ALAMO wrote:We should consider the logic behind big families first.
It was all about manpower. The biggest families were in the countryside because farming required all hands possible.
A secondary cause is religion, with its influence on sexual life and sexual manners, anticonception etc.
Both causes are more or less gone. The countryside population relocated to the cities, so the pressure for manpower was decreased either.
The sexual revolution put an end to church domination in people's bedrooms.
Depopulated villages is in fact an effect, not a cause. In all the advanced world, people had a tendency to relocate to bigger centers. There are empty villages all over any country in Europe, not yet Russia. Take a look at Italy's struggling to repopulate some areas. They are selling countryside homes for 1 euro, in Toscany, only to encourage people to live there. I saw that villages, full of old, decomposing homes. Just the same is in Spain, Germany ... on the Rugia Island who is left, is a pensioner. Sassnitz lost half of its population since the reunification of Germany.
It's not that I disagree
It's just that I think there are other factors at play that haven't been taken into account. Including the same material ones
Ask people, why did you move from the village to the city? You'll hear the same sort of answers
"no jobs there"
"no modern living standards there"
"full of alcoholics and abusers there"
"more exciting, more opportunities"
But most of these are solvable issues. A lot depends on the economic system and its demand for what the rural economy produces, on the development of transport and logistics, on the presence of quality of life measures and social support structures in these places, and so on.
The revival of agriculture is a big thing, it gives the rural population the chance to earn a decent salary from their living, and even a smaller amount of money goes a long way there where food and land are both cheap.
But not only agriculture, dairy production, etc... is possible. Low-scale production in workshops, artisanship, crafts - all of this is possible to make a good living out of as a sole trader or small co-operative enterprise. Yet where are the grants and support for people doing that? We already have all the incubators and business angels and the rest of this stuff waiting to invest in IT start-ups and all sorts of small urban businesses. To some extent we have them for rural businesses as well, but the system should be developed further.
Then we have remote-working, which is coming into its own now. Yet another income source for people who prefer to live in the countryside, and probably the biggest one yet.
Moving on - the availability of goods, their timeliness in delivery and keeping the cost of them down. A lot of this is being worked on with the construction of logistics centres and the improvement of roads, railroads, river transport and so on. The rise of such conglomerates as Wildberries, Ozon and other e-commerce platforms, that can offer and deliver a range of goods to an increasing amount of points across the country. And not only deliver to the villages, but also sell their unique goods as well for them.
Then we have the transport links. Especially faster rail services. Also, river-going catamarans, and cars on modern highways. This decreases the appeal of actually living in a city, because the city itself is increasingly accessible when you decide you do need its services/nightlife/whatever.
If the settlement has its own railway station, then it's even feasible to commute to work or study in the city, and return in the evening. The faster the rail, the greater the radius of feasible villages around a major city.
And then finally the social services and infrastructure in place. Gasification, beautification and landscaping, schools, medical outposts, local libraries and cultural centres. All this is being invested into at the moment, it helps maintain a modern required standard, and gives people community pursuits and things to do in their off-time.
You are probably right, that we may witness some changes here, due to the pandemic influence on people's lives. Maybe there will be a revival of simple country living, less focused on material matters? Maybe people will decide to live in wooden barns, like in Murica, instead of building multiple generations' brick&concrete houses?
It's not about getting people to discard material matters, or come back to religion or whatever. There are people who prefer rural living on the basis of such idealism, but you can't count on just them.
Religion itself is an effect rather than a cause, and will naturally be present more in rural populations. Religion was built for the peasants so to speak, and they have more use for its values.
Rather the priority should be to raise the material standards of living in villages and small towns to that of major cities. It's not possible in all matters, but then in other matters such places will have advantages over the cities anyway. Nature, larger housing, motorsports maybe, whatever else.
The housing issue is an extremely crucial factor in this decision-making process. But only one of them.
The 4-day working week would be a huge difference here.
So is the accessibility to the kindergartens, schools etc. I saw a documentary about the school living of the Yakutia tribes, and it was a quite an interesting to experience. Kids are picked up on Mondays, sometimes by a helicopter
, and located for a working week in dormitories. On Fridays afternoon, flying back to their homes and yurtas.
The stability of the system is one of the very important factors, too. In well-educated societies, people do consider several factors before making a decision.
Actually, for these northern nomadic peoples, they're trying to develop remote learning courses at the moment as well, using the internet and laptops to connect to teachers. So their kids can learn while staying with their parents, for the most part. This also lessens the chance that their kids will abandon the lifestyle and join civilization - pretty crucial otherwise these cultures can die out.
Every single issue here, is a number in equation. As we may see, this equation has not been solved yet in all rich&well-being countries.
They're not trying to solve it. They're betting on immigration.
Or robots and sex dolls in the case of Japan
But when it comes to Russia, it has to be an innovator in this sphere, and figure the problem out. It has a lot of spare land and it needs to exploit it. It has to bank on its own existent population and them seeing something worth living for in the country and a secure environment for raising a family