A Symposium and Selected Writings
Part One — Symposium on Mykhaylo Drahomanov
Drahomanov and the European Conscience, Philip E. Mosely
The Life of Mykhaylo Drahomanov, Volodymyr Doroshenko
Drahomanov and Ukrainian Historiography, Dmytro Doroshenko
Drahomanov as Folklorist, Petro Odarchenko
Drahomanov’s Impact on Ukrainian Politics, Matviy Stakhiv
I. THE CONDITION OF THE UKRAINIAN PEOPLE IN THE 19TH CENTURY.
II. THE UKRAINIAN NATIONAL MOVEMENT BEFORE DRAHOMANOV
III. THE SPRINGS OF DRAHOMANOV’S POLITICAL ACTIVITY
IV. UKRAINIAN CULTURAL INDEPENDENCE
V. THE MOBILIZATION OF THE PEOPLE
VI. DRAHOMANOV AND THE UKRAINIAN PARTY SYSTEM
VII. THE INFLUENCE OF DRAHOMANOV’S IDEAS ON THE UKRAINIAN PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC, 1917–1920
Drahomanov and the English-Speaking World, Svitozor Drahomanov
Drahomanov as a Political Theorist, Ivan L. Rudnytsky
I. THE SCHOLAR, THE JOURNALIST, AND THE POLITICAL THINKER.
III. THE LIBERAL IN FACE OF THE SOCIAL AND NATIONAL AWAKENING OF THE MASSES.
V. THE REBIRTH OF Ukraine AS A NATION
VI. DRAHOMANOV’S PROGRAM FOR RUSSIA AND EASTERN EUROPE
SVITOZOR DRAHOMANOV (1884–1958) and IVAN L. RUDNYTSKY (1919–1984)
Part Two — Selected Writings of Mykhaylo Drahomanov
A Geographic and Historical Survey of Eastern Europe
The Lost Epoch: Ukrainians under the Muscovite Tsardom: 1654–1876
Germany’s Drive to the East and Moscow’s Drive to the West
The Languedoc Lands in the Latin Alliance and the Ukrainian Lands in the Slav Alliance; Letter to Mr. Xavier Ricardi, July 29, 1878
The Centralization of the Revolutionary Struggle in Russia
Free Union; Draft of a Ukrainian Political and Social Program
DRAFT CONSTITUTION FOR THE UKRAINIAN SOCIETY FREE UNION
Part I. The Aims of the Society
Part II. The Society’s Means of Action
Part III. The Society’s Inner Organization
The Program of the Review Hromada
Political and Social Ideas in Ukrainian Folk Songs
Taming of the Shrew in the Folklore of Ukraine
Last year the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the U.S. commemorated the 110th anniversary of the birth of Mykhaylo Drahomanov, the distinguished Ukrainian thinker and scholar. His works, written in the second part of the nineteenth century at a time of cultural rebirth among many Slav nations, represent a signal contribution to the problem of relations between the Slavs and especially between the Ukrainians and their neighbors in a community of free and independent nations.
The problems which Drahomanov faced in his own day still await solution today. Perhaps a constructive approach may be gained through the study of a man who, like many Ukrainian scholars today, had to leave his native Ukraine and yet came to see more clearly her place in Europe. “Emigration,” Drahomanov wrote, “is bitter, but under certain circumstances, inevitable. Beginning with the sixteenth century the freedom of England, Scotland, then of France, Germany, Italy, and Hungary could not do without emigration and its literature. The freedom of Ukraine also demands it” (Letters to the Dnieper Ukraine).
The Ukrainian Academy has formed a special commission for the study of Drahomanov’s works. In particular it is hoped to prepare an edition of the unpublished correspondence of Drahomanov, a part of which (e.g. correspondence between Drahomanov and Lesya Ukrayinka) is now at the Academy’s disposal.
The present volume which is published as a special issue of the Annals presents a symposium of studies devoted to Mykhaylo Drahomanov and a selection from his own works. It is intended to acquaint the English speaking world and in particular American and English students of East European history with the life and work of Drahomanov.
It is hoped that the present issue will inaugurate a series of larger monographs or individual works of Ukrainian scholarship in English translation.
Part One — Symposium on Mykhaylo Drahomanov
Drahomanov and the European Conscience, Philip E. Mosely
Resume of a speech by Professor P. E. Mosely at a meeting of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the U.S.A., November 4, 1951, commemorating the 110th anniversary of the birth of Mykhaylo Drahomanov.
It is an honor and a pleasure to be invited by the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the United States* to join its members and guests in commemorating the anniversary of the birth of Mykhaylo Drahomanov. For me it will be especially interesting and enlightening to hear other scholars who will comment with far greater authority on the content and impact of Drahomanov’s thinking as they expressed and influenced die development of Ukrainian national feeling and thought. The assignment which I have accepted is a very modest one. I merely want to share a few reflections which have come to me, concerning the nature of Drahomanov’s profound insight into the relations between die Ukraine and the European community. By “European community” I refer, of course, not to a particular geographical area, but to all peoples who share in and contribute to the ideal of national and individual self-fulfillment as the highest good.
Some twenty years ago, when I was planning a study of the nature and cross-currents of the ideas which are often lumped together under the rubric of “Slav unity,” I was struck for the first time by Drahomanov’s profound insight into the nature of democratic self-fulfillment. At that time I was deeply impressed by the harmonious balance in Drahomanov between his deep love for Ukraine and his ability to see the needs and the potentialities of Ukraine within a broader European setting. A few years later, during an extended visit to Bulgaria, I again met with the impact of Drahomanov’s influence, in the grateful recollection held by senior intellectual leaders of his fruitful years, 1889–1895, as professor, counselor, and friend, at the University of Sofia. At that time I had most interesting talks with his daughter, Madame Draho-manova-Shishmanova, then in the full vitality of her extensive intellectual and social interests, as I have recently with his son, Professor Svitozor Drahomanov.
One source of Drahomanov’s humane sense of universality, which was often misunderstood and misinterpreted by his contemporaries, is, it seems to me, founded in his profound understanding of the ancient world. At a time when people are increasingly dissatisfied with partial studies of human society and are seeking for deeper bases of comprehension and cooperation within and beyond national frontiers, it is well to recall that classical studies, the basic discipline of the formative centuries of modern Europe, by definition strive to explain all of man and all of society. In a freer and more tranquil time Drahomanov would surely have become one of the great interpreters of Hellenic-Roman civilization. Under the sting of harsh circumstances, which deprived his people of the conditions of natural and unimpeded development into full enjoyment of membership in the European community, he sacrificed these personal and scholarly goals. But, in devoting his efforts to the struggle for emancipation of Ukraine, Drahomanov carried over into these exhausting efforts the spirit of universality which makes him even today a prophet of the Ukrainian and the European conscience. Thus there is, it seems to me, an inner harmony which infused Drahomanov’s thinking about Ukraine, the Slavs, and the European community.
Seeing the people of Ukraine divided, Drahomanov sought to disclose and revivify the deepest source of its national unity. And, since true unity must develop from within, he devoted special efforts to recording, cultivating, and popularizing the treasures of Ukrainian folklore and folk-literature. Along with other devoted students of the Ukrainian village he helped to lay solid foundations for strengthening the sense of underlying national unity. Turning to the history of Ukraine, he rejected all attempts to “monopolize” the national history for the benefit of any one tradition, region, or class. At a time when idealization of the Zaporozhian Host was an important stimulant of and comfort to national pride, Drahomanov courted widespread misunderstanding and censure in calling for a more realistic appraisal of the serious limitations as weil as the heroism of the Cossack army-state. In this insistence on truth, he resembled Thomas G. Masaryk, who somewhat later attacked the Königinhof and Grünberg forgeries, until then the palladium of romantic Czech nationalism. Recognizing, as an historian and sociologist, the many differences in traditions, customs, confessions, and historical experience which made difficult unified action among Ukrainians, Drahomanov denied the supremacy of any one region or cultural context and sought to infuse these diversities with a higher sense of inner unity, founded on shared human values. His profound conviction that national unity cannot be imposed from without but must grow within the thought and feeling of living people is as true today as it was then.
In his attitude towards other Slav peoples Drahomanov expressed both his calm, unchallengeable faith in the potentialities and achievements of the Ukrainian people and his abiding sense of the universality of man’s fate. Hence it was inevitable that he should oppose with equal vigor both the imperial Russian policy of attempting to deprive the Polish people of its national identity and to Russify it, and all Polish claims to “natural” hegemony over neighboring peoples. Deprived by imperial Russian chauvinism of the opportunity to pursue his beloved work of scholarship and to work simultaneously for the advancement of his people, Drahomanov never attributed the humane insights of Russian literature and culture to the merits of Alexander III or Pobedonostsev, and he therefore rejected any attempt to deny the great contributions of Russian, as of any other European, thought to the universal fund of humanistic thought. As a politician, Drahomanov’s practical programs suffered defeat. After 1881 Russia’s movement towards a fuller realization of liberal reform was drastically checked by the forces of reactionary cynicism. One of the few believers in Slav cooperation who knew all the Slav peoples intimately and at first hand, Drahomanov was among the first, in 1875, to begin the collection of funds and supplies to aid the Serbian rebels of Herzegovina in their struggle against Ottoman misrule. In his educational and cultural work in the struggling Bulgarian State Drahomanov gave full expression to his philosophy of national development. He saw a close kinship of national problems between the Bul-gar and the Ukrainian peoples. Both had survived many catastrophes because they rested on a solid foundation of peasant life. On that foundation both were striving to develop a well-rounded national life which would enable them to participate in the European community on a footing of complete equality and to make their own contributions to it. “Equality” was the keynote to Drahomanov’s concept of the role of Ukraine among the Slavs, and of the Slavs among the peoples of the world. Equality of all peoples, hegemony of none, was his guiding thought. If actual events have so often contradicted his optimistic anticipations, he shared this hope with many thinkers and doers, from Rousseau and Mazzini through Woodrow Wilson, and to our own day. This idea is both a revolutionary and a creative force in the world today.
As a participant in the European conscience of his day and ours, Drahomanov was both a mediator and a creator. Many of his writings were devoted to making known to the Western world the character, needs, and aspirations of Ukraine. In many fields of knowledge his writings on Ukraine opened new windows to the educated public abroad. In this tireless activity he again resembled a Masaryk “born out of season.” And like Masaryk he strove to assist his countrymen to understand more fully the role, present and potential, of Ukraine in the mainstream of European development, to overcome divisive if romantic parochialisms, to abandon the overly defensive habit of excessive acceptance or rejection of politically dominant cultures, and to contribute in every way to the growth of internal forces of unity, strength, and mutual understanding within the Ukrainian people.
Writing urgently and in haste for the needs of his day, Drahomanov would, it seems to me, have been the last to suppose that at another time and under other circumstances people would attempt mechanically to apply or attack solutions which seemed to him feasible and realistic. What the Ukrainian and the European-American conscience can learn from Drahomanov today is the spirit of historical realism and human universality in which he faced the problems of his day. Drahomanov based his ideals on his faith in the inherently democratic social and personal attitudes of the Ukrainian people, and he felt sure that these personal, family, village, and national attitudes would enable it to create a complete, harmonious, and free society in its own image. He had an unswerving confidence in the reservoir of creative talents among his people, as a guarantee of its future. He opposed all forms of oppression but he could not find it in himself to hate any other people merely because he loved his own people more. Finally, Drahomanov devoted the best of his life’s effort to defining and clarifying the vital interaction between Ukrainian and European development, to making clear to informed European opinion the undeniable place of Ukraine in Europe, and to assisting his own people to identify and grapple with those inner tasks of self-development which would enable it to occupy the place of its aspiration in the community of the European conscience.
The Life of Mykhaylo Drahomanov, Volodymyr Doroshenko
The life and activity of Mykhaylo Drahomanov, a fearless fighter for freedom, is worthy of our attention. Drahomanov did not have an easy life. He had to face not only material privations, but also the spiritual anguish of conflicts with political enemies, and of no less painful disagreements with his collaborators and friends. However, Drahomanov’s life was a model of service to his people and to humanity.
Drahomanov’s life can be divided into four periods: the first, in Poltava, from his birth to his graduation from the gymnasium (1841–1859); the second, in Kiev, from his entrance into the University of Kiev to his emigration (1859–1876); the third, in Geneva, from the beginning of his emigration to his departure for Bulgaria (1876–1889); and the fourth, in Sofia, from his arrival there to his death (1889–1895).
I. The Poltava Period
Mykhaylo Drahomanov was born on September 6, 1841, in the town of Hadyach, Poltava province, into the family of a small landowner. The class into which he was born was to influence his future personal life and his scientific and public activities. As Drahomanov remarked, the petty nobility and gentry who had small or medium-sized land-holdings in the Left Bank Ukraine, the territory of the former Cossack Hetmanate, formed a singular cultural nest, from which emerged a number of social and scientific leaders. In social status this gentry was not removed from the common people, since they were the descendants of the former Cossack elders. For this reason, they were aware of the needs of the people, and were sympathetic to their situation. In contrast to the aristocrats, whose attachment to the court took them to the capitals of the empire, the petty nobility lived on their estates and took a great interest in local affairs. At the same time, their material position made it possible for them to have a cultural life, and to educate their children. Consequently they were acquainted with West European progressive ideas.
Drahomanov belonged to this society. He grew up surrounded by Ukrainian popular traditions, and under the influence of the humanistic and liberal ideas of his parents’ home. His father, after serving as an official in Petersburg in his youth, came back to his native country in the 1830’s, with ideas, as Drahomanov remarked in his autobiography,
that consisted of a mixture of Christianity with 18th century Enlightenment, and of Jacobinism with a democratic caesarism.
Certainly, with such ideas, he was out of place in the bureaucratized aristocratic life of the provinces under Tsar Nicholas I. After marrying he remained at home, read widely, and gave legal help to such people as peasants illegally made serfs or recruits unjustly taken into military service. For this the local serfowners and civil authorities disliked him intensely. Drahomanov’s uncle was an officer and member of the secret society, United Slavs, from which came the participants in the Decembrist insurrection in Ukraine. From this brief description we see the idealistic atmosphere in which young Mykhaylo was brought up.
Like his father, Mykhaylo Drahomanov developed a love of reading and study. In 1853 he was admitted to the Poltava Classical Gymnasium. Among the instructors were some enlightened teachers who strengthened the principles which the young man had had inculcated at home. Drahomanov was especially indebted to the teacher of history, Stronin, who had him read the works of Herzen and other progressive writers, and strongly advised him to study foreign languages. While still in the gymnasium Drahomanov read Schlosser’s history of the 18th century and works by Macaulay, Prescott, Guizot, etc. One can say that Drahomanov’s social and journalistic activities began in the gymnasium, for there his comrades chose him to be editor of the handwritten journal of the pupils’ secret club.
It was at that time that Drahomanov got into trouble with the director of the gymnasium. He had taken the part of a comrade who had been unjustly treated by the inspector. This inspector complained to the director, and, shortly before he was due to graduate, Drahomanov was expelled without the right to enter another secondary school. It was only thanks to the intervention of the liberal curator of education of the Kiev school district, the famous surgeon and pedagogue Pirogov, that Drahomanov was able to finish the gymnasium and enter the university.
II. The Kiev Period
In the autumn of 1859 Drahomanov was admitted to the faculty of history and philosophy of the University of Kiev. His solid foundation enabled Drahomanov to orient himself in the ferment which had begun among the university youth of Russia. He at once entered the circle of students who founded the first adult folk schools in the Russian Empire. This was the beginning of the notable idea of “going to the people,” which later was to become so famous. Drahomanov taught the history of Russia, paying appropriate attention to the past of his native Ukraine. He dreamed of publishing these lectures, but this was never done. The Russian government, suspicious and fearful of closer cooperation between the young intelligentsia and the working classes, hastened to close the schools in 1862, replacing them by the Temporary Pedagogical School of Kiev, from which the student-teachers were barred.
We must take note of Drahomanov’s first public appearance, which attracted great attention. In the spring of 1861 the body of Taras Shevchenko was carried from Petersburg to Kaniv for burial on the banks of the Dnieper. Drahomanov delivered a fiery speech when the funeral train stopped in Kiev. Drahomanov delivered another remarkable speech at the farewell banquet given in honor of Curator Pirogov, who had been dismissed because of his liberal reforms. The audience rewarded the youthful orator with stormy applause. He praised Pirogov’s outstanding services, notably his success in substituting moral principles for military discipline in the schools, and in restraining the violence of the teachers who had tortured their pupils, punishing them mercilessly with rods and even with wooden logs. This speech was severely condemned by the Kiev administration; its printing was prohibited and the rector of the university was reprimanded. Nonetheless this daring brought Drahomanov closer to the circle of liberal professors. At that time Drahomanov was specializing in Roman history, and when V. Shulgin, a professor of history who was known for his liberal views, resigned in 1862, he recommended his talented student to the council of the university as a candidate for his chair. He advised that Drahomanov be sent abroad for further preparation after he had completed his university studies.
However, the Polish insurrection of 1863 frightened the government, and the atmosphere changed in the university. The conservative faction in the faculty of history and philosophy was able to delay Drahomanov’s study trip abroad. Therefore, after the sudden death of his father, Drahomanov had to look for a job in order to support his brother and sister. He became a teacher of geography in a Kiev gymnasium, at the same time taking the necessary steps toward becoming privat dozent. After having defended his thesis pro venia legendi on Emperor Tiberius, on May 25, 1864 Drahomanov was admitted as a lecturer. His fiancee’s mother died the same year, and Drahomanov had to marry sooner than he had intended, which worsened his already difficult financial situation.
In order to improve it Drahomanov was obliged to add journalism to his scientific work and his teaching. He wrote critical articles and editorials for the press of the capital, chiefly for the liberal Petersburg News. He treated aspects of local life, of the economic situation, of school affairs, and of the relations between nationalities in the so-called Southwestern Country, i.e. in the provinces of Kiev, Volhynia, and Podolya.
In the spring of 1863 Drahomanov drew nearer to Ukrainian circles, and joined the Kiev branch of the illegal organization Hromada, which had been organized in 1859. He was attracted to it because of his interest in popular education. In his articles for the press Drahomanov stressed the educational value of establishing schools using the Ukrainian language, and called for textbooks in Ukrainian. This stand aroused the opposition of government circles, who were hostile to Ukrainian aspirations, particularly after the Polish insurrection. The government suspected that Polish intrigues were at the bottom of the Ukrainian movement, and that it aimed at the disintegration of the Russian Empire. Although the Ukrainians violently rejected the claims of the Polish insurrectionists to the Right Bank Ukraine, the Russian reactionaries continued their senseless accusations, urging the government to take strong measures against “Ukrainian separatism.” It was not long before the repressions started. In 1863, the Minister of Education, Count Valuyev, who had been known as a liberal, issued a secret circular which prohibited the printing of school books and popular literature, including religious works, in Ukrainian. Soon even the discussion of teaching in Ukrainian was considered treasonable. In the spring of 1866 Drahomanov reviewed the Primer for Use in the Folk Schools of the School District of Kiev, written by the curator of the district, the reactionary Prince Shirinsky-Shikhmatov, Pirogov’s successor. Drahomanov said that this book was useless in any folk school, and doubly so in Ukrainian ones, because of its Russian language. The illustrious author and the pro-government press accused Drahomanov of separatism, and for several years he was under the surveillance of the police as an unreliable person. When in 1870 Drahomanov defended his thesis for the degree of master (Tacitus and the Question of the Historical Importance of the Roman Empire), and was nominated by the council of the University as assistant professor (staff dozent), with a preliminary trip abroad at the expense of the university, this same Prince Shirinsky-Shikhmatov took his revenge by not confirming the appointment until Drahomanov returned. As a consequence Drahomanov did not receive the usual sum awarded to young scholars sent abroad.
From his studies of ancient history, particularly in religion and mythology, Drahomanov was led to an interest in their development in later periods. Then he turned to the history of the Slavs, in which he concentrated on the legends and folklore of the Ukrainian people. In 1867, together with several friends, he started to collect Ukrainian folk literature for publication. A practical reason for this was that such works were almost the only sort of Ukrainian publication not prohibited by the Russian censor. Four books were soon published, two collections of Ukrainian fairy tales, and two of songs. In 1869, together with the well-known historian Volodymyr Antonovych, Drahomanov started an annotated collection of Ukrainian historical songs.
In spite of the time required for these scholarly pursuits, Drahomanov continued to be interested in politics, and was always ready to be of service. Here we shall mention an incident which was indicative of the future. In 1869 the student agitations in Petersburg spread to Kiev. Drahomanov was invited by student friends to speak to their society. Here he had an argument with a student delegate from Petersburg with centralist ideas. This discussion, as Drahomanov notes in his autobiography, was the start of his struggles with the Great Russian revolutionary centralists and the pan-Russian “Jacobins.”
Finally Drahomanov was sent abroad by Kiev University. He expanded his two years into three (1870–73), visiting Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and Austria. He spent the first eight months in Berlin, during the Franco-Prussian War, chiefly attending Mommsen’s lectures and studying in the libraries. At the same time he became acquainted with the political and civic structure of Germany. Drahomanov visited Leipzig, Bautzen, where he was interested in the cultural movement of the Lausitz Slavs, and Heidelberg (autumn, 1871). From Germany he went to Florence (1872). In 1873 he visited Switzerland, staying in Zurich, and on his return trip he went to Vienna and Prague, where he made the acquaintance of Slavic leaders. In Vienna he was glad to meet Galician Ukrainians, as he was much interested in cultural and social developments in Galicia.
In addition to pursuing the studies in ancient history for which he had been sent abroad, Drahomanov collected material everywhere for the comparative comments on folklore themes in his proposed collection of Ukrainian historical songs. He also found time to write for Russian liberal journals, contributing articles connected with his studies or on his observations on life and politics abroad. Vestnik Yevropy (European Messenger) printed a remarkable article by Drahomanov, “Germany’s Eastern Policy and Russification” (1872), based on his impressions in Warsaw and Berlin. In this article Drahomanov presented the idea that Russia’s policy of centralization in regard to the non-Russian nationalities played into the hands of German imperialism. His acquaintance with the Ukrainian movement in Galicia provided Drahomanov with material for other articles in European Messenger, as well as in West European reviews such as Rivista Europea. These articles were the beginning of Drahomanov’s lifelong activity as a political writer, informing Russian and West European society about the Ukrainian question. These articles created Drahomanov’s reputation, but they also made him many enemies both in Russia and among the local conservatives and clergy in Galicia.
During his month and a half in Zurich, Drahomanov met many Russian students or emigrants. With them he debated the possibility of realizing a socialist order in Russia. In spite of the wide differences of opinion among them, his opponents were all convinced that the Russian peasants were ready to accept socialist ideas. None agreed with Drahomanov that it was first necessary to seek to establish political freedom in Russia.
When Drahomanov visited Galicia he was surprised by the stagnation of its social and cultural life, both among conservative Russophile Old Ruthenians and among their adversaries, the Ukrainophile Young Ruthenians or Populists. Drahomanov strove to combat this inertia by putting his fellow-countrymen of the Austrian Empire into closer contact with West European culture. He wrote articles and distributed imported progressive publications, not only in Ukrainian, of which there were very few, but also in Russian. For this some people called him a dangerous threat to the foundations of the social and political order; others called him a Russophile or even an agent of the Russian government. However, Drahomanov certainly did not only criticize the Galician Ukrainians and their leaders. He also tried to indicate the possible basis for constructive work. He had been commissioned by the Ukrainians in Russia to consult with the Galicians about the establishment of a Ukrainian scientific and literary society, out of the reach of tsarist censorship. Such a society, the Shevchenko Society, soon was established in Lviv, on December 11, 1873. In 1892 it grew into an institution which was a real center of Ukrainian thought, the Shevchenko Scientific Society.
Drahomanov returned to Kiev in September, 1873, and was appointed assistant professor. He found great animation among his Ukrainian friends. During his absence a center of Ukrainian studies had been established under the name of the Southwestern Section of the Russian Geographical Society. Drahomanov was active in it, making reports at its meetings and printing his scholarly works in its publications.
In 1874 and 1875 this Society published two volumes by Drahomanov and Antonovych, Historical Songs of the Little Russian People, and in 1876 it published Drahomanov’s own collection, Little Russian Popular Legends and Tales. These works were favorably received by scholars in the field of folklore. The first volume of Historical Songs appeared in time for the Archeological Congress which met in Kiev in 1874. This Congress was a triumph for Ukrainian scholars. It caused great joy to Ukrainian patriots, but it provoked the wrath of reactionaries in Kiev, who saw separatist tendencies in the Congress and in the activities of the Geographical Society. These attacks against the Geographical Society, which had begun at its inception, soon turned into a concerted threat against the whole Ukrainian movement.
One of the Old Ruthenians who had come to the Archeological Congress from Galicia formally denounced Drahomanov as a Polish agent in Kievlyanin (Kievan), the organ of Kiev’s administration. The local reactionaries had long detested Drahomanov on account of his articles in the Petersburg progressive press. Now their opposition to him was considerably augmented by the passage of another Kiev newspaper, Kievsky Telegraf (Kiev Telegraph), into Ukrainian hands. Drahomanov became the spiritus movens of this newspaper, and from November, 1874 to August, 1875 he placed in it many articles and notes which criticized the local administration.
Reports from Kiev alarmed St. Petersburg, and the censor began to regard Drahomanov’s articles on Ukrainian subjects, which appeared in the European Messenger, with even greater suspicion. The censor deleted Drahomanov’s article, “Ten Years of Ukrainian Literature,” from the September-October (1875) issue of that paper. Finally the administration’s pressure began to affect Drahomanov’s personal life. In May, 1875, the curator of the Kiev school district requested Drahomanov to resign voluntarily from his position at the university, alleging that Drahomanov had advocated in the foreign press that Ukraine be separated from Russia and united to Poland. Drahomanov refused to resign and thereby plead [not] guilty to this and other equally ridiculous accusations. Instead of resigning he went for a vacation to Galicia to become better acquainted with life in the Austrian Ukraine. Drahomanov attached considerable importance to Galicia, for he thought it might become a reservoir of national energy upon which the Russian Ukraine could later draw. Drahomanov worked for the “Europeanization,” as he called it, of Galicia, and appealed to his friends in Kiev not to forget their felloe-countrymen in Austria. He undertook the liaison between the Galicians and the Ukrainians in Kiev, who jokingly called him “King Mykhaylo of Galicia.”
Drahomanov was especially moved by the piteous fate of the Subcarpathian region, which groaned under the Magyar yoke. For him this area was a “wounded brother”. After having become acquainted on the spot with the fate of the Subcarpathian Ukrainians, his appeals to Galicia for aid for these people were constant.
Drahomanov helped to make the Austrian Ukraine known to the Ukrainians in Russia. He also greatly stimulated life in the stagnant backward province which Galicia was at that time. Drahomanov’s articles in Druh (Friend), the organ of a student society of the same name in Lviv, were especially influential. His articles in 1875 and 1876 worked a real revolution among the members of Druh. These formed the nucleus of a new progressive movement, which in time became the Radical Party. At its head was the well-known writer, scholar, and politician Ivan Franko.
Drahomanov’s appearance in Galicia during the summer of 1875 was followed by new denunciations to Kiev about his supposed separatism. The charge that Drahomanov advocated the separation of Ukraine from Russia alarmed the Kiev administration, which hastened to forward it to the highest authorities in Petersburg. The ister of Public Education presented the telegram to Tsar Alexander II himself, and described Drahomanov as a dangerous character. The tsar ordered that Drahomanov resign from the University of Kiev, with the right to go to any other university provided it was in Great Russia, not Ukraine. Drahomanov replied with a decisive refusal, and was then dismissed by administrative order, without the right to occupy any government post.
The Drahomanov incident was the first in a chain of events. The tsar appointed a special commission to inquire into Ukrainian separatism and to recommend measures to be taken against it. The creation of this commission was announced by the tsar himself, in Kiev in September, 1875. The Ukrainian movement was seriously threatened, and Drahomanov and his friends began to prepare for the struggle. The Ukrainian underground organization in Kiev, Hromada (Community) decided to send Drahomanov abroad to defend the Ukrainian cause before the free world. At the meetings of a special committee the content, approach, and even length of the writings in which he was to do this were discussed in detail. At that time Hromada was in close touch with Russian revolutionary organizations, many of whose members were of Ukrainian origin, e.g. Zhelyabov, Kibalchich, Lizogub, and others. Hromada pledged itself to support Drahomanov and his family, and a fixed amount was allotted for his yearly expenses. Drahomanov hastened to finish the works he had already started in Kiev, including his collection of Ukrainian folk legends and tales. In May, 1876, having received his passport for travel abroad, Drahomanov left for Vienna by way of Galicia and Subcarpathian Ruthenia. In Vienna he started work on the program Hromada had proposed.
The commission to inquire into Ukrainian separatism met in the latter part of May, 1876, and decreed the following measures: prohibition of printing in the Ukrainian language, prohibition of Ukrainian theatrical performances and concerts, the closing of the Southwestern Section of the Geographical Society, and the banishment of Drahomanov. Exclusion from Ukraine was also applied to Pavlo Chubynsky, the well-known statistician and ethnographer, who, in the early 1870’s, had directed a statistical and ethnographic expedition into the Right Bank Ukraine (the provinces of Kiev, Podolya, and Volhynia). This expedition collected seven large volumes of very valuable material, which was published by the Petersburg Geographical Society.
Thus Drahomanov was condemned to exile. He was unable to stay in Vienna very long. Before his arrival, in April, 1876, the Austrian government had started a campaign against the Ukrainian socialist movement in Galicia, searching suspected persons, confiscating pamphlets, etc. In preparation for a trial of Ukrainian socialists, Drahomanov was accused of being the head of the socialist conspiracy, an agent of the Russian government, etc. After editing one pamphlet in Vienna, On the Question of Little Russian Literature, Drahomanov took refuge in Switzerland.
III. The Geneva Period
After settling in Geneva in the autumn of 1876, Drahomanov began on the publications commissioned by the Hromada group in Kiev. His works on Ukrainian matters and his socialist propaganda were written in Ukrainian; in Russian he wrote various liberal political works, following the course of the events that were agitating Russia. His first task was collecting material for a magazine to be called Hromada (Community), in honor of the organization that had sent him abroad. At the same time Drahomanov edited several other works: a novel by the Rudchenko brothers (under the pseudonyms of Panas Myrny and Ivan Bilyk), which described a Ukrainian village after the abolition of serfdom; two volumes of his own Political Songs of the Ukrainian People, a continuation of the Historical Songs he and Antonovych had edited in Kiev; and two pamphlets by a fellow emigrant in Geneva, the doctor and economist Serhiy Podolynsky, Handicrafts and Factories in Ukraine and The Life and Health of the Ukrainian People.
Hromada presented the Ukrainian socialist program and articles and correspondence on political, economic, and educational conditions in Ukraine. In Geneva Drahomanov also published a series of articles and pamphlets in Russian devoted to internal conditions in the tsarist empire, in which he demonstrated the need for political freedom in Russia.
In taking a stand against tsarist policies, Drahomanov was also drawn into conflict with various Russian revolutionary groups, such as that around the paper Narodnaya Volya (The People’s Will). He did not share their illusions about the possibility of realizing socialist ideas in a backward country which had not gone through the school of political freedom. According to Drahomanov the realization of these ideas was only possible through an evolutionary process, bringing a high level of civilization to the masses. However, Drahomanov’s methods seemed too slow to the Russian revolutionaries, who wanted immediate, decisive action. Besides, Drahomanov disapproved of their Great Russian centralism, their destructive tendencies, their Machiavellian approach in which the end justified the means, and their establishment of terror as a principle of revolutionary action. Drahomanov’s writings of this time show the maturing into a well-rounded system of the convictions he had already expressed in Kiev.
In the Russian journal Volnoye Slovo (Free Word), Drahomanov led a campaign for political freedom, against all centralism, tsarist or revolutionary. From August, 1881 to May, 1883, he worked for this journal, first as a regular contributor, soon as its editor-in-chief. Volnoye Slovo was supposed to be the organ of a secret underground organization in Russia, the Zemsky Soyuz (Union of the Land). After 1905 certain authors studying the history of the revolutionary movement expressed doubts that this organization had ever existed. The secrecy surrounding Zemsky Soyuz led to a hot discussion. It was only after 1917, when State documents could be studied, that it was possible to clear this question. It was shown that in fact Zemsky Soyuz was a facade for the anti-revolutionary Svyashchennaya Druzhina (Holy Guard). In a few words let us summarize its history. The assassination of Tsar Alexander II (March 1, 1881) caused panic among the government and the aristocracy. The new tsar, Alexander III, hardly dared to go out of his heavily guarded castle outside St. Petersburg. A group of clever ambitious men in bureaucratic and court circles endeavored to make use of this situation. Under the leadership of Count Paul Shuvalov they formed a sort of private police, the Holy Guard, which competed with the official police, compromised by their failure to protect Alexander II. The chief aim of the Holy Guard was to bring to an end the wave of assassinations by the revolutionary Narodnaya Volya Party. They supported the magazine Volnoye Slovo because Drahomanov was known as a vigorous opponent of terrorism.
Obviously it is not very flattering to present Drahomanov as the unconscious tool of a reactionary intrigue, but we must make a few additional remarks. First, Count Shuvalov was playing a double game. While fighting terrorism, he was also trying to use his influence on the monarch and the government to obtain liberal reforms. He drew up a project for a constitution which he presented to Alexander III. His ambition was to be the leader of the first constitutional government. Shuvalov’s political conceptions coincided in part with Drahomanov’s ideas. Although in the secret meetings of the Holy Guard Shuvalov justified the financing of Volnoye Slovo by speaking of the necessity of splitting the revolutionary movement, it is very probable that he also welcomed the magazine as a center for liberal forces. Secondly, although a Zemsky Soyuz never existed, there were a great many individuals and groups in Russia who sympathized with the principles of the Geneva publication, especially those circles of the liberal opposition who concentrated on the idea of Zemstvo self-government, and opposed both absolutism and revolutionary terrorism. Here Volnoye Slovo found readers and correspondents. Since the time of Herzen’s Kolokol (Tocsin) no emigrant publication had aroused such a response in Russia. Thirdly, Drahomanov’s own complete good faith has never been cast into doubt by any of those doing research on the problem. As editor Drahomanov had a completely free hand; he wrote what he chose and there can be no question of an influence by the Holy Guard on the editorial policy of Volnoye Slovo.
The shipwreck of Count Shuvalov’s ambitions brought downfall to Volnoye Slovo. After a preliminary period of doubt and vacillation, Alexander III decided on a resolutely reactionary course. The Holy Guard was dissolved. Of course to Drahomanov the true connection between these events was never clear, and to the end of his days he believed that he had published Volnoye Slovo for and with the help of the underground Zemsky Soyuz. This whole comedy of errors is typical of Russian politics of the time.
As a convinced advocate of political freedom, Drahomanov gladly welcomed all who struggled for it in Russia. In June, 1883, a group of delegates from the Russian Ukraine came to him for aid in drawing up a program for remodeling the Russian Empire on a federal and democratic basis. A society, Volny Soyuz (Free Union), was to be created to work to carry it out. At the end of August the program was finished, printed, and taken to Russia, but the members of the group were arrested, and the society never came into being, Nevertheless, Drahomanov printed the program, with the addition of a detailed commentary. (Volny Soyuz, Geneva, 1884).
During all of his stay in Geneva, Drahomanov continued to place articles on Ukraine in French, German, and Italian publications, Perhaps the most important of these is his extensive study of Ukraine which appeared in La Nouvelle Geographie Universelle, the famous compendium by his friend Elisee Reclus. This was the first systematic treatment in a West European language of all the Ukrainian lands. Drahomanov took a public stand in defense of Ukraine, oppressed by Russian absolutism. For example his protest at the International Literary Congress in Paris, 1878, against the decree prohibiting the use of Ukrainian as a printed language, made a considerable impression. Drahomanov’s report was printed as a separate pamphlet entitled La litterature oukrainienne proscrite par le gouvernement russe. A considerably enlarged version of this appeared in the Italian journal Rivista Minima, 1881.
Drahomanov also kept up his interest in Galicia, and tried to influence West Ukrainian social opinions and attitudes by placing articles in various local publications, and by personal correspondence with West Ukrainian leaders. It must be said that Drahomanov was a remarkable correspondent. He answered all letters immediately, and many of his letters were really political treatises, e.g. his letters to the Hromada group in Kiev, those to many Galician Ukrainian leaders, and especially those to his disciples and friends Ivan Franko and Mykhaylo Pavlyk. In his letters Drahomanov not only gave his correspondents advice on specific practical problems, but also expressed his general theories. That is why his letters present such rich material for a historian of his time.
Drahomanov’s relations to the Ukrainian press in Galicia and to the progressive leaders there became closer as reaction gained the upper hand in Russia during the eighties. The members of Hromada in Kiev, who had sent Drahomanov abroad, found that the activity he pursued in accordance with their original instructions was too radical to suit the changed temper of the times. With the years they had moved to the right, and now they felt that the policy of their European ambassador was injurious to the Ukrainian cause in Russia. They felt that Drahomanov’s radical publications only irritated the Russian government and ruined their hopes of seeing the restrictions on Ukrainian literature lessened. They were displeased even with the publication of the collected poetic works of Shevchenko, which Drahomanov had undertaken in Geneva, believing that his fellow-countrymen in Kiev and Lviv had lost sight of the ideals of that great revolutionary poet. The extent of the alarm felt at that time by Drahomanov’s former comrades-in-arms can be seen by the opinion of one of the formerly most radical members of Hromada, Pavlo Zhytetsky: “We must hibernate through this misfortune [the reactionary reign of Alexander III].”
The divergence between Drahomanov and his friends in Kiev, which had already become manifest in 1883, grew sharper in 1886, and had a painful effect on his material situation. Hromada stopped sending the money for Drahomanov’s expenses as had been arranged. Although the money had never arrived very regularly, still this was a great blow. The conflict had even more painful spiritual effects. Now Drahomanov felt like an abandoned outcast from his native country. Drahomanov liked to repeat the words of Renan: “Le moyen d’avoir raison dans l’avenir est, a certaines heures, de savoir se resigner a etre demode,” but this scarcely improved his situation.
In this hard period Drahomanov was consoled by the proposal made by a circle of still loyal friends from Ukraine to write a history of Ukrainian literature. He accepted with joy and began to study Ukrainian folk poetry, which was to constitute the first part of this work. This history of Ukrainian literature was never completed, but a series of articles, sketches, notes, and monographs appeared in different publications. This research occupied the last years of his life.
IV. The Sofia Period
In 1889, while engaged in this work on Ukrainian literature, Drahomanov received an invitation from the Bulgarian government to fill a chair of history in the University of Sofia. This gave him financial security and the opportunity to print in Bulgarian publicatios, as well as a chance to return to his beloved profession of teaching. Drahomanov signed a three year contract with the Bulgarian government. At its expiration it was prolonged for one year in spite of the demand of the Russian government that he be expelled from Bulgaria along with other Russian emigrant “nihilists and terrorists”. In 1893 the contract was again renewed, this time for three years.
At the university Drahomanov lectured on pre-Hellenic civilizations, but his personal scientific work was devoted to Ukrainian and other Slavic folklores and literatures. His works on folklore were recognized as outstanding, and their author received many honors.
In spite of the time required for teaching and research, and of the limitations imposed by a serious heart disease, Drahomanov still managed to contribute frequently to the Radical press in Galicia. Contact with Galicia became a spiritual necessity for Drahomanov. He himself said that Galicia became his second homeland, no less dear to him than his own province of Poltava. These ties lessened his feeling of isolation from his native soil.
In his Galician articles and pamphlets Drahomanov, as always, defended the principles of freedom and tolerance, political, religious, and national, and campaigned for the secularization of all social relations. He opposed clericalism and social reaction, which threatened the free development of the Galician Ukrainian community. Two works from this period are especially remarkable: “Peculiar Thoughts on the Ukrainian National Cause” (Lviv, 1891) and “Letters to the Dnieper Ukraine” (Lviv, 1893). The latter was an answer to the articles of Borys Hrinchenko in a newspaper of Chernivtsi, Bukovina. Although Hrinchenko started out as an opponent of Drahomanov’s point of view, Drahomanov’s replies turned him into an ardent follower.
Naturally Drahomanov’s journalistic activity exposed him to continual attacks by his various political adversaries. The Polish nobility and the Ukrainian conservatives in Galicia suspected him of being an agent of the Russian government; tsarist officials considered him a bitter enemy, a dangerous separatist and revolutionary. In Russia the very mention of his name was prohibited. The censor prevented the printing of his most innocuous scholarly contributions to Russian magazines, even under pseudonyms, whenever it was discovered that Drahomanov was the author. But the hostility both of the Galician conservatives and of tsarist Russia did not prevent Russian and Polish revolutionary centralists from insinuating that Drahomanov was a sort of agent provocateur of the Russian government. On yet another side, some of his Ukrainian adversaries saw in him a Russophile or even a “Muscovite,” pretending to defend the Ukrainian cause in order to injure it. But no insinuations, calumnies, or denunciations could make Drahomanov change his convictions. Till his death he remained a fearless and ardent advocate of political, religious, and national freedom and of international solidarity. Drahomanov always tried to persuade his compatriots that while keeping their feet firmly planted on the Ukrainian soil, they should turn their eyes toward European culture.
In spite of the obstacles raised on all sides, Drahomanov’s indefatigable activity brought him supporters even during his lifetime. The Galician Radical Party was founded under his influence and continued to be guided by his advice. His ideas also penetrated into the Russian Ukraine, which the reactionary government of Alexander III tried to keep isolated from the outside world. Drahomanov lived to achieve public recognition from his colleagues in political and scholarly fields, and from his personal friends and disciples. In Lviv, on December 16, 1894, the thirty years’ jubilee of his public activity was celebrated. On this occasion he received warm greetings from all over Ukraine and from West European scholars and friends. Among these greetings there were also many from progressive Russians and Poles. For Drahomanov this celebration came as a real surprise, and it gave him deep satisfaction.
His days were already numbered. In his last years Drahomanov suffered from a heart disease, aneurism of the aorta. This painful disease was incurable, and could be fatal at any moment, as Drahomanov knew. Nevertheless Drahomanov continued work to the end. On June 20, 1895, after having lectured as usual at the university, he died suddenly. In accordance with his request, he was buried in the Protestant Cemetery in Sofia.
Drahomanov and Ukrainian Historiography, Dmytro Doroshenko
This article by the late Dmytro Doroshenko (1882–1951) is a slightly abridged translation of an essay which appeared in Ukrainian in Drahomanivsky Zbirnyk, pid redaktsieyu V. Simovycha, Pratsi Ukrayinskoho Vysokoho Pedahohichnoho Instytutu im. M. Drahomanova v Prazi (A Symposium in Honor of M. Drahomanov, Vasyl Simovych editor, in the series, Publications of the Ukrainian Pedagogic Drahomanov Institute in Prague) (Prague, 1932). Only a limited number of mimeographed copies of this book appeared, and today it is a rarity. In printing this article by Professor Doroshenko, which now is almost unknown even to the Ukrainian public, the editors wish not only to enrich their book, but also to commemorate this eminent historian, the first president of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the United States, [ed.]
Drahomanov was not a specialist in the history of Ukraine. He had prepared himself for the chair of world history and he lectured in Roman history at the University of Kiev. At first his activity was not directed toward Ukrainian studies at all. Having been raised on the works of Herzen and Saint-Simon, as a youth he considered himself a cosmopolitan, or rather a pan-Russian, though he was aware of his Ukrainian roots. However, his practical application in Ukraine of his general principles, his teaching in the adult folk schools, and his participation in the movement for popular enlightenment all led him to closer contact with the Ukrainian movement of his time.
It was particularly his studies of Ukrainian folk literature which brought Drahomanov to an interest in Ukrainian affairs. After learning to know its wonderful folk poetry, Drahomanov, as he said, came to love the Ukrainian people deeply. He became attached with his whole soul, and began to feel all the particularities of the Ukrainian cause. After taking such a profound interest in the Ukrainian cause and dedicating all his strength to its service, it is natural that Drahomanov should not have omitted Ukrainian history from his consideration.
Drahomanov’s conditions of life and work did not allow him to study Ukrainian history as his specialty. However, since he was working in fields allied to history, particularly with Ukrainian historical songs, tales, and religious traditions (legends, apocryphal stories, religious poetry, etc.), he continually came into contact with various questions related to Ukrainian historiography.
In this he demonstrated a deep understanding of Ukrainian historical development, and a clear view of the tasks of Ukrainian historiography. A number of his comments on various questions in Ukrainian history are remarkably penetrating. These are to be found thickly strewed throughout his studies of Ukrainian folk literature, in his political and journalistic articles, and also in his letters, which are frequently a valuable supplement to his other woorks. Here I should like to collect some of the most striking of these remarks, in order to try to form from them a picture of Drahomanov’s basic views on Ukrainian history and historical research.
Drahomanov wrote two works which are truly historical. The first, The Ukrainian Cossacks and the Tatars and the Turks (Kiev, ), is a well-written popular presentation of the struggle of the Ukrainians and the rest of the Slavic world against the Turks and Tatars. In the middle of the 1870’s this conflict entered a new phase with the uprisings in Herzegovina and, following this example, those of the other Balkan Slavs against Turkish domination. The Ukrainians in Kiev sympathized with these uprisings and sent money and volunteers to help. Drahomanov posed the question of the true reason for the struggle against the Turks. His answer was that it was not because of religion, because they were Turkish infidels, but in order to achieve the political, social, and national liberation of the Balkan peninsula from the yoke of the semi-barbarous Turks. The booklet is written vividly, its content is easy to understand, and the tragic episodes of the Cossack wars against the Mohammedan world are as clear as a picture. We can be sure that for a long time Drahomanov’s book will remain a pearl of Ukrainian popularizing literature, a model of how such books should be written.
Drahomanov’s second work in the field of Ukrainian history, which unfortunately remained incomplete, is The Lost Epoch, the Ukrainians under the Muscovite Tsardom, 1654–1876. This was to have appeared in the sixth volume of Hromada [a Ukrainian periodical edited by Drahomanov in Geneva], but this volume was never published, and the article remained in proof-sheets. Later it was published by Mykhaylo Pavlyk as a separate pamphlet.
Drahomanov’s first treatment of the questions of Ukrainian history was in his joint work with Volodymyr Antonovych, Historical Songs of the Little Russian People, in two volumes (Kiev, 1874 and 1875). In the introduction to the first volume we can see what the task was which the editors set for themselves:
Under the name of historical songs of the Ukrainian people we intend to publish all the songs in which changes in the social order of the people are expressed, just as other songs are a reflection of the history of the people’s religious and ritual life, and yet others that of its family and economic life. By selecting from printed and unpublished collections all the historical songs (historical in the above-defined sense, whatever their form may be), we obtain a poetic history of social events in Southern Rus from at least the ninth century to the present, i.e. in Austria to the abolition of serfdom and the Hungarian rebellion in 1848, and in Russia to the Polish rebellion of 1863 and the liberation of the peasants.
Thus the editors wanted to present the history of the Ukrainian people as told by itself in songs. We do not know how the two editors divided the work between themselves, but the commentary is similar to that in the works which Drahomanov later wrote alone abroad. The comments which Drahomanov appended to the political songs are exceptionally worthwhile and interesting. Since he made use of all the material on Ukrainian history which had appeared till then (including the new material in the periodical Kievskaya Starina [Old Kiev]), Drahomanov attached a number of short essays on Ukrainian history in the 17th and 18th centuries. From these relatively short sketches one can gain a much clearer and more lifelike picture of certain periods, e.g. the reigns of the Hetmans Mazepa (1687–1709), Skoropadsky (1709–1722), and Apostol (1727–1734), than from Kostomarov’s monographs or Lazarevsky’s writings.
In his New Ukrainian Songs on Social Matters (1881), Drahomanov surveys the life of the Ukrainian people in all the Ukrainian lands as it has found expression in folk poetry: the time of the haydamaks (peasant insurgents of the 18th century), the destruction of the Sich (1775), the introduction of serfdom in the Left Bank Ukraine (1783), the increase of serfdom in the Right Bank Ukraine after this land passed from Poland to Russia (1793), recruiting and hard service in the tsarist army, the robber “Robin Hoods” in the Carpathians, the abolition of serfdom in Austria and the Hungarian uprisings of 1848, the abolition of serfdom in Russia (1861), work in the factories. All of these events in the social and economic life of the people, which have been echoed in popular songs, are vividly characterized by Drahomanov.
What were Drahomanov’s general views on Ukrainian historical development and on the tasks of Ukrainian historiography?
First of all let us say that Drahomanov ascribed great importance to the historical and national tradition and considered that the Ukrainian cause had been greatly harmed when this tradition died away in the first decades of the 19th century. In his works and letters Drahomanov mentions several times that even in the 1830’s and 1840’s there was still a certain tradition of statehood among the nobility of the Left Bank Ukraine descended from the Cossack elders, i.e. among the members of the class to which Drahomanov himself belonged. It was from this group that the young Drahomanov had obtained the basis for his liberal philosophy and for his sympathy toward the Ukrainian national cause. Let us remember that, as he says, it was in the circle of the Kapnist brothers and other educated Ukrainian nobles that he first read Shevchenko’s The Dream and Caucasus [political poems with strong anti-tsarist and anti-Russian tendencies] in the 1850’s.
In my boyhood I had the chance to observe the influence of the Kapnist brothers on the local gentry and intelligentsia (priests, doctors, etc.)
Moreover he frequently mentions that Istoriya Rusov had circulated extensively among the nobles living on the Left Bank, that it had served to keep alive the memory of an independent Ukrainian State, and that it had greatly influenced such people as Shevchenko. Here we need only remember that he said:
Shevchenko took whole images from The History of the Ruthenians, and in 1844–45 no book except the Bible had such influence on his thought processes.
But this tradition had died out, and, in Drahomanov’s opinion, could not be brought back to life.
The tendency to idealize the period of the Cossacks and the hetmanate, which was once very natural and came to an interesting expression in the thirties and forties, and the effort to give to natural Ukrainian patriotism a constitutional character, for which The History of the Ruthenians and many of Shevchenko’s works might serve as prototypes — is now definitely out of date in the minds of all educated Ukrainians. A return to this would be made impossible by the scientific criticism and analysis to which the Ukrainian leaders are subjecting their past.
Drahomanov thought that only one solution remained for the Ukrainians: a close alliance with the pan-Russian progressive movement, but under the condition that the ideas of decentralization and of Ukrainian autonomy be guaranteed within an all-Russian federation. Drahomanov believed that this also corresponded to the general evolution of Ukrainian political thought during the 19th century. He felt that the chief impetus to Ukrainian thinking had come from European liberalism, which had been implanted in the Ukrainian nobility from the beginning of the 19th century. The community of liberal beliefs which existed between the Ukrainian and Russian intelligentsias (which at that time were composed uniquely of the nobility) led to a common program, in which the Ukrainians brought an essential correction — decentralization. This is readily visible in the southern branches of the Decembrists, Free Masons, and other illegal or semi-legal societies of the first quarter of the 19th century.
It was the Brotherhood of Sts. Cyril and Methodius which best formulated the idea of the federation of all the Slavic peoples into one State, guaranteeing political and national equality to each people. In comparison with this Brotherhood, the ideology of Osnova in 1861–62 is a step backwards. The later socialist efforts of the seventies brought the matter onto a new track, which, according to Drahomanov, was purposeful and real, but the socialists sinned in their deviations toward centralism. Since Drahomanov had no confidence in the realization of a socialist program in the near future, he sought a basis for the Ukrainian cause in the constitutionalism of the Zemstvo movement. To this end he wrote his famous Free Union, a project for a federative Russia composed of constituent states [in the American sense].
In considering the fate of the Ukrainian people, Drahomanov raised the question of political independence. He did not oppose this in principle, but under the given circumstances he did not see any solid basis for it and did not believe that it could be achieved.
I do not want to impose my views on any one, and in this matter I should even be happy to have them refuted by fact, but I say quite openly that at present I do not see anywhere the necessary force or groundwork for the political separation of Ukraine from Russia. Moreover, I see that the Ukrainians and Russia have many interests in common, for instance the right to colonize the land between the Don and the Ural mountains.
The chief reason why Drahomanov did not believe in the possibility of an independent Ukraine was that he did not see any deep and earnest enthusiasm for it among his Ukrainian contemporaries.
Nowhere, in any social group in Ukraine, except perhaps among a part of the Polish nobility, who are now, however, very much intimidated by the government and the peasants, do I see the basis for political separatism. I see that it is only in anonymous comimunications in Pravda [Truth, a Ukrainian magazine in Galicia], which are very weak from the scientific and literary point of view, that a desire for separation is expressed. Therefore, for the present at least, I deny any serious importance to Ukrainian separatism.... What sort of an idea is it which, during twenty or thirty years, has not found a single person ready to acknowledge it openly and courageously, prepared to sacrifice for it some of his ease, or his career, not to speak of his life.
Drahomanov did not believe that Ukraine was in a position for any “high politics” at all, as long as it had not itself become a more important power factor. In a letter to Oleksander Konysky in 1888 he wrote:
For official Europe only those [nations] are interesting which have force (an army), not those which still require that blood flow and money be spent for their sakes.... First we must become something in our own home, we must become Europeans, and then Europe will also be interested in us.
However, Drahomanov saw that in the historical past there had been a possible foundation for an independent Ukraine, and he regretted that circumstances had not permitted the Ukrainian State founded by Bohdan Khmelnytsky to endure. Therefore he was very displeased when the Ukrainians insulted their historic traditions and tried to belittle their historic figures.
Somehow Ukrainians are not in the habit of boasting about their own ancestral traditions, ... there has been no one to teach them to take pride in their glorious past. For one brief moment in the thirties and forties of this century, when enlightened Ukrainians began finding out about their heritage, a handful of people bragged loudly about the glories of the Cossack Ukraine, but they were quick to discover the stains on the escutcheon — and now, if anyone wants to learn of these stains, he can best do so through the works of Ukrainian scholars, in the well-known works of Kostomarov, Lazarevsky, and Antonovych.
In judging the past by modern standards, Ukrainian historians overlook many positive manifestations, and they belittle those statesmen of our past whom they accuse of being pro-aristocratic. In a letter to Franko Drahomanov writes:
The works of our populist historians falsify the affair in the worst possible manner, for they calumny not only men like Mazepa, but also those like Vyhovsky and Polubotok, while keeping silent about Peter I and Catherine II.
The assertion of the Russian historian Solovyov that “the Ukrainian people has certainly suffered, but because of its Cossack elders rather than of Muscovite tyranny” is answered by Drahomanov in his Political Songs:
Unintentionally Ukrainian historians have supported this perversion of the history of Ukraine by Russian scholars. They have indicated the faults of the Cossack elders, not sparing such defenders of Cossack freedom as Vyhovsky, Mazepa, Polubotok.... The works of these Ukrainian historians are used by the enemies of the Cossack order and the partisans of tsarism. But so far these historians have not pointed out the great harm done to the Ukrainian people by the tsarist system (for no modern Ukrainian historian has written an exact account of the 18th century Ukraine), and they are unable to do so because of tsarist censorship. Therefore the whole history of social life in Ukraine, like that of the ideas of the Ukrainian people about the States under whose domination it has lived and still lives, i.e. Russia and Poland, has not yet been shown in its true light.
Drahomanov also made reproaches against individual Ukrainian historians. Thus he maintained that Kostomarov (1817–1885),
in depicting the period of Vyhovsky, placed himself on the side of the mob, which supported the interests of the Muscovite tsar against the autonomism of the Cossack elders. Thereby he lost the leitmotif, which would have enabled him to judge the policy of Moscow from the Revolution of 1663 to the Mazepa period. Moreover, he ignored the Zaporozhian Sich, and did not estimate correctly the importance of that increase in liberal and autonomist ideas among the members of the Zaporozhian Cossack community between 1667 and 1710 which led to the Ukrainian Constitution of 1710, which was written under the influence of the Zaporozhian leader Kost Hordiyenko.
Drahomanov complained particularly about the lack of a synthesis, of a guiding idea, among Ukrainian historians. This he felt was true of all the prominent Ukrainian scholars of the late seventies and early eighties. About Antonovych (1834–1909) he wrote:
No other of our historians is so adept at unearthing exact facts, specially in political history — when a prince or hetman began to rule, when a city was conquered, etc. — as Antonovych. But, as if intentionally, he keeps silent about all the thought content of history, the logical inferences from the facts, the comparison with the history of other peoples, etc.... Often Antonovych makes a passing reference to “popular ideals,” which were expressed chiefly during the Cossack period, as if he were a “populist.” But it is futile to hunt through his works for a clear presentation of these ideals, and even more so to seek an evaluation of them, of what their place is in the general great evolution of European peoples.
Along with his reproaches against the lack of a synthesis and a clear guiding idea (the consequence of the lack of a mature political philosophy), Drahomanov objected that contemporary Ukrainian historians had a false conception of certain phenomena. Thus he rejects the usual assertion of these historians that the Ukrainian Cossacks of the 17th century were republicans. He wrote:
The Cossack conception of the State was the monarchy, even though the circumstances of their life brought them to a republican political order. Bohdan Khmelnytsky’s ideal was precisely a petty nobility monarchism... , later, educated men like Vyhovsky and Nemyrych introduced more political liberalism into the circle of Khmelnytsky’s lieutenants, but at the same time they also brought in more aristocratic customs, which outraged the masses of the Cossacks and commoners. Thus the masses did not want to have anything to do with Vyhovsky’s liberalism, and declared themselves for the tsar. The Ukrainian burghers and priests also accepted the monarchic idea.... All of these monarchistic currents led to the Revolution of 1663, headed by the Zaporozhian Cossacks, which weakened the roots of Ukrainian autonomism and the beginnings of Ukrainian liberalism.
Elsewhere he says:
In Ukraine, or rather in the Cossack Ukraine, both before and after the union with Moscow, democracy was only to be found on the local level; above there was only monarchy.
Drahomanov judged that it was only under the influence of West European political ideas that republicanism began to take root in Ukraine. It is first to be seen in the memorable Constitution of 1710, where for the first time the idea is expressed that the autocracy of the hetman should be limited. Then we find it in The History of the Ruthenians, next in the secret groups and in the lodges of the Free Masons of the beginning of the 19th century, and finally in the ideas of the Brotherhood of Sts. Cyril and Methodius and in Shevchenko’s writings.
Drahomanov always emphasized the necessity of viewing Ukrainian history within the framework of general European history, and of using the comparative method in research. In his Peculiar Thoughts he leaves the following “testament” for Ukrainian historians :
The time has come when it is no longer possible to judge the history of Ukraine either from the viewpoint of the moment, or from the national viewpoint (which is moreover mixed up with religious Orthodoxy).... Our history should be regarded as a whole, as a summation of its periods: the period of the princes and the cities, the feudal Lithuanian period, the aristocratic Polish one, that of the Cossacks, and the tsarist Russian period (with a subdivision for Austrian absolutism and constitutionalism). Then in each period attention should be given to the progress or retrogression in each of the following fields: population density, economic conditions, the social and political order and ideas, education, and the direct or indirect participation of Ukrainians of all classes and degrees of education in European history and culture.
Therefore Drahomanov regarded the writing of a complete and systematic textbook of Ukrainian history as an urgent necessity for Ukrainian historiography. He was pleased when the twenty-sixth volume of Solovyov’s History of Russia appeared, for this presented Ukrainian history up to the end of the hetmanate. He wrote:
However Professor Solovyov may have judged our Ukraine, we must still be pleased that at least he has carried our history up to the end of the hetman period. In recent years the Ukrainians have been in a very disagreeable situation, even worse than formerly; without the writing of national history, the social and political ideas of a land cannot develop, and the old histories of Little Russia, such as those of Bantysh-Kamensky or Markevych, are no longer suitable.
It is regrettable that Drahomanov himself never undertook the task of writing a complete and systematic, if short, history of Ukraine. No one would have been able to do this better than he, with his talent, his clear understanding of Ukrainian historical development, and his great erudition. His wonderful ability to present Ukrainian history, using the most recent scientific methods and criteria, is evidenced in his unfinished work, The Lost Epoch.
It is easy to imagine how great an influence such a textbook of Ukrainian history might have had on the literary doldrums of the eighties and nineties, and how much it might have helped awaken the national consciousness, if only Drahomanov had written it.
“History does not teach anyone, because its lessons reach mankind nuch too late,” wrote Drahomanov in a letter to Franko in 1889. Involuntarily these words come to mind when one thinks of the fate of Ukrainian historiography so far.
The time when Drahomanov had to appeal to Ukrainian historians to synthesize and regard Ukrainian history as a whole has passed. But even today, when Ukrainian historical scholarship has greatly developed, when we have a whole series of systematic textbooks, when the more important periods in Ukrainian history have been thoroughly investigated and illuminated — even today many of Drahomanov’s remarks on various questions of Ukrainian historiography have not lost their force. It would be commendable if our new historians would study Drahomanov’s writings more often, and deepen their understanding of the profound thoughts of this great Ukrainian scholar.
Professor Oleksander Ohloblyn has been kind enough to share with us a letter which Dmytro Doroshenko wrote to him from Prague on October 29, 1942. Here we wish to present a portion of it which characterizes Doroshenko’s attitude toward Drahomanov.
If time permits, I intend to write a popular book on Drahomanov, similar to that on Antonovych. [This is an allusion to Doroshenko’s Volodymyr Antonovych, Yoho zhyttya i naukova ta hromadska diyalnist (Volodomyr Antonovych, His Life and His Scientific and Political Activity) (Prague, 1942).] I greatly esteem Drahomanov as a patriot, scholar, and politician. Both his political and his social ideas now belong to history and, like his political activity, are subject to historical criticism. But since Drahomanov’s activity was inspired by a genuine and ardent love of his homeland, it has left an imprint which does not depend on the manner in which this love was expressed. I believe that the Ukrainian cause would have been morally weaker, and poorer in ideas, if there had been no Drahomanov, just as if there had been no Shevchenko. Here in emigration it has become the fashion to disparage Drahomanov as a “Russifier,” federalist, and cosmopolitan. This angers me greatly. [Here Doroshenko writes of his lecture on Drahomanov in Prague, October 24, 1942.] Therefore I should like to write a small book on Drahomanov, if time permits. By the way, the late V. Lypynsky had a high regard for Drahomanov, although he differed greatly from him in his political views.
The Vyacheslav Lypynsky (1882–1931) mentioned here was an eminent historian and sociologist and a friend of Dmytro Doroshenko. He was a leading figure in the Ukrainian conservative and monarchist camp. It is generally known that Doroshenko’s sympathies lay in the same direction. This did not prevent Lypynsky from taking an active interest in the publication of Drahomanov’s Lost Epoch, nor did it stop Doroshenko from writing this article on “M. Drahomanov and Ukrainian Historiography,” one on “M. Drahomanov and the Ukrainian National Movement” (The Slavonic Review, April, 1938), or from intending to write a monograph on Drahomanov, although unfortunately the events of the Second World War did not permit him to do this.
Drahomanov as Folklorist, Petro Odarchenko
Drahomanov’s interest in Ukrainian folklore started in early childhood. His old nurse, Marynya, had told him fairy tales about animals in a lively and captivating manner; the boy servant, Kindrat, had been a master at telling epic tales of the battles of heroes with three-headed dragons, etc.; and Drahomanov’s mother had told him many Ukrainian fairy tales and fables. Ukrainian folksongs were never lacking in the little thatched house in the town of Hadyach. The maids spun in their room with songs on their lips, and Mykhaylo Drahomanov’s mother always sang folksongs while she worked at her sewing or embroidery. Drahomanov’s family followed all the Ukrainian folk customs and observed the ceremonies, among which were the poetic Christmas rites with the beautiful Christmas carols. Drahomanov’s father noted down Ukrainian folksongs and was in close touch with A. Metlynsky and M. Makarovsky, Ukrainian writers and folklorists who had been born in Hadyach. His childhood impressions gave Drahomanov the first stimulus to interest in Ukrainian folklore. In 1867, together with a few friends, Drahomanov started the preparatory work for the publication of collections of Ukrainian folk literature. This resulted in two books of fairy tales and two books of songs. Two years later Drahomanov and the well-known historian V. Antonovych started to prepare a collection of Ukrainian political songs with a historical commentary. The first two volumes were published in Kiev in 1874 and 1875 and were entitled Historical Songs of the Little Russian People, with Notes by V. Antonovych and M. Drahomanov. The first volume covered the period of the princes (10th to 15th centuries) and songs from the Cossack period during the struggle against the Turks and the Tatars; the second was devoted to the struggle against the Poles up to the death of Bohdan Khmelnytsky in 1657.
Drahomanov took an active interest in the work of the Southwestern Section of the Russian Geographical Society, organized in 1872, which had become the center of Ukrainian scientific activity. From separate and uncoordinated publications, these Ukrainian scholars proceeded to systematize the ethnographic material gathered from the Ukrainian oral tradition, and to publish definitive editions of folklore material. The newest West European methods were applied to the study of these materials. The most outstanding member of this research group was M. Drahomanov. Thus from the study of ancient history and of Indo-European mythology, he came to Slavic ethnography and then to his own people’s folklore. This study had considerable influence on the development of Drahomanov’s political views:
The study of our rich and beautiful Ukrainian folk literature, and especially of those songs which reflect the political history of the Ukrainian people as they themselves told it, brought me to love my people deeply and to feel in myself all the particularities of the Ukrainian cause in Russia and in Austria-Hungary.
The volumes of Historical Songs edited by Antonovych and Drahomanov have an unusual place among the publications on Ukrainian folklore. The authors undertook the enormous task of collecting all the variations of the songs, comparing them, and giving a scholarly commentary citing historical evidence. Moreover, in using other collections, it was necessary to eliminate falsified and counterfeit texts from the authentic material. The accomplishment of this vast and delicate work gave honor to both men.
Many amateur correspondents contributed songs. Among these were the country intelligentsia and students. With enthusiasm they noted down the historical songs in their villages, on the farms, at fairs, in the fields, at weddings, and so on. It was a truly popular undertaking, carried out with energy and animation, and it gave the people a chance to express themselves about the past and to declare their historical right to the country, against the pretensions of the Russian and Polish imperialists.
Drahomanov’s work on these historical songs had a political meaning also. He believed that for an illiterate person a song plays the same role that a book does for the literate one, perhaps an even more important one, since the illiterate keeps a song in his memory, not on paper. If a song is remembered by thousands of people, it must have made a special impression on them. Drahomanov considered historical songs to be one of the most important means of understanding the popular opinion on Ukrainian history. He believed that the songs still current gave a key to Ukrainian social history. Historical Songs evoked an appreciative response abroad. The famous French scholar Rambaud noted that, thanks to this work, the membra disjecta of the Ukrainian nation were being reunited.
The proposed continuation of the Historical Songs (from the death of Khmelnytsky in 1657 to the first destruction of the Zaporozhian Sich in 1709) contained much very interesting material, but it never saw the light of day. There were new persecutions of the Ukrainian movement — the ukase of 1876 prohibiting the use of the Ukrainian language in publications, the closing of the Southwestern Section of the Geographical Society, and the complete impossibility of providing an objective commentary because of increasingly strict censorship — and Drahomanov was forced to leave the country. Later part of this material was published abroad in two volumes entitled Political Songs of the Ukrainian People, Geneva, 1883 and 1885. This project demanded considerable effort. Drahomanov even had to overcome the objections of his compatriots, who considered this work politically inopportune. However, Drahomanov thought that the publication of the Political Songs, as well as of the works of the great Ukrainian poet Shevchenko, without distortion by the censor, was of first-rate importance in the Ukrainian people’s struggle for national freedom. After various preparatory essays, Drahomanov intended to write a complete history of Ukrainian folk literature, which was to form a considerable part of his proposed crowning work: A History of Civilization in Ukraine. In a letter to political friends he wrote:
I said that I would consider it my greatest happiness if I could write the history of civilization in Ukraine in a truly European way ... , my work on the songs and other monuments of folk literature I consider as an introduction to this.
Drahomanov tried to cast an objective light on historical events in Ukraine of the 18th century. The folksongs from this period could not be published in Russia because in these the people depicted their oppression by the Russian government and protested against serfdom. That is why Drahomanov was so eager for the publication of these songs abroad.
I would absolutely not agree to cut this volume for the censor, or send it to a certain death at his hands, because this contains the most striking political songs of the most striking political period of our history.
Surmounting the passivity of his compatriots, overcoming technical handicaps, sacrificing his health, depriving his family of their scanty means, Drahomanov continued his work and crowned it with three new volumes. They were Political Songs of the Ukrainian People, 18th and 19th Centuries in two volumes, the first covering the Zaporozhe from 1709 to 1739, and the second the territory of the Hetmanate and the Slobidska Ukraine from 1709 to 1765, and New Ukrainian Songs on Social Matters (1764–1880). Songs about the destruction of the Zaporozhian Sich; about forced labor under the tsars digging canals and building St. Petersburg amidst the swamps, where thousands of Ukrainians perished; songs the haydamaks, the peasants uprising against their enslavers; songs about serfdom; about the long hard twenty-five years of military service; all are presented in these works. Drahomanov’s historical explanations give them added value.
In his New Ukrainian Songs on Social Matters Drahomanov uses the evidence of folklore to prove the existence of the Ukrainian nationality and of national unity in the whole ethnographic area from the Tisa to the Kuban, a unity which existed in spite of the division by State frontiers. Although they were Orthodox as were the Russians, the Ukrainians in the Russian empire had their own way of life and their own customs. They were not easily assimilated by the Russians, even in the provinces of Kursk and Voronezh, where the two peoples meet. On the other hand, peoples who did not rule over the Ukrainians, such as the Byelorussians and the Slovaks, mixed readily with them. The Ukrainians in areas contiguous to the Slovaks were ready to adopt Slovak customs and dress, and the Byelorussians took much from the Ukrainians. Drahomanov said:
It is necessary to add that although the Ukrainians keep themselves a nationality separate from those that dominate them, on the other hand, as even foreign investigators say, they do not despise foreign nationalities or the customs of peoples who live among them, as long as these live peacefully and do not oppress them.
In comparing Ukrainian songs to the Russian, Drahomanov pointed out some characteristic differences. In the Ukrainian songs there is no monarchism, no feeling of loyalty to the dynasty, whereas the Russian songs continually praise the tsar.
In analyzing the songs of the second half of the nineteenth century, Drahomanov came to the conclusion that the Ukrainian songs, even those of the soldiers, are superior to the Russian ones in their moral tone. Russian soldier songs are noted for their roughness and immorality.
Since, until the eighteenth century, the Ukrainian people moved along with the current of European civilization, Drahomanov concluded his New Songs on Social Matters by pointing to the necessity of making the Ukrainian people known to the European world. He called upon the Ukrainians to turn to Western Europe and Western European culture.
Only the quasi-impenetrability of the Russian frontier and the denationalization of the Ukrainian upper classes succeeded, from the eighteenth century on, in dividing the Ukrainians from the European world. However, even now the influence of enlightened European thought can still be found in the strivings of the Ukrainian peasantry. The time has come when we must use all our strength to bring modern European education and culture to Ukraine. At the same time we must present the ideas and aims of the Ukrainian peasants to the European world, which will certainly once again acknowledge the Ukrainians as brothers.
Drahomanov was a sharp critic of those students of Ukrainian folklore who did not make use of European studies in the field, and therefore could not use a comparative method. He himself tried to study ancient Ukrainian literature and folklore from all angles. In a letter to his sister, the well-known writer and ethnographer Olena Pchilka, Drahomanov wrote that in studying the puppet theater he examined and analyzed all variations, then looked for parallels in European literatures.
That is why I decided to compare in detail the texts of our mystery plays and interludes with the Polish, German, and Latin ones, in order to establish which were the closest relations. In addition, I compare them with the French, Provencal, Italian, Spanish, and Dutch ones, so as to see exactly the national particularities of our versions.
In these words Drahomanov sketched his scientific methods. In 1874 Drahomanov outlined his theory at the Archeological Congress in Kiev, in a report on the first version of his important work on the Oedipus legend, on which he was to work for over twenty years.
Folk literature is considered one of the most fruitful sources for the study of the life and character of a people. But folk poetry can be a useful source only when studied with the help of suitable historical and comparative methods. Folk poetry may be compared with the layers of the earth’s crust. Every epoch, like the influences of neighboring peoples, leaves behind its traces. Unless each influence is identified, you cannot use folk poetry to characterize a people’s past and present way of life.
In his research Drahomanov paid special attention to those subjects which it had hitherto been impossible to place in a definite historical epoch and social and political world outlook. After familiarizing himself with the scientific works of Pypin, Benfey, Max Miller, and others, Drahomanov used their scientific methods for the study of Ukrainian folklore. Comparative historical criteria made it possible for him to explain the evolution of a given subject and to identify the borrowed and the original elements.
Only when our people’s literature has been explored by the method of international comparison will it be possible to speak exactly of its national element.
In such research the discovery of the channels through which the motifs of these works came to Ukraine is very important. There were several such paths, although Benfey indicated only the one through Byzantium and the Slavic South. But Drahomanov showed a channel of West European influence from France, Germany, and Poland through the “Presov gates,” the Ukrainians’ point of contact with the Slovaks, through which a number of West European stories entered Ukraine. In addition a mutual interchange of stories went on between the Ukrainians and their eastern neighbors in the Don region. The study of Bulgarian religious legends showed Drahomanov their amazing resemblance to the Ukrainian ones. As a result of this comparative study, he came to the conclusion that
the Bulgaria of the Bogomils [a Manichaean sect] served as a bridge for most of the Eastern legends which penetrated into Europe, especially to the Slav lands. Therefore the examination of Bulgarian legends is an indispensable preliminary to the understanding of Ukrainian folklore.
Drahomanov discovered yet another channel, a south-eastern one from southern Asia through western Siberia or the Caucasus. In one of his interesting scholarly works, “The Tale of Sholudyvy Bunyaka,” Drahomanov established that the Ukrainian version of this legend was nearer
to the Mongolian version than to the European ones, including that of the Serbs, who are near Ukraine and of the same racial stock. Evidently this can only be explained by the fact that this fairy tale came to us not from Europe but from Asia, by means of the meeting of the tribes which took place on our steppes in the Middle Ages.
Using the comparative historical method, Drahomanov criticized the conclusions of those Ukrainian folklorists who frequently claimed national originality where this was not justified. Drahomanov refuted these erroneous opinions and proved that many folklore subjects are common to a great many peoples.
In the second half of the 19th century scholars such as Alexander Veselovsky, Vsevolod Miller, and V. Mansikka advanced the idea that oral folk poetry stemmed from church literature. They wanted to show that
all oral folk literature and the entire system of ethnographic folk-lorist symbolism presents nothing more than a reworking of medieval literary works. Thus the first place belongs not to oral literature as claimed by the romanticists, but to written literature. It is not the written literature which arises from the oral tradition, but the oral from the written.
Drahomanov did not share this extremist point of view, but approached folklore without preconceptions and acknowledged the mutual influence of folklore and literature.
Especially in his last years, Drahomanov became more cautious about adopting the Benfey school of the migration of motifs, and was ready to consider the mythological-tribal school, and the anthropological school of Lang and Gedosa, acknowledging the useful application of each in its proper place.
After analyzing these three methods and characterizing them briefly, Drahomanov came to the following conclusion:
It is true that all three scientific approaches have a rational foundation and that they should not be considered to invalidate each other, but each should be applied suitably.... In order not to be carried away by doctrinarism or to be willing to accept strained explanations, it is necessary, in comparative investigations, to give great attention not only to the motif of the story, but also to the details: the development of the theme, the indications of the way of life, geographical and historical clues, moralistic tendencies, etc. Comparing the details of the different versions among different peoples must lead to the discovery of the paths by which a story spread, of the reasons for the alterations, and, finally, of the time and place of its creation. In this the investigator will be satisfied only when he can demonstrate that the theme and details of the version which he considers the original correspond to the geographical, social, and moral conditions of a definite country in a definite epoch. Such an investigation may reveal that at its origin the motif of a story is derived from an ancient cosmic myth, while its transformations in other periods and countries may well have ethical and even social tendencies worked in.
As a folklorist Drahomanov is notable for his remarkable critical analyses of folklore material, his wide comparative study made possible by his erudition, his investigations of the differences and similarities in subjects that travelled from one people to another, and, finally, his search for that which was truly Ukrainian in the Ukrainian versions of subjects that had ranged the world.
As one of the leading authorities on Slavic folklore, Drahomanov was well-known among the European scholars of his time. His articles and memoranda appeared in many technical periodicals: Melusine, La Tradition, Archivo per le studio delle tradizioni popolari, etc. The London Athenaeum published an article by Drahomanov on the famous kobzar Veresay, “the last minstrel of Ukraine.” Reports by Drahomanov were read at the International Folklore Congresses in Paris (1889), London (1891), and Chicago, (1893), personally at the first and in absentia at the two latter. At the London Congress Drahomanov was elected to membership in the International Council of the Folklore Society, and at Chicago he was made an honorary member of the board of the Congress.
After Drahomanov moved to Sofia in 1889 he had particularly close connections with the scholars in the young Bulgarian State. From- the scientific point of view Drahomanov had long been interested in Bulgarian folk literature. For instance in 1888 he had published a study, “Legendes pieuses des Bulgares” (“Pious Legends of the Bulgarians”) in the Parisian Melusine. After he moved to Sofia he published a series of articles in Sbornik, the bulletin of the Bulgarian ministry of education. As he thankfully said:
Bulgaria has made it possible for me to return to teaching, which I love so much, and has given me an organ in which I can print my studies on Slavic, including Ukrainian, folk literature.
Not only was Drahomanov a scholar with a European reputation, he also had the gift of presenting his knowledge interestingly in his university lectures. In his last years he taught in Sofia, where his Bulgarian students admired him very much. One of his students later said that “Drahomanov was the tsar of our school!” the president of the University stated that, “through his activity Drahomanov belongs not only to the Ukrainians, but also to the whole world.”
Drahomanov’s Impact on Ukrainian Politics, Matviy Stakhiv
I. THE CONDITION OF THE UKRAINIAN PEOPLE IN THE 19TH CENTURY.
As a point of departure in imagining the conditions of the period in which Mykhaylo Drahomanov was to work, let us remember that he was already twenty years old in 1861 when serfdom was abolished in the Russian Empire. Serfdom came close to being real slavery. The master had the right to sell his peasants, and there are even cases on record where serfs were the stakes in card games. At the time of the emancipation, about eighty percent the population of the Russian (or Dnieper) Ukraine were serfs.
Even after the act of emancipation the peasants remained economically dependent. About a third of the land which the serfs had had under cultivation in 1861 was taken from them and allotted to the great landowners. The primitive level of agrarian technique and the lack of outlets in industry and the cities for the surplus agricultural population caused chronic misery in the villages, turning into acute famine with every bad harvest. (It was only toward the end of the 19th century that coal and iron mining and heavy industry took on real significance in Ukraine.) Even decades after the abolition of serfdom the tsarist regime had not established an adequate network of elementary schools, with the result that illiteracy was the rule rather than the exception for the mass of peasants.
The social structure of Ukraine was not integrated. There was a deep gulf between the peasants and urban lower classes on the one hand and the nobility, bureaucracy, bourgeoisie, and clergy on the other. The former group was Ukrainian in language and other ethnic characteristics, if not in political consciousness; the latter regarded itself as a part of the Russian (or Polish, in the Right Bank Ukraine) nation. These groups lived in two separate worlds, and there was little spiritual contact between them.
There was absolutely no chance for legal political activity — except for manifestations of loyalty to the tsar and the government. Independent political thoughts could be expressed only in secret organizations or, in carefully veiled allusions and symbols, in literature. This was true of die whole Russian Empire, but even the little free expression that was tolerated in Russia proper was ruthlessly suppressed in Ukraine. From Drahomanov’s autobiography we see, for instance, that the Sunday folk schools, which aimed at giving the workers an elementary education, and which were completely harmless politically, were suppressed by the government.
The tsarist nationality policy toward Ukraine was one of systematic and ruthless Russification. Ukrainians were even forbidden to call themselves Ukrainians; the official name of Little Russians was imposed. The Ukrainian language was banned from government offices, schools, and churches. It was allowed only in poetry and belles lettres, and even so, all books had to be submitted in manuscript to the censor.
The position of die Ukrainian people in Austria was different and in many respects more favorable. Serfdom was abolished in Galicia, Bukovina, and Transcarpathia (Hungarian Ruthenia) in 1848, thirteen years before it was in Russia. During the first constitutional period in Austria, 1848–49, the Ukrainian (or Ruthenian, as it was then called) national movement was able to make remarkable progress. A political organization, the Ruthenian Main Council, was established in Lviv, with branches throughout the land. Ukrainian ambitions were expressed in the electoral struggle, in public meetings, and in the press. The use of Ukrainian, at least in the elementary schools, was guaranteed. The wave of reaction which followed in Austria (1849–59) slowed down the movement, but could not stop it entirely. The reestablishment of a constitutional regime in 1860, and its extension in 1867, gave the Ukrainians nominally equal rights with the other peoples of the multi-national empire. However, this provided only a legal framework; in reality the Ukrainians were far from having the same rights as the Germans, Hungarians, Poles, Czechs, etc. To achieve true equality a long struggle was needed, first to turn the letter of the law into reality in Galicia, and second to reform the legal structure in an ever more democratic manner.
The abolition of serfdom did not break the economic power of the great landowners in Galicia. About 1,500 families owned 42 percent of the land in the province. The former serf-owners received a high monetary compensation from public funds, which made the tax burden on the peasants heavier, driving many into debt. On the average three thousand peasants were forced to sell their farms at public auction every year. Moreover, the nobles possessed the so-called privilege of propination. Propination was the privilege of the nobles to manufacture liquor on their estates and to sell it in their own taverns. In the old Polish Commonwealth this had been an essential part of the “golden freedom” of the Polish nobility. This remnant of feudalism was preserved in Austrian law even after the introduction of the constitution. As a result, there was an average of one saloon for every 233 persons. The population was systematically undermined in health, morals, and material well-being by the Polish nobility and the parasitic usurers who leased the taverns from them.
The Austrian government formed one province of the ethnically Ukrainian territory of the medieval kingdom of Galicia and the ethnically Polish region of Cracow. Even in such an artificially constructed province the Ukrainians made up the majority of the population. However, this majority was not reflected in the political structure, for the elections both to the central Parliament in Vienna and to the Galician Diet were conducted on the basis of a class or curial election system. The curia of the landowners was Polish; that of the industrialists, merchants, and urban real estate owners was Polish and Jewish; the Ukrainians could only be represented in the peasant curia. Moreover, the elections to this last were indirect. The village delegates met in their county seat to elect deputies by a roll call vote. This method gave every opportunity for corruption and administrative pressure. It must be remembered that in the 1860’s Galicia, which had previously been administered by imperial officials, was delivered into the hands of the Poles. The Polish oligarchy made use of all its power to hinder the social and national progress of the Ukrainian people.
This extremely difficult situation disheartened the Ukrainian intelligentsia, most of whom were at that time priests of the Uniate Church. In 1848 the Ruthenian Main Council had proclaimed that the Ukrainians (Ruthenians, in the terminology of the time) were a distinct nation, different from both the Poles and the Russians and identical with the Ukrainians dominated by Russia. But Polish preponderance brought despair, and led to a Russophile reaction. Confronted with the prospect of Polonization, the Ukrainian intelligentsia turned toward Russia, which in language, cultural tradition (Cyrillic alphabet and rites of the Eastern Church), and the alleged common descent from the medieval Kiev State, seemed closer than Poland. This attitude of the Russophiles was formulated by one of their leaders, Father Ivan Naumovych, in a speech in the Galician Diet: “Placed before the choice, we prefer to drown in the Russian ocean instead of in the Polish swamp.” This Russophile tendency was undoubtedly encouraged by the deep conservatism of the Ukrainian clerical intelligentsia, who were impressed by the power and splendor of the Russian monarchy.
II. THE UKRAINIAN NATIONAL MOVEMENT BEFORE DRAHOMANOV
In the second half of the 18th century the last remnants of Ukrainian Cossack statehood were liquidated by the Russian government. The last hetman, Rozumovsky, was forced to resign in 1764; the Cossack stronghold, the Zaporozhian Sich, was destroyed in 1775; and finally the territory of the Hetmanate was divided into provinces and the peasants turned into Russian-style serfs, 1781–83.
At the end of the century, however, Western influences brought a part of the nobility, descendants of the former Cossack officers, to increased interest in the past and in the peculiar character of their homeland. There were beginnings of a new poetry in the popular tongue, and of scholarly research into Ukrainian history and folklore.
In the 1840’s a dynamic personality entered the historical arena, the emancipated serf Taras Shevchenko. The poet Shevchenko, the historian Kostomarov, the writer Kulish, and others joined together in 1845 to found the secret Brotherhood of Sts. Cyril and Methodius in Kiev. However, before the Brotherhood could get started on its practical program, it was denounced to the police and its members were sentenced to long terms of deportation.
It was only after the Crimean War, which was disastrous for Russia, and after the death of the despotic Nicholas I and the accession of the “liberal” Alexander II that the Ukrainian movement could gather force again. The old leaders returned from banishment, and a new generation of representative personalities appeared in the 1860’s. The Ukrainian movement then took the form of secret hromadas (communities), which sprang up in all the cities of Ukraine and in St. Petersburg, where there was a large Ukrainian colony. At the head of the movement was the mother Hromada of Kiev, also called the Old Hromada, which had several hundred members. Many of these were school teachers, but there were also members of the liberal professions, Zemstvo officials, etc. The hromadas should not be imagined as dangerous conspiracies; by any normal standard their activities were harmless enough, and it was only conditions in the Russian Empire which drove the members to underground methods. The hromadas had no formal organizational structure, no written statutes, and no elected officers. Everything was built upon personal contact, mutual trust, and the moral authority of the recognized leading figures. Toward the end of the sixties, Drahomanov, who had joined the Kiev Hromada as a student, became, along with Volodymyr Antonovych, an undisputed leader; he remained one until he wenl abroad as the representative of the Kiev Hromada.
The democratic Ukrainian movement, still in its cradle, was soon to be baptized by the fire of tsarist persecution, even though it had no ambitious political aims. In 1863 the Valuyev Ukase was promulgated, forbidding the use of Ukrainian in any printed matter of an educational or religious nature. This was a bitter blow to the Ukrainian movement, which had placed its hope in popular education. The experience of a few years of relative liberalism had sufficed to show the thankfulness with which the masses welcomed popular literature in Ukrainian. The Valuyev Ukase aimed at preventing the Ukrainian intelligentsia from influencing the people In spite of these obstacles, the Ukrainian movement continued to make progress until the Ukase of Ems of 1876 forbade all publications in the Ukrainian language and any organized form of Ukrainian cultural activity.
The situation of the Ukrainians was made even more difficult by the fact that they could not obtain any outside support. Although the Poles were also an oppressed nationality in the Russian Empire, the Polish or Polonized nobles of the Right Bank Ukraine were hostile to Ukrainian national ambitions. They feared that the work of popular enlightenment carried on among the peasants by the hromada members would gradually undermine the position of the Polish aristocracy, and thereby the basis for Polish claims to the “historical frontiers” of 1772. Thus, in the early sixties, there was a paradoxical situation: the Polish nobility, while arming for rebellion against Russia, flooded the Russian administration with denunciations of Ukrainian agitations among the peasants. In conjunction with the attacks of the Russian reactionary press — which, ironically, linked the Ukrainian movement with Polish intrigues — these denunciations were one of the causes of the Ukase of 1863. The attitude of the Russian liberal and socialist opposition was scarcely more favorable to the Ukrainian democrats. There were a few honorable exceptions: Herzen handled the Ukrainian question humanely, and allowed an article by Kostomarov (of course anonymous) to be printed in his Kolokol (Tocsin); later Turgenev joined Drahomanov in signing a petition against the infamous Ukase of 1876. But these were the white ravens. In comparison with the Ukrainian movement, the anti-tsarist opposition had considerable influence. But the overwhelming majority of the Russian opposition — liberal, democratic, socialist, or revolutionary — was at best indifferent, at worst almost openly hostile, to the slightest demands of the Ukrainians and of the other non-Russian nationalities.
III. THE SPRINGS OF DRAHOMANOV’S POLITICAL ACTIVITY
There are various motives which can spur men on to active participation in public life: personal ambition and the desire for power; a wish for social and material advantage; the desire to see an idea realized; a feeling of duty and an inner vocation to public service. Usually these motives do not act in an isolated manner; in each politician a different mixture in varying proportions is to be found.
Only Drahomanov’s profound patriotism and ardent love for his people can explain his political activity. In Russia he had the prospect of a brilliant academic career, which would have given him not only material security and honor, but also the chance to use to the full his scholarly talents. As a politician he would have had every chance to find a leading position in the Russian revolutionary camp. As an influential theoretician and representative of the Russian revolutionary movement abroad, he could have played a role comparable with that of Herzen, Bakunin, Lavrov, or Plekhanov. This way of life would not have been so peaceful and secure as a university career, but to a strong and ambitious man the Russian revolutionary camp was already able to offer tempting bait: a broad field of activity, international fame, and — in the case of a crisis in the tsarist government — well-founded hopes for immediate power. Drahomanov voluntarily renounced all these possibilities. He chose another way, one which could only bring him what it did, material want, isolation, illness, and an early death from overwork and care. As he said, he could not bear to sit by passively while his people were turned into fellahin.
Drahomanov did not usually express his emotions. But once, when Ohonovsky, professor of Ukrainian literature at the University of Lviv, accused the Radicals, as internationalists, of being without love for their country, Drahomanov answered for himself and his political friends in a letter:
You write: “In the program of the Radical movement we do not find the most important point, namely love for the homeland.” I must protest vigorously against these words. In our political programs we do not speak of “love,” because political programs are not lyric poetry. Moreover, I think that love is better expressed in deeds than in words.... Allow me to remind you of my history, not in order to defend myself, for your remarks are so unjust that they do not merit an answer, but as an example of the situation of our whole group. While I was still young, I became a professor in a Russian university, in a field which is quite remote from the Ukrainian question. I had a recognized position as a contributor to the best Russian periodicals. What made me give up all this in order to study Ukrainian problems and to dedicate myself to the journalistic battle to defend Ukrainian national interests? Why did I begin to write in Ukrainian, when I knew that this would narrow my circle of readers? My Radical comrades are in a similar position. Who dares to say that we love our land less than those who vaunt their patriotism, but write little or nothing in Ukrainian, and publish all their writings in Russian... ? It is obvious that a man works first of all for what he loves.
It would be best for me personally to give up politics entirely. But there is something stronger than I that pushes me. What I have seen happen on both sides of the Zbruch River [the boundary between Russian and Austrian Ukraine] demands imperiously that someone say certain things aloud at the right time.
IV. UKRAINIAN CULTURAL INDEPENDENCE
In a fully developed nation each individual is able to satisfy all his cultural needs in his own national language. During Drahomanov’s lifetime Ukraine was far from being such a nation. Ukrainian literary production was limited almost entirely to poetry, tales, and novels from peasant life. Even prominent Ukrainian patriots wrote their scholarly and scientific works in Russian. This situation was caused partly by the pressure of censorship, partly by a desire to be understandable to all educated readers of Russian, and partly by the lack of a Ukrainian technical vocabulary.
Among 19th century authors, Drahomanov was second only to his elder contemporary, the poet and scholar Panteleymon Kulish (1819–97), in his influence on the development of a scientific and journalistic vocabulary and terminology in Ukrainian prose. He was particularly responsible for the evolution of a Ukrainian political terminology. It is interesting that Drahomanov not only tried to make Ukrainian independent of Russian, but also tried to replace such international words as republic, socialism, progress, etc., with neologisms of his own invention based on the Ukrainian vernacular. In this he was probably following the example of Czech, which was noted for a far-reaching “Slavization” of technical language. Only some of Drahomanov’s neologisms ever became a part of the language.
Drahomanov was also a reformer of Ukrainian orthography. He wanted the Ukrainians to give up the Cyrillic alphabet in favor of the Latin one, and experimentally published a few of his works in Latin characters. But this radical reform had against it not only a thousand year tradition of Cyrillic writing in Ukraine, but also the fact that for the Galician Ukrainians the Latin alphabet was suspect as a symbol of Polish civilization and as a possible means of Polonization. The creator of modern Ukrainian spelling was Kulish. In contrast to Russian etymological orthography he based Ukrainian spelling on the phonetical principle, making the spelling as close a transcription as possible of the spoken word. This not only brought the orthography closer to the needs of the people, but also made Ukrainian publications look considerably different from Russian ones. The Russian government attacked phonetic spelling as separatist. In his publications in Geneva, Drahomanov simplified and rationalized Kulish’s system. In this, also, he was only partially successful, for his bolder proposals never became standard. In conservative Galicia it was principally Drahomanov’s followers who popularized phonetic spelling and assured its victory there.
By his influence on two of the most important modern Ukrainian writers, Ivan Franko (1856–1916) and Lesya Ukrayinka (1871–1913), Drahomanov affected the current of modern Ukrainian literature. The versatile and talented Franko — novelist, poet, scholar, and journalist — was one of Drahomanov’s first disciples in Galicia. Lesya Ukrayinka (the nom de plume of Larysa Kosach), the great lyric and dramatic poet, was Drahomanov’s niece, and he devoted loving attention to her education.
The basic aim of Drahomanov’s cultural policy was the evolution of “Ukrainian Europeans,” that is, of men who were at the same time well-grounded in European cultural traditions, and conscious and active Ukrainian patriots. This idea challenged both the spiritual dependence of the Ukrainians on the dominant Russian nation, and every form of exclusive Ukrainian nationalism in cultural questions.
V. THE MOBILIZATION OF THE PEOPLE
Drahomanov saw that the Ukrainian movement had a long series of tasks before it. The strength for the accomplishment of these tasks was only to be found in the people. Therefore the latent energy of the masses had to be aroused.
At that time the Ukrainian people was unorganized. In the Russian Ukraine organization was prevented by law and by the whole system of administrative and police terrorism. The situation was different in the Austrian Ukraine, where it was legally permissible to form private societies of every sort. But until the seventies and eighties the Ukrainians made little use of this opportunity. The harassments of the Polish provincial administration in Galicia were partially responsible for Ukrainian passivity; in part the patriarchic attitude of the clerical intelligentsia was to blame, for the priests had little understanding of modern forms of mass organization. In consequence, Drahomanov advocated that his Galician followers strive to disentangle their national movement from the clericalism of the Uniate Church, and that they take energetic action among the people to establish economic, cultural, and political associations.
The Galician Ukrainian leaders of that generation were chiefly spurred on to activity by the elections to the Vienna Parliament and to the provincial Diet. Drahomanov felt that certain conditions must be achieved before electoral campaigns could be successful.
It will be a long time before the Parliament and the Diet, as they are now constituted, can do any good for the working people in Galicia, particularly for the Ukrainians.... The Ruthenian papers admit that the peasants, out of fear of the lords and the officials, or bribed by money and gin, sell their votes.... Even if we should manage to elect a dozen deputies to the Diet, and four or five to Parliament, would these deputies be able to be useful to their people, assuming that they understood the welfare of the people... ? You may ask what is to be done. Should we rebel, although we have neither the weapons nor the strength to do so, or should we fold our hands and look passively on while our enemies rule our land and our people? Those who place their hopes in the Parliament and the Diet will have to learn that it is useless to want to build a house from the roof to the foundation. A unified, organized people is necessary for any political action — for revolution, for peaceful progress, and of course for winning elections. Men can best be organized for things that are near to them and that they can understand easily. Those who believe that education is most important, and who feel best suited to work in the field of education, should found educational groups and reading halls. Mutual aid societies, credit unions, etc. should be founded by men with concerns for them. No one should think that he will be able to reform the world that way, but he will be able to make a real, if modest, contribution to the welfare of his people, and, most important, he will bring them together. Similarly, political groups should be organized, and public meetings called, in which all political matters can be discussed. The whole land must be covered by a network of various associations and councils, which the people will be able to develop in their own manner. This network will not be superimposed over the people, like the present Parliament and Diet; it will not promise a blessing from above; it will be the organized people. It will be, so to speak, a sort of popular parliament, very different from the official parliament which is so constructed that it conceals the true desires of the people. The official parliaments and diets will have to respect the force of such “popular parliaments.” Then, if the moment comes when it is possible and desirable to represent the interests of the people in the official parliamentary institutions, the organized people will be in a position to ensure the election of men it can trust.
This advice fell upon good ground. In the 1880’s and 1890’s a general movement among the mass of the people became ever more evident. Of course this can not be traced to Drahomanov’s influence alone. The methods of organization which Drahomanov proposed were suggested to him by the very nature of things, and were based on the experience of other peasant nations in Europe. But Drahomanov’s followers were the pioneers in the systematic organization of the people. In less than one generation, from the time of Drahomanov’s death to the First World War, a profound change was completed in Galicia. The passive, intimidated mass of peasants became an aspiring nation, fighting for its rights. As Drahomanov had foreseen, it was the broad basis of educational societies, cooperative and other economic associations, as well as sport and paramilitary groups (following the example of the Czech Sokols) which made possible a successful parliamentary policy. Each election to the Parliament or Diet produced a larger Ukrainian representation, and in 1907 the introduction of universal suffrage for elections to the Vienna Parliament sounded the knell of the whole system of Polish hegemony in Galicia. In the Dnieper Ukraine, after the introduction in 1905 of a modicum of constitutional liberty, there was a similar movement toward the organization of the people in educational societies, cooperatives, and so on.
VI. DRAHOMANOV AND THE UKRAINIAN PARTY SYSTEM
When Drahomanov entered public life there were still no real Ukrainian parties. The hromadas were loosely-organized clubs, without an elaborated political program. The situation was not much different in Galicia, except that there such clubs or formless political groups could work legally, as they could not in Russia.
Drahomanov saw the need for modern Ukrainian political organizations, which, as he always emphasized, should be independent of Russian or Polish ones. The first such political movement came in 1875, when his Galician followers formed a group. However, its members were soon persecuted by the Austro-Polish administration; there were arrests, convictions on slight evidence, arbitrary confiscations of publications, etc. It was much later that the movement which Drahomanov called into existence took organizational form. In the seventies most of Drahomanov’s followers were young students. Drahomanov opposed the Russian revolutionary practice of creating political organizations with student members. He believed that young people needed a thorough theoretical and practical preparation for political life, and that parties should be composed of mature citizens.
It was fifteen years later that the first congress of the Ukrainian Radical Party was held in Lviv in October, 1890. The creation of this party had required two groups of leaders: intellectuals, who were direct or indirect disciples of Drahomanov, and new grassroots political leaders from among the peasants themselves — clever party organizers and skilled speakers, who knew how to reach the hearts of their peasant brothers. This was something new in the political life not only of Galicia, but perhaps also of all of Austria and Eastern Europe. The Radical Party was the first modern Ukrainian party. Its program was one of non-marxist, ethical socialism, of the kind that Drahomanov had always advocated. In its revised platform of 1895, the Ukrainian Radical Party proclaimed an independent Ukrainian Republic as its real political aim.
In 1899 a group of the more moderate of Drahomanov’s followers fused with the more democratic of the older Galician Ukrainophiles or Populists (narodovtsi), forming the Ukrainian National Democratic Party. Just as the Radical Party had represented the socialist side of Drahomanov’s teaching, this party represented the liberal side. The social program of the National Democrats was approximately equal to the minimum program of the Radicals. Both parties strove for the interests of the peasants and for universal suffrage. Both parties, while working within the framework of constitutional Austria, had as their ideal a unified and independent Ukrainian State.
The National Democrats and the Radicals dominated the Ukrainian political scene in Galicia. Other political groups, such as the marxist Social Democrats and the clericalists, were unimportant and a de facto two party system developed there. Usually the National Democrats were the majority and the Radicals were the opposition. Both parties survived the breakup of the Austro-Hungaria Empire, and during the short, dramatic period of independence in 1918–19 they were at the helm. With slightly altered names — as the Ukrainian National Democratic Union (UNDO) and the Ukrainian Socialist Radical Party (USRP) — they continued their work in the inter-war period, leading the stubborn resistance of the Ukrainian people against the Polish regime. It was only the annexation of the West Ukraine by the Soviet Union which put an end to these two parties, which had been Drahomanov’s godchildren.
Drahomanov’s influence on the party system in the Russian, or Dnieper, Ukraine was much weaker. The period of harsh reaction of Alexander Ill’s reign so delayed the progress of the Ukrainian movement that it was only after Drahomanov’s death that parties were founded in the Dnieper Ukraine. The first one, the Revolutionary Ukrainian Party (RUP), was founded in 1900, but it was only after 1905 that the Ukrainian political groups obtained a little freedom of movement, and that party distinctions became clearer among the Ukrainians of the Russian Empire. Moreover, Drahomanov had much less personal influence in the Dnieper Ukraine. His break with the Kiev Hromada group in the 1880’s cut him off from the Eastern Ukrainians. The new generation of leaders which appeared in the early 20th century had scarcely known Drahomanov. Their lack of that thorough training which he gave his disciples was evident in the fact that up to 1917 the young political groups and parties were unable to shake off the ideological and even organizational influence of the Russian parties. It is interesting to note that the maturing of the parties and their members, in the Dnieper Ukraine, often took the form of a “return to Drahomanov.”
Two parties in the Dnieper Ukraine were particularly marked by Drahomanov’s influence. One was the Democratic Radical Party, which later took the name of the Socialist Federalist Party. In general its program corresponded to that developed by Drahomanov in Free Union, with one important change. Whereas Drahomanov was content with autonomy of regions (oblasts), the Democratic Radicals demanded the unification of all the ethnically Ukrainian territory in the Russian Empire into one autonomous unit. None of the changing Ukrainian regimes of the period of 1917–20 could dispense with the cooperation of the Socialist Federalist Party (the former Democratic Radical Party), since, although it did not have broad popular support, its membership included the best of the Ukrainian liberal intelligentsia. The other party which had a program in line with Drahomanov’s ideas was very different. This was the Socialist Revolutionary Party, which was founded by the fusion of a number of smaller groups in the spring of 1917. It was the agrarian socialist party, and it obtained strong support from the mass of the peasants, so that numerically it was the strongest party of the Ukrainian revolution. However, most of its leaders were young men, still students, who had no mature political philosophy. For many of these Socialist Revolutionaries the time for theoretical reflection came only in emigration. Most of them then discovered that they were believers in Drahomanov’s ideas.
VII. THE INFLUENCE OF DRAHOMANOV’S IDEAS ON THE UKRAINIAN PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC, 1917–1920
Drahomanov’s ideas worked as a leavening in the legislation and policies of the independent Ukrainian People’s Republic, 1917–1920. His spirit was visible in the treatment of the national minority question. The revolutionary Ukrainian parliament, the Tsentralna Rada (Central Council), coopted representatives of the Russians, Poles, and Jews. In the government there were ministers for Russian, Polish, and Jewish affairs, proposed by the parties of these minorities. The banknotes of the Republic were inscribed in the languages of the three most important national minorities as well as in Ukrainian. The law of January 22, 1918, which was adopted at the same time as the declaration of independence, introduced the principle of “national-personal autonomy.” This meant that the Russians, Poles, Jews, and any other nationalities which wished to, might form national unions, which would be autonomous bodies in public law, have legislative powers in the cultural affairs of their peoples, and, according to an established scale, receive funds from the State budget. The Bolshevist invasion prevented the implementation of these measures.
Drahomanov’s federalism, or more broadly the traditional federalist tendency of Ukrainian political thought, was expressed in both the foreign and internal policies of the Ukrainian government. Internally this came to a guarantee of broad self-government to communities and regions (Constitution of April 29, 1918). The Act of January 22, 1919, which united the West Ukraine (the Ukrainian regions of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire) with the Ukrainian People’s Republic, assured these new regions a considerable degree of autonomy.
The foreign policy of the Ukrainian People’s Republic aimed at the reconstruction of Eastern Europe into a confederation of free and equal nations. On the initiative of the Tsentralna Rada a congress of the nationalities of the former tsarist empire was held in Kiev in September, 1917. Among the participants were the plenipotentiary representatives of the Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Byelorussians, Bessarabian Rumanians, Jews, Don Cossacks, Georgians, and Buriats. The congress expressed itself in favor of territorial constituent assemblies and of the participation of national governments in the coming peace conference. The Ukrainian State took a number of similar initiatives during its short existence.
Drahomanov and the English-Speaking World, Svitozor Drahomanov
Drahomanov had a great appreciation of the civilization of the English-speaking world and of the ideas which developed and took root there. He showed this in many of his works and in his correspondence with his contemporaries. He underlined the principle of respect for the free human personality which is the basis of all social and political life in the English-speaking world, and considered the Anglo-Saxon spirit as an example to be followed by other peoples, particularly his own, the Ukrainians.
It is worthwhile to show tlie extent of Drahomanov’s appreciation by indicating the references in some of his principal works. The most complete treatment is in one of his latest, “Ancient Characters of Liberties,” which in 1894 was published simultaneously in Bulgarian in the review of the Ministry of Public Education, Blgarskj Pregled (Bulgarian Review) and in the Ukrainian Review Zhyttya i Slovo (Life and Word) which appeared at Lviv.
In the introduction to this work Drahomanov used the comparative method in the study of the progress of social and political ideas. He described how the theory of liberalism developed and found its most logical form — federalism. He emphasized that in 18th century, England triumphed over the absolutism of its kings while preserving its system of constructive medieval liberties. These then developed according to the new demands of the governmental organization (cabinet-ministerial parliamentary system) and the new conception of personal rights (right of petition, freedorr of the press, freedom of conscience, later extension of the franchise, etc.).
Drahomanov noted that these English rights were transplanted to the New World, where the North American colonies, preserving the basic values of English constitutional law, finally refused to accept not only royal absolutism, but also the absolutism of the Parliament in London, where they had no representation. Thus, after Switzerland and the Netherlands, the third federal repupblic within the Western tradition was formed, the United States of America. In the new and already systematic constitutions of the various States, personal rights are formulated more clearly and profoundly, in accordance with the formulas of the new political science, though they are still based on English traditions.
Drahomanov stressed that it was inevitable that the part of Europe where the old free institutions were built upon should influence the other part where monarchic and bureaucratic absolutism prevailed. Even in the absolutist States a liberal movement was born which justified its existence by an appeal to historic free institutions.
This movement can already be observed in 18th century France, where the Great Revolution proclaimed, in accordance with the American example, the Rights of Man and Citizen. As we see in his remarks on the Program of the Ukrainian Socialists-Federalists in 1880, Drahomanov considered these Rights of Man and Citizen as the “only solid basis for all the other rights of our nation, the only thread which can guide the Ukrainians who are under the power of the Russian tsar.”
He added that studies of the ancient free order of the Middle Ages show that attempts to limit the absolutism of the monarchs and their clerks were directed toward administrative and judicial questions rather uian to strictly political ones.
It became evident, that this ancient free order gave the citizens a certain system of self-government and corporative life, very maladroit according to modern ideas, but such that the citizens developed the habit of controlling the course of public affairs, the art of directing these affairs themselves, and the ability to make effective use of their legal rights. These studies have not only opened up new perspectives to historico-political science, but have also given scientific bases to new civic aspirations.
This is why, according to Drahomanov, the “political archeology” of Europe is of such vivid interest, and why it attracted so many scholars, among them the author of “Ancient Charters of Liberties” himself.
Drahomanov analysed the political order of Saxon and Norman England, the first Charters of liberties, the rights of the Catholic Church, and the beginnings of conscious liberalism in England,
which finally led in 18th century England to the parliamentary solution when the ministerial cabinet system evolved from Parliament, i.e. when England became a de facto republic behind a monarchic facade.
Thus the result in England was that constitutional monarchy and political liberty had two fundamental bases: 1) the absolute necessity of a judicial tribunal to punish any Englishman, and 2) the equal necessity of the approval of Parliament to subjeci Englishman to the payment of taxes.
The right of Parliament to control State expenses and to legislate developed, becoming the principle which later jurists taught that England is governed by the King in Parliament, that is that the king without Parliament is not a legal master.
Drahomanov’s work was interrupted at this point. The following chapter was to have been devoted to Dutch charters of liberties. But his death, on June 18, 1895, made this impossible.
Ivan Franko, one of Drahomanov’s pupils, an eminent author and scholar of Ukrainian Galicia and the editor of Life and Word added to the incomplete work:
There is no one who would be able to finish it in such a thorough manner and with that large and serene point of view which was a characteristic of the unforgettable M. Drahomanov.
Although Drahomanov did not live to devote a special volum to the charters and constitutions of the North American colonies and States, we can still find many of his thoughts on the government of this new democracy, particularly on its federal character.
In the program of the periodical Hromada (Community), which Drahomanov published in Geneva, beginning in 1878, we find interesting reflections on the United States. He wrote:
There will never be peace among men, whoever and wherever they may be, as long as they are without liberty.... Both educated Ukrainians and Ukrainian peasants should join with the Europeans and Americans in their striving for social liberties, and should install these on their territory.
In 1884 Drahomanov published a pamphlet in Geneva entitled Draft Constitution for the Ukrainian Society Free Union. In essence it was a social and political program for Ukrainian federalism. This pamphlet is divided into two parts, the first the statutes and the second comments on these. In the commentary Drahomanov postulated as the basis of political liberty the guarantee that “no one may be judged by an extraordinary court. In criminal cases the tribunal must be a jury.” He added:
The conscious and clairvoyant partisans of freedom in North America, at the very time of the struggle for independence, did not fear, either for military or political reasons, to legislate that no one, except members of the armies or navies on active service, might for any reason whatsoever be subject to martial law, or be punished according to this. (cf. §29 of the Constitution of Maryland).
In connection with the defense of political liberty in its two aspects, personal liberties and self-government, Drahomanov added:
There is no doubt that both of these may be safeguarded better in proportion as the organs of the administration and the police, at all levels, depend upon the population and are put into power by direct or indirect election. This is why it is a matter of course that for us it would also be the most desirable to have a police and administrative regime such as those in the federal republics of Switzerland and the United States.
Drahomanov wished for the transformation of tsarist Russia and of Austria-Hungary into federal unions. He proposed a federal government with a bicameral legislature. The federal council which he projected was not to be similar to the upper chambers or senates of the European States, but to the Senate of the United States or the Swiss Council of States.
The function of the federal chamber is not to serve as a conservative brake to the progressive movement of the national assemblies, but to prevent the passage of acts by the central government or the national assemblies which are contrary to the primordial interests of each region.
Drahomanov wrote that as for the general
effects of centralism or federalism upon progress, it is indeed true that sometimes the former makes it possible to adopt progressive laws and measures before the majority of the population in all parts of the State realizes their necessity. But this same centralization also makes it possible to enact reactionary measures, contrary to the will of the majority, not only in the various regions but often in the whole country. Progressive legislation becomes a fiction in a centralized State because it is easier to use power destructively than constructively. The forcible introduction of progressive measures before public opinion is ready for them only provokes an irritation which, thanks to the centralized political regime, accumulates in the single chamber and leads to a repeal of the progressive legislation just as rapid as its enactment. A federal government is not subject to such extreme movements of the political pendulum, and therefore the progress which it makes is more real and not subject to retrogression.
It is undeniable that Drahomanov’s ideas are a prophetic description of the development which took place in social and political life on the territory of the former empire of the Romanovs after the October Revolution in 1917.
Drahomanov wrote further:
In observing the political history of Switzerland, the Netherlands, England and Scotland, and the United States, countries which to the present remain examples of free lands which should be followed by all the nations of the earth, we see that their political revolutions have primarily been directed against the bureaucracy which was foreign to the local population. These revolutions were able to halt the growth of this bureaucracy at the beginning, and thus have preserved corporative, local, and national self-government.
In this respect Drahomanov noted that one of the complaints in the American Declaration of Independence was that the English government had
“erected a multitude of new offices and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out our substance.” The rights of man and citizen had the opportunity to grow within this framework of self-government, and finally they were systematized in the constitutions of the various States of the North American federal republic, beginning with Virginia on June 1, 1776. Thence the idea of these rights spread to France and the other European countries.
The comparison which Drahomanov made almost seventy years ago between Europe and the United States is still instructive.
To understand all the difference between the ideas current in the North American federal republic and in the “one and indivisible” French Republic on personal rights, the most essential of all political rights, it is enough to notice the following fact. The National Convention, in the name of popular sovereignty, first arrogated to itself the power of judging the king, then introduced revolutionary tribunals which were the exclusive organs of that same Convention. It made a political dogma not only of the will of the people but also of popular vengeance, and proclaimed inquisitional laws about suspected persons. However, from the beginning the North American States were determined to safeguard in their constitutions the rights of man and citizen even from the despotism of the sovereign people, which is usually represented by the legislative assembly, if not by the mob in the capital! Thus paragraphs 25 and 30 of the constitution of Massachusetts prescribe that no one may be judged guilty of treason or of any political offense by the legislative branch. In the administration of this Commonwealth the legislative department may never make use of the power reserved to the judiciary and, on the other hand, the judiciary and executive departments may never depart from their competence, so that in this Commonwealth there may be a rule of law and not of men. (Similar provisions are made in the constitutions of Virginia, North Carolina and other States.)
Drahomanov feared that in his time the evolution of Russia and its political institutions would “be more apt to be of the French than the Anglo-Saxon type” precisely because of the centralizes and nationally intolerant traditions of the Muscovite State.
He emphasized another characteristic feature of the government of the United States: the relation between the civil and the military authorities. Although the population had had to give the military its due during the Revolutionary War, it knew how to keep the military within the limits of the law, thanks to fundamental constitutional provisions. That the military must always be subordinated to the civil authority is expressly stated in §20 of the constitution of Delaware, as it is in the constitutions of Massachusetts, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and other States.
Thus we see how great was Drahomanov’s appreciation of the English-speaking world and of American federal democracy. Just as the Ukrainian national poet of the first half of the 19th century, Taras Shevchenko, dreamed of the time when a Ukrainian Washington would bring a new and just law, so the learned patriot of the second half of that century, Mykhaylo Drahomanov, showed his fellow countrymen what the bases and implications of that law were.
Drahomanov as a Political Theorist, Ivan L. Rudnytsky
This article was reprinted in Ivan L. Rudnytsky, Essays in Modern Ukrainian History, ed. Peter L. Rudnytsky (1987. I have used the transliterated Slavic footnotes from this reprint. — Andrew Chrucky
I. THE SCHOLAR, THE JOURNALIST, AND THE POLITICAL THINKER.
Drahomanov’s literary work is composed of two clearly distinct groups, his scientific writings, chiefly on ethnography and folklore, and his political writings, which are exclusively journalistic in form. There is never a question as to the group in which a certain work belongs. It is remarkable that Drahomanov, who was a scholar by training and profession, never gave his political works the form of learned treatises.
Of course this does not mean that there is no connection between the two sides of Drahomanov’s creative activity. He states clearly that his study of Ukrainian folk literature had a deep influence on the development of his political ideas. On the other hand, it is clear that the direction taken by his scholarly researches was often motivated by his political interests, as in the case of the analysis of the social and political content of folk poetry. In spite of these connections, there is a clear division between Drahomanov’s scholarly and political writings. This is characteristic of his personality and his methods. He was too conscientious to claim scholarly authority outside the field of his special competence. Drahomanov does not teach about political questions ex cathedra; he writes about them as a citizen and fighter, who seeks to reach certain practical goals, and who is clearly aware of his special standpoint.
Therefore outwardly Drahomanov’s political writings should be classified as journalism. But this is journalism on an exceptionally high level. Drahomanov brought his great erudition and conscientious scholarship to bear on each particular article. Even more important was his incorruptible intellectual integrity. Although the immediate occasion for many of his political writings was polemical, his attitude was never sophistical — to win the debate at any price — but philosophical in the best Socratic sense — to recognize the objective truth. Drahomanov did not say what was tactically opportune, but what his research and reflection led him to believe to be true. His whole life was lived in accordance with his basic principle:
The least or bitterest truth is more valuable than the sweetest or most imposing false appearance.
Behind his journalistic exterior Drahomanov was a vigorous and original political thinker. As is always the case with original thinkers, to succeeding generations his ideas are not only of historical interest; they are also still vital enough to enrich and influence contemporary thought.
The fact that Drahomanov’s political writings usually had a polemical purpose has hindered the understanding of his ideas. Apart from the external difficulty that in order to read Drahomanov easily it is necessary to have some acquaintance with the quarrels of various Russian and Ukrainian factions of the 1870’s to 1890’s, there is a greater difficulty. In each of his political writings he is not only defending, but also opposing, a specific point of view. Therefore each given work is rather one-sided. None of them, with the possible exception of Istoricheskaia Polsha i velikorusskaia demokratiia (Historical Poland and Great Russian Democracy), represents the whole Drahomanov, the whole range of his ideas, but only a certain section, determined by the position of his opponent. Thus there is a noticeable discrepancy between his Ukrainian and his Russian writings. In the former he appears as a ruthless critic of the weaknesses of the Ukrainian movement. In order to know Drahomanov, the courageous apologist for the rights of the Ukrainian people against Russian centralism and chauvinism, one must read his writings in Russian. It is only by taking both together that one obtains a well-rounded picture of Drahomanov’s position in the question of Russian-Ukrainian relations. It is the same in other questions. The contradictory interpretations of Drahomanov made by various critics — at various times he was attacked as a socialist and as a bourgeois constitutionalist, as a nationalist and as a cosmopolitan — are caused by the fact that his critics were content with considering one aspect of Drahomanov’s political philosophy. Drahomanov was aware of this, and once wrote, half jestingly:
During my whole life I have always been attacked from at least two opposite sides at once, and I have even set up for myself the criterion of regarding something as a failure if, on its account, I am only attacked from one side.
We must, however, emphasize that although most of Drahomanov’s political writings are polemical, and all of them are in a journalistic form, he should not be regarded as an essayist following the inspiration of the moment, but rather as a systematic thinker.
For me, each of my ideas, which is attacked from various sides, is a part of a whole system of ideas about Ukraine, Russia, Poland, the Slavic world, the Germans.... I have often stated that it is only to another system, even though it be diametrically opposed to my own, that I could surrender. So far no one has been able to show me such a system.
Of course the “system” spoken of here is not a dogmatic, closed one. Drahomanov always rejected theories which claimed to have answers to all questions and patent remedies for all the difficulties of social life. This anti-dogmatism was certainly one of the bases for his repudiation of Marxism. The systematic character of Drahomanov’s thought lies in the organic unity of his ideas, each of which is connected to and completes the others, and can only be understood within the whole.
II. THE LIBERAL KERNEL.
Drahomanov’s thought is syncretic. It combines democratic and socialist, patriotic and cosmopolitan, Slavophile and occidentalist elements. In order to view Drahomanov’s system as an organic unity it is necessary to find the center of gravity of the whole. In his political thinking this central point and determining factor is undoubtedly the liberal idea.
I define Drahomanov’s liberalism as the doctrine that the freedom and worth of the human being are the highest values. Politically it is primarily concerned with the extension and strengthening of the rights of individuals. Like President Wilson after him, Drahomanov believed that the history of liberty was the history of the limitation of governmental power, not the increase of it. The security of the personal sphere is more important than participation in the creation of a collective political will.
It is self-evident that for each person the inviolability of his individual rights is much more essential than the right to direct, and particularly to indirect, influence on the course of affairs of State.
In political revolutions he [the liberal] will be relatively indifferent to the form taken by the State at the top-governmental level. However, he will always intervene to enlarge the freedom of every person, in word and deed — equally so for the freedom of races, associations, communities, and regions — this through the limitation, wherever possible, of the power and the authority of the State.
For Drahomanov the logical consequence of this thought was the ideal of anarchy — not of course in the popular sense of the word as disorder and the war of each against each, but as a vision of a condition where external authority and pressure would no longer be necessary, since men would have learned to govern themselves and live in peace with their fellow men.
Mankind’s aim, which is completely unlike present-day States, is a condition where both larger and smaller social bodies will be composed of free men, united voluntarily for common work and mutual help. This goal is called anarchy, i.e. the autonomy of each individual and the free cooperation of men and groups.
Proudhon’s influence on Drahomanov is visible here, and Drahomanov acknowledges it himself.
The doctrine of anarchy was formulated by Proudhon as an antithesis to French theories of the forties and fifties, which all, whether monarchic, constitutional, or republican, were more or less centralistic. Proudhon’s anarchism is the doctrine of the complete independence of the individual and the inviolability of his rights by all governmental powers, even elected and representative ones.
It is improbable that Drahomanov believed that anarchist ideals could be realized in the foreseeable, or even in the remote, future. He saw them rather as an indicator of the direction in which progress should be made, whether or not the goal could ever be reached. At one point Drahomanov compared the ideal of anarchy with the efforts of an engineer to reduce the friction in machines to nothing, although this naturally is impossible. Here a critic is inclined to remark that without friction no machine would function at all. The analogy is not completely favorable to Drahomanov’s thesis!
Drahomanov’s anarchic ideals led him to federalism. This is the part of his political philosophy which is best known. Anyone who has heard of Drahomanov at all knows that he was a federalist. People think that the federalization of Russia was his aim, but in reality this federalism was a universal principle. For a political thinker who takes the autonomy of the individual as his starting point, and who rejects every form of authoritarianism, federation — the adherence of persons with equal rights to groups and communities, and the cooperation of these in greater unions — is the only way to overcome the atomization of society.
In practice Proudhon’s anarchistic doctrines come down to federalism. Not only does federation not exclude discipline, but rather it is the best form of organization and discipline for humanity.
Proudhon says that the synonym for anarchy is the English word self-government. In its practical application the theory of anarchy leads to federalism.
Only small States, or rather communities, can be truly free societies. Only a federation of communities can be truly free.
The next quotation is especially important. It comes from a letter written in answer to a friend’s request for information about federalism. This letter shows Drahomanov’s wide erudition in this field and the sources he used as well as certain practical implications of his federalist philosophy.
Among continental authors who have been concerned with the problem of federalism, the first place belongs to Proudhon and his Du Principe Federatif. I must pass over the English [he probably means Italian] and Spanish works except for the mention of Pi-y-Margal, Les Nationalites; there is also a German translation. Constantin Frantz, Der Föderalismus, is unreliable. It is hard to obtain Etwös [a Hungarian author]. Much of value is to be found in Mill, On Liberty; Laboulaye, L’Etat et ses limites; Odilon Barrot, De la centralisation et ses effets; Dupon-White, L’lndividu et l’etat; and in old Benjamin Constant, Principes de politique.... The theoretical pros and cons of federalism can be discussed endlessly. In some things centralization is necessary, in others, decentralization. Federalism has two main practical advantages: A) By the use of the national languages federation aids education and brings the courts and the administration closer to the people. There is a good book on this problem in modern Europe by Fischhof, Die Sprachenrechte in den Staaten gemischter Nationalität. B) Administrative affairs are conducted by those whose interests are most directly affected. This latter point can best be understood by a comparison of social and political life in centralized and in federative States. Our people must be shown how the peoples of Switzerland, England, and the United States of America live; the details of the national, provincial, and local constitutions must be explained, (cf. Decombynes, Les constitutions europeenes; Dareste, Les constitutions modernes.) There is an interesting book on the parallel development of the idea of democracy and the idea of freedom in Switzerland by Theodor Curti, Geschichte der schweizerischen Volksgesetzgebung. Particular attention must be given to how, in our time, even centralized parliamentarism is being undermined from all sides.
Perhaps we can best see the natural tendency of Drahomanov’s thoughts in his sympathies and antipathies toward various lands and their governments. From the abstract discussion of the ideas of liberalism, anarchy, and federalism we here return to the world of concrete political reality.
Up to today the only States in Western Europe which have enjoyed solid political freedom are federative Switzerland, England — with its system of the guaranteed rights of classes, corporations, counties, and cities — municipal Belgium, the formerly federal republic of Holland, and the Scandinavian States, where centralism was never strong.
I put no faith in any State, with the exception of Switzerland and England.
It will immediately be noted that among the States which Drahomanov considers nearest to being the incarnation of his ideal, there are a number of monarchies. Drahomanov did not share the automatic republicanism of most East European progressives, not because he had any particular fondness for monarchies, but because for him the form of the central government was of secondary importance.
Certain modern monarchies, such as the English and the Belgian, better guarantee a larger degree [of self-government and personal rights] than does the French Republic, for instance.
Finally let us remark that Drahomanov had a rather low opinion of the French Republic and its system of parliamentary centralism. Of all West European cultures, the French was the one that Drahomanov knew best, but his political thought was always opposed to the specifically French type of democracy, which looked back toward the Great Revolution. During the whole 19th century the French Revolution enjoyed tremendous prestige among Central and East European democrats. We need only mention that for decades the French Marseillaise served as the hymn of progressives in Russia. The fact that Russian revolutionary factions tended to take the Jacobins as their prototype was probably the reason that Drahomanov formulated his negative judgment of Jacobinism so sharply. His opinion of the French Revolution is not in line with that of Burke, whose traditionalism was foreign to him; it is rather similar to that of the French liberal historian and sociologist Tocqueville, whose works he knew well. Like Tocqueville, Drahomanov distinguishes two currents in the Revolution, a constitutional, liberal, and decentralizing one, and a centralizing, levelling, terrorist one. The victory of the latter through the dictatorship of the Jacobins was in fact the beginning of the counterrevolution, a reactivation of the Workst aspects of the ancien regime. Drahomanov gives especial weight to the attitude of the revolutionaries toward provincial ethnic groups. In the forcible repression by the National Convention of the linguistic and cultural individuality of the Provencals, Bretons, Basques, Corsicans, and Alsacians, Drahomanov saw the first modern example of the policy of denationalization by the systematic pressure of the State machinery, a policy which was later to be copied by Prussia and Russia in their treatment of ethnic minorities.
Drahomanov believed that ever since the Great Revolution France had been on the wrong track.
Since 1789 France has experimented with seventeen constitutions [this was written in 1881] and has gone through four revolutions. In spite of this it has had to suffer three military coups d’etat. It is only very recently that it has had the beginnings of even a very weak and insecure municipal self-government. Freedom of the press and of assembly are still very incomplete. There is no freedom of association. In France labor unions are not recognized by law, and in fact, very characteristically, the workers’ freedom of association, like many other freedoms, is forbidden on the basis of laws that were passed during the Great Revolution (1791–1796) with the intention of preventing the rebirth of the old corporations and the foundation of counterrevolutionary associations! Here we can see what it means to strive for the replacement of the autocracy of the monarchy by the autocracy of the people, without first making the true nature of political freedom clear.
The expression “autocracy of the people” in the last sentence is an allusion to the famous theory of popular sovereignty, according to which the source of all power and authority is to be sought in the will of the people. The classic form of this theory is the doctrine of the social contract, i.e. the conferring of rights upon the government by the citizens. Rousseau gave this doctrine of social contract a revolutionary twist, which then served the French Revolution as the ideological justification of the Jacobin dictatorship. In the 19th century the historically unfounded doctrine of the social contract fell into disrepute, but the theory of popular sovereignty, of the unlimited authority of the popular will, remained untarnished in democratic circles. Drahomanov was at least very sceptical of this theory. He believed in the inviolable rights of individuals and natural groups (communities, economic groups, nationalities, etc.). For him freedom consisted in political and social pluralism, while the doctrine of the popular will obviously led to a process of levelling and to the creation of large, centralized, collective bodies.
The concept of “the popular will” is almost the exact opposite of the concept of “political freedom.” ... It [the popular will] can mean nothing other than the will of the majority, and in modern States, so different from the ancient communal and cantonal States, this means the will of the majority of the representatives of the majority. It is obvious that the absolutism of such a will may be in opposition to the interests of a great part of the population and to the essential rights of persons, groups, areas, and entire nationalities.
In developing this thought Drahomanov adds that the doctrine of the absolutism of the popular will may contribute to the creation of dictatorial regimes. This is demonstrated by the examples of the tyrants in the Greek city-states, of Roman Caesarism, of the Jacobin dictatorship of the Committee of Public Safety, and of the Bonapartism of the First and Second Empires. In all of these regimes the absolute power of the government was supposedly derived from and legitimated by the will of the people. Napoleon I and Napoleon III even used plebescites, and every time the “popular will” endorsed the constitutional amendments and the extension of powers desired by the government. Drahomanov remarks that Muscovite Slavophiles are also fond of using the argument of the will of the people; for them the tsar is the incarnation of the will of the Russian people. Drahomanov was disturbed to hear the Russian revolutionaries also speak of the omnipotence of the popular will.
So far we have shown what Drahomanov understood by political freedom. It is interesting to see where he felt the historical roots of liberalism were. In his early work on Tacitus he opposed the thesis introduced by Montesquieu that freedom originated in the Germanic forests. He pointed to the Roman Empire with its ruling humanitarian and cosmopolitan stoic philosophy, enlightened lawmaking, improvement of the lot of women and slaves, gradual extension of the rights of provincials, and self-government of communities and provinces. Here we cannot evaluate these views. It is enough to say that later Drahomanov himself expressed a very different opinion, tracing liberalism to the institutions of territorial and class self-government and the feudal parliamentarianism of the late Middle Ages.
In part liberalism is the heir of feudalism, a medieval thing. England, the Netherlands, and Switzerland preserved their medieval freedom, and did not fall victim to later absolutism. Therefore they gave the impetus to the development of modern liberalism.
The question of the rise of political freedom leads to the problem of progress in general. The idea of progress was a basic component of 19th century liberalism. That which distinguishes Drahomanov’s idea of progress is his precise, cautious, and relatively critical formulation of the idea. Drahomanov never regards progress as a sort of automatic process of nature, or identifies it with technological achievements and the accumulation of material goods, as did so many representatives of the vulgar liberalism of the 19th century. To anyone so ethically oriented as Drahomanov, progress is essentially a question of a higher degree of spiritual culture and of social justice. Drahomanov provides a remarkable pragmatic justification for the idea of progress. Belief in progress allows men to strive for the perfection of conditions as for a realisable aim, and does not permit a fatalistic resignation to the existing state of affairs. Since men fight for improvement, true progress will then be achieved.
Only the belief in the stern ideal of progress saves man from pessimism, doubt, and misanthropy and teaches him to judge epochs of history and historical personalities according to the idea of relative perfection.... It is only with the acceptance of the idea of progress that a solid basis is found for the idea that historical phenomena follow certain laws and rules.
One of Drahomanov’s last works, published a year before his death, was the pamphlet Rai i postup (Paradise and Progress). It is written so as to be intelligible to peasant readers, the members of the Galician Radical Party. But its simplicity should not deceive us; here Drahomanov develops a truly original philosophy of history. In contrast to most of the apologists for the belief in progress, he does not construct his argument from a demonstration of the outward achievements of civilization, but on the development of the idea of progress itself. The Biblical myth of Paradise, like similar myths among other peoples, shows how men, dissatisfied with reality, began to imagine a better life, even if in the remote past. The next step was Persian dualism, with its belief in the final victory of good. Then came Christian chiliasm, the hope of Christ’s coming to reign during the millenium. From the sixteenth century men began to turn their eyes from heaven toward the earth, no longer hoping for the victory of good as a supernatural event at the end of time, but as the result of their own conscious effort.
The truth of the idea of progress is shown through the development of this idea itself. In its development we see a clear advance with the passage of time.
In this connection Drahomanov demonstrates briefly how each advance in the concept of progress has corresponded to an advance in civilization. This idealistic philosophy of history can be expressed in this way: the moving force behind positive development is the progress of ideas.
To complete the picture, we must also speak of Drahomanov’s attitude toward religion. This is not out of place in an examination of Drahomanov as a political thinker. He himself had the following conviction:
It is well known that there is a close connection between men’s conceptions of political and social matters and their religious ideas.
Drahomanov had a clear practical program in regard to religious questions. He always desired the separation of Church and State and the turning of the churches into private, financially independent organizations. He referred specifically to the American example, and expressed the hope that it would be followed by the European States as soon as possible.
He believed that in politics freethinkers and liberal Christians should work together, but he feared that the Catholic and Orthodox faithful were unlikely to be useful in the struggle for civic progress. Later he modified this opinion. He realized that in lands like Ireland and Belgium the Catholic Church worked for the interests of the people. In the work of men like Cardinal Manning he saw the beginnings of social Catholicism. He also saw that there was a difference between lands like the United States and Switzerland and lands like Austria. In the former Catholics and Protestants lived together in a mixed population, and the Catholic hierarchy had adapted itself to democratic institutions; in the latter the Catholic Church was still linked to feudal interests. In a letter to a Galician leader Drahomanov expressed the opinion that the Radicals in Galicia could find a modus vivendi with the clergy of the Uniate Church (an Eastern Rite branch of Roman Catholicism), provided that freedom for scientific research was undisturbed and that the social interests of the working classes were supported. In the heat of his struggle against clericalism, Drahomanov was unable to appraise correctly the historical services which the Uniate Church had rendered to the Ukrainian people in Galicia. However, it is difficult to deny that his appeal for the secularization of Ukrainian culture and politics corresponded to an urgent need of his time.
Both during his lifetime and after his death Drahomanov was often considered an atheist. This was one of the principle reasons for much of the hostility against him, as well as the cause of his popularity in other quarters. Such an interpretation is possible on the basis of certain of his writings, where he attacks the churches as the cause of many bloody wars and unnecessary battles, and calls for rationalism in religious affairs. However, Drahomanov does not offer a rationalist ersatz religion in the style of Auguste Comte’s positivism or the all-embracing ideology of marxism. On closer inspection it is seen that Drahomanov’s positivism may be reduced to the demand for the freedom of scientific investigation, unhindered by traditionalist taboos of a religious, or any other, nature. In one of his popular pamphlets he gives a beautiful interpretation of the Prometheus myth as the ancient but eternally new symbol of the human spirit storming heaven unafraid. In connection with his studies of folklore and ethnography Drahomanov took a scholarly interest in the problems of the history of religions. He tried to spread among Ukrainians the study of the history of religions and of Biblical criticism. In a society where religion was almost universally identified with the traditional faith and the established churches, Orthodox and Uniate, this was quite enough to give Drahomanov the reputation of being an atheist. He did regard the religious situation in the Russian Empire as pathological. There, thanks to the censorship and to tsarist policy in general, even most of the educated people saw no other alternatives than the Orthodox State Church (which was backward even in comparison with Byzantium of the 4th to 8th centuries), or the crude materialism of the Nihilists. There is no doubt that Drahomanov tried with all his strength to indicate a third way out of this religious dilemma to the Ukrainian people.
No reader of Drahomanov’s writings can fail to notice the attention he gives to Protestantism, so disproportionately large in relation to its real role in the life of the Ukrainian people. He sought all the heterodox influences in Ukrainian religious history, from Manichaeism through Hussitism, Calvinism, and Socinianism. He was also extremely interested in the lay brotherhoods of the 16th and 17th centuries. These represented the democratic element in the government of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine; they controlled the hierarchy, fostered the development of the schools and the presses, and led the resistance against the militant Catholicism of the Polish Counterreformation. In the second half of the 19th century the peasants of the Russian Ukraine, who were dissatisfied with the official Orthodox faith, founded an evangelical movement called Stundism. In spite of the harsh persecutions of the tsarist government, Stundism became increasingly important, and in the course of time it took on the character of a Protestant sect, related to Western Baptism. Drahomanov followed the progress of the Stundists with unwavering interest. As early as 1875 he endeavored to provide Ukrainian translations of the Bible for them. In the early 1890’s he wrote a number of pamphlets, among them one in 1893 on John Wycliff, which were aimed at acquainting the Ukrainian peasant reformers with the traditions of Western Protestantism. At the same time he spurred on his Galician friends to try to propagate in the Austrian Ukraine a movement similar to the Stundism of the Russian Ukraine. Drahomanov even made a proposal of basic principles for a “Ruthenian Brotherhood.” Drahomanov’s death prevented him from writing two pamphlets he had planned, one on Roger Williams and the other on John of Leyden. The first was to illustrate the relationship between enlightened Christianity and social and political progress, the second, the dangers of fanatical sectarianism.
It has been claimed that Drahomanov’s interest in Protestantism was of a tactical nature, an attempt to weaken the traditional faith and prepare the way for the penetration of radical ideas. This explanation does not fit a man of Drahomanov’s intellectual honesty. Drahomanov had many of the characteristics of a puritan reformer: severe self-discipline, high demands on both himself and others, tireless work, a moralistic attitude toward life, stiff-necked fidelity to his principles, and the courage to go his own way. It must be acknowledged that there was a genuine inner relationship between Drahomanov’s spirit and that of Protestantism.
It is well known that the emergence of liberalism in the West was closely connected with the Protestant spirit. Nothing shows better the depth of Drahomanov’s liberal position than does the attraction which Protestantism had for him.
III. THE LIBERAL IN FACE OF THE SOCIAL AND NATIONAL AWAKENING OF THE MASSES.
Even if Drahomanov had been nothing but a sort of East European incarnation of the spirit of John Stuart Mill, he would still have been an interesting and unusual historical phenomenon (for genuine liberalism was a rare thing in the Russian Empire), but he would not be as worthy of honor as he is. Drahomanov’s starting point was always liberal, but his originality as a political thinker is shown when he steps outside the framework of classical liberalism, and treats problems that were beyond the vision of the typical 19th century liberal philosophy.
Although the liberal gospel, as formulated in the first half of the 19th century, claimed universal applicability, in practice the blessings of liberalism reached very few. Liberalism defended the interests of the middle class. In the nationality question the liberals had only the peoples of Western and Central Europe at heart; farther to the east they were only interested in a few historical nationalities such as the Greeks, the Poles, and the Hungarians. Liberalism had nothing to offer either to the fourth estate in Western Europe or to the peoples of most of Eastern Europe, not to mention Asia and Africa.
After 1848, and particularly after 1870, the tide of the liberal movement began to ebb. The economic postulates of the middle classes had been fulfilled. In all European States, with the exceptions of Russia and Turkey, constitutional governments had been introduced. Italy and Germany had been unified and reconstructed as national States. All of the more important goals of liberalism seemed to have been reached, and nothing was left for it but to rest on its laurels; liberalism became conservative in the Workst sense of the word — lazy and self-satisfied. Thereby it lost the chance to bring the awakening social and political forces into its camp.
Drahomanov was painfully aware of this decline of Western liberalism. He once said to a Polish democrat:
Everywhere the epoch of the purely political democracies is at an end. Even in its classic lands, France and Italy, you can scarcely find two or three uncompromised names.... All of that democracy is dried up, rotten, incapable of bearing fruit. Only look at Gambetta’s republic. For these “democrats,” the Russian tsar and his oppressive bureaucracy, with the money they have squeezed out of the Polish people, are more interesting as business partners than is a Polish revolutionary.
It is noticeable that in his writings Drahomanov more often calls himself a “radical” than a “liberal.” Naturally it is not a question here of words, and on the basis of an analysis of his political philosophy, Drahomanov must be counted as a member of the liberal school, whatever label he may have given to his position. But in the reticence which Drahomanov shows toward the use of the word liberal, we see a symptom of his disinclination, conscious or unconscious, to use a name which he felt to be compromised by the decadence of western liberalism.
Two great new political forces were appearing on the stage of history: the social awakening of the fourth estate and the national awakening of the oppressed peoples. Drahomanov’s attitude toward these two forces was emphatically positive, for in them he saw an enormous stride forward on the road of the emancipation of humanity. But even for their sake he was not willing to deviate a hair’s breadth from his liberal principles of individual freedom, the decentralization of power, and the rule of law.
Drahomanov believed that the logical consequence of democratic principles was socialism. For the moment we can leave aside the question of the exact content of Drahomanov’s socialist program. The basic tendencies must be made clear, however. True civic freedom requires not only that men have legal rights, but also that their social and economic conditions permit them to use them. The essence of the concept of democracy includes the idea of social change and social progress; otherwise it is no living democracy.
Drahomanov’s ideas on the nationality question parallel these.
Peoples do not exist for States, but States for peoples. The peoples of multi-national States do not exist for the interests of one or two [ruling] peoples, but for themselves. A State has the duty to satisfy the requirements of all its peoples, not only those of the privileged ones.
Drahomanov’s pedagogic experiences convinced him that the work of popular education would make progress only if it were conducted in the language of the people, and in accordance with national traditions. Conversely, the policies of Russification and Polonization were the chief causes of the cultural doldrums in Ukraine. From this it was only a step to a much broader conception: that the centralism and chauvinism of the ruling nations were condemning the millions of the other nationalities to cultural stagnation. The masses can only participate in a universal culture — through the medium of their own national cultural tradition. Drahomanov was a thorough believer in the blessings of national-cultural pluralism and in the historic mission of the less numerous peoples. Naturally it was Drahomanov’s opinion that the development of national cultures could only be assured through a corresponding change in political institutions.
The range of Drahomanov’s vision can be seen in his glad welcome to the beginnings of constitutional government in Japan and the movement in British India for self-government. He expressed the hope that this example would soon have an effect on the other Asiatic lands.
Drahomanov felt that the social and national movements were closely related. He introduced the sociological term, “plebeian nation,” that is, a nation that has been reduced to a peasant mass and has no aristocracy and bourgeoisie of its own. With a few exceptions, such as the Poles and the Magyars, almost all of the peoples of Eastern Europe were, in Drahomanov’s lifetime, such plebeian nations. In the lands where the lines of class divisions were at the same time lines of national divisions, where the dominant class was sharply divided from the simple people by the deep chasm of a different language, culture, and ideology, the movements for social and for national emancipation became one and the same.
Drahomanov believed that it was a weakness of the socialist parties in Western Europe that, since they were not immediately confronted by the problem of national oppression, they did not understand the interrelationship of the social and national questions.
The Hungarian State can be a useful object lesson for a socialist, for there he can observe how social relations are complicated by national ones. In all the States of present day Europe the laws of social development have led to the subjugation of the working classes by a capitalist oligarchy. The working classes are even more oppressed in those lands where a conquering nationality has enslaved other nationalities. Then the conquering nationality forms a sort of aristocracy.... An observer accustomed to the socialist movement in the great industrial centers, with its enlistment of important masses of workers, and to the national homogeneity of France, England, and Germany, would not understand what he saw if he were transported from the sphere of metropolitan socialism to Eastern Europe.
But Drahomanov’s instinctive sympathy for the masses struggling for their social and national emancipation never brought him to an even partial abdication of his liberal principles. A number of his writings were aimed at convincing the Russian revolutionary factions that the struggle for political freedom in the Russian Empire must have priority over specifically socialist aims. In his arguments Drahomanov usually stressed tactical points: only the introduction of liberal political institutions would create the necessary conditions for a labor movement. But we can scarcely doubt that for Drahomanov himself civic freedoms had a logical priority over specifically socialist postulates.
Although the bourgeoisie is a heavy burden on the working masses, it is not the unrestricted ruler of the masses, and it does not even have absolute control of capital. Rather it plays the role of trustee in the present economic system. With the progressive development and organization of the workers, this trusteeship will be replaced by economic self-government. On the other hand the political autocrats are the shepherds and the masters of the people. The autocrats regard the people as a herd, or at best as eternal children. The first step toward the self-government of the people must be the breaking of the power of these shepherds, masters, fathers, or whatever they may choose to call themselves.
Drahomanov formulates his views on nationalism in an analogous manner:
All civic work in Ukraine must wear a Ukrainian dress, must be Ukrainian. But of course Ukraine alone cannot be the aim of this activity. The aims of human activity are the same all over the world, just as theoretical knowledge is the same everywhere.
I acknowledge the right of all groups of men, including nationalities, to self-government. I believe that such self-government brings inestimable advantages to men. But we may not seek the guiding idea for our cultural and political activity in national feelings and interests. To do this would lose us in the jungle of subjective viewpoints and historical traditions. Governing and controlling ideas are to be found in scientific thoughts and in international, universal, human interests. In brief, I do not reject nationalities, but nationalism, particularly nationalism which opposes cosmopolitanism.... I have always repeated: cosmopolitanism in the ideas and aims, nationality in the foundation and form.... For thirty years I have raised my voice against both Russian pseudo-cosmopolitanism, which neglects the Ukrainian nationality, and against the Ukrainian nationalists who, by their rejection of cosmopolitanism, bury the only sure indicator of progress and national rebirth and open the door to chauvinism, exclusivism, and reaction.
The example of Germany shows that national homogeneity in a State does not guarantee greater freedom, and that the national idea can lead to the violation of men and to great injustice... By itself the national idea cannot bring men to greater general freedom and truth; it is not even enough for the settlement of political matters. We must seek something else, above all nations, that can reconcile the nations when they fight among themselves. We must seek a universal truth common to all nations.
Drahomanov defended the cosmopolitanism of cultural values against all national egocentricity. In this he drew on the example of the great religions, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam, and on that of modern scientific progress, which is only made possible by international cooperation. At the same time Drahomanov spoke up against the “false cosmopolitanism” of the ruling nations, who used, the idea of “progress” to excuse their forcible leveling and discrimination against the weaker nations. However, legitimate resentment against foreign domination and cultural discrimination can have dangerous consequences if directed by blind hatred. For this the classic example is the German reaction to Napoleon’s occupation.
In its struggle to throw off French occupation and to reestablish the honor of its own language, the German national movement was justified. Not only was it not opposed to the cosmopolitan idea of the brotherhood of all men, it even drew directly from this idea.... But, in time, educated Germans developed the notion that the most important thing for men is their nationality, and that universal humanism is something abominable. They decided that in every respect Germans might think of nothing but being German, that in all relations with foreigners they must think of nothing but Germany’s advantage, that they might live only in the German spirit, always have a German understanding, and possess purely German customs, etc. Thus they would cultivate that peculiar national character or spirit which God or Nature had especially destined for the Germans for all eternity.
Drahomanov opposed the myth of innate and unalterable national characters. Of course he recognized that empirically there are various differences between one folk and another, but he felt that these were the result of historical development, and therefore subject to further alterations. Moreover, for Drahomanov the cultural individuality of a nation did not lie in unique and independent originality, but in its particular manner of combining elements, each of them common to a number of peoples. Here Drahomanov used the evidence of his special field of study: the number of “wandering motifs” in folklore and folk poetry, i.e. in those very fields which the romantics claimed as the purest expression of the national soul.
Drahomanov’s general attitude toward the problems created by the emancipation of previously oppressed groups can be illustrated by his ideas on sexual morality and on the role of the woman in society. The questions were debated very heatedly in Russian revolutionary circles. Under the influence of Chernyshevsky’s programmatic novel, What To Do?, the slogan of free love, unfettered by any conventions, found considerable response. To a friend Drahomanov confided:
Free love is just as difficult as monogamy. One should approach this problem cautiously. Defend women’s rights to education, work, and participation in public life. Struggle to make divorce less difficult. But keep from preaching free love in the fashion of the birds. Even among birds there is usually monogamy until the little ones are grown, and the human child takes twenty years to grow up.... A constitution is as necessary for the maintenance of freedom in love as for the maintenance of freedom in society. Liberum veto is not suited to either one or the other.
Drahomanov desired the emancipation of all oppressed groups, but he sought an orderly freedom, not individual or collective arbitrariness.
IV. ETHICAL SOCIALISM
Drahomanov often speaks of himself as a socialist, but without giving allegiance to any of the schools or sects of socialism. There are few concepts which have so many varied and contradictory meanings as does “socialism.” Therefore it is necessary for us to investigate more exactly Drahomanov’s sort of socialism.
I have always been a socialist, ever since I was given Robert Owen and Saint-Simon to read in the gymnasium. But I have never thought of trying to put into practice in our country any stereotyped foreign socialist program.
We shall probably not be mistaken in the thesis that socialists who do not themselves spring from the working classes are usually socialists for reasons of ethics. However, only a few admit this. Usually the intellectual socialist has the tendency to cloak his resentments and hopes with scientific reasons. The commonest rationalization is the idea of a historical determinism which, inevitably, is leading mankind from a capitalist to a socialist epoch.
It is not the fact that Drahomanov became a socialist because of ethical motives which distinguishes him, but the fact that he himself realized it.
In Russia, up to the present, the socialist movement has depended chiefly on men who do not personally belong to the working classes and who become involved because of moral motives, because of the need to strive for the realization of social justice, and not because of economic needs or class ambitions.
But what is “social justice”? Many socialists live in the conviction that as long as capitalism exists, there can be no social justice, but that when a socialist order is victorious in the future, all imaginable social justice will automatically be assured. Drahomanov could not accept any such fatalism, just as he was not convinced by the bourgeois liberals who whitewashed the evils of the present system as (the regrettable but unfortunately inevitable by-products of the great economic and technical progress of the 19th century. His alert social conscience demanded concrete measures whereby the existing abuses could be remedied as rapidly as possible. This is the point of departure for his socialism.
I have expressed an idea that has always seemed heretical to many of my socialist friends, i.e. that in the social movement of our time, and even in the labor movement in the narrower sense, the question of communism [i.e. the future collective economic order] does not have a large place. For this movement the primary questions are ones such as the length of working hours, the standardization of wages, social insurance for the workers, etc. The importance of these is quite independent of the question of communism. Moreover, there are radical, and even revolutionary, agrarian movements (e.g. in Ireland), which have no communist elements at all.
Drahomanov gave a Galician friend the following advice:
You [the Galician Radicals] need European socialist ideas, and perhaps also something of the Russian sympathy for the peasants. But all of this must be adapted to Austrian and specifically Galician conditions. I would advise you to pay special attention to Ireland and Belgium. The former is interesting to us because of its agrarian problems and the skillful organization of the peasantry; the latter because of the linking of social agitation with political demands, because of the cooperation of the Walloons and the Flemings in the labor movement, and also because of the parallel between the development of social agitation and that of the cooperative movement.... I would advise you to pay attention to all of the movements of workers and peasants, and not only to those which label themselves socialist and collectivist. In practice socialism has taken on the nature of social politics. Things like the eight-hour working day are of more importance than any quarrels over the form of collectivization (State or communal), or even over collectivism itself. Moreover, the political and cultural conditions necessary for socialist policy, such as the general franchise, technical education, etc., are very important. We must come to regard the socialist movement, not from a sectarian perspective (either revolutionary or conservative), but from a civic and evolutionary one.
Naturally a far-reaching and systematic policy of social reform cannot be based on the forces of organized labor alone. Drahomanov names three elements which contribute to social progress. The intellectual socialists are the theoreticians, critics, and propagandists Then there are the mass movements of the workers (the unions, cooperative societies, etc.), similar peasant movements, and the political campaigns of the socialist and populist parties, such as the struggle for universal suffrage. Finally, we must include the measures of the ruling classes and the existing governments, even conservative ones, for the abolition or alleviation of social injustices (e.g. the English factory laws). All three factors contribute toward social progress, and a common denominator must be found. An interesting attempt to find this for Russia is presented by Drahomanov’s social and political program in “Free Union.” As the author explains in his commentary, this program is the result of a comparison and synthesis of the maximum reform program of the Zemstvo constitutionalists and the Russian liberal bourgeois press on the one hand, and the minimum demands of the European socialist and labor movements on the other. The soundness of Drahomanov’s judgment is indicated by the fact that, since this was written, almost all of the more important points in his social and economic program (legal limitation of the working day, public arbitration between employers and employees, progressive income taxes, etc.) have been adopted by most civilized States.
That Drahomanov was free from the prejudices common to most of the socialists of his time is demonstrated by his realization that everywhere in Europe it is not the poorest, but the culturally and economically strongest workers who lead in the labor movements. At the same time he warned the socialists against lumping the stable and productive business men together with speculators and adventurers on the stock exchange, even though in practice it may sometimes be difficult to distinguish the various groups in the bourgeoisie.
Drahomanov was convinced that in principle a socialist collectivism was preferable to private enterprise. At the same time it was clear to him that many honorable democrats and progressives did not agree, and he tried to persuade the hotheaded socialists among his younger friends not to spurn collaboration with the non-socialist democrats.
In our time it would be enough if each progressive party would really strive to do for the cause of progress what it promises in its program. With this the time of socialism would also come much faster.
Drahomanov was not a specialist in national economy. Compared to constitutional questions and problems of nationalities and foreign policy, economic questions take a relatively subordinate place in his writings. Various passages in his articles, particularly his strongly expressed interest in cooperatives, give grounds for the assumption that Drahomanov desired guild socialism (to use a later term), rather than centralized State socialism. It is doubtful whether he was fully aware of the problems created by the complexity of modern economic life. But all his works are impregnated with a strong social ethic which is the more commendable since Drahomanov’s longing for social justice never caused him to forget — as did so many socialists — the value of political freedom and personal independence. The following definition is noteworthy.
The socialist ideal is not Arakcheyev’s military settlements, but on the contrary, a brotherhood of well-rounded (integral, as the West European socialists say), developed individuals.
This comes from one of Drahomanov’s polemics against a group of Russian socialists. Arakcheyev was Minister of War under Alexander I (tsar from 1801 to 1825). While in office he invented military settlements where soldiers performed agricultural labor combined with military exercises and military discipline. In the Russian and the Ukrainian languages these colonies have become synonymous with insane despotism and gruesome regimentation. It is noteworthy that, as early as the last quarter of the nineteenth century, Drahomanov was keenly aware of an Arakcheyevian spirit among Russian socialists. This leads us to a particularly interesting theme, that of Drahomanov as a critic of the Russian socialist and revolutionary movements.
We cannot summarize Drahomanov’s opinion of individual leaders and theoreticians of the Russian revolutionary and socialist movements, such as Bakunin, Chernyshevsky, Lavrov, Plekhanov, and others. Let us only remark that Drahomanov always testified to his respect and admiration for Herzen, although he criticized a number of his views. Herzen was perhaps the only leading man in the Russian revolutionary movement in whose humanism and liberalism Drahomanov had implicit trust.
The Russian socialist movement of the second half of the 19th century, of which Drahomanov was the contemporary, critic, and in part participant, had two stages of development, populist and marxist. The name populist covers various leading individuals and groups from Herzen and Bakunin to the Narodnaya Volya (The Will of the People) Party — roughly from the middle of the century to the 1880’s. In spite of divergences on various points, all had certain basic convictions in common, one of which was the belief that thanks to the institution of the mir (a form of agrarian community), Russia would be able to by-pass the purgatory of western capitalism and proceed straight into the socialist paradise. Hand in hand with this went a general idealization of the Russian peasant as the supposed vessel of the highest social and moral values.
This romantic idealization of the muzhik (peasant) was completely foreign to Drahomanov’s nature.
At the present level of education of the masses, many valuable interests of civilization, which someday may be useful to the demos, are simply unavailable to the demos of today. The people may betray them, or even Workse, simply trample on them.... In a word, thou shalt not set up for thyself any graven image, either in heaven, or on earth, or in the “people.”
The tradition on which the socialists of the populist persuasion drew was that of the great Cossack and peasant rebellions of the 17th and 18th centuries, led by Stenka Razin and Pugachev. These were supposed to show that the Russian peasant is a natural revolutionary, ready to rise against his oppressor at any time. Drahomanov supported the contrary thesis that these revolutions were even more reactionary than the uprising of the German peasants and mystics in the 16th century, and therefore completely unfit to serve as an example for a modern, progressive movement. In particular he pointed out that the leading element in these revolts had been neither urban, nor even agrarian, but half-nomadic, which fact made success impossible from the beginning. Drahomanov was equally dubious about the doctrine according to which the mir could serve as leaven for a socialist order. It is true that he believed that wherever there were remnants of this primitive collectivism, they should not be destroyed, but transformed into modern cooperatives if possible. But the mir system had serious defects. Although these Great Russian agrarian communities were self-governing bodies the rights of the individuals within them were not guaranteed. Moreover, in its way the mir was an authoritarian and irresponsible ruling body. And within the individual families of which the mir was composed, the patriarch was a despot. The Russian peasant imagined the tsar as such a despotic pater familias.
Russian society lacks the conditions necessary for socialism, which are to be found in urban, industralized, educated, liberal Europe, where one can see unbroken progress since the 10th-11th centuries.
Drahomanov hoped, however, that with the development of the economy, of city life, and of education, the socialist movement in the Russian Empire would finally also enter the “natural” (general European) path.
One sees that in our lands too we already have an embryo of a better society. We dare to say that the beginnings of an urban educated working class, which combines manual labor and reading, is the foundation of all foundations.
Since the expected general peasant revolt did not materialize, the Russian populists, or rather the most active and courageous of them, turned in the 1870’s to the method of individual terror, in order to force concessions from the tsarist regime. This terror reached its peak with the assassination of Alexander II on March 1, 1881. Drahomanov never rejected revolutionary methods as such, but he felt that they should be only one part of the many-sided political battle against the existing regime. However, he considered that individual terror was a decidedly pathological phenomenon.
[In the given circumstances of lawlessness, for which tsarism is responsible], one can excuse political terrorism and seek to understand its causes. As historians we must recognize the good it has brought: it has forced all of [Russian] society to reflect on the reason for these assassinations. But it is inadmissible to glorify assassination, to present it as a pattern to be imitated, or to elevate it to the rank of a system....
Even if we leave aside the moral aspect of the matter, these killings have a negative political effect. They strike the government, but they do not overthrow it, and they offer nothing new in its place.
The death of Alexander II was followed by the rapid disintegration of the populist movement. The most courageous participants were dead, the organization was smashed, and its members were scattered, their faith shaken. In the 1880’s a new form of the Russian revolutionary and socialist movement, marxism, began to rise on its ruins. Drahomanov lived through the rise and fall of populism, but he saw only the beginning stages, the incubation period, of Russian marxism. Drahomanov died before the (marxist) Social Democratic Party had crystallized organizationally in Russia. Nonetheless, he was able to define clearly his position in regard to this movement.
We must remember that the point of departure for Russian marxism was criticism of the preceding stage, populism. The attacks of Plekhanov, the father of the Russian Social Democratic Party, were directed against the same populist illusions — belief in the mir, in peasant revolts, and in individual terror — that Drahomanov had already criticized. Thus there is a certain parallel between Drahomanov’s position and that of the early Russian marxists. This gives some verisimilitude to the claims of those later authors who tried to present Drahomanov as a forerunner of Russiar marxism.
Certain Ukrainian authors, particularly some Ukrainian Communists of the 1920’s, were eager to construct a national, non-Great Russian geneology for Ukrainian marxism; Drahomanov had a place of honor in this family tree. This thesis could be buttressed by Drahomanov’s personal associations with certain marxists or semi-marxists, such as his friend Mykola Ziber (1844–1888), professor of national economy at the University of Kiev, who resigned and went into exile as a protest against Drahomanov’s dismissal from the University. Ziber, who was active in Ukrainian circles in Kiev, was the first man in the Russian Empire to take an active interest in marxism, and was the translator of Capital into Russian There is no doubt that through Ziber Drahomanov early became acquainted with the basic ideas of marxism.
In spite of these points of contact, Drahomanov must not be counted as a predecessor, but rather as a decided opponent, of marxism. Indeed, he took a premeditated and conscious stand; within the limits of his influence he made every attempt to combat marxist influences among the Ukrainian and Russian socialists. In this he had some success in Galicia.
Drahomanov had serious reservations about marxist theories. He was ready to accept historical materialism only as an heuristic hypothesis, not as a dogma.
You know that I cannot agree to an exclusively economic philosophy of history and politics; this I regard as a sort of metaphysics. Human life is too complex to be explained by only one element. I have nothing against a one-sided theory if it makes easier the discovery of new facts. Unfortunately the followers of Marx, or rather those of Engels, seldom investigate anything; they rather draw a priori, and often completely arbitrary, historical and political figures.
Drahomanov endeavored to show that the political revolutions of the 16th to 18th centuries, in Holland, England, America, and France, were by no means the work of only one class, the bourgeoisie, and to point out that they could not be reduced to purely economic terms.
Drahomanov also had serious practical grounds for his opposition to marxism, and these were perhaps decisive. He did not believe that sectarian methods, which he imputed to the marxist German Social Democrats, were suited to Eastern Europe.
The conditions necessary in order that German-style sectarianism may progress are not only the existence of a homogeneous and compact mass — the factory workers — but also the spirit of military discipline, to which the Germans are accustomed even before they become socialists. Such sectarianism is ineffective even among the French workers; for us, a scattered peasant people, it would be even more so. Thus the English system of organizing on the basis of a practical task, and not of a catechism, suits us better.
The spread of marxism was undoubtedly a form of German cultural penetration into Russia. Drahomanov feared that this influence would strengthen the Russian socialists’ inclination toward sterile dogmatism in theory and toward centralism in practical politics.
Of all the West European socialist parties, the German has had the greatest impact on Russia. This is to be explained by the strong personalities who have belonged to it recently, such as Marx, Engels, Lassalle. Their writings have become the substratum of the ideas of the Russian socialists. Moreover, their geographical nearness to St. Petersburg plays a role, as does the fact that the Jews have an important place in the socialist movements of Germany and Russia and, particularly in the northwestern provinces, present the natural link between the two socialist movements.
So far we have considered separately Drahomanov’s stands on the two phases of Russian socialism, populism and marxism. He also criticized certain features which, to a greater or lesser degree, were common to almost all the leaders and groups of Russian socialists. The chief of these was the lack of a sense of political freedom, in the Western meaning of the term.
The social and revolutionary theories [of the populists] are in essence much closer to absolutism or to any other dictatorship than to liberalism.
In this respect marxism was no better than populism. Drahomanov said that the doctrine (developed by its publicists, Plekhanov and Vera Zasulich) of the dictatorship of the proletariat was a farce in a land in which, at that time (1884), factory workers made up only about one percent of the population.
An example of the dictatorial tendencies of the Russian socialists was to be found in the fact that each individual group, instead of speaking only in its own name, considered itself the sole representative of the whole revolutionary movement. Where in reality there were merely little circles of conspirators, parties and committees were spoken of. Revolutionary hierarchies, which behaved as if they were already the potential government of the Russian State, were set up.
The Executive Committee [of the Narodnaya Volya Party] is far from being a government. Nonetheless, in certain circles one can observe symptoms not dissimilar from those of courtiers: the fear of contradicting the Executive Committee in anything... the effort to draw profit from its fame, etc. Such customs ... make the Russian revolutionary and the Russian governmental milieus similar.
Drahomanov was particularly indignant over the cynicism of the Russian socialists in tactical methods. He felt that the Jesuitical theory that the means justify the ends would lead ultimately to the complete despotism of one person.
One indication of the amorality of the Russian socialists was the fact that they called their acts of individual terror the executions of the judgments of underground tribunals. Drahomanov considered such an attitude a perversion of justice and legality. He considered equally improper the use of “pious frauds,” such as falsified tsarist manifestoes, to instigate the peasants to rebellion. Drahomanov, who believed that “to an honest man, speaking the truth is as natural a necessity as is breathing fresh air,” was revolted by such intentional lies and by the whole unscrupulous Machiavellianism of the Russian revolutionaries.
Russian socialists of all stripes had an extremely intolerant and chauvinistic attitude toward the oppressed nationalities of the Russian Empire. At times an exception was made for the Poles, who were counted as a power factor and were wooed with concessions, often at the expense of the Ukrainians, Byelorussians, and Lithuanians. The Russian socialists and revolutionaries systematically ignored the existence of the plebeian peoples, who, unlike the Poles, had no aristocracy of their own. In their proclamations the Russian revolutionary parties always spoke of a “Russian people” as if the population of the Empire were homogeneous and the Russians (Great Russians or Muscovites) not one nationality among others. At a public meeting of Russian political emigrants, and in a pamphlet, Drahomanov proposed that a publishing house be created to edit socialist publications in the languages of all the peoples of the Russian Empire from the Estonians to the Armenians and from the Rumanian Bessarabians to the Tatars. Like other similar proposals, this was rejected with scorn; anything which deviated from the centralist line was rejected by the Russian revolutionaries as “narrow nationalism,” or at best as “an unnecessary splintering of forces which should be united against the common enemy, tsarism.” No Russian socialist took the trouble to study Drahomanov’s arguments that, without the participation of all the peoples of the Empire, the struggle against tsarism could not be successful, and that if such collaboration was to be achieved the legitimate cultural and political interests of the non-Russian peoples had to be considered. These Russian socialists, who perpetuated tsarist bigotry against the subjugated nationalities, nevertheless considered themselves as the most perfect internationalists.
These peculiar internationalists refuse to see that instead of a socialist pan-humanity, they propose to us an aristocratic, bourgeois, bureaucratic, and necessarily one-sided, nationally-dyed State. Their pseudo-cosmopolitan sermons against nationalism are not directed against those who oppress other nationalities, but rather against those who seek to defend themselves against this pressure. They seek to substitute denationalization for internationalism.
Drahomanov thought that the cause of this pathological state of affairs was easy to explain. The anti-tsarist opposition was burdened with the tradition of the Russian State. This might serve as an example of the well-known sociological rule that the opposition often forms itself according to the pattern of the regime it opposes.
Just look more closely at the genealogy of these claims that in Great Russia we find the best conditions for the victory of democracy, anti-capitalism, socialism, the search for truth, etc. At the root of the genealogical tree you will find old Muscovite reactionary chauvinism and the doctrine that “Moscow is the third Rome and there will never be a fourth.”
[The Russian revolutionaries] do not desire to shake the idea of an absolute and centralized State, but only to transfer the power to other hands.
Drahomanov’s struggle against the Russian socialist fractions his time was a predecessor of the split, a generation later, of the world socialist movement into a democratic and a totalitarian wing.
V. THE REBIRTH OF Ukraine AS A NATION
A short resume of Drahomanov’s views on the history of Ukraine is the best introduction to his Ukrainian political program.
As for the period antecedent to the 13th century, it [the history of Ukraine] reveals the federation of free cities, particularly of the cities of southern Rus, which were grouped around Kiev. Historians usually confiscate this period of Ukrainian history to credit it to the account of the tsarist empire, whereas in reality this latter is much more directly descended from the more recent principality of Moscow, which dates from 1328. Moreover, the despotic and aristocratic Muscovite institutions developed under the influence of the Tatars have very little in common with those of the free principalities of southern and even northern Rus in the 11th to 13th centuries. In addition we must remark that the history of the old State of Kiev is attached directly to the Cossack Ukraine as much by the scene of action and by the race of the actors as by the republican institutions.
Drahomanov believed that up to the time of the downfall of the Cossack State Ukraine, although perhaps retarded in its development, was still an organic part of the European world.
Most of the national differences between Ukraine and Muscovy can be explained by the fact that until the 18th century Ukraine was linked to Western Europe. In spite of the handicaps caused by the Tatar invasions, Ukraine participated in Western Europe’s social and cultural progress.
This can be demonstrated by many details. For instance, in its own way Ukraine experienced the Renaissance and the Reformation. The great Cossack rebellion against Poland in the middle of the 17th century came close to giving Ukraine not only national independence, but also political and social institutions which could stand comparison with those of the most civilized European States.
[The frustration of these potentialities] was chiefly due to the devastation of Ukraine at the end of the 17th century, when it was divided among Muscovy, Poland, and Turkey. The Left Bank Ukraine (the Hetmanate) then fell victim to the centralism of the Muscovite tsardom and the Petersburg Empire.... In the 19th century our Ukraine became a “province.” It was farther behind progressive Europe than it would have been if it had gone its own way from the 17th century on. In fact it was even more backward than Muscovy, which, in the 17th century, had been more retarded than Ukraine or Byelorussia.
The retrogression of the Ukrainian people becomes evident when one compares the Cossack revolution of Bohdan Khmelnytsky with the peasant revolts (haydamak movement) of the latter half of th 18th century. Both were mass movements with elemental force, but the leaders of the former were men with a European outlook and far-reaching plans. The uprising of the haydamaks was only a Jacquerie.
In the time of Khmelnytsky] the close relationships among all the classes of Ukrainian society — the nobles, Cossacks, burgers, priests, and peasants — made possible the emergence of men who could formulate their freedom-loving, democratic, and almost purely republican ideas in writing, and support them with arguments drawn from the history of their own and other lands.... The basic ideas of the last great Ukrainian mass movement, the haydamak revolt of 1768, under the leadership of Zaliznyak and Honta, were scarcely more clearly expressed than those of the Stenka Razin and Pugachev rebellions [in Muscovy].
Drahomanov was firmly convinced that Muscovite Russia’s protectorate had had an unfavorable effect on the political, social, and cultural development of the Ukrainian people. Socially, Russian domination led to the reestablishment of serfdom, which had previously been abolished in the Dnieper Ukraine by the Cossack revolution. It is true that the Cossack State had been moving toward social stratification, the elders becoming a sort of new nobility. But it was only the help that Moscow gave the local reactionaries that made possible the sharp legal division of classes and the Russian-style enslavement of the peasants in the last quarter of the 18th century, i.e. after the final abolition of Ukrainian autonomy. Politically the story is similar. The Cossack State had had a flourishing system of local self-government and the beginnings of a representative national government. As Drahomanov shows, the liberal constitutional regimes of progressive European lands had developed from analogous roots. However, in Ukraine, these were smothered by Russian centralism. Culturally, the boundaries of the Russian Empire imposed an almost impenetrable wall between Ukraine and Western Europe. In the first half of the 18th century Ukraine still had many more men with a European education than had Russia. In the 19th century, however, almost the only route the Russian Ukraine had to the West was the long and difficult detour via the Petersburg “window into Europe.” The following facts speak for themselves. In 1748 there were 143 schools in the Chernihiv regiment (regiments were the Cossack territorial units); in 1875, even after the introduction of the Zemstvos, there were only 52 in the same area.
Drahomanov’s acute historical perception did, however, lead him to see the obverse side of the problem. The union of Ukraine with Muscovy was no accident. The Cossack Ukraine had been faced with two major problems of foreign policy, the conquest and colonization of the Black Sea coast and the expulsion of the parasitic Polish oligarchy. The continual raids of the Turks and Tatars, for whom Ukraine was a sort of “White Africa” and a favorite ground for slave hunting, made an orderly, settled life almost impossible there. The eyes of the Ukrainian peasants and Cossacks turned longingly toward the fertile southern steppes, made uninhabitable by the Tatar menace. The harbors of the Black Sea were also necessary for commerce and for contact with the outside world. Ukraine had had a toehold on the coast of the Black Sea in the early Period of the Princes, and then again at the beginning of the 15th century, but had lost it after Turkey became a great power in the Balkans and spread its protectorate over Moldavia and over the Tatars of Crimea.
After the Union of Lublin in 1569 the question of Polish-Ukrainian relations became equally pressing. This union separated Ukraine from the so-called Lithuanian State, which in reality had been a federation of the Lithuanians, Byelorussians, and Ukrainians, and made Ukraine subject to Poland. The boundless greed of the Polish magnates, the fiercely resented Polish social system, and the militant Catholicism of the Polish Counterreformation, all led to an elemental reaction on the part of the Ukrainian people; this came to a head in the revolution of 1648.
Countless folk songs show how deeply the Ukrainians were aware of their two national tasks: the battle against the Turko-Tatars and the struggle against the Polish nobility. By taking the initiative in this dual struggle the Cossack military organization, which after 1648 developed into the Cossack State, became tremendously popular among the Ukrainian people. But the young Cossack State was unable to withstand the pressure of its three neighbors — Poland, Turkey, and Muscovite Russia. Polish pressure drove Ukraine into the arms of Moscow, and by the Articles of Pereyaslav, 1654, Ukraine accepted the protectorate of the tsar of Muscovy. Of course the Cossack leaders very soon realized the extent to which Muscovite centralism menaced them. Khmelnytsky’s immediate successor, Vyhovsky, tried to free Ukraine from Moscow’s suzerainty. Several of the more important later Hetmans, among them Doroshenko, Mazepa, and Orlyk, followed the same policy. However, a Ukrainian orientation toward either Poland or Turkey would have been necessary for a break with Moscow, and the people were not ready for either of these unnatural combinations. The anti-Russian policies of Vyhovsky, Doroshenko, and Mazepa remained “affairs of State,” without the support of the masses. Hostility toward the Turks and Tatars and toward Poland continued to be primary in the popular mind. This attitude explains the comparative feebleness of the protest against Katherine II’s abolition of the remnants of Cossack autonomy; this loss coincided with the conquest of the Black Sea coast, a vast new field for Ukrainian colonization, and with the end of Polish domination in the Right Bank Ukraine. After the incorporation of Ukraine into the Russian Empire, Russia did take over, in a certain sense, the prime obligations of Ukrainian foreign policy. By fulfilling them it obtained Ukrainian popular support.
Russian tsardom has done us much harm.... But it has also fulfilled our national tasks from the time when history took such a turn that we were unable to do so ourselves.
Drahomanov believed that in his generation, in the latter half of the 19th century, Russian-Ukrainian relations were beginning to take a decisive turn, though as yet this might scarcely be noticeable. The Polish uprising of 1863 was the last attempt to reestablish Polish domination in the Right Bank Ukraine. The failure of this uprising, which the Ukrainian peasants and the young Ukrainian intelligentsia had united in opposing, and the succeeding agrarian reforms, destroyed the last prospect for the success of the “historical” claims of the Polish nobility. From then on the acute form of the Polish-Ukrainian problem was to be limited to Austrian Galicia. A few years later the Balkan War of 1877–78 sealed the fate of Turkey as a European great power. With these two events the traditional grounds for the dependence of Ukraine on Russia were shaken. Drahomanov foresaw that the time was approaching when the Ukrainian people would redefine its relation to the centralized Russian State.
It is only now that the problem can be posed: how is Ukraine to be freed from Muscovite bureaucracy, how can the Ukrainian intelligentsia unite its forces with those of the people, how can Ukrainian national culture be regenerated, etc.?
During the 17th century and even the first half of the 18th century, Ukraine possessed autonomous statehood. Drahomanov’s call to the Ukrainians to “pick up the threads of our history that were broken off in the 18th century” might be understood as a plea for the reestablishment of Ukrainian statehood. Here we come to Drahomanov’s views on Ukrainian political independence.
He made a sharp distinction between the right to separation, and its practicality.
Of course we would not think of denying the right of all the nationalities to complete separation from the Russian State. But it is advisable to reflect that States are particularly sensitive on the question of separation. States offer a much more vigorous resistance to the separation of a province than to the granting of personal rights to the inhabitants, or even to the granting of a certain degree of autonomy. Very great power is needed to put through the right of separation of a part of a State from the whole. The real question is not that of the legality, but that of the feasibility, of separatism.
Drahomanov believed that very sound arguments of foreign and internal politics militated against the possibility of Ukrainian statehood.
The Ukrainians have undoubtedly lost much by the fact that, at the time when most of the other European peoples founded national States, they were not in a position to do so. A State of one’s own ... is, after all, a form of social organization suited to defense against foreign attacks and to the regulation of affairs in one’s own land.... [But] a revolution against Austria and Russia, similar to that which the Italians, with the help of France, made for their independence, is an impossibility for us.... The Ukrainians will have better prospects if they strive for their political and social freedom within the States in which they live, with the help of the other peoples also subjugated by these States.
Drahomanov pointed to the fact that all the new States which came into being in 19th century Europe needed foreign military and diplomatic aid. Italy received help from France and the various Balkan States were aided by either Russia or England. Even the great uprisings, such as those of the Poles in 1830 and 1863 and the Hungarians in 1848, failed without outside support. The Ukrainians had no protectors among the great powers, and Drahomanov felt that they should not hope for any. In his mind an even more conclusive argument against separatism was the immaturity of the Ukrainian national movement, shown in the denationalization of the upper classes and in the inadequate national consciousness of the masses.
Drahomanov believed that only the transformation of the Russian regime into a constitutional one with the greatest possible degree of regional and communal self-government would create the conditions necessary for the advance of the Ukrainian movement. For example, the abolition of preventative censorship would automatically remove limitations on Ukrainian literature. Then, with free competition between Ukrainian and Russian publications, the former would soon replace the latter in the Ukrainian villages. If private schools were permitted, Ukrainian would be used in these schools at least, even if at first Russian remained the language of the state schools. Making the local self-governments responsible for school administration would soon bring about the “Ukrainization” of at least the folk schools, and within a few years the question of Ukrainian secondary schools and of courses in Ukrainian in the universities would soon arise. Such a program of constitutionalism and decentralization required the cooperation of the Russian opposition, and would have much better chances of success under the banner of autonomy and federalism than under that of separatism.
It seems certain that Drahomanov analyzed correctly the practical possibilities open to the Ukrainian movement of his time. His analysis was validated by the fact that it was only after 1905 — after the introduction of a certain, though very limited, degree of constitutionalism — that the momentum of the Ukrainian national movement increased. Drahomanov’s attitude toward the question of independent statehood for Ukraine was thoroughly compatible with his attitude toward the socialist maximal program. In both cases he was sceptical of Utopias; he preferred to seek a strategic plan which would point the way forward from the status quo. But there was another element, besides this pragmatic one, which figured in his rejection of separatism. As we have seen, Drahomanov had a very individualist conception of freedom. His ideal was freedom from the State rather than freedom through the State. He considered concentration of power and power politics bad in themselves. But the foundation of a new State, even of a thoroughly democratic one, is impossible without power and power politics, without the creation of authority and of a hierarchy. It is easy to understand that Drahomanov instinctively shrank from seeing the Ukrainian movement go in this direction. He hoped that the political freedom of the Ukrainian people could come from a gradual decentralist and federalist transformation of the existing power aggregates, Russia and Austria-Hungary. We should like to say here that, at a time when there was neither a Ukrainian State, nor even a modest practical basis for a Ukrainian separatist policy, a man like Drahomanov, whose nature it was to think in terms other than those of States, was particularly fitted to render service to the Ukrainian cause.
How can we make Drahomanov’s bitter criticism of Russian socialists and revolutionaries jibe with his plea that the Ukrainian movement cooperate with them? Drahomanov believed that the struggle against tsarist absolutism was the primary practical task; everything else depended on the weakening of this absolutism. At the same time he was well aware that the Russian revolutionaries made very questionable bedfellows. He was certainly not naive enough to be willing to have the Ukrainian cause depend on the good will of the Russian democrats. To secure the Ukrainians from surprise attacks from this quarter, he demanded the complete organizational independence of Ukrainian political parties and groups. It must be remembered that until 1917 Ukrainians usually participated in Russian political organizations, so that in this respect Drahomanov was far in advance of his time.
No Ukrainian group can unite with any Russian group or party — not until the Russian groups are ready to renounce the theory of “Russian unity,” to acknowledge the Ukrainians as a nation on precisely the same footing as the Great Russians, Poles, etc., and to accept the practical consequences of this recognition.
When a St. Petersburg newspaper spoke of Drahomanov as an alleged leader of the “Russian Social Revolutionary Party” (as a matter of fact there was no party of this name at that time), Drahomanov replied in a pamphlet published in Geneva:
I request you not to consider me as a member of the “Russian Social Revolutionary Party,” or of any other Russian party. It is true that I was born a subject of the Russian tsar, but I am not a Russian.... As a Ukrainian I belong to a nation which in Russia is oppressed not only by the government, but also by the dominant Great Russian people. The Ukrainian nation extends beyond the boundaries of the Russian State into Austria-Hungary. My chief aim is to strive for the well-being of our people to the best of my ability. I can take a stand on “Russian” affairs, both (Great) Russian in the ethnic sense, and Russian in the political sense, only in so far as they affect our people. By the same principle I can of course have dealings with the Russian parties, but I cannot join any of them.
The independence of Ukrainian organizations which Drahomanov urged was undoubtedly a good way of resisting the menace of the centralist and levelling tendencies of the Russian revolutionaries. Other of Drahomanov’s ideas on this problem will be treated in the next chapter.
Drahomanov was not an advocate of Ukrainian independent statehood. Nonetheless, at a time when most of the members of the upper classes in Ukraine felt that they belonged to the Russian nation, and when the mass of peasants was without a crystallized modern political consciousness, Drahomanov did regard Ukraine as a nation. This led to two important political postulates. He felt that the estranged upper classes should become nationally integrated with the Ukrainian people, and that a unified national consciousness and coordinated political will, cutting across political frontiers, should be created in all the ethnically Ukrainian territory.
Our people suffers injustice not only socially and politically, but also nationally. This injustice arises in part from the fact that our nationality and our language do not enjoy the same rights as do the Russian, Polish, Hungarian, and Rumanian. However, a far greater injustice arises from the fact that in all the territory where our people live, at most five percent of the intelligentsia acknowledge their national solidarity with the people. Therefore the people do not receive the cultural services they need from the intelligentsia, who live directly or indirectly from the people’s labor. This disgrace reaches so far that even men of democratic convictions, living among the Ukrainians, turn from them and dedicate their work, their gifts, and their money to the service of other peoples.... Arrange things so that a part of the French elite consider themselves as English, a second part as German, a third as Italian, and a fourth as Spanish, and you will soon see what will happen to French literature and politics and even to the French socialist movement.
Drahomanov’s belief that a Ukrainian’s loyalty belonged to the Ukrainian cause came to a dramatic expression in his relations with Zhelyabov, the leader of the Narodnaya Volya Party. Zhelyabov, who was of Ukrainian origin, moved in Ukrainian circles as a young man. At that time he met Drahomanov, and apparently personal trust and friendship developed between them. Some years later when Drahomanov had gone abroad as representative of the Kievan Hromada, Zhelyabov became the leader of that revolutionary organization, whose foolhardy terrorist struggle against tsarism made Russia and the whole world hold its breath. In 1880 Zhelyabov sent a confidential representative to Geneva to ask Drahomanov to be the political representative of Narodnaya Volya in Western Europe, and the guardian of the Party’s archives. In the same message Zhelyabov used the weakness of the Ukrainian movement to excuse his going over to the all-Russian revolutionary movement
Where are our Fenians, where is our Parnell? The truth of the matter is ... that while one sees salvation in the breakup of the Empire into autonomous parts, one must work for a [pan-Russian] constituent assembly.
Drahomanov’s answer did not reach Zhelyabov, but after Zhelyabov’s death Drahomanov published an account of the episode, and his reasons for turning down this offer.
This sceptical expectation of the time when Ukraine might produce its Fenians and its Parnell comes from the pen of a man who was born in one of our Ukrainian provinces. Nothing prevented him from becoming, in his own way, a Fenian. Imagine that the Irish leaders were to wait passively until the advocates of home-rule appeared in their land, until that moment conducting themselves as Englishmen and as followers of British centralism. In that case Ireland also would have to wait a long time for its Parnell!
Drahomanov believed that in Ukraine it was impossible to be an honest democrat without being a Ukrainian patriot, for the people was Ukrainian, not Russian or Polish. However, many members of the upper classes in Ukraine did not recognize this duty, and joined the ranks of the Russian intelligentsia. This nomadic desertion estranged them from the people and nullified their abstract democratic ideals; this was one of the chief causes of their political weakness. Drahomanov himself had evolved from an all-Russian radical position to a Ukrainian national consciousness, and he hoped that sooner or later the intelligentsia living in Ukraine would adhere to the cause of the national and social emancipation of the people.
It is time to put an end to this nomadism of educated people from “the cold rocks of Finland to the burning Kolchis” [from Pushkin] or from “sea to sea” [from the Baltic to the Black Sea, the war-cry of Polish “historical” patriots]. As a nomad, one can serve every cause imaginable except that of the people, of the peasants. For peasants are a settled and deeply rooted people, and therefore different in every land.
Drahomanov declared that each Ukrainian intellectual must settle himself in a specific community, and grow into a definite social milieu.
[The intellectuals] must settle down in communities of our people, and use their forces to fulfill the needs of the social organism. This will enable them to spread sound ideas by word and deed.... The whole Ukraine must be covered by a network of individuals and groups linked with each other.
Drahomanov’s call to the denationalized intelligentsia to unite themselves with the Ukrainian national cause was most movingly stated in these pathetic words:
Educated Ukrainians usually work for anything in the world except for Ukraine and its people.... They must take an oath to themselves not to desert the Ukrainian cause. They must realize that every educated man who leaves Ukraine, every cent which is not spent for Ukrainian purposes, every word that is not spoken in Ukrainian, is a waste of the capital of the Ukrainian people, and that with things as they are, anything lost is irreplaceable.
No less serious than the problem of the denationalization of the elite was that of the isolation of the Ukrainian regions from each other. Drahomanov pointed to the abnormal condition that the Left Bank and the Right Bank Ukraine, Galicia and Subcarpathia — all of the Russian and all of the Austro-Hungarian Ukraine — had very little contact, and were even very incompletely informed about each other. In his scientific works Drahomanov had shown the ethnic and linguistic homogeneity of the Ukrainian people from the Kuban region at the foot of the Caucasus to the Subcarpathian region in the Hungarian State. He felt that this ethnic unity should have political consequences. Although he did not propose as a practical goal the union of the whole Ukrainian area into one State, he aimed at close political and cultural collaboration and mutual help among the various parts of the Ukrainian territory. For instance, he advised that all democratic propaganda destined for the population of the Kuban should begin by reminding the Kuban Cossacks that they were the descendants of the glorious Zaporozhian Host.
Drahomanov did the work of a true pioneer in Subcarpathia, the most backward and remote of the Ukrainian regions. This was the land which, before the First World War, was known as Hungarian Rus. In the inter-war period it was called Subcarpathian Ruthenia and belonged to Czechoslovakia. Since 1938 it has been called the Carpatho-Ukraine. Drahomanov probably became the first leader of the Ukrainian national movement to penetrate into this land when he made two visits there in 1875 and 1876. He was deeply shocked by the misery of its oppressed and exploited people. In later years he never lost sight of the plight of this land, and he tried to turn the attention of the other Ukrainians to it. Shortly before his death he once again reminded the Ukrainians of their duty toward Subcarpathia.
I was the first Ukrainian to visit Hungarian Rus. I saw that spiritually it is farther separated even from Galicia than Australia is from Europe. I swore to myself an “oath of Hannibal” to work for the integration of Hungarian Rus into our national democratic and progressive movement, for only thus can it find salvation.... I have not been able to fulfill my oath, but today I lay it upon the heads of the whole Ukrainian people.
Drahomanov was able to make use even of the division of Ukraine into Russian and Austro-Hungarian parts in his Ukrainian strategy. The systematic persecutions of the Ukrainian movement by the tsarist government, particularly the scandalous prohibition of printing in Ukrainian, limited the possibilities of work in Russia. In this difficult situation some Ukrainian patriots felt that the only solution was to convince the Russian government of the harmlessness of the Ukrainian movement by renouncing all political aims and limiting themselves to cultural regionalism, in the fashion of the Plattdeutsch (Low German) literary movement. Drahomanov did not agree to this idea of separating politics from culture; he also doubted that such concessions would lead to the alleviation of tsarist pressure. He feared that such a cowardly attitude would repel the young people — and all courageous and freedom loving men — and that thus their energy would be lost. He advised that the national movement give up its attempts to come to an understanding with the government. Within the Russian Empire its members should concentrate on strictly academic work (of necessity publishing in Russian) on Ukrainian history, ethnography, economic problems, etc. This research might later serve as the basis for political activity. At the same time, while of course preserving its organizational independence, the Ukrainian movement should seek to collaborate with the various Russian movements of opposition, from the Zemstvo constitutionalists to the revolutionary underground. However, the center of gravity of the Ukrainian movement should be shifted to Galicia, where, in spite of Polish hegemony, Austrian laws did provide a minimum of freedom. Drahomanov hoped that there Galicians and Russian Ukrainians together could create a focal point for Ukrainian activity. Then, until the weakening of tsarist absolutism should untie the hands of the Ukrainians in Russia, vitality from this center could radiate back into the Russian Ukraine.
Drahomanov doubted that the elder generation of the Galician intelligentsia could be converted to his program of joint action. Therefore he went over their heads, appealing directly to the young people. Of course this was a long-range project, but Drahomanov did not let himself be discouraged.
Gutta cavat lapidem no vi, sed semper cadendo. [It is not by force that the drops of water wear away the stone, but by always falling.] This has always been my motto; it is the best political motto.
Some years after Drahomanov’s death one of his disciples, the eminent Galician writer and scholar Ivan Franko, evaluated his influence in the following way:
Truly our teacher, he was completely selfless. He did not spare either himself or us in his efforts to turn us — his lazy and uneducated followers, who had grown up in the slavish tradition of our narrow [Galician] provincialism — onto the better, more enlightened path of European civilization. One might say that he dragged us by the ears along this way. If any contribution to the world or to our national cause comes from the generation which was influenced by him, it will have been the work of Drahomanov.
The continuing results of Drahomanov’s far-reaching vision helped Galicia to become the Piedmont of the Ukrainian national cause before and during the First World War.
How could Drahomanov reconcile his ardent patriotism with his cosmopolitan convictions? He believed that the universal ideal of Mankind was a synthesis of the best characteristics of each people. His realization of the relationship between the general and the particular also made him see that a humanist who wanted to work for the well-being of mankind had to have a specific point of application. The Ukrainian people could be one such point. Humanity could but gain if, among the peoples of the earth, there were “one soulless corpse less, one living nation more.”
A humanistic and cosmopolitan foundation for the national idea involves the duty to combat all forms of narrow, exclusive, backward nationalism among one’s own people. Drahomanov did this conscientiously. Here, to complete the picture of his Ukrainian political program, we must glance at his fight against the excesses of Ukrainian nationalism.
During Drahomanov’s lifetime the Ukrainian movement was too weak to be able to harm any other people. Nonetheless, Drahomanov was very sensitive to all the symptoms of national hatred and resentment among the Ukrainians which, in different circumstances, could turn into a destructive force.
Our nationalism is not nearly so pacific [as its apologists say]. Only listen to the hate with which our people sometimes speak of the Russians, Poles, and Jews. Reflect on what might happen to men of these races living on Ukrainian soil if our nationalists should come to power. What sort of forcible Ukrainization would be prescribed for them! This misanthropic nationalism is also harmful to us, for it aggravates the hostile feelings of our neighbors. Nowadays one must try to lessen hatred among nations even during war time, as the Red Cross organization does within its sphere.
Drahomanov’s intellectual conscientiousness made him an uncompromising opponent of all national illusions and patriotic superstitions.
I am disgusted with myself because my patriotism induces me to write on all possible subjects, from archeology to painting, only in order to be able to proclaim the existence of a Ukraine in the 10th and 15th centuries as well as in the 19th century, in prehistoric excavations as well as in modern opera. But my love for my own people does not give me the right to attack Russians, Poles, or Jews.
Two examples of Drahomanov’s battle against the prejudices of his compatriots are his attitude toward the Shevchenko cult and his stand on the usefulness of Russian literature to Ukrainians.
The untutored genius and revolutionary poet, Taras Shevchenko (1814–1861), had a tremendous influence on the development of Ukrainian national consciousness. The Ukrainians honored him as a prophet, and soon a cult grew up around his name and memory. Each Ukrainian fraction, from the clericalists to the socialists, projected its own ideas into its picture of Shevchenko, and disregarded those aspects of his life and work which did not fit. Drahomanov was certainly not opposed to honoring the memory of Shevchenko. In his later life he tried, in vain, to have published in Geneva a complete and unexpurgated edition of Shevchenko’s poems. However, he did protest against the canonization of Shevchenko, which hid the true man and poet behind his halo. Drahomanov felt that a historical and critical attitude, which would also take cognizance of Shevchenko’s limitations, was needed. In particular he warned against regarding his poetry as a consistent political program.
It may seem strange that both during his lifetime and after his death Drahomanov was often accused of being a Russophile. The reason for this was his frequently expressed conviction that Ukrainians should not shy away from Russian literature. His arguments were simple: first, Russian literature undoubtedly included the greatest artistic achievements of all the Slavic literatures; second, by turning their backs on Russian literature they would increase their provincialism rather than their cultural independence. Drahomanov answered the reproach that he was a slavish devotee of Russian literature and culture in the following manner:
Personally, since my early twenties I have been able to read five European languages, not including antique and Slavic ones. Of these I most love English literature, as I do the cultural and political life of England. With the exception of technical books in my field, I should be ready to live the rest of my life without books in Russian. But in Ukraine I see the following state of affairs: only two or three intellectuals out of a hundred use European books, and most of these are technical. Even most writers do not know a single European language. Under these conditions what would be the level of Ukrainian men of letters if they should also give up Russian literature? I should not waste another word on the cultural value of Russian literature if in Ukraine I saw energetic efforts to obtain spiritual nourishment direct from Western Europe, and if I did not see that our modern Ukrainian authors lack a basic European education.
Thus Russian literature was indispensable in the Dnieper Ukraine because the numerous Russian translations of Western European writings were necessary. The situation was somewhat different in Galicia, where a knowledge of German was widespread. But Drahomanov was afraid that the German cultural influence tended to produce bureaucrats, and believed that Russian literature could play a positive role in Galicia too. He thought that the spirit of social criticism prevalent in the best Russian literature was a means of drawing the attention of the backward Galician intelligentsia to the needs of their own people. According to Drahomanov, such a feeling for the people was the best stimulus for the Ukrainian national movement. Moreover, acquaintance with reality in Russia was a sure means of destroying the illusions which the conservative “Old Ruthenians” had about the tsarist empire. Drahomanov maintained that he had distributed more Russian books in Galicia than all the Muscovite panslavists together, and that as a result of this very fact the younger generation had gone over to the camp of the Ukrainian national movement.
Drahomanov could permit himself such a dispassionate, utilitarian attitude because he was convinced of the vitality of Ukrainian culture, and because he was free from a feeling of national inferiority. Many of his compatriots, who compensated for their dependence on Russian culture by bleating abuse against Russia, could not forgive this attitude. Drahomanov remarked that those who criticized him as a “Russophile” were the very ones who in practice were ready to make much greater concessions in the use of Russian in publications and even in private correspondence. The difference was that Drahomanov believed that the only honorable thing to do was to “admit in theory a part of the concessions which the others make in practice.”
In the history of Ukrainian political thought Drahomanov stands half-way between the generation of the Brotherhood of Sts. Cyril and Methodius of the 1840’s — the first expression of a modern Ukrainian national consciousness — and the generation which was called upon to construct an independent Ukrainian democratic republic in 1917. Of course Drahomanov was not the first participant in the Ukrainian national movement to reflect on political problems and to work out programs. But in volume of writing and diversity of questions handled, and in profundity of thought, none of his predecessors or contemporaries can be compared with Drahomanov. To the present day, in the field of political theory, Ukraine has produced but few men of the same stature. Drahomanov’s reputation has suffered from the fact that he was a pioneer in so many respects. For the next generation many of his hard-won achievements were already self-evident, while the points in which his views had been surpassed by historical development (e.g. Ukrainian statehood) were immediately obvious. This is one of the reasons for the lessening of Drahomanov’s influence on Ukrainian political thought in the inter-war period. But an examination of Drahomanov’s heritage which endeavors to distinguish the living ideas from the dead ones must acknowledge the richness and fertility of his ideas.
Ivan Franko said:
Clear, incorruptible, and uncompromising, he will continue to be the conscience of our nation for a long time — a true compass for the coming generations, showing them how they should live and work.
VI. DRAHOMANOV’S PROGRAM FOR RUSSIA AND EASTERN EUROPE
Drahomanov believed that the federalization of the Russian Empire would bring freedom to the Ukrainian people.
The independence of a land and people can be achieved either by secession and the creation of an independent State (separatism), or by winning self-government without separation (federalism).
It should be noted that here federalism is contrasted with separatism, but not with independence. Drahomanov probably was thinking of Switzerland, where the French- and Italian-speaking cantons, though in the minority, are no less “independent” than are the German-speaking ones.
For the details of Drahomanov’s constitutional program we refer our readers to “Free Union,” his draft constitution for a reconstructed Russian Empire. Here we will only direct attention to a few especially interesting points.
A federalist structure presupposes the existence of the constituent units which compose the whole State. Drahomanov felt that the administrative divisions of tsarist Russia (provinces or gubernii), with their arbitrarily drawn boundaries, were not suitable as units for a system of vigorous self-government. On the other hand, he did not insist that the Russian Empire be divided strictly according to the ethnic principle, since the size of the single “cantons” would be too disparate. Drahomanov proposed that a new territorial unit, the oblast (region) be created. In fixing the boundaries of these regions, ethnic, economic, and geographic factors should all be considered. Some composite regions would have to be formed; the Latvians and the Estonians might form a single region, as might the various national groups in the Caucasus. The territories of the more numerous peoples, such as the Russians and the Ukrainians, should be divided into several regions. In the case of the Ukrainians Drahomanov proposed three regions: Kiev, or the Right Bank Ukraine; Kharkiv, or the Left Bank Ukraine; and Odessa, or the southern Ukraine, including Bessarabia and Crimea. In mixed regions national equality would be ensured by the self-government of communities and districts, and by the inviolability of the personal rights (including the free use of the mother tongue) of all citizens. Drahomanov cited Switzerland, where there are several bilingual cantons.
The most distinctive feature of Drahomanov’s draft constitution was that (as in the constitutions of the United States and of Switzerland) the member states (regions) were to have a sphere of competence inviolable by the federal government. Jurisdictional disputes were to be decided by the supreme court (Senate). What Drahomanov proposed here was not simple administrative decentralization, but rather — though he did not use these words — the division of sovereignty between the federal union and the regions. This conception was further implemented by two other provisions. First, the regions were to have the right to conclude agreements with one another for special purposes. Second, in the case of a usurpation of power on the federal level, full authority, including the command of the armed forces, was to pass automatically into the hands of the regional governments. What actually happened in the territory of the former Russian Empire in 1918 approximated the sequence of events which Drahomanov had imagined. After the Bolshevist coup d’etat various regional governments, which at first regarded themselves as autonomous, but still as parts of a democratic Russia, took full authority into their own hands.
The eminent German sociologist Max Weber considered Drahomanov’s constitutional project brilliant. Weber wrote:
Drahomanov’s great strength lies in his synthesis of economic with national ideals and in his strong sense of what is possible, given the ethnographic conditions of Russia and the economic circumstances of the present.
Weber agreed completely with Drahomanov’s thesis that the unitary structure of the Russian Empire was the chief obstacle to a liberal transformation and organic “Europeanization” of that country.
What were the forces on which Drahomanov counted in the struggle for the realization of a federalist program? He thought that the natural allies of the Ukrainians were all the other non-Russian nationalities in the Empire, from the Finns in the north to the peoples of the Caucasus in the south. Among the Great Russians there were also some groups with a vigorous feeling of local patriotism and a tradition of opposition to the centralism of Moscow and St. Petersburg: the Don Cossacks, the Siberians, the inhabitants of the Volga and Ural regions, and the inhabitants of the far north. Drahomanov’s ideas were proved to have been correct during the revolution of 1917–20, when these were the only ethnically Russian areas to resist the Communist wave coming from Central Russia.
It is a well-known sociological rule that a revolutionary movement is apt to imprint its organizational pattern on any regime it creates. Not only Drahomanov’s aims, but also the means he proposed, were decentralized and federalist. He hoped for the creation of a series of regional revolutionary organizations which would coordinate their activities voluntarily, not just follow the dictates of a central authority. This conception contrasted sharply with the idea, widespread in Russian revolutionary circles, that a strongly centralized revolutionary organization was necessary. When victory had been achieved, its central committee was to be the basis for a provisional government with unlimited powers. Completing the centralist chain, this provisional government would then preside over the elections to an all-Russian national assembly.
Drahomanov warned that in reality this program could only mean the conveyance of centralized power into other hands, and would bring with it an acute danger of a dictatorial coup d’etat from either the right or the left. He contrasted this idea of an all-Russian national assembly with that of regional constituent assemblies. An all-Russian assembly “would, I am almost sure, preserve the hegemony of the Great Russian people and the central Great Russian regions over all others, particularly in questions of education and economics.”
This brings us to the question of methods in the political battle.
Basically the theory of liberalism goes hand-in-hand with the idea of gradual reforms in political, social, and cultural matters, and not with the idea of revolution, understood as a forceful overthrow of the existing order. Liberal theories only approve political revolutions when they are the only means to remove oppressive regimes which block reforms which a self-governing people would introduce.
Depending on the general political situation, Drahomanov several times altered his opinion as to what were the most advisable tactical methods. In his youth he hoped that peaceful progress would be possible on the basis of Alexander II’s reforms — the emancipation of the serfs, the new judiciary system, and the Zemstvos. The reactionary turn taken by the Russian government, particularly the repression of the Ukrainian movement, made his attitude more warlike. During the Balkan War of 1877–78 he edited pamphlets to be distributed among the soldiers and officers of the Russian army, summoning them to armed rebellion. He hoped that once again the army would rebel, as did the Decembrists after the Napoleonic wars, but that this time the military action would be supported by public opinion, focusing in the Zemstvos. Later, in the 1880’s, having lost his illusions about the possibility of rapid improvement in the Russian regime, he again regarded the matter more coolly. He then directed his eyes toward the Zemstvo, an island of local self-government in the middle of the absolute and bureaucratic regime. He drew hope from the examples of France and Prussia: in France the initiative of the provincial assemblies led to the convocation of the Estates General in 1789; in Prussia the action of the provincial diets caused the convocation of parliament in 1847–48.
Drahomanov reproached the Russian opposition with the narrowness of their views: as a consequence of centuries of absolutism and centralism they could imagine political change only as the result of violence —
of imperial decree, a la Peter I, or of a massacre, a la Pugachev. Either is a thunderbolt striking society, not a voluntary, cooperative action undertaken by the best elements of society — either in a peaceful or a revolutionary way.
Drahomanov did not make maximal demands. He believed that it was less important for reforms to be introduced rapidly than for them to take deep root once introduced (as they had in England). This gradualism paralleled his doctrine on compromise in politics. He felt that compromises were necessary, but that only “quantitative,” not “qualitative,” ones were admissible.
If the body cannot digest a whole quart of milk, then give it half a pint, but give it milk, not ink, or a mixture of milk and ink.
Drahomanov’s biographer Zaslavsky asserts that Drahomanov was the only revolutionary author in Russia to treat problems of foreign policy fully and intelligently.
It was Drahomanov’s Ukrainian perspective which led his eyes beyond the boundaries of the Russian Empire. His concern for Galicia brought him to a general interest in the affairs of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Looking at the Polish question, the Jewish question, and the questions arising from the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire from Kiev instead of St. Petersburg brought these problems nearer and made them more concrete. Drahomanov’s ideas on the relations of the Ukrainians to their western and southern neighbors, and to the national minorities living on Ukrainian soil, were a counterpart and complement to his Russian program. Here internal and foreign policy met.
For Drahomanov the kernel of the Jewish question in Ukraine was the fact that the Jews were at the same time a nationality, an economic class, and a religion. As a nationality they were isolated from the rest of the population by their language and customs. In the economic sphere, the vast majority of the Jews were employed in certain occupations of a middle class nature. Ritualistic observances carried over into daily life intensified the isolation of the Jews from the Christian population. Drahomanov feared that the resentment which the Ukrainian peasants felt against the Jewish innkeepers, usurers, and arendators (tax-gatherers for the State and the nobility) might easily turn from social protest into anti-semitism. He felt sure that the Jewish question would not be solved by the laudable liberal formula: abolition of the legal limitations imposed on the Jews in Russia, e.g. their artificial concentration within the “pale of settlement” (in Ukraine and Byelorussia). Drahomanov saw the solution in a schism between the Jewish workers and the exploitative elements in the Jewish community, and in the development of a feeling of solidarity between the Jewish and the non-Jewish workers. This would require the founding of a Jewish socialist organization and a Yiddish socialist press. In this program Drahomanov anticipated the later Bund Party. The first appeals for the founding of a Jewish socialist organization came from the press of Drahomanov’s Hromada magazine in Geneva. This initiative encountered the open hostility of the Russian socialists, including the Russified Jews.
Drahomanov saw the “egg of Columbus” solution of the Polish question in the making of a sharp distinction between the territory that was ethnically Polish and that which, though ethnically Lithuanian, Byelorussian, or Ukrainian, was claimed by the Poles. In these non-Polish lands, which had once belonged to the Polish Commonwealth, the Poles composed a minority of the total population, but the majority of the landlord class. “Nowadays, for people of sound mind there can be a question of the independence only of ethnic Poland.” Of course Drahomanov believed that ethnic Poland had an unquestionable right to independent statehood, but he felt that a federalist policy of cooperation with the other peoples of Eastern Europe would be in the Poles’ own interest. As for the Poles living outside of ethnic Polish territory, they should have cultural autonomy and of course equality as citizens, but they should not have a dominant position. The Polish minority in the Right Bank Ukraine, a relatively high percentage of whom were educated people, would have been able to render a great service to the cause of freedom if they had been willing to unite with the Ukrainians in the fight for the self-government of the land, rather as the Swedes in Finland had cooperated with the Finns. During the 19th century a few Poles in the Right Bank Ukraine were ready to take this road because of their democratic convictions or local patriotism. But the mass of the Poles, including those of democratic and even socialist opinions, were not able to free themselves from their hypnotic belief in Poland’s “historical frontiers.” Drahomanov was convinced that these Polish imperialist dreams were a source of disaster for the Polish people, who let themselves be seduced into policies of adventure, and a source of disturbance for all of Eastern Europe.
Unlike the Russian Slavophiles, Drahomanov desired not the demolition, but the federalization, of Austria-Hungary. The organization of the Empire into historic crownlands, in which an aristocratic nationality usually oppressed the plebeian peoples, should be replaced by a system guaranteeing genuine equality, on the basis of universal suffrage, to all the peoples. Drahomanov advised his Galician friends that the struggle for universal suffrage was their most immediate political task.
He took a lively interest in the fate of the Balkan Slavs, whom he believed to be the natural allies of the Ukrainians. He felt it was through the union with Ukraine that Russia had become interested in the Balkan and Black Sea regions and that the Russian Empire’s conflict with Turkey was inherited from the Cossack . Ukraine. However, Russia’s imperialist tendencies made it incapable of being an honorable ally in the struggle of these regions for their independence. “A despotic State cannot be a liberator.” Drahomanov warned his Bulgarian and Serbian friends against expecting true help from Russia.
Drahomanov’s East European program was completed by his ideas on German-Russian relations. He felt that these two aggressive great powers formed a pincers enclosing Eastern Europe. Of the lands caught between them, those which were more immediately menaced by Germany placed their hopes in Russian strength and those menaced by Russia relied on Germany. Opposing both opinions, Drahomanov maintained that Russian and German imperialism supported each other, and that it was a fundamental error to believe that Germany and Russia would stalemate each other. He believed that an enduring peaceful order could be created in Eastern Europe only by the emancipation and federal union of the peoples living between the Russian and the German ethnic blocks. This would check both the Russian and the German imperialists. The thwarting of these imperialists would then strengthen the hands of the liberals within these two nations, in which the authoritarian form of government was a function of the expansionist foreign policy. In the long run, the federation of the peoples between the two blocks would benefit the Germans and the Russians as well as all the smaller peoples in between.
As we know, Eastern Europe took a course directly opposite to that which Drahomanov had mapped out. Nonetheless, there can scarcely be any doubt that he saw clearly the great issues in this part of the world. And the sad course of events since 1914 justifies the conviction that Drahomanov’s ideas may still have some normative value in the future.
A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF DRAHOMANOV’S MAJOR WORKS
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 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” (“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.
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 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 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 für 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 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 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 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 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 (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).
Part Two — Selected Writings of Mykhaylo Drahomanov
A Geographic and Historical Survey of Eastern Europe
This is the second chapter of Drahomanov’s most extensive political writing, “Historical Poland and Great Russian Democracy.” (First published in Volnoye Slovo in 1881, it was republished as a book in 1882.) In the original, the title of this chapter is “Geographic and Ethnographic Relations in Eastern Eurpoe and Polish and Great Russian Centralism.” Our translation was made from the reprint which appears in the first volume of Collected Political Works (Paris, 1905). There are no cuts. [ed.]
The history of each nation is conditioned by its geography. Fortunate are those nations which chance to occupy favorable lands, clearly-defined ones whose characteristics and possibilities are easily understood even when the population is still on a rather primitive level. But it is a misfortune for a nation to live in a country where the geography gives it a complex task, one which can be coped with only by means of a highly evolved consciousness, acute understanding, and persistence. Such rather “difficult” countries fell to the lot of almost all the Slavs, especially those who occupy the great plain of Eastern Europe extending to the lower Elbe in the west, i.e. the Poles, Byelorussians, Ukrainians, and Great Russians. The plainlike character of the country leads its inhabitants to extensive expansion. The rivers are the only unifying factors, but their tributaries are connected so that passage from one river basin to the next is easy. This is the reason why ethnic frontiers are not clear cut.
Looking at the map of the rivers, mountains, and swamps of this part of Europe, it is at once evident that it is naturally divided into regions, formed mainly by river basins: the Oder and the Vistula, the Niemen, the Western Dvina, the Dnieper with the Dniester, Lake Ladoga, and the Volga. Ten or eleven centuries ago there was a corresponding distribution of tribes here: the Poles on the Oder and the Vistula; the Lithuanians on the Niemen; the Krivichi (Byelorussians) on the upper Dnieper and the upper Dvina; the Polyany and their kinsmen (the ancestors of the Ukrainians) along the middle Dnieper and in its neighboring regions. The Ladoga basin and the upper Oka were settled by Slavic colonists who, moving south and east and becoming mixed with the various Finno-Altaic and Turanian tribes, formed the numerous Great Russian people. The rivers also determined the routes of communication and the inter-tribal connections. These were: the Neva-Volga line from Novgorod to Bolgar (now the Petersburg-Astrakhan line); the Dvina-Dnieper and the Niemen-Dnieper lines (now Riga orKönigsberg to Kiev); and the lines from the Oder and the Vistula to the Dnieper and the Dniester (now running from Stettin and Danzig through Warsaw, Krakow, and Lviv to Odessa, with a branch through Brest and Pinsk to Kiev and a continuation to Galatz). The finding of Persian, Arab, Greek, Frankish, and Anglo-Saxon coins in these regions has helped us trace the divisions and connections among these basins.
But in almost each of these river basins and along each of these communication lines, nature had placed some source of difficulty. For instance from the bend of the Niemen, near Grodno, to Torun on the Vistula and along the Netze River, there is a series of virtually impassable marshes and small lakes which separated the Poles on the Polish plain from their Pomeranian kin. Therefore a political union between them was never durable. Both by land and sea the Pomeranians were in closer touch with the west than with their relations in the south. Later, they were invaded by the Germans from the west and converted into “German Pomeranians,” thus cutting the Poles off from the Baltic Sea between the Oder and the Vistula. To the east of the Vistula there are similar marshes which completely blocked Polish colonization toward the sea and allowed the colonization of the country beyond the swamps by the Lithuanians who lived along the Niemen and by the Lithuanian tribe of Prussians whom the first Polish princes and kings tried in vain to conquer. The desire to crush the Lithuanians, reinforced by militant Catholicism, induced these Polish princes to seek the aid of the Teutonic knights, who planted in the Lithuanian soil of Prussia the seed of a State which was in time to crush Poland itself. Expanding further along the sea, the Germans also seized Riga at the mouth of the Dvina, a river which starts in Byelorussian territory, later crosses the line of swamps and small lakes, and flows into the territory of the Latvians (a people of the Lithuanian group). The rivalry between the Byelorussians of Polotsk and the Latvians, between the Latvians and the Estonians, and between the Poles and the Lithuanians facilitated the strengthening of the Germans who had occupied the entire southern coast of the Baltic Sea and seized the exit points of the great inter-basin communication lines: Danzig,Königsberg, and Riga. Relations on the Baltic coast were thus complicated to the clear disadvantage of the Poles, Lithuanians, and Byelorussians. A satisfactory solution was beyond their creative power.
A difficult situation also arose at the southern terminals of these lines, along the coast of the Black Sea. Nomads were attracted from the east over the steppes, and several times cut off Ukrainian colonization from the Black Sea. From time to time they almost succeeded in rendering the Dnieper insignificant as a great international route of communication, scarcely leaving open the secondary line from Danzig to Warsaw, Halych, Lviv, and Galatz. The Poles attempted to take the control of this route from the Ukrainians, who had been weakened by the influx of nomads.
Thus the geographic and historic conditions of the countries between the Baltic and the Black Seas were such that the peoples between them, being pushed back from the sea coasts, were shoved against one another. Under German pressure from the west the Poles pushed toward Ukrainian Galicia as early as the 10th and 11th centuries; the Ukrainian Volhynians, who had been driven from the steppes of the Black Sea in the 12th and 13th centuries, waged a war of annihilation against the Yatvyags (a Lithuanian tribe who lived along the Niemen) and the Lithuanians, who were also pressed by the Poles. This mutual pressure of the peoples in the Dnieper-Niemen-Vistula territory proved disastrous for all of them after the Poles, in the middle of the 14th century, finally lost Pomerania and the Oder territory to the Germans and began to seek compensation in the east.
In the meantime, the tribes on the east European plain temporarily managed to establish relations among themselves which were fairly advantageous for them and for civilization in general. From the 13th century on, close federative ties were established between the Niemen Lithuanians and the Dvina-Dnieper Byelorussians; in the 14th century the Pripet-Dnieper and the Desna Ukrainians entered this union. This federation under the descendants of the Gedimin succeeded in driving the Tatars from the Bug-Dnieper province of Podolya and extended Slavic colonization to the Black Sea itself, to the land of the old Ukrainian tribes of the Tivertsi and Ulychi. Here, at the beginning of the 15th century, Khadzhibey (the present port of Odessa) was already sending grain to Byzantium. At that time the Italian colonies on the Black Sea were flourishing and the Hanseatic League cities, which were at the height of their power, had close relations with the Byelorussian cities via Riga.
The extensive territory under the Gedimin dynasty, which had a significant development of free city life and sufficiently natural borders (the basins of the Niemen, Dvina, and Dnieper), was a model of a civilized Byelorussian-Ukrainian State. It supported the freer and more cultured elements in the Great Russian cities of Ryazan, Tver, and Novgorod, who were threatened by Moscow, which even the Great Russian scholar Professor Buslayev calls a half-savage, half-Tatar military camp. If similar conditions had lasted for two or three centuries, the whole fate of eastern Europe would have been entirely different, and surely happier, than it was. But the equilibrium was destroyed by the Polish movement eastward and by the seizure of the Black Sea coast by the Turks. This latter had a significant influence on the final consummation of the Union of Lithuania and Poland in 1569. To this day nearly all Polish historians and politicians call this a fraternal union of three peoples, the Poles, Lithuanians, and Ruthenians. In reality the Lithuania of that time already contained three peoples, the Lithuanians properly speaking, the Byelorussians, who were incorrectly called Lithuanians, and the Ruthenians or Ukrainians. It is even more important to note that the Union of 1569 was really the dissolution of the federative Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which had been founded by the Gedimin dynasty, and the subordination of the southern, Ukrainian part to Poland, while the Grand Duchy, although preserving autonomous rights, was left with only the Lithuanian and Byelorussian territories. Ukraine-Rus (the provinces of Volhynia, Kiev, and Chernihiv) was directly annexed to Poland without any national autonomy or separate representation. The fatal political Union of 1569 was followed by the equally ill-starred Church Union of 1596.
With these Unions the Polish politicians of the time took upon themselves a task which was completely beyond Poland’s power. In the first place, having annexed such a broad territory to the Polish Crown, and having put the Ukrainian provinces under its direct control, they had to be responsible for the political needs of the territory, beginning with its defense, chiefly against Turkey. In the second place, Poland was expanding into a territory whose social structure was completely unlike its own, which contained only two classes outside the cities, the nobles and the serfs. At first, the nobility ot the Lithuanian State, especially the Ukrainian petty nobility, were satisfied with receiving the rights of the Polish nobles, which gave them the same legal status as the Polish lords. But in Ukraine there was a growing new military class, the Cossacks, who wanted their rights to be equal to those of the nobility. And after the Cossacks came the peasants, who, especially in the areas close to the steppes, were far from being as subjugated to the nobles as those in Poland. They considered themselves equally worthy of freedom. The Polish government was forced either to extend the legal rights of the nobles to the entire population of Ukraine, or else to attempt the immediate subordination of the great mass of the people to a small minority. King Stefan Bathory attempted to settle the problem by ennobling 6000 families from the mass of the Cossacks, and turning the rest into peasants who should be the serfs of the nobles. But only confusion came out of this project, which for a long time both Polish and Russian writers have called a beneficient gift of rights to the Cossacks. The old nobility did not recognize the equal rights of their new comrades; those Cossacks who had not been registered among the 6000 did not want to be turned into commoners, and the peasants still wanted to be Cossacks, that is, free and self-governing people. This is the source of the series of Cossack-Polish wars from the end of the 16th to the middle of the 17th century.
As a crowning blow, the religious Union was an attempt not only to Catholicize but also to Polonize the millions of Orthodox Byelorussians and Ukrainians. This project was undertaken at a time when regular school education was being established in the cities of Lviv, Vilna, Lutsk, Ostroh, Kiev, etc. The spirit of this education was influenced by the Renaissance and Reformation in Western Europe and it awakened, especially among the Orthodox burghers, a national consciousness and memories of national independence. A significant portion of the population in Lithuania and Byelorussia had become Protestant. It is evident that the political Union of Byelorussia and Ukraine with Poland could have endured only if it had been truly federal, insofar as federation was possible between aristocratic Poland, the still checkeredly feudal Lithuania with Byelorussia, and the comparatively democratic Ukraine. But the Polish politicians wanted not federation but assimilation, and thus they prepared the later downfall of both the Union and Poland itself. This policy increased Poland’s false orientation toward the east and inattention to its more natural ties with Silesia, Bohemia, and Hungary, where at this time a German element, which was to renew the attack on Poland, was taking root.
As an inevitable reaction against Poland’s impractical program of centralization in Lithuania, Byelorussia, and Ukraine, there appeared a centrifugal tendency. Dynastic and Orthodox traditions, and the need for an ally caused the centrifugal elements to turn their eyes toward Muscovy. When Poland first began to put pressure on Lithuania, the Severians wavered and then turned to Moscow. The Catholic character of Jagellonian policy, although weak at the outset, gave Ivan III of Moscow a pretext to call his war against Novgorod a crusade, since this city-republic had elected a Lithuanian prince. In the 14th century Pskov and Novgorod had already elected Lithuanian princes several times, without, of course, arousing any fear for the integrity of the Orthodox faith. After the Church Union of Brest, Moscow appeared the natural haven for the Orthodox intelligensia, for the Ukrainian Cossacks and peasants, and for the Byelorussian burghers. Negotiations with Moscow for the liberation of the entire Ruthenian people from the “Polish bondage” and their acceptance under the suzerainty of the tsar began long before the time of Bohdan Khmelnytsky and the Articles of Pereyaslav in 1654. The first practical step in the process of unifying Ukraine and Muscovy was taken when Ukrainian settlers moved into the uninhabited territory nominally belonging to Muscovy which lay to the east of the Polish frontier. The new Slobidska Ukraine [The present province of Kharkiv [ed.]] thus formed made Ukraine and Muscovy next-door neighbors. Then finally in Pereyaslav the Cossack Ukraine accepted the “alliance and protection of the eastern tsar.” Poland’s own clumsiness pushed this vast land into the hands of its future powerful competitor.
But now it was Moscow’s turn for clumsiness, for it was also unable to change its traditional pattern of behavior when dealing with the new province. The Poles had tried to measure Byelorussia and Ukraine with the yardstick of their aristocratic republic and of Catholic administrative intolerance; the Muscovites began to use the yardstick of their boyar monarchy and of Orthodox ritualistic intolerance.
People who go into raptures over the “Russian unity” established in 1773–95 by the Moscow-Petersburg tsardom on the ruins of Poland, though with the loss of Galicia, should ask themselves why this unity was not created in 1654–57 when all of Ukraine was in revolt against Poland and was for Moscow, and when the Byelorussian cities, including Vilna, opened their gates to the Muscovite tsar. The reason was none other than that Moscow — was Moscow, and could not conceive of any other way of life than the Muscovite one. In the first place Muscovy, like the Russia of today, was always bloated rather than solidly built. The statements of the representatives of the southern provinces made in the Zemsky Sobor of 1642 have always been applicable. “Our ruin comes less from the Turks and Crimean Infidels than from the long drawn out procedures in dishonest Muscovite courts and offices.” Therefore, Moscow was financially incapable of solving the problems raised by unification. Moreover, the Muscovites could not bring themselves to befriend the peoples whom they had helped to liberate from the foreign rule of first Poland and then Turkey. The stupidity of the Muscovite politicians at the moment when Ukraine was asking their protection was evident in the manifesto of Tsar Aleksey Mikhailovich to the Orthodox inhabitants of Poland and Lithuania on entering their boundaries in 1654: “And you, Orthodox Christians, having been freed from the evil ones, should now spend your lives in peace and happiness; and since the Lord God has put you on the right way, demonstrate outwardly that your religion is different from that of the Poles — before our imperial arrival shave the forelocks from your heads.”
Guided by this stupid ritualism, which we see again now among the Muscovite pseudo-Slavophiles, how could the Muscovites cooperate with other peoples in everyday life, let alone understand the political and cultural interests of those who were uniting with them? And indeed, hardly had the Muscovite army joined forces with the Ukrainian Cossacks, than we hear of complaints that the Muscovites were cutting off their “forelocks” and mocking them in many ways. In addition to this unadaptability we see a servile monarchial cast of mind exhibited — for instance the Moscow envoy, Kunakov, was distressed in principle, even though Russian interests were not involved, that Bohdan Khmelnytsky dared to answer the Polish king simply: “Thou speakest well, oh king!” and then “showed neither homage nor courtesy in his words nor in any other thing.” This servile devotion to the monarchy was deeply wounded when the Ukrainians, who had given their allegiance to the tsar, dared to claim that they were — “free subjects” and not “eternal subjects” of the tsar. The natural corollary of this slavish mentality was the affrontery of those privileged slaves closest to the tsar. For instance Voyevoda (Governor) Khitrovo said the following to the Cossacks about their elected officer: “Your colonel is an (unprintable words). I have been sent here by the tsar; I am higher than all others, and you (unprintable words) are all subdevils.”
The inevitable relationship of the agents of despotic governments to the countries given them to govern must also be remembered. As Voyevoda Prince Baryatinsky said: “I shall soon go back to Moscow, and after I leave, no grass will grow in Kiev.” If we keep all this in mind, we have no difficulty in understanding why “Russian unity” could not be achieved in the time of Khmelnytsky and why, only four or five years after the entrance of Ukraine “into the alliance and protection of the eastern tsar,” the Serb Krizanic found enrooted among the Ukrainians the “political heresy, that to live under the exalted Moscow tsar is bitterer than Turkish slavery or the Egyptian bondage.” This is why, even before the controversy between Moscow and Poland for the possession of the Dnieper had been settled, parties appeared there who preferred the evils of Poland which they had already experienced, or those of Moslem Turkey, to Orthodox Moscow.
Ukrainian historians do not spare their ancestors, and they criticize aristocratic ideas among the Cossack liberals and federalists from Vyhovsky to Mazepa, but, thanks to the censor, they are unable to balance the picture of the shortcomings of the anti-Moscow parties with one of the “beauties” of Moscow policy, particularly its treachery toward the Zaporozhe and the common people, who supported Moscow out of hatred for their rulers, even when these were liberal. Russian historians are delighted when Ukrainian democrats “debunk” those whom Muscovites consider as traitors. They do not think it necessary to apply any kind of logical criteria in these cases, however; for them everything that opposes the tsar and centralization is bad, and everything produced by them is good. In their opinion, therefore, only the Ukrainians, especially the unstable Cossacks, were guilty of all the blood that was shed from the time of the death of Khmelnytsky until tht fall of Mazepa.
Yet another fact is not taken into consideration, although the data are given by the eulogist of Moscow, S. M. Solovyov. The Byelorussian burghers were not professional soldiers or rebels by nature, but a hard-working people — call them capitalists if you like — and not uneducated. At first, the Byelorussian cities willingly went over to Moscow. Individually they concluded agreements similar to those made by the Cossacks in the name of the whole Ukraine. For example in 1652 the inhabitants of the city of Mogilev obtained guarantees of the following privileges: freedom to govern themselves according to the Magdeburg law as before; to wear their customary clothes; not to do military service; not to be resettled elsewhere; to be exempt from the quartering of soldiers; to elect officials to supervise the receipts and expenditures of the city; to maintain schools according to the Kievan model, etc. (Solovyov, History of Russia, Vol. X, p. 321). Similar stipulations were also made by other Byelorussian cities. And what happened? After only a year the Byelorussians said that “instead of something better, they had fallen into greater bondage.” The cities began to “commit treason” one affer another, and the people of Mogilev staged a Sicilian Vespers, destroying the Muscovite garrison of seven thousand men in 1661. In 1708 Peter the Great, who had himself first said to the Mogilev mayor that “then Moscow had been bad” took revenge on the city for this by ordering his soldiers, Tatars and Kalmuks, to burn it from its four corners.
At first the Byelorussian peasants also willingly rose up against Poland. Their Polish contemporaries complained that: “The peasants are very hostile; everywhere they are surrendering to the tsar, and causing more harm than Moscow itself; we must be prepared for something like a Cossack war.” And indeed, very soon whole districts in the Mogilev province became Cossackized. But the Moscow government, which hoped to secure permanent possession of the territory, preferred dealing with unorganized serfs, who had no rights, to dealing with Cossacks. Therefore it halted the spread of the Cossack movement in Byelorussia, using old Polish laws and treaties which excluded Cossacks from this land.
So we see that the “violent and head-strong” Ukrainian Cossacks were not the only ones who could not live in harmony with Moscow, and that it was not the “instability” of the Ukrainians, but the despotism and obtuseness of Moscow which rendered the partition of Poland impossible in the 17th century. Since at that time “partition” would have meant only the amputation of the non-Polish lands, which Poland seemed unable to govern, perhaps it would have been the salvation of the independent existence of the truly Polish territory. However, since the Muscovite politicians were unable to retain the sympathies of the populations of Lithuania, Byelorussia, and Ukraine, they had to enter into negotiations with the Poles about how to share the disputed territories, thus jointly subduing the Cossacks, who were unwilling to surrender to either Warsaw or Moscow.
Finally, in 1667, the two governments concluded a treaty whereby Moscow renounced its claims to Byelorussia and the Right Bank Ukraine in return for a free hand in the Left Bank Ukraine. The first consequence of this treaty was the yielding of the Right Bank Ukraine to the suzerainty of Turkey. This was supplemented by Russia’s ingeniously absurd treaties with Turkey and Poland, according to which half of the Right Bank Ukraine (almost all of the present-day province of Kiev and part of Podolya) was to be turned into an uninhabited buffer zone between the three powers, so that each of them could get along undisturbed with the rest of its possessions, and not be disturbed by the recalcitrant Cossacks. This partition of Ukraine was a mortal blow to its independent development, which Poland, Moscow, and Turkey each crushed in its own way. The Ukrainians subject to each power tried to pull away and of necessity turned their eyes toward one of the neighboring States. For example, the hero of the Right Bank Ukraine, Paliy, was oriented toward Moscow, while his contemporary Mazepa, Hetman of the Left Bank, was oriented toward Poland.
War and political centralization ruined the schools and condemned the nation to ignorance. As a result both of this and of the denationalizatioi of the upper classes, the ranks of the intelligentsia were diminished, and more and more the integrity of the national-political ideal was lost. At th same time the peasant masses were falling under the Polish and Muscovite systems of serfdom. Up to the 19th century, Ukrainian national consciousness lay dormant. Then it was rediscovered by a handful of poets and scholars who gained wider support only after the liberation of the peasants in Galici and Bukovina in 1848, and in the larger, Russian Ukraine in 1861.
In Byelorussia the Muscovite-Polish-Swedish wars had completely laid waste the cities and wiped out the Protestants, the most cultured element for the persecutions of Tsar Aleksey Mikhailovich completed the work begun during Tsar Ivan IV’s occupation. Thus it was easy for the Polish government, to whom this territory had been returned, to colonize these cities with Jews, and to replace the bourgeois Protestant schools and institutions with aristocratic Jesuit ones, reducing the Byelorussians to a peasant people dispersed among the forests of the countryside.
Poland, although deprived of the Left Bank Ukraine and Kiev, could still rejoice in the fact that it had gotten away cheaply from the crisis brought about by the Cossack wars. It regained the greater portion of the disputed lands, which, moreover, had been purged of the opposition by Poland’s competitor. For yet another century Poland was to rule Byelorussia and the Right Bank Ukraine without much hindrance, if one does not count the peasant and haydamak (Jacquerie) uprisings in the southeast. But, as a matter of fact, the recovery of these lands proved disastrous for Poland. The Cossack revolution had induced many Poles to regard their government’s policies critically, and perhaps would have shown them the necessity for far-reaching internal reforms. Now, however, they no longer seemed urgent, and Polish society became somnolent and allowed the oligarchy, the Jesuits, and the Jews to run Ukraine, Byelorussia and Samogitia (ethnic Lithuania), and, of course, Poland itself. The Poles were incapable of firmly repressing Ukraine or even Byelorussia, which was still more ruined. They were finally unable to prevent the seizure of these by Moscow, which chose its moment to make use of the Ukrainians’ and Byelorussians’ burning hatred of the Polish State.
Poland’s lack of an integrated national and political program in Ukraine and Byelorussia, and the mistakes in its policy, profited the Muscovite State, which became more and more aggressive. It was natural that after the annexation of Ukraine the scholars of Kiev should open the prospect ol seizing all the heritage of Saint Vladimir. Later, as another result of the annexation of Ukraine, the voices of the Balkan Christians began to reach Moscow more often, both through the Ukrainians and directly, inviting Moscow to take up the role of the destroyer of Turkey. But here also Moscow lacked a broad political and social program capable of attracting and consolidating such large and heterogeneous countries, even though they were dissatisfied with the previous order. Moscow preferred to swallow them bite by bite, and believed that hatred of the Turks was sufficient bait without providing a constructive political and social program. Instead of developing a statesmanlike and progressive policy, Moscow cherished a narrow one of military and diplomatic aggrandizement. Having somehow reinforced the Russian element on the Baltic coast, which had been weakened previously by the “wise” destruction of Novgorod by those two terrible centralizers, Ivan III and Ivan IV, and having thus reasserted itself on the bank of the Neva, Moscow turned toward Turkey and Poland. In the wars with Turkey, Moscow moved slowly. The devastation of Ukraine, resulting from the treaties of the end of the 17th century and from the destruction of the Zaporozhian Sich in 1709, long rendered Moscow unable to base its expansion on the movement of Ukrainian colonization. However, in general, the progress in this direction was satisfactory to the Ukrainian people who, after an interruption of three hundred years, were again able to reach the Black Sea.
Poland fell an easy prize; Russia’s only problem there was the retention of as much of it as possible when forced to cede some to western competitors. But that is what diplomacy is for. As might have been expected, Moscow did not obtain the entire booty; the partition gave Poland’s former vassal, Prussia, a good slice of Slavic lands, and the queen of Hungary, whose grandson became emperor of Austria, received part of the heritage of Saint Vladimir, Galicia. But not a few provinces were “returned” from Poland to Moscow, although (a new triumph of logic!) in these it was decided to bribe the Polish nobility by the confirmation or even augmentation of the serfdom of the “reunited Orthodox population”! In any case, with these annexations an empire was created in Eastern Europe which “surpassed in size the Roman Empire at its height.” This empire was founded on the ruins of the Lithuanian-Polish federation, and was possible solely because of the failure of this federation.
It is clear that such a huge empire, founded on brutal military and diplomatic aggrandizement, could be neither free nor well-managed. When in the 16th century, by fair means or foul, the dukes of Moscow brought under their sceptre all the Great Russian populations, they at least felt the necessity for some sort of good administration of their old and new patrimonies, and they were obliged to convene the Zemsky Sobors (National Assemblies). It was these assemblies which preserved the national independence of Great Russia during the Time of Troubles. Of course in time the Moscow tsars, like the other European sovereigns, decided to try to do without these advisers, who were always inconvenient for a regime with autocratic aspirations, since they naturally strove to control the monarchs. And in fact at the end of the 17th century the Zemsky Sobors met less and less frequently, just as parallel assemblies were losing their importance in all the other great European States except England, where Parliament had established its power througl two revolutions. But nowhere in Western Europe did the monarchs succeed in completely annihilating all trace of representative institutions. Nor would they have done so in Muscovy if the State had remained homogeneous and had not become so aggressively imperialistic. We see abortive efforts to resist in the aristocratic Boyar liberalism, which attempted to limit the power of Empress Anna Ivanovna, and in the idea of popular consultation current in merchant and Raskolnik (dissenter) circles at the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th centuries.
However, the Zemsky Sobors were eliminated, and popular consultation by the government became more difficult because of three new factors: the increasing number of non-Great Russian provinces which, moreover, were on a higher cultural level than the “home” provinces; the placing of Ukrainians and Byelorussians in the bishoprics, thus decapitating the Moscovite Old Believer opposition movement; and the increasingly composite national character of the ennobled bureaucracy. The rapid expansion of the Muscovite tsardom into the Petersburg empire naturally made the State suffer more and more from a hypertrophy of the departments of war and foreign affairs, which have always been the ones most reluctant to submit to public control. Bureaucratic administration and political dictatorship became inevitable in this vast empire. At first the administration was still somewhat decentralized, adapting to the disparate situations in the newly annexed countries, or rather to the diseased conditions in each which could be exploited in the interests of political centralization. For example, Peter the Great’s administration gave preference to the aristocratic German element in the Baltic provinces over the native Estonians and Latvians, who had begun to revive under the Swedish rule. At the same time the Petersburg government exploited the animosity of the Little Russian populace against the Cossack elders, but it did this not by increasing the rights of the common people, but by imposing Great Russian officials upon them. Likewise Catherine II considered it necessary to protect the Polish aristocracy in newly annexed Byelorussia in order to combat the influence of the democratic patriotism which Kosciuszko inspired there, and to remove this tempting Byelorussian example of relative freedom from the neighboring Great Russian peasants. As a slight concession to liberal currents, a parliamentary constitution was given to Finland and Congress Poland for a time, in order to deepen the gulf between Finland and Sweden and that between Russian Poland and the Polish lands in Prussia and Austria. But this was done only to hinder the further development of autonomous institutions in Finland and to abolish them completely in the Polish kingdom shortly afterwards. Little by little, as political centralization triumphed and autonomistic currents lost their centrifugal force, the bureaucracy was able to push through a program that was resolutely centralizing, levelling, and Russifying. The German Catherine II was a conscious advocate of this policy. She instructed the procurator-general, Prince Vyazemsky: “Little Russia, Livonia, and Finland are provinces governed according to privileges which have been granted them; to revoke these all at once would hardly be proper. However, to call them foreign countries and treat them as such would be more than just an error, it would be sheer stupidity. These provinces, as well as the province of Smolensk, are to be Russified by the easiest means possible, and they must cease yearning for the forest like wolves in captivity.” In our time we see that these words are still the slogan of the Katkovs, Samarins, and Aksakovs, and the basis of a whole series of State measures of a centralizing and Russifying character.
Among these measures there were several which had a democratic tinge. Indeed, many think that a bureaucratic-centralized dictatorship is better able to promote the interests of the common people than is autonomistic liberalism, which favors the interests of aristocracy. To disprove this we have no need to refer to examples from pre-reform Russia of help given by the dictatorship to the aristocracy in the Baltic and Lithuanian provinces, in Ukraine, Crimea, the Caucasus, and in the Asiatic Southeast of Russia. The examples of Greece and Rome, of France, and of present day Russia are enough to show clearly that Caesarism, wearing a demagogic mask, combats the aristocrats only until they surrender their political independence and become the servants of the absolute power. As soon as this happens, the autocrat is ready to betray the people to the now tamed aristocracy, or to create a new imperial aristocracy of its own. We have seen how short-lived was imperial Russian “populism” in the Polish Kingdom and in the western provinces after the uprising of 1863. Moreover, it is questionable whether even these concessions would have been made without the liberal democratic movement which appeared in both Russia and Poland before 1863.
All history demonstrates that only freedom and self-government can permanently guarantee the consistent progress of democratic policy. The 19th century produced Poles, as well as Great Russians, who wanted to apply the principles of freedom and democracy to the policies of their countries. The trouble was that they were unable to adapt either principle to the real conditions in those border lands of pre-partition Poland and present-day Russia.
To be able to apply freedom and democracy it is necessary to liberate oneself from the traditional political ideas and prejudices of both the Poles and the Great Russians and to make study the basis of policy instead of instincts, traditions, and prejudices. In this particular case it is above all the study of the peculiarities of those countries we have discussed here which is essential.
Moscow did not consider the possibility of attracting the Protestants in Lithuania and Byelorussia to their side, although as far back as the 16th century these had made alliances with the Orthodox against Catholic policy.
The Lost Epoch: Ukrainians under the Muscovite Tsardom: 1654–1876
This study was intended for the sixth issue of Hromada, Drahomanov’s periodical in Geneva. The collapse of this publication prevented the article from being printed there. It is not known why Drahomanov did not publish it elsewhere, perhaps in a Galician paper. Possibly he wished to study additional sources and never found the time to do so. Possibly the reasons were tactical; Drahomanov may not have wished to alienate further the Russian revolutionaries by publishing this critical history of Russian-Ukrainian relations. In any case, “Lost Epoch” remained unfinished, and was not published during Drahomanov’s lifetime.
Our translation was made from proofs which had been set up for the sixth issue of Hromada. (We are indebted to Mr. Svitozor Drahomanov for his permission to use photostats of these.) We have omitted some of Drahomanov’s polemics against the Russian and Ukrainian historians and publicists, as well as the details of his analysis of the Articles of Pereyaslav, 1654.
The part which we have presented was to have been the introduction to the whole study. In the further chapters Drahomanov wished to investigate the social structure and the political institutions of the various lands of the Cossack Ukraine in the 17th and 18th centuries, and their degeneration under the pressure of Muscovite centralism. However, only the chapter on the autonomous territory of the Zaporozhian Host was ever completed.
To weep over the past and wish for its return is always useless, especially for us, the servants of the Ukrainian people. We know that what we ultimately want has never yet been achieved, and will only come about at some distant future when the human race is far wiser than it is now. On the other hand, we must look back to find out why our lot is as bitter as it is, in order to avoid repeating the mistakes of our predecessors. The Ukrainians must take a good look backward and review the two hundred and twenty years that have passed since 1654 when, under the leadership of Bohdan Khmelnytsky, the Ukrainians came under the protective arm of the “Eastern Tsar of Muscovy”....
The first thing that strikes one in comparing Ukraine of today with Ukraine in the days of Khmelnytsky is that then there was a Cossack State, today there is none. Learned folk who write history, foreigners as well as some Ukrainians, usually say that this change was necessary. A Cossack way of life is not for civilized man. The Cossack State appeared when the lot of the Ruthenian people was bitter indeed, when they were enslaved by both the Tatars and the Poles. The Cossack organization served its purpose; it defended Ukraine from invaders as long as it was able, until the time when the powerful brotherly Muscovite Tsardom entrenched itself in the north. Then the Cossacks united with the Russian Empire, which took over their historic mission of protecting Ukraine, and transferred them to the Kuban, where they were still needed to wage war against the infidels. Another type of government had to be organized in Ukraine, say these learned folk, one that would suit the country in times of peace when industrial, commercial, and scholarly pursuits take precedence over warlike ones. They say that only the stubborn fighters, enamored of chivalrous exploits, the shiftless, adventurers, or traitors goaded on by foreign agents were really against the Moscow government and its administration in Ukraine.
Discussing the “fine” way of life that was created in the steppes of the lower Dnieper by the Empress Catherine, who gave away lands to the aristocrats and to German colonists, Professor Solovyov of Moscow states that the Zaporozhian Cossacks pleaded to be allowed to retain their lands, but that to permit this would have amounted to turning “New Russia into a desert.” In other words, the Empress had no choice but to destroy the Zaporozhe by force of arms. These are the ideas our children are taught in the schools, and they retain them, unable to find out whether they are true or not, whether these mad Cossacks really were determined to turn the land into a desert. Is it true that all good things were brought by the tsars who had to exterminate these brigands, and that we really live in the happiest of conditions? ...
Long ago intelligent Ukrainians ceased to weep over the old Cossack ways and the Hetmanate. Somehow Ukrainians are not in the habit of boasting about their own ancestral traditions, probably because their independence and aristocracy disappeared so long ago, and there has been no one to teach them to take pride in their glorious past. For one brief moment, in the thirties and forties of this century, when enlightened Ukrainians began finding out about their heritage, a handful of people bragged loudly about the glories of Cossack Ukraine, but they were quick to discover the stains on the escuutcheon....
We are ready to agree with this critical attitude. It is proper that peaceable pursuits replace warlike exploits in the steppes. But let us consider whether we have made much progress in these peaceable pursuits, and whether we have obtained even half of that for which we fought the Poles and the Tatars. Although, as is the case with all peoples, some of our forefathers loved fighting for its own sake, or fought the “unbelievers” because they were “unbelievers,” these were not the main reasons for the eternal warfare on the steppes. Our ancestors were forced to gallop over the steppes to defend their land from Turk and Tatar invasions, which, after all, were the principal obstacle to the development of peaceful pursuits in Ukraine. And these Cossack exploits did not prevent Ukraine from being the land from which Muscovy, in the times of Peter the Great’s grandfather, his father, and of Peter himself, drew its teachers and clergy. Russian scholars admit this, but they fail to draw the logical conclusions. They are not so hostile to military exploits, either, when they are the exploits of tsarist armies, even for instance in Prussia and Switzerland where, God knows why and for whom, but certainly not for the defense of the homeland, Peter’s successors sent soldiers, Ukrainians among them.
Let us look at the conditions in Ukraine after the Cossack way of life was abolished and see what we obtained in its place. If Ukraine did not entirely waste these last two hundred years, was it because the old order was abolished and a new introduced from Moscow and St. Petersburg? We shall leave aside the pertinent question of why, if the Cossack way of life was a menace to peaceful life in our land and in the Russian State, the Cossack organization was suppressed only in Ukraine, and not in the Don region also. Aren’t the steppes of the Don just as essential to “peace and enlightenment” as those of the Dnieper and the Dniester? The answer is not difficult: the Don is more closely related to the Muscovite Empire, and more loyal, though if the truth be told, the Don was also deprived of some of its freedom, for it also rose in rebellion on occasion. We are not jealous of the “quiet Don.” May it prosper, may it nurture the grain of freedom that still remains until the day when the seed grows into a flourishing tree. It will then recall that once upon a time when both the Don and the Dnieper were self-governing, they knew more about each other than when both were ruled by offices in St. Petersburg, and not by their own Cossack councils. They will recall that there was a time when the Ukrainian kobzars (minstrels) sang “glory to the Zaporozhian and to the Don hosts with all the folk, for many years, till the end of time,” (from the epic about Ataman Kishka and his escape from a Turkish prison).
But let us pass on to our own affairs to find out what we gained during these two hundred years, after the “disastrous” old ways perished, and the new, supposedly European, but really Muscovite ones, were introduced.
In our time no European is to be found who thinks that a country can prosper under an arbitrary government, and without the cooperation of those governed, or that it can be governed well by bureaucratic officials appointed from above by an absolute monarch. Almost everyone agrees that a large country cannot be governed by decrees coming from a far-away capital, where the opinions of those governed are not known. Even in the Russian Empire, zemstvo and city self-government have been introduced, so that at least minor matters can be regulated by the inhabitants rather than by officials who are one place today and another tomorrow.
If these ideas are correct, what advantages has Ukraine obtained from two hundred years of rule by Moscow? Shall we find it in the cruelties of Peter I, in the greed of Menshikov and Biron’s Germans, in the madness of Paul I, or is it in the bestialities of Arakcheyev and the cool, calculating despotism of Nicholas I? The Ukrainians cannot even say that these were “our own dogs,” fed and raised by us. In our annals there is no Ivan IV. These despots from St. Petersburg, these perverters of human nature, did not even consider the Ukrainians as their kin. At every occasion they oppressed us with even more venom, and less pity for the “stubborn Khakhols” [Russian derogatory word for Ukrainians, [ed.]] than they did their own people. Or shall we say that because the “Little Russian brethren” suffered, the Russians profited, they whose forefathers had promised to aid them, even at the expense of life itself, when Khmelnytsky gave his allegiance to the “Eastern Tsar”? Why destroy those local laws, the old elective offices which once existed in Ukraine, when all civilized people are of the opinion that self-government and elective offices are essential? Thus two hundred years of history were lost, and of these more than a hundred were years of intolerable suffering until the tsars succeeded in putting an end to the traditional Ukrainian ways.
Everything the Russian government did in Ukraine from the days of Khmelnytsky until the destruction of the Zaporozhian Sich in 1775 was aimed at the dissolution of the Ukrainian order. What cunning on the part of the boyars from Moscow and the officials from St. Petersburg, what suffering on the part of the Ukrainian peasant, how much pressure on the Ukrainian nobility until it learned to kow-tow — all this to discover at last that these “new” ways are worse than useless! ...
[In the original, the text of the Articles of Pereyaslav, 1654, under which the Cossacks accepted the suzerainty of the Tsar of Moscow, follows here.]
We do not consider the Articles of Pereyaslav as the ultimate in statesmanship. Today we seek more than simply to reestablish what our ancestors have lost since then. The treaty was drawn up by the Cossacks and was concerned with the Cossacks’ welfare. To them, Ukraine was not all the territory inhabited by the Ukrainians (Ruthenians or Little Russians, as they were then called), but only that where, according to agreements with Poland, the Cossacks lived. Ukraine did not extend to the San River in Galicia in the and to the Dunajec River and the Tisa in the Carpathians, but only to the Sluch River, i.e. it comprised the provinces of Chernihiv, Kiev, and Bratslav....
The nobles in Khmelnytsky’s chancellery and “the Father of the Cossacks” himself also a nobleman, did not forget to include in the Articles of Pereyaslav provisions that the nobility should “preserve its possessions as they were under the Polish kings, and that noblemen should continue to be elected to the country and city courts, as it was under Poland.”
As was the case with the Cossacks and the nobility, rights and freedoms were granted to the clergy and the monks, who were allowed to retain the priveleges they had obtained under the Polish kings, including their lands and the peasants thereon. The burghers were allowed to choose their mayors and city councillors. Thus, according to the Pereyaslav treaty, the old inequalities were perpetuated. Little thought was given to the well-being of those poor devils, the peasants. The thirteenth article of the treaty is the only one that might be interpreted as having them in mind, for it reads that “the rights accorded to clergy and lay persons by the kings and princes must not be touched” — only nobody had ever granted any rights to the peasants. They remained provisionally free only on the lands from which the Polish nobles fled. Since these lands were not recognized as their property, gradually they were once again brought into a state of “obedience”.... The development was toward a new serfdom, and the Moscow government not only did nothing to stop it, but actually nurtured the evil seeds in the Cossack order and destroyed the seeds of good latent there.
In the Pereyaslav Articles there were, however, some sound ideas on a kind of government toward which all enlightened people aim today. The agreement stated that foreigners should not meddle in the country’s affairs, that every office be elective, that nobody be punished without trial, and that Cossacks, nobles, and burghers each be judged by their peers. The nation’s freedom was thus at least partly guaranteed against the abuses of tsarist despotism....
When we compare the rights which were guaranteed to the Ukrainian Cossacks with the despotism that existed in the Muscovite tsardom, there is no doubt that the Cossack constitution had more in common with the free European constitutional governments of today than the Muscovite tsardom had, or even than the present Russian Empire has.
Everybody knows that the liberties of the English people grew up from a very modest beginning. Comparing the rights which the English lords obtained from King John in 1215 in the Magna Charta, we find that they were not much more extensive than the freedoms of our Cossacks as fixed in 1654, and that at first they benefited a smaller group of people than did those of the Cossacks.
The English Charter was drawn up after an uprising against the king. That is why on some points it is much clearer with regard to the rights of subjects against the king, especially in matters of taxation: there was to be no taxation without the consent of parliament. But when it comes to personal and communal liberties, the English Charter is no more explicit than ours.... In the English Charter also it was principally the rights and freedoms of the barons, lords, and knights which were guaranteed. Gradually full rights were extended to the whole gentry, which corresponded to our Cossacks, and still later to the burghers; now they are the rights of the entire English people. Throughout Europe it was the nobility which first obtained rights which later were extended to most of the people. It is true that the increasing equality of the rights of all the inhabitants did not procede at the same rate as the progress of liberty itself. Those lower on the social scale, the townsmen and the peasants, were often willing to aid the king in abridging the rights of the aristocracy so as to free themselves from their masters. This in turn gave rise to a bureaucratic type of rule, for a time replacing, though not entirely, the elective. Some measure of the old representative traditions remained, here and there a diet or assembly, to be renewed and strengthened later on. Countries where such old representative traditions and institutions remained the longest were the best able to reconstruct their constitutions into modern liberal ones, where the power of kings and their officials is limited, not only in local affairs, but also nationally, being dependent on the consent of elected bodies. In these modern liberal States we find that not only the lords, but everyone, is safeguarded against arrest and punishment without trial (which is still not the case in Russia), and that every individual has the right of free speech, publication, and movement.
Two hundred years ago Ukraine was in a rather advantageous position because, as a result of the wars against the Tatars and the uprisings against Poland, it was able to retain a free native military class and elective institutions, at a time when in most of Europe the army had ceased to be a chivalrous order and had become mercenary, owing obedience only to kings and princes, and when bureaucratic rule had replaced the elective. In addition, because of the wide open spaces and the colonization of the steppes, most of the peasants were de facto free. But those were also the days when Europe had already evolved republican governments in Holland and Switzerland, and for a time also in England. There, it is true, the monarchy was restored, but of such a kind that absolutism and arbitrary rule became impossible. The old English freedoms bore fruit. The king could not govern without the consent of Parliament, nor could he in any way abrogate the rights of individual Englishmen.
When our Ukraine united with Muscovy, liberty was based not only on the ancient traditions of local self-rule, as for instance in the pre-Tatar city-republics of Pskov and Novgorod, where princes were elected and dismissed according to “old custom.” No, two hundred years ago ideas concerning the rights of man were encouraged by education and the reading of books about Greece and Rome. The progress of civilization caused the diminishing of serfdom in Europe. In Ukraine, the people had just put an end to it in a revolutionary uprising against the Polish lords.
That is why it is quite imaginable that in Ukraine the traditional chivalrous freedoms might have been fused with the new rights of men for which so many enlightened people in Europe were then striving. It could have been expected that the freedoms which had developed organically would be reinforced by rational thought. For instance, the example of Holland was known, a country which had freed itself from the Spanish kings, just as Ukraine had freed itself from the Polish kings.
We can say with assurance that if, after the separation from Poland, Ukraine had become an independent principality or kingdom, or even a Cossack republic, in time the predominance of the ruling classes over the common people would have nonetheless increased, as was the case everywhere. But without foreign pressure from Moscow, the Ukrainian nobles would hardly have been able to destroy the traditional popular freedoms in the course of a hundred years, for only 130 years after the Articles, the fall of the absolute monarchy in France was universally known.
The traditional Ukrainian liberties which were reaffirmed under Khmelnytsky were destroyed by the old-fashioned oppressive regimes of the countries to which the fate of Ukraine was linked: aristocratic Poland and autocratic tsarist Russia. In the latter, Ukraine met not only a way of life patterned by the nobles, as was also the case in Poland, but also with an absolutist autocracy not much better than that which existed in Turkey.
We cannot say that the Muscovite or Great Russian people is incapable of being free. In earlier times free cities existed in the North as they did in the Kievan Rus, later Ukraine. It is unimportant in this connection whether the original inhabitants of Pskov and Novgorod were Ukrainian colonists or not. In any case in the 14th century, when these city-republics were at the height of their power, they were already Great Russian. The Don and Ural Cossacks, whose governments were almost the same as that of the Ukrainian Zaporozhian Cossacks, were also Great Russian.
The Great Russians have retained an old custom whereby the land is owned by the villages and re-divided periodically. This custom has probably continued because Russian territory is very extensive and there was plenty of land for everybody. Also, although the Great Russians are as old as other European nations, all of the settlements are of recent origin, for the people were always obliged to move from one place to another in their flight from the Tatars, the Poles, or their own government. Each time it was a community which occupied the new land, cut down the forests, etc. Few peoples are as capable at organizing cooperatives with elected leaders as are the Russians. However, in Muscovy such democratic ways have remained only on the local level, in the small villages, settlements, and cooperatives. In national affairs, in matters involving the country as a whole, Russia has long been in the hands of the absolute tsars and the bureaucracy. At the lowest level, in the villages, Muscovy is still a land where the people have retained the old art of self-government. At the top, as a State, Russia is as old as France, for example. The dynasty of the dukes and tsars of Muscovy continued uninterrupted for a long period, and it was an indigenous one, not Lithuanian or Polish as in our country. The Church hierarchy was also indigenous, and it taught the people to obey the tsars, as the anointed of the Lord. Moreover, at first the Tatars supported the dukes of Moscow, and after these rebelled against the Tatars, the people’s homage was only increased, and the admonishments of the popes to obey intensified. The Great Russian people continued to spread out over its immense land where each village was so far from the next that unity was only preserved by the idea of Little Mother Moscow and Little Father Tsar. The Great Russian people forgot that for all the people of Russia, including the Great Russians, Moscow was and is not a heart but a spider.
Moscow’s history, like that of France from the 12th century to the 18th, is the story of the increase of the power of the monarch over the traditional communal liberties, of that of the centralized appointed bureaucracy over elected bodies. We thus have the development of a strange and not always understood aspect of government and national life in Russia: in the villages, at the local level, where tsarist bureaucrats did not dominate, we have self-rule and a community spirit similar to that of the cantons of Switzerland; above the village level we have tsarist absolutism and arbitrary bureaucracy of a type never seen in Europe, not even in the days when the kings and bureaucrats were at their mightiest, under Louis XIV of France and the Fredericks of Prussia. There is another great difference between Muscovy and France or any other West European country. In Europe the pursuit of knowledge helped keep at bay royal absolutism by encouraging people to investigate what is worthwhile in other regimes. Muscovy, far from the countries of old civilization, in the midst of forests and steppes, remained in a semi-barbarous stage, its learning limited to ecclesiastical literature. In these volumes the Russian people read not about the republics of Greece and Rome, but about the biblical kingdoms. They saw not the examples of the Italian city-republics or of England, Holland, and Switzerland, but of the khanates of the Khazan and Astrakhan Tatars.
Throughout Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries the kings got stronger and tried to destroy the old self-government in their lands, but nowhere was there so mad a murderer as Ivan IV. While the European kings were curtailing the elective offices of the aristocracy, they were at least reducing serfdom among the common people. The tsars of Russia legalized serfdom in their country at a time when it was disappearing in Europe....
It is this sort of an empire that our Ukraine joined in 1654, when it was a free and reborn land. It is true that some seeds of evil, such as the beginnings of serfdom were present, and that the idea of freedom had not been deeply rooted enough by education to show the people how to remain free.
No wonder that during the years when Ukraine was united to Muscovy with its autocratic tsar and legal serfdom and without education, Russian despotism gradually brought about the destruction of Ukraine’s freedom. Moscow’s boyars helped reintroduce serfdom in Ukraine, while education and enlightenment were halted, all the more so since the few educated Ukrainians were scattered over the whole of the new empire. A wall of tsarist and bureaucratic despotism was erected to prevent the free political ideas which were then current in Europe, and which Ukraine had always welcomed, from penetrating. Even if the Ukrainian people had been able to stage an uprising against the increasing enslavement in their own country, they would have met with opposition not only from those among their compatriots who benefited from serfdom, but also from the Russian government, its army, and even the Russian people, who considered disobedience to “our tsar” treason on the part of the Ukrainians.
Instead of encouraging the good that was in the Ukrainian Cossack way of life, we see it trampled on by the Russian tsars from the days of Khmelnytsky to Catherine II. The evil was cunningly nourished.
Germany’s Drive to the East and Moscow’s Drive to the West
This was published in Volnoye Slovo, the Russian magazine which Drahomanov edited in Geneva (in nos. 30 and 31, 1882). The original title was “Germanism in the East and Muscovitism in the West.” Our translation was made from the reprint in the second volume of Collected Political Works (Paris, 1906). The cuts are unimportant; they are chiefly quotations from German publicists, showing the chauvinistic spirit of the German socialists.
The German race has been moving to the east for more than ten centuries, and has swallowed up or subjugated more than one Slavic people. The Muscovite State, especially since the 17th century, has moved to meet the Germanic Drang nach Osten, and, having become Russia, finally collided with the militant German State of Prussia and its rival-ally Austria along the entire western frontier. Since as early as the 18th century, the rivalry between Russia and Austria (which in this respect was already supported by Prussia) for influence in the Balkan peninsula has been evident. Among the German public the idea of the necessity of subjugating the Danubian-Balkan lands to German influence is very widespread. From the extensive literature in which this idea is expressed, we will point out only a few examples, taking them from authors of various parties and of significant reputation.
We are sorry that we do not have at hand the collected works of List, the honored founder of national economy in Germany, and therefore we must deprive the reader of the instructive opportunity to become acquainted with the force, not only of his ideas, but also of his expression on the question with which we are dealing. We will present his thoughts on the basis of Roscher’s exposition in The History of National Economy in Germany, pp. 987–988, keeping his references to the complete collected works of his predecessor. List takes as the basis of his economic calculations for the German nation the political union of Central Europe under Prussian hegemony. Even the “littoral states,” that is Holland, Denmark, and the countries up to the Balkan mountain range should take part in this alliance, so that a Germany would be created bordering on four seas: the North, Baltic, Adriatic, and Black (Collected Works, II, 211). Such a Germany would be a threat to France and Russia, who therefore appear dangerous to the German economist in that they both seek to enlarge their own “incomplete nationalities” by the incorporation of German lands (II, 442). “Worry and a genuine revulsion as regards Russia take especial hold of List,” says Roscher. “He compares it to a ferocious beast which only lies quietly while digesting the food upon which it has gorged itself (strictly speaking — prey, Frass), or while refreshing itself by sleep, or while lying in wait for a new prey. If this beast should, by a strange quirk of nature, obtain a human head, then it would become even more terrible, for it would be able to follow its bestial instincts with more skill and consistency and with apparent moderation.” (II, 315). In Roscher’s The Principles of National Economy we read: “Our emigrants to Russia, America, Australia, and Algeria depart from the fatherland with everything they have, and for the most part they are lost to us; they become consumers and producers for alien peoples who are often our rivals and enemies. The matter would turn out quite differently if we were to send the German settlers to German colonies which could be established, for example, in the fertile but sparsely populated parts of Hungary, in Poland and the Polish provinces of Prussia, and finally, in those parts of Turkey which in the future, God willing, will become the inheritance of Germany. Here, by means of colonization, it might be possible to found a new Germany which would surpass the old one in size, population, and wealth, and which would form with it the most reliable rampart against any danger from the Russians and the Poles. We would be able to avail ourselves of this land, for the exclusive use of our national economy, exactly as the United States makes use of the Mississippi valley and the Far West.” (Roscher, op. cit., Russian transla-l, Vol. I, Sect. 2, 323).
In 1863 the Socialist Ferdinand Lassalle wrote to Rodbertus, the former minister, that he had read with pleasure, in a pamphlet by a Prussian, the words: “I hope that I shall live until that time when Germany will receive the Turkish inheritance, and when legions of German soldiers or workers will stand at the Bosphorus.” As regards the non-Germanic peoples who thus would be under the German soldiers or workers, the famous demagogue expresses himself in this way: “No, I am not at all an adherent of the principle of nationality. I demand the rights of nationality only for the large civilized nations, and not for the races whose entire right consists in that of being assimilated by the former.” (Letters of F. Lassalle to C. Rodbertus-Jagetzow, 56–57).
Lassalle’s words show that the German Socialists were far from renouncing a militant attitude toward their neighbors to the southeast. And in reality, many of the German Social Democrats as well, even members of the International, reveal a completely chauvinistic nationalism with regard to the Slavs, as was particularly evident during the last Slav War against Turkey. We refer the reader especially to the speeches and pamphlets of Liebknecht (The Eastern Question, or Shall Europe be Cossackized and The Eastern Debate in the Reichstag). At first sight it would appear that people such as Liebknecht stand for “international interests as against the principle of nationality, which divides peoples.” They are against Russian despotism, which oppresses all peoples, especially Poland, the restoration of which these men demand in the interests of the freedom of all Europe. And one might find that their sympathies and antipathies, though they are somewhat onesided and expressed rather strangely, are in any case basically humanitarian in principle. But after carefully reading these speeches and comparing them with the actual living conditions of the peoples between the Elbe and the Black Sea, it becomes clear that in these Socialists and internationalists there lives the same old spirit of the Henry the Fowlers and Henry the Holies and other destroyers of the Slavs.
These gentlemen are against Russia, but in equal measure they are for Austria and even for Turkey. Austria is dear to these strange internationalists as part of a “mighty dam which the Germanic world has erected from the North Sea to the Adriatic against the Slav.” These humanists consider the Turkish oppression of the Slavs to be a fiction and declare that “not one Southern Slav can be shown who would actually aspire to freedom.” Of all the Slavs, an exception is made only for the Poles, but obviously only because the Poles are the enemies of Russia. In this judgment of course democrats such as Liebknecht fail to see that behind Poland there are the non-Polish peasant peoples such as the Lithuanians, Byelorussians, and Ukrainians, and that there is just as little reason to give them to a restored Poland as to keep them under the despots of Russia. The conditional sympathies toward Poland of men such as Liebknecht give one good grounds to suspect that were Poland to become independent with its own policy, and be not merely a weapon in the German Drang nach Osten, then even the Liebknechts would regard it in the same way as do the Roschers, that is as a field for German colonization which was slipping from their hands. And in fact, each day we see in the German press, especially that of democratic-progressive leanings, the shedding of tears over Poland when they deal with Russia, and outcries against the Poles when they treat Posen, for example.
All of this shows how little good will the Slavic peoples can expect even from the democratic-progressive parties, including a significant portion of the Social Democrats, who even recently still shared the point of view of the Lists, fulminating not only against Russian tsarism, but also against Russian “nihilism,” and calling such people as Herzen and Bakunin tsarist agents. Herzen gives an excellent description of this mixture of the spirit of the Saxon emperors with the new cosmopolitanism and socialism of the German revolutionaries.... Considering List’s idea that Russia would become even more dangerous if it developed a “human head,” we do not consider it superfluous to repeat here the words of Herzen: “There are limited minds with narrow national hatreds; they hate without reasoning. Read the articles of the German democrats who brag of their cosmopolitanism, and then observe closely their malicious hatred of everything Russian, of everything Slav.... If this hatred were accompanied with a desire for Russia and Poland to be free, for them to break their chains, I would understand this. This is not at all the case. Just as the medieval people, hating the Jews, did not wish their improvement, so every step in our progress as a State only redoubles the hatred of these limited, tightly sealed minds.” Describing the German emigrants of the Revolution of 1848, Herzen says (Works, Vol. VII, 311–312) “All the German revolutionaries are great cosmopolitans, they have outgrown the nationalist point of view — and all are filled with the most annoying, the most stubborn patriotism. They are prepared to accept a universal republic, to wipe out the borders between States — however Trieste and Danzig must belong to Germany.” (In order not to lengthen this article we omit examples of the curious way in which the German liberals and revolutionaries of 1848 regarded not only the Slavs, but also Italy, which apparently, on the basis of cosmopolitan-cultural considerations, should have subordinated to Austria)....
In view of such an attitude on the part of Germans of various parties toward their eastern neighbors, it is not surprising that from time to time there arises in all of Europe talk about a forthcoming battle between Germans and Slavs for the possession of the land between the Elbe, the Adriatic, and the Black Sea. Such a battle is in fact not impossible. True, there are people who find that it will be prevented by the triumph of socialism in Germany as well as in Austria and Russia; and that even if before this political clashes were to lead to an extension of the German political or even ethnographic borders to the detriment of the Slav States and peoples, the basic interests of the nations would suffer little from this. Without any doubt, the abolition of despotism in Russia and the destruction of its centralization (if not of the alliance of peoples now enslaved by it) and the restoration of the autonomy of the Polish provinces (of course of the truly Polish provinces, and not of the historical Polish State) are a pressing necessity for the further progress of Europe. But this work of liberation must be done in the interest of the peoples of Russia and by their own forces. Only thus can it be accomplished with success. History has shown that when such a project is undertaken from the outside, no good comes of it. Harm is done not only to those liberated, but also to the liberators, and even to the idea of freedom itself. Thus when the French, in the course of the Great Revolution, undertook to liberate their eastern neighbors through military campaigns, they betrayed themselves and the idea of revolution to Napoleon! The same would happen to the Germans if they, even if led by the Lassalles and the Liebknechts, not to mention the Bismarcks, were to undertake the destruction of Russia and the restoration of Poland. This is all the more true since Lassalle’s statement about the German soldiers at the Bosphorus and Liebknecht’s about the “dam erected by the German world against the Slav” show that far more nationalistic chauvinism and expansionistic ferment of an inevitably monarchistic nature is left among the German liberators than even among the French Jacobins of the period of the Great Revolution.
That is why there is no ground for people with socialist ideas to look optimistically at the near future of relations in Central Europe, or to place their hopes in German Social Democracy. The Socialists of the Slav nationalities, especially Germany’s close neighbors, the Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Poles, Czechs, and Slovenes, must organize the demos of their peoples for independent battle against their local social and economic feudal lords, a large proportion of whom are German. In this way, the fruits of battle would be preserved for these peoples, and not lost to outside “benefactors.” Only such an independent organization of Socialist parties among Germany’s neighbors will guarantee the success of socialist ideas among these peoples. At the same time, to use the image of Liebknecht, “a mighty dam” will be created against chauvinism and feudalism even among the German masses, a dam which will also be useful for them, for it will safeguard them against the domination of Napoleons and Bismarcks.... There is no doubt that just as the unification of Italy and Germany, by setting limits to French expansionism, encouraged the development of peace-loving and cosmopolitan ideas in France, and drew the French toward internal problems, so the transformation of Austria, Russia, and the Balkan countries into political federations in which each people would have the opportunity to develop freely, would halt Germany’s militaristic aspirations in the east, and would benefit the population of Germany itself.
Unfortunately many, even in Slav countries, think far more about the possibility of halting German expansion exclusively by a similar military power, such as Russia, than about a lasting organization of the peoples threatened by Germany. In this they mistakenly cite the examples of Piedmont and Prussia as having halted the expansionist aspirations of France. These hopes placed in Russia, the mystical notions about the clash between Russia and Prussia as the representatives of two worlds (which we find equally on the German and the Slav sides), and the insufficient comprehension of the expansionism of the Germans to the east, all arise from an inadequate analysis of the Germanic movement to the east and of the role of the Russian State toward its western border areas and neighbors.
The movement of the Germans to the east and their clash with the inhabitants, who are primarily Slavs, does not represent a mystic struggle between cultural principles. This is only a part of a general movement on the European continent in which the Slavs themselves participate, one determined by the most tangible conditions, which can be expressed graphically by statistical data. It is a stream of colonization from the more to the less densely populated countries. The expansionist aspirations which every State has are usually most successful when they coincide with the direction of colonization of its people. In this way both the French people and France as a State had their Drang nach Osten, which has been halted recently by the stopping of the increase of population in France. For these very reasons of population pressure, the Franks pressed upon the Saxons and the Bavarians, and these upon the Slavs and the Lithuanians. For the same reasons, among the Slavs, the Poles pressed upon the Lithuanians, Byelorussians, and Ukrainians; the Ukrainians upon the Khazars and the Polovtsi and other steppe peoples between the Dnieper and the Don; and the Great Russians upon the Finnish and other tribes of the Volga area, and further on to the east as far as the Pacific Ocean. In this movement the power of the State very often only gave the final seal to the phenomenon which was accomplished by means of colonization.
The expansion of the Muscovite State in the west is of a quite different character. This expansion, transforming a Muscovy hardly known to Europeans into a huge Russian empire, occurred with such amazing rapidity in the course of some 150 years (1654–1815), that it dazzles observers who do not at once realize its causes. However, understanding it will lead to comprehension of much that is both historically and practically important. Since in this case there was no colonization, the causes are usually supposed to be either an extreme talent for aggrandizement and the diplomatic skill of the the Muscovite State, that mystical ability to “gobble up” about which German patriots speak with horror, and not without envy, or else the mystical gravitation of the peoples of the western half of Russia toward the Muscovite center, a gravitation about which Muscovite patriots boast as the result of their military and diplomatic talents. However, the incorporation of Ukraine, Byelorussia, the Baltic provinces, and Lithuania into the Russian State can by no means be explained by the theories of the German or the Muscovite patriots. In essence it is the result of nothing other than the eastward pressure of more western peoples: that of the Germans on the Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians; of the Poles on the Lithuanians, Byelorussians and Ukrainians; and that of the Turks on the northern shores of the Black Sea, which they took from the Ukrainians at the end of the 15th century. Seeking to understand the details of the military-diplomatic history of the annexation by Muscovy of the whole western half of Russia, one is amazed chiefly by the lack of ability of the Muscovite strategists and diplomats. Continually the Poles and the Turks, the Swedes and the Germans beat or deceived them, but just the same, the result was an amazing extension of their State. Obviously an underlying cause must be concealed here, and this is nothing other than the above mentioned movement to the east of the States and peoples more to the west of the lands incorporated into Muscovy. In the 16th and 17th centuries this pressure was strong enough to produce a class stratification along national lines which in turn destroyed the national unity and the energy necessary for self-defense in Lithuania and the Baltic provinces, and in Byelorussia and Ukraine aroused sharp reaction against the aristocratic and imperialistic elements moving in from the west. At the same time, the eastward moving groups were not sufficiently strong (the Germans because of the distance from their homeland, the Poles because of their natural weakness and of the necessity to fulfill a double role: defense in the west and aggression in the east) to assimilate the native elements and to make a solid barrier against Russia’s attempts to extend its borders in the direction opposite to that of its natural stream of colonization. A study of the history of Pan-Slav ideas among the western Slavs, from Juraj Krizanic (17th century) to the present, shows that these ideas were a reaction against the aspirations of the Germans, Hungarians, Turks, and Greeks to dominate the Slavs. Similarly, an unbiased study of the history of the peoples of Russia’s western borders shows that Muscovite Pan-Russism was a reaction to Polish hegemony, especially since the second half of the 16th century. Up to that time, Ukrainians such as Prince Constantine Ivanovich Ostrozhsky very faithfully fought against the Muscovites when these attempted to detach the provinces populated by Byelorussians and Ukrainians from the Polish-Lithuanian-Ruthenian federation to which they belonged.
The formation of this federation was largely caused by the need of defense against a German movement to the east which weakened the antagonism which had long existed between the members of this federation, and which, together with clericalism, originally caused the Poles to summon the Teutonic knights to the mouths of the Vistula and the Nieman. Many centuries later the heirs of the Teutonic knights gave the initiative for the final divisions of Poland. We will remind our readers of facts which are usually overlooked in a general history of Russia, namely that in the 13th century Polotsk was several times seized by Germans from Riga until it united with the Lithuanian State; that at the end of the 14th century the Teutons approached Brest and occupied not only Kaunas, but also Grodno, until they were beaten back near Grünwald by the combined forces of the Poles, Lithuanians, and estern Russians (1410).
Now we ask the reader to imagine what would have been the national and social fate of the population occupying the huge pentagon between the Baltic Sea, the Western Dvina, the upper Dnieper, and the Pripet, had Polotsk, Grodno, and Brest, as far back as the 14th and the beginning of the 15th century, remained under the Teutonic knights! It is doubtful whether the Great Russians would have kept for themselves that window into Europe which they required, a window which Novgorod represented in earlier times and which, after its destruction by the so practical and far-seeing (sic!) Moscow, had to be replaced with tremendous efforts by St. Petersburg.
The unification of Lithuania with Byelorussia in the 13th-14th centuries and then of Lithuania, Byelorussia, and Ukraine with Poland in the 15th-16th centuries halted the German Drang nach Osten in the regions of the Dvina, the Vistula and the Nieman, but the mouths of these rivers remained under the Teutons. The fate of the Polish and Lithuanian peoples in the west was already decided to their disadvantage. Moreover, within this union lay the seeds of its destruction, although from the end of the 15th century there was yet another reason for its existence: the necessity for Ukraine to defend itself from a new eastward drive, that of the Turks from the mouth of the Danube to the northeast, which induced the Ukrainians to strengthen the union with Poland in 1569. For a long time the Poles had their own Drang nach Osten toward Lithuania, Byelorussia, and Ukraine, which manifested new strength after the union of 1569. It is this Polish Drang, in addition to the pressure of the Turks and the Tatars, which rendered the complete independence of Ukraine impossible, and made it seek an alliance with Muscovy. The idea of such an alliance was already current in the 1620’s, and was realized in the Pereyaslav Articles of 1654. Both the Ukrainians and the Muscovites, in word as well as thought, envisioned the enlargement of the minimum Cossack Ukraine (to the Sluch or Horyn River) by the annexation of all the Ukrainian and Byelorussian (Ruthenian in the terminology of the time) lands, including Lviv and Vilna, from the Polish State.
The narrowmindedness of the Moscow politicians, skillfully exploited by the Poles, was the chief reason why these projects were not accomplished in the 17th century. When Ukraine turned to the tsar of Muscovy with a proposal to be accepted into “an alliance and protection,” Moscow was faced with the question, not of the conquest of new regions, but of cooperation with its new partner, which was politically autonomistic, democratic, and even revolutionary, and in the religious sphere, dissident. But autocratic, aristocratic, and clerical Moscow did not understand its task. Obviously it could not do so in the 17th century if it still has not been able to up to the present. It carried on a policy of conquest, or one of legitimism and conservatism; it entered into diplomatic compromises with conservative Polish elements; combatted the “revolutionary” elements in the areas which were united to it; and thereby delayed the separation of Poland’s non-Polish provinces until the end of the 18th century, when it had to yield Ukrainian Galicia to the heirs of the Holy Roman Empire. At the same time, the successors of the Teutonic knights took possession of nearly all the spoils lost by belligerent Germanism in the battle of Grünwald. Muscovite politicians showed still less understanding of their role in the Baltic provinces. As far back as the 16th century the Muscovite sovereigns began to press in this direction, continuing that policy of pure conquest which brought it to die fratricidal destruction of Novgorod and Pskov, these Great Russian outposts in the region of the Baltic Sea, and the conductor of culture into Russia. Already in the Livonian War of Ivan IV the possibility appeared of basing the Muscovite Drang nach Westen upon an uprising of the Latvians and Estonians against their Teutonic conquerors. But the Muscovites burned and plundered, and took as many Latvians and Estonians into captivity as Germans, arousing a general horror which aided the Teutons who, with the help of Poland, drove them from Livonia. When in the 18th century Peter I repeated the offensive of Ivan IV, he at first followed the example of his “Terrible” predecessor. The idea of obtaining support from the native element was suggested to him, of course not by a Latvian or Estonian, but by the Baltic German Patkul, the representative of those German nobles who were dissatified with Swedish rule. Sweden had taken Livonia away from Poland and, with true political wisdom, began to strengthen its position in the new provinces by granting protection to the masses. In this they would have succeeded had it not been for the Muscovite invaders. These preferred to recognize and strengthen the privileges of the German feudal lords. Since the time of Catherine II this policy has been superceded by one of “Russification” for which here, as in all of western Russia, there is no basis.
This lack of understanding on the part first of Moscow and then of St. Petersburg of the role in the west, this Muscovite militarism, legitimism, aristocratism, clericalism, and national centralism are the cause of all the failurs of Russia’s western policy, including even its policy toward the “Eastern Question,” which for Russia is strictly a western one. These are the real reasons for the successes of what in Moscow is referred to as Polish or German “intrigue.” From these arise such errors as the Vilna agreements of 1656 and the Andrusovo treaty of 1667; the Ostsee capitulations of Peter the Great; the divisions of Poland with Prussia and Austria instead of a possible federated union of all three Russias and Lithuania with Poland; the participation of Russia in the Holy Alliance and its opposition to the uprising of the Greeks; the support of Turkey against the Egyptian uprising; the suppression of the Rumanian movement in 1848; the League of the Three Emperors with its consequences including the Berlin Treaty of 1878; the protection given to the Battenberg coup d’etat in Bulgaria, etc.
As we move toward the present we see, in addition to the unconscious errors committed by following the narrow old-Muscovite road, an ever-increasing, deliberate desire among Russian politicians to copy their western policy from Prussia’s eastern policy. This desire is of course supported by the perfidious counsel of the Prussian court. Among the errors of the latter type is the system of Russification adopted in the western half of Russia after the Polish uprising of 1863–64, which was a logical consequence of the policy of preserving old-Muscovite absolutism throughout the empire, even after a clear demonstration of the general desire to throw this off. This recalcitrance led logically to the overthrow of the Bulgarian Constitution, which was a tempting example to the Russian Zemstvos, and to the Battenberg coup. The chaos which this created in the Balkan peninsula (reminiscent of the chaos which the Andrusovo treaty and the despotic rule of the voyevods created in Ukraine of the 17th century) again turned out to be extremely advantageous to German-Austrian policy beyond the Danube. In all of these affairs, Muscovite patriots like Mr. Katkov and nationalists like Mr. Aksakov became excellent performers in an orchestra led, to a certain extent, by Prince Bismarck.
There is nothing more unnatural for Great Russia, nor anything more useful for militant Germanism, than Muscovite attempts to play in the western part of Russia, including Poland, the role which the Prussians play in their eastern, primarily Polish provinces. We leave aside the fact that the Polish provinces constitute a very small proportion of the German State in comparison to the relation of the Polish, Lithuanian, Byelorussian, Ukrainian, and other non-Great Russian provinces to the whole of European Russia. It is enough to remember the fundamental fact that the Germanization of the eastern provinces of Prussia is based on German colonization moving to the east, whereas Great Russian colonization has not, does not, and can not move to the west. Recent data on the resettlement of colonists from the central Russian provinces show that the Great Russians are in no condition to colonize even the sparsely populated southern steppes, not even the eastern parts between the Don, lower Volga, and the Caucasus. More and more, these steppes are being settled by Ukrainians, so that when the Territory of the Don Cossack Host is given civil status, undoubtedly the Great Russian element will be submerged by a wave of Ukrainian peasants, who even now surround it on almost all sides and have penetrated into the most privileged ranks of the Don Cossacks. Statistics show that even from the province of Ryazan, for example, colonists are moving, not to the lower Don, nor to the Kuban, nor to the province of Stavropol, but to Siberia. This process is determined by basic climatic, ethnographic, and other geographical factors which are more powerful than any artificial political calculations. Formerly, Great Russian dissenters emigrated into western areas to escape oppression by their government, but now no one emigrates there voluntarily except petty officials. Artificial attempts made after the last Polish uprising to settle Great Russian peasants here ended ridiculously, or even sadly; indeed, like any bureaucratic undertaking they could not have ended otherwise. Moreover, it is generally recognized that the measures adopted for the crowding of the Poles out of agriculture in the western territory resulted solely in the increase of German landowning here....
If Prince Bismarck is really a far-sighted statesman, and if the power of the Hohenzollerns and the triumph of Germanism between the four seas washing the shores of Central Europe is his aim (and other, internal, aims are not evident), then the present situation in Russia and its policy toward the western borderlands will play into his hand until he chooses the moment to provoke Russia into a war, destroy its best armies, occupy Warsaw, Vilna, Riga, and then Brest and Dünaburg, and incorporate them into Germany. The percentage of Germans in these provinces is not much lower than in Posen, so that a personnel for German administration in them will be at hand, as will a German-Jewish bourgeoisie.
If the Germans remain within these limits and do not march against Moscow as Napoleon did, they will be able to rule there and the whole Pripet and upper Dnieper and Western Dvina basin will pay a levy to the masters of the Baltic Sea, while the Austrian ally will secure the Adriatic for Germanism. Then the Slavs will retain only the Black Sea for the Ukrainians and the White Sea and the Caspian for the Great Russians, which, let us hope, will never be taken from them. But Providence destined the White Sea more for polar bears than for people, and the exit from the Black Sea lies only through the Bosphorus. What will happen to this in the event of the triumph of Germanism in the Balkans and the Adriatic is a question!
Of course, from the objective-historical point of view, reinforced by social-democratic hopes, we can await the future with philosophic tranquillity: “It will come anyhow!” But until the sun of universal Socialism rises, the non-Germanic peoples between the Elbe, the Aegean Sea, and the Dnieper will be in a somewhat difficult position. Therefore it would be desirable if the present influential classes of these peoples, particularly in Russia, would form parties which would understand the situation and find remedies against the danger threatening their peoples.
Nowhere does one speak so much about a national Slav policy as in Russia, and we have the right to demand that such a policy be formulated. At present, we must testify that the policy which is presented in Moscow does not at all deserve this name; it is simply an apish Byzantine-Oriental-Muscovite imitation of Hohenzollern Germanism, completely unsuited to the western areas of Russia.
We do not feel ourselves called upon to write programs for other peoples, but we cannot help suggesting certain practical proposals which proceed from an understanding of the position of Germanism in the East and Moscovitism in the West, both in the past and at present. A grass-roots, original national Slav party in Great Russia must ba aware of the inability of the old Muscovite policy of tsarist bureaucratic autocracy, of hieratic Orthodoxy, and of the Great Russian centralism to rule Great Russia itself, and of the impotence of this policy to overcome Polish influence in Byelorussia, Lithuania, and the Right Bank Ukraine, to combat German feudalism in the the Baltic provinces, and to halt the thrust of militant Germanism toward the Vistula and Nieman and the corresponding Austro-German movement into the Balkan countries. Therefore such a party, in the interests of Russian unity and of having friendly political bodies in the west, should insist on basing Russia’s whole western policy, both internal and foreign, upon the support of native democratic elements in these countries, that is of Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Byelorussian, Ukrainian, and, in ethnic Poland, of Polish elements. It should insist upon the creation, in all of Russia, of political institutions which would guarantee the unhindered development of all the peoples, non-Great Russian as well as Great Russian, with a corresponding foreign policy. It would be a moderate policy, but clearly one of democratic federal liberalism and progress, instead of traditional aristocratic-centralizing absolutism and conservatism, its patches of mandarin demagogy notwithstanding.
At the present, the following would be a minimum of such a policy:
In all of Russia:
The establishment of political freedom, that is, of personal inviolability, of freedom of speech, opinion, and association, of local self-government and state-wide representation, accompanied by:
Democratic agrarian and tax measures.
Particularly in the western part of Russia:
In the Baltic provinces, agrarian reform at least equivalent to the Irish Land Act and the equalization of national rights of the Latvians and Estonians with those of the Germans.
In Lithuania, Byelorussia, die Ukraine, and Bessarabia — the granting of the right to use the national languages, at least in the elementary schools and courts of the magistrates of the peace.
In Poland — the granting of the right to use the national language in all courts and schools.
In foreign policy, in so far as it depends upon Russian initiative, the first demand of such a national party should be:
The removal of any support to absolutism in Bulgaria or to Austria’s aggressive aspirations beyond the Sava River.
Russia’s adoption of this policy, the only rational one, would have an immediate effect on the countries to the southwest. The Polish movement in Prussia would receive powerful support from liberated Warsaw, just as the Ruthenian movement in Austria-Hungary would receive active assistance from the Russian Ukraine. This assistance, and the warnings of the Russian Poles, who would have achieved spiritual equilibrium, would exert a salutary and sobering influence upon Polish chauvinists in Galicia. The establishment of healthy relations between the Poles and the Ukrainians would deprive the German centralists in Austria of their present role of arbitrator of disputes between these nationalities, whereby they exploit now the Poles, now the Ruthenians, to the detriment of Slav federalism. Finally, the establishment of a normal order in Bulgaria would influence Eastern Rumelia and Macedonia favorably and would encourage the Pan-Bulgarian movement. The reconciliation of the nationalities and the triumph of federalism in Austria would strengthen the movement for the establishment of a Balkan federation, which alone can give a correct solution of the so-called Eastern Question in the true interests of the peoples of the Balkan peninsula and of general European harmony. All of this together would halt the militant movement of Germanism to the east decisively, leaving to the German colonists only the cultural role which undoubtedly belongs to them.
The near future will show whether a party with such aspirations can be formed in Great Russia. But we think that these measures are only the minimum of that which is desired by the conscious representatives of the peoples inhabiting the western half of European Russia, from the Estonians in the north to the Bessarabian Rumanians in the south. We believe that they will unite in action on a democratic-federalist basis. Russia’s neighbors, especially the Slavic nations, should support this movement in their own interests. Finally, among the western European peoples, all lovers of peace and enemies of national hatreds, all who do not wish either Turkey’s or Berlin’s or Moscow’s despotism, or Austria’s hypocrisy, should support the liberal federal-democratic movement among the peoples of Russia and in the countries close to it.
This movement alone will bring both peace and progress to eastern Europe. Anything which deviates from it will be at best a series of fragmentary and contradictory experiments!
This was published under the title “Federalist Panslavism” in L’Alliance Latine (The Latin Alliance) (Grenoble, No. 2, 1878). Since then the article has not been reprinted or included in a collection of Drahomanov’s writings. This translation was made from a copy of the article in the possession of Mr. Svitozor Drahomanov.
The Latin Alliance was an organ of the Provencal movement. In this article Drahomanov shows the analogies between Ukraine and Occitania (southern France). Drahomanov took a lively interest in all symptoms of the rebirth of the provincial or plebeian nations of Europe. In the Russian magazine Vestnik Yevropy he published a long article, “The Neo-Celtic and Provencal Movements in France” (Nos. 8 and 9, 1875). In 1872 he visited one of the leading Provencal poets, Joseph Roumanille (1810–1891), in Avignon. In 1878 he participated in an assembly organized in Paris by Provencal patriots. This was the occasion for the article “Panslav Federalism,” which Drahomanov prepared in the form of an open letter to the president of the assembly, Xavier Ricard, who was also editor of the Latin Alliance.
The fact that Drahomanov saw analogies between the Ukrainian and the Provencal movements does not mean that he placed both on the same level. He said that the Provencal poets did not have “one tenth of the social and political elements which one can find in Shevchenko.” The Provencal movement was limited to a literary dilettantism. The Provencal patriots did not go so far as to regard themselves as a distinct nationality and to demand that Provencal be given equal rights with French in newspapers, scholarly works, and prose in general, and in the schools and public offices. Drahomanov sympathized with all decentralist efforts, including the Provencal felibres, but he warned the Ukrainians from taking the same stand, i.e. limitation of their aims to cultural regionalism without any political platform. In fact Drahomanov probably did more than any other individual to help the Ukrainian movement overcome the “Provencal” tendencies (an apolitical literary, ethnographic and local historical dilettantism) evident in certain circles in the 19th century.
The Languedoc Lands in the Latin Alliance and the Ukrainian Lands in the Slav Alliance; Letter to Mr. Xavier Ricardi, July 29, 1878
.... You have asked me for an article on my country for your magazine. May I outline the analogies which exist between our respective motherlands.
I belong to a Slav nation. By ethnographers it is called Ruthenian, Little Russian, or Ukrainian (better Ukrainian), and is composed of seventeen million people in southern Russia and the eastern part of Austria-Hungary.
Thus our nationality is divided between two empires, Russia and Austria-Hungary, as the Languedoc nationality is divided between France and Spain. There are other resemblances in the literary and political history of these lands.
Therefore, it is not surprising that our Ukraine has produced a literary and political movement similar to that manifested, first in the study of Languedoc texts, then by Felibrisme, and finally by Lauseta and the Latin Alliance. From the beginning of the 19th century, and particularly since 1840, Ukrainian patriots have been working, not only for local autonomy and the revival of literature in the language of the country, but also for the alliance of all the Slav peoples, since our country is in the middle of the Slav world just as yours is in the middle of the Latin.
It is clear that the union of the Latin peoples can not be achieved without profound changes in the institutions of the Latin States. The past has already given us two examples of the political unity of the Latin peoples, and one of their religious unity; these were the Roman empire, the empire of Napoleon I, and the medieval papacy. All these have been judged and condemned by history, that is by the conscience of the peoples.
There is no possibility of a more or less durable union of France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Belgium if these States remain in their present political condition. It is clear that the Latin Alliance can only be achieved through a triumph, in all the Latin countries, of the ideas and tendencies expressed by the word federalism. The Latin Confederation will only be possible after a transformation of the institutions, and even of the political and social habits, of all Latin peoples. This transformation must be effected under the influence of the ideas of personal, corporative, communal, provincial, and finally, national autonomy.
These are the bases for the union of the races!
From its foundation your Alliance has accepted these ideas. It is noteworthy that the most ardent champions of the Latin Alliance are precisely the sons of a branch of the Latin race which does not have a State, an aristocracy, a Church, or even a national bourgeoisie, and is thus forced to demand liberty from the States which dominate it; that is, first cultural autonomy, then administrative and political autonomy.
Similar phenomena are to be found in the Slav world. Recently Panslavism has been much discussed. It is often thought that Panslavism, i.e. the idea of the union of the Slav peoples, is only an invention of the tsarist government, with its Byzantine-Muscovite Orthodoxy, and is only the fruit of its dreams of conquest. This is an error. It is true that tsarist policy has greatly profited from the Slav idea, but we should note that it was not invented by the servants of the tsars, and that it is by no means identical with their despotic State’s policy of expansion.
The idea of Panslavism was born among the nationalities which have lost their status as nation states and become the “minors” of the family. It is here that it has found its most devoted apostles as well as its most fervent proselytes. Thus it is more a defensive doctrine; above all it is dedicated to the idea of liberty.
The conception of the alliance of the Slav peoples dates from the 16th and 17th centuries when the southern Slavs (Bulgarians and Serbs) finally lost their liberty and their religious and political autonomy under the Turks and the Greek clergy (Phanariotes).
At that time Turk domination menaced not only Ukraine and Hungary, but also Poland. At the same time the domination of the German aristocracy and bureaucracy began to weigh heavily upon the western Slavs, such as the Czechs in Bohemia, the Slovenes in Styria, Carinthia, etc., particularly after the Thirty Years War, when the Protestant element was crushed in those Slav States and provinces which accepted the Habsburgs as their kings and dukes.
From that time on the western and southern Slavs, their very existence menaced, began to turn their eyes toward the north and east, first toward Poland, then to Moscow, in order to seek a center of gravity, the center of the Slav political union.
It should be noted that the first theoretician of Muscovite Panslavism in the 17th century, Juraj Krizanic, was a Serb by birth. He did not stop at propagandizing the idea that the Slavs might find protection from Moscow, the only completely independent Slav State, but also drew up projects of liberal and democratic reforms for this despotic and boyar State. The ideas of this precursor of 19th century Panslavism cost him exile in Siberia.
At the same time that Krizanic was writing his projects, the Cossacks of Ukraine voluntarily united with the Tsarist empire, thus forming the “Empire of all the Russias,” i.e. of Great Russia or Muscovy, Little Russia or Ukraine, and White Russia or Lithuania. Through this union the Muscovite State extended to the Black Sea, and was drawn into the anti-Turk policy. It entered into more direct relations with the Slavs of the south and west, and embraced the nascent ideas of Panslavism.
When the Panslav idea was given definite form in the 19th century, it was once again members of oppressed nationalities who played a major part: Kollar and Safarik, Slovaks; Palacky and Havlicek, Czechs; Gaj and other Serbo-Illyrians; Hutsa-Venelin and Bodyansky, Ukrainians, were the precursors and masters of Khomiakov, Aksakov, Gilferding and the others known as the Moscow Slavophiles.
This Moscow school has greatly harmed the development of Panslavism for it introduced a spirit of narrow national pride, of Byzantine religious intolerance, and of political servility. This is why Moscow Slavophilism did not receive any sympathy from progressive circles in Russia. Even in Great Russia the most enlightened writers of the last thirty years, called Westerners because of their constant polemics against the religious and political orientalism of the Muscovite school, have constantly combatted the Panslav doctrines as well. Frequently they went further and denied that Slav interests had any value for the Russian people. After 1848 the forerunners of the Socialist movement in Russia, the most advanced of the Westerners such as Bakunin and Herzen, were the only Great Russians who tried to form a party which would be liberal, rationalist, democratic and Slavophile all at once. But most of the Russian public, which was so eager to follow their doctrine of opposition to the dominant system in Russia, remained just as indifferent to their Socialist Panslavism as to that of their “friendly enemies,” Aksakov and others.
Recently one of the leaders of the Moscow Panslav school, Gilferding, complained publicly of the glacial indifference to the Panslav idea on the part of Moscow society, and turned toward Ukraine as the land destined to become the natural center of Panslavism for “All the Russias.”
In spite of the feebleness and exhaustion of Ukraine (this oppressed land englobed in a State of unlimited centralism), Gilferding was right in speaking in this manner, not only for the future, but also for the present.
Because of its geographic position, its ethnographic character, its past and its historic destiny, Ukraine has more resemblances to and connections with the southern and western Slavs than does Muscovy, i.e. northern and eastern Russia. The Ukrainian territory is connected more or less directly to that of the Poles, the Slovaks, the Serbs and the Bulgarians, not to mention those non-Slav races whose destiny is closely linked to that of the Slavs, i.e. the Rumanians and Magyars or Hungarians.
Before the 18th century, when Ukraine was more or less independent, it was in close touch with its neighbors. This was strengthened both by some analogous institutions and by a continuous exchange of ideas. Not to speak of the Poles, with whom the Ukrainians were so closely connected, the Czechs counted the Ukrainians as among their Hussite brothers in arms. That is why Tabor became the model for the strategic fortifications of the Zaporozhians. The Christian subjects of Turkey (Serbs, Bulgarians, and Greeks) fraternized with the Ukrainian Cossacks in their maritime expeditions against the Turks, who had Christian prisoners of all nationalities as galley slaves on their ships. The Serbs often joined the ranks of the Cossacks or came to study in the schools of Kiev. In the 16th and 17th centuries there was an exchange of hospodars (dukes) and Cossack chiefs, priests, teachers, painters and architects even with Latin Rumania. In Moldavia the Ukrainian literary language (Old Church Slavonic adapted to the spoken idiom) was often used as the official language.
After the 18th century, even though Ukraine was almost completely absorbed by Muscovite centralism and detached from its southern and western neighbors, it still gave the first Slavists to Russia (Hutsa-Venelin, Bodyansky, Sreznevsky, Hryhorovych, etc.). The idea of Ukrainian national regeneration had hardly begun when it was joined to that of a Slav alliance. But there is a deep chasm between this and Muscovite Slavism.
In 1846 the poet and historian Kostomarov and the national poet Shevchenko formed a society in Kiev called the Brotherhood of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, with tendencies toward a democratic and federalist Panslavism. Shevchenko wrote a poem on Hus, whom he celebrated as a “holy heretic.” From this time on, every step toward the regeneration of Ukraine has also been a step toward the propagation of Panslavism. The many obstacles placed in its path by the Russian government, which wishes to prevent any internal progress and all external relations, have slowed down the development of Ukrainianism and of federalist Panslavism, but they have not been able to stop these ideas.
Slavic sympathies jn Ukraine were clearly shown during the last Serbian revolution. As soon as the peasants in Herzegovina started their insurrection in July, 1875, money was sent to them from Kiev and Odessa. Ukrainian volunteers, one may even say conscious Ukrainian patriots, were the first to arrive in Herzegovina, well ahead of Chernayev and the other emissaries of the Slav committees in Moscow, who, a year later, did all they could to disfigure the popular anti-Turk movements in Serbia and in Russia by giving them their stamp and their specific spirit. The anti-Turk movement in Ukraine is easily comprehensible in the light of the popular traditions of the Cossack wars. But the imbecility of the Russian government which banned Ukrainian literature in 1876, and the ignorance and bad faith of the centralist press, caused this enthusiasm to be lost.
In any case, it was the soldiers from the southern provinces who first crossed the Danube and the Balkans, and who paid for the mistakes of the imperial generals with their blood. Correspondents from all the Russian newspapers have admitted that the Ukrainians could understand the Serbs and the Bulgarians more easily than could the Great Russians. There is no doubt that this contact of the Ukrainians with their southern Slav brothers will have an influence on them, and contribute much to their fraternization.
The southern Slav press, particularly the Serbian, has frequently acknowledged the devotion of the Ukrainians to the cause of the independence of the Slavs, not only from the Turkish yoke, but also from Muscovite tutelage. It has also expressed its gratitude to the Ukrainians for their idea of Panslavism, a true idea of brotherhood, that is of federalism.
In spite of all assertions to the contrary, it is the federalist idea which has come triumphant from the last Russian-Turkish war. Even the semi-official papers of Moscow and St. Petersburg, which are of necessity servile and mercenary, have understood that the centralist panslavism of the tsars and Muscovite Slavophiles has lost all its popularity, not only among the Serbs (who are already independent), but also among the Bulgarians. This was inevitable, thanks both to the political faults and bad faith of the Russian government, which neither wished nor was able to liberate the Serbs and the Bulgarians, and to the total lack of tact of the agencies through whom the Slav Committees in Moscow worked in Serbia in 1876. The agents who accompanied the army in Bulgaria (such as Prince Cherkasky, that bureaucrat with the despotic air) had the same effect on the Bulgarians. In addition, this Turkish War has exposed all the faults of Russian imperial despotism and bureaucratic centralization, so that the ideas of freedom and federation have every chance of success in Russia. Moreover, this war has placed even the most remote representatives of the Muscovite people in contact with the southern Slavs, and has shown them the importance of Slav interests for themselves. We hope that it will now be impossible to deny these interests, as did the Muscovite Westerners on the very eve of the war, even for those who rarely leave their newspaper offices, or for the bureaucrats in the centers of northern Russia — St. Petersburg and Moscow.
For the Ukrainians — patriots, democrats, and autonomists, Slavophiles and Westerners by nature and necessity — this state of affairs opens up a vast field of activity, both in Russia and beyond its frontiers.
Being the most closely allied with the Muscovites (the most numerous Slav race and the one dominant in Russia) the Ukrainians should be the natural intermediaries between Russia and the southern and western Slavs. At the same time, being the people which has suffered the most from political and national centralism, and finally, being the most numerous of the provincial nationalities in the Russian empire, the Ukrainians should always act in the interest of liberal institutions and of the ideas of local and national autonomy. It is to be hoped that this situation will be used to spread the ideas of autonomy and federal alliance, at least among the Slavs. Only this idea can succeed in the work where the despotic empire of the Tsars failed, with equal dishonor, both under Plevna and at the Congress of Berlin. It is natural that die provincial or minor nationalities, who have the most to gain from the federalist idea at home, should also press for it in questions of foreign policy.
It is in this way that the provincial nationalities may render the greatest service to those great works which the dominant nationalities have not had the force to accomplish. Here I have spoken only of the people of the Languedoc and Ukraine, but there are other analogies in the Latin, Slav, Germanic, and Celtic world.
Thus these minors, these peoples of Languedoc, these Bretons, Welsh, Irish, Flemish, these different groups of Slavs, and let us even add the Rumanians and Greeks, who have not achieved complete independence and whose little States are menaced by their greedy neighbors, and perhaps the Danes and the Dutch may also be mentioned, these peoples must become aware of their historic role alongside of the peoples who have created great centralized States in which the principal nationality is always somewhat privileged at the expense of the others. Their role is the propagation and support, in all possible ways, of the ideas of federalism, democracy, and free thought, which have so often been neglected in the large centralized States.
In conclusion let me say that the minor or provincial nationalities must increase their force by the constant interchange of aspirations, by a moral alliance, and by constant mutual assistance..
The Centralization of the Revolutionary Struggle in Russia
This was first published in Volnoye Slovo in Geneva (No. 37, 1882), under the title “Narodnaya Volya on the Centralization of the Revolutionary Struggle in Russia.” Our translation follows the text in the second volume of Collected Political Works. We have omitted certain details of Drahomanov’s polemic against Narodnaya Volya.
No matter what one thinks of the principles and actions of the group of Russian revolutionaries with Narodnaya Volya [The Will of the People] as its organ, it cannot be denied that it is of great importance as the most active of the numerous anti-government forces at the present time. By its energy alone it attracts the most fervent elements of opposition in Russia. Although the literary exposition of the political ideas of this group has always been of less importance than its actions, these are nevertheless capable of fascinating a certain part of society, the young people in particular. This fact directs attention to the political theories and plans expounded in Narodnaya Volya as ones which to a large degree determine the practical activity of some of those who are striving to overturn the existing order in Russia.
Therefore it is particularly important not to overlook two articles in the latest issue, No. 8–9, of Narodnaya Volya: the leading article and the one following. Here this paper presents (with a clarity not often encountered in the recent Russian revolutionary press) its views on the organization of the revolutionary movement in Russia and the immediate plans of the Narodnaya Volya Party.
The following words from the leading article are especially interesting in this connection:
Our immediate task now is the organization of a plot to overthrow the present State system. At the present time the work of the Narodnaya Volya Party is primarily directed toward uniting all active opposition forces, welding them into a firm centralized organization capable of assuming the initiative for rebellion at the crucial moment, and capable until such time of engaging in successful conspiratorial activity, no matter what the persecution by the government. Successful completion of this task is possible if fighting forces are concentrated only at those points where each step will draw us nearer to the goal, where every action will be of importance in the near rather than the remote future. For this reason we are grouping active, consciously revolutionary forces in the government centers, including those on the periphery, in proportion to their importance, and are engaging in organizational work only among those elements which will play a direct part in the coup d’etat.
The practical necessity for such an arrangement arises from the fact, among others, that rural upheavals, movements from the border areas, without an insurrection in the administrative and industrial centers, are always quickly suppressed and have almost no effect on the cause of popular liberation. The drawbacks of this method will constantly increase with the modernization of the technical refinements at the disposal of the central government, while the living conditions of the people will prevent them from organizing. Moreover, organization of the peasant forces does not enter into our consideration. Although the increased popularity of the party because of terrorist incidents has cleared the way for direct action among the people, we consider it essential to limit our activity in this respect to explaining the true meaning of our demands and to protecting the peasantry from the reactionary intrigues of the enemies of the people at the moment of rebellion. This will ensure the success and duration of the coup d’etat.
Thus far the notion of metropolitan centralism is somewhat obscured by the reservation: “we group the active, consciously revolutionary forces in the government centers, including those on the periphery,” etc., but further on, at the end of the article, this centralism appears in all clarity. Narodnaya Volya speaks frankly of the “provisional government” by its party. At the same time the paper hopes that in the economic field the role of this provisional government will be strictly formal (we should call it superfluous). To use Narodnaya Volya’s words there is a “favorable mutual relationship between political and economic factors in Russia,” allegedly consisting in the fact that “at the same time that the Social Revolutionary Party inflicts blows on the government authority, hatred of the ruling, privileged caste will increase among the people, as will a persistent striving for a radical change in the economic structure.” This favorable mutual relationship permits Narodnaya Volya
to hope that when the revolutionary organization is able to effect a political coup, the people will know how to bring about an economic revolution and then the provisional revolutionary government which has seized power will only have to sanction the economic equality won by the people from their age-old oppressors and exploiters....
Narodnaya Volya continues:
But if circumstances prove less favorable, the provisional government will, along with the political emancipation of the people and the establishment of new political institutions, carry out an economic revolution; it will destroy the right of private ownership of land and the means of large-scale production. Then the true representatives of the politically and economically emancipated people will appear in the Zemsky Sobor [National Assembly] which will be convened, and life will begin to be regulated by the unmanipulated will of the people.
At the conclusion of the second article we find similar ideas in almost the same words, with the addition of a few objections to decentralist strivings, which the author rejects at least for the present and the immediate future, stating decisively that:
for the entire period of struggle up to the first lasting revolutionary victory, we consider the strictly centralized type of organization the best, and the only one leading to the goal.
The author of the article makes the following objections to opponents of the principle of centralization:
It is often said that the Narodnaya Volya Party neglects the local peculiarities of the Russian periphery and that it strives to subordinate the other nationalities to the Great Russians. It is unnecessary to prove that as a socialist party the Narodnaya Volya Party is alien to all national partiality and considers all who are oppressed and dispossessed as its brothers and comrades, irrespective of origin; that the use of racial hostility, and even more its augmentation, does not at all enter into our plans; that we will not take such a step regardless of the temporary advantage it might be expected to bring our party.
The other aspect of the national question concerns the future condition of the nationalities which have become crystallized in the course of history. It is self-evident that we do not deny to any nationality the right to complete political independence, leaving to its good will to enter into whatever relations it pleases with the other nationalities.
But we maintain that the unified, friendly efforts of all the component parts of the State must be directed against the common enemy; disunity in the struggle will weaken our forces and postpone victory. We also insist that the triumph of revolutionary and socialist principles can be consolidated only if common efforts are not limited to destructive work, but are continued in the creative work as well, i.e. in the elaboration of a constitution by an all-Russian Zemsky Sobor, which will replace the provisional revolutionary government and will have jurisdiction over the territory of the entire State. Only after the consolidation of the revolutionary gains, after the firm establishment of the common bases of the new system, should individual nationalities be granted the right to determine their political relationship with the entire State. Otherwise the dark forces of reaction will certainly find their Vendee, from which they will launch a campaign against the dismembered revolution.
It is not difficult to see how this most active group of Russian revolutionaries arrived at the centralist ideas expounded above after the anarchical and federal ideas current among them not long ago, nor is it difficult to identify the foreign political elements which abetted the final formation of these notions. Even ignoring the inevitable influence of national traditions on revolutionaries, we see that the centripetal tendency in Russian revolulutionary circles is strengthened by the present conditions of political life in Russia, which make every sort of legal opposition difficult, and incline revolutionaries toward tight conspiracies and dictatorship. However, in recent times the “terrorist” character of the Narodnaya Volya group necessarily makes it even more centralistic. Add to this the influence of the examples of the French Revolution of 1792–93 and the ideals of the German Social Democrats, which were formed when Germany strove for political unity, and you will easily be able to explain the origin of those statements in the St. Petersburg revolutionary paper which we have copied above.
But although they are entirely natural under such circumstances, it is our profound conviction that such ideas, accompanied as they must be by certain acts, bear within them the seeds of phenomena extremely dangerous both for the revolutionary elements in Russia and for this entire country. In the centralist tendencies expressed in this quotation from Narodnaya Volya we see one of many signs in support of our often expressed fear that the present ferment in Russia and the more extensive revolutionary movement which may follow it may not have any more results, in proportion to the effort expended, than did the great French Revolution. For after Jacobin centralism — to which we should deny even the name of revolutionary — became supreme, it was properly speaking already the beginning of the counter-revolution, which ended in the establishment of Bonapartism.
Before beginning our criticism of Narodnaya Volya’s views on the centralization or decentralization of the revolutionary cause in Russia, we must investigate, of necessity briefly, Narodnaya Volya’s opinions, or better its hopes, with regard to the possibility of a simultaneous political and social-economic revolution in Russia at the present moment. These hopes by no means seem as justified to us as to the writers in Narodnaya Volya. Examples from the world over show that even with a far greater degree of development and organization than that of the unskilled working masses in Russia, the peoples have not yet brought about such radical changes in the social-economic order as those expected by Narodnaya Volya. Of course the peasants in Russia now talk about the general redistribution of the land, but they think of this in the most fantastic way, and in most areas expect it on the order of the tsar. It is still a long, long way from this dream to real redistribution, and even further to the replacement of private ownership of land and factories and to the organization of the national economy in accordance with the ideal of the socialists (without which economic inequality would immediately reappear).... It is clear that if one can (and in our opinion one must) expect popular disturbances in Russia at the present, they will not at all be the kind that would bring about a radical change in the social-economic system, which has not been done away with anywhere. They will rather be like those during the French Revolution, for example, which frightened the government, disorganized the existing political system, and made it easier for the best organized forces of opposition to seize power under the pretext of “re-establishing order.” The present anti-Jewish riots in the south of Russia are already beginning to have a similar meaning. They, it would seem, show that at the present stage of development and organization of the masses in Russia the insurrections of the people can not be either progressive or positive in character. And one should not forget that the anti-Jewish riots are taking place in a region where the peasants have not been crushed completely by an age-old serfdom and are the least conditioned by the Muscovite traditions which have shaped the character of the ancient Muscovite State.
In any event, even if matters were to go as far as general uprisings of the peasants, with the seizure of lands and factories, it is hard to understand why it would be necessary to have the sanction of the central provisional government. If such a seizure did not take place, then no decree of the provisional government could dictate it, for generally such radical changes in ideas and ways of life cannot be brought about by decree. Even permanent governments lack the strength for this, let alone provisional ones. A provisional revolutionary government in Russia which relied only on the capitals, St. Petersburg and Moscow, even supposing that it had on its side all the factory workers there and even part of the army (i.e. the guards), would not have the strength to enforce a radical economic change on the entire population of Russia, or even, in the language of Narodnaya Volya, “to explain to the people the true meaning of our demands and to protect the peasantry from the reactionary intrigues of the enemies of the people,” In order not to be carried away by such dreams it suffices merely to compare the population of the capitals with that of the rest of Russia.
On the basis of all that has been said, we think that those Russian socialists who have made up their minds that a political revolution is necessary for the direction of a social-economic change would be acting more rationally if they were not carried away by the hopes of the possibility of the simultaneous success of both, and especially by the dreams of the possibility of guiding the course of the social-economic change by measures of central provisional governments (decrees, commissars, and similar imitations of the implements of the conservative bureaucracy). They should direct their efforts toward a real political change, i.e. toward the establishment of real political freedom which would make possible both a future organization of workers, urban and rural, and alliance between them and the socialists among the intelligentsia. Such freedom can only follow the weakening of centralist power, the destruction of its bureaucratic machine, and the establishment of institutions guaranteeing the rights of persons and groups and the self-government of communes and regions. It will not come about through changing the central State institutions from autocratic into parliamentary or even republican ones, especially since such changes, if they preserve the machinery of government, are rarely maintained in the form established by the centralist revolution. The governmental apparatus which is retained or even perfected by the revolution almost always turns against the revolution soon afterward.
Of course adopting our viewpoint on political and social change in Russia means accepting the views to which Russian revolutionary and even radical circles in general have become accustomed to give the unflattering epithet if “gradualism”.... But what can one do if history indicates that people progress only in a rather gradual way? Indeed, the conversion of many Russian socialists, including the most active, from “pure socialism” to the struggle for political freedom is nothing other than an admission of this gradualism. One must be completely logical and admit that in our time the gain for the popular cause will be great if Russia obtains even this political freedom alone. It would guarantee elementary human rights to the entire population and give the friends of the masses the opportunity of working systematically for their welfare.
Centralization and freedom are mutually exclusive. Ideas, such as those in Narodnaya Volya, that centralization is essential at the first moment of the revolutionary struggle and until solid results have been obtained are either sophisms with which those whom centralism would benefit now and later on silence those whom it would harm, or self-deception on the part of those who think that the course of history can be held back by their own personal good intentions.
Every political configuration, once formed, seeks to consolidate itself. Nowhere has a centralized power, with the bureaucracy and army without which it is inconceivable, ever done away with itself. In the history of centralized revolutions all changes have consisted in the passing of the retained or newly-formed machine of centralized rule from one set of hands to another, for example from the hands of a king into those of a committee and then into the hands of a dictator, etc. In Russia centralization, even revolutionary centralization, is all the more dangerous to the cause of freedom because the immaturity of the masses in this country gives the greater reason for fearing a reactionary dictatorship, even following the temporary success of a progressive revolution. This is the reason why all advocates of progress in Russia, especially the socialists, must fight the principles of authoritarianism and centralization both in practice and in theory, and strive to base all their ideas and acts, before, during and after the coup d’etat, on the opposite principles of decentralization and federation.
The opinion that federation weakens and disunites any movement is completely untrue, as is the opinion that centralization in itself constitutes strength and unity. Strength and unity accrue to the central authority only through the obedience or sympathy of the constituent parts, and in times of stress obedience alone is not enough.... But revolutionary circles which intend to form a government cannot claim obedience and consequently must count mostly upon sympathy. This sympathy will be the greater the closer the revolutionaries are to the various elements of the population, and the more even a central revolutionary government — if one proves necessary in the course of events or arises from them — is formed by the federative process from the bottom up rather than by the process of centralization from the top down. This is why those revolutions which seemed most hopeless in view of their initial weakness succeeded through decentralization and federation: this is the way the Swiss cantons repulsed their strong neighbors, this is how the united Netherlands liberated themselves from Spain and the United States of North America from England, how the juntas (provincial alliances) of Spain overcame the armies of Napoleon I, etc. It is noteworthy that even in the offensive war of 1870–71 a Germany which was federative in its way defeated a strictly united France.
It is precisely centralization that weakens social forces, reducing personal and regional initiative, isolating those near to each other and compelling them to await orders from a distant center; it is precisely centralization that disunites, gives birth to disagreements, for it is the nature of centralization to strive for the reduction of all differences to a single pattern, to elevate secondary questions to positions of eminence, to confuse means and forms with ends, etc., and thereby to cause irritation among forces which otherwise would act in unison. All separatism is the product of centralization; disagreements among parties which are essentially close and differ only in minor matters usually result from centralizing tendencies which compel them to advance their peculiarities as something generally valid. And it is worth noting that these instincts develop with particular force in centralized countries, namely where “provisional” governments, immediately after they were formed, sought to copy the old governments, like children their elders....
In addition to these and other general considerations which speak against the centralistic doctrines of the Narodnaya Volya adherents, the particular conditions of life in Russia bear no less strong witness to the inapplicability of centralization in this country, not only in order to consolidate and preserve freedom (it seems that even the St. Petersburg Narodnaya Volya group still believe that centralization as a permanent system is incompatible with freedom), but also for a decisive revolutionary attack on the present government in order to gain freedom....
We will hardly be much in error if, on the basis of the article in this St. Petersburg revolutionary paper, we imagine that it assumes the possibility of organizing in St. Petersburg or Moscow sometliing like the Paris Commune of 1871, more or less socialist, but with the political attributes of the Paris municipality of 1792–93, which would be the basis for a revolutionary government ruling not only over the capital, but also over all Russia. But, fortunately or unfortunately, St. Petersburg is not in Russia what Paris was in France, neither by absolute or even relative population, nor in composition (number of army officers, officials, etc.) nor in character and stage of development. An insurrection of the St. Petersburg proletariat (even assuming that it would be capable of rising against the monarchy at the present time), unsupported by insurrections in the provinces, would be of no more practical importance than an insurrection in any village. If the monarchy were to suppress this insurrection — and in the guards, the least hopeful part of the Russian military force from the viewpoint of popular revolution, it has the power to do so — and even if it were to destroy the entire civilian population of St. Petersburg, then the remainder of this immense and various country, especially peasant Russia, would hardly feel the amputation of this insignificant growth, surrounded by deserts as it is.
It is evident that central uprisings in the capitals would only have even a remote chance of success if they were at least accompanied by insurrections in all the territory around the capitals. But it must be remembered that imperial traditions in Russia are especially strong precisely in the central Great Russian areas, where they are not only stronger than in Poland, Ukraine, and the Caucasus, but also stronger than in the Lower Volga and Siberia. If there is any place in Russia where the conditions are suitable for the development of a Vendee (to use the word of Narodnaya Volya), it is in Great Russia and, perhaps, right in Moscow, but not in the border areas, especially in the west and south. There is no point in discussing Poland at length. Poland, if it could not be a Vendee, could be a refuge for the dynasty, but only if the revolution in Russia assumed a centralist and therefore inevitably a Great Russian character. In this case the Poles might well consider it advantageous to support the Romanov dynasty, just as the various peoples of Austria preferred to make a deal with the Habsburg dynasty when threatened by the centralism of the German and Hungarian liberals and revolutionaries in 1848–49. Poland will never be reconciled to the centralization of Russia. Of course at present while the revolutionary movement in Russia has a purely destructive character, the Poles, especially the young people, are able to participate in all existing Russian revolutionary circles, but neither the Polish intelligentsia nor the Polish masses will ever abandon claim to the autonomy of their country, and at the first favorable moment they will raise its banner. If, for example, a provisional government were actually formed in St. Petersburg, one which would appeal to the population of Russia to send representatives to a national assembly, the Poles would in all probability form their own provisional government and even their own sejm [parliament] in Warsaw.
As for Ukraine, since its independence was crushed in the late 17th century and as a result a considerable part of the intelligentsia was Russianized, to their own misfortune as well as that of the masses of the Ukrainian people, it is of course not difficult to attract the Great Russianized part of the Ukrainian intelligentsia to an all-Russian centralist program. But there is no reason for expecting good to the cause of freedom in Russia to come from this desertion. Still, monarchical ideas are weaker and republican ideas stronger in Ukraine than in any other of the eastern Slavic provinces of Russia; recently the masses of the people are showing more of the spirit of protest in just this land, in the form of agrarian disorders and city movements against the police as well as the anti-Jewish riots, which at present are wild in character, but which could be given a more rational direction. But it is precisely the program of metropolitan centralism which is depriving this land of the most conscious and organized fighters for freedom! As everyone knows, it is Ukraine which has given a tremendous percentage of the members and the funds of all Russian revolutionary circles, both in the absolute and even more in comparison to the relative populations. The program of metropolitan centralism of the Russian revolutionary organizations not only proposes to continue the immoral and even shameful alienation of the Ukrainian intelligentsia, nourished by the labor of the people, from the population of its native land, but also tempts them to fruitless and ruinous activity in that country, Great Russia, which is far more capable of becoming a Vendee than this so-called border area!
However, we consider the emigration of a part of the Ukrainian intelligentsia to Great Russia, via the capitals, a matter which is inevitable and must be accepted since fate has already linked Ukraine to the State of Muscovy. This can even be in the interest of general European culture. We consider the present participation of native Ukrainians in Great Russian revolutionary circles a phenomenon analogous to the emigration of Ukrainian clergy, teachers, and scribes to Muscovy in the 17th and 18th centuries. As a result even more of Muscovite centralization and the destruction of such cultural centers as Novgorod and Pskov, than of the Tatar invasions, perhaps, Great Russia was left so far behind the European world that it was not even able to follow its tracks without resorting to the importation of alien stock. Here the Ukrainians are the element most closely related to the Great Russians and therefore the one more able than distant foreigners to undermine Muscovite orthodoxy and autocracy and to strengthen the forces of the native champions of progress.
But excessive emigration weakens the country from which it occurs, and that moral “absenteeism” which, supported as it is by the Russification measures of the government, has become a characteristic of the Ukrainian upper classes, paralyzes all the efforts of the Ukrainian masses to improve their material and cultural situation.
This abnormal condition of Ukraine, which we have taken as an example of the situation in many other areas of Russia — Lithuania, Byelorussia, Bessarabia and to some extent Transcaucasia — can be ended only through autonomy, which will place the masses of the people face to face with the intelligentsia and compel the latter to serve the former. Narodnaya Volya’s centralist program does not promise any such autonomy. Even for the future it does not promise anything except an all-Russian or, as Narodnaya Volya says, “general Russian” national assembly to take the place of the provisional revolutionary government after the latter has itself replaced the present imperial government. This all-Russian assembly, which of course Narodnaya Volya imagines as all powerful, (at least we have never read in the writings of Narodnaya Volya adherents any indications of limitations to the power of this future sovereign of Russia) will grant the various individual nationalities (naturally only those which this assembly considers distinct or, to use another Narodnaya Volya expression, “historically crystallized”) “the right to determine their political bond with the entire [the entire, by all means!] State,” and will make this concession “only after the establishment [naturally “ by it, the new autocrat of all the Russias] of the general principles of the new system” (again those which it will be convenient for the future assembly to recognize as such). In other words, the various nationalities now enslaved by the State, which is really Great Russian, and administered at the discretion of the imperial bureaucracy, will receive autonomy only when and to the degree the new autocratic ruler of all the peoples and regions of Russia finds convenient. Judging from what all rulers, both collective and individual, have done on earth, the peoples and lands of Russia would have to wait for this when a long time!
There can be no denying that if the present Russian autocrat, on his own initiative or under the pressure of public opinion, agreed to even the poorest sort of national assembly, composed of delegates from the present zemstvos, this would be a step forward which would be joyously acclaimed in all regions of Russia. But the first act of even this assembly would have to be the establishment of the security and freedom of persons, groups and nationalities, as well as the self-government of regions, and the establishment of inalienable constitutional rights, inviolable by anyone and anything, including the State which, in comparison with its component parts, is a fiction.
If the sons of the nations and regions of Russia have to shed their blood in revolution in order to achieve representative rule, the acquisition of an autocratic all-Russian national assembly in which hegemony necessarily reverts to the Great Russians is too small a reward. If we must fight for the creation of revolutionary assemblies, then it is more natural for the peripheral regions to form their own. These regional assemblies will take it upon themselves to establish “the common principles for the federation of the entire State” if they consider it desirable. Only the limitation of the central government by inviolable rights of vigorous regional autonomy can protect Russia from post-revolutionary reaction and the spread of Vendee-style counter-revolutionary dictatorship which, we repeat, could appear more easily in the central regions of Muscovy than in the less monarchically minded peripheries....
As for preparatory organizations for effecting a political revolution in Russia, we think that the most expedient approach would be the formation of regional revolutionary committees, which would of course enter into alliance among themselves. According to circumstances, the committees could render special aid to the committees in the capitals, but without a priori concessions to a centralist program before, during or after the revolution....
The later success of the revolution would depend largely on the skill and energy of the regional committees, while the further agreement of these committees among themselves and with the central committee, if this were found to be necessary, would depend largely on the sincere acceptance by all, including the central committee, of the principle of equality of all nationalities, historical and non-historical, as well as of the principle of the autonomy of regions, in short of the federal principle. It would also depend on the ability of the central committee to distinguish between solidarity, which is essential, and centralization, which is superfluous and even downright harmful.
Free Union; Draft of a Ukrainian Political and Social Program
This was first published as a pamphlet (Geneva, 1884). Our translation was made from the reprint in the first volume of Collected Political Works. Free Union falls into three parts: a short introduction, of which we have presented about one half, the Draft Constitution for the Ukrainian Society. Free Union, which we have translated in its entirety, and a rather long (80 printed pages) commentary on the Draft Constitution, with the historical and political reasons for each point. Limitations of space force us to omit the interesting portion of the work.
Drahomanov recounts the genesis of Free Union in his “Autobiography.” In the summer of 1883 two delegates of Ukrainian underground groups approached him in Geneva. They brought with them summaries of the views of the groups, and intended to work out with Drahomanov a systematic political program. In the course of the discussion divergences between Drahomanov and the delegates became manifest. The latter did not have much understanding of the Galician question and of the problems of foreign policy, on which Drahomanov laid considerable stress. On the other hand, they wanted to proceed as quickly as possible to direct revolutionary action in association with Russian revolutionary organizations. Drahomanov felt that careful preparation was necessary, and warned against too direct cooperation with Russian revolutionaries, giving as one reason the fact that their groups armed with agents provocateurs. In spite of these differences the work was completed in August, 1883. Soon thereafter, however, the entire central committee of the budding organization was arrested; they had in fact been betrayed to the police through their connection with the Russian revolutionaries. Thus the Free Union organization miscarried. Nonetheless Drahomanov decided to publish the writing as a sort of “catechism of public law,” although he was aware that the form of the article — statutes of an organization — made it difficult to read.
.... Despite the fact that we have made use of the political views of persons from various parts of Russia, and despite our profound conviction that, for the present at least, no part of Russia can make practical progress without the general reform of this entire State, we have not given our political and social program even the outward semblance of an all-Russian program, but offer it as a proposition adapted to the area best known to us, i.e., to the regions inhabited predominantly by Ukrainians or Little Russians — from the eastern districts of the Kingdom of Poland [Drahomanov speaks here not about pre-partition Poland, but about the so-called Congress Kingdom [ed.]] to the foothills of the Caucasus.
It is our opinion that a truly all-Russian program can come about only as the sum of regional programs, as a truly all-Russian political organization only from the alliance of the regional organizations behind them. For this reason we think that at present the most important problem in gaining political freedom for the peoples of Russia is the formation of regional political societies capable of rallying as many people and representative groups as possible behind specific political and social demands. These societies would then unite for joint action to transform Russia in accordance with these demands. We have concluded, therefore, that it would be most suitable to formulate the political and social aims already widespread as a proposed constitution for such a regional society and to submit it for public approval, especially by inhabitants of Ukrainian regions. We consider the name Free Union the most .appropriate, in view of the present status of Ukraine and adjoining regions. The basic principles of such a society are fully in accord with the traditions of the Ukrainian people and have found expression through organizations even in darker times, as for example in the Society of United Slavs in 1824–25 and in the group of friends of Shevchenko known as the Brotherhood of Cyril and Methodius in the 1840’s. The potential adherents of such a society exist in Ukraine and are even active in various spheres of social life, both as individuals and as members of groups. They lack only a stable, specific organization, which alone can ensure a systematic approach, and, consequently, extensive and successful action. We shall consider our task accomplished if our present proposal serves in the working out of a definitive program, one which its authors, living in the country itself, can carry out as their own.
DRAFT CONSTITUTION FOR THE UKRAINIAN SOCIETY FREE UNION
Part I. The Aims of the Society
A society, Free Union, should be formed in Ukrainian territory to work for the political, economic, and cultural emancipation and progress of the Ukrainian people and of the other races living among them in settlements.
Note. Because the Ukrainian people live in various States — Russia, Austria (in Galicia and Bukovina) and Hungary (in the eastern Comitats) — and under varying political conditions (even though under significantly similar social and cultural conditions), different methods should be employed in each of these. For this reason, separate political societies — completely independent rather than branches of a single organization — should be formed in each of the above areas. The very nature of things would cause these societies to agree on a certain degree of solidarity. </quote>The present draft, worked out with the help of Ukrainians from Russia, the Russian Ukraine almost exclusively in mind.
Free Union should cooperate with similar societies among other peoples whose interests are similar to those of the Ukrainian people.
Note. In order to facilitate such cooperation, Free Union should allow persons of various nationalities to become members, should found its own chapters in Ukrainian settlements in other lands, and should help form similar societies among peoples with related interests.
Free Union’s most important task in Russia at present and in the near future should be to reorganize the State on the basis of political freedom approximately the following principles:
Political freedom should be construed as:
The rights of man and citizen:
Immunity of the person from degrading punishments and capital punishment.
Immunity of the person and home from the police if they have no warrant from the court.
Note I. A person apprehended flagrante delicto can be arrested by anyone, but must be turned over to the judiciary authorities immediately.
Note II. No one should be tried by a special court. Criminal courts, except for magistrates courts, should provide trial by jury.
Freedom of residence and occupation.
Inviolability of private correspondence and telegrams.
Inviolability of nationality (recognition of the native languages in private and public life).
Freedom of conscience (belief and disbelief) and of any public religious services and rituals which do not offend the public sense of decency.
Note. This freedom implies the abolition of the State church and the transformation of all ecclesiastical institutions into private organizations, to be maintained solely by voluntary contributors and administered according to their wishes, without any aid or interference by public authorities.
1. Freedom of speech, the press, the theatre, and education.
1. Freedom of assembly, petition, and manifestation (through posters, banners, processions, etc.), provided public order and security are not disturbed or threatened.
1. Freedom to form societies and associations.
1. The right to bear arms and hold military exercises provided public order and security are not disturbed or threatened.
1. The right to take action in civil or criminal courts against officials and public institutions for illegal infringement upon the rights of the individual.
1. The right to resist illegal acts by officials.
1. The equality of all in civic rights and duties.
- Note I to section A. The rights of man and citizen may not be abrogated or restricted by any law or decree, except for restrictions legally imposed in time of war. Even under such circumstances no person who is not in the army may be tried by a military or any other special court.
- Note II to section A. The preservation of the above rights is the responsibility of local justices of the peace, who should be authorized, under their own responsibility, to request the cooperation of nearby troops, whose duty it is to give such help.
Communal (village and town);
Volost [group of villages];
Uyezd [district]; and
1 The regions into which the Russian Empire should be divided, with geographic, economic and ethnographic conditions all taken into consideration, would be approximately as follows: the Northern, Lake, and Baltic regions, Lithuania, Poland, Byelorussia, Polesia, Kiev, Odessa, Kharkiv, Moscow, Nizhni Novgorod, Kazan, Urals, Saratov, Caucasia, Western Siberia, Eastern Siberia, Cossack lands (Don, Kuban, and Terek), and Central Asia.
This self-government should be vested in meetings or in elected assemblies, to which all officials should be responsible, except judges, whose status should be specially defined.
Note. In general the present judicial system, according to the statutes of Nov. 20, 1864, can be considered satisfactory.
All persons 21 years of age and over should have the right to vote and to be elected to various representative assemblies and to communal, volost and district offices. However, only persons 25 years of age and over should have the right to be elected to regional and state assemblies or offices.
Note I. The laws on electoral colleges and districts should be such that those elected would represent not only the inhabitants of all the localities, but also, as far as possible, all types of occupations, and minorities as well as majorities.
Note II. Voters should have the right to give mandates to their delegates.
Village affairs should be administered by the village meeting and by the executive committee and chairman elected by it.
In cities and towns, volosts [groups of villages], districts, and regions, councils should be created to administer public affairs. These councils should be elected on the basis of special laws on electoral colleges and electoral districts, in accordance with III, 3. The councils will elect Executive committees.
Village meetings, as well as city, volost, district, and regional councils, should have the right to delegate the execution of their decisions not only to the chairmen and executive committees, but also to special individuals or committees.
Village meetings, as well as city, volost, district, and regional councils, should have the right to charge their executive committees with taking action in civil or criminal courts against any officials who commit illegal acts.
In their territories the communal, volost, and district authorities described in paragraphs 4 and 5 should administer the local public economy (public property, markets, fairs, etc.), public works (means of communication, public buildings, post offices, etc.), welfare (sanitation, food supply, charity, insurance, epizootic control, etc.), and public elementary education as well as secondary education if possible.
The regional councils, executive committees, and other bodies appointed by them should: legislate for and administer the regional public economy, public works, and welfare where they are beyond the means of a single district; supervise all economic activity in the region (agriculture, mining, forestry, crafts, industry, etc.), and take measures for the conservation and proper exploitation of the region’s natural resources. They should also take measures for safeguarding and increasing the wealth of the inhabitants of the region, supervise public education in the region, and administer secondary schools maintained at the expense of the region, as well as higher educational and learned institutions (academies, etc.).
On all matters within their competence, village meetings, as well as volost, city, district, and regional councils, should have the right to issue binding decrees (not contrary to the. laws and common interests of the State union), to fix taxes in order to meet public requirements in their competence, and to enter into relationships and agreements with similar institutions within the state in order to satisfy their common needs.
Notes to paragraphs 4–10. I. The details of the relationships among the above institutions, with their varying degrees of competence, should be determined by special statutes. It is essential, however, that these statutes should provide, insofar as is possible, that institutions with wider competence should not become superior to those with more limited competence, but that each should have a maximum of independence in its own field, particularly in matters financed by it. The supervision of education referred to should consist of research and advice rather than command.
II. Similarly, the relationship between representatives of the government of the whole State (ministers and regional governors) and agencies of local self-government should be determined by special statutes. In order that local self-government be real, it is essential that the representatives of the State be able to override only such decrees and acts by the agencies of local self-government as are contrary to the fundamental laws and common interests of the State union, and that disagreements arising in this manner be settled by the Senate (Supreme Court). The State official in question should be legally responsible for overriding these decrees and acts.
The police in the cities, districts, and their subdivisions should be under the jurisdiction of the respective councils. Local police officials should be responsible to these regardless of the manner of their appointment.
In addition to the functions in paragraphs 8, 9, 10, and 11, the local elected authorities should control the assessment and allocation of direct State taxes. The regional councils should also conduct a preliminary study of all drafts of financial laws for the State as a whole and should express their opinions on these to the state legislatures. They should also legislate on local affairs: the application of electoral laws, territorial divisions, codification of customary law, etc.
Affairs concerning the entire Russian State union and the legislation of the State as a whole should be in the hands of two councils:
The State Council, whose members should be chosen by electoral colleges in the electoral districts, according to a special law on the basis of paragraph 3, and
The Union Council, whose members should be elected by the regional councils.
Note. The Regional Councils should give mandates to their representatives in the Union Council and should have the right to replace these representatives at any time.
Both these councils should appoint an interim committee to act while they are not in session.
Ministers, appointed by the Chief of State, should be responsible to both councils, which should also have the right to impeach them.
In addition to its role in the legislation and administration of the whole State, the Union Council, as the representative of the regions, should in particular manage the State property, a resource common to all the regions. The Union Council should administer these resources for the common good, on the basis of laws enacted jointly with the State Council, after consultation with the District and Regional Councils. The latter should inform the Union Council of the needs to be served by the use of above-mentioned resources.
All the councils should be required to convene at definite periods for regular sessions. Special sessions of these councils may, however, be convened by the respective executive committees and the interim committee or at the request of one third of the council members. In the event of war or regional rebellion, the State and Union Councils should convene automatically if not convened by either the Chief of State or the interim committee. They should remain in session until they themselves decide on a recess.
The Chief of State can, with the consent of the Union Council, dissolve the State Council. In such a case, however, the Union Council will also be dissolved, and the proclamation to this effect should also set the date for the election of new members to these councils. The publication of this proclamation should be accompanied by the convening of the regional councils, which should remain in session until the convening of the new Councils of the whole State.
In the event of usurpation of State power, the regional councils should meet on their own initiative and should take measures to restore law and order. In such an event the troops stationed in the regions should obey the regional councils.
In the case of impeachment, a High Court, composed of members of the criminal department of the Senate (Supreme Court) and the Union Council should meet to try ministers for abuse of office and to try members of the State and Union Councils for treason.
The Chief of State should appoint Senators (Supreme Court Justices) for life terms, selecting them from candidates recommended by the Union Council. These. candidates must have an advanced degree in law and should previously have served in the courts or as representatives to the regional or State Council.
The district and regional councils, as well as the Chief of State, should have the right to challenge the constitutionality of the laws passed by the State and Union Councils. Such cases should be decided by the Senate in a joint session of all departments.
The Constitution of the State should not be amended without the approval of two-thirds of the State and Union Councils and without ratification by the State Assembly.
The State Assembly should be composed of all the members of the State and Union Councils, with the addition of sufficient special deputies, elected by the regional councils, that the number of special deputies plus members of the Union Council be equal to the number of members of the State Council.
It should be the duty of the Chief of State to make public the laws passed by the State legislatures, Senate decisions annulling them, and the decrees of the State Assembly; to see to the execution of these laws and decisions; and to prosecute violations.
Note. The Chief of State may be an hereditary Emperor or an elected President of the All-Russian State Union elected for a fixed term. In the first case the ministers should be responsible for his actions as indicated in paragraphs 15 and 20, while in the second case he himself should be responsible according to these paragraphs.
The most important of the above-listed principles for the political reorganization of Russia are (1) the rights of man and citizen and (2) local self-government. Any attempt to govern all Russia through a central representative assembly without the recognition and safeguarding of these rights and without local self-government must be considered as giving as little protection to the cause of freedom in general and to the interests of Ukraine in particular as does the present organization of the Russian Empire.
After all, or the most important parts of the above plan or a similar one for the political reorganization of Russia are fulfilled, members of Free Union must strive to alleviate the social injustices now oppressing the inhabitants of the Russian Ukraine and to guarantee each of them a means of livelihood and opportunities for development. With this in mind, members of Free Union should, acting in freedom through agencies of self-government, take all steps toward:
Alleviating the burdens of military duty until such time as international relations make it possible to replace the standing army with temporarily recruited militias.
Note. One way of alleviating the burden of military duty would be to reduce the size of the State army and the period of service in it; create regional militias; and divide military duty between the State army and these regional militias.
Changing all taxes into direct, graduated income taxes.
Note. It is obvious that the present taxes and levies, such as the poll tax, identity document tax, excise taxes, etc., are a crying injustice and should be either abolished or completely revised at the first opportunity.
Making elementary, secondary and higher education accessible to all. Elementary education should be free for children from poor families. In addition there should be partial, or if necessary, complete allowances from public funds to cover the living expenses of the school child. More capable students should receive similar help to attend secondary schools and universities.
Establishing orphanages, old peoples’ homes and homes for the care of the sick and crippled at public expense; and establishing public pension funds for disablement and old age benefits.
Limiting the number of working hours per day, especially of women and children, to the amount compatible with health and physical and mental development.
Note. Factory work by children under 14 years of age should be unconditionally prohibited.
Establishing boards to mediate between employers and workers. These should be chosen to represent both parties.
Improving workers’ housing, reducing their rent and facilitating the purchasing of houses by workers’ families and by workers’ cooperatives.
Providing, insofar as possible, a share in the use or ownership of land or forests to every peasant, through the allocation of State lands, emigration to unoccupied territory, facilitation of the purchase of small holdings through public credits and grants, public purchase of great private estates in land or forests, etc.
Note I. The contracts, based on the Peasant Statutes of Feb. 19, 1861, which deprived the peasants of their due share of the land or gave them the so-called one-fourth share, should be re-examined and provision made for compulsory sale to the peasants if necessary.
Note II. In localities where the purchase agreements reached after 1861 impose payments on the peasants on the basis of overvalued land, general State funds, equal to the amount of overpayment, should be used to supplement the special peasant tax funds.
Increasing the income from the land and the earnings of the workers through the organization of public supply stores and through placing contracts for public supplies directly with the farmers and workers. These contracts should be administered by public (preferably communal) institutions.
Supporting and developing communal and cooperative ownership or leasing of land, and supporting and developing all other cooperatives.
Repurchasing mines, water resources, forests, railroads, etc., as nonprofit public utilities by the State, the regions, districts, volosts (groups of villages) or communes, using the cooperative method of production and operation wherever possible.
The economic measures outlined above constitute the minimum program for members of Free Union after the foundation of political freedom has been established in Russia. Following the establishment of political freedom, members who consider these measures insufficient can honorably leave Free Union. They can then act according to their own judgment.
Conclusion. The aims of the Ukrainian society Free Union can be summed up as follows:
General civic aims:
The rights of man and citizen — the indispensable condition for personal dignity and development.
Self-government — the basis for progress toward social justice.
Specific national aim:
Political freedom — as a means for the return of the Ukrainian nation to the family of civilized peoples.
Part II. The Society’s Means of Action
Introductory note. In every social question the issue of means is subsequent to that of ends. Means depend on constantly changing circumstances, and hence it is impossible and consequently unnecessary to determine them fully in advance. The most important thing in every political society is to gather together as many members as possible clearly aware of their goal. These members will then find the most expedient means of attaining their goal. Therefore the following recommendations make no claim of being complete; they are merely an attempt to indicate certain methods, primarily for disseminating the basic ideas of Free Union among various strata of the population.
In order to achieve the aims set forth in the first part of the Draft Constitution, it is essential to found throughout Ukraine chapters of Free Union composed of adults with, as far as possible, definite occupations and representing all present classes of the population.
Note. It is clear from what has been said that members of Free Union should refrain from inciting young people to political struggle before they are prepared for it and to acts which might prevent them from being conscious and influential political figures in due time when they have obtained general and professional training.
It should be the unconditional duty of members of Free Union, in addition to all other duties they assume under the present statutes, to work to improve their intellectual and ethical standards and to strive to occupy as prominent places as possible in all causes benefiting society.
Note. Familiarity with the political, social, and cultural life of the Western European peoples, as well as the most detailed knowledge of their native land, should be recommended as particularly desirable for members of Free Union.
All Free Union activity should be in accord with the aims outlined above, in detail and in spirit. They should also be in accord with the general rules of morality.
Note I. All theft and public fraud should be strictly unacceptable to members of Free Union.
Note II. Murder (an act contrary to the fundamental rights of man and citizen) should never be the aim either of Free Union or any of its chapters. If, however, a member of Free Union commits a political murder, in self-defense or through incitement by extreme injustices of the government and its servants, he must assume full personal responsibility for this.* [* Of course “theft” and [* Of course “theft” and “murder” here refer to the political “expropriation” and assassinations of the terrorists. [ed.]]
Never losing sight of their main goals — the uniting of all inhabitants of Ukraine in action for the freedom and welfare of their native land, as well as the union of all present classes of the population of Ukraine in a single whole, all parts of which enjoy equal rights — members of Free Union should also seek out in every locality and in every class, ways of life, traditions, and aspirations which might serve as a natural basis for introducing the aspirations of the Union, i.e.:
Members of Free Union should seek out in various localities and classes of the population of Ukraine recollections of former freedom and equality such as, for example, the self-government of the povits (districts) under the Lithuanian Law, the self-government of the cities under the Magdeburg Law, the secular and ecclesiastical self-government of the villages and volosts (groups of villages), the brotherhoods (lay orders), Cossack self-government (in the hundreds, regiments and the entire Hetmanate), the congresses of the various estates during the Hetmanate, the Sich and the autonomous territory of the Zaporozhian Host, etc. They should strengthen these traditions and relate them to present-day concepts of liberty and equality among civilized peoples.
Inasmuch as even the imperial Russian laws (e.g., the 1787 Patent of Nobility) protected noblemen from deprivation of their liberty and property without due process of law and stipulated that noblemen had the right to petition the crown concerning their needs and privileges, members of Free Union who are nobles should rouse their class to demand the abolition of such things as exile without trial and the emergency statutes on security, and also to demand general reorganization of the political structure of Russia. In addition, Ukrainian nobles who are members of Free Union should call the attention of their peers to the recent popular origin of the Ukrainian nobility from the originally elective Cossack elders. They should point out that the seizure of the people’s land by the elders was extremely unjust and that this gives an even greater moral obligation to the Ukrainian noblemen to speak out against autocracy and to redeem themselves before the common people for the injustices done them.
Members of Free Union who come from the classes of artisans and from the peasantry, as well as all other members, should, in their dealings with these classes, focus and give direction to their dissatisfaction with their present situation. At the same time, they should spread the realization that the tsarist bureaucratic autocracy is unable to provide for the material welfare of the working classes, even if the tsar and the officials really desired to do so. In addition, members of Free Union should spread a realization of the advantages of political freedom for the workers, even if present economic relationships were not to change immediately. They should also prove the need of political freedom to enable the working classes to begin to change these relationships themselves.
Working among the peasants and town people, members of Free Union should devote special attention to the evangelical brotherhoods (the so-called Stundists, Molokans, Men of God, etc.)) seeking to explain to them the relationship between freedom of conscience and political freedoms and striving to foster their inclinations to free thinking, to weaken mysticism, and to direct the idea of religious brotherhood toward that of civic and economic solidarity, and to extend the idea of such solidarity beyond denominational limits.
Note. The best means for the latter could be the familiarizing of our sectarians with the related development of Protestant sects and the cooperative movement in Western Europe, particularly in Holland and Great Britain, from the Anabaptists and Socinians (whose teaching reached Ukraine in the 16th and 17th centuries) to Robert Owen and the present-day workers’ unions.
1. With persons of the military profession, members of Free Union should seek to enlarge the idea of that group that it is the soldier’s duty to defend his homeland from outside enemies to the idea that it is necessary to defend the homeland from all that harms it, including disastrous internal administration. At the same time military personnel of Ukrainian origin should be reminded that their true home land is now enslaved by a power which is harmful and alien to it. At the same time that they encourage military personnel to refuse support to a despotic government and to render real aid in the liberation of Russia, and especially of Ukraine, members of Free Union should propagate the idea that, in the interests of true fraternity and development, the army should not seize power, even in the event of struggle against the government, but that it should only overthrow violators of civil liberty and protect civil self-government against all attempts upon it.
Members of Free Union should make special efforts to be elected to ‘arious offices and assemblies of peasant, noble or Zemstvo institutions in the tillages, cities, districts and provinces in order to direct the course of public affairs according to the aims of Free Union, and in particular in order
to promote public meetings and assemblies for petitions to the government on the need to reorganize Russia on principles of political freedom;
in the event the government is obdurate, to incite the meetings and assemblies to refuse it support, e.g., to refuse to perform the duties of taxation and recruitment, etc., now required of them under the law, and finally to incite these meetings to direct attempts to remove tsarist officials from the administration and to attempts to bring about self-government on their own initiative, calling upon the representatives of other areas to do the same.
The main concern of Free Union at present and in the near future should be to unite in all strata of the population sufficient forces to compel the autocratic government of Russia to concede to its enslaved population the rights of man and citizen and to grant self-government. This would necessitate first of all the coordination of zemstvo and military forces. Even before these forces are fully assembled, however, members of Free Union can, as circumstances allow, undertake various types of action against the government: manifestoes, disobedience, and even attacks to arouse the people and spread among them the conviction that the government of Russia must be changed in accordance with the ideas of Free Union. Its members can also participate in similar actions initiated by other groups.
Note. When members of Free Union incite others to actions such as described above, they must not fail to share in the responsibility for them.
Part III. The Society’s Inner Organization
This will largely depend on fortuitous circumstances and therefore cannot be precisely determined in advance, and of course cannot be made public.
The Program of the Review Hromada
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.
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 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 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.
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:
In political matters:
Equal rights for men and women of all races.
Inviolable freedom of speech, publication, education, assembly, and organization.
Inalienable self-government for every community.
Complete independence for Ukraine, organized into a federation of free communities.
We define 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 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 Ukraine to the neighboring nations, with whom 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.
In economic matters:
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.
In educational and cultural matters:
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 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 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:
September 1, 1880
Political and Social Ideas in Ukrainian Folk Songs
This first appeared in Russian in the Slavyanshj Almanack (Slavic Almanac) (Vienna, 1880), under the title “Politico-Social Thoughts in Recent Songs of the Ukrainian (Little Russian) People.” Today the Slavic Almanac is a bibliographic rarity, and we did not have access to it. Our translation was made from the Ukrainian version in the third volume of Studies of M. Drahomanov in Ukrainian Folklore and Literature (Lviv, 1906). We have taken only the introductory part, which treats methodological and general questions. The principal part of the article treats folk songs of the 19th century as they reflect the political and social processes of Drahomanov’s own time. Because it is so difficult to translate the songs which Drahomanov quotes at length, we were unfortunately unable to present the main portion. However, we hope that this fragment will characterize Drahomanov’s scientific methods, in which studies of folklore merge into sociology. We should add that Drahomanov reworked and enlarged this article into a book, New Ukrainian Songs on Social Matters (Geneva, 1881).
We have chosen this subject for our contribution to the Slavic Almanac because of an editorial statement that the purpose of this collection is to give the readers a sampling from the various Slavic languages and dialects, and to publish articles which present the individual characteristics of these peoples....
Our people is known for the richness and realism of its folk songs, which are always the best examples of the popular idiom.... We are less sure whether an article on folk songs can reach the second goal of showing the “individual characteristics” of our people. We must first explain this reservation.
Both scholars and politicians of the nationalist and democratic parties are fond of talking about “national individuality” and “popular philosophies of life.” However these are by their nature vague concepts, first because each person seeks in a nationality what he himself hopes to find, and secondly because it is hard to say exactly what a “people” is. Though a “people” be taken to include only the poorest and least educated classes, it must still be remembered that these are less homogeneous in their ideas and character than is usually thought. Even the classes which have been least affected by the course of history are marked with the imprint of successive epochs of civilization and differentiated into cultural strata. Of course this is less visible than among the higher classes, where we find people with ideas from the 19th, 18th, 17th, and even earlier centuries coexisting at the same time. To say that any one characteristic is popular or national, as one speaks of a national religion, for instance, is very risky.... To obtain worthwhile results in this question it would be necessary to make a comparative study of all peoples. Only by such an enormous work of analysis and synthesis would it be possible to say with assurance that any given characteristic or idea, or rather type of idea, is national and limited to such and such a people.
What we find in the life and thoughts of a people may be compared to the geologic structure of the earth’s crust. It is like a mountain which is based on a foundation common to the whole earth, but has been given a specific shape and composition by the passage of geologic time. It will, however, continue to change, since the history of the earth is not yet finished. A very detailed examination is required to determine the specific characteristics of a mountain, and this can only be done for a specific geologic period, and cannot be generalized. In the field of national characteristics such investigations are still in their cradle. So far the most valuable work has been the collection of material, and not the largely subjective and biased interpretations which we find in discussions of national individuality.
Only after such an introduction can we permit ourselves to begin our consideration of the ideas and characteristics of the Ukrainian people, even though such characteristics certainly exist and can be sensed in all that the people thinks and does. We must make one more reservation. We do not dare speak of characteristics so basic in our people that throughout their whole history these could be considered an essential part of their psychology. We shall limit ourselves to the most recent period, and choose from it only folk songs which may be said to express the feelings of the majority, if not all, of the people. These are songs which treat subjects common to the majority, and even do so in almost the same words from the Mukachevo region in Hungary to the Slobidska Ukraine on the banks of the Seym and the Don.
The latest period in Ukrainian history may be said to be the last hundred years, from the latter half of the 18th century. At that time began the transfer of power from the three aristocracies — the Hungarian west of the Carpathians, the Polish between the Carpathians and the Dnieper, and the Cossack from the Dnieper to the Don — to the Austrian and Russian bureaucracies, under whom the Ukrainians have spent the 19th century thus far. Eveni in Austria a truly constitutional way of life has scarcely begun for the nass of the Ruthenians.
During this most recent period what are the political and social ideas which we find in the songs of those classes for whom a song is what a book or newspaper is for the more educated classes?
In beginning a discussion of the political ideas of any people, the first question is whether it has a feeling of national unity, or if, being without political unity, it feels this lack.
We note that a large majority of the songs dealing with the life of the individual and the family are the same all over Ukraine. Three-fourths of the songs such as Christmas carols, love songs, wedding songs, and the songs peasants sing at their work are the same everywhere, from the Don or Chernihiv regions on the one side, to Ukrainian settlements in Hungary on the other, although these lands were never united politically. Thus, for instance, out of forty-five songs which Talapkovych recorded in Hungarian Ruthenia, we find twenty-eight which are recognizable at first glance as variations on songs of the Dnieper Ukraine.
Songs treating political matters vary more; those stemming from the most ancient periods are the most nearly identical over the whole Ukraine. These are the ones which are the relics of the heroic period of the princes and boyars from the 9th to the 14th centuries. Among these are for instance the kolady (sung during the Christmas season), which describe: a cohort of warriors assembling to go to Tsarhorod (Constantinople) for military service; the division of the plunder; a young lord’s siege of a city; a lord going to Sudomyr or some other city to administer justice, etc. We have included many such songs in the first volume of our Historical Songs of the Little Russian People (Kiev, 1874). Most of these were recorded in Galicia and the Right Bank Ukraine, but versions of many of these were later sent to us from the Kharkiv, Ekaterinoslav, and Don regions. Such very ancient songs are the same all over Ukraine because in the heroic period the princely and boyar structure was the same everywhere. They have been preserved in the various new social orders because they have been attached to religious festivals which are still celebrated in the same manner all over Ukraine.
More recent political songs are no longer found to be similar in all our lands. For instance the dumas (lyric epics) of the Cossack kobzars (minstrels) of the 16th to 18th centuries are found almost exclusively in the Left Bank Ukraine, haydamak (peasant insurgent) songs of the 18th century mostly on the Right Bank. The songs of the opryshky (“Robin Hoods”) are limited to the Carpathians. However, there are some songs which describe conditions common to our whole country, for instance the many describing the Turkish and Tatar bondage, and scenes from the struggle against it: Cossack patrols on the steppes, a warrior’s death on the steppe, his farewell to his horse, etc. Besides these, there are songs about real or typical imaginary figures, beloved or unloved, which are the same from the Carpathians to the Don. Among these we find songs about: Bayda, who killed the Turkish sultan (16th century); Morozenko, a hero slain in battle (17th century); Nechay, the general of the Khmelnytsky period who fought the most ardently for the freedom of the whole people, and not just for the interests of the Cossack elders, and is better remembered than even Hetman Khmelnytsky, “The Father of the Cossacks” (17th century); Kaniowski, the Polish lord who killed a cooper’s daughter (a scene from aristocratic Poland of the 18th century); Sava Chaly, who deserted the Cossacks in order to serve the Polish lords and was killed by the Cossacks for this; and Shvachka, one of the haydamaks who took revenge for deeds like those of Kaniowski.
Such political songs, like the songs of the individual, of the family, and of cultural life, are found to be the same in collections from the Carpathians, Volhynia, the Right Bank Ukraine, the Left Bank Ukraine, the province of Kharkiv, etc., that is, in regions which have not belonged to the same political State for a long time, or have never been united.
It is also revealing to compare Ukrainian songs with those of the peoples, even the Slavic peoples, with whom the Ukrainians have lived in the same States. A comparison of Ukrainian songs with Polish and Great Russian ones shows very few from individual, family, and agricultural life which are the same, and almost none from the political sphere, with the exception of a very few Great Russian soldiers’ songs, which occur in Ukraine in a very mutilated form. Out of the thousands of the most important Ukrainian songs which have been printed in collections, there are scarcely fifty of which variations can be found in Polish or Great Russian collections. Of those which have parallels, half belong to the group of itinerant motifs (the marriage of brother and sister, the slaying of a brother, etc.) which are to be found not only among the Slavs, but also among the Germanic, Latin, and other European and Asiatic peoples.
It is interesting that our variations of such songs are closest to those of the Slovaks, i.e. to those of a people which has never dominated the Ukrainians. This correlates with the fact that on our western ethnic frontier the Ukrainians are more easily assimilated by the Slovaks, and vice versa, than by the Poles. However, the number of songs which are common to the Ukrainians and the Slovaks is not very large, and many of these do not extend beyond the region of the Ukrainian tribe of the Lemky in the Carpathians.
Folk songs show an exceptionally close relationship between the Ukrainians and their northern neighbors, the Byelorussians. In Byelorussian collections at least sixty or seventy percent of the songs are variations of Ukrainian ones. Of these about twenty percent (wedding songs, Easter songs, and other ritual and seasonal songs) are very old and must have been common to the Ukrainians and the Byelorussians from earliest times. The Byelorussians have clearly taken the rest of these parallel songs from us. It may be asked whether we did not take them from the Byelorussians, but in these songs we find birds, plants, etc. native to Ukraine, as well as treatment of our Cossacks and chumaky (merchants travelling in caravans). It is interesting to remember that during the Lithuanian period, when our people was most closely linked to the Byelorussian, the political center was in Byelorussia rather than in our land. Nonetheless, they took incomparably more songs from us than we from them.
A geographical survey of the songs in the various parts of our land, and in neighboring lands, shows the interesting fact that political frontiers, as opposed to ethnic ones, have very little effect on the diffusion of songs. Our songs form a distinct and integrated group, and this is one of the clearest signs of a crystallized and homogeneous nationality.
However, a closer view of the ideas contained in these songs makes it evident that the individuality and unity of our nation is a function of private life and custom rather than of political consciousness. Even the specifically political songs express abhorrence of foreign domination rather than the desire for all of us to live together in our own State. The underlying thought may be expressed thus: we do not want to be taken into Turk or Tatar captivity, or to be beaten by Polish lords or Muscovite generals. What kind of State our people longs for can not be determined from these songs. Their whole content indicates that after several hundred years of foreign domination, the opposition of our people is more from social and economic motives than from national and political antipathies and sympathies. This was inevitable, for history did not give us a chance to create a State which would have channeled national emotions.
Our nation was closest to statehood at the time of Khmelnytsky’s Cossack revolution in the middle of the 17th century. A vast territory on both sides of the Dnieper, from Baturyn on the Muscovite border to Vinnitsa in Podolya, was then organized into a Cossack republic, and groups of Cossacks and peasant insurgents were to be found as far as Nadvirna in Galicia. But even then the mass of the people was more interested in economic and social problems than in national ones. Even in the Cossack dumas, sung by professional minstrels, we find less about religion, the nation, and the State, than about items such as how “the tax collecting on our rivers and highways is farmed out to Jews”; and in the simple songs sung by peasants all over Ukraine, the statesman Khmelnytsky is scarcely mentioned, whereas Nechay, the representative of peasant interests, is widely praised. The dismemberment of the Cossack republic by Muscovy, Poland, and Turkey in 1667, and the crystallization of an aristocracy in that part of the Cossack republic which lasted another hundred years on the Left Bank under tsarist protection, necessarily weakened even further the idea of the nation and the State, and reinforced the social and economic motives. It was with this orientation that our people entered a new epoch of its history in the second half of the 18th century.
Taming of the Shrew in the Folklore of Ukraine
This is the lecture which Drahomanov sent to the International Folklore Congress held in connection with the World Exposition of 1893 in Chicago. Drahomanov was invited to participate in the Congress, but was unable to, and his paper was read in absentia in English on July 15, 1893. It was followed by a discussion led by Franklin A. Head of Chicago. It was reprinted in the daily, Svoboda (New York, Feb. 17, 1945), from which we have copied it, a few corrections in the English.
We have included this article because of its connection with the American scholarly world and because it may serve as an illustration of Drahomanov’s work in his field of special study.
The commentators upon Shakespeare have already demonstrated that the illustrious dramatist took the subject of his comedy, The Taming of the Shrew, from an Italian novel of Steparola, adding to it details found in analogous novels among Germanic peoples, and which the English writer might well have found in oral tales in existence in the England of his time.
A short note on the people of Ukraine will not, we believe, be useless. The name Ukraine, or Little Russia, is given to the southern provinces of European Russia, from the river Kuban at the foot of the Caucasus to the left bank of the Western Bug.
All those provinces are peopled, for the most part, by a Slavic race having its ethnographic peculiarities and its own original history. There may be as many as nineteen or twenty million Ukrainians. To this race belong also nearly three and one half millions of the population of Galicia, of Bukovina and of eastern Hungary, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Notes upon the same theme are found in old texts and in the folklore of various European countries: in Spain, Italy, Denmark, France, Germany, and also in Slavic countries, in Russia and in Bulgaria. A German journal of 1829 published a translation of a Persian story with the same plot. It will be readily admitted, from numerous analogies, that the plot of the European stories on this theme has really penetrated into our country from Asia, which should be considered as the home of adages and misogynous tales. But it must be observed that very often the European imitators of Asiatic stories surpass the Oriental originals in their misogyny, impelled by a coarse vivacity on the subject, which the grave humor of the Oriental restrains within certain limits. This is the case with the tales of the taming of the shrew. The Ukrainian stories on this theme are interesting, first because, with the other Slav variants, they can complete the geographical chain of the traditions of the subject between Europe and Asia, and also because they show how an Asiatic tale whose subject has been suggested by the life of the harems, transported into the middle of our country, where life is much more simple, adapts itself with difficulty to the new and different entourage. The details are shuffled about, lose their coherence and sometimes their common ideas, up to the point where the European story-teller loses patience, as it were, and does not seize upon the details or even the plot of the foreign story, unless it is to create a new tale with an argument which is different, if not entirely opposite. The tales having as a theme the taming of the shrew may have penetrated into Ukraine from Western Europe as well as from Asia. The state of folklore study in the countries adjacent to Ukraine does not as yet permit us to pronounce definitely upon that point. We will do no more here than sum up the tales on this theme which have been found in our country, and to indicate their analogies with foreign tales, and we may end with a Ukrainian variant which may be considered as an original creation made under the impression of these tales and as a foil against them.
We may recall that in the greater part of the variants of the story in question the husband commences by chastising animals which will not obey him: cat, dog, horse, etc., and that in several of the variants, the correction, after having borne good results with the young spouse, is then applied to her mother, who served as an example to her, and who even counseled her to acts of disobedience. The episode of the punishment of the cat, to which the wise young husband first gives his commands, is the principal base of the Persian variant. This episode is strangely transformed in the Ukrainian variants. Two of these variants recount to us that the father of the obstinate wife had forewarned the fiance that the daughter would do no housework, but that he had responded, “We have at the house a cat which will do all the work.” The young bride herself ordered the cat to prepare the dinner; the cat did not obey; then the husband beat it, putting it into a sack which he gave to his wife to hold on her back; or, in another version, he ordered the woman to hold the cat by the paws. In the first case, the woman received the blows upon her back; in the second, the cat scratched her hands, and the woman ending by letting it go, her husband beat her, — a detail which disfigures the Persian variant, which is to frighten the lady without touching her body. After this experience the woman sets to work herself without trusting to the cat.
In the novel of Steparola, the young husband proposes to his wife to fight with flails in order to decide which of them should rule, and which obey. The wife, frightened, promises obedience, and keeps her promise better when she sees her husband kill his unruly horse. This punishment of the cat is changed to another story, where the husband punishes his wife for infidelity by giving her blows with a cat, which is cruel as well as wanting in sense. In the Danish tale, the husband kills the horse during the trip to the house, and the wife is obliged to finish the journey on foot. In a Gascon tale, the lady is obliged to carry the saddle of the horse which her husband has killed as a punishment. In an old German rhyme the husband, after having killed the horse, saddles the woman and compels her to carry him thus a mile on the way, after which the woman promises obedience. A third Ukrainian variant commences with the question of the husband to the wife. “Which of us ought to obey the other?” The woman chooses the command. The husband obeys during three years, but after the delay he claims his turn of pre-eminence, and proposes to the wife to go together to visit some relatives. Having received the order to hitch up the horse, the woman puts it headfirst in the shafts, and when the horse pushes the cart backward instead of going ahead, the husband kills it and hitches the woman in its place. It is in this manner that he arrives at his father-in-law’s home, where he has the complete approval of the old man, who has suffered all his life from the obstinacy of his wife. The correction of the latter by the wise son-in-law follows.
In Steparola there are two brothers who espouse two sisters, and one spoils his wife by indulgence, while the better advised one corrects his, who would willingly follow the example of her sister. Having learned from his brother the key to the secret, the elder wishes also to employ his means of correction, but his wife derides him, saying he has commenced his work too late. In the Spanish tale there is no mention of two sisters, but of the daughter and mother; the results are the same. A German rhyme shows us also a mother and daughter the latter of whom wishes to follow the example of the former, but who is corrected, as we have just related, after which comes the correction of the old woman by her son-in-law.
The Ukrainian variants have seized upon the theme of the correction of the mother-in-law, while repeating the episode of hitching up the woman. The father of the young woman who is corrected, enchanted with the result obtained by his son-in-law, sends his own mate to visit him. The son-in-law harnesses his mother-in-law to the plough, and gives her strokes of the whip while he tills the fields. In another variant, the young man forces his wife also to inflict blows upon her mother, and to repeat “Mother, you should not give your daughter lessons in disobedience toward her husband.” Besides these tales, Ukrainian folk-lore offers some satirical poems, which the popular rhapsodists recite to the accompaniment of the kobza or the lyre, and in which the wicked woman is corrected by hitching her to the cart.
Although oral literature is often described as the mirror of the life and soul of the people, it is not to be concluded from the notes which we have just summed up that the customs of the peasants of Ukraine are coarse, or that the treatment of women is severe. In reality, the position of the woman is relatively rather high in the Ukrainian family. Marriages are usually contracted freely by choice, the share in the agricultural and domestic work between the husband and wife is proportioned to the strength of each, and gives to the woman complete independence within her sphere.
In reading the Ukrainian variants of the tales upon the taming of the shrew, it is seen that we have to deal with a foreign theme upon which the people have seized because it lends itself to pleasantry — doubtless rather coarse — but whose details are not even familiar to them, from which comes often the confusion in the tales which cannot be explained except by the aid of comparative study. The imagination of the people of Ukraine ended by the creation of a new tale which had arranged quite freely the details of the strange story, and at the same time had changed its dominant idea. This new recital commences by transforming the episode of the refractory animal in the following manner:
There was once upon a time a poor woman with her son. Both were very industrious. The mother had saved money, but it only sufficed to buy a single ox, and not two, which they ordinarily harness together in their country, in order to work the fields with a plough. In spite of this, the son hitched up this ox, and was doing his work in the fields. One day there passed a rich man who lived in the village near-by, who saw his difficulty and who promised to give him a second ox as a present. But this ox had not been well trained and had acquired some bad habits, being very obstinate. Nevertheless, by means of patience, the young man succeeded in correcting this ox. Having learned this, the rich man invited the young man to marry his own daughter, who was very spoiled.
The marriage being celebrated, the young couple go to the poor hut of the husband, and carry as dot only a very small chest.
The next day, the young wife refuses to work, and will not carry water and wood to use in cooking. After some hours, the husband and his mother, who had prepared the dinner, commenced to eat, but did not invite the wife, who remained in a corner behind the stove. The dinner ended, the mother and son went out to their tasks. The wife found only a little bread in the house, which she eagerly devoured in her place of refuge. The same thing was repeated at supper. The next day, the wife, who was very hungry, rose early, ran to the fountain and brought the water, but hid herself, as before, in her corner. The mother-in-law prepared the dinner and said to her daughter-in-law; “Come, my daughter, eat the soup, it is made of the water that you brought.” But she gave her no meat after the gruel. The third day, the daughter-in-law sees that in the house they do not play with work, arises at dawn, brings water and then wood, but goes back again behind the stove. The mother prepares the dinner again, invites the younger woman to eat, saying “Seest thou, my daughter, the dinner is cooked with the wood and water thou hast brought; thy husband has gathered some millet, and I have made the broth, and I have done the work at the stove. All of us have worked and all of us may eat of this dinner.” The daughter-in-law had learned that in this house they only nourished those who had worked, and set to work herself to perform her domestic tasks conscientiously, becoming gay and gentle. After a time, her father wished to see her. The daughter received him with pleasure, did the honors of the home for him, but did not forget to work, and finally, seeing her mother-in-law approaching, gave to her father a small piece of fur, and invited him to rub it (this is done to make the skin softer). “Look, father,” said she, “rub this, because it is the custom in this house only to give those who work something to eat.” The father was very much pleased with the transformation of his daughter, and invited her husband to his house, and gave them all sorts of riches, clothing, cattle, ploughs, bees, etc. The couple became rich, but continued good workers.
The same history forms the plot of the tale of the Ukrainian story-teller, Storozhenko. “One should teach an idle person to work by hunger, but not with a hammer.”
We see that the popular reciters of this tale agree with St. Paul in the idea that “he who labors not, may not eat,” an idea much more humane than that which the taming of the shrew would teach.
But one cannot have misogynous adages without results. It is not long since we read in a journal of Southern Russia a different fact — the history of a peasant, who, as a punishment for infidelity, had hitched his wife to a cart beside the horse and came thus to market. It is evident that the goodman was inspired by the satiric poetry which he had heard recited, perhaps in the same market-place.
The letter from Drahomanov reproduced, was addressed to Professor de Gubernatis, the editor of Rivista Europea, in Florence. A translation of the letter, the Italian of which is not perfect, reads as follows:
Dear Friend and Colleague:
I am taking the liberty of recommending to you my friend Boris Pavlovic, professor at the girls’ high school in St. Petersburg. He will bring you a copy of the book Professor Antonovic and I wrote.
I received your last letter but have delayed answering it because I want to send a report on the Archeological Congress in Kiev.
You will have to wait for my next letter.
My Ludmilla and Lydia send greetings to your wife and to Cordelia and little Alessandro.
With warm regards,
The letter is not dated, but the reference to the Archeological Congress in Kiev (August 2–16, 1874) places it in 1874. The book mentioned is the first volume of Drahomanov and Antonovych’s Historical Songs of the Little Russian People, which appeared in 1874 and was presented at the Congress. Count Angelo de Gubernatis (1840–1914), to whom the letter was written, was an Italian scholar in the fields of folklore, Sanskrit, and the history of literature. From 1869 to 1876 he was editor of Rivista Europea, the leading Italian periodical of the time. Gubernatis’ marriage to a relation of Bakunin explains his interest in Slavic affairs. During Drahomanov’s three years of study and travel in Western Europe, he spent the winter of 1872–73 in Florence, where he made the acquaintance of Gubernatis. Rivista Europea published an article by Drahomanov on Ukraine, “Il movimento letterario ruteno in Russia e Galizia” (1873, Nos. 1 and 2). Gubernatis included an article on Drahomanov in his Dictionnaire International des Ecrivains (1888–1891). Drahomanov’s letters to Gubernatis are to be found in the archives of the latter, which are preserved in the National Library in Florence. This is the first time that one of these has been published.
In selecting articles by Drahomanov for Part II of this book, the editor wishes to provide as representative a cross-section as possible of Drahomanov’s ideas. Both to save space and to avoid the need for too much explanatory material, some cuts were necessary. We have left out some repetitions, and a number of references to contemporaries and contemporary arguments which today can be of interest only to a specialist in the period. The order of the article is not chronological.
 M. Drahomanov, “Autobiography,” Selected Works of M. Drahomanov, I (Prague, 1937), p. 56.
 Letters to the Dnieper Ukraine (Vienna, 1915), p. 25.
 Istoriya Rusov (The History of the Ruthenians) was allegedly the work of Jury Konysky, the bishop of Mogilev in Byelorussia from 1755–1795. In reality this book, which was probably written at the beginning of the 19th century, was the work of a member of the Ukrainian nobility of the Left Bank Ukraine. Although there have been many hypotheses as to who was the true author, he is still unknown. Borschak writes about The History of the Ruthenians:
“It is a historical and political plea in favor of an autonomous Ukraine, the true and only heir of pre-Mongol Rus, as opposed to Catholic Poland and “Tatar” Muscovy.”
This work of the pseudo-Konysky abounds in distortions and fabrications, and is historically worthless. Nevertheless, countless handwritten copies circulated and this unusually successful propaganda pamphlet deeply influenced the development of Ukrainian consciousness in the first half of the 19th century, (cf. Elie Borschak, La legende historique de l’Ukraine — Istoriya Rusov, Collection historique de l’lnstitut d’Etudes slaves, XIII, Paris, 1949). ed.
 Hromada, IV (1879), p. 147.
 Po voprosu o malorusskoi literature (The Question of Little Russian Literature) (Vienna, 1876), p. 9. :
 After a short existence the brotherhood of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, a Ukrainian secret organization in Kiev, was crushed by the tsarist police in 1847. Its membership included men who were extremely important for the spiritual rebirth of Ukraine, such as the poets Shevchenko and Kulish, the historian Kostomarov (the author of the Brotherhood’s program), and others. This was the first expression of the democratic-populist phase of the Ukrainian movement, ed.
 Osnova (Foundation) was a Ukrainian magazine in St. Petersburg in 1861–62, published by a few former members of the Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood who had been able to return from exile after Alexander II’s accession to the throne. In contrast to the youthfully bold program of the Brotherhood, Osnova’s aims were limited to the development of Ukrainian literature and culture, renouncing the goal of political autonomy, and supporting the all-Russian programs of reform, principally that of emancipating the peasants, ed.
 Drahomanov, Peculiar Thoughts on the Ukrainian National Cause (Vienna, 1915), p. 94.
 Ibid., p. 95.
 Drahomanov, Letters to Ivan Franko, II (Lviv, 1908), pp. 129–30.
 Drahomanov, The Lost Epoch (Lviv, 1909), pp. 7–8.
 Letters to Franko, II, p. 55.
 Drahomanov, Political Songs of the Ukrainian People in the 18th and 19th Centuries, I (Geneva, 1883), p. xviii.
 After the decisive defeat of the Swedish and Ukrainian forces at Poltava (June 27, 1709), Charles XII and Mazepa, with the remnants of their armies, fled to Moldavia, which was under Turkish suzerainty. The old Hetman died soon afterwards, and Fylyp Orlyk, his chancellor and nearest political collaborator, was elected as his successor in Bendery (April 10, 1710). On this occasion a constitutional charter, Pacta et Constitutiones Legum Libertatumque Exercitus Zaporoviensis, was promulgated. This limited the absolute power of the hetman and provided for the regular convocation of the General Council. Since the hopes of reestablishing an independent Ukraine by means of the Swedish and Turkish alliances were not fulfilled, this Constitution of Bendery was never put into effect, but it is characteristic of the political ideas of Ukrainian patriots of the early 18th century. ed.
 Peculiar Thoughts, pp. 30–31.
 Peculiar Thoughts, p. 35.
 Letters to the Dnieper Ukraine, p. 6.
 Hromada, No. 4 (1879), p. 99.
 Peculiar Thoughts, p. 37.
 Drahomanov, “Ukraine and the Capitals”, Hromada, No. 2 (1878), p. 429.
 Cf. Olena Pchilka, “My Memories of M. Drahomanov,” Ukrayina, I-II (Kiev, 1926).
 M. Drahomanov, “Autobiography,” Selected Works of M. Drahomanov, I (Prague, 1937), p. 63.
 Cf. M. Hrushevsky “The Fiftieth Anniversary of Historical Songs of the Little Russian People by V. Antonovych and M. Drahomanov,” Ukrayina (Kiev, 1925).
 Cf. M. Voznyak, “Drahomanov’s Mission Abroad,” Ukrayina, I-II (Kiev, 1929).
 Ukrainian Scientific Institute, ed., The Archives of M. Drahomanov (Warsaw, 1937), p. 333.
 M. Voznyak, op. cit.
 M. Drahomanov, New Ukrainian Songs on Social Matters (Geneva, 1881), p. 7.
 Ibid., p. 131.
 M. Drahomanov’s letter to O. Pchilka of Nov. 24, 1880 in I. Tsyhanenko, “Three of M. Drahomanov’s Literary Contacts in the 1880’s,” Literary Archives (Kharkiv, 1930).
 “Slavic Versions of the Oedipus Story,” The Collected Studies of M. Drahomanov in Ukrainian Folklore and Literature, IV (Lviv, 1907), p. 143.
 “The Puppet Comedy in Ukraine,” Collected Studies, I (Lviv, 1889), ap. 144–145.
 Collected Studies, I, p. 136.
 M. Drahomanov, “Autobiography,” Selected Works of M. Drahomanov, I (Prague, 1937), p. 84.
 Collected Studies, IV.
 V. Petrov, “Methodological and Philosophical Tendencies in Ukrainian Ethnography,” Ukrainian Encyclopedia (Munich, 1949), p. 186.
 Z. Kuzela and P. Odarchenko, “History of Ukrainian Ethnography,” Ukrainian Encyclopedia (Munich, 1949), p. 189.
 “Slavic Versions of the Oedipus Story,” Collected Studies, IV, p. 7.
 Cf. the supplement by P. B. (P. Bohatsky) to the “Autobiography” in The Selected Works of M. Drahomanov, I (Prague, 1937), p. 86.
 Drahomanov’s “Message on the Occasion of his Jubilee, December 16, 1894” in Selected Works, p. 91.
 A. Arnaudov, M. Drahomanov, His Life and Ideas and His Importance for Bulgarian Folklore (Sofia, 1933)
 The Correspondence of M. Drahomanov (Lviv, 1901), p. 162.
 Drahomanov’s Correspondence with M. Pavlyk (Chernivtsi, 1910–11), VI, p. 153.
 Cf. Vasyl Simovych, “Drahomanov’s Orthographic System,” A Symposiun in Honor of M. Drahomanov (Prague, 1932), pp. 145 ff.
 Drahomanov, Letters to the Dnieper Ukraine (Vienna, 1915), p. 109.
 Drahomanov, “The Moral of the Story,” Hromada, No. 2 (Geneva, 1881), pp. 220–222.
 M. Drahomanov, Ancient Charters of Liberty (Vienna, 1915), p. 33.
 Ibid., p. 70.
 Ibid., p. 80.
 Ibid., p. 80.
 The Selected Worlds of M. P. Drahomanov, Vol. I (Prague-New York, 1939), pp. 116–118.
 The Collected Political Writings of M. P. Drahomanov, Vol. I (Paris, 1905), p. 314.
 Ibid., p. 321.
 Ibid., p. 326.
 Ibid., p. 327.
 Ibid., pp. 330–331.
 Ibid., p. 331.
 Ibid., p. 333, n.
 M. Pavlyk, ed., Perepyska Mykaila Drahotnanova z Melitonom Buchynskym 1871–1877 (Lviv 1910), 72.
 Arkhiv Mykhaila Drahomanova (Warsaw 1937), 1:320.
 Ibid., 245–6.
 M. P. Drahomanov, “Volnyi soiuz — Vilna spilka. Opyt ukrainskoi politiko-sotsialnoi programmy,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii M. P. Dragomanova, ed. B. A. Kistiakovsky, 2 vols. (Paris 1905–6), 1:329.
 M. P. Drahomanov, “Perednie slovo” to Hromada, in M. P. Drahomanov, Vybrani tvory, v. 1 (all published) (Prague 1937), 1:120.
 Ibid., 115.
 Cf. P. Fedenko, “M. Drahomaniv i Pier Zhozef Prudon,” in Drahomanivskyi zbirnyk, ed. V. Simovych (Prague 1932), 271 ff.
 M. P. Drahomanov, “Istoricheskaia Polsha i velikorusskaia demokratiia,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 1:124.
 Drahomanov, “Perednie slovo,” in Vybrani tvory, 118.
 M. P. Drahomanov, “K biografii A.I. Zheliabova,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:435.
 Drahomanov, “Istoricheskaia Polska,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 1:124.
 Drahomanov, “Perednie slovo,” in Vybrani tvory, 115.
 M. Drahomanov, Lysty do Iv. Franka i inshykh, 1881 — 1886, ed. I. Franko (Lviv 1906), 138–9.
 Drahomanov, “Istoricheskaia Polsha,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 1:194.
 M. Pavlyk, ed., Perepyska Mykhaila Drahomanova z Mykhailom Pavlykom (1876–1895), 7 vols., numbered 2–8 (Chernivtsi 1910–12), 3:382.
 M. P. Drahomanov, “K voprosu o natsionalnostiakh v Rossii,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:865.
 M. P. Drahomanov, “ ‘Narodnaia volia’ o tsentralizatsii revoliutsionnoi borby v Rossii,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:397, n.
 M. P. Drahomanov, Chudatski dumky pro ukrainsku natsionalnu spravu (Vienna 1915), 76–81.
 Drahomanov, “Istoricheskaia Polsha,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 1:259.
 Ibid., 318–19.
 Cf. Kh. Sliusarenko, “Studii Drahomanova z istorii Rymu,” in Drahomanivskyi zbirnyk, 243 ff.
 M. P. Drahomanov, Perepyska, ed. M. Pavlyk (Lviv 1901), 123.
 M. P. Drahomanov, Vopros ob istoricheskom znachenii Rimskoi Imperii i Tatsit (Kiev 1870), 36–7.
 M. P. Drahomanov, Rai i postup (Vienna 1915), 64.
 Cf. V. Doroshenko, “M. Drahomanov i ioho dumky pro relihiini i tserkovni spravy,” Vira i nauka, no. 6 (Kolomyia 1926).
 M. P. Drahomanov, “ ‘Mariia’ poema T. Hr. Shevchenka,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:756.
 Cf. M. Drahomanov, “Vira i hromadski spravy,” in Pamiaty Mykhaila Drahomanova, 1895–1920: Zbirnyk, ed. la. Dovbyshchenko (Kharkiv 1920), 89.
 M. Pavlyk, ed., Perepyska Mykhaila Drahomanova z drom Teofilom Okunevskym (Lviv 1905), 208.
 M. P. Drahomanov, Opovidannia pro zazdrisnykh bohiv (New York 1918).
 Drahomanov, “‘Mariia’ poema,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:757.
 Doroshenko, “M. Drahomanov i ioho dumky,” Vira i nauka, 9.
 See Pavlyk, Perepyska Drahomanova z Pavlykom, 6:184. These principles recognize the fatherhood of God, the brotherhood of all men, and the self-government of all communities of three or more members of the Brotherhood.
 Pavlyk, Perepyska Drahomanova z Okunevskym, 209.
 M. P. Drahomanov, “Otpovidi i zamitky,” Hromada 4 (1879):350, 356.
 Drahomanov, “Istoricheskaia Polsha,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 1:256.
 M. P. Drahomanov, “Novyia russkiia stati po polskomu voprosu,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:558.
 Drahomanov, Rai i postup, 61.
 Cf. Drahomanov, “The Program of the Review Hromada,” in Mykhaylo Drahomanov: A Symposium and Selected Writings, ed. I. L. Rudnytsky, Annals of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the U.S. 2, no. 1 (Spring 1952):206–8.
 M. P. Drahomanov, “Les paysans russo-ukrainiens sous les liberaux hongrois,” cited in D. Zaslavsky, M. P. Dragomanov: Kritiko-biograficheskii ocherk (Kiev 1924), 100.
 M. P. Drahomanov, “Absoliutizm i kapitalizm,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:573.
 Drahomanov, “Perednie slovo,” in Vybrani tvory, 122.
 M. P. Drahomanov, Lysty na Naddnipriansku Ukrainu (Vienna 1915), 38.
 Drahomanov, Chudatski dumky, 13.
 Ibid., 16.
 Cf. Drahomanov, “Political and Social Ideas in Ukrainian Folk Songs,” in Mykhaylo Drahomanov: A Symposium and Selected Writings, 209–13.
 Pavlyk, Perepyska Drahomanova z Pavlykom, 6:151–2.
 Arkhiv M. Drahomanova, 308.
 Drahomanov, “Volnyi soiuz — Vilna spilka,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 1:350.
 M. P. Drahomanov, Avstro-ruski spomyny (Lviv 1889–92), 445.
 Drahomanov, Perepyska, 22–3.
 Drahomanov, “Volnyi soiuz — Vilna spilka,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 1:348.
 Drahomanov, “Free Union: Draft of a Ukrainian Political and Social Program (Part II. Section 5),” in Mykhaylo Drahomanov: A Symposium and Selected Writings, 204.
 Drahomanov, “Perednie slovo,” in Vybrani tvory, 119.
 Drahomanov, “Absoliutizm i kapitalizm,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:572.
 Drahomanov, Avstro-ruski spomyny, 356.
 Drahomanov, “Istoricheskaia Polsha,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 1:151.
 Pavlyk, Perepyska Drahomanova z Pavlykom, 6:29.
 M. P. Drahomanov, “Shevchenko, ukrainofily i sotsiializm,” Hromada 4 (1879): 199–200.
 Ibid., 206–7.
 Ibid., 212.
 Drahomanov, “Otpovidi i zamitky,” Hromada 4 (1879):313.
 M. P. Drahomanov, “Terrorizm i svoboda,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:289 and 301.
 Cf. Zaslavsky, M. P. Dragomanov, 100.
 This is the basic idea of M. Hrushevsky’s study, Z pochyniv ukrainskoho so-tsiialistychnoho rukhu: Mykh. Drahomanov i zhenevskyi sotsiialistychnyi hurtok (Vienna 1922). From the official Soviet Russian standpoint the theory of the independent origin of Ukrainian Marxism is of course a capital heresy. Charges of this nationalist deviation played a role in the liquidation of the native Ukrainian communist leaders in the 1930s.
 Drahomanov, Perepyska, 122.
 Drahomanov, “Volnyi soiuz — Vilna spilka,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 1:350.
 Pavlyk, Perepyska Drahomanova z Pavlykom, 6:143.
 Drahomanov, “Istoricheskaia Polsha,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 1:137.
 Drahomanov, “Volnyi soiuz — Vilna spilka,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 1:344.
 Ibid., 342–3.
 M. P. Drahomanov, “Obaiatelnost energii,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:385.
 Ibid., 384.
 Drahomanov, “Istoricheskaia Polsha,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 1:216.
 Drahomanov, “K biografii A. I. Zheliabova,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:427.
 Drahomanov, “Perednie slovo,” in Vybrani tvory, 130, n.
 This is the general thesis of Drahomanov’s Istoricheskaia Polsha.
 M. P. Drahomanov, “Estestvennyia oblasti i propaganda sotsializma na plebeis-kikh iazykakh vostochnoi Europy,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:330 ff.
 Zaslavsky, M. P. Dragomanov, 109.
 Drahomanov, “Istoricheskaia Polsha,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 1:145.
 Ibid., 49.
 Ibid., 220.
 M. P. Drahomanov, La Litterature Oukrainienne proscrite par le Gouvernement Russe (Geneva 1878), 8.
 M. P. Drahomanov, “Avtobiohrafiia,” in Vybrani tvory, 70.
 Drahomanov, “Shevchenko, ukrainofily i sotsiializm,” 195.
 Ibid., 215–16.
 Cf. Drahomanov, “The Lost Epoch,” in Mykhaylo Drahomanov: A Symposium and Selected Writings, 153–60.
 M. P. Drahomanov, “Pismo V. G. Belinskago k N. V. Gogoliu (Predislovie),” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:246, n.
 Drahomanov, Lysty na Naddnipriansku Ukrainu, 17 ff.
 Ibid., 18.
 Ibid., 22.
 Drahomanov, “Perednie slovo,” in Vybrani tvory, 108.
 Drahomanov, “K voprosu o natsionalnostiakh,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:866.
 Drahomanov, “Perednie slovo,” in Vybrani tvory, 112.
 Drahomanov, Chudatski dumky, 94.
 Ibid., 102.
 Drahomanov, “K biografii A. I. Zheliabova,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:418.
 Drahomanov, “Terrorizm i svoboda,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:287.
 M. P. Drahomanov, “Vidpovid M. Drahomanova na iubileini pryvitannia,” in Vybrani tvory, 92.
 Cited in Drahomanov, “Istoricheskaia Polsha,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 1:213.
 Ibid., 215.
 Drahomanov, “Perednie slovo,” in Vybrani tvory, 147.
 Ibid., 138.
 Ibid., 125.
 Drahomanov, Lysty na Naddnipriansku Ukrainu, 16.
 Cf. Drahomanov, “Political and Social Ideas in Ukrainian Folk Songs,” in Mykhaylo Drahomanov: A Symposium and Selected Writings, 209–13.
 M. P. Drahomanov, “Kozatski spomyny i hromadski potreby v Kubanshchyni,” Hromada 5 (1882):225 ff.
 Drahomanov, “Vidpovid M. Drahomanova,” in Vybrani tvory, 91.
 Ibid., 89–90; Arkhiv M. Drahomanova, 240, 331.
 Arkhiv M. Drahomanova, 271.
 I. Franko, “Peredmova,” in M. Drahomanov, Lysty do Iv. Franka i inshykh, 1887–1895, ed. I. Franko (Lviv 1908).
 Drahomanov, “Volnyi soiuz — Vilna spilka,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 1:297–9.
 Drahomanov, “Perednie slovo,” in Vybrani tvory, 139.
 Drahomanov, Chudatski dumky, 20.
 Arkhiv M. Drahomanova, 245.
 Cf. Drahomanov, “Shevchenko, ukrainofily i sotsiializm.”
 Drahomanov, Lysty na Naddnipriansku Ukrainu, 64–5.
 Arkhiv M. Drahomanova, 315.
 Ibid., 32.
 Franko, “Peredmova,” in Drahomanov, Lysty do Iv. Franka i inshykh, 1887–1895.
 Drahomanov, “Istoricheskaia Polsha,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 1:253.
 Cf. Drahomanov, “Free Union: Draft of a Ukrainian Political and Social Program (Part 2, Section 3),” in Mykhaylo Drahomanov: A Symposium and Selected Writings, 202.
 Not to be confused with the present Soviet administrative unit of the same name.
 Drahomanov, “Volnyi soiuz — Vilna spilka,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 1:314 ff.
 M. Weber, “The Condition of Bourgeois Democracy in Russia,” in Archiv fur Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik 22 (Tubingen 1906), 267.
 Drahomanov, “Perednie slovo,” in Vybrani tvory, 142.
 Cf. Drahomanov, “The Centralization of the Revolutionary Struggle in Russia,” in Mykhaylo Drahomanov: A Symposium and Selected Writings, 181–92.
 Drahomanov, “Pismo V. G. Belinskago,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:248.
 Drahomanov, “Volnyi soiuz — Vilna spilka,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 1:344, n.
 Perepyska Drahomanova z Buchynskym, 14.
 M. P. Drahomanov, “Do chego dovoevalis,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:121.
 M. P. Drahomanov, “Liberalizm i zemstvo v Rossii,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:787–857.
 Drahomanov, “Shevchenko, ukrainofily i sotsiializm,” 202.
 Drahomanov, “Istoricheskaia Polsha,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 1:259.
 Drahomanov, Lysty do Iv. Franka i inshykh, 1881–1886, 66.
 Zaslavsky, M. P. Dragomanov, 48.
 Drahomanov, “Evreiskii vopros na Ukraine,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:525 ff.
 Zaslavsky, M. P. Dragomanov, 113.
 Drahomanov, “Istoricheskaia Polsha,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 1:253.
 Drahomanov treated the Polish question in detail in his capital work, “Istoricheskaia Polsha,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 1:1–272.
 Pavlyk, Perepyska Drahomanova z Okunevskym, 217.
 M. P. Drahomanov, “Vnutrennee rabstvo i voina za osvobozhdenie,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii, 2:88.
 Cf. Drahomanov, “Germany’s Drive to the East and Moscow’s Drive to the West,” in Mykhaylo Drahomanov: A Symposium and Selected Writings, 161–74.
 D. Zaslavsky, M. P. Drahomanov (Kiev, 1924), p. 133.
 Solovyov, History of Russia, X, p. 318.
 Acts Relating to the History of Western and Southern Russia, III, p. 397.
 Ibid., IV, p. 96.
 Ibid., VI, p. 47.
 Ibid., VI, p. 111.
 Solovyov, op. cit., XI, pp. 70–71.
 Bezkornilovich, History of Noteworthy Places in Byelorussia, pp. 160, 166–170.
 The Ukrainian Cossacks did not cease to be concerned for the schools, as is seen in the Treaties made by Hetmans Vyhovsky (1658), Doroshenko (1679), and Orlyk (1710).
 Solovyov, XXVI, p. 39.
 Ordinarily people are not aware that as early as the beginning of the 15th century wheat was exported from the harbor of Khadzhibey, the site of the present Odessa, to Constantinople. At this time Ukrainian colonization had occupied the area between the lower Dnieper and the Dniester, and lost it only after the seizure of Moldavia and the Crimea by the Turks (1475).
 In this battle ... the following regiments participated: the Smolensk, Polotsk, Vitebsk, Kiev, Pinsk, and others, arriving with Witold, and the Podolians and Bessarabians arriving with Jagiello. The Teutons had had the advantage, but the bravery of the Smolensk regiment, which stood off the onslaught of the Teutons, gave Witold the opportunity to remedy the situation.... For Polish patriotic writers, the Ruthenians were not present and the major role is played by the Poles. It is interesting to note that according to certain chroniclers, there were in the troops of Witold, beside Tatars, even “Jews” from the area around the Caspian Sea, in all likelihood the descendents of the Khazars. This motley army which halted the German Drang nach Osten in the regions of the Vistula and the Nieman provokes German historians, even such relatively moderate ones as Caro, to say that at Grünwald, “a highly advanced civilization was destroyed by Slav-Tatar barbarism.” (Caro, History of Poland, III, 314). What that civilization was which the Teutons imposed on the Lithuanians can be seen from the testimonies and messages of the latter to the whole Christian world: “We have not a few prelates, priests, etc., who take from us wool and milk, but do not instruct us in Christian teaching.... All our fruits of the earth and beehives have been taken from us by the knights; they do not permit us to hunt, or fish, or trade with our neighbors; each year they carry away our children as hostages.... We ask baptism, but remember that we also are human beings created in the image and likeness of God, and not some kind of beasts.” It is interesting to note that even now in the province of Posen the Prussian government collects “wool and milk” from the population, aids Germans in the purchase of land, forces the Poles out to America, but does not, for example, think of maintaining a university, so that this is the only province in the learned kingdom of the Hohenzollerns which does not have a university, not even a German one.
 Peculiar Thoughts on the Ukrainian National Cause (Vienna, 1915), p. 82.
 Cf. Drahomanov, “Federalism and Socialism in Occitania,” Hromada, No. 4, pp. 343 ff.
 Peculiar Thoughts, p. 82.
 Details are to be found in the pamphlet La Litterature Oukrainienne proscrite par le Gouvernement Russe, Geneva, 1878; and in the article “Il movimento letterario Ruteno, in Russia e Galizia”, published in Rivista Europea, 1873. [Both by Drahomanov. ed.]
 The Turks took the coast of the Black Sea, between the Dnieper and the Dniester, from Ukraine. At the instigation of the Turks, almost every year the Tatars of Crimea made raids into Ukraine, part of Poland, and southern Muscovy to capture prisoners for galley-slaves, children to fill the ranks of the Janissaries, and girls for the harems. The Turks even sold these Slav prisoners to the French (under Colbert). The Slav countries became a sort of Africa with “white Negroes.” This led to armed resistance on the part of the Slavs, particularly through the Cossacks, that is the free settlements of Ukrainians on the banks of the Dnieper and the Dniester, and the mixed settlement of Ukrainians and Muscovites on the banks of the Don.
 We have already mentioned the struggle, first defensive, then offensive, of the Ukrainians against the Turks in the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1624 the Cossacks of the famous republic of the Zaporozhian knights (on the islands of the Dnieper) succeeded in sailing their little boats even into the Basphorus, a thing of which the present Russian generals cannot boast. This struggle has left deep memories among the Ukrainian peasant population, celebrated in many poems and songs, some of which have been made available to the French public by Professor A. Rambaud in his La Russie Epique. Immediately after the beginning of the insurrection in Herzegovina, the Ukrainian democrats published a popular pamphlet on The Cossacks and the Turks (about Turkish slavery and the free Cossacks); a few months later wandering minstrels sang to the curious populace old songs about the Tatar and Turk invasions and the Cossack expeditions. [This pamphlet was by Drahomanov himself. ed.]
 Let us postpone our criticism of the main premises of these two Narodnaya Volya articles, but meanwhile we cannot help remarking on such details as these last lines. It is obvious that they by no means refute statements known to the author of the article about the neglect by Russian revolutionaries of the peculiarities of the Russian periphery, better called the non-Great Russian areas of Russia. Of course these statements do not ascribe either to Great Russian revolutionaries in general or to Narodnaya Volya adherents in particular the intention of “using racial hostility and even augmenting it” (although such a reproach could be made in connection with Narodnaya Volya’s ill-considered proclamation to the Ukrainian people about the anti-Jewish riots). It was merely pointed out to the Russian revolutionaries that the exclusively Great Russian character of their activity cut off its roots in all non-Great Russian regions, which comprise almost half of European Russia and the Caucasus, and left the forces in the non-Great Russian provinces favorable to a political and social revolution unutilized. Such exclusiveness is unjustified, for the ranks of the Russian revolutionaries contain a good many representatives of non-Great Russian regions who have been denationalized as a result of governmental policies. It is equally unfavorable to the course of the revolutionary cause in Russia, but it will increase in proportion to the centralization of the revolutionary work in the capitals, which are situated in Great Russian territory. The present Narodnaya Volya adherents can hardly vouch for the attitude of the Great Russian masses or of their representatives in a future Zemsky Sobor, nor for the attitude of the government this Sobor might establish, toward the strivings for autonomy of the border peoples. The champions of national and regional autonomy have good reason for looking into the future with a considerable degree of uneasiness, all the more so because recently even the revolutionary Great Russians do not display any marked sympathy for the principle of regional autonomy. They at least make concessions to the superstitious belief in the unity and indivisibility of Russia, if they do not support it outright.
 C.f. the above “it is self-evident that we do not deny to any nationality the right to complete political independence....”!
 If by revolution one understands a certain manifestation of energy for the overthrow of the old order and the establishment of another, then Jacobinism is of course doubly revolutionary; but if only progressive movements are called revolutionary, movements which establish an order which is really new in form and ideas, then of all the political tendencies of its time Jacobinism was the least revolutionary because it established an order differing least in essence from the system of bureaucratic centralization and dictatorship which also existed in the old kingdom. From this standpoint not only republican federalism but even the liberalism of constitutional monarchy were far more revolutionary than Jacobinism.
 The assumption of such a possibility also belongs to the political prejudices which ire widespread at this time among the bureaucratic classes.
 It would be in accordance with this desired gradualism, which by no means eliminates energy or self-sacrifice, to shift the focal point of political and social action in Russia from emotion and faith to knowledge and a discriminating mind, and from callow youths to mature adults.
 Not to mention the fact that premature claims to obedience can only make the claimants appear ridiculous.
 Let us remember that the working population of St. Petersburg is mostly recruited from the northernmost provinces, which are sparsely populated.
 After what we have written in the series of articles “Historical Poland and Great Russian Democracy,” we consider it unnecessary to dwell here on the complications which would be caused by such a step by the Polish autonomists, many of whom would of course be champions of “historical” Poland, i.e. of a Polish State including Lithuania, Byelorussia and half of Ukraine. Nor need we dwell on the use which might be made of “historic Polish aspirations” by social reactionaries in Poland and political reactionaries in Moscow. It is evident that the only means of anticipating and preventing these difficulties consists in working out a federal democratic program for all of eastern Europe, regardless of all “historical” centralisms, either Polish or Russian.
 By the way, the Ukrainian immigration to Great Russia is taking place via the educational centers which are artificially concentrated in the capitals. There Ukrainian youth is definitively divorced from its native land and people. One of the reasons why Ukraine provides a very large percentage of young students is the presence in this country of a numerous landed petty nobility and corresponding strata of the population, which are lacking in Great Russia. We note that the Ukrainian peasants do not emigrate to Great Russia at all, except to the far southeast, and even there in insignificant numbers.
 Selected Works (Prague, 1937), pp. 78–79.
 Archives of M. Drahomanov (Warsaw, 1937), p. 303.
 Archives of M. Drahomanov (Warsaw, 1937), p. 303.
 Drahomanov’s Correspondence with M. Pavlyk (Chemivtsi, 1910–11), VI, pp. 54–55.
 Holovatsky, Folk Songs of Galician and Hungarian Rus, II, pp. 535–559.