It is my belief, here at the Spherical Model, that freedom from repression is interrelated with prosperity and civilization. It’s easy to see why people want civilization and prosperity. And since tyranny limits civilization and prosperity, while the freedom of small government limited to protecting God-given rights leads to flourishing, it is logical that anyone with understanding will also want freedom. People will yearn for it. They will recognize the unfairness, the corruption—the evil—of tyranny. They will want to move “northward” the way a swimmer moves up to the surface for air.
We can see evidence of this universal desire for freedom. This past week one example is Ukraine.
We haven’t been getting very much news out of Ukraine, but there have been protests in the streets for some months. If I have gathered accurately, the Ukrainian people have wanted to remain European, connected to the European Union, with increased capitalism, while their president, Yanukovich, has been leaning toward Putin’s Russia. There are ethnic differences. Within the country’s boundaries is a significant minority that are Russian rather than Ukrainian, and wouldn’t mind reconnecting with Russia.
But you have the Ukrainian people who lived under the repressive Soviet Union until just over two decades ago, who gained their freedom, who want to grow and live in freedom—these people have absolutely no incentive to submit to yet more tyranny.
Things reached a turning point this past few days. Police snipers, presumably on orders from the president, shot as many as 100 protesters in the streets. (Government reports claim the number of deaths is a mere 77; however, 577 were injured, and 369 hospitalized.) Then the president was deposed. I’m not sure exactly how the deposing too place. There is some discussion that Yulia Tymoshenko, prime minister recently released from prison, may be willing to step up. President Yanokovich has disappeared from his luxurious estate. Word this morning was that he hasn’t yet attempted to leave the country, so he may be in hiding somewhere. His home had been off limits to fellow countrymen for years. He used it for state dinners, one would suppose. But it was astoundingly opulent in a nation where average families get by on $500 a month.
We had neighbors some years ago who took their family on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to visit their relatives in Ukraine. They loved the people, who were so giving. But they were a little shocked at conditions. This was a relatively middle-class Ukrainian family, who were able to send their daughter to America to study abroad for her senior year. But in preparation for our friends’ visit, they upgraded their home by getting a new wooden toilet seat for the outhouse. It wouldn’t be surprising for people who have patiently waited as slow growth brings them prosperity to be very angry to learn of their president’s lifestyle.
Photos showed the estate this weekend, with people invading and looking around—in shock, because apparently his exorbitant lifestyle was kept hidden from the people. Yet, at least in the photos I saw, people looked around like tourists—no windows broken, no looting, no one even entering the house. There were however attempts to recover paperwork, some of which had been partially burned, and some which protestors were beginning to sort out.
Among some of the most effective word that got out was a YouTube video, uploaded 2-10-2014, called “I Am Ukrainian.” A young woman named Yulia makes an impassioned plea, in English, with video and photos backing up her words, asking for help getting the word out. I attempted to transcribe her words (sorry for any errors), which verify the basic belief that people everywhere yearn for freedom.
I am the Ukrainian, the native of Kiev. And now I am now in Maidan [??], in the central part of the city, to know why thousands of people all over my country are on the streets. There is only one reason: we want to be free from a dictatorship. We want to be free from the politicians, who work only for themselves, who are ready to shoot, to beat, to injure people just for saving their money [or “saying their minds” ??], just for saving their houses, just for saving their power. I want these people who are here, who have duty, who are brave—I want them to lead a normal life. We are civilized people, but our government are barbarians.
It’s not the Soviet Union. We want our courts not to be corrupted. We want to be free.
I know that maybe tomorrow we’ll have no phone, no internet connection, and we will be alone here. And maybe policemen will murder us one after another. Then it will be dark here. That’s why I ask you now to help us. We have this freedom held inside our hearts. We have this freedom in our minds. And now I ask you to build this freedom in our country. You can help us only by telling this story to your friends, only by sharing this video. Please, share it. Speak to your friends; speak to your family; speak to your government and show that you support us.
[written on screen]: Please contact your representatives and demand they support the Ukrainian people in their fight for freedom and democracy.
Before it’s too late.
This video was made in early February 2014.
Hopefully, thanks to you and the strong people of Ukraine, things will get better.
Please take time to view the entire two-minute video:
Meanwhile riots and reprisals continue to worsen in Venezuela as well. Our friend who was living there has returned to her native Uganda, so I’m relieved for her. The people there have for some time been seem clamoring for goods, promised to them by their failing socialist government (I know, “failing socialist government” is redundant). The question there is whether the people know to ask for freedom in order to get prosperity and civilization, or whether they have been successfully turned into government dependents who are now simply throwing tantrums that they are not getting what they were led to expect. You can’t simply demand “better” socialist government and expect that will lead to better prosperity and thriving civilization. You have to start by living civilized lives (religious people, strong families), where honesty, self-reliance, hard work, and caring for others become natural. Then you get better prosperity—and you realize tyrannical government is in the way of the flourishing that’s building up pressure to happen.
But what is happening now could bring to everyone’s awareness the innate need for freedom—for life and liberty. The government oppression of its people—usurping control over their words, their acts, and their very lives—may wake the people up to the disastrous choice it is to exchange material “security” for the freedom to work and prosper. I don’t know what the people will do there, but I hope they will seek freedom as if their lives depend on it, because they do.
Those of us who have some freedom (as long as we can keep hold of it), know to value it, and we want it for all peoples. We offer our support and prayers to any people reaching northward toward freedom, prosperity, and civilization.