Opinion

The FINANCIAL -- The Belt and Road Initiative, is a significant development strategy launched by the Chinese government with the intention of promoting economic co-operation among countries along the proposed Belt and Road routes. 

Over the last ten years, the number of those who remain skeptical about a return trip to Earth after death remains the same, roughly seven out of ten. However, if we compare those who do believe in reincarnation, the number has doubled -- from 9% in 2008 to 18% in 2018.

It is said that Franklin D. Roosevelt won the 1932 U.S. presidential election with the help of the radio, John F. Kennedy won the presidency by embracing Television and Barack Obama succeeded by virtue of the Internet. News media, which allows for political socialization, is one of the most potent tools in a politician’s hands. As Malcolm X explained: “The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have power to make the innocent guilty and make the guilty innocent, and that’s the power. They control the minds of masses.” The question then is: Which kind of media has the capacity to control the “minds of masses” in Georgia? Which media is the most powerful tool in Georgian politicians’ hands and finally, who is the audience?

When the Soviet Union started flirting with political openness 30 years ago and lost its grip, democratic governance became the only alternative for much of Eastern Europe, whether the people were prepared for it or not. With the geopolitical chess match of the Cold War over, many dictators lost their legitimacy and were removed from power by force or the ballot.

Trend data is fun. You can see a population’s thought evolving, and at the same time try to understand the reasons and develop your own perspective. I am privileged to be the country director for one of the world’s largest and most used survey projects: The World Values Survey and The European Values Survey. The data referenced below is available online.

In my Soviet childhood, I clearly remember very few, if any, of my friends, neighbors or schoolmates being interested in politics. To inspire our interest, we had only two TV channels and a few newspapers with easily predictable political content. Nevertheless, interesting things were still happening. The World’s premier communist leader proposed a slogan in 1957, which, strangely, is still relevant today: “Catch Up and Overtake America!” Another preposterous idea was offered by Mr. Khrushchev at the 22nd Congress of the Communist Party in 1961: “The current generation of Soviet people will live under Communism.”

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