(political – economic essay, part I)
Giorgi Rusiashvili, Doctor, Professor
Current political and social events taking place in Georgia before the local elections make it actual to consider the issue of amalgamation of this or that political group in Georgia.
Starting from the 90ties of the past century the amalgamation process of political parties and groups in Georgia from the first sight does not have logical sense and it has more stochastic and chaotic (opportunistic) nature.1
Despite of this and according to our understanding in this or that union there shall exist some logic, analysis of which is task of the present paper. We will also present our views about the future political unions and confrontations as well as discourses into the theoretical foundations of libertarianism.
According to Marx, economy is basis for social structuring, so political conjuncture is grounded on it. We can reformulate this paragraph by saying that social-economic formation is deterministic factor for all the set ups of the society including its religious organizations. This is an interesting thematic, hence beyond the tasks of the present paper.
In today’s Georgia2 despite of ruling party there are evident the following parties and their groups:
Group #1 (formed alliance): Free Democrats (leader Irakli Alasania)
Republicans (leader David Usupashvili)
New Rightists (leader David Gamkrelidze)
Group #2 (formed union for primer conducting): Conservators (leader Zviad Dzidziguri) People’s party (leader Koba Davitashvili)
Justice for Georgia (leader Zurab Nogaideli)
Group #3 (aka “Women triumvirate”): Democratic movement – United Georgia (leader Nino Burdjanadze)
Movement – United Georgia (leader Eka Beselia)
Way of Georgia (leader Salome Zurabishvili)
Despite of these groups, there are several parties which do not belong to any of them yet: 1. Labor party (leader Shalva Natelashvili)
2. National Forum (Leader Gubaz Sanikidze)
3. Future Party (Leader Gia Maisashvili)
4. Movement – Defend Georgia (leader Levan Gachechiladze)
From first look, this coalition or non-coalitions don’t have logical idea as background since the parties don’t have sharply defined leftist or rightist orientations.3 Often, the rightist parties have the leftist rhetoric and contrary.
At the well known web-site, which belongs to Cato Institute it is placed the following matrix, which explains the possible orientation of the political party.
Accordingly, if we try to analyze the content of Georgian political spectrum, will find that its coalitions surprisingly very precisely meet the above matrix.
Particularly, group #1 (leader Irakli Alasania) is undoubtfully linked to the cell #4, since this group has sharply defined loyalty to both liberal (leftism in private freedom part) and capitalistic values (rightist views towards the economic formation introduction).
Group #2 (potential leader Zurab Nogaideli or Zviad Dzidziguri) has biasness towards rightist attitude in private life and leftism from economic point of view. Consequently this group shall belong to cell #2.
And finally, group #3 (leader Nino Burdjanadze), is characterized by sharply defined rightist attitude both in private freedom and in economic freedom, and it shall belong to cell #1.
Finalizing this, we can say that rightists in private freedom can be characterized by term “conservator”, leftists in private freedom by term “liberal”, rightists in economic life by term “capitalist” and leftists in economic freedom by term “socialist”.
Libertarianism constitutes the mixture of “capitalist” and “liberal” and it is related to cell #4 of our matrix which in Georgian reality occupied group #1 (leader Irakli Alasania).
Also as we see the cell#3 is not filled yet, but which might be occupied by pro-governmental party (National Movement). Here also is logic, because government party has sharply defined bias towards liberal orientation in private freedom (here we note that the philosophic dogmatic of their ideologists (L.Ramishvili, G.Tevzadze, G.Bokeria) is based on Lock studies, which altogether is considered being anti-Leibnitz philosophy).4 From other side, the actions of government party have sharply defined social workload and therefore are widely utilizing the instruments of social engineering (secondary distribution of the income or redistribution), by which they can be considered as leftists from economic freedom point of view.
Therefore, the above given matrix can be transformed in the following form:
It should be mentioned thereby that term “socialist” is not used here in negative aspect, which we will explain below in the theoretical part of the paper5.
This matrix has one hint, particularly cells #1 to #3, as well as cells #2 to #4 are antagonistic cells. And one can conclude that making them closer is impossible because between them there is always ideas confrontation.
Contrary to this, cell 3=4 from the point of view of liberalism
cell 3=2 from the point of view of socialism
cell 2=1 from the point of view of conservatism
cell 1=4 from the point of view of capitalism
Let us now consider the relation of non-unified parties to the matrix cells:
1. Labor party (leader Shalva Natelashvili) – “socialists”
2. National forum (leader Gubaz Sanikidze) – “conservators”
3. Future party (leader Gia Maisashvili) – “capitalists”
4. Public Movement Defend Georgia (leader Levan Gachechiladze) – “liberals”
By assuming that opportunistic behavior will make it hardly possible their linkage to the governmental party, also by application of deductive method we receive that the party of L.Gachechiladze can be unified with group #1 of I.Alasania. Party of G.Sanikidze might be amalgamated with group #3 by N. Burdjanadze, and how paradoxical it is, the labor party can be united with Z.Nogaideli/Z.Dzidziguri group #2.
Unfortunately, separately, without amalgamation is left the Future’s party team led by Gia Maisashvili. However Georgian society needs to walk high way before reaching his party’s thesis idea and sense, because it is almost impossible artificial creation of “good”, “positive” or solidarity – wise society. This kind of societies are creating within centuries and for their establishment the following criteria must exist at least: political unity of the society, in terms of country’s independence and sovereignty, social loyalty towards the tax paying, national identity of each member of the society (which has two characteristics: cultural and linguistic standardization, aka “homogeneity”). Despite of this fact in the successfully operating society it is unquestioned also the priority of law and it works the sound legal system. All these must be strengthened by market exchanges development, or prevalence of public legal-economic form (joint stock companies) in compare to private legal-economic form development (LLC), which causes development of cooperative forces in the society in compare to conflict forces6.
Therefore, Georgian community shall bring solidarity society and its artificial introduction by dictate is impossible.7
Accordingly, we can conclude that Georgian political spectrum is highly overloaded, and public demand on opposition unification is misleading and it is far away from the recognized political – economic reasonableness.
Contrary to this we would like to suggest increasing its identity within the Georgian political parties’ spectrum according to the cells of the given matrix. In this case higher level probability of winning the elections again according to political economic theoretical postulates have those cells which in some aspect are interrelated (=) with cell #3, or are not significantly different from it (the ruling party), particularly cells #2 or #4.
Finally we want to touch some theoretical issues, which can not be explained by political economic concepts of libertarianism.
In 2006 during USA president Mr. George W. Bush official visit in Georgia, the former president at the freedom square in the centre of Tbilisi before hundreds of thousands people gathered there declared that his life’s mission is to promote free market economy and democracy all over the world.
The category of democracy is out in our matrix and it can be said that it is assumed under libertarianism ideology that any political party is loyal to democratic values despite of the fact to what it belongs in terms of private or economic freedom. But this is not so much!
As for the free market economy, it is issue of separate discussion, as to what is a priori market economy or capitalism. According to the one side scientists the main achievement of civilization is capitalism (according to Prof. Andrei Ilarionov) and therefore the societies can function with free market economy principles but have not developed however capitalistic saving mechanism (former Soviet Union countries). According to the other side scientists (Prof. Ernst Gellner), contrary, the societies can function under capitalist principle but it can not have free market economy relations established (Chinese economy). And therefore namely market economy needs much attention and care from the government side. Nevertheless this issue is subject of further discussion, and for the purposes of the given paper we stipulate that capitalism and market economy are identical (=), therefore assuming that where exist market economic relations, economy by its content is capitalist, or is of saving type. And where there is movement of society towards wealth (goods) saving based on free entrepreneurship, there is proper functioning of free market principles as well.
It can be argued that on conceptual level these two categories: market economy (capitalism) and democracy, are not only incompatible, but also antagonistic principles.
Democracy means government of the majority. Accordingly in the capitalistic society majority consists from employees and not employers8. Consequently majority in the conditions of democracy (in case of free will and free choice) will elect that government which to maximal possible extent will consider its interests. In those conditions the “socialist” has higher chances of being elected rather than “capitalist”9, accordingly elected “socialist” will utilize higher level and quality of social engineering instruments and consequently social-economic formation will be more and more distancing from so called pure type of capitalist formation society10 and will be much closer to socialistic.
The logic is quite clear, but let us now consider as to whether it is possible to adapt the economic model of this or that country to our modernized matrix particularly by adding the category of democracy.
We refer to the issue that non-democratic government is biased towards limitation of private liberty rights. From other side as we saw, the best match for the democracy are namely socially oriented economic relations, consequently with some level of economic freedom reduction and higher level and quality of social engineering instruments application.
The modernized matrix receives the following form according to the existing economic models:
Countries of first level: democracy, private freedom (liberalism), social engineering (socialism) – EU (old Europe), example – Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Iceland, Netherlands, Luxemburg, Lichtenstein, Switzerland.
Countries of second level: democracy, limitation of private freedom (conservatism), economic freedom (capitalism) – US, Japan and far – east countries (?!)
Countries of third level: low level of democracy, limitation of private freedom (conservatism), social engineering (socialism) – Georgia and the former Soviet Union other states (as FSU successors)
The 4th level countries: Democracy; private freedom (liberalism); economic freedom (capitalism) – Baltic States; Central and European states (so called new democracies), the Ukraine (?!)
The 5th level countries: democracy; restriction on private freedom (conservatism), social engineering (socialism) – former soviet, peoples’ democratic countries of socialist block.
Countries of sixth level: democracy low level, limitation of private liberty (conservatism), economic freedom (capitalism) – Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, countries of middle east (?!)
In this augmented matrix we could not find the pair where liberalism and low level of democracy exists, because it is assumed that loyalty towards liberal values automatically promotes development of the level of democracy in the country. From its turn development of level of democracy is automatically linked with change of the country’s development trend from pure capitalist type economy to socially oriented economy, with maximal utilization of social engineering instruments (“redistribution of income”)11.
And finally it is noteworthy to mention that adoption of Liberty Act in Georgia (however which is one more step towards the Libertarianism) is linked to the fact that liberalism goes beyond its stipulated by the Act, economic frames and it can receive very dangerous social-political signs taking into account the separatist movements from different ethnical groups in modern Georgia12. Is it not too much? As well as considering all the circumstances which regard it as far step away from EU and from other side Georgia as country which according to recent statistics on income tax burden having its overall load of 20%, which is almost accurate as Rhan index shall be (according to aka Lafer’s modernized curve) and it is just slightly higher than Paul Krugman’s suggested rate, which defines the level of economic freedom by tax burden in limits of 14% for the post-soviet states. But believe that in case of reality of “20”% this is immaterial.