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22.05.2000 | V.Mikhaylenko, Kharkiv

Resource catastrophe, national question and human rights

   

The present note is an attempt to systematically order values and landmarks about human rights and the national question.

In the end of the 20th century the mankind have appeared before a complicated knot of problems that have one root — the exhaustion of resources. Here by resources the reader should understand all that the humanity needs for life and development. In particular, health and capacity for work of the population, as well as the capacity of the biosphere to neutralize the harm per unit of time of a certain quantity of waste are considered to be resources. Now we are standing before the threat of the global resource catastrophe. In fact, we must solve the problem whether there is the threat of the global resource catastrophe, whether people will continue to live on our planet or will disappear in the darkness of history. The right of the humanity for survival dominates all other problems. In order to prevent the resource catastrophe we must continuously increase the rate of technical and scientific progress. Only the fast progress leads to a wider access of the mankind to the resources. That is why the implementation of new technologies is the necessary condition for the survival of man.

Nowadays not a single serious historian dares to negate the evolutionary character of the historic process. The growth of history, as a whole, is evolutionary. But such is the way of development of all subsystems, including three most important: industrial facilities, moral and psychic qualities of workers and productive relations.

It is known that the driving force of any evolution is the selection of the best features of the system which appear in the process of competition among independent subjects, carriers of the evolution. Therefore, the more competing units exist, and the more independent they are, the sharper is the competition and the faster the best qualities are selected and implemented.

Concerning the evolution of productive forces one may say that they would develop faster in a society having an infinite number of enterprises. The necessity of accelerating the evolution of technology causes, in the course of time, the increase of the number of enterprises and of the level of their independence from outer impacts.

However, technology as such is unable to work. Technology is an efficient tool when it is serviced by able and hard-working hands. Hence, the greater is the number of working people in the process of the competition and the greater is the level of their independence from each other, from the employer and from the state, the faster develops the active attitude to labor enabling the workmen to use successfully any complicated technology. That is why the observance of rights and freedoms of a personality means the best understanding of the use of the maximum freedom of individual for technological progress.

At the same time one must understand that the increase of the freedom of individual would not create the proper attitude to labor. In order to breed a highly moral toiler, as well as for increasing his level of freedom, we must constantly improve the productive relations. The subject of productive relations is the national state. Therefore, in order to accelerate the development of productive relations one needs to increase the number of independent states. That is why the right and the duty of each people is to create its own independent state, and this must be the acknowledged priority of the international policy.

Thus, human rights and rights of the peoples are equivalent historical values. In fact, they are the two sides of the same medal since they both guarantee in equal degree the development of our civilization. However, some concrete rights become more important, depending on the situation. So, in stable independent states the greater importance receives the protection of human rights from the attack on the side of the state. Ukraine, however, is not a nationally stable state. We still live under the threat of the disappearance of the Ukrainian language, which is the only factor capable of consolidating the country and protecting its independence. Under such conditions the right of the basic people for protection of its language has a higher priority than human rights that counteract this conservation.

The 20th century is ending, and with it the historical phenomenon of multinational empires. If humanity gets rid of the remnants of empire psychology and recognizes the priority of human rights and of nations’ rights for independence, then humanity will survive on the planet.

PL commentary. The interrelation of human rights and rights of peoples is, perhaps, the most dangerous question (the incorrect understanding of this question became the reason of the newest Balkan and Caucasian wars). That is why we greet any attempts to analyze this extremely complicated problem.

In our opinion, it is not quite correct to regard a national state as a subject of productive relations. Any corporation or firm, including international ones, is such a subject. Moreover, the historical experience confirms that the greater is the state interference into economy, the less efficient it is. That is why the argument that one must increase the number of independent states for increasing production is very doubtful, as well as the statement that each people must create its independent state. The people must grow and develop for the right to get its own state. When the state is created on the badly prepared ground, the consequences are far from being good, as we can see on the example of Chechnya. Ukraine, perhaps, is also stagnating, because independence fell on her before the proper time (and, alas, not only due to the national democratic movement; it rather happened by the will of the communist majority of the Supreme Rada of Ukraine).

It is difficult to agree with V.Mikhaylenko that only the introduction of the Ukrainian language can consolidate the country and fix its independence. The real facts are that Ukraine is a bilingual country and will remain such. Its stability may increase first of all by way of the growth of the civil society. This does not exclude measures to protect the Ukrainian language, which really needs support.

E.Zakharov

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