Monday, December 13, 2004

A revolution of aspirations

This revolution has been one of aspirations. It is the barriers to enterprise and opportunity that has been rebelled against. The emerging Ukrainian middle class had hit a barrier of corruption that had limited entry into industries and opportunities to those who where willing to pay bribes and align themselves to the powers that be. A small business wishing to expand would find administrative barriers rise up blocking the expansion. Local and regional governments saw business opportunities as a vehicle to wealth and control. The funding and support of the revolution has not come from large industries, for the most part, but from entrepreneurs and professional people who see the revolt as a way to break down these barriers. Most Ukrainians have seen worlds where small businesses prosper. Most have traveled to Western Europe and North America and have seen a different economic environment. Even in countries such as Egypt and Turkey, vacationing Ukrainians could see vibrant small businesses. For the past ten years, the Ukrainian leadership has not seen this growth in aspirations, if they did see it, they did not understand its power.

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