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http://zgm.mn/post/1956/

From Homo Sovieticus to Homo Postsovieticus (Part-II)

Democratic revolution let loose of Homo Sovieticus that were unprepared for the new society

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http://zgm.mn/post/1956/


Homo Post-Sovieticus

The collapse of communism in 1990 put an end to the Homo Sovieticus. The massive prison that ran  across three continents was finally liberated. This included about 40 countries restrained in an ideology. Millions of people got acquainted with the world for the first time. While these people were locked up in a closed society, the XX century has fundamentally changed the entire world in terms of technology, ideology, politics, economy, law, and regulations. Thus, these are the uncivilized people who have walked into a new world after a long period of incarceration. For them, the toughest challenge was to socialize and adapt to the new society.

The Homo Sovieticus that peeked through the window into the free world was, first of all, shocked by the technological advancement and wealthy society. Squeezing into Western Berlin at the Brandenburg Gate, millions of Eastern Germans who have been gifted a 100 Deutsche Mark each, despised communism with each passing moment. Polish pedlars, who are considered the founders of traveling sales, began cursing the social system that they lived in for over four decades.

But this admiration of early days did not last long. The social revolution transformed the living environment with each step on the way and let loose of individuals that were unprepared for the new society. This is the downside of a revolution. After the French revolution, the “Escape from Freedom” progress took place as a certain group of people failed to adapt to the free society. The October Revolution was turning the lower social-class people into “Sharikovs”.

In all honesty, the Homo Sovieticus did not meet the standard requirements of an already established free society. Surprised by this strange phenomenon, Milton Friedman wrote about this back in the 80s that the Chinese refugees in Hong Kong, who had the same ethnicity, were incompetent, unemployed, unaccountable, lazy and non-initiative compared to Hong Kong people that grew up in a free society. Over 20,000 North Koreans migrated to the South via China and Mongolia. In order to socialize them, they were granted citizenship, accommodation, incentives, and jobs; however, it was common for them to be rejected by social life and end up doing illegal activities. They preferred to settle in the northern part of China and earn easy money by intermediating refugees seeking to enter South Korea. The average wage of eastern Germans stood at around 60 percent of westerns in western firms at first. This particular wage gap still exists after almost three decades. They are not discriminated for their origin of being eastern. It is simply the measurement of their working ability, discipline, and accountability. During these years, about 4 million people fled to the west from Poland alone. Although the value of their labor diminished significantly compared to their home country, they were attracted by higher salaries. Recently, the British Parliament released a statement saying, “We do not have to employ people with high education from Lithuania as cleaners”.
As such, the evolution from Homo Sovieticus to Homo Post-Sovieticus took place. The transition progressed in various ways. From a primitive state to technology, politics, mafia, law, and conspiracies, these people thought of multiple options to improve their social status, becoming an industrial worker from a herder, a free agent from a public servant, a politician from a party member. There were many cases were ministry staff or political party members would become monks. But no matter how they adapted to the new environment, none of them succeeded in meeting the new social requirements. The years of experiment to create a Soviet person only pushed propagandas and failed to nourish a “normal” socialized person.

A certain group of society immediately turned into an “activist” of crime and illegal activities. While Mongolian burglars were infamous in France and Switzerland, Polish and Yugoslavians were notorious for their scammers and Russians  were frightening everyone with their mobsters. On the other hand, Albanians were ill-famed for human-trafficking and forced prostitution of women and Romanians started to be known for illegal merchandise and beggars. Over two million refugees migrated to the United States over these years and created a terrifying image called “Russian mafia”. They were all normally disciplined Homo Sovieticus that lived under Socialist norms.

The neo-nazi hysteria of eastern Germans, Russians’ hate towards the west, and Ukrainians’ pride that led to an attack on Russia clearly show how the idea of internationalism installed in Homo Sovieticus was false. Internationalist hostility, such as Kyrgyz people against Uzbeks, Mongolians against China, Azerbaijanis against Armenia and Chinese against Japan, etc, has already overwhelmed rational thinking.

• Socializing and adapting to open society was the toughest challenge for the Homo Sovieticus, the unfortunate bunch of the Soviet era. 

• The years of experiment to create a Soviet person only pushed propagandas and failed to nourish a “normal” socialized person. 

• As a result, the weak and vulnerable Homo Sovieticus turned into a ferocious, impatient, hectic and barbaric Homo Post-Sovieticus.

In the majority of post-communist countries, the state and public organizations, with the exception of military and homeland security, are non-institutionalized and the institutionalized ones are either incompatible in open society or vulnerable, which ultimately spreads corruption, bribery, embezzlement, and theft in the society. This, in turn, stirs up public distress and separation. Frankly, the majority of Homo Post-Sovieticus thinks about how they are left out of these opportune chances and considers themselves as victims instead of considering the misdeeds of these crimes. It is forbidden to have personal thoughts, express discontent, suggest new ideas, and since there was a heavy sentence in place, they were “well-mannered” in a closed society. There are not many penalty-driven, illogical and wayward protesters in open society. They look for blames in everything and eventually reach to a conclusion that the old communism was better than the current society. They never acknowledge the simple fact that every post-communist country, in its worst state, is clearly better than the old days. An evident indication was that the public voted Joseph Stalin as the best leaders of all times in Russia and Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania. Especially the elders, who had a content life in communism and seek “vengeance”, heavily affect the younger generation. Although the times have changed, the young people that never witnessed the “greatness”  of the previous society are having misleading ideas and undervaluing their home country thanks to the privilege of comparing their country with developed countries.

Therefore, a nationalist idea called “pseudo patriotism” is dominating among the public, installing public suspicion, doubt, and paranoia for an enemy. It is maybe related to the fact that everyone regardless of their social classes instinctively longs for the past, their younger and sexually capable self. Karl Marx categorized social development into five formations depending on who is holding the labor instrument. It is not rare for Homo Sovieticus, who have memorized this “theory” without critical thoughts, to think they have taken a step back from socialism and communism, the peak of development, into outdated capitalism, or even feudalism and slavery.

Thus, the weak, vulnerable and loyal to the State and community, Homo Sovieticus with their identical political, artistic and literary views, turned into a Homo Post-Sovieticus, who are ferocious, impatient, hectic, barbaric in terms of morality and ethics, cannot properly assess the environment, think they are above the law, and prefer to live outside the law. It will take a long time for them to become normal civilized citizens of the XXI century. It may require another two to three generations. Homo Post-Sovieticus may just be another phase of the transition.2016.06.01

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Trade Unions request PM to focus on interest rate cut

PM Khurelsukh receives Confederation of Mongolian Trade Unions representatives

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Prime Minister Khurelsukh Ukhnaa and the Minister of Labor and Social Protection Chinzorig Sodnom received the representatives of the Confederation of Mongolian Trade Unions (CMTU) yesterday. The CMTU officials requested the PM to focus on lowering the interest rate.

After highlighting the fact that the economy grew by 6.4 percent and the improving budget balance under the Extended Fund Facility program of the International Monetary Fund, the PM noted to focus on distributing the benefits of the economic growth to the public by increasing wage and pension. He addressed, “The average salary of the public sector reached MNT 916,000, a 27.5 percent growth since 2016. Under the trilateral agreement, the minimum wage has been set at MNT 320,000. This raised the salaries of about 100,000 workers by 33.3 percent. Furthermore, the Cabinet has acknowledged the CMTU suggestion on setting minimum pension age in line with the life expectancy and lowered it to 60 for men and 55 for women, from the initial plan of 65 for men and 60 for women. The Government is prioritizing to strengthen social justice, improve accountability and discipline of the public sector, and economic growth.”

In turn, the President of the CMTU Amgalanbaatar Khayankhyarvaa requested the PM to further raise wage and implement social partnership in provinces and rural areas as agreement on the 2019-2020 Labor and Social Consensus. He then asked the PM to promote employment and cut the interest rate.

Later on, a spokesperson of the trade union of Uvs province suggested the PM to conduct a study on  a 5-10 year intensified development and highlighted the importance of non-collateral discounted loans for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Trade Union of EMC suggests employee stock option

A spokesperson of the trade union of the Erdenet Mining Corporation (EMC) suggested granting the 10 percent of the company’s stake as stock options to employees in order to boost productivity and set an example for both stateowned enterprises and private entities.

• CMTU President requests the PM to further raise salaries. 

• Trade union of Uvs province suggested the PM to conduct a study on a 5-10 year intensified development and highlighted the importance of non-collateral discounted loans for SMEs. 

• PM expresses to further study the suggestions and make effort in implementing them.

PM Khurelsukh responded, “Unless we move away from the heavy dependence on the mining sector, Mongolia could face another economic crisis. Therefore, the Cabinet is prioritizing the development of SMEs, animal husbandry, and farming. The biggest challenge is unemployment. The State will support business entities. It is important that we govern our natural resources. Thus, we will nationalize the illegally privatized assets. Establishment of the oil refinery will help reduce the foreign exchange outflow and cut domestic oil prices. As for all your suggestions, we will further study these matters and make effort in implementing them.”

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Demand for office areas overtops supply

Real estate agents expect steady growth in office demand

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Whilst the housing market is the center of attention in the real estate, offices are showing promising forecast as the demand is exceeding supply according to Master Properties LLC.

Last year, a total of 215 projects with an available office space of 985,000 square meters was commissioned. About half of these are located in the downtown area in Sukhbaatar district. 72.9 percent of offices in this district are luxury-class; however, about 80 percent of private entities operating in the capital are the small and medium-sized enterprises with up to 20 workers. According to a survey, these entities prefer comfortable, low-cost offices that are not too far from downtown. In other words, there is a gap between the purchasing ability of customers and construction supply.

The trend in the office market is dependent on economic growth. Experts highlight that almost half of the demand for class-A offices are both, directly and indirectly, connected to the mining sector. Thus, the office market began to restore on the back of the upsurge of the mining sector since 2017.

The number of office seeking entities annually grow by 1,100 on average, which equals to 50,000- 60,000 in square meters. Plus, nearly 40 percent of entities renting office spaces are unsatisfied with the office environment. Considering these indicators, real estate agents forecast the demand for office to grow steadily in the upcoming years, suggesting an annual growth of over 8 percent.

As for ideal offices, a survey shows that private entities prioritize location the most, preferably near downtown. The priority list is followed up by price, class, and availability of parking areas. The preference drops significantly for office buildings that perform poorly on these areas, noted Tenkhleg  Zuuch LLC.





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Scholars suggest coalbed methane for power source

Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi holds discussion on additional power source

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Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi JSC (ETT), in cooperation with the Mongolian National Council of Scholars (MNCS), held a discussion under the theme “Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi-Innovation, Production” yesterday, addressing the necessity to resolve additional electricity required for installing new technology.

Tavan Tolgoi residual deposits have a total methane reserve of up to 10 billion cubic meters. “One cubic meter of methane gas equals one-liter diesel fuel in terms of energy. In other words, the deposits have 10 billion liters of diesel fuel reserves. The annual average domestic demand is a bit over one million tons. Since the energy source is gas, it is environmentally friendly and can be used directly on-site,” according to the spokesperson of the Ministry of Energy.

According to scholars, extracting methane gas is highly efficient for the economy as the demand is currently high in China’s market. By extracting methane gas, Mongolia can annually export about 800 MW electricity. Plus, the gas can be liquified for domestic use and transported to the People’s Republic of China via both auto road, and gas pipes.

If supplied to the domestic market, the methane can cut the current cost per kWh of electricity by half. Specifically, the zero-loss price of methane gas is MNT 44-63 and the cost of equal energy production currently stands to about MNT 100.

Mongolia has an installed electricity capacity of 1.1 Gw. The national electricity grid, which consists of five systems, is in urgent need to increase the capacity of the Southern energy system. The undersupply is filled in by import from China at present. Although the upcoming Tavan Tolgoi Thermal Power Plant will solve the problem, the construction will take about 3-5 years. Thus, scholars are suggesting the use of coalbed methane gas to directly supply this gap.

ETT has announced 2019 "the year of development". With an aim to improve the efficiency of Tavan Tolgoi mine, the company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with MNCS on adopting cutting-edge technology, refined coal, natural gas, ensuring the workers’ health, and developing ecologically friendly production.

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MSE warns to delist firms that fail to deliver reports

LendMN NBFI plans to introduce international transaction service

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In order to improve the transparency in the financial market, Altai Khangai, CEO of the MSE, warns to delist publicly traded firms in case of failure to deliver financial and operational reports.

On the list of firms with good governance, the recent IPOs are at the forefront; for example, LendMN JSC was the first company to turn in their 2018 financial and operational reports. The company earned a net profit of MNT 2.5 billion last year, making it possible for the company to distribute dividends this year. Additionally, the company recently announced to introduce an international transaction service by cooperating with “Transfer To” inc. According to Marketinfo, the board of LendMN has approved the CEO to sign MNT 1.4 billion worth deal with Transfer To.

Also, the MSE Tier-II listed company Mongol Savkhi JSC’s sales revenue totaled MNT 270 million in 2018, which is about 9.4 percent lower than the previous year. The stock price of the company, which  manufactures leather and felt products, stood at MNT 480 per share as of February 2, which is a 50 percent fall year over year.

The net loss of the state-owned Darkhan Thermal Power Plant JSC reduced to MNT 1.8 billion last year. This is about 25 percent lower than in 2017. The 2018 financial report of the company shows that the cut in losses was mostly driven by the reduced foreign exchange losses.

Last year, a total of 130 MSE-listed firms have disclosed their financial and operational reports. The remaining 80 companies did not share their financial information to shareholders. Thus, in order to protect the investors’ rights, the MSE has warned to delist publicly traded companies that failed to disclose their reports or organize shareholders’ meetings.

In January, the market capitalization of the MSE diminished by 2.53 percent (MNT 63.5 billion), to MNT 2.4 trillion with the Top 20 Index growing 0.43 percent. Specifically, stock trades accounted for 97 percent of total trades and securities - 3 percent. Compared to January 2018, stock trades jumped by 5 times and securities trade was cut by 45 times. While the new IPOs had the biggest impact on stock trades, the suspension of Government securities trades at the primary market resulted in inactivity in the overall securities market.