For quite a few years now, the Russian Business Consulting website and RBK Daily newspaper have had a well-earned reputation as a quality and unbiased source of Russian business news. Recently, though, we have noticed a palpable politicization in their articles. We have already reported one such instance recently. Now an alert reader has brought our attention to yet another example. What should have been a lighthearted piece about a somewhat offbeat idea to help alleviate some of the world’s problems was editorially turned into a vitriolic and thoroughly Soviet-sounding attack on the decadent West, combined with a bit of propaganda to encourage Russians to make more babies.
An article by Anatoly Pomortsev entitled “A fine for children” and published on December 29 in RBK Daily discusses two Australian doctors, Barry Walters and Garry Egger, who are proposing that childbearing be legislatively discouraged in their country. They feel that since people are the principal cause of damage to the environment, greenhouse gases, climate change, and the like, a truly environmentally concerned state shouldn’t pay benefits to the parents of newborns (as Australia currently does), but should do just the opposite – tax families on an annual basis for producing more than two children, in order to reflect the true cost to the environment of their reproductive profligacy.Russia, of course, is suffering a major decline in population and currently adheres to quite the opposite position, taking serious steps to return to the old Soviet days when “Hero Mothers” were rewarded with medals and money for producing up to ten or more children. So, how did RBK spin this story? Here’s the concluding paragraph of the article:
“…It should not be forgotten that the principal source of carbon dioxide, guilty of the emergence of the greenhouse effect, is not at all man, but large horned livestock [Soviet bureaucratic language for “cows”–Trans.], which produces up to 26% of the total annual volume of CO2. However, the scientists, one of whom is an obstetrician-gynecologist by profession, consider specifically children to be guilty of all the world’s troubles. At the same time, for some reason not one of them – being, by their own classification, “polluters of the environment” – is of a mind to take leave of life ahead of schedule or to pay a fine for it. The initiative of the Australian health care workers once again demonstrates the degree of degeneracy of contemporary western civilization, the norm for which for a long time already are abnormalities like homosexuality and drug abuse, while the bearing of children is gradually turning into a crime.“
Stalin must be smiling in his grave.