#7 - JRL 7040
January 29, 2003
Russia Is Given Up for Lost
An All-Russian conference "Demographic crisis as a complex problem" was held in the Russian city of Magnitogorsk on January 16-17; the conference was organized by public association "Center for maternity and childhood protection" and department for psychology of personality development of the Magnitogorsk State University with support of the Russian Health Care Ministry. The demographic catastrophe raging in Russia was considered from different aspects. Participants of the conference delivered reports on the actual state of the national problem, such problem as excess weight of the population was also touched upon there. Doctor of Medical Science Igor Gundarov delivered a report which became a real sensation against the background of other, not less interesting reports delivered at the conference.
In the words of Igor Gundarov, science now officially recognizes what it used to deny categorically some time ago: it is recognized that people own some substance called "soul". What is more, scientists say that when the soul aches, it causes demographic crisis.
Rate of Human Death
Russia's present-day demographic crisis is characterized not only with birth rate reduction, but with an incredible death rate as well. Doctors even mention the words "super death-rate". The population of Russia reduces by 0.7% every year. Scientists even calculated the speed at which Russia's population is dying out -- 16 per mille a year (the showing was 2.5 times lower in the 1960s). If the nation keeps on dying away at this speed, the Russian population will reduce by 15 million people in 13 years.
The problem arose not yesterday and not immediately at all. The negative growth of population (it means that death rate is higher than birth rate) in Russia's Chelyabinsk region outlined for the first time nine years ago, and the situation hasn't improved there since that time. In some regions of the country this situation could be explained with unfavorable ecological conditions. However, the demographic catastrophe is spreading synchronously at an enormous distance. At the time when an outbreak of heart attack deaths is registered in Kaliningrad, the same situation will be registered in Vladivostok as well. The nation is aging speedily. On average, women aged by 3 years in the physiological aspects and men by 7-8 years. It is rather frequent that men die in the heyday.
The problem of sweeping dying out is urgent not only for Russians. The population of former Baltic republics of the Soviet Union is also under the threat of depopulation. Does it mean that it is not a mortality epidemic, but a pandemic which is fatal for the whole of the world community, not one country?
Why Do We Die Out?
Doctors and demographers have compiled already long ago a so-called list of social vices that cause dreadful diseases and entail high death rate; the vices are smoking, alcoholism, stresses. But when scientists studied statistics concerning smoking, they discovered that people smoke as much as they did ten years ago. However, the death rate is increasing. The same situation is with alcoholism. When official world statistics concerning alcohol drinking per capita was studied, it turned out that people in France, Germany and Portugal drink even more alcohol than Russians. However, the life-span in these countries is much longer than in Russia, where deaths of men still capable of working are frequent.
When historic parallels were drawn, it became clear that stresses were no longer relevant as reasons of the demographic catastrophe. For instance, there were too many reasons for stresses in the years of the Great Depression in the USA and Western Europe, however, number of suicides increased there only by 8% at that period. But number of suicides increased by 80% within the period of Russia's transition to market economy. It is quite natural that the above mentioned risk factors cannot be ignored. But all these factors explain the process of rapid dying out of the nation just partially.
Amputation of Soul
When scientists failed to discover reasons of the demographic catastrophe in the reality, they focused attention on the irreality. They studied once again works of religious figures, recollected the divine commandments and analyzed the list of the deadly sins. They discovered actually very interesting facts!
With the help of information provided by the official statistics, it was found out that death rate increases when people break the divine commandments frequently. For instance, when several bloody murders are committed in some part of the country (the commandment not to murder), it means that in half a year the place will be struck with deaths from heart attacks. When number of divorces increased in a city in the Moscow region (the commandment not to commit adultery), it is for sure that hundreds of people will die there from cerebral hemorrhages and hypertension in a year.
The interrelation between spiritual and physical ill health of the nation explains why people die so frequently here. So, a theory of soul rejection arose. As Professor Igor Gundarov says, some time ago souls of Soviet people were oriented at equality and community. But this soul was amputated with a sharp scalpel of political reforms in the 1990s. And philosophy of our life radically changed at the same time: people began treating each others like enemies; some of us traditionally think that cheating is inevitable in everyday life and helps us survive, etc. But this new soul failed to get acclimatized, and human body rejected it, the same way like transplanted organs are sometimes rejected. This is the explanation to the question why the nation is dying away. Professor Gundarov thinks that it's time for Russia to reanimate moral principles and even base the national economy on moral and fair principles. Is it another utopia or a way to salvation?
Dialog Magnitogortsev newspaper
Translated by Maria Gousseva