They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel — because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
(Genesis 11: 1–9)
Most long-term forecasts of global development at the end of the twentieth century that were based on widely accepted scientific approaches and empirical patterns predicted the evolution of globalization as the establishment of a new global social community (a social entity) of a supranational kind and the all-encompassing dominance of cultural and political unification and convergence.
However, the current reality of globalization demonstrates that a global social community is not being formed despite the establishment of a global market, global digital (information) space, and manifold growth of temporary and permanent migration. Furthermore, as economic and informational globalization is expanding, the fragmentation and differentiation of cultures, civilizations, ethnicities and confessions, the “ethnicization’ of the collective consciousness, singling out ethnic identity as the leading one, is skyrocketing universally.
That means that, besides nation states and transnational corporations, global development entities (actors) are joined by an increasing number of social entities of a non-economic and non-state (non-political) nature, including ethnic communities (ethnoses).
Futurologists have had to face the unexpected: the growth of divergent tendencies; the growing number of actors participating in global processes; the revitalization and acceleration of the influence of ethnic and religious communities; the exacerbation of old ethnic and religious conflicts and the appearance of new ones. This contradicts the concepts that were formed in the twentieth century that postulate that humankind’s progress towards convergence, unification or universalization is irreversible; such concepts were based on the idea of continuous ascending progress, a multi-stage approach and economic determinism.
Therefore, social sciences are facing not only a fundamental scientific problem, but also the pressing social and pragmatic task of creating of a new paradigm of sociogenesis that will function in a brand new environment of globalization in a new historical age and that will allow analysis and prediction of the evolution of the leading social processes of our time, including ethnic and cultural phenomena.
Such leading ethnic and cultural phenomena that require theoretical understanding in terms of their social and philosophical positioning include the re-emergence of ethnic communities, ethnicity and ethnic consciousness that is taking place amid the crisis and erosion of modern nationalities.
The concept of globalization as a category of a wider sociopolitical and scientific discourse became widespread in the scientific community after 1991, when the falling apart of the USSR and of the system of its allies eliminated all obstacles to the establishment of a global market of goods and services, including media, allowing significant growth of international trade and migration as well as the global implementation of neoliberal reforms that had been tested not long before that by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.
That explains why globalization was seen generally (above all, by Henry Kissinger and Margaret Thatcher,Thatcher, Margaret. Statecraft: Strategies for a Changing World / Trans. M. Albina Publisher, 2003. — 504 p. its creators and supporters) as a politically determined and largely economic process of spread and universalization of the neoliberal variant of the western economic model and its global victory. All of this created an impression of the imminence of the creation of a global supracommunity, similar to the “end of history’Fukuyama, Francis. The End of History and the Last Man. M.: Yermak, AST, 2005. — 592 p. explored by Fukuyama and the creation of the global empireHardt, M., Negri, A. Empire / Translation from English edited by G. V. Kamenskaya, M. S. Fetisov — M.: Praksis, 2004. — 440 p. with a Euro-Atlantic civilizational nucleus and several circles of dependent subject-less periphery.
However, as the results of the establishment of the “united world’ have been manifesting themselves, the need has arisen to study a brand new social reality that is not limited to the phenomena of economic nature and trends of cultural unification and westernization.
The basics of the sociology of globalization were laid down in the works by Wallerstein,Wallerstein, I. The End of the World as we Know it: Social Science for the Twenty-First Century / Immanuel Wallerstein. M.: Logos, 2004. — 368 p. Bell,Bell, D. The Coming of Post-Industrial Society: A Venture in Social Forecasting. M.: Academia, 1999. — 956 p. GiddensGiddens, A. Runaway World: How Globalization is Reshaping Our Lives. M., 2004. — 340 p., etc.
Philosophers, such as Kant, Marx, Teilhard de Chardin, Vernadsky, Russell, Toynbee, Jaspers etc., who were developing and substantiating the concept of the gradual ascension of humankind to the united global community were the forerunners of modern studies of globalistics.
The geo-economic and geopolitical aspects of globalization have been studied in the works by Buzgalin and Kolganov,Buzgalin, A. V., Kolganov, A. I. Global Capital. M.: Editorial URSS, 2004. — 512 p. Delyagin,Delyagin, M. G. Global Crisis. General Theory of Globalization. Course of Lectures. M.: Ifra-M, 2003. — 768 p., Inozemtsev,Inosemtsev, V. L. Democracy: forced and desired. Successes and failures of democratization on the brink of thousand years// Voprosy filosofii. 2006. №9 — p. 34–46. UtkinUtkin, А. I. New Global Order. M.: Algoritm, Eksmo, 2006. — 640 p. and others.
The influence of globalization on the national state and state institutes has been studied by Beck,Beck, Ulrich. Power in the Global Age: A New Global Political Economy. M.: Progress-Traditsiya, 2007. — 464 p. Bauman,Bauman, Z. Globalization: The Human Consequences. M.: Ves Mir Publishing House, 2004. — 188 p. KissingerKissinger, H. World Order. New York: Penguin Press, 2014., Martin and SchumannMartin, H-P., Schumann, H. The Global Trap: Globalization and the Assault on Prosperity and Democracy. Translation / Zapadnya globalizatsii: ataka na protsvetanie i demokratiyu — M.: Al’pina, 2001. — 335 p., Stryker,Stryker, R. Globalization and the Welfare State. M., 2004. Ч. Н. — p. 83–92. SorosSoros. G. On Globalization / O globalizatsii — M.: Praksis, 2004. — 276 p., Drucker,Drucker, P. Post-Capitalist Society. M., 1999. — p. 67–100. Butenko,Butenko, A. P. Globalization: essence and contemporary problems / Sotsialno-Gumanitarnye Znaniya. 2002. №3. — p. 3–19. DelyaginDelyagin, M. G. Globalization. Global Crisis and “Closing Technologies” // Transnational Processes: XXI Century. M.: Sovremennaya Ekonomika i pravo, 2004. — p. 24–51., Rieger and Leibfried,Rieger, E., Leibfried, S. Limits to Globalization: Welfare States and the World Economy. M., 2004. 4. II. p. 94–101. Kara-Murza,Kara-Murza, S. G. Globalization and crisis of enlightenment// Transnational Processes XXI Century. M., 2004. — p. 291–293. Kagarlitsky,Kagarlitsky, B. Y. Marxism. M.: ACT, 2005. — 462 p. Podzigun,Podzigun, I. M. Globalization as reality and problem / Philosophy. 2003. №1 — p. 5–16. Pantin and Lapkin,Pantin, V. I., Lapkin, V. V. Philosophy of historical forecast-making. Dubna: Feniks+, 2006. — 448 p. Pozdnyakov,Pozdnyakov, E. A. Nation, state, national interests // Voprosy ekonomiki 1994. №2 — p. 64–74. Panarin,Panarin, A. S. Seduction by Globalization. M., 2002. — 440 p. etc.
The world-systems approach to globalization as a process of an increasingly multi-faceted and all-encompassing interaction of social actors and entities was used by Wallerstein,Wallerstein, I. World-Systems Analysis: An Introduction. M.: Publishing House Territoriya Buduschego, 2006. — 248 p. BraudelBraudel, F. Grammaire des civilisations / Grammatika tsivilizatsij — M.: Ves’ mir, 2008. — 552 p., Amin,Amin, Samir. The American Ideology. M., 2005. — p. 211–219.,Amin, Samir. Political dimension // Globalization of Defiance. Translation. M., 2004. — p. 265–286. and others.
The synergistic approach, based on a somewhat incorrect extrapolation of the pattern in natural science of the emergence of ordered structures in non-equilibrium thermodynamic systems into the social form of being, was used in the works by Budanov,Budanov, V. G. Methodology of synergy in post-nonclassical science and in education. PhD dissertation. M., 2007. — 56 p. KapitsaKapitsa, S. P. Model of the Earth’s population growth // Success of physics. 1995. 26. №3 / Model’ rosta naseleniya Zemli // Uspekhi fizich. Nauk. 1995. №3 — p. 111–128., Moiseyev,Moiseyev, N.N.Human Being and Noosphere. M.: Nauka, 1990—p. 331 Podzigun, Panarin,Panarin, A. S. Postmodernism and globalization: the project of liberation of property-owners from social and national responsibilities // Issues of Philosophy. 2003. №6 — p. 18–27. Fuller, Shadzhe and others. An indisputable advantage of the synergistic approach is a general presentation of a problem in the creation and gradual sophistication of new structures and entities as a result of the dispersion of flows of energy and matter, which, when applied to social phenomena, may mean the development of divergent social processes.
The problem of the genesis of local social groups — ethnic groups and nations being the most important among them — has an evident interdisciplinary character and is studied under sociology, ethnology, social anthropology, conflictology and ethnopolitics, as well as within history-related disciplines.
The processes of ethnogenesis, nation-building and (looking at it through a broader lens) the building of social communities are studied within three schools of thought: constructivism, instrumentalism, and primordialism.
Primordialism is based on an evolutionary approach to sociogenesis and ethnogenesis. It looks at large groups that have existed for a long time (in particular, ethnic groups and nations) as a result of the long and continuous evolution of social communities that maintain their agency even in the course of deep social transformations of society. Two leading strategies in the ethnology of the nineteenth century, evolutionism and diffusionism, as well as the evolutionist approach in linguistics that allowed specification of the genesis of cultural and linguistic communities, established the basis for the primordialist approach.
Primordialism has two major branches, sociocultural (cultural primordialism) and sociobiological, the latter focusing on the genetic similarities of social groups — ethnic ones above all — as well as on the special social role of an instinctive underlying cause of social behaviourLorenz, Konrad. On Aggression. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1966. Translated by Marjorie Kerr Wilson. Originally published in Austria under the title DAS SOGENANNTE BÖSE. Zur Naturgeschichte der Aggression. Viena: Dr. G. Borotha-Schoeler Verlag, 1963, p. 263.
The leading approach of modern primordialism is undoubtedly cultural primordialism, which views the genesis of large social groups (ethnic groups and nations) as a result of the evolution of social institutes and social relations. Cultural primordialism in Soviet and Russian science is represented by the works by Bromley, Kozlov, Arutyunov, Mnatsakyan, etc.
The modern sociobiological movement, having overcome the legacy of racial sociogenetic theories of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, is mainly represented by ethnogeneticDawkins, R. The Extended Phenotype: The Long Reach of the Gene. M: Astrel’, 2010. — 512 p.,Cavalli-Sforza, L. L. Genes, Peoples, and Languages. New York: North Point Press, 2000. — 267 р.,Gil-White F. J. How thick is blood? // Ethnic and Racial Studies. 1999. №22 (5) — P. 789–820.,Geertz, C. The Interpretation of Cultures. M.: Rosspen, 2004. — 128 p. and neurogenetic concepts close to behaviourism.Varela, F. Neurophenomenology: a methodological remedy for the hard problem // Journal of Consciousness Studies. 1996. №4 — P. 330–349. However, despite its seeming attractiveness, the sociobiological variations of primordialism, at best, explain the formation of tribal communities in a simplified manner. They do not explain the genesis and the patterns of establishment and evolution of more developed and complicated communities, in which culture and politics play a systematically important role.
Constructivism believes the leading mechanism for sociogenesis to be a direct sociopolitical and socioeconomic construction of social communities from top to bottom by political elites, which is usually led through state institutions. Constructivists see modern ethnos as a sociocultural relic, an ideological phantom that the elites used to rule over the masses.Anderson, B. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. M.: Kanon Press, 2001. — 286p.,Gellner, E. From similarity to ethnicity // Civilizations 1997. №5 — p. 41–54.,Berger, P., Luckmann, T. The social construction of reality. M.: Moscow Philosophy Fund: “Akademiya-Tsentr”, Isdatel’stvo “Medium”, 1995. — 334 p.
The instrumentalists also see this social group as an outcome of a target-oriented activity, not simply as an instrument of power and elites, but as a tool or instrument of the individuals that make up the group that allows use of membership of the group to reach certain goals or to fulfil certain social functions.
Fredrik BarthBarth, F. Ethnic Groups and Boundaries: The Social Organization of Culture Difference. M: Novoye izdatel’stvo. 2006. — 286p. is considered the leader of this movement. Tishkov,Tishkov, V. А. Russian people as European nation and its Eurasian mission // Political Class. 2005. 5 Mая. Guboglo,Guboglo, M. N. Identification of Identity: Articles on Ethnosociology. M.: Nauka, 2003. — 288 p. Voronkov and Osvald,Voronkov, В., Osvald, I. Introduction. Post-Soviet Ethnicity // Construction of Ethnic Community of St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg: Dmitry Bulanin, 1998. — p. 7. Shnirelman,Shnirelman, V. A. Misfortunes of one discipline: ethnogenetic research and Stalin’s national policy // Ethnographic Review. 1993. №3 — p. 52–68. Kulagin,Kulagin, A. A. Ethnic and religious identification of the Druze community // Historical Journal — Scientific Research. 2012. №1 — p. 141–159. Drobizheva,Drobizheva, L. M. Methodological problems of ethnosociological research// Sociological Journal. 2006. №3–4. and Lurye,Lurye, S. V. Historical Ethnology: Coursebook for Universities. 2nd edition — M.: Aspekt Press, 1998. — 448 p. as well as recent works by Popov,Popov, Y. A. Ethnic identification in the society through language // Politics and Society. 2012. №3 — p. 104–107. Nizamova,Nizamova, L. R. Complex concept of contemporary ethnicity: limits and possibilities of theoretical synthesis// Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology. 2009. №1 — p. 141–159. Nimayeva,Nimayeva, B. B. Young people of Agin-Buryat Autonomous Okrug: repertoire of identitites in contemporary sociocultural context // Politics and Legislation. 2011. №9 — p. 75–81. OrtobayevOrtobayev, V. V. Epistemological analysis of ethnosociology // Sociology in the System of Scientific Management: Materials of IV Russian Sociological Congress. M.: Sociological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, 2012. — p. 83–92. and others, should be mentioned among Russian scientists subscribing to the constructivist doctrine. Informational and symbolist (identificational) approaches to ethno- and sociogenesis are in line with constructivism and instrumentalism.Arutyunov, S. A. Ethnogenesis, its forms and patterns // Etnopolitichesky vestnik. 1993. №1 — p. 10–19.,Susokolov, A. A. Structural factors of self-organization of ethnos // Races and Peoples. 1990. №20 — p. 5–39.,Hutchinson, J., Smith, A. D. (eds.) Ethnicity. Oxford Readers. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996. — p. 29–34.,Hale, H. E. Bashkortostan: the logic of ethnic machine politics and the consolidation of democracy // Timothy J. C., Hough J. F. (eds.) Growing Pains: Russian Democracy and the Election of 1993. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution, 1998. — p. 47–55.
Sociological research interested in the revitalization of ethnic and ethno-social processes in the south of Russia, includes works by Avksentyev,Avksentyev, V. A. Northern Caucauses: Repolitization of Ethnicity and Conflictological Scenarios of Development // Observer. 2006. №6 — p. 19–20.,Matishov, G. G., Avksentyev, V. A., Batiyev, L. V. Atlas of Sociopolitical Problems, Threats and Risks in the South of Russia, V. III. Rostov-on-Don: SKNTS VSH Publishing House, 2008. — 176 p. Abdulatipov,Abdulatipov, R. G. Russian Nation: Ethnonational and Civil Identity of the Russians in the Contemporary Context. M.: Novaya Kniga, 2005. — 472 p. Gasanov,Gasanov, M. R. Paleo-Caucasus Ethnic Community and the Issue of Dagestan Peoples’ Origins. Mahachkala: Dagestan State Pedagogical University Publishing House, 1994. — 194 p. Gadzhiyev,Gadzhiyev, K. S. Ethnonational and Geopolitical Identity of the Caucasus. Saabrucken: Lambert Academic Publishing. 2011. — 531 p. Markedonov,Markedonov, S. M. Ethnonational and Religious Factors in Sociopolitical Life of the Caucasus Region. M.: Maks Press, 2005. — 379 p. Tishkov,Tishkov, V. А. On phenomen of ethnicity // Ethnographic Review. 1997. №3 — p. 3–21. Tkhagapsoyev,Tkhagapsoyev, Х. Political scientists’ keen interest in the Caucasusу // Kabardino-Balkarskaya Pravda. 2010. Feb. 6. Chernous,Chernous, V. V. Increase in importance of ethnocentrism on the cusp of the first decade of the XXI century as consequence of imitational modernization of Northern Caucasus // Collection of Materials and Reports of III International Scientific and Applicability Conference “Caucasus — Our Home” (September 29–October 2, 2011, Rostov-on-Don) / Edited by Y. G. Volkov. Rostov-on-Don: Sotsialno-Gumanitarnye Znaniya, 2011. — p. 25–30. Denisova,Denisova, G. S. Southern Russian identity in the context of administrative reorganization of the macro-region // Sociology in the System of Scientific Management: Materials of IV Russian Sociological Congress. M.: Sociological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, 2012. — p. 48–52. Zhade,Zhade, Z. A. Structure of multilevel identity of the population of the Republic of Adygea // Sociology in the System of Scientific Management: Materials of IV Russian Sociological Congress. M.: Sociological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, 2012. — p. 74–83. Sampiyev,Sampiyev, I. M. СаMоопределение народов: теория и онтология. Rostov-on-Don: SKNTS VSH Publishing House, 2004. — 152 p. Hoperskaya,Khoperskaya, L. L., Kharchenko, V. A. Local Interethnic Conflicts in the South of Russia: 2000–2005. Rostov-on-Don: YNTS RAN Publishing House, 2005. — 164 p. Hunagov,Khunagov, R. D. Russian identity in contemporary Northern Caucasus’ society// Sociology in the System of Scientific Management: Materials of IV Russian Sociological Congress. M.: Sociological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, 2012. — p. 62–68. Tsutsiyev,Tsutsiyev, А. А. Atlas of Ethnopolitical History of Caucasus (1774–2004). M.: Evropa, 2006. — 128 p. Shadzhe,Shadzhe, A. Y. Coexistence of identities in Northern Caucasus // Sociology in the System of Scientific Management: Materials of Russian Sociological Congress. M.: Sociological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, 2012. — p. 120–127. ShakhbanovaShakhbanova, M. M. Ethnic identity of Ando-Tsezic group (based on results of sociological research) // Scientific Problems of Humanitarian Research. 2011. №6 — p. 54–62. and others.
Chapter I. The crisis of nations and increase of importance of the ethnos during globalization
The main goal of social philosophy has always been to understand the leading tendencies of historical evolution that determine the fate of the society and the individual, to search for the few key patterns that allow us to see or even create the outlines of the future through the chaos of reality.
The key to understanding the world of today is, undoubtedly, globalization — the ever more complex process of qualitative sophistication, acceleration and integration of the development of humanity that is pointing with ever-growing certainty to the transition from the technical and social progress of the two preceding centuries towards uncontrollability and global catastrophe.
Globalization is, in the first place, a system of qualitative social changes that include the formation of not only a single global market, but also a global social and information environment, devoid of spatial and political borders, giving rise to the previously unseen sophistication and acceleration of social-historical processes. It also means the appearance of global informational openness, the appearance of new information technologies, directly and non-inertially, influencing individual and mass consciousness in real time, as well as a qualitative increase in contacts between geographically distant communities and individuals, including those that have not been facilitated by the state and its institutions.
In a more general sense, globalization can be defined as the process of intensification of all systems of social relations and the formation of a global interaction environment, which results in not only global, but local social phenomena too being formed under the weight of remote external reasons and influences, leading to the all-encompassing, global linkage of social communities, structures, institutions and cultures. The process of globalization helps form a qualitatively new system of social relations and institutions within which not a single phenomenon of the social being on the local level cannot be studied from outside the all-encompassing system of the links with other parts of the global system.
However, while not so long ago the world was a sum of relatively closed-off social systems, at the moment, all local social and economic systems assume an open character and cannot be studied unless in the global context.
As the economies of several countries are being integrated, globalization continues moving past the economy, which supplied the initial terminology for it, and begins to take on a global, total character that cannot be reduced to particular patterns, giving rise to the unpredictable chaos of processes of different order that are happening in social, economic, political, cultural and other spheres of social life. From the perspective of these processes’ systemic interaction, they make up globalization with its integral but internally contradictory and unstable structure. That is why the analysis and prognosis of the development of globalizational processes is being impeded by the transition from the technical and social progress of the previous two centuries towards a growing uncontrollability and global catastrophe
Thus, globalization, as a leading social phenomenon of our times is the establishment, development and qualitative increase in the interconnection of the global environment — in particular, its economic, political, informational and social sphere. It qualitatively strengthens interactions within the society and therefore causes increasing conflict among all social entities.
As a result of this, crisis processes are sharply amplified in the time of globalization, which is a qualitatively new stage of historical evolution. Globalization is shown to be a progressively less stable system of crises and catastrophes on all planes of existence that feed into each other.
1.1. Globalization as a sociohistorical phenomenon
Globalization has a temporal dimension apart from functional dimensions such as economic, social, political and others.
Globalization is not a new tendency: intergovernmental, intercivilizational, and trade links and interactions have played a significant role throughout the history of humankind that has been through a few cycles of “globalization-localization’.
During the Hellenistic period and Roman domination, the prevailing tendency was for globalization (or, to be more exact, ecumenization, considering the isolation of the new world and the periphery of Eurasia and Africa). Conversely, regionalization and fragmentation of the territory into feudalistic and religious enclaves was the leading tendency of the Middle Ages.Safonov, A. L. Axial Age 2: return to origins or descent into darkness? // Vestnik Buryatskogo Universiteta. Issue 14 (Philosophy, Sociology, Political Science, Culturology) — Ulan-Ude, 2012. — p. 34–42.
The Age of Discovery became a new step towards globalization, bringing the previously isolated territories of the New World, Africa and Asia into the global historical and economic process. However, in terms of the degree of involvement in globalization of elites and local communities (including the European ones) up until the twentieth century, trade volumes were comparable to only a few percent of domestic manufacturing and transcontinental migration routes only concerned a small part of the population. The Hispano-Portuguese colonization of the New World that drew people out of parent states and streams of gold flowing into Europe were more of an exception proving the rule.
Globalization was preceded by the epoch of industrialism, which began with the creation of the railway tracks, steam fleet and telegraph that greatly changed the man-made environment and lifestyle in general.
It should be noted that globalization is traditionally considered to be preceded by the fight of the colonial empires over their share of Africa and the Second Boer WarDavidson, A. B. Cecil Rhodes and his Time. — M.: Mysl’, 1984. — 367 p. that ushered in the period of the global tug-of-war to remake the world order, including the two world wars.
It is not insignificant that the concept of imperialism, which was initially aimed against the domination of the British Empire, was fully formed and became a widely accepted political term by the beginning of the World War I.
On no account was Lenin’s famous work Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism (1916)Vladimir Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, Pluto Press,1996, 192 p. a first attempt to construct a theory of imperialism. It was, instead, built as a polemic debate with an earlier work by Karl KautskyKarl Kautsky. Ultra-Imperialism. Die Neue Zeit, September 1914.. It also contains references to other earlier works by German, French and British authors, in particular Hobson’s Imperialism.Hobson, J. A. Imperialism. A Study. — London: Nisbet, 1902. — 400 p.
Considering this work as a fait accompli, a century later one may see that Lenin, as a representative of the Marxist paradigm, was truly successful in singling out the essential features of a new stage of the development of capitalism that have fully shown themselves recently. They include not only the tendency towards monopolization of markets, which a hundred years ago had already come to replace “free competition’, a concept that became an ideological construct. The work also described the leading role of financial capital; the transition of incomes from the real sector to the financial; an outpacing development of export of capital; the transformation of metropolitan states into rentier states, or “Rentnerstaat’; and a new role of banks as the centres from which the economy is managed. Stock companies and subsidiaries that form — to put it in contemporary terms — transnational networks are given a special role in that work, as one of the key phenomena that defined the establishment of globalization as a qualitatively new stage of the sociohistorical evolution of humankind.
Lenin also remarked on the tendency of German capital to be exported into British colonies through the head of the empire, circumventing the colonial ownership — in other words, a tendency to move financial capital to jointly use less developed countries, a trend that fully manifested itself after World War II during neo-colonialism.
We can see that the theory of imperialism created at the beginning of the twentieth century within the Marxist paradigm contained all features typical of the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first: that is, it was capable of defining the key features of globalization a hundred years before it came about.
In fact, only a chain of terminological innovations prevents us from seeing the globalization of the twenty-first century as a direct continuation of imperialism from the time of Cecil Rhodes,Davidson, A. B. Cecil Rhodes and His Time — M.: Mysl’, 1984. — 367 p. which was interpreted by contemporaries quite adequately, as we may see today.
However, the theory of imperialism, quite well-formed and corresponding fairly well to the social practice, was undeservedly forgotten at the end of the twentieth century: at the time, the establishment of globalization was a leading systemic phenomenon that was behind the fight among sociopolitical systems which defined the course of the twentieth century, so globalization then seemed something essentially new.
Nevertheless, despite the few manifestations of globalization, the impressive increase in physical and financial volumes of international trade (especially during the world wars that spurred on international trade and cargo turnover), nation states and regional blocs during imperialism and industrialism generally had closed-off economic, political and informational spaces. In a situation where internal networks were more important than external ones and where the state could be seen as a closed-off self-regulating system, allowing for external trade, the world could be seen as the sum of its parts, the description of which did not require states to be viewed as part of a global system.
The watershed moment for globalization came when the world’s leading states de facto turned into an open socioeconomic system while retaining nominal sovereignty. Their dependence on the global supra-system, including international political and financial institutions, has significantly strengthened and moved to a new level. The influence of this supra-system on the economic, social and cultural life of the population became comparable to the influence of national governments.
However, it would be imprudent to talk about globalization before 1991, when the forms of social life typical of Western civilization were given an impetus for global spread. The 1991 landmark comprises the political dissolution of the USSR and the involvement of the new countries that appeared on the USSR’s territory, its former allies helping to form a global community and global market economy which considerably widened the “periphery’ and “half-periphery’ of the global system.
Starting from 1991, a wave of similar and almost simultaneous reforms swept across both the West and developing and post-socialist countries, including privatization of the systemically important state monopolies such as railways, energy, network providers, education and medicine. That was the beginning of the stage of crisis and top-down dismantlement of the classic imperialist bourgeois state and its social institutions. That was the stage of the privatization of welfare state and revenge of the elites, when the state was losing its influence in the economic and social spheres of the social being and transforming gradually into an instrument serving situational interests.
There had previously been no single socioeconomic environment on a global scale, but rather a range of large ones: politically, ethnically and culturally heterogeneous states (including empires) with relatively closed-off economies and a certain number of local and even regional trade and economy systems.
At the same time, any empire-like state, be it the Roman Empire or the state of Genghis Khan, Arab Caliphate or China, was striving for maximum territorial expansion in order to gain new subjects, aiming to reach natural geographical limits of territorial extension, seas and low-yield mountainous and desert-like terrains, devoid of population and roads.
However, empires eventually reached the peak of their territorial expansion, which was followed by a political crisis caused by the limited internal connections, the fragmentation of empire elites and the increase in the length of the borders that needed military protection.
The dramatic turnabout in world history came about on the cusp of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries — that is, during the Age of Discovery. From that time onwards, more Western European countries (first Spain and Portugal, then Britain, France and Germany) began basing their policies on economic considerations.
Due to the Europeans having monopolized direct sea routes to other continents, the system of global trade connections appeared and began to evolve, gradually enveloping the whole known world. The top positions in this global trade system were held be those who created it — namely, the Europeans. They were capable of reaping the benefits from trade operations with countries in Asia, Africa and America, large benefits over which they held a monopoly due to the non-equivalent — that is, the one-sided character — of this trade exchange. That led to the creation of a phenomenon that had not existed before in the history of humankind: the global economic system, also known as the global capitalist system or simply the modern global system). From the perspective of the world-systems approach, modern history is nothing other than a watershed moment for the creation and development of the world (global) economic system.
The most important features of the global economic system are that, firstly, it functions as a market — i.e. the trade exchange system — and secondly (and of the utmost importance), it does not have external social systems. At the same time, local economic and social systems, while retaining their agency, are becoming increasingly open to external factors, less independent. In other words, the global economic system, moving away from the political regulations of the state, signifies the accretion and expansion of capital.
As a result, the commercialization of the whole world — including the commercialization, mechanization (industrialization) and unification of all spheres of the social life that were previously uninvolved in market turnover — is the main objective developmental tendency.
Adequate conceptual study of globalization leads to a whole range of new methodology issues. In particular, it is widely known that all sociophilosophical theories comprise two components: the descriptive one that explains the world, and a prescriptive one, describing what should be, or the perfect condition of the society and the human being.
Correspondingly, theories of globalization, claiming to be systemic, are forced not only to describe and explain, but also to provide a prescriptive model of social relations, either explicitly or implicitly, which means there should be an ideological component reflecting the interests of the elites, but at the same time calling upon the interests and values of wider social groups, including “panhuman’ ones.
The methodological weakness of theories of globalization lies in the fact that the external form of social theories — built upon the rules of the natural sciences, studying objective natural patterns — are inevitably hiding a subjective, instrumental, ideological component, predicated on the social, civilizational and corporate affiliation of the researcher and, on a more global level, on a certain scientific school of thought or a scientific community. The ongoing global commercialization of science and education makes the latent subjectivity of social studies explicit, as science becomes a commercial market of scientific services, where supply considerably exceeds demand. A so-called buyer’s market appears, where the client dominates and scientific services are more and more often requested by non-state agents.
In any case, the ideological, prescriptive component of theories of globalization should be singled out during the analysis as a model of a society or a type of social behaviour, designed for a certain social group (target audience). One should consider the theory of a certain social phenomenon not only as a model of this phenomenon, but also as a symbolical resource, forming social and individual consciousness.
Thus, existing concepts of globalization, while reflecting the point of view and interests of certain social agents, should be seen not only as theories, but also as instruments to promote these agents’ specific interests. Therefore, constructivist and instrumentalist approaches to sociogenesis, which take subjective moments of sociohistorical development into consideration, are especially important for the theory of globalization.
Are there any universally accepted postulates of globalistics?
Undoubtedly, the fact of the establishment of the global market as a global environment of economic and, therefore, social interaction that is levelling out the spatial disconnection of local economies and the interaction of local social systems, is universally recognized.
Most researchers agree that the objective basis of globalization is scientific and technological progress and the increase in productive forces, used by a range of economically and politically dominant countries (“the golden billion”) and their elites for their own economic and political ends, including the establishment of a world order that generally benefits them.
A certain consensus exists on the necessity of preserving the cultural and civilizational diversity of the world, which objectively clashes with the Western project of globalization.
Most researchers believe that a unipolar model of globalization based on liberal fundamentalism allows no future for the existing local civilizations and corresponding cultural and historical communities, or for the West itself. At the same time, the modern scientific community cannot offer anything except a vague slogan of “dialogue of civilizations’.
The idea of the dialogue of civilizations, as an extremely abstract position devoid of clearly formulated ideas and of any connection to social agents, is formulated in the foreword to the Russian translation of Braudel’s Grammar of Civilizations:Braudel, F. Grammaire des Civilisations. — M.: Ves’ mir, 2008. — 552 p. “Globalization develops at the same time as the multipolar world appears. Civilizations have to learn… to agree to the existence of other civilizations, admit that they will never achieve dominance over others, be ready to see equal partners in others.”
As a result, theoretical consensus on globalistics is limited by the fact-based side of the globalizational processes.