Piotra Murzionak: NATION AND FREEDOM
(abstract, magazine “SAKAVIK”, March 2014, issue 5, pp. 14-37)
Who is to blame ofglobal moral crisis, injustice, poverty, wars, violations of rights and freedoms – liberal democrats, ideas of multi–polar world, imperial ambitions, religion, double standards?It is obvious that humanity has lost the common goals and violates the principles and criteria for the achievement of these goals.Instead of a new round of the Cold War and real wars, the signs of which are becoming more visible, mankind would have to agree on new principles of existence and cooperation to establish peace and order in the world, on important joint actions against poverty, diseases and natural disasters.
Double standards that stronger nations apply to small nations show disregard for the principles of democracy, justice and goodness. For the sake of economic gain superpowers tradeby people’s fate seeking freedom. A striking example of such double standards is the modern conflict in Europe caused by the desire of Ukraine to obtain the status of association with the EU. Russian military aggression against Ukraine showed disrespect for international laws and infringes on the freedom, sovereignty and territory of independent, recently brotherly country. One of the reasons for Russia’s aggression is its traditional movement to the west, based on the Eurasian ideology that threatens the existence of not only democracy and freedom, but also nations. Russian aggression confirmed almost 800-year-old division between two civilizations – the Eurasian (Russian) and Eastern Slavic Belarusian-Ukrainian. Of those countries that guarantee the security and sovereignty of Ukraine(Russia, U.S., UK), Russia violated international agreement while the United States and Great Britain were bankrupt because they could not deliver on their responsibilities. Thus, even in our time a national freedom might be threatened by meansof weapons. Chechnya, Georgia, and Ukraine – what is next and when?
It seems that the role of nations or nation-states will not decrease, despite the trend towards supranational entities (European Union, Customs Union, and other unions). Events that happened in Yugoslavia and those are now taking place in Ukraine (November 2013 – March 2014) show that the process of nation-building continues even in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. There is a belief that in the future a nation-building in Belarus and in other post-Soviet countries (Kazakhstan, Latvia) will also be completed. To a large extent this will depend on the balance of positive and negative factors which may affect the strengthening of national freedom (Table 3). Among the strongest positive influence factors are the possibility of modern nation-building and the activities of national elite, among the negative ones – low level of political culture, non-supporting of Belarusian language by the government, the threat of possible aggression, religion. Belarusians intolerance towards people of other races, religions, behavior belongs to negative influence factors as well. It would seemed that the absence of European mentality in that sense is a good sign for a healthy nationalism, since nationalism-patriotism in such a situation could have an advantage over global processes, however, a disrespect for freedom of some categories of people could not contribute to the strengthening of national freedom.
Attitude of Belarusians to freedom characterized by uncertainty due to the lack of political culture and traditions of Russian and Soviet legacy; public support for the ideas of democracy is combined with a positive attitude to an authoritarian management style.
Only aware of the presence of civil liberties and using political freedoms a person can grasp the significance of national freedom. We can assume that there is a hierarchy of freedoms (individual – political – national); basic freedoms are individual freedoms and rights. Substitution of civil liberties by human socio-economic rights, along with a lack of political culture and traditions interrupts the achievement of nation freedom, as it leads to the loss of national pride and an unwillingness to maintain the old history and culture and to a nihilistic attitude toward their nation and its freedom. Level of political rights and freedoms and national freedom is the level of the active work of the national elites. However, the conditions for such work in Belarus are unfavorable.
The balance of positive and negative forces in Belarus, according to our five-point scale calculations, directed to the negative part. The key factors that can change the balance towards positive direction are primarily internal factors, namely the understanding of the importance of strengthening of national freedom by population, entrepreneurs, and the state leadership. Among the strongest negative factor that would need to be reduced or eliminated, is the threat of occupation, however, with the understanding that “awakens” among Western democracies, it is a hope, that the negative influence of this factor can be removed in favor of small peoples and nations. Together with the increased role of other positive factors that would significantly change the motion of the Belarusians to the national freedom.
Categories: Гісторыя, Зьнешнія адносіны, Нацыя, Нацыя Беларусы, Рэлігія