The EoC and the Russian universe

The EoC and the Russian universe

By Tatiana Minakova

from "Economy of Communion - a new culture" N.32 - December 2010

One-hundred-forty-two million Russian citizens live in a territory that corresponds to more than 11% of the Earth’s total land surface and extends from the Arctic to the tropics, with a temperature that goes from 45ºC to -71ºC.Forty percent of the territory is covered by forest, which contains 10 large cities and more than 1 million inhabitants, and 15 million people live in the country’s capital, Moscow, with 5 million more travelling there to work every day.Sixty percent of the territory is used for agriculture, with only three months of appropriate weather for cultivation, compared to the nine months which Europe and the United States’ have to cultivate their produce. 

Under the religious aspect, two-thirds of the population is Orthodox Christian, 15% is Muslim, and minor percentages are of other religions. Small and medium businesses, which were absent in the country’s previous planned economy, have multiplied in the last years and have become one of the more important factors in the economic system.

During the country’s planned economy, nearly 40% of the large public businesses were surrounded by new cities, which depended on the businesses for work, school, childcare, hospitals, athletic centers, movie theaters, libraries, nursing care and other social needs.In 1987, with the introduction of the “perestrojka”, there opened the possibility to create cooperatives and private businesses, even with foreign associates.

With the fall of the USSR in 1991, wide privatization began, adopting a market economy based on capitalism, which cancelled every previous principle of solidarity and the figure of the business as a social good that provides for persons and its territory. 

Thanks to the uniqueness of the country’s geographic, demographic, social and cultural conditions, one can say that Russia is moving ahead towards its own model of social market economy, characterized by intense economic development and consistent investment in the formation of human capital. 

The country still does not have any businesses that adhere to the economy of communion project, perhaps because there is no minimum structure capable of spreading the project in economic sectors of our large country.

However, we are in contact with entrepreneurs, university professors and economic scholars interested in deepening the scientific approach of the project. Recently, Alberto Ferrucci presented some of them with the project during a meeting in the capital. Then, another meeting was held in Saint Petersburg at the request of an Orthodox parish priest interested in managing his economic life according to the values and principle of the economy of communion.

The economy of communion seems truly adapt to the conception of economy in our country, to its people’s sensibility and to its history over the last one-hundred years. There are an always greater number of entrepreneurs that realize that – in order to face the complexity of the modern world and the needs of consumers, and in order to trigger greater development by taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the current high value of Russia’s natural resources – there is need of a radical turn towards management practices that consider the principles of corporate social responsibility and the economy of communion. 

Our country’s first current goal is the birth of businesses capable of on-the-spot transformation of primary materials available, using modern technologies, to produce quality goods and services. As the new generations are no longer properly formed due to the fact that many of the technical schools were closed when the regime changed, and that is why the lack is not so much in financing as it is in specialized technicians.

New economy of communion businesses could dedicate themselves contemporaneously to technical formation, to the formation of youth towards a culture of communion – not at all distant from the Russian culture. For example, they could dedicate themselves to bringing about socio-economic infrastructures, like business and financial centers for development, dedicated to efficiently using the resources of our eleven major economic regions. 

Russian businesses that eventually adhere to the EoC project could become examples of management, acting as incubators of this model in the various regions of the country. They could spread an efficient model that does not only track economic returns but also social repercussions and development stability, create jobs and bettering life conditions, and contemporaneously give new life to social and Christian values in the business. 

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