Whenever the writer has asked anyone within the Soviet Union as to the functions of geography, the answer has invariably been “to develop the productive resources of the state.” Geography has proceeded along the lines of Marxian theory with especial emphasis on economic problems. Thus dozens of geographers are employed in the planning commissions of the U.S.S.R. and the constituent republics. Not only should these plans be in harmony with the natural environment, they are also the geographer's instrument for periodically changing this environment. Elsewhere the emphasis is equally on the political-economic side, with especial interest in people and their welfare, working conditions, and past relations to economic feudalism and imperialism. Those aspects of geography which deal with mere description, or with fields such as geomorphology or human ecology, are regarded as intellectual luxuries which must be postponed until some future date.

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