Михаил Петрович Драгоманов (1841-1895)

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Mykhaylo Drahomanov: A Symposium and Selected Writings, The Annals of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the U.S., Vol. II, Spring, 1952, No. 1 (3).


SVITOZOR DRAHOMANOV (1884-1958) and IVAN L. RUDNYTSKY (1919-1984)

Mykhaylo Drahomanov's scholarly and political writings form an important contribution to Ukrainian and European culture and to the development of political thinking. A partial bibliography of his works, compiled by his disciple Mykhaylo Pavlyk, fills 34 page; in Pavlyk's Mykhaylo Petrovych Drahomanov, 1841-1895, Yoho yubiley, smert, autobiohrafiya i spys tvoriv (Mykhaylo Petrovych Drahomanov, 1841-1895, His Jubilee, Death, Autobiography, and an Index of his Works) (Lviv, 1896). This book was prepared by Drahomanov's Galician friends in 1894, in honor of his jubilee, and it was completed after his early death the following year.

Obviously it is impossible to present a complete bibliography of Drahomanov's works here. We shall limit ourselves to the major ones, those necessary to an understanding of the full range of his fundamental ideas.

Drahomanov's first work in the field of general history, "Imperator Tiberii" ("The Emperor Tiberius") appeared in the Kiyevskia Universitetskia Izvestia (The Bulletin of Kiev University) in 1864. This was his dissertation pro venia legendi, that is, it gave him the right to lecture at Kiev University. Later the following articles also appeared in this bulletin: "O sostoyanii zhenshchiny v pervy vcl Rimskoi Imperii" ("The Situation of Women in the First Century of the Roman Empire"); "O gosudarstvennykh reformakh Diokletsiana i Konstantina Velikogo" ("The State Reforms of Diocletian and Constantine the Great") (both 1867); and a longer monograph which was also printed separately, "Vopros ob istoricheskom znachenii Rimskoi Imperii i Tatsit" ("Tacitus and the Question o: the Historical Importance of the Roman Empire") (1870). This work is characteristic of Drahomanov's approach to the philosophy of history. It was his thesis for the degree of master, which, in the Russian University system, was at least the equivalent of the Western doctorate, and it opened the way to his becoming a professor. All of these were written in Russian.

Three of Drahomanov's works on pedagogy should be mentioned. Two were published in Russian in the Sankt Peterburgskiye Vedomosti (The St. Petersburg News) in 1866: "Zemstvo i mestny element v obuchenii" ("Zemstvo Self-Government and the Local Element in the School System") and "O pedagogicheskom znachenii malorusskogo yazyka" ("The pedagogic role of the Little Russian Language"). The third is a pamphlet written in Ukrainian and published in Geneva in 1877: Narodni shkoly na Ukrayini (Folk. Schools in the Ukraine).

Drahomanov's most important scientific works are on Slavic, particularly Ukrainian, ethnography and folklore. Here we shall only name a few of his chief works in this field. The monumental work Istoricheskia pesni malorusskogo naroda (Historical Songs of the Little Russian People) (2 vol., Kiev, 1874-75) was written jointly with Professor Volodymyr Antonovych. Malorusskia narodnyia predania i razskazy (Little Russian Popular Legends and Tales) (Kiev, 1876), of the same period, is by Drahomanov alone. The folklore material in these volumes is reproduced in the original Ukrainian, but the introduction and comments are in Russian. After Drahomanov went abroad, he continued the publication of historical and political songs, without the collaboration of Antonovych. The following appeared in Ukrainian: Novi ukrayinski pisni pro hromadski spravy, 1764-1880 (New Ukrainian Songs on Social Matters, 1764-1880) (Geneva, 1881) and Politychni pisni ukrayinskoho narodu, XVIII-XIX st. (Political Songs of the Ukrainian People in the 18th and 19th Centuries) (2 vol., Geneva, 1883 and 1885). These are interesting from the standpoint of sociology as well as that of folklore, for the songs are used as the basis of an examination of the social and political ideas of the Ukrainian people. After Drahomanov's death his numerous studies and articles on ethnography and folklore were collected and published in Ukrainian by the Shevchenko Scientific Society. This four volume work, Rozvidky M. Drahomanova pro ukrayinsku narodnu slovesnist i pysmenstvo (Drahomanov's Studies in Ukrainian Folklore and Literature) appeared in Lviv in 1889-1907.

Now let us turn to Drahomanov's political publications. These were his most numerous writings, and they are the most interesting for us today. Even before he emigrated, Drahomanov had achieved a prominent place in Russian journalism. In his articles in the liberal papers in St. Petersburg he specialized in questions of foreign policy, Russian minorities, and Galician affairs. Out of his many articles we should like to note three which appeared in the St. Petersburg monthly, Vestnik Yevropy (The European Messenger): "Vostochnaya politika Germanii i obruseniye" ("Germany's Eastern Policy and Russification") (1872); "Russkiye v Galitsii" ("The Ruthenians in Galicia") (1873); and "Yevrei i Polyaki v Yugo-zapadnom Kraye" ("the Jews and the Poles in Southwestern Russia") (1875)

At that time there was no Ukrainian press in Russia, so Drahomanov began to publish in Ukrainian in Austrian Galicia. Among his articles was one published in Pravda (The Truth) in 1873, "Literatura rosiyska, velykoruska, ukrayinska i halytska" ("Russian Great Russian, Ukrainian, and Galician Literature"), which discussed the relation of the Ukrainians in Galicia to imperial Russian and to popular Great Russian and Ukrainian literary currents. Next to his letters published in the student magazine Druh (The Friend) in 1875-76, this was the article which had the greatest influence on the development of a new and progressive movement among Galician Ukrainians.

As a political emigrant in Geneva, Switzerland, Drahomanov began the irregular publication of a political magazine, Hromada (The Community), the first Ukrainian review of its kind. In th extensive "Perednye slovo do Hromady" ("Introduction to Hromada") (No. 1, 1878), Drahomanov sketched the history of the Ukrainian movement and presented his program for Ukrainian socialism and federalism. Community bears the stamp of its tireless editor, who even had to create a Ukrainian journalistic prose. We should like to mention by name two of Drahomanov's article which appeared in Community: "Ukrayina i tsentry" ("The Ukraine and the Capitals") (No. 2, 1878), the thesis of which is that tsaris centralism caused the decline of civic life in the peripheral areas of the Russian Empire, and "Shevchenko, ukrayinofily i sotsializm" ("Shevchenko, the Ukrainophiles, and Socialism") (No. 4, 1879) which treats the life and work of the great Ukrainian poet Shevchenko (1814-1861) and gives a critical survey of the Ukrainian movement after his death.

The article "Propashchy chas, Ukrayintsi pid Moskovskym tsarstvom, 1654-1876" ("The Lost Epoch, the Ukrainians under Muscovite Tsardom, 1654-1876") was intended for Community. It had been prepared for the press, but was not printed there, and only appeared in 1909. It is to be found in this collection.

Drahomanov's activity abroad was not limited to Ukrainian questions. He was a leading figure in the revolutionary anti-tsarist emigration from Russia. In connection with the Balkan War Drahomanov published two pamphlets: Turki vnutrenniye i vnyeshniye (The Turks and Their Russian Imitators) (Geneva, 1876) and Vnutreneye rabstvo i voina za osvobozhdeniye (Domestic Slavery and the War of Liberation) (Geneva, 1877), an unsparing criticism of Russian imperialism which penetrated the Balkans behind the hypocritical mask of "liberators of the Slavic brethren."

From June 1881 to May 1883 a Russian paper, Volnoye Slovo (Free Word) was published in Geneva. From its inception Drahomanov was one of the chief collaborators, and later he became editor-in-chief. Drahomanov's biographer, D. Zaslavsky, says:

Free Word was a free tribune for all the social-revolutionary and liberal currents, and the only point on which the paper insisted unconditionally was the renunciation of terror.1

At first the paper was weekly, then semimonthly, and almost every issue contained an article by Drahomanov. Two of these, "Narodnaya Volya o tsentralizatsii revoliutsionnoi borby v Rossii" (Narodnaya Volya on the Centralization of the Revolutionary Struggle in Russia") (1882) and "Germanstvo na Vostokye i Moskovshchina na Zapadye" ("Germanism in the East and Muscovitism in the West" -- entitled "Germany's Drive to the East and Muscovy's Drive to the West" in this volume), are to be found in this book. It was also Free Word which published one of Drahomanov's most important series of articles, "Istoricheskaya Polsha i velikorusskaya demokratia" ("Historical Poland and Great Russian Democracy") (Geneva, 1882). This extensive political work, which was also printed separately, dealt with the history of the relations between the Russian revolutionaries and the Polish patriots, and the contest between these two partners for the regions inhabited by the Ukrainian people. One chapter of "Historical Poland" appears in this book.

After Free Word was discontinued, Drahomanov, whose increasingly sharp criticisms isolated him from the Russian political world, published less and less in Russian. Although Volny soyuz -- Vilna spilka, Opyt ukrainskoi politiko-sotsialnoi programmy (Free Union, Draft of a Ukrainian Political and Social Program) (Geneva, 1884) was published in Russian, it certainly belongs equally to the Ukrainian part of his literary activity. At the wish of his political friends in the Russian Ukraine, and with their collaboration, Drahomanov wrote this detailed program for political and social reforms which would turn the Russian Empire into a constitutional State, and would guarantee the Ukraine its national freedom in a federative structure. In this book we have given the first part of the work, the proposed statues for the Free Union. The second part is a detailed commentary.

Of the Russian works written by Drahomanov in the last decade of his life, we will mention only the pamphlet Liberalizm i Zemstvo v Rossii (Liberalism and Zemstvo Self-Government in Russia) (Geneva, 1889) and the two volumes of letters, edited by Drahomanov with his comments, which are of prime importance for the study of the history of political ideas in Russia: Pisma K.D. Kavelina i I. S. Turgenyeva k A. I. Gertsenu (The Letters of Kavelin and Turgenev to Herzen) (Geneva, 1892) and Pisma M. A. Bakunina k A. I. Gertsenu i N. P. Ogarevu (Bakunin's Letters to Herzen and Ogarev) (Geneva, 1896). The latter of these collections was published only after Drahomanov's death.

In the last years of his life Drahomanov once again wrote more of his articles in Ukrainian. At that time the Radical Party, formed by Drahomanov's disciples in Galicia, was in a phase of rapid growth. Drahomanov contributed frequently to the Radical Party's papers, and to those close to it, particularly to the semimonthly Narod (The People). There is scarcely an issue of The People without an article by Drahomanov. His letters indicate that he was not only a regular contributor, but also co-editor and the ideological leader of the Galician Radical publications. Two of Drahomanov's studies from this period deserve particular attention: Chudatski dumky pro ukrayinsku natsionalnu spravu (Peculiar Thoughts on the Ukrainian National Cause) (Lviv, 1892) and Lysty na Naddnipryansku Ukrayinu (Letters to the Dnieper Ukraine) (Kolomya, 1894). These are so closely related that they really form a single work, in which Drahomanov presents his sociological interpretation of the nation, and gives a drastic warning against chauvinism in the Ukrainian national movement. This was Drahomanov's political testament.

Drahomanov's political writings in Russian were edited by Professor Bohdan Kistyakovsky in the first decade of this century. Two volumes were published abroad: Sobraniye politicheskikh Sochinenii M. P. Dragomanova (The Collected Political Works of M. P. Drahomanov) (Paris, 1905-1906). These were published in the press of Osvobozhdeniye (Liberation), the militant paper of the Russian liberals, edited by Peter Struve, who was later leader of the Constitutional Democratic Party. The first volume of Collected Political Works (375 pages) contains two major works: "Historical Poland and Great Russian Democracy" and "Free Union." The second (874 pages) is composed of 73 of Drahomanov's political articles and pamphlets written after he emigrated in 1876. After the changes brought about by the Revolution of 1905, Kistyakovsky no longer had to publish this work abroad, and in 1908 Politicheskiia sochineniia M. P. Dragomanova (The Political Writings of M. P. Drahomanov) was published in Moscow. This contains Drahomanov's youthful works written before he went into exile, which were originally published in legal Russian papers. It was projected as the first volume of a four volume edition of Drahomanov's political works, but the following volumes, which would have been made up largely of the material already published in Paris, never appeared.

These three volumes edited by Kistyakovsky present a fairly complete picture of Drahomanov's political writings in Russian. His political writings in Ukrainian, some of which have been reprinted separately several times (e.g. Peculiar Thoughts and Letters to the Dnieper Ukraine, edited by M. Zaliznyak, Vienna, 1915), have not yet been published in a collection. The Ukrainian Sociological Institute in Prague published M. P. Drahomanov, Vybrani tvory (Selected Workj of M. P. Drahomanov), Vol. I (415 pages, Prague and New York, 1939, under the auspices of the Ukrainian Progressive Societies of America), edited by Pavlo Bohatsky. This publication, which was to be in two volumes, was intended to cover all the more important political writings in Ukrainian, and a selection from those written in Russian, in Ukrainian translation. Unfortunately the second volume was never published and this project also remained incomplete.

There are two more categories of Drahomanov's political writings: works on the Ukrainian question in West European languages and popular Ukrainian works. A part of Drahomanov's mission abroad was to inform the Western world about the Ukraine and its oppression by tsarist Russia. In 1878 he published the pamphlet La Litterature Oukrainienne proscrite par le Gouvernement Russe (Ukrainian Literature Proscribed by the Russian Government) (Geneva). This was read at the International Literary Congress in Paris, 1878, which was chaired by Victor Hugo. The same pamphlet was reworked and published in Italian as La letteratura di una nazione plebea (The Literature of a Plebeian Nation) (1881). In 1880 an article by Drahomanov, "Der kleinrussische Internationalismus" ("The Internationalism of the Little Russians") was published in the Swiss Jahrbuch fьr Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik (Yearbook of Politics and the Social Sciences) (Zurich). Under the editorship of Eduard Bernstein, this was then the leading theoretical organ of the German-speaking social democrats. In the same year Drahomanov's article, "Les nations de l'Europe Orientale et le Socialisme international" ("The Nations of Eastern Europe and International Socialism"), appeared in the Revue Socialiste (Socialist Review) edited by Benoit-Malon. Drahomanov's collaboration with the well-known French geographer Elisee Reclus was influential in informing the West about the Ukraine. Drahomanov edited the fifth volume of Reclus' Nouvelle Geographic Universelle (New Universal Geography), which dealt with European Russia, and he was able to give full and objective treatment to the Ukraine. Reclus' work was translated into English. In volume XXXIX of Ersch and Gruber's Encyclopedia (1887, in German) we find an article by Drahomanov entitled "Die Kosaken" ("The Cossacks").

Most of the last category of Drahomanov's political writings, his popular works in Ukrainian, were produced while he was in close touch with the Galician Radical Party. They were directed toward the peasants, with whom the Radicals were working energetically. Here are a few titles: Shistsot rokiv Shvaytsarskoyi Spilky (Six Hundred Years of the Swiss Confederation) (1891); Vira i hromadski spravy (Religion and Politics) (1892); Pro bratstvo khrestyteliv abo baptystiv na Ukrayini (The Baptist Brotherhoods in the Ukraine) (1893); Opovidannya pro zazdrykh bohiv (Tales of Jealous Gods) (1894); Ray i postup (Paradise and Progress) (1894). These popular pamphlets are still interesting because, in a clear and simple manner, they present the religious and philosophical convictions which were the basis of all of Drahomanov's thought, but which are often less explicit in his scientific and political works.

A separate part of Drahomanov's literary, estate is formed by his autobiographical works and letters. Drahomanov wrote an autobiographical sketch, about thirty pages long, which covers the period to 1889, i.e. to the time when he moved to Bulgaria. It was written at the request of a German economist, Professor Alfons Thun, who was doing research in the history of the revolutionary movement in Russia. After Drahomanov's death his friend and disciple, M. Pavlyk, found the Russian manuscript and published a Ukrainian translation in his Mykhaylo Petrovych Drahomanov, 1841-1895, His Jubilee, Death, Autobiography, and an Index of His Works. The Russian original was first published in the Petersburg magazine Byloye (The Past) (Vol. VI) in 1906. Since this biography was destined for his contemporaries, Drahomanov concentrated on his scientific and journalistic work, and said very little about his political activity, particularly, of course, about his relations with the illegal Ukrainian movement, which he went abroad to represent. This is only hinted at. Drahomanov's Avstro-rushi spomyny (Reminiscences of Austrian Ruthenia) (Lviv, 1889-1892) are completely different, being detailed memoirs. They treat Drahomanov's connections with the Ukrainians (Ruthenians) of the Austro-Hungarian Empire during the 1870's.

Perhaps the richest source of knowledge about Drahomanov's life, ideas, methods of political activity, and relations with his contemporaries is to be found in his letters. Most of those to Galician friends have been published: six volumes of his correspondence with Mykhaylo Pavlyk; two with the poet and scholar Ivan Franko (Lviv 1906 and 1908 with a second and more complete edition by the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in Kiev, 1928); the correspondence with Teofil Okunevsky, a member of the Austrian Parliament (Lviv, 1905), and others. After Drahomanov's death his papers remained in Bulgaria. In 1930 the Ukrainian Scientific institute in Warsaw obtained them and began their arrangement preparatory to publication. In 1937 Arkhiv Myhhayla Drahomanova, Tom 1, Lystuvannya Kyivskoyi Storoyi Hromady z M. Drahomanovym, 1870-1895 R.R. (The Archives of Mykhaylo Drahomanov, Vol. I, Correspondence with the Kiev "Old Hromada" [the parent group of the Ukrainian underground movement], 1870-1895) was published. This work is very useful in studying the history of the Ukrainian movement in the second half of the 19th century. Further volumes were prepared for publication, the second of which was to be Drahomanov's correspondence with his sister Olena Pchilka, who was herself a well-known writer. Unfortunately, most of this material was burned in Warsaw during World War II. However, a copy of the proposed third volume -- Drahomanov's correspondence with his niece, the poet Lesya Ukrayinka -- was preserved.

Finally we wish to mention some of the more important works which have been written about Drahomanov. At the beginning of this article we noted Pavlyk's Mykhaylo Petrovych Drahomanov (Lviv, 1896). This includes an extensive but incomplete bibliography and a detailed account of the jubilee arranged by Drahomanov's Galician friends in 1894, including the texts of the numerous telegrams and letters of congratulations received from important figures in Western Europe as well as in the Ukraine and other Slavic lands. Ivan Franko was the author of a remarkable article, "Suspilno-politychni pohlady M. Drahomanova" ("Drahomanov's Social and Political Views") published in the Literaturno-Naukovy Vistnyk. (The Literary and Scientific Messenger) Vol. VI (Lviv, 1906). Professor B. Kistyakovsky's introductions to his Paris and Moscow editions of Drahomanov's political works are also worthy of notice. The Prague edition of Selected Works has valuable comments and notes. The eminent Ukrainian historian Hrushevsky is the author of "M. Drahomanov i Zhenevsky sotsiyalistychny hurtok" ("Drahomanov and His Socialist Circle in Geneva") (Vienna, 1922), an investigation of Drahomanov's role as the founder of the Ukrainian socialist movement. In Volume II-III of the periodical edited by Hrushevsky, Ukrayina (The Ukraine) (Kiev, 1926), we also find much of interest about Drahomanov's life. D. Zaslavsky's monograph, M. P. Dragomanov, kritiko- biografichesky ocherk (M. P. Drahomanov, A Critical Biographical Sketch) (Kiev, 1924, in Russian) is still the only full biography. Particular attention is given to Drahomanov's relations with the Russian political world. This was written during a period of relative cultural freedom in the Soviet Union. Later, in 1934, Zaslavsky had to publish a "new edition" of this monograph, in which he expiated his sins in the first edition, i.e. chiefly his positive attitude toward Drahomanov's personality and activity. At present in the Soviet Union only Drahomanov's works on folklore can be mentioned, although Russian political thinkers of the nineteenth century who were also no Marxists (e.g. Herzen) are reprinted and studied more or less freely.

In English there are only two articles, one by Dmytro Doroshenko, "M. Drahomanov and the Ukrainian National Movement," in the Slavonic Review (London, April, 1938), and one by Hrushevsky, "Mikhailo Petrovich Drahomanov," in the Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences Vol. V, p. 233 (New York, 1931).


1 D. Zaslavsky, M. P. Drahomanov (Kiev, 1924), p. 133.

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