Gigi Tevzadze, philosopher:
Nothing like this has happened anywhere in the world since the monastic orders of the Middle Ages. It was the know-how of the Soviet Union - how to manage society in such a way that society does not notice that you control it.
Initially, the institution of thieves was introduced to control the "camps". There were not enough people to control a large number of prisoners, and someone very smart and very evil came up with this system. I think that Dzerzhinsky is more likely its author than Stalin. Because Dzerzhinsky grew up in a Catholic family and received a Catholic education. The creator of this system was clearly familiar with Catholicism.
Later, when the people were released from the camps, the thieves also came out. Outside, they have already completely turned into a mechanism of public control and, of course, were in very close contact with the authorities, the police, and the guards. Their code was romantic because it forbade the existence of property, the existence of the family, and recognized the principles common to all.
If you were dissatisfied with the system, then in Soviet times you had two options - either disagreement or theft. The Soviet government pushed you in every possible way to choose the second option.
There has always been great opposition to the Soviet Union in Georgia. The confrontation was massive, many were unhappy, especially among young people. And the Soviet government made every effort to make these people not dissidents, but thieves.
The path of dissent was difficult, one had to be an intellectual. And many in Georgia have chosen this path of imaginary resistance.
Later, when the Soviet Union began to fall apart, the government loosened its grip on thieves in law. And they began to transform into criminal businesses.
After the 1980s, thieves in law no longer looked like an order of monks, they were ordinary criminal groups that made money and built palaces.
Today, this institution exists as a mafia, and not as an institution of "thieves in law" in the old sense.