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Are you leaving? Leave ...

A series of essays on the countrymen who have disappeared. Essay 1

Are you leaving? Leave ...
Photo: shutterstock

Leonid Blyakher

Professor, Head of the Department of Philosophy and Culturology of the Pacific State University, Doctor of Philosophy

One of the main leitmotifs of any conversation taking place on the boundless territory of the Far Eastern Federal District remains the theme of departure. This is said by officials and politicians, businessmen and journalists, workers and grandmothers on a bench near the house. It seems that the theme of leaving, and even of the flight from the region, pushed aside all other problems to the second plan. They leave. After all, indeed they are leaving. For the post-Soviet years, the population of the Far East of Russia declined by 1,8 million people. With more than eight million to modern 6,3 million inhabitants. And the departure continues.

There are many reasons for this not quite standard regional behavior. Here is a difficult ecological situation, a difficult climate, remoteness from the centers of world and national culture. But let's think about how these reasons are key? Ecological situation? Of course, there are large cities in the region, and from the south to it (in the same water area of ​​Amur) there are also very large cities in the Middle Kingdom. Crystal water taiga keys more and more remains in the field of legends and stories of old-timers. But, say, from a much more polluted and environmentally problematic South Ural, the departure is much less. Yes, and from the capitals with their many hours of traffic jams, smog and other environmental joys, people are not yet running into environmentally friendly taiga. In any case, it does not do this en masse.

Speaking about difficult climatic conditions, as a rule, people forget that the region includes more than 36% of the country's territory and stretches from south to north for thousands of kilometers. Yes, there are poles of cold, frozen areas of the Arctic. Only less than 10% of the Far East live there. By the way, everything is in order there with ecology. In Priamurye and Primorye, where, in fact, the main human resources are located, the climate is not quite Hawaiian. But, certainly not the hardest in the country. Anyway, watermelons are ripening, and wheat and corn are growing.

Until recently, put forward and political arguments. Say, we, the Far East, carried out our difficult mission, were the outpost of the country in the APR, and now they have forgotten about us. Today this argument also does not work. High authorities have firmly mastered the region. His visits have become familiar. The importance of the Far East was not expressed only by the most lazy. What's the matter? Why talk about "leaving" does not stop? And today more and more sound, much more weighty, arguments of the departing: there is no work, there are no career prospects. Perhaps, paradoxically it sounds: the region today is not labor-inefficient, but labor-surplus. That's why they leave. Let's try to understand.

The complete and final victory of the Soviet government in the Far East and the progressive changes that have begun have led to a mass outflow of the local population "beyond the river" to China. It's not only the poet David Burliuk, the writer Vyacheslav Ivanov and other representatives of the Moscow intelligentsia, not only the remnants of the white armies and the army of the Ataman Semyonov, but also tens of thousands of peasants and artisans whose descendants still live in China. The population of the region decreased by more than 40%. The Amur suburb, as the region was then called, became "empty". The emptiness can not have its own interests, it makes no sense to negotiate with the emptiness or discuss something with it. It must be retained and mastered.

In 1931-th year the plan of "military" development of the Far East was adopted. The military units and the enterprises serving them became the basis of its economy. A little later, numerous enterprises of the military industrial complex were added here. As the old residents decided to look for a better share in other regions, a mass and organized delivery of the builders of the communist "tomorrow" begins. Someone was driving along the Komsomol tour, someone in the carriage-zaka. But they rode on. From 1931 to 1939, the population of the Far Eastern Territory almost doubled, exceeding pre-revolutionary figures.

And everything would be fine, only these immigrants to a minimum degree were connected with the place, with the economy of the region. Up to 15% of the adult population were servicemen and members of their families. About 20% of the population worked at enterprises of the military-industrial complex. Under the military towns and defense plants, infrastructure was created. A specific infrastructure based on inaccessibility (so that spies do not penetrate), secrecy, etc. And this is also workers, resources, costs.

Less than a third of the region’s population worked to eat, drink, dress, and live somewhere. It is clear that they simply could not feed the political component of the regional economy. The disadvantage was compensated from the outside. Echelons of fuel and food, metal and new settlers went to the region to compensate for the continuous outflow. As a result, the regional economy turned out to be extremely subsidized and simply did not survive without this subsidy. During the years of Soviet power, a “political economy” was formed, which was obviously unprofitable, living only on political rent.

It is quite clear that, as soon as the resource flow to the “political economy” has decreased with the collapse of the USSR, problems begin in the “political economy” of the Far East. More precisely, the problems begin in people, since the “political economy” itself collapses safely in the shortest period, leaving the communal and social sphere to orphans. People who are deprived of work (of course, not only they, but mostly) leave the region. Under these conditions, it is not surprising that 22% of the population has left (most in the first years after the collapse of the USSR). It is surprising that so much remains, in spite of all the programs of “securing the population” that lead to opposite results. About it my The following essay.

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