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Week in Review: Look, the World is Passing By
/ 4 Feb.'03 / 17:30

January 27 - February 2, 2003

Have you felt an illusory movement, when you sit in an inert train cart and other train passes by? That is exactly the feeling I have, when looking at the dozens of pages of the newspapers and at the newswire of Civil Georgia. The world last week passed by the inert train of Georgia, embroiled in its own small haggles, with its politicians vowing to get at least some share of the camera-lights, the parties lined up for the elections desperately trying to find an issue, the one that would bring success, but not the responsibility.

The only meaningful event was in a way a prison riot of January 27 . These people knew they were treated unfairly: the same prison administration that allowed them to maintain knives and the Kalashnikov assault rifles, the one that apparently felt that the cell phones are called this way to be used in the prison cells. And these people were suddenly trying to confiscate this valuable arsenal of the gadgets and commodities. Certainly, the property rights were violated, but the prisoners were willing to take it. But when the police went for their shared assets (a collected sum of money used for the purposes of the "thieves-in-law") they have rebelled. One human rights activists saying - it is not polite to go after other people's money.

Writers have frequently used the allusion to the prison-cell to depict the totalitarian regimes. Surrealistic rebellion in a Tbilisi prison depicts fairly well the failed quest for the form of the state, when the substance of such state is desperately lacking. And when this happens, violence rules. It is not the "state of nature" that creates the war of all men against all men, but the nature of the state that has failed to happen.

And assaulting the ecumenical prayer was not unexpected. Police knew that the people of the maverick Basili-the-outlawed-orthodox would come, and they were ready enough not to have these people kill other people. Other than that it was an intra-confessional affair, they felt. In a state where a serious political debate goes on for more than a month trying to find out whether the cross on the flag is a Christian symbol or not, orders his slaves to complete repairs on a burst gas pipe and the gas starts flowing and the people of Georgia are saved. Here goes Eduard the Strong, feared, begrudged but tolerated for his wisdom to single-handedly wrestle Abkhazia out of hands of Vladimir , much as Gandalf the White wrestled the Palantir off the hands of the Saruman - a wise man-turned-evil.

Why all this fuss inside the train, look, the world is passing by.

Opinions expressed on Civil.ge commentary page are authors` own and do not reflect the editorial position of Civil.ge

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