Politics and economics have always had a connection since the day they were created, but in 21st century the rise of globalization gave a whole new meaning to it. For a millennium, one of the most used agendas for a politician has always been a religious one, but as the dominance of theism faded, the idea of a “perfect free market” has become more accessible for masses, that is when neoliberalism kicked in.
One of the most interesting phenomenon is the rise of libertarian thinking in post-Soviet countries, especially Georgia, where a political party that goes by the name of “Girchi” (led by Zourab “Girchi” Japaridze), is one of the most talked about organizations.
The reasons are simple:
- Georgia is, in fact, rapidly moving from a society of a collectivist, communist character, towards one that is full of free individuals. Modern Georgians have no need for a “god in flesh”, that was Stalin, Lenin and many other leaders of the Soviet union.
- Wounded by the communist regime, Georgia as a country is fighting for a rapid economic rise and, in the eyes of youth, the way for that is fully embracing neo-liberalism and its ideals.
- As a country that has long history of social democracy and communism, economists and politicians are searching for a fresh ideology that is fundamentally new to the region.
In his essay, Individualism: True or False, economist Friedrich Hayek says: “We still should require a political philosophy which goes beyond the fundamental but general precepts which religion or morals provide.”
Meaning that human society as a whole needs an ideology that mainly bases itself on the global free economic market, rather than morals, ethics and politics. The reasons, yet again, are simple:
- Coexistence of religions and politics gives birth to very dangerous phenomena that is populism and identity politics. Today, populism is a political strategy that is used by the likes of Russian president Vladimir Putin to make masses embrace the never-ending cycle of “Putinism” – a regime with nationalist ambitions in Caucasus.
- By letting go of differentiations that divide humans and focusing on basic needs, which comes from economic progress, many believe that it will lead to a better society that focuses on quality rather than moral social construct; since 21st-century man, is, in fact a product of liberal economy.
However, let us not forget that this type of thinking is not an only agenda in our society; there is a huge rise of conservative powers which oppose the dominance of ideas that fall under the category of neo-liberalism. Such examples include politicians like Matteo Salvini or Victor Orban, who both share many similarities with Vladimir Putin as leaders, and are both world-renown masters of populism.
To sum it up, I have to agree with the idea of market dominance and freethinking, but a line needs to be drawn, because, as we can see, “the end of history” is nowhere near.