Book 6. The Family Book (2002)
Who is for, who is against?
Upon entering the flat, Anastasia took off her cardigan and kerchief, letting her golden hair fall to her shoulders. She gave her head a light shake, and the flat was at once filled with the enchanting fragrances of the taiga.
I took a chair and put it next to my own arm chair by the desk, turned on my computer and logged on to the Internet.
Not all people in Russia today will know what that is. And so I shall give a brief explanation. The Internet is an electronic information network, or ‘web’, which has been developing at an intensive pace in many countries of the world. With the aid of a computer one can tap in (or ‘log on’) to this network through a telephone line connected to a server. A server is a special powerful computer containing all sorts of information pages. On most servers one has the opportunity of posting one’s own messages.
The Anastasia Foundation for Culture and Assistance to Creativity, based in Vladimir, together with the Moscow firm known as Russki ekspress (Russian Express) has also set up its own server and its own site at the address: Anastasia.ru.
Thus any readers with a computer can type in the address on their keyboard and not only visit our site, but they can send us an electronic message expressing their opinions about the books, find out what other readers have said about them, and argue or discuss any particular question.
Those that do not have their own computer can gain access to our website through one of the Internet cafes which now operate in all the regional and provincial centres of Russia, as well as, I am sure, in most major cities.
From time to time I too log on to the Internet and look up what my readers have been saying. I have not been able to do this very often, as I simply have not had time to respond to all the correspondence I receive by regular mail. And last year the Anastasia.ru site received more than fourteen thousand postings. People discussed concrete questions connected with Anastasia’s ideas on family domains. They suggested draft changes to the Russian Constitution; some were thinking to hold a referendum on this issue.
The substance of Anastasia’s idea about granting every willing family no less than a hectare of land on which to organise a family domain was set forth in appeals to President Putin more accurately and with more cogent back-up arguments than I had expressed in my own appeal, published in the book Who are we?1 In any case, you can judge for yourselves. For those readers without Internet access I am reproducing here an excerpt from one of the appeals.
Open letter to the President of the Russian Federation
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin
Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich,
Over the years of Soviet power, which even today many of us still remember as the best years of our lives, a most frightful thing, you know, happened: we — the citizens of this Great Country, Russia, historically a mighty Power, which emerged victorious from the terrible Second World War and in an incredibly short period of time was able to build up its war-ruined economy — we transformed ourselves, without our even being aware of it, into weak-willed... parasites and welfare bums.
Lookback — in Soviet times we all went to work without ever worrying about a job opening, and received a stable salary on which we could lead a normal life. We handed over our children to be schooled and were assured of their future. We knew that upon reaching retirement age we as pensioners would receive a stable pension and quietly live out our years... And this stability, this mighty totalitarian system, played a dirty trick on us: having got accustomed to social passivity, social apathy and indifference, and now no longer enjoying access to a stable source of income, we have begun to get very upset. Ifou see, we did not start to take action or improve our lives — we just started vilifying and railing like the blazes at the powers that be — each President and each Government in turn — blaming them and them alone for our Present Situation. After all, we figure it is up to them to pay us a stable salary and take care of our present and our future, while we simply live our lives for our own pleasure, and do nothing to support this Stability and Prosperity I think you will agree that when there is movement only in one direction — that is parasitism. If all we want to do is receive and give nothing in return, well, that’s parasitism for you.
And now something amazing has happened: thousands and tens of thousands have risen up under the impulse to make something happen, to create!
To create — a splendid flourishing corner of their Motherland —- Russia.
To create — a splendid Present and Future for themselves and their children.
To create — their own Material and Spiritual Prosperity
To create — Russia to be the wealthiest and most flourishing country in the world!
And for that these people need nothing more than a small plot of land a mere hectare in size. Along with the assurance that this land will not be subsequently taken away from them — their Motherland, where they will Create for ever a Space of Love for themselves and their children. A Space of Love — which will be comprised of all the flourishing corners of our vast Russia and proclaim to the Whole World the Great Miracle — the Renaissance of Russia the Great!
It seems to me that even now in Russia a situation has come about that any Ruler — you can call him a President,
if you like — might dream about: a situation where people themselves desire to work and create their own material and spiritual well-being, asking nothing from the state except a plot of land and a sign of stability expressed in Law.
Isn’t this the dream of any state — to open up an inexhaustible source of wealth and well-being within itself, to find stability within itself and independence from external troubles?
Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich! Like thousands of other Russian citizens, I should like to affirm once more my intention to create my little corner of my Motherland, Russia, to make it into a flour-ishing garden for many generations of my descendants.
Like thousands of other Russian citizens, I hereby reaffirm my intention of labouring for the good of my family and for the good of my Motherland.
Like thousands of other Russian citizens, I have stopped unthinkingly and relentlessly criticising either you or our Government, realising the complexity and responsibility of your work.
Like thousands of other Russian citizens, I believe in your wisdom and far-sightedness, and am confident that you will take a responsible approach to appraising the current situation.
The time has finally come for you and us to work together as a fraternal team, a team of like-minded thinkers, for us to understand and accept you as a close friend, and then you will feel our love and support and look after us, too, with love, as the People entrusted to your charge.
And together we shall create a splendid Present and Future for our children, for our Russia!
20 July 2001 Vadim Ponomaryov, citizen of Russia