Yevhen Sverstyuk at Business Credo: ‘A Person Should Not Break, He Is Made from Material That Does Not Break”
The Lviv Business School together with the Ukrainian Catholic University opened a new season of meetings of the debate club Business Credo in Kyiv. On October 9, in the format of “business talk,” famous philosopher and dissident Yevhen Sverstyuk spoke with businesspersons and top managers about the values on which a business and society should be built.
UCU senator, Director of Trottola, Yaroslav Rushchyshyn, moderated the meeting.
“The aim and means are one and the same,” said Yevhen Sverstyuk. “But as for me, the main means in life is how and what you make, what you sow every day, your every move – this has the greatest value.”
According to the philosopher, success should not be the highest value, but only a step: “Success is fiction. And if a person builds himself, then he builds the foundation of society. The true values are spiritual values; they cannot be compared with material values.”
The philosopher admitted that he does not know the answer to the question about where the world is moving, “But I can answer the question about what direction a person should take – he should return to the spiritual beginning. I believe that we should let go of the elementary alphabet, which our grandfathers knew: we have to build ourselves, free people, who are able to take risks for the sake of their own ideals, because all of our achievements are rather shaky steps.”
When asked to describe a socially responsible business, Yevhen Sverstyuk said: “It is like a responsible person – not a mass phenomenon. In my opinion, it is a business that can give up a temporary beneficial business, if it is suspicious, for the long term, which is always connected with the struggle of motives.”
He also commented on the state of modern Ukrainian education: “Today, education in Ukraine is actually fake. A well-balanced education would teach about the past – give knowledge of what was done with people and with nations. As Kant said, human beings should be treated as an end in themselves and not as a means to something else, but we did not notice how everything happened the other way around. Education must fight the darkness, and in fact one cannot not fight, it is his life,” said Yevhen Sverstyuk.
In conclusion, the political prisoner said why he did not break: “A person should not break, he is made from material that does not break.”
Yevhen Sverstyuk, Ph.D., is a prominent Ukrainian publicist and literary critic, one of the intellectual leaders and active participants in the national democratic movement, member of the initiative group “December 1,” and a former political prisoner. Numerous articles and public appearances Eugene Sverstyuk before intellectuals and students help to overcomethe inertia of fear in society, to revive national spiritual values. Not being a member of anypolitical organizations, he influences the formation of the ideology of the national-patriotic movement in general and especially in the spiritual revival of Ukraine.
Business Credo was created to be a unique platform and to start an active dialogue oncooperation between business and society, to analyze current challenges and mutual influences, and in the longer term to strengthen the role of business in the development of key social processes in the country.
Previous guests at Business Credo have been President of the Ukrainian Catholic University, Bishop Borys Gudziak, the famous Polish film director Krzysztof Zanussi, human rights activist and publicist Myroslav Marynovych, His Beatitude Lubomyr Husar, historian andpublicist Yaroslav Hrytsak, publisher and poet Ivan Malkovych.