«We were approaching a rupture.» Philosopher Andrii Dakhniy on the collision of two civilizations – Ukraine and Russia

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The speaker mentioned two paradigms of development: power-centric and anthropocentric, or person-centric. It is obvious that, unlike Ukraine and the Western world, Russia tends to be power-centric when power and the state are raised to absolute heights in relation to the individual.
Photo by Ivan Stanislavskyi

Photo by Ivan Stanislavskyi

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Since 1991, Ukraine has followed a path that could intersect with other former Soviet republics that have become independent states. However, our course deviated in many ways from the path of all others, and this became evident in the early 2000s. A philosopher Andrii Dakhniy, who is an associate professor of the History of Philosophy Department of Lviv National University and lecturer of the course «Media Philosophy» at UCU, expressed this and other thoughts during the broadcast of the discussion «Explaining Ukraine» in the studio of media hub «Tvoe Misto».

«The main example of this was Russia, which since the 2000s, has been moving towards authoritarianism, towards the return of the imperial past,» – he said.

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The philosopher recalls the work of the American political scientist Samuel Huntington’s «Clash of Civilizations» in the late 90s. He talks about Ukraine and Russia, which tend to have different vectors of development, and talks about Russian Orthodox civilization and Western civilization. Huntington argues that Ukraine is on the border between civilizations and does not rule out that in the future this could cause a serious confrontation between the two countries.

«I think we can use different terminology than Huntington, although in general, it is difficult for him to deny the potential for conflict. I mean, many historians will talk about two paradigms of development: power-centric and anthropocentric, or person-centric. It is obvious that Russia tends to be power-centric when power and the state are raised to absolute heights in relation to the individual,» – he explains.

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According to Andrii Dakhniy, Ukraine has historically been in the orbit of European values ​​and in this sense, it has the respect for the individual, citizen, advocacy, pluralism of opinion, the right to express any position publicly, the principles of dignity.

«Ukrainians are primarily united by values, in this respect, Ukraine has been very radically different from Russia in its development. The events of the XXI century have brought us closer to this final rupture and the most radical clash of these civilizations in Huntington’s terminology,» – he added.

Photo by Ivan Stanislavskyi

Translated by Kateryna Bortniak

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