Yulia Tymoshenko

Speech at International Conference on Morality and Politics - Dec.6, 2002

Yulia Tymoshenko
December 06, 2002
International Conference on Morality and Politics
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Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am sure that you participate in different round tables and conferences as often as I do and are aware in advance that whenever politicians meet they usually have talk on how to share power. Whenever businessmen meet they usually discuss how to share money.

Even meetings of intellectuals often lack intrigue. They talk a lot on how the world moves toward catastrophe and that our future is doomed.

I came to this conference led by some special expectations and special feelings. Meetings of competent and influential people who come together in order to talk not on power or money sharing, not on the world of horrors but on moral problems and especially on moral obligations does not happen that often nowadays.

So I would like to express my gratitude to all the organizers of the conference for the given opportunity of sincere and I hope fruitful communication.

When my press-secretary had found out about the topic of my today’s talk he sneered ironically and remarked that discussing morality with politicians is the same as discussing vegetarianism in front of cannibals. This is the way the morality in politics is perceived in public mind. And all of us know that there are grounds for that.

In fact moral principles and moral obligations in political-economical realm today are undoubtedly missing and significantly substituted by other commonly recognized “values”, such as national corporate interest, profit, success, political and economical expediency, career development.

“World order” until now has been understood by many people as a certain status quo, as a certain balance of interests between different countries that is sustained mainly by force. Be it the military force or the finance-economical one and so forth.

I think that the time has long come to revise this understanding. There is, for instance, the order of barracks that is being supported due to the force of command and punishment terror. And there is an order of the church choir based on the common understanding of the cultural wealth and esthetical values.

“World order” in its contemporary sense should evidently mean such a state of the world community in which all the basic relations and balances between countries and their leaders as well as between elites inside these countries would less than before rely on force and more than ever on those common values, common ideas and common reaction to this or that event.

As far as we oust force and violence as main instruments and prevailing means of sustaining the order then something will evidently be created that we will by right call “new world order”.

Why is it so that the world, having such a meticulous cumulative intellect and solving pragmatic problems on a planetary scale, is not able to fulfill a vital task - to do so that morality and spirituality become a basis of the world order?

The main reason for this is that in recent centuries leaders and elites had not set this task as their serious goal in an honest and adequate form, despite always articulating the set of the right words and spells. So the time has come to set this goal in the right way. However, the question arises: who is able to set this goal before the world? Such spiritual leaders as Gandhi, Schweitzer, King, and Mother Theresa all have disappeared somewhere. Have they stopped being born to this world and brought up to our severe, crazy, and more than ever aggressive world? It seems that their activities are simply of no use today.

In my opinion such bright personalities are being annihilated by new fetishes - success, expediency, gain, and interests. The world has to find, to unite and to protect such leaders, to give them an opportunity to invent new strategies and ways for their nations, to lead nations to the success and prosperity.

One more thing, let us think for one minute that in recent decades the civilized world had not created any beautiful utopia of “ideal world”, “ideal country”, “ideal polity”, any striking mega-project of the world reconstruction on the basis of some high principles - be it moral, aesthetic or social ones.

(When I talk about the necessity of the beautiful utopia in the XXI century I mean its more perfect form and structure than before, the “utopia” that sets right goals of morality, spirituality, the move towards the humanistic ideal and, at the same time, takes into account innovative, effective, realistic ways of realization of these goals.)

I will take risk to use the golden rule of the Sermon on the Mount of Jesus Christ: “But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil,” and to suggest the main goals which could be set today for the purpose of moral and spiritual resurrection into the new world order and the ways to reach those.

Reflecting on how the world could become more humane and moral or simply better I see one new methodological approach which I shall present below, and five general steps of the first and the most complicated stage of transformation.

This new methodological approach contains the suggestion that traditional well known ideologies are based on certain extremes, be it communism, capitalism, market fundamentalism or anything else. Those ideologies had fulfilled their function by presenting the world with generally accepted and proved in time values that are an axiom: democracy, main rights and freedoms of an individual, equality of all the private property forms, social protection.

These ideologies do not generate any progress, clarification or improvement of the living standards at the moment. Evidently, the world has passed through the stage of the extreme ideologies, the period of absolutisation, the period of the youthful radicalism. The time has come to determine the “golden” median. This is different from much-discussed and already discarded ‘third way’ proposition. The new order demands a new method that would not hide the inner conflicts under the usual ideological clichés but would perform as a driving and purifying force.

This is the method of the perceived harmonization. It suggests the disclosure of the destructive conflict which exists in the depths of the society and its exposure to the public judgment. Only then the development of the effective conception of this conflict regulation supported by the law becomes possible. The world that has become more mature should discover for itself the new epoch of harmonization.

So let us speak about five steps toward morality as the basis of the world order.

The first step is the elimination of contradictions between state expediency and personal freedom. State expediency permanently forces its logic of the following kind: “The stronger the violence the better the disciple and order”.

However, any recognized injustice is the violence in itself. The state controls, suppresses, overwhelms and intimidates spirit and body of a human being in the course of his/her life. The state as a contemporary institution works not so much “pro” but “against” principles of justice.

It is of no necessity to eliminate or to weaken the state in order to overcome this situation. It would be enough to identify and to eliminate all of the elements of violence aimed at a personality and to mercilessly debunk the rooted dogmas, traditions and stereotypes.

Special attention should be devoted to the utter minimization of the inequity of people at their birth that can not be justified by a family achievements; elimination of the “poverty paradox” when people who work honestly with maximum effort and initiative receive lower than minimum wage even at the economically successful enterprises; elimination of the law idiocy that allows the controlling shareholders to make decisions and control income shares on behalf of the minor shareholders, who as a rule are honest common citizens.

There is a significant layer of violence aimed at a personality in the realm of taxation. A person could pay taxes while purchasing material goods and services and there is no necessity to keep huge taxation inspections for the everyday supervision.

The time has come to pay attention to the inadequate severity of punishment for people that committed violations of civic character and which do not cross the line of the crimes against an individual. This is a systematic violence raised to the level of justice that should be totally transformed into principally different forms of punishment and damages claiming.

Isn’t it a violence aimed at a personality to draw a boundary of excessive money barriers on the way to the newest medical achievements, the most efficient educational systems and the services of the law system? Certainly they shouldn’t be free. However, the time has come to create principally new models of the vital services of financial support.

Inventory of the state violence against an individual is so considerable that it should exceed the limits of my talk.

Everyone has his own Destiny, the highest purpose. According to the Lord’s will it is always the way of improvement, good, clear mission. Whenever an individual loses his highest purpose, in case the meaning of his life on the Earth is not even revealed to him, his Destiny becomes ruined and he drowns into abyss of hopelessness, fear, and perplexity. If these phenomena become mass by their nature it is the sign of immorality, lack of spiritual life in the state, and the signal for the immediate start of the conscious transformations.

The second step is a systemic separation of the state power and capital. It is necessary to stop the process by which state power is formed by the capital and by which power is converted into the economic rents. Even in democratic countries a candidate for an elective state office is not evaluated according to the humanism of his opinions but exceptionally according to the size of his election campaign fund.

The nature of ‘money’ which wins the elections is such that it is not aware of sympathy, mercy, morality, but knows what force is necessary for its preservation and augmentation.

Is it possible to set the boundary between the power and the capital? Yes, it is. I can say it as a person who has created significant capital and changed this occupation in order to cultivate morality in politics. Trust me, the reliable technologies of the like separation have been worked out but they can be implemented only while being in power. The power always gives us the means to purify ourselves but the free will to do it among those who are in power now in most cases is absent.

The third step is the separation of mass media from the power and the capital (that, as I have already told, has become the power itself). It is remarkable enough that even in many democratic countries the mass media serving interests of ruling oligarchs is no longer a secret. American press king G.Luss (founder of “Time”, “Life”, “Fortune” and many other magazines) addressing associates of “Time” magazine in 1972 stated: “Imaginary journalists’ objectiveness… is a contemporary trick, no more than a lie. We say: “To the hell with this objectiveness!” I would not argue with Mr.Luss. However, the urgency of mass media separation from the power and the capital is quite evident for me personally.

This is possible and I can explain my opinion answering your questions.

The forth step is the separation of the system of justice from the rest of the power branches and from the capital that has become the state power. There are following methods: substantial strengthening of the personal responsibility of judges for unrighteous decision making. Putting additional elements of the justice structure in operation that would exclude non-competent, indecent, mal-initiative, unchecked lobbyist court decisions.

The fifth and the last step - the removal of money as a decisive factor of the present order out of the inappropriate spheres of its circulation that is out of spiritual, political, and, first of all, personality realms. It is money’s role that sorts out people and states into the successful and unsuccessful ones. Triumph of money, its impact and its role to become an absolute measurement tool of human merits reveals breakdown of the spiritual energy of the contemporary world.

The function of money has extended beyond the means of general exchange to the role of the highest goal, the eternal absolute. This money fundamentalism can and should be eliminated - gradually, evolutionally, and persistently.

I aimed only to single out the main basic actions.

However, I have to remark that the new world order if it really claims to be new should be based on the type of a personality it brings to life rather than which type of economy, political rule, management, and market relations it produces.

There are lot of “strong” western economies and democracies where financial systems are efficient enough, high quality goods and services are being produced, high percentage of gross output is present, and at the same time the number of suicides is rising rapidly. Some citizens become more and more depressive and apathetic, others become more and more aggressive. Children are brought up to be cruel and heartless.

It can be reasonably argued that the proposed systemic transformations contradict the accepted world rules, order, traditions which are impossible and inexpedient to change. But here I would like to cite John Rawls and his “Theory of Justice” where this problem has been characterized very concretely: Theory, no matter how elegant and economical it is, should be dismissed or revised in case it is not true. Equally even approved world orders and institutions no matter how efficient and successfully arranged they look, should be reformed or annulled if they are unjust.

It seems to me that the life and the time have presented us with new opportunities for changes of economical and political orders.

Representing Ukraine, I believe that my country will creatively contribute to bring the new political, economical, social models to life for its own citizens and the civilized world.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

May be the time has come for intellectuals, prominent thinkers of the world to take care of the World Constitution that undoubtedly will determine spirituality, intellectual and moral development, and protection of all the members of the world civilization as the main values of the civilized world.

May be the time has come to create fundamentally new global international institutions. The present international institutions as much respected as the UN, protect and lobby interests only of separate strong countries and we need the international institutions that would present, protect and lobby the world harmony.

May be the world needs not the Organization of the United Nations but the Union of the Prominent Personalities of All Nations that would unite those people from the entire world that have proven their outstanding intellect, immaculate morality and remarkable humanism. It is them who would be able to be in charge of moral obligations for the future of our humanity.

I am absolutely sure that in future organizations and institutions of this kind will be created and will fundamentally change the world order.

What would overcome aggressive immorality and full disability to take any moral obligations? In my opinion, economical sanctions and political notes are helpless in this case. Immorality can not be overcome by economics, even by the law; it can be overcome only with the help of morality. The time for this work has come.

Speech from http://www.tymoshenko.com.ua/eng/news/first/1074.