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Re: Acronyms and You - Russian Baby Adoption

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  • Mike Woodson
    Dear Rdr. Philosoph, Thanks for the information and the thoughtful comments. Thank God that Russian abortions are decreasing every year, however, I do not
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 22, 2006
      Dear Rdr. Philosoph,

      Thanks for the information and the thoughtful comments.

      Thank God that Russian abortions are decreasing every year, however, I
      do not think it is because of Patriarch Alexei II's influence, unless
      he is the cause of the significant decline in Russian fertility
      associated with historic shocks to the country, usually imposed by
      highly centralized governments too obtuse to realize what they were
      doing to the plurality of Russians with their actions, policies etc..

      Earlier this year, Putin even announced a policy to pay couples to
      have children. In conditions of birth decline, abortion decline would
      follow. Before directing you to an historical study of 20th century
      Russian fertility through the 1990s, here are current statistics for
      the Russian Federation:

      Population: 142,893,540 (July 2006 est.)

      Age structure:
      0-14 years: 14.2% (male 10,441,151/female 9,921,102)
      15-64 years: 71.3% (male 49,271,698/female 52,679,463)
      65 years and over: 14.4% (male 6,500,814/female 14,079,312) (2006 est.)

      Median age:
      total: 38.4 years
      male: 35.2 years
      female: 41.3 years (2006 est.)
      Population growth rate:
      -0.37% (2006 est.)
      Birth rate:
      9.95 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
      Death rate:
      14.65 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
      Net migration rate:
      1.03 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
      Sex ratio:
      at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
      under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
      15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
      65 years and over: 0.46 male(s)/female
      total population: 0.86 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

      Infant mortality rate:
      total: 15.13 deaths/1,000 live births
      male: 17.43 deaths/1,000 live births
      female: 12.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

      Life expectancy at birth:
      total population: 67.08 years
      male: 60.45 years
      female: 74.1 years (2006 est.)
      Total fertility rate:
      1.28 children born/woman (2006 est.)

      Source: CIA Factbook. Updated October 2006.

      For an historical look at Russian birth declines through the 90s, see:

      "Fertility Decline and Recent Changes in Russia: On the Threshold of
      the Second Demographic Transition," by Sergei V. Zakharov and Elena I.

      Read the report here:


      And below I've pasted in an excerpt from that study highly relevant to
      our discussions of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Putin regime:

      "It was in late 1991 that, for the first time in the postwar history
      of the Russian population, the number of deaths exceeded that of
      births. In 1992 the negative natural change amounted to 219,800, or
      1.5 per 1,000. An even greater decrease was recorded in 1993, with a
      750,300 natural decrease in population, or 5.1 per 1,000. This natural
      decrease was larger than the positive change due to net immigration
      and resulted in a total population decrease by 30,900 in 1992 and by
      307,600 in 1993.

      Russia has entered the stage of negative population change. The era of
      postwar population growth, determined predominantly by natural
      increase, has come to an end. The first postwar decade saw a high
      natural increase, whereas during the second one its rapid decline was
      observed. The subsequent two decades brought a period of stability.
      But by the late 1980s, this gave way to a steep fall in births and,
      thus, in natural increase.

      The mass media has increasingly overflowed with alarming articles on
      population issues. Based on non-professional interpretation of
      available vital statistics, they are calling "to save Russia from
      depopulation." Such assertions ring of nationalism in today's
      political context. The whole spectrum of conservative forces ("red,"
      "brown," "green," etc.) would not miss an opportunity to manipulate
      population data to contribute to the atmosphere of anti-democratic,
      anti-reform, and anti-West sentiments.

      As a result, the general public has been completely misled about
      population issues. Rank-and-file citizens are inclined to draw a
      direct link between the current economic slump and a demographic
      crisis. Indeed, the rate of increase in the cost of living exceeds
      that of income, and under such economic conditions it is not
      surprising that some view giving birth to a child an irrational or
      irresponsible act.

      The present-day developments in Russia have much in common with those
      observed in France and Germany many years ago, namely in the 1930s.
      The Great Depression was accompanied by a demographic depression, and
      public opinion was largely molded by an impressive comparison of
      numbers of "coffins" ("crosses") to numbers of baby cradles.[2] The
      approaches then pursued in population data interpretation played a
      role in supporting the patriotic sentiments of those years, which
      developed an increasingly nationalistic and national-socialist tone.
      Ordinary people are always inclined to associate setbacks in
      population dynamics with those in the economy, and with some reason.
      In all places and at all times, famine, war, and revolution have
      tended to bring about a postponement of marriages, a fall in births,
      and a rise in deaths.

      In the twentieth century, Russia has suffered a series of social
      cataclysms. The demographic crises which have followed have had
      disastrous implications. They occurred in 1915-1921, 1928-1934, and
      1941-1947. According to our lowest estimate, these three crises
      lasting 6 years each and 7 years apart have accounted for a loss of 38
      million people, including losses due to the deficit in births, excess
      of deaths, and emigration. Thus, Russia was destined to accumulate an
      enormous experience living in crisis and to reproduce the resulting
      population decline effect in generations born a half century later."

      end excerpt.


      I hope this helps fill out the context around the idea that Russian
      orphans are a sign of fewer abortions as opposed to a fertility
      decline in general. I would also look at the strong link between
      widespread deprivation caused by what I would call a "Drink It Up"
      economic policy at the top of Russia's elite ruling tower, where
      wealth and benefits are disproportionately absorbed there before ever
      "trickling down" to the great majority of Russians, particularly
      outside of Moscow.

      The reluctance of a government to decentralize reflects also a
      reluctance of the elites in a society who people that government, to
      share of their wealth. They lack the enlightened understanding that
      investing in the infrastructure of one's country rather than sucking
      it dry and walking away is the real way to build national wealth,
      prosperity and a multiplier effect in advancement and productivity for
      all. Rather, they think themselves worthy of centralized control and
      even stunting of the growth of the majority or plurality of their
      countrymen. If you ask me, that is the least patriotic way to run a
      country, and certainly the most selfish.

      A priority historical lesson of the 20th century was that rigid
      ideologies and centralized leaderships caused untold misery, suffering
      and ill-results for all nations, and, for their own people.
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