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What can the Far East

Leonid Blyakher about whether anyone can develop the Far East, except for its inhabitants

After, in connection with the results of voting in the elections of governors in the two largest subjects of the Far Eastern Federal District, the Far East again got on the federal agenda, quite a lot of wise articles appeared about the strangeness of people in the Russian Far East. The articles were different, from quite interesting to very strange. But the logic in them was lined up in the style of Winnie the Pooh: they are the wrong bees and their honey is wrong. Far Easterners are essentially paternalists, they were written by respected and not very respected authors, they wanted and continue to want everyone to get all the benefits from the center, but they don’t want to give anything in return. Only whine. Say, we need (they, the Far East) to pay extra for the very fact of living here. And since no one wanted to be led by their impudence, they began to resent, vote for the wrong candidates and behave in an extremely rude manner.

What can the Far East

Leonid Blyakher

Professor, Head of the Department of Philosophy and Culturology of the Pacific State University, Doctor of Philosophy
In principle, one could simply ignore the wise and insightful political scientists. Far Easterners (including the author) understand perfectly well why and against what they voted. But even before the experts on the Far East turned out to be (plus or minus) everything, questions about the value of the Far East, why they “ache all the time,” sometimes surfaced. Even sensible ideas have emerged to evict them (not all, eighty percent) from here, and to settle the territory, as is customary, by migrant workers, who will work and not interfere with the progressors to develop the Far East. In fact, why do we need these most aching, always disgruntled everyone in the Far East? Let's try to figure it out.

Is there a significant group here in the region with the most paternalistic sentiments? Of course have. Until the very last Soviet years, the military made up a significant part of the population of the Far East. The described claim is owed to us, since we are defending the country — this is characteristic of this class, and not only in the Far East. But while in the 50s there were incredibly many military people in the region (with families — more than half of the population), in the 80s there were a lot less of them. Other residents of the region — workers, engineers, scientists, writers — were completely different. They knew that honey was not spread here. That in order to survive, you need to be able to negotiate, work together, get along with your neighbors, quietly do your job.

When Russia decided that it did not need the region, it was these Far Easterners who were able to rebuild themselves, the regional economy, and create profitable activities in the shortest possible time. They chopped wood, fished, traded with all the countries of East Asia. Of course, not all went to the rich. But since the “rich people” lived here in the region, they, willy-nilly or otherwise, invested in the region. Invested in construction to live in good homes. They invested in local health and education for the same reasons. New restaurants and clubs, musical groups and theater entertainments were created for them. Created for them, but enjoyed by all. In a relatively short time, hundreds of thousands of new, well-paid jobs have sprung up in the region, and small businesses have flourished.

It is also important that the authority with which it is necessary to come to an agreement was near - the mayor, the governor decided on the spot all important issues for the population. Not only because they were especially good, but because they could decide. The ability to negotiate extended to the neighbors. For several years, the active part of the population of the region had “exits” to China and Korea, Japan and the countries of Southeast Asia. A circle of friends was formed who insured business in the absence of a coherent government policy and allowed for effective dialogue, including at the state level. Were there any outside workers in the region? Of course. But only for the most part they were there, where the local did not want to work.

But times have changed. State money went to the region. Local money and local economy were considered “crime and corruption”. The fact that they were the ones who fed the region was not particularly worried. After all, they also create jobs, conclude “protocols of intent” with neighbors, build, repair, and lacquer. And they do it for sure better. After all, otherwise it somehow turns out to be stupid: to destroy an efficient economy in order to introduce an inefficient one. Following the state money were the controllers. Everyone knows that the Far Easterners are stealing everything, give them free rein. Governors turned into federal money distributors according to the articles in advance. Regional power and "regional elites" remained only in the writings of political scientists. Some of these elites fit into the federal, losing interest in the region, some moved abroad, some decided to sit in places not so remote for several years.

As a result, tens of thousands of new jobs were created in the region. True, hundreds of thousands were eliminated. But it was the wrong jobs. A huge construction has unfolded. Only built a company not from here. Finance, engineers, workers, accessory manufacturers - they are all from there, from the beautiful is far. Even building materials are not supplied by local firms. How can they (us) trust something? And do not dare to be indignant! For you we are building. What you say that you do not need it, you just do not understand your happiness. Do you want our money "without return"? Yes, the Lord is with you and your money. We do not want neither your money, nor your controllers, who are tracking today the correctness of the process of inhalation and exhalation, punishing for violating the technology.

In the course of general improvement and deepening under the knife, the long-term contacts of the Far-Easterners with the neighboring countries also went. We do not need it. We have signed protocols of intent for incredible billions. The fact that the protocols for the most part remain protocols, any normal official worries in the tenth place. He reported, built a picture, and well. It is then that business people will complain on the sidelines of how difficult it is to do business in the East. What are they - Eastern people - strange and incomprehensible.

This is where the Far Eastern or former Far Eastern inhabitants living today in neighboring countries could join. They know how to negotiate with their neighbors. They have support and connections in business circles, an understanding of how, not on paper, but in reality, laws work in these countries. But for this you need to understand why and how far the Far Easterners are unhappy. Understand a simple for local and so uncomfortable for progressors from the outside truth - to develop the Far East can only residents of the Far East. It is difficult, but you need to realize a simple truth: it is not only on your territory that you need to “accompany” investment projects, joint ventures. It is much more important to do it there, abroad. Then many obstacles that today seem insurmountable will simply disappear.

Things are easy. It is necessary that the Far Eastern people themselves and the members of the Russian diasporas in neighboring countries want to do this. To do this, they need to be heard, to be believed. Unfortunately, this is not happening yet.
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