Elite Perceptions of the US

  • Menu

American power (both hard and soft) helps protect the world from destructive forces

UKRAINE NGO

Highlight theme

  • None
  • People and culture
  • Inconsistent foreign policy
  • Histories

In the USSR, perceptions of the United States were divided. While official rhetoric portrayed the US as a strategic opponent, people generally admired American culture and technology, although not much managed to break through the ‘iron curtain’. Following the fall of communism and collapse of the USSR, many of my friends moved to the United States. I also considered doing the same as I was afraid to lose my job when the economy collapsed. The years following the end of Soviet rule is what has really shaped my view of the US.

I view the United States as the leading superpower as well as a world leader in technology which, despite certain universal Machiavellianism in international politics, is led primarily by specific values rather than flexible interests. American foreign policy and books by American thinkers such as Francis Fukuyama, Alvin Toffler, Ken Wilber, Ichak Adizes, Jared Diamond and Douglass North have been key factors in shaping my perception of the US.

American ideals of ‘we, the people’ have helped inspire Ukrainian activists in their attempts to modernize Ukraine based on the values of freedom and dignity

While the United States is criticized for its hardline foreign policy, consumerism and negative consequences of globalization, the US helps human civilization develop through advances in technology, and American power (both hard and soft) helps protect the world from destructive forces. I am not suggesting the United States is motivated by altruism, but I believe the values of freedom and development play a very important role.

Current events in Ukraine have given me an even more positive attitude towards the US, and the same is true for many of my friends. American support of Ukraine, and the pressure it has put on Russia, has helped prevent further Russian aggression towards my country. American ideals of ‘we, the people’ have helped inspire Ukrainian activists in their attempts to modernize Ukraine based on the values of freedom and dignity. It is not a coincidence that the Ukrainian revolution was called the Revolution of Dignity. Although Ukraine is far from the US both in terms of geography and direct interests, the views and opinions of US politicians and diplomats are very important.

While this is my personal view, it is one that is widespread among entrepreneurs and public activists, the people who have led the Ukrainian process towards modernization. Some people criticize US policy for being too cautious, while others think that American interests are too obvious in its policies. But in general most people agree that the United States plays the role of guarantor of global stability and peace. This is certainly the predominant view of people with modern values in Ukraine.