Staunton, Oct. 28 – The atomization of society is pushing down marriage and birth rates to the point that Russia faces demographic collapse, Sergey Belanovsky says; and the only way to reverse course is to use “Stalinist methods,” including banning divorce, criminalizing infidelity, and prohibiting abortions and contraceptives.
Otherwise, the Moscow sociologist says, Russia will follow Japan into a demographic abyss. Young people are not forming new families but rather continuing to live with or on the incomes of their parents and focusing on their computer screens rather than forming new families on which the country depends (realtribune.ru/kak-ostanovit-upadok-instituta-semi-v-rossii).
According to Belanovsky, Russia is now “full” of isolated people who do little but use their computers. And he reports that he recently learned of a 55-year-old man from Toliatti who was in despair because his mother had died and as a result he demanded to be told “who will feed him now?”
The sociologist says that moralistic arguments for change won’t work and that the only hope for reversing this trend is to use the repressive power of a Stalinist-type state. “Nothing more and nothing less,” he says, including bans on divorce, criminal penalties for infidelity, and prohibition of abortion and contraceptives.
And the state needs to go even further, Belanovsky continues. It must find single people and force them into marriages and “introduce state planning and distribution of housing” so as to promote family formation and survival rather than as now allowing single people to maintain apartments on their own.
The sociologist says he does not view the demise of the family as something good or bad but rather is proposing these steps if the powers and the people conclude that they want to save the family and not see their society wither away as is already happening in Japan. “There is no third way,” Belanovsky suggests.
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