Political analytics and applied political science (when political scientists not only write theoretical articles or give lectures, but participate in the development of programs and act as experts/advisers in the political process, too) can only exist when in a state there exists politics. Such a trite thought per se returns us once again to the question of what politics is. This question has no simple answers within the framework of the applied political knowledge. Simple answers appear when one tries to customize definitions to the realities and conventions of a concrete country; when it is supposed that if there is a state, then there is politics as well, and this politics corresponds to the realities and conditions in this concrete state. “If in Belarus there is a state, then there is politics there, too” – this statement is rather doubtful, although it corresponds to common sense and ordinary reasonableness.
Common sense is limited in its possibilities to estimate the things that are outside of patency. Common sense is coordinated with what can be observed «here and now», on the one hand, and with rational discourse, on the other hand. As premises of rational syllogisms are taken from obvious facts, then all conclusions of common sense are reduced to the affirmation – everything is in the way it is and it cannot be otherwise. People in Belarus say that politics is a miry business, that they are not engaged in it and do not advise others. And — from the point of view of such «sagacious» people – the one who deals in politics is a bad person. Lukashenka is a good person, i.e. he cannot be engaged in politics; as he is the president of the country and head of the state, then the president does not deal in politics. He organizes sowings and harvestings, «launches» factories, and patronizes free calisthenics. What does he do when he carries out referenda and scatters the Parliament and the Constitutional Court if not “dealing in politics”? In his own Weltanschauung and in the opinion of his electorate, he eliminates politics lest it hinders him from organizing a sowing campaign and preparing for a winter cold season. And it turns out that there is no politics in the country; Belarus is a state without politics and out of politics. Any theoretically versed citizen will say that this reasoning is full of contradictions, and he/she will be right. Still, it means nothing for common sense. We should not be theoretical rigorists and we shall try to see a rational grain in the conclusions of common sense. Mind and reasonableness allow us to build bridges over the abyss, between reason and empiricism, between rationality and the naive realism of common sense.
Thus, it is clear even to common sense that politics comes to an end when a war begins. When the guns roar, the muses are silent; when the generals speak – politicians either stop talking, or turn into lieutenants. If a state is in the condition of a total war, then all fields of activity and life itself are being militarized. The market is turned off; public institutes are tinned. Economy and each person start to work for the war, to live and act for the victory. Now, let us imagine that the state is militarized so much that even after the victory it still preserves all the features of statehood, the public and economic structure, which is adapted to a state of war. In such a state, there is no place for politics. It is not difficult to imagine it at all — we can recall the historical examples of such a state of affairs. It means that at least in abstraction we allow the existence of states where there is no politics. “War is a continuation politics by other means” says the well-known aphorism; but – nonetheless – it is a continuation, not politics itself.
Almost all spheres of people’s life and activity are connected with politics. Politics influences these spheres, or they themselves influence politics. These mutual influences, however obvious they might be, cannot be the basis for the unjustified expansion of the volume and contents of the notion «politics», although this expansion happens quite often. This theoretical error or the incorrectness of unscientific irreflective political science is fraught with negative practical consequences; we shall speak of these consequences for Belarus below. And, politics can be influenced not only by people’s actions. The earthquake in Spitak and the events in Karabakh are also connected with each other; however, nobody will consider an earthquake a political event. Many political events are caused by natural reasons. The failure of the crops, changed fertility of soil, depletion of resources, or other natural factors can define the political actions of the states or separate groups of people. The working-out of rich oilfields in some countries becomes the factor, without which it is impossible to understand the political changes in these countries, but – nevertheless – these changes have political reasons that are only strengthened or deformed by the fact of the presence of oil resources. The oil in the Arabian countries spurs completely other political tendencies, unlike the oil in the Norwegian shelf. Even the politics of Saudi Arabia differs much from the politics of Libya or Kuwait. L.N. Gumilev studied determinacy of public changes among the peoples of Eurasia (Great Steppe) due to landscape or natural phenomena. His theory of ethnogeny is a vivid example of the system concurrence of natural and public phenomena, but – even in this theory – nature and public life are not intermingled. Still, when public life itself is started to be considered, then various realities are already distinguished with difficulty, for example: family relations and political, technogenic, and social-structural relations, private life and public life, etc.
The welter in all these spheres can have historical explanations, logical or psychological. Still, no matter how we would explain mistakes and misapprehensions, they are still errors and aberrations. Although, the understanding of the bases of blunders and fallacies helps us get rid of them. Therefore, we shall review some of them.
History knows periods when not everybody was allowed to deal in politics and political life concerned only certain strata of the population of this or that country. In antique cities-states, only citizens could be engaged in politics, while Metics (free non-citizens) and slaves, and in Sparta — Helots (the indigenous population turned into slaves), were isolated from political life and conducted private life only. For citizens, the border between private life and political life was well-defined and clear. Everything got tangled up later. For example, in the classic cities-states of the Middle Ages – Venice and Genoa – representatives of several hundreds of well-to-do families were only engaged in politics. Even citizens, but poor ones, were forced out of political life. Many years of such a practice later, the noble families of Venice and Genoa ceased to distinguish family relations from political relations. For example, conclusions of marriages ceased to be a family business only. The Venetian doges and Genoese noblemen still understood the difference between one’s private affair and politics. But in Milan the families of the Sforzas, the Borgias, and the Medicis obfuscated everything completely. Their private and even intimate relations became the facts of the political life of whole Italy, and when representatives of these families became cardinals or Popes in Rome – that of whole Europe, too. Is it necessary to consider the intimate life of Lucrezia Borgia or Lorenzo the Magnificent to be politics and to review it in the political history of Italy? The answer is not obvious. For these families, and especially for monarchs and royal families, the border between private life and political life did not exist. As for monarchs, in general, it is possible to say that they have no private life at all. This entanglement of private and political lives was a historical background for the first authoritative political scientist of the New Time Niccolò Machiavelli who — on principle — did not distinguish private life from public life in his «The Prince». Generations of political scientists were taught according to this book. Of course, in Lithuania-Belarus, there existed a similar understanding of politics. It was not Queen Bona Sforza who brought the Italian customs to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania; the GDL history itself is full of facts of the interlacing of private life and political processes. The family conflict between Jahaïḷa (Jogaila) and Vitaŭt (Vytautas) became momentous for all our political history. Jahaïḷa’s family happiness and Vitaŭt’s personal unlucky fate (he was not crowned three times) resulted in centuries-old problems for Lithuanians (Belarusans), Poles, Samogitians, and Ruthenians. Before that, there had been Vladimir’s marriage to Ragnieda (Rogneda), family troubles of Mindoŭh (Mindaugas), and many other things. For medieval feudal Europe, it is a mere commonplace. Political destinies of peoples used to be solved in bedrooms and during marriage feasts. The mind and talent of separate people, the friendship and enmity of separate persons used to make politics and history. The situation changed during the New Time. Political activity, on the one hand, began to subordinate private life and to separate from it, on the other hand. Since the war for the independence of the Netherlands and the English Revolution until the middle of the 19th century the European kings still subordinated their private life to political interests; dynastic marriages were still a form of political contracts and unions, but already only a form – because they ceased to be a reason of political events. Since the 18th century, political theories stopped mixing private life and personal relations, and since the 19th century the mélange of private life and politics became an anachronism in practice. Though there are relapses of it even now. That what was the political norm of the Middle Ages and the absolutism epoch became anomaly and pathology in the 20th century, and there is even a special term (“cult of personality”) concocted for this purpose. The private lives of Stalin and Hitler, Mao and Fidel Castro, the Gandhis-Nehrus and the Bhuttos, as well as their personal qualities, had a huge influence on politics. However, for political science, these phenomena were out of the subject of politics. Political scientists pay considerable attention to them, but consider them anomalies, irrespective of whether they consider Indira Gandhi a good person and Kim Jong-il a bad person.
Aristotle had a significant impact on world history by bringing up Alexander the Great, Symeon of Polotsk – by bringing up Peter I. Probably, at the Last Judgment, they will be punished or rewarded for what they did — they did know that they brought up kings. However, it would not be fair to punish the teachers and tutors of Alexander Lukashenka or Saddam Hussein as these people brought up private persons who were not preordained to be the masters of the peoples’ fate.
The development of contemporary democracy has led to a state when being engaged in politics is no longer a privilege of separate families and a burden of separate persons; anyone can deal in politics, but not everyone should do it and not everyone can be trusted to do it. In particular, being engaged in politics is contraindicative to people with personal charisma, no matter of what origin this charisma might be. A charismatic leader, whose mood swings affect political decisions, is the same anachronism in the 20th century as the inheritance of real, instead of symbolical power in the country.
Thus, we have shortly reviewed the difference between war and politics, the separateness of politics from natural phenomena, from family relations and personal behavior of political characters. In the same way, it is necessary to separate politics from denominational relations and disputes, politics from the technogenic environment, politics from economy. We shall not review in detail these distinctions, having limited ourselves to the reasons mentioned above as a sample for all other distinctions and differentiations. All of them become topical in due time. Thus, it is necessary to understand that Christian Democrats are participants of a normal political process, but a theocratic state means the refusal of politics; that environmental movements, having become green parties, are compelled to consider the whole spectrum of political problems and to transfer the questions of technogenic pollution of the environment to corresponding organizations. The most difficult thing is not to confuse politics with economy. If one does not take into consideration the distinctions between these two processes, there appear troubles. Normal competition can easily result in a war; economic recession – in the exposure of political conspiracies and punishment of «saboteurs». Politics is another esse of economy, and normal politics is another esse of normal economy; and criminality and criminal business is another esse of abnormal economy, black and shadow markets. And, at last, politics should not be confused with political science.
In spite of the fact that we speak of abstract distinctions of politics from the spheres of life and activity it can be easily confused with, for Belarus it has quite practical importance. The practical political question for Belarus, which needs a practical answer, is who, where, and how makes a decision concerning the destiny of the country, the people, and each citizen.
The presence of political activity in the country and the presence of politics in public life provide the acceptance of all important decisions by the people of this country. All the other, non-political forms of activity lead to the situation when decisions are developed and accepted not by those whom they concern. Till now, for the Belarusans, decisions are made in Moscow or other capitals of the world, in family or fraternity clans, in offices of large business, in offices of theorists — anywhere and by anybody, but only not in Belarus and not by the Belarusan people.
F. David Mathews, president of the Kettering Foundation and a former US Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, says, «We [in America] need to widen the «incidence zone» of public politics. Because public politics is a necessary component of society’s life. Without the participation of the public, politics becomes nothing but a dispute between «us» and «them». Or even worse – politics becomes an infinite war that «they» conduct against «us». Continuing this thought for Belarus, it is possible to say that we need public politics to appear; we need such a phenomenon in our country, so that we would finally become «a country that has come back from war». D. Mathews thinks that «public politics is a civic action per se aimed at making citizens achieve deeper control over their future». Meanwhile, we need to realize our present and to learn how to control it. Probably, the main problem of public life in Belarus is to figure out what the present, which we live in, is and what the present Belarus is.
The «present» is the modality of time and reality. Naive realism says that reality is given to us in sensations and that what is given in sensations is the present. What is given in memory is the past; what is given in imagination and in fantasies is the future. The whole experience of human history attests it is not so. Culture and human activity are built on other principles, but in the methodology of learning various spheres of life it is necessary again and again to come back to the refutation of naive realism and to strain all abilities of human reason to return to the present, to appear in the present, in the present situation, in the present country.
Sensations and feelings lie even about things that are really observed. Feelings show that the sun moves around the earth, and in really it is on the contrary: the earth rotates around the sun. It means it is given to us not in sensations. For a person, not only things that can be found out by means of sensations are important, but also ideal essences. It is possible to find out if boots are free or tight in tactile sensations. But it is impossible to understand whether a person is free or enthralled in sensations. If we search for freedom, it is useless to seek for it in sensations; it can be comprehended by mind. A free yogi with a marcid body, lying on the nails, is given in sensations just like a person after tortures. A bureaucrat-marionette who does what the mafia tells him to do, in an expensive suit in an ultracontemporary office, does not make an impression of a dependent person who has been forced to do something. The present can be comprehended by reason only. Art, with the help of imagination and fantasy, sees the virtual in the visible and reason sees the present in it. The present is a product of the work of reason. And, if reason does various work, then the present is various in various kinds of work.
Political reason reconstructs absolutely different present if carriers of reason do different work and if people have different tasks.
Three centuries ago, the idea of separation of powers in the state system was formulated by Charles Montesquieu. More than two hundred years have passed since the war for the independence of the North American states, when this idea was for the first time implemented in practice. For this time, any idea becomes banal, and it did. It is hackneyed for political knowledge, obvious to each citizen in the countries of traditional democracy, but for the majority of people and nations of the 20th century the comprehension of this idea is still topical, and the work aimed at implementing separation of powers in practice did not lose the sharpness of a struggle and war, often dramatic and tragic.
In Belarus, just like in the other post-Soviet countries, the introduction of the principle of separation of powers into the practice of public life and the state system balances on the verge between peaceful daily work and a revolution or an armed revolt. Meanwhile, it was possible to avoid direct armed conflicts and blood, similar to August 1991 and October 1993 in Moscow, but only thanks to the refusal of the principle of separation of powers and big concessions to totalitarianism.
The principle of separation of powers organizes a normal course of public life, regularizes political activity and makes it possible to regulate constantly arising pressure and conflicts in the state structures. Thus, normalized public life is called contemporary (unlike antique and medieval) democracy. Totalitarianism calls it normal when all completeness of power is concentrated in one place, in one state structure. Totalitarianism is characterized by the dictatorship and regulation of all sides of public and even private life by one’s will. It is not essential what the subject of this will is: an individual or a collective (junta, mafia, party). During the periods of a revolutionary reorganization of public life, when society transits from totalitarianism to democracy, the principle of separation of powers cannot be implemented. Something that is inherent in a normal state cannot be applied in transition or transformation conditions. Understanding it, we should admit that society aimed at democracy is not democratic yet, that — while transiting to the principle of separation of powers — power should be concentrated in one of the state branches. We have to distinguish between normal conditions of society: contemporary democracy and totalitarianism (although the norm in both cases means different things), and a transitive or revolutionary condition when neither norm works. Certainly, it is difficult for democracy romanticists and self-sacrificing reformers to admit that totalitarianism is society’s normal state – just like brassbound communists or adherents of cults of personality and races (nations) cannot agree with democracy. For this reason, neither of them is able to develop, to change. For this reason, both of them are ready to take weapons at the first opportunity instead of thinking and working.
Well, a normal totalitarian society and a transitive one are similar as there is no separation of powers and there is a dictatorship or domination of one of the branches of power over the other two branches, on the one hand. On the other hand, contemporary democracy and a transitive society are united by their aspiration to the implementation of the principle of separation of powers, the ideals of the rights and freedoms. Therefore, it is important to understand what differs dictatorships of the totalitarian epoch and those of transition periods. Or, if to use Igor Klyamkin and Andronik Migranyan’s differentiation introduced in 1987, what the difference between totalitarianism and authoritarianism is.
To begin with, once again shall we return to the substantiation of the thesis that a transition from the totalitarian organization of society to the democratic one is only possible via an authoritarian liberal dictatorship. This thesis was expressed almost ten years ago; it was not denied by anybody then and it did not cause any serious criticism at all. Today this idea is partially forgotten despite the fact that it was obviously attested by the ten-year practice of rough changes, crises, victories, and defeats. And in Belarus this idea was not understood by anybody as a practical guidance of actions; even analysts and political scientists did not pay proper attention to it. Well, the Belarusan realities will be reviewed a bit later.
Without repeating Klyamkin and Migranyan’s arguments, we shall consider the question from a slightly different side, restoring the phenomenology of power. For the three traditional branches of power, reality and time are organized in completely different ways.
For executive power, reality is defined by everyday functioning, operative management and regulation of processes, which it is included in through the pressure from the population, problems of the budget, the country’s economy, spontaneous and man-made disasters, which are «falling down on its head» every day. For executive power and for bureaucracy, the development of the country, programs, prospects, the rights and law are abstract notions. For representatives of executive power, they are only frameworks with this or that degree of rigidity, within which it is necessary to make daily decisions, to solve current problems. Such frameworks fetter the initiative, administrative enthusiasm, and rather limit the freedom of action than expand possibilities. Therefore, executive power always underlines its pragmatism, «realness», «firm stand on its feet», and sober evaluation of the situation, and flaunts all that during discussions and conflicts with «dreamers and castle-builders» from the parliament, with conservatives, dogmatic persons and rigorists from the judicial system.
Legislative or representative power lives and works (more precisely – it is obliged to live and work, which is not always true) in the reality of development, programming, and prospect. What the country should become in the future is more real for the legislator than what is happening in it right now. Establishing laws, MPs consider the right and laws to be fluid and changeable matter, looking haughtily and indulgently at «judicial pedants». By implementing, lobbying, and «pushing» perspective programs of the country’s development, for which MPs account to their electorate, they polemize with the «short-sightedness, narrow and small pragmatism» of officials from executive structures, reproaching them for their «bureaucratism» (as if a bureaucrat cannot be a «bureaucrat»), laziness, and absence of professionalism. Legislators are ready to accept the reality of executive officials only if it is a resource that brakes or accelerates the implementation of their perspective programs and plans.
Judges’ legal professionalism and official ethics demand from them to recognize the priority of the letter of the law over the «spirit», to recognize the priority of the law even over the right, without speaking of the cases and incidents in the spheres of life and activity that are not regulated by the right and the law. Law is the first reality for judicial power. Paraphrasing the paradox of scientism, «If the facts do not correspond to the theory — the worse for the facts», a diligent judge keeps repeating, “If an everyday or activity situation does not correspond to the law — the worse for this situation.” The realities of everyday and activity situations will be considered by the court only after the parliament describes them legislatively, or (in the Anglo-Saxon system of the right) a corresponding precedent is found in the judicial archives.
Such heteronomous and heteromorphic features of reality (different-reality) for different branches of power allow the state to be present (to be an active agent and a subject) in all the variety of public life and activity. Everything that is beyond this variety is outside of the state competence. The state has no right to interfere in there. Such a norm of the state system guarantees the inviolability of private life of citizens in democratic countries, freedom of speech and conscience and, in general, spiritual freedom and autonomy of a person. This is the most basic and radical distinction between the totalitarian and democratic organizations of society, between closed and open societies. In a closed society (totalitarianism), the state interferes with everything, tries to control all aspects of life and activity of people, and there is no mechanism to stop it, except for the free will of a single person who – even if he/she demonstrates his/her minimum attempts to protect his/her private life from the intervention of the state — inevitability appears to be outside of society.
Not less cardinally do the three branches of power differ as for the internal time, in which they realize themselves, think, and work. For phenomenological criticism, it is important to fill the time (temporal) category “Now”. Executive, legislative, and judicial powers are heterochronous as for the meaning, with the help of which each of them fill the present, as for what “Now” means to them, i.e. they are not con-temp-oraneous.
For executive power, “Now” is literally today. The present, which is the meaning of the category “Now”, is within the duration of an action that has to be done or is the duration of the implementation of a task. The longest “Now” for officials is the fiscal year, i.e. the present that is defined as a resource allocated for actions, as a budget, within which topical tasks can only be solved or not solved. Next year, the Parliament can accept another budget, which will be another resource, and it will be possible to solve other tasks and to execute functions, but it will be not “Now”, but “Then”.
For legislative power, the fiscal year is the minimum moment of time to calculate “Now”. During a normal course of the public-political process, the Parliament seldom has a possibility to interfere with everyday life in a greater degree than the acceptance of the state budget for a year. The Parliament participates in the operational administration of the country by adopting the law on the budget and appointing high-ranking officials. But for legislators the annual budget only begins “Now”. For them, the present is the whole time of their powers, i.e. 4-5 years, and for some of them (who came to politics «seriously and for a long time») it is the time of the implementation of programs or reforms, for the sake of which they came to power. Therefore, for legislative power, the notion “Now” means “the near future”. Because of this asynchronicity and incongruity of the present and the future, “Now” and “Then”, it is difficult for officials and MPs to find the common language.
For judicial power, “Now” is filled with a third meaning. A judge, unlike an official of executive power, may not live in the present. He/she does not care of everyday life; for him/her, “Now” includes the past and the future as well – until the law by which he/she is guided acts. The calendarian “today” (the “Now” of an official) interests the judge only because «laws have no retroaction», and the “Now” of a legislator interests the judge only because judicial proceedings in the future will be built on the laws that are being discussed in the Parliament, and each law has its effective date.
Such heterochronia, non-contemporaneousness of the branches of power, is characteristic of advanced democracy, i.e. of one of society’s normal condition, and of a transitive society. However, in contemporary democracy, there are synchronization mechanisms of the branches of power, while there are no such mechanisms in a transition state. These mechanisms are based on the immanent time of thinking, reflection, or their own time of intellectual institutions that offer and develop solutions for democracy, institutions of political and public criticism and analytics. Up to 90% of working hours in all the branches of power with the democratic organization of public life is spent for negotiations, coordination, solution of conflicts, PR, until this heterochronia is not solved, i.e. reduced to a short moment of contemporaneousness of powers. Therefore, modern democracy lives in slowed down time; its principle – to measure something seven times, then to recheck it seven times, only then – to cut it, and to cut it under the steadfast supervision and control of public opinion, in the limelight of ruthless, importunate, not always clever and competent, but always prejudiced Fourth Power. In the eyes of some short-sighted and naive «thinkers», politicians, and inhabitants, totalitarianism in this respect looks more attractive than democracy. In a totalitarian state or dictatorial regime, all decisions are accepted quickly, are implemented thoughtlessly, but operatively. But how expensive it is to pay for this superficial appeal! The price of errors at the state level is excessively big.
Thus, the principle of separation of powers, their existence in different realities, in different times, put all the three branches in the situation of a Swan, Pike, and Crawfish. It is extremely difficult to work in such a position. It is only possible to move by small steps, constantly deviating from «the main line». It can only be afforded by societies and countries that have time and do not hurry. For this reason, modern democracies do not know that there is «the main line» of historical development, what the purpose is, and where it is necessary to move to. Each step, the most minimum change, is discussed for a long time, and when the step is made, it is made in the way so that it would be possible «to un-make» it, to correct it, if it is found out that it was a wrong step. It is possible to consider modern democracy an intellectual mechanism of finding out what reality is, what the present is, not in the sense of illusory, fantastic, but in the sense of the present time.
A totalitarian society, on the contrary, precisely knows the purpose (Communism or the Third Reich), knows the main line of historical development. Therefore, totalitarianism constantly has not enough time as it has urgently to «to catch up and overtake», to build something, to achieve, to win, etc. Although, only the complete ignorance of the realities of the contemporary world, the total absence of logic, allowed Soviet power to trust the slogan «to catch up and overtake America», when for the USSR the purpose is Communism and America is just present there without any purpose. It is quite natural that the USSR «went astray», playing such “catch-up games”.
A transitive society has not enough time, but because of other reasons. The purpose and the understanding of «the main line» are already lost, but it has to actually «escape» from «the terrible totalitarian past». Although the people and authorities of the transition period are very inconsistent and illogical. On the one hand, they do not notice that they bear their totalitarian consciousness, and it is impossible to «escape» from themselves. On the other hand, they believe that democracy and an open society can be the purpose similar to Communism, that they can be built, that it is the new and, at last, «correct» «main line». And what does it mean “there is no time» [“not enough time”] if there is no uniform understanding of “Now”? Existing in different realities and in different times, the branches of power bustle about, impede each other and, instead of moving forward, start to have a dust-up with each other and to stop each other.
Until society has not formed the mechanisms of synchronism of the branches of power, a country that is in a transition state is compelled to preserve the mode of authoritarian dictatorship. Still, the nature of dictatorship of a transition period and that of totalitarian dictatorship differ. Totalitarianism is in general not able to reflect, to communicate, to coordinate, and to solve conflicts peacefully, while a transitive society that lives at a very high speed cannot afford it. “Now” when society is in a transition period is so dynamical and fleeting (during several days and months there happen so many events and changes that — in a normal state of society – happen during many years) that delays become more expensive than possible errors and discrepancies. In society of a transition period, almost according to Lewis Carroll, it is necessary «to run very quickly in order to remain on the spot» and even faster in order to move somewhere. As out of the three traditional branches of power, the highest speed is possessed by the executive one, its time is «the fastest or the shortest», it is this branch that is adapted most of all to transitivity conditions.
Executive power is more contemporaneous than the other powers with a transition period, reforms, and changes (i.e. it is more ready to it). The “Now” of the government is more «present» than the orientation of the parliament at the «future» “Now” or the orientation of judges at the «past» “Now”. The need to have «a titmouse in the hands» (the motive and self-justification of the government) is more important than attempts to catch «a crane in the sky» (the orientation of the parliament) and is more rational than the confidence that «the titmouse in the hands» will not disappear (as it is written in the law). It is the reason of conflicts of executive structures with the other branches of power during the epoch of changes. For this reason, practically everywhere executive power becomes the winner in these conflicts; it is trusted in a greater degree by citizens; it mainly takes up the completeness of the responsibility for reforms. This is the nature of authoritarian regimes in the countries passing from a closed traditional society to an opened one, to democracy.
If to look at modern Belarus from the positions of the presented analysis of the scheme of separation of powers, it may seem that everything is alright. Executive power managed to subdue the other branches of power; dictatorship is established. As a matter of fact, everything that takes place in Belarus is quite typical. Besides, it is not a dictatorship of a transition period and an authoritarian regime that is being reformed in the direction of an open society and democracy, but a counter-reform dictatorship aimed at restoring totalitarianism and Soviet imperialism.
The justifiability of authoritarian regimes of a transition period and their expediency is defined by the future or their orientation to self-liquidation. According to the Neo-Kantian principle «that what should be is the basis of what there is», i.e. something that is appearing now (that what should be, but meanwhile does not exist) is more real than something that is dying, than today’s illusoriness.
It formulates the paradoxicality of the governments of a transition period. The government is more operative, more precise, «faster» than the other branches of power — therefore it requires more power than the others. The fiscal year in a transition period is a too rough unit of time marking; changes are so fast that the budget becomes outdated in several months, and the parliament cannot accept budgets every month or every season. Therefore, the government needs bigger powers than they are defined by the law. The government should receive these powers from the parliament and coordinate them with the Supreme and Constitutional Courts. But the parliament can confer such powers only when the government accepts the reality of legislators and agrees to expand its understanding of “Now” with the perspective “future”. And the Court agrees with it if the government accepts its reality and accepts the limitedness of the period of the validity of these emergency powers so that “Now” would be defined by the time when they would become “the past”. It means that the government can receive dictatorial powers only if it accepts the realities of the parliament and the court, having changed its understanding of “Now”. If it happens, the government can take these powers even by overcoming the resistance of the parliament and the court. But then it becomes clear that the government in a transition period cannot be anything one might like it to be. It can only be aimed at reforms, at the future in a greater degree than at everyday life. The government can be allowed to have arbitrariness (liberty) in relation to the law, but not to the right. (Conceptual distinctions between the «law» and the «right» should be reviewed separately. This distinction is rather essential and topical for society’s transition state. Legal thinking in Belarus needs to be lifted up to the level of the problems faced by the country.)
The transition period government is compensatory. Its actions compensate the sluggishness and slowness of legislative power; the government compensates the absence of laws by temporary decrees and orders, which the court can be guided by as precedents and which the parliament turns into laws later.
The transition period government can only be temporary. After the termination of the term of its powers, there comes the Constituent Assembly, or its analog, in order to constitute (i.e. to accept a new Constitution) the new realities arisen in a transition period, which need to be standardized.
The transition period government, despite its big powers, accepts the responsibility only for a narrow spectrum of problems and solves a limited circle of tasks, and leaves all the rest to be self-regulated.
To a degree, the transition period government is similar to the wartime government: emergency circumstances — the emergency government, boundless powers in a limited zone of competence. Distinctions between them are: the competence zones are different in transitive and military periods.
The transition period governments solve problems in succession. Reforms are carried out successively in a certain order, instead of all at once. For example, the army is reformed, then — judicial proceedings, then — education, then — economy, or on the contrary: at first — economy, education, then – the police, local self-rule, etc. The state system is reformed in the last turn; it crowns the period of reforms and means its termination. After that, there comes a stabilization and normalization period.
It is very difficult to stay con-temp-oraneous in a country where the «link of times» is broken, where problems have been collected and not solved for years. The existing problem that is not being solved interferes with activity. It, as though, stops time. It is possible to imagine a situation when calendarian years flow, but time stands still. Having proclaimed its independence, Belarus had to carry out a number of actions to provide its independence. These actions could last for a period of time, after which there comes a new stage; the country appears in a new situation that requires one to stay con-temp-oraneous. But what occurs if the necessary actions are not taken? On the one hand — time stops; on the other hand — it is impossible to stop time, i.e. the heaps of times turned against each other. That what could be done sequentially (with a normal current of time) so that everything would have enough time is being done simultaneously — and there is not enough time for anything.
Annexes and illustrations of the theses: fragments of reports of the analytical group of the Humanitarian Techniques Agency on politics and the political situation, 1994.
System Crisis And Calendar
The system crisis is the situation developed on all the territories of the former USSR after the ideological and program potential of Perestroika was depleted. In other words, after Perestroika failed and ended — after «the foremen of Perestroika» ceased to cope with the processes they themselves had started. The beginning of the system crisis was the spring of 1991 (although separate parameters of the crisis had been seen before that).
In a structural-functional analysis, the system crisis includes five components that are five independent autonomous functions, coexisting simultaneously and developing in parallel — on the one hand — and consistently setting the crisis stages, when one of the components reaches its maximum and becomes the leader at a separate stage — on the other hand.
These five components of the system crisis can be described as follows:
1. Ideology crisis;
2. Power crisis;
3. State management crisis;
4. Economy crisis;
5. Crisis of the way of life.
In politological, economic, and sociological analytics of recent years, all the five components of the system crisis have been studied in detail and discussed; therefore, we shall characterize them very shortly.
IDEOLOGY CRISIS is a replacement of the dependant communistic outlook, characteristic for all strata of the population of a totalitarian society, by a differentiated attitude and outlook of groups, strata, and classes, characteristic for a contemporary democratic, market-oriented, economic-social way. For the European countries of the former USSR, it is, first of all, nationalist, national-democratic, social-democratic, and liberal outlooks. (We shall not discuss what occurs in Central Asia and Transcaucasia yet)
POWER CRISIS is a revolutionary transition from a total nomenklatura concentration of primitively organized institutions of power to a complicated structure of power institutions and a distribution of functions of power between institutions of a lawful state and proto-elites arising from the splinters of homogeneous in the past «Soviet society». (A morphological analysis of the proto-elites arising in Belarus will be done later)
STATE MANAGEMENT CRISIS can be characterized as the dismantlement of the institutions of state management (here, the Soviets are the first in the turn) and their replacement with new professional institutions built on essentially other mechanisms (We shall carry out an analysis and characteristic of the institutions to be dismantled and criticize the projects of new institutions during the next meetings of the analytical group)
ECONOMY CRISIS – as Yegor Gaidar called it — is a structural reorganization. Such a name explains nothing and reflects only the fact that this component of the system crisis is the least worked out both in macroeconomic and in politics. Later, it is this question that should be given the most part of time and forces of the analytical group. Right now, we shall only say that within the framework of the analysis of the economy crisis it is necessary to consider legal questions of property, the economic and organizational aspects of privatization, the conditions and projects of sanitation of enterprises and branches, the opening and launch of new branches and forms of managing.
LIFEWAY CRISIS is the closing and turning point of all the previous stages of the system crisis. Its start means the irreversibility of reforms and the beginning of constructive work aimed at providing the stabilization of the economic and public life and development of the country. The crisis of the way of life is characterized by the fact that the private life of each citizen of the country becomes different. Here, the questions of social guarantees and social insurance, education, medicine, planning of marriage, family, birth rate, etc. are to be discussed. This aspect of the system crisis concerns directly the interests of a separate private person, but it will be the last in the agenda of work of the analytical group.
Thus, the presented scheme of the system crisis is equally suitable for a structural-functional analysis of a situation in Belarus, Russia, the Baltic States, Ukraine, and Moldova. It is clear that in each of these countries there are essential features and nuances. It makes sense to study these nuances for a comparative analysis and to update the direction of reforms, taking into account the experiences and errors of our neighbors, but we shall do it later. Now, we are only interested in one peculiarity that is revealed if we combine the horizontal axis of the scheme presented above with the chronological axis of the real time of the carrying-out of reforms. Then, the countries named above are on the horizontal axis at different stages of the system crisis. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania passed the peak of the economy crisis and came to the lifeway crisis. Russia is between the stages of the state management crisis and the economy crisis. Somewhere here is the place of Moldova, too. Ukraine and Belarus are lagging behind. We are especially interested in Belarus. The situation in Belarus is more difficult than a linear sequence of the system crisis stages.
Being part of the USSR, Belarus experienced the same processes and tendencies as all the other regions. It did not lag behind the other parts of the Union and by the middle of 1991 it approached the culmination of the ideological crisis. But then it rolled back. The Belarusan political and business elites did not manage to use the created situation. Whether because of their shyness, or because of their lack of mind, the Belarusan leaders tried to avoid the difficult work they had to do in the conditions of the ideology crisis. It is possible to ask the Russian intelligentzia’s question «Who is to blame?» and we shall necessarily do it within the pale of the morphological analysis. For now, remaining within the bounds of the structural-functional analysis, we shall only underline a few objective factors because of which Belarus missed the ideological crisis.
1. Belarus managed to squeeze out of the Soviet socialist economy the maximum of benefits for itself (it in this respect, perhaps, only Lithuania was more successful); therefore, in Belarus, the first difficulties of the system crisis were more soft than anywhere else. In 1990-1991, the life in Belarus looked well enough against the beginning disorder in the other regions. In Belarus, people thought that it would be always like this, and the ruling nomenklatura carefully supported this illusion.
2. The weakness and insufficiency of national radicalism. The Baltic States used nationalism, even in its extreme and most unattractive forms, as the basic power source of reforming. Other sources, except for the energy of authoritarian regimes (see Klyamkin and Migranyan), are not invented yet.
3. The third objective reason can be characterized very simply: the fruitless impotence of the Belarusan intelligentzia.
It would be possible to name some more secondary reasons and factors, and we shall do it, if necessary. For now, the important thing is that – having refused the escalation of the ideology crisis and a technical attitude towards it — Belarus lay as a motionless heavy stone in a rough stream of reforms happening round it. And nobody raised the question about power.
If Belarus were the only one country on the globe, all would be much easier. That what was not done two-three years ago would be possible to start doing now. But, alas… The close economic integration of the countries of the former USSR causes in Belarus the incipience of negative processes, which — in the Baltic States and Russia – with their active attitude – bring them benefits, but in Belarus – with its passivity – are to the detriment only. (It is all that has to do with the economy crisis, finance, conversion and privatization; we should devote a separate meeting of the analytical group to it.) The tremendous naivety of mass, professional, and political consciousness in Belarus and the silly actions caused by this naivety can be explained not by want of mind and competence, not by the deficiency of money and resources, but exclusively by the inactivity, cowardice, and laziness of the three leading elites: intellectual, political, and business ones.
What awaits the first President of Belarus?
After Belarus adopted a new constitution, the pre-election campaign was launched. Well-known political figures started to declare themselves presidential candidates; new names appeared. Judging by the available materials, the candidates, their teams, and voters are not inclined to reflect on what the future president will have to deal with. Candidates hurry up to fight, and their voters are almost not interested in them. We think that if candidates reflected on what awaits them in case of victory, their enthusiasm would decrease considerably. We shall try to draw an approximate picture in order not to frighten someone, but to suggest to look at the world with sober eyes.
«I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat». Winston Churchill
Those were the words of the famous British politician when he started his election campaign. Presidential candidates in Belarus have nothing to offer the nation, except for sweat, toil, and a shock therapy, either. The only thing they can promise – there will be no blood. The thing is not only whether any of these candidates will have enough honesty and boldness to say it to the nation, but also whether the people will be able to accept his words as the only truth today. It may happen so that the candidates and voters will prefer to communicate with each other in the genre of «sweet fairytales», mutual ingratiation and flattery.
Churchills are not born everyday. But the figure of the leader of the nation should be proportionate to the historical tasks faced by the country. Till the last day, public consciousness in Belarus preferred the ostrich’s attitude to problems and historical tasks – we are afraid, we hide our head in the sand, and maybe it will go away. It did not go away. All the former Union republics left the USSR, but Belarus was «miscarriaged» into its sovereignty. Shushkevich and Kebich signed the Belovezhsky agreement in order to participate in the creation of a new union on the splinters of the Union. Everywhere everybody already understood that the CIS is a deadborn child, only Belarus preserves its naive hopes in this respect. If the Belarusans dream to live in «a brotherly family of peoples», they should offer new ideas and projects like Kazakhstan and its president do. But new ideas are not proposed because: Nobody wants a new «brotherly family», neither people, nor nomenklatura, nor serious politicians. Several derriere-garde groups with access to the mass media announce their worm-eaten dogmas all over the country, the nomenklatura cynically pretends that it is vox populi, not completely formed political parties drowsily struggle against these «windmills», and the most essential tasks are not being solved and are not even formulated. We shall begin with the non-formulated tasks and then we shall deal with the set tasks aggravated to the extreme degree by the authorities’ torpidity (more exactly – by what was power once and what is already «a live corpse» of the authorities today).
CREATION OF THE NATIONAL MONETARY SYSTEM
DENATIONALIZATION AND PRIVATIZATION
DEMILITARIZATION OF THE ECONOMY, IDEOLOGY, AND CONSCIOUSNESS
ORGANIZATION AND CREATION OF INSTITUTIONS OF LEGAL SOCIETY
STRUCTURAL REORGANIZATION OF BRANCHES OF THE ECONOMY
FOREIGN POLITICS DOCTRINE
CREATION OF THE INFORMATION INFRASTRUCTURE
The Belarusan situation, with all its uniqueness, is still within the scheme of possible variants of transition from totalitarian socialism to democratic forms of public life and the state system.
Already by the early 1980s, it became obvious that the socialist regimes in the industrial countries of Eastern Europe are not capable to manage the economy and public life in their countries. The results of the competition of the «two systems» attested it so vividly that researchers, statesmen, and politicians stopped thinking of how to increase the efficiency of socialism and started to invent comprehensible forms of transformation of the public life of socialist countries in the direction of liberal democracy and the socialist planned economy in the direction of market economy. In general, two variants were considered: convergence or a gradual adaptation of the public life and economy of socialist countries to the universal conditions; a sharp and fast transformation or a full change of one order to the other. The first variant was possible in three countries: Hungary, Poland, and Yugoslavia — in these countries, socialism was present least of all in the economy and public life; besides, here, they were the first who began to think of transformation. But only Hungary managed to walk this way. Poland and Yugoslavia let the moment pass and had to choose the variant of revolutionary transformation.
The basic problem of transformation is that the reorganization of the country’s economy according to the market economy principles is carried out by coordinated efforts of all levels of the population with the help of institutions of civil society, if there are such institutions in the country and if they are efficient, or it is carried out by authoritarian regimes with almost dictatorial powers with the help of a «shock therapy». In this case, transition governments are faced with the problem of how to fight the ochlocrat and populist resistance. The USSR and the countries of Eastern Europe almost simultaneously entered the period of such a sharp transformation and at once there appeared cultural distinctions of the countries of this region, which defined the course and successfulness of the reforms. With all uniqueness and dissimilarity of the countries in this region, it is possible to see the three distinct types that coincide with faith-based signs.
Examples of successful reforms, with a soft current of transformation processes, supported by civil society institutions, are in the countries with Protestant traditions: East Germany, Estonia and Latvia, the Czech Republic.
The second group is the Roman Catholic countries where economic reforms are carried out by authoritarian regimes with the parallel creation of institutions of civil society: Slovenia, Poland, Croatia, Lithuania, and Slovakia.
The most difficult transformation processes are in Orthodox and non-Christian countries: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Georgia, Armenia, and the Muslim states of Central Asia, Albania, Bosnia, and Azerbaijan. In these countries, economic reforms go without the participation of institutions of civil society; there is no social partnership. The range of political systems in these countries is wide enough: from quasi-democratic like in Russia and Moldova to dictatorial ones. Many of these countries did not manage to avoid civil wars, local confrontations, and serious collisions between social groups or regions. Socialist forms of the organization of public life are being strengthened in these countries by faith-based traditions and cultural stereotypes. Reformers in these countries should overcome etatism, paternalism, and collectivism in the citizens’ consciousness. Transition period problems are aggravated here with the necessity of a «cultural revolution». The cultural factor becomes determinative for these countries at the given stage of transformation. This factor defines both similarity and distinctions of the political and economic situation in the group of Orthodox European countries, for example, the situations of winter 1996/97 in Minsk, Belgrade, and Sofia. In 1985-90, all the countries of «the second world» had similar problems. The ten-year experience of solving these problems led to the appearance of differences. Before, it was possible to borrow the most successful experience of the leaders of transformation and to adapt it for national conditions. Now, the countries that appeared in the derriere-garde of reformation have to solve their problems alone, by themselves.
Belarus’ peculiarity is that here economic transformations pass practically without the government’s participation. None of the three governments since the declaration of independence was reformative; even now there are no distinct concept and program of reforms. In Belarus, there were some changes in the direction to market economy only because they were «imported» thanks to economic relations with the neighboring countries. The Belarusan authorities were forced to react to the change of relations in the markets of the former USSR and to international trade requirements. It was caused by the weakness of Belarus’ statehood. Now, the situation is essentially different. The regime of the third Republic cannot passively undergo economic changes anymore; it will have to occupy an active position in relation to reforms. This position can be either positive, or negative. The problem of the regime is that it was established with the mass support of the electorate as an opponent of economic reforms, having crushed its political opponents — democrats, nationalists, and market experts. The electorate allows the regime to suppress civic freedoms, but demands an economic stabilization and transformations, let even by its refusal from politics. The existing regime became a hostage of its own pre-election promises and the people’s mass consciousness.
Like any other area of human activity, politics is based on knowledge. A big role in this base of politics is played by the knowledge of politics itself, i.e. reflective knowledge. There is an illusion that politics is the same entity as nature or space, existing regardless of what we know or think of it. In the knowledge of nature, there is an obligatory principle – the independence of processes (and the knowledge itself) from the observer. The predicted solar eclipse will happen anyway, whether we know about it or don’t. Everything is different in the humanitarian sphere. If we can predict a stock crisis, it will happen not in the way we predicted, not at that time, or in general will not happen. In detail this problematics is described by Soros in his reasoning on the reflexivity of our knowledge. There is no sense to repeat his arguments, but the same principle needs to be applied to politics. It is impossible to deal in politics and not to know about it. On the other hand, it is impossible to be engaged in politics without knowing and understanding politics. An outside observer, who interprets people’s actions as political ones, whereas people do something else, is not able to understand and explain these people’s actions, which actually happens constantly when the events in the post-Soviet countries are described by observers and analysts in political terms. The same mistake is made by those who try to deal in politics in Belarus. Politics as the art of conducting public affairs means that all participants of the process act in the political way. But if somebody acts as a politician and their opponent resorts to military methods or criminal ones, then the character of interaction is transformed. While mixing politics with other, more simple types of public interaction (war, family relations, criminal activity, or even economy activity), politics disappears. All difficult forms of human activity are supported artificially and with big efforts — otherwise, they are reduced to more primitive forms.
As a rule, politics is regarded only as a means of solving these or those public problems. The majority of people are interested in problems and their solution, but not in the means of their solution. Therefore, when unsophisticated unprepared mind faces a problem, all consciousness concentrates on the problem, all activity and energy joins, but methods and means of solution remain outside of attention. The end justifies the means, therefore, people try to solve problems in the most simple, fast, and economical way. But politics is not the most simple, fast, and economical method — on the contrary, it is a slow and expensive method of solution. Certainly, a war in money terms can be more expensive. But when one dares to start a war, one is not going to compromise. The compromise acts in such cases as a price considered while evaluating the methods of solving problems. War offers uncompromising decisions, while politics cannot exist without compromises. Often are problems personified: there is the principle “there is a person — there is a problem, there is no person — there is no problem”. Therefore, the aspiration to find simple solutions leads to attempts to eliminate the problem by eliminating the people from activity or from life. This is what Lukashenka’s administration does. Elected deputies, independent judges, organs uncontrolled by the president (for example, the Central Election Commission or private businesses) are eliminated from activity. Concrete people are eliminated from life: journalists are expelled from the country; businessmen are arrested; diplomats and participants of negotiating processes from Europe and Russia, whom the official Minsk cannot agree with, are replaced as Minsk assumes that the problem is not in the political position, but in the private opinion of this or that person.
It is necessary to admit that such a method of solving problems is effective in its own way. Stalin managed to kill so many people in the Soviet Union that the problemless life in it lasted for several decades after Stalin’s death. All Soviet people tried to stay away from any problems as they knew that problems are liquidated together with people. Fear suppressed thought; the aspiration to live was in the contradiction with productive activity. This fear was inherited by Belarusan citizens. Politics means problems — we do not want problems, we want to live. If in the country there is no politics, then in the country there are no people in all completeness of human ens; people are afraid of being full-fledged people, such people who have their own opinion, who can protect it, who can simply be free. If we want to be people in Belarus, we need politics.
One of paramount tasks of the new independent states is to create or to grow politics in their countries. This is how politics ceases to be a means of solving problems and becomes the purpose. In Belarus, there are so many problems, they are so difficult, that we cannot just allow ourselves to solve them at any cost. A solved problem is good, but it is even better if it is solved by political means. A means is the purpose if we want it to be a means. There are problems that cannot be solved other than politically; we need politics to solve them – if we want to solve them with the help of politics, politics must exist. Politics simply should exist.
Analysts and experts on private local problems have been saying for a long time already that Belarus does not have many kinds of policies. It is quite true that Belarus has no eastern policy or policy towards Russia. There is no western policy towards Europe, no economic policy, no cultural policy, etc. And whence can these local policies appear? The whole gives sense to the existence of its parts. Like organs of the body do not possess any independent life outside of the body, in other organic unions their parts cannot exist on its own in the absence of the whole. Belarus cannot have an eastern policy if it has no politics per se. But the wholeness of politics gives sense to the existence of not only private aspects of politics itself, but also to many other phenomena of contemporary public life. For example, to polls. In Belarus, there are enough qualified sociologists who are equipped with contemporary techniques of polls, but they do not attach importance to the methodology of sociology. Methodical equipment cannot replace methodological reflection. Sociological data is often used in the argument of those who try to comprehend the processes taking place in Belarus. But sociologists ask people politics questions while these people are not aware of politics at all. Opinion polls make sense only if a person can make a conscious choice in favor of one of several possible opinions. But what is the sense to ask opinions of people who cannot have alternative opinions? It is said that the majority of the Belarusans treat negatively the Parliament. Have a poll themed «Life or a purse?» among the people who appeared in the corresponding situation, and you will receive a rare coincidence of opinions. Explain to people that one person is very good and another person is very bad, and then ask their opinion on these people. The French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu says that in the contemporary world the authorities exist thanks to nomination, a possibility to call things by their proper names, good — good, bad — bad. It is possible to name the same phenomenon “a canaille mutiny” or “a revolt against tyranny”. People’s behavior towards any phenomenon is defined by what of the names of this phenomenon they use. If everybody in society is convinced that politics is a miry business, then the behavior of all people who consider themselves fair people will be corresponding. In the same way, their attitude towards those who are engaged in politics will be corresponding, too. Now, poll in order to find out the rating of persons from a group where there are the president and other politicians. Who will be the leader? What will be the gap between the leader and the others? Is there a lot of information in such a poll? Does it make any sense? Is it possible to be guided by such a poll while decision-making? Recently, the second place in the rating of Belarusan politicians is occupied by Pavel Sheremet. Everybody knows that he is not a politician. Surprisingly, but it is the only way one can become a Belarusan politician – by not being a politician.
Thus, the thesis that the priority for Belarus is the creation and cultivation of politics in the country has been considered enough. But then there is a question: How to do it? Hardly there is one answer.
In this part of my report, I will speak about one thing that the majority of approaches and forms of thinking consider insignificant, but in the approach that I work with (System Conscious Activity Methodology) it is the key moment of the activity attitude towards the world.
I will not waste time on the refutation of the myths and illusions present in mass consciousness and in circles of Belarusan intellectuals concerning the fact what is present and what is not present in today’s Belarus. I sincerely think that in Belarus there is everything necessary for a worthy life according to the European standards and for development, except for one thing: the SCREEN of intellectual work for the imitation and programming of life and activity.
I understand how much this thesis is not clear and unacceptable for dialectic materialists, positivists, naive realists of all kinds, and just for people without any philosophical preparation. But, I am here not for academic disputes. Interested persons can read and study the literature on System Conscious Activity Methodology, and those who are allergic to this approach can attentively study works by Popper, Hayek, Habermas, and other methodologists, whose ideas underlie all programs and practices of contemporary world development. So:
1. At the end of the 20th century, only a country where all decisions concerning the organization of life and activity are accepted on the basis of studying the content in all the layers and floors of thinking and consciousness, without any exceptions, can be considered a developed country. And the top floors define the content and material of the bottom floors, and never on the contrary.
Each person of the contemporary world has the right to produce and express their opinions, but these opinions are checked as for their verity, expediency, and feasibility by correlating their content with «the top floors of intellect». Contemporary democracy develops mechanisms of the most severe qualification requirements towards the ability to descant upon something.
In Belarus, the pyramid of the organization of intellect has no «roof». The top floors, as though, are absent completely. It allows opinions from smoking-rooms, turns in stores, and benches of pensioners to get into the Supreme Soviet, the Government, and to define the policy of the state. Belarus is the last country in Europe where it is possible and the first one where Lenin’s dream (each cook can rule the state) is implemented.
To liquidate this drawback, to have the «roof», it is necessary:
1. To design and to create the SCREEN; to present and to visualize this SCREEN to the whole nation; to demonstrate refined intellectual work on this SCREEN.
2. Screen technologies in the contemporary world provide the implementation of ideas and projects that exceed the possibilities of individual consciousness and thinking. The work aimed at widening the plan of the ideal becomes one of the main tasks of the screen technologies. The plan of the ideal in Belarus is extremely narrow. The limit of dreams of an average Belarusan is the standard of consumption of the times of Masherov, and the criterion of comparisons and evaluations is still the level of 1913. Until such an ideal and such criteria are not changed, all conversations on reforms will remain intellectual idle talks and presidential candidates’ programs — utopias and «a deceit of workers». I will speak of the structure, mechanisms, and principles of functioning of the screen technologies in a separate report.
3. The last out of the many tasks and functions of the screen, which it is necessary to discuss in this report, is that the screen provides productive communication between the intellectual and political elites, it makes them visible for each other and necessary for each other. In short, it can be presented as: intellectual elites present on the screen stencils, strategies, tasks, and programs for actions for the political elites and the government. Without it, the political elites and the government sink in populism and emergencies. In the country, there starts chaos and a long decline.
Back in the 18th – 19th centuries, an individual political leader could have intelligence, will, and morals; in the 20th century, these functions (intelligence, will, and morals) are distributed among collectives, communities, and elites. Therefore, out of cooperation of intelligence and political will, in contemporary civilization, the implementation of power and management of development processes is impossible. A condition for such cooperation is the presence of the SCREEN and a special figure or a position at the SCREEN, which is called the INTERLOCKER by methodologists.
4. A pre-election campaign, if to use it in the right way, creates sufficient conditions for the introduction of the SCREEN in the country and for the «promotion» (if to use a term from show business, in the absence of a better word) of the people who can occupy the position of the INTERLOCKER. Without this work, the future president will inevitably crash.
Actually, the program of actions presented in 1994 is still relevant. On the practical level, we have not moved anywhere since 1994. Everything we had continues to collapse during these three years. But there is hope that we became a little wiser. If it is so – then there is hope.