Author: Andrej Il’nitskij – 06/05/2020
Civilization of space
Geography is the fate of Russia, we are the civilization of space
The essence of the idea of Russia is in our factors of power — in the open spaces and people, in our army and serving people who protect and multiply the Fatherland throughout its millennia of history. Hence the political strategy (internal and external) of ensuring Russia’s sovereignty, preserving its land and people and protecting our Russian world in the ontological sense – this is the meaning of the Russian state’s existence. It is difficult, but it is a great historical mission.
As the Russian philosopher I.A. Ilin wrote “Russian national thinking people should be ready to generate this idea in relation to new conditions. It should be state-historical, state-national, state-patriotic. This idea should speak of the main thing in Russian fate both the past and the future, it should shine on generations of Russian people, reflecting their lives and infusing the courage into them”.
One of the lessons of the Corona-crisis should be, because after all a balanced spatial distribution of the population is an element of Russia ‘s national security. 11 time zones of Russia, its forests and Intercession of the Theotokos keep us safe for thousands of years! Our spaces are the ability to spread out, move “deep” from the coming trouble, regroup and attack with new force. This is what saved us for centuries, and now saves us in the era of the coronacrisis.
Coronavirus has shown an acute crisis of social and cultural identity of the world’s largest post-industrial urban agglomerations, creating — as it turned out in practice – conditions for socio-political instability and destruction. If earlier, including in the early 2000s, the conditional “village” was the source of destabilizing social processes, now socially and politically destructive trends are formed and implemented in the largest urban agglomerations that are losing the socio-economic base of the post-industrial economy of services and entertainment. This agglomeration crisis did not bypass our country.
In these conditions we need a new strategy for the spatial development of Russia as a social Empire with a single standard of living throughout its territory, a standard based on three components — security, people’s savings and economic efficiency indicators. This categorically strengthens the request for sovereignty, strategic and comprehensive state management, which collects” in a bundle” internal and external bonds and growth factors of Russia!
After the coronavirus epidemic, there were completely new arguments in the need to master the spaces behind the Ural – Siberia and the Far East. What is this if not a project to gather compatriots?! People abroad have experienced, whether it is the EU, the United States, or ruined territories like Ukraine, the lack of security and state security in the broad sense of the word — from health and food to military aspects. And we, Russia, can provide this! What is called “bugle trumpets” about the gathering of the Russian world, our compatriots.
The spatial dimension of politics is being implemented both globally and locally. Just two almost everyday examples of spatial problems.
For various reasons – objective and subjective – Moscow has become the center of the coronacrisis. It became obvious that the one – Moscow of carnival-bicycle services in the volume in which it was will no longer be. “Dolce vita” ends, it comes the time of “Vita razionale”. In this situation different spatial and economic structures of employment and residence is in demand. Moscow should become an agglomeration, developing in the same spatial logic with an area where the budget will be formed not so much from taxpaying residents, but from value-added production from science, education, culture, innovative production, tourism, where residents can get the best free medicine in the world, fundamental education and urban infrastructure.
The second example is Moscow, but not only the crisis of “crowded” living, aggravated by the epidemic of coronavirus and self-isolation of the population, brought to life, it seemed, a long-forgotten solution, which was considered yesterday as a kind of rudiment and post-Soviet relic – dachas. Suddenly, it again became an element of survival in isolation, an element that hedges against such extreme situations as epidemics. From now on there should be no “suddenly,” and support for dachas, individual housing and low-rise construction outside megacities is raised to the level of the state, as a decision to redistribute people in a crisis situation.
Russia is a spatial power! The province and its resources are the backbone of the country! It is advisable to review the policy of territorial development, to move from enlargement and concentration to a reasonable dispersion! Namely, to not support the development of large chains and hypermarkets, megabolic and megastudies, inaccessible to most, not cultural centers, where focus services and people, and to engage in spatial development where services and people are concentrated, but to engage in spatial development where priority is given to small local schools, kindergartens, shops, clinics, small businesses, gyms and courtyards, that is, operate in a mode of ensuring a high social standard of “walking accessibility”. We can say that this is also the formation of a kind of “social shelters” in case of crisis.
So, the policy of “optimization / concentration / consolidation” from the CONSIDERATIONS OF NATIONAL SECURITY following the results of the coronacrisis should be reconsidered again. Workplaces, schools, clinics, pharmacies, shops, cultural centers, yard sports, leisure and others – all this must be restored locally, state money must be spent on their maintenance, even if (from the point of view of “radical economism” which we have been guided by for the last 30 years) this is unprofitable. The word “unprofitable” should be removed as a priority from the state policy of Russia and replaced by the word “safe.” It sounds radical, but the solution is somewhere around here!
Andrej Il’nitskij – Adviser to the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation