DEMOCRACY & MAN. THE THEORY AND UKRAINIAN REALITY

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Опубликовано в библиотеке: 2021-12-06
Источник: Politics and the Times 2003-06-30

Viktor PAZENOK, Corresponding Member of the NAS of Ukraine, PhD, Prof., Academician of the Ukrainian Academy of Pedagogical Sciences

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One of the most essential concerns of the current Ukrainian "transitional" society is the problem of self-consciousness, self-identity in the qualitatively new social context. The determination of strategic and tactical orientations of social development, elaboration of the model of "a desirable status" of social structures and institutions, elucidation of the effective means of is achievement - the main task of Ukrainian teachers of social sciences, political science experts assume the leading role among them.

Intellectuals, at long last, answered the topical question "Where are we going?" This is partially reflected in the Constitution of Ukraine: in the definition of our state as democratic, legal, and socially oriented. The said conceptual triad concretizes the directions of movement, transfers the discussion into the plane of practical activity aimed at realization of the above-mentioned provisions which to a great extent have the nature of purposeful guidelines, valuable ideals, and standards.

Valuable approach is the typical sign of policy of "human dimension", social life as a whole. The notion of "value" indicates the importance that human being attaches to political realities with which he deals, what social justice, equality, presence or absence of opposition, etc mean for his/her existence. Value orientations are the internal, spiritual motivations of human behavior, in many respects they stipulate activity programs of personality, his/her life plan.

In practice, valuable approaches and orientations are being manifested in the assessments which a human being applies to circumstances, political events, vital situations and conflicts, to himself.

Democracy takes a special position in the structure of political values; a legal state first of all cares for the

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real ensuring of human rights as equal in rights subjects of social life. The social state concept, in its turn, provides for creation of all essential conditions for realization of these rights in their material, cultural and spiritual form. Thus, democracy is the determinant and compulsory condition of the state formation, society formation which would be able to ensure not only existence or survival, but also normal and full- blooded human life according to the current civilized standards.

In spite of the contradictions of external and internal nature, democracy passed the historical examination for viability. Political events in Europe in the late 90s disproved the assertations of the theorists which proclaimed that "social democracy age" achieved its ends and is going to be completed. An idea of democracy continues to inspire its numerous supporters. Social Democrats, Socialists, Laborists and other leftists are ruling parties in twelve out of fifteen EU countries.

In these countries the electorate hopes that they can guarantee the just solution of all acute social problems in this developed region.

Social statistics says the EU number 20m of unemployed, 50m suffer from poverty, every year 50,000 citizens commit suicide. It means that "the society of two thirds" is being formed in the West, i. e. almost one third of the citizens is in "marginalized" position, their existence has not been socially ensured.

The needs for stable socio-economic development are more evident in the developing countries, including Ukraine. Despite all the complexities, obstacles and disagreements, the process of democratization based on the principles of political and economic pluralism, division of powers, freedom of creation of public associations, etc. step by step creates compulsory prerequisites for formation of social and individual democratic consiousness, intensification of the tendency of democratic resocialization of the population under conditions of complicated change in valuable orientations.

As the world experience testifies it is just democracy as a stable social value is a sound evidence of reality of a new model of "social accord", possibility of ensuring of "the agreement of oppositionists", integration of different social groups and convictions for the sake of common aims, i. e. performs exceptionally important function of social integrator ("consensus democracy"). The greatness and value of democracy consists in the fact that it not only permits but also regards as necessary the permanent discussion concerning the goal of general welfare, free exchange of views as to strategy and tactics of the most expediential political activity as a compulsory precondition of intellectual mobilization of all socially responsible forces.

Democratization of consciousness is the first move towards democratization of the whole social life. As you know, the genuine democracy can not be created "officially", it is formed in the depths and "nooks" of social life and public culture, it is growing bottom-up.

Only in such a case democracy stands as the principle of organization of social life as a whole, manifests itself as spiritual and ideological basis which provides for stability of the state, its orientation towards the human being as the greatest social value.

The umanistic sense of democracy, its "destination" consists exactly in this meaning. As John Dewey justly noticed in his time, democracy is more than a form of government, it is first of all the form of the common life of people, their general experience, their general experience, their interaction. In the modern understanding democracy first of all is the system of state, civilian, ideological institutions called not only to ensure people's rights but also to create all necessary conditions for the civilized life . In this aspect democracy acquires first of all the significance of political value. As is well known democracy in its original sense is nothing else but the definition of one of the forms of statehood.

An individual as a citizen exists only in the state, his personal freedom and rights may be guaranteed only by the law. Powerful, independent

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state with developed legal system is a fundamental condition of existence and realization of the whole "set" of democratic values. The democracy cannot satisfy citizens with its political form, it acquires the significance of social democracy i. e. social system which directly and at the level worthy of the individual satisfies his real needs and at the same time contributes to the self-development of the initiative and self-employment.

Democracy which does not give expression to the vital interests of people will be deprived of their support, doomed to perform only the ritual role, will be formal, pretended. Any idea disgraces itself as soon as it is separated from the interest. To the full extent this remark of K. Marx is related to democracy. In the case when the state programs and actions of politicians with democratic statements and intentions do not contribute to the improvement of people's life but, on the contrary, worsen it, they are transformed into usual political rhetoric. Under such conditions communicative, stimulating, educational functions of political democratic culture remain a thing in itself, instead of integration they cause stratification of the society, aggravation of social tensions.

Furthermore, democracy is a quite concrete feature of the type of the society worldoutlook culture and of separate individual. Democratic views, democratic way of life is a visiting card of a jobholder, scientist, writer, diplomat who is a supporter and carrier of democratically stipulated values, he is guided by them in his activity. Therefore democracy is a spiritual, humanistic value, and its formation is one of the guidelines for socio-educational and socializing educational activity.

Social science, first of all political sciences, elucidate the whole spectrum of valuable meanings of democracy: political, social, spiritual. It is not a simple theoretical task. It is a many-sided and multi-dimension phenomenon: there are over 200 notions of democracy depending on a variety of senses and definitions of its forms, manifestations and signs: "political democracy", "economic democracy", "production democracy", "public democracy", "military democracy", etc.

Political scientists also determined "negative" manifestations of this type of valuable dimension of social world: "totalitarian democracy", "oligarchical democracy", "shadow democracy", "unreasonable democracy" and even "criminal democracy". Recently the theory of democracy has increased the number of notions which personify different models of realization and functioning of democratic institutions": "representational democracy", "participative democracy", "direct democracy", "advisory democracy", "radical democracy", etc.

At present, the notion of democracy acquired status of the leading category of social science, the majority of theoreticians and practical politicians recognize the democratic structure of social life as the most perfect. Democratic value includes freedom, justice, independence, originality, equality, etc. as the dearest acquisitions of the mankind, with which it enters a new era of its existence and on the grounds of which it will build the civilization of the 21st century.

Politological analysis makes it possible to understand democracy's worth, concerns and problems, to reveal contradictions and paradoxes, strong and weak aspects.

To begin with, not all political thinkers of the past and present recognize democracy as an unconditional value. The prominent Greek thinker Heraclitus sincerely neglected democracy. The dwellers of his native town Ephesus, acting "as majority", expelled Hermodorus, "the best" among them, saying the words "nobody will be the best among us, and if there is such a person, then he should be in the strange land and with the strangers". Heraclitus wished them "to hang each other".

By admission of Plato, the other well-known ancient philosopher and politician, democracy as the form of government is arranged between ochlocracy and tyranny. Plato was much impressed that his teacher Socrates was sentenced to death namely in "democratic" way. People's board of adjudicators in number

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of 501 persons composed of the men of the common people-craftsmen, traders, seamen at the age of under 30 years, by the majority of votes-280 "pros" and 221 "cons", forced the great sage to drink the cup of poison.

By the way, the accusations brought against Socrates, by their severity never reached to the death sentence. For example, he was accused of "seduction of youth", he called not to take "the truths" on trust but to seek for them! It is interesting to note that the death sentence initiators were punished shortly after themselves: Miletus, the chief prosecutor of Socrates, was put to death, the others were banished.

As is generally known, Aristotle believed that every free citizen is a political creature by his nature, as well as Plato ignored democratic form of government. A commonner, in his opinion, may be easily submitted to the influence of unscrupolous and uneducated demagogues.

The 20th century history confirmed the rationale of the ancient sage. It is known that such sinister dictator as Schiklgruber-Hitler came to power in the same democratic way. Among his common voters the workers made up 70%. German politologist Max Weber which died long before Hitler's advent to power, envisaged political model in which Nazi movement developed "traditional model of western democracy". American politilogist T. Parsons noticed: "There is no doubt that this connection with democratic moods, feelings through connection with party system and even by means of introduction of plebiscitarian instrument was of importance for the fight of the fascist dictatorship."

In other words, political reality moved one but substantial amendment to the logical scheme of possible transformation of Platonic law of the people-democracy-ohlocracy - tyranny: the transition to tyranny is possible omitting the stage of "the rule of the crowd". The contemporary history presents the recent illustrations of interaction of democracy and dictatorship: the election of the President of Iraq S. Hussein produced results that even one-party systems cannot boast of them; his candidature was approved by 99% of voters!

The idea of democracy was not completely prevailing in consciousness of the Ukrainian political figures. Mykhailo Hrushevsky's thesis about "the eternal democracy" of Ukrainian people which stipulated the conceptual foundations of ideology of the Ukrainian social-democracy of 19 and 20th centuries, met adamant opposition on the part of the supporters of clerical state concept (S. Tomashevsky), military state (V. Kuchabsky), "natiocracy" with a legal monarchy (V. Lypynsky). "I am not a democrat, " declared the latter, "I do not recognize unlimited, autocratic, sovereign rights of people..."

The ideals of democracy were and remain the object of acute criticism on the part of the ideologists of radical nationalism. As idea, principle, qualitative index of an essence of political life, democracy is capable to really exist and function only under conditions, when the overwhelming majority of the population perceives it as a common social weal, under conditions of existence of steade interest in values of a democratic way of life, necessity in democratically established social institutions.

Democratic ideals on the whole correspond to "western mentality" with its cult of individualism and freedom, first of all entrepreneurial one. By the way, such peculiarities of "the western type" democracy are rejected by the different, eastern, mentality. According to the French politologist M. Erme, the population of the so- called "third world" in general does not feel any need for democracy.

Reverting to the history of the western democracy we should note that during its existence it accumulated a vast experience of organization "from above" and self- organization, as we may say now, in synergetic way. However, at the end of the 20th century the shortcomings of "the old", "tired" democracy which were fixed in numerous works of politologists and political philosophers became more apparent.

The world experience, generalizations and warnings of political scientists convincingly

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testify: sacralization of democracy is dangerous. Contemporary theorists of democracy, while investigating the realities of political life of developed countries, warn against its absolutization. "Real democracies", as before, remain as variants of such social order in which guiding dominates over guided, M. Erme noticed.

A lot of western researchers, when fixing the growing scales of "non-participation", facts of "the absence of the majority", "frustration of consensus", the tension between the populist demands of the plebs and requirements of the efficient administration, write about "the retreat from democracy", its "incompletion", note that at the turn of the 20-21st centuries the times of steady "undemocracies" already past but the epoch of the stable democracies has not come yet. (S. Huntington. The third wave. Democracy in the present-day world. 1992).

Recognition of democracy as social value, the Italian V. Pareto states, does not mean that it is an absolute value. In his opinion, such phenomenon off social life as democracy did not avoid making a fetish as well as similar personified "social divine beings"-Progress, Pacifism, Socialism. The popular French sociologist R. Aron paid his attention to the expedience of the statement of the known political philosopher A. de Tocqueville ("Democracy in America") that democratic societies may be both liberal and despotic. "Any democracy evolves into centralization. Hence, it is being transformed into a certain despotism that threatens to be developed into despotism of a separate individual. Democracy is permanently rich in the threat of tyranny of the majority". By the way, his opinion has something in common with the judgement of Plato...

One of the trendsetters in politology German philosopher Jurgen Habermas, in his turn, definitely criticizes "the western model" of the developed democratic liberalism, attesting it as "plebeian", populism: "the extent of the liberal views, for which the West fought, is exhausted." Recognizing, as well as many other theorists, the advantages of democracy, Habermas insists on the fact that the present-day model of interrelation between the State and citizens should be built not by the traditional principle of subject-object relations (guiding-guided), but on the mechanisms of "communicative behavior" i. e. subject-subject relations on the principles of determination of equality both state individual and "private" individual that provides for "dialog communication" of the state power and "free public" as the main democratic procedure.

By his works ("Theory of Communicative Action", "Morality and communication") Jurgen Habermas stated the problems of democracy in its social-valuable importance as a "social democracy", by his authority strengthened the ranks of the adherents of "human dimension" of political institutions.

The system of social democracy cannot be guaranteed only by the state whatever strong and socially oriented it would be. The classics of political philosophy stressed that Alpha and Omega of the democratic way of life is human freedom, which is determined by the development and correlation of the three main forms of social existence of the individual: state, civil society, and family.

In this case "the family and civil society constitute the preconditions of the state". (K. Marx "Criticism of Hegelianian philosophy of Law"). Democracy in its real human significance is, according to Marx, "the return of the state system to its real grounds", the return to "real people", its establishment as, in fact, people's affair. In such democratic system not the individual exists for the state but the state and the law should serve the individual.

Comparing these theses with modern realities of the Ukrainian political life we see how much political practice of contemporaneity is far from the above valuable criteria of "real" democracy. In the course of political reform which is taking place in our society there emerged a problem of participation of high officials in political, in particular, elective measures, possibilities of application of so-called "administrative resource".

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One of the forms of the response "from the top" to this situation-the introduction of the posts of "state secretaries" which under all circumstances should be the guides of the "state line", taking into consideration the possibility of the ministers at the same time to be political figures. Not touching upon a question how much the jobholders are able to be quite "neutral" as regards political partialities, I should note the expediency of ensuring the stability of functioning of state machinery, its service to the interests of the whole state but not to party limited interests. Stability of state administration makes it possible to concentrate social experience. French philosopher R. Aron states: "a minister not always knows better than the official what one should do. More often than not it is not the case."

There is another aphoristic phrase that emphasizes public approach to the policy: "The politician turns over in his mind the future elections whereas the statesman thinks about the future generations". Therefore, theoretical and practical problem of social life of exceptional importance is elucidation of such contradictions, patent and latent threats and barriers which accompany a complicated process of formation of democratic consciousness and culture of democratic transformations.

One of such threats is rooted in the mechanisms of the state power frequently used by non-democratic bureaucracy. The relations of bureaucracy and democracy are rather contradictory. On the one hand, it is just the development of bureaucracy contributed to the formation of democracy as a peculiar antipode. On the other hand, the excessive growth of bureaucracy and its power is a threat to democratic institutions.

As Max Weber convincingly showed the very nature of the civil servants frequently causes their will to pass off their own interests as nationwide ones. While characterizing professional politicians, Weber states that "there are two ways to make the profession out of the policy: either to live for the policy or to live at the expense of the policy and by the policy itself. One lives at the expense of the policy as a profession who seeks to make a permanent earner". Striving to use his official position in own interests-one of insuperable in activity of the servants of power. In this case it does not matter in which state and to which people this official serves. F. Engels predicting the emergence of the future socialist states, warned that the working class-a hegemon-in these states "should ensure itself against its own deputies and officials". In 1918 V. Lenin recognized with bitterness that a new "proletarian bureaucracy" is still worse than the tsarist one.

Returning to the Ukrainian reality, we should note, that under conditions of the development of independent Ukrainian statehood, the venality of the jobholders not only disappeared but also, on the countrary, acquired new threatening scale and dimensions. Corruption is the real triumph of antidemocratism. The army of corrupt civil servants by the very fact of its existence contributes to the alienation of citizens from the power and state, debases democratically-oriented slogans and programs. It was no accident that according to the materials of sociological research only 9.4% of the representatives of the most mass category of our population-"middle class"-feel themselves as the masters of their state. Overwhelming majority-almost 83%-do not regard themselves as such.

That is a poor consolation to our compatriots but for the last decades the corruption from "anomal" phenomenon was transformed into a new custom, a peculiar "norm" in developed democracy countries as well. French politologist Allen Cotta recognizes that the market relation's development is accompanying by the "spontaneous democratization" of corruption. Wide spread of the corruption makes control over it "almost symbolical". Therefore, the society can but control "excesses" in this process.

The venality of the jobholders, mercenariness, unconcealed engagement of the part of the deputy corps is not the only threat to democracy. The democratic changes' development

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is hindered by the fact that democratic procedure of election of legislative power and the head of state under conditions of concentration of power, strengthening of its leading role in decision-making devaluates the very notion of democracy as public administration.

Too much centralized power seeks to subordinate the civil institutions, restricts citizens' rights, freedom of expression and other human freedoms. By its nature democracy produces certain nonconfidence to the power, to its "accumulation" and absolutization. That is why the founders of democratic systems aimed to introduce maximum "opposing" mechanisms into the state system which would not allow the excessive concentration of power not only in one individual but even in one of the three branches of power ("balanced democracy"). Therefore an important theoretical and practical problem is the elucidation of "limited possibilities" of power, contribution to its decentralization, expansion of powers of local elective authorities, formation of self-government, establishment of civilized civil society.

Contributing to formation of civil society, the state strengthens the basis of freedom. The extensive network of public institutions and local self-government bodies, development of voluntary associations and strictly determined responsibility of the officials is the pledge of strong and sound "balanced democracy". Thus, democracy is not only the form of the state system but the regime of existence and vital activity of all civil structures and systems.

The extent of social and individual freedom is a major factor of genuine democracy and manifestation of its essence. The value of democracy is not in the fact that it is the power of everybody but it is the freedom for everybody.

The issue of democracy and freedom is so extensive that it deserves a separate article. In the meanwhile we are only eager to prove that one of the leading problems of ensuring of freedom is the solution of the problem of freedom of information. Information system has become the backbone of the contemporary society. This ascertaining expressively speaks about importance of mass media in social life, intended to be one of the protectors of civil freedom.

Information is a genuine "currency of democracy". The right to honest, objective, complete information is a major democratic right. However, as a result of sociological polls of 727 journalists from all regions of Ukraine, the situation of the freedom of information in this country is far from optimal. The overwhelming majority of the journalists (upwards of 86 per cent) recognizes the existence of political censorship. In their opinion, criminal clans, President's Administration, the President himself have the most adverse effect upon the mass media activity. It is no coincidence that almost 80% of citizens regard journalism as a dangerous profession.

Naturally, the freedom of speech, information in general should be considered in the light of professionalism, responsibility and nonengagement of mass media workers themselves. In general, the problem of freedom is characterized by contradiction: "freedom for ..." (positive freedom) opposes "freedom from ..." (negative freedom). Its solution should take into account the threats of "uncontrolled democracy" which induces to social anarchy. But irrefutable is the fact that a genuine democratic system of values should be supported by political pluralism, devoid of perception of the opponents in categories of "the image of the enemy".

Taking into consideration the said conditions democracy is able to serve as a principle of social life organization on the whole, to contribute to transformation of citizens into a patriotically thinking nation. In its turn, this is a pledge of stability of the society, guarantee of its sustained development.

Social reliability of the state is a value the importance of which increases in hard times, critical uncertainties. However, the capability of democratic society to contribute to social peace, social accord first of all characterizes "external" function of democracy, the social space, social circumstances of human life which it ensures. The main value of democracy, its

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credo is the recognition of human life as the highest value and the right of manm the main indicator of civilized society. Democracy is not only political but also social and moral category, since it is called "to humanize" the state.

Let us return once again to Mykhailo Hrushevsky, passionate adherent of the idea of democracy. "The Ukrainian democracy, " he wrote, "should be imbued with feelings of the statehood, patriotism and pietism for its working state, to make it a center, to build everything on the state foundation, but from the state, to the contrary, to wish ensuring of its needs and realization of its wishes to socialize the state and at the same time to make social life state-oriented in the broad meaning of this word." The idea of "humanization of the state", its socialization, by expression of M. Hrushevsky, one of the starting points in modern political thought. The state "is not the vessel of humanity yet but it offers the means with the help of which we are able to humanize the state."

Democracy has indubitable moral importance. It creates that vital social space which provides for the movement towards unity of socially existing and morally "binding", creates spiritual climate in which moral virtues exist not regardless of the circumstances but namely thanks to them.

Such values of democracy as publicity, competition, appointment by election, alternativity, accountability and such moral merits as dignity, justice, responsibility, decency, respect are interrelated and interconditioned, they "feed" each other, create a special spiritual space in which the best social and moral qualities of personality may be disclosed and negative ones - to be neutralized and blocked.

Involving people in various political activities, democracy contributes to the development of a man as moral individual, forms his sense of personal dignity which is the compulsory condition of existence of the citizen in his relations with the state, power. In the opinion of German social democrats, the determinative value is dignity of a man. "People are born free and equal in human dignity and rights, " SDPG program (1989) declares. It states that justice is based on equal respect for dignity of all people. The program requires equal freedom, equality before the law, equitable opportunities in political and social life as well as social protection.

Humanistic orientation determines all other valued democratic notions, subordinates their to this principle. Noteworthily that the human dignity priority in social democrats' program organically combines orientation towards creation of "solidarity society" in which free acting individuals will jointly decide the determined social tasks. Only joint actions but not egoistical individualism create and ensure preconditions for individual self-determination.

However, nowadays the concept of "social state", the component part of which is "social democracy", is no longer perceived as panacea from all social evils and disorders. Its critics not unfoundedly indicate that the permanent increase in state investments and subsidies into social sphere, a raise of wages which is not balanced with the level of labor productivity, unjustified "paternalism" give rise to psychological and social moods of dependence, prevent the development of individual entrepreneurship.

So, the formation of democratic consciousness and culture of democratic life in Ukraine requires through elaboration of the valuable experience gained by the countries of developed democracy. This experience, in particular, includes the development of the direct democracy principles. One of its concrete manifestations is the practice of extensive use of referenda, nation-wide polls. Switzerland is the typical example of "democracy of referenda", such measures of public democracy both at the state and at the cantonal level are being held in this country and are binding and optional. The practice of referenda - the matrices of direct democracy, its preliminary procedures, in particular, formation of a problem-questions, discussions, generalization of opinions, answers-contributes to the development of people's initiative, forms a sense of social (collective) responsibility for the fate of the state and society.

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Penetrating into social consciousness and psychology and consolidating them, "democracy of referenda" forms the liberal type of personality which, on the one hand, is being integrated in general community, comes out as a conscious part of the people and, on the other hand, retains its individuality, demonstrates independence of private political judgement. Social-integrated function of referenda rather successfully combines the function of the protection of the "minority", including national one. It was no accident that Switzerland this Alpian republic with polyethnic population and state multilanguage, advantageously distincts from its european neighbors by rather quiet and stable social life.

Ability to develop democratic processes taking into account national factors is of great importance. The features of democratic transformations in Ukraine are also in many respects determined by such factors as polyethnic population. The progress in building of civilized state will be stipulated by the consistency of state national policy, realization of its democratic intentions. But the developed idea of democracy goes to a considerable extent farther than usual ethnocultural community of the generation, overcomes isolationist trends which are characteristc of the process of ethnic self- determination and formation of national state.

The formation of national democracy will be realized the more successfully the closer the up-to-date experience of those innovations which indicate the modern concept of democracy will be taken into consideration and creatively mastered. In particular, the question is about the enormous shift by which the democratic space is being indicated today. From the former democracy of polis-town-state it was extended to the nation- state and the whole integrations of democratic countries such as the EU.

During the last decades the democratic theory itself has been essentially changed. From the idea of social agreement as to a small community it is now used on a large scale. Its new dimensions are representation, extended space, assignment of participation limits, variety, conflicts, and polyarchy.

Monistic, "single-line" model of democracy is being changed for its pluralistic antipode. A good deal of fundamental principles of democracy, first of all equality, justice, freedom, independence (autonomy), are being essentially corrected, filling with a new content. As basic value of democracy in its modern interpretation, justice is being supplemented with the provision of "differential equality", social justice permits "restrictions of equality" if it corresponds to common social good ("equal inequality" by J. Rawls).

Democratic ideals as reflection of common solidarity is being defined in accordance with the growth of notions about the value of individual freedom: "experience of the individual", emergence of new forms of integration, communitarian movement. "Traditional collective values conceded the values according to which the people are being united for the sake of upholding their own interests. Traditional social solidarity cleared the way for the new forms of ethnical individualism", the English professor Richers Sahva ascertained.

While forming political democratic culture of Ukrainian society, it is necessary to take into account the intricate interrelations of democracy and practice of market relations. The experience of democratic market economies convincingly testifies that the direct connection between democracy and market is rather an exception than the rule. It is easily to know by own experience how it is hard under conditions of Ukraine to combine professional activity of the owners of intellectual property-men of science and creative work-and market spontaneity practice. When functioning under the requirements of mass everyday demands, the market is incompatible with the fundamental science, high art and education. The genuine culture cannot and should not be an object of market relations. The market economy is not in the least identical with the market society. On the contrary, these notions are antipodes. Like the open air, culture belongs to social benefits,

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preservation and augmentation of which is an obligatory prerogative of a state.

The present democratization of Ukraine's social life is indicated not only by the complexities of spiritual-ideological self-determination, contradictoriness of "revival" and "modernization". The outstanding feature of state building, realization of democratic transformations in all social spheres consists in the fact that they are taking place in acute situation, against the background of incomplete reforms of political, economic and social institutions.

The modern political system of Ukraine is a conglomerate of elements of the presidential rule, parliamentary republic, local Soviet system and elements of "shadow", illegitimate administration. In contradistinction to the majority of European countries, influential political parties which would realize political mobilization of masses namely for democratic changes have not been formed yet in Ukraine. The energy of intellectual forces engaged in political activity, is frequently being used irrationally: a considerable portion of parties for the most part crystallizes conflict interests, social differences and contradictions.

A great obstacle in domestic process of democratization is the absence of proper legal basis. Legally unresolved problem of property, its semi-spontaneous redistribution lead up to drastic socio-proprietorial stratification of the population. In consequence of a considerable impoverishment of the main strata of the population, the social base of democratic reforms in Ukraine looks considerably limited as compared with such East European States as Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic.

Therefore it was no accident that more indications of conflictogeneous type than "normal" functionality are being observed in socio-economic structure of Ukrainian society. Such economic and social realities not only bring discredit on official democratically marked declaration but also work for the revival of conservative moods, stimulate regress.

Contradictory is the issue of democratic reconciliation of the principle of the public government ("the peoples are the only source of power in Ukraine") with the requirements of professionalism and competence. Ukrainian politologist Mykhailo Komar made it brief and to the point: equality is the essence and the major threat to democracy. And Bernard Shaw wittily remarked that democracy cannot be of better quality material than the electorate.

Commoners are are not active in politics due to their frequent unawareness of their real place and importance in the society. As American sociologist John Rawls put it, "the veil of ignorance" does not make it possible for the ordinary individual to fairly estimate their own possibilities, mentality, and force ("Theory of justice"). The circumstances of private life also hamper "mass man" to direct social affairs. "Private life in democracy time is so active, full of wishes and labor that every man has almost neither vigor nor time for political life." Much water has flowed under the bridges since the times when Alexis de Tocqueville wrote these words in his political bestseller "On democracy in America". But even now, as a rule, the everyday concerns are more important for the modern philistine than another attempt to improve political system of his own country.

Democracy as a political notion and administration as professional-organizational function rarely coincide. In the opinion of M. Weber, "the genuine official" should not in the least interfere in the policy. The above dichotomy has one more aspect: correlation of pluralistic (the principle of common participation and openness) and elitist (the principle of selectiveness, exclusiveness) democracy.

The notions "democracy" and "elite" in general essentially differ and are antipodal. It was no accident that the modern political vocabulary frequently prefers the term meritocracy. This is a social system that gives opportunities and advantages to people on the basis of their ability rather than, for example, wealth or seniority.

However, the term democratic elite is more popular with modern politcal scientists. The rule of the united and responsible elite stabilizes

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democracy of the countries with heterogeneous political culture as it is seen in Austria, Holland, Belgium.

These circumstances explain the peculiarities of democratic process in Ukraine (of course, their enumeration may be continued) and make such generalization possible. The modern concept of democracy in its human value dimension proceeds from the fact that all of its determinants, indicators and criteria are realized in consequence of coordinated actions of all components of social system: economy and policy, culture and education, ideology and practice. The genuine democracy as distinct from its substitute or virtual forms ("shadow democracy"), organically combines freedom with law-obedience; independence with responsibility; self-esteem, private dignity with tolerance to other. It synthesizes value of general public with the values of individual (liberalism).

In creation of democracy as a way of a society the vital activity all social "poles" is of importance: state, democratically oriented laws and programs and self-employed, democratically determined initiative. It is formed and developed both top-down and bottom-up, it is defined by subjective and objective factors, democratic humanitarian education system takes special place among them.

Certainly, "normal" democracy, "sound democracy" are possible only under conditions of strict social order, optimal stability of social life (the concept of "organized society"). Factors which prevent the establishment and development of democracy are as diverse as factors which contribute to this. The absence of any of the enumerated prerequisites of democracy makes the process of democratization extremely hard matter.

The modern Ukrainian society is in "pre-democratic" condition which is characterized by instability, availability of many confrontational tendencies.

Political culture, first of all in its theoretical form, while explaining the real dilemmas and paradoxes of democracy, equips political practice with methodology of their understanding and resolution, for many of these contradictions have agonal (complementary) character. They may be resolved by means of creatively used experience, first of all, of European countries with centuries-old democratic development as well as the experience of domestic democratic traditions. In particular, it includes the practice of self-government ("village democracy") wide spread in Ukrainian villages, town life organization according to the principles of the Magdeburg Law, the experience of the first Ukrainian people's constitution of Pylyp Orlyk based on the recognition of the natural right of a man to freedom and self- determination, etc.

Comprehension of own "protodemocratic" ideas and practice with simultaneous mastering of the world (European) experience of democratic changes, their creative use requires intensification of theoretical activity of Ukrainian intelligentsia in this direction of politological science. Through socio-philosophical, historical, politological and sociological research of all the aspects of democratization process in Ukraine, polilog of theory and practice, history and contemporaneity, democratic universalities and national characteristics is a compulsory condition of the establishment of young Ukrainian democracy, enrichment of the palette of the world democratic universalism with concrete national-specific colors.

Translated by Anatoliy Murashko


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Комментируем публикацию: DEMOCRACY & MAN. THE THEORY AND UKRAINIAN REALITY

© Viktor PAZENOK () Источник: Politics and the Times 2003-06-30

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