(Excerpt from the book “In the Human Desert”)
The preconditions for the existence of this small minority arose in a weakened closed society, where this small creative minority could find several social niches. Criminals, as a rule, used physical violence to obtain some financial and human resources, despite the persecution of state communist power. These niches were like some enclaves inside a gradually degraded closed society. The most famous enemies of communism appeared among scientists and specialists in the military industry and in the natural sciences. During the transition period, they did not change their motivation and their ordinary way of life. They had to translate their motivation and expand their life goals in the direction of creating their own business.
First of all, they did not think about the violent struggle against the former communist nomenklatura and the new oligarchy. We could define some difference between intellectuals and the former nomenklatura with the psychology and culture of social mutants among the chaotic crowd of a post-communist country.
In earlier materials, I described the phenomenon of the so-called “intermediate man”, that is, “incomplete man” or man as a means for others. We have all forgotten this, in order to explain concrete even strange behavior, corresponding to the members of the former communist society. This incomplete person can be formed in conditions of collective responsibility and ruthless eradication of persons who resisted this system of collective punishment. A small creative minority consists of holistic individuals who try to be consistent and expedient in their activities for their own life goals. This system was previously so stunning that in the new historical circumstances, the products of this sharply negative selection (the vast majority) were and are so inclined to support this former way of life that used to torment them. This paradox is very strange for the inhabitants of a “normal” society.
We must admit that it is quite difficult to explicitly explain the products of a grand social (formerly “unsocial” “antisocial”) experiment for more than seventy years. As we said above, men and women from the outside world could know the circumstances, but they could never understand these roots of the true human desert with its cultural mutants here in Ukraine.
Above we wrote that the most free people were intellectuals and criminals. We ought to emphasize that these men and women could constantly dare to overstep the boundaries of the collective responsibility and tried to escape from the state and its collectivist discipline. Their “criminal” sharp desire was to have independent fate and free life scenario
Contrary to this, the rest of society sought to maintain its miserable routine life. This was the main problem of the transition period with its civilizational mutants. For them, any change meant a deterioration in life. Personal inability, broken will and mind created fear of their immediate future. They were not ready for self-sufficiency. Of course, they could not trust those who could live in a new environment. This regime of the absence of legal private property and personal freedom is deeply demotivated in order to have a normal ratio of short, medium and long-term intentions. Strong dependence on the will and goals of other people greatly simplifies but distorts the structure of a personality and his psychological characteristics, even in everyday life. This lack of human rights generates the hedonistic inner intentions of this given infantile person. These abstract judgments, which we could always take into account in our true human environment, including our parents’ family and our close environment.
In other words, we must emphasize that this willingness to adapt to a new reality depends on various factors of cultural personal development in the family, school and other social institutions of a transitional society. General cultural liberation depends on the goals that put this or that person in front of you. An insignificant creative minority predominantly sets a “metaphysical” goal and tries to achieve its goals by virtue of the subordination of one’s feelings, the basic needs for spiritual goals corresponding to the whole society. We tend to somehow underestimate ideal goals and aspirations. We must be free even under the oppression of totalitarian state power and an atmosphere of general suspicion and collective responsibility. Scientists should be aware of the ability to be free in unbearable conditions. The invisible efforts of intellectuals and even criminologists, clearly, little by little, undermined this mighty empire. The rest of society was subordinated in favor of basic needs at the cost of more ideal goals.
This regime of the absence of legal private property and personal freedom will weaken the individual in order to have a normal ratio of short, medium and long-term intentions. Strong dependence on the will and purpose of other people is greatly simplified, but, as it was said, distorts the structure of a person and his psychological characteristics, even in everyday life. This lack of human rights generates the hedonistic intimate intentions of this given infantile person. These are abstract judgments that we could always consider in our true human environment, including our parents’ family and our near intellectual environment.
Instead, in order to form a creative scenario, we must, in spite of this, refrain from meeting some basic needs. Despite our poverty, we tried to buy necessary books and study them deeply, contemplating interesting things in so-called “abstract subjects”. With attempts to accumulate knowledge, we also enriched our human practical experience. This former communist society tried to divert everyone from “abstract subjects” and accustom them to physical labor as a kind of “real work”.
In the Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox tradition, society has become accustomed to despise intellectual work. The Communists inherited this Orthodox tradition. Of course, this disregard was overcome in the transitional period of Ukraine. Moreover, we mean the ability to earn money without state control. In general, the whole history of the 20th century is the history of the struggle for human freedom and the development of various ways of enslaving it. The beginning of totalitarian regimes showed us different ways of this same enslavement. The transition period now shows us how to liberate a person. This liberation exists in conditions of stable results of negative selection and the great historical experience of life in this closed society.
This striking contradiction gave rise to constant contradictions and clashes between the creative minority and the infantile passive majority of the population. The tragedies of this transitional society are due to important differences in social and cultural experience. The most important events of the civil war in Ukraine take place in the invisible sphere of social psychology and world culture. Feeling of the most striking events, actions that we could understand in the framework of rigid laws, so understandable to scientists who have been tested. Nevertheless, we take into account that the suffering itself can not have positive consequences for any given man or woman. In general, we agree with the writer and political prisoner Varlam Shalamov in his dispute with Solzhenitsyn. We were all forced to strictly determine our way of life from the intolerable conditions of the regime of physical survival. We realized that the style of physical survival stops the creative development of any person. In spite of this, we must resume cultural development as soon as possible. Right after the achievement of the right to private property, personal rights in the social system, we could, as a rule, develop our creative projects. This communist experiment showed us a complete impasse of civilization.
The struggle for true freedom of society, which I had to start with my own life. The organization always begins with self-organization. Since early childhood, I have to cope with the problems of the microcosm through the complexity of the macrocosm. Serious knowledge must necessarily discipline and organize a person. Contradictions between the individual and the external world, we must first of all deal with our internal problems, in order to be able to cope with the complexity of the external world. The tribute to self-improvement was deep loneliness in our family and in our immediate environment. Nevertheless, despite the difficulties that we inspired by the choice of our own vocation, despite the fate in circumstances too unbearable for this personal choice.
But this deep cultural and psychological loneliness under the totalitarian way of life was compensated by the ability to survive in the transitional period of our national Ukrainian life. We were more adapted to life in the new conditions of postcommunist life. We were not afraid of changes in ourselves and in society. Due to the collapse of the system of collective responsibility and individual irresponsibility, we have felt the freshness of new opportunities. It became possible to instil individual responsibility and individual choice in an unknown chaos, uncertain circumstances. The activities of the newborn civil society have become much more intense. If we could say that communist society was the “black hole” of world civilization, we should also add that immersion in normal life was a contrast bath. These changes were too deep for us. In this civilizational contrast bath we could distinguish much more diversity in human nature and human relations. The society has become more open, but the family has become more closed to external influence, a push …
Another part of our people was deeply dejected, with features of profound cultural and moral degradation. They still cannot find a new vector of their life, unknown in the previous period. The sense that private business is a criminal offense or a criminal offense was introduced into the social mentality. Only two strata can overcome this prejudice – criminals and intellectuals. Of course, with the lack of private property, we can not accurately identify and show these layers clearly because of the invisible nature of the social psychology of various social groups. At first glance, of course. For example, the historical role of the working class is now reduced to zero or negative influence.