2022 will remain a milestone in history, when several important historical periods have come to their end at once. Each of these periods was defined by different interacting processes, some of them lasted for decades and some for centuries, shaping destinies of peoples and civilizations.
In 2022, the world has begun transition to qualitatively new stage of its development, and this transition will determine the future of mankind, including of states and peoples that dominated the world over the past centuries.
In this series, I will highlight several historical processes that have come to their end in 2022, and will try to provide readers with prospects for future development in the coming years.
End of the “Prologue of History”
Historical turning point as the Finale of the Prologue of History
In 2022, the period that can be called the “Prologue of History” ended, and this was reflected in the changes taking place before our eyes, including changes in most important priorities and values of mankind, in understanding and evaluation of processes of interactions and relations between peoples and states, and methods and ways to solve problems in international affairs.
What is happening now, in its possible consequences, can be compared and may even exceed the turning point in history generated by the bourgeois revolutions of the 17th and 18th centuries that redrawn the political map of Europe, created system of colonial rule of the world and extended influence of the Western European versions of democracy and capitalism into the outside world.
What is happening now is comparable and may even exceed in its consequences the turning point at the beginning of the 20th century, launched by the First World War that resulted in revolutions that destroyed monarchies in Europe and Russia, divided the world into capitalist and socialist camps and led to destruction of the colonial system.
The now ongoing processes will cause changes no less fateful, and perhaps even surpassing in their historical consequences all previous wars and revolutions. These changes have already begun, however, despite their fundamental nature and ongoing tectonic shifts, the leaders and elites are only beginning to realize them.
Life drives political elites and governments into a kind of tunnel and forces them to move forward into darkness of the unknown, and they, poking, jumping and hitting each other, running into the walls of reality, breaking into blood, try to slow down and find the way to see what lies ahead. As a result, they slowly but steadily move forward, frightened and unable to understand their future.
Back in the 20th century, as in the previous period, many of the changes taking place now could not be imagined. Let’s dwell on some of them.
Age of civilizations and demolition of old systems
In the Prologue of History, the world was understood as divided into tribes, races, nations and nationalities, states, as well as according to ideological and class principles or according to the type of socio-economic formations. At the beginning of the 21st century, the most advanced representatives of elites in developed countries began to realize that the concept of «civilization» was becoming the most important in world politics.
Civilizations become the main structural elements, organizational centers of the entire system of international relations in the modern world.
The world is beginning to be perceived, considered and understood as system of relations and interactions that is determined and influenced to the greatest extent by socio-cultural factors that form civilizations.
Moreover, some leaders of states began to act according to that understanding, whether they wanted it or not, many of them under duress and pressure of circumstances and ideology of “political rationalism” they professed, having no opportunity or ability to explain their actions and create any scientific or ideological foundation for their political acts.
(You can read more about «political rationalism» in Change of Elites and the New World Order» by Valery Morozov (valerymorozov.com) and War in Ukraine and the clash of civilizations, part 3 » Valery Morozov (valerymorozov.com)
Thus, in the world, among the political, scientific and business elites of the leading world powers, the awareness and recognition of cultural, historical, social and religious, moral and ethical factors began to be recognized as the most important and as determining development of not only social sphere, science and education, cultures of different nations, but also economy, finances, trade and politics. It began to be understood that those factors that make up the concept of «civilization» not only decisively influence development of peoples and states,but also ensure stability of political systems and effectiveness of public administration.
It is the recognition of the role and importance of cultural and historical heritage, social capital and moral values that underlies the civilizational approach to solving political, social and economic issues.
Understanding of importance of cultural, historical, social, moral and ethical factors, as well as — and this is another important element of the civilizational approach – of interactions and relationships as determining development of material forces, is already leading to fundamental changes in the world economy, financial system, international politics.
These changes are growing, breaking, sending into crisis those state and international structures and systems that resist changes and are unable or unwilling to change and adapt to the new reality.
Money and capital change their essence, purpose and structure. Classes and social groups in the 21st century begin to change more and more and radically differ from the classes and groups of the 20th century, and even more so, of the 19th century. Political parties have lost their ability to perform their roles and functions that they performed in the previous period. The entire state system, based on the party-class form of government falls into abyss of crisis with party leaders unable to understand what is happening and to offer any alternative. Many leaders who come to power never wanted to be state leaders, or could not even imagine that happening, or had no chance a few decades ago. The absence of leaders who have an idea, a vision of the future, capable of offering their states and peoples a way out of crises, has become the common feature of political reality in many most developed states of the world.
The current energy, economic and financial crises, the growing contradictions in the political and social spheres are not the result of only the mistakes of politicians and governments. Their causes are much deeper, and state leaders who failed to understand this, continue to make mistakes. Their actions to curb crises only lead to deepening and escalation of problems.
International organizations, including the UN, are becoming more and more ineffective. They require urgent reforming, otherwise further events will deprive them not only of their status of centers of the world political system, but will lead them to complete degradation and replacement by other organizations that are beginning to emerge and actively develop. Old organizations are being replaced by new associations that respond to new realities and changes in the world.
Wars in the world comprised of civilizations also become different from previous wars, their character changes. Conflicts and wars between civilizations, as well as conflicts within one civilization, will be more cruel and irreconcilable than previous wars and conflicts between nations, peoples, classes and states fought for power, material wealth, influence in the region and the world.
Conflicts and wars within one civilization and between different civilizations will most often be of an existential nature and will be aimed at destroying, first of all, ideological, religious and cultural-historical heritage and potential of the enemy, and, consequently, all people-bearers of that heritage. Wars are becoming unacceptable not only because leading states — centers of civilizations — have nuclear and other types of weapons of mass destruction, but because those wars can be uncompromisingly cruel and inhuman.
The war in Ukraine is the first example of such a war. However, almost no one in Ukraine, as well as in Russia, not to mention other states that are actively and deeper getting involved in the war in Ukraine, has understood this fact until now. Neither in the Kremlin, nor in Kyiv, nor in Washington, London, Berlin, Paris, Warsaw or Brussels, leaders are aware of real threats that this war poses to nations and states involved in the conflict, or to the Western and Russian civilizations, as well as to the Ukrainian civilization that tries to emerge from inside the “Russian World” as “anti-Russia” risking to disappear…
(Later, I will focus on the war in Ukraine separately) …
What caused the modern turning point that drew finish line to the centuries-old period in the development of mankind, when power, material values, money and knowledge capable of creating material values and benefits, the desire to possess and multiply them, to ensure the highest possible material standard of living lay at the center of values, at the heart of desires, aspirations, politics, ideologies and everyday life?
Why culture, intellect and creativity, together with moral values and traditions, from the secondary, attached to material, from «roof structure» over economy as the main building and foundation, began to acquire the value of architectural idea, project design, act and process of creation, — the main factor, determining the meaning and future of the whole creation, the entire socio-economic formation, including its “walls” and «foundation»?
Why did development through interactions and relationships from those attached to material objects begin to become in the world of politics, economics, including business and social relations, into the main method and instrument of changing and developing the world?
Why did civilizations in modern world become the main structural elements of the system of organization of the international community?
Social capital of the new technological order
By the beginning of the 21st century, the productive forces in the leading countries of the world reached the level that required qualitative changes in the system of economic production and social relations.
Firstly, the further development of science, artificial intelligence, technologies, including information technologies, as well as industry and agricultural production, trade, transportation and distribution of manufactured products and services of the new technological order, turned out to be in clear and direct dependence on the factors that make up foundations of all civilizations: culture, education, information support and creative potential of people, as well as moral values and traditional system of social relationships.
In new technological order, the intellectual contribution by people to creation of capital has noticeably squeezed out, and in some new areas has exceeded the contribution of materials, energy costs, labor, as well as artificial intelligence.
Those who believed that artificial intelligence can replace human intellect ended up in the category that is to be replaced by AI. It appeared that artificial intelligence itself and its development required higher intellectual level and creative potential of people, the creators of artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence turned out to be able to replace only those labor resources that are not capable and are not intended to bring maximum intellectual content to the product being produced.
Effective development of modern science, technology and industries turned out to be possible only on the basis of qualitative increase in cultural, intellectual and social factors in industrial and social relations.
Secondly, in the 20th century, and especially at the beginning of the 21st century, there was rapid expansion and change of consumers role in production.
The increasing role of social factor in economy and socio-political systems was expressed, for example, in the fact that the participation of people who are neither founders of companies and organizations, nor their shareholders, nor participants in production process, including management, but are only users and consumers, turned out to become the factor that to increasing degree determines the value of both the product produced and the entire production.
In the 21st century, consumer becomes the main, determining participant in production process and entire economic sphere.
The capitalization of companies of new technological order, for example, those providing services as Internet resources, turned out to be increasingly dependent not only on the quality of the product itself, that is, on the Internet resource, not only on the team of company employees who ensure operation and functioning of the Internet resource, but mainly on its users, on the level of their participation, on the content of their materials and performances andon accessibility, popularity and influence of that content on other consumers.
It is the quality of user’s materials, their activity and level of interaction between consumers, all participants in the process that become the most important factors that determine social value of entire project and capitalization of information resource.
The consequence of this is that any action directed against any group of users immediately strikes a blow to producer, and its market value decreases depending on the influence and contribution of the user group against which the action was directed.
(To be continued)