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Attempts at creating ideological confrontation

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, September 22
A couple of months ago, the independent TV channel Kavkasia held debates between supporters of the newly published book by Erekle Deisadze and the supporters of the Christian Orthodox religion. According to the latter, Deisadze’s book was an insult to the orthodox religion and Christianity as a whole. The debates escalated into physical confrontation and fighting, culminating in 8 representatives of the orthodox movement being detained. They were later sent to prison as hooligans.

182 representatives of Georgian society signed a petition asking the government to release those detained for the verbal and physical confrontation. At the same time, there appeared another document called a collective letter, signed by 587 representatives of society. The collective letter was very popular during the soviet system as many cruel acts committed by the communist regime were often perpetrated at the request of the soviet population. Of course, they were always masterminded by the KGB or high ranking communist party headquarters.

It could be argued that the 587 persons signing the collective letter are labeling themselves as supporters of liberal democracy. Among them are some known and some unknown signatories. However, they label the 182 supporters of the orthodox position as fascists. They openly write that these 182 citizens are clearly supporting fascists and simultaneously pro-Russian position. The collective letter criticizes the supporters of the orthodox position and highlights that the leading role among the signatories belongs to Eduard Shevardnadze. The collective letter states that all those 182 people are frustrated and corrupt people who are no good in the current situation as they each have a soviet mentality. The final conclusion is that these people are confronting not only individual freedom of persons, but the independence of the state and its worthy future. These are very serious accusations, which according to the standards of the soviet system in the 1930's would lead to arresting and shooting the signatories. We could have stopped here but 182 signatories of the supporters of the orthodox movement have since answered the collective letter of 587 authors. In their eyes, the 587 are anti-Georgian, anti-Christian orthodox anti-national forces. They are labeled as traitors against the Georgian values and traditions.

So, there are some small but visible hints of the confrontation in society here and it is noticeable that neither of the sides is prepared to make any concessions. Both of them are trying to overrun the rival side with hatred and uncompromising behavior. Such confrontation marginalizes both sides and one can predict that for the forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in 2012 and in 2013, the tone of mutual accusations will further aggravate. The question that arises now is; does such confrontation and 'black or white' mentality contribute to the democratic development of the country and its aspiration to stay among the civilized nations?