The Helter-Skelter of Politics


Why do people need politics? Here is a succinct and simplistic, but most to-the-point, response to the question: we need politics to live better, and if it does not serve that purpose, then we must not waste time, money and energy on entertaining the process. And yet we do it anyway! So many – men and women, young and old, good and bad, smart and blunt, inept and skilled – are professionally involved in politics on a daily basis. I suppose there is nothing terribly unexpected in this. We’ve all heard that Man is by nature “a political animal,” but when the wise man uttered those brilliantly outstanding words, he was using the word ‘animal’ in its figurative sense. It is also important to note that all the fighters in the field are being succulently paid. Anybody who is into the magic business of politics inevitably has an axe to grind, this being a must!

Politics invaded human life as soon as Man came to understand the need for a purposeful arrangement for survival, and in the attempt to create this, people often disagreed on many different issues and so they resorted to politics to avoid conflict and make life easier. In a word, the political process grew into a harsh struggle for power – not necessarily the truth – which could not be circumvented even in the duration of a thousand years.

This land was and is no exception from the generally adopted rule and tools of said performance: Georgia has always been the arena of hot political disputes and the accompanying deliberations. I heard somebody say that politics is a mind-killer, and I can’t agree more when it comes to the Georgian way of politicking. Political life in Georgia is like the eternal biblical fire which supposedly and hopefully should in the end burn to ashes those who play wicked games, if, of course, the evil and kind doers become discernible enough by the day of reckoning.

Politics here resembles a perennially pulsating pop show, with thousands of characters acting out their various roles, directed by the most prominent, using all kinds of props, scenery, music, text and choreography. The arena knows hundreds of political parties and associations, some of them at times gathering enough thrust and membership to dash forward into the vanguard of our society, revolutionizing the air and making necessary or unnecessary alterations to the lives of the ever-expectant public, eventually fragmentizing into factions and groups, or totally evaporating from the ground. The process is so much alive and active that it never stops brewing, dragging in individual politicians and throwing them up in the form of corpses, ready to be dumped at the unforgiving political scrap-heap.

Being naturally resourceful and creative, the citizenry of Georgia is also lucky enough to be able to enjoy a lot of freedom of thought and a broad turf for action, and most of that citizenry is sure that their talent and labor could change society faster than any available political power. But this is not happening because politics here is so overwhelming that it constitutes the only power that carries the potential of change – this is the impression, at least. There is a feeling that people are getting tired of the constantly smoking political helter-skelter in the country, but the more exhausted the electorate becomes, the more resilient the political herds and flocks seem to emerge, tirelessly seeking political compromises although the genuine art and science of government still slips from their hands. And the available political literature, the source of our theoretical political knowledge and qualification, is ridiculously contradictory too: some of those wise pages say that politics is the art of the possible and some others try to prove that politics is about the art of the impossible.

Juggling with words and letters is not my cup of tea, but the comparison inadvertently pops to my mind: could the reason of all this political jambalaya be the fact that the possible and the impossible are confused so badly that a regular human brain balks at differentiating between them? The answer might be a fresh challenge for all of us here who think that we still have to go the distance that is laid ahead.

By Nugzar B. Ruhadze

Image source: The Helter-Skelter Political Mind by Hone Williams

17 January 2019 18:31