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You're reading: Civil society that isn’t

 For
instance, when I met with a person who was on no less than six civil society
councils in the Presidential Administration, I asked him if the ministries
listened to the councils. Before I asked the question, I already knew the
answer – no.  

 I
find it odd that the preoccupation of Ukrainian civil society is focused on the
government – funding and demanding the government listen to it.  Even queerer is one noted Western aid agency
whose civil society department held symposia on how to obtain government
funding.   But then, many being creations of government,
it is no surprise that many Western aid agencies have a government focus.  Further, except for one, every aid
organization I’ve come across funds projects, not core support.  They’ve been giving fish, when teaching how
to fish would have produced real civil society – civil society that is not
tethered to government or external funding. 

 Forget
commanding the government to listen to civil society.  Government will not listen to civil society
until it commands attention.  A piece of
registered legal paper does not make an organization civil society.  True civil society doesn’t need a piece of
paper, either.  What government documents
registered/authorized the 2004 Orange Revolution?

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