Title: The First Ukrainian Political Program
Subtitle: Mykhailo Drahomanov’s “Introduction” to Hromada
Author: Ivan Rudnytsky
Date: 1987
Source: Retrieved on 17th November 2022 from www.ditext.com
Notes: Ukrainian version published under the title “Storichchia pershoi ukrainskoi politychnoi prohramy,” Suchasnist 19, no. 3 (March 1979): 91–115. Translation by Myroslav Yurkevich, revised by the author. Published in Ivan L. Rudnytsky, Essays in Modern Ukrainian History, 1987.

Mykhailo Drahomanov and His Mission

“Perednie slovo” (Introduction) appeared in Geneva in 1878 as the first issue of the non-periodical journal Hromada (Community). The editor of Hromada and the author of its programmatic “Introduction” was Mykhailo Drahomanov (1841–95). This publication constitutes a turning point in the development of modern Ukrainian political thought. In a certain sense, which I shall attempt to define more precisely below, it may be regarded as the first Ukrainian political program. Drahomanov’s “Introduction” therefore merits consideration from the perspective of our time.

A brief account of Hromada‘s prehistory is in order here.[1] In 1864 Drahomanov joined the staff of the St. Vladimir University in Kiev, initially holding the rank of privatdocent and later advancing to docent on permanent appointment. He taught courses primarily in ancient history. He also published a number of important studies in Ukrainian folklore and oral literature. Aside from his scholarly endeavours, Drahomanov was active in an underground Ukrainian organization, the so-called Stara Hromada (Old Community) of Kiev, and gained a wide reputation for his outspoken articles in the Russian and Galician-Ukrainian press. Drahomanov was described as a Ukrainian “separatist” and a dangerous radical in a flurry of denunciations to the university authorities and was attacked in reactionary Russian newspapers. Ultimately the matter came to the attention of the tsar himself. During his stay in Kiev in September 1875, Alexander II ordered that Drahomanov be forbidden to lecture at the University of Kiev and at the other southern universities (in Kharkiv and Odessa), but that he be allowed to transfer to one of the northern universities. Drahomanov refused to ask for a “voluntary” transfer from the University of Kiev. Accordingly, he was dismissed on the strength of “point three” (i.e., by administrative decision), which closed the door to a further academic career in Russia.

Drahomanov’s banishment from the University of Kiev was the signal, as it were, for a whole series of anti-Ukrainian measures on the part of the tsarist government. The 1870s were a period of revival for the Ukrainian national movement in Dnieper Ukraine. In the eyes of the regime, this posed a threat that required energetic countermeasures. One such action was the implementation of the notorious Ems Ukase of 18 May 1876, whose goal was the eradication of all manifestations of Ukrainian national-cultural identity.

In these circumstances the Stara Hromada, of which Drahomanov was a leading member, proposed that he become an “ambassador-at-large” of the Ukrainian national cause, establishing an organ of free Ukrainian political thought in Western Europe. Plans for future activity abroad were elaborated by a “Committee of Twelve” which met in Podil (a district of Kiev) at the residence of Kost Mykhalchuk. It was agreed that Drahomanov would publish, preferably in Vienna, periodical symposia of the “thick journal” type under the title Hromada, which were to contain fundamental articles of a theoretical and programmatic character, literary works, and an extensive chronicle of current Ukrainian affairs. Brochures on subjects of topical interest were to be published in Russian and in West European languages. Financing for the project was assured thanks to a generous contribution from Iakiv Shulhyn. Having inherited a substantial estate, he donated the larger part of it, in the amount of 12,000 rubles, to the Stara Hromada, which in turn undertook to pay Drahomanov annual stipends of 1,500 rubles for publications and 1,200 rubles for personal expenses.

Having obtained a passport with no great difficulty, Drahomanov went abroad in mid-February 1876. He made a stop in Lviv, where he first met Ivan Franko. By early March he had arrived in Vienna. His wife and ten-year-old daughter remained in Kiev until June, when they were brought to Vienna by Viliam Berenshtam, a friend of the Drahomanov family and a member of the Hromada.

In the Austrian capital Drahomanov encountered unforeseen circumstances that obliged him to alter his original plans. The previous year, 1875, had seen the publication in Vienna of an anonymous pamphlet, Parova mashyna (The Steam Engine). Its author was a young revolutionary and socialist from Left-Bank Ukraine, Serhii Podolynsky. His assistant in Vienna was his Galician follower Ostap Terletsky. Parova Mnashyna was the first socialist publication in the Ukrainian language. Thanks to the efforts of Podolynsky and Terletsky, it was followed by three booklets of similar character. Drahomanov had nothing to do with any of this activity. He was personally acquainted with Podolynsky and Terletsky and esteemed them both, but had strong reservations about the socialist brochures published in Vienna. He did not approve of their seditious character or of their fictionalized-utopian form. Drahomanov feared that, in spite of his non-involvement, he would be implicated as having abetted their publication. That is what actually happened.

In April 1876 the Vienna procuracy confiscated the last brochure in the series of four published by Podolynsky and Terletsky, entitled Pravdyve slovo khliboroba do svoikh zemliakiv (The True Word of a Farmer to His Countrymen). Its unsigned author was a revolutionary populist from Odessa, Feliks Volkhovsky. As the publisher and owner of the print shop, Terletsky was charged with responsibility for the subversive publication. This was the first anti-socialist trial in Austrian history. The jury exonerated Terletsky, but the confiscation of Pravdyve slovo was not rescinded. Taking this precedent into account, Drahomanov concluded that the Austrian authorities would not give him an opportunity to make Vienna the base of his activity. Another location had to be found. Drahomanov wavered between London and Geneva, finally choosing the latter. In the fall of 1876 Drahomanov took his family to Switzerland, where he spent the next thirteen years of his life.

Drahomanov’s move was timely, for in 1877 the Austrian province of Galicia was swept by a wave of searches and arrests that culminated in two trials in which Mykhailo Pavlyk, Ostap Terletsky, Ivan Franko, and others were defendants.[2] The indictment charged the defendants with membership in an international underground revolutionary organization allegedly headed by Drahomanov. Thus, the transfer of Drahomanov’s base to Geneva was a necessity, but it had somewhat negative consequences for his activity. The move isolated Drahomanov from Ukrainian life, limited and impeded his contacts with like-minded Ukrainian circles in Russia and Austria-Hungary, and drew him into the revolutionary Russian emigre milieu in Geneva, with its unhealthy atmosphere of incessant bickering and intrigue among individuals and groups.

Drahomanov left Ukraine in the spring of 1876, but the first issue of Hromada did not appear until two years later. This delay was due to a variety of reasons. To begin with, there were great practical difficulties associated with the two moves and with the establishment of a print shop in Geneva. Drahomanov was assisted in this enterprise by Antin Lia-khotsky, known in the emigration by the pseudonym “Kuzma,” who became the typesetter of all Drahomanov’s publications. But there were other reasons as well. This was the critical period of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877. Drahomanov warmly sympathized with the cause of liberating the Balkan Slavs from Turkish oppression. At the same time, the Russian revolutionary movement was gaining strength. Drahomanov believed in the possibility of overthrowing the regime in Russia and published several Russian-language brochures calling for the transformation of the war against the “external Turks” into an attack on the “internal Turks,” i.e., on tsarist autocracy.[3] Finally, there were difficulties in obtaining contributions for the journal that delayed the preparatory work. The members of the Kiev Hromada had promised to provide articles and information on current events, but failed to honour this commitment. Drahomanov therefore had to write the programmatic “Introduction” himself. It grew into a lengthy essay that he completed on 30 April 1878; this date was inscribed at the end of the text. Somewhat later in the year the “Introduction” was published as the first issue of the Ukrainska zbirka “Hromada.”

Drahomanov managed to publish five issues of Hromada, which appeared very irregularly: three issues were published in 1877, one in 1879, and a final one in 1882. An attempt was also made to turn Hromada into a regular bi-monthly journal under the joint editorship of Drahomanov, Pavlyk, and Podolynsky. But this “periodical Hromada” lasted for only two issues in 1881.

The symposia were originally conceived as the external organ of the Kiev Hromada. Owing to poor contact between Geneva and Ukraine, however, they actually became Drahomanov’s personal organ. The entire burden of filling Hromada’s pages devolved upon Drahomanov himself. He was assisted to some extent by a small group of emigres and a few contributors from Galicia: Podolynsky, Pavlyk, Fedir Vovk, and Volodymyr Navrotsky. Thus Hromada reflected the strong personality of its editor, as well as his philosophy, but the latter was by no means consonant with the views of most members of the Stara Hromada, in which Drahomanov had been a left-winger even before his emigration. In the course of time, the intellectual distance between the Geneva emigre and his former associates in Ukraine grew wider, leading eventually to a complete estrangement between them.

It is not the task of this paper to analyze in detail Drahomanov’s life and work during his residence in Geneva, but the subject merits a few general observations. Drahomanov’s situation was complex because he was both a Ukrainian and an all-Russian political activist. At first he occupied a prominent place in the Russian emigre colony. His Russian activity attained its peak in the years 1881–3, when he was a major contributor to, and later editor of, the newspaper Volnoe slovo (The Free Word), which purported to be the organ of the so-called Zemskii Soiuz (Zemstvo Union). It was on the pages of Volnoe slovo that Drahomanov first printed his major political treatise Istoricheskaia Polsha i velikorusskaia demokratiia (Historical Poland and Great Russian Democracy), which also appeared in book form in 1882. But relations between Drahomanov and most of the Russian emigres soon deteriorated. Drahomanov sharply condemned the terroristic and amoral methods of political struggle favoured by the Russian revolutionaries; he criticized their great-power chauvinism and their centralist, dictatorial leanings. The Russian revolutionaries, for their part, could not forgive Drahomanov his “liberalism and constitutionalism” and his “Ukrainian nationalism.” Drahomanov became a detested figure in the Russian emigre milieu, and it was only a few individuals, such as Sergei Stepniak-Kravchinsky and Vladimir Debagorii-Mokrievich — both of Ukrainian descent, it should be noted — who did not break ties with him. At the same time, as has already been mentioned, the estrangement between Drahomanov and the Stara Hromada was growing deeper. Under the pressure of harsh reaction, the Ukrainian national movement in the Russian Empire narrowed its scope in the 1880s, almost ceasing to manifest itself externally. The members of the Stara Hromada thought it best to wait out the dark hour, limiting themselves to inconspicuous scholarly endeavours. From their point of view, Drahomanov’s political activity abroad, of which only faint echoes reached Ukraine, seemed at best a needless luxury, and at worst playing with fire, as it was liable to provoke the tsarist government into new anti-Ukrainian repressive measures. Drahomanov could not acquiesce in such an attitude, which he interpreted — with less than perfect justice — as one of surrender and cowardice. Finally, in 1886, the Stara Hromada refused Drahomanov any further financial assistance, and relations between them were severed completely.[4]

Drahomanov’s moral and material situation in Switzerland was always very difficult, but in the latter half of the 1880s, when he found himself almost completely isolated, it became tragic indeed. There can be no doubt that the continual worries, tensions, disappointments, setbacks, uncertainty about the future, lack of security for his family (a wife and three children), and bitter poverty all undermined Drahomanov’s health and brought about the heart disease that drove him to an early grave. Yet it should be mentioned that Drahomanov’s final years were happier. In 1889 he moved to Sofia, Bulgaria, where he was offered a professorship in history at the Higher School (incipient university). The successes of the Radical movement in Galicia, which was beginning to make rapid headway, were also a great source of satisfaction to him. Drahomanov was the spiritual father of the Galician Radical Party and a most active contributor to its press until the end of his days. Mykhailo Drahomanov died in Sofia on 20 July 1895.

If Drahomanov’s activity during his Geneva period is to be evaluated from a moral point of view, it cannot be regarded as anything other than a feat of heroism. It cannot fail to impress one by its very scope. We are unable to pause here to consider Drahomanov’s scholarly work during these years (despite unfavourable circumstances, he did not interrupt this work) or his “ambassadorial” role as informant of Western European public opinion on the Ukrainian question. What concerns us here is Drahomanov’s publicistic work, in which he made a lasting contribution to Ukrainian political thought. We shall examine one of his works, the programmatic “Introduction” to Hromada, in greater detail. In concluding this section, it is appropriate to cite a passage from the writings of Mykhailo Hrushevsky that characterizes “Drahomanov’s mission” as that of the first Ukrainian political emigre of the nineteenth century.

What Drahomanov became in the history of the Ukrainian renascence, he became thanks to this civic mission abroad, which condemned him to the bitter life of an exile but also placed him in political and social circumstances that were especially advantageous in some respects and that involved extraordinary responsibility. It freed him from the oppression of the tsarist regime, from local routines and cliques, and from the necessity of writing in Aesopian language in order to escape censorship, appointing him to the position of representative spokesman for all progressive Ukrainian life before the civilized world. It elevated him to a post that required him to exert all his energy and all the resources of his intellect over a period of years in order to remind the broad civilized world that, in the darkest era of Ukrainian life, Ukraine continued to live, that it had not died and would not die in spite of all the tsarist repressions and proscriptions. It condemned him to suffer the blows, insinuations, and abuses directed against this “proscribed Ukraine,” to fend them off and reply with proofs and manifestations of positive, progressive, universally valid characteristics of the Ukrainian movement. Over Ukrainian life, in this difficult, oppressive, demoralizing period, it placed the civic control of this all-Ukrainian foreign representation — Drahomanov and his circle — which led the Ukrainian movement out of the byways of provincialism and opportunism onto the broad pathways of world cultural development and forced it to orient itself toward the prospects of universal political and social liberation. For a long time, the direction of the Ukrainian movement was determined by these three centers, all equal in importance: Kiev, Lviv, and Geneva. From this point of view, Drahomanov’s mission constituted an epoch in Ukrainian life.[5]

Examination of the “Introduction” to Hromada

In the title of this paper, Drahomanov’s “Introduction” of 1878 was termed “the first Ukrainian political program.” This primacy must be considered relative. After the dawn of the Ukrainian national renascence in the nineteenth century, modern Ukrainian political thought also began to make its appearance. Its early offshoots may be seen in the Istoriia Rusov (History of the Rus’ People), written at the turn of the nineteenth century, in the program of the Cyrillo-Methodian Society (1846–7), in the poetry of Shevchenko, in the scholarly and publicistic writings of Mykola Kostomarov and Panteleimon Kulish, in the statements of the khlopomany (peasant-lovers) circle of the 1860s, and in other documents. This was the intellectual tradition that nurtured Drahomanov, a fact of which he was well aware. Not long before his death he stated that in his own work he had only attempted, as it were, to apply “the leading ideas arrived at in the forties by the celebrated Cyrillo-Methodian Brethren... to be sure, with the modifications wrought by universal science and politics in recent times.”[6]

Yet it must be said that until Drahomanov’s time Ukrainian political thought remained, so to speak, in the embryonic stage of its development. It still had a fragmentary character: the writings of the early publicists dealt with particular aspects of the Ukrainian problem, such as the question of the paths of development of Ukrainian literature, the peasant question, questions of Ukrainian-Russian and Ukrainian-Polish relations, etc., but did not attempt a synthesis. Secondly, Ukrainian political thought of the time often made its appearance not directly but in a veiled form. Its elements must be sought in belles-lettres, in works of literary criticism, historiography, and studies in ethnography and linguistics. This cannot be explained only by the restrictions of censorship, which made it necessary to employ “Aesopian language.” There was an added factor: given the state of Ukrainian society, the various branches of its spiritual life — literature, scholarship, and political thought — were as yet insufficiently differentiated. Hence political thought often manifested itself not in its appropriate form of rational discourse but coloured by the foreign element of poetic diction. An example of this is the quasi-biblical style of Kostomarov’s Knyhy bytiia ukrainskoho narodu (The Books of Genesis of the Ukrainian People). Thirdly, the works of the early Ukrainian political thinkers and publicists did not see print with any regularity; more often they circulated in manuscript, which limited their influence. For example, the hand-written programmatic documents of the Cyrillo-Methodian Society — the highest achievement of Ukrainian political thought before Drahomanov — were seized by the tsarist police during the suppression of the Society in 1847, and did not come to light until after the Revolution. Succeeding generations of nineteenth-century Ukrainians had only a general notion of the Society’s ideas. These ideas were seminal to the “Hromady” movement of the latter half of the century, but the original works were not known at that time. Moreover, there is reason to believe that important unpublished material on the history of nineteenth-century Ukrainian political thought is still hidden away in Soviet archives.

In comparison with the works that had preceded it, Drahomanov’s “Introduction” represented a new and higher stage of Ukrainian political thought. As regards its content, the “Introduction” deliberately sought to encompass the Ukrainian problem as a whole in all its salient aspects: political, social, and cultural. As regards its form, it was that of systematic and rational exposition, free of literary accretions. Since it appeared in print, it immediately gained intellectual currency. Given these elements, the “Introduction” may be considered the first modern Ukrainian political program in the full sense of the word.

In our time, however, there are probably few who have had an opportunity to read the “Introduction” of 1878. A brief resume of this major work will therefore not be amiss.

At the beginning of this tract, Drahomanov outlines the boundaries of Ukrainian ethnic territory — from Podlachia (Pidliashshia) to the Kuban region and from the Danube estuary to Slobodian Ukraine. More than seventeen million of “our people” reside on this territory.[7] There follows a synthetic survey of Ukrainian history which is meant to provide a basis for a contemporary political program. In connection with the Cossack era, Drahomanov states: “The periods of the most powerful uprisings of our peasantry against the nobility also saw the greatest efforts of communities across the whole of our Ukraine to create a union among themselves” (98). In other words, the experience of history confirms the thesis of the unity of social and national strivings in the Ukrainian people’s struggle for freedom. But “when the power of the Polish and Muscovite states, with the assistance of the Cossack lords, abolished Cossackdom... our peasantry was everywhere subjected to heavy bondage, and our land was torn apart by neighbouring monarchies and governments” (98). The conclusion is that Ukrainians must now “take up the thread of our history that was broken in the eighteenth century” (108).

Considering Ukraine’s situation in the nineteenth century, Drahomanov focuses both on manifestations of spontaneous protest of the peasant masses against social oppression (the exploits of “Robin Hoods” such as Harkusha and Karmeliuk, and the so-called Kievan Cossackdom of 1855) and on progressive initiatives emanating from the higher, educated strata: the Ukrainian cultural renascence of the first half of the century, the Cyrillo-Methodian Society, the khlopomany of the te 1850s and early 1860s. Nor does he neglect to mention the Polish insurrection of 1863 in Right-Bank Ukraine and the year 1848 in Galicia. Nothing is said of the recent Hromady movement of the 1870s, but this omission is obviously due to the wish not to give away his friends in the homeland.

The review of Ukraine’s earlier and contemporary history leads Drahomanov to a conclusion that carries ideological weight and is of fundamental significance for the whole system of his thought. Drahomanov is profoundly convinced that the tendency of the Ukrainian people’s historical development and of its struggle for liberation is basically congruent with the tendency of universal progress. And he conceives modern socialism to be the prime manifestation of progressive strivings in the contemporary world. “In Western Europe and America there are already hundreds of thousands of people who are striving directly toward such [a just] order. That is the social, civic party, the party of socialists or communalists” (116). Drahomanov urges the Ukrainian intelligentsia (“literate people”) and the popular masses (muzhiks) “simply to adopt the ideas of the European and American communalists and apply them to our own land in our own manner” (118).

At this point there naturally arises the question of Drahomanov’s understanding of socialism. He does not directly identify his “communalism” (hromadivstvo — he used this term as a synonym for socialism) with any of the contemporary socialist currents. He mentions Louis Blanc, Proudhon, Lassalle, Marx, D¨u;hring, Bakunin, Chernyshevsky, and other exponents of socialism in passing, but considers them all on the same plane and does not discuss ideological divergences among them. Yet it is clear that Drahomanov’s conception of socialism is fundamentally anarchistic. Drahomanov believes that, in spite of disagreements in detail, all socialist factions are striving toward a common goal. “This goal is known as non-authoritarianism [beznachalstvo, Drahomanov’s literal translation of anarchy]: to each his own will and free association and fellowship of people and communities” (115). Elsewhere Drahomanov asserts: “In this fellowship — in equality and joint management of everything that people need for their livelihood — is the root of liberty....” (114). And elsewhere: “Complete non-authoritarianism, complete freedom for every individual, will always remain the goal of every social order, in associations both large and small, just like the idea of reducing to zero the hindrance of friction in machines” (118). Thus, in Drahomanov’s world-view, the highest social ideal and the ultimate goal of human evolution is the complete elimination or at least the greatest possible reduction of authoritarian, hierarchical, and coercive elements in society, which are embodied in the organization of the state; accordingly, the state must ultimately be replaced by the voluntary association of free and equal individuals.

As applied to Ukrainian conditions, this means: “To live according to our own wishes in our own land.” Here Drahomanov immediately adds: “But what does this mean: to live according to our own wishes in our own land? Does it mean simply to establish a separate state, as, for example, the Italians have done before our very eyes?” (111). To this question of his own formulation, Drahomanov supplies an answer that is at once especially characteristic and highly important for the understanding of his conception:

The Ukrainians have undoubtedly lost a great deal owing to 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, whether established by free choice or by coercion, is, after all, a form of social organization suited to defence against foreign attacks and to the regulation of affairs in one’s own land according to one’s own wishes.... Without question, if the Ukrainians had first managed to shake off the dominance of foreign states and establish one of their own, they would have begun, like other nationalities, to think for themselves in order to ease the misery from which people suffer everywhere. But what has been lost can never be recovered, and a rising against Austria and Russia similar to that staged by the Italians, with the aid of France, for the unity of their state is impossible 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. (111 -12)

Drahomanov also believes that Ukrainians should forgo the struggle for a state of their own, as the existence of a national state does not of itself guarantee either civic freedom or social justice. After all, in such rich and powerful countries as France, England, and the United States, “most people are scarcely less badly off than the Ukrainian peasants” (112). This is also supposedly borne out by the Ukrainian historical experience. Ukraine was closest to attaining political independence in the time of Bohdan Khmelnytsky. Within the Cossack state, however, there soon arose estates with conficting interests: the rich and powerful, or the Cossack officer class, began to oppress the poor and weak, or the rank-and-file Cossacks and the peasants. Drahomanov elaborates his conception in detail as follows:

We think that, instead of striving to establish their own state or some sort of dualism like that of the Hungarians in the [Habsburg] Empire, the Ukrainians would do better to attempt to dilute all state power and to strive for regional and local freedom together with all other lands and communities. This is why it would be best for Ukrainians not to advance national ideas, but rather autonomist and federalist ones, which will always attract many people of other lands and nationalities.... For the Ukrainian communities it would be far better to begin immediately to strive for the greatest possible freedom for themselves than to attempt to establish a separate, more or less centralized state order for Ukraine. We think it would be wise and useful to strive for such local and regional freedom (e.g., even at the district and provincial levels) for Ukraine — in Russia, for example — because Ukrainians will not take this road alone, but in company with federalists of other nationalities, and they will be joined by many people of the Muscovite state nationality itself. (141)

Drahomanov is convinced that decentralization of power is a precondition of liberty and that liberty is possible only in a federative political order: “... it is only small states, or, better, communities and associations that can be truly free. Only a union of associations can truly be a free union ... “ (115). Ukrainians ought, therefore, to strive for the federalization of existing states — Russia and Austria-Hungary. This would be the first step on the path leading to the disappearance of states as such, to “a non-authoritarian order: one without lords and without states” (120).

As regards political strategy, Drahomanov declares himself in favour of evolutionary and gradual methods. He polemicizes against extremists who hold the view “the worse, the better” and “all or nothing,” clearly alluding to the Russian revolutionaries. He does not reject revolution or coup d’etat in principle, but accords them only limited significance. “Revolts may begin to awaken the public mind; they may do away with an old order which has already been undermined from all sides by other means... but a revolt cannot of itself create a new order, especially a civic or economic one” (132). All that is new makes its appearance gradually, not in ready-made form. In a state as backward as Russia, where the populace is deprived of elementary civic freedoms, it is first necessary to “ensure the abolition of arbitrary tsarist and bureaucratic rule”; in Russian conditions even “an elected council of lords,” that is, a parliament elected by limited franchise, would be a step forward and would open the way to desperately needed social reforms, particularly in the agricultural sector. In Galicia, on the other hand, Ukrainians should make use of the opportunities for legal cultural and socio-political work and autonomous organization afforded by the Austrian constitutional system, whatever its faults. Drahomanov expresses his skepticism about the utility and prospects of success of the elemental popular revolts dreamt of by the Russian revolutionaries.

In Drahomanov’s view, the great evil and anomaly of the contemporary situation in Ukraine is the alienation of the educated social strata from the common people. This is due to the fact that the upper classes in Ukraine are composed of foreigners — Russians, Poles, Germans, Jews, Hungarians, and Romanians — and of more or less denationalized Ukrainians. The Ukrainian masses are therefore deprived of the essential cultural services available to other peoples. In Ukraine even the socialists shun the language and disregard the national characteristics of the people among whom they live and off whom they feed. “A literate Ukrainian most often works for anyone at all except his own Ukraine and its peasantry” (125).

To this cheerless reality Drahomanov counterposes the following moral and political imperative:

We think that all civic work in Ukraine must wear Ukrainian clothing — Ukrainian identity. Of course, this Ukrainian identity cannot consist in the goals of the work. The goals of human work are the same throughout the world, as theoretical science is everywhere the same. But applied science is not everywhere the same. So it is with civic work.... (122)

And so those of the literate Ukrainians who do not want Ukraine and its peasantry continually to lose strength must swear not to go outside Ukraine; they must insist that every individual who leaves Ukraine, every kopeck not spent on a Ukrainian cause, every word not spoken in Ukrainian is an expenditure from the Ukrainian peasants’ treasury, an expenditure which in current conditions will never be returned to it. (125)

The idea of service to one’s own people entails a demand to become rooted in one place: “... it is high time for the literate man to end the nomadic wandering of his thought and labour ‘from the cold Finnish crags to burning Colchis’ and ‘from sea to sea’!” (147). Socialists belonging to the intelligentsia should associate themselves with communities of the Ukrainian common people in order to be of service to them. What is required here is not the mere propagation of socialist ideas but all manner of cultural, educational, social, and economic activity. This in turn requires individuals possessing solid academic knowledge and skilled in practical professions. As religion is the force that legitimizes the unjust contemporary social order and keeps the people in ignorance, Ukrainian socialists should “begin to preach widely against the roots of belief and priestcraft with the assistance of natural and social science” (136).

Drahomanov is impatient “for Ukraine to be covered as soon as possible with a network of comrades and associations, Ukrainian civic workers, all of them linked one to another, with as many comrades as possible in peasant communities” (138). In this context he coins the aphorism: “Ukrainian socialism is not a party but a community” (138). There is no need to fear allegations that work for the good of one’s own people contradicts the universal interests that socialists are supposed to serve. These interests will only gain when “the world contains one soulless corpse less, one living nation more” (139).

The last question considered by Drahomanov pertains to potential allies of the Ukrainian liberation movement. Centralist habits are so deeply ingrained in Russian and Polish society that, unfortunately, even their socialist circles are infected with them. Nor do the socialists of the great Western European nations comprehend the vital needs of the smaller stateless peoples; the German Social Democrats have at times expressed clearly chauvinist opinions about the Slavs. The Ukrainians should therefore seek allies first and foremost among the stateless peoples of Russia: the Finns, Estonians, Latvians, Moldavians, Caucasians, etc. As for the Russians, those whose sympathies may most readily be enlisted are representatives of the border groups who possess regionalist traditions, such as the inhabitants of the Don and Ural territories and of Siberia. There are good prospects of co-operation with the Western and Southern Slavs. In time, friendly relations will also be established with those peoples of Western Europe whose position resembles Ukraine’s, such as the Irish, Catalonians, Flemings, Provencals, and Bretons. “We think that if Ukrainian communalism takes root in its own land and develops links with neighbouring democratic and federalist groups, then in time it will be drawn into the broad association of all-European democratic groups ...” (142).

This, in outline, is the political program that Mykhailo Drahomanov proposed for Ukrainian society a century ago in his “Introduction” to Hromada.

Toward a Critique of Drahomanov’s Program

In his “Avtobiograficheskaia zametka” (Autobiographical Note) written in 1883, Drahomanov complains that “in my polemics with various camps carried on over many years, I have never encountered a truly conscientious opponent, that is, one who would present my views correctly and then refute them with his own arguments, especially factual ones.”[8] This rebuke was addressed to contemporaries, but it may also be applied to many of Drahomanov’s posthumous critics. Coming forward today with an analysis of Drahomanov’s program, I would not wish to be accused of unscrupulousness. I have objectively presented the basic ideas of the “Introduction” and I shall attempt to maintain objectivity, insofar as possible, in my further critical remarks. Needless to say, I do not consider myself “wiser” than Drahomanov. But the distance of a century allows us to see, more clearly than was possible for contemporaries, both the strong and the weak aspects of Drahomanov’s program and to distinguish those of its elements that have stood the test of time from those that have not. The great respect that we feel for Drahomanov as man and thinker does not relieve us of the responsibility to assess his ideas critically. Moreover, Drahomanov himself exhorted and accustomed Ukrainian society to critical thought. This gives us the right to adopt a critical stance toward Drahomanov himself. The fact that many points of Drahomanov’s program have become generally accepted and virtually self-evident is something of an obstacle to the appropriate recognition of his merits as a pioneer and innovator.

The all-Ukrainian character of Drahomanov’s program should be stressed at the outset. Drahomanov was the first political publicist and deologue whose view included the whole of Ukrainian territory from the Kuban region to Transcarpathia. The fate of the “wounded brother” of Transcarpathia was particularly close to his heart, and he devoted a separate paragraph to it in the “Introduction” to Hromada. The painful question of Transcarpathia (Hungarian Rus’, in the terminology of the day) was one to which Drahomanov returned a number of times in his later work.

This leads us to a related matter. Drahomanov was a consistent supporter of the ethnic (or, as it used to be called, “ethnographic”) principle. For him, Ukraine meant the territory on which Ukrainians constituted the majority of the population. Proceeding from this principle, Drahomanov refuted the pretensions of Ukraine’s neighbours to rule the territory and people of Ukraine. He was particularly severe in his criticism of Polish historical legitimism, in whose name Polish patriots aspired to restore the old Commonwealth in its pre-1772 borders, including Right-Bank Ukraine and eastern Galicia. Drahomanov argued that Poland had a right to exist only on the territory inhabited by the Polish people and that claims to ethnically non-Polish territory were extremely harmful not only to Ukrainian interests but also to the long-range national interests of Poland itself. The experience of succeeding generations has resoundingly vindicated the accuracy of this diagnosis.[9]

Drahomanov correctly foresaw that Ukrainian identity would become strong only when all of Ukraine was covered “with a network of comrades and associations, all of them linked one to another.” In other words, he advocated the creation of a Ukrainian social “infrastructure.” The absence of this infrastructure — that is, the amorphousness and lack of organization of the popular masses and the alienation of the educated strata of society from the common people — was the fundamental reason for the weakness of Ukrainian identity in the nineteenth century. The Ukrainian national movement did indeed follow the path toward which Drahomanov directed it. In this respect, great successes were achieved, primarily in Galicia. Because of unfavourable political circumstances, the Ukrainians of Dnieper Ukraine did not manage to build their infrastructure until the Revolution itself, and this fact weighed decisively on the outcome of the liberation struggle of 1917–21.

Drahomanov called for the politicization of the Ukrainian movement and fought against the conception of so-called apolitical Ukrainianism adhered to by most members of the Stara Hromada, whether out of sincere conviction or a desire for protective colouring. This did not mean, of course, that Drahomanov, himself an eminent scholar, lacked an appreciation of cultural values. But he quite rightly believed that cultural life cannot develop normally when a nation is deprived of political freedom. Nonetheless — and this is a most important point — he organically linked national liberation with the struggle for human rights, a democratic political order, and social justice. Drahomanov was an ardent Ukrainian patriot, but he did not make an earthly god of the nation. His patriotism was anchored in universal values, and in it there was not a trace of chauvinism.

Probably the most attractive aspect of Drahomanov’s program is the breadth of its intellectual horizons. Drahomanov did not take a parochial view of the Ukrainian question, nor did he regard it as a matter of merely current interest; rather, he considered it in historical perspective and in a universal context. It is another question whether Drahomanov’s philosophy of history is wholly acceptable to Ukrainians today. But it is certain that in the person of Drahomanov Ukrainians have a political thinker of great intellectual stature from whom there is much to be learned even when one disagrees with him.

Finally, Drahomanov’s accomplishment as a creator of Ukrainian publicistic prose should not be neglected. In the seventies and eighties of the last century, when Drahomanov was active, there was as yet no fully developed Ukrainian political terminology or publicistic style. For Drahomanov, as for other “conscious” Ukrainians of the time, it was easier to write of higher matters in Russian than in Ukrainian. Reading the “Introduction” and other works of Drahomanov written in Ukrainian, we sense that he was contending with linguistic difficulties. But it was, of course, a matter of principle for him that Hromada, as the representative organ of free Ukrainian thought, appear in the native language. Drahomanov was himself obliged to coin terms, many of which failed to find acceptance; the same fate met the orthography based on the radical phonetic principle, the so-called drahomanivka, that he introduced in Hromada. Drahomanov’s Ukrainian-language publicistic style creates the impression of a certain awkwardness, but this is a natural consequence of the fact that he was a pioneer in this area as well.

One point of Drahomanov’s program that cannot fail to offend the contemporary Ukrainian reader and arouse his spontaneous protest is the rejection of the idea of Ukrainian state independence. This exceedingly important problem requires more detailed consideration; we should try to comprehend Drahomanov’s motives and arguments.

In analyzing Drahomanov’s stand against independence it is necessary to distinguish clearly between two aspects, which we shall term pragmatic and ideological. There is no internal relationship whatever between these two aspects, and we must consider each of them separately.

On the pragmatic side, Drahomanov saw no realistic preconditions for a separatist Ukrainian policy at that time. It was rendered impossible not only by the Ukrainian people’s lack of organization and the relative weakness of the Ukrainian national movement, but also by the contemporary international situation. Drahomanov considered that the cause of Ukrainian independence could be actualized only in the event of a great European war and would require the support of one of the great powers. As he stated in the “Introduction,” without the active assistance of France under Napoleon III, there would have been no independent, united Italian state. But there was no prospect of Ukraine’s obtaining such outside assistance.

We must admit that Drahomanov’s negative conclusions about the prospects for Ukrainian independence objectively reflected contemporary political conditions. The last quarter of the nineteenth century was a period of stable international relations in Europe. Here we may refer to the example of Poland. During the nineteenth century, the Poles staged several armed insurrections in an attempt to regain the independence of their nation, but they all ended in failure. After the defeat of the insurrection of 1863, the Poles abandoned such hopeless strivings, which exacted gigantic sacrifices and only worsened the people’s political situation. In the following decades Polish society went over completely to a platform of so-called “organic work,” that is, the development of all aspects of its national life within the borders of three empires, Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Germany. If a separatist policy was as yet beyond the capacity of the Poles, who were certainly at a higher stage of national development than the Ukrainians, and who possessed relatively recent and strong state traditions, then such a policy was all the less realistic for the Jkrainians.

Drahomanov was also correct in associating the prospects for the Ukrainian cause with the political evolution of Russia and Austria-Hungary, i.e., the process of the democratization of these states. Later developments confirmed the accuracy of his prognosis. In Dnieper Ukraine, the Ukrainian movement emerged from clandestinity and began o gain strength only after the Revolution of 1905, which abolished the Ems Ukase and partially limited the tsarist autocracy. The crucial turning point in Galicia was the reform of the law on elections in 1907, which introduced universal direct suffrage for males to the Vienna parliament. Only at this point did the Austrian government begin to take the Ukrainians into account as a genuine force.

But in addition to the pragmatic side of Drahomanov’s rejection of independence, there was also a second, ideologically motivated, aspect. As a supporter of the doctrine of anarchism (“non-authoritarianism”), Drahomanov regarded statehood — all statehood — with principled distrust. According to his convictions, state and liberty were mutually contradictory concepts. A thinker who considered the state evil in itself could not advocate state sovereignty for his own people, either as a goal of practical political activity at a given stage of historical development or as an ideal for the future.

In order to explain this position of Drahomanov’s, it should be recalled that anarchist and semi-anarchist ideas were widespread in European political thought during the nineteenth century. “The period with which we are now concerned (the era of the seventies and at least up to the mid-eighties) is characterized by the dominance within revolutionary circles throughout the continent, except in Germany, of greater or lesser tendencies toward anarchism.”[10] Indeed, even the theoreticians of German social democracy, Marx and Engels, did not in principle constitute an exception to this rule. According to their teachings, the final stage of human development is supposed to bring with it the “withering away of the state,” although this will occur only after the triumph of a socialist revolution and a transitional “dictatorship of the proletariat.” Views approximating those of the anarchists were also held by many exponents of classical liberalism. They often favoured the conception of the “minimal state” or the “night-watchman state,” meaning a state whose responsibilities would be restricted to the defence of public order and tranquillity; all else was left to individual initiative and voluntary association. Some liberal thinkers expressed serious doubts whether the state should intervene in such matters as public education and health care, or whether, for instance, compulsory education and obligatory vaccination against smallpox did not constitute, as it were, an inadmissible limitation of individual freedom. It should be added that a leaning toward anarchism is especially understandable in the mind of someone born in the Russian Empire, for whom the idea of statehood was inevitably associated with oppression and arbitrary rule.

Accordingly, Drahomanov believed that it would be possible for the Ukrainian people to bypass the problem of independent statehood in their historical development and to work toward an ideal “non-authoritarian and stateless order.” There is no question that he was deeply mistaken in this belief. It may be agreed that the establishment of a Ukrainian state is an exceedingly difficult undertaking, and that it was so not only in Drahomanov’s time but remains so today, a century later. But there are hundreds of states in the world, and new ones keep making their appearance. By the same token, there is nothing impossible in principle about the establishment of a Ukrainian state. On the other hand, Drahomanov’s utopian “non-authoritarianism” is something that no one has ever seen and that one can scarcely expect to see.

This cardinal error of Drahomanov’s was rooted in a mistaken understanding of the idea of freedom. It is untrue that statehood and freedom are by nature incompatible concepts. On the contrary, Hegel was right when he asserted that freedom is possible only within the framework of the rule of state law. Nor is there any basis for the belief that “the voluntary association of free and equal individuals” — Drahomanov’s socio-political ideal — will ever replace the state, even in the most distant foreseeable futre. Voluntary association has an important function in the life of society, but it is not a panacea. For the coexistence of people in society continually produces new individual and group conflicts, whose resolution necessitates a government endowed with appropriate authority and armed with the “sword of justice.” It is desirable that people obey the law voluntarily. But people are not angels, and a law differs from an ethical norm in that it is backed, in case of need, by the sanction of force. This applies in equal measure to a democratic state. State power in a democracy is differently constructed and functions differently from that in an absolute monarchy or a totalitarian dictatorship. But democracy is by no means to be identified with the absence of state power or anarchy.

Drahomanov’s theoretical principle — his dislike of statehood as such and his mistaken concept of freedom — was the reason for his underestimation of the importance of the national state as an irreplaceable safeguard of national freedom. On this question, contemporary Ukrainian political thought occupies different positions from those defended by Drahomanov. Nevertheless, if we wish to be fair, we must remember certain “mitigating circumstances” that lessen the weight of Drahomanov’s “offence.”

In the first place, Drahomanov’s stand against independence was not a consequence of Russophilism, of which he was groundlessly accused by integral-nationalist critics of the inter-war era. In his “Introduction,” Drahomanov characterized Russia as “the foreign Muscovite tsardom with boundless bureaucratic centralization” (139). Similar expressions are frequently to be found in his works.

Secondly, Drahomanov consistently advocated the organizational independence of the Ukrainian movement, declaring himself opposed to centralized, “all-Russian” revolutionary organizations and Ukrainian participation in them. Drahomanov believed that the struggle against autocracy required a common front of all progressive forces of all the peoples of the Russian Empire. But he conceived of such a common front in the form of co-operation among equal and autonomous organizations constructed on national or regional bases. In a whole series of brilliant polemical works Drahomanov unmasked the centralist and, in essence, great-power inclinations of the Russian revolutionaries, thereby making enemies for himself in this milieu. The matter was one of outstanding, absolutely critical significance. It was not for nothing that Lenin, recognizing the right of the peoples of Russia to self-determination in theory, simultaneously fought with all his might to preserve the organizational unity of Social Democracy as an all-Russian party. Drahomanov and Lenin, who took opposing stands on the question of centralization and decentralization, agreed on one point: the organizational structure of a revolutionary movement predetermines the character of the political order brought about by a victorious revolution.

Thirdly, while rejecting the ideal of an independent state as a goal of Ukrainian politics, Drahomanov considered Ukraine a separate Slavic nation and did not deny the Ukrainian people a natural aptitude for independent political life. But it is precisely such pessimistic thoughts that we often encounter among the leading Ukrainian publicists and political thinkers of the nineteenth century. For example, Panteleimon Kulish argued in his programmatic “Epilog k Chernoi rade” (Epilogue to The Black Council, 1857) that the existence of a separate Ukrainian literature was entirely legitimate, but simultaneously asserted the “political insignificance (nichtozhestvo) of Little Russia” and the “moral necessity of the merger into one state of the Southern Rus’ tribe with the Northern.”[11] Forty years later, similar thoughts on the inherent political inferiority of the Ukrainian people were voiced by Volodymyr Antonovych, a former colleague of Drahomanov’s and later his antagonist, the leader of the moderate, non-socialist majority in the Stara Hromada. Antonovych maintained that “as a consequence of the ethnographic particularities of its nature, the Ukrainian people did not possess the aptitude to form an independent state.”[12] Although Drahomanov was no partisan of independence, he never went to such extremes.

I should like to supplement my critique of Drahomanov’s anarchism and anti-independentism with some observations about his socialism (“communalism”). It should be noted first of all that neither by his scholarly training nor by his interests was Drahomanov an economist. He touched on economic questions only occasionally and in passing. Drahomanov believed that the human race was progressing from capitalism to socialism, but offered no arguments to support this a priori conviction. Drahomanov’s socialism had an ethical basis — protest against social injustice. Moreover, his socialistic outlook was strongly coloured by egalitarianism. Drahomanov not only rejected the system of estates which was still legally dominant in Russia at the time, but believed all social inequality and class differentiation to be evil. Drahomanov saw his ideal in a “classless society,” although he did not employ this term. Egalitarianism was linked in Drahomanov’s thought with populism. He often criticized the Russian populists for their idealization of the village commune (obshchina) and elemental peasant revolts, but populist motifs clearly resound in his writings. In the “Introduction” to Hromada, Drahomanov identified Ukrainian nationality with its peasantry and condemned the upper classes (“nobles, priests, and merchants”) as exploiters who profited from the people’s misery. Drahomanov believed that Ukraine was receptive ground for the spread of socialist ideas: “We think that our Ukraine, which has neither a clergy, nor a nobility, nor a merchant class, nor a state of its own, but has a peasantry quite intelligent by nature, will readily adopt the doctrine of a non-authoritarian and fraternal order... “(121).

In my critique of Drahomanov’s “communalism” I do not wish to enter into the problem of the relative advantages of capitalism and socialism as economic systems; Drahomanov’s works offer no material for such a discussion. But I should like to consider some national-political and sociological implications of his “communalism.”

Between Drahomanov’s anarchism and socialism there existed an internal contradiction, although he was unconscious of it. Anarchism strives for the liquidation of the state; socialism does not. Drahomanov, naturally, conceived the future socialist order as one of voluntary association among groups of worker-producers. This conception is actually close to that of the later anarcho-syndicalism. The experience of the past century has clearly demonstrated its impracticality. In historical practice, socialism has always and everywhere gone hand in hand with the strengthening of state control over society. This applies not only to totalitarian socialist regimes, but also — in lesser measure — to democratic Western socialism.

Returning to Drahomanov’s time, we cannot help noticing that socialism in all its varieties was then spreading throughout the whole of Europe; it began to penetrate Ukraine in the 1870s. Regarding the existence of a Ukrainian socialist trend as natural, I consider the activity of its founders, Drahomanov and his associates, to have been positive. It was Drahomanov’s great historical service that he consciously adapted the universal ideas of socialism to Ukrainian conditions and attempted to draw Ukrainians away from participation in Russian socialist organizations.

It is another question entirely whether socialism could have become the platform for all Ukrainians, for the whole of the national-liberation movement. Drahomanov asserted that “a Ukrainian who has not become a communalist demonstrates only that he has not thought the matter through to the end and failed to learn his lesson fully ... “ (140). In essence, then, Drahomanov denied the right of existence to other, non-socialist Ukrainian intellectual and political currents, seeing in them only products of backwardness. Intelligent and educated people of good will cannot, as it were, fail to be socialists. In my opinion, it was the doctrinaire in Drahomanov who was speaking at this point.

True, there are passages in Drahomanov’s writings in which he treats this problem quite differently. In 1876, only two years before the “Introduction,” he wrote as follows: “We truly see that throughout the whole of the nineteenth century all sorts of political, social, and religious ideas — from monarchist to republican, from oligarchic to socialist, from the prayer-book to atheism — have been expressed and continue to be expressed in the Little Russian language.”[13] If this statement was true, however, Drahomanov ought to have asked himself whether the socialist current to which he himself belonged had any chance of swallowing up the other Ukrainian currents, such as conservatism, clericalism, liberalism, and nationalism. If not, then there ought logically to have followed an acceptance of pluralism in ideas and politics as a lasting feature of Ukrainian life. But Drahomanov did not draw this conclusion. There was no room in his political conception for the co-existence of various camps, each representing certain positive values.

Drahomanov’s doctrinaire attitude revealed itself most glaringly in his attitude to religion and the church. In his “Introduction” he went so far as to say the following: “In Austria our communalists must come out against the clergy perhaps even more strongly than in Little Russian Ukraine, precisely because the clergy there has not renounced Ukrainian nationality so openly and, at times, deceives itself and others and even peasant communities into thinking that it stands behind these communities and can improve their lot” (134–5). There is room for considerable doubt whether the lot of the Galician Ukrainian peasantry would have improved if the Greek Catholic Church, which was, after all, a Ukrainian national institution, had been replaced by Polish Roman Catholicism or Russian Orthodoxy!

The point here is not that Drahomanov was not personally a believer or that he called for the secularization of Ukrainian civic and cultural life. Drahomanov was right when he pointed out the undesirable effects of Galician clericalism. But as a result of specific historical conditions, the clergy was dominant in the educated Ukrainian stratum in Galicia. Secularization, therefore, depended on the growth of the lay intelligentsia, and this was a protracted process. In the face of incontestable facts, Drahomanov did not wish to recognize that the Greek Catholic Church and clergy, whatever their faults, had rendered great historical services to the Galician Ukrainians. Nor could he accept the idea that in the future, despite progressive secularization, church organizations would continue to have the right to exist and to carry out important social and spiritual tasks.

In treating problems of social and economic organization, Drahomanov correctly asserted that the denationalization of the upper classes in Ukraine had deprived the popular masses of necessary social and cultural services. But he did not conclude that the Ukrainian people required their own “nobles, priests, and merchants,” for, if they were absent, these necessary functions would be fulfilled by nobles, priests, and merchants of foreign nationality.

To this one might reply that Drahomanov clearly saw the bitter social injustice suffered by the Ukrainian people. How, then, could one demand that he approve of the unjust contemporary social order?

But this rebuttal is based on a misunderstanding. Drahomanov had every reason to condemn social conditions in the Ukraine of his day; he also correctly saw that the national liberation of Ukraine was inseparable from the social emancipation of its people. But the heart of the matter lies in the direction of the proposed social change. A colossal distance separated the pauperized, illiterate, enserfed Ukrainian peasant masses from the well-off, educated, free Swiss people among whom Drahomanov lived at the time. This does not mean, of course, that Switzerland was an “earthly paradise,” although in comparison with Ukraine it might indeed have appeared to be one. But instead of proposing such a realistic model for the Ukrainian liberation movement — to make the Ukrainian social structure approximate that of the advanced “capitalist” countries of the West — Drahomanov put forward the utopian conception of “communalism.”

The utopian nature of “communalism” consisted not so much in the slogan of socialization of the means of production — which Drahomanov did not, after all, emphasize particularly — as in its populist egalitarianism. This problem is too complex to be considered exhaustively in this paper. Christianity teaches that “everyone is equal before God,” which is interpreted in secularized terms as a demand to respect the human dignity of every individual. Abraham Lincoln said that he wished to be neither a slave nor a slave-owner, which is very close to Shevchenko’s ideal of Cossack liberty “with neither serf nor master.” A democratic order is based on the equality of all citizens before the law. Appropriate measures of socio-economic policy make it possible to redress inequality in wages and salaries, to improve social mobility for groups that have suffered discrimination, and to provide special care for those who require it. All this is self-evident, and, in criticizing “populist egalitarianism,” I have none of these measures in mind. I am concerned rather with a peculiar bias, extremely widespread among the East European intelligentsia of the nineteenth century, which was characterized by a distaste for social differentiation as such, an inclination toward levelling to the lowest denominator, toward the assessment of all social and cultural phenomena from the standpoint of the “younger brother’s” interests, and toward the identification of the nation with the peasantry.

Drahomanov was probably less afflicted with the populist complex than were many of his Ukrainian and Russian contemporaries, but he was not free of it. Among the items attesting to this is the synthetic account of Ukrainian history in the “Introduction” to Hromada. It is noteworthy that Drahomanov begins this survey with the rise of Cossackdom, probably because medieval, princely, and boyar Kiev an Rus’ was not easily amenable to a populist interpretation. In his discussion of the cultural and religious movement of the late sixteenth and the first half of the seventeenth centuries, Drahomanov makes favourable mention of the repercussions of Protestantism in Ukraine and of the Orthodox lay brotherhoods, but says nothing of the activity of Metropolitan Peter Mohyla and his collaborators. As for Cossackdom, Drahomanov concentrates on the Zaporozhian Sich, but passes over the Hetmanate in silence. Yet we know that the Sich and the Hetmanate were the two poles of Cossack Ukraine and deserve the historian’s attention in equal measure. In other words, Drahomanov gave a one-sided and therefore distorted picture of Ukrainian history, in which only the “left” side is illuminated, while the “right” side remains in obscurity.

In my judgment, the common root of all the above-mentioned views of Drahomanov was a unilinear, undialectical understanding of socio-historical development, and hence an inability to recognize the necessity of social differentiation and political pluralism. It should be added here that not only Drahomanov, but Ukrainian political thought in general, has experienced perpetual difficulty with the problem of differentiation and pluralism. Ukrainian left-wingers have dreamt of a “classless society” and Ukrainian right-wingers of “national solidarity,” two opposing conceptions that nevertheless have in common a rejection of pluralism. Alone among Ukrainian political thinkers, Viacheslav Lypynsky clearly saw that modern society cannot help but be differentiated along class lines, that a nation cannot consist only of the “toiling masses,” but must also include an elite, and that a state requires not only a government but also a legal opposition. (But it must be added that Lypynsky sought the solution to the problem of a pluralistic order on an undemocratic basis.)

We have concluded the critical analysis of the “Introduction” to Hromada of 1878, the first modern Ukrainian political program, but we must round out our discussion with a few supplementary remarks. Anyone familiar with the whole of Drahomanov’s creative output cannot doubt that his thought is much richer than can be determined on the basis of the “Introduction” alone. Moreover, the “Introduction” does not necessarily display the author at his best. In order to verify this thesis, it suffices to compare the “Introduction” with another programmatic treatise of Drahomanov’s, Volnyi soiuz — Vilna spilka (Free Union) of 1884.[14] Instead of the utopian ideal of “non-authoritarianism,” we find in Free Union a detailed proposal for the constitutional reordering of the Russian Empire on a democratic and federalist basis. Many of Drahomanov’s proposals, such as those for constitutional safeguards of human and civil rights and a system of local and regional self-government, retain their significance even today. In Free Union Drahomanov did not preach “communalism” but instead proposed a whole series of well-thought-out, concrete socio-economic reforms, almost all of which, it may be noted, were implemented in democratic countries in the following decades. Nor is there an apotheosis of the peasantry in Free Union, though there is a genuine concern for social justice and for the well-being of the popular masses. There is no summary condemnation of the “lords” simply because they are “lords”; on the contrary, Drahomanov appeals to noblemen, industrialists, and even army officers to take an active part in the struggle against tsarist autocracy. There are no appeals to struggle against religion; instead, there is a conception of the constitutional separation of church and state on the American model, along with constitutional guarantees of complete freedom of conscience and religious worship. At the centre of his entire program in Free Union, Drahomanov placed the idea of political freedom, subordinating to it all other postulates, whether social ones or Ukrainian national ones.[15]

How is one to explain these divergences between the programs of the “Introduction” and Free Union? Can it be that Drahomanov’s world-view underwent a radical change during the six years that separate the two documents? Was he inconstant in his convictions? Such inconstancy was ascribed to him by Lypynsky: “For there is in history not one, but several Drahomanovs.... Under the influence of the Russian school, he lost the moral and political bearings that were in his family and in his home, and later sought such bearings for himself throughout his whole life, changing them constantly.... “[16] This characterization is interesting, but it is mistaken. Contrary to Lypynsky’s assertion, Drahomanov never altered his basic principles. His world-view took shape early, and he held to it throughout his life. As Oleksander Mytsiuk correctly observed: “That the program of Free Union did not signal a ‘right-wing deviation’ in Drahomanov may be seen from the fact that he remained faithful to his anarcho-socialist world-view to the end.... “[17]

Thus, the apparent contradictions between the “Introduction” and Free Union are to be explained otherwise. Drahomanov’s political outlook was a complex synthesis of anarchist, socialist, democratic, liberal, federalist, and Ukrainian patriotic elements united on the basis of a positivist philosophy. Depending on time and circumstance, Drahomanov elaborated certain elements of this synthesis; other elements then receded into the background, as it were, but he did not renounce them, and, given the proper circumstances, they would return to the fore in his writings. The radicalism of the “Introduction” stemmed from the fact that in this work the accent was placed on theoretical principles and ultimate, ideal goals. Nor can there be any doubt that the character of the “Introduction” was influenced by Drahomanov’s closeness to Russian revolutionary circles in the early period of his residence in Switzerland, as well as by his co-operation with Serhii Podolynsky. Drahomanov did not approve of Podolynsky’s “spirit of revolt,” but yielded at times to pressure from this colourful, dynamic individual.[18] Free Union was written under different conditions. During the preceding six years, Drahomanov had become completely disillusioned with the Russian revolutionaries, with almost all of whom he was now at daggers drawn. Podolynsky, too, was gone, having fallen victim to an incurable mental illness. Free Union was addressed to the liberal Ukrainian zemstvo activists with whom Drahomanov had established contact. This programmatic document stressed practical goals in the struggle for freedom in Russia and Ukraine during the forthcoming years or decades. Oversimplifying somewhat, it may be said that the “Introduction” was Drahomanov’s maximum program, while Free Union was his minimum program.

Which of these two programs is closer to us today? The answer to this question depends, of course, on the outlook of the contemporary student of the history of Ukrainian political thought. Speaking for myself, I confess that all my sympathies are on the side of Drahomanov the liberal, constitutionalist, and reformist; concerning Drahomanov the communalist, doctrinaire, and utopian, I have reservations in principle that I have attempted to explain in this article.

A host of new questions now arises in logical consequence — about the reception of Drahomanov’s legacy of ideas in Ukraine (both Dnieper Ukraine and Galicia) and in Russia, as well as its influence on the formation of Ukrainian political parties and on the later development of Ukrainian political thought. In the Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian literature one may encounter the most contradictory opinions on these matters. At the same time as the well-known Socialist Revolutionary activist Mykyta Shapoval hailed Drahomanov as the “ideologue of the new Ukraine,”[19] the integral-nationalist publicists of the inter-war period were condemning him as the greatest evil-doer in modern Ukrainian history and the malevolent spirit responsible for the failure of the Ukrainian struggle for independence of 1917–21.[20] In conclusion, I cannot forgo the pleasure of quoting two capable foreign scholars. The Polish historian of the Ukrainian movement, Stanislaw Smolka, wrote during the First World War: “Contemporary Ukrainianism regards itself as nurtured by Drahomanov; not even moderate groups dare to dispute this.”[21] But the well-informed Soviet researcher David Zaslavsky asserted in the very first sentence of his as yet unsurpassed biographical study: “M. P. Drahomanov is one of the authors who are greatly respected but little read in Ukraine.”[22] In order to disentangle this bundle of contradictions, a separate work would be required.

[1] Information has been drawn from the following sources: M. P. Drahomanov, “Avtobiograficheskaia zamefka” in Literaturno-publitsystychni pratsi (Kiev 1970), v. l; M. Hrushevsky, Z pochyniv ukrainskoho sotsiialitsychnoho rukhu: Mykh. Drahomanov i zhenevskyi sotsiialistychnyi hurtok (Vienna 1922); D. Zaslavsky, M. P. Dragomanov: Kritiko-biograficheskii ocherk (Kiev 1924); M. Hrushevsky, “Misiia Drahomanova,” Ukraina, no. 2–3 (1926); I. Zhytetsky, “Ostannii vyizd M. P. Drahomanova za kordon,” Ukraina, no. 2–3 (1926).

[2] See V. Kalynovych, Politychni protsesy Ivana Franka ta ioho tovaryshiv (Lviv 1967).

[3] M.P. Drahomanov, Turki vnutrennie i vneshnie (1876); Vnutrennee rabstvo i voina za osvobozhdenie (1877); Do chego dovoevalis (1878). These brochures are reprinted in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii M. P. Dragomanova, 2 vols., ed. B.A. Kistiakovsky (Paris 1905–6), v. 2.

[4] The history of the relations between Drahomanov and the Stara Hromada is documented in Arkhiv Mykhaila Drahomanova (Warsaw 1937), v. 1.

[5] M. Hrushevsky, “Misiia Drahomanova,” Ukraina, no. 2–3 (1926): 3.

[6] M. P. Drahomanov, “Vidpovid M. Drahomanova na iuvileini pryvitannia 16.XII. 1894,” in M. P. Drahomanov, Vybrani tvory, v. 1 (all published) (Prague 1937), 89.

[7] “Perednie slovo” to Hromada is cited according to the text in M. P. Drahomanov, Vybrani tvory, 93–147.

[8] M. P. Drahomanov, “Avtobiograficheskaia zametka,” in Literaturno-publitsystychni pratsi, 1:68.

[9] On Drahomanov’s attitude to the Poles and to the problem of Polish-Ukrainian relations, see E. Hornowa, Problemy polskie w tworczosci Michaia Drahomanowa (Wroclaw 1978).

[10] O. K. Mytsiuk, Ukrainskyi ekonomist-hromadivets S. A. Podolynsky (Lviv 1933), 3–4.

[11] P. Kulish, “Ob otnoshenii malorusskoi slovesnosti k obshcherusskoi. Epilog k Chernoi rade,” in Vybrani tvory (Kiev 1969), 499.

[12] V. Antonovych’s paper, “Kharakteristika deiatelnosti Bogdana Khmelnitskago,” was read at a meeting of the Society of Nestor the Chronicler on 14 January 1898 and printed in Chteniia Obshchestva Nestora-Letopistsa 13 (1899): 101–4. Cited in D. Doroshenko, Volodymyr Antonovych. Ioho zhyttia i naukova ta hromadska diialnist (Prague 1942), 131.

[13] M. P. Drahomanov, Po voprosu o malorusskoi literature. Cited in M. Drahomanov, Literaturno-publitsystychni pratsi, 1:352.

[14] M. P. Drahomanov, “Volnyi soiuz — Vilna spilka. Opyt ukrainskoi politiko-sotsialnoi programmy,” in Sobranie politicheskikh sochinenii (Paris 1905), v. 1.

[15] See Ie. Pyziur, “Konstytutsiina prohrama i teoriia M. Drahomanova,” Lysty do pryiateliv 14 (1966), nos. 8–10, reprinted in Journal of Ukrainian Studies 6, no. 2 (Fall 1981): 28–42.

[16] I. L. Rudnytsky, “Nazaruk i Lypynskyi: Istoriia ikhnoi druzhby ta konfliktu,” in Lysty Osypa Nazaruka do Viacheslava Lypynskoho (Philadelphia 1978), xlvii-xlviii.

[17] Prof. Mytziuk, “Die politischen und sozialokonomischen Anschauungen Drahomanivs,” Jahrbucher fur Kultur und Geschichte der Slaven, New Series 11 (1935), 291.

[18] The result of collaboration between Drahomanov and Podolynsky was the “Prohrama” (Program), dated 1 December 1880, that appeared in the first issue of the so-called periodical Hromada over the signatures of M. Drahomanov, M. Pavlyk, and S. Podolynsky. It was written primarily by Podolynsky, but Drahomanov inserted his corrections. The tone and contents of this document were considerably more radical that those of the “Introduction” of 1878. This was the most left-wing of Drahomanov’s political statements, and he later regretted having yielded to Podolynsky’s demands. The text of the 1880 “Program” is reprinted in Drahomanov, Vybrani tvory, 1: 148–51.

[19] The title of Shapoval’s introductory essay in the Prague edition of Drahomanov’s Vybrani tvory.

[20] A characteristic product of the integral-nationalist camp is a pamphlet by M. Mukhyn, Drahomanov bez masky (Lviv 1934), in which Drahomanov is compared, inter alia, to Azef, and is termed the “true heir of Peter I,” 54–5.

[21] S. von Smoika, Die reussische Welt. Historisch-politische Studien, Vergangenheit und Gegenwart (Vienna 1916), 105.

[22] D. Zaslavsky, M. P. Dragomanov, 5.