Manifest of the Christian Democrats of Ukraine
Author: Dmitriy Panko
Faith is dead without works. Christian Democrats are Christians who have made that principle the cornerstone of their life and political position. We understand that the denial of that principle in social life leads to the triumph of evil and injustice and is a sign of passivity and a striving to make God responsible for our own indifference, weakness and fear.
We do not want to justify our inactivity and indifference to the injustice around us with the words, "Any authority is from God". We understand Christianity not as a way of escaping reality and following the world's illusions and apathy, but as a manual to direct political action.
Those who share the principles of Christianity have failed to take an active part in society for too long. It has brought us to the point where the influences that destroy the fundamental values of our civilization have taken over.
It has happened in different ways: in direct and open destruction of the church and the Christian faith under totalitarian regimes, or through gradual, cunning replacement of Christian values by liberal values. While these may seem to be similar, they lead to completely different ends, especially when the existence and proliferation of evil is justified by tolerance, and mockery and humiliation of true morality is justified by freedom of speech.
Our civilization is committing suicide by rejecting the Christian foundations on which it was built. It happens in every sense of that word. More directly, European peoples are decreasing in numbers and losing their qualities.
Faith should be practised. As the Bible says, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for". The time for action has come.
Time for Christian Democracy
Christian Democracy is the youngest among present day leading political doctrines. When Christian Democracy appeared on the big political stage, its adversaries from a number of European political parties stated that, as a structure, the Christian Democratic Party should not be allowed to come into existence because it brings together employees and employers, farmers and intelligentsia. But in reality, this versatility is the main strength of Christian Democracy. It is possible because the foundation of Christian Democratic ideology is that it values people from different levels of the population-the poor and the rich, those in the east and the west of Ukraine. The Christian Democratic Party is a truly national party. This doctrine helps to establish a compromise between past adversaries, and allows people to see themselves as a united nation, and this is exactly what Ukraine needs today. Christian Democracy is the only ideology which is able to absorb the best ideas both from the right and left sides of the politics, to make way for new things, and to keep the best and most useful elements from the past.
The power of compromise, and unity between different social groups which Christian Democracy suggests, is not based on some kind of commercial agreement between demand and supply, different social groups and classes, but on the common values of Christianity for all groups and levels of population.
Christian Democracy is the most effective doctrine for countries that are at the beginning of the hard road to democracy and success, and that have gone through a long period of totalitarian regimes. No other doctrine is able to succeed in such circumstances.
Social Democracy is the ideology of a society where people are well-fed and society is in a healthy state. When society has reached the stage of having a developed economy, when there is general agreement about basic values, when the business elite have a developed consciousness and understanding of common purposes with the people, and employees are well organized and have structures that are able to represent their interests in an effective and civilized way, then Social Democracy can work. None of the mentioned is evident in Ukraine today.
Under present conditions Liberalism with its unlimited competition, selfishness and dominance by the most powerful will lead only to "wild capitalism" and prosperity for a few oligarchs. Criminal development in the Ukrainian economy during the last 15 years was justified by the slogans of Liberalism.
The time to correct mistakes has come. The time for Christian Democracy has come.
Either all or none will win
The modern economy is not like the old capitalism about which we read in old textbooks. This is a most complicated concept where everybody fulfils his function. Big companies, their Managers and owners of big corporations in any country are not the self-willed masters of national riches. They function as managers, providing effective management in various branches. Society has entrusted them with these functions and has the right to demand a report from them. This is especially relevant for Ukraine whose economic foundations were laid in the Soviet era by the efforts of all the people.
The main task of the Christian Democrats is to develop a system where rich people will need to understand that they cannot prosper without regard for the needy and the desperate. We are all in the same boat.
The modern prosperity of a nation is measured not by the quantity of gold reserves, but by the amount of material, intellectual and organizational resources of the state. All members of society, and the input of each person into the common good are important in such a system. The stability of such a system depends on the mutual respect of people, and reaching a rational and just balance of interests from various levels of society.
If there is not a fair relationship between labor and business, if the indignation of the people takes on radical expression, then no-one benefits. Not only will active or destructive actions be taken by those who feel hopeless, but also by the lawless. Their apathy and passive sabotage will hinder the plans of energetic and thoughtful managers and businessmen. Everybody will lose, including the nation itself. The principle "Take all and distribute among everybody!" will not lead to the improvement of the lives of those who are less fortunate.
The perspectives and the power of owners and businessmen need to be changed. The words from the Bible, "Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen :are crying out against you." This principle of responsibility should become law. If businessmen violate their duties before the worker, then how can they demand honest work from him? The purpose of Christian Democrats is to develop a system of encouragement and approvals, together with education that reinforces that honesty in society and the state will be to everyone's benefit. This should be understood by everyone.
This is how Christian Democrats understand the main conditions of a successful economy.
Justice for Everybody
Christian Democrats are always for those people who work and who earn their living with their hands, no matter what or where that person is. A worthy reward should be both for the hard work of the coal-miner who risks his life underground, and for the organizational abilities and initiative of the businessman. If that principle is violated then what solidarity can we talk about? How can we unite the thief and the robbed one, the one who labors and the lazy person?
Social justice is the key. A prosperous Ukraine is not possible without economic stability, which in turn is not possible without political stability. For this to take place, civil agreement on the main fundamental values is necessary. But agreement is impossible without social justice. There is a particular sequence: social justice - civil agreement - political stability - economic stability.
The demand for justice is particularly strong now after winning the democratic revolution. People from different generations, different social groups and levels stood together on the Maidan. There were neither poor nor rich people, neither farmers nor businessmen, neither the intelligencia nor workers on the Maidan of our freedom. There was one Ukrainian nation united by the fight for freedom. The common goal made us one. That is why we won.
The feeling of solidarity that appeared in those unforgettable days should not be allowed to disappear after our victory. People who wore orange scarves together with others should not get into their expensive limousines and forget those friends who stood shoulder to shoulder with them, but have gone back to their cold houses without heating, and to factories where they are drastically underpaid.
Social justice will become the cornerstone for the new Ukraine.
The destiny of Ukraine is vitally bound together with the destiny of the whole Euro-Atlantic civilization. With the proclamation of independence Ukraine confirmed its geopolitical choice. And even though the discussions about the geopolitical vector of development are still taking place technically, in reality it is an issue of the past, for the decision has already been made by the Ukrainian nation.
Today a completely different choice is the order of the day; one that is seldom discussed in the political circles of Ukraine. The competition of two vectors of development is taking place inside of the Euro-Atlantic civilization itself. One, that is liberal, leads European nations to corruption, loss of vitality, and to the destruction of the foundations that made Europe what it was. The other, which is conservative, is directed at keeping the fundamental values of European Christian civilization.
Christian Democrats support the idea of Ukraine joining the European Union, but at the same time they can understand the contemporary situation on the European continent. Europe is gong through a serious crisis. It has lost its directions into the future.
However, a great revival of healthy conservative powers is taking place today on both sides of the Atlantic, and Christians need to become more involved in political activities.
Ukrainian Christian Democrats intend to take a worthy place in that global process. Christianity is on the offensive in the Ukraine, and is growing at a rapid pace. That fact should become determinative not only within politics but even outside of it. This fact should be taken into account when choosing strategic partners inside the Euro-Atlantic camp. Ukraine will become a reliable partner for all healthy national and global movements based on Christian values.
New Ukrainian Conservatism
Christian Democrats understand conservatism not as the return to something old and obsolete but as the retention and development of things that have proven value.
Society cannot be healthy and stable if there is no healthy conservative start in it. All the changes in the life of the country and nation should be seen according to the principle, "I can do all things, but not all things are profitable".
Our conservatism is far from blind idealization of the past. The past for us is not the icon, it is a textbook. Both light and dark pages of our history are equally valuable for us. Turning to history is not the way to comfort our hurt pride, but to stimulate work on the mistakes of the past.
We stand not for the reconstruction of the old broken foundation and repeating all the mistakes in its building, but for the building that is on new foundations taking into account the demands of the future, but using the experience of the past. The wheat should be separated from the chaff. New Ukraine will be built on the eternal, checked by temporal values. We offer new life to everything that is worthy to exist.
Striving for the Future
An important indicator of the health of a nation and or a civilization is the way people look at the future, the readiness to sacrifice today's pleasures for the sake of the welfare of future generations. Ukrainians, as well as other Europeans, live one day at a time and think less and less about their responsibility to future generations. The ability to mobilize power is lost, as well as the ability to put the brakes on one's own desires for the sake of reaching greater goals. Even the goal itself is often lost. Striving for the future is lost.
It is easy to see this in the practical politics of the Ukraine. Any government, and any political power is able to offer the country a long term project for the future. The authorities are not able to see the future further than one-two years ahead.
This way of thinking is passed on to the whole nation. Disappointment grows. People do not see goals before them that can mobilize them and energize them.
Failure, and a victim complex shape Ukrainians from early childhood. The pages of our textbooks are full of cries about being unhappy and being offended by others in all sorts of ways. Children are told in literature lessons that our ancestors were "mercenaries" and "servants" who were always offended by life.
Our purpose is to change completely the vector of the cultural politics in the state. We should get rid of any kind of whining and depression.
The scale of the work before us is very great, and we must save what has been left under the ruins. We should get together all those individual intellectuals who are really able to form our culture, and collect the grains that constitute the real Ukrainian culture. Within the sphere of culture an inner power is formed that will not let the nation bend before the difficulties. It will give life and impulse that is prepared to strive for the future.
The main resource which gives us a chance for success is we ourselves, the Ukrainian nation. The human factor is always the first condition for the success. We will build a new Ukraine. Our faith will not remain an empty dream about justice.
We will build a new future on the foundation of eternal values.