On December 11, 2012 in the lecture hall of National university of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Studrespublika held a lecture of a world-known social theorist Roberto Unger (Brazil) titled “Ukraine, Europe and the left wing” [+ video].
It was the first visit of Brazilian social theorist, economist and politician Roberto Mangabeira Unger to Kyiv. He is one of the most important voices of the social and political criticism among the left wing in America. His work in an innovation way combines the traditions of criticism European and the US with Latin American experience as for resistance to global financial capitalism.
Mister Unger served as the Minister of Strategic Affairs at the second administration of president Lula in Brazil and is currently a professor of Harvard Law School.
Roberto Mangabeira Unger’s lecture signified the beginning of the project “New start. Scenarios of the Future” that suggests open competition of organizational projects (scientific, business and social ideas) that would discover possibilities for the Ukrainian future.
The lecture was organized by Studrespublika. National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy co-organized the lecture. The event was supported by the organizing committee of Sustainable Ukraine foundation.
In his speech professor Unger emphasized that Ukraine does not develop its National Project and that the government cannot offer a decent program. Unless we create a strong project, the agriculture will yield low profit and export, the part of heavy industry in the economy will decline and it will be unable to compete at the world market. The economic model will be based upon primary economy, as well as on cheap labour and its export to other countries. It was his preliminary prognosis. “Governing without a strong National Program is a catastrophe”.
Roberto Unger has also touched upon the issue of Ukraine in relation to the European Union, saying that Ukraine needs a strong national strategy before entering the EU.
He mentioned a plan of five essential areas, which should be reformed:
1. Financial – the country has to have a financial base. Citizens should have their own savings. There has to be an institution in the country controlling capital investments.
2. Business – there has to be a competitive cooperation between the businesses.
3. Educational – reformation at all levels of education all over the country. Schools need to be governed locally, but with national standards.
4. Social – every citizen has to have social obligations as alternative to the military service.
5. Democracy has to be active, not passive as now the drawback is that problems are solved only as far as they occur.
As far as the situation in the world develops, professor Unger declared that “the world needs a reconstruction of thought. A universal orthodoxy – Neo-liberalism – prevails today in the world. Only a great world universal model can resist universal orthodoxy. Theuniversal orthodoxy can be successfully combated only by a universalizing heresy. The western society today is some combination of neo-liberalism, state capitalism and this compensatory social democracy. There is not yet a clear institutional alternative to it.”
At the end of the lecture visitors were able to ask questions and received substantial answers. After that National leader of Studrespublika Pavlo Viknyanskyy presented the professor a branded orange T-shirt of Studrespublika, and also gave Dr Leopold Specht a framed photo of him from the final of Studrespublika-2012.