We are more and more aware that life has changed dramatically. The usual things are changing – payments, brands, connections. Opportunities disappear and others emerge. The composition of economic actors is changing — as Pushkin said: «… But they are not, or far away are living ! ..».
For more than a year now, Russia has been in a qualitatively new international situation, at the epicenter of major events. The exacerbation of global problems caused by the rapid development of new technologies and resulting in a wide range of transformations in the economic and social spheres requires a fundamental revision of approaches to economic development and key decisions. We are witnessing a profound restructuring of the economic and social space. It must be admitted that, as far as our economy is concerned, it has been quite successful so far, demonstrating decent stability and surprising both Russian and foreign forecasters.
Life in new conditions proves more and more what many Russian experts have repeatedly said, including at the scientific forums of the Free Economic Society of Russia and on the pages of our journal, which is the need to develop the domestic industrial complex and the real sector of the economy as a whole, to implement an active industrial policy, long-term strategizing of socio-economic development, etc. Now all these have become an urgent need and an obvious and urgent task. Russia can no longer move in the wake of not only neoliberalism and market fundamentalism, the collapse of which, it seems, is already obvious to their adherents, but also foreign economic theories. Our huge ship should not sail along the economic current that comes from the other side of the ocean.
But to ensure the transition to a purposeful transformation of both the economy and our society, a theoretical framework must be developed that reflects the features and main features of our socio-economic and civilizational path. And here speculative constructions or constructs divorced from real life are not suitable. No matter how clever they may seem, life itself, which is stronger than any scientific constructions, proves that such theories can collapse and turn into dust literally overnight if they are not built on a solid foundation of fundamental research. And especially — if they represent a person as a purely economic actor, concerned solely with maximizing profits, income, benefits, etc (note that many of our economic actors still live in this paradigm to this day, endlessly promoting precisely this on domestic television — profit, benefit, benefit …), and are not aimed at the main thing — improving the very life of a person and the state of the planet on which he was lucky to live. It is not for nothing that our wise people know: happiness is not in money!.. And it is important that the goals of our economic activity — and this should be assessed positively — are the goals of national development. As the President of the country emphasized in his recent address to the Federal Assembly, we have constantly spoken about the need to change the structure of our economy in recent years, and now these changes are a vital necessity. Solving strategic tasks, we must understand that the security and well-being of the people, sovereignty and national interests are fundamental for all of us.
In solving this problem, there is one very remarkable, although often ignored or, in any case, not prioritized aspect.
Economists should be guided by the demand of society as a whole — this is fundamentally important. And this request is often difficult for the state to hear. For it is essentially arranged vertically, and from the bottom» to the «top, where decisions are made, sometimes it is not possible to reach. Which is always bad, and even more so during periods of economic bifurcation. And that is why now the so-called horizontal connections are coming to the fore.
Horizontal connections are connections or relationships between people that help solve a variety of issues without having to walk through hierarchical bureaucratic ladders. They play an important role in building a strong society and help build trust and support – to solidify people, in other words.
Let’s pay attention: NGO are the main social element of the socio-economic system, strengthening horizontal ties, allowing them to increase their influence on the social, economic, political and cultural spheres. As the events of covid, geo-economic shocks, and man-made and natural disasters have shown, those were horizontal organizations that turned out to be leaders in solving many issues.
Undoubtedly, one of the main functions of non-profit organizations is social protection, but in our time of rapid changes, public structures that bring together professionals, experts of various levels to solve many other social problems, which in a vertical structure involve a series of lengthy administrative processes, are not less important. Life convincingly shows that without the participation of NGO it is impossible to guarantee the sustainable economic, social and cultural development of the country. Their role has yet to be seriously analyzed by domestic economic science; it is also important to give a new impetus to their development.
We decided to dedicate the main topic of this issue to public organizations.