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Introduction. It is clear that all the major problems that mankind is facing today are the result of human activity. That is why solving these problems must be connected directly with mankind's ability to control its activity and therefore to manage social evolution. However, managing social evolution is impossible without a logically correct schematic of this evolution and a universal guide line that would enable mankind to go further.
General patterns of social evolution can be traced through the change of human position in a society. Describing this change with the help of the activity-value approach (it is being developed by A.O.Boronoev, Y.M.Pismak and P.I.Smirnov in St-Petersburg) one can construct ideal types (models) of evolutionary stages such as wilderness, barbarism and civilization. Mankind's main problems are connected with the functioning of the Western (market) civilization.
Problemsituation. European social science has been trying to create some perfect models of social order for a while. These models were conceived to find a reference point that would help to solve any current social problems and allow to control the social evolution in the long-term. Plato’s works, theories of social utopism and marxism contain the principles of building and detailed theoretical models of such social orders. However, the real social practice either ignored these models or their embodiment led to unsatisfactory results. Western sociology became allergic to any kind of universal models of social evolution in 20th century and as result the same applicability of the term “evolution“ to the process of changes in a society seemed to be doubtful. This point of view is reflected in the critical works of a few famous sociologists - K.Popper, R.Nisbet, C.Tilly, I.Wallerstein.
One of the arguments in favour of this allergy is that social processes cannot be explained by the principle of strict determinism, consequently there is no possibility to
discover the laws of social development. Besides, the future state of a society is not predictable since knowledge is an indispensable part of any social organism and foreseeing of the future knowledge is a formal-logical contradiction. Correspondingly, sociology should focus on individual and collective activity of the people (taking into account their caprices, free choice etc.) instead of impersonal historical tendencies. It is only possibly to cognize the patterns of particular historical events in a limited time period. These statements served as a basis to criticize H. Spencer’s K.Marx’s, P.Sorokin’s classical theories of social development. [Ivanov, 2002: 10-22; Sztompka, 2005: 513-514].
One can acknowledge the correctness of some critical remarks (regarding the models of social evolution they studied) of the authors mentioned above. However, one can suggest
source of energy of the social development, 3) the possible directions of the development for now, and 4) human activity based on a free choice.
It is also worth noticing that current the situation of modern society does not look that bright, as without a detailed general model of the social evolution and finding a universal reference point for the future development – mankind’s existence in a more or less acceptable
The authors would like to thank Paul Remington for reviewing and his valuable comments on previous draft of this article.
state – is doubtful. That is why scientists keep trying to attract people’s attention to this problem [Zinoviev, 2006: 446].
Therefore, this article has two goals. First, it contains a universal model of social evolution and opens the discussion on this subject. Second, it formulates a preliminary understanding of the spirit-game civilization as a long-term reference point for the social evolution.
Ideal types of social evolution such as wildness, barbarism, civilization serve as the theoretical basis for the construction of social evolution model. Correspondingly, the main method of the model construction will be formulating ideal types of the above mentioned stages. Concepts that are being implemented for ideal types formulation are: 1) the concept of human position in a society as a measure of social evolution, 2) the activity-value approach for social processes and phenomena studies that is being developed in St-Petersburg by Boronoev A.O., Pismak Y.M., Smirnov P.I., 3) the economy type that supports society’s existence.
Society. Eminent German sociologist Niklas Luhmann noted that «the word “society” is not connected with any certain ideas» [Luhmann, 1999: 196]. Without going into a long discussion, for the purpose of this article the word society will mean the union of people that arose on the base of multiple and correlated types of interaction (natural, emotional, speech-communicative, active and legal). To that the basic type of interaction is the active one – exchange of activity results (products and services).
Civilization. This word has thousands of meanings but three main definitions are 1) synonym of culture, 2) stage of social development, material and spiritual culture, 3) stage of social development that comes after wildness [Iliychev, Fedoseev, Kovalev, Panov, 1983: 765]. For this paper, civilization will mean the third definition – this way it was understood by L.G.Morgan, F.Engels etc.
Ideal type is a means of cognition and was used by many scientists, as per M.Weber [Weber, 1949: 43, 96-98] who gave the name to this logical approach. In particular, ideal types are all “pure” types of a state that were offered by Aristotle – monarchy, aristocracy, polity, tyranny, oligarchy and democracy [Barker, 1946: 1279a-1279b 112-115] The ideal type is like a notion in formal logic. Both of them are ideal models of some phenomena. The only difference between them is that logical notion reflects serial phenomena (for example, things) but ideal type reflects – unique and abstract ones (historical period, communism, capitalism). Most probably Weber introduced the concept of ideal type in sociology because he tried to apply the simplest abstract models like “ideal liquid“, “ideal gas”, “perfectly rigid body” that are being used in natural sciences but use them to study social phenomena. It is doubtful that sociologists can create such simple and logical models but it seems to be worthwhile trying to construct descriptive models (ideal types) of social phenomena (in particular, stages of evolution), using a limited set of the simplest concepts. The main goal is to reflect the simplest and most essential features of the real phenomena in these models.
Concept of human position in a society as a measure of social evolution.
As a matter of fact, social evolution can betracedfrom different points of view. It is mostly impossible to feature all of them. For the purpose of this article the basis of the most important directions in social development periodization served ideas about:
1) the successful expansion of humans in nature. In accordance with this point of view, the change of different stages in development of society (for example, wildness, barbarism, civilization) connected with the settlement of nature by human through discoveries, inventions, new technologies and the like [Engels, 1902: 34];
2) progress in the sphere of communication technologies. One speaks about «the Age of Printing», «the Age of Television», «the Age of Computer» and the like;
3) correlation of social development periods with the evolutionary stage of human thinking. Auguste Comte’s ideas would be the classical example here;
4) change of position of human in a society. This point of view is expressed by K.Popper in his work “The Open Society and His Enemies” when he analyses the transition from closed society to an open one. The main feature of social evolution is the permanent expansion of the sphere of human personal decisions at the expense of the reduction of the sphere of taboos and rationally stated laws of human behavior regulation. Position of a human in society changes according to the degree of freedom he gets [Popper, 1992, Vol.2: 216-220];
5) vivid, obvious empirical features like labor division, rise of state or city, invention of writing etc. that are chosen in an eclectic way and not theoretically grounded. Most of the social evolution schemes are eclectic. However, it is obvious that more or less precise ideal types cannot be built based on the eclectic ideas.
The point of view stating that the evolution of society can be measured by the position of the human in society seems to be the most adequate for the nature of society. For instance, the level of technical development in the former U.S.S.R. and the U.S. was approximately the same but the position of human in these social systems was drastically different. That is why; this point of view is taken as the basis in our logical scheme. However, K.Popper’s concept describes the position of the human as very abstractly. Surely, the degree of freedom given to a human can be a certain measure for the evaluation of his position in a society. However, K.Popper focuses only on the “freedom from” idea whereas the “freedom for” concept would give a more precise evaluation. It is important to know how people will use the given freedom.
Self-realization of a human in society is the main goal of the use of given freedom. Let us assume that the position of a human in society can be best described by the possibilities of self-realization the society leaves to a human.
Activity-value approachcan be implemented for the evaluation and description of these possibilities. The gist of this approach can be expressed in a few simple statements: 1) society is based on the activity interaction between people (more precisely, social subjects), i.e. on the exchange of results and products of activity; 2) stimuli of activity are needs and values (values are stimuli of human activity only and needs are stimuli of activity for humans and animals); 3) values as human activity stimuli underlie social systems; 4) the most important stimulus of the activity of people as social beings is social significance. It is clear that on can manage the activity by changing the stimuli. Apparently, the easiest way to do so is to change the values.
Additional ideas and concepts.
Main types of activity. Society exists on the basis of very different types of activity. By describing society one can use any of them - creative, routine, appropriate, productive, economic, political, collective, individual and so on. However, in the mentioned variant of active-value approach, we will use three main types of activity: 1) activity that is realized by an active subject for himself. One can call it ego-activity; 2) activity that is realized by active subject for the other. Any part of world can be this “other” - personality, society, God, nature and so on. That is the alter-activity, the service activity or just the service; 3) activity that is realized by the active subject for the process of realizing activity. That is game activity or just the game.
Compared with other types of activity (for example, creative and routine) the three types of activity mentioned above are more appropriate for the analysis of social phenomena, for they are inseparably linked with the activity of active subject fulfilling very important functions. The ego-activity provides the existence of the active subject, alter-activity (service) gives the sense of existence, and game introduces joy in the existence. Ego-activity and service activity are types of objectively necessary activities. Society exists on the basis of their combination but one of them can become the dominant and characteristic feature of particular society [Boronoev, Pismak, Smirnov, 1996: 81-92]. Empirically, service activity differs from ego-activity by rigid norm regulation (instructions, traditions) and systems of encouragement and punishment (there are some additional features as well). Besides, they have some principal different features. In particular, ego-activity can develop much faster than service-activity.
Values as the basis of social systems. Followers of structure-functional analysis stated that definite systems of values underlie social systems [Parsons, Shils, 1962: 202-203]. One can also express the thought that values are the most coherent structure of such systems [Smelzer, 1994: 24]. However it is not clear what values form the basis of different societies. Values underlie social systems as stimuli of activity in the frames of an active-value approach. Fundamental values of society are discovered through the conception of social significance of humans as a basic personal value.
Social significance is the main stimulus of human activity as social creatures. It means the capability to influence the course of events in a society. The opposite notion is - social nonentity. People who are “normal” try to eschew social nonentity and aspire to social significance. At level of everyday conscience people do not distinctly understand their real yearning. They strive after values that are more habitual and comprehensible for their understanding. We call these values - modi (i.e. forms of manifestation or existence) of social significance. The possession of these modi (for instance, power or wealth) increases distinctly the human capability to influence the march of events in a society. The activity oriented to achieve social significance is the main source of energy for society’s evolution, for the achievement of some modi of social significance by some people results in the changing of the whole system of activity interaction – the basis of social structure. The process of social significance achievement is the process of human self-realization in a society.
Society controls the access to the modi of social significance through two principally different types of social recognition. The first mode is – personal expertise. In this case, the meeting of trusted judges (experts) acknowledges the right of particular individual to possess certain values. Examples of personal expertise are – court decision, announcement of testament, awarding of academic degree, elections of an official etc. The second mode – «impersonal» (or market). In this mode the procedure of social recognition comes to the act of purchase and sale. If the market accepts the product or manpower of this person thereby his social significance is also recognized to a certain degree. Human is not interesting for a market as a moral being and is evaluated only as the executor of social function (possessor of product or producer of product) [Smirnov, 1990: 38-43].
One can mark out five groups of social values obtained on the basis of the social significance idea. Its modi are parts of the first group and constitute the core of values typology described below. Every modus can have a number of modifications and some of them are shown parenthetically. Mentioned modi are: the holiness (righteousness, spirituality), the knowledge (information), the fame (popularity), the craftsmanship (professionalism), the economy (business, undertaking), the power, the wealth (capital, fortune). They are purposeful (terminal) values of activity subject as they represent values that common human values of the individual level.
Instrumental values are part of the second group. They regulate the competition among subjects who strive to achieve purposeful values. They are law, freedom, equality, fairness, brotherhood, mercy, duty, discipline and so on. They are social by birth and implement a function of some criteria. Means and results of purposeful values achievement are recognized as “legal”, “moral”, “justice” on the basis of these criteria.
The third group consists of instrumental values that people naturally inherit from parents. These values are life (life of a person), intelligence, health, beauty, strength, adroitness and the like. Their presence facilitates the achievement of social significance and is the necessary precondition for it. For example, minimal level of intellect is necessary in order to become a social being and having such features as strength, beauty and intelligence gives additional possibilities for success.
The features of environment that are controlled by social subjects are the forth group of values. They are earth, water, minerals and other natural resources. Generally one can call them «matter», «energy», «space».They are the natural substance for wealth and economy and their presence or absence has long-term consequences.
Finally, the fifth group is the highest common human values. They are: Thinking spirit (God or aggregate soul of mankind), Society (patria), Personality, Mankind (native people), Human, Nature, for these phenomena are unconditional preconditions of all human existence and today their preservation demands more and more efforts from every individual and all people together [Boronoev, Smirnov, 2001: 40-45].
Type of economy. Max Weber introduced an idea about types of economy [Weber, 1923: 7-9]. Relying on his views but not copying them one can distinguish two main types of economy that have different objects of production – home and market. Home economy exists for the direct satisfaction of producers needs – needs of family, collective, or society. The objective of production in a market economy is the profit earning through exchange in the market.
Conceptual means mentioned above are used below for the construction of ideal types (models) of wildness, barbarism and civilization.
Main content of the article. Ideals types of social evolution stages. Possible directions of society development. The role of the U.S. in the evolution of society.
Wildness. In an early stage of wildness (when a human only begins to stand out against a background of other animals), power is the only modus of social significance. Only the leader can realize himself as a social creature. Other members of association remain natural beings and realize themselves through the posterity.
In the later stage of wildness shaman (Magian) and master appear. The foundation for their appearance is the gradual development of activity and forming of conscience.
Development of human activity is mainly based on the increase of its energy power and informational density. In other words, humans can use much more energy than they need for their own needs and much more knowledge than they could ever get from their personal experience. Little by little human studies fire and other methods of natural materials processing and acquires the possibility to influence the life of society not only through power but also as a knowledgeable and skilled person (master). This knowledge and skills at the early stage of wildness form a unified whole that contains fantastic ideas and elements of objective knowledge. Fantastic ideas serve as a basis for the “control” of natural processes through magic tools. Elements of objective knowledge underlie primitive technologies of goods production.
Bit by bit the conscience is formed and ideas about spirit as mysterious but doubtless strength and about holiness as a specific belonging to a spirit appear. Some people are believed to have temporary or permanent supernatural spiritual power.
Often one person can be a chief, magician and master at the same time or play two of these three social roles in any combination. It means the possibility of appearance of syncretic modi of social significance that can exist separately sometimes.
Society is the most important value in the pair of values “society-personality”. Officials (leaders, magicians, masters) become significant because they fulfill important social functions, and if these social functions are executed badly it can cause different repressions right up to death [Frazer, 1957: 12]. Service is the main type of activity.
The chief’s activity is directed on the society. He needs to keep order within community; organize important commune activities within his tribe and interaction with neighbours – peace, war, trade, unions etc. The magician’s activity is connected with the sphere of supernatural forces – space, including the world of spirit and body and spiritual well-being of a particular individual. The master’s activity is all about the world of things. Presence of sanctions means the diffusion of personal expertise that is inseparably linked to the service activity. At this stage economy is kept just for direct handling of society’s members needs and that is why it can be called «home» economy. The necessity of expert evaluation of the three eminent figures leads to the forming of early tribe democracy.
As a whole, the wildness as ideal type is characterized by: 1) supremacy of service activity, 2) the domination of the value «society», 3) presence of power, craftsmanship and holiness as modi of social significance, 4) leading role of personal expertise as a mean of social recognition, 5) home economy.
Society can be stable enough on the stage of wildness, for the activity of main officials meets the most important social needs. Then the question arises: «How is the further evolution of society possible»? Why does the value “personality” appear? How does ego-activity appear in a society and other modi of social significance become available on the basis of human free choice? Where is an «underbelly» that allows for these phenomena to get in an integral society?
Barbarism. Probably fame as a modus of social significance is this «underbelly». Activity directed at the achievement of fame naturally combines service activity and ego-activity. So, the value “personality” is introduced through this modus in the system of society values. Fame is often in connection with a feat, a self-sacrifice of human for the welfare of society. It is a feature of service activity but fame is achieved only through free feat, voluntary self-sacrifice. Moreover, freedom and good will are inalienable features of ego-activity, and fame immortalizes the human name, which is a reflection of value “personality”.
Not surprisingly ancient texts value fame that much [The Poetic Edda, 1936: Verse 77-78] or as poet Shota Rustaveli expressed this evaluation in words - «Death with a fame is better than shame of fameless days». The same principle made Achilles choose his destiny. Sometimes even ill fame is wanted (Herostratus).
Thus, a society legalizes ego-activity and “let through” value “person” in the system of its fundamental values through the modus of fame.
Further ego-activity spreads on other modi and reinforces the position of a person in a society. New professions appear as result of this change – people start attaining social significance not only through the fulfillment of social functions but also through ego-activity.
For example, rich man (merchant), owner of a big or small business, bards as bearers of very important knowledge – mythical history of the people (later, as bearer of knowledge appear sage, philosopher, teacher); hermit (saint who devoted himself to his personal redemption), tyrant. In short, all modi of social significance can be attained either through service or ego-activity.
Achieving the highest stage of barbarism, society starts having different strata and “suggests” special modi of social significance and procedures of social acknowledgement to the forming social classes.
Nobles strive to achieve fame, power and military art. They are supposed to spend money for their reputation in a society and prefer to use force and violence in order to get wealth - for this reason they hire a military squad. Meanwhile, they also study economy as a source of wealth. The main method of acknowledgement in their milieu is “personal expertise”, including duel.
Lower classes are left with such modi as economy and wealth as well as craftsmanship in the sphere of material activity. At the same time public opinion considers life of people focusing on making the money as not very honorable and sometimes even disdained (usury). Small market economy gives an opportunity to an owner to achieve social significance through his product but it also contains a serious contradiction since this social tool serves exclusively to a biological need to survive. In fact, the master refuses to achieve social significance through “respected” modi – fame and power – and avoids personal expertise that means a certain risk for life.
The impersonal market method of social acknowledgement becomes the main way to achieve social significance for ordinary people. It also causes non-recognition of personal qualities of a master or a small owner. For the point of view of a “noble man” this kind of a master looks like “coward”, “nobody”, “mean man”. In order to compensate non-respect from society and restore self-respect and dignity, “market people” unite into professional unions. Not by a coincidence original meaning of the German word “Zeche” (the guild) is “a carousal”, “a booze” [Gurevich, 1972: 189]. Guild members call themselves “comrades” or “brothers”. [Durkheim, 1960:11-12]
The highest stage of barbarism is characterized by the following: 1) all modi of social significance begin to function in a society 2) both types of objectively necessary activity – ego- and service – are represented, 3) both methods of social recognition - expertise and market – are formed and coexist concurrently, 4) values “society” and “personality” are introduced in the system of social values, 5) there are two types of economy – home and market.
Barbarism is featured by the full set of indications that are possible in the frames of proposed methodology. However a society cannot stay on this stage because of the disarray of all these signs, characterizing the position of the human in it (the highest common human values, modi of social significance, types of activity, and procedures of social recognition). All indications compete with each other. The minimum acceptable order in a society is supported through brute force that is disadvantageous in connection with the vain expenditures of any resources.
Society must finish with chaos and reduce the use of force. In order to accomplish this, “natural” complexes must be created from common human values, modi, activities, procedures of social recognition etc., where mentioned indications are coordinated with each other. Similar complexes are possible, for example, on the basis of the values “society” or “personality”. Then society is on the stage of civilization.
Transition state. However society cannot reach the stage of civilization immediately. A short or long transition period is required when values, activities, procedures of social recognition etc. «are settling», bunching in stable complexes. In the real history such transition is accompanied by social cataclysms such as wars etc. The reduction of violence is possible if a society is in two theoretically possible transition states: civilized community or inwardly tense civilization.
Civilized community is based on a special language that binds its members. It can be either intercultural or “holy” language that is used for divine service. Besides, this community must share a universal religious cult or respect to some historical personage that expressed moral laws (“moral teacher” – Moses, Jesus, Buddha, Confucius). Finally, there is a need to have a common historical memory (real or mythical) that preserves the faith about common origin or common life of the people (brother peoples or neighbor peoples). Total of these conditions form the ethnical and cultural identity of community members that is very important for the preservation of civilized community.
Violence is distinctly softer within such community but it cannot be removed absolutely (it is not possible in principle). Relationships between coreligionists are smoother and friendlier than between them and «giaours» or pagans. Principles of interaction within and outside of community are fairly well described by Plato when he speaks about interactions between Hellenes and barbarians.
Such unions of people are often called «civilizations» (for example, «Greek», «Roman», «Chinese», «Christian», «Muslim» and the like). Weakness of the activity interaction as a social basis determines the fragility of these communities and allows backward movement to the barbarism and leads to the split in a society in case of heresy or the change of “holy” language. It would start here to be logical to call culture the totality of the indications that serve as a basis for a civilized community.
Inwardly tense civilization as a condition of a society is possible when there is an active interaction in the foundation of society, but the exchange of activity results is not balanced between different social strata and groups. In particular, it happens if any part of society («heads») interact with another one on the basis of ego-activity and the latter («masses») because of some reasons must serve the first one. As result, all activity of a society is subordinated to the service of one of its parts. This situation is unnatural, for there is always tension in society and the latter becomes unstable. The features of internally tense civilization are obvious in the Tchingischan empire that served men from khan kin – uruck, in the Russian empire (after «Charter to the Nobility») masses served to nobles etc.
Civilization. Society is in a more stable condition on the stage of civilization when the application of violence is minimal. Depending on the choice of basic value there are two possible “natural” internally coordinated civilizations – service-home and market. According to their characteristics and properties they are like the mirror reflection of each other. Besides, there is a possible stage of controlled evolution of a society – spirit-game civilization (see Tab. 1).
In the first column there are characteristics and features of social evolution ideal types that formed on the basis of activity-value approach. In the second, third and forth column you find characteristics and features of particular civilizations. At the same time there is an assumption that all characteristics and features of every civilization are in a complete accordance with each other. In theory all three civilizations can function on a different technological basis (slave labor or automated production systems).
The basic feature of civilization is its basic value. The choice of the latter determines the domination of correspondent type of activity. If the basic value is “society” or “Thinking Spirit” then service activity is dominant but if the basic value is “personality” then ego-activity is dominant. Modi of social significance are available to people by the law in all civilizations. However, they are accessible in home-service civilization not because of personal free choice but because they belong to any group (estate, cast) that fulfills some specific social functions i.e. serve a society. Every individual has formally the right to lay claim to any value in the market civilization. In the spirit-game civilization access to the modi is possible basing on the free choice and vocation of a particular human.
Leading modi of social significance in home-service civilization are connected with service activity - power, holiness, knowledge, fame. Access to them is provided predominately through personal expertise and often through feat or even self-sacrifice. It is necessary to pass the tests, get references and recommendations etc. in order to get promotion in any sphere of activity. Market as a mean of social recognition is brought to nothing in this civilization. It exists only as social institute providing the exchange goods and supply with the livelihood of functionally different groups.
Dominating modi in market civilization are – wealth, economy, craftsmanship (in the sphere of material production). They are associated with ego-activity and especially with the
Main characteristics and features of home-service, market and spirit-game civilizations.
market as a procedure of social recognition. Since, wealth is successfully acquired and economy can develop in the conditions of market. However, other modi are also highly valued, except holiness (righteousness), for it does not contribute to the development of material production serving corporal needs.
It is evident that discipline and duty as instrumental values are necessary for a normal functioning of service activity and freedom and law are indispensable conditions for ego-activity and the functioning of a market as a procedure of social recognition (market requires free exchange of activity products and the guarantee of exchange results). It was not accidental that the system of law was developed in the Western society together with the development of industry, free market and market initiatives [Popper, 1992 Vol.1: 91]. The most important instrumental value in the spirit-game civilization is vocation, for free choice of the particular service activity guarantees due duty execution without external control.
Factors that support the appearance of a concrete type of economy and further civilization existing on its basis are natural environment and external danger. If the environment is rich in resources then their development requires coordinated work of the masses and the appearance of home civilization of a peaceful agricultural type is almost inevitable. For example, great river civilizations (Egypt, Mesopotamia, China) whose task was the development of fecund river valleys appeared. It required irrigation works in order to create and maintain the irrigation systems [Istoriya Drevnego Vostoka, 1983: 19].
Presence of irrigation system contributes to the rise of strong central power [ibid: 19] and stimulates bureaucracy appearance as well as different duties and total dependence of subjects from Tsar’s bureaucracy [Weber, 1923: 202]. State-economy appears and it is controlled by officials from the center and under supervision of the highest governor – pharaoh, khan, tsar. Production in this state-economy is kept for internal needs only and its economy might be called “home” as well as civilization that arises on its basis. However, this civilization can be also called a service one since service activity dominates in it. In general, let it be called service-home civilization.
If the natural environment compromises small and different landscapes and the territory is crossed by rivers, flowing into the big reservoirs then the rise of market civilization is very likely. The development of natural resources allows (and often requires) the use of labor of a relatively small quantity of people. Articles of consumption are different enough and produced near form each other and the presence of natural transport rout permits to bring them together for the exchange in particular places. Every particular economy can strive to be home in the beginning but then inevitably the accumulating surplus of product will be different in every economy. First, it will serve as a motivational stimulus for an occasional exchange but then it will lead to the production for the exchange. Examples of societies with features of market civilizations are – Cartagena, Athens, Novgorod Republic, Western countries.
In case of great external and permanent danger society must concentrate its forces for the struggle with it. Additional product is withdrawn for social needs and concentrated in sovereign’s hands. Military home civilization brings all its activity under the control of defense needs (Russia since reign of Moscow). When the danger is not great then the chances of market civilization origin are more preferable (England).
Extent of the individual freedom for the achievement of social significance is very limited in the service-home civilization. That is why its source of energy for the development is very weak
Besides, service activity is conservative by itself. It is being done according to stable patterns and its energy and information density are growing slowly. As result, this civilization can exist for thousands of years without any factual change (Ancient Egypt). From the point of view of civilization development speed – this conservatism is a disadvantage but in terms of long-term existence, it can be seen as an advantage.
Market civilization has a powerful internal source of development – free activity of a person striving for social significance. In addition, ego-activity, especially stimulated by the market, develops very quickly. That is why this civilization is able to have a quick development. However, its long existence is doubtful, since its basic modus is wealth and the quantity of people pressing towards the riches is permanently growing. The level of minimal acceptable wealth is also growing. As a whole it conditions on the development of economy. But if wealth and economy need material substance then the long existence of market civilization requires unlimited resources and it is impossible. It contains elements of self-destruction. It has been a little bit more than two hundred years after the Great French Revolution happened when this civilization started dominating in Europe and results are so negative that it is doubtful whether it can exist for the next two-hundred years.
Logical consequence of conservatism in the service-home civilization is that countries with its features take a defensive position to their neighbors (Great Chinese Wall). On the other side, voracious thirst for resources makes countries of market civilization extremely aggressive. That is probably why A.Toynbee described the West as “archi-agressor” [Toynbee, 1995: 156]. The problem of aggressiveness does not exist for the spirit-game civilization since presently it can appear on a global scale only.
Possible scenarios of social evolution. Transition to the managed evolution.
A.A Zinoviev. noted that “second half of 20-th century meant the change in the evolutionary process: the degree and scale of historical events consciousness
reached such a high level that spontaneous evolutionary process was replaced by projected and controlled evolution” [Zinoviev, 2006: 446]. The necessity of evolutionary process control is caused by global problems. Usually one names such problems as ecological, arms race, lowering of the mass culture level, saving the human gene pool, international terrorism etc. [Bestugev-Lada, 1998: 36-41] However, one can show that those vivid problems are directly or indirectly caused by hidden problems – the problem of human self-realization in a society without harming the environment and the free time problem. In particular, the ecological problem is caused by the self-realization problem – self-realization through wealth and economy requires unlimited resources. The arms race is a consequence of the fight for resources. Lowering of the mass culture is conditioned by the free time problem since it can be easily solved using the primitive sides of human nature, etc.
Global problem solving is connected to the change of highest human values hierarchy (only acknowledgment of the Thinking Spirit as the highest value can lead to logically acceptable consequences) and leading types of activity etc. The choice of social development direction depends on how these problems will be solved by people. Theoretically, there is only one acceptable direction – peaceful expansion in the sphere of Spirit, “the unanimous construction of a spirit of the Earth” [Teilhard de Chardin, 1987: 201] that Teilhard de Chardin dreamed about. The “old good” method of human self-realization in a society through developing new sides and levels of the stuff with help of material activity perfection is not possible further.
The propitious scenario of social development – construction of spirit-game civilization. There is a need to direct human energy in the sphere of spirit in order to solve the problem of self-realization. Only spirit can consume human energy without limit and return it back to the people in a new improved quality. Modi of social significance (holiness, knowledge, mastership) must be more accessible in order to make self-realization harmless for humans and society. “Political” modi – power and fame – should be also more accessible since society can consume some portion of human energy without harming environment. It is also necessary to build a genuine democracy.
Palliative measures that are being implemented currently – birth control, recycling, environment protection, consumption limitation are useful and necessary but not good enough to solve the problem. Self-realization of a human being in the world is a necessary condition for his existence and since material world cannot offer this for everyone, then there is a need to offer people self-realization in the sphere of spirit.
As regards to the problem of free time – it can be solved through games that elevate human spirit and strengthen human body. Presently, most of the entertainments corrupt spirit and destroy body.
In general, there is a need to build a civilization where spirit would be acknowledged as highest human value and taking care about its preservation would be important for everybody. Serving the Thinking Spirit can unite the efforts of people with religious beliefs and atheists. That spirit-game civilization can never be reachable in its final embodiment but moving towards this civilization, people could realize themselves as spirit social beings and limit themselves in the material sphere. This perspective is an abstract possibility but it is very desirable.
Inauspicious direction of development –movement toward post civilized barbarism.
Most probable is the return of violence as a mean of maintaining minimal order, if there is a real lack of resources.
There are two conditionsthat will stimulate the use of violence. First, “competition” of the highest all human values will be tough. It is clear that a person cannot be such a value since the problem of human self-realization in the world was caused by the market civilization and this civilization sees a person as the highest human value. There is a need to choose another all human highest value on the global level. However, it is doubtful that this change will happen that smoothly. Most likely there will be a violent fight between different groups of people defending their values - “person”, “society”, “spirit”, “nation” etc. There will be also an unclear situation with the dominating types of activity, instrumental values, procedures of social significance recognition. Second, the thirst for resources is peculiar for market civilization. Society will be moving towards post civilized barbarism.
Less likely but potentially possible would be an appearance of inwardly tense civilization – when, some country, for example, USA tries to control evolutionary process, forcing other countries to serve its “life interests” and acting to them based on ego-activity (this situation already exists – to be discussed whether consciously or unconsciously). In particular, the fall of Soviet Union meant for the Western countries (under the leadership of the USA) the weakening of competition for the social evolution control. However, the competition is still there since China became the successor of Soviet Union [Zinoviev, 2006: 458]. However, the potential success of such try to create an inwardly tense civilization will not have long-term historical perspective. There are also possible tries to build civilized community – for example, based on Islam. However, these tries will also push the society in the direction of post civilized barbarism.
Conclusion. Applying the ideal types for the construction of social evolution theoretical model aids in finding solutions to some very important sociological issues. Activity-value approach helps to consider individual and collective human activity and determine features that distinguish one stage of evolution from another. The concept of social significance points to the source of energy of social development. The studying of ideal models’ features of some particular stages helps to understand the general logic of social evolution and its possible directions. The key condition of the adequacy of the above mentioned models and the conclusions made on the study of these models is that the models’ features are essential. Whether the models’ features proposed in this article are essential or non-essential is to be openly discussed.
Presently, mankind faces a real problem to switch to the controlled social evolution. Study of a market civilization ideal type features shows that its long-term existence is doubtful. That is why all the attempts of the USA to take over the control of evolution process having this civilization type as a reference point are extremely dangerous for the dignifying existence of the mankind. It is proposed (as an open discussion) that the ideal type of spirit-game civilization is needed as a long-term reference point. Moving towards this civilization mankind could survive and solve most of the important problems it faces now. Besides, it would allow giving all humans a chance for self-realization in the environment without harming it.
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