wiped out most Georgian leadership. These purges were carried out by Lavrentii Beria, who became the First Secretary of the Georgian Communist Party in 1931 and the head of the Transcaucasian Communist Party in 1932. It is estimated, that despite Stalin being Georgian, Georgia suffered more than any republic during the purges (ibid.). Smith (1996) chronicles that during the establishment of the Soviet Union, and indeed throughout the Union's entire existence, all national policies were rooted in a Marxist-Leninist tradition. Participant 16 told of how everything written or created had to be rooted in a Marxist-Leninist construct. Marx and Engels were 'concerned with the universal and necessary properties of all capitalist societies [and] cultural differences between societies tended to be treated as 'complicating factors' that were both methodological and programmatic distractions from ensuring the establishment of socialism' (Smith, 1993: 3). For Lenin, what constituted a nation was trivial compared to securing borders and mobilizing and unifying the emerging industrial 14 working class against Tzarist autocracy. He perceived a centralized state as being crucial for the securing of socialism. Otto Bauer and Karl Renner, nationalist socialist thinkers of the time, recognized that the economic logic of both capitalism and socialism led to large state formations. They saw this as implying the further integration of polities in multiethnic and ethnically dispersed Eastern Europe (Smith, 1996). Smith (1996) writes that with the incorporation of the Soviet Federation, nationalities were acknowledged as free to develop towards national aspirations. The 1917 Congress of the Communist Party asserted the right of 'all nations forming a part of Russia' to 'free separation and the creation of an independent state' (: 5). However, Lenin envisioned the sblizhenie (coming together) and sliyanie (merger) of the proletariat of different nations. He believed that if nations did take the opportunity to secede, they would quickly reincorporate, seeing the value of being part of a larger territorial unit. He did caution 'the right of divorce is not an invitation for all wives to leave their husbands' (: 5). This view of nationalities was described by the Soviet slogan described by participant 16, "National in form, socialist in content". Historical roots were systematically falsified to meet the socialist needs, through a variety of means, including academic research (Hunter, 1994). Stalin however, by 1922, was arguing for a unitary form where non-Russian nationalities would become autonomous republics in a Russian dominated Soviet federation, explains Smith (1996). Lenin rejected this model on the grounds it granted a privileged status to Russia and would fuel Russian chauvinism. This divergence illustrates the great difference of the approach to nationalities between Lenin and Stalin; to Lenin, Russian chauvinism was the greatest threat to the Union, to Stalin, individual nationalities were the greatest threat. Much later, in 1945, Stalin proposed a toast: 'a toast to our Soviet people, and in particular the health of the Russian people...the leading nation of all nations belonging to the Soviet Union.' (: 8). It was during these early years that Moscow 'institutionalized both territorial-political and personal-ethno-cultural models of nationhood and tensions between them' (: 34), the effects of which are still being felt in regions like Nagorno-Karabagh and Abkhasia (Goltz, 1993). Smith (1996) describes how Stalin, who took the helm of the Soviet Union, provided a very restricted conception of nationhood that was vague enough for political maneuvers. In his work Marxism and the National and Colonial Questions he defined a nation as 'an historically constituted, stable community of people, formed on the basis of a common language, territory, 15 economic life, and psychological makeup, manifested in a common culture' (: 4). In the 1930's, during the purges, Stalin held the belief that the 'survivals of capitalism in the minds of men are much more long lived in the realm of the national question than in any other area' (: 7). Thus began the Russification of non-Russian republics, including the promotion of the Russian language and of the Cyrillic alphabet for national languages. Lruschev spoke of the emergence of a new historical people, the Sovietskii Narod, or the Soviet People. Georgia's republican status was restored in 1936, but its autonomy had been taken by Moscow. After the Second World War, Russians were being promoted as the 'elder brothers' of the other republics (Jones & Parsons, 1996). The death of Stalin lead to the reign of Nikita Khrushchev who denounced Stalin's policies because of their deviation from Lenin's. In speeches he spoke of the flourishing of nations. However, he envisioned that the separate nations would flourish along side their 'drawing together' until final merger, or sliyanie, was achieved. Khrushchev believed that modern economic conditions ran counter to nationally-based administrative divisions, which he perceived as losing their former significance (Smith, 1996). The Breshnev regime strengthened Moscow's central authority. In exchange for maintaining ethno-territorial stability, new locals were put in charge of regional levels of government and granted greater autonomy. Nonetheless, the Russian language was, by the late seventies, used in almost all education from Kindergarten through University in Georgia and throughout the Soviet Union (Smith, 1996). It was during this time that prominent dissidents began to organize in Georgia. Of particular note was the Ilia Chavchavadze Society, named after the founder of the 19th century independence movement. This group demanded that: all matters concerning Georgia's future be settled in accordance with the wishes of the Georgian people, Georgian become the official state language, fundamental importance be given to the teaching of the Georgian language and Georgian history in school, and that Georgians perform military service in Georgia. Two members stand out particularly, as they would come to play important leadership roles in the breakup of the Soviet Union and the future of Georgia. One was Zviad Gamsakhurdia, son of Georgia's most respected writer of the 20th century, Constantine Gamsakhurdia, and the other, Merab Costava. These two men were childhood friends and were both profoundly influenced by the nationalist ideals of Constantine Gamsakhurdia. The Ilia Chavchavadze Society bred a variety of more radical splinter groups such as the Georgian Helsinki Group, a human rights organization, and the Georgian National Democratic Party, which stressed close links between the government and the Georgian Orthodox church. In general, the 16 status of the Georgian language, resistance to Russification and the defense of national rights became the rallying points against Moscow in the 1970's and 1980's. In 1978, thousands of demonstrators defied armed troops demanding Georgian be reinstated as the state language. The Party gave into demands and there was no violence. This successful action gave significant momentum to the nationalist movement (Jones & Parsons, 1996). When Andropov came to power in the Soviet Union, he took the view that nativization policies had gone too far and were no longer appropriate. He dismantled government affirmative action while admitting that national differences would last much longer than class differences (Smith, 1996). After the 'period of luxury funerals', as participant 1 said the quick succession of First Party Secretaries that passed away one after the other, in the early 1980's was sometimes called, Mikhail Gorbachev was elected to the highest Soviet office. As Gorbachev put his policy of glasnost (openness) into effect, the Soviet Union went through major social and economic upheavals. Glasnost let loose ethnic unrest and demands of national determination that had been suppressed since the formation of the world's largest multiethnic society (Smith, 1996). Georgia enjoyed one of the higher, if not the highest living standards in the Soviet Union (Goldenberg, 1994, Gachelidze, 1995). Participant 5 spoke of how Georgia had good wine and good food and a high level of culture and science. Despite this, the Georgians and the Baltic republics emerged as the most assertive (Smith, 1996). Gorbachev considered nationalities as insignificant problems compared to the ailing economy and structural overhaul. He merely reinstated Breshnev's policies towards nationalities, considering their tendencies towards isolationism and localism as contradictory to the Soviet aim. He spoke of a single family of Soviet people. What was meant by this was illustrated in a speech in Kiev where he twice referred to the Soviet Union as Russia (Smith, 1996). Eduard Shevardnadze had been the KGB boss in Georgia and had risen to control of the Communist Party of Georgia, as the Georgian Party Secretary. He then went on to Moscow to become the Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union under Gorbachev. Patiashvili, subsequently took control of Georgia. This new leader was opposed to the changes that were coming under Gorbachev, labeling them economic sabotage, moral degeneration and private property mentality (Jones & Parsons, 1996). 17 Riots in Alma-Ata, when a Russian was made First Party Secretary in Kazakhstan, were the first major national uprisings in the Union. Ethnic unrest quickly unfolded across the rest of the Union, utterly shattering the illusion of a Soviet people coming together. After demonstrations in 1987 by Crimean Tatars, Baltic peoples and Ukrainians, the epicenter of unrest moved to the Transcaucasus. In February 1988, the Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabagh passed a resolution to transfer to Armenia from Azerbaijan (Smith, 1996). Although glasnost had come slowly to the Caucasus, debate began to enter the press. In Georgia, public discontent rose even further when it was found that one of Georgia's most ancient monasteries, Davigaredzha, was being used for artillery practice by the Soviet military (Jones & Parsons, 1996). Ecological issues became central to perestroika (Richards, 1995). Avalanches causing a number of deaths in the northern Georgian region of Svaneti, were blamed on the overbuilding of power dams (ibid.). A scheme to build a railway across the Caucasus, brought up issues of ecology as well as history and heritage, as churches and historical sites were in the railway's path. In typical fashion, there was no public participation involved in the scheme. This project cemented Georgia's national movement (Smith, 1996). At that time 'the common perception was that the authorities paid no attention to peoples needs, were contemptuous of public opinion and more concerned with private gain than the welfare of the nation' (Jones & Parsons, 1996: 298). Participant 1 explained how a normal person had no input on national and Union-wide decisions. Meanwhile, Gorbachev responded to each new nationalistic threat as a distraction from the central tasks of reform. He called for a greater internationalist education, easing the Soviet grip, but gave stern warning that 'those who would like to play on nationalist or chauvinist prejudices should entertain no illusion and expect no loosening up' (Smith, 1996: 15). National demonstrations in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, had begun to choke the downtown core of Tbilisi. On April 9th, 1988, Soviet tanks rolled into downtown Tbilisi and the military shot into the crowd and released poisonous gas killing 21 and injuring 4000 (Jones & Parsons, 1996). Participant 16 spoke of how the demonstrations had grown over a period of months until almost everybody was participating. She also spoke of the horror when the soldiers started shooting. The national movement in Georgia, instead of being quelled, became highly radicalized. Some months later a similar massacre took place in Baku, Azerbaijan (Dragadze, 1996). Pressure in a radicalized Georgia led to the first and only multiparty elections in the Soviet Union in October of 1990. The ultra-nationalist Round Table political bloc, led by dissident Zviad 18 Gamsakhurdia, took power with a resounding majority in elections that international groups have deemed fair. In the presidential elections in May of 1991, Gamsakhurdia won with an 87% majority over 13 other candidates (Jones & Parsons, 1996 ). In 1989, the Lithuanian Communist party declared its separation from the Central Party. In March of 1990, the Lithuanian parliament declared independence from Moscow (Smith, 1996). Shortly thereafter, the Georgians were the second republic to declare independence (Jones & Parsons, 1996). Formal declarations from each of the other republics, including Russia, followed. Azerbaijan, Belarus, Russia and the Central Asian states expressed interest in some sort of confederation. Boris Yeltsin was eclipsing Gorbachev and the center of the collapsing empire was becoming Russia and not the Soviet Union. Gorbachev made a proposal in 1991 for a 'Union of Sovereign States'. Yeltsin however wanted Gorbachev out of the way and took the tack that Russia's economic recovery depended on cutting the republics loose (Wilson, 1996). Nationalities ended up not only being Gorbachev's greatest challenge, but resulted in the end of the Soviet state (Smith, 1996) Leaders of the original three signatories of the Soviet Union, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, met to engineer the dissolution of the Soviet system on the 7th and 8th of December, 1991. Their logic held that the original signatories could dissolve that which they had created (ibid.). A 'Commonwealth of Independent States' (CIS) was to replace the USSR, and would be a 'civilized means [to ensure] the collapse of the old Union' preferable to Yugoslavia's dissolution into nation states (ibid.: 25). It would also be a clearinghouse for lingering Soviet issues like control of nuclear weapons and debt. Gorbachev resigned on the 25th of December, 1991, effectively bringing the superpower to a close (ibid.). Russia took over the rights and responsibilities of the Soviet Union including the Security Council seat in the United Nations, foreign embassies and all foreign debt. Nationalists in every republic had argued that they would be better off independently without exploitation from the center, or in Russia's case, without its central role. Hyper-centralization in Soviet planning meant that in the short term no single republic was likely to achieve self-sufficiency. Having one currency, the ruble, and many new national banks printing rubles at different rates spelled economic fiasco. Eleven republics ended up signing on to the increasingly embattled and confused CIS, unclear of its future role. The Baltic States and Georgia, which refused to become 19 signatories, held that the future role of the CIS would be a Trojan horse for Russian hegemony (ibid.). Georgia suddenly found itself independent, with a fairly elected government, able to pursue the national aspirations of the country by popular mandate, for which dissidents such as Merab Costava had given their life; he had been killed in a suspicious car accident along with two other key activists, an incident many participants reported to be widely held to have been undertaken by the KGB. Time, however, would show independence to be a slippery phenomenon. Now the Georgian national independence movement finds itself confronted by the economic hegemony of U.S. led economic globalization. 'It doesn't matter who eats you, if it is a wolf or a dog.' - Georgian proverb quoted by participant 6 Economic Globalization This section examines transnational corporations and economic hegemony. This is done in order to establish the international context of contemporary Georgian nationalism. The Corporate Charter Korten (1995) points out that as many other important inventions, the corporate charter opened enormous possibilities to advance the interest of human societies, as long as civil society was able to check the potential abuse that the concentration of power made possible. This social invention made it possible to enter into ventures without putting ones entire family and future descendents at risk, as it was custom at that time for descendents to take on the debts of antecedents. However, Korten argues that the modern world has seen the rise of corporations to become the dominant governance institutions of the planet, with many corporations exceeding governmnets in size and power. Chomsky (1999) has noted that the business press has referred to corporations and corporate institutions the de facto world government. Korten concludes that the history of the corporation is the advancement of the corporate persona's rights and freedoms without an accompanying responsibility (1995). Through this history, the modern corporation has come to be 20 defined as "a legal entity, consisting usually of a group of people who have a charter granting it perpetual life, that is invested with many of the legal powers given to individuals: a corporation may enter into contracts, buy and sell property etc' (Webster's New World Dictionary, 1991: 311). Neoliberalism The economic and political paradigm of the Free Market has become the dominant ideology of the contemporary world, especially since the fall of the Soviet Union (Chomsky, 1999). This Free Market ideology, known as neoliberalism is the integration of world markets through the elimination of barriers to trade. McChesney however, presents a more pointed view of neoliberalism an the mechanisms of and behind neoliberalism: 'Neoliberalism...refers to the policies and processes whereby a relative handful of private interests are permitted to control as much as possible of social life in order to maximize their personal profit. Associated initially with Reagan and Thatcher, for the past two decades neoliberalism has been the dominant global trend adopted by political parties of the center and much of the traditional left as well as the right. These parties and the policies they enact represent the immediate interests of extremely wealthy investors and less than one thousand large corporations (1998:7). He later adds: 'What is presented by pro-business ideologues as the natural expansion of Free Markets across borders, is in fact, quite the opposite. Globalization is the result of powerful governments, especially that of the United States, pushing trade deals and other accords down the throats of the world's people to make it easier for corporations and the wealthy to dominate the economies of nations around the world without having obligations to the peoples of those nations' (1998:13). McChesney argues that the consequences almost everywhere neoliberal policies are enacted include 'a massive increase in social and economic inequality, a marked increase in severe 21 deprivation for the poorest nations and peoples of the world, a disastrous global environment, an unstable global economy, and an unprecedented bonanza for the wealthy' (1998: 8). The 1999 Human Development Report of the United Nations directly blames the inequalities of the global trading system for the increase of poverty (UNDP, 1999). Chomsky points out 'Neoliberal doctrines, whatever one thinks of them, undermine education and health, increase inequality, and reduces labors share of the income; that much is not seriously in doubt' (1999: 8). Neoliberal thought points to its policies as the solution to the global problems that these policies have created (McChesney, 1998). Cobb discusses how the present global financial system attempts to create economic integration for the sake of maximizing economic growth as measured by GDP by destroying barriers to trade and capital flow. Cobb then demonstrates that GDP does not correlate well with improvements in economic or social welfare. He argues that he results of these attempts are widespread social injustice and unsustainable ecological pressures (1995). Chomsky writes that one of the philosophical foundations to Free Market economics is that of the 'level playing field'. However, the countries now advocating for worldwide Free Market reforms became wealthy under conditions of extreme protectionism. Europe, the U.S. and Japan developed 'by radically violating approved Free Market doctrine' He argues the same is true for the East Asian growth areas of today (1999: 30). Japan and the U.S. were able to develop, as they escaped European colonization. Japan developed its colonies in East Asia at relatively the same pace as itself, which has led to these colonies becoming world economic powers in their own rights through protectionist measures such as the limiting of capital flow. Midgley (1991) has shown how Asia's development experience leads to a rejection of the idea that state intervention is an impediment to economic growth or that it is an instrument of injustice. Instead statist intervention has contributed to Asia's positive development (ibid.), with huge reductions of poverty and remarkably even income distributions (Sing, 1999). This is in contrast to the colonies of Europe, which were heavily exploited (Chomsky, 1999) Britain, which in the Seventeenth century emerged as Europe's most developmentally advanced state, did eventually switch to policies of liberal internationalism in 1846. This was done after 150 years of protectionism, violence and state power had placed it far beyond any competitor. 100 years after the British shift to liberal internationalism, the U.S. followed suit. The U.S. had become, by far, the richest and most powerful country in the world 'and, like England before it, 22 came to perceive the merits of a 'level playing field' on which it could expect to crush any competitor' (Korten, 1995: 36). For the past several decades the U.S. has been pursuing neoliberal reforms inside its own borders which has been a bonanza for the wealthy (Chomsky, 1999). The same period has witnessed a sharp increase in working poverty, and numerous attacks on social safety nets (Korten 1995). Midgley (1994) has argued that the 'Third World' is not a societal type or a compartmentalization of nations, but a condition where prosperity and modernity co-exist with conditions of poverty, deprivation and exploitation. The Free Market initiatives benefiting the wealthy might be considered un-development, as they dismantle social progress and move developed nations towards a Third World status. Since implementing these reforms the U.S. has seen a marked rise in poverty in rural and inner city areas (Midgley, 1993) and an increase in drug use and crime which have followed the rise of the GDP (Cobb, 1995). Leaving government out of economic planning has left the future to corporations which are pressed to achieve short term gain. While pursuing these policies, the U.S. has weakened compared to other world economies such as in Europe and Japan (Chomsky, 1999). Biospheric Limits To examine the effects of neoliberal policies on the poorer countries of the planet, including the post-Soviet states, it is useful to start from the ecological context in which the political and economic activities take place. In 1798, Malthus suggested that environmental limits might restrict population growth (Korten, 1995). Many of the shortages predicted have been made up by either substitution or through more efficient use. Because of this, the limits of the biosphere have not been included in the neoliberal economic models currently being utilized around the globe, but instead are treated as externalities (Wackernagel & Rees, 1996). Wackernagel and Rees discuss how ecologists have estimated that humanity is now operating at 130% of the planet's carrying capacity (1996: 149). They examine how globally, natural capital, or the stock of natural assets that yield a flow of valuable goods and services, is being drawn down decreasing the biosphere's potential to create 'natural interest', or a harvest of valuable goods and services that can be maintained indefinitely. They argue that this drawdown threatens human survival, particularly in regard to food security and the ability of the earth to maintain life 23 support systems conducive to the existence and welfare of the human organism (ibid.). Scientific American reports that this resource shortage has been linked with with increased worldwide poverty, ethnic strife, decreased health and war (Homer-Dixon, Boutwell & Rathjuns, 1993). Technology and substitution have been unable to keep pace with resource consumption. It is not difficult to point to evidence of the overdrawing of resources past ecological limits: Each year 6 million hectares of ecologically productive land is lost to desertification, 17 million hectares to deforestation, 26 billion tons of productive soil is lost to oxidation and erosion, fisheries around the globe are collapsing, ground water has been drawn down and polluted around the world, 17,000 species disappear annually, stratospheric ozone continues to erode and industrialization has so drastically changed the atmosphere that it traps excessive heat creating destructive weather patterns. This can all be attributed to humanity using more material and energy than the biosphere can manage (Wackernagel & Rees). Hoff and Polack (1993) report that virtually all elements of the global ecosystem are under increasing threat. It is illuminating to analyze the distribution of global resource usage; the wealthiest 20% of the planet use 104% of the planet's carrying capacity, leaving 26% for the other 80% of humanity. Rees in 1990, calculated that each human being on the planet could use 1.7 hectares of productive land. Industrialized countries at that time were using 4 to 6 hectares per person. He demonstrates that the excess resources are brought to the industrialized world through the appropriation of lower income country's resources through trade. In this analysis, the rich are by definition depriving the poor through Free Trade. With a finite amount of resources available for planetary consumption, not every country can be a net importer of resources (Korten, 1995), and it becomes physically impossible for poorer nations to catch up economically (Daly, 1995). This puts the neoliberal idea of creating a ten-fold growth in the world economy to alleviate the problems of poverty in an entirely different light (Wackernagel & Rees, 1996). . The last contemporary frontiers and resource stands, including regions in the post-Soviet states, are currently under intense competition for their resources by wealthy countries and corporations (ibid.). It is central to note that the countries and people who are consuming past ecological means and that are appropriating resources from the poor, are the ones who are dictating world economic policy (ibid.). 24 Trade Agreements and Re-Colonization Chakravarthi Rhagavan, an Indian journalist, has labeled international trade agreements as 'recolonization' (Kariliner, 1997). Wackernagel and Rees write that these agreements are the mechanisms by which the North secures resources from the South. Across Asia, Africa, Latin America, the South Pacific, the Balkans and the Former Soviet Union, the socially and economically destructive impacts of loan conditionalities and structural adjustments are found (Chussudovsky, 1997). Utilizing the International Monetary Fund's own data, Kolko (1999) found that structural adjustment in the poor countries of the world have lead to economic decline or stagnation. Development has been highly distorted, producing a situation where economic growth has been accompanied by the same degree of social regression (Midgley, 1996a). Social development has been hampered by a massive indebtedness (Midgley, 1993). Countries that have undergone structural adjustments continue to have increases in poverty, decreases in health and education, and amazing profits for the wealthy (Chomsky, 1999). Trade agreements have eroded planetary biodiversity and the capacity of nation's to feed themselves (Riches, 1999). There has also been a increased feminization of poverty in the majority countries that have undergone structural adjustment (Sadasiwan, 1997). Four institutions have been the force behind these agreements: the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and more recently the World Trade Organization (WTO). The first three organizations were formally made 'special agencies' of the UN, but are nearly autonomous (Korten, 1995). The governance of these agencies is shielded from public scrutiny and debate and: 'indeed, the internal operating processes of the World Bank are so secretive that access to many of its most important documents relating to country plans, strategies and priorities is denied even to its own governing executive directors' (ibid: 160). Kari Polyani Levitt, an economist, writes that IMF programs are not designed to increase the welfare of the population. Instead, she argues they are designed to bring external payments into balance. She labels the IMF as the ultimate guardian of the interests of capitalists and bankers doing international business (Torrie, 1983). Speaking on neocolonialism, Jesse Jackson has stated 'They no longer use bullets and ropes. They use the World Bank and the IMF.' (Korten, 1995: 159). 2 5 Originally, these organizations were to finance European reconstruction. Finding little demand, the World Bank went to the Third World for customers Korten writes of how the Bank encountered the dual difficulties of a lack of expertise to plan and apply for projects and a split between economic nationalists and transnationalists in key government posts in the Third World. The debate of the time centered around import substitution (concentrating industrialization on providing locally produced substitutes for imported goods) versus export-led policies (building domestic industry to serve foreign markets). Import substitution was advocated by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and ran counter to IMF and World Bank policies of promoting expansion of foreign trade and investment by opening domestic markets (ibid.). According to Gamsakhurdia's former economist, this debate still continues in all regions of the Caucasus and has been the cause of significant bloodshed. The World Bank began programs of 'Institution Building' that supported projects to create autonomous or nearly autonomous agencies in Third World governments. These agencies were staffed by those who were sympathetic to Bank policies. Korten argues that the World Bank deliberately manipulated and changed Third World governance institutions in order to open up nationalist economies. Korten examines how these measures instead of raising capital for debt servicing, have led to increased capital repatriation at the further expense of local resources (ibid.) It is argued that the World Bank has become a global bureaucracy, making decisions for people to whom it is unaccountable. In a democracy these decisions would be the responsibility of elected legislative bodies. Loan arrangements are routinely made behind closed doors without public input, usually by public officials in unelected positions, or by officials in less than democratic states (ibid.). The most recent development in the international financial system has been the creation of the WTO in the 1995 Uruguay round of GATT. The WTO is a trade body with an independent legal identity and staff (Barker & Mander, 1999). Korten (1995) writes that the WTO works to ensure that the rights of transnationals are not intruded upon by democratic governments and the people to whom these governments are accountable. The WTO allows transnationals to sue member governments and challenge any action they perceive as cutting their profits. These include laws concerning public health and safety, labor and environmental standards except as agreed by the WTO, whose regulations are far from stringent. Challenges may also be brought against local 26 level governments. Challenges are heard by a panel of three trade experts, usually lawyers who have made their living defending transnationals, in a closed door session. The burden of proof is rested upon the defendant. The recommendations of the panel are adopted unless there is a unanimous vote by member countries to reject (ibid.). The existence of the WTO, which is lead by the U.S. and other economic powers, virtually obliges any country that wishes to sell to the U.S. market to join on to the organization, and thus undergo structural adjustment which leaves these countries at a severe trading disadvantage against the wealthy trading powers. Increasingly, corporate interest is defining policy agenda, rather than being defined by social and civil interest. This agenda is overriding social concerns and indeed exasperating them (ibid.) A Free Market economy puts each individual in competition for access to limited environmental space. The individual with the most money will invariably win. (ibid.). The international mobility of capital (but not labor), leads to an absolute advantage, which leads to maldistribution (Daly, 1995). India, once the industrial workshop and trading center of the world was de-industrialized by market liberalization thrust upon it by foreign forces, which turned India into a deeply impoverished agricultural society. This transition brought a sharp decline in real wages, food consumption and simple commodities (Korten, 1995). 'India was the first casualty on a very long list' as Western societies protected themselves from market discipline and were able to develop (Chomsky 1999: 34). Chossudovsky argues that he IMF might now be considered the current governing body of India (1997). Latin America has perhaps the worst record for equality, education, health, and social welfare in general. Imports are largely directed at consumption for the rich, while in East Asia they are put towards productive investment. A Brazilian economist has pointed out that the Latin American problem is not 'populism' but the 'subjection of the state to the rich' (Chomsky, 1999: 33). Latin American countries are more open to investment than most other countries (ibid.). Cypher argues that a political economy led by the World Bank, the IMF, the business elite and transnational corporations in Latin America has resulted in increased poverty, lower wages, and dependence on speculation and the whims of global financial markets (1998). Pakistan has seen the incidence of poverty has increase significantly since the undertaking medium-term structural adjustments through the IMF and World Bank (Anwar, 1996). Tester and Drover (1996) have discussed the environmental impacts of the IMF and the World Bank in the 27 South Pacific, finding the policies of the institutions to be highly incompatible with the well being of the people of the region. Chossudovsky (1997) has implicated the IMF and World Bank for creating the conditions that lead to the famine in Somalia and the Rwandan genocide. He also has explored how loan conditions and structural adjustments since the early 1980's have lead massive political, ecological and social destruction across the African continent (ibid.). In Nigeria, Alubo argues that political unrest and instability has been exacerbated by structural adjustments (1989). Cobb (1995) reports that in sub-Saharan Africa, the majority of people are significantly worse off economically than before the neoliberal reforms, as wealth has concentrated into fewer hands. Now neoliberal reforms are taking place in the FSU. The former communist states have been outside of this global financial system. As 15th century Europe began to divide, Western Europe developed and the Eastern Europe became its service area, the original Third World (Chomsky, 1999). Divisions continued to deepen into the twentieth century until Russia 'became unwilling to complement economies of the West' (ibid.: 29). Despite Stalin's atrocities and the devastation of wars, the Soviet Union industrialized in one generation. By the 1970's, China was being reintegrated into the global financial system. The Soviet economy began to stagnate after the death of Stalin, particularly during the Breshnev era, and the system collapsed 25 years later. The Soviet regions are returning to their earlier status. Regions in the West are rejoining the West, as in East Germany. Most areas, however, are returning to their traditional service role, largely under the rule of former communist bureaucrats and local associates of foreign enterprise, along with the Mafias. UNICEF has estimated that a half million deaths per year in Russia are a result of neoliberal reforms. Russia's Social Policy Chief has estimated that 25% of the population had fallen below subsistence, while new rulers gained enormous wealth, a familiar pattern of Western dependencies (ibid.). Regimenting the Public Mind A UN development report for 1994 claimed that the last fifty years had seen a 'Breathtaking globalization of prosperity side by side with a depressing globalization of poverty' (Kariliner, 1997: 21). In 1993 the four richest people in the world had a worth larger than the Gross National Product of a billion people in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, one fifth of the planet's 28 population (Korten, 1995). Fifty-one of the largest 100 economies on earth are corporations. The world economy is growing at about two to three percent a year, whereas transnationals are growing at eight to eleven percent a year. Transnationals hold 90% of the world's patents. Transnationals and their foreign affiliates account for most of the industrial production on earth (Kariliner, 1997). Kariliner examines how huge corporations have the resources to control much of the world's economy, dominate policy formation and perhaps most importantly, structure thought and opinion (ibid.). McChesney discusses how they have the resources to influence media and overwhelm the political process (1998). Transnationals use their substantial wealth to exert significant influence on legislation and in executive government through campaign contributions and a multitude of other means (Kariliner, 1997). In the U.S., the richest one-quarter of one percent make 80% of all individual campaign contributions. Corporations outspend labor ten to one. The two main political parties in the U.S. are dominated by business and are remarkably similar in most policy areas. McChesney discusses how the caliber of debate between these two very similar parties tends to be closer to that of the one party communist state than of a genuine democracy. He explores how the voter is forced to cast a ballot for neoliberalism, if they are to choose one of the two monied and viable parties (1998). Marketing has become skilled at creating images of this-worldly paradise, conveyed by models and actors. The individual, especially in the U.S., soon after the birth of this field, found oneself surrounded by the single ideological message of corporate thought, through advertisements, department store windows, electric signs, and billboards, all touting the good life as according to corporate interest (Korten, 1995). The average North American adult views approximately 21,000 commercials a year, virtually all with a similar consumer ideology. The 100 largest corporations pay for 75% of commercial television time and 50% of public television time. One half minute of prime time costs from around $200,000 to $300,000, making it nearly impossible for any other sectors of society to participate, and leaving essentially only the commercial message conveyed to the public, overwhelming other messages and ideas (Korten, 1995). Apparently even money is not enough to get a message aired however. Adbusters, a Vancouver, British Columbia based media organization, attempted to air an 'anti-advertisement', discouraging consumer behavior. 29 According to the Adbusters Campaign Manager, all of the major networks would not accept the advertisement, even though they offered to pay full price. Edward Bernays, one of the founders of the public relations (PR) industry, drew heavily from wartime propaganda. His expressed goal for the new industry was the 'regimenting the public mind every bit as much as an army regiments the bodies of its soldiers' (Chomsky, 1999:.93). This regimentation is far more sophisticated than the regimentation of Soviet propaganda (ibid.). Other business leaders have described public relation's task as 'to control the public mind' (ibid.: 45). Korten argues that this type of control is no less effective in enslaving the many, for the interests of the few than previous more brutal methods (1995). A 1990 study found that almost 40% of news content in newspapers originate from PR press releases, story memos or suggestions. This suggests that the distinction between advertising and news is becoming increasingly blurred (ibid.). Chomsky has concluded that the more free and popular a government, the greater the necessity it becomes to rely on the manipulation of public opinion for the submission of the many to the few (1999). Public relations and advertising are a 'modern form of enchantment...skilled image makers of Madison Avenue, enticing societies to weaken community to free the market...' (Korten, 1995: 131). Public relations and advertising have been wildly successful in radically altering societies. Perhaps one of the best examples is in the U.S., which in the nineteenth century held frugality and thrift as cornerstones to its culture. The puritanical legacy of the country left an imprint of the values of hard work, participation in community, temperate living and devotion to the spiritual life. These values have been successfully transformed into a culture of materialism and indulgence (ibid.). Korten considers the new culture of consumer capitalism as the most nonconsensual culture ever, as it is not produced by civil society over time but by commercial groups (ibid.). Chomsky concludes that far from responding to consumer needs, the transnationals manufacture them (1999). In 1970, only a few fortune 500 companies had PR offices in Washington, by 1980 over 80% of them did. Washington is littered with for profit information firms and business-sponsored policy institutes (Korten, 1995). In short, corporations have been able overwhelm cultural and political processes by consolidating the planet's economic resources. 30 Undermining Democracy Jonathon Cahn, in the Harvard Human Rights Journal, wrote that the World Bank must be regarded as a governance institution as it leverages its financial power to legislate entire legal regimens and even to alter the constitutions of borrowing nations. Bank approved consultants have often rewritten a country's trade policy, fiscal policies, civil service requirements, labor laws, health care arrangements, environmental regulations, energy policy, resettlement requirements, procurement rules and budgetary policy (Korten, 1995). The WTO allows the U.S. and other powerful nations to intervene profoundly in the internal affairs of other countries, compelling them to change laws and practices (Chomsky, 1999). The objective of neoliberal policy to minimize the state to free up trade is effectively transferring decision making from the public arena to large unaccountable financial institutions, undermining democracy (McChesney, 1998). However, McChesney points out that a democracy requires a vibrant political culture with community groups, libraries, public schools, neighborhood organizations, cooperatives, public meeting places, voluntary associations and trade unions to provide means for citizens to meet, communicate and interact (ibid.). McChesney writes: 'neoliberal democracy...takes dead aim at this sector. Instead of citizens it produces consumers, instead of communities, it produces shopping malls. The net result is an atomized society of disengaged individuals, who feel demoralized and socially powerless' (Ibid..: 11). Korten's (1995) model of democratic pluralism is useful to examine the concentration of power by different concerns. This pluralism he considers to be made up by a civic sector, a government sector and a market sector. The civic sector he defines as a 'vast array of alliances of people acting to demand their rights and fulfill their responsibilities as citizens' (1995: 97). Groups serve watchdog roles to the state's tendency to centralize power and evade civic accountability and control. The government sector is given authority by the civic sector to use coercive force in the public interest, an authority that can be withdrawn at any time. The government sector is granted the ability to collect taxes, reallocate resources and maintain public order and security. The market sector is defined as consisting of economic exchange, and the production of goods and services, creating wealth through value added activities. This sector responds only to money 31 and financial values. The market is not able to distinguish between profit and the efficient use of resources or monopolistic power. Balance, therefore, is to be found in a market regulated to fulfill the needs of the civic sector and which 'functions in a robust system of democratic governance' (1995: 98.). The civic sector is considered the first sector as it grants power to governments, the second sector. The governments, along with the civic sector, then regulate the market, or the third sector. Neoliberalism, which globalizes economies and gives free reign to corporate power, makes the market the first sector, the government, subordinate to the market, becomes the second sector, and the ability of civil society to hold government accountable to public interest is devastated. Civil society becomes the third sector. The Soviet system was so profoundly statist that the civic and market sectors were virtually eliminated. This eliminated the civil role of holding the state accountable, leaving a large unaccountable government. Korten argues that the resulting suffering of the Soviet people was because of this concentration of power and the utter lack of democratic pluralism. The West, through neoliberalism, is now heading down a similar path of 'minimizing the state' leaving unaccountable corporations and economic bodies to rule, without the consent of the civic sector. In the Soviet and the contemporary Western case, this concentration of power produces dependency on mega-institutions that erode the social functioning on which governments and markets depend, and destroy the living systems of the earth, in the name of progress. Both take a narrow view of humanity, seeing the flourishing of societies in only economic terms. The Mechanisms by which Neoliberalism Came to Georgia This analysis of how neoliberalism is establishing itself in Georgia was borne of similar themes that ran throughout many of the interviews when speaking of the contemporary situation in Georgia. Whenever possible, secondary sources (such as Georgian radio programs, Russian newspapers and scholarly works) are utilized to help validate pieces of the general story line of recent Georgian events. The overall story line, however, emerged during the interview process. The researcher then has taken this story line and examined it through an international context. The analysis has four distinct parts: The Violent Attack, The Velvet Takeover, Civil Society Held Down While Neoliberal Reforms Take Hold and Georgian Minds Under Siege. 32 Part One of Four: The Violent Attack It is widely held that Gorbachev and Shevardnadze were in Britain at the time of the April 9th massacre. It has been suggested that enemies of the two men were attempting to humiliate them on the world stage through the violent quelling of demonstrators during a period of glasnost. A similar operation in Baku, Azerbaijan a year later however, suggests Gorbachev's and Shevardnadze's sanctioning of the Georgian operation. Additionally, the massacre was an effective way to get rid of Patiashvili, who was against the new Soviet reforms (Hunter, 1994). Gamsakhurdia, who had developed a reputation as a political trouble maker while still in primary school, had become a subject of harassment upon returning from jail for anti-Soviet activities in the late 1980's (ibid.). After the massacre, which had radicalized the country, Gamsakhurdia found himself invited by the new Georgian party leader, Givi Gumbaridze, to help incorporate national demands into the new political agenda. Real power sharing, however, never materialized making the cooperation short-lived and further radicalizing the nationalists (ibid.). Every group from trade unions to soccer teams broke with the Communist party and all-Union groups. Reforms came too late, as public support for the establishment had disintegrated. Gumbaridze did go on to call for national sovereignty, the supremacy of Georgian law over Soviet law, an end to the Communist monopoly, the Georgianization of names and places and a formation of a commission to explore separation with the Union (Jones & Parsons, 1996). Participant 16 related this time as being incredibley exciting and open to new opportunity. Public pressure forced parliament to declare the agreement of Soviet control null and void and to hold multiparty parliamentary elections to the Georgian Supreme Soviet (Hunter, 1994). The headquarters of the KGB was raided by protesters and files were read through. The building was occupied for 24 hours, until the protesters left peacefully (Slider, 1991). Many new parties formed for the elections, from the monarchists, who called for the return of the royal Bagrati family which was residing in Spain, to the Greens. Several blocs formed, including Gamsakhurdia's Round Table (Hunter, 1994). October 1990 saw the formal end of the Communist party with the new elections. The election was reported to have been conducted fairly, on a basis of a mixed system of majority and proportionality. There was controversy regarding the exclusion of parties 'whose activity does not spread over Georgia's entire territory', which effectively excluded ethnic parties. The Round Table Bloc won 155 of 250 seats in an election deemed fair by international bodies. The 33 Georgian Communist party won 64 seats, largely from: the non-Georgian ethnic vote. The majority termed themselves the 'Irecconcilables' and the Communists had never dealt with opposition politics, setting the stage for future difficulties (Jones & Parsons, 1996). On November 14th, 1990, a second set of elections were held for the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet (Hunter, 1994), in which Gamsakhurdia was elected against 13 other candidates by a huge majority (Jones & Parsons, 1996). Partcipant 16 recalled that Gamskhurdia was carried by the crowds to the parliament building. Gorbachev called a Union-wide referendum for the preservation of a federation of Soviet republics. Gamsakhurdia instead held a referendum for Georgian independence. On March 31st 1991, over 98% voted for independence and the Georgian parliament declared independence April 9th, 1991, exactly two years after the massacre (Library of Congress Federal Research Division, 1998). In May, presidential elections were held in which Gamsakhurdia, against 12 other candidates, won taking 87% of the vote (Hunter, 1994). The Communist Party Secretary received 1.7% of the vote (Slider, 1991). Richard Nixon and Richard Pipes both supported the elections as being fair (Library of Congress Federal Research Division, 1998). Gamsakhurdia's career as a dissident had given him strong nationalist credentials (Hunter, 1994). He had published banned texts and poetry as well as articles appealing for the preservation of religious monuments. He had also written articles linking the KGB, the Church under the Soviet placed Patriarch and the antiquity black market. He and Merab Costava were put on trial for anti-Soviet activities. Gamsakhurdia repented on television lessening his sentence to three years while Costava spent ten years in Siberia. (Goldenberg, 1994). During this time he and Costava had been crucial in providing information to the West on human rights abuses, according to the human rights activist. Gamsakhurdia's former chief economist reported, in a separate interview, that Gamsakhurdia, had met with leaders Ronald Reagan and Charles De Gaulle. Gamsakhurdia's former Press Secretary explained, in an interview, that because of Gamsakhurdia's stature as a world-known dissident and son of a famous writer, he was able to speak loudly against the Soviets while most could only speak around kitchen tables. He claimed that the information provided to Reagan was used for the United States to make demands to the Soviet Union. Having a strong public mandate, Gamsakhurdia began to reconstruct Georgia. Ivlian Khaandrava, a newly elected parliament member spoke at a press conference soon after election. He stated: 34 'The work of the national congress is an extraordinary phenomenon in the life of people who, in the course of 70 years, have not had a single scrap of freedom. We have succeeded in creating an organ that is completely independent of Soviet and imperial structures and that make the ideas of freedom and democracy the basis of its activities' (Zarya Vostaka, 1990). Gamsakhurdia's former Press Secretary explained the economic policy of the nascent independent Georgia. Gamsakhurdia had wanted to avoid a structural vacuum while bringing in new policies. To these ends, old policies were retained until new ones could be established. He described this process as working in 'parallel", or step by step, 'not throwing away the old and bringing in the new'. Gamsakhurdia's former economist explained that at the time of the Soviet breakup, the only members of society with substantial amounts of capital were the former communist Nomenklatur and the Mafia. These two groups had been the ones holding the power during the Soviet period. The Nomenklatur had been networks of interacting groups based around loyalties to common leaders. If a leader was promoted, then they would bring their network of clients and proteges with them. This system was formalized and kept on file by the Central Committee (Hosking, 1997). Gamsakhurdia and his Chief Economist had made policies to privatize, but slowly, such that the Nomenklatur and Mafia would not be able to buy up and concentrate the country's resources, land and factories, effectively returning their power. In September of 1991, new economic laws were passed to prevent the 'economic Mafia' becoming the main beneficiary of the new economic system (Slider, 1991, Gachelidze, 1995). Gamsakhurdia's former economist claimed that because of Soviet worth, Georgia had a chance to reconstruct. All Soviet debts had been taken over by Russia. Georgia's economic policy was termed as isolationist economics, and some blamed the country's economic performance on these policies. The former economist noted that all of the former communist countries that were not adopted by rich neighbors, such as East Germany, underwent extreme economic turmoil. He also discussed how the Gamsakhurdia government had begun to attract foreign investment and had put in place a series of policies called 'Laws About Foreign Investment'. The former Press Secretary described Gamsakhurdia's philosophy as; 'if there are not seen any human beings around, try to be a human being'. Gamsakhurdia had hoped that Georgia would emerge on the world stage as a mediator between East and West, because of Georgia's unique 35 position at the crossroads between the two (Hunter, 1994). Paricipant 13 explained that most Georgians consider themselves neither of the East nor the West. The leader of the political front told of how Gamsakhurdia and other national leaders of the Caucasus believed that if they wished to maintain themselves under world pressure, they would have to band together. He explained that the proposed Caucasus House was to consist of Georgia, Dagestan, Chechnya, Azerbaijan, and perhaps Armenia and others, creating a common military and acting in common interest. The political psychologist spoke of an experience in Dagestan where he found that the Muslims of the Russian Caucasus saw the Georgians as their brothers and the Russians as their enemies. Gamsakhurdia's appointment of leading opposition figure, Tengiz Sigua, to the post of Prime Minister was a move well received (Hunter, 1994). Radio Free Europe reported that the Republic's new economic policies seemed reasonable (ibid.). However, Gamsakhurdia was seen as giving a mixed response to the hard-liner coup in Moscow against Gorbachev. His opponents accused him of capitulating to Moscow. Gamsakhurdia responded by citing a letter of appeal he had written to Western countries to support the elected presidents of the Soviet region, published in the Russian language newspaper Swobodnaya Grusia. He had also fought all his life against these forces and had spent time in prison for it. He was attacked for writing a letter to the Georgian people compelling them to remain calm (ibid.). For the events that followed leading to a military coup of the Republic, there are many claims and counter claims, making it difficult to sift through them all to make judgement on their validity (Hunter, 1994). In the land of the KGB intrigue, there exists a number of accusations of conspiracies. Of these Hunter counsels 'obviously these allegations cannot be accepted at face value, but neither would it be prudent to dismiss them out of hand' (Ibid.: 12). In neighboring Azerbaijan, as of 1998, there still seems to have been enough international intrigue going on that the researcher was arrested and held as a CIA spy. Many participants had theories and speculations on what power structures were behind the coup. Gamsakhurdia was unbending in defeat, a trait that sustained him as a dissident but proved to be a liability in politics (Goldenberg, 1994). He had enormous popular support and was unwilling to dialogue with the opposition, largely the former Nomenklatur and Mafia, but also other groups (Slider, 1991). Paricipants 5, 6, 14 and 16 all discussed how the majority of Goergians had profound faith and respect for Gamsakhurdia. Participant 16 spoke of how Americans may think Bill Clinton is fine or not not so fine, but Georgians had strong feelings for their first president. 36 Gamsakhurdia went as far as to ban the Communist party (Jones & Parsons, 1996). He was described as: 'a complex and unpredictable figure, urbane, well educated and Western oriented...he has shown an ability to compromise, at times demonstrating great political skill...used his enormous electoral triumph as a pretext for pushing through policies without broad public discussion and little input from opposition groups' (Slider, 1991: 77). Hunter claims that despite his nationalistic credentials he 'lacked qualities of statesmanship, skills of governance, and a talent for conciliation' (1994: 181). He adds that Gamsakhurdia did not do well in maintaining coalitions (ibid.). His experience as a dissident had given him an extreme distrust of Communist officials and of academics who had risen through the Party intelligentsia. This led him to appoint people of little experience (Slider, 1991). Many have written that Gamsakhurdia did not handle the problems that faced him very well and behaved 'erratic', immature' and 'dictatorial' (ibid.). The Communist party ended up joining the Round Table Bloc. The remaining opposition came from the outside, from parties that did not get elected (ibid.). Gamsakhurdia's presidential powers were similar to that of the French president. He was able to appoint Prime Ministers, dissolve parliament, call a referendum and declare a state emergency. He was also able to suspend the force of laws, serve unlimited terms and could be impeached only with a 3/4 vote by parliament for reason of treason (Jones & Parsons, 1995). Most Western observers blame Gamsakhurdia's downfall on his inability to deal with his warlord opponents and his dictatorial style (Hunter, 1994). There seems to be a generally held belief that the intelligentsia in Tbilisi was against Gamsakhurdia (Jones & Parsons, 1996). The researcher's experience showed contemporary support of the Gamsakhurdia movement in Tbilisi to be constructed of largely academics. Many observers have claimed his expectations for Georgia's international role were unrealistic (Hunter, 1994). He was also accused of mistreating ethnic minority groups. These accusations, although likely containing some basis, might be considered in the context of undoing Stalin's divide and conquer ethnic web. Gamsakhurdia's former parliament member claimed that there had been successful negotiations during the Gamsakhurdia administration with both the Abkhasians and the Ossetians, the two major secessionist groups, to form autonomous regions. A few groups used institutions to challenge Gamsakhurdia, but his popularity was too 37 overwhelming, so some resorted to extra-judicial methods (Slider, 1991). Of greatest note was Jaba Ioseliani, recently out of jail for manslaughter and robbery. At that time he was advertising himself as a playwright (Goldenberg, 1994). Jones and Parsons make reference to his unpopularity (1996). An extremely important part of Ioseliani's background is left out of most works discussing this time period in Georgia. Ioseliani was a close aid to Shevardnadze when Shevardnadze was the KGB boss of Georgia (Hunter, 1994). Shevardnadze would come to lead Georgia after the Gamsakhurdia administration, brought in by Ioseliani. Ioseliani formed a paramilitary group known as the Mkedrioni, or the 'Knights' or 'Horsemen' (ibid.). Members took vows of loyalty and employed similar nationalistic symbols as Gamsakhurdia used (Nasmyth, 1998). The Mkedrioni attacked Soviet installations for weapons. Gamsakhurdia tried to keep the paramilitary group under control, worried that they would provide Moscow an excuse to enter into Georgia. The Mkedrioni began to exacerbate the situation in Abkhasia and Ossetia through violence (Hunter, 1994). They roamed the country like bandits, stealing and pillaging (Nasmyth, 1998). Participant 14 told of how they came to his family's house and stole everything including their car, all the while waving machine guns around. The Soviet Army moved against the Mkedrioni and Gamsakhurdia arrested Ioseliani and had him imprisoned. Ioseliani's supporters labeled him as a political prisoner, but 'it is hard to imagine [that] any government would permit an armed opposition to operate on its territory' (Hunter, 1994: 121). During this period the government moved to control the media, but Slider claims that reports of censorship were exaggerated (1991). Sources place Shevardnadze as being in contact with armed opposition groups by at least September 1991. Among those with whom he was in contact was Ioseliani, the close aid to Shevardnadze during his tenure as the KGB Director of Georgia (Hunter, 1994). Igor Giorgadze, a former KGB Director of Georgia, reported being present when Tengiz Kitovani, the leader of the National Guard, received a call from Shevardnadze, pushing him to accelerate an attack on Abkhasia (Moscow Novaya Gazeta, 1998). The Mkedrioni had continued their activities until the point virtual anarchy had been reached (Nasmyth, 1998), and government structures ceased functioning (Jones & Parsons, 1996). The Mkedrioni were also involved in the drug trade at this time (Van der Leeuw, 1999). Participant 5 said that civilization had ceased in this time. Kitovani took a splinter group and joined forces with Ioseliani (Hunter, 1994). Kitovani had a criminal history including convictions of murder, racketeering and looting (Van der Leeuw, 1999). Paramilitaries, mainly the Mkedrioni, put up roadblocks around the country. These checkpoints began taking the names and addresses as well as the money of those who passed through. During 38 this time the group began large scale extortion and looting (ibid.). Moscow had begun to support the paramilitaries with arms and the population became too exhausted to take sides (Jones & Parsons, 1999). Participant 5 claimed that people just gave up. Gamsakhurdia ultimately could neither win over or subdue the warlords (Hunter, 1994). The parliament building was surrounded by the forces controlled by Ioseliani and Kitovani. Gamsakhurdia and close supporters were forced to retreat to the building's basement as they were shelled (Goldenberg, 1993) Gamsakhurdia, with members of parliament and other associates, fled to Armenia where they were only allowed to stay temporarily (ibid.). The leader of a political front claimed they were welcomed in Chechnya where they set up a headquarters. Gamsakhurdia appealed to a recently elected Clinton for help and received no response, according to the former parliament member. Ioseliani and Kitovani disbanded the remaining parliament and established a Military Council. They then invited Shevardnadze to return to lead Georgia (Hunter, 1994). Ignatieff has written 'back in 1989, we thought the new world order opened up by the breaching of the Berlin Wall would be ruled by philosopher kings, dissident heroes and shipyard electricians. We looked forward to a new order of nation states, released from the senile grip of the Soviets' (1993: 28). Participants often spoke of how Gamsakhurdia, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978 by the U.S. congress, a philosopher and theologian, was replaced by a man who had imprisoned him a decade earlier for anti-Soviet activities. In many ways history had repeated itself. The first Republic of Georgia, established in 1918 with overwhelming popular support and a nationalist agenda incubated by Russian oppression, was overthrown by force. Again in 1992, a nationalist government born of oppression from Moscow, with overwhelming popular support, was overthrown by force. Virtually all scholars and observers, no matter their opinions of the takeover, admit that it was a military coup (Jones & Parsons, 1996). Ioseliani needed Shevardnadze because he knew that he would never be accepted as a legitimate leader. Shevardnadze, in turn, needed Ioseliani's military force (Goldenberg, 1993). Sigua resumed his post of Prime Minister and created a working group to draft new election law that would legitimize the next government. The new forces feared that Gamsakhurdia retained enough support to regain power in the next election. As a result, the new State Council adopted an electoral system of a single transferable vote, virtually guaranteeing representation of small parties and making it difficult for a single prominent figure to take 39 parliamentary control (Library of Congress Federal Research Division, 1998). During this time, it should be noted violence was exploding in Ossetia and Abkhasia (Jones & Parsons, 1996). Both of these regions were working for further autonomy from Tbilisi (Hunter, 1994). The former Press Secretary reported that Gamsakhurdia, although often faulted for his dealings with ethnic minorities, had worked out agreements with the regions, despite Russia's continuing intervention. This intervention is validated by the literature (Slider, 1991). Both conflicts got out of hand as Georgia fell into anarchy. Interestingly, Russia continued to use the Abkhasia conflict after Shevardnadze took control, until the point it became a war. (Jones & Parsons, 1996). There are many speculations to Russia's motives, from attempting to force Georgia into the CIS, to trying to embarrass Shevardnadze on the world scene and keep Georgia weak (ibid.). Pro-Gamsakhurdia demonstrators were fired on by the Military Council. In the 1992 election, Shevardnadze ran as the sole candidate for Chairman of Parliament, a throwback from his career in the Communist party (Goldenberg, 1993). Unopposed, he took 80% of the votes. However, according to several participants, there was a major election boycott, as many considered the process illegal and fraudulent. According to the political psychologist, only 40% of voters showed up at the polls versus 90%, that Goldenberg (1993) reports to have shown up for the first presidential election in which Gamsakhurdia had won by an enormous margin against twelve other candidates. Participant 9 spoke of how many Georgians believed that the West would intervene in such an obvious trampling of democracy. Parliamentary elections did not meet international standards for democratic elections and were not conducted according to electoral law (Hunter, 1994, Norwegian Helsinki Committee, 1995). Among charges against the elections; representatives from local administrations and local election commissions were openly instructing voters to vote for the new government under the Military Council, the secrecy of ballots was not safeguarded, and in many sites voters were marking ballots openly and under the guidance of officials. In the Kaspi district, the local administration had made it known that if the sitting government was not elected, the public would be reprimanded (ibid). Participant 11 spoke of the war: '/ am not political, but involved in an emotional sense, I try not to think about it but I cannot, I see the wars in my dreams like nightmares...the civil war happened very near, 40 felt it physically, I did not believe the shooting would start...Past events absolutely no sense, in vain, nothing changed, we just died and became invalids and nothing more, that was the only result of the war'. Participant 15, conducted health research through this period described some of the things that did change because of the war. He reported an increase in narcotic use among children, an increase in delayed development, an increase of psychosomatic difficulties, diabetes, hypertension, cardiac problems, stomach difficulties, allergies, dermatological problems, sexual perversion and general delinquency and behavioral problems among children. Since Gamsakhurdia, all groups and personalities that have come to power have disregarded even the minimum standards for democratic behavior (Hunter, 1994). The opponents of Gamsakhurdia immediately resorted to blatantly non-democratic methods to topple an elected government in its first year of operation. In contrast to the non-violent resistance of Gamsakhurdia and Costava, Shevardnadze took power through a murderous bankrobber that utilized brutal paramilitary force. It is difficult to consider this a basis for a democracy. The political psychologist said that Georgia had become independent from Moscow through a velvet revolution. He explained that the independence movement did not use force like Lenin and the Bolsheviks, but peaceful political ways that are allowed in civilized countries. He considered it important that changes happen from below so that there is a basis for ruling at the top. In the end, the battle for power in Georgia was between the former communists and the former dissidents of Soviet Georgia (Goldenberg, 1993). The bottom line is that Shevardnadze replaced a legitimately elected president through a military coup (Jones &Parsons, 1996). Neither Ioseliani or Kitovani were committed democrats (Hunter, 1994). As an ex-communist, there is little likelihood that Shevardnadze could have been elected into power during that time, a period when participant 6 claimed the former Nomenklatur was held in contempt. An interview from before the coup reveals how Georgian society viewed Shevardnadze after the Soviet breakup; 'We could do with him now [Shevardnadze], and he would probably come if we called him. But I do not think that there is a majority in favor of this' (Dayens Nyneto, 1991). He essentially gained his power through the unleashing of anarchy by arming thugs and the encouragement of the most brutal of behavior. 41 After the elections Ioseliani claimed Shevardnadze was creating a police state. He threatened, 'In his time Zviad Gamsakhurdia acted this way against us...he subsequently ended up abroad' (Rezonazi, 1995). The former parliament member reported during an interview that Ioseliani is now in jail and Kitovani had been released in the spring of 1999 for medical reasons. One protester calls Shevardnadze 'Pinochet the Second' and another, labels him as 'The Minister of Police'. Goldenberg points out that 'there is little doubt that Russia, or indeed the West, preferred any alternative to Gamsakhurdia, let alone a man of Shevardnadze's stature' (1993: 93). The former parliament member claimed Shevardnadze had connections with Moscow and Georgian opposition forces during the coup. He claimed that before and after it was obvious Shevardnadze took part in the events of the coup and was the director of those events. Goldenberg adds that the idea of Shevardnadze being part of a Russian plan cannot be dismissed too easily (1993). Foreign Policy reported in 1993 that there was not a separatist conflict in the former Soviet Union without Russian involvement (Goltz, 1993). The former parliament member expressed his view that certainly the Russians were involved in the civil war and that 'by their help it was done'. The Russians were especially busy in the republics that were resisting joining the CIS. Armenia, which quickly jumped on board with the CIS received direct military aid, including Russian soldiers, in the war against Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan and Georgia, both unwilling to join the CIS, citing the continuation of Russian hegemony, were weakened and destabilized by Russian intervention (Goltz, 1993). The CIS peacekeepers in non-Russian states were a cover for quasi-imperial force under de facto Russian rule (Smith, 1995). Russia asserted itself in Abkhasia (Hosking, 1997) and even flew bombing missions for the Abkhaz rebels (Goltz, 1993). By 1993, most skeptics were convinced of Russian involvement in Abkhasia (Hunter, 1994). Goltz (1993) points out that no colonial power from Darius to De Gaulle has ever voluntarily and peacefully given away its power. Russia was left with only a small portion of the Black Sea coast after Georgian independence. The Black Sea was seen as having great military importance, and there was a large Russian Navy presence. In an interview, Gamsakhurdia's former economist charged that Shevardnadze helped Yeltsin with the Russian invasion of Abkhasia, which is now essentially Russian controlled, in exchange for help to return to power in Georgia. On many occasions Shevardnadze has said to Western visitors that Yeltsin went back on his word (Hunter, 1994). Additionally, the idea of a Caucasus House went against Russian interests (Goldenberg, 1993), and Russia wanted Georgian cooperation, in the from of land access, in the war against 42 Chechnya (Van der Leeuw, 1999) Gamsakhurdia died under suspicious circumstances in January of 1994 (Van der Leeuw, 1993). Officially he died by his own hand (Jones & Parsons, 1995), but this is highly unlikely as Hunter (1994) and a number of participants report he maintained a deep commitment to the Church and he had survived years of being a Soviet dissident (Jones & Parsons, 1996). Participants that discussed the death of Gamsakhurdia seemed to consider it common knowledge that he was murdered. Most Western analysts have dismissed his death as suicide. Giorgadze, the former KGB Director, has claimed that Shevardnadze not only planned the coup but also had Gamsakhurdia killed. Giorgadze reported that the KGB, under his control, worked to discover Gamsakhurdia's whereabouts and then bought out several Gamsakhurdia supporters to carry out the murder. He added that it cost little to have him killed as Gamsakhurdia was fading quickly by that time, both physically and politically (Moscow Novaya Gazeta, 1998). He made the claim that Shevardnadze has killed his competition all the way back to his Central Committee times, some physically and some by the way of intrigues (ibid.). While Gamsakhurdia was still in power, he had claimed that Yeltsin was intent on pushing him out of office in order to replace the Soviet system with a Russian led CIS (Hunter, 1994). Gamsakhurdia was accused at the time of paranoia, and even of living in a 'dream world of persecution mania' (Van der Leeuw, 1999). Perhaps to the Western eye, it is difficult to believe the depth of infiltration that the Nomenklatur achieved through the KGB in all aspects of life. Participant 6 explained that the KGB was everywhere, even in universities. He reported the KGB attempting to recruit him while he was on a student trip, to report on other students. In 1993, Foreign Policy reported 'Gamsakhurdia later accused Sigua of personally betraying him and of participating in a fantastic conspiracy [researcher's emphasis] with Shevardnadze to seek Gamsakhurdia's removal from the presidency' (Goltz, 1993). Perhaps the details will never be sorted out, but the fact remains that today, in the land of Soviet intrigues, Gamsakhurdia is dead by suspicious circumstances and Shevardnadze is in power, the way paved by his close aid from his time as the KGB Director of Georgia. In contrast to Gamsakhurdia, Shevardnadze has shown himself throughout his political career to be extremely flexible, most often in the direction the power lay. In November of 1992 he announced that he had become a Christian and was baptized, 'I have an icon in my office now, though there once was a time when I had Stalin's portrait on the wall' (Goldenberg 1993: 110). 43 With his nationalist credentials, at the very least, suspect, his past words have often come back to haunt him. In a speech at the 26th Party Congress in Moscow, he said 'Georgia is called the country of the sun. But for us the true sun rose not in the East but in the north in Russia - the sun of Lenin's idea's' (ibid.: 91). Almost all of his cabinet are former communist Nomenklatur (Hunter, 1994). Participant 6 explained that certainly Shevardnadze was related to the KGB, otherwise there would be no way he could have become a Minister. He claimed that as one reached a certain level in the Soviet Union, they were recruited to assist the KGB. As mentioned above, Shevardnadze was also the Director of the KGB, and persecuted dissidents like Gamsakhurdia. In 1972, things were threatening to get out of hand in Georgia. There was great ill-feeling against the Georgian Party Secretary Mzhavanadze. Protests as extreme as the bombing of public buildings were being carried out. The Kremlin replaced Mzhavanadze with the younger Shevardnadze. Initially he was hailed by the Georgians as a great champion of Georgia and Breshnev was suspicious of him. Soon however, the attitude became cynical and Shevardnadze stopped using euphoric patriotism and turned to threats against the populace (Jones & Parsons, 1996). The opposition under Shevardnadze became more radicalized, and the dissident leaders that emerged would influence the country's direction profoundly. Of the four major leaders, Gamsakhurdia, Costava, Giorgi Chanturia and Irakli Tsereteli, only one remains living, the others dead by mysterious circumstances (ibid.). In an interview, participant 16 said half jokingly and half seriously, that the Georgian people have been trying to kill Shevardnadze since 1978 when he left three minutes before a bomb went off in the Opera House. She said that there have been many attempts since. After the April 9th massacre, Shevardnadze denied all knowledge of the attack, 'but no one at home believed him' (Van der Leeuw 1999: 150). Participant 6, although definitely not a supporter of Shevardnadze, explained that after the massacre, Georgians were extremely angry and aggressive. He said that Shevardnadze had been sent down from Moscow and made optimal order in just one week of martial law. This participant speculated that if it were not Shevardnadze, the after-effects of the massacre would have been much worse. Participants 5, 14, and 16 however, held that Shevardnadze was in large part at fault for the massacre. Interestingly, Shevardnadze recently warned 'From now on, no internal or foreign-there are such too-malevolent forces, should attempt to replace authorities by anti-constitutional means, and to stab their own country' (Tbilisi Network, Tbilisi Radio, 1999d). A strange statement from a man 44 who took power from an elected government through a military coup. After the coup, he labeled Gamsakhurdia, who was attempting to regain control, a "terrorist' who was organizing and directly leading terrorist actions and diversions' (Moscow Mayak, 1992). Ironically, he has stated elsewhere that 'every state should be guided by the plain truth that double standards are unacceptable in international politics' (Tbilisi Network, Tbilisi Radio, 1999b). In an interview, the former parliament member said that from the beginning of Shevardnadze's political career he never belonged to himself and never worked in his own way. He claimed that Shevardnadze was always led by other forces, 'first Russia, now others'. He described Shevardnadze as a marionette. One protester described Shevardnadze as a 'man of the Kremlin'. Shevardnadze, in his new role as president, has concentrated power into his own hands, promoted old clients and ignored the legislature (Jones & Parsons, 1996). A joke heard from several participants (participants 11, 14, 16) was that Shevardnadze wears a KGB badge on one shoulder and a CIA badge on the other. Part Two of Four: The Velvet Takeover Gamsakhurdia, after being ousted by the coup, apparently became disappointed with the realities of democracy from the West. He was interviewed in a Georgian newspaper after the coup: 'Democracy has become an empty word that is being arbitrarily used to mask political interests of one kind or another. When it is necessary for the governments of a number of Western countries to strengthen their influence and military presence, they first and foremost, try to buy the governments of the countries in which they are interested. In the event of resistance on their part, they overthrow the lawful government. This attitude toward other countries, this expansionist approach, is typical most of all of NATO member countries' (Slobodnaya Gruziya, 1992). Shevardnadze, after a recent trip to the West reported 'I had very important meetings with the world's financial centers, with the IMF, its managing director Michael Condessus, who is our friend'. He continued 'I had a unique meeting with the president of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn. He is a great friend of ours'. He summed up his trip by stating 'Georgia's relations with international financial institutions are developing as planned and successfully' (Tbilisi 45 Network, Tbilisi Radio, 1999c). In a Radio interview, Shevardnadze explained Georgia's relationship with world financial institutions: 'This year alone, 90 million dollars have been allocated to Georgia for various purposes. It is natural, that the American administration wants all this to be used as designed and according to strict plan. This initiative has been launched by the U.S. ambassador who, obviously in accordance with advice received from the U.S. Department of State, identifies five directions in the restoration and development of our country's economy, envisioning the involvement of American capital...! believe this is a very good form of using foreign support and aid for good purposes' (Tbilisi Network, Tbilisi Radio, 1999a). The New York Times Chief Political Commentator has written 'America's victory in the Cold War was a victory for a set of political and economic principles: democracy and the Free Market...the wave of the future - a future for which America is both gatekeeper and model' (Chomsky, 1999: 92). Participant 9 pointed out that if one takes foreign finance, one is obligated to play by the rules of the lender. Upon the Soviet breakup, many Western experts went to go assist the transition to a market economy through legislation that would set the stage for Western access to their economies and resources. In this same period the globalized economy was intensified though GATT with the formation of the WTO, NAFTA, Maastricht and APEC. Clinton embraced these organizations, distancing himself from labor and environmental concerns (Korten, 1995). The 'Clinton Doctrine' has been said to be to 'consolidate the victory of democracy and open Free Markets' (Chomsky, 1999: 92). The West, paticularly the U.S., has been continuously encouraging new post-communist states to create open market economies (Schroeder, 1997). The series of interviews conducted for this research suggest that many Georgians are now recognizing a much more sophisticated attack on Georgian self-determination, by forces attempting to consolidate wealth and power. Gamsakhurdia's former Press Secretary explained that there have been forces interested in creating problems to make the circumstances for what is happening today. Hunter describes Gamsakhurdia's expectations about Western help against Russia as being unrealistic (1994). Gamsakhurdia may have discovered that the West seems to have more of a commitment to market liberalization than to democracy, as evidenced by Clinton 46 not even responding to his plea for help. Reagan had found Gamsakhurdia and Costava extremely useful during the Cold War, but the U.S. seems to have abandoned them when they were no longer needed, turning a blind eye when Shevardnadze, who had a strong record of market liberalization, seized control. Participant 9 explained that during the 1970's when the American voice was broadcast illegally, it was the ideal of Georgians. He said that the opportunity to have a difference in thought and opinion was difficult for Georgians to imagine. Demonstrating the American tolerance for difference in thought and opinion from market liberalization, George Bush, in a 1991 speech in Kiev expressed, 'Americans will not aid those who promote suicidal nationalism based upon ethnic hatred'. He then praised Gorbachev's steps through glasnost and perestroika towards 'freedom, democracy and economic liberty' (Hunter, 1994: 158). One protester exclaimed that if Clinton told Shevardnadze to 'stop beating', he would stop beating protesters. The independence movement has often held peaceful demonstrations in front of the U.S. Embassy in protest of U.S. support for Shevardnadze. The researcher took part in several of these demonstrations and witnessed how the U.S. refuses to engage in any sort of dialogue with either the protesters or the government ousted by the coup. The embassy must certainly be aware of the violence used to hold together the Shevardnadze regime, as it is carried out openly and regularly written about in the Tbilisi press. Additionally, the U.S. Department of State has released yearly reports detailing many of the human rights violations. However, the U.S. takes no action, but rather continues to support Shevardnadze. This seems to imply at least some sort of tacit consent for Shevardnadze's actions. The record of the U.S. in supporting forces of market liberalization, no matter how brutal, over democratically elected leaders is quite well documented. Lincoln Gorden, John F. Kennedy's Brazilian ambassador welcomed the brutal and murderous coup in Brazil that overthrew a parliamentary democracy (Chomsky, 1999). The U.S. had recognized the Brazilian military as 'an island of sanity', and labeled the coup a 'democratic rebellion' and indeed 'the most decisive victory for freedom in the mid-twentieth century'. Gorden claimed that the coup would 'create a greatly improved climate for investments' (ibid.: 49). Military invasions of Central and South America in the late 19th century and early 20th century reflected corporate concerns (Korten, 1995). One of the first acts of the CIA was to take part in undermining the new democracy in Italy in 1948. Direct military action was planned if subversion failed (Chomsky, 1999). The CIA backed coups in Guatemala and Chile were largely undertaken to protect U.S. business interests (ibid.). Salvador Allende's ouster in Chile resulted in 15 years of savage dictatorship under Pinochet, in the name of the Free Market. A formal democracy was restored with a constitution 47 that made it vastly more difficult it not impossible for the citizenry to challenge the business and military domination of Chilean society (McChesny, 1998). It is likely no coincidence that participants 11, 14, and 13 referred to Shevardnadze as 'Pinochet the Second'. Twentieth century nationalism has diverged from transnational tendencies in development (Kandel, 1994). US documents described Latin America as having 'radical' and 'nationalist' regimes that were responsive to popular pressures for 'immediate improvement in the low living standards of the masses' which was counter to 'a political and economic climate conducive to private investment' and the use of raw materials (Chomsky, 1999: 21). 'Radical nationalism' is seen as posing a threat to 'stability'. While the US was preparing for the overthrow of the first democratically elected government in Honduras, the State Department had warned that Guatemala had 'become an increasing threat to stability in Honduras and El Salvador. Its agrarian reform is a powerful propaganda weapon; its broad social program of aiding the workers and peasants in a victorious struggle against the upper classes and large foreign enterprises has a strong appeal to the populations of Central American neighbors where similar conditions prevail' (ibid.: 21). A Jesuit conference in San Salvador concluded that large scale violence had been undertaken to ensure the 'welfare of the world capitalist system'. They determined that a 'culture of terror domesticates the expectations of the majority' and people may no longer think about 'alternatives different from the powerful' who describe the outcome of this system as being a victory for freedom and democracy (ibid.: 27). In an interview with participant 15, who had been high ranking in the Communist Party and who is now financially successful, the beating of demonstrators was spoken of. He said that obviously the beatings are breaking the civil rights of citizens, but, he continued, everything is not yet settled in Georgia. He claimed that there are still struggles between political forces, so the Shevardnadze government attempts to preserve stability as they are afraid of destabilization. He noted that such treatment by the police is also known in developed countries. Chomsky writes that according to some neoliberal forces 'threats to the welfare of the world capitalist system justify terror and subversion to restore stability' (ibid., p. 22). Midgley (1996) outlines what he terms the 'Third World Model'. Many nationalist movements, including the Georgian nationalist movement, seem to embrace this type of model. This model 48 runs contrary to neoliberal logic and has found it difficult to exist under neoliberal pressure. Midgley describes the model as a more equitable and productive means of social structuring. This model entails; creating formal organizational structures that merge economic and social polices, commitment to directly linking economic growth to improved social welfare, and the establishment of social welfare programs that contribute to economic growth. The model pursues social justice through increased growth and support of the underprivileged rather than penalizing the successful. Importantly, it uses community based social and economic projects. In looking at the current situation in Georgia, it is important to examine who exactly the people and forces are that are supporting neoliberalism. The former Nomenklatur, which lost power at independence (Goldenberg, 1993), wished to return to power and have access to resources according to participants 5, 6, 9, 16, the former economist, the former Press Secretary, the former parliament member, the political psychologist and the human rights leader.. The political psychologist reported that after the coup, the Nomenklatur bought up all the factories and industrial capacity of the country. He defined their economic attitude as 'Get money tomorrow, don't care about the day after tomorrow...clear policy'. He continued to define the attitude of the former Nomenklatur as 'want to get resources, don't care about ecology'. The former parliament member spoke of the current government as representing the same forces as the old communist regime. He attempted to get across that while there is now a different political and economic system, it is run by the same people and forces that were in power during the Soviet period. Participant 9 said 'Our politicians were Soviet politicians, now they are here. They made 400$ a month, now they are millionaires, how did this happen?'. Gamsakhurdia's former economist claimed that in the last years, many Georgian possessions have been taken abroad, and money from Georgia has been deposited into Swiss accounts. The same participant exclaimed that 10 or 12 families rule the economics of Georgia. He labeled this as being a practice of the Middle Ages. The Mafias which developed during the Soviet period were in both the bureaucratic system as well as the shadow of the system. The Nomenklatur and Mafia have been the main players in post-Soviet time and their rivalries and ambitions have played a much larger role than the aspirations of the people (Hunter, 1994). Hunter (1994) writes: 'the conclusion that the impartial observer draws from the events in Georgia is that its difficulties have arisen from a fractured state of its society, fierce personal rivalries and external manipulation... in short the struggle in Georgia was about personal power.' 49 The Nomenklatur and Mafia have consolidated the country's wealth and power again, except this time not through the state as during communist times, but through a quickly liberalized market. Participant 1 described how during Soviet rule there were no public decisions and that one or two high officials would hold the predominance of power. She explained that during these times it was a fantasy to think that people could make a change. She described the current situation as being very similar, that still only the highest levels can make decisions. Chomsky (1999) argues that democratic society is run on the principle of 'consent of the governed'. However, there has been a lack of civic sector support for entry into the global market, and the relinquishing of local power to global financial organizations, instead there has been dramatic civil resistance. The forces that brought this change about came to power through a violent military coup and then held rigged elections to validate their positions in the world's eyes. The political psychologist, when asked what sort of government he wanted for Georgia, answered that he envisioned a capitalist economy, but more socially oriented. According to the survey, this view seems to be fairly widely held. Respondents were asked to decide whether different sectors of the economy should be public, private or mixed (some public and some private). Respondents were also asked about foreign investment. Private Public Mixed No Answer Forests 0 84 1 1 . 4 4.6 Energy 2.3 70.7 20.4 6.9 Shops 56.3 0 41.4 2.3 Factories 34.1 18.1 45.4 2.3 Stock (Animal) 86.3 4.6 2.3 6.9 Table 1. Sector Ownership (all numbers are percentages) 50 Agree Disagree No Answer Without foreign investment our country has no future 38.6 50.0 11.4 Investment should be limited to some branches 56.8 31.8 11.4 Foreigners get more out of investments than Georgians 54.5 34.1 11.4 The majority of profits should go to the state 68.1 15.9 15.9 Foreign investments should be limited by term 68.1 15.9 15.9 Investors have the right to buy where they invest 18.2 68.1 13.6 Our country can begin an economy without foreign interference 58.1 40.9 2.3 Table 2. Foreign Investment (all numbers are percentages) Participant 3 discussed how she thought that that it was not a good idea to simply sell off Georgian resources cheaply. She used the example of Georgian marble. She explained how it would be better to not just sell a big chunk of marble, but to have Georgian people make something out of marble and sell the finished product. Her position was well summed by her statement 'sell product, not resources.' Participants 1, 6 and 18 claimed that if Georgian doors were being opened to the world, there must be very strong environmental legislation and enforcement. Participant 4, a now wealthy former Nomenklatur member claimed that it is very important to privatize, because it 'means that things have an owner'. He cited the Soviet times, saying that when everybody owned something, then nobody owned it. He gave the example of bread shortages in Georgia. Since privatization, he said this has not been a problem. Yet despite these opinions, he stressed that the state must correct prices. Shevardnadze however, has proudly announced, instark contrast to almost all participants 'By my actions, today I am a fierce defender of the Free Market'. The IMF and World Bank policies in Russia, instead of furthering the market and democracy have created resentment of the West, undermining the fragile democracy in Russia (Brudney, 1997). Lilia Shevtova accuses Russia of squandering its democracy by putting 'Shock Therapy', a sudden switch to the Free Market, versus a slow transition, before democracy (Korten, 1995). Most participants expressed a similar resentment. Przeworski writes that neoliberal reforms tend to undermine institutional structures of representative democracy: 51 'Since the neoliberal cure is a painful one, with significant social costs, reforms tend to be initiated from above and launched by surprise, independently of public opinion and without the participation of organized political forces. Reforms tend to be enacted by fiat, or railroaded through legislatures without any changes reflecting the divergence of interests or opinions. The political style or implementation tends to be rule by decree...In the end, society is taught that it can vote but not choose; legislatures are given the impression that they have no role to play in the elaboration of policy; nascent political parties, trade unions, and other organizations learn that their voices do not count. The autocratic character of such 'Washington - style' reforms helps to undermine representative institutions, personalize politics, and engender a climate in which politics is either reduced to fixes, or else inflated into redemption.' (ibid.: 300). Shevardnadze has defined Georgia as a 'State with a liberal market economy and a civil society' (Tbilisi Network, Tbilisi Radio, 1999a). In another radio program he stated 'Representatives of the International Monetary Fund have also been to Georgia. They have set some fresh requirements, and we, together with parliament, have dealt with nearly all problems successfully' (Tbilisi Network, Tbilisi Radio, 1999d). Nowhere here did Shevardnadze mention any sort of public participation or consultation being involved in the process. He continued 'We should get used to the fact that the economy of an independent nation can only develop in the circumstances of free competition' (ibid.) The former parliament member stated that the Gamsakhurdia government had planned to cooperate with the World Bank. He then sternly cautioned that loans must be paid back, that it is not good to take loans if you one can not give the money back. He claimed that most of the loans to Georgia end up in the pockets of private people, which has made the country suffer. He was confused why the World Bank would do such a thing, being such a sophisticated organization. He asked why the World Bank is giving loans to such people, referring to Shevardnadze he quipped 'not because of his beautiful eyes, there must be some other reason'. The political psychologist claims that the U.S. and Europe keep a steady flow of money coming in to keep their interests in Georgia. The researcher noted that all day long, Mercedes drive in and out of the parliament building of an impoverished country. The former parliament member said that if the elections are fair and he is voted back into power again, he would not be against working with the Bank, but the cooperation must be different than the present system. He stated that he does not 52 want Georgia to become more economically dependent on other countries. Participant 6 said that The flag of help is the worst'. The former parliament member exclaimed 'this is not help, this is quite the opposite.' He said that Georgia should be left alone to find its own way. The political psychologist described how the World Bank comes to Georgia and gives recommendations. He stated 'Our research Institute is quite qualified'. The IMF and the World Bank have been assigned a leading role in assessing the needs of the transitional former Soviet Bloc countries (Kaminski & Wang, 1997). The former parliament member explained how foreign businessmen have come into Georgia and bought everything. He said that all the country has worked for now belongs to these foreign investors. He explained that when factories were privatized, workers were given vouchers of ownership. He then went on to describe how businessmen from Iran and elsewhere, came and bought the vouchers for ridiculously low prices from people who had to sell their shares in order to get enough bread for the immediate needs of their families. He asked 'Doesn't the government know?...of course they know'. This sort of scenario might be seen as part of the effects of a less than level playing field, as a poor country liberalizes its economy. This example demonstrates the majority losing their stake in the economy while the wealthy are able to consolidate further wealth and power under market liberalization by taking advantage of pressing basic needs. Under instruction from the G7 (The seven most economically powerful nations), the IMF and the World Bank have constructed many new facilities across the FSU (Wolfe, 1997). IMF staff has provided substantial technical assistance to Georgia (Shroeder, 1997). The Political Psychologist stated that it is clear that the Bank credits are going to the Nomenklatur and corruption. He then asked 'Why is giving money to criminals?'. Pressure in 1994, by the IMF and the World Bank, resulted in large steps towards reforming the Georgian economy (Jones & Parsons, 1996). Shevardnadze reported 'Georgia is coming around to the belief that there is a need to continue its cooperation and partnership with the IMF' (Moscow Interfax, 1999). In a speech at the Tbilisi airport, Shevardnadze, upon returning from the West, spoke of having been happy to be able to speak with the IMF and World Bank (ibid.). In July of 1999, Georgia received 46 million dollars as a final payment of a structural adjustment program begun in 1996 (ibid.). Participant 16 spoke of a song and joke in Georgia that goes 'Clinton will be killed by women, Shevardnadze by debts'. The former parliament member told of the World Bank president's recent visit to Georgia, where he said he was happy to see such an economic boom. The IMF placed Georgia as the third most rapidly growing economy in the 53 world in 1998 (Nasmyth, 1998). There are more Mercedes in and out of parliament and the GDP has risen. However, most still report financial and social devastation and deprivation for the common person, as found in the survey. 95.8% of survey respondents rated Georgia's present situation as 'bad' or 'hopeless'. 75.2% of respondents said the situation in Georgia will not improve or become worse. Low wages and unemployment were rated as the top two difficulties in Georgia. Part Three of Four: Civil Society Held Down While Neoliberal Reforms Take Hold Scholars recognize the tragedy to democracy and to social welfare of the coup, but often seem to shrug it off, perhaps demonstrating the Western attitude of the primordiality of economic liberalization and stability. The people of Georgia never gave consent for Georgia to open its doors to the world market. Instead of through informed debate and popular participation, Free Market reforms were brought to Georgia through a coup and a brutal dictatorship. The leader of a political front explained that on the surface Georgia has democracy, 'but in fact today there is no president'. He claimed that Shevardnadze is the police, the KGB and the General but not the president. He went on to call Georgia a police state. Perhaps he would know, as the day previous he had been arrested on his way to a peaceful demonstration. The human rights leader claimed that in Georgia there is one factor that is the root of all other problems. This root, he claimed, was that Georgia is a dictator regime. A Russian newspaper reported 'The Shevardnadze regime is being propped up on the tremendous deception of the people and the guns of the criminalized police force and punitive units'. The report also made mention of the rigged elections of 1995 and 1998 (Moscow Zavtra, 1999). According to the former parliament member, after the coup, Gamsakhurdia's parliament went into exile around the world, largely, Chechnya, Russia and Europe. Some however, were able to stay in Georgia. Supporters of the elected government continued to fight in the Western part of Georgia, advancing to Kutaisi, the second largest city of the country. Hunter (1994) reports that they were defeated by a combination of the Mkedrioni, Georgian military forces and Russian forces. Shevardnadze repeatedly used the Mkedrioni to stay in power in the early years of his reign (Hunter, 1994). The U.S. State Department reports that despite some loosening in the social sphere, still in 1994 national security remained a rationale for media restriction. In 1993, two pro-Gamsakhurdia newspapers were shut down and the office of an independent weekly was 54 attacked by gunmen. After the controversial decision to join the CIS, Shevardnadze threatened hostile newspapers, and no television channel discussed the widespread disagreement with the Head of State's CIS initiative (Library of Congress Federal Research Division, 1998). The human rights leader expressed that still in 1999, peaceful demonstration was forbidden and that the government had declared openly that demonstrations would be dispersed. May 26th is both Georgian Independence Day as well as the birthday of Georgian national independence hero, Merab Costava, Gamsakhurdia's close colleague as a dissident in the Soviet era. Costava's name now takes the streets, schools and theaters that once bore Lenin and Stalin's. Costava is honored nearly universally by Georgians (Goldenberg, 1993). He died in a car crash car crash with three other activists at the end of the Soviet reign (ibid.) under suspicious circumstances. Several participants (participants 5, 10, 6, 11 and 14) explained most Georgians believe the crash to have been arranged by the KGB. The newspaper Tbilisi Iprinda (1999) reported that Soso Alavidze, the head of the Tbilisi Police, warned that on May 26th, 1999 'any illegal action would be prevented by the police and the supremacy of the law would be restored'. In interviews at the May 26th demonstration, it was gathered that at 10:00 am Shevardnadze brought flowers to Costava's grave on Mount Mtatsminda overlooking Tbilisi, and by 12:30 was using the riot police, known as the Oman, to disperse and beat peaceful demonstrators. Participants 11 and 14 reported that the police had been stopping buses coming in from other parts of Georgia, in an attempt to prevent a large demonstration. Additionally, the subway was shut down. The researcher was a witness to the violence and police state tactics employed by the Shevardnadze government. The following is excerpted from an email the researcher sent off about half an hour after the violence had ceased at the Independence Day demonstration, May 26th, 1999: 7 must write fairly quickly as I have to be at the central monument to the Georgian Language in half an hour to see who has been arrested...1 met up with some very interesting protesters that I am in the middle of interviewing and they told me in broken English what was going on and who had been arrested...We hung out for a short while, the police now and again surged through the crowd to arrest people. I was certainly the only foreigner, so I would duck down or hide behind a pillar. All of a sudden an incomprehensible number of police arrived in Ford vans and surrounded the demonstration. They have been known to fire on upon groups, so I began to feel my heart 55 pump a bit. A wave of what I believe were special demonstration police surged through, I ducked away but my friends were apprehended in some sort of Roman phalanx. They took away about half the crowd, arresting some and dispersing some. Somehow I was now with the last core group. Fights were breaking out all around me between the police and demonstrators. A few people came running through to tell everyone to get down. I thought they were about to start firing on the crowd, it was beginning to get a bit exciting...In fact they wanted everyone to sit because another wave of perhaps one hundred police were coming through to arrest people...They came through and I leapt behind a column. Now there were only a hundred demonstrators left, and my new friends had all been taken away...A wall of perhaps a hundred police/soldiers were coming from one side. A few fights broke out. I received a nice kick from a soldier...I tried to stay well ahead of the police because they would certainly arrest a foreigner in such a place. But then we were entirely surrounded again. A wall of another hundred police locked arm in arm came at us from the other direction. I tried to make it up around them but was blocked off...They were so in shock upon seeing a foreign face, I took advantage...and slipped through. We went around as the crowd was re-forming across the street and I was spotted by the police who were trying to get me out...In front...stood riot police blocking the road to Costava's house. A lot of riot police. They swept through and I ducked behind a wall and avoided them again. I then met up with a man I will be interviewing tomorrow...We spoke for a moment. Then more vans screamed up, yelling God knows what through loudspeakers. A black van pulled up and it was the Chief of Police...Many more police/soldiers came through and arrested a woman or two with great spectacle. The police chief and crew were coming my direction. The [future participant] and I ducked behind a newspaper rack and the police chief and crew stopped to talk to the press. So there this professor and I were, behind a layer of newspapers which could be seen through and the nation's televisions were looking at this chief and the keen viewer could have probably seen a goofy looking American behind a newspaper stand. The professor translated for me. The chief was asked why people could not gather together on a holiday...He said they were blocking traffic (which they were not)...He also said 'look at all these women, don't they have some work at home to do?.' Two days later the researcher attached an epilogue: 'So I am on the front page of the newspaper the next day... The folks I was with and were 56 pushed away by the police, as I hid behind a column, were badly beaten, arrested then released, except for one that outran them, escaping with only a bad bruise on the knee...The leader of the movement whom I was supposed to interview was beaten as well after her arrest. Apparently she was arrested leaving her house that morning. That night I went to the Opera House for a memorial to [Costava] and apparently came into contact with the KGB. People are joking with me that I will soon be in jail, and should probably lay low for awhile...I am however becoming paranoid and watching my back, and taking strange routes home...' The establishment of democratic institutions in Georgia is 'lip service' (Hunter, 1994: 135). As the researcher was being chased by the Oman, one protester asked sarcastically 'How do you like our Georgian democracy?'. Participant 14 explained afterwards that neckties were a bad idea at demonstrations because the police can use them for strangulation purposes. The arrest of Manana Gamsakhurdia, the widow of Zviad Gamsakhurdia and symbolic leader of the Independence Movement, was seen as a disgrace by many. Participant 11 stated that Georgian culture gives great respect to women, 'To arrest and beat Manana! a great insult to Georgian culture'. A speaker at the memorial to Merab Costava spoke of Shevardnadze's arrest of Mrs. Gamsakhurdia as being similar to Clinton arresting and beating Nancy Reagan. Mrs. Gamsakhurdia was released that evening and the researcher saw that her hands were swollen from being beaten. Shevardnadze had spoke of Zviad Gamsakhurdia several months earlier: 'It is not possible to erase the name of Zviad Gamsakhurdia from the contemporary history of Georgia, he was the first president of a new independent Georgia and the attitude toward him should be relevant' (Tbilisi Network, Tbilisi Radio, 1999b). It might be asked how the beating of his wife showed such an attitude. Van der Leeuw (1999) reported crackdowns and arrests being rare as of 1996. The actions of the police on Independence Day alone refute this. The human rights leader said that the government continues to use a Soviet model of a police regime. He explained that the government has no dialogue but instead uses the police to speak. He claimed that the government refuses to speak with Mrs. Gamsakhurdia. However, Shevardnadze has stated 'I would like to reiterate that freedom of speech, together with freedom of the press and freedom of the individual, is one of Georgia's major achievements in the process of its democratization, and we will never give it up' (Moscow Interfax, 1998). He also stated 'Today no party is banned in Georgia and there exists a platform of national conciliation' (ibid). 57 The human rights leader insisted that in a democracy there should be the right to peacefully struggle against the government. He said the situation is very difficult in Georgia and that there are many violations in all spheres, including the social, political and economic. He claims the main problem is political persecution. He compared the situation in Georgia as being similar with the situations in South American countries such as Colombia. For the sake of a comparison, he cited regular government sponsored beatings and telephone tapping. The U.S. Department of State (1998) reported that police forces in Georgia routinely abuse and beat prisoners and detainees, force confessions and fabricate or plant evidence. The Department of State points to inhuman prison conditions, along with abuse leading to deaths in custody. Corrupt and incompetent judges were reported as seldom displaying independence from the executive branch, leading to trials that were rarely fair or expeditious. Law enforcement agencies were reported as illegally interfering with citizen's right to privacy and at times have limited freedom of assembly, violently dispersing peaceful rallies. The government was reported as constraining some press freedoms. The State Department cited a number of cases of political and extrajudicial killing. One example was Akabi Iaobashvili who was detained on suspicion for involvement in a kidnapping. He died shortly thereafter after falling six stories from police headquarters while being interrogated. Local human rights sources claimed he had been thrown from a window, while an official investigation never produced any results. The U.S. State Department reported many cases of torture as well as arbitrary arrest and detention. They also reported that fair trials were often denied. The State Department described supporters of Gamsakhurdia as receiving particularly bad treatment. Security forces were documented as beating journalists covering pro-Gamsakhurdia rallies. Additionally the State Department reported that in Georgia there is limited freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of movement, foreign travel, emigration and repatriation. The human rights leader claimed that Round Table members are particularly singled out and treated poorly. He reported that many prisoners are in difficult physical states and according to medical ethics must be freed. The majority of prisoners, he said, are ill from beatings. He stated that some prisoners have been freed because of pressure from international groups. His group is currently watching 125 prisoners. He looks to the United States for good will on these matters. The human rights leader explained that officially there is no government connection to the press, and that the government finances only one radio station. Unofficially however, he claims there is 58 strong pressure put on the press, either physical or financial. Additionally he claimed that students are not able to express opinions freely for fear of losing their place in the university system. He added that Amnesty International and other groups are working in the Caucasus. Participant 7 claimed that most people in Georgia no longer believe in justice. He explained that in cases where it is obvious that civil rights have been violated, people do not bother to go to court as they do not believe it will do any good. May 15th, 1999, ushered in a new judicial system with many US trained judges, and he is watching to see if this will create a change. Not all Georgians are against the government's breaching of civil rights. Participant 15, a former high ranking Nomenklatur member claimed that such breaches in civil liberties are necessary now, and he favors the pace at which the government and country are proceeding. Participants 14, and 16 reported that the police do not disperse demonstrators in front of the U.S. embassy in order to maintain a more democratic image. The U.S. Department of State reports a new crackdown, beginning in 1997, involving the arrest of members of the Round Table, poets and activists and the raiding of prominent anti-government publications including 'Iberia Spektri' and 'Sakartvelos Samreko' (1998). Participant 1 commented 'the present government, everywhere there are good people, capable people and not so capable people'. The human rights leader said more bluntly 'criminal bands is government'. Participant 17 explained the current government by stating 'simple people get power, repeats, very primitive.' In October of 1998, in a mutiny at a military base in Western Georgia, soldiers seized tanks and artillery in support of Gamsakhurdia. After negotiations, the group gave up their arms (Fuller, 1998). Two days before Independence Day, there was a supposed terrorist bombing. The leader of the political front explained that about once a year, Shevardnadze organizes some sort of fake, high profile terrorist action, to which he can respond with a stern hand and continue police state tactics. Political commentator Davit Berdzenishvili has predicted that Shevardnadze's party is unlikely to win more than 25% to 30% of the vote in the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections (Fuller, 1998). In the survey for this research it was found that when asked 'What percentage of the population is ready to vote for the current government': 94.5% of respondents believed that under 29% of the people would vote for the current government; 66.7% of respondents believed 59 that under 19% would vote for the present government. This question had to be carefully phrased as to solicit a valid answer as there is some fear about speaking against the government. The Political Psychologist estimated less than a 25%-30% support, while participant 5 estimated a maximum of 20%-25%, the majority of which would be non-Georgian ethnicities. Further evidence of the lack of support for the current government was found in the survey: Agree Disagree No Answer In Georgia the government and people are united 9.3 81.2 9.3 The government takes care of the people 0 90.6 9.3 Table 3. People and Government (all numbers are percentages) Participant 5 stated that those who have voted for Shevardnadze in the past did so in order to avoid chaos and more bloodshed. The Former Gamsakhurdia Parliament Member claimed that most people do not like the current government and he hopes to give voice to these people in the upcoming election. However, participant 9 claims that if the government initiates the elections, they will not be fair. The government's record of democracy described above seems to substantiate such a statement. The former parliament member also agrees that the elections will not be fair and that groups and governments from abroad will support Shevardnadze. The most common answer for the survey question 'Do you think the position will not improve, why?' answered that the situation will not improve until Shevardnadze is out of office. Perhaps it is difficult for Westerners to understand that the Georgian people seem to neither like or support Shevardnadze and are extremely resentful of his imposition, despite international affection for him. One analyst has referred to him the 'amiable Soviet minister' (Van der Leeuw, 1999, p.183). The mechanisms the Shevardnadze regime has used to usher in the Free Market and to put the rights of corporations over the rights of the citizenry were graphically and poetically displayed during the May 26th demonstration. In the past year, the first Mcdonald's in the Caucasus was constructed in the heart of downtown Tbilisi. It is a four story structure that overshadows the city's main monument, a statue of Shota Rustaveli. Participants 3, 11 and 14 and claimed that 60 there had been demonstrations against the Mcdonald's, particularly regarding its highly sensitive location. These participants reported that Shevardnadze has responded by suggesting that the monument to Rustaveli be moved down the street to the space once occupied by a statue of Lenin. As the May 26th demonstrators were violently dispersed, they attempted to make their way to the house of Costava to regroup. The road to Costava's house runs next to the Mcdonald's. In front of the Macdonalds, the Oman had set up an armed barricade. Soldiers in black, toting sticks, electroshock devices and machine guns stood ready for more violence against those demonstrating for democracy, directly under the shimmering Golden Arches. Chomsky has written that corporations have won more privileges and rights under law than people have, rights which governments protect with armed force (1999). The human rights leader cited the horrible treatment of students who were protesting the shipment of Georgian icons abroad. Participant 16 explained that before Russian control, the icons were part of the Church. When Soviet rule came, some disappeared and many ended up in museums, which was an insult to Orthodox followers. She said that upon gaining independence there have been negotiations for returning these sacred objects to the Church. Meanwhile, the Shevardnadze government had helped arrange an exhibition of the most sacred of Georgian icons, in New York at the Metropolitan Museum. Participant 6 claimed that not only was this an insult to Orthodox believers, but that there was reason to believe that some of the antiquities would disappear in transit into the black market. A group of students began a protest at the monument to the Georgian language in downtown Tbilisi demanding the icons stay in Georgia and are returned to the church. They ate only bread in the morning and drank only holy water. The Church officially blessed their protest. They stayed day and night at the monument attracting nationwide attention. One of the icon protesters described the first time the Oman came to break up their protest. He said they first surrounded the monument square and began hitting their batons together in rhythm as they closed in. The students gathered in together and began to sing an Orthodox sacred song. The police moved in but at a certain point they hesitated and stopped to listen. Finally he said they just went away. Unfortunately, the protesters were not as fortunate in future attempts. These attempts were described by the protesters and the after effects were witnessed by the researcher. After about 17 days of protest, the Oman returned and this time beat the protesters, but did not successfully disperse them. Later that week, a group of about 10 protesters went to the museum where the icons are currently held and sat on the sidewalk in front with signs. The Omam came and beat them so badly that several ended up in the hospital for weeks. One protester reported 61 seeing blood coming out onto the sidewalk from several of his friend's mouths as the Oman continued to beat them. The Oman came through and beat the protesters at the monument several times, until the 32nd day. On this day the Oman moved in with particular speed and beat the protesters yet again, and dumped water on their mattresses which were then confiscated. This time the group had been beaten too badly and too many were out of commission from their wounds, so they were dispersed. The researcher met these protesters on the 16th day of their protest and over the next 16 days as he spoke with them, saw their wounds and gashes increase all across their bodies. The former parliament member asked 'Who takes things from the Vatican, Jerusalem [for exhibition]?' He described these objects as having the highest sacred value to Georgian Orthodoxy. Van Der Leeuw (1999) reports that Shevardnadze has distinguished himself as being a master of disguising extreme features of cultural oppression throughout his career. He rarely arrests the big names, but the intelligentsia and activists are regularly put behind bars. During the Soviet period, political prisoners under Shevardnadze were rarely shipped to Russia. One of Shevardnadze's main strategies in power has been to censor culture (ibid.). Part Four of Four: Georgian Minds Under Siege 'While Russians fought against us with guns, now this West comes here fighting against us, trying to influence our consciousness, try to think we are cosmopolitan, all the people of the world the same, no difference between Caucasus, Slav, Scandinavia, Africa.' -Former parliament member 'The market idea, far from remaining culturally neutral, becomes itself a key player in the culture of a nation, culture here of course in the sense of a way of life and a sensibility' writes Freeman (1994: 114). There is the pressure to license large scale commercial advertising with the justification that if a country wants to sell, they must also buy (ibid.). A culture is forced to follow suit with commercial powers in the organization of a workweek, if they wish to be competitive (ibid.). Daly writes 'cosmopolitanism weakens national boundaries and the power of national and subnational communities while strengthening the relative power of the transnational corporation (Korten, 1995: 173). Pieterse argues that the advancement of modernism is denying 62 and erasing cultural differences through rationalization, standardization and control, while causing alienation, displacement and disenchantment (1996). Business Week reported: 'In this new market...billions can flow in or out of an economy in seconds. So powerful has this force of money become that some observers now see the hot-money set becoming sort of a shadow world government-one that is irretrievably eroding the concept of sovereign powers of a nation state' (Korten, 1995: 85). Globalization has brought with it a correspondingly global culture (Gilbert, 1994). Participant 7 while speaking of employment, said that Georgians are now being forced to work in a Western style and to think like Western people. Freeman writes of how the egoism built into the market mechanism feeds back into cultural structures and value systems 'with the effect that the general culture is mutated and impoverished' (1994: 115). He adds that the market cannot be considered culturally neutral in if that it induces a preoccupation with measurement (ibid.). 'Cosmopolitanism from every point' - Participant 11 Cosmopolitanism rejects nationalism (Freeman, 1994). H.G. Wells claimed that 'our true nationality is mankind'. (Gilbert, 1994). Internationalists give higher priority to international norms and will place these above national interest (Freeman, 1994). Gilbert writes: 'A taste for Western fashions of consumption...sweep away traditional cultures in those societies that take no steps to counter their influence, and those who do are viewed as singly unfriendly, defying enlightenment aspirations' (1994: 1). Russian colonialists had no interest in creating 'little Russians'. The Soviets however were interested in the making of the 'socialist man' (Hunter, 1994). Vaclav Havel, the former dissident of the Soviet era and the first president of the Czech Republic, has written of Soviet dominated life; 'gradually the great multiplicity of personal traditions, habits, lifestyles, attitudes, the uniqueness of localities and their climates, human institutions and communities, products and objects disappear forever' (1991: 101). Perhaps the global financial system may be considered as interested in creating the global consumer. Akio Morita, in the Atlantic Monthly, identified distinctive local cultures as a trade barrier, while praising economic integration (Korten, 1995). With such a view becoming dominant, world cultures could be crippled. As an example, the state 63 enforced Sabbath in Israel might be deemed a barrier to trade. The global financial system is unable to distinguish between cultural enhancement and trade. Through GATT, the United States has attempted to force the Europeans, primarily the French, to stop subsidizing their film industry because it inhibits Free Trade (Freeman, 1994). The power of this medium is key in the globalization of culture. Linklater writes of Robert Murdoch, the head of 20th Century Fox, 'His sprawling information network, which makes a mockery of national frontiers and which reaches every corner of our globe, is changing the way we communicate, the way we learn, the way we think, the way we speak' (1995: 11). Murdoch concedes that he has had an enormous role in the Americanization of the world, but believes it is worthwhile for peace. Stalin was reputed to have said 'If I could control the American film industry, I could control the world' (ibid.). The mainstream press, while generally skewed to the left, is even more deeply skewed towards internationalism (Chomsky, 1999). Television has arguably become the most important institution of cultural reproduction, with schools coming in second. This medium has been taken over by the enormous resources of corporations. In the small buyer and seller world of Adam Smith, no individual seller could create a new culture conducive to buying their product (Korten, 1995). In contrast 'present day corporations have no reservations about reshaping the values of whole societies to create homogenized culture of indulgence conducive to spurring consumption expenditures and advancing corporate political interests' (ibid.: 150). The need to respect local tastes and cultural differences makes marketing difficult. It is far better, from this perspective, to have a global consumer culture united around brand names. The chairman of Coca-Cola, Robert Goizeta, has stated that people in the contemporary world are connected by brand name consumer products as much as anything else. The global effect of this sort of attitude is seen in that worldwide, corporations spend half as much per capita on advertising as is spent per capita on education, and this gap is closing (Korten, 1995). Corporate advertising blankets the globe with images and messages that glorify western taste, dress, food, and lifestyle. 70% of all television programming is imported from the U.S. promoting a worldwide flood of Western cultural products (Barker &Mander, 1999). Participant 9 spoke of the effect of television and money on Georgian culture. He claimed 'it is difficult to explain these things, need some golden soul in the middle'. Cultural imperialism involves an imposition or a coercion of one sort or another. More obvious are attempts such as the forbidding of a native language. Less obvious is the play of prestige and how commercial inducements are used to wean a culture from traditional habits. There is a point where the path back to traditional habits is 64 eroded too far and a culture can not return as the corresponding infrastructure has been destroyed (Freeman, 1994). Korten (1995) writes that as global corporations reach out to the four corners of the earth, they bring with them not only established products and brand names, but also their favored media and the sophisticated marketing methods by which they colonize every culture they touch. Vendors of hajapuri (a traditional Georgian bread and cheese dish) have little muscle compared to the new Mcdonald's. The Tbilisi Limonad' sellers have few advertising resources compared to a Goliath such as Coca-Cola. Transnationals hire psychologists, anthropologists, economists and politicians to manipulate the public mind, a task at which they have been wildly successful (Chomsky, 1999). Participant 11 said that 'In Soviet times we had to paint political things, fought against this. Nowadays, only thing to do is to pray against the global evil and in country, family, family is your family. Global evil touches everything, one single evil'. He said that these thoughts were gained after living two years in a monastery. Alongside of the transnationals come evangelical groups to Georgia, to try to win Georgian people to their point of view. A Georgian commented with some disbelief 'Can't they see we have a perfectly adequate church that is far older than theirs' (Nasmyth, 1998: 272). The political psychologist explained that of all previous imperialists, the Soviets were the first to destroy their churches. He said that the Turks liked Georgian culture. He claimed that there are still Georgian churches in present day Turkey and Iran. The communists came and painted over the walls of some cathedrals and destroyed others. He asked hypothetically 'Why survived?' He answered his own query by explaining that Georgian Orthodoxy is highly developed and 'It is difficult to fight faith, still Georgian churches in Turkey and Iran'. The researcher believes he was implying the same would happen with Georgia's new threats. As Georgian civil society is held down through the force of a military state and neoliberal reforms are introduced, culture is altered by the unrestricted one way flow of global market culture. Far from a cultural exchange at the civil level between Georgians and those from the West, the message of the consumer culture, manufactured by corporations in the West, jams the airwaves, street signs, radio waves and most public places. The resources of the forces introducing consumer culture to Georgia far outweigh the resources of forces that hold to a particularly Georgian view to life. The consumer message then is able to overrun all other messages as it has the resources to purchase most of the spaces where messages are displayed or sent out. 65 Participants 5, 6, 15, 16 and the political psychologist claim that this message is having more success with many of the young in Georgia than with those that came of age before the coming of a global market culture. However, they all expressed concern that over time, the consumer culture message will erode the Georgian view. While the voices of Georgian culture are brutally subjugated and ridiculously outspent, this global consumer market ideology is allowed to take root, particularly in the young and the wealthy. After a certain point it will no longer be necessary to silence other views as this global consumer view to life and to operating governments will have influenced enough of Georgian society. Not through informed debate and civil consensus will neoliberal philosophy have taken hold, but through sheer force of marketing and cultural alteration undertaken by the some of the wealthiest forces on the planet. The political psychologist stated that he generally does not like Western influence, 'Coca-Cola and so on...we prefer different refreshing drinks, but have no choice'. He said that, overall, the population is very conservative and that for now Western influence is still expensive. He went on to explain that the influence is growing and 'maybe after some years there will be conflict'. He said that Russia's influence had been with language and in the political sphere. The Western influence, he described as having more to do with cultural norms. He claimed it is difficult to say whether Russia or the West is worse, that it is difficult to compare the two. He ended by saying that all these influences are attempts to destroy Georgian culture and that is why the Independence Movement is important and is why he supports it. Nationalism as Resistance to Economic Globalization and as a Vehicle for Development 'For Western people, financial thing most important, not for us.' - Participant 17 'World business culture will not succeed here' - Participant 5 The researcher concluded that Georgian nationalism is not resistant to progress and betterment, but to foreign domination. The Georgians resisted the Soviet Union, which viewed itself as the planet's major force of economic, social, cultural and technological progress. Now, in historical review, the Georgians are seen to have been resisting Soviet hegemony, not the idea of development (Jones & Parsons, 1996). To the contrary, many Georgians view their national heritage as their path to future development. 66 'We want children in future to be happy. Be common citizen of the world, but to be Georgian in all capacity of Georgians' expressed the political psychologist. Participant 17 said that Georgia must be open, but not 'lose their own thing...I think that would be very nice'. Otherwise, she said Georgia will become very poor culturally. This situation was well summed up by participant 9 who thought Georgia was losing its cultural identity; 'Moral gone, tradition gone, food gone.' The top four problems disturbing Georgian society, as reported by survey respondents, were: !.) Low salaries 2. ) Unemployment 3. ) The weakening of moral society 4. ) The weakening of cultural traditions Nasmyth (1999) writes that what is being lost is the indefinable quality of life that most Georgians found impossible to articulate. Participant 1 described Georgia as having officially friendly relations with its neighbors and that the country is currently looking West. She said 'Must stay as we are. Quite impossible to stay apart. Don't change identity, stay as we are, but cannot be isolated. Impossible at moment'. Participant 7 expressed that Georgia must take the best of Western values and yet maintain its own authenticity. He hopes to have Mcdonald's 'and also very good Georgian cuisine'. He told of how Shevardnadze came down to the new McDonald's to taste a Big Mac. Participant 7 thought that Shevardnadze mustn't be so exhilarated about things such as Big Macs, and 'deny own values'. He predicts that after Georgia is fed up with Mcdonald's, the country will retrieve its own values. Participant 2 mentioned Shevardnadze's great faux pas when he tasted Coca-Cola and said 'Ahh.. .tastes like Pepsi', which had been licensed by the Soviets, during the communist era, and made in the Georgian city Sukhumi. The bottom line according to participant 17 is that Georgia must be 'what it was always,' which she said is 'definitely not financial'. It is perhaps important for the West to be respectful of distinct ways of viewing the world, that may be very different from the traditional Western orthodoxy or that of modernism. Participant 67 10 explained that Chavchavadze held that Georgia had three great strengths; language homeland and faith. This participant added a fourth great Georgian strength, which he said is love for life. He holds that all three of these are currently threatened, and as Chavchavadze was killed when he was 70, one can judge that these things have always been threatened. He said that the assertion of these three strengths at independence was the cause of the war. He believed that as long as Georgia is inclined towards these things, the country will be punished. Nationalism has not been convincingly theorized in Western tradition nor does it play a role in principle Western theories (Freeman, 1994). Yet 'Georgians have distinguished themselves during the Soviet era for their determination to maintain their national identity' (Goldenberg, 1993: 88) and nationalism ultimately brought down the Soviet Union (Smith, 1995). Participant 6 claimed that Stalin believed Georgia to be the main enemy or hazard to the Soviet Union. Ironically, through the Soviet promotion of literacy and education, Georgian nationalism was strengthened as poets and playwrights continued to write on Georgian themes, especially in the later years. Georgia had the highest level of education in the Soviet Union (Jones, 1995). The former parliament member patiently explained that Georgia is not Third World, but in fact highly cultured. Participant 11 described how, in the U.S., if one's father is Polish, their identity is not Polish, but American. He stated that Georgians stay Georgian. The political psychologist conducted a study examining identity formation and different types of schools. In Georgia, students may attend either Russian or Georgian schools, as well as minority group schools, such as Azeri and Armenian. In his study he found that Georgian students in Russian schools said that they are Georgians but do not like Georgians. Students in Georgian schools were found to have very strong Georgian identities. Interestingly, Georgian students living in Russia were found to have the strongest Georgian identities. Participant 17 stated 'the culture is in the blood of the people'. She described Georgian mentality as being based on religion and not the 'every day', such as in the West. Georgian orthodoxy was explained by the leader of the political front as being 'Christ with the face of Saint George as he slays the Dragon'. He claimed that the Georgian's strength is their trust in God. Participant 3 said Georgia's strength to be the people's faith, 'if have faith, have love, who believes is strong'. Most participants were asked what they viewed Georgia's strengths to be and the majority gave highly nationalistic and culturally specific answers. Quite a few participants (participants 3, 5, 6, 10, 14, 16, The former parliament member, the political psychologist, the former Press Secretary) cited Chavchavadze's three great Georgian strengths. Participant 5 believed it was the strength of 68 Georgian friendship, 'when we have problems we always support, that is way of life'. According to participant 3, it is optimism which is Georgia's greatest strength. She said that Georgians are sometimes foolishly optimistic, which she claimed 'sometimes saves us'. She also said that Georgia's other great strength is that they are lovers of life. Participant 11, in response to her answer, told a story in which one Georgian man asked 'What could save us?' to which another man answered 'Foolishness!'. The participant continued with a slight sarcasm 'If we had been cleverer, there would not be a single Georgian alive!'. In another interview, participant 18 said that Georgians are happy, 'maybe they should cry, but they laugh'. She described how during a particularly disastrous earthquake about a decade ago, a whole region of Georgia was left without houses and basic utilities. She told of how when foreigners came to help they were absolutely shocked. Georgians were laughing and joking about the earthquake events, about how their houses almost fell on them. Nasmyth quoted a Georgian describing his culture 'What I mean is that here our lives are not so separated, specialized as yours in the West. I think sport, religion, politics are all similar. For instance Georgians play [soccer] like we play our politics. We're great individualists. We dribble the ball too far, won't pass and finally run out of space.' Participant 9 described a view of business quite different than the average view from the U.S., 'One of the most important investments is in industry, need help in this area, need control of markets. Economy is nothing without a soul'. Later he said that the Georgian civilization is very old with very great differences, 'Old nation, can do something for the world, world must understand us and our problems.' Participant 6 said 'Now people can learn something even from us.' Participant 17 spoke of Americans and wealth and asked pointedly 'What is this richness, Georgians are richer, they have time with their families, Americans they work like machines and die in the hospital.' Participant 15 said that he admires American films that contain ideals of love, humanity and very good humor, but does not care for the majority of what comes out of Hollywood. The former parliament member, when speaking on the same topic, stated that due to information from American films and art, it can be said that 'the cultural level is not more civilized than those they call the African wilds, not higher, maybe lower'. Participant 9 wondered '24 hours of American movies, Bam! Bam! Boom! Boom! Who made? Why?'. The former parliament member explained how many Western people come to Georgia and try to help. They ask 'How would you save yourself. He found this to be sadly humorous as well as upsetting. He said that the West is in a much more dangerous position spiritually. From a spiritual point of view, the West and its materialism lacks the most important values for humankind, love and 69 friendship, 'Here we still possess.' He said that those who come to help want Georgians to look as they do. A slogan on a protester's sign in front of the U.S. embassy read 'Georgian people are not yet anti-American, don't make it so.' Participant 9 discussed how the US 'solves' national conflicts abroad. He said that force is not the right way to solve national problems, 'No difference between Russia and America. Can't accept this.' Participant 15, who came out in favor of Free Trade spoke of Western Culture. He said he is not against it, but in previous times it entered through Moscow whereas now it comes freely without anybody's help. He stated that he does not like everything that enters, such as pornography, and hopes that it can be regulated." " A general theme that emerged was that Georgians find it humorous, and a bit sad, that a two hundred year old country might like to tell the world how to run its affairs. It was pointed out several times that even Russia, their previous ruler, did not have a literary tradition until the nineteenth century. Many participants (participant 1, 3, 5, 6, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, Gamsakhurdia's former economist, the political psychologist, the former parliament member, the human rights activist, Gamsakhurdia's former Press Secretary and the leader of the political front) mentioned how there are many things that a society can be based around, and economics is only one of many. The great majority of participants seemed to suggest that it would be better if Georgia's future was based around its culture and history and not financial matters. When questioned about foreign influence, Participant 6 stated that while Georgians must maintain their civilization 'We have even taken good things from our enemies'. The former parliament member and the political psychologist both held Japan up as an ideal. The former parliament member explained that after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Americans came and tried to bring their culture. They attempted to get the Japanese to wear ties and take off their kimonos. Yet 'the Japanese managed to take good from West, didn't say no to their own culture. Japanese culture became at a higher level'. It is interesting to note again how the Japanese used extreme protectionism to develop, until they were on equal footing with world competitors (Chomsky, 1999). This may have been pivotal in their ability to adopt Western influence into their own culture rather than be overrun by it. Participant 7 stated that while many Georgians dislike the way the West lives, he wishes to take the West's good habits, 'like being fair'. Participant 17 pointed out that there has always been a cultural exchange, 'Georgians go to Tibet as well.' Similar to the United States, corporations bought their way into a position of domination in 70 Georgia during a time of social disorder following a civil war. Hunter writes that in Georgia, globalization is aided by the residual Soviet legacy of people not being masters of themselves. The Russo-centric policies of the U.S. further this, as it is perceived that the best way to keep influence in the region is to consider the CIS sphere as 'Russia with branch offices' (1994). Some Western schools of thought consider Russia to be the civilizer of the East (ibid.) and perhaps now, the bringer of market liberalization. Participant 9 said that Georgia needs 'more people who try to understand us, try to help us, not only use us'. Participant 4, who has business interests, expressed that he did not want everything to be foreign owned, but part must be now, as there is no money in Georgia. He added, the government must be able to decide who can come and build in Georgia. In previous times, according to the former parliament member, Georgians did not know what was happening in the West and 'thought West was beautiful democracy, now go abroad and see that much different'. Speaking of Russia and the U.S., he asked 'Which of these two is worse?'. Gamsakhurdia's former economist and the political psychologist both said that because of the actions of the government, they have become economically dependent on different organizations. Quite typical of scholarly work concerning Georgia, one analyst wrote 'The countries [of the FSU] in transition are or have been, or would like to be, engaged in ascension negotiations with the World Trade Organization' (Wolfe, 1996: 210). It is fairly clear from the interviews and survey, that the Georgian civic sector was probably not consulted on such a statement. Another analyst recommends assistance to make transition countries members of the WTO as quick as possible (Schroeder, 1997). Again, this seems to have little to do with the will of the people in Georgia, and seems to imply that their will is quite peripheral to the point of market integration. Participants 1, 3, 6 and 18 were concerned about a government proposal to privatize the forests. Participant 6 worried that if resources can be bought and sold, then the country's resources will be sold off. Shevardnadze has stated 'Democracy will not last long without a strong shield of the law enforcement bodies' (Tbilisi Network, Tbilisi Radio, 1999d). It is likely that the military dictatorship will slowly continue to introduce a Western style democracy. However, by the time people have a real voice, the country will have been sold and they will no longer own or have real control over their own country. Currently the public utilities are being sold, the Electric Company has been bought by an American, and even Georgia's Foreign Customs has been sold to a German firm, according to participants 1 and 5. Participant 3 spoke of how Georgia should not simply sell off its resources, but add value to them and create Georgian industries by 71 manufacturing something out of them. She used the example of Georgian Marble. This concept has been discussed by Goodman and Daly (1996). T.S. Elliot described a distinctive culture as being 'the whole way of life of a people...all the characteristic activities and interests of a people' (Gilbert, 1994: 9). According to this definition, cosmopolitanism is clearly a distinct culture to Georgian culture. Nationality may be a part of personal identity (ibid.). Participant 9 explained 'We think that every nation has own properties, its very special properties, I am not a nationalist, as every man has own individual properties, every nation has right to renew and revive these properties'. Gamsakhurdia's former Press Secretary explained a view of nationality much different than commonly held in the West. He held that in addition to human rights, people possess other rights, such as the right to possess spiritual values which belong to him as an individual. He stated that 'God lets nationality exist in the world as an individual'. He said that the defense of the national rights of individuals is the defense of personal dignity. He held that if the world's countries attempt to only defend the individual rights of a person and not the individuality of nations, then declarations of defending individuals are nothing more than words. He explained that as individuals have national qualities, to defend the individual is also to defend these national qualities, 'If don't admit national features, cannot admit individual attitudes'. He stated that what is passed for the defense of human rights is only the defending of the right to virtues and vices, which he sees as being very bad for the future. Gamsakhurdia's former Press Secretary also spoke of tolerance between nations. He gave the example of the education of an eight year old child. In one country, the child might be told that he or she has a body and 'it has such possibilities including a sexual life' which the participant claimed to be OK. Other countries, such as Georgia, due to traditions and history, through the centuries have gained certain attitudes. These countries may tell the child about the spiritual, not the bodily, to 'concentrate the mind on the spiritual.'. He stated 'All countries must be tolerant towards others and problems. No one should have the right to tell [their] point of view, you must live in such a way'. He said that people come to Georgia and tell Georgians to 'just do as we do'. He claimed that if this advice is received then perhaps the constitution must be dismantled. He said it is equally wrong for Americans to come and say 'Shevardnadze is quite a nice person, you must think the same as I', as it is for a Georgian to go to America and say 'I think spirituality is much more important than these bodily problems, so you must live the same as Georgians have for centuries'. He expressed that a step taken by a 200 year old civilization might have been taken 72 by an ancient civilization centuries ago. He explained that Westerners coming to tell Georgians how to run their politics is similar to a Georgian showing up in Canada and demanding that Canadians support Quebec, without making an investigation 'towards certain things'. One analyst has written a commentary expressing a point of view about Gamsakhurdia that seems to be held by many Westerners with a concern about Georgia. She claimed Gamsakhurdia to be 'preoccupied with the rights of Georgia as a nation, rather than individuals' (Goldenberg, 1993: 90). Such a comment seems to demonstrate a lack of making an investigation 'towards certain things' to understand why many Georgians may see their future in a certain way. The former parliament member described a view of the individuality of nations, with a metaphor of a field of flowers; 'If we go to a field of different flowers, someone says 'Oh, this flower I like, this flower I don't', removes flowers, will be punished by God. God put them all there. So with nations, if somebody comes and wants to destroy nations, punished. No matter if beautiful, doesn't matter'. He said that it is irrelevant if someone likes 'roses more than violets'. He expressed these views of the individuality of nations find great resistance in the world. Imperialist forces have caused the early deaths of Georgians who have championed these views with enormous popular support; Chavchavadze, Costava, Gamsakhurdia and Tsereteli. The Independence Movement The first article in the International Covenant on Human Rights, adopted by The United Nations General Assembly in 1966, states 'All peoples have the right to self determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development' (Freeman, 1994: 67). It is basic to liberal democratic doctrine that normal adults have moral right of personal determination, and therefore, the moral right to determine their political relationships (Gilbert, 1994). It is questionable to what extent Georgia has been able to make free decisions, not under direct pressure from Russia or overwhelmed by the financial might of the West. d'Encausse (1995) writes that when Shevardnadze asked for protection by joining the CIS, this action was similar to when King Heraklius asked for Russian protection against the Turks in 1793, which resulted in the annexation of Georgia. There was once again the loss of cultural and national sovereignty. Participant 6 asked rhetorically: 'When will Georgia be a real state?'. - Participant 6 73 The political psychologist cited a recent unpublished study by Shota Nadirashvili, the Director of the Institute of Psychology at the Georgian Academy of Sciences. It was found that: 1. ) Nearly 80% of Georgian respondents reported that they did not view Georgia as independent. 2. ) Approximately 90% of respondents reported that they wished Georgia to be independent 3. ) Approximately 75% supported the independence movement Shevardnadze has stated 'The path of developing democracy, protecting human rights and building a civilized country - our independence, our originality and our nation's culture will be protected and guaranteed' (Moscow Interfax, 1998). Despite these words, the political psychologist estimated that a 'minimum of 60%' support the independence movement, making a good future for the movement'. As mentioned previously, Webster's Dictionary defines a nation as 'a stable historically developed community of people with a territory, economic life, distinctive culture, and a language in common' (Webster's New World Dictionary, 1991: 902). The independence movement seems to envision Georgia's future in these terms rather than in an economic ideal. This was expressed by participant 11, 'Now Georgia in period of reconstruction'. She described how Georgians are taking national culture and history and shaping them into political structures. Participant 6 reported that Georgia is beginning a process of restoration which has connotations in every field. In the movement for national restoration , explained several participants, the 'future is found in past'. Nasmyth described the Georgian political will well as 'a do-or-die ambition to launch Georgia far into the future and past, at one and the same time' (1998: 9). This is antithetical to a neoliberal viewpoint which stresses economics, commercialism and technology. Participant 9 expressed that Georgia 'must work for the revival of own soul and civilization, carry the best in situations.' Hettne (1995) suggests that nations look to their own culture and ecology instead of to 'advanced' countries in developing. Hettne argues that development does not have a universal meaning. Participant 1 stressed that Georgians don't want to live in an unreachable past, but wish to 'make contacts on all levels, including economic', but as an equal and not a subject. Participant 9 also said that it is clear that many things have not been restored, even at high levels, and that much of the Soviet legacy still remains. The political psychologist expressed his personal view 74 that Georgia, under Shevardnadze, is not an independent country and that there is no clear policy for independence and no strategy for the restoration of identity. The former parliament member stated clearly that he is against imperialist methods. Participant 1 said that to maintain independence in Georgia, there must be a real democracy. If every country has a right to their own unique path of development, then the path of Georgia has been stifled by neoliberalism which took root through a military coup. Chomsky writes 'It makes little sense to ask what is 'right' for particular countries as if these are entities with common interests and values. And what may be right for people in the United States, with their unparalleled advantages, could well be wrong for others who have a much narrower scope of choices' (Chomsky, 1999: 40). Thailand, the United States, Mali, the Netherlands and Georgia are all extremely different placed with extremely different histories and world views. It is doubtful that one economic system is the best thing for all of them. Participant 9 spoke of Stalin and how he, in his autobiography, said that he was Georgian, but his motherland and tongue were Russian. The participant said that Stalin understood both Georgia and Russia very well, but was not an expert in the other Soviet regions. He thought that Russia, Georgia, Uzbekistan and the Baltics all should develop in the same Soviet way. The participant explained that Stalin never took nationality and culture into account. Smith has written extensively that the nationality question was the cause of the breakup of the Soviet Union (Smith 1995, 1999). During the interviews, many participants (participants 1, 5, 6, 13, 14, 16, The political psychologist, The former parliament member and the leader of the political front) expressed that the Caucasus are neither of the East nor of the West, but a region unto itself. As the people of this region often define themselves as not culturally Eastern or Western, the region's political expression is likely to be unique as well. A common theme from the interviews was that tradition and Georgian Orthodoxy are deeply rooted into the county's politics. Shevardnadze apparently understands this as demonstrated by his new icon hanging on the wall of his office. 'Previous times Russia bad, now West also bad'. - Former Parliament Member International cooperation means no Georgian participation' expressed the political psychologist. He went on to say that a country should develop using its resources. He spoke of how Georgia is not using its intellectual resources. He held that Georgians have expertise in all areas of development, but specialists are sent in from India, Afghanistan and Egypt. He asked 'Why need 75 someone from Egypt when specialists on Georgia are in Georgia?'. Participant 9 said 'Understand our situation, we are not ready to be America or Canada. Stalin did not understand, Russia and Georgia not the same thing, what is good for one may not be good for the other. Was Russia, now America.' The former parliament member told of how people come from abroad, such as the president of the World Bank, and agitate that Georgians must support Shevardnadze. Hunter has written on how the Soviet legacy of clientism and dependence has made Georgian people more vulnerable to outside influence (Hunter, 1994). The former parliament member added that he doesn't want Georgia to just be left alone and be isolated, but that he does not wish others to come and try to teach Georgians how to live. He said that is the reason why Russia is out now, they tried to teach Georgians how to think and feel. He stated 'Now feel same from West'. Participant 6 expressed 'Georgia is part of the world, not Russia, America, Turkey.' The political psychologist explained that Georgia was independent for eight months until the coup came. He stated: 'Then they say you must be in Europe now. I have not met a person really excited that we are in Europe. We were in large network of republics, only illusion it was very good...Why any better with the U.S.. Even in England they don't want to be in the European Union'. Apparently he has not spoken with Shevardnadze who has stated 'Every generation of Georgian was dreaming of getting close to Europe and finding its place in the European space' he continued 'Today we are a fully fledged member of the Council of Europe, the European family' (Tbilisi Radio, Tbilisi Network 1999b). Participant 15, formerly high up in the Nomenklatur and presently in a position of relative power expressed 'Georgia has been given its worthy place in the European and world community'. The leader of the political front expressed that 'Europe must support the spirited movement in Georgia which finds its surface in the social and political'. Gamsakhurdia's former economist reiterated that Georgians do have a great desire to be on good terms with the U.S. The political psychologist explained that Georgians are not anti-American and wish to have 'good contact' with the US. Participant 1 expressed that not all foreign influence is bad. She said that while some foreign companies only care for money, a foreign oil company recently invested in the environmental and historical concerns at an oil site. Archeologists found objects of historical 76 importance at this site. The political psychologist claimed that it was important for Georgians to first find themselves as Georgian and then to look to Europe. He said it is 'better to have individual country then come to Europe.' A theme that emerged from both the interviews and historical literature was that the basis for Georgian independence, both before the Soviet occupation and now after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, has been national and not economic. The human rights activist described independence as political, ecological, cultural and social sovereignty, all spheres which he said have been attacked. Throughout the history of the land, Georgians have fought against many different intruders in an effort to defend what Chavchavadze articulated so concisely, motherland, religion and a unique language (Jones & Parsons, 1996). Many who have written on and about Georgia do not seem to appreciate that many Georgians consider Western economic hegemony just another in a long line of invaders. Several participants (participants 5, 12, 13, 14 and the leader of the political front) explained that the independence movement supports no one candidate, but is working for free elections. The political psychologist expressed that the present is quite bad and that Georgia needs a fairly-elected government. He held that it is 'easy to develop future if you have fair elected government'. Participant 5 spoke of how politics are good 'when it is good for the little people'. Now, she says 'little people do all for the political elite' but she claims these political elite are not the real the elite of Georgian society. She stated that first, politicians must look at the people, second, they must look at foreign issues, and third, their personal lives. She held that the opposite order exists with the current government. She expressed that 'When politics are good, economics is good. Most important problem political'. This view is quite different from the neoliberal view that holds when economics are good, politics are good. 'I'll say to European countries, democracies, please do not recognize this illegal government', was the message that one Participant 13 wanted the world to hear. Participant 11 however, speaking of Georgian motherland, religion and language, asked 'Can you imagine some force that would defend these things?'. He then answered his own question which the researcher had thought rhetorical and could not answer, 'Georgia is only under the support of God, has always been that way.' In another interview, the human rights leader described how the Georgian independence movement was a specific form of national struggle. He explained that the movement is non-violent and uses tactics such as hunger strikes and demonstrations. The human rights leader said 77 that on the surface the movement may appear 'Gandhist'. He explained that the movement is deeply rooted in Georgian culture and that it is an artistic form containing the spirit of Georgia. He gave a poignant example, 'When being shot on the 9th of April, sing and dance, Georgian way, Georgian spiritual struggle by pure action.' Participant 11 may have expressed part of the spirit behind the movement when he spoke of his country, 'Hope we will become more clever in the future. Clever, kind and loving. I don't want anything else.' He explained shortly after, 'Must act and behave in standards of high morality. Must be kind and good wishing, humane. People having something against us should feel ashamed'. Participant 1 said "Civil Society' is the new slogan, before it was 'Communism', don't need slogans and mottoes'. Participant 9, as quoted above, explained that Georgia must choose a 'Golden middle'. He stated: 'In Soviet Union, everything to country, twelve or thirteen sick people on Politburo decide in Georgia how to make wine. Then destroyed. See this is left. Second situation, Free Market, not ready for it. Always wanted capitalism. Thought we would have good wine and food, but now I see capitalism is, but we don't have good wine and food1. Participant 6 works with the Georgian Protected Areas Program, which is working to put l/5th of the country under cultural and ecological protection. He said that these areas must be maintained not only for Georgia, but for world civilization. The group is working to preserve architecture, art, nature and traditional methods and species in agriculture. He explained, 'Do what you wish with the other 4/5ths, but here...'. Five levels of protection are being implemented including cultural/historic zones as well as wilderness zones. Perhaps such an effort of cultural preservation will be considered a barrier to trade. It may be that for every accusation that Georgian's are glorifying their national past, there is another accusation from Georgians that the West is glorifying either technology, economics or materialism. The independence movement claims Shevardnadze to be representing forces from outside of Georgia, whether Moscow or the West. Participant 13 expressed that Chechnya is independent now from foreign hegemony, and is self-sufficient. He said that Georgia wants good contact with the West, but has the opportunity to be economically strong in its own right through the Black Sea, minerals and tourism - Georgia was once the premier tourist destination of the Soviet Union. He stated that Georgia need not be economically dependent. 78 The former parliament member said that it is possible to speak of some of the good Shevardnadze has done. However, he claimed that the Gamsakhurdia government had planned to do many of the same things. He said that now Georgia receives humanitarian help, there is the opportunity to go abroad, Georgians are much more free than they were during the Soviet reign, and Georgia has joined a variety of international organizations. He then asked what countries do not get these things. He said that it is presented as if Shevardnadze brought about all these things. He stated 'Gamsakhurdia planned the same things. From beginning, of course not against, normal all of these things. Oil pipeline also planned, not against the Silk Way.' The difference, he said, was that Gamsakhurdia would have done these things, but in the process would 'defend national interests, in economics, politics, culture.' Another participant said that Gamsakhurdia was only in power for twelve months, whereas Shevardnadze has been in power for eight years, making comparisons very difficult. Participant 9 told a story about when he was a young man, during the Soviet reign, and was studying in Moscow. He said that he and another young man, an educated man, were discussing Afghanistan. He asked this other young man why the Soviets should want to kill the Afghans. He argued that they had no interest in being part of the Soviet Union, so why force them. His conversational partner's answer was brash and angry 'You don't understand...This is the Soviet Union, we have the highest level in the world!' He countered 'but they don't want to be Soviet, so must we kill them?'. The other young man, exasperated, said 'you just don't understand.' and got up and walked off. He seemed to be using this story to explain that Georgians may not be as rich as Americans and others of the West, but they should not be forced to become part of the West, just as the Soviets should not have attempted to force the Afghans to become part of the Soviet Union. Georgian civil society and the Independence Movement continue to work for democracy and the advancement of Georgia through cultural means. The student icon demonstrators were eventually successful in halting the export of Georgian sacred objects to the U.S. These demonstrators joined hunger strikers who were demanding the resignation of Shevardnadze. Eventually there were 1000 hunger strikers, including political prisoners, according to an email from Participant 16. There has been a minimum of violence in this action as the strikers have gained the attention of international media, such as The Washington Post, as well as the attention of international human rights groups. 79 Implications for Social Welfare The state of social welfare in Georgia is dismal. Ten years ago the country was a republic in a vast socialist network. Although the political and economic policies of the Soviet Union are wide open to criticism, the Union-wide system of social welfare was quite comprehensive. Beginning at a point of total economic collapse and anarchy, the period since the coming of the neoliberal agenda to Georgia has witnessed a sustained freefall in social conditions. One of the most telling indicators is the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) Human Development Index (HDI). Despite the total collapse of central planning, Georgia maintained its ranking in the 'High Human Development' category under the first government. At that time Georgia was ranked number forty-nine, keeping company with Venezuela and Argentina, ranked forty-six and fifty respectively. After the coup, Georgia's ranking plummeted. This era of neoliberalism has also shown a poor performance in the population's income and GNP per capita. Additionally, since the UNDP began charting Georgia in the Gender Related Development Index, there has been a sustained fall in that category. This period might be labeled as a period of social de-development. The data contained in the following charts is from the Human Development Report 1993 and each yearly volume until 1999. Year Ranking 1993 49 1994 66 1995 92 1996 101 1997 105 1998 108 1999 104* *Change in methodology ranking: 85 Table 4. Human Development Indicator Ranking (based on data from 1-2 years previous the published year) 80 Year Income 1990 4,572 1991 3,670 1992 2,300 1993 1,750 1994 1,585 1995 1,389 1997 1,960 Table 5. Per Capita Real Income (in US dollars) Year GNP Per/ Cap. 1980 1,966 1985 2,343 1990 1,760 1995 433 Table 6. GNP Per Capita (in 1987 US dollars) Year Ranking 1996 69 1997 87 1998 108 1999 *73 *Change in methodology Table 7. Gender Related Development Index Ranking The Current State of Social Welfare in Georgia Survey respondents were asked if the Georgian government takes care of its people and 0% 81 responded yes. This can be seen as very indicative of the current state of social welfare in Georgia. The economic reform has undermined the Soviet social support system which was based on low administered prices for basic goods and services and virtually guaranteed employment. As funds for subsidies have been almost completely removed, the social safety net has collapsed. The UNDP has analyzed Georgia's current situation. The information throughout this section regarding the state of social welfare in Georgia is from the UNDP (1996) unless otherwise indicated. Currently, social protection for Georgian citizens is provided by the state budget and some extra-budgetary funds such as a social security fund, an employment fund and a health fund. Only recently has there been any research on social issues in Georgia, making it difficult to properly aim the funds that do exist. Georgian institutions, due to both huge cuts in funding as well as lack of experience with the new socio-economic system, have not been able to keep up in terms of policy formation, or implementation. There has been no success in securing social protection for the rapidly increasing numbers in need, no authentic attempt at resource redistribution, and a lack of ability for cooperation among sectors and ministries not accustomed to a model of cooperation. There is virtually no transparency in government, so citizens are unable to effect change in policy. One participant claimed that officials have no interest in people's views. The lack of ability for state structures to develop safety nets, gain a semblance of equity and produce law and order among all sectors of society within the limits of Georgia's limited resources, has made significant sections of the population vulnerable. Pensions have shrunk to almost nothing due to inflation. Pensions are given for old age and for many disabilities. Benefits are normally paid in coupons. Pension payments are about 2.80 USD per month, far short of even basic bread requirements. The allowance for single mothers is about 1.50 USD per month. There is no allowance for single fathers. There is also a benefit for a second child in a family which pays about 2.70 USD. City dwellers receive slightly more than rural people with this benefit. Veterans receive a pension of about 4.10 USD. The allowance for internally displaced persons is about 2.80 USD per month with those who receive bread rations receiving about .50 USD. On the 50th anniversary of the Second World War, veterans received a payment of about 20 USD. The minimum wage is about 1.20 USD per month with a government minimum wage of about 2.60 USD per month. The scope and delivery of benefits are mixed. Only about one in one hundred families that apply for bread subsidies receives them. Pensions and child benefits are, however, widely received. Bread subsidies were crucial for basic survival for Georgians after the collapse of Soviet central 82 planning. These subsidies insured that the most basic of food requirements could be met by the population (Jones & Parsons 1996). Bread subsidies stopped in 1996. In that same year the EU and the US sent significant amounts of humanitarian wheat aid. France sent one million dollars for the purchase of wheat on the world market. Bread has become the main food, with consumption of other foods, such as meat, fish and dairy, declining dramatically. The researcher found that even in the city, kitchen gardens were abundant, providing some variety of vegetables. In rural areas, many families and groups of families have become self-sufficient producers. The researcher stayed with a man who had lost his work as an engineer in Tbilisi and returned to the village of his youth to grow enough food for he and his mother. The subsistence level for a family of two has been set at about 78 USD per month by the Georgian government. The average salary in Georgia is about 16 USD per month, with 44% of salaries below 5 USD. The average family receives about 24 USD per month from salaries. The average household income is 68 USD. Inequality has become remarkably high and continues to increase. The richest ten percent hold almost half of the country's income, while the poorest ten percent hold .5% of the country's income. In comparison, the richest 20 percent of Japanese hold only 45% of the income and the poorest 20 percent of Japanese hold 10% of the income (UNDP 1996). More similar to the Georgian scenario is the case of the United States. The poorest 20 percent of Americans earn a little less than 4% of the total income while the richest 20 percent of Americans earn slightly over 50% of the total income (New Economy Index 1999). In Georgia it is particularly pensioners and others on fixed incomes which have suffered the worst losses. Georgian Society is becoming increasingly polarized as the rich continue to gain more wealth and the poor continue to lose ground. More of society is joining the ranks of the poor while a few are becoming extremely wealthy. Many continue to sell apartments and houses (as well as other valuable items) for subsistence and are moving to poorer areas of the city increasing the spatial separation of rich and poor. One participant explained the situation clearly, 'the rich get everything, the poor get nothing.' The most vulnerable of the society have extremely low incomes and are not able to sustain a livelihood. Georgian society is relying on kinship ties and other social networks to ease the problems of poverty. Due to the societal structure (and the researcher adds the post-Soviet material legacy of having property and luxury items to sell) the effects of similar poverty seen in other parts of world are seldom seen in Georgia. The UNDP outlines poverty in Georgia as taking on several aspects. A major aspect is malnutrition and lack of basic non-food items. There has been a drastic change in diet as many 83 traditional foods have become unaffordable. Malnutrition is more common in urban areas where people are less able to grow their own food and to keep animals. The inability for people to access traditional food has added to the overall societal perception of malnutrition. The inability to buy clothes and other basic commodities is widespread. Households commonly lack fuel for heating and cooking and cannot use public transport. Many households, particularly those of internally displaced persons, complain that their children do not have adequate warm clothing to attend school in the winter as schools also suffer from fuel shortages. Poor housing conditions persist. Housing during the Soviet era was largely run and kept up by the state in the city, while in rural areas less than 2% were state run. In rural areas and in small villages people had been responsible for the construction and upkeep of their housing. Now virtually all dwellings have been privatized, mostly by direct title transfer to those already occupying the dwelling. In areas of strife there has been significant damage to dwellings. In areas of strife there has been significant damage to dwellings. The researcher found that in the city, the block apartment projects ubiquitous across the former Soviet Union are in rapid decay to the point where some appeared to be dangerous. Water is irregular and of poor quality. Many households use other sources of water collection such as springs and rain collection. The poor are more likely to have difficulties with water because of dwelling location and storage difficulties. Electricity has been a major problem, although recently, with the American buyout of the electric company, electricity in parts of Tbilisi is becoming more regular according to several participants. Heat is particularly problematic in the city where there is not access to wood for fuel. One participant described burning chairs to keep warm. Poorer households are the hardest hit by fuel shortages as they do not have the ability to purchase new heating equipment such as gas burning equipment (Georgia has a reasonable, but intermittent, supply of natural gas coming from Turkmenistan). Most dwellings are concrete and have little insulation quality. In the majority of houses, only one or two rooms remain open during the winter to keep the heat in. During the Soviet era upkeep of the state owned dwellings was conducted by the state. Currently residents do not have the resources for proper upkeep. Both the structures and utilities have become dilapidated to a great extent across Georgia. Internally displaced persons have particular living condition problems. Several participants in this study claimed there are about 100,000 internally displaced persons in Georgia, many of which are in Tbilisi. Major hotels of the Soviet era, as well as schools and campsites, are now overcrowded with the internal refugees who suffer more pronounced problems of water, fuel and food shortages. 84 In general, areas that were less modernized at the fall of the Soviet Union have adapted the best to the severe changes of post-Soviet life. These areas were the least connected to central planning and distribution and have done much better than richer more developed areas. Social cohesion has been affected by widespread poverty. Many aspects of Georgian social life, such as traditional gatherings, hosting guests, giving presents at birthdays and weddings, and the general culture of hospitality have been reduced due to the inability of the population to participate in the traditional way. Many participants reported that they can no longer invite people to their homes because they cannot even afford tea and sugar. Children in poor families have a much higher incidence of not attending school because they do not have proper shoes or clothing to attend in the winter. Also they are not able to afford books and other supplies. Many are expected to work to help support the family. This of course perpetuates poverty in families as children of poor families are not able to attend school because of the need to attend to pressing basic needs. The parts of society that used to be active in cultural life through attending cultural events, purchasing professional and other magazine subscriptions and purchasing newspaper subscriptions are no longer able to participate in such ways. Many Georgians, particularly the intelligentsia, receive real wages that do not come close to meeting basic needs. One professor reported not earning enough for transport to and from the university. This could certainly be harmful both to overall social functioning as well as for individuals who are more likely to feel a sense of isolation or helplessness. Infrastructure has deteriorated dramatically for transportation and communications, particularly outside of the capital. Long distance travel and communication has become more expensive and has left relatives and friends in increasingly less communication, with again an overall effect on social cohesion. Buses and taxis have been privatized helping to relieve the shambles of public transport. Electricity problems had frequently shut down the metro and trolley lines. Employment is difficult in a declining labor market. Older people are faced with the prospect of not being able to find a job and that they will never resume their former quality of life. This has had psychological implications such as feelings of failure and loss of self-worth and giving up on the future. Even if jobs are found, wages are far below subsistence. Younger people have a better outlook, especially if one speaks English. Many young people now look abroad for their 85 futures. One participant said that Georgia was losing all their capable people to Europe and the US. Due to low benefits and the small likelihood of obtaining employment, most people do not register as being unemployed. In 1996, 60,700 people were registered at the labor exchange and only 2000 were receiving benefits. At one point in 1996 the employment exchange had 887 vacancies to which their were 68 applicants per vacancy. The majority of applicants were highly educated coming from the now defunct science and cultural spheres. Since the Soviet period, the health care situation has deteriorated dramatically. In Georgia the poor are more likely to suffer from health problems and less able to access treatment. Previous levels of health care are not possible to maintain in Georgia's current fiscal context and levels of care have dropped. Now basic services are not maintained, including inoculations. State authorities are not able to purchase medicines which has led to shortages. Medical reform has resulted in most services requiring payment such that most of the population cannot afford basic medical care. Diseases thought to have been eradicated, such as TB, malaria and diphtheria, have returned. Epidemics have posed serious risks, especially to the poor. There have been increased suicide rates and depression rates. Increased stress levels have resulted in a higher death rate among males. The population cannot pay for services and medications. The quality of services have fallen dramatically and are often not trusted by the people. Additionally, hospitals are in severe disrepair and there is little training for staff on all levels. Medical reform began in Georgia earlier than in most of the FSU. The Ministry of Health has partnered with the World Bank to increase efficiency through market mechanisms. The bureaucracies of the Soviet hospitals still exist to some degree with 20% of the health budget going to administration. Free services are rapidly being cut. The State Health Fund functions from a 3% of wage tax, accreditation and privatization fees and taxes on alcohol and tobacco. The "Basic Federal Package of Care" is funded by the State Fund and consists of the most necessary services such as health care for pregnant women and children under one year old, basic care for those under the poverty line and care for TB. Currently a state insurance program, which will be compulsory, is being set up with an Israeli company. The state does not intervene in pricing or management of health institutions, which has created a laissezfaire system thinning the health system with significant social cost. Competition has become lessened and medical centers have increased prices because alternatives do not exist. The number of personnel involved in medical professions is expected to fall another 60% from the 86 already radically reduced post-Soviet system. New institutions that from the outset were designed to be private are doing better than the older ones that were forced to transition. Medical vulnerability is exacerbated in Georgia by the conditions of inadequate nutrient intake, poor water supply, and poor sanitation. Internally displaced persons face these conditions in exaggerated ways because of crowded living conditions. The high cost of medical treatment has led to the growth of an unofficial and un-regulated health sector which does not necessarily have the same access to hygenic conditions and technology as do the unaffordable hospitals. The sudden change in Georgia has had a profound effect on many who envisioned living their lives in certain ways that were possible during the Soviet era. Unable to see a future, despair and apathy have risen. This is compounded by the Soviet legacy of the encouragement of. passiveness. During the Soviet period, Georgians stood out in their valuing of education. Now schools do not have money for books, chalk and heating fuel. Teachers do not make enough money to pay for transport to and from their schools. Many families cannot afford transportation for children to and from school, which is particularly problematic in rural areas. Parents are forced to, and usually unable to provide books and supplies. These conditions have resulted in many older students having to leave school. Some public schools have found foreign donors and many private schools have emerged. These private schools are not affordable to most Georgians however. In public schools the best pupils usually seek learning outside of school. Preschools have dropped sharply since independence. Kindergartens have suffered similar drops. Small scale private kindergartens have arisen, but it is difficult for most to pay the fees. Social segregation of Kindergartens has become pronounced through the ability to pay. Even the better public kindergartens charge 12-15 USD per month. Georgia has traditionally had an outstanding system of higher education with high rates of completion. There are 28 public institutions of higher education and 250 private institutions. The universities still have enormous intellectual resources from the Soviet legacy although many of the top academics have emigrated. The system is static and horribly under-funded however. Professors who once taught communist style economics now teach commerce classes. Some departments have opened private branches to help subsidize salaries. Public institution fees are about 400 USD per year. Private universities are usually too costly for most Georgians. One young man reported that in university most professors will take bribes for higher grades. He said 87 that 50-300 USD will purchase the highest mark. He reported that some professors in fact require bribes for good marks. Vocational schools still exist but continue to train for specialties needed during Soviet times. Graduates become well trained for employment that no longer exists such as for specialties geared towards soviet style mega-factories. Slowly training is being edged towards specialties useful for the new Georgian situation such as small business management.. The educational reforms under way on paper seem to be taking on many problems of the educational system. However these reforms lack explicit goals, priorities and procedures for implementation, fiscal and human resources to achieve them and a realistic schedule. The continuing deterioration of schools and education throughout Georgia will likely have long-term impacts on the country. Social Welfare in Soviet Georgia The current social welfare situation in Georgia is in sharp contrast to what was in place ten years previous as a part of the Soviet Union. Administration of the social welfare system in the Soviet Union consisted of four institutions: the Ministry of Welfare, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health an the All-Union Central Committee of Trade Unions. Most of the system was intimately tied to labor (Madison 1967). The Soviet social welfare system was centrally run and thus very similar, especially by the later years, in all regions of the Union (George & Manning 1980). However, Georgia was known for its high standard of living, warm climate and vibrant culture (Gachelidze 1995). It has been suggested that if there had been a Soviet human development ranking, such as the UNDP undertakes, that Georgia would have ranked first (ibid.). The Soviet Welfare system was enormous. Unless otherwise noted, the following information comes from George and Manning (1980) who have mapped the system out. Of the Soviet Union's social security scheme, pensions were by far the costliest benefit. In order to qualify one had to reach the age of 60 for men and 55 for women and must have had a record of work. A full pension required 25 years of work for men and 20 for women. The minimum length for a pension was 5 years. There were, however, exceptions. Those who worked in hazardous occupations could retire at a younger age. Pensions ranged from 30% to 90% of the working 88 wage. The weaknesses of this scheme were that minimum pensions were too low, allowances for dependents were too low and raises in pensions were not well correlated with increases in costs. Disability pensions were based upon previous work, the degree of disability, and the cause of the disability (industrial accidents rated higher than illness). Pensions ranged from 45% to 100% of a wage. Survivors benefits covered a wide range of people associated with the pensioner which could include siblings, parents, spouses and children. However, benefits were mainly aimed at widows with children under the age of eight. It was thought that widows were capable of work and thus should do so. Sickness benefits were related to the reason for the sickness (occupational sickness paid 100% of the previous wage), length of employment, family responsibilities. Non trade union workers received only half of the entitlement. Almost all workers were members of trade unions. All women, regardless of work history, received maternity benefits for eight weeks before and after the birth of their child. The benefit was 100% of the mother's wage. Mother's were additionally entitled to one year of unpaid leave. Child allowances consisted of packages of grants and monthly allowances which were weighted in favor of large families. The benefits were somewhat inadequate and were only in effect for the child's first five years of life. Unmarried mothers were eligible for child allowances until the child reached the age of twelve. Some supplements for low income families were in effect until the child reached the age of eight. There was very little public assistance available for those without social insurance. Relatives were legally required to take care of those who did not meet the criteria for social insurance. If a person did not have relatives then there was limited funding for them as well as the possibility of institutional care. However most institutions were located in the Russian Republic. Public assistance was not Union run, but run by the individual republics or sometimes by collective farms. There were no unemployment benefits as such. In their place was universally guaranteed employment as laid out in the Soviet constitution. Soviet health services were largely state provided and free of charge. Central planning determined need and thus access. Hospitals were less hygienic and in states of worse repair than their Western counterparts. Preventative medicine was seen as not so much as the prevention of infections and disease but as a combination housing policy, income maintenance, and education. Soviet health was funded through the central fund. The UNDP (1996) reports that Soviet health care was supposedly free of charge but there was a 89 well-developed system of under the table payment. However, patients were never refused on the basis of inability to pay however. The UNDP also suggests that there was a strong infrastructure but with serious distortions. There was a strong emphasis on hospital treatment, a compromised quality of care, serious deficiencies in primary care and virtually no health promotion programs. Education was also at a high level. There were extensive pre-school facilities, nine years of compulsory education and many options for technical and professional higher education. There was universal access to basic education, high levels of literacy and a skilled workforce (UNDP 1996). One participant expressed how science and the arts were highly stressed during the Soviet period. She said that there were ample opportunities for those qualified to study and work in these areas. The education network was under strain by the end of the Soviet period (ibid.). Nationalism and Social Welfare Attention is now turned to the question 'would national self-determination necessarily improve social well-being?'. The majority of participants for this research seemed to assume that national sovereignty and national democracy would lead to both political and social betterment and justice. One participant expressed that none of the social problems could be addressed until there was democracy. There are certainly historical examples of nationally based democracies that have not lead to social justice, such as the Weimar Republic. Recent examples have appeared in the post-communist states such as Aliev from Azerbaijan (Herzig 1996) and Karimov from Uzbekistan (Starr 1999). In both of these post-Soviet countries these leaders have created near police-states. From the diversity of outcomes of national movements it can be concluded that nationalism is neither inherently good nor bad for social welfare. This thesis has presented arguments by Chomsky (1999), Chussodovsky (1997), Kariliner (1997), Korten (1995), Midgley (1996a), Wackernagel and Rees (1996) and others, that the global neoliberal project is devastating for social well-being both in the South and in the North. Teeple (1995) discusses the decline and dismantling of social programs and the welfare state as capitalism enters an unregulated global context. The Georgian independence movement has been presented largely as a movement of resistance. It is reasonable to examine and perhaps speculate a bit on what the movement would build in the place of the current government, which came into being through a military coup. The idea should not be ruled out, however, that a movement of 90 resistance is complete in itself. Fitzgerald (2000) suggests that the Vietnamese pride themselves on and identify themselves with their ability to resist and survive. He examines what he terms the Vietnamese's laudable but tragic flaw of resisting at all cost. He looks at how the Chinese, French, Americans, Cambodians and the Chinese again have come to subdue Vietnam. This is of course similar to Georgia's history of invaders. He describes how for the last thirty years Vietnam has taken a difficult route outside of the US led economic system, a route which has become more difficult since the Soviet collapse. Fitzgerald describes how despite a crumbling infrastructure, abysmal human rights and corrupt politicians, Ho Chi Mihn is more revered now than in 1975. He concludes that for the Vietnamese resisting and surviving as a distinct group is more important than the economic and social goals that have been defined by the Western industrial world. Perhaps there may be a similar phenomenon in Georgia. In terms of social well-being intangibles such as dignity and pride must be considered. Many groups and nations would surely be better off in a material sense as part of a larger state or system. Northern Ireland, as a part of the United Kingdom, has many advantages in being a part of the G7. Georgia was a member of a global superpower and was better off socially and materially than most of the rest of the Soviet Union (Gachelidze 1994) yet Georgians demanded to govern their own nation. These examples suggest that intangible aspects of social well being such as dignity and pride are an important piece of overall social welfare in addition to the material aspects of social well being. The nationalist movement in Georgia is working towards sovereignty. Many participants expressed that they do not wish Georgia to be isolationist but to participate as an independent nation in the world scene. As a small state in the present global financial system, it is questionable to what extent this is possible. As even China is on its way to becoming a member of the WTO it appears increasingly impossible to be a member of the world community without becoming a member of the WTO and other trade blocs (Chomsky 1999). As discussed earlier in regard to other nations, by simply joining the WTO (a process which Georgia has begun) Georgia would have to give up the very potential that it would have won through national independence as it would have to agree to the WTO's policies of deregulation and removal of barriers to trade. Even as an active WTO member, Georgia would likely have little input on the future creation of WTO policies as demonstrated by the discontent of leaders from the South during the Seattle WTO ministerial. Many Southern leaders complained that only the coalition of wealthy countries had any say. The possibility exists for Georgia to isolate itself from the world community as North Korea and the Sudan have done. This does not appear to be what Georgians are seeking according to most respondents. The majority of participants suggested that upon reaching sovereignty, it would then be possible 91 for Georgia to set up a democracy. It seems worth considering if the process that occurred upon the setting up of the first post-Soviet Georgian democracy, which led to the coup, might happen again. If the former nomenklatura are again excluded from political dominance and stripped of their control of resources, there would be little to stop another civil war. Shevardnadze's Peace Party might be well named. If they were taken from power they would likely start another civil war. As long as this party is in power there is peace. Based on work by Pateman (1970), Sorenson (1993) and Ruffin and Waugh (1999), this thesis identifies three potential paths for the establishment of democracy in Georgia. The first is the path of totalitarianism. The second path is a Western style liberal democracy. The third path is that of a participatory democracy. All participants discussing independence expressed their wish for fair and popular elections to be established. Many theorists on democracy have linked high rates of popular participation with the establishment of fascism and other authoritarian forms. The example often given is the Weimar Republic which, with its high popular participation, became fascist. It has been argued that Russia again is tending towards authoritarianism through popular votes. In post-Soviet Central Asia, each country that established a popular vote (Kazakhastan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan and Turkmenistan) has become an authoritarian regime (Ruffin and Waugh 1999). Referendums have been used, particularly in Uzbekistan, to cement leaders power (ibid.). The short lived nationalist administration of Gamsakhurdia seems to have been heading towards an authoritarian model. While supported by a vast majority of the population, Gamsakhurdia was reported to have ruled by dictate and decree (Goldenberg 1994). Van Der Leuw (1999) claims that Gamsakhurdia had considered the establishment of a vote all that was necessary for democracy. In his short time in office he outlawed the Communist Party, many of the activities of the Green Party, limited the press and made laws that appeared to reverse social progress (e.g. the lowering of the legal marrying age of women in order to increase the population) (Goldenberg 1994). His parliament was little more than a rubber stamp for his leadership (ibid.). The outlawed opposition joined the ruling Round Table Bloc making Gamsakhurdia virtually a dictator - he was, however, apparently much admired and respected. Had Gamsakhurdia held power it is reasonable to speculate that those trends towards authoritarianism would not have been reversed any time soon. Gamsakhurdia's role seems to have been something of a benevolent philosopher king and less of an accountable public official. Now, looking back, perhaps Gamsakhurdia could have been considered a popular dictator and 92 Shevardnadze could be considered an unpopular dictator. The path of a Western style liberal democracy will not be examined here as it has been examined in depth as part of the research for this thesis. The mechanisms for its establishment were also analyzed. Pateman (1970) in exploring the theories of democracy explains how many thought the instability of many post-war and post-colonial states attempting democracy was due to these nations having no history of a democratic system. Mexico stands out as an example that contradicts this. Although the country has had many decades of experience with democracy, it existed until very recently as a one party state which often employed police tactics (Chomsky 1999). Pateman (1970) and Korten (1995) both suggest that a strong civil society is necessary for a strong democracy and particularly for a participatory democracy. In analyzing post-Soviet Central Asia, Starr (1999) questions the extent that a region with little or no experience of statehood or civil society can have a civil society 'jump started'. Georgia and the Central Asian republics differ in important ways however. The Central Asian republics did not have widespread national separation sentiment towards the Soviet Union (Starr 1999). The region had never been divided as states before the coming of the Soviets. In fact the Soviets actively promoted the idea of statehood in Central Asia. Georgia, in contrast, was actively working for separation from the Soviet Union, particularly in the 1970's and 1980's. A vast array of highly politicized groups emerged out of this period. While these groups were mostly political and environmental in nature, they were often infused deeply with the notions of social well-being, cultural advancement and the protection of human rights. Zijderveld (1999) proposes an idea of civil society different than the more widely held view presented earlier. He writes that civil society ought to be reevaluated as the main well of morality and the breeding ground of human values, norms and meanings which can only prosper in the context of autonomous and self regulating associations and organizations functioning as morally powerful intermediary structures. Participants often spoke of the importance of morality in daily life, in the movement against the government and in the government itself. Under Zijderfeld's definition, the traditional Georgian stress on morality and the humanities (Gachelidze 1994) and the traditional informal but complex organization of Georgian social life which was the foundation of the anti-Soviet movement (Jones & Parsons 1996), make for a strong and well established civil society. In Central Europe, the activists of the 1970's rediscovered old concepts of civil society and 93 applied them to their own situation. Strong education systems, expanded communication with the West and contact with older traditions of their cultures created a political renaissance which challenged the bureaucrats that ruled them. In Czechoslovakia, the tone of these movements was set by artists and in Poland by workers and in both cases underpinned by intellectuals. This Central European Renaissance found reception in the Baltics and eventually somewhat in Russia. By 1989 Gorbachev was using the term civil society (ibid.). Polish dissident and thinker Adam Michnik held that democratic opposition can be a catalyst for societal self-regulation and self-organization. Such opposition, he believed, would take the form of autonomous non-violent associations of critically minded citizens. This strategy guaranteed the rise in solidarity and the development of pluralistic trends within Polish Society (Tismaneanu 1990). The Georgian groups fit this definition well. Georgia differs from Eastern Europe in that there is not any particular history of civil society in Georgia in the traditional sense. The ability of the Georgians to organize so effectively during the Soviet era may have come from the framework of other cultural touchstones. The importance of friendship in Georgian society may have tremendously aided the coalescing of the multitude of self organizing groups. Georgians are expected to keep daily contact with many more people than is expected in the West (Nasmyth 1998). This might be considered as a culturally based, informal networking system which is highly flexible to changes in the socio-political climate. There is a history in Georgia of popular resistance going back perhaps a Millennium and at least as far back as Russian imperialism. The researcher found that Georgian society as a whole was fairly politicized. For example, at a poetry reading, the researcher noted that a large cross section of ages and occupations attended to listen to politically motivated poetry. The current tradition of popular resistance has been constant since the time of Chavchavadze in the 1860's. It should be remembered that Gamsakhurdia was voted into office during the Soviet era. Mass participation was still legally not possible. Eastern Europe brought in governments after the fall of the communist party and the Soviet Union. Now in a post-Soviet climate where a civil society is more able to act, Georgians have a much better chance of at least an approximation of a participatory democracy. This would differ from Shevardnadze's and Gamsakhurdia's Shumpeter-like definition of democracy that Pateman (1970) describes as competition for leadership. After ten years of much more open contact with the West it is likely that Georgians now have a more complete understanding of democracy beyond the choosing of authoritarian leaders. A more in depth analysis of the democratic system may not have been possible in Georgia before independence due to the closed nature of the Soviet Union. 94 Starr (1999) writes of two types of organizations in civil society, those emerging from the grassroots out of the people's aspirations and those based on clientism from outside funding and validity. Currently in Georgia the politicized grassroots organizations that came to prominence during glasnost are being oppressed by police state tactics as discussed in depth earlier. The researcher found while attempting to work with NGO's in Georgia that the majority of NGO's that are active fall solidly into the category of clientism. Many Georgian NGO's are formed around funding opportunities from Europe and North America. The researcher spoke with the director of US Congressional Aid, who was in Tbilisi setting up programs. Currently, other major funders are the World Wildlife Federation, the World Bank and various bodies from the Council of Europe. These funders seem to be attempting to jumpstart a civil society in their image. The glasnost era organizations are not pursuing areas that interest these funders. The researcher's experience suggests that the NGO's emerging from this process are forming a 'pseudo civil society' that is not based in the aspirations of the Georgian people. It is then not a surprise that this foreign funded civil society does little to counter governmental policies or question the government's validity. Since there does appear to be somewhat of a precondition of civil society, it is therefore possible for Georgians to go the route towards a participatory democracy. This system could only be stable if Georgia stayed in close contact with Europe and North America because of the always present threat of Russia. Another precondition is that the former nomenklatura must be involved to the point where they would not see the need for civil war. In the context of a neoliberal global order, it has been examined to what extent participatory democracy can exist at all. However, within the spectrum of present democracies, Georgia with these pre-conditions, has the potential to be towards the more participatory end of the spectrum. It is interesting to consider what sort of social policies a nationalist movement that establishes a participatory democracy would create. The survey suggests that the new system would be more socialized. It was found that 63.5% of respondents thought factories should either be public or a mix between public and private ownership. None thought that the forests should be private. Interestingly, 68.7% thought that the majority of profits from investment should go to the state while only 15.9% disagreed. Because of these current views as well as the rise of the social democrats in the first republic of Georgia, it seems likely that a social democracy would be established with the state being the principle means of realizing the welfare rights of its citizens. Because of the Soviet legacy, it seems that welfare would not be citizenship based, as in Scandinavia, but employment based. As in Eastern Europe in the 1950's and 1960's, those not employed by either the private or state sector would probably not fall under the 'universal' 95 coverage of social insurance as described by De Deken (1994). This would be reinforced by the individualism in Georgian tradition. The idea of residual welfare as practiced in the US would not seem to have much support. Like Southern Europe, in which social democratic parties have the tradition of personalized leadership (Thomas 1994), it seems likely that leadership in Georgia would be based around a personality, as it was during the Gamsakhurdia administration. During the Soviet period, all classes were squeezed into the idea of the worker (ibid.). There seems to be a strong social hierarchy in Georgian society, so benefits would probably be related to the social value of the work, as defined by Georgians. If in the Soviet Union, pensions, social insurance and other welfare aspects were fairly equal among the majority with large extra bonuses to party elites (De Deken 1994), Georgian welfare rights would probably be spread over a spectrum. Zijderveld (1999) argues that the welfare state has been experienced in Europe as an over bureaucratized, excessively interventionist, technocratic megastructure.. Hayes (1960) argues that nationalism offers hope, a sense of Utopia and often a religious sense. If these feelings of hope and Utopia of a Georgian nationalist vision can be integrated into what is normally a faceless mega-bureaucracy, values of social justice such as equitable income distribution, universal health coverage, reasonable pensions and access to education may be more likely to be achieved. Many social welfare systems are seen as faceless jungles of rules. Nationalism may be able to put a national human face of national reconstruction on the welfare system. The experience in Scandinavia shows that setting up welfare systems in economically immature nations can be a quick path to development (Deschouwer & Coppieters 1994), both socially and economically. This experience suggests that Georgia's economic status might not be viewed as a deterrent for welfare schemes. In using Korten's model of democratic pluralism, it seems likely that the state would somewhat eclipse the market and civil society in Georgia. The independence movement's passion for setting up a new system is the reason for such speculation. Although it has been argued that a reasonable civil society currently exists, its importance in governance was never stressed in the interviews. This might be offset by the moral nature of the independence movement and indeed Georgian culture as a whole. Georgian civil society, if considered the main well of societal morality, has the potential through its organizations to act as a moral intermediary between the individual and the government. European history suggests that when this pluralism is too far out of balance, such as in Germany and Italy, it becomes possible for authoritarian leaders to take control. 96 National Welfare and Global Capital The rise of the welfare state has been tied to the rise of the nation-state. The nation-state since at least the 1970's has been quickly losing its former significance to supranational blocs. The terms of membership in trading organizations, the world market, international monetary agreements and supranational political/military organizations have become the definers of national policies. The ability of national welfare programs to exist at all, much less continue with social progress is being challenged by the supranational character of contemporary policy formation. The outlook for the national welfare state is, at best, bleak. The neoliberal agenda, through these supranational organizations is actively taking apart welfare systems and other programs of social protection. Even the model welfare states of Scandinavia have lost significant ground (Chomsky 1999). In this globalized context, how can a national independence movement possibly expect to be able to improve social programs and the social well being for the people of its nation? To begin to approach this question it is useful to expand the analysis of the democratic triangle to the global level. The market is extremely strong globally to the point where the demands of the market are defining social policies worldwide. Powerful institutions such as the WTO and the IMF exist to further the market. Globally there is little governance. The UN has little power to act to regulate the global market (it does however have the capacity to issue an unending stream of statements and reports about the global market). On a global level, civil society is quite weak as well. There are some associations and organizations with worldwide membership and interest, such as Amnesty International. Compared with market forces, however, there is very little communication, networking and interaction between groups , movements and organizations worldwide. In some cases, such as with the World Wildlife Fund in Georgia, Western based civil society organizations approach Georgia in a similar fashion to the World Bank, with a strong predetermined agenda and without Georgian participation. Globalization then has really only been the globalization of the market sector without the globalization of civil society and governance, the other two pillars of the democratic triangle. This has resulted in a form of market authoritarianism with no forces to counterbalance it. The market is hardly fueled by the desire to create social well-being, but instead by the demands of capital wielding shareholders demanding high rates of capital return in a short period. Such a 97 foundation for global interaction does not bode well for social welfare or ecological justice. Chomsky (1999) has demonstrated how such a global system has been devastating for social well-being in both the South and the North. One participant claimed that in Georgia, 'It is clear, a few wealthy have everything and the rest get nothing.' Therefore, for the establishment of social programs for Georgians, and indeed for any nation or group, the forces of the global market must be counterbalanced. This, however, cannot occur on strictly a national level, as the traditional national liberation model suggests, because the supranational overrides the national. So a challenge is presented: how can social welfare needs be met in any nation without the existence of a viable global state and without a strong global civil society to counterbalance the excesses of the market? Fudge and Glassbeek (1997) suggest the repositioning of the state as 'the terrain of contest' against economic globalization. However Penz and Drydyk (1997) argue that economic globalization has disempowered states to the point where they are not even able to protect citizens marginalized by the process. This thesis posits that governance and civil society must also go global so that governance can again regulate the market, and civil society can keep governance and the market in check. The market responds much more quickly than governance and civil society. With that in mind, the current situation of global corporate dominance makes sense. Ten years ago the world was divided into spheres of influence and since that time communications technologies have exploded. This new situation has produced a more interconnected world and the market, by definition was the first to go global. Now is the time for civil society and governance to go global in order to reign in the global authoritarian market regime. Global governance, of course, could also be just as problematic as the current market domination. It is critical that the development of a global civil society keeps ahead of the development of global governance so that civil society creates the new governing structures instead of market forces or other powerful interests. With the incredible amount of cultural and ecological diversity, the necessity of civil society control of global governance structures becomes pronounced. As is the case with current trade structures, there is the possibility that a global governance could adopt a 'one size fits all' approach to a multitude of worldviews and environments. This thesis then has focused on the building of global civil society as it is a first step to countering market authoritarianism and the building of structures to create social welfare programs and promote social well-being, that cannot be overrun by market authoritarianism. Worldwide, a vast 98 diversity of movements are organizing and forming networks to mobilize against the forces of economic globalization. These largely autonomous and self-determined movements are as diverse as indigenous groups, labor, anarchists and environmental organizations (McKenna, 2000). Canel argues that the new socio-political movements of Latin America are 'embryos of new, more democratic, social practices with the potential to transform power relations in daily life' (1997: 261). Canel writes that most of these movements are united in their resistance to neoliberalism. He argues that these new social movements have the potential of linking internationally, constituting 'a first step towards building a global civil society and consolidating a counter hegemonic 'globalization from below". He notes their relative freedom from state structures reduces clientist relations such that they are more able to create their own agenda. He also cautions that for the same reason these groups have the potential to play into the neoliberal project by providing for social needs. He explains that a strength and a weakness of these movements is that they tend to limit demands to a local level and fail to develop national agendas. Nationalism in the FSU organized (by definition) on a national level and these movements were able to overthrow a hegemonic and oppressive superpower. The contemporary Georgian independence movement may be considered a force of national liberation as described by Macpherson in Drydyk and Penz (1997). The first stage of such a movement is to rescue the people from colonial or post-colonial power, which the independence movement is currently attempting. The second stage is to mobilize for social development. However this model is no longer complete, as social reform is extremely problematic in the current global climate of market authoritarianism. The Zapatista movement from the Lacondan jungle of South Mexico has become an important part of global civil resistance and has captured many imaginations worldwide. The Zapatistas have demonstrated a skill at waging a war on a symbolic level using icons that connect with Mexican popular culture and history (Chomsky 1999). The Georgian independence movement has employed similar techniques that have worked well within the borders of Georgia. What the Zapatistas have done is use modern communications to reach out globally (ibid.). Therefore, to be successful at mobilizing for social development, nationalist movements must work simultaneously at the national and the global levels. This thesis has attempted to locate defensive nationalism in Georgia as a powerful force against the global financial system. It has attempted to translate and demystify nationalism such that it might be recognized and viewed as a potential powerful ally in the coalition of movements emerging to counter economic globalization. Currently nationalism in Georgia and elsewhere is 99 generally not recognized as resistance to economic globalization or as having a potential role in the growing worldwide networks of diverse resistance movements. As nationalism in the Soviet Union brought down an oppressive economic force led by a superpower (Smith, 1996), it could play a vital and dynamic role in the global struggle against corporate rule. The Potential Contributions of Social Work In the last half of the twentieth century social work has aligned itself with the welfare state. With the supranational overwhelming the national it could be viewed as somewhat quixotic for social work to continue to fight for social well-being on the national level. Therefore the profession must go global as well to continue pushing for national social welfare and social progress. Although perhaps not a traditional area of social work, the profession could play a multiplicity of roles in regard to global civil society resistance and networking. This would be an excellent starting point for reigning in the global market and beginning to create social structures beyond national borders that are not subject to a market authoritarianism. Mullaly (1995) argues that the crisis of social welfare can only be understood through the context of the larger international economic system. He urges social workers to act on a structural level. The Code of Ethics for the profession of social work states that the social worker should 'advocate changes in policy and legislation to improve social conditions and promote social justice' (Sheafor, Horejsi & Horejsi, 1991: 168). It also states that social workers should act to expand choice and opportunity to all persons, particularly groups under oppression.il levels of social work practice including: research, policy, advocacy, education, community development, consciousness raising, education, mediation and coalition building. Social work has the potential to be intimately involved with the emerging network of grassroots movements and to act as a catalyst for further action across the planet on many different levels. However, informed action is essential. Without an understanding of the mechanisms of the global financial system and an understanding of work could be increasingly involved with the environmental movement. If social workers are to act increasingly on a global scale, the profession must be diligent to honor the self-determination and diversity of global cultures. Tester writes that social work must respond to emerging social, economic and ecological realities, but must avoid 'the terrible imperative of imposing a single-lived reality on others' (1994: 91). This view of a culturally responsive, more global social work could take place on all levels of social work practice 100 including: research, policy, advocacy, education, community development, consciousness raising, education, mediation and coalition building. Social work has the potential to be intimately involved with the emerging network of grassroots movements and to act as a catalyst for further action across the planet on many different levels. However, informed action is essential. Without an understanding of the mechanisms of the global financial system and an understanding of the individual movements, social workers could simply exacerbate the current situations or impose their worldviews. A sincere attempt to understand movements and economic globalization could make the difference between empowerment and continued oppression in another guise. One participant in this research expressed 'the flag of help is the worst'. This thesis has attempted to take on several of these potential social work roles. Most importantly, this thesis (through the final product as well as the research process) has acted as a translator. Social work with its knowledge of historical context and social policy is able to make political information accessible. It is also able to interpret this information, particularly how it effects social processes. This thesis has attempted to translate and interpret the current political situation in Georgia so that those outside the country may be able to gain more insight into conditions not reported in the media or in scholarly journals. This information on nationalism as resistance to economic globalization may be a step in facilitating genuine communication between movements which have not to this point recognized one another as allies. Nationalism has been much maligned in the twentieth century (Freeman, 1994). This thesis has attempted to demystify the forces of defensive nationalism by seeking the point of view of nationalists and not of outside analysts. Translation is perhaps a two way process. During the interview process, the researcher was often asked for his views. The researcher attempted to communicate his understanding of the global financial system to those who wished to hear. It is hoped that this information plays a positive role in the participant's future actions. Social Work is so broadly based that it has the potential to play many other roles, particularly as a profession of action and implementation. Its emphasis on the individual in community and in environment allows action on many levels. The profession's understanding of the historical context of social policy aids in establishing context and the ability to make contemporary connections. Because of this, the profession has the possibility to understand the context of nationalism and the implications of nationalism in a global movement. The roles mentioned above can be greatly expanded upon. The role of translator is imperative if 101 extremely diverse groups are to work with one another. It is important for the groups to have an understanding of each other, and to have an understanding that they may have something in common. The role of advocacy could be greatly expanded worldwide, especially with movements that are working with systems with which they are not familiar. Education emerges as being pivotal for effective action, both within groups and between groups. The vast array of movements have much to teach one another through such varied experience. Social workers could engage in transmitting this information, as this thesis is attempting to do. Much research could be undertaken to increase understanding on many fronts. To name a few, research is needed to expand on the work of organizations such as the UNDP to explore how the global financial system is effecting social well being around the world. Research on what actions are effective for countering economic globalization as well as research that helps create a new vision for the globalizing world is badly needed. Research on the diversity of opinions and movements worldwide is necessary if movements are to understand one another and learn from successes and failures. It is also important to help insure that interactions are not oppression in another guise. Social work has much to contribute in the way of coalition building. Nationalist forces and groups such as environmental organizations might, on the surface, seem to have precious little in common, both in philosophy and methodology. Social workers could act as mediators between these movements, aiding and facilitating the finding of ways to work towards shared goals, particularly that of creating a just economic system. Social work can act in ways to bring groups together to work in mutually beneficial ways that the groups might never initially conceptualize. Social workers could act as resource people. The profession has access to a variety of resources from many levels as well as a knowledge of how to tap into other resources. Additionally, the profession is skilled at working on many levels at once. Community developers may have an important role to play as well. In the case of the Georgian independence movement, community developers would have to be extremely conscious of the self-determined nature of the movement. For this reason, this thesis suggests that Social Work could play a much more valuable role in working with nationalist movements in the context of other movements and the global financial system. This thesis has challenged contemporary notions, of nationalism and has attempted to locate forces of defensive nationalism as a movement against economic globalization. It has also analyzed the mechanisms by which neoliberalism came to Georgia without popular will or 102 consent. As such, nationalist movements may be a powerful ally in the global grassroots movement against economic globalization. Nationalism turned out to be not only Gorbachev's greatest challenge, but also the end of the Soviet Union (Smith 1995). Perhaps the distinctiveness of cultures and nationalities will turn out to be more than just a small burr on the side of the global financial system as led by transnational corporations. Saint George has fought successfully against imperialist forces for centuries and likely has much to teach (as well as learn from) the emerging global network of diverse movements coming together against economic globalization and working in coalition for a just future. Conclusion This thesis has explored nationalism in the Republic of Georgia in the context of the worldwide emergence of diverse coalitions of movements coming together to work towards social goals and to counter the excesses of economic globalization. The common contemporary notion that nationalism is a reactionary force has been challenged. It has been suggested that nationalism in Georgia is a form of resistance to economic globalization and that nationalist forces in Georgia are actively working in a non-violent manner towards political, cultural and social welfare goals. The mechanisms by which neoliberalism came to Georgia without popular will or consent have also been analyzed, along with an examination of the affects of this coming of neoliberalism on social welfare. Of particular importance throughout this work has been the intimate relationship between the social, cultural and political spheres in Georgia. The implications of the Georgian situation for the global network of grassroots movements, global social welfare and to the profession of social work have been examined. Nationalism in Georgia was identified as a potential powerful ally in the global grassroots movement working against the excesses of economic globalization and for social, cultural and political justice. It was concluded that social work must, in the new context of globalization, work internationally and supranationally with the global network of movements, as the former terrain of contest for social welfare, the nation-state, is in decline. The forces of nationalism of the Soviet Republics turned out to be not only Gorbachev's greatest challenge, but also the end of the Soviet Union (Smith 1995). Perhaps the distinctiveness of cultures and nationalities, and their desire for social, cultural and political justice, will turn out to be more than just a small burr on the side of the global financial system as led by transnational corporations. Saint George has fought successfully against imperialist forces for centuries and 103 likely has much to teach (as well as learn from) the emerging global network of diverse movements coming together against economic globalization and working in coalition for a just future. 104 References Alubo, S.O. (1989). 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