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).

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).


Our translation was made from Selected Works (pp. 148-151), compared with the original text (Geneva, 1881). Omissions have been made only in the sections presenting editorial aims, at the end of the article, not in the actual political program. This program, which was drawn up in 1880, is to be distinguished from the "Introduction to Hromada" of 1877. The much longer "Introduction" was the work of Drahomanov alone. The "Program," which we have printed here, is the joint work of Drahomanov and his friends Mykhaylo Pavlyk and Serhiy Podolynsky. Indeed, it is probable that the blueprint of this came from Podolynsky rather than from Drahomanov, but Drahomanov certainly reworked it.6

We must explain briefly the history of Hromada. Since 1877 Drahomanov had been publishing this magazine, at irregular intervals. This was part of the political task entrusted to Drahomanov by the illegal Hromada group in Kiev. In all, Drahomanov had published five thick volumes. But political and personal differences arose between Drahomanov and his Kiev friends, who suspended their remittances, and the further issues were stopped. At this point Drahomanov, who was then living with Mykhaylo Pavlyk, a journalist from Galicia, was approached by Serhiy Podolynsky. Podolynsky (1850-1891), a doctor and economist, a member of the Ukrainian Hromada in Kiev, and a militant socialist, had been living in France as a political emigrant since 1878. His parents were rich, and he had at his disposition substantial means, with which he wished to finance a new series of Hromada, transformed into a bi-monthly. Although Drahomanov had certain doubts about this, he agreed to cooperate. But the project soon broke down. Under police pressure Podolynsky's family ceased to send money. Soon thereafter Podolynsky became mentally ill, and was taken back to Russia by his parents. Only two numbers of the new Hromada, with Drahomanov, Podolynsky, and Pavlyk as editors, ever appeared.

The reader will soon spot the divergencies between "Free Union" and the "Program of Hromada." The former demands only the federalization of the Russian Empire and social reforms, the latter speaks of economic collectivism and of the complete independence of the Ukraine within its ethnic boundaries. We must remember that neither work is the product of Drahomanov alone, but that both are the result of collaboration -- in the first case with the group which wished to found the Free Union organization, in the second with S. Podolynsky. In both cases the collaboration left its imprint final product. Drahomanov was not a political opportunist and under no cirumstances would he have signed his name to a program he could not accept. On the other hand he was not a narrow dogmatist, and the difference between "Free Union" and the "Program of Hromada" merely show the range within which his ideas moved. Certainly the fundamental ideas -- the guarantee of personal rights, federalism, the national emancipation of the Ukraine, and social progress -- are the same in both. However, we shall probably not be mistaken in assuming that the program developed in "Free Union" lay closer to Drahomanov's heart. The "Program of Hromada" has a "maximal" flavor, and this was not exactly to Drahomanov's taste.

5 Archives of M. Drahomanov (Warsaw, 1937), p. 303.

6 Drahomanov's Correspondence with M. Pavlyk (Chemivtsi, 1910-11), VI, pp. 54-55.

The Ukrainian publication Hromada (Community) has been published in Geneva since 1877. It has been edited at irregular intervals by M. Drahomanov. From now on a hundred page issue will appear regularly every two months under the direction of the three undersigned: M. Drahomanov, M. Pavlyk, and S. Podolynsky.

We realize how difficult it is to undertake a publication in the Ukrainian language, especially on foreign soil. We have to address ourselves to a people without political independence, divided between two great empires, Russia and Austria-Hungary, a people who therefore has no way of expressing itself about its own welfare. Moreover we, a very small group of socialists, are far from our native land, and have no chance of working directly with and among our people.

At this time, however, there is no choice but to publish our periodical abroad. The political, economic, and educational enslavement of our country by Russia and Austria-Hungary curtails the freedoms of speech and publication to such an extent that it is almost impossible for those who favor freedom for the Ukrainian people, the socialists in particular, to speak or write unhampered on topics pertaining to human welfare and progress.

Our ideas and proposals are as follows:

  1. In political matters:
    1. Equal rights for men and women of all races.
    2. Inviolable freedom of speech, publication, education, assembly, and organization.
    3. Inalienable self-government for every community.
    4. Complete independence for the Ukraine, organized into a federation of free communities.

We define the Ukraine as the territory extending from the upper Tisa in Hungary in the west to the river Don and the Kuban land now under Russia in the east, and from the river Narev in the north to the Black Sea in the south. In this area the large majority of the peasants and workers, the really productive groups, are Ukrainians. On the other hand, the majority of the Poles, Jews, Germans, Hungarians, Muscovites (Russians), and so on belong to the allegedly upper classes, in reality the idle classes who live at the expense of the genuinely productive elements. Now these foreigners, who were sent into the Ukraine by their conquering States, and those renegade Ukrainians who joined them, dominate the country economically as the wealthy, and politically as officials and administrators.

Every nation suffers under foreign rule; neither can a nation prosper when it is forced to support large segments of the population which are non-productive. In reality it makes little difference whether the Ukrainian people get rid of these because they are exploiting groups or because they are foreign elements. Whatever their nationality, they should either contribute their share of work, or else they should leave the country.

The settlements of Rumanians, Bulgarians, Serbs, Greeks, Russians, Germans, Polish artisans and peasants, Jewish tradesmen, etc., who contribute toward the well-being of the country are a different matter. They must share equal rights and freedoms with the Ukrainians. Their communities and organizations should not be coerced into adopting the language and customs of the Ukrainian commonwealth. They should have the freedom to organize their own schools, from the primary to the university level, and the freedom to join in all sorts of activities with people in their home countries. These constructive foreign elements will be the links that bind the Ukraine to the neighboring nations, with whom the Ukraine should unite in a great free international federation.

In our opinion, self-government for a community consists in the right to unite with the nation it chooses, and to administer its internal affairs independently.

  1. In economic matters:
    1. All the important natural resources and means of production, such as land, water, machines, and factories, should be owned by the workers and peasants, organized into cooperative associations. People should not be placed in the position of selling their labor. They should work directly for themselves.

We believe that cooperative or collective ownership and labor are much more worthwhile than a system of private ownership.

At the same time we believe that the manner in which private ownership becomes collective and the manner in which a system of cooperative labor is set up and the produce divided will have to be solved through the goodwill of each community. It is to be hoped that both theory and practice in the economic field will show the individual communities how to organize cooperative labor and a just distribution of goods, not only on the local level, but also on the national and even international levels.

  1. In educational and cultural matters:
    1. We are in favor of empirical methods in the natural and social sciences, and in related fields of knowledge.

We think that science and the arts (literature, the theatre, painting, sculpture, and music) will some day replace the religions of today, which have caused and still cause so much enmity among peoples. Until education and persuasion have brought this about, all individuals and communities should have the freedom to worship as they choose, with the provision that the adherents of each faith (Christians, Jews, Mohammedans, etc.) or sect support their own churches and clergy, that nobody be taxed for the support of any church, and that all contributions for such purposes be voluntary.

Here we cannot go into details concerning the ways and methods of realizing our program. By using the printed word we show that we do not evade our part in the peaceable ways of furthering human progress. At the same time, we have no vain hopes. At no time in history were radical changes in social life brought about by peaceable means alone. Perhaps even less in the Ukraine than in other countries can we expect the voluntary abdication of power by existing rulers. Therefore it will be difficult for the people of the Ukraine to escape the necessity of an armed revolutionary struggle. Only such a revolution will finally transfer the natural resources and means of production into the hands of societies and communities of peasants and workers. To prevent the old ruling groups from seizing again their usurped wealth and power, it will be necessary to abolish the State army and introduce instead a Cossack militia in which every citizen will be trained to carry arms and use them when necessary. . . .

Directors of Hromada:

M. Drahomanov
M. Pavlyk
S. Podolynsky

September 1, 1880

malorus.org, копилефт 2006 г.