Wound Healing: The market mends the cracks of civilization at an astonishing rate
It’s even embarrassing.
I was in the Russo-Georgian Five-Day War in August 2008. He wrote reports while on the Georgian side. It was a catastrophe, although at the time we had no idea of the scale of catastrophes. Georgian citizens were humiliated, depressed, they welcomed me, a Russian, as a dear guest, and endlessly asked: “How! How could this have happened?” “If you’re in Moscow, tell Putin he’s crazy!” (Medvedev was president at the time, but no one cared.) “What! How can Russians bomb Georgians?” “How can Russians and Georgians shoot each other?!”
“Did you hear Buba Kikabidze say that he would never come to Moscow again? Can you imagine Moscow where Buba Kikabidze will never visit again? Mimino will never want Larisa Ivanovna again – can you imagine that?
It was a catastrophe, the collapse of the world as we imagined it. At that time, we lacked the imagination to imagine the possible scale of the disasters.
But fifteen years have passed. Relations have not improved at all. True, Georgian border guards sometimes do not let Russian foreign agents and simply oppositionists into their country. And the ruling Georgian Dream party, suspected of having special relations with Russia, wanted to pass a law on foreign agents in Georgia.
Of course, there are people in Georgia who protested against the law. They didn’t want to be like Russia. The act was not adopted.
And here again! With the stroke of a pen, Vladimir Putin lifts the ban on direct flights. And it will resume in less than a week.
It’s even embarrassing.
Is it possible to simply fix the status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia without apologies or reparations? That’s impossible too! But direct flights are very convenient and very profitable.
Of course, there are people in Georgia who protest against such – as if nothing had happened – direct flights. Protesters at the airport. Even the president of the Republic of Poland is protesting. But they get tired of the protests, and direct flights are so comfortable that you can even endure them – but a couple of hours and you are in Tbilisi. This is not a foreign agent act.
Of course, initially large and serious players in the air transport market, members of the SkyTeam alliance (even if their membership is suspended) do not participate in direct flights. Aeroflot does not fly to Georgia. But every time Azimuth or Georgian AirlinesAeroflot management calculates lost profits.
The most natural thought for an entrepreneur is why the hell were all these people paying Azimuth when they could have paid me?
Those who remember the 90s will confirm that it is enough to open the market and it starts to fill up. Small and unknown companies come first. First sold at the stalls near the station, God only knows what the liquor is made of amaretto del no noand then out of envy come big brands. First one, then ten, then all, then some Vladimir Pozner and Phil Donahue conduct a teleconference of former enemies – and already, the wound healed, the civilizational gap narrowed, no apologies, no compensation, no analysis of mutual insults. Because people are pragmatic and it is convenient for them. The sediment, of course, remains deep down, but people prefer to use the amenities without worrying about the sediment.
I am saying that the monstrous catastrophe we have now created in Ukraine can be wiped out with the stroke of a pen. A few more decades – and the civilization gap will continue, smeared with trade agreements.
I am also saying this about the fact that at the bottom of every commercial prosperity is a sediment of old grievances that have not been resolved, not spoken out, and not forgiven.
Shake it – and it will spill poison again.