How to awaken the elite.
Famous Ukrainian politician and diplomat Roman Bezsmertnyi recently announced his intention to run for the country's presidency.
At a turning point, on the eve and after the 2010 presidential election, Roman Bezsmertnyi worked as Ukraine's ambassador to Belarus. He was a unique foreign diplomat - he met not only with the authorities, but also with the opposition leaders and activists, supported political prisoners, refused to attend Lukashenka's "inauguration", as he did not consider the latter lawfully elected president of Belarus.
Today the politician answered the questions of the Editor-in-Chief of the website Charter97.org Natallia Radzina.
- Mr. Bezsmertnyi, Belarusians were pleasantly surprised and greeted your intention to run for president of Ukraine. You are a well-known politician, you have been in the Ukrainian politics for quite a while. Why have you decided to participate in the electoral campaign particularly now?
- The answer to this is simple and complicated at the same time. It’s easy because I am tired of “bringing ammunition” to the people who have neither desire nor ability to shoot, or they constantly miss the target. Analyzing the situation as a whole, initially, when I was fresh in politics, I never got prepared to the main part. I always agreed to a supporting role – the one who deals with organizational errands, technologies, because I thought we had too many leaders here in Ukraine. However, every time I drove a person to power, we managed to preserve good relations right to the moment when he stepped over the threshold of a high office. As soon as a person walked inside, they changed irrevocably.
In the end I realized that I am capable not only of organizing of someone else’s coming to power, but to take this power and to carry the cross. Because, the power is not well-being or benefits. It’s a lot of work, it’s almost a punishment. I remember the words of Ivan Pliushch, who used to say: “Any power and any post means much more work than simply a person”.
And then when I became mature in my soul, I made the decision. Last autumn, I realized that the situation with the current authorities goes in such an indecent, from my point of view, direction, that absolutely different approaches are needed. And when in the autumn and then in the spring of this year we conducted sociological surveys, we saw that Ukraine and Ukrainians want something else. Not even new, but different. And if the highest rating of current politicians is 8-10%, then more than 22% want “someone else”. That is, it became clear that this is a qualitative change, not a form.
Quality is achieved through value materials. The state for the sake of the state is a useless existence. If the state exists for the sake of man as the value of the modern world - then it makes sense. We must not sleep, we must try to wake up the elite. In a society where the elite sleeps, where values are actually discredited, where the establishment system is destroyed, a person exists separately, and the state exists separately.
Recently I was at the presentation of Andrei Tsaplienko's book “The Wall’’. We did not plan it beforehand, but the first phrase he said was: “A Russian person can not live without the state, a Ukrainian can live without the state.’’ The problem is what? Autonomous existence of a man and the state. A person must feel what the state needs, and the state should not parasitize on a person, it must serve it, because that is what it exists for.
- Whom are you going to lean at in your electoral campaign?
- In Kyiv, I met with 150 leading journalists, and then I also met with the journalists from the regions. Because, in the conditions of the autonomous existence the only mechanism capable of bringing these two wheels together to make them move is a journalist. The value of freedom, the value of information and knowledge have sense only when they serve certain senses produced by the elite. Just recall the latest revolution: it wasn’t the leaders who led the Maidan, it was the Maidan made the leaders follow it. That is, a curious thing happened: the society is more perfect than the establishment or the elite. This is a very difficult contradiction. This shows that the objectives are damaged.
I’ll explain why. It’s like an aiming device in a machine gun: you think you aim correctly, but miss the target when you shoot, because the rib is out of order. And who sets the rib? The elite. There are two aspects that damaged the settings. In the Soviet Union, for decades, the concept and the doctrine of killing elites was purposefully propagated. The ideology of Marxism and Leninism was replaced not by Christianity, but by consumerism. Hence, a generation of unbelieving atheists, without any ideology, absolutely empty creatures was born and grew up in Ukraine.
When I was speaking in the Belarusian Zhyrovichy, I said the “terrible” thing: “Do not give an NPP to a godless person! That's horrible!” . After all, brakes are given to us by God, with God's idea. If this does not exist, then the person cannot be stopped. Shoot? He will shoot. Kill? He will kill.
- In the post-Soviet space, there’s no classical division to Left and Right, to Social Democrats and Christian Democrats. Who are you under the European political scientific criteria?
- Today, in principle, the world remains in a state of ideological crisis. If you look at individual politicians - from Orban and Grybauskaitė to Duda, Macron and Trump - they all contradict the ideology that still exists. I can very accurately formulate what I represent. This is a sound conservatism, based on a very liberal attitude to economic life. Modern, sound conservatism, based on a sound liberal economic foundation.
- Do you run at this election only with criticism against the current authorities, or certain issues exist on which you can agree?
- I do not touch them at all. I do not see the need to waste time on this. I propose quite different approaches and talk about the need to restart the state as such. The institutions created are incompetent. They contradict the essence of the request made by society.
After all, what's going on? The society seemingly goes to the elections, votes, performs its functions. But in return receives a semi-finished product. For example, the Constitution of Ukraine has a State Property Fund, the State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting, but there is neither an anti-corruption bureau nor a state bureau of investigations. We seem to exist in two dimensions. One is in the legislation, the other is in reality, and the third, which is even worse, in public morality. It is generally a third world and it is autonomous.
Imagine, we adopt laws that do not work, because the morality is different. And then we ask: „Why does not the law work?“ And how can it work if the society lives in a completely different system of assessments? Therefore, you, gentlemen, either lead a society through the formation of new meanings and values, or fulfill its request.
- The peace issue in Ukraine remains a priority. Is it possible to solve it within the cadence of a new President of Ukraine?
- Probably. To do this, we need to look at the state and the society from the point of view of a not medieval, but modern understanding. I would suggest looking at a person as a value. Then it is very easy to formulate the answer to the question whether integration of Donbas and the Crimea is safe. This is not a short period, it must be understood. It differs in both methods and ways, it is different in time, it is elevating from the point of view of the values of human rights and so on. But if we talk about the state as a territory, then this is a dead end. This is an endless war. Moreover, it will become a war of a regional scale first, then continental, then develop into a global one. Because this conflict, this war is on the verge of two civilizations.
This is a civilizational war, which has great potential to resolve or aggravate the situation in the world. Everything depends on how it is understood and on the basis of what values this conflict will be resolved. I can demonstrate on specific examples. We are now taking children from there for the summer holidays and so on. From the point of view of the Second World War, what are these functions? And I'm telling you from the point of view of human life and these children. They will hang out for three months in the area of mine fields, weapons and so on. They must be taken away from there. And much to do that, from the point of view of the current situation, is incompatible with our ideas about war and peace.
But in reality it is a modern world and this is a modern war. And it must also be treated in the same way. There is something to work on. But, frankly, I'm worried that, despite a very deep study of war and peace, since 1946, the vast majority of European and international pacts do not work. They seem to have been forgotten. There is the Convention on the Rights of Prisoners of War, there is a Convention on the rights of civilians in the territories where battles are fought. But they do not work. There are more than a hundred such conventions. And it seems that they exist separately, and the situation develops separately, despite the fact that all this has been ratified.
- What is happening in the lines in the end?
- To understand, I ask everyone to watch the movie „The War of Hart“. There is a barbed wire, here are Soviet prisoners of war, and here the American prisoners. Two worlds, two understandings of attitudes toward man and so on. Here is an inter-civilization conflict, here is the problem in understanding. And it passes through the relationship to the object, that is, the prisoner of war, and through the state. The state does not understand that it is necessary to save the life of a soldier, that people can not be sent to the offensive if they do not have the necessary protection, weapons and so on. This is meat. That’s why I am saying that we need „something else”: different quality, different attitude.
- Will the theme of Belarus be voiced in your electoral campaign? And, correspondingly, the theme of human rights violations in our country?
- Naturally. Because, from my point of view, the theme of Belarus is the topic, first, of the betrayal of the Belarusians by Europe, and secondly, the dishonesty of the Ukrainian authorities towards a Belarusian as a person, as well as Russia's immense crime towards you. What is happening is a crime, this is the destruction of the nation.
The situation in Belarus is methodically deteriorating. The issue of Lukashenka's regime is the issue of the present and future of Belarus. To preserve the people and the nation, we must act. Europe, being afraid to take any step, just lulled everyone in this regard. What happened to Ukraine is a consequence of the fact that first they betrayed Belarusians, then they did the same with us. These are very tragic things. They will end very badly if Europe does not help Belarus get rid of the tyrant.
It is clear that Lukashenka is a figure-head. But we must understand that this is a great pain. We see what happens to the Crimean Tatars, why, having such a lesson, create another example? It's just inhuman.
- Thank you. I don’t know any other foreign politician who would feel Belarusians’ pain so deeply.
- They don’t know what is happening there.
- Can you name the members of your team already?
- Now the formation of the headquarters is under way. Next, the formation of the team, based on an understanding of the role of the president. I will mention the first: Serhii Dorofeev, who was a Belarusian journalist, by the way, he is in charge of all the analytics and information. There are several people, such as Oleh Protsenko, Oleh Kilimnik. One leads the humanitarian sphere, the second economy. These are young people who have been with me for these 27 years. This, let's say, is the next generation.
- You seem to have a rather big office.
- There are many people here, but there are also those about whom it is not accepted to talk. They deal with security and so on. We have many initiative people, as you know. Now it is important not to create conflicts within the team, but to build a working system.
The biggest problem is that before this case I was engaged in technology and organization myself, so I do not get inside, and people who come all the time expect me to start picking this up, and this creates certain contradictions. But I think that by autumn the team will have been staffed. Now there is a selection of people in the regions.
For me, the presidential campaign is not an end in itself. The task is, during the presidential election campaign to create a team that can later perform at the parliamentary elections.
- Is your wife Tetyana a member of your team?
- The wife is always in the team. She helps. I would like her to be a participant of all my meetings with voters, because I want to break the usual system that was in Ukraine before. It would be desirable, that people regarded a candidate, first of all, as a person who has the right also to private life. That they saw a wife, a family.
You know, it’s impossible to cure this society without understanding who a candidate is. And it is obvious that this society will have to be brought into the family, to show that even in such conditions it is possible to live in a different way and with other values. This is very difficult, because the children also see this whole outer contour, and for me the biggest discussion with the team is the truth. I insist that only the truth should be heard. And they convince me that it is necessary to voice selective truth, because the truth can kill.
The only thing with which I agreed is that the truth, which can kill, does not need to be voiced. But still the truth must sound on air. You can leave something unsaid, but you can not lie. Because a lie turns a system into an endless war, a conflict, a mockery, a substitution of concepts and so on. Hence, there is an inner desire to campaign differently, with different values, with different approaches.
Therefore, I am now appealing mostly to journalists. I try to break these existing schemes, which we inherited from the totalitarian Soviet regime, with their help. These are very harmful things, which, on the one hand, do not allow us to breathe, and on the other - they parasitize on a person. These are very dangerous things. Because we bring up a being that can turn into a wolf. Although the wolf is much more honest and nobler than a Soviet man.
- What are the results that you expect at this election?
- Firstly, I am for the victory. I'll work on it, but I do not want to parasitize. I will do everything to make the show go away from Ukrainian politics. Because the show is a walk, but when you get out of the game, you really want to eat well, get dressed, have a roof over your head. It is necessary to formulate the content of the policy.
So I ask journalists: let's do not so much a show, but more about what kind of Ukraine we want. The goal is to win, this is the main thing, this is what the work is about. Although the problem is not even in victory. The problem is the first minutes after the victory. Because if you just win, then later you'll have to lie, but you cannot do this. There must be a request and a response formed by the society, which can be given on the first day after the victory. We need a „reset“ of the state.