For over two years, in my articles, I has been insisting that at the moment, two interrelated processes are going in the world: the crisis of the existing political and economic system and the emergence within the old model, as if from the Russian doll, of the new world order.
The crisis has engulfed Europe, where the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, backed by the West and its allies, reached the point where peaceful resolution to the conflict is becoming impossible, and one of the sides of the conflict will have to be collapsed to allow the world to avoid nuclear catastrophe.
The second centre of the crisis was created around Taiwan in China, and that crisis can drawn in the USA and its allies, on the one side, and China, Russia and Northern Korea, on the other.
The crisis is spreading to Transcaucasia, where Turkey, Russia, Iran, and possibly France, followed by the European Union, may be drawn into the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
And the crisis has also set on fire the Middle East, where war has broken out between Palestine and Israel that threatens to escalate into global conflict that can split not only the international community, but many countries from within, in particular the USA and European states, where Muslim diasporas make up significant and influential part of the population.
The war between Palestine and Israel has broken up as unexpected by Israel and many leading world powers, by their governments, military and special services, and came as manifestation of inability of the leading states and international organisations to control, predict and foresee the developments within the existing world model. However, it was prepared and unleashed with participation of forces within the fragmented elites of world powers interested in creation of new centres of tension and war.
At the same time, the process of creating and forming the BRICS model for the development of the world community is progressing slowly but steadily.
Vladimir Putin was the first among the BRICS leaders, who presented his concept of new world order that Russia is trying to create using BRICS. In fact, speaking at the Valdai Club, he presented the concept that is fully consistent with the emerging model that I wrote about in my last analytical article “New World Model from BRICS and the West,” published two weeks before Putin’s speech (https://valerymorozov.com/news/3557 ). In that speech, Putin confirmed everything that was written in my article, including the limited, uncomplete understanding of the ongoing processes by the leadership of Russia and other BRICS countries.
Putin’s concept of new world order
In the 18th century, the industrial revolution began in England that launched transition first of countries in Europe, and then other countries of the world to the model of capitalist industrial development that led not only to the transition from individual labor to manufacturing, industrial production, financial and industrial capitalism, to the increase in standards of living of people in the most developed capitalist countries, to rapid development of sciences, culture and education, as well as to the creation of party political system for governing peoples and states, capitalist democracy, to reformation of religions, in particular, the emergence of Protestantism and other religious movements in Western Europe, and then in North America, as well as the deepening schism of Orthodoxy and formation in the Russian Empire of the powerful group of industrialists and traders from the Old Believers, who broke away from the Russian Orthodox Church reformed by the Romanovs and who played important role in the collapse of Russian Empire and the Romanovs dynasty. That transition also brought emergence of political ideologies opposing to capitalist democracy, including theories of class struggle, primarily Marxism and social democratic ideas, as well as ideas of liberal democracy, anarchism and others.
In the sphere of international relations, the transition to capitalism in Europe led to formation of imperial model, to division of the world into empires with the most developed and powerful capitalist states emerging as their centers, and later to the transformation of empires into military-political alliances and blocs.
Now, at the beginning of the 21st century, the world has begun its transition to qualitatively new model that differs fundamentally from the model that has existed for three centuries, including and above all, in the basic principles of economic, financial and social relations, the place and role of human and artificial intelligence, the social moral norms and values, fundamentally new methods of managing state systems and international relations, as well as increasing the role of civilizations as the main form of international relations and organization of peoples communities.
It is civilizations in the currently emerging model that are beginning to play the role of the main organizational and cultural centers for the development of the human community, and that leads to change in the role and functions of state as political form of society.
This transition began in the weakest link of the existing model: in the sphere of international relations. The initiators of this transition were the BRICS countries.
It was precisely this topic, the creation of new model of international relations that I tried to explain and analyzed in my article “New World Model from BRICS and the West”, including the changes in the field of international relations that have already led to creation — within the existing three centuries old model, as if in a Russian doll, — the new model that is gradually sweeping the world, competing and displacing the old one.
Speaking at the Valdai Forum on October 5, Vladimir Putin presented his concept of the upcoming world order that fits into the model that I outlined above, and confirmed my analysis given in the previous articles. However, there was one significant difference in the understanding of the processes taking place.
What is that difference?
Putin spoke about changes in the field of international relations, about establishment of multipolar world, thereby limiting himself to the principles of system of interactions between states and civilizations.
I argue that there is transition of humanity to new model of development that includes creation of new world order and system of international relations, but is not limited to this, that the creation of new world order is generated by transition to qualitatively new technological level that determines the development of peoples and world communities, including economics, public relations, cultures.
The new model that already manifested itself in the sphere of international relations and was reflected in Putin’s concept, is not limited to the international sphere, but is developing within states, transforming economies, financial institutions and social systems of not only the most developed countries of the world, but also those countries and states that until now have been on the periphery of the world development.
This happens both in countries whose leadership accepts the need of transformation to new model, for example, in the BRICS countries and their followers and supporters, and in those states that are still trying to preserve the existing model, whose political leadership rejects any possibility of abandoning the world order created in the West three centuries ago.
At the Valdai Forum, Putin was the first state leader to present his new world concept, and we can expect that other leaders of the BRICS countries will also present their versions of the concept in near future. In any case, the Chinese concept will inevitably be presented by Xi Jinping at his forthcoming meeting with Putin in October. It is possible that the West will also begin to develop its own version, although among the political leaders of North America and Europe, as Henry Kissinger already noted, at the moment there is no political leaders capable of offering their own version of new model of development of humanity, or Western civilization.
It must be admitted that it is extremely difficult to notice and analyze the changes taking place and identify the most likely developments even for the coming years or decades. The process of development and transformation in the 21st century is going on faster than in the 18th century, and humanity imagines its future on the basis of the past, on the basis of its experience, and that does not allow us to clearly foresee our future.
Suffice it to recall Marxism that hundred years ago was considered by significant part of the progressive and educated part of humanity as “unshakable” truth. “The teachings of Marx are omnipotent because they are true.” Lenin wrote this in 1913. And thirty years later, Joseph Stalin, the leader of the USSR built on the principles of Marxism, declared the inability of Marxism to explain what was happening in the world, that communists needed theory that reflected realities and was capable of explaining the path of development and transition from socialism to communism. Stalin declared that “without theory we are dead…”. And thirty years later, another leader of the USSR, Yuri Andropov, wrote that communist “do not understand what kind of state we built…”. And few years later, the bureaucracy of the communist party and the Soviet state destroyed the USSR and carried out anti-Marxist criminal-bureaucratic counter-revolution, privatizing land, resources, most of the people’s and state properties, and one group of former communists privatized the communist idea and the party itself…
However, let’s return to the 21st century and try to answer the question most often asked by readers:
If in the 18th century the impetus for the creation of new model of world development was given by the transition from manual labor to industrial production, then what determines the transition of humanity to the new development model at the beginning of the 21st century?
Here, I would like to note one important aspect and to focus on the relationship, interdependence and role of human and artificial intelligence.
On transition to new wars
If you ask economists, political scientists, ordinary people or officials, including the highest rank, what is the most important factor in development of technology, production, economy as a whole, as well as information, propaganda, science and education, then the answer will almost always be the same: the main factor that determines and will continue to determine life of humanity, is the development of artificial intelligence.
And this answer will be wrong, because the development of AI reflects only one of components of the essence of the ongoing technological revolution and transition to the new development model. AI is important component, but not the main one.
To understand that, I propose to look at what is happening on the fronts of Ukraine and around this war, because the war in Ukraine accelerated, revealed and concentrated the processes that are the most important components of the technological transition to new model in areas related to armed forces and defense industry, but not only. Also, it is important to analyse the war that is unfolding in the Middle East…
The use of AI in combat has become one of the most important factors that tremendously increased combat effectiveness and efficiency of armies. Both sides of the conflict in Europe, including Ukraine backed by the West that plays major role in ensuring technological potential of the Ukraine-West bloc, and Russia, actively use the war to develop, create and test in combat conditions new types of weapons, methods of warfare, and in all of this, artificial intelligence plays important role.
Let’s start with reconnaissance and analytical work.
AI allowed both sides to conduct intelligence at a qualitatively new and rapidly increasing level. Using AI, the sides of the conflict have created and strive to improve and develop their systems that allow them to identify, find and receive information in real time about the enemy’s movements, actions and plans, using space satellites, aviation, including civil aviation, drones, Internet resources, messages in Telegram channels, mass media, social networks, information platforms, video cameras on city streets and in cars, gadgets of passers-by, radio and telephone conversations, as well as all other sources of information that before the war were not even considered as information resources, as well as by hacking computer and information networks and databases of the enemy, allies and those who consider themselves as outside observers.
And most important, this entire process is built as one single and interconnected process that brings the entire information flow into one single point of processing and analyzing of the data received. And all that is largely done by artificial intelligence…
And here we get the first group of questions:
Why was the West unable to achieve significant advantage in the war in Ukraine having technological advantage, including in the development of AI, over Russia that turned out to be unprepared for the war that it itself started?
Why did Russian state controlled by its special services, whose duties include providing the Kremlin with information and analytics that were necessary for the preparation of the invasion of Ukraine, turn out to be blind and unprepared for the war?
Why couldn’t the West, having all that advantage, ensure control even over implementation of the sanctions it imposed against Russia?
Why, by the end of the second year of the war, did Russia’s advantage appear not only on the fronts of Ukraine, but also in the sphere of intelligence and analytics, in the production of weapons, including strategic?
And this is only the first aspect of the problem. Let’s move on to the second…
Gathering data for combat operations includes not only current information, but also analysis of the past, collecting and obtaining all information that has ever appeared, for example, what was known about those directly involved in the confrontation, starting from leaders of states and ending with those who command military units and plan operations, organize and provide support, work out tactical and strategic decisions, prepare opinion of the military and political leadership, provide information to state leaders, formulate and even correct and present their decisions.
The histories of participation, for example, of Western military advisers, each individually, in previous conflicts — in Iraq, Syria or Afghanistan — their individual manner of decision-making, choice of actions and tactics, allow Russian military analysts to predict tactical decisions of Western advisers, including those, who are operating not in Ukraine, but from somewhere in the USA or Europe.
Russian analysts try to predict what decisions each of the advisers will suggest to the Ukrainian military to implement and execute at the front in Rabotino or Bakhmut, or to organize attacks on Crimea. They try to predict how Zaluzhny or Zelensky will react to these decisions, and how their decisions will be presented to Ukrainian citizens by presenters and commentators in the mass media, and how Western intelligence services will react to the failure of operations they planned and proposed, how failure of operations will be presented to the leadership of Western countries, and also in India, Japan and Korea, and what reaction will be in these countries, what statements will be made by the British and Italian prime ministers or the American president, or will they keep silence. And mostly, all that is done by artificial intelligence…
The Western intelligence and analytical systems are trying to do the same thing, and even at a higher technological level, using AI and Russia’s continuing technological dependence on the West to collect information, analyze it and predict actions of the Russian armed forces, command, units, political and regional leadership, Russian elites and clans, using personal stories of each of them — their family, political, financial, career and business histories. And mostly, all this is done by artificial intelligence…
However, questions arise here too:
Why does the Western system in some areas produce analysis that does not correspond to reality or is inferior to the Russian in terms of depth of understanding of problems and its efficiency? Or why the political leadership of Western countries, receiving the right analysis and information, nevertheless chooses the wrong decisions?
Why do both systems make strategic errors, and the volume of wrong decisions does not decrease?
Why do ruling elites in Europe and the United States too often make economic and political mistakes that lead to the loss of technological and political dominance of the West?
Why are decisions being made in Russia, for example in financial sphere, that lead to losses of hundreds of billions of dollars, are not corrected? Why state officials, who made those mistakes, remain in their position in times of war and do not take the necessary measures to exclude further mistakes, when the life of their leaders, including Putin, is at stake?
Now, let’s move on to the third aspect of the problem.
On the fronts in Ukraine, operators test missiles and swarms of drones that having pre-installed information about targets, many different targets, are able to conduct search of targets independently, without having any contact with operator, completely autonomously, and having found a target, one of many, that image had been embedded in control units of missiles and drones, those missiles and drones can independently, without participation of operator, organize attack of swarm or part of it, or one of the missiles, one of the drones on the target and destroy it, allowing the remaining missiles and drones to continue search for other targets. And all this is done by artificial intelligence…
And here questions also arise:
Why does the West, having control of the global financial system and dominance in the sphere of economics and technology, cannot use its advantages and increase the gap from Russia and use the advantages of Western AI and technologies to provide the Ukrainian army its domination on the fronts? Why were Zelensky and Zaluzhny forced to wage the war nicknamed the “meat grinder”?
Why did Biden and the leaders of Europe facing in Ukraine the situation that Napoleon found himself in 1812 and Hitler in 1941, near Moscow: it is no longer possible to defeat Russia, it is no longer possible to stop the war, it is also impossible to retreat?
There can be one possible answer to all the questions posed above:
The development of AI and its application in the military sphere does not make AI the main factor determining victory in war or arms race. AI remains a tool, a type of weapon, just as shotguns and cannons, rifles and machine guns, aircraft carries, aviation, missiles, telephone and radio communications once became such types of weapons and tools…
The main factor remains human intelligence.
More, the development of artificial intelligencerapidly increases importance, role and influence of human intelligence in all spheres of human activity.
Any failure of operator to meet requirements and capabilities of AI under his control inevitably leads to negative, and even catastrophic consequences in all areas of application of AI, primarily in the military sphere, economics, politics and cultural development.
The problem of the West is that in the last thirty years, selection into politics and many other sectors, has not been based on the level of intelligence, strong-will qualities, creativity, knowledge, life and professional experience, but mostly on ability to present oneself, party or group, on ability to manipulate and willingness to be manipulated.
The same selection of political figures dominated in Russia since the collapse of the USSR, but the growing threat of confrontation with the West that started in 2006, the outbreak of confrontation in 2014, and the war in Ukraine, forced Putin and his group to look for and attract people “capable of solving problems”, to create and provide new vision that allows to move ahead onto new technological and organizational level.
However, the clan system of the Russian political and business elites is delaying and blocking that process.
Men at war
There are other consequences of Human-AI interaction at the war in Ukraine:
- Importance of intelligence of military personnel has increased significantly and became the main factor in selection not only officers, but also significant part of sergeants and soldiers.
In the ancient and Middle Ages, the main decisions, including on starting hostilities and battles, were made by rulers and commanders, who made these decisions often individually, and at best, relying on the opinions of their closest associates. The outcome of battles and wars depended on their decisions. Thus, the level of intelligence, personal qualities, military and organizational abilities of leader, king, duke, grand duke, tsar or khan, and at best, their closest associates, determined results of wars. Their names remained in history of wars and conflicts, in legends, songs and novels.
In modern times, decision-making has expanded and included commanders of armies and large units. These commanders made up Marshals and Generals, the elite of the armed forces.
In the twentieth century, the composition of the commanders, whose intelligence determined the course of major battles and army operations, who influenced course of wars, expanded to division and regiment commanders.
In the war of the beginning of the 21st century, in Ukraine, the course of the war, its main military operations, the outcome of battles, including those that were covered by the world mass media, for the first time in history, were determined by intellect of soldiers, sergeants and low-ranking officers. Their ability to operate AI, to react to changing situation, to master new equipment, weapons and adapt to constantly changing tactics provided superiority on the front. Junior commanders and soldiers now make many decisions on their own, without opportunity and time to coordinate and receive orders from higher command.
- Importance of the human decisions and correctness of setting tasks at all levels has increased tremendously.
Any incorrect decision and error in setting tasks can lead not only to significant losses or defeat of the unit, whose commander made the wrong decision, not only to grave consequences for the larger military unit of which the unit is a part, but also for the entire front, and the war, and perhaps for the destinies of other peoples and countries.
For example, strike by swarm of drones — kamikazes or by cluster of missiles operating autonomously, independently selecting targets, can lead to destruction of objects or people, to unacceptable damage, including to those who are not involved in the conflict, or can provoke uncontrolled development conflict and involvement of other forces and parties.
In the 21st century, conditions have arisen where any task assigned to artificial intelligence erroneously, incorrectly, through thoughtlessness, intellectual inadequacy or maliciously, foul play, treason or double-cross, at almost any level, can lead to dire consequences.
Thus, the importance and value of human decisions, of human intellect and human character is rapidly increasing.
The effectiveness of applying AI and latest technologies and weapons in the war in Ukraine is connected and limited by the level of intelligence of the command staff, as well as significant part of sergeants and soldiers, who comprised combat army that operates as one system. And it is important to take into consideration that effectiveness and power of system is determined by its weakest link.
If capabilities of the Russian army are determined by its composition, and any officer can be replaced by the Kremlin in case of his inadequacy, the capabilities of the Ukraine-West bloc are determined and limited by the level of the weakest link of both Western and Ukrainian armed forces.
This resulted in that full potential of the West could not be used in the war in Ukraine. Washington, London or Brussels are not ready to give up their fate to Kyiv. Biden could not give Zelensky the right to determine Biden’s destiny. At least he should not have…
Through the looking glass into future war
The intensity of military operations in Ukraine has already reached the level that allows participants in the conflict, who are directly involved in development of military technologies, AI, tactics and strategy, as well as command effectiveness, through the looking glass of the war in Ukraine to see contours of future wars and true scale of the changes taking place in the world.
They saw the abyss.
They began to understand the need and inevitability of changing the entire model of international relations. It became clear to them that the real war of future had not yet begun. It will start later. They began to understand that Russia and the West on the Ukrainian front were just beginning their way to the war of future.
If the current conflict is compared with the events of the twentieth century, then the world is still in 1939, when Japan began provocations and military clashes on the border of China and the USSR in Siberia, testing the capabilities of the Soviet army, and the USSR began war with Finland, pushing back border from Leningrad and preparing for the main war with Nazi Germany that by that time had brought under its control the military-industrial complex and the armed forces of the whole continental Europe.
All that happened in 1939, and the Big war began in June 1941, with the attack of the seven million Hitler’s army on the USSR. The present world has not yet lived to see the start of the new Big war. It is just moving towards that war, and the abyss is already visible…
Until the 21st century, despite increasing losses in wars, including human casualties and destruction, wars were possible between large military blocs and alliances. Those wars were even natural and inevitable in the world model created in the 18th century. Wars between the major alliances remained possible despite creation of nuclear weapons that blocked the emergence of direct conflict between the superpowers, the USA and the USSR, that created nuclear potentials capable of destroying the whole world.
In war of upcoming level of technological and intellectual development of mankind and artificial intelligence, victory in the war between world powers becomes almost impossible.
Victory remains possible only in case of complete and overwhelming superiority of one of the parties to the conflict.
The war in Ukraine showed that equality or absence of decisive superiority of one of the parties makes war, even at the present level, absolutely unacceptable for all parties to the conflict, as well as for other states that are not directly involved in the conflict.
Global nuclear war becomes impossible, guaranteed suicide, even if one side has significant advantage, but not absolute.
Moreover, conditions have already been created where error, intellectual inferiority, stupidity, outright discrepancy between the intelligence of the elites who make decisions and set tasks, and the level of intelligence required to manage in the new technological order, can easily lead to unforeseen global catastrophes and crises.
That makes the world even more dependent on the intellectual level of people and hostage to the old politics and model of thinking, and that makes the task of changing of development model absolute necessity.
And one more note.
The enormous significance of the war in Ukraine lies in the fact that this war demonstrated the increased role and importance of negative factors.
Malice, betrayal, as well as intellectual inconsistency at the new level of technology development, including artificial intelligence, that humanity is reaching, can cause significantly more damage and harm than was the case just few decades ago.
And this will be the subject of my next article…