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Phenomenon of "Orange Revolution": psychological reflections - Реферат

Реферат з англійської мови

Phenomenon of "Orange Revolution": psychological reflections

"Break their nexus and hurl down the

gyves" Book of Psalms 2:3

Phenomenon of "Orange Revolution" in Ukraine has apparently become a key event in modern history of the country: a unique and more importantly peaceful shift of the purse-proud and contumelious authorities has enabled the country to make a breakthrough from "independent to free society" as President Yuschenko has recently said. Kaleidoscope of revolutionary events has been widely discussed in the media and has not yet escaped from the memory of the participants and spectators. However, as the immediate emotions have passed by and without an attempt to reconstruct the chronology of the events we will try to reevaluate the issue of the Revolution through adding more psychological colors to the socio-political canvas that has been already painted.

"Divided and United" - this popular title for the studies originally dedicated to the Civil War in the US perfectly well describes the state of affairs in pre and post-election Ukraine. "Divided nation" was the first both domestic and foreign experts were starting from while speaking about the Revolution (those who were glued to mass media during these "17 instances of winter" apparently don't need any other arguments of issue's vitality). The visitors of multiple web-sites, readers of newspapers and magazines, yet, TV viewership must remember the "orange-and-blue" map of Ukraine perfectly well. Millions of foreigners who had been unaware of a geographical location of Ukraine prior to the Revolution appeared now competent not only in the geography of the country; moreover, they have learned where Kyiv, L'viv and Donet'sk are located, made a deep insight into the history and culture of the nation and the reasons of revolution! However, as the country is seemingly "piecing up the quarrel" we will not dear to salt the wound and discuss the problem of divided society (furthermore, these ideas have been paid much attention in media before). And, so excuse me the former partisans of the "blue camp" and "orangemen", the emphasis will be further made rather on the nation united than divided!

Though the issue of "Orange Revolution" remains and obviously will remain highly debated amidst domestic and foreign scholars, politicians and common people for further decades, delighted attitudes and opinions quite often dull "boring" scholar explanations of both the Revolution and the reasons behind it. As a result, the implicit psychological reasons often appear literally "behind the scene". In fact, psychological aspects of "Orange Revolution" may be well exemplified with the classic Shakespearian character of "the ghost of Hamlet's father": also no one was questioning its importance the issue was paid much less attention than it deserved.

Traditional problem of psychology (and the Revolution didn't make an exception here) is that it is more implicit and hidden from apprehension comparing with more explicit and easy to cognize by common people factors (e.g.: social, economic, political, etc.). For those who remember former Soviet textbooks it may be furthermore memorable that official propaganda used to put very socio-political and economic reasons in the center of all public clamors. As a result, most conventionally, "Orange Revolution" has been analyzed from social, political, economic and other perspectives apparently lacking psychological reflections and reevaluations.

However, psychological components resulted in the outburst of people's emotions, rejections of falsified elections, reprobation of disgusting attempts to assume the reins of government were hardly less important than social, economic or other more explicit factors of the revolt. One of the fewest attempts targeted to reconsider the phenomenon "psychologically" was a round table in the Institute of social and political psychology of the Ukrainian Academy of Pedagogic Sciences held in January. Let's, hence, attempt to summarize the findings and trace most important psychological reasons behind "Orange revolution" separating, simultaneously, the "husk from the grain".

The first and probably the most important psychological aspect of the revolution was that it appeared to be the first chorus of protests in Ukraine that wasn't not based on purely economic ground (i.e.: aggravation of living standards, delinquency of payment, abolition of exempts, etc.). Moreover, the economic situation in the country was obviously as good as never before. This dramatically important sign well shows the changes in public consciousness of the people, particularly that it has already achieved a brand new state rapidly approaching the standards of civil society when money start meaning less than civil rights and freedoms. Artificially cornered in the measures of lumpen or suburban mentality by previous authorities (multiple researches ordered by former Ukrainian Government and Presidential administration were targeted to prove the "cavemen" state of Ukrainian public consciousness, incapacity of Ukrainian people, their inability to revolt and oppose the powers, etc.) the nation obviously for the first time since the deep democratic transformations in 1989-1991 has recognized its entity and psychological unity. Regardless the visible hostility between westerners and easterners millions of people remember "Donetsk, Donbas - join us". Apparently, the revolution has indeed prompted development of new Ukrainian society and helped making strong feeling of national identity amidst Ukrainian people.

As mentioned before, unique concordance of common people with general democratic values, struggle for inalienable civil rights for the first time started meaning more than purely economic welfare. The slogans "my house is on the fringe" or Chekhov's example of "a man in cover" became outdated with the present Ukrainian realities; the old saying "bread and circuses" was as well working no more in a new Ukraine! Previous passiveness, apathy and indifference of the people in politics were shifted with a surge of emotions, anger, desire to act though allied with traditional Ukrainian peacefulness and tolerance. This unique combination has amazed the whole global community!

As heard from a number of participants on Maidan (the word that already doesn't need translation to other languages) as well as common people in different cities, they were ready to reject from their wages and welfares if only it would benefit the whole outcome of the Revolution. Thousands of common Kyivvites as well as representatives of hundreds of cities, towns and villages throughout Ukraine were eager to share whatever they had to help the cause and rescue the nation. How different are these ideas from what Mr. Kuchma believed about his Nation speaking of the unformed Ukrainian nation and absence of civil society in his "Ukraine is not Russia"!

"What's the value of receiving the salary in the state governed by criminals?", "Do you need this money if you will contemn yourself till the end of days?", and "Do you want your voice to be purchased for the "dirty money" you have been stolen before?" - These were the most common responses of the people to what was happening throughout the whole state!

Forming of civil society in Ukraine was as well proven by a number of other reasons. For the first time in Ukrainian history the nation didn't let authorities to deceive and split itself: neither comprehensive support of foreign politicians and technologies nor dramatic brainwashing of pubic consciousness has made people to betray their ideals, their candidate, yet, their own country. As various mass media monitoring manifest, the aggregate of positive information concerning pro-governmental was exceeding the aggregate positive information of opposition's leader in hundreds times! Not to "swallow the bait" and not yield to the redesigned idea "divide et impera" (divide and rule) was an incredible psychological achievement of the wise nation. Being brainwashed and propagated for the decades Ukrainians have eventually developed the immunity against the harmful propaganda of the ever-worst regime in their state!

Another important psychological aspect that is usually "rested behind the political scene" is the question of national identity. Without particularizing theoretical approaches to the problem of national identity perfectly well discussed in Freudian psychoanalysis, Erickson's theory of identity and number of other paradigms, it is important to say that identity is the key psychological phenomenon that makes nations and people united. The "we" and "they" feelings (Oksana Zabuzhko has been perfectly discussing them in the March issue of "Fulbrighter in Ukraine") have helped consolidation people, strengthen new Ukrainian nation.

If prior to the Revolution the idea of Ukrainian national identity was rather diluted and percept differently in different regions of the country, "Orange Revolution" has apparently prompted making of new Ukrainian oneness, raised prestige of "Ukraineness" both in the country and throughout the world. It was a dramatic experience, a kind of a psychotherapy that helped people to understand that being Ukrainian is prestigious and responsible simultaneously. Forgotten strophes of V. Mayakovsky "Look and envy, I'm a Citizen..." have received their new meaning in the new Ukraine. Due to the Revolution the issue of Ukrainian identity has received its brand new sense shifting from displeasure of being a citizen of corrupted and poor country (let's be critical to own drawbacks) to the delight of leaving in a new state and envy of foreigners (even an observer from welfare Sweden on the so-called "3rd tour of the elections" didn't hide his admiration of people of the country the national colors of which coincides with the ones on Swedish flag, as he mentioned not without a pleasure!).>

For the first time in Ukrainian history people did not fight for somebody's rights. In fact, it was not the Revolution "for" Yuschenko and "contra" Yanukovych, but rather the Revolution for own rights of Ukrainian people, i.e.: the rights to vote, to have own point of view, to criticize the authorities, yet, to participate in transparent and democratic elections and not to be deceived so cynically through imposing "one and only" candidate! For the first time it was not a political revolution (a revolution supporting a certain political power): it was the "Pro-People Revolution" (the revolution for people's rights). Reevaluating Abraham Maslow's classic motivation theory, "Orange Revolution" has become a greatest since Bogdan Khmelnitski self-actualization of people. Reconsidering Sigmund Freud, it was obviously a greatest catharsis of the nation.

To a great extent "Orange Revolution" was also a "psychological revolution" - a revolution in people's social and political mentality. The revolution that helped people get rid of previous "inferiority complex" of "little sister" and understand perfectly well that they are Europeans, the members of all-European family. Illustrating this idea one could say that current opinion polls in the European Union states demonstrate that almost three quarter of their citizens, welcome Ukraine's accession to the EU.

It is also dramatically important, "Orange Revolution" appeared not the issue of choice between two candidates, parties or political programs. Instead, it was rather a choice of two different political regimes, two antagonistic ways of further development of Ukraine: "mediocrity" personified by Mr. Yanukovych and civil society embodied by Yuschenko. Choosing "European and civilized" Ukraine means a great breakthrough, a chance and change for the whole nation, whole continent, the whole globe.

Dramatic kaleidoscope of the revolutionary events that has been keeping the whole world in suspense for more than half a month and history's ever-longest peripeteia of electoral campaign has eventually received almost a Hollywood happy-end where Ukrainian people obviously deserve an Oscar for the best script and craftsmanship (Constantine Stanislavski would probably finally say "I Believe" optimistically). Being one of the most dramatic events we have eyewitnessed here in Ukraine the Revolution was that kind of very necessary and important psychological trigger necessary to wake-up an enchanted Sleeping Beauty - the new Ukrainian nation.

Also the outcomes of "Orange Revolution" will remain the subjects for discussions both for many contemporaries and coming generations, for me personally they are enclosed in two following classic expressions: "No hypocrisy lingers forever", Cicero has once said; "Each may believe in what he wants. I mind just when people are forced to faith in one ultimate truth", Isaac Asimov has added. For sure, further generations of Ukrainians will know these sentences only from chrestomathies but not from their own example.