On extinction of villages

Belkina S.

A sad tendency can be seen near Moscow today: dacha villages are dying out. And they do not die out themselves, the «invisible hand of market» has held them tightly by the throat. We will not go far and will look at the situation on the example of «Ruslan-2», a small village near the town of Kirzhach (Vladimir oblast). A few years ago it was a lively place of repose from city bustle, visited by pensioners, parents with children and lovers to cook a Sunday barbecue.

Now this village is almost empty. Why did it happen? Let’s figure it out.

The abolition of pension benefits for traveling by the Moscow suburban transport was the beginning of the problem. Pensioners were outraged a little but they they did not stand up for their rights. It is muсh easier to pay more than to force oneself to do something (Krasnodar pensioners, for example, went to a rally and regained their benefits in a similar situation). Further — more. A little later, suddenly it became clear that a commercial bus along the line «Elektrogorsk-Ruslan-2″ had completely stopped going. The owner of the Elektrogorsk bus stops had not registered them in time (a lot of trouble, little profit), and the route was cancelled as illegal. Then the residents of the village were already seriously indignant — they called everyone from the bus stops owner to the Ministry of Transport. In the process of calling officials at all levels and transport owners gave mockery comments, such as «Who needs to — will come by car, and if there is no car, there is nothing to drive around in the country cottages», «Take a taxi», «We do not owe you anything, you will be happy if we start up afer a year» and so on. When angry people promised to arrange a picket outside the windows of the Ministry of Transport, someone perked up and had given an order to start at least a commercial minibus. It goes irregularly, takes expensively (but still cheaper than a taxi for 600 rubles) and does not cause a special desire to go by. The result — most of the old people have stopped to visit their dachas. It is hard, expensive, and the bus still doesn’t go.

And what about other residents? The other residents are pressured by prices in store (there is the only store and it makes a margin of almost three times in comparison with the cost price), lack of roads (the chairman of the housing association collected money but, instead of repair, had covered streets with cobblestones) and many other. Let’s take at least the glaring fact that hospitals near to the village in the past year did not deliver the serum from bites of vipers — «uneconomic to deliver, too few cases». Salvation of cottagers from snake bites is now also governed by the market…

This is only one example, disassembled in detail. And there are hundreds of such examples in Russia. The capitalist system crushes not some abstract proletarians, supposedly extinct in the last century, but us, dear comrades: pensioners, mothers with children, students who decide to relax in nature. If the transport belonged to state and was not private, the bus would not be canceled. If there was still a criminal article for speculation, and maintenance of settlements by goods was controlled by the same state, a campaign for soap and bread would not cost 400 rubles. If medicine was not tried to be transferred to commercial rails, viper antidotes would be brought in any case, and not within the framework of profitability. But the capitalist state will not do that — nor at the level of villages, neither at national level.

«Well, socialism is not yet foreseen. What should I do? I have a country house too: what, if something similar will happen? …» — a reader will sensibly notice. And to do, comrades, we need the following. To force officials to act for your advantage. Have you lost the benefits to travel to the village? Do not complain about life, but find two or three like-minded people who are also discontent with the situation and ready to participate in pickets/rallies/officials’ calls/drafting petitions. And along with them, keep your line until victorious end. With due activity, the authorities in any case have to pay attention to the situation and do something. Believe: they are afraid of your public protest much more than you imagine.