Second Thirty Years War
The eternal ghost of communism
All the major events of the 20th century are directly related to the development, blossom and decline of communism. The dramatic history of the last century cannot be understood without understanding its basic process - a grandiose attempt to build communism. Meanwhile, despite the huge amount of information and thousands of scientific papers, communism, in fact, remains a mystery that was dismissed, condemned and branded with the help of global propaganda. Communism has remained a black box which is pushed to the remote shelf of the world history, recalling it only in the days of remembrance for the victims of wars and repressions.
Nevertheless, without proper understanding of communism as a public practice, it is impossible to understand the history of the last century, and, therefore, to make correct predictions for the future, including the near future. Thus, if you struggle to understand the present and do not see the future, then maybe you should spend a little bit more time on comprehending communism.
It seems that communism cannot be comprehended without answers to the following questions. Why communism, which was in a “sleeping state” for a long time and did not have any noticeable influence, suddenly took over the masses of people on a planetary scale? How countries that followed the path of built communism during its blossom achieved the phenomenal, almost fantastic pace of scientific, technological, economic and cultural development despite terrible wars and repressions? Why the world was on the edge of a world communist revolution at least twice?
Why there is such an obvious similarity not only between communism and fascism, but also communism with Protestantism of the Reformation and Early Christianity? Why the most effective social system in the early 60s of the 20th century began to slow down, in the 70s it slipped into stagnation and in the 90s it just collapsed? Why in a number of modern countries communist principles are not only popular among the population, but also economically effective? Why the transformation of post-communist countries is not going so much in the direction of a democratic and socially-oriented society? What is the historical meaning of the communist phase in the development of society?
These and many other questions need to be answered at all levels: scientific, technological, economic, social, cultural, geopolitical, military, environmental, religious and others. Moreover, these answers should not be contradictory with each other.
You must admit that out of the billions of people living nowadays on the planet, there are quite a few psychologically very similar to Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky or Mao. Why their qualities are not in the high demand? Fans of esotericism and various conspiracy theories will surely be happy with the option of conducting a grandiose socio-economic experiment. But the conspiracy theory has a critically important drawback: on its basis it is impossible to forecast, even approximately, it is not applicable in practical terms.
It is clear that not a single scientific discipline is able to answer complex multidisciplinary questions on its own. Given the high level of fragmentation of the modern science, an interdisciplinary vision of the most global and complex processes makes even approximate forecasting an extremely difficult task. And this is even not taking into account state influence. In all countries there is an official version of the history supported by the state. A single state and most of the civil society structures would not be interested in conducting research that could call a question into the official interpretation of the historical information. The fact is that with such an approach it is impossible to correct or change medium-term planning. Thus, the future is sacrificed because of the state ideology and the official version of the history and this fact does not seem to bother anyone. The predominance of tactical management to the detriment of strategic is observed almost everywhere.
In our opinion, an understanding of complex and lengthy processes, such as the development of communism, is only possible on the basis of an interdisciplinary analysis that is ethically, ideologically and religiously neutral. This kind of analysis has temporary specialization and most importantly is able to present experimentally verifiable results.
In our opinion, this method is the civilizational analysis where the medium or long-term forecast of objective processes of civilizational development is the experimentally verified result.
In a nutshell, from the point of view of the Model for the Development of Technological Civilization(), communism is a cyclical ideology. In a phase of slow and stable development, it is in an implicit state of a ghost. Everyone who wants to build a fair and harmonious society can move to undeveloped territories and experiment there. This option works when there is the possibility of large-scale colonization. It is doesn’t matter at what time - the open version scheme worked in ancient Greece or in Post Reformed Western Europe. When there is a resource scarcity, the idea of building a society of universal harmony, abundance and equality is too utopian and divorced from reality. This closed option, typically eastern option is implemented when balanced colonization is not possible. In a state of a ghost, communism cannot be destroyed and like any ghost, it can be in this phase for many centuries. Moreover, it is impossible to completely eradicate the memory of heroic past attempts to build it. In fact, the communist dream about the possibility of overcoming technological, biological and social limitations remains to live in legends and songs.
Then comes the phase of accelerated development. In the Chinese cyclical tradition it is commonly called the Time of Changes. In the European linear historical tradition the last three phases of accelerated development were called the Age of the Crusades, the Age of Renaissance and the Reformation and the Great Geographical Discoveries. Firstly, there is an accumulation of quantitative changes: the flow of scientific and technological discoveries, new types of resources and increased mobility. Then, after about one generation, more and more people sincerely believe that there will always be an accelerated pace of development. Their life experience only confirms this. This is a generation of revolutionaries, prophets and leaders. It becomes apparent that the traditional economic, political, religious and cultural structure of society does not match the sharply increased pace of its development. Thus, the accelerated pace will eventually lead to the fundamental transformation of the structure of society as old class, property, educational and cultural differences will be irrelevant or obsolete.
It would seem possible to achieve everything, including immortality, building, at least in the first kingdom of God on earth, a world of harmony and prosperity. The idea takes hold of the masses and the Great Revolution, Reform or the explosive spread of a new religion takes place. The reality justifies expectations so much that minor inconsistencies are either not noticed or perceived only as temporary delays on the path to universal happiness.
Rapid development with the introduction of radically new technologies requires a significant concentration of available resources and this works effectively despite all the costs of expropriation and repression on a class or religious basis. Repressions provide the required concentration of resources and lead to phenomenal results.
The level of bloodthirsty confrontation between a society divided into revolutionaries and counter-revolutionaries both within the country and between countries is determined by external conditions. If on the edge of the 19th-20th centuries, as a result of the application of new discoveries and technologies, a world full of resources and accessible to mass colonization were open. If the second Columbus opened the next New World, then there could have been a world with no wars. It is clear that in history there is no subjunctive mood, but in this case we are not considering the internal development of civilization, but the interaction of civilization and the environment at a specific technological level. Since we do not know in advance the level of environmental auspiciousness, this approach seems justified. During the life of one generation the motivation and morality of people change so much that there is illusion of creating a new type of person. One can judge the actions of ordinary people or heroes of the era only from the moral point of view of those years.
The pace of development countries conducting revolutionary transformations reaches record levels. The ideas of communism really take possession of the masses of more and more countries - its high time is coming. Even opponents of communism are forced to carry out partial transformations in the spirit of revolutionary countries. From a civilizational point of view, this is a great attempt to technologically overcome both the biological limitations of each person and the resource limitations of civilization as a whole and build a society of universal prosperity (God's kingdom on earth).
Nevertheless, the phase of accelerated development (another Leap) ends. At first it is not noticeable because a huge stock of opened but not experimentally verified scientific achievements were accumulated, developed, but not implemented in the mass production of innovations. There was no time or no need for resource efficiency, design refinements, ergonomics and environmental safety during the whole cycle of Time of Changes.
However, gradually the slowdown of the pace of development becomes apparent in almost all spheres of the development of civilization.
The system of social structure tuned by revolutionary transformations to fast pace of development with it significant slowdown quickly becomes decrepit and collapses. The utopianism of the possibility of building communism is becoming as obvious as its realism recently.
Communism is gradually fading away again, returning to a state of ghost. Formally, it can remain and even flourish externally in many countries as it was with the spread of Christianity in Rome and the Protestant denominations after the end of the Reformation. Nevertheless, the Communists, without the demand for an immediate and complete abolition of private property, like the reformers previously without the idea of building the kingdom of God on earth, are essentially no longer a case.
The communist parties could evolve into left-wing conservatives or something else but one can forget about building communism as a concrete plan of real transformations and supported by the majority ... exactly until the next Time of Changes. It is clear that then communism will be called differently, and the Leap will have its own name.
This approach allows us to define the historical practice of communism as a civilizational cyclical process. Communism is a radical version of the Modernity, the latest in the Leap, i.e. phase of accelerated intensive development. To summarize, it is clear that each Leap for many years had a similar radical version and the difference was only in the name and favorable external conditions as applied to the technological level of the time in question.
What is the meaning of this grand cycle, operating for thousands of years regardless of the level of scientific and technological development? This question is rather philosophical since there is no exact, experimentally verified answer to this question. It is obvious that different processes of human development, considering development as species and civilization, occur at different speeds. It is clear that, for example, the biological evolution of humanity cannot occur at the speed of technological development. It is possible that the cyclical development of technological civilization, where the periodic phases of communism could be representation of this cycle, is going back into the millennia and this development is necessary for the internal synchronization of processes of different speed development. Perhaps, this cycle gives civilization phenomenal stability and adaptability to a wide variety of external conditions.
Second Thirty Years War
In our article on communism we wrote about the need for experimental verification of any assumptions. The need for experimental proof of any statement, whether it comes from a schoolboy or a Nobel laureate, is the foundation of science. What kind of experiment is possible in the social sciences? Well, it depends on the duration of the process. The more complex and lengthy processes are considered, the more their analysis should be confirmed by the subsequent development of events. When considering processes of a civilizational scale, for instance communism, only forecast performs the function of experimental verification. Therefore, any analysis of communism that is not accompanied by a forecast seems to be a banal agitation speculating on science.
As we do not want to be similar to some political scientific propagandists, we would like to present an experimental long-term forecast that logically follows from our analysis of communism and is based on the Model for the Development of Technological Civilization.
Based on the basic thesis of communism as a cyclic process, it would be the most theoretically clear to predict the date of the next analogue of the Great October Socialist Revolution.
If we do not take into account the possibility of a natural disaster on a planetary scale that is not related to the activities of mankind, then the beginning of the next phase of the Time of Changes can be determined with an accuracy of five years. On one hand, this is only hypothetically interesting, because none of the living today will not be able to survive and verify.
On the other hand, it will be possible to check another forecast that corresponds to the cyclic vision of communism and is also based on the Model of the Development of Technological Civilization: following the former socialist countries, a system crisis will begin in other developed countries. The reasons of the crisis will be the same for both former socialist countries and liberal democratic countries. To verify this forecast, one does not need to be a specialist - the scale of the crisis and its duration will affect everyone.
Why should non-communist countries repeat the crisis of the end of communism? Given the apparent paradox this forecast is obvious. The crisis of communism was associated with the end of Modernity which is the phase of rapid development. The fact is that not only the countries building a communist society were tuned to the fast pace of development. In fact, German fascism was maximally focused on simply fantastic pace of development. It is not a coincidence that the fastest pace of scientific and technological development in history has been in the Third Reich. During the War it was mainly expressed in the bet on a miracle a weapon created by a German genius. This miracle weapon was supposed to break the huge resource superiority of the allies. The Third Reich was almost there to implement that strategy. Many decades after the war, scientists around the world used and developed ideas and ideas created by the defeated enemy.
The USSR and other socialist countries were inclined towards a slightly slower pace of development rather than fascist Germany. Nevetheless, in the late 1950s the West countries seriously discussed the possibility of counteracting the wave of communism when socialist countries with substantially higher rates of development would eventually bypass the West. The thesis “Catch and Overtake” was quite relevant in the late fifties. For those who do not believe, please compare the development pace of countries in the middle of the 20th century; the socialist countries had definitely more advantages.
After the Great Depression Western countries reoriented in many respects to the fast pace of intensive development in all areas.
The examples are a monetary policy focused on the development of domestic demand, increased share of GDP distributed through the budget, an improve in social care and orientation towards the middle class with social, racial, gender, religious and other equality. Not by chance critics, accusing Henry Ford, called him a socialist and the Scandinavian model of socialism also appeared not from scratch.
Western countries, the opponents of the Soviet Union, defending counter-revolutionary, anti-communist ideas and traditional values, were oriented on slower development pace in comparison with in the USSR. Nevertheless, partial reorientation of all aspects of society to a much faster pace of development was inevitable all around the world. Of course, in different countries the situation is different. However, the regional differences of the old developed countries only complement the global picture.
However, the Modern had ended and the pace of development slowed significantly. The communist way of development was oriented toward a faster pace of development and proved unable to cope with the slower way.
Perestroika* with glasnost, democratization and market relations were not able to provide what they were created for - Accelerations. (Perestroika was a political movement for reformation within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during the 1980s and is widely associated with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and his glasnost (meaning "openness") policy reform. The literal meaning of perestroika is "restructuring", referring to the restructuring of the Soviet political and economic system.) Thus, the socialist countries collapsed like a house of cards and the pace of development continued to decline.Then it was the turn to collapse for liberal and democratic countries as the past reforms of the 30-60s of the last century become too heavy a burden. Western attempts to ensure development acceleration are comparable to Soviet ones in terms of efficiency.
The existing reserves (the mass of accumulated capital, reorientation of the economy to the production of status goods, design and ergonomics, energy saving opportunities, relocation of manufactories etc.) are close to exhaustion. The economy of the old leading developed countries is in deep stagnation which is gradually turning into a recession. The concept of stagnation, like the concept of recession, has a clear quantitative definition which is the development rate lower than 3 % per year known.
Thus, the crisis of communism and the crisis of liberal democracy are phenomena of the same process, inevitably following one another. These stages are the crisis of transition from Modern to Postmodern in the civilizational sense of these terms. One can arrange a public ritual funeral of communism like it was done in some former socialists’ countries and stigmatize communism with eternal shame as long as the current liberal-democratic system of the developed countries does not collapse in the same way as the socialist one. So, what are the parameters of the upcoming crisis?
It is obvious that current observed events will not end with a local mortgage or financial crisis, a cyclical recession or even the Great Depression. At the same time, a world war in the upcoming decades is almost as impossible as it was inevitable in the first half of the past century. The cold war of the two opposing systems is also not real. The closest historical analogy of the upcoming crisis was so long time ago that such a development of events by scientists and experts is now not considered at all. This is natural because nobody predicted such a quick collapse of the USSR. According to our estimates, 2015 will be the extreme date for the beginning of the active phase of the crisis. It can begin any day before this date, but the methods of civilizational analysis that we use do not allow us to predict more precisely because the formal reason can be in any field: geopolitical, military, economic, technological, environmental, etc. Talking about the timeframe, the crisis will last one generation - about thirty years, so rather it will not be a crisis, but a Time of Troubles.
For those who remember the collapse of the socialist system it will be easy enough to imagine a beginning of Time of Troubles by projecting the picture to a planetary scale. Same as former ties within the CMEA (The Council for Mutual Economic Assistance), globalization will collapse. Globalization almost stopped and now is rolling back. The question is not how much this or that currency or stock index will fall, but whether they can even survive and if so, what will remain of them. Remember how quickly the Soviet ruble became “wooden”, cash flow stopped, commodity dried up and recently powerful economy was falling apart. The second series of this fascinating series on a global scale is almost guaranteed. The crisis of the post-Soviet space was mitigated by the West, both in severity and in duration. There is no one to mitigate the crisis of the West’s transition to Postmodern. The post-communist countries have either just begun to get out or have already fully integrated with the West developed countries. One should not count on new Asian “tigers” as their short secondary Modern will also gradually be washed away by a wave of general crisis.
Figuratively speaking, imagine the negative trends of the post-Soviet space of 1992-1994 for decades to come and you will see the severity and dynamics of the upcoming crisis. To illustrate this thought, a simple comparison can be made: after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the most affected regions of Central Asia, Transcaucasia, Moldova slipped almost to the farming level. The same thing will happen again, but on a much larger territorial and temporal scale. If we take a look at historical analogues, then the closest phase analogue is the long-term and large-scale crisis associated with the end of the era of the Reformation, Renaissance and Great Geographical Discoveries, called the Thirty Years War by historical tradition. It was a very unusual war, even rather not a war in the usual sense of the word, but a typical Time of Troubles. The more one tries to understand its internal logic of events, the less rational the possible explanations will be, especially on a personal level. Compared to previous wars this war was the largest in terms of combination of the number of participating countries, the territory of the confrontation and duration.
The old methods of organizing the army and warfare were not very effective in the new conditions. The battlegrounds were changed very often from one place to another and gradually the number of countries involved in the war has increased. The crisis within countries has often been more acute than between them: local civil wars, ethnic and religious cleansing, economic blockades. Many leading centres of geopolitical influence quickly lost their leading position; not only they could not ensure the spread of religious, ideological, economic and military influence, but also they themselves were subjected to severe internal crises with territorial losses.
Most of the casualties were not among the military and not even as a result of direct hostilities - a huge number of people died from epidemics, natural disasters, the effects of economic blockades and the destruction of existing economic ties. It seems that the great ideas of the Renaissance were buried forever. Scientific and technological development significantly slowed down. Cargo traffic within Europe and in intercontinental trade has decreased significantly. The economic downturn was measured in times rather than in percentage. Globalization has been replaced by regionalization which eventually turned into fragmentation. Many economic instruments and opportunities simply ceased to exist and so it went on for decades.
As a result of decreased population and a decrease in the technogenic impact the severity of environmental problems has decreased and the most affected regions have fallen into disrepair. It took several decades to get out of the that large-scale crisis and the most affected regions did not fully recover even in a century.
If we transfer these the most general description of the Thirty Years War on a planetary scale for the upcoming decades, we will get, an approximate picture of the impending crisis. The crisis phenomena that we are observing now is not the Time of Troubles, but only a “prelude” to it. There is still a room for local and short-term improvement of the situation. Nevertheless, history does not repeat itself and complete analogies do not exist.
We list the most significant differences. Unfortunately, we are not going to talk about that people have become much smarter, more civilized and kinder - the past 400 years are too short term in the long history of mankind. Differences are environmental conditions.
The implementation of the technological achievements of the Renaissance made it possible to discover the New World which was full of resources and ready for colonization at the technological level. The expansion of civilization as a result of the technological breakthrough of Modernity turned out to be much more modest. The result was a shortage of resources, an excess of labour as well as acute environmental problems.
It is clear that these factors will significantly aggravate the upcoming large-scale crisis and a number of processes will occur in the opposite direction than it was during the Thirty Years War. For example, there was a process of transition from the territorial principle of picking an army assembled on a temporary basis to the creation of large professional hired permanent armed forces. During the next Time of Troubles the reverse process will occur - bulky high-tech professional armies will not be effective in the changing conditions.
Another difference to consider is the influence of the Small Ice Age in the 17th century and the likelihood of global climate change in the coming decades which is not related to the activities of civilization.
To summarise, this is our forecast which directly follows from the presented vision of communism and is based on the Model for the development of technological civilization. This method allows to concretize the forecast from geographical, industrial and timeframe point of view. It also allows to see the development of the current crisis from the perspective of ultra-long-term complex processes of civilizational development. In this regard, figuratively speaking, the current crisis of the completion of Modernity, as a phase of accelerated intensive development, can be compared with a sharp braking of a car from a speed from 200 km / h to 20 km / h.
The first phase is the movement by inertia. The car is already slowing down but passengers inside still do not notice it as they move by inertia.
The second phase is a collision, the passengers inside are faced with the structural elements of the car. Safety belts might save someone. One will break his head on the glass, another one risks flying out through it.
The third phase is the rollback of the passengers after a collision.
The fourth phase is the understanding that driving at the same speed is no longer possible and one needs to continue driving in another car, more suited to driving at a slow speed.
On a global scale the world is now on the eve of the second phase of the crisis, which, in our opinion, can begin any day over the next six years.
So it’s not worth hoping for a quick overcoming of the crisis or for the opportunity to wait it out without fundamentally changing anything.
In general, the above-mentioned main points of this thesis are enough for experimental verification of our vision of communism. We urge the entire expert community to accompany their findings of civilizational, geopolitical or any other analysis of lengthy processes with proposals for their experimental verification. Without this they appear to be empty chatter which has nothing to do with science regardless of the scientific ranks.
To conclude, a huge amount of historical information serves not only the purpose to glorify or brand someone. Instead, we should analyze it and try to understand the future and our possibilities to influence it.
Original article http://worldcrisis.ru/crisis/1076580