Yevhen Sverstiuk

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462px-Сверстюк_ЄYevhen Sverstiuk


Yevhen Sverstiuk, PhD, was a renowned Ukrainian publicist and literary critic, political prisoner, and an active participant of the Ukrainian national-democratic movement, as well as a founder and participant of the The First December Initiative group. He was also founder and, as of 1989, Chief Editor of the orthodox newspaper “Our Belief”. Dr. Sverstiuk is a laureate of the National Taras Shevchenko Prize and the honorary President of PEN International in Ukraine. In 2010 he was honored with the Light of Justice Award.

Yevhen Svestiuk, about the Light of Justice Award:

“For the first time in Ukraine we encounter an award of a subjective nature. That is, an award not necessarily for one’s work, which is measured by material outcomes, but for one’s moral impact on society. The whole sense of this award is to turn people’s attention to issues that we normally carefully avoid or indelicately profane.

The principal enemies of morality are the temptations of consumerism. In general, we are all born equal.

One likes to recall Kant’s famous expression about two things that ‘fill the mind with ever-increasing wonder and awe… the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me’. However, for Kant these two things were not separate, but one common law which is both in the sky and in one’s soul. So, the inner order correlates with the heavenly one. Moral principles and imperatives build, reinforce and create the law and the very person. Relativism negates that structure and ruins the individual, who then appeals for moral authority instead of providing that authority. People long for moral authority. They respect the moral principles embodied by individuals.

Yesterday’s slaves to power overstepped their own rule to maintain “a sacred public domain”, God’s commandment of “do not steal”, and became slaves to capital. Their minds are blurred. They do not see the starry sky above, nor do they feel the moral law within themselves. Their authority is ponderous and grey. They do not love their motherland. They do not trust each other. They do not feel joy or freedom. And people begin to feel that the worst oppression is moral oppression.”