Do Russians have an image of the future?

Do Russians have an image of the future?
Do Russians have an image of the future?
17 November, 21:09Photo: Соцсети
In the history of Russia over the past 20 years, there is a remarkable and generally unrecognized moment: we have neither a general image nor a specific program for the future.

Sergeiy Baimukhametov

Separate national projects (including the poverty alleviation project) are adopted constantly, year after year, and immediately disappear from the public information space. To the greater comfort of those who accepted and proclaimed them. There was an attempt at a certain General Program - in the draft "Manifesto of the United Russia Party", 2002, published in the press and on various sites:

- In 2004 every inhabitant of Russia will pay for heat and electricity two times less than now.

- In 2005 every citizen of Russia will receive his share from the use of Russia's natural resources.

- By 2008, each family will have its own comfortable housing, worthy of the third millennium, regardless of the level of today's income.

- By 2017, Russia will be the leader in world politics and economics.

But the project remained a project, it was not allowed to be accepted, probably, by the remnants of realism among the leaders. And in the “Manifesto” adopted the following year, only general words appeared:

“The state's revenues must be made strictly dependent on the incomes of its citizens... The Party considers it necessary to simultaneously solve the problems of developing a modern market economy and building a new, effective system of social protection. A breakthrough in the economy is possible only when an optimal model of its development is formed”.

And further - explanations in general terms, what the future "breakthrough in the economy" means.

It is clear that the "Manifesto" remained outside the attention of the people. Since the general Image of the future did not contain any specific points, it did not designate. That is, it did not affect either the thoughts or feelings of the Russians.

Unlike, for example, the Program for building communism, adopted 61 years ago, at the XXII Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, held on October 17-31, 1961.

Six months before the congress, this Program was printed in the newspapers and submitted for public discussion. I remember that in the 5th grade, the history teacher Valentin Sergeevich told us about it, and my cherished friend Only Gubarkov and I poked each other with amazed noses: “What, and they will give hooks for free ?!” We are talking about fishing hooks, the constant care of the boys.

The program stated: "The main economic task of the Party and the Soviet people is to create the material and technical basis of communism within two decades".

The Prime Minister of the USSR, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU Nikita Khrushchev announced from the rostrum of the congress: "The Party solemnly proclaims: the current generation of Soviet people will live under communism!"

In 1964, the conspirators removed Khrushchev from the post of head of state. His activities were declared "voluntarist". Subsequently, they tried not to mention the imminent communism in official everyday life. But the people remembered constantly. Most often - in an ironic vein. About the shortage of food (there was no meat, sausages in stores, not counting Moscow, Leningrad, Kyiv, the capitals of the Baltic republics) they said: “We are moving towards communism by leaps and bounds, but cattle are not keeping up with us.” Then, in the 70s, an anecdote appeared about how young scientists put all the data into an electronic computer (computer) and posed the question: how long do we need to go to communism? We got the answer: "km". They couldn't understand at all. Until one of them figured out that "km" is "kilometer", because the database contains Khrushchev's statement: "Every year humanity takes a step towards communism".

The irony is irony, but there were still successes in social development - during Khrushchev and after Khrushchev. First of all, in-line, conveyor construction of panel five-story buildings. This program, initiated by Khrushchev, brought people out of basements, barracks, and communal apartments. The pace of construction in Moscow overtook population growth. The working conditions of collective farmers and the village as a whole have improved. Collective farmers were not given passports until the early 1970s, but they introduced cash wages, collective farmers got the right to old-age and disability pensions, and women the right to maternity benefits. In general, it is worth comparing the standard of living in the USSR in 1961 and 1975 th. Incomparably.

The oppressive ideological totalitarianism among the broad masses of the people was leveled by something like material equality. Now it is impossible to imagine, but the salary of a high-level turner-milling machine was equal to the salary of a plant director. True, few knew, but guessed that the director also had bonuses through the ministry. On the other hand, it is also impossible to imagine that the five-room apartment of the first secretary of the regional party committee caused a muffled murmur among the people.

Nevertheless, among the same masses there was a certain confidence in the future. Even if not in the dazzling communist, modest, but still ... Soviet people, for example, knew that their children could get the education they wanted. And they will become whoever they want - there would be a desire to learn, there would be, if not abilities, then diligence. The Soviet people knew that they could get a comfortable apartment from the state. Yes, not right away, they waited for many years, “as the queue progressed,” but they knew. There was confidence in the future, that tomorrow would not be worse than today.

This has never happened among the Russian people. For all ages. (Yes, the abolition of serfdom was an unconditional milestone, but it was not a program for building a better future, but a forced measure of the tsarist government, a way out.) about the future of Russia. I do not mean the statements of philosophers, writers, but statesmen who directly influence the present state and subsequent development of the country. Only the words of the chief of the Gendarme Corps, the Chief of the III Department of His Imperial Majesty's Own Chancellery (today's FSB), General Alexander Benkendorf, are recalled. A man of great intelligence, he knew about the true state of affairs (such a position). He saw the two main troubles of the then Russia - the arbitrariness of the bureaucracy and serfdom, slavery.

“Officers - this estate is perhaps the most corrupted,” he wrote. - Theft, forgery, misinterpretation of laws - that's their craft... They are afraid of the administration of justice, precise laws and the eradication of theft; they hate all who pursue bribery and flee them like the owl of the sun."

The essence is not in the bureaucracy - it is not just necessary, but is the backbone of the country and the state, providing services to the population, the vital activity of the system, from higher spheres to the payment of pensions. The bottom line is that officials were allowed not to comply with the laws - and even the all-powerful head of the Secret Chancellery could not do anything with this.

In 1839, in the document “Collection of opinions on the internal state of Russia and its actual state,” Benckendorff reported to the tsar:

“The common people are not the same as they were 25 years before. They foreshadow the liberation of the peasants, revenge on the boyars, who are compared with Haman and the pharaoh. In general, serfdom is a powder magazine under the state.

Many years earlier, being an optimist, he wrote:

"Russia's past was amazing, its present is more than magnificent, as for the future, it is higher than anything that the wildest imagination can imagine".

Almost 200 years have passed since then.

And back in 1724, the first Russian economist Ivan Tikhonovich Pososhkov addressed Tsar Peter with the following words: “It is not difficult to fill the state treasury, but it is a great and difficult task to enrich the entire people.”


According to the September (2022) data of a sociological survey, 47% of Russians expect that the life of their family will improve in five years.

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