Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Ministry of Awesome builds awesome future

The city of Christchurch in New Zealand that experienced a devastating earthquake in February of last year, has given the humanity a new non-profit organization "The Ministry of Awesome" that aims to transform the city into "a great place to live." The poets of the past dreamed of garden cities, and the current pragmatics create "awesome cities."

Head of the voluntary student army Sam Johnson who headed the Ministry of Awesome believes that the need for such an organization is now stronger than ever before, according to the Internet portal NZCity.

The new New Zealand organization is completely formal. It was created to introduce creative and innovative ideas to help restore Christchurch after the disaster and make life in the city more attractive. The mass movement of "awesomists" is a non-profit organization.

Everyone who wishes to participate in the Ministry of Awesome may present their "awesome" idea to improve life in the city on the community web page Ministryofawesome.com. Internet users have made dozens of proposals.

In particular, portal stuff.co.nz informed, they proposed to open a park for playing petanque, build an underwater bridge on the River Avon, create original carved racks for bikes, and build a scale model of the city before the earthquake. One of the goals of the implementation of these and other ideas is to make the city a member of Commonwealth Games in 2022.

The founders of the ministry promised that there will be no bureaucratic red tape. Each of the proposed ideas can be evaluated on a five-point scale. The Ministry promises to implement the most successful ideas with the help of local authorities, business community and volunteers.

The news makes one think back to the Soviet times when the  Soviet Union had its own Ministries of Awesome represented by numerous district committees that mobilized the people to rebuild the economy destroyed by the Great Patriotic War and other occasions.

Major reconstruction of Tashkent city after the earthquake in 1966 was "awesomely" carried out in three and a half years, making the capital of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic one of the most beautiful cities in Central Asia and beyond. Development of virgin and fallow lands, undertaken a decade earlier, also falls under definition of "awesome." Only at the time instead of active "awesomists" there were Komsomol and Party leaders.

It has long been known that some ideas are in the air, and understandable without translation. Once Nadezhda Krupskaya borrowed a Western idea of Boy Scouts, and even gave it the name in English style - pioneers.  

There were some differences. Soviet pioneers, unlike Boy Scouts, were armed with "the most progressive ideology."  

Imagine what would have happened with Soviet Union if the party and Komsomol leaders honed their skills implementing bizarre projects instead of managing student construction brigades thrown across the country to build model houses and cattle barns.  

There is a Russian expression that states "initiative is punishable." As a result, grass-root entrepreneurship was eliminated and its place was taken by a thirst to fill one's pockets. When a good idea gets into a bad environment, it becomes a collection of absurdities, as observed by a Russian historian Vasily Klyuchevsky. If it had not been the case, perhaps instead of the post-perestroika businessmen, gamblers, sharks and tycoons, Russia would have had really awesome Ministers.

Igor Bukker 

Pravda.Ru 

Read the original in Russian