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I need to talk

Leonid Blyakher on what was not discussed at the fourth WEF

The fourth Eastern Economic Forum has already been held. Passed more than successfully. Six thousand participants, leaders of all major countries and economies of the region - is this not an indicator? In addition to the usual "protocols of intent" at the forum were real investment agreements on huge amounts. Under the forum were reports on the development of the Far East of Russia. The growth rate of the economy in the region is twice as high as in the whole country, and in a number of industries even higher. In a word, the region has two main states - "very good" and "for the present it's just good". And, surprisingly, it's all true.

I need to talk
Photo: Sergey Fadeichev / VEF, TASS

Leonid Blyakher

Professor, Head of the Department of Philosophy and Culturology of the Pacific State University, Doctor of Philosophy
And only somewhere, in the background of the colorful picture of the forum, something different, incomprehensible, much less rosy was clearly heard. The incredible number of taxi drivers and the cheapness of taxis were striking. To my question about the reason for such a gift to the guests of the city, the driver replied: “So there is no work. Here are the men and taxis in order to somehow feed themselves. " It looks strange. After all, construction is going on throughout the region. Actually goes. But, as another friend noted: “Ours don't work there. There, non-local contractors come with their workers, even their people supply materials to them. " This is probably not entirely true. But the fact remains. The main reason pointed out by the representatives of the flow of citizens who do not want to decrease in any way is that there is no work. At the same time, the mention of the long list of vacancies available on the websites of employment centers does not make much of an impression. The reaction is standard: "And you try to live on these twenty thousand."

And prices in a dynamically developing region are really not encouraging. When Moscow or Paris are called "expensive cities", a resident of Yakutsk or Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky can only smile sadly. And a resident of the future global city of Vladivostok, which constantly "interferes" with the holding of the next major event by the very fact of its existence, can only wave his hand in sorrow.

All these are, most likely, little things, costs of growth. After all, a major renovation is underway in our Far Eastern apartment. It is clear that it is not particularly comfortable to live in the conditions of removed parquet and stripped wallpaper. Then, when the repairs are finished…. But there is something else. Some not quite intelligible message coming from those very outskirts of a dynamically developing and developing region. It seems that there, behind the facade of development, a different reality lived and still lives.

The one that caught fish, drove and repaired cars, chopped wood, mined gold and diamonds. In a word, I once lived. In this reality, without a pomp, but without state supervision, hospitals and schools, roads and junctions were built, newspapers, radio and television worked, jazz and rock festivals were held. A lot of that was there. In it, in this reality the Far East lived for decades. The idea of ​​"developing the Far East" was perceived by the Far East as the idea of ​​helping them in their, this, understandable and familiar life.

But everything turned out to be quite different. The country needs (and it already seems, no one disputes) to enter the East, the gateway to the world of Asia, increasingly turning from the outskirts of the world into its center. All the activities that fed the Far East for decades suddenly became not very interesting, and some were simply declared "harmful." And without that the reality of the lives of millions of Far Easterners, which did not aspire to publicity, turned into "invisibility." Being "invisible", she could not even find a word to say about what she was not happy with. To say that hundreds of thousands of jobs have disappeared, and dozens appeared at best, that the fate of thousands and thousands of Far Easterners was blown up by the locomotive of social progress. There were no words for those who by profession should express public opinion. These words simply were not there.

Local reality has gone to the periphery, turning into a parallel world, a small life. Like the one described by Ilf and Petrov in The Golden Calf: "In parallel to the big world in which big people and big things live, there is a small world with small people and small things."

But the problem is that it is in this "little life" that we live and, as it is not strange, most often do not fall into ecstasy from what she (our reality) was sacrificed. They sacrificed not for malice, but simply because they did not know about it, each time sincerely surprised when some "parallel" meaning broke through to the surface, seeing in it a "habit of whining" when "it is necessary to work". The fact that for the addressee (Far East) this is heard and perceived as: "Work, work, the sun is still high ...", apparently, is not realized.

Is there any logic and, sorry for the pathos, the truth in the words and actions of the progressors from the beautiful far? Certainly. It is in the East and the South today that Russia's future is laid, and its chance for prosperity is created. That's why bridges and roads, warehouses and airports, sea terminals and ice class vessels, TORs and Free Ports are needed. But there is no less truth in the "whining" of the Far East. They live here and, as it is not criminal and shameful, want to live well. So, as they are able, and not as planned progressors. But if "big reality" sounds from all irons, the little one lurks on the benches at the entrances, in bus conversations, showing up in the "unexpected" results of the elections, in the ongoing departure.

Even the most critical journalists write about the fact that this or that project is "not needed" or "badly implemented." But the problem is not that. Two realities that could and should strengthen each other (who knows the East of Asia better than the Far East?) Do not see each other, carefully do not notice one another.

Is there a way out? 


Reasonable people can always agree to mutual benefit. It's enough just to create a platform where a big and small reality can meet, see each other and talk not in the language of mutual accusations. 

Is this possible? 

I think yes. And then at the next VEF, the reality of the Far East will be discussed not in place of, but along with the reality of "big people" within the framework of one common reality - Russia.
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