Too Much Politics & Too Little Business

Op-Ed

Even a pavement in the street is politicized in Georgia: no other country in the world has seen this much political water flowing over its curbstones than this politically inundated nation, water which is often tossed up by political billows and swept away by political tsunamis once in a while. No, I am not trying to stipulate with precision whether this is good or bad. I am just saying that we are drowning in a life-threatening political flood, and need to use, without delay, the right lifejacket to get out of it and dry ourselves in the warmth of economic progress. In other words, we need to be doing something that generates money.

Why does the entire nation want to talk rather than use the sweat of the eyebrow for survival? Why are so many young men and women trying to pin down their functionality in politics rather than in science and craft? Why is the political pain in the neck not ending for Georgia to start taking pains to hold up the economy by investing time and energy in business rather than in politics? I wonder what would happen to us if the currently functioning political class left the arena to let life roll in a natural tempo, based on economic laws and rules, thus promoting business and pushing politics into the rank of a second-rate commodity of the day.

We are living in an era of loudly talking radical political figures and figurines, dominating not only the public sphere but our privacy too. This is the moment when our political old-timers have firmly dug in with their antiquated ideas and rusty endeavors. Meanwhile, those who are still in their salad years are trying to upstage their fossilized political predecessors, although with lesser experience, knowledge and qualification. A colleague recently called it a generational change which is maturing right in front of our eyes but which has had a barely noticeable effect on the political reality in the country so far.

The generational change is logical and natural. But what we most need to do is make a cultural change in politics which will induce the present-time densely populated political class to acutely feel and clearly see the subtle line between politics and economy, ideology and standard of living, education of masses and opportunity to do business.

Our people are gradually losing faith in those politicians who have the intention to arbitrarily determine the parameters of our social, political and economic existence, unceremoniously dictating to us what to do, when and why- especially when they are moving from a governmental position to an oppositional platform. Being overwhelmed and, I would say, infatuated with the idea of coming back to squeeze themselves into a law-enforcing status, many of them would go to any extent to reach the goal. What they are not aware of is the fact that political parties always lose touch with the core of their constituencies when their members are overly carried away with the ideological fight, forgetting the most burning issues that our people suffer on a daily basis. Actually, many of them become political narcissists, totally devoid of any desire to take care of the needs of their electors.

Politicians often forget that politics is a money spender, not a money maker, like business. Doing too much politics and too little business serves us no good, and this must be true in any culture around the globe. One of the greatest Americans of all time, Henry Ford, once noted that politics in the true sense has to do with the prosperity, peace and security of the people. Certainly, to find a golden median between politics and business is not an easy thing to do, but shouldn’t we at least really try to go for it?

By Nugzar B. Ruhadze

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