We continue to Think Belarus!

Vladimir Matskevich.  05/22/2020

 It’s time to blame!  I know – whom and I know – where.

As autumn approaches, on August 10, many of today’s B&C fans will start packing their bags, schools of IT specialists will stretch to warm California, poets and artists will go to cold Sweden, NGOs will go to Berlin and Brussels, and simpler people will go to Poland.

I also chose the place and time of “emigration” – Ancient Greece.  I will emigrate there mentally, with my mind, and my body will remain here.  I am Tuteyshi.

And also – the soul.  Belarus is a filling of the soul.  Where not to dump, but the soul cannot be taken out of the soul.  I know.  Born in Siberia, I inherited the Belarusian soul, my parents and grandfathers invested it.  The propagandists of the “Russian world” and fans of Litvinism can tell as much as they like that Belarus was invented by the Russian imperials and the Stalinist theorists of the national question.  I know for sure that six generations of my ancestors in the Russian Empire, in interwar Poland, and in the Soviet Union were Belarusians, they loved Belarus and they taught me this.  I spent 30 years outside Belarus.  Body, and soul was always with her.

But this is the lyrics.

And without the lyrics!  For almost 30 years now, I think Belarus.  I don’t sing it: “My Fatherland”, I don’t paint with pink paints, I don’t regret it, I don’t call, I don’t cry for it.  I study it, analyze it, dissect it, design it.

In the first methodologically demonstrating work “Belarus: in spite of the obviousness”, I formulated several important principles of research, analysis, construction and design.  Although from the whole work only the thesis “Think Belarus!”  and went for a walk without meaning and content.

The first thesis was the requirement for concreteness.  There is no need to pull on Belarus theories and concepts that have been sewn onto other countries and peoples.  Belarus should be taken as a unique, nothing and no one repeating, a concrete object of thought here and now.

There are a whole bunch of political scientists, commentators and their political students who think of Belarus in terms and concepts of Russia.  They live not by their own mind, but by the Moscow mind.  They read only Moscow stars, theorists and talkers, trying to pull on Belarus the schemes invented for Russia.

They don’t get a shit, but they can’t get Moscow out of their head.  Auzans, Belkovskys, Dugins-Shmugins think for them.  Anyone, if only from Moscow, from MGIMO, Moscow State University or “HSE”.  Everything that has been developed in Belarus is for them a local level, they do not read a paragraph more.

And Belarus is not Russia.  They even know this meme and can repeat it, but they do not understand its essence.  They are simply organically incapable of Thinking Belarus, specific, unique.  They cannot think of a concrete object, which means they cannot think at all, think concretely and not abstractly.  They do not know Belarus, but they can speak beautifully about the abstractions of political science, economics, and culture.

There are those who have Paris (postmodernism) or something else Western in their heads.  They also do not know specific Belarus.  They speak even more beautifully than those who have provincial Moscow in their heads.  But everything is the same.  They don’t know Belarus.  Even the data of sociology, economics, and so on, they interpret through Western schemes, concepts and prejudices.

I am also a European.  In my program (Desovetization — Belarusization — Europeanization, Ds-B-E) Europe is the goal.  Not in the sense of emigration, but in the sense of the transformation of Belarus into a European country, but a full-fledged one, i.e.  the goal is a unique European Belarus.  Not a pathetic likeness of Sweden, Poland, Finland or Slovakia, but a specific and unique country among other European countries, equal among equals.

Yes, so, for almost three decades I think Belarus.  I research, analyze, calculate.

And I do something.

Yes, a few things and from time to time.

You can only do what your hands can reach.

Business (business) is very specific.

I have made political structures, parties.  Party – from the word “part”, but not the whole.

Belarus is a whole, any party activity and party business is a part of the whole.  Whether large or small, but a fraction.

Participated in the creation of the United Civil Party (UCP).  I tried to promote my program for the development of Belarus as a party program.  But the party elite was interested in something else.  They needed power, not a program for Belarus.  As a result, they received neither power nor programs.  And now for 23 years they have been engaged in IDB and make FDP.

Understanding everything about the UCP, in 1997 I began to do what was later called “Charter’97”.  But he quickly dropped the case.  We created the “charter”, but someone really wanted to rule and lead.  Not to do, but to shine and rule.  It didn’t work for me.  Either it’s the case, or it’s pump and simulation.  It is impossible to combine this.

Then I had other things to do, I did a consulting firm, talk shows on ONT, retraining of education managers.

But all these were not the most important matters, these were optional tasks of the DS-B-E program.  The implementation part of this program is formulated as: University-Party-Gazeta (U-P-G).

This is a comprehensive program for the renovation of Belarus.  But you can do what your hands can reach.  I did all the above tasks as part of teams where the commanders wanted something different from myself.  They wanted power, prestige and status, sometimes banal – they wanted dough.

I wanted something else.

Therefore, I made the National Platform for Civil Society.  I am working on the national platform of the Belarusian civil society, and those who made the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum had opportunities and resources.

I did.  But the people who entered the platform preferred not the national one, but the appendage of the European blah-blah-forum.  Under blah-blah-blah they gave money, participants blah-blah-blah were taken for free to Brussels, they were received by important people in important offices.  I’m not interested in this.

Then I did the Flying University.  Yes, this is not BSU, not even YSU.  But that’s what my hands were reaching.

I still did a lot of things, some of it came out, something not very good.

But these are small things, compared to the big business – Doing Belarus.

Even these small things I could not do alone.  Good people, great specialists, enthusiasts, volunteers have always helped me.

The trouble is that the work that needs to be done here and now in the country cannot be done right here and today.  This is a long process.

And not everyone has the patience, the charge of energy, to do persistently and methodically what the result of which can be expected only after many years.

Any fool can learn about “40 years in the desert” and repeat this fable to the place and out of place.

And who is ready to plow for one goal for 40 years?

It happens that volunteers get carried away with the goal, the program that I offered them, even get involved in its implementation.  But they get tired quickly.  Someone is enough for a week, for a month.  There are a lot of them.  Hundreds of people have joined the Fresh Wind campaign for 100 days.  Someone was active for a couple of days, someone was enough for a month.  Few lasted a hundred days.  Many thanks to all!  We did a great job.  In 100 days, we were able to change the trend of public opinion, which was recorded by independent sociology.  But “Fresh Wind” was only a part, a small fragment of a large program.

This Cultural Policy program is designed for many decades.  This is more than “40 years in the desert” (or in the “swamp”).

But the implementation of any program rests on the simplest proportion: “time is money.”

Or the one that is more difficult to understand: “time – participants, team, strength, enthusiasm, professionalism.”

Knowing the resources, being able to count, I understood that the Cultural Policy program (Ds-B-E / U-P-G) will begin to bear fruit in 30-50 years.

Is it possible to shorten the deadline from 50 to 30 years?

Can.  But more people are needed to be included in the program.

And if there are almost no people with patience and will, then 50 years is not enough and you will have to work for 60, 70, 100 years.

And this is more than the life span of one person.

Anyway.  Although this is not lyrics, it is not specifics either.

And the specifics are terrible.

People to whom everything has been told, chewed up, laid out on shelves and on their fingers, who are already convinced that it is necessary to do it this way and in no other way, instantly fly off the coils as soon as some charismatic, prophet, leader appears who will say: “I am abeshchau  ! ”  Promises not in 30 years, but tomorrow.

Launch factories, give “500” each, carry out privatization, create an “IT oasis in the desert” and a devil in a mortar.  Not someday, but right now, tomorrow, as a last resort – August 9th.  And he gives a tooth!

And … a crowd of people, who only yesterday seemed reasonable, responsible, adults, drops everything and, pulling up their pants, runs after the one who “gives hope.”  Evokes a golden dream.

You know, I’m a happy person in my own way.

God gave me patience and the will to endure human follies and vices.

No, they get me and torment me.  But for a relatively short time.  I go through a day, a week, a month or two and find that God has not deprived me of strength and energy.  I shake off the Merichlundia and continue.

God also gave me friends.  They are with me.  And even when I am completely unsettled by human stupidity, greed, commercialism, frivolity and gullibility, my friends return me to life and activity.

I don’t know what would have happened if they had left me.

Only God would remain.  And alone with God no one else and nothing is needed.

In this case, I would not “emigrate” with my mind to Ancient Greece, but all – with my mind, soul and body into another world.

But I’m still here.  And my friends are with me.

So we continue.

We missed 2020.  This is not just a one-year delay, it greatly lengthens the journey.  For years and decades.  The country has lost another five years, which Lukashenka is giving away right now to voluntarism.

But this is our country and our Belarus.  She was before us and will be after us.

Year, five years – historical details.

We lost 26 years – well, we will bear this loss too.

We continue to Think Belarus!

While others are doing it.  They destroy, spoil, rob.