F. Scott Fitzgerald spoke of “no second acts in American life.” Karl Marx wrote of events occurring twice, “the first as tragedy, the second as farce.” Fitzgerald, meet Marx and his disciple, Josef Stalin.
Bidzina Ivanishvili, prime minister of the former Soviet republic of Georgia, is pushing ahead with plans to re-erect by Christmas a Stalin statue despite the opposition of Georgia President Mikheil Saakashvili, who thinks, “The West will laugh at us and turn away from us because of such ideological decisions.”
Georgian officials took down the statue in 2010 after it stood for years in Stalin’s hometown of Gori. (The town should change its last letter to “e” to commemorate in English the dictator’s tens of millions of victims.) But a constitutional reform has given more power to the Parliament and Ivanishvili, a Russia-friendly billionaire elected last year.