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Saga of the Far Eastern Hectare

A series of essays on people and free land. Essay one: what did the authorities expect ...

There are no end to the discussions and prophecies about the Far Eastern hectare. They talk about him on social networks, talk on buses, commuter trains, in kitchens and in country houses. Basically, there is talk about the fact that “nothing happens” (on the streets) and that “everything has already happened” (in the media). That is why it seemed to me interesting to speculate about what can “succeed” or “not succeed”, what, in fact, did the authorities and the population expect? Think about it.

Saga of the Far Eastern Hectare

Leonid Blyakher

Professor, Head of the Department of Philosophy and Culturology of the Pacific State University, Doctor of Philosophy
Let's start, according to the good Russian tradition, with the powerful: what were the authorities waiting for? There are several levels of waiting here. First, the administrative level. The Ministry for the Development of the Far East, as well as the plenipotentiary with special powers, arose in a specific situation and were associated with specific personalities. And the situation and personalities in 2013 changed. As a result, there remained a position and a ministry with a rather vague purpose and authority. The new actors in the power of the region urgently needed to create something that would be equally significant for the population of the Far East and the federal authorities in the center. We must pay tribute to the plenipotentiary representative and the minister or their team: such "something" was found. Not only TORs and TASEDs (nee "free economic zones"), but, above all, "Far Eastern hectares" have become a kind of brand of the ministry. And not only ministries. Here comes the "second".

The Far East in the information space of the country is very peculiar. No, the beauty of the Far Eastern nature was written and written, as well as about the wealth of this land. However, the region gets to the actual news agenda more often in connection with natural, social or technogenic cataclysms. Fires, floods, crime, problematic ecology - and it's all about him. "Far Eastern hectare" has become not an especially frequent case of the region's access to the mainstream media in a positive context. That is, as an element of the PR of the ministry, and the regional PR, the project was fully implemented.

However, no matter how great the possibilities of the media and games with statistics for constructing reality are, there must be something behind PR, some quite tangible entities, real people, deeds and events that you can point your finger at. "Far Eastern hectare" is no exception in this regard. For its successful implementation as a PR-project, it is necessary that a hectare is distributed, so that people can take it. Content is required. Here, the young ministry also had a certain vision, actively expressed by the employees of this ministry.

In general, it was clear at the start of the project, and even today, that the number of people who have the necessary skills and resources to organize a profitable economy on the "Far Eastern hectare" is quite limited. Date palms, coffee bushes and tea plantations are rare in our latitudes. Everything else found in the region requires strength, knowledge, and money, since the return will not be tomorrow. It is also difficult to assume that the initiators of the project did not know about the natural and climatic features of the Far East. Alas, the prospects of peasant crafts are quite obvious in Primorye, understandable in the Amur Region, the Jewish Autonomous Region, and some areas of the Khabarovsk Territory. In the rest of the territory, the chances of success for personal agricultural projects without strong government support are not at all great.

The idea was different - to solve the main, at least in the declaration, problem of the region - the mass departure of the population. Having weakened somewhat in the prosperous "zero" years, it again becomes a problem in the "tenths". People leave, production stagnates, cities empty. Departure becomes an element of daily life. Talking about "when" and "where" is becoming the most popular. It is clear that for the ministry, which should develop this land, these are not the happiest conversations. Hence the overbearing vision of the meaning of the "Far Eastern hectare" project: to keep the population, to attract a new one.

The Far Eastern hectare was to become a place of building "your home" for those who are ready to combine their usual occupations and the charms of rural life. That moment, that far from the big cities these delights are relative, at first did not reflect. The construction of low-rise buildings on its hectare should give impetus to the development of production of construction materials, construction industry. And there, you see, and the roads will catch up.

The people involved in the construction will be much less interested in leaving. It will be easier to “fix” them in the region. Inspired by their example, supporters of downshifting of all stripes will flow to the region. Thus, the population of the region will not only stop decreasing, but will grow. For now, we leave aside all the difficulties that are obvious even at first glance. Indeed, at the initial stage, the "Far Eastern hectare" is, first of all, a PR project. And as such it looks quite effective and attractive.

And the population of the region, with all the fears about which it is impossible to keep silent and many of which were not empty, had its own species on the “Far Eastern hectare”. Already by the number of "doubters" it became clear that the idea of ​​"Far Eastern hectare", or rather their land in the Far East, people pin great hopes. Although there were fears too. These fears and hopes will be discussed innext essay.

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