The war continues. But the question already arises as to what Ukraine should be like after its completion. Everyone is looking for an answer to it. Many different visions appear. Maybe it's good because dreams of a happy future soothe, motivate, help fight, fight, volunteer, or just live and work. However, to realize them, we need to somehow combine what we have with what we want. And this is lacking in many visions of the future of our country.
What did we have before the war? Ukraine is a country with a colonial and totalitarian past, in which it has experienced many large-scale national catastrophes, suffering huge losses. That is why the Ukrainian people are a society with deep psychological traumas. Before the war, this post-traumatic mentality shaped the psyche of millions of Ukrainians and determined our actions, habits, behavioral patterns, and so on. Several outbreaks of public consciousness in 1990-91, 2004, 2013-14 improved the situation, creating a galaxy of citizens free from this mentality, but before the war, these processes did not reach the required scale.
Ukraine's economy was a clear reflection of the distorted inner world of our people. We did not choose productive forces inherited from the USSR. But hypothetically, with proper social relations, Ukraine could build an economy in 10-20 years that would provide a decent standard of living for our citizens. However, it did not happen as desired. We did not have the necessary social relations, because all of us collectively established a number of destructive social norms of behavior, through which we "ate" what we inherited from the Union, and killed the ability to massively, systematically create something new. The post-Soviet mentality was the main obstacle that prevented Ukraine and our economy from making a qualitative leap.
What has the war changed? The Ukrainian people have grown significantly if they have not become mature. This is evident in several manifestations. First, millions of Ukrainians have taken responsibility. Everyone who went to the front, volunteered accepted refugees, or gave the last penny to the army, understood that their fate did not depend on the state, oligarchs, abroad, or anyone else, but on themselves. Secondly, we stopped being afraid. During the war, Ukrainians experienced the worst thing that could happen in life - the loss of something most valuable or the direct threat of losing their lives. When the war is over, the worst is over, so there is nothing to fear. Fearlessness will free our hands to create the Ukraine we dream of. Third, the war fine-tuned conscience and morals. It is as if she gave Ukrainian society a lens through which it is clear what is good and what is bad, what are our strengths, and which are weak. When someone stole before the war, there were always nuances that society took into account when assessing it. And when someone now profits from humanitarian aid, it is condemned by almost everyone and everywhere. Fourth, the war taught many to trust, unite, value, love, and more. In critical situations, a person reveals himself. Revealing themselves during the war, Ukrainians showed the world that they are not rotten at heart. Although, unfortunately, not all. Ukrainians have shown the world that they are not rotten in their souls. Although, unfortunately, not all. Ukrainians have shown the world that they are not rotten in their souls. Although, unfortunately, not all.
These changes in the public consciousness are extremely fundamental. These are the sprouts of new life. We need to hold on to them, we need to build the foundation of a new Ukraine on them. The trouble is that, like everything new, they are still very young, soft, and fragile. Therefore, they need to be cultivated, otherwise over time, when the euphoria of our victories subsides, the shameful past will make every effort to return (unfortunately, after the last two revolutions, he succeeded). In practice, such cultivation means that we must somehow use the war-induced changes in the public consciousness as a kind of tuning fork to adjust all social processes in the new Ukraine, as a support that will help society get rid of pre-war complexes and habitual destructive norms of behavior in society.
Thus, the recovery (of the economy) of Ukraine should begin with a kind of "reform" of the mentality. Without it, it is impossible to realize any of the wonderful visions of the future that we continue to generate, but which have been trampled on for almost 8 years after the Revolution of Dignity. To change the mentality, we at the level of society must get rid of all the destructive social norms formed in Ukraine before the war under the influence of post-traumatic complexes. To do this, each of them must be contrasted with the corresponding positive social phenomenon, which became widespread during the war. Thus, the "reform" of the mentality will consist in enshrining in law, customs, traditions, habits, or other forms of institutionalization such norms of behavior that will allow society to discover and realize its potential.
Like any reform, it consists of adequate diagnosis, the definition of principles of action, and the implementation of a step-by-step plan. The list (possibly incomplete) of destructive social norms inherent in Ukrainians and the principles of action necessary to eradicate them are described below. The step-by-step plan automatically follows from them.
1. Negative public attitude towards the state. For centuries, Ukrainians have not had their place, and the one they had has always been alienated, and often hostile to our people. Therefore, deep in the subconscious, most of us are in constant opposition to the state, we do not feel involved in it, or its owners, and are ready to stick sticks in its wheels. Hence the prevalence of tax evasion, significant shadow economy, the habit of stealing, carving up the budget, the authority of those who deceive the state, a low public priority of state reform, government development, and more.
Principles of action. Ukrainians must feel like owners of their state, involved in its affairs. First, the state at various levels must become a full-fledged, "its" link in those networks of cooperation that were formed during the war and will be formed after its end. This requires an official of a different quality who is always proactive, ready to listen to the initiative of the citizen, and does everything to help (it may be necessary to replace or retrain thousands of officials). If he does not, there should be a hotline that accepts complaints and eventually removes such an official from working with people. The more horizontal connections, the better. Integrating war volunteers into government could be an interesting way to do this.
Secondly, the experience of decentralization has shown that local businesses are much more responsible for their state-building function when they see the real results of spending the taxes they pay. Therefore, it is necessary to develop decentralization, and more actively involve taxpayers in the implementation of state functions on the ground, from transparency and reporting to increasing financial autonomy of communities in terms of not only expenditures but also revenues (so that taxpayers can influence the use of funds, paid by him to the budget).
During the three months of the war, this state proved that it was generally friendly to Ukrainians. She protects us (did not capitulate), helps us in trouble, defends us abroad, and feeds many. Yes, it is quite weak, it still has too many low-quality staff in positions of responsibility. But in general, her intentions are correct. It is possible that this fact will change the attitude of many Ukrainians toward the state.
2. Paternalism. The Soviet people had a strong impression that the state was giving them everything. That is why many Ukrainians still believe that the state should give them a lot, but they do not owe it anything. This is where the feet grow in populism (which degenerates politics), the incredible difficulty of carrying out complex reforms (educational, medical, pension, etc.), budgetary distortions in the direction of current expenditures, and so on.
Principles of action. It seems that the war very well balances consciousness, and principles of morality and involves the conscience of many. A large number of Ukrainians have shown by their actions that they clearly understand what goodness, heroism, justice, self-sacrifice, solidarity, and patriotism are and that for them these concepts are the highest values for which they are ready to lay down their lives. We need to unite around such values. People who profess and interpret them unequivocally need to be supported. Of course, such people need to be filled after the end of the war. You just need to find the right mechanism for this. The war may become for Ukraine the crucible in which a new social morality acceptable to all our citizens will be melted down. If so, it will drastically simplify the lives of our people.
4. Attitude to the law. In Soviet times, the law was an instrument of coercion to submit to a foreign state. Therefore, he was a stranger, a kind of lattice in which the state locked the will of its citizens, restricting it. And thus it was fundamentally different from the laws of normal countries, which are often a continuation of established social customs and fully comply with existing moral norms. The USSR has not existed for a long time, thousands of legislative acts have changed in Ukraine, but the spirit of jurisprudence has remained largely Soviet. Those who pass laws in our country continue to approach them as coercion, an instrument of restraint that is often inconsistent with public morality. Sometimes it seems that Ukrainian lawmakers consider it possible by law to correct the laws of physics or economics. This phenomenon originates from the USSR. Therefore, ordinary citizens do not want to have anything to do with the law. That is why many Ukrainians are not law-abiding, they easily break the law because it contradicts morality. Therefore, people with intelligence perceive the law as something foreign and spend their efforts to find a loophole and circumvent the law, considering it quite moral. Therefore, judges judge as they please, there is no rule of law in the country, but there is the rule of money and ambiguous moral norms.
Principle of action. The law must be based on public morality (for this it must exist) in the common forms of society and on the best world models in new forms for us (hence the need for integration with the EU in terms of approximation of our legislation to their regulations). To achieve this, legislators must be the bearers and defenders of public morality, and laws must be written by qualified lawyers who also share relevant values. Hence another request for war activists - this time in the Verkhovna Rada. We need to understand how to ensure their election there.
5. Distrust. In Soviet times, few people could be trusted, otherwise, the risk of being imprisoned or killed would increase dramatically. There was also a crisis of confidence in the 1990s, as it was easy to fall victim to fraud. Therefore, then the lack of trust was also an adequate survival strategy. But without trust it is impossible to work together, and without working together it is impossible to ensure the division of labor and its maximum efficiency. In other words, the country's development is impossible without trust. Before the war, a lack of trust led to nepotism (cooperation only with one's own), a devastating confrontation between different social groups over trifles, a weak state, and deepening the problems of point G1, as well as other consequences.
Principle of action. The war changed that completely. If we did not quickly learn to trust now, Ukraine's losses in it would be much greater. During the war, networks of trust emerged that should be maintained. Perhaps, after our victory, we need to direct more resources to these networks so that they can develop. Or integrate them into the state. Or create some national or regional development initiatives in which more and more networks could emerge. In any case, the network of trust is the heart of the new Ukraine. It needs to be institutionalized. To do this, there are many points of effort - from simple removal of military ruins to construction and industry development. Every Ukrainian who has not yet learned to trust should understand that by trusting, one will not be able to avoid mistakes, losses, or encounters with fraudsters, but the end result of trust more than compensates for all losses.
6. Propensity to hacking and "freebies". In Soviet times, wages were paid without being closely tied to the quality of the work performed. That's why Ukrainians are used to tinkering. Moreover, hackneying was perceived by the people as sabotage of the enemy state. The union has long since ceased to exist, and the habit of idleness has survived. Therefore, any businessman in Ukraine is forced to spend a significant part of resources to control the work of subordinates. Many people now like to say that they work the way they are paid, and as a result, they are paid the way they work. On the other hand, since in Soviet times wages varied little, the attractiveness of work was determined by the presence of a "leftist", the ability to get something "for free", sell or exchange and get extra "earnings". To this can be added the habit of receiving everything from the state "for free", generated by paternalism. The consequences of both of these social norms are inefficiency and huge losses for the economy, the state, and any business in Ukraine. And this is a significant obstacle to development.
Principle of action. During the war, many Ukrainians realized that if they were idle, there would be no result (in fact, in many cases it is difficult to call the actions of the Russian Army other than nonsense), and in this case, there will be more war victims than there could be. It is impossible to combine idleness and victory in war. Therefore, many have learned to work on conscience. As for the "freebie", so is the war, and now it is becoming increasingly clear that someone is always paying for it. Those who unnecessarily take humanitarian aid for free will still get what they deserve. The best remedy for the propensity to hack and freebies in economic activities is to link rewards to key performance indicators (KPIs). The general increase in the level of responsibility in society may also contribute to the elimination of these destructive social norms, after all, now all the work of every Ukrainian will be perceived because of its impact on the long-term defense capabilities of the country. Tricked or tricked - weakened the country. And this is serious.
7. The habit of stealing. This is a very complex problem in general. Ukrainians stole from the state because it was foreign. That was normal. Now the oligarchs are doing the same, although the state has allegedly become much closer to the people. We stole from collective farms because they were state-owned. Now ordinary citizens are doing the same in the fields of large agricultural holdings. Ukrainians are stealing from big business because they are "damned capitalists" who will not become poor. And now our people are stealing a humanitarian because it is "for free". The habit of stealing is a curse in our country. Unfortunately, it has long been a social norm, although its destructiveness is manifested in many aspects from the weakness of the state to the poverty of the individual citizen, who instead of working on himself and his development is constantly looking to steal something.
Principle of action. It seems that the war has forced many to rethink their attitude toward theft. In retrospect, she highlighted the fact that if Ukrainians had not stolen everything they could over the years, Ukraine's position in this war would have been much stronger, if this war had been possible at all. Realizing this in critical circumstances will likely lead many to repent. I would like repentance to reach social proportions. However, it is now clear that many continue to steal, and judging by the focus of public debate on the hundreds of billions of dollars needed to rebuild the country, many have already sharpened their teeth to steal on a global scale. This should be punished as severely as possible. A clear condemnation of theft must become an integral part of the public morality of the new Ukraine. It may be necessary to introduce the most severe punishment for theft,
8. Security forces as a factor of fear. In the days of the Union, law enforcement agencies, like the law, were also instruments of coercion to submit to a foreign state. They maintained a certain level of fear in society. Ordinary people never considered them their own. The USSR has long been gone, and the security forces in Ukraine are still strangers and frightening. Only then did they do so for the benefit of the empire, and now they often serve their material interests. For many of them, the concept of honor has lost its meaning and value. Police reform tried to change this, but its successes were not systematic. As a result, Ukraine has huge problems with law enforcement agencies (police, SBU, tax, customs, etc.) because they have a disproportionately large social weight (this was normal for a police state, but not democratic), which is converted into unjustifiably high financial status. The rule of law suffers from this,
Principle of action. The war returned meaning to the notion of uniform honor. After all, for many soldiers, honor has proved to be one of the highest values they uphold under the threat of death. They proved it at the forefront, so after the war, they should become the basis of a renewed law enforcement agency. The Ukrainian people in their mass have ceased to be a society of fear, so they do not need such a large number of those who chase this fear. Therefore, it is obvious that after the war the question of a drastic reduction in the number of law enforcement officers should be raised. Let them go to create added value, not redistribute it in their own pockets. The Ukrainian people are not the enemy of their state, because the main enemy of it is Russia. Therefore, it is necessary to shift the balance from the structures that fight against internal enemies, in favor of the army that opposes the external enemy.
Before the war, all these destructive social norms hampered the development of Ukraine, because the vast majority of Ukrainians adhered to and reproduced them. If you look closely at your soul and do not see any of them in it, then you are probably not Ukrainian (except from the diaspora). Therefore, when we talk about the reform of the judiciary, police, tax, customs, antitrust, etc. - it's all good. But for the last 8 years, we have been talking about them in the same way and even trying to do something, and the cart is still there. Reforms are changes in the way of life, and if they are not preceded by the transformation of consciousness, then they do not make sense, because there is no one to carry them out. If cultivating the sprouts of new life that arose during this war, Ukraine manages to change the social mentality, getting rid of destructive social norms, then there will be someone for whom to carry out reforms and rebuild the country, which everyone dreams of. If we fail to "reform" the mentality, the great visions of the future will remain unrealized. Because without changes in mentality there will be no economic development, and without a strong economy there will be no victory and security.