I hesitated for a long time: whether to publish this collection or not? In the end it came to my mind that it would not be amiss to those who are looking for answers to questions how and why we live in such a way. Because our reality is a natural consequence of the whole previous policy of the authorities. And I will take your blame personally as well. So to speak, you were in power too. I was. But the materials presented here confirm that during all the years spent in politics, I have consistently strove for the shift from the policy the country was moving and is moving (or rather is floating). Perhaps, I did it bad. Then those that will be able to do it better will be able to use these materials, other choice or other options except those that are shown here, simply do not exist. I am deeply convinced in that.
In the report of the independent experts of the UNO in the spring of this year, the 123rd place from 157 was given to Ukraine in the ranking of the happiest countries between Kenya and Ghana. A number of factors is taken into account: GDP per capita, life expectancy, social protection, respect for human rights and freedoms and other indicators that can be compared. Denmark is in the first place, the USA is in the 13th, Russia is in the 56th and Belarus is in the 61th place in this list. We will not speak about those who are last on the list. But our place shames us. The rankings are not the point, but the thing is that they reflect the degrading situation of our compatriot. Does he/she deserve such a place or not? I don’t want to answer to this question, let everybody answer it themselves. I am ashamed of the assessment of Ukraine, it oppresses, humiliates and obliges…
Twelve years ago my book “Political anatomy of Ukraine”* was issued. I have looked through it. I do not deny even one word written there, none of the ideas of that time contradicts the content of the publications proposed now. And the main prescription for treatment of the disease of Ukraine has not changed. It boils down primarily to a change in the system of government. Articles, comments and interviews which were done during last ten years are mainly devoted to this topic. To avoid repetition, I do not resort to the publication of everything which was issued during those years in my authorship. Here there is only a small part (perhaps one fifth) of what has already been published. And I mention it not to brag, but just for that reason that those who are not lazy to think had a chance to get acquainted with all this on time and to join to the struggle for change. As it didn’t happen, they should not blame: indifference leads to trouble. That is indifference, because no one would believe that more than 90% of the population wanted the current reality.
How does this reality look like?
In a very general and simplified form, it looks like this: about a dozen of “families” in Ukraine got almost all of the property that was once state property into their hands, destroyed all ties of production cooperation and all balances inside the country what is related to the production – consumption line with the assistance of the authorities. Thus the economy and the people’s economy were destructed.
The first accumulation of capital was carried out by the new owners due to the destruction of a ‘privatized’ production, mainly through conversion of capital fund into scrap metal and lettings for shopping centers etc.
Undertaking foreign trade functions of the former state, a new homegrown capitalists quickly built in the existing global flows of business relations. It was not very difficult to do, in a competitive environment the less costly fraction of the cost (already own) of products mainly due to cheap labor gave them advantage, that is, the “visible” value of labor, which had the form of wages, and the whole social component (free education, health care, social security, almost free utilities and electricity, cheap bread and dairy products, low utility rates and free dwelling for the majority of people…) was centrally covered by the state. Nowadays the owner declines the social component and for the costs leaves only “Soviet” salary.
The global market which was mainly based on higher than our manufacturability of production at that time as well, consistently needed raw materials (gas, metal, energy, chemical materials, grain, wood…), and quickly formed the interests of “our” capitalists. So almost everything that was not related to the commodity of raw materials, was destroyed, and of course, with modern technology and jobs. At the same time the concentration of capital occurred and and accelerated enrichment of their respective owners. The details of this process are set out in the materials suggested, the offshore zones became its obligatory attributes, “foreign” (“of ours”) campaigns, so that representatives of virtually the poorest country of Europe solidly joined the people of the lists of the richest people in the world.
According to the needs and opportunities of the firmly established business the banking system and insurance companies were being formed. Almost not being associated with the production, where there is a slow turnover of capital, the financial and banking system immediately was hostile to the real economy, having cut itself off from her with the speculative lending and deposit rates. It is actually impossible for the production to survive under such conditions, the statements of the powers that be of investments into it were and have remained an empty talk.
To exist according to such severe to the population rules the support of the government is needed. Such power should have been “made”. Free money appeared for that purpose, the mechanisms are not new. Parties, electoral system, bribery of government and voters, administrative resources… In the end, we have got social relations which remotely resemble democratic ones. But they resemble them very remotely. In fact they are criminal relations, in which the supreme power is the top of the business pyramids, state institutions (especially fiscal, regulatory and law enforcement) are becoming instruments for the protection of private interests and punitive agencies to combat competitors.
Under such conditions, social relations degenerate, the law is applied selectively (or it is not valid), corruption becomes the form of government that eats away the budget, actually robbing the population; bribery, clientelism and servility are obligatory attributes of life, the media serve the interests of their owners. In such a society, a little space remains to an ordinary honest man, culture and morality are in decline and spirituality is distorted.
What is important, a globalized world needs us in such a state. Let no one be cheered with the talking about the economic assistance, financial support, visa-free regime, EU membership etc. All these are the tools for further fitting us in the global political and economic relations as a colony and a country of peripheral capitalism.
We need the aforementioned tools as investments, loans, free trade zones however… I would like to mention that there is no reason to accuse foreign entities. They act according to their objective interests. And they will do the same in the future! And they cannot do it otherwise, it would contradict their nature and the laws of global economic development.
That is us only who can find the way out. Proposals, schemes, plans how to change the situation… can be found in these materials. But it shuld be taken into account however that at the time of writing them, the situation was better, it is becoming more complicated now (because of the strengthening of the system of the relations of business and power, their penetration in the network of international contacts, the annexation of the Crimea, war in Donbas and damaged relations between Russia and Ukraine in general, the defamation of state institutions and the government that does not respond to the interception of its functions by heaven knows who and in any sphere of relations etc). What previously could be achieved in 3-5 years, now requires much more time. But still you should start with changing of the system of power. Otherwise it will not work.
One of the objectives of changing of the system of power is the solution to key issues as separation of business and government. It is a prerequisite. At first it may seem that we are talking about the deviation from the constitutional principle of equality of rights of people. No, that is not right. Firstly, such a restriction is already provided for by the Constitution and is cynically ignored. Secondly, the reform will put the authorities under control of the community, the people; the people themselves will take care that an official at any level deals with state affairs but not private ones. Thirdly, although most people among wealthy and very wealthy are the people with the talent, in practice there are no examples in Ukraine that such a talent was used at first for the people and the state, and then for the sake of private interest. Unfortunately it is the opposite.
The reader will notice that the material of the book could be divided into concentrated blocks: the Constitution, decentralization of power (what is called by the current authorities like that is not the same), the strengthening of the local government, destruction of the dubious “vertical” of power, preservation of land, reform of the electoral system and so on… Non-thematic approach was selected, arrangement was done by dates, because at each time new factors appeared, which were often subjective and which are useful for the analysis and for the better understanding of the modern history of Ukraine.
Ukraine can be among the happy countries. I believe in it, hope and know what should be done for it. Our compatriots should be happy. They have that right, and the state is obliged to ensure the right by its system of government and its policy.