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Values shift in Ukraine: any evidence yet?

Recently, one mayobserve that thisparadigm of society dispersed from the streets to business, politics and civil society.

Something, that has been known as the energy of Maidan, went further, while people has taken government positions, most participated actively in various social initiatives (74% according to IRI Municipal poll), every second support the Army (49%) and develop the local infrastructure (31%). Such social activism rejects the whole idea of a leader or a state-directed society. People are actively involved from below to develop the society given their own will but not an order from the state or anyone above the society and individuals themselves.

 

Marko and Ulana Suprun being awarded Ukrainain citizenship from Mr. Poroshenko Credit: president.gov.ua
Marko and Ulana Suprun being awarded Ukrainian citizenship from Mr. Poroshenko Credit: president.gov.ua

I can observe that Ukraine is heading towards new postmaterialistic values, and with a flow of time our culture and paradigm may attract thousands of people all over the globe. Just recently a Ukrainian-American-Canadian couple of Marko and Ulana Suprun chose to take Ukrainian citizenship despite all the “strength” of their former passports. The same process is under way by Mychailo Wynnyckyj, who has spent his last 13 years building education and developing businesses in Ukraine. I have an honour to know these people personally and can underline that this is a trend of attractiveness of the ideas and societal dimension of Ukraine. This makes citizens and residents of other countries to be willing to join and commit to New Ukraine and sacrifice all the benefits of their previous citizenship as an entrance fee (although many including me support dual citizenship, in Ukraine it is prohibited on administrative level). The same logic applies to me: two months ago I left the Netherlands to return to Ukraine despite good living conditions and financial attractiveness.

Concluding Remarks

All in all, I noticed and underlined quite a few pieces of evidence that proved that social, value and paradigm shift occurring in Ukraine. So, if value shift may be observed already, what does it mean and where does it lead?

I personally associate the Revolution of Dignity with a value shift that may also be observed in the rise of a middle class and civic activism. In fact, people who found capabilities to contribute to the army (or treatment of wounded warriors) and commit to society spending their own time and money is a sign of a proactive, voluntary lifestyle. I would say with clarity that the direction where Ukraine is heading is a (post)-modern democracy where freedom of people is at the core, including freedom of the choice and freedom of expression.

In addition, Ukrainian society is becoming more and more open to new cultures, religions and beliefs, which also means openness for innovations. Moreover, the high level of social activism and willingness to sacrifice some pragmatic advantageous highlights the post-materialism of Ukrainians. As a result, the social foundation that was established on Maidan could stimulate professional and personal growth of protesters in accordance to values of creativity, freedom, curiosity, and independence and, more importantly, might become a precondition for innovations and development of Ukrainian society towards most progressive European countries, or create a post-modern Ukrainian society with unique values and social structure.

Such a ongoing value shift based on rich tangible and intangible Ukrainian capital opens a variety of opportunities both for Ukraine and outer world. International institutions, donors and investors now should think about opportunities to step in and contribute to Ukraine’s development, which in turn will stimulate the global competitiveness and well-being. At the same time, inside the country, the whole variety of ‘from below’ activities have begun – from monitoring elections initiatives to reforming Ukraine (as RPR and Nova Kraina), creating the network of Global Ukrainians and building unique high tech business ecosystem.

The revolution of Dignity and the war led to the paradigm and values shift in societal dimension, that in turn inevitably affects the politics and economy, and opens the window of opportunies. Ukrainians (have) changed, and now it is time to change the country and the world.