Vladimir Megre About the "Family Homestead" Image. Impressions About the Trip to New York
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Vladimir Megre: Hello!
Well, now, I’ve finally returned home, and I want to share with you my impressions of my trip to the summit that took place at the U.N.
I spoke at several sessions where the topic was global eco-villages. There were separate discussions of the Tamera Settlement. I spoke about our settlements.
And here’s what I was able to understand. Now, it used to be that we’d sometimes call our settlements “eco-villages.” It turns out that that was a mistake. And a big one. As soon as you say the word “eco-village”, including there, people immediately imagine the eco-villages that already existing, and what people do there. As a general rule, everything in these settlements is communal. There aren’t family homesteads there; everything is communal. What I mean, is that everyone works a communal field, or somewhere else… well, like the way it is in the Tamera Settlement: they have communal breakfast, lunch and dinner there. You can have a bite to eat… well, it’s like some cafeteria. You can have a bite. There’s a kind of trend there, where people say, “Let’s call ourselves an eco-village, too,” and so on. But if everyone were to decide to call themselves eco-villages, then it would also be the case that, “See, everything here is communal, like during Communism.”
There’s an article on the Internet. The article’s authoris Tatiana Ginzburg, and she travelled around, looking into the many settlements in which she’s been: in Italy, Finland, and America. At one of the assemblies in the Tamera Settlement we had a representative there, from the Kovcheg (“Ark”) Settlement. And here’s how she writes about his speech. This was Dima from Kovcheg. “He presented Kovcheg as a super cool eco-village and he got a big hand from the audience. Westerners don’t understand what a ‘family homestead’ is. That is, they don’t understand that there can be a settlement on the land and that it’s not communal. That is, the point of the settlement is to live on the land, not to create something communal. And for that reason, if they’re presented with a Russian settlement with a hundred homes, then they’re overjoyed, delighted, and they think of it in their own way: ‘this is a commune,’ ‘this is an eco-village’ in their sense of the word, where people work together, eat together and share communal property. Now, Dima didn’t draw special attention to this point, in case, God forbid, people might not like him.” It would seem that it’s just one word, and what goes along with it: “family homestead” or “eco-village.” But as soon as we call ourselves an eco-village, then people lose interest. “Why should I go to faraway Russian when I can have this right here, close by? Here you have America, here… it’s the very same thing.” That is, clearly we need to be more attentive to what Anastasia said. Be more attentive to the words “family homestead” and “family homestead settlement,” understand what’s behind them, and get this out to others.
Now, there was a group of readers there. There are readers among the organizers of this same summit at the U.N., too. These are entirely different people, and they react totally differently. They react very positively to the ideas that exist about family homesteads in Russia. And they themselves say, “Yes, it’s epic. That’s where the future lies.” And, jumping ahead, I’ll say that two of the organizers of this summit have land, roughly a hundred hectares. They’ll allot it to settlers, people who want to take part. Now, for the most part, they’ll choose from amongst the readers. They’ll allot plots of this land – one hectare in size – to have family homesteads built on them. They have an interesting approach to the selection. They plan that first of all, for a year… well, a person receives this hectare, but first of all he has to spend a year living there, in order for it to become his property, so that the others can see how he works. I don’t really understand this approach, but all the same, we do need a variety of approaches, so we can see where the best ones lie.
I’ve yet to see settlements like the ones we have in Russia in other countries. And I think what’s to blame here is the simple word “eco-village” or “family homestead.”
Now, what we and that group of readers that was there decided… One of the summit organizers is a screenwriter. He worked in Hollywood for some time. He suggests we make a documentary film about Russia, about Russian family homesteads, about family homestead settlements. And show all of this in America and other countries. And he says that if we manage to do it correctly, it will be a sensation, because this is different from everything there is in the world. I said in one session that “family homesteads” are not eco-villages at all. They have their own philosophy, their own idea, their own way of life. And it differs significantly from what already exists, and from what the western public is familiar with.
And there’s another unique feature. Take family homesteads… the number of family homesteads in Russia is growing. Well, in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan… No other so-called eco-villages have grown.
In this way I believe we are on the right path, and I think that we have to position ourselves very correctly. Now, the ones they have in the West – there are fewer of them, and there’s less there that’s new, but they present themselves very well. People go visit them, and the tourism is well-developed there. And people go there and live there for a time, but few people remain. And among the permanent residents, the ones who’ve lived there for five years are already considered long-time residents. Some people in our settlements have already been living there for fifteen years. In our settlements, children are being born.
And I think that if there’s this bridge built between people of various countries – I mean between readers – that will help normalize relations between Russia and the West: with Europe and America. Let’s collaborate by sharing our experience. Let’s see that… family homesteads are already starting up and will start up in America… let’s see who does a better job of it. Who has the more beautiful oasis? Who’s been able to build a real paradise on their family homestead?
Almost everyone is interested in the future: the future of one’s own family, the future of the state, the future of the world. Very, very many in the West are worried about this, and they understand that without some kind of new paradigm, without some kind of precise and clear vision of a way of life, modern man, the modern family and modern human society are no longer possible. There’s simply nowhere further to go: we’re standing at a stone wall and we’re banging our heads against it, all together, and we’re sorting out our differences using force. There we have, say, ISIS [the Islamic State], and other wars. And we are trying to prove our spirituality using force. Now that’s nonsense, complete nonsense that has yet to cease, for centuries now, already. But we need to prove our worth through our own creation, by creating something new.
Being there in America, I was proud that such a movement exists in Russia, and we – the creators of family homesteads – are all connected to this. And I’m proud that I wrote these books. And I’m proud that we have Anastasia’s beautiful image. Anastasia, who was able to set a movement like this ablaze and give it to Russia.
Now I understood very profoundly that we have to really hold this image dear. There is strength in it! It raises many people up to a certain height, but… man is beginning to lose this image and lose the foundation upon which he stands – and it’s all breaking down.
Let’s pay close attention to words. Let’s call ourselves who we are. And we are the creators of family homesteads, the creators of a beautiful new life!
(Final words on the screen: “In the video you heard the song ‘I will build a home,’ written and performed by Oles from Lyoboistok.”)