Separatism: Healer or Killer?


Separatism: Healer or Killer? Of course both! It heals but it also kills; it only depends what it heals and how much it kills. Take, for example, one of the most destructive samples of separatism of recent history: the disintegration of the Soviet Union. It not only changed the lives, to better or worse, of hundreds of millions of people, but mightily shook the world with its power of destruction. In that totally unexpected, and hardly universally desired, geopolitical metamorphosis, the healing part was that a number of nations acquired freedom and independence, which sounds good in generally accepted terms. The killing part of it was that, after almost 30 years, the fundamentally shaken one-sixth of the planet is still recovering from that debilitating and decomposing shock.

Incidentally, our beloved Georgia has suffered almost more than any other former soviet republic as a consequence of the separatist feelings and deeds instigated by the soviet breakup; we have lost almost one-third of our territory and the possibility of restoration of its integrity is not even looming on our darkened horizon. Moreover, the noticeable separatist movement in the world might even solidify the geopolitical status quo in Georgia.

The worst harbinger of further solidification of the bitter status quo could very well be the separatist incident in Catalonia of Spain, if the incident is ever turned into a geo-political reality in favor of separatism. We know the story well: Spain has been ‘one nation under God’ since the middle of the 15th century and the currently working constitution of the country clearly opposes any separatist endeavor. Catalonians still want and have voted for separation from the mother country. The healing part of this freshly formed event is the enhancement and strident celebration of ethnic pride, but the killer could be the pernicious domino effect on the European continent, saying nothing about those legitimate doubts about Catalonia’s future.

Separatism has already damaged Ukraine even worse than Georgia, and it may easily become the reason for its final destruction as a solid independent state. The salvaging and perpetuation of all those separatist attitudes started with the Kosovo separatist move, which ended in its factual independence as a result of one of the most imprudent decisions by the world’s leading powers. The separatist sentiments were unleashed so badly that the disintegration of the entire world now becomes not only a theoretical perspective, but a practical geo-political reality.

Is the world going to be a better and a safer place to live in if it breaks up into hundreds of different new units? How can the world go on functioning that way? Is the recent tendency to unite the world into groupings of countries declining and something contrary to that is on the offensive?

There are scholars out there who think that separatism and the consequential disintegration of the world is dangerous, that it threatens the global security which has been achieved through very painful efforts by the world community, and which is still flimsy enough for us to be scared of.

So, what to do? Answer: Just stay where you are and be good enough to create a high-quality life using the resources closest to you. Too much meddling in how the world is built and working might end up in disaster. And if catastrophe happens, it is going to hit all Earth-dwellers. Let’s think carefully before we do something serious. Haven’t we already tasted enough fruits of separatism? Give me one, just one example of separatist moves that have resulted in human wellbeing and elementary happiness. Don’t look for it in vain. There are none!

Nugzar B. Ruhadze

12 October 2017 18:23