The regulations explain how the rich and the poor must live
Russian businessmen are offered to follow a code of moral principles and regulations in their everyday life and business activity. The principles resembling the Ten Biblical Commandments were declared at the Global All-Russian Orthodox Council (Sobor) summoned upon blessing of Patriarchy Alexiy II on February 4.
Authors of the code of moral principles say that the document was developed with participation of representatives from the Russian Union of Businessmen and Industrialists, the Business Russia and OPORa organizations. Gazeta learnt that main objective of the code is "to maximally introduce business into the public sphere; nobody will judge businessmen according to the laws of the country but businessmen themselves will judge their own conscience." Thus, one of the precepts warns businessmen that wealth is not an end in itself: it must serve for creation of good life of a man and the nation.
As for taxes, the authors of the code explain that tax evasion is "stealing from orphans, the aged, disabled and other unprotected categories of people." The document says that payment of taxes for needs of the society must no longer be a burden or a forced duty; this must be honorary doing deserving gratitude of the society.
The regulations also explain how the poor should live: "Poor people must behave with dignity, aim at efficient labor and improve their professional skills to overcome poverty."
The Charter was developed for about a year. Originally, the document was developed by a commission headed by President of the National Economy Academy Vladimir Mau and consisting of Deputy Chairman of the Federal Commission for the Securities Market Yelena Katayeva, Duma deputy Sergey Glazyev and public relations department of the Moscow Patriarchy. In January 2004, businessmen also joined the commission to develop the document. No names of the businessmen were reported.
Metropolitan Kirill told Gazeta that it was not registered who exactly introduced different amendments to the document. The metropolitan says that all largest associations of Russian industrialists took part in development of the document. It is said that even writers and philologists took part in discussion of the Charter.
The church will publicly condemn those who ignore the regulations. However, it is not clear whether atheists and people of other religions must follow the precepts as well. What is more, even though the Council (Sobor) was blessed by the patriarchy, it is not the church, and we cannot say that the Russian Orthodox Church introduces regulations for businessmen to follow. Meanwhile, some of the Charter authors want to develop ten precepts for governmental officials as well.
Here are the ten regulations that the All-Russian Orthodox Council has developed for Russian businessmen.
1. Remember the spiritual meaning of life while earning the daily bread. Take care of the welfare of other people, the nation and the country when seeking personal welfare.
2. Wealth is not end in itself. It must serve for creation of good life of any individual and the nation.
3. The culture of business relations and adherence to promises help people become better and improve economy.
4. A human being is not a continuously working mechanism: he needs time for relaxation, spiritual life and creative progress.
5. The government, society and business must join their efforts to take care of good life of workers and especially of those who cannot earn their living. Management is a responsible activity.
6. Work should not kill and cripple people.
7. The political authority and the economic authority must be separated. Interference of business into politics, its effect upon the public opinion must be transparent only. Corrupt people and other criminals cannot be allowed to economy.
8. A man violates the moral law, causes damage to the society and to himself when he misappropriates other people's property, disregards the common property, does not pay to his employees or deceives partners.
9. Lies and insulting, exploitation of vices and instincts are inadmissible in competitive activity.
10. Businessmen must respect the institution of property, the right for ownership and for management of property. It is immoral to envy other people's well-being and encroach upon other people's property.