Towards a New Turn of World Studies and Actions: From Symptoms of the Planetary Crisis to Revealing and Removing Its Basic Sources. Issue 1.
CAPACITY FOR WORLD
The Forthcoming Reform of the UN System
through the Prism of Evolutionary Survival Imperatives
Edward S. Markarian
The book presents the objectives, principles, programmes, and the plan of action of ASDS from the standpoint of its recently elaborated large-scale project. It is intended to combine two organically interrelated ideas. The first idea concerns the imperative for starting a new turn in the world studies and actions. The requirement is to move from addressing to the symptoms of the planetary crisis towards focusing on revealing and removing the basic sources of its global and national/regional manifestations. The second idea is that of endowing the UN system with the capacity for world evolutionary survival-development strategic management. Until now the UN system was intended for adjusting to the spontaneously and uncontrollably developing world, for reacting to the emerging crisis situations and for decreasing various destructive effects generated by them. But implementation of this approach to human development at the present stage of machine industrial civilization is fraught with an inevitable and quick global catastrophe. The basic reason is that the evolutionary blunders committed by human activity during the last centuries can not be corrected spontaneously. Accordingly, gist of the problem is to discover the means by which the UN system can acquire the capacity for elaborating and implementing a cluster of interdependent ecological and other survival and development strategies oriented to revealing and removing the major causes of the planetary crisis. Only this kind of strategies could pave the way for transforming the existing destructive evolutionary pattern of machine industrial civilization and its transfer to genuinely sustainable world development pattern.
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1.1. To Achieve a Balance between Operational and Strategic Approaches to Crisis Situations as the Initial Premise for World Evolutionary Management................................................................................ 18
1.2. A Hypothesis of the Evolutionary Blunder Ultimately Responsible for the Contemporary Planetary Crisis 23
1.3. Science Development Priorities, Planetary Crisis and the Phenomenon of Cognitive Trap 27
1.4. The Regional Ecological-Noospheric Experiment (RENE) as a Possible Means for World Strategic Evolutionary Management 30
1.4.1. The RENE Project as a Mechanism Intended for the Conscious Selection of Holistic Variants of Sociocultural Evolution 30
1.4.2. The RENE Project from the Standpoint of the Necessity of Essentially New Consolidating Mechanisms of Peoples 33
1.4.3. The Characteristics of a Normative Trap which Has Been Formed in the Area of Interrelations Between Nations 38
1.4.4. The RENE Project and the Problem of Replacement of Culture of War by Culture of Peace 42
1.4.5. Scientific and
Managerial Integrative Potentials of the
1.4.6. The RENE Project as Possible Means to Start the Process of Transformation of the Contemporary Destructive Pattern of Thinking........................................................................................................... 55
1.4.7. The RENE Project in the Perspective of the Rio Earth Summit Programmes 57
1.5. The Present Book as a Response of ASDS to the Appeal of the 50th Session of the UN General Assembly to the Peoples of the World............................................................................................................................... 61
Part 2. THE STATE OF ELABORATION OF THE GLOBAL KEY SURVIVAL-DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIC ISSUES 64
2.1. The Analysis of Studies in which the Key Global Survival-Development Strategic Issues are Put Forward 64
2.2. Specific Manifestation of the Cognitive Trap in World Studies............. 67
PART 3. THE INITIAL METHODOLOGICAL AND THEORETICAL PREMISES OF THE STUDY 81
3.1. The General Theoretical Framework of the Armenian Culturological and Traditionological School 81
3.2. The Research and Social Determinants of the Unusual Fate of the Principles of the Armenian Culturological and Traditionological School................................................................................................................... 85
3.3. Principles of the Integrative Systems Evolutionary Paradigm of Tradition 94
3.4. The Principles of Cultural Tradition Dynamics as a Key to Systems Study of Elementary Universal Mechanisms of Sociocultural Evolutionary Self-Organization........................................................................ 98
3.5. From Cultural Tradition Dynamics Theory to Theory of Reproduction Dynamics of Living Systems 101
3.6. The Principles of World Machine Industrial Civilization........................ 107
3.7. On the Interdependence of General and National/Regional Evolutionary Patterns of World Machine Industrial Civilization 113
3.8. The Interdependence of Global and National Parameters of World Civilization Dynamics through the Prism of the Laws of Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics.................................................................. 120
3.9. The First Large-Scale Genocide of the Century from the Standpoint of the Strategic Survival and Development Imperatives of Humanity............................................................................................................ 125
3.9.1. The Precedents of an International Legal Genocide Encouragement at the Stage of Creating Post World War I Order 125
3.9.2. The Great Influence of the Precedents of Legal Forms of Genocide Encouragement over the Stimulating and Motivating Subsystem of the Modern Culture of International Relations.............. 132
3.9.3. The Danger of Recurrence of a Precedent of International Legal Genocide Encouragement at the Stage of Creating the Post Cold War Order and Entering XXI Century........................................... 135
3.9.4. Factors which Promote Today a New Precedent of a Legal Form of Encouraging Genocide Oriented Patterns of Behaviour 139
3.9.5. The Characterization of Mechanisms Able to Break the Vicious Circle of Recurrence of Genocide Encouragement Processes 149
3.10. The ASDS’ Proposal to Accompany the Celebration of the 1700th Anniversary of the Innovative Adoption of Christianity in Armenia with a Contemporary State Innovation Able to Meet the Basic National and Global Survival-Development Strategic Imperatives 153
Part 4. For Conclusion: The Major Problems and Directions of the Sur-vival-Development Strategic Restructuring of the UN System 158
4.1. Reactive Operational and Evolutionary Strategic Models of the UN System 158
4.2. A Governance by the UN of Large-Scale Cooperative Survival-Development Strategic Projects as a Decisive Premise to Acquire the Capacity for World Long-Term Evolutionary Management...................... 162
4.3. The World Open Survival-Development Strategic Discussion Forum as an Instrument for Carrying Out the Reform of the UN System................................................................................................................ 168
4.4. On the Idea of the Decade for Mobilizing Survival-Development Potentials of World Culture and the Role of UNESCO's Restructuring for the UN System's Reform............................................................................ 170
Considerations Concerning the Programme of the Decade
for Mobilizing Survival-Development Strategic Potentials
of World Culture .............................................................................................. 175
4.6. Some Considerations Concerning the Measures of the Initial Plan of Action 183
International Association for the Promotion of Creating Survival and Development Strategies (ASDS). Stimuli of the Foundation, Objectives and Tasks (Extractions from the Charter).............................. 196
In June 1994 in the capital of Armenia, Yerevan, the International Association for the Promotion of Creating Survival and Development Strategies (ASDS) was registered. This book presents ASDS' objectives, principles, programmes and plans of action through the prism of its new generalizing project "How to Acquire Capacity for World Strategic Management". It is devoted to the strategic evolutionary aspects of the forthcoming reform of the UN system. The reform is considered in the general context of an essentially new turn of world studies and actions. The ultimate goal of this turn must become the transition from mostly reacting to symptoms of the planetary crisis to focusing on diagnosing the evolutionary nature of generated violations, revealing and removing the basic sources of the crisis, its global and national/regional manifestations.
The ASDS' position is that only through such a transition will it be possible to prevent from the death threats hanging over the human race and to find the strategic ways out of the ever-increasing crisis on the planet. It is first of all this position that distinguishes ASDS as an international body. It has been founded specifically to attract the attention of global community to the urgent necessity of solving the above-indicated key survival-development strategic issues.
It is evident that the planetary crisis, the chain reaction of destructive and destabilizing effects in the world, could not happen by accident. Thus, it should be quite logical to suppose that they are the result of certain very serious violations of the basic laws of evolutionary self-organization in human society and that there were definite causes, which have generated this chain reaction. It is also logical to assume that the same causes continue to act today and generate new, more dangerous threats. Accordingly, the tasks of identifying the very nature of the violations, of revealing and removing their causes must have become the top priority strategic goals for the global community; but in fact we see the opposite picture. These key survival-development strategic issues were and are systematically neglected in world studies and actions. One cannot find this kind of quest even among the studies carried out under the aegis of the Club of Rome, the organization which succeeded to generate in the 70s globally wide studies on world problems. The similar neglect is typical of other patterns of world studies and actions, including the one that dominates in the UN system.
Here we face a very alarming, abnormal situation. This pattern of activity is similar to the behaviour of a physician who, while treating the disease of a seriously sick patient, focuses on the level of symptoms and does not even try to diagnose the illness, to reveal and remove its causes. And the most striking thing is that the abnormality of the activity pattern under review usually is not even realized and discussed. The present book examines the major causes of this state of world studies and actions and presents a system of hypotheses directed towards solving the key survival and development strategic issues.
On the whole the situation is explained by the existing uncontrollable world development pattern with its short-term basic technoeconomic orientations. But at the same time an attempt is made to uncover the immediate decisive causes of the neglect of the aforementioned issues. From my point of view, they are rooted in the discrepancy between the intrinsic to this pattern priorities and modes of production as well as use of knowledge and specialists, on the one hand, and the strategic requirements of the epoch, on the other.
These priorities and modes split and compartmentalize the scientific consciousness at different levels, including the level of interrelations of social and natural-engineering sciences. The split of these major groups of sciences, being abnormal from the standpoint of the basic laws of evolutionary self-organization of society, makes humanity strategically quite helpless in the conditions of the current planetary crisis. The reason is that, as a result of this split, the contemporary generation of human beings turned out to be in a real cognitive trap. It is a situational phenomenon. The trap is the direct consequence of the discrepancy between the discussed priorities and modes of production and use of knowledge as well as specialists, and the strategic requirements of the epoch. The disintegrated state of theory in the social science is the basic element of this trap (see 1.3., 1.4.5.-1.4.6.).
The cognitive trap is a many-sided phenomenon and has numerous aspects. The gist of the problem is the following. The strategic solution of global problems (especially those which constitute the core of the environmental crisis) needs consistently integrative knowledge of man, human society, and culture as inseparable parts of the general life formation on the planet. The understanding of specific manifestations of the fundamental evolutionary laws of the universe and life in human society, and its development is the initial premise for the elaboration of the needed knowledge. It is important to stress that this kind of knowledge must be expressed in systematically elaborated theories based on the principles of evolutionary self-organization of human social life. Fragmentary pieces of knowledge, assumptions stated in passing while examining other subjects and topics as well as only abstract philosophical, general scientific conclusions are not sufficient in this case.
In the intellectual atmosphere created by the ideology of opposing society and nature, the problem in question permanently falls out of sight. This vast fundamental theoretical gap is usually filled with various naturalistic reductionist approaches that actually neglect the specificity of human social life. It is crucially important to take into account this specificity, but it is impossible to solve the problem fruitfully through so often observed exaggerations of distinctive features and properties of sociocultural reality and the diametrical opposition of patterns of knowledge on nature and human society. Such an approach was typical, for instance, of the Neo-Kantian schools, Philosophy of Life, Phenomenology, Hermeneutics, Existentialism, and it continues to be very influential today. From this standpoint, postmodernism offers a quite logical and symptomatic tendency. Its critical thought instead of trying to explain the fundamental causes of disintegrated state of theory in social science and to find ways out of it, qualifies and submits this state as the sole and inevitable option. Thus, advocates of postmodernism, in fact, try to qualify the theoretical disintegrity as something intrinsic to the very nature of social knowledge. Such a position seems inadmissible and extremely dangerous at this critical stage of human evolution. The book presents a whole system of arguments to prove this conclusion.
The origin of the aforementioned trends has its objective basis. On the whole they appear as a reaction against classic science. Having driven man and sociocultural world away from its paradigm, this science became unable to solve the dilemma of the interrelations between objective knowledge and values (see Markarian, 1983a, 79-90; 1987a, 33-36). The influence of the discussed approaches in the area of social knowledge has other basic reasons. They are: numerous destructive consequences of scientific applications in XX century and the perception of this historically limited pattern of the linkage of science and social life as the sole option of practice-oriented science. The book extends this narrow vision of practice-oriented science and presents its essentially new, integrative model based on humanistic values.
One of the main dangers which comes from the approaches under review is that it leads to the denial of necessity of objective science on human social life and man. For instance, the opposition of the concepts "explanation" and "understanding" (which is substantiated as a genuine method of studying the sociocultural reality) logically contains such a denial. Meanwhile, today human beings are more than ever in urgent need of objective, integrative, systematically ordered information about two organically connected, interdependent evolutionary self-organizing processes which take place on the planet – the development of contemporary humanity and the dynamics of biosphere. The crucial survival-development strategic issue is to make these evolutionary processes co-adaptive and compatible. But for achieving this goal we at first must acquire the capacity for making them theoretically comparable. And this can be done only by the development of potential explanatory possibilities of social science in its proper sense.
The above-stated does not at all mean that the principle of "understanding" of the situations through their mental co-experiencing is not valid. Simply it has its own and important place and function in contemporary social practice. The necessity to deal with the key global and national-regional survival and development strategic issues in particular naturally presupposes developing capacity for empathy, the feeling of co-experience of sufferings of human beings and other living creatures. This intrinsic to men feeling in the development of civilization was restrained by aggressive imperial mode of regulation of international relations and aggression against nature. Meanwhile, it constitutes the psychological basis of mature humanistic global ethics (see 1.4.2.-1.4.4., 3.9.4.-3.9.5). Generalizing the above-said, it is necessary to stress that the principles of explanation and understanding of sociocultural situations supplement each other. Social practice needs them both, especially at the current stage of human evolution.
But social science can fulfil the mentioned functions under quite definite premises. The initial and decisive among them is to acquire by this science the integrative capacity for the theoretical breakthroughs to the area of elementary units and mechanisms of evolutionary self-organization of human societies and for learning its fundamental laws. Physics and biology already made such breakthroughs by developing their integrative potentials and it became the decisive factor of the strikingly rapid progress of these branches of knowledge (see 3.4.). But we face the basic obstacle in the way of acquiring the same kind of capacity by social science – the described disintegrated state of theory in it. The paradox is that we live in an epoch marked by the emergence of a number of general scientific theories (including general evolution theory) which potentially are applicable to human society as well. Thus for the first time they create the initial premise for the integration of the social and natural sciences. Moreover, such an application seems to be their most important latent purpose and function. But social science in its existing state turns out to be incapable of using this opportunity for solving the most urgent strategic issues of our time. And in general this incapability appears to be the Achilles' heel of the existing pattern of systems thinking.
Due to the favourable combination of a number of methodological and theoretical research premises, I succeeded in developing systematically the needed theories of human social life and culture and their dynamics. And this, in its turn, has permitted me to penetrate into the level of studying the elementary units and mechanisms of sociocultural evolutionary self-organization and to learn its fundamental laws. These theories have made it possible to elaborate the strategic objectives and ideas stated in the present book. For this reason, I have decided to introduce most important parts of my research experience of studying culture and, in particular, its unique modern product – practice-oriented science as a specific part of human consciousness (see part 3).
Human consciousness is an extremely complex many-sided, multilevel phenomenon. Its carriers are individuals and various groups, institutions. It has numerous aspects: moral, aesthetic, religious, political, legal, scientific, national, and global. In spite of this diversity, consciousness is a single phenomenon. Being complex and diverse, it began to acquire essentially new properties in the processes of development during the contemporary epoch. These properties reflect the objective demands of humanity and civilization that are generated by their emerging qualitatively new states. We know that today humanity transits from its previous dispersed state to the state of global interdependent system. As to civilization – it becomes a really world formation, intended to fulfil the functions of a mode of activity of this system (1.4.2.).
While examining these issues in the book the idea of another culture-genic trap was introduced and developed – the idea of "normative trap" (1.4.3.). This concept is also called upon to reveal a certain kind of discrepancy. In this case it is the discrepancy between still very influential imperial priorities, modes of regulation of international relations and the qualitatively new global systems state of humanity that needs essentially different normative basis. It must be based on a culture of peace that presupposes, in particular, a humanistically oriented mode of regulation of international relations (1.4.4.). But the issue is that the imperial regulative mode of these relations, intended for the previous dispersed state of humanity and the corresponding general pattern of civilization, is permanently reproduced and used today in a modified way. There are several reasons for that.
The first is rooted in the powerful forces of inertia, which the imperial kind of culture of war accumulated in itself. For understanding the second, it is necessary to take into account that the basic factors that predetermined and accelerated the transition of humanity to its global systems state were of technoeconomic and information technological character. And these factors are not at all sufficient for the elaboration of the above-mentioned mode of regulation of international relations needed today. Thus its absence creates favourable conditions for the reproduction of the old and obsolete imperial socioregulative culture, intrinsic to it value orientations. So, although the big empires and colonial regimes on the whole have disappeared, the aggressive imperial pattern of thinking is permanently regenerated (see 3.9.3.) And this becomes the source of extremely great danger. It is comparable with the danger conditioned by the contemporary insatiable and aggressive consumption pattern of interaction of human beings with nature.
From my point of view, it is the combination of the cognitive and normative traps and vicious circles they create that must be first of all overcome and broken. But it is easier said than done. In spite of growing concern over several decades, human beings in their every-day life usually try simply not to think about the dangers, death threats hanging over them or admit the inevitability of the global self-destruction (see 2.2.). The book shows that this mood is a direct result of the neglect of the key survival-development strategic issues and presents the idea that is specially intended for solving the task under review – the idea of regional ecological-noospheric experiment (RENE). The book also contains a system of arguments in favour of wide international inculcation and development of the RENE idea and project under the aegis of the UN. I suppose such an inculcation could become, firstly, a mechanism for world survival-development strategic management and, secondly, a means for endowing the UN system with the capacity to fulfil these strategic managerial functions.
It is hardly admissible to begin the characteristics of the RENE idea here, so complex and many-sided it is (see 1.4.). While elaborating it, I constantly tried to take into consideration the survival-development strategic imperatives as well as the specific manifestation of the action of the fundamental objective evolutionary laws in human social life at this critical stage of its development. These are first of all the laws of evolutionary self-organization of sociocultural systems manifested in their reproduction dynamics (see 3.4.-3.5.). The RENE idea and project became just the result of taking into consideration of action of laws of inertia, nonequilibrium thermodynamics, adaptation and other related laws in the processes of reproduction dynamics of contemporary human social life and world civilization (see 1.4.1.-1.4.2., 3.8.).
Here it is expedient to explain why I pay so great attention to scientific consciousness and especially to the phenomenon of practice-oriented science. One reason is that this product of machine industrial civilization appears to be the most active, dynamic and influential element of this civilization. And this role of practice-oriented science is predetermined by the functions it is called to fulfil in the evolutionary self-organization of the contemporary society. Practice-oriented science appears to be an extremely powerful generator of human social life experience (see 3.6.). It is the particular pattern of thinking and behaviour shaped on the basis of this experience that plays such a decisive role in the processes of motivation and programming of the development of contemporary peoples.
The second reason is that the existing priorities and modes of production and use of knowledge, splitting scientific consciousness, simultaneously fulfil the very essential catalytic functions in splitting the other basic manifestations of human consciousness as well. At the same time, it is practice-oriented science that potentially contains the key to improving the world situation, but not the existing, compartmentalized, antihumanistic, historically limited pattern of science! Integrative practice-oriented science intended to solve basic survival-development strategic issues is urgently needed today. Being in accordance with humanistic values, it could become the necessary mechanism for their realization. The book examines both aspects of the problem.
Today many researchers and politicians realize that survival purposes can be achieved only due to the radical change of the existing general pattern of thinking. And it is high time that creative potential of the world should be mobilized for the transition from simple statements of this requirement toward the elaboration of the real principles and programmes to start the process of systems transformation of the examined pattern of thinking. The book shares the systemic approach of ASDS to the issue under review. To make understandable the ultimate goals of the work, it is reasonable to present them in a general perspective of the initial methodological requirements which the task of solution of global and national/regional key survival-development puts forward.
Any such task demands elaboration and use of three interconnected kinds of models. The first is the model called upon to describe and assess the present state of the system under review, the pattern of its intrinsic dynamics. The second is the idealized, normative model of this system considered from the standpoint of those basic strategic changes which must be realized in order to survive and evolve in the given environment. The third model should be elaborated as a result of bringing together the first two models by means of applying the idealized model to the present state of the examined system and its dynamics. The purpose is to find out those limitations as well as potential reserve possibilities for the necessary transformations, which the present state of the system under review contains itself. All these model construction principles are equally important for the study. And one can easily find the close interweaving of the elements of these theoretical constructions all over the book.
During the last decade I have participated in the work of a number future oriented interdisciplinary international structures. Especially intensively I participated in the activity of an advanced systems society – General Evolution Research Group (GERG) founded by Ervin Laszlo, a well-known scholar and organizer of science. GERG is one of organizational structures shaped under the influence of processes of elaborating the grounds of general evolution theory as a result of the contemporary progress of systems thinking. The GERG and some other similar societies (see 4.5.) are today the main organizational structures which are called upon to express the evolutionary background of systems thinking predetermined first of all by the existence of the above-mentioned objective general laws of evolution. It is reasonable to consider all of research trends with such orientations as manifestations of a common multifaceted contemporary intellectual phenomenon – "systems evolutionary thinking". As a researcher I refer myself just to this kind of thinking (see 3.1.-3.5.).
The participation in the activity of the GERG apparently better than anything else made me conceive all the ambivalence of the pattern of systems thinking which today dominates in the world. On the one hand, the GERG's meetings, always interesting and stimulating, demonstrated the great recent achievements of systems thinking, especially the elaboration of the nonequilibrium thermodynamics theory and the basis of general evolution. On the other hand, due to these meetings and other forms of contacts, I tangibly sensed the above-indicated weakest point of this pattern. I gradually understood that it is rooted in its incapability to apply consistently numerous attractive, well-substantiated general theoretical constructions to the required level of elementary mechanisms of evolutionary self-organization of the world crisis dynamics. And without the theoretical penetration to this level the solution of the sought after key survival-development strategic issues becomes impossible, they simply constantly fall out of sight of systems thinking (for details see 2.2.)
This idea came to my mind in the period when the discussed issues began to evoke in me ever growing interest. Accordingly, in a number of presentations prepared for GERG meetings, I tried to attract the attention of the colleagues to these specific problems as a potential top priority subject of systems thinking in our crisis epoch. At the same time I substantiated in them the necessity of finding out the ways of developing integrative systems evolutionary theory of cultural systems and their dynamics as an initial premise for dealing with the discussed issues. But I did not succeed much in doing it, perhaps my arguments were not yet sufficiently convincing.
Taking into account this circumstance, as well as the extreme importance of solving the issues in question, I decided to make these issues a topic of special analysis. In order not to distract from the topic I even promised myself not to leave Yerevan until the analysis was accomplished.
So my four-year free-will state of isolation began. True, at first, I planned to finish the study within a year, but the very subject turned out to be much more complex than I assumed. Besides, planning so at the starting point, I did not take into consideration the ever growing total crisis in Armenia and the difficulties of carrying out investigations in the conditions of such a crisis and some other factors; but there is more to it than that. There are grounds to say that these conditions at the same time permitted to elaborate much more adequate vision of not only national crisis but the world crisis as well.
Now in the light of the above-said let us once again apply to my arguments in favour of the idea of the integrative systems evolutionary knowledge on cultural systems and their dynamics as the necessary cognitive premise for dealing with the key survival-development strategic issues. I believe that in the course of these rather long studies they have acquired sufficiently convincing power to draw the attention of the GERG (and other) colleagues. So I look forward to a thorough examination of this book at one of our meetings.
Any particular research approach naturally has also its definite possibilities and limitations. In this book they are first of all conditioned by its focus strategic prism through which the planetary crisis is viewed – the linkage and interdependence between scientific-educational, managerial and moral parameters of contemporary world civilization and the methodology used. Judgements on the possibilities of this approach are left to the reader.
The miserable social conditions in Armenia, spurred by a trade and energy blockade, deprived its population of even rudimentary public amenities such as a normal functioning of postal service. These conditions naturally presented serious obstacles for the creation of ASDS. In particular, they precluded the wide involvement of potential partners from other countries in the process of foundation and early activities of the organization. Under these conditions, a definite plan for transforming ASDS into a truly international structure was worked out. It is based on the assumption that if a number of globally needed ideas are correctly formulated in a timely fashion, they are potentially able to attract the necessary attention and thus to generate the required discussions and research tendencies. Since ASDS appears to have at its disposal a system of ideas sufficiently provocative to generate the necessary discussion, it has been decided to state them systematically in a series of publications and to launch them into the world.
With this goal in mind, ASDS suggests the rubric stated in the title page of the book. We believe that this headline will promote the organization of an open discussion forum intended to produce conditions conductive for selection and further collective elaboration of the necessary survival-development strategic ideas, programmes, and plans of action (for details see part 4).
It is my first attempt to write a whole book in English. I have stated this study in English, being convinced that the issues discussed in the book are of an urgent global character and the mobilization of the creative forces of the planet to solve them must be made without delay. From this standpoint, the ultimate goal of the work is to make the text sufficiently understandable to share the examined ideas with fellow professionals of the world and all those who could be interested in them. Accordingly, I hope that the reader will not be too demanding with regard to the language of the book.
I would like to express my thanks to the members of the ASDS Oleg Gasparian, Vladimir Grigorian, Konstantin Koudaverdean, Igor Mkrtumian, the late Koryoun Saringulian, Dant Sarkisian, Manvel Sarkisian, Ivan Vardanian. Representing different branches of knowledge and areas of activity, they most actively participated in the discussions and other activities, while solving various problems and overcoming difficulties, which arose in the process of creating this organization and writing the present book. I express my special thanks to K. Koudaverdean, the Chief Editor of the Armenian Encyclopaedia, who in 1993 initiated in this institution a seminar for discussing my survival-development strategic conception. In the course of that seminar, the Initiative Group for the foundation of the ASDS was shaped.
The book has become a result of a long multi-faceted research carried out during the difficult total crisis time for Armenia. As the study is devoted to a very urgent subject, the intensive work was never broken off even during the most difficult periods of cold, unheated and dark, unlit winters in Yerevan that were the direct result of the permanent economic blockade and the extreme energy crisis in the republic. I wish to express my gratitude to all those persons who, having believed in the objectives of this work, promoted its fulfillment. Among them were my mother Vardanush Markarian, my sister Irina Markarian and her husband Artur Aroutunyan. I would like specially to mention in this respect Elena Asatryan, my friend, for her constant moral support, English language consultations, and attempts in every possible way to create favourable atmosphere for the continuation of the work. I express my thanks to Charles Specht, the volunteer with the American Peace Corps/Armenia for his support of the work through the technical assistance and the language editing of a part of the book. The language editing of its remaining part was made by Levon Chorbajian. As a Professor of sociology (University of Massachusetts) he had been invited to deliver lectures in Yerevan just during the time when this book was in the process of preparation. I also express my gratitude to Irina Isahakian and Hrachia Kazhoyan for the final language polishing and proofreading.
I am grateful to the Armenian painter Albert Yaralov who, as a member of ASDS, created the emblem of this organization. I would like also to express my thanks to Artjem Nagapetian who found a good way to apply the emblem to the cover of the book.
I kindly appreciate all the efforts of Archbishop Shahe Ajamian and his essential support to the publication of this book.
The necessity for the transition to a new turn of world studies and actions, which is substantiated in the book, naturally requires to rethink essentially the whole approach to crisis situations, the used principles and conceptual schemes. I would like to begin the systematic introduction to the objectives and ideas of ASDS project through the schematic presentation of our vision of the very logic of this rethinking process. It seems that to follow this logic means first of all to understand the initial premises that are needed for the transition under review and for the radical strategic reform of the UN system.
1) Any social crisis can be interpreted as a disease of sociocultural organisms. This scientific generalization is not at all original. However, I believe that the development of this argument in a consistent systems evolutionary, non-reductionist manner can lead to important non-standard conclusions. For this purpose it is first of all necessary to reveal the initial invariant structure of any disease. This can be done by describing a disease at two levels: the symptoms and the basic sources that generate these symptoms.
2) ASDS focuses on the most dangerous kinds of social crises. These are the crises, which threaten the very existence of human social life at regional/national and global levels. Today, one often finds the words "survival", "development" and "strategies" used in various combinations in reference to these kinds of crisis situations. But despite this usage, the challenge of revealing and removing the basic sources/causes of such crises remains unaddressed. My position is that the key survival-development strategic issues are just those problems, which reflect the necessity of diagnosing crisis situations, revealing and removing their basic sources.
3) It is necessary to differentiate two classes of threats that potentially can endanger the very existence of human social life. They are nature-genic and culture-genic threats. ASDS, as a rule, examines the threats of culture-genic origin for the following reason. Although human beings can decrease to some extent the destructive effects of various natural threats, they are helpless to prevent most of them, in spite of the tremendous material technological power of the contemporary civilization. It is easy to imagine the situations in which such natural threats are able to destroy completely human social life (and maybe the majority of other living species) on the planet. This can happen, for instance, as a result of the earth colliding with certain kinds of celestial bodies. It is potentially a real but not an immediate threat. Meanwhile, today we face a culture-genic threat of the same scale and power. World studies in recent decades have convincingly shown that spontaneous continuation of the contemporary development pattern of civilization will lead to extinction of humanity. At the same time the culture-genic origin of death threats hanging over humanity give certain grounds to hope that they can be prevented in principle through the appropriate world culture mobilizing actions (see part 4).
4) Culture is a very ambivalent phenomenon. On the one hand, it is the means of human adaptation that provides survival and development of societies. From this point of view, it is due to the emergence of culture that it became possible to shape the essentially distinct, sociocultural type of life organization on the planet. On the other hand, we face various states, properties and forms of culture, specially intended for actualization of insatiable greed, aggressive, violent destructive patterns of activity. Their aggression is directed both towards human beings themselves and other living species. Especially ambivalent from this point of view is the contemporary stage of world machine industrial civilization. At this stage the greatest hidden possibilities of culture and its specific component – practice-oriented natural science were revealed and innumerable conveniences of every-day life were created. But these possibilities were used for over and over increasing aggression, violence, greed and injustice in the world. As to the mentioned conveniences, they were created at the expense of thoughtless exploitation and degradation of natural environment, of the violation of the fundamental laws of a balanced evolutionary self-organization of human social life. The most essential specific feature of this stage of machine industrial world civilization is that it permanently and impetuously generates new human needs, especially the material ones. And this generation as well as satisfaction of the needs is achieved first of all through the alliance between the machine industry and specialized, compartmentalized natural science.
5) This alliance has shaped a permanently acting powerful generator of sociocultural changes, which performs the role of an accelerator of civilization. This accelerator rapidly increases the speed of sociocultural development. Although the generator of changes is based on the permanent, many-sided use of science, in the evolutionary sense it remains blind because of the monodisciplinary, compartmentalized character of this use. But at the same time the contemporary civilization for the first time in history has created the stimuli and objective preconditions to overcome consistently the traditional aggressive and violent nature of human evolution. Among them, the basic one is the ever-growing process of transition of humanity from the dispersed state to the global systems interdependent state. The humanization of the whole world culture is the initial imperative requirement of the latter state (see 1.4.2. – 1.4.4.). It also requires the transition to a consciously guided pattern of sociocultural evolution. Here we face the initial survival strategic imperative first of all because the evolutionary blunders committed during the last centuries can not be corrected spontaneously in the conditions of uncontrollable world development. Accordingly, such a correction through revealing and removing the basic sources of the destructiveness of the existing pattern of the world development seems to be the primary task. But the essential advancement in this direction will be possible only under the condition of achieving a balance and interdependence between operational and strategic approaches to the crisis situations both on national/regional and global levels. The version of the UN system's reform proposed in the book just became the result of this world vision.
6) The problem of survival always accompanied the evolution of human societies. In the current century it has acquired very essential specific features. As distinct from the past ages, in the contemporary epoch for the first time the objective conditions for the annihilation of humanity have been created. And, accordingly, the global and national/regional survival strategic problematic becomes today closely interdependent. This situation can serve as a bright instance of the ambivalence of culture, as a specific mode of life organization. As it is known, biological species usually are deprived of the advantages of exchanging the accumulated life experience between different units of evolution. Homo sapiens is the only species endowed with this evolutionary advantage. It is this distinction that enabled this species to spread its power all over the Earth. But at the same time the discussed property today has turned out to be the weakest point of sociocultural evolution in general. The question is that bioevolution, as distinct from sociocultural evolution, is insured against borrowing and adoption of evolutionary mistakes acquired by its particular units, including those which contain threats of total destruction of life. In particular, bioevolution is completely immune against the situation, which is a result of the sociocultural evolution of the last centuries. This is the situation in which the evolutionary blunder (see 1.2.) made at the level of one of the units of sociocultural evolution – the West-European local civilization has become the property of the whole global human community through extended reproduction and development (see on the initial aspects of this issue and the ambivalence of culture in general 1.4.3., 3.6.-3.8.).
7) The second specific feature of the survival strategic problematic in the contemporary epoch is that it demands the essential extension of the very idea of strategy. Traditionally this idea was associated with programmes for achieving long-term military aims. Today the concept "strategy" embraces all the basic areas of human activity. It was shaped first of all under the demand of systems transformation of the contemporary world destructive development pattern. Today the concept of strategy in fact acquires a universal capacity of application. It is applicable to any subject and area of human activity. Thus, strategy can be defined as any programme for achieving long-term aims, as a mode of transition of a social system (or a person), institution from the existing unsatisfactory state to a desirable one.
8) Such understanding of strategy permits to comprehend the third and fourth specific features of survival strategies in the contemporary epoch. They appear to be programmes, which must be consciously elaborated and implemented. Besides they are programmes which pursue not only survival (self-preserving) purposes but development purposes as well. In other words they are programmes which presuppose to achieve survival purposes through the appropriate transformation of systems under review. There exist strategic ethnocultural programmes, which, being spontaneously worked out in the past, permitted a number of ancient peoples, after they lost their statehood, to survive in very unfavourable conditions up till now. These are, for instance, survival strategies intrinsic to Jewish and Armenian nations. Such strategies are intended for rather stable alien ethnocultural environments and by their nature are programmes of self-preservation but not development. Such programmes are not at all sufficient for our extremely dynamic age (especially after the restoration of their statehood by the aforementioned nations). Ethnical patterns of culture that are reproduced by this kind of strategies naturally acquire provincial character in the context of this age.
9) In the focus of operational approach to crisis situations usually are the already-present, generated destructive effects which threat human beings. As distinct from it, the strategic approach is called upon to elaborate the necessary research and managerial premises for revealing and removing the basic sources of these effects. The necessity to reveal and remove the causes that threaten the very existence of a social system reflects the basic specific features of survival and development strategies. Only the permanent use of the strategic approach to the analyzed kind of crisis situations can make really fruitful the operational approach to them. The reverse is also true, i.e., only through an effective operational crisis management of these situations can we pave the way for a fruitful strategic survival-development crisis management.
10) The task of reaching a balance between operational and strategic survival-development approaches to crisis situations requires the elaboration of an appropriate fundamental conceptual scheme specially intended to solve this task. From my point of view, to achieve the discussed goal it is necessary first of all essentially to develop four closely interrelated concepts: applied systems analysis, social engineering, management and policy. Each concept should be subdivided into its operational and strategic manifestations. So four pairs of concepts can be enumerated. They are operational and strategic applied systems analysis, operational and strategic social engineering, operational and strategic management, and operational and strategic policy.
11) I assume that this conceptualization should represent the initial intellectual framework for governing the world under the contemporary crisis epoch. The very logic of such governance demands that this conceptualization be used for designing and creating desirable alternative futures. Up till now the reviewed concepts under the influence of today's short-term, consumption-oriented, technoeconomic development priorities have been logically subordinated to the more operational tasks. Developing this inference, I should like to specify some consequences of today's priorities. They focus on the tasks of organizing the daily rhythms of human activity, directed towards satisfying the innumerable short-term needs of social life. So it is very important constantly to take into account that these operational tasks are performed in a sectored and compartmentalized manner. Accordingly, the current domination of the departmentally and monodisciplinary ordered managerial, scientific and educational structures merely reflect the pattern of activity intrinsic to these structures.
12) The crucial issue is that the patterns of activity needed for designing and creating future states of human social life and culture have a qualitatively different character. They demand a consistently integrative approach to the sociocultural systems and synthetic knowledge about them (it is notable that a consistently integrative approach is also needed for the reconstruction of the past condition of these systems). Only the establishment of a balance between operational and strategic approaches to crisis situations will permit to produce the necessary means for bringing together the intrinsic to them fundamentally different but equally important principles called upon to elaborate and implement short-term and long-term programmes and plans of human activity. This book is an attempt to prove systematically this conclusion.
As the reader already knows, I was inspired with the idea of founding the ASDS when I realized the quite unsatisfactory and extremely dangerous state of the world studies and actions. All of the survival programmes evoked by the ever-growing planetary crisis deal only with particular destructive and destabilizing effects. They are not accompanied by the efforts to reveal and remove the underlying causes. Having been left unattended, these causes are creating more waves of chain reaction of destructive effects that in their turn make numerous dangerous combinations between themselves. The key survival and development strategic issues are neglected in all the existing patterns of world studies and actions. Recognizing the inadequacy of study and action on the key strategic issues was but one of the two factors which inspired the idea of the foundation of ASDS. The second and decisive factor that compelled us to develop and implement this idea was the apparent relevance of my research results over the past decade. This research was devoted to the contemporary world civilization dynamics through the prism of its scientific-educational, managerial and moral subsystems. As a result of these studies a whole system of hypotheses on the basic causes of the current planetary crisis was produced. Furthermore, an idea of the possible comprehensible means for removing these causes was elaborated (see 1.4.). Besides that, a hypothesis emerged which explained why the key survival and development strategic issues were systematically neglected (see 1.3., 2.2. 1.4.4.).
My assumption is that the chain reaction of destructive and destabilizing effects in the world is the result of an evolutionary blunder. It was committed in the course of the emergence and further spontaneous development of the machine industrial civilization. The gist of the blunder is the ever-increasing evolutionary imbalance between the development of the implementation (executive) means of human activity on the one hand, and the general programming means of human activity on the other (Markarian, 1989a; 1992b.). This imbalance violates the very principles of normal functioning and development of human social life, the processes of its evolutionary self-organization.
The conception is also based on the discovery of the mechanism by which the blunder was committed. It is composed of the following basic links: the system of short-term technoeconomic development priorities of science and education, the monodisciplinary organization of scientific and educational activity, priorities and modes of production, and use of knowledge and specialists. These priorities and modes constitute the core of the investigated historical pattern of scientific-educational culture (see Markarian, 1992c, 50-55). The fundamental shortcomings of this pattern are the one-sided discontinuous specialization, compartmentalization of knowledge and its irregular development (favouring the natural and engineering sciences and leaving the social sciences to lag behind). It is this pattern that initially splits scientific consciousness (see section 1.1., point 7). Such a split and lag are quite abnormal phenomena from the standpoint of evolutionary self-organization of human social life.
The symptoms of the committed blunder were recognized by the pioneers of world studies. Erich Jantsch, the well-known figure of the Club of Rome was among them. In great alarm he tried to attract the attention to the phenomenon of uncontrollable and exponential growth. The uncontrollable development of technology (means of conquering nature), Jantsch wrote, which comprises only one element of the entire social system, has resulted in a type of a cancerous growth. It hampers and suppresses a healthy development of other parts of the system. He noted another important factor generated by technology – the great positive feedback effect in various spheres of society. Having once been introduced, changes assume an irreversible character because they generate further changes and their acceleration. In brief, a tendency towards a dynamic instability develops in the system embracing man and his environment. Therefore there arises the danger of catastrophic deviations from the normal course (Jantsch, 1972, 461-462). Jantsch completed his analysis with a question: what negative feedback could sufficiently counteract the powerful positive feedback generated by technology to stabilize the development and to exclude the catastrophic fluctuations.
In 1974 in their Report to the Club of Rome, "Mankind at the Turning Point", M. Mesarovic and E. Pestel introduced the concepts of undifferentiated and organic kinds of growth. The first characterized the above-mentioned cancerous type of growth; the second characterizes the desirable balanced type of growth intrinsic to biological organisms.
In the same year Konrad Lorenz published his "Civilized Man's Eight Deadly Sins" (Lorenz, 1974). In this book he, in particular, developed the same topic of cancerous evolutionary pattern of the contemporary civilization. Analyzing the consequences of the action of its regulatory mechanism based on the extreme imbalance between negative and positive feedback loops, Lorenz compares the present one-sidedly innovative vector of the dynamics of civilization with the processes typical of snow-slips or fire.
These conclusions were very valuable for that time because they attracted attention to the vital issues relating to the evident signs of some greatest violations of the normal course of evolutionary self-organization of human social life. Being in fact recognition of the most general symptoms of the planetary crisis, they can be assessed as its correct preliminary diagnosis. However, the crucial issue that one comes across in this situation is to conceive the very essence of the committed violations, their systems evolutionary nature. From this point of view, the conclusions under review also became very useful because they stimulated the search of ways of solving the crucial task sought for. I personally strongly felt this stimulus and under its influence gradually found my own way to the solution of this task. At the same time, while elaborating the conceptual scheme intended for its investigation, I have succeeded to work out within it a specific link endowed with the capacity for a permanent inner stimulation and theoretical promotion of the search. It is the RENE idea. This capacity is rooted in the very nature of the RENE idea (see 1.4.).
The development of the contemporary natural and social sciences and their applications has strikingly asymmetrical and disproportionate character; but at the same time, it seems no less striking that this quite evident kind of development usually fails to catch sight all over the world. It is perceived as something normal and as a sole possible option. True, one can find studies that draw attention to some manifestations of the asymmetry under review, but these studies are very few and they do not generate a real interest and the necessary cumulative research process. It concerns even the studies carried out by well-known scholars and under favourable historical conditions. John Platt's study which brought to light the extreme dispropotions in the area of inventions intended to solve technical and social problems can serve a good example (Platt, 1966, 132-134). It is worth mentioning in this connection that this study was carried out when the world studies were being shaped, and he himself became one of their pioneers and a member of the Club of Rome.
It is the asymmetrical development pattern of the contemporary practice-oriented science analyzed through the prism of general laws of life evolution that permitted me to pinpoint the initial evolutionary blunder in question. I posit that the chain reaction of destructive and destabilizing effects in the world was generated through the essential violation of the universal algorithm of a balanced development of the parts of living systems in human society. The algorithm is based upon the action of laws which govern a balanced circulation of a specific kind of information (i.e. life experience) and, its proportionate renewal in the various parts of biological and sociocultural organisms (see about the laws of transformational circles of life experience 3.3.-3.5.). In the analyzed case the algorithm of a balanced development between material implementation technologies and socioregulative, objective setting, programming technologies (modes) in human activity was violated.
The priorities conditioned by the alliance of natural sciences and machine industry allowed for the mistake to slip into civilization's mechanism for programming its fundamental evolutionary vector and general development pattern. Afterwards it penetrated into all of the basic economic, managerial, scientific-educational, and ideological institutions and became firmly fixed. Thus the behaviour patterns induced by the evolutionary blunder were eventually transformed into the system of traditions, which dominates the world.
The above-characterized blunder is a multifaceted phenomenon. Some of its aspects will be discussed further (see, in particular, 1,4.5.-1.4.6.; 2.4.).
The split in scientific consciousness is the direct result of the short-term, technocratic consumption priorities of scientific development and the ideology, which opposes society to nature. It is this opposition which has caused the split between social and natural-engineering sciences. As a result of the split, the social sciences have become a sort of Cinderella among the contemporary sciences. In this respect it is especially important to return to the examination of the issue that we began to discuss in Preface. It is the issue of the extremely disintegrated state of social science theory including social philosophy. I suppose that in general from the discussed standpoint the difference between philosophical and scientific levels of knowledge is a secondary question. The primary question is that the knowledge produced today, especially the knowledge on human social life, does not meet the basic requirements of the contemporary epoch first of all because of its extreme disintegrated state mentioned above. The ever-growing tendency towards fragmentation and differentiation of social knowledge is indicated by many authors (see, for instance, Wallerstein, 1997).
The major symptoms of this state are manifested in the following interconnected tendencies: 1) The arbitrary interpretation of the concepts of the studied phenomena. It can be expressed in their unjustified limitation or widening. But the main danger today comes from the arbitrary limitation of phenomena. 2) The fragmentation of sociocultural reality. 3) The opposition of several of its subsystems and elements and the lack of efforts directed towards understanding and conceptualization of the links between them. The most typical cases are diametrical opposition of society to nature; social sciences to natural sciences; hermeneutics to systems analysis; understanding to explanation; individualization to generalization; culture to civilization; traditional societies to nontraditional societies; and industrial societies to postindustrial ones.
The arbitrary approach to the construction and use of the concepts can be found in every branch of science and at all its levels. However, it has become an especially severe calamity in the social sciences. Even the basic categories used in the study of human social life, such as self-organization, adaptation, ecosystem, culture, civilization, tradition, science, technology, industry are interpreted in an ever-narrowing arbitrary manner (see Markarian, 1992b, 12-15; Saringulian, 1995, 12-15). This naturally distorts the images of the world in which we live. I shall substantiate this conclusion further and show the tremendous negative research and management negative consequences of the domination of this disintegrated style of thinking.
I consider the disintegrated state of social science theory as a most vulnerable spot of contemporary civilization (Markarian, 1992b; 1992c). Having analyzed this state in the context of a search of the ways out of the current planetary crisis, especially its environmental manifestations, I came to the conclusion that it constitutes the basic elements of a phenomenon that I named the "cognitive trap".
It is a situational concept called to draw attention to a quite definite discrepancy. It is the discrepancy between the dominating priorities and modes of production and use of knowledge and specialists, on the one hand, and the current planetary crisis and the system of its unusually complex problems, on the other hand. These priorities and modes simply are not intended for solving these kinds of problems. The cognitive trap is composed of the vicious circle created by priorities and modes under review, which constitute the basis of the pattern of contemporary practice-oriented scientific-educational culture.
In order to reveal the gist of this vicious circle, it is necessary to take into account that the problem, which the concept of cognitive trap reflects, has two basic interdependent aspects. The first concerns the incapability of the discussed pattern of scientific-educational culture to produce the consistently integrative knowledge needed for the elaboration of environmental and other survival-development strategic programmes. The second concerns the incapability of the same pattern to make the necessary integrative approaches and theories a subject of an thorough examination when particular scholars do succeed in creating them. Such approaches and theories usually are neglected or rejected without adequate discussion by the appropriate institutions which are called to stimulate, encourage the development and dissemination of new progressive research tendencies (see, for instance, 4.4.). Among these institutions are ever growing in number foundations which usually have consistently operational priorities.
The ASDS was just envisioned primarily as an international body specially designed to perform the task of mobilizing and programming the efforts directed towards breaking the vicious circle of the cognitive trap under review. It can be done only through the transition from the compartmentalized, discontinuously specialized pattern of scientific-educational culture, accompanied by the split between social and natural-engineering sciences, to the essentially different, integratively specialized pattern. This new historical pattern of scientific-educational culture should be based on the close, large-scale integration of the major groups of sciences. The elaboration of the fundamental elements of such a pattern will mean the creation of the initial precondition for the realization of the idea of a guided evolution. The problem of a guided evolution is discussed in the world literature, although this problem does not yet occupy its proper place. A real enthusiast of the problem in question is Bela H. Banathy (see, Banathy, 1993). We both are members of the General Evolution Research Group mentioned above and this circumstance permitted me to watch how Banathy's concept of a guided evolution was developed. Accepting this concept in general, I at the same time find that the further elaboration of theoretical and practical aspects of the problem directly depends on the capacity to develop a consistently integrative, systems evolutionary knowledge of cultural systems and their dynamics (for details see 3.2.).
Among the initial steps in the direction of the theoretical elaboration of the discussed problem the most urgent is to specify what a guided evolution is in reverence to a spontaneous evolution. I am not going to discuss this issue in detail and want only to stress that the idea of a guided evolution does not mean that the consciously regulated processes will replace all the spontaneous ones. Such a replacement is impossible in principle. The idea of a guided evolution first of all reflects the capacity to control and govern the basic parameters of sociocultural evolution. From my point of view, the integrative field composed of the interdependent survival evolutionary strategic development of the scientific, educational, managerial and moral cultural subsystems of the contemporary civilization is especially important in this case.
The process of acquiring the capacity to master the basic parameters of sociocultural evolution will be at the same time the process through which can be paved a way out of the above-described state of cognitive trap. In the following sections I shall characterize my vision of a possible actualization of a guided evolution. The RENE idea and project constitute the core of this vision.
The RENE idea emerged in 1984 in Armenia. The immediate stimulus for its elaboration became the proposal from the Scientific Council on the Problems of Biosphere of the USSR Academy of Sciences. The proposal was submitted to the government of the Armenian Republic. The Council suggested that the Armenian Republic should be used as a complex subject for application of V. I. Vernadsky's teaching on biosphere and noosphere (see Markarjan, 1986, 3-10). "Noosphere" means a specific planetary formation constituted by human mind. This concept had been popularized in the world due to works of P. Teilhard de Chardin and Vernadsky.
In the RENE project the noosphere concept is developed, first of all, from the angle of moving from spontaneous to guided evolution. The initial difficulty preventing such a transition is the fact that the human mind was never intended to exercise such conscious control over the whole sociocultural evolutionary process. Its controlling capacity has only been directed towards particular parameters of the overall process. Only now, under the pressure of environmental and other survival imperatives, the scientific, moral and other manifestations of consciousness are compelled to acquire the capacity for overcoming this limitation. The RENE project just reflects this necessity. The regional ecological-noospheric experimental zones are foreseen as comprehensive schools for guided evolution.
From all the obstacles in the way of transition to a consciously guided pattern of evolution of humanity, it is reasonable, first of all, to single out the inertial behaviour of institutions, which were developed to serve the traditional spontaneous evolutionary pattern. Among them are the institutions of the UN system, which have accumulated mighty inertial forces, although having existed for only 50 years.
At first glance, it seems very strange that the influence of inertial forces on the behaviour of human beings and structures of the contemporary civilization are not seriously taken into account in the world studies. At any rate, one can not find systematic studies on this subject as applied to the whole civilization. At best their existence is only mentioned. I assume that from the theoretical standpoint this omission has its quite definite reasons. They are rooted in the absence of adequate knowledge on the universal elementary units of culture which are the carriers of inertial forces of human social life, and on the general laws of reproduction dynamics of sociocultural systems (see Markarian, 1992b, 27).
The integrative, systems evolutionary approach to cultural tradition dynamics used by the Armenian culturological and traditionological school promoted the discovery of these units and laws (see part 3). This, in turn, created the necessary theoretical premises for taking into account the inertial behaviour of the appropriate structures of contemporary world civilization from the point of view of strategic survival-development imperatives. These research conclusions were embodied in their consistent form in the RENE idea.
The RENE idea (and project) is based on two main assumptions. In accordance with the first, the radical systems transformation of the destructive world development pattern turns out to be impossible under the usual stabilized conditions of the reproduction dynamics of human societies. The basic group patterns (stereotypes) of human activity (cultural traditions), while reproducing the appropriate structures of civilization, regenerate at the same time the fundamental sources of destruction. As to mechanisms of change which are intrinsic to cultural reproduction dynamics, they, in accordance with the laws of inertia, promote the inculcation of only those types of changes which correspond to the existing general destructive development pattern of civilization. Consequently, any consistent transformational survival-development strategic programs intended to radically alter this pattern are blocked. Here we face a vicious circle that poses an extraordinary challenge to humankind.
The second assumption is that, if the needed radical systems transformation of the destructive development pattern on the global scale is impossible right away under the usual conditions of existence, then it is not excluded that this top priority strategic task could be solved at first under experimentally created favourable regional conditions. Social experiments in discrete areas of human social life were rather widely spread during recent years, but as a rule they were used as instruments of operational management. The RENE conception suggests that, in an analogous fashion, social experimentation should be also widely used as a means for world survival-development strategic management. This assumption constitutes the core of the RENE idea and project.
The rational for this theoretical construction is as follows: the crucial problem relating to strategic world management is connected with the elaboration of mechanisms that will make possible the conscious selection of holistic variants of sociocultural evolution. These must be able to meet the strategic ecological and other survival imperatives. The RENE idea provides the initial basis for creating such mechanisms. While formulating the RENE idea in 1984, I could not imagine how strategically innovative and many-sided was this idea. However, its really great strategic potential became gradually clearer in the process of systematical substantiating and developing the idea in a series of works (see, for instance, Markarian, 1986a; 1989a; 1989b; 1992b; 1992c).
On the whole, the RENE is a manifestation of the widespread motto: "thinking globally, acting locally." This idea is usually understood as a call not to contradict to the basic global requirements at a regional level. But the RENE project goes much further. It puts forward the task of solving the initial, fundamentally important survival and development strategic issues that do not seem to be soluble simultaneously on a global level. As the reader already knows, this concerns, first of all, the problem of the systems transformation of the contemporary destructive world development pattern.
This transformation requires the discovery and elimination of the fundamental causes and sources which are responsible for the present destructive pattern of development. In accordance with the RENE principles, only the solution of these key survival-development strategic issues can pave the way for the creation of a truly sustainable society. Their solution could also lessen the gap between the nations, which represent the center and periphery of machine industrial civilization, between the so-called "developed" and "developing" countries.
RENE is constructed as an international polyregional project. It is suggested that the major socio-economic patterns of nations, geographic and cultural-historical areas of the planet should be represented in its experimental zones. This would combine in the experiment the general survival-development strategic transformational principles and the national/regional identical traditions. Should the RENE project proceed, it will provide a permanent basis for a systematic comparison of ongoing processes across experimental zones. This would become a very important channel for gaining very rich life experience that could be disseminated and used in the world. The experience could also be used for the corrections in the course of implementation of the RENE project as well as for the elaboration and development of new experimental programmes (see Markarian, 1986a, 91-98).
The RENE project is also designed as a mechanism to consolidate peoples in a way that corresponds to the new emerging globally interdependent state of humanity. The consolidating potential of the RENE project is rooted in its objectives and principles which are intended to prevent the death threats hanging over all the nations of the planet. The polyregional international character of the RENE project is called upon to fulfil a specific function – to promote to bring the traditional modes of activity of peoples, typical of the previous dispersed state of their existence, in accordance with the new global realities. The project, in particular, is designed to endanger and strengthen the global humanistic value orientations. It is also called upon to find the effective ways for bringing together local and global identical dimensions of world culture (in this book the term "local" is endowed with generalizing functions within particular national/regional class of phenomena ( 3.1.-3.2.).
The main dilemma connected with local cultural diversity from the contemporary standpoint is the following: to figure out and develop potentially the constructive elements contained in the evolutionary background of national and regional cultural identities and at the same time to mitigate the sources of racial, ethnic and religious conflicts which are rooted in these identities. The great global danger of such conflicts has become especially evident since the end of the Cold War. The key to solving this problem is to establish the primacy of the aforementioned global humanistic values system which corresponds to the interdependent state of humanity. This primacy in no way means that the existing national, regional values should be eliminated.
The problem is that up to now all men, belonging to the same human race, have been acquiring their cultural properties and features (values, norms, interests, knowledge, beliefs, etc.) in ethnic, professional, religious and other historically worked out particular communities. Today the situation in the world is radically changing: at present human beings simultaneously are becoming the representatives of the rapidly shaping common global community – humanity as a single, interdependent system. It becomes a carrier of its own specific values, norms, interests and other cultural properties. Moreover, the evolutionary fate of all the peoples and their survival depend on the capacity of this system to function and develop effectively on the planet.
And this, in its turn, depends on the capacity of bringing in correspondence traditional national/regional and new global subsystems of contemporary world culture. Accordingly one of the vital problems of the contemporary epoch is to reveal the effective ways for achieving a balance between the traditional values, interests, feelings, beliefs and the global ones. Its solution requires the elaboration of essentially new cultural mechanisms intended for instilling in men assurance and understanding that they are equal members of humanity as a new shaping community and unit of evolution.
Only due to such transformations it will become possible to overcome such values and feelings which are embodied in the hypertrophical ethnocentrism, religious fundamentalism and a number of other related to them phenomena. It is this balance that could promote men to feel that their evolutionary fate as members of traditional communities and the shaping global community are inseparably linked. I believe that the implementation of the RENE project will bring to life such necessary consolidating means of culture, for which there are objective grounds. As we remember, RENE is a project, which is based on the principle of interdependence of national/regional and global parameters of the development of contemporary civilization and proportionally combines them.
What has been considered above is only one of the basic aspects of the problem of the urgent necessity for working out radically new consolidating mechanisms of culture specially intended for the epoch marked by the processes of transition from the dispersed to global systems states of humanity. Usually this new state is studied from economic and communicative standpoints. Certainly, they are important because it is a transnational world economy as well as the modern communication technologies that have essentially accelerated the emergence of the examined new state in the evolution of humanity. But nevertheless these standpoints are not at all sufficient. There is an urgent need of a more comprehensive, systemic approach to the issue which could culturologically synthesize this evolutionary stage from the standpoint of its essentially new general mode of existence of humanity. This mode is called upon to express a quite definite shaping evolutionary pattern able, alongside with economic, communication parameters of global systems state of human existence, to characterize a number of other important sociocultural parameters.
In particular, the following parameter is of extreme importance. It reflects the necessity of the radical replacement of those means of regulation of the interrelations between peoples and countries that were worked out during the previous developmental stages of civilization. They were means specially intended for the dispersed state of existence of humanity. These means on the whole can be defined as the imperial mode of regulation of the interrelations between nations. This mode is based on the various forms of ethnic, racial and religious discrimination. It is military and other manifestations of force that represent the fundamental common mechanism for achieving political ends which are intrinsic to the imperial socioregulatory culture.
The concept "empire" reflects a very wide, multifaceted and contradictory phenomenon. From the point of view of development of culture and its wealth, it embraces essentiallys different formations. Many of them, for instance, the empire created by the Alexander the Great, the Roman, Chinese, British or Russian empires were highly developed local historical patterns of culture. From the evolutionary standpoint, these kinds of states seem to be very cruel modes of dissemination of civilization in the world. But at the same time the discussed concept also embraces one-sidedly specialized military state machines with a very poor initial cultural background intended mostly for conquest, suppression and exploitation of peoples. Such empires, on the contrary, themselves acquired and misappropriated numerous cultural achievements of the conquered peoples. The Ottoman empire can serve as a bright historical instance of such formations (for details see 3.9.4.).
As distinct from the dispersed state of existence of humanity, its present state imperatively requires a radically different regulatory mode of peoples' interrelations. It must be based on the principles of equality of peoples, social and historical justice. In the chapter 3.9., through the systems culturological analysis of the first mass genocide of the century some crucial aspects of this mode are examined in comparison with the imperial mode. Here I want only to make some introductory theoretical remarks from the standpoint of the necessity of elaboration of the adequate mechanisms intended for inculcation of the new mode. The latter is one of the major links of a definite ever-growing general tendency in the development of civilization that inevitably accompanies the emergence of humanity as a global system. It is a tendency toward the humanization of the whole world cultural system and it seems to be an axiological strategic survival imperative.
One could perceive this generalization distrustfully facing infinite use of force, new and new waves of violence, hatred, intolerance manifested in numerous interethnic and interracial conflicts, civil wars, discrimination of peoples and individuals, acts of terrorism that take place in the contemporary world. But there are also other facts which, being typical of this world, indicate its specificity and the evolutionary vector of transition objectively conditioned by the discussed new interdependent state of humanity. The processes of decolonization and destruction of empires should be mentioned here first of all. They took place because empires and colonial regimes are incompatible with this state of humanity, with the processes of their transformation into a qualitatively new, global unit of sociocultural evolution. But these processes developed so rapidly that there was no sufficient historical time for the necessary replacement of the system of the imperial culture, its intrinsic pattern of consciousness and value orientations by the adequate ones. In a modified form this old obsolete pattern continues to play a very important role in the contemporary world because it is permanently reproduced in the conditions of the above-indicated lack of the adequate culture of regulation of international relations. And this is the main factor that generates the waves of violence, hatred, and other related phenomena.
In this connection it is very important to see the interdependence between the imperial pattern of thinking and unilateral operational approach to the discussed class of crisis situations. For instance, let us think of the causes of usual neglect of the issues of revealing and removing the basic sources of interethnic conflicts. It is not difficult to see that such neglect is conditioned, as a rule, not so much by the lack of the adequate knowledge of these conflicts as by the unwillingness to solve these issues. And the major cause of it is rooted in the reluctance of the still influential imperial thinking to call attention to the basic sources of these conflicts and, accordingly, to remove them. The reason of such reluctance is quite evident: these sources as a rule are embodied in the historical events that took place due to imperial programmes and patterns of activity (see for details 3.9.). I suppose that this condition is very important for the theory and practice of crisis management because it permits alongside with the lack of necessary knowledge to identify clearly other extremely important obstacles in the way of dealing with the contemporary planetary crisis.
The processes of transforming humanity into a qualitatively new, global unit of life evolution imperatively require a radically new moral system. (This historical situation in some way is comparable with the processes of the genesis of sociocultural pattern of life evolution when peoples were being shaped as its basic units, but at that period there was no such extreme shortage of time as today). Signs of emerging of this system are evident. They are manifested in ever widening acceptance of the principles of defense of human rights and social justice as regulatory norms of global community, though these tendencies are still very disproportionate and inconsistent. It is sufficient to mention the existing imbalance between this pair of principles and the pair manifested in the principles of historical justice and of defense of rights of other, not personal but collective subjects of human activity including peoples and today – the whole humanity (for details see further).
The very fact that these principles have not yet occupied the proper place in the practice of the UN and other appropriate international organizations testifies to this. Meanwhile they initially are founded to fulfill extremely important functions in the creation of the moral and legal basis of a new world order. Nothing can discredit this kind of organizations and conduce to create unhealthy climate in international relations than a policy based on double standards while settling interethnic conflicts and the evident neglect of essential crimes against particular peoples.
The emerging global interdependent systems state of humanity is composed of especially close interaction of peoples. And it is first of all interdependence between this whole and its parts. The crucial issue is that peoples were involved in this system quite unwittingly through the impetuously developed technoeconomic processes. And although peoples objectively turn out to be in a radically new evolutionary formation, they use for their mutual interaction the priorities and regulatory modes intended for the old dispersed state of human existence. And even today when the qualitatively different state of existence of peoples becomes quite evident, the initial normative basis of their behaviour on the international arena continues to be the same as if nothing has been changed. From this point of view, the implementation of the RENE project, the creation of its regulatory tools – regional ecological-noospheric zones are proposed just for strengthening and developing the humanistic tendencies and for removing the obstacles in this way. In the next section an attempt will be made to elucidate more distinctly some of such obstacles.
The discrepancy between the constantly reproduced pattern of scientific-educational culture, its development priorities and the realities of the planetary crisis, the vicious circle this discrepancy creates, gave us ground to make a wide generalization manifested in the concept of a "cognitive trap". Now, logically continuing this analysis, it is reasonable to introduce alongside with it the concept of a "normative trap". It reflects the discrepancy between the imperial priorities and modes that are still dominant in the area of socioregulatory culture, and the radically new global systems state of humanity. Here we face an analogous vicious circle created by the latter discrepancy in the course of reproduction dynamics of contemporary civilization. It is the combination of both these kinds of traps and vicious circles that compose the core formation of this civilization that contains the basic self-destructive, destabilizing forces at its present evolutionary stage. And it is this extremely distorted cultural formation that must be radically transformed and consistently overpowered in order to avoid the self-annihilation of the human race and the destruction of the planetary life system.
The death threats hanging over the whole human race potentially appear to be an extremely powerful factor for a close cooperation of nations. But the normative basis of the world's socioregulatory mode, the strategies applied have no capacity to actualize this potential because they are not intended for the current conditions of human existence. The failure of these strategies becomes more and more evident. For instance, Stanislav Grof in his paper "Consciousness and Planetary Survival" writes: "Diplomatic negotiations, administrative and legal measures, economic and social sanctions, military interventions, and other similar efforts have had very little success; as a matter of fact, they have often produced more problems than they solved. It is becoming increasingly clear, why they have to fail: it is impossible to alleviate this crisis by application of the strategies rooted in the same ideology that created it in the first place...It is therefore hard to imagine that it could be resolved without a radical inner transformation of humanity on a large scale and its rise to a higher level of emotional maturity and spiritual awareness" (Grof, 1996, 245).
Grof concludes his paper with the following inferences: "We seem involved in a dramatic race for time that has no precedent in the entire history of humanity. What is at stake is nothing less than the future of life on this planet. If we continue the old strategies, which in their consequences are clearly extremely destructive and self-destructive, it is unlikely that human species will survive. However, if a sufficient number of people undergoes a process of deep inner transformation, we might reach a level of consciousness evolution that will bring us to the point of deserving the name given to our species – homo sapiens" (ibid., 262).
Completely sharing the above conclusions, I at the same time once again would like to put forward the following question: how to begin in a systemic way the processes of the necessary transformation and replacement in the world of the destructive and self-destructive strategies when the ideas, values and norms constituting their basis are constantly regenerated in the processes of the reproduction dynamics of contemporary civilization? As we already know, this major question is not usually even considered in literature. Grof does not touch on this question either, focusing on some new particular inferences of the roots of human violence and greed obtained from experiential psychiatry. They are worthy of attention. Nevertheless, they cannot shake the inference that the basic factor which determines human violence, greed and other related properties is the ambivalent nature of culture which emerged and developed on the Earth (see 1.1., points 4-6). Consequently, the way to elimination of these properties is to overcome those specific forms of the ambivalence of culture which were acquired during the previous conditions of evolution which were typical of dispersed state of humanity. Is it possible to do? It is difficult to answer this question definitely. But it is possible to say with assurance that today for the first time in the human history the real premises and strong stimuli for doing it are created. They are rooted in the above-discussed qualitatively new systems interdependent state of humanity that urgently needs the radical transformation of the traditional normative-value basis of culture. It is the initial survival-development issue.
The problem of the ambivalence of human society and culture is worthy of a special thorough interdisciplinary analysis against the background of the ambivalence of the phenomenon of life and all potentially possible patterns and modes of its evolutionary self-organization in general. Today very actual is the comparative analysis of three basic manifestations of the ambivalence of culture: typical of the evolutionary phase of dispersed state of humanity, of its current transition to the global systems state and the most probable forms of this ambivalence in future.
In the light of the above-said I would like to attract attention to the initial theoretical premises for starting the indicated transformation of the normative and value basis of culture as consciously guided processes. The top priority issue here is the creation of general systems integrative model of culture. Particular cultural issues however important they may be cannot be fruitfully solved in a disconnected manner. The basic function of the discussed integrative model is just to permit to examine all the particular pieces of knowledge on culture relevant to the key survival and development strategic issues as interconnected links of a single theoretical system. The elaboration of such a model was foreseen as the basic premise of the RENE project (see Markarian, 1986a, 121-122).
As it will be shown further (see 3.1.– 3.6.), the very approach to the task of elaboration of such an integrative model became possible, first of all, due to the principles of systems evolutionary universal-technological understanding of culture and reproduction dynamics of sociocultural systems (Markarian, 1992b, 25-35). Culture is the only phenomenon of human social life that potentially contains in itself the possibility of modeling the whole structure of human activity and its dynamics. These potentials can be explained by the very fact that culture is a specific mode of activity of human beings and societies, their evolutionary self-organization. It is composed of superbiological means called upon to fulfill all the functions of this qualitatively specific manifestation of informationally guided pattern of activity intrinsic to living systems in general: from motivation of activity up to reproduction dynamics of societies.
In the publications of the UN institutions, the concepts "culture of war" and "culture of peace" are rather often used and propagandized. Potentially they are fruitful. But it seems that they still are in need of a wide integrative theoretical comprehension and specification. I suppose that the first concept is appropriate as a generic category able, in particular, to express specificity of the imperial mode of regulation of the world international relations as a holistic comprehensive functional system. One can find in literature numerous studies on empires and features intrinsic to them. But today an essentially new, integrative, systems evolutionary kind of their analysis is needed. It should be carried out through the prism of the key survival-development strategic issues and the basic requirements, which the task of their solution puts forward. The first main issue in this case is to reveal the inner interdependent mechanisms through which the activity of this system is stimulated and motivated, programmed, implemented, reproduced and developed. It is important to differentiate its two basic aspects. They concern the manifestations of these functions in classical and current new forms.
The latter forms naturally have been modified and often manifest themselves in a hidden, camouflaged way. And it is quite natural because this takes place at the essentially new evolutionary transitional stage. In this connection it is advisable once again to indicate that the imperial socioregulative culture because of the action of the universal laws of inertia as well as some specific favourable historical circumstances of the epoch continues to be still very influential. And this happens in spite of the fact that all the big empires ceased their existence and only the remains of these empires as well as a number of miniempires convulsively seek to preserve themselves or to regenerate the lost positions. So what are then the major carriers of this obsolete and becoming evolutionary relic socioregulatory world system based on the various forms of discrimination of peoples through the use (or the threat to use) of military force and other means of compulsion? They are manifested in the inertial patterns of imperial thinking and institutions. This mode of regulation of international relations is evolutionary relic because of the very nature of the globally interdependent state of human existence, which is shaped today.
It means nothing else than the emergence of a specific form of sociocultural organism, the basic structural units of composition of which are nations and cultures intrinsic to them. The mode of especially close cooperation of these nations, integration and differentiation of their activity should constitute the specificity of the emerging global sociocultural organism, the core of intrinsic to it socionormative and programming mechanism. As distinct from previous compulsory imperial mode of joining up of peoples, it must be based on free-will cooperation. This naturally presupposes radically different socioregulative means of their interrelations. The imperial mode of world regulation became so habitual and it is still so influential that it is even difficult to imagine that this mode can be replaced by another one.
Concluding this section, I would like also to say that cognitive and normative traps are closely connected, interdependent phenomena which mutually strengthen each other. It means that the task of dealing with these two kinds of discrepancies is an extremely complex one. Its solution presupposes a systems transformation of scientific, educational, managerial, normative and axiological basis of civilization.
First of all it is important to indicate that culture of peace is not merely an abstract idea. Today one can observe its sprouts in life. Costa Rica, which a few decades ago did away with the army, may serve as a bright manifestation of the real process of practical empirical inculcation of the idea under review. Here we face a very interesting and stimulating precedent. However, in order the discussed state initiative could be developed and generate the necessary offspring in the world it, in particular, should be essentially supported theoretically, by systematic research efforts resulted in wide generalizations.
In the above analysis, I tried to demonstrate what a strong stimulating influence the RENE project had on revealing the integrative strategic potentials of the idea of culture. Further we shall return to the capacity of the RENE project on different occasions. Here I would like to show this capacity through the examination of the problem of replacement of the "culture of war" to the "culture of peace". Today this issue is in the focus of UNESCO. "To counter the culture of war, – writes Federico Mayor, Director-General of UNESCO in the Foreword to Medium-Term Strategy 1996-2001, – let us build a culture of peace, that is to say a culture of social interaction, based on the principles of freedom, justice and democracy, tolerance and solidarity, and respect for all human rights; a culture that rejects violence and, instead, seeks a solution to problems through dialogue and negotiation; a culture of prevention that endeavors to detect the sources of conflicts at their very roots, so as to deal with them more effectively and, as far as possible, to avoid them" (Mayor, 1995).
The discussed replacement should mean in fact a systems transformation of the very grounds of the basic socioregulative norms and values of the current stage of contemporary world civilization. Undoubtedly, this goal is extremely important. But how is it possible to achieve it? I am not going to discuss here the issue in its wholeness and want only to share some considerations on one of the initial methodological premises necessary for approaching this issue. I mean the conditions under which the discussed pair of categories from the speculative abstract level can be converted into the operational concepts. The fruitful solution of this task as I understand it, first of all presupposes the combination of two patterns of knowledge. The first is the general theoretical knowledge on culture as a real complex and functioning and evolving system. The second is the knowledge on real mechanisms of civilization specially intended for the transition from the cultural system based on war to the system governed by the peaceful humanistic norms of cooperative solidarity of peoples. The general principles of understanding of culture intrinsic to this book are stated in part 3 (see especially 3.2.). Here some considerations on the second pattern of knowledge will be stated.
My approach to this issue can be formulated briefly as follows: the implementation of the RENE project could become a possible means for carrying out the discussed radical replacement of cultures. From the very beginning the idea of regional ecological-noospheric zones was designed as "strong points" for the advancement on the planet of the qualitatively new evolutionary stage of world civilization intended for peaceful interaction and cooperation of peoples.
It is notable that this idea as well as the above-stated arguments in favour of the strategic imperative for removing the imperial mode of world regulation is often accepted as another version of social utopian order. But it is not so. These generalizations meet the requirements of an idealized normative survival-development strategic vision of the world. As we already know (see the Preface) in accordance with the principle of this kind of model construction the world (or its subdivisions) is considered from the standpoint of those basic strategic changes which must be realized so as humanity could survive and evolve in the given environment. In particular, free-will, constant, many-sided and close cooperation of the peoples of the planet intended to remove the death threats hanging over them is one of the strategic survival-development imperatives.
But how to meet this imperative if the peoples, firstly, have no traditions for such kind of cooperation and, if, secondly, the above-described situation in the world is often accompanied with mutual opposition and hatred of the peoples. There is no other way to solve this issue but to find out effective means and create favourable conditions to shape the required traditions. As the reader already knows, the RENE project has been elaborated, in particular, for achieving these goals. Accordingly, the regional ecological-noospheric experimental zones are foreseen as urgently needed schools for close free-will cooperation of peoples to create their common future on the Earth. In other words, they must become the places where combined efforts will be directed toward consistent replacement of the culture of war by the culture of peace.
The RENE project has such unusual many-sided and polyfunctional character that it may seem to pretend to be a panacea against all the troubles of the contemporary world. But the polyfunctional nature of the RENE project is subordinated to the task of achieving the cluster of quite definite goals. Specifying the above-said, it should be stressed that this project was designed to fulfill an evolutionary ram function called upon to promote the transformation of the inertial self-destructive world development pattern. Now in the light of the analysis carried out in this section, we can more precisely name and single out the basic targets of this mechanism within the structure of the current stage of the world civilization.
The ram function of the RENE project is oriented against two different by origin cultural subsystems, which today are combined within a holistic pattern of contemporary world civilization. They are: the coming from the first civilizations imperial world socioregulatory mode and the structures of the much more recent machine industrial civilization with its present short-term technoeconomic consumption ideology (see 3.6.). The combined forces of inertia accumulated in this pattern are tremendous. But they must be consistently overcome by human beings in order to avoid self-annihilation.
For better understanding of the ram functions of the RENE project it seems reasonable once again to return to the three interconnected model constructions intended for working out future-oriented comprehensive strategies (they were described in the Preface). RENE as a survival-development strategic conception is a synthetic result of revealing the potential possibilities of these world models. It is based on the combination of the constructions under study, their mutual influence and synergy.
As we already know, logically the first is a model which is called upon to present the basic parameters of existing state of humanity and typical of it planetary crisis. The above-carried out examination of the evolutionary blunder initially committed, of the cognitive and normative traps, of the vicious circles intrinsic to the reproduction dynamics of contemporary world civilization, of its imperial cultural subsystem and other related characteristics express the content of the first model. The elaboration of the RENE project essentially stimulated the creation of this particular vision of the current state of the human race.
At the same time, the RENE project uses the properties and features of the second, idealized normative model called upon to characterize those changes and transformation mechanisms, which are needed for human survival. The very idea of regional ecological-noospheric zones became the core of this model.
As to the third model used in the RENE conception, it was a result of application of the idealized normative model of humanity to the model that reflects its existing state. I would like to remind of the major purpose of such application. It is to reveal those basic obstacles and limitations in the way of the necessary survival transformations of the examined world system as well as to uncover the reserve survival-development possibilities, which this system contains. Accordingly, the RENE project, from this point of view, presents a theoretical construction which discovers such kind of reserve depth potentials of civilization. I want also to remind that these are potentials intended to break the extremely dangerous vicious circle created by the inertial forces of the world civilization in the course of its reproduction dynamics (see 1.4.1.).
This task is solved in the RENE project, first of all, through the integration of scientific-educational, managerial and moral parameters of contemporary world culture. It is done from the standpoint of survival-development strategic imperatives. They include the imperative to pave the way for close free-will cooperation of peoples needed for combining their efforts against the common death threats. Accordingly, the problem of the creation of basic premises for achieving this goal naturally is in the focus of the RENE project. In this connection I would like to single out and characterize two of such premises.
Such kind of cooperation requires, firstly, that remains of imperial forms of dependence of peoples should be eliminated all over the world. Secondly, it requires the recognition by the global community of the essential historical injustices committed against peoples and the realization of the appropriate actions connected with such recognition. They are injustices, which are usually fixed in ethnic memory and thus turn out to be among the basic sources of mutual hatred of peoples and conflicts between them.
In order to make the importance of this conclusion more tangible, it is reasonable once again to stress that these sources are usually neglected and often it is not the result of lack of the adequate knowledge of them (sometimes they are quite evident). In this case the neglect is conditioned by the traditions of imperial thinking and its unwillingness to penetrate deeply into their historic causes. It is very important to try to comprehend the evolutionary results of such a position.
The latter leads to a very dangerous consequence of ever and ever increasing accumulation of historical injustices in the world. Such an accumulation, besides the danger of explosions of new, often sharper waves of conflicts, has another definite effect. It creates quite unfavourable psychological conditions for the elaboration of one of the prerequisites of culture of peace – the close, ever strengthening cooperation of peoples for the struggle against the common death threats hovering today over them. Here we face one of the basic problems of the contemporary world. It cannot be solved until the principle of stabilization of interethnic/interracial conflicts at any price dominates. This practice usually is not accompanied by a search for the basic sources of the conflicts, for the elaboration and development of general principles and objective criteria of resolving them. And here we should see the main danger which such an approach strategically contains.
Let us take the area of interethnic conflicts. From my point of view, the lack of consistent efforts directed toward the creation of such principles and criteria is the weakest point of the interethnic conflict management. Many influential representatives of theory and practice in this area assert that the contemporary international law is incapable to do it. That is not the point. It is impossible to solve this task basing only on international law although it essentially contributed to the creation of the initial premises for the general unified principles and criteria of solving interethnic conflicts. Simply the dominating in the world pattern of conflict management does not properly use and develop them. It rather proceeds from the existing interrelations of political, military and other forces in the conflict regions. And this way of solving interethnic conflicts strategically causes a greatest damage to the world order and essentially promotes the maintenance of the imperial pattern of thinking and action. So the main issue is the contradictory, inadequate state of the whole existing pattern of culture of international relations (see also 3.9.).
The problem of elaborating the general objective criteria and principles applicable to any conflict region appears to be a top priority issue of theory and practice of regulation of international relations at the stage of transforming of humanity into a single global system. In this new state the role of the discussed principles becomes comparable to the principles of universal applicability of national systems of law within various state formations, in particular the principle of formal equality before the law. Any rejection of these principles will inevitably violate the very grounds of the social order of the states. In fact the same effect is reached due to the rejection of the possibility of universally applicable principles of resolving the international conflict situations.
These principles are very complex and many-sided. Their inculcation presupposes the establishment of a number of balanced interrelations between different aspects of culture. And this task, in its turn, requires developing and specifying of several important ideas and requirements of the contemporary epoch. For instance, the requirement of defense of human rights needs such a development and specification. Usually it is reduced to the defense of persons, i.e. individual subjects of human activity. Meanwhile the idea of human rights must embrace collective subjects of human activity as well. They are manifested in various groups which human beings compose, including peoples as the basic traditional unit of human evolution and today the whole system of humanity as an emerging new, global unit of this evolution. This demand seems quite logical if it proceeds from the very essence of the discussed idea: if the rights of these or those social groups are violated it will mean that the rights of persons who compose them will be also violated and vice versa.
The dominating in the world principles of international law do not yet take into account this crucial moment (see, for instance, Pictet, 1985, 3). I suppose that the significance of such an integrative approach to the idea of human rights becomes especially tangible in the context of the task of creating culture of peace. This task also demands rethinking and specifying the interrelations between the ideas of social and historical justice as well as between humanistic values and the needed today integrative patterns of scientific knowledge.
It is also necessary to indicate that the idea of historical justice has not yet acquired the status it deserves as compared with the idea of social justice. Whereas they represent different sides of the same problem, they are equally important (see 3.9.). Moreover, the struggle for the triumph of both of these kinds of justice has a very important socio-psychological aspect. It is connected with the task of finding ways for ever increasing development of feeling of empathy based on the capacity of putting oneself in the place of others, co-experience their sufferings and problems. All historical patterns of culture of war were based on suppression and inhibition of this feeling. On the contrary, culture of peace psychologically must be based on the mature feeling of empathy because it is a powerful means of human solidarity, of peoples' consolidation. This feeling also has its very important nature-ecological aspect that reflects the capacity of human beings to co-experience the sufferings of the representatives of other living species. Because of these properties of empathy the latter became the focus of the RENE project when it began to be substantiated as a possible consolidating mechanism of peoples.
A search for ways of achieving the correspondence between humanistic morality and those patterns of science, education and management which are able to meet the basic survival-development strategic imperatives is of equal importance for the creation of culture of peace. From the very beginning this issue became one of the priority research subjects for the RENE project. The inner logic of its examination is the following: as of now, the ultimate humanistic goal is to prevent self-annihilation of the human race and to allow future sociocultural evolution on the planet. This goal undoubtedly occupies the highest level in the hierarchy of human values, and it is this goal that cannot be achieved without creating new, steadily integrative, humanistically oriented scientific-educational and managerial cultures. I hope that the implementation of the RENE project could promote the creation of the grounds of these cultural patterns. They are intended for the mobilization of integrative potential of contemporary world civilization with a purpose of solving the cluster of complicated problems human beings face today. On the one hand, culture of peace could become one of the basic positive results of such mobilization of efforts. On the other, this civilizational formation, due to the creation of its grounds, could be endowed with the essentially new mobilizing intellectual and programming mechanism. Its priorities on the whole will not be oriented towards achieving destructive goals as today. On the contrary, they will be specially intended for achieving evolutionary adaptive, self-preserving goals.
One of the most difficult problems which are necessary to solve for the creation of the stable basis of culture of peace, to overcome the ever increasing gap between the developed and developing countries. It belongs to the issues in which social and historical injustices are inseparably combined. This problem presupposes first of all to overcome the distorted evolutionary model of civilization based on the extreme imbalance between the development of executive (technoeconomic) and socioregulative means of human activity, the model of which is imposed on all the general and regional sociocultural patterns of the planet (see 1.2.). The task is to replace it by the proportionate evolutionary model. It is the grandiose scientific, educational, managerial and economic task especially if we take into account the necessity of applying the model sought for to the conditions of existing uneven rates of development. The crucial issue is how effectively to apply the same principles to qualitatively different evolutionary levels and local regional/national cultural traditions. In this connection I should like to remind that RENE as a polyregional international project is just intended to promote the solution of this issue. I believe that this aspect of the RENE project will also be examined and developed in the world.
The task of elaboration of the proportionate developmental model under review directly depends on the understanding of the initial blunder committed. In the following section the examination of this problem will be continued to understand better those distortions and imbalances of sociocultural organism which this blunder has generated.
As far as I know, RENE is the only project in the world based upon the close and large-scale integrative interaction of social, natural, and engineering sciences. As it was already indicated, the integrative interaction of sciences, is the highest level of interdisciplinarity. This level differs greatly from the level of multidisciplinary studies. They represent the embryonic form of interdisciplinarity. Integration of sciences requires, besides a common subject, unified transdisciplinary ideas and theories. It also requires an approximately equal ability of interacting sciences to assimilate these common cognitive means in a consistent manner and to express them in the concepts of their own discipline. It is the theoretically disintegrated state of social sciences that is the main obstacle in fulfilling this last requirement in the course of their interaction with natural sciences. This, in its turn, hampers the solution of fundamental ecological strategic problems.
The following example can serve as a bright testification of this conclusion. It is hardly necessary to prove that human societies, being parts of life system, must be included in the appropriate ecosystems of the planet. But, the fact is that environmental studies and programmes usually do not consider human social life as a specific part of the global and regional ecosystems of the planet. Therefore, the content of the fundamental concept of ecology – "ecosystem" is reduced to flora and fauna. The basic reason for such reduction is rooted in the theoretical inability of contemporary science to examine sociocultural populations as comparable interacting components of ecosystems and their reproduction dynamics (see on the state of elaboration of this problem Milbrath, 1989, chapter 8).
The most alarming ecological fact of today is that sociocultural populations and the specific modes of their activity have become alienated units in the general life system of the planet, owing to the linear, consumption-oriented, short-term economic patterns of human activity. These patterns fall out of the interdependent cyclic and co-adaptive organization of biological life of the planet (Commoner, 1971). This fact, however, cannot at all serve as a ground for the usual exclusion of human social life from the ecosystems. On the contrary, human social life must be considered as an inseparable part of the life system of the planet, governed by the common fundamental laws intrinsic to its organization and dynamics. Only due to such an approach can the necessary strategic modes of co-adaptive evolution of human society and biosphere be elaborated.
From its inception the RENE project has focused on two basic theoretical problems. One is to construct an integrative dynamics model of the contemporary human social life; the other is to fit human social life in as a component of the general global and regional ecosystems. Accordingly, the development of scientific means to achieve compatibility and comparability between human social life and natural components of ecosystems and to integrate them became the initial objective of the RENE research programme (see Markarian, 1986a, 111). The elaboration and substantiation of the RENE idea and project has given a new vision of the current scientific and technological revolution and its basic problems and priorities (see Markarian, 1986a, 43-47; 1989b).
Application of integrative, systems evolutionary principles, which were developed by the Armenian culturological and traditionological school, made such an objective accessible. The most important among these are the principles of understanding human society as a universal adaptive-adapting system; human activity as a specific manifestation of informationally guided life activity; culture as an extrabiological mode, universal technology of human activity and its adaptive-optimizational mechanism; and cultural tradition dynamics as processes of formation, action and transformation of any human group patterns (stereotypes) of human activity (see in detail 3.1.-3.2.). These principles also shaped the basic managerial principle of the RENE project embodied in the conception of the transition from departmental to systems optimization. Further I shall demonstrate the extreme significance of this transition for overcoming the planetary crisis.
Optimization is a link of evolutionary self-organization of life. Under normal conditions, optimization is a mechanism intended for achieving self-preservation through perfection and development of various modes of activity of living systems. From this point of view, optimization can be considered as one of means of implementation of adaptive strategy of life. But sometimes when normal conditions of existence of living systems are violated, optimizational processes are characterized by an ever-increasing tendency toward autonomization and fragmentation. In these situations optimizatonal processes loose their adaptive orientations and as a result are transformed into ends in themselves. I dubbed this pathological manifestation of optimization in human social life as departmental optimization.
I assume that this phenomenon has immediately led to an extreme violation of the laws of a balanced development of the parts of contemporary civilization and produced the present planetary crisis. The basic mechanism through which the departmental optimization acts is rooted in the narrow and compartmentalized use of science. This way of science application rapidly develops a tendency towards autonomization of various areas of activity, groups, and institutions of intrinsic to them specific needs, interests, and values. Thus, the satisfaction of these needs is transformed into the end in itself (the arms race is a good example illustrating the extremely dangerous character of this tendency).
These inward-looking tendencies are naturally accompanied by research and managerial agenda intent on satisfying compartmental needs through isolated development of relevant sociocultural phenomena. Meanwhile, scant attention is paid to the necessity of balancing these phenomena and the integrative functions necessary to provide the general maintenance of societies and cultural systems. Such a hypertrophy of interests creates an abnormal set of values and the intellectual atmosphere that naturally leads to the disinterest in the study and management of human social life as a holistic formation at any level of its organization. This mental atmosphere simply does not encourage the necessary search for integrative principles. It is chiefly responsible for the cognitive and normative traps which in their turn make it impossible to direct the needed attention and efforts towards key survival-development strategic issues.
As it was mentioned above, research findings in recent decades have expressed great alarm over the phenomenon of uncontrollable and exponential growth in various spheres of social life. This growth has been characterized as a cancer-like process (E. Jantsch, K. Lorenz, M. Mesarovich, E. Pestel and others) There are grounds to say that departmental optimization is the major mechanism which produces the cancer "cells" of those sociocultural tendencies of which they speak (for details see Markarian, 1989a, 17).
The only way to overcome this pathological development pattern is the transition to the systems optimization of human social life activity. This would restore the appropriate balance between optimization and adaptation. Systems optimization requires subordinating the optimization processes in various fields to the strategic goals of adaptive evolution of human social life, i.e., to the permanent fulfillment of its self-preserving functions at national/regional and global levels (see also Markarian, 1986a, 33-66; 1987a, 167-178).
So that the reader could realize what extreme danger is contained in the departmental and short-term technoeconomic optimization, I would like to suggest an analogy. Imagine an organism with the following disordered central nervous system: in accordance with this assumed state the sections of the brain which control and regulate the specialized organs and functions are always given priority over the sections which control and regulate the activity of the whole organism as a system. And, as a rule, this priority is focused on organs that usually must fulfill the executive (implementation) functions. Such an organism would be naturally condemned to a quick death. Analogously, the strategic priorities of contemporary civilization through focusing on consumption short-term oriented economic and material-technological development and optimization of activity have created a managerial culture, which has approximately the same pathological, disadaptive evolutionary nature. I believe that the analogy applied helps, firstly, to understand better how the initial evolutionary blunder (see 1.2.) was committed and developed; secondly, it helps to assess properly the potential role of integrative projects with the systems optimization orientations like RENE.
The analyzed kind of imbalanced managerial culture manifests itself at various levels of human social life organization including the subsystem of culture intended to regulate the network of various future oriented organizations and research centers. The often discussed ever-growing divergent tendency in this area is one of particular results of the cultural managerial pattern which, as a rule, gives priority to specialized structures and functions at the expense of general, integrative ones. Thus, this pattern constantly generates the ever-increasing imbalance between centrifugal and centripetal forces in the studied area of human activity. It concerns the UN family as well (see part 4).
By turning to this problem, the RENE project aims to mobilize the integrative potential of the world in this regard as well. The RENE project from the very beginning was designed with this goal in mind. In order to achieve the desired mobilizing effect, these international institutional structures must have common goals, programmes, and subjects of application. The RENE project contains such goals, and programmes, and could provide the needed kinds of subjects via the regional ecological-noospheric zones.
It is well known that under normal circumstances the constituent parts of an organism, performing their special functions, at the same time are closely coordinated and integrated with each other. Such an integrative-specialized pattern of activity is possible because the parts of an organism compose a complex structure in which individual functions are subordinated to achieving the ultimate strategic objective of life-preservation. A similar effect could be achieved if the aforementioned organizations are to apply their efforts in this organism-like manner to the regional-noospheric experimental zones. The reason is that functionally these zones are intended for the solution of the key self-preserving development issues of humanity.
As evidenced in the background of the RENE project (described in this book), even the work of one person has produced a broad integrative theoretical field. One can envision how this field would be extended and enriched when the effort is joined by a well-crafted interdisciplinary research team.
In this section the principles of approaching apparently the most difficult and significant survival-development strategic issue will be concisely presented. It is the issue how to start the process of systems transformation of the present general destructive pattern of thinking. I believe that the solution of this issue could pave the way for the chain reaction of those positive effects in the world which will be able to counterbalance the permanently generated waves of chain reaction of destructive effects (see the epigraph to the book). Thus, we see here the key to solving the most important problems of the contemporary epoch including the problem of transition to a guided evolution.
Many researchers and politicians acknowledge the urgent necessity of solving the issue under review. I have already touched upon this fact above. The challenge of the existing pattern of thinking calls to mind the often-cited words of Albert Einstein: "We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive". Albert Gore in his book "Earth in the Balance" (Gore, 1992) assesses the insatiable, short-term, dysfunctional pattern of thinking as the basic enemy of human beings. There are many similar assessments of this pattern. I, being in complete agreement with these assessments, at the same time, proposed an approach intended to start the process of radical transformation of the discussed destructive pattern of thinking. It was stated in the Memorandum to Albert Gore (Markarian, 1995).
In accordance with this approach, to create the initial premise for this transformation it is necessary to identify the structure within civilization that is the immediate carrier of the destructive evolutionary pattern and, simultaneously is the framework of the mechanism of its permanent reproduction and development. Based on the preliminary results of my above-described study of the subject, I identified this carrier with the core of the overwhelmingly dominated in the world historical pattern of practice-oriented science (and related to it education). The initial conceptual scheme, which reflects this core, is well known. It is delineated as: "science", "technology", "civilization".
The inner sources of chain reaction of destructive effects, of imbalances which this pattern generates are rooted in the interrelations of the arbitrary narrowly understood first two components of this conceptual scheme. Science is reduced to natural sciences, and technology is identified with only the instrumental material means of human activity (see Markarian, 1983a, 114-133; 1987a, 41-49). Reflecting the accelerator of the contemporary civilization characterized above, this scheme appears to be the bastion of inertial destructive forces accumulated in the examined general style of contemporary thinking.
I examined the existing type of interrelations between natural science and material technological means of human activity through the prism of the fundamental laws of evolutionary self-organization of human social life. It is this analysis that permitted me to comprehend the mechanism through which the initial evolutionary blunder was committed. The reader can become acquainted with the aforementioned laws in sections 3.3.-3.5. of the book. Here I should like only to indicate that the dynamics of human social life experience constitutes the very substance of evolutionary self-organization of societies.
In the pre-machine industrial societies, the mode of accumulation, transmission and transformation of social life experience corresponded to the slow rates of sociocultural development and was empirical in character. In accordance with these properties the transformational cycles of dynamics of social life experience required prolonged time intervals. I examined this mode with respect to the evolutionary laws of self-organization under review and identified it as the mechanism which provided a balanced development of the parts of societies and their cultural systems. Certain discrepancies no doubt used to arise between these parts, in particular, between material and socioregulative technological subsystems of culture. Still, the indicated empirical mode of accumulation and transformation of life experience prevented these discrepancies from becoming the uncontrollable, ever-growing imbalances, which we witness today.
The situation radically changed with the emergence of the machine industrial civilization and its practice-oriented scientific agenda. From the standpoint of the evolutionary self-organization of societies, practice-oriented science appeared to be a very powerful generator of human social life experience. It seemingly produced appropriate knowledge and value systems that were used for solving various societal problems (it is just the comprehension of this function of practice-oriented science that enabled me to diagnose the character of the violations in the course of evolutionary self-organization of modern society). The corresponding contemporary educational system worked to stereotype, transform, disseminate this experience and thus to create the premises for a new series of innovations (alongside with those portions of social life experience which are accumulated and accepted without participation of science).
The alliance of natural sciences and machine industry constituted the basis for the existing pattern of practice-oriented science, and shaped the contents of its central conceptual scheme. This pattern destroyed the stabilizing mechanism of culture, which had provided a balance between the parts of sociocultural organisms in previous epochs. Instead of creating a new stabilizing mechanism corresponding to the realities of the machine industrial civilization, a powerful generator of imbalances was created. Here we face the direct result of the evolutionary blunder.
The RENE project is designed to begin the processes necessary for correcting this blunder. A proper selection of basing-points for the project is very important for achieving this objective. They should be embodied in the networks of a new generation of universities and academies of sciences (Markarian, 1992c, 50-55, 65-71). As distinct from the existing monodisciplinary universities (in fact, "multiversities") and academies of sciences these new institutions should have a unified theoretical background. These structures should be specially designed for the production and use of knowledge and specialists that are required for the solution of the key survival-development strategic issues and world evolutionary management. Thus, the structures under review could create the basis for the necessary integratively-specialized pattern of scientific-educational culture and intrinsic to it new style of thinking.
After the publication of the book in which the RENE idea and project were substantiated (Markarian, 1986a) and some other related works, a growing interest in the idea emerged in the former USSR and abroad. It was a topic of discussion at several international meetings. However, this interest was limited to comparatively small circles of scholars who were mostly interested in isolated particular aspects of the idea. Thus, the problem remains to generate interest in RENE as a survival-development strategic project with a regional-global scale. RENE is sometimes rejected or neglected because of its complexity and unusual character. However, if the initial theoretical premises and conclusions of the RENE idea are correctly formulated, and there is no acceptable alternative, the complexity of the idea and project itself cannot serve at all as grounds for a serious argument against it.
I never expected that the desire for sharing and examining ideas would be so great as in the case of the RENE project. This is understandable if we consider the survival-development practice-oriented nature of this project. There have been several attempts to organize a thorough examination of the methodological and theoretical premises underlying the RENE project. Here I shall dwell on one of them because it relates directly to the UN systems and its present strategic capacity and general style of activity.
I rather attentively watched the preparation of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. From my point of view, the Rio Earth Summit was a very important step in the direction of mobilizing world civilization for the common struggle against a number of very dangerous destructive effects and tendencies. Among them were the decrease of biological diversity of the planet, the green house effect, the ozone depletion in the stratosphere, and the increasing gap between the evolutionary levels of the developed and developing countries. But these efforts, viewed from the survival-development standpoint, were one-dimensional. On the whole they had an operational nature. In order to prove this conclusion, I'll regard the Conference and its preparation in the broad perspective of evolutionary self-organization of the contemporary human society as an adaptive system.
In this perspective the aforeindicated efforts (notwithstanding the scale or degree of danger which they were purported to avert) appear to be elementary, protective, self-correcting reactions in response to the destructive effects generated by humanity's own activity. This approach overwhelmingly dominated in the process of preparations of the Earth Summit, and the Conference itself. Even Agenda 21 adopted by it did not consider the key survival and development strategic issues. Here we see a classic example of an imbalance between the operational and strategic survival approaches as applied to a global environmental crisis. The Earth Summit approach was consistently operational in that it dealt primarily with the particular destructive effects generated by the crisis. Absent were any traces of a strategic approach, which would have sought to eliminate these destructive effects at their root.
Proceeding from the fact that the RENE project dealt specially with the sort of strategic approach missing from the Earth Summit preparations, I wrote a letter to the President of Armenia, Levon Ter-Petrossyan. I suggested that the Armenian Earth Summit delegation put forward the proposal to implement the RENE project internationally. The President accepted my proposal and invited me to participate as a member of the national delegation.
I prepared two brochures to explain the RENE idea and project in the context of the reproduction dynamics of world civilization (Markarian, 1992b; 1992c). I envisioned this examination in the form of an international symposium (or a series of symposia) under the aegis of the UN. It was assumed that other possible approaches to the key ecological survival-development strategic issues would be presented and discussed as well.
The initiative was officially put forward by Armenian delegation at the Earth Summit. The brochures and suggestions for the organization of the aforementioned symposium were sent to the UN Secretariat and other appropriate organizations. They were also distributed among delegations during and after the Conference. However, no response followed from the UN and its related structures. Perhaps such an attitude was natural if we took into account the whole atmosphere typical of the Earth Summit, the above-described approach of the UN to the environmental crisis. Nevertheless it was a right of a Member State of the UN to insist on the examination of the RENE project, to present additional arguments in favour of advisability of a worldwide discussion of the key survival-development environmental strategic issues. And it is not excluded that such actions could make a breach in the wall of neglect of these issues.
Instead the initiative was simply buried in oblivion. It can be explained by several reasons. One of them was rooted in the ever-growing economic and social crisis in Armenia and its involvement in the on-going Nagorno-Karabagh conflict. These and other related processes naturally distracted the Armenian government from the initiative put forward at the Earth Summit. But the basic reason was the lack of understanding of national and global importance of the RENE project at different levels of state hierarchy including the Ministry of Protection of Nature – a type of governmental structure which all over the world is authorized to elaborate and realize the national environmental policy.
This issue is worthy of a special examination in this case. The gist of it is that this kind of structures were on the whole initially designed and programmed as operationally oriented environmental governmental institutions. They are not at all intended for solving the basic strategic ecological issues. Their well-reasoned critical analysis from this standpoint can be found in the Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development (Our Common Future, 1987, chapter 12; see on this Report 2.1., 2.3.-2.4.). Accordingly, it was wrong to charge the discussed structures with the functions of governing all the course of the preparation of a conference like the Earth Summit, including the programmes of most general, strategic character. (To do so is approximately the same as to endow the Ministries of Culture with functions of generalizing the processes of development of contemporary culture on the planet, of dynamics of world civilization). The exclusion of the key survival-development ecological strategic issues from the very subject of the Conference was the direct result of this decision of its organizers. Here we face a quite natural manifestation of the reflex of bureaucratic pattern of behaviour on the part of the Ministries (Committees) of Protection of Nature. Such a pattern usually rejects all the problems that do not come under the stereotypes of this behaviour.
How the mechanism of the examined reflex works was brightly manifested in the bureaucratic patterns of activity of the Minister of Protection of Nature of Armenia Karine Danielyan and some other people with narrow, provincial thinking before and after the Earth Summit. From the very beginning without any argumentation they rejected the RENE idea. It sounds unbelievable but these people were even against the international examination of this idea! Here we face a general problem first of all conditioned by professional incapability to comprehend and deal with these kind of unusual and complex projects. So it is the problem of discrepancy and contradiction between the existing environmental (and other) organizational, operational by their character, structures and the cluster of extraordinary, extremely complex strategic issues which human beings have come across and must solve in order to survive on the planet. Returning to the discussed case, we have all grounds to assert that Ministries of Protection of Nature are not at all intended to deal with the projects like RENE. Qualitatively new institutional structures are needed for such purposes.
I suppose that the discrepancy under review appears to be the factor which essentially helps to understand what happened in the analyzed particular conditions connected with the reluctance of the aforementioned officials, their negative attitude towards the RENE project. In the situation of the absence of any response from the appropriate UN structures concerning the initiative under consideration, everything was done by these officials to inspire the Armenian government with distrust towards the RENE project. Thus the discussed strategic initiative was buried in oblivion.
After the Earth Summit I began to realize that a new type of international body was urgently needed – one that could draw the attention to the state of the key global, national/regional survival-development strategic issues and substantiate the urgent need for the UN involvement in solving these issues. Thus the idea of ASDS was shaped and inculcated. Afterwards the idea of the present project of the UN system reform began to emerge. This idea crystallized and acquired a mature form later under the influence of several other stimuli. The decisive among them was the jubilee session of the UN General Assembly and its appeal to the peoples of the world.
I believe that the reader will agree that the RENE project and its basic orientations are in harmony with the general direction of the reform of the UN system as an institutional structure potentially called today to regulate the evolutionary processes of the whole humanity. But the problem is that when this structure was designed and inculcated, the world processes and the evolutionary prospects of humanity were perceived in a qualitatively different manner as compared with the contemporary vision. In the conditions of the current planetary crisis the demands directed towards the UN family essentially differ from those which were 50 years ago. During the last decades the activity of the UN system has undergone many changes but its initial, obsolete, mostly operational design remains the same. From this point of view, the issue of the reform of the UN system is to redesign its basic structure and functions. In such a perspective the focal issue of the reform is how to achieve the necessary balance between operational and strategic approaches to crisis situations (see 1.1.).
While elaborating the RENE project as a particular means for the world survival-development strategic management, I always had in mind that for the collective development and implementation of such large-scale projects as RENE is, a global governing body is needed. It must be a body able to express the interests of the whole humanity but not only of a particular nation. I quite well realized that in the existing conditions only the UN could be potentially such a body. Nevertheless, I did not consider the UN from this standpoint, taking into account its above-indicated initial operational design. It seemed to me that the UN as an inertial structure would hardly have capacity for the needed radical and consistent self-transformation and endow itself with the necessary strategic evolutionary functions. I found more probable the creation of a new supplementary to the UN world structure specially intended for the discussed strategic functions. At the same time it was evident that this scenario could not be optimal. The reason is that in order to be fruitful, the fulfillment of operational and strategic functions must be organically and proportionally combined in a single structure.
But after the 50th Jubilee session of the UN General Assembly and its appeal to the peoples of the world which included a point concerning the necessity of the promotion of the reform of the UN I have changed my mind. It seems that such a call improves the prospects of transformation and perfection of the UN system. First of all it signifies the seriousness of the global community to carry on the radical reform of this system. At any rate, it means much more than the earlier creation of the Commission on the reform of the UN. This appeal potentially created a premise for transforming the UN reform into the top priority task for the whole humanity. And this can, in its turn, mobilize the creative self-preserving forces of the planet. Everything in this respect depends on nations themselves, on their potentials and initiatives.
The ASDS has been influenced by the discussed event just in this way. True, the doubts about the capacity of the UN system as an extremely complex and many-sided institutional structure to redesign itself remained in me personally because of realizing how difficult this task is. But at the same time I realize quite well that here we face the unique situation in which the decisive acting factor is the capacity of a global community strategically to mobilize and develop the world culture. And the starting point in every mobilization process is the appropriate stimulation and motivation of activity. And from just this standpoint, we have all the grounds to say that the call of the Jubilee session of the UN General Assembly became a real and a very strongly acting stimulating factor. The present book can serve as a particular confirmation of the influence of this factor.
The ASDS just offers the project "How to Acquire Capacity for World Strategic Management" as its response to the discussed call. The logic of working out the project is the following: in any case it is necessary to elaborate and substantiate a model of world institution endowed with the capacity for global strategic management. And it is quite reasonable to begin this process in the context of the UN reform especially when the initiative of a radical institutional transformation comes from the organization itself. The task of this reform is so timely and crucial for the prospects of self-preservation of human social life on the planet that there are all reasons to say that such events as the call of the UN General Assembly, given favourable conditions, can generate ever-increasing waves of survival-development ideas.
To transit to a new turn of world studies and actions and to endow the UN with the capacity for world strategic management seem to be two sides of the same coin. Their interdependence should compose basic links of the feedback mechanism in the course of evolutionary self-organization of the global human community. The design and inculcation of this mechanism must be the top priority strategy of today. Such a mechanism could catalyze a chain reaction of positive, negentropic human social life-preserving effects to combat the present chain reaction of destructive entropic effects on the planet. This conclusion became just the ground for choosing the epigraph to the book.
Having introduced the basic ideas of the project, I will describe and analyze more systematically the state of elaboration of the discussed issues in the world literature. I would like to call attention to two well known works which represent different institutional traditions. One of them is the book "The Human Quality" by the late Aurelio Peccei, founder and first President of the Club of Rome (Peccei, 1980). The second is the Report of the United Nation's World Commission on Environment and Development, also known as the Brundtland Commission ("Our Common Future", 1987).
Peccei's book is something of an autobiography of one of this century's truly outstanding men. But, its main purpose is to give the author's vision of the global movement represented by the Club of Rome's studies and actions of the world problematique in the 1970s. The book "The Limits to Growth" and some other reports are usually cited as representative of the Club of Rome's work. However, it seems to me that the essence of the Club's goals (achieved as well as not achieved) are best captured in Peccei's book (while writing the present study I had at my disposal only the Russian edition of "The Human Quality", and so I was compelled to translate Peccei's thoughts into English).
From his point of view, the main goal of the Club of Rome, is to get at the very roots of the world problems. It is quite evident, writes Peccei, that we shall not be able to reach this goal by concentrating only on the symptoms and consequences of these problems. Nor is it appropriate to consider the most immediate and urgent among them. Such methods, he continues, are widely used in the political world. But, if we do not give up this practice we shall find ourselves in permanent crisis. The only way to avoid it, indicates Peccei, is to link together the deepest and most dangerous problems and to try to understand their origins. Only after accomplishing this work will it be possible to take bold steps to reveal and remove them. (Peccei, 1980, chapter 4, section 4).
These thoughts, in fact, formulate the key survival and development strategic issues as applied to the world crisis. They are repeated in different variations throughout the book, demonstrating their importance to Peccei. However, his expectations were left unfulfilled. These issues fell completely from sight, having been lost in the shuffle of the Club of Rome's multifaceted activities.
It seems that the major omission in the activity of the Club of Rome from this standpoint was that its attack on the issues connected with the precise diagnosing of the planetary crisis, revealing and removing its basic causes was postponed indefinitely. It was necessary from the very beginning to transform this attack into a top priority task in spite of all the difficulties. All the more it was reasonable to programme such an attack at the time when the Club of Rome succeeded in acquiring the rare capacity to mobilize the creative intellectual and moral potentials of the planet. This capacity manifests itself in many studies including an interdisciplinary examination of particularly vast regional survival-development problems (see, for instance, one of the reports to the Club of Rome – "Africa Beyond Famine", 1989).
I show the crucial integrative role of the analysis of the key survival and development strategic issues at the level of the whole planetary crisis in several sections of this book, in particular in 2.4. I suppose that the very process of analyzing this task, as applied to the system of world civilization, could, in its turn, fulfill a very important unifying, integrative function for the activity of the Club of Rome and other involved organizations. Besides, it could become an essential stimulus for elaborating the integrative principles of studying comprehensive cultural systems. The reason is the following: all the man-made causes of destruction usually are manifested in definite disadaptive, distorted states of cultural systems. As to possible ways and means of removing these causes, they can be elaborated due to the mobilization and development of potential resources of cultural systems.
The fact that the attack on the global key survival-development strategic issues was postponed indefinitely in the Club of Rome had quite definite consequences. It naturally resulted in shaping the general institutional research pattern in which there is no room for the necessary experience of examining these issues embodied in the appropriate scientific traditions. And I suppose that the basic problem of the Club of Rome in this respect is how to overcome this inertia and to acquire the experience under review. The influence of the stereotypes intrinsic to the discussed pattern are clearly observed in, apparently, the Club's most generalizing and comprehensive publication – "The First Global Revolution", in spite of the fact that it pretends to be "A Strategy of Surviving the World" (King, Schneider, 1992). This book is the first Report by the Council of the Club of Rome. And it was prepared on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the first Report to the Club of the Rome – "The Limits to Growth".
The First Global Evolution contains a frank admission of very limited practical results of the world studies. The authors put forward the following three fundamental questions:
"Do we, at the end of the century, properly understand our world, or are our concepts and approaches no longer adapted to meet the complex and dangerous situation we face?
Why in spite of growing concern over several decades and innumerable international debates and many constructive proposals, have action and practical results, been so limited?
What suggestions can be made now to improve the effectiveness of the processes which should convert widespread concern into particle action?" (King, Schneider, 1992, 161-162).
While writing this book, I have attempted to answer these and related questions. In particular, the conception of the cognitive trap answers the first question. It also explains the basic reason for the neglect of the key survival and development strategic issues. As such, this conception also sheds light upon the second question concerning the limited practical results of the world studies. Finally, the RENE project as well as the project " How to Acquire Capacity for World Strategic Management", I believe, contain ideas which can serve as an answer to the third question.
The same neglect of the key global survival and development strategic issues can be observed within the pattern of world studies and actions which was shaped under the influence of the UN institutional traditions. True, the authors of the Report of the UN World Commission on Environment and Development "Our Common Future" realize the necessity of getting at the sources of the current crisis. The task of the Commission was to create a general world environmental strategy based upon the idea of "sustainable development". This idea means that the present generation of humankind must satisfy its needs without jeopardizing the prospects for future generations to do the same. The Commission was given its mandate by the UN General Assembly in 1983. It was chaired by Gro Harlem Bruntdtland, who for a long time was the Prime Minister of Norway.
"Our Common Future" was very highly assessed in the UN system as a comprehensive environmentally oriented strategic study. It was directed to all the governments of the world. The Report did not propose a detailed plan of action. It only indicated a general direction within which peoples could extend their cooperation. The call "getting at the sources", in my opinion, is the Report's most strategically important idea. But despite the fact that the Report basically influenced in a basic way the environmental and other areas of activity of the UN system, this call remained unaddressed. Here also all the anti-crisis studies and programmes share a common characteristic. They continue to manifest the elementary, self-correcting, protective reactions to the numerous destructive effects generated by human activity itself. The discrepancy between the principle of "getting at the sources" put foreword in "Our Common Future" and the realties of world studies and actions within the UN system is just like the one between Aurelio Peccei's vision and the real activities of the Club of Rome.
The comparative analysis carried out above gives ground for a wide generalization which in the following sections will be substantiated in detail. As to any wide sociocultural movement, world studies gradually began to develop a mainstream pattern as well as sub-patterns shaped within numerous future-oriented international organizations and typical of them different institutional traditions. Today the mainstream and fringes may essentially differ from each other. But they share equally a neglect of the key survival and development strategic issues. This is the most alarming feature of current world studies and actions. Accordingly, the explanation for such neglect becomes itself a survival strategic imperative.
In the Preface and section 1.3., I stated generally the causes of the cognitive trap. Now I would like to develop the above conclusions. The cognitive trap has numerous manifestations the causes of which can all be traced back to the split of scientific consciousness and the lack of correspondence between the current state of scientific intellect and survival-development strategic imperatives. As the readers already know, the disintegrated theoretical state of social sciences appears to be the decisive element of the trap.
Undeniably, social sciences have accumulated much valuable knowledge, numerous fruitful broad generalizations. The problem, however, is that this knowledge is not at all intended for the extremely complex and unusual problems humanity faces today. The decline in interest towards general principles of the study of human social life and management aggravated by departmental optimization (see 1.5.) creates a system of values and an intellectual atmosphere which make impossible the solution of the key survival and development strategic issues. As it was indicated above, this is not the fault of social sciences. Their state stems from the existing pattern of civilization dynamics.
But this state, in accordance with the feedback principle, has a great negative influence on the evolutionary self-organization of human social life. To prove this assertion I call the reader's attention to the specific latent manifestation of the cognitive trap as manifested in the activities of the Club of Rome. As I noted, this NGO succeeded in mobilizing the creative potentials of the planet. In the processes it generated, a new integratively thinking generation of researchers-innovators, which emerged after the creation of cybernetics and systems movement in science and management, got essentially new application orientations. These were orientations acquired in the general context of world studies. The generation of researchers under review was mostly composed of those representatives of natural, engineering, and mathematical sciences who began to apply general systems principles to the study of the world crisis society and its dynamics.
The Club of Rome guided the research and managerial efforts of this generation to meet the goals of study on the world problematique. It is these goals that reoriented and developed the innovative capacity of the discussed generation. By being professionally involved in the study of the area of human social life processes, these researchers introduced many important general transdisciplinary ideas and methods in this area.
One would expect such studies to strengthen essentially the processes of integrative interaction of social, natural and engineering sciences. But these expectations did not come true. The problem is that, while enriching the social sciences with transdisciplinary integrative ideas, these researchers themselves became the captives of the above-characterized disintegrated state of theoretical grounds of these sciences. In particular, they accepted the existing social science concepts relating to human society and culture which are, as I noted above, poorly suited for the challenges of world studies. This permanent inertial influence of the disintegrated state of theory in social science can be compared with the black hole. Its influence seems to be the basic research obstacle in the solution of the key environmental survival and development strategic issues.
At the same time I wish to emphasize the crucial, indispensable potential role of social sciences in the solution of these problems. The only way out of the cognitive trap is to create and develop consistently integrative, systems evolutionary patterns of knowledge of human society. These patterns must represent human society as a specific part of the life system of the planet and its dynamics. It is especially important to have an integrative fundamental theory of the most important phenomenon of human social life: culture. This theory must include knowledge of contemporary world civilization as a system and the laws and mechanisms of its reproduction dynamics (see part 3).
A. Peccei realized rather well that the present state of social sciences did not meet the requirements of the contemporary epoch (Peccei, 1977, chapter 2, section 4). Unfortunately, he did initiate a special search for finding out ways and means to bring social sciences, in particular culture theory, in line with the requirements of the basic, priority problems of the Club of Rome. True, he more than other members of the Club of Rome, understood the role of the concept of culture and widely used it. But it was not at all sufficient for making culture theory a powerful universal instrument of world studies. It was not sufficient, for instance, for transforming this theory into a many-sided means of global modelling – this undoubtedly basic methodological contribution of the Club of Rome to the area of examination of world crisis. Besides, it should be noted that there was an essential theoretical gap in the knowledge of culture typically employed in Club of Rome studies. Missing was an entire class of phenomena – cultural traditions and their dynamics. This, in particular, is important because it is the mechanism of cultural tradition dynamics that is crucially important for the understanding of how human qualities are shaped, functioned and transformed (see Markarian, 1983a, 241-243; 1986a 84-91; 1987a, 178-182; sections 3.3.-3.5. of this book).
Fifteen years after the publication of "The Limits to Growth", one of the main Club of Rome's figures, Eduard Pestel, wrote the book "Beyond the Limits to Growth". In it he assesses this first Report to the Club from a historical perspective. In this connection especially notable are the thoughts, which Pestel shares in the Epilogue of his book. Pestel begins it by noting that over the years he was not once asked when the Club of Rome would again astonish the world with a report equal to "The Limits to Growth". Truly speaking, Pestel adds, the Club of Rome (and mostly its founder – Aurelio Peccei) really expected that such a work would come. But Pestel disagrees with such a position. From his point of view, "The Limits to Growth" appeared at the appropriate time. But time has passed, concludes Pestel, and never other revelation of such force and simplicity will come from the Club of Rome or elsewhere (Pestel, 1988, 238).
I suppose that it is hardly correct to put the question in this way. Considering this question, it is necessary to proceed from those real problems, which must be solved at different turns of evolutionary process and the capacity of a thought to meet the basic requirements of emerging conditions. I would like to show it through singling out two aspects of the examined cognitive situation: one concerns the assessment of the main contribution of the discussed report to global studies, the second is the comparison of the psychological state of the world when this study was created with the present state.
1) The basic merit of "The Limits to Growth" was that it masterfully disclosed the destructive nature of the world development pattern through using the possibilities of global computer modelling. In order to uncover this nature, it was extremely important to start systematic global studies. It was a quite correctly chosen, logically initial step. But the next basic step intended to develop this logic had to be manifested in specially programmed research efforts directed towards revealing and removing the fundamental causes, the hidden mechanisms of civilization which started the chain reaction of the destructive effects in the world. This step, however, was not made and, as a natural result of it, the world studies themselves generated by the planetary crisis gradually turned out to be in a deep and ever growing crisis.
2) As distinct from the early 70s, which was the time characterized by the emerging faith in man's strategic capacity to influence positively the very course of human evolution, today, on the contrary, all over the world dominates the perception of future which is characterized by deep frustration. And the inner causes of the latter are rooted in the disbelief in the capacity of man to organize and programme an effective search for real ways out of ever increasing planetary crisis. Three basic questions formulated in First Global Revolution (see 2.1.) can serve as a particular manifestation of the state of frustration under review. And all this, in its turn, is conditioned finally by the neglect of the key survival-development strategic issues.
From psychological standpoint, the major issue today is once again to inspire men with faith concerning their own strategic capacity to prevent them from the threat of self-annihilation. And this can be done only due to the transition to a new turn of world studies and actions. I believe that the above analysis makes one realize how essentially differ the compared historical situations and the basic requirements they put forward before the world studies. It seems that for achieving the goal sought for, one book (regardless its research merits and availability) is not sufficient. A whole series of appropriate works and other means including a new pattern of using mass media will be needed for reinspiring faith and transition to the new necessary turn of world studies and actions. As it was shown above, cognitive and normative traps are the basic obstacles in the way of such a transition.
In the following sections I shall try to prove some of the conclusions made above applying them to the research practice of the UN system. The focus will be made on two problems: the first concerns the necessity of bringing the understanding of human development in correspondence with the basic requirements the planetary crisis puts forward; the second problem relates to the necessity of the advancement of our knowledge on the key survival-development strategic issues. It is first of the knowledge on the cluster of structures of civilization, which in the end are responsible for this crisis and the ways of their removing. Both of these interdependent problems sound very actual in the context of the UN reform.
Dissatisfaction with the contents of the UN concept of human development for a long time is widely expressed in literature. It was expressed, in particular, in "Our Common Future". This dissatisfaction has its definite methodological grounds. The reason is that the elaboration of this concept has not become the result of the necessary generalizations called upon to understand, firstly, the generic specificity of human development and, secondly, its particular manifestations in the contemporary epoch. Meanwhile the concept of development in the discussed case must be intended adequately to reflect those essentially new regulatory functions which the UN began to acquire during the last decades in the course of its rapid institutional evolution conditioned by the ever and ever increasing planetary crisis. They are first of all functions of the promotion of creating new, more just world order and of preventing the global and regional environmental threats.
One of the most recent and systematic statements of this approach is given in the United Nations Development Programme 1995 yearbook "Human Development Report". It characterizes human development as a process of enlarging people's choices to which four major elements are intrinsic – productivity, equity, sustainability, and empowerment. The report goes on: Sustainable development addresses both equity within generations and equity among generations – enabling all generations, present and future, to make the best use of their capabilities. It brings the development process within the carrying capacity of nature, giving the highest priority to environmental regeneration – to protect the opportunities of future generations (Human Development Report, 1995, 11-13).
Three basic dimensions of the issue of sustainability are singled out in the Report: capacity, environment, and institutions. If the development process does not create institutions fully supportive of people's rights, it cannot be sustainable in the long run. Human development thus emphasizes strengthening the institutions of both government and civil society so that the entire development process becomes internally sustainable (ibid.).
This approach to development focuses on a very important property of human as well as biological evolution. In fact, the idea of sustainability reflects the principle of adaptive self-preserving evolution of living systems. But the idea of sustainable development in UNDP's conception is presented primarily as a normative assertion, one that lacks the characteristics of the workable mechanisms for achieving the desirable state of sociocultural evolution. Furthermore, it in general is not based on the elaboration of a fundamental theory of development and formulation of its general principles.
Human development, especially today, is an extremely complex and many-sided process. We can pursue different purposes in the course of its examination. But all of them must be based on those general principles, which conceive human development as a specific phenomenon and process. Without meeting this general methodological rule of a scientific study the resulting strategies will lack a sound theoretical basis. A general fundamental definition of human development is altogether left out of UN conception under review. The initial documents prepared for the 1995 Copenhagen World Summit for Social Development well confirm that (see Development and International Economic Cooperation, 1994; Outcome of the World Summit for Social Development, 1994). But general definition is not at all a luxury. It is an essential tool for integrating and synthesizing various pieces, levels, and aspects of knowledge on the subject. In particular, it is the lack of general definition of the examined concept that permits so easily to confuse the general (generic) and various particular meanings of the concept "social development".
Normative (i.e. prescriptive) knowledge naturally should be based upon positive (i.e. descriptive) knowledge. Without precise knowledge on fundamental laws and mechanisms of sociocultural dynamics normative constructions can hardly be fruitful. Thus, UNDP's conception of human development, which is largely normative, is bound to be flawed. I wish to support this assertion further.
I completely agree with the above-stated proposition that if the development process does not create institutions fully supportive of people's rights, both within and among generations, it cannot be sustainable in the long run. But what is to be done if, as I argue, the general contemporary world development process at any evolutionary stage permanently reproduces the destructive insatiable institutional patterns of activity and thus is not able to meet the criteria for sustainable development under review? These patterns cannot be changed without special, many-sided efforts intended to break the vicious circle which is typical of the current reproduction dynamics of world civilization.
I believe that this analysis permits to demonstrate the great importance of general definitions and characterizations, especially when they concern a process as complex and multifaceted as present-day human development. In this regard it is important to note that in recent decades an essentially new vision of evolution of living systems has begun to emerge. It is influenced by advancements in knowledge on the self-maintaining capacity of life. Later this vision will be characterized in detail. Here I should like only to make the following conclusion: any development of human society as a superbiological phenomenon (as with the evolution of other living systems) is composed of two interdependent sub-processes. The first is reproduction of the structures of sociocultural systems. As to the second, it is manifested in changes that take place in them in the course of this reproduction. It is the combination and synthesis of these analyzed sub-processes that I describe as "reproduction dynamics" (cf. Csanyi, Kampis, 1985).
From my point of view, this conception of human development and evolution of other living systems is much more rigorous than the traditional ones which always in one way or another is reduced to changes of evolving systems. Certainly, changes constitute an extremely important property of development and evolution. They, in particular, permit to differentiate these phenomena themselves. (The author shares the position that the concept of development is called to reflect only structural changes; as to evolution, it embraces all the changes in systems dynamics). But the key is the understanding that the changes in living systems take place within the processes of regeneration, which are done through the reproduction of structures of these systems.
The processes which govern human society, as distinct from other living systems, take place at two essentially different but interdependent levels: biological and sociocultural. At the level of sociocultural type of life organization culture appears to be the phenomenon and mechanism by means of which the general laws of the universe and living systems manifest themselves. The laws of reproduction dynamics of living systems are among them (see 3.3.-3.5.).
The reproduction dynamics of human society (like other living systems) normally is governed by the laws of adaptive evolution. This means that the human activity at all levels – motivational, programming, implementation and others – provides self-preservation of units of evolution. In such case, all the major existing structures of culture as well as the main trajectories of changes which take place in them must be subordinated to achieving this ultimate goal of human society as a particular kind of living system.
In UNDP's conception of development, the manifestations of the laws of inertia in the contemporary civilization reproduction dynamics are not specially examined and taken into account. If the reproduction dynamics of human society corresponds to adaptive-evolutionary requirements, then inertial behaviour in society is no cause for anxiety. But inertial behaviour is a great cause for alarm if there is a lack of such correspondence. In this case the situation appears essentially different. The reason is that when the general development patterns acquire destructive nature, in particular through the commitments by human societies various evolutionary blunders, inertial institutional behaviour in the course of reproduction dynamics of these societies naturally is transformed into an extremely destructive force.
Human beings today face just this kind of situation. Inertial behaviour of the appropriate institutions and social groups permanently reproduce and strengthen the destructive pattern of contemporary world civilization at global as well as national/regional levels. This behaviour in the context of the current planetary crisis becomes a source of an extraordinary challenge (as the reader already knows, the RENE idea just emerged in response to this challenge). And the discussed challenge brings forward to the contemporary generation of human beings an unprecedentedly difficult task which is discussed throughout the present book – a systems transformation of the contemporary world development pattern. Above, the possibility of solving this task as the only permissible, survival alternative was already discussed from different standpoints. Here I should like only to stress that, if human beings succeed in carrying out the necessary transformational processes, they would signify the most important lines of human development at this evolutionary stage.
Only due to this kind of transition a really sustainable society could become possible. The solution of the key survival-development strategic issues will be the basis of this transition. And it is through the course of such a transformation that humanity will enter the stage of a consciously guided evolution (cf. Banathy, 1993) and the UN system will acquire the capacity for world strategic management.
In the conclusion of the section it is necessary to stress that the carried out analysis of the concept of sustainable development does not at all call UNDP's every-day activity in question. From my point of view, in order not to confuse different aspects of the issue it is very important to differentiate two kinds of sustainability: operational and strategically achieved. In this case is used the principle of conceptual differentiation proposed above (see 1.1.).
The first kind of sustainability can be achieved, for instance, through meeting certain environmental requirements, dissemination in the world of positive social experience acquired by various peoples, rendering assistance to the backward and crisis state regions and countries. The combination of these and other means can stabilize the situation to a certain degree. It is this kind of sustainability that is in the focus of usual activity of UNDP and related organizations. Meanwhile, however important such an activity may be, a genuinely sustainable development cannot be achieved through its actualization. To enable generations, present and future, make the best use of their capabilities will become possible only due to revealing and removing the basic sources of the properties of the existing world development pattern which is not only extremely destructive but equally wasteful.
The application of the survival-development strategic principles to the current planetary crisis requires first of all making out whether it is a sum of independently emerged crisis situations or a single crisis formation. In the latter case its various components in spite of all their specificity must have their common initial, fundamental sources. The studies of the last decades permit to conclude that the second position is much more correct. For instance, the call for "getting at the sources" of the world crisis found in the Report "Our Common Future" (see 2.1.) is based on the comprehension of the world crisis as a systems formation. As such, the Report advocates that environmental, energy, economic, demographic and other crises should not be considered as separate phenomena. The authors present them as different manifestations of a single global crisis system. Special emphasis is laid in the Report on the interrelations between economic and environmental parameters of the world crisis, and on their mutual feedback effects.
But the comprehension of systems nature of the current planetary crisis is only the first important step in the direction of creating the urgently needed theory on this crisis. In particular, such a theory requires presenting the crisis not only as a multicomponental phenomenon but a phenomenon, which has a multilevel, hierarchical structure. The vital theoretical survival-development issue is to understand the action of the feedback mechanism in two dynamic states of interaction of parts of the world crisis system. In one case the problem is to understand this mechanism as a means of accumulating and increasing the destructiveness in the world in today's real processes through which these parts mutually influence each other. In the second case it is necessary to find out how the same mechanism in principle can effectively act for decreasing the destructive forces in the world and for ever accumulating and increasing the positive, self-preserving forces of civilization.
Both of these problems are extremely complex and I do not pretend to discuss all their main aspects. But one conclusion can be certainly made here: this desirable state can be reached only through removing those links of civilization which started the waves of chain reaction of destructive effects in the world. In the light of the above-stated, I would like to call the readers' attention to the following conclusion: it is the multilevel, hierarchical character of the planetary crisis that first of all necessitates to apply to the principles of correlative study of interrelations between symptoms and causes of this crisis.
The first among them is the principle of relativity of causes and symptoms. It enables one properly to conceive the hierarchical nature of a crisis system, to specify its structure. The gist of the principle under review is that levels of this structure depend upon a general field of the study and cognitive aims it pursues. As these factors vary, so the causes and symptoms may change their places within the structural model in relevance to each other (I used the principle of relativity for the comprehension and examination of the correlative interrelations between the following pairs of concepts: global and regional levels of a system; strategy and tactics, general and local historical evolutionary types of culture; common and local cultural traditions; see Markarian, 1983b; 1986a, 98-102; 1987a, 125-129, 143-157).
To make understandable the discussed principle let us apply to concrete instances. In the Report "Our Common Future" the phenomenon of poverty is considered the cause of environmental problems. This is quite true if one examines a definite class of contemporary environmental problems. But if we examine poverty in the historical perspective, it appears as one of the symptoms of the planetary crisis generated by deeper, more basic sources. Using this frame of reference in relevance to the emergence of the whole planetary crisis, we at definite stages of the research will inevitably come to the necessity of solving the tasks of revealing and removing the initial causes of this crisis. So the methodological importance of the formulation of the discussed principle is that its very research logic inevitably compels examining the planetary key survival-development strategic issues.
In the light of the above analysis I once again want to stress that when we specially single out the key survival-development strategic issues it does not at all mean the underestimation of the potential strategic role of dealing with effects-symptoms of crisis situations. Sometimes definite complex consequences, effects of human activity through acquiring autonomous character are transformed into very powerful factors of evolution. They are able, in turn, to influence essentially the whole crisis situation and the prospects of its developments. The contemporary demographic problem can serve as a classic example in this respect. Being one of by-products of the existing world development pattern, it has become today one of most comprehensive and dangerous long-term challenges of our epoch.
But the question is that, as we already know, the very approach to solving this and similar problems can be operational and strategic. In the first case, it will be manifested in the elementary self-correcting reactions of human activity towards particular effects produced by the examined factors like the efforts analyzed in the section 1.4.7. In the second case, the problems will be examined in the general context of solving the key survival-development strategic issues. Accordingly, the operational and strategic efforts being combined, they will be directed through a single programme and plan of actions. Thus the probability of handling the problems under review correspondingly will essentially increase. We should constantly have in mind the specific character of the ultimate goals the strategic programmes and efforts pursue and the great potentials to influence positively the evolutionary process these programmes and efforts contain. The reason is that in the discussed case they are intended in this case to transform the very grounds of the general development pattern.
On the one hand, the survival-development strategic programmes are intended for radical systems transformation of the world destructive evolutionary pattern of civilization, on the other hand, they are called upon to shape its really sustainable general developmental properties. That is why the solution of the examined strategic problems play especially important role in the context of general task of prevention from common death threats which are hanging today over the human and other living species of the planet. The arguments above also explain why they are named the key survival-development strategic issues.
The foregoing leads to the necessity of specifying and developing the very concept of basic sources and causes of the planetary crisis. I shall start from the main conclusions of the poignant analysis of world environmental policy found in Chapter 12 of "Our Common Future". The authors make a convincing case that the sectored disconnected activity of governmental structures, including environmental ministries, naturally limits environmental policy to dealing with the effects, symptoms of the world crisis. Thus, the major question is how to direct efforts also towards the sources of the crisis as well. The Report identifies one of the basic sources as a traditional economic policy. Viewed from our current position, this is true. But economic policy, when regarded as a consequence of overall short-term pattern of thinking and action, has its own fundamental causes.
I think that the basic causes of the world crisis are rooted in a very complex, ubiquitous, all-penetrating holistic formation composed of many components and containing the destructive potentials of civilization. It has numerous aspects: ideological, managerial, political, economic, scientific, educational and others. But there perhaps exists a self-centered institutional core, so to speak, a nerve center of the destructive mechanism of civilization. Through this mechanism the "cells" of the destructive patterns of thinking and behaviour are permanently generated and disseminated throughout the various parts of the cultural system.
If this conception is accurate, then how do we deal with this destructive mechanism? This question has several aspects. They are: examining the genesis of the destructive mechanism of civilization, identifying its basic carrier, and finding ways to remove it. In the light of this analysis it is necessary to stress that the call for "getting at the sources" which ran throughout "Our Common Future" has a syncretic character. It must be differentiated into the parameters of revealing and removing the sources sought for.
Summing up, I would like once again to indicate that on the whole any survival and development strategy is composed of three main parameters. They reflect the three interrelated tasks which this strategy must accomplish: how to discover the basic sources which threaten the very existence of social system under examination and thus to diagnose the general nature of a crisis in terms of major violations of the normal course of evolutionary self-organization of human social life; how to eliminate (or neutralize) these sources and thus to correct the committed evolutionary blunders; how to deal with the already present destructive and destabilizing effects. The first parameter has a research character. The other two suggest practical actions but of two distinct types: strategic and operational (see 1.1.).
Comparing this approach with other approaches to survival and development problems, one can easily see that it rather essentially differs from them (cf. for instance, Laszlo, 1996). The main problem today is how to bring together different approaches and through mobilizing their potentials to find out a common basis for cooperation in this top priority area of activity.
The ideas presented in the previous parts became possible due to the favourable combination of a number of methodological and theoretical premises. These premises, in their turn, became the result of the assimilation and critical rethinking of the ideas generated by many trends of thought and branches of knowledge. I lived in the country where Marxism was an official ideology. It was quite natural that the philosophical and sociological views of K. Marx and F. Engels were the first I was acquainted with. And to a certain degree it was good luck because, from the standpoint of my research interests (see further). Their integrative ideas concerning human society as a specific phenomenon and its origin were, apparently, the most appropriate ones. At any rate they enabled me to make the first steps in the search and helped to work out my own approach to the subjects I studied. There were many other views that influenced this creative process. Unfortunately there is no opportunity to mention all of them in this part where I am going to introduce the readers into the innermost components of the research experience accumulated by me.
My first professional interest in the world of high cultures and civilizations was initially inspired by the topic of my Ph. D. dissertation on the conception of cyclical development of human social life (it was defended in 1958 in Moscow State University). The core of the dissertation was a comparative analysis of the views of O. Spengler and A. Toynbee. This analysis later became the subject of my first book "On the Conception of Local Civilizations" (Markarian, 1962). However, my real interest in human society and culture as specific phenomena of reality came in the course of preparing my dissertation on D.Sc. degree. It was the work on basic methodological problems of systems study of human social life (it was defended in 1967 in the Moscow Institute of Philosophy of the USSR Ac. of Sc.). This work shaped the major lines of my research in the following two decades. They concerned the following issues: a) comprehension of human society as a particular self-organizing adaptive system; b) a comparative study of the activity of sociocultural and biological systems from the standpoint of intrinsic to them two essentially different types of life organization; c) a search for the consistently integrative principles of studying culture and cultural tradition dynamics; d) the basic issues of genesis of human activity and culture; e) the main tendencies in the integrative interaction of social, natural and engineering sciences and their prospects.
The research programmes worked out to solve these issues produced numerous publications, including several books (see, for instance, Markarian, 1969; 1972; 1973; 1977a; 1983a; 1986a; 1987a; 1989c; Kultura, 1983). The first three publications generated a lively discussion on the initial principles of studying culture as the most important and comprehensive phenomenon of human social life organization. Some of the conceptions proposed in them were widely adopted. Under the influence of these and some later works a quite definite integrative trend of thought was shaped and developed. (see, for instance, Abramian, 1989; Airapetian, 1993; Arutiunov, 1989; Barsegian, 1986; Chistov, 1986; Davidovich, Zhdanov, 1979; Fainburg, 1983; Fradlina, 1997; Kagan, 1974; Krasnobaev, 1985; Lourie, 1994; Melkonian, 1981; Saringulian, 1984, Trushkov, 1984; Kultura, 1983). Later this trend was named the Armenian culturological and traditionological school.
The theoretical core of this trend was composed of the principles of: a) understanding of human society as a universal adaptive-adapting system; b) human activity as a specific manifestation of informationally guided life activity; c) culture as a superbiological universal technology (mode) of human activity, its adaptive and optimizational mechanism; d) cultural tradition dynamics as the universal mechanism of reproduction and change of human societies and basic carrier of life experience manifested in the processes of formation, action and transformation of any group patterns (stereotypes) of activity.
Having approached the problem of culture as a specific mechanism of human activity and social life's evolutionary self-organization, I hoped to find in the world literature the consistently integrative principles of studying this problem. But all my efforts were in vain. Even in American cultural anthropology of the 60s and 70s, which was on its progressive neo-evolutionist wave, I could not find the sought after principles. Nevertheless, the American anthropology, undoubtedly, the most developed branch of empirical and theoretical study of culture, served as a good school for me. It was rich with many interesting ideas.
Two of these ideas were especially valuable to me. One was the idea of culturology as an integrative science of cultural phenomena, substantiated by Leslie A. White (White 1949). The second was the idea of culture as a specific means of human adaptation (Culture, 1968). But these ideas were not brought together. White's fatalistic outlook discouraged him from using and developing his very valuable generalization concerning culturology. In general, this outstanding researcher did not succeed in substantiating culturology as an integrative discipline. His aforementioned fatalistic outlook, which in fact deprived culturology of its managerial potentials, reduced culture to its super-personal manifestations, excluded from the subject of culturological study ethnic and regional cultural identical evolutionary parameters, became the basic obstacles in the way of solution of this task (see White, 1949; 1975; Markarian, 1987a; 1989c).
As to the adaptation issue, American, as well as world anthropology and sociology lacked the necessary theoretical foundation for its solution. It must be manifested in a general, systematically substantiated principle of referring human society to a particular subclass of adaptive, self-organizing systems.
Despite the above-mentioned and some other shortcomings, White's conception was very stimulating. All my efforts to elaborate a general culture theory were in fact attempts to substantiate and develop his idea of culturology as a science of cultural phenomena. And these were just efforts directed to overcome the indicated shortcomings. Not until 1983 did I succeed to publish a qualitatively new version of culturological theory in the book "Culture Theory and Modern Science" (Markarian 1983a). It included a section especially devoted to the principles of general tradition dynamics theory, which I named "traditionology".
These principles resulted from a systematic comparative analysis of the informational grounds of sociocultural and biological types of life organization (Markarian, 1977a, 187-197). In 1980 I was given the opportunity to prepare a position paper for the Moscow Interdisciplinary Seminar on the Key Issues of Cultural Tradition Theory. I did not expect that the demand in radical overcoming of the old narrow and static paradigm of tradition was so strong. From this point of view the seminar became an important stimulus for the continuation of the intensive studies called to develop my first approach to the key issues of tradition dynamics. The proceedings of that seminar (see Proceedings, 1981) aroused interest in these issues and the proposed principles of their solution in the USSR and abroad. In particular, they prompted the organization of the International Symposium on Systems Study of Traditions, which was held in Budapest in 1988. In this case I was also invited to prepare a position paper for this meeting (see Markarian, 1992a).
In describing the general theoretical field attributable to the Armenian culturological and traditionological school, it is important to mention the two organizational structures which promoted the emergence and development of this school and the scientific trend which accompanied it. It so happened that they were founded by me almost simultaneously, in 1973. That year I was offered to organize and head the Commission on Culture Theory within the Scientific Council on History of World Culture of the USSR Academy of Sciences. Soon after that I organized the Department of Culture Theory in the Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Armenian Academy of Sciences. This Department became the organizational center of the Armenian culturological and traditionological school, generating many new integrative ideas and research programmes which were submitted for discussion at a number of multifaceted seminars and conferences (for details see Kulturologicheskie issledovania v Armiyanskoi SSR, 1984).
As a prime example of intensive interdisciplinary collective study carried out in the Department, I would like to cite the project "Life-Sustaining Culture and Ethnos" (1978-1982). Its purpose was to examine the research potentials of the initial principles of the Armenian culturological and traditionological school (see Kultura, 1983). This study essentially enriched the theoretical base of the school by elaborating the principles of enthnoculturology (Arutiunov, 1989, 200-230; Markarian, 1987a, 160-167). Some other generalizing studies carried out in the Department are worth mentioning. One was devoted to the principles of normology substantiated as a general theory of cultural norms (Saringulian, 1984; 1995), the other manifested in the principles of genesis of cultural traditions (see Abramian, 1988; 1989).
Unfortunately the sudden death of K. Saringulian broke off the work at the further development of normological theory. But I believe that it will be continued by his colleagues. I myself plan to develop the work in this direction at two levels. One is the level of general substantiation of normology in the system of sciences. This task is very close to my research orientations, – the more so, as the elaboration of traditionological principles seemed to be one of the initial theoretical premises of normology (cf. Markarian, 1981; Saringulian, 1981; 1985). At the second level normological principles will be applied to the appropriate branches of knowledge, in particular, to the principles of culturology and traditionology of science (and education) which were elaborated in the Department in the middle and late 1980s (see Markarian, 1986a, chapter 9; 1987b, 420-423; 1989c).
In the second half of the 1980s the initial principles of the Armenian culturological and traditionological school began to change rapidly the direction of their application and development. It happened in spite of the fact that it was the time when this school possessed all attributes of a mature, widely recognized research trend. Among them were the publication of volumes of selected works devoted to the elaboration and development of the principles under review within the country and abroad (Forrásmunkák, 1985; Markarian, 1986c; Markarjan, 1986) and the use of them and some other books of the author as handbooks at universities, organizations of various meetings for the discussion of these principles, the preparation of many dissertations and other studies under their influence. The mainstream of the transformation of the principles in question led to the area of the key survival and development strategic issues. In 1992 this process brought to the replacement of the Department of Culture Theory by the Department for Key Survival and Development Strategic Issues.
The factors which predetermined this transformation can be best of all identified by means of the correlated analysis of the research programmes of the Departments under review. I have carried out such an analysis (Markarian, 1996). It is reasonable to start the identification sought after with the distinctive features of the research programme of the Department of Culture Theory. As the readers remember, this structure was founded with the purpose of understanding human social life as a specific part of life system on the planet. Initially I approached this task as a sociologist. But gradually it became clear to me that the traditional sociological approach was not sufficient for that task. I guessed that the key to its solution was lying in the systematic elaboration of the principles of general culture theory as a necessary instrument of conceiving the genesis of culture and human activity and of the a comparative analysis of the modes of activity of sociocultural and biological systems.
Applying my research experience, I would like to single out at least eight fundamental issues the solutions of which are necessary for the elaboration of such a theory. Except the initial issue, I state them briefly below.
1) The first issue concerns the comprehension of culture as a specific phenomenon and its major functions. The primary function of culture is making possible the existence of social life of human beings as a particular natural self-organizing living system. Natural systems in this deep initial philosophical sense means first of all that they are governed by the objective laws. Accordingly, culture is that particular phenomenon which makes possible the manifestation of the fundamental and specific objective laws in such natural order as human social life is. Looked from this standpoint human consciousness appears to be the basic attribute of man, society as well as culture as an all-penetrating universal mechanism which makes possible their very activity and the action of the objective laws in the evolutionary self-organization of this quite unusual kind of natural order.
It is necessary to differentiate here three basic levels of manifestation of objective laws. All of them are fundamental in relevance to the appropriate scale of natural orders. The first level represents the fundamental laws of evolutionary self-organization, which govern natural orders of the whole universe.
The second level represents the fundamental laws typical of self-organization of the whole system of life, regardless of its possible distinct manifestations at different stages of evolution. It is important to stress that the contemporary science has no appropriate term and concept to express this level. The reason is that the word "bios" (life in general), coming from the Greek language, was arbitrarily used for designating the particular, basic for the planet type of life organization and was not accompanied with an introduction of the general term. Thus on this fundamental scientific theoretical level another logically abnormal cognitive situation was created and it became an additional important factor which conditioned the terminological and conceptual insufficiency on the very grounds of the New European Science. Today we are compelled to use the term "biological" in its usual narrow meaning. But at the same time it (like the term "natural") continues to preserve its initial general meaning as well. Accordingly this logical contradiction and duality have very negative consequences which as a rule are not even recognized.
As to the third level, it is just called upon to represent the laws which govern the evolutionary self-organization of two known to us qualitatively different natural types of life order of the planet: the basic one and the derivative of it. The universal laws like the laws of inertia or thermodynamics find their specific manifestation at the level of living systems. In their turn, the laws that are fundamental for these systems find the specific manifestation in the processes of reproduction dynamics at the biological and sociocultural types of life order.
The top priority task of fundamental future oriented social theory is to comprehend and examine the specific manifestation of natural order on two qualitatively different stages of sociocultural evolution. The first must embrace past and present spontaneous patterns of evolution of human societies. As to the second, it concerns an imperatively needed today consciously guided evolution that will be elaborated in the course of learning the difficult art of solving the key survival and development strategic issues.
The problem of human society as a natural system and accordingly of natural science on society has its historical background. The idea of social physics formulated in XVII c. was the first basic manifestation of this problem. But the general level and state of scientific development up to the middle of this century could not create the necessary preconditions for the adequate solution of this problem. And it was quite understandable if we take into account that the fundamental conceptual scheme of the classic science left no room for man and his sociocultural world. And it is this circumstance and the above-described priorities of science development that predetermined the steady traditions of using the concepts "nature", "natural process", and "natural" in their usual narrow meaning. These traditions essentially aggravate the situation of cognitive trap. They played a very important role in the creation of the state of the aforementioned terminological and conceptual insufficiency.
One could think that the recent decades marked by the processes of overcoming a classical paradigm of science and emergence of a cluster of general scientific theories applicable to human society as well, would essentially develop the fundamental integrative idea of human society as a specific natural system. But in reality the opposite tendency took place. The problem of human social life as a particular holistic pattern of natural order actually was removed from the research agenda. Instead of essential development of integrative principles and concepts potentially able to present and substantiate theoretically this order as a specific part of the general life system of the planet, a conceptual scheme of essentially another kind began to be used widely. It is the conceptual scheme composed of not mutually linked and as a rule opposed to each other concepts of natural and artificial components of human activity. All this is accompanied with a neglect of the basic requirements of systems approach. It is the requirement to elaborate in such cases a general synthetic concept by means of which the examined components could be considered as two different interrelated functional links of the same natural order.
Here we face the features that are mostly typical of disintegrated style of thinking (see 1.3.). Today we can observe very influential postpositivist, postmodernist tendencies, which try to justify this style. These attempts are accompanied with the attack against the most fruitful ideas of the New European Science. It concerns first of all the fundamental idea of natural process (natural system) governed by the objective laws and its applicability to human society. The situation in sociology is very typical from this point of view. There are interesting works which fight against these tendencies (see, for instance, Collins, 1989). But in order to be really fruitful, such a struggle can not be limited by the area of sociological theory and accordingly must be based on revealing the very roots of the examined tendencies. Besides, I suppose that only the general context of the search for solutions of the key survival and development strategic issues can provide this struggle with the necessary stimuli, theoretical perspective, and scientific criteria. I make this inference because I began the studies on human society as a natural system long before my involvement in the examination of these issues (Markarian, 1977a, 32-69; 1982, 427-429; 1987a, 111-115; 1988, 69-71; 1992a, 174-176).
2) Now after the characterization of the initial functions of culture in the general context of understanding human social life as a specific natural order, it is reasonable to approach this problem from another standpoint. This type of life organization is a comprehensive object for numerous disciplines. What is then the particular place and role of culturology in this system of disciplines? The answer to the question can essentially promote the study of culture as a specific comprehensive subject of scientific investigation and its basic functions. Especially important is to comprehend the interrelations between culturology and sociology. The crucial importance of this became clear to Leslie White in the course of his substantiation of culturology. He made a number of interesting and important conclusions on the subject (see, for instance White, 1975, 128-129). But on the whole they had an empiric character.
In order to generalize them, I used my multidimensional systems model of a human society (see Markarian, 1977b). In accordance with it, a society (and obviously any population of living beings) as a systems formation should be first of all considered from three standpoints: the subjects of activity (individual and collective), thus answering who is acting, showing where, in which spheres and fields the activity is implemented; the mode of activity, so as to answer the question how, in what manner this activity is implemented, and how its combined effect – the phenomenon of human social life is formed, reproduced and developed. I believe that this model alongside with other functions gives objective criteria for understanding the very character and status of sociology and culturology in the system of sciences: sociology is a generalizing science on the collective and individual subjects of human activity. As to culturology, it is a generalizing science on the superbiological mode of this activity (see Markarian, 1989c).
3) The contemporary science assumes that cultural modes of life organization (like biological ones) are not unique phenomena in the universe. Therefore, a genuine, general culture theory must overcome the geocentric vision of culture. Hence its principles must also account for plausible extraterrestrial manifestations of culture as well. The capacity to consider this point adequately will serve as a good test for all the attempts to elaborate a general culturological theory (see the position of the author on this issue and its assessment Markarian, 1973a, 26-43; 1973b, 108-111; 1986b, 110-116; 1987a, 183-187; Rubtsov, Ursul, 1987, 46, 64).
4) The solution of the above issues is oriented to create the basis of a theory called to characterize the initial functions of culture. However, the problem has its another essential aspect as well. General culturological theory is called upon to present culture as a real system composed of various structural links, elements and must account for the interrelations of these components in the course of activity of human social life in all kinds of environments. There are innumerable definitions of culture, but few approaches characterize culture as a real comprehensive system. All such characteristics known by me have a common shortcoming. They do not consider cultural systems from the ecological point of view, in the context of two kinds of environments – biophysical and sociocultural conditions of their existence. I attempted to overcome this shortcoming (Markarian, 1983a, 59-79; 1987a, 36-41).
5) Perhaps the weakest point of the contemporary culturological theory and social science in general is their inability to explain precisely the general laws and elementary (universal) mechanisms by means of which structures of culture (and thus of human social life) are reproduced and changed. In contrast, contemporary biological theory is able to explain these laws and mechanisms for any species, owing to breakthroughs in evolution theory, genetics, and cellular organization of life. It is one of the factors, which account for the impressive achievements of biology during the recent decades. In the following sections I shall demonstrate how the systems evolutionary integrative approach to cultural traditions and their dynamics has helped to solve this issue and fill the discussed gap of social science. Here I wish only to stress that the principles of tradition dynamics helped me essentially to develop the elaborated by me conception of culture as a system.
6) The gist of the issue is that the presentation of culture as a systemic formation and its dynamics is impossible without taking into account the interrelations of the creative potentials of personality and his culture with sociocultural conditions. As I shall explain later, this appears to be the initial premise for understanding the transformational cycles of human life experience. It is these cycles that regulate the reproduction dynamics of sociocultural systems. So the sixth basic problem of general culturological theory can be formulated as the issue of interdependence between personal and superpersonal levels of cultural systems (for details see 3.3.-3.4.). From this point of view, I consider as unjust the assessment of universal-technological understanding of culture as an approach which abstracts from subjective-personal aspect of culture (see Vvedenie, 1989, 530). On the contrary, due to the principles of this understanding, a personality, the creative potential of his culture was substantiated as an extremely important link of evolutionary self-organization of human social life (cf. White, 1949; 1975).
7) The following problem concerns the principle of proportionate correlative study of general/common and local identical properties and traits of cultural evolution. My conviction is that the interrelations between the modes of generalization of general and individual properties of cultural systems constitute the core of this issue. The Baden Neokantian school's diametrical opposition of generalization and individualization brought the solution of this issue to a real deadlock and today it still remains in the same state.
To remove the deadlock, I proposed the principle of "generalizing individualization" (or "individualizing generalization") and the conceptual scheme of general and local historical types (patterns) of culture as well as general/common and local types of cultural traditions. The general historical types of culture abstract from individual, local properties and features of cultural systems, from the unique combinations these properties and features produce in the course of reproduction dynamics of societies and their interaction with environment. The characterization of corresponding stages of sociocultural evolution is just possible due to this kind of abstraction. In addition to those already mentioned, there are other historical types which, on the contrary, exist specially to express these unique properties and features of cultural systems. They are based on generalizations, which are made within concrete space-time coordinates of sociocultural and biophysical reality. The concept of generalizing individualization is just called to express this kind of research activity (Markarian, 1983b; 1987a, 143-160; cf. Sahlins, 1968).
8) The last problem I am going to present here, reflects the necessity to mobilize the resources of culturological, traditionological, sociological and other related theories to understand the integrative systems evolutionary characteristics of modern culture as manifested in world civilization and its reproduction dynamics. I assume that such a mobilization, in particular, can be possible in case researchers have at their disposal the adequate principles for solving the foregoing seven problems. To achieve the necessary mobilizing effect the synthetic, mutually strengthening combination of these principles is necessary. In turn, such kind of mobilization could become an important premise for a many-sided examination of the key survival-development strategic issues with a purpose to find out the required ways to eliminate the basic sources of the destructive nature of contemporary civilization and its development pattern.
To my knowledge, the Armenian culturological and traditionological school is the only research trend in the world which has systematically and synthetically elaborated the principles intended for solving all the eight of these problems. In a concentrated form these principles, with one exception, were stated in the volume of the author's selected works on culture and tradition dynamics theory (Markarjan, 1986; Markarian, 1987a). The question is that before the middle of the 1980s I had no distinct position of my own relating to contemporary world civilization. Apparently there were not sufficiently strong personal stimuli for its elaboration, but rather soon a number of such stimuli emerged.
They were of different origin. The major, permanently acting research stimulus became the RENE idea. The latter enabled me to elaborate the project that already was entirely based on the principles of contemporary world civilization, which at that time was shaping in my consciousness. It was the project "Imperatives of Ecological Survival and Science: in a Search of a New Strategy". I designed it for the International Foundation for the Survival and Development of Humanity (see Markarian, 1989a). The RENE idea also essentially helped to master perhaps the most complicated aspect of the problem that reflects the interdependence between general and regional-national patterns of world civilization dynamics. As we already know, the very nature of this idea is intended to begin solving global survival-development strategic issues at regional level. And thus it naturally involves national parameter into the subject of the study. Nevertheless the potentials of the RENE project at first were mostly intended for examining the regional aspect.
However, soon a particular stimulus for the equal incorporation of the proper national parameter into the RENE project emerged. It was generated by the processes of the disintegration of the USSR and the emergence of the newly independent countries, the processes that were accompanied by radical changes in the geopolitical situation and sharp interethnic conflicts. I personally sensed this stimulus when I comprehended how uncertain and dangerous the state of independent Armenia became in the situation in which remained face to face with Turkey and Azerbaijan – countries where more than once unpunished genocides against the Armenian people were committed (see 3.9.). Being aware of the danger threatening the Armenian nation, I started a search for the national survival-development strategy. It is under the influence of this search that I acquired the discussed principles concerning the interrelations between general and national evolutionary patterns of contemporary world civilization. These generalizations played a very important role in the processes of transforming the basic principles of the Armenian culturological and traditionological school into the principles intended for the study of the key survival and development strategic issues on both global and national-regional levels.
The principles and conceptions that were used in the search helped me to formulate precisely the goals I pursued in the analysis of the key survival and development strategic issues and to begin systematically the creation of the theoretical premises for achieving these goals. Some research results even surpassed all my expectations. Here I want specially to stress one unexpected consequence of the application of general fundamental theory to these issues. That was the strong many-sided feedback, which stimulated further development of the theory itself. In particular, it influenced the formulation of the general principles of reproduction dynamics of living systems. I would like to make this result a subject of a special analysis because it seems to me that the principles under consideration are of great theoretical and applied importance (see 3.3.– 3.5.).
Speaking about the unusual destiny of the discussed principles, we have ground to say that one can observe a new wave of global acknowledgement of the results achieved due to them. In this connection, it is sufficient to indicate the recent assessment of my overall scientific activity by the American Biographical Institute (ABI) – one of the leading organizations specially called upon to recognize outstanding deeds in the world. ABI nominated me for the title Man of the Year (1997) and the biographical inclusion in its forthcoming (1998) Sixth Edition of Five Thousand Personalities of the World, and the Seventh, most prestigious century generalizing, Edition of Five Hundred Leaders of Influence.
The study of traditions as a particular class of phenomena until recently has been at the periphery of systems thinking and the advanced integrative interdisciplinary trends of the contemporary science. Lately, however, this branch of knowledge has undergone very important changes. In my position paper for the Budapest International symposium on systems study of traditions (Markarian, 1992a) I generalized and summarized these changes. I tried to show in the paper how the application of integrative systems evolutionary principles made traditions an extremely interesting subject of interdisciplinary studies.
A tradition is defined as any collective (group) pattern (stereotype) of activity based upon learning. I think that any scholar who professionally studies traditions would agree that they are group patterns of activity. However, a problem arises when numerous kinds of these patterns are excluded from the class of traditional phenomena. Tradition, as a rule, is associated with the, so to say, "archaic" patterns of behaviour. For example, patterns of behaviour which are formed through the oral modes of social experience transmission, like norms of customary law, that are considered as traditions. But those based on codified law and are supported by the power of state are not considered as such. This is only one of many limitations to this popular understanding of traditions. These limitations tend to link traditions entirely to the past. Here we face one of the basic shortcomings of the old, narrow and static paradigm of tradition, which inevitably leads to the opposition of "traditional" and "non-traditional" societies. Even the most eminent representatives of social sciences, like Max Weber, were advocates of this paradigm.
This view is still dominant, despite many attempts in recent decades to broaden the understanding of tradition (see Osipova, 1985). These attempts lack consistency, generally preserving the opposition of "traditional" and "non-traditional" societies. For example, Edward Shils in his well-known book "Tradition" excludes fashion from the class of traditional phenomena on account of its comparatively short existence. In his opinion, tradition can only be created by transmitting models of activity over several generations, i.e., at least over three (Shils, 1981, 15-16). Shils simply identifies particular manifestations of traditions with the whole class of traditional phenomena and thus in the end continues to stick to the old paradigm of these phenomena.
The paradigm that opposes "traditional" and "non-traditional" societies is misleading and false from the systems evolutionary point of view. Its advocates fail to account for the general life evolutionary laws and mechanisms exerted at all stages of sociocultural development. The key point is that the action of these laws and mechanisms in human society is manifested through the phenomena and processes we mean by traditions and their dynamics. Foremost are the laws and mechanisms of superbiological reproduction dynamics of human social life carried out by means of reproduction and change of culture. The basic conclusion made by me in this respect is that cultural tradition dynamics just appears to be the mechanism of reproduction and change of culture itself.
To prove this assertion, tradition dynamics must be examined in the light of its theoretical relationship to the major general life evolutionary properties. The most basic of these properties is the ability of living systems to accumulate and transmit life experience from generation to generation and to transform, optimize and use this experience for adaptation and self-preservation. If accomplished, the living system has the wherewithal for further evolution.
The basic portions of life experience in biological systems, including humans as biological creatures, are accumulated, transmitted, and transformed in accordance with the laws of heredity. As to the accumulation, transmission, and transformation of human life experience, these functions are fulfilled by means of of cultural tradition dynamics. This dynamics is a combination of culturally determined processes of reproduction and change in human social life.
Cultural (especially ethnic) traditions, when considered in the context of general life evolutionary ideas, are the learning-based equivalents of species programmes in biological populations. As such, cultural traditions and their dynamics act as the universal, regulative, stabilizing, reproducing, and transforming mechanisms of human social life. Cultural tradition dynamics then appears to be a link of general evolution of life, a specific form and mode of its realization at the level of human social life. And this view becomes possible just due to learning the general laws of transformational cycles of human social life experience. Such an approach, besides all the rest, constitutes the necessary methodological grounds for integrative study of cultural traditions based on symbols of human language and animal imitative traditions (see Markarian, 1986, 115-125; Markarian, 1987a, 115-125).
Tradition in its cultural form has been elaborated in the genesis of human society. This phenomenon preserved its inner integral nature later when a significant differentiation took place in its concrete manifestations expressed in various forms of social stereotypes, i. e. customs, rites, norms supported by public opinion only or by state power as well, in the experience transmitted orally or expressed also in the symbols of written language.
Tradition is usually associated with identical patterns of behaviour unique to ethnic formations and regions (all of which I group as "local traditions"). But in this work, the emphasis is placed on the common traditions of the contemporary civilization at global level. This is not to imply that this approach does not contain the cognitive tools necessary for the correlative analysis between local and common/general traditions and types of culture (see Markarian 1983b; 1987a, 125-129, 143-159; Markarian, 1989c, 47-58). Moreover as I have mentioned, within this approach a special discipline, "ethnoculturology", based on the principles of this kind of correlative analysis, has been substantiated and empirically tested (Kultura, 1983; Arutiunov, 1989, 200-230; Markarian, 1987a, 159-166).
The emphasis on common global traditions is unusual for tradition studies, and like other aspects of the traditionological principles it implies a new role for tradition theory. At the aforementioned and other discussions of these principles, I have never encountered serious objections against the proposed integrative approach to traditions. Nevertheless, it has opponents. I attribute this opposition, first of all, to mental inertia and other psychological factors that produce an adherence to the old completely obsolete understanding of traditional phenomena. The opponents of the traditionological principles sometimes told me that if I had used a term other than tradition, they could accept these principles. I often myself considered this possibility but concluded that it would be impossible because there are rather definite laws of using terms and concepts, especially the fundamental ones. For instance, it is impossible to replace arbitrarily the fundamental concepts like culture, science, or technology, which, as a result of constant use, occupy stable intellectual niches in the general theoretical field of science. At the same time they contain potential possibilities for changes and perfection. The same concerns the concept of tradition and the prospects of its development.
So the task to fill tradition and related concepts with integrative, systems evolutionary content is very actual today. In this connection I would like to call attention to the basic means to meet this requirement. The major branches of natural science, physics, and biology, in spite of tendencies to overspecialization, continue to create integrative theories. Their experience shows that the main sources to advance in this direction are rooted in the capacity of a science to disclose universal elementary units and mechanisms of their objects. In particular, the recent progress of biology towards more theoretical integrity was made possible by the ability to analyze biological systems on cellular and sub-cellular levels.
When one reveals universal units of analysis, he receives cognitive tools for theoretical integration because these units make comparable phenomena, which were once studied separately. Thus, the elaboration of principles that are able to give more general criteria of comparability is the basic precondition for creating integrative theories. Through these principles the phenomena once studied separately can be viewed as members of the same class of objects. In other words, they seem to be the constituent parts of the common subject matter of a more general theory.
This universal mechanism of integration continues to drive the main branches of natural sciences. But what about social sciences, especially their most generalizing branches – sociology and culturology? They continue the already described path of theoretical disintegration. It is important to note that to break this vicious circle and find the way out of the cognitive trap it is necessary to create a qualitatively new type of integrity, essentially distinct from the type which was needed in the past. It is the type of integrity intended to discover universal elementary units and mechanisms of the sociocultural pattern of evolutionary life self-organization. And thus they could be used as cognitive tools for creating such integrative theories able to represent this pattern as a very specific but quite comparable part of the general life system of the planet and its dynamics.
In the light of the above-characterized universal tools of theoretical integration of knowledge, a group pattern of activity based on learning appears to be the basic elementary unit for the whole class of traditional phenomena. The approach under consideration includes in a single class of objects not only numerous kinds of group patterns of human activity but also the collective patterns of animal behaviour formed extragenetically (prototraditions). From this point of view, traditionology has been substantiated as a theory which, besides other functions, is intended to carry out a comparative analysis of cultural and animal tradition dynamics (Markarian, 1987a, 115-125).
Although the proposed approach essentially extends the class of traditional phenomena, it precisely shapes the boundaries of the subject of traditionological theory. This is because traditions are interpreted as only collective patterns of activity and only as those, which are based entirely on learning. Therefore, the species patterns of activity within biological populations must not be included in the given class of phenomena though they and cultural traditions fulfil similar evolutionary functions. Neither must individual (personal) patterns of activity created by learning be included into the traditional class of phenomena. Certainly, these two kinds of human activity patterns are organically linked and can be understood only in mutual interaction.
Having given the general contours of the subject of traditionology, I am turning now to the problem of comprehending the interrelations between elementary universal units of cultural tradition dynamics and the entire system of culture. Tradition and culture are often identified. This has a very negative effect on the development of both notions.
Culture, viewed in the systems evolutionary perspective, appears to be a specific mode of social self-organization, a universal technology of human activity composed of various superbiological means of realizing this activity. Thus, due to such means, the activity of human beings is stimulated, motivated, programmed, coordinated and implemented, their social and individual needs are satisfied, the processes of organization, reproduction and changes of societies, the interaction of these societies with nature and among themselves become possible.
This approach makes reasonable an extrabiological means of activity to be taken as a universal elementary unit of culture. It is this unit that is called upon to reduce all the multiformity of cultural phenomena to the same comparable class of objects. The concept of "means" is used here in its essentially new, broad sense. In accordance with this sense not only the implementation mechanisms of activity but its objectives and results (if these results take the form of products of culture) turn to be means relevant to the activity processes. Thus, it is this broad interpretation of the concept "means of activity" that enables us to find the main necessary tool for integrating the whole class of cultural phenomena.
Cultural tradition is one of the means of culture. But it is a specific, all-penetrating and all-embracing cultural system means. Being a collective pattern of human activity, it appears as a carrier of a number of extremely important universal (within society) functions of social evolutionary self-organization. The reader already knows about them. These are first of all the universal regulatory, stabilizing, reproducing, and changing functions. All these functions become understandable in the light of the above-mentioned fundamental property of living systems. This property reflects their ability to accumulate, transmit, and transform the acquired experience for the organization and evolution of life. Cultural tradition viewed from this angle seems to be a special mechanism of culture intended to order and structure social life experience through stereotypization of "cultural mutations" (novations).
To demonstrate how this mechanism functions it is necessary to characterize the process of cultural tradition dynamics and to reveal the universal elementary units, which interact in this process. The problem under consideration is very complex and here only its main points are examined. First of all they concern the interrelations between tradition dynamics and general evolution of life.
I have made the assumption that the system of human activity patterns is the functional equivalent of the cellular organization of life. The disintegrated state of knowledge on this system was an insurmountable obstacle to comprehending this evolutionary isofunctionalism. Meanwhile the systems evolutionary integrative principles in this branch of knowledge can be elaborated only after the similarity under consideration has become evident.
The objective grounds of this evolutionary equivalence are rooted in two basic similar properties of cellular organization and the system of patterns of human activity. Both a cell and a pattern of human activity are elementary reproductive units. And at the same time both contain inner sources of changing the states of biological and sociocultural systems (cf. King, Schneider, 1992, 229).
During the recent decades, the reproductive functions of cellular organization, the intrinsic to it mechanisms of reproduction and of change (through mutations and recombinations of genes) have been so intensively discussed that it would be a waste of time and place to characterize them once again. Therefore, I shall dwell mainly on the manifestations of similar evolutionary functions of cultural tradition dynamics.
Although personal patterns of human activity and the changes in them constitute a separate class of phenomena, they should be included in the theoretical scheme of tradition dynamics. The reason is that each cultural tradition in the end is the result of a definite cycle of transformations in the states of human life experience: selection of a novelty (novation) within a number of variants, its acceptance in a group and stereotypizaton. And it is individuals who are the initial generators of novelties – potential sources of traditions. In the old paradigm of tradition, the latter was opposed to novation and innovation (the difference between novation and innovation is discussed further). The new paradigm organically connects them through the mechanism of tradition dynamics and micro-and macroevolutionary cycles that are surprisingly similar to the cycles of natural selection in bioevolution. As an argument in favour of the inseparability of traditions and novelties the very fact of variability of traditions manifested in a diversity of their variants can be used. And it is this variability that I first of all meant by indicating the inner sources of change in the patterns of activity in comparison with cells.
The variability of traditions has been convincingly demonstrated by K. V. Chistov. He stresses that any stereotype (pattern) possesses a property of plasticity, a specific field (diapason) of variability, a property which stereotype needs no less than stability. That is why, Chistov carries on his argument, that the problem of stereotype in any sphere of culture is, above all, also a problem of the multiple recurrence of its capacity to modification. This capacity is manifested at the level of a model of stereotype as well as at the levels of its concrete embodiment in things, in acts of behaviour, and in speech (Chistov, 1986, 112).
Cultural traditions constitute the core of the system of human activity patterns as a functional evolutionary equivalent of the cellular organization of biological life. The reason is that they are the major carriers of human social life experience. By reproducing or changing this experience, traditions reproduce or change human social life, as we have seen above. As distinct from cellular organization, which reproduces and changes the morphophysiological states of organisms, cultural traditions reproduce and change the states of cultural systems and thus, the states of societies. In fact the collective patterns of human activity are their immediate means of reproduction and change of all sociocultural systems including personalities. True, the immediate means of reproduction and change of personalities are the individual patterns of activity. But they are shaped through adopting the social experience accumulated in the traditions. Another ingredient of these patterns is the individual experience acquired by personalities. The novelties as potential sources of new traditions, are the result of a combination in personalities of the indicated above two kinds of life experience.
Based on the description and analysis of the ideas concerning the universal units and mechanisms of the cultural tradition dynamics process, I would like to generalize the above stated. The fundamental, synthetic evolutionary category that has a capacity to embrace all this process is the concept of reproduction dynamics. Theoretically it combines two subprocesses of this single general process – reproduction of the structures of cultural systems and changes which take place in them in the course of this reproduction.
Reproduction dynamics of culture is based on the mutual transformations of two states of human life experience: novational (cultural mutations represent them) and stereotyped. These mutual transformations are also a manifestation of basic evolutionary properties of life. The ideas, which reflect these mutually converse processes, are poorly elaborated. This concerns the works on the theory of tradition as well as of biological and general evolution. For example, Edward Shils characterizing "the transmissible parts" of traditions uses the terms "images of action", and "beliefs" (Shils, 1981, 12). They, however, cannot fulfil the necessary integrative function even in their broadest interpretation. A life experience concept is needed here.
Unfortunately this concept has not yet acquired the adequate integrative categorical status equally important for all sciences which study the processes of life evolution. In the works on biological and general evolution theory the concept of information is used as a rule with this purpose. But from my point of view it is not at all sufficient for understanding the processes of evolutionary self-organization of living systems, of their reproduction dynamics. The reason is that it is life experience – information accumulated by these systems and fixed in their memory and structures which constitutes the very substance of the discussed processes, the substance which is used for fulfilling all the activity and functions of the systems under review.
The very logic of the biological natural selection process – undoubtedly the most elaborated part of life evolutionary studies – is entirely based on the mutual transitions, the transformations from novational (mutational), non-stable, non-stereotyped state of life experience into a stable, stereotyped, condensed, replicative state. But in spite of this fact, the logic of mutual transformations is not generalized in a consistent form. I am not going to discuss here in detail the reasons of the above and want only to share some related thoughts. Without the consistent generalization of this logic it is impossible to characterize properly the very mechanism of tradition dynamics. In particular, tradition dynamics theory attaches great evolutionary importance to the stereotypization processes, to the notion of stereotypes that often are used with some negative meaning. This fact itself is very symptomatic and testifies to the low level of knowledge of sociocultural and accordingly, general life evolutionary self-organizing processes which dominate in the world. Suffice it to say, that every pattern of activity is a stereotype, that stereotypization of life experience constitutes the basic premise and mechanism in life replicative and reproducing processes at any level.
In the light of the above it is reasonable to examine the interrelations of the terms "novation" and "innovation". This is not simply a terminological problem though it is closely connected with the problem of the appropriate use of the words. It is not in every language that both of these terms are actively used. For instance, one can find the word "novation" in English dictionaries but the actively used term in this language is "innovation". And this becomes a source of serious methodological confusion in some cognitive situations, in particular, in the context of tradition dynamics theory. Moreover, the comprehension of the distinction between "novation" and "innovation" concepts becomes a condition for understanding the very mechanism of this dynamics. The reason is that those novations and innovations belong to essentially different states of life experience. The first is unstable and not ready for reproduction. Only when experience is accepted (by an individual or a group) and stereotyped as a pattern of activity does it become ready for reproduction through replication.
Summarizing these inferences, it is possible to specify the place and role of innovation in the transformational cycles of human life experience: it is a novation already stereotyped and accepted at the level of personality or within a comparatively small group. Accordingly, it concerns the class of traditional phenomena as well. In this, collective manifestation (social innovation), it appears as the first stage of forming a tradition as a comparatively steady and wide pattern of group activity.
So I tried to show that the further systems evolutionary development of the above-described principles of tradition dynamics logically leads to much more general principles. They are the principles of the reproduction dynamics of living systems. True, the emphasis was placed at that time on the principles of reproduction dynamics of sociocultural systems. This stress was quite justified in the general context of the basic objectives which were pursued when the idea of reproduction dynamics was elaborated – a search for basic sources of the planetary crisis and for ways of removing them (Markarian, 1992b).
In this connection I would like to say that the principles of reproduction dynamics are based on a rather complex system of generalizing life evolutionary ideas. Recently a definite occasion emerged to discover them. It was the preparation of my contribution for the 1996 Second Vienna Conference on the Foundations of Information Science "The Quest for a Unified Theory of Information". The central methodological problem that the Programme Committee of the Conference formulated concerned the systems evolutionary approach to information in nature and human society. The invitation to this conference became a stimulus for me to prepare the contribution on the following problem: "A Unified Information Theory through the Prism of Reproduction Dynamics of Living Systems". So happened that I could not go to Vienna and used the ideas of this contribution in the present book. Further its main points are stated.
Generalizing the above analysis, I formulated the following initial conclusions. From the evolutionary standpoint the crucial methodological issue of a unified theory of information is to elaborate a consistently integrative approach to the very substance of the self-organization of biological and sociocultural systems. It is manifested in the transformational cycles of a specific kind of information – life experience.
I accept the view that information in general as a phenomenon emerges as a specific mode of self-organization and interaction of living systems. From this point of view there are two basic modes of interaction and self-organization of systems: energetic and informational. The first mode is sufficient for non-living natural systems. As for living systems, their emergence side by side with the energetic mode requires the elaboration of a qualitatively new mode based on the capacity for the perception, accumulation, transmission and transformation of information (Markarian, 1977a, 135-144).
As a result of application of this approach to the sociocultural type of life self-organization a number of interconnected integrative theoretical models, were elaborated. Their distinctive feature is that all of them potentially are applicable to biological type of life self-organization as well. The first among them is an invariant model of activity of living systems. It was defined as informationally guided activity called upon to provide self-preservation of a living system in definite conditions of environment (Markarian, 1973,13; 1977a, 153). The second is a multidimensional systems model intended to consider the life activity process from three standpoints: subjects of activity, fields (areas) of activity and modes (technologies) of activity (see 3.2.; Markarian, 1977b;). This model, in particular, permitted to differentiate the fundamental component structure of any life formation, their initial classes of elements. The elaboration of the conception of a universal technology through which cultural systems as adaptive-optimizational, life-sustaining mechanisms fulfil their regulative, executive, reproductive and transforming (evolving) functions permitted to create the third integrative model. The fourth model represents the conceptual scheme that expresses the correlation between general/common and local parameters of life evolution (see 3.2.; Markarian, 1983b;).
The integrative principles of cultural tradition dynamics and reproduction dynamics of living systems became the further logical development of theoretical potentials of the indicated models. As we already know, the integrative, systems evolutionary interpretation of life experience and understanding of the laws of its transformational cycles constitute the theoretical basis of these principles. I suppose that the category "life experience" could fulfil today the function of one of the basic "concepts-integrators" of biological and sociocultural types of life organization intended to bring together the theoretical grounds of biological and social sciences. And it is quite natural if we take into account that it reflects the very substance of evolutionary self-organization of life, manifested in the transformational cycles of these specific kinds of information, acquired by living systems.
As it was already indicated above, these cycles are isomorphic and isofunctional in spite of the radical difference of genetic and cultural modes of accumulation, transmission and transformation of life experience. The reader already knows that the latter provides material and programmes for designing and creating all the structures as well as for fulfilling all the functions of living systems which represent both biological and cultural species. Besides the transformational cycles of life experience under examination make possible two basic sub-processes which compose reproduction dynamics of these systems. From the discussed point of view, this theoretical perspective can essentially promote the understanding of human society and culture as the qualitatively specific parts of the life system of the planet, of the fundamental common laws which govern the dynamics of this system.
Among those are the laws of nonequilibrium thermodynamics (thermodynamics of irreversible processes). Its fundamental generalizing notion is the idea of fluctuation – the spontaneous deviation from some medium macroscopic state that leads in the end to the creation of new stable structures. J. Prigogine essentially contributed to the elaboration of this idea while studying the processes of self-organization at the junction between physical-chemical and biological systems. Proceeding from the conclusions received in the course of these studies, he strives for using them for building a bridge between natural and social sciences. But this task can be solved fruitfully only in case of penetrating at the level of elementary units and mechanisms of evolutionary self-organization of human society and thus of building a bridge between this and biological types of life order. Correspondingly, the understanding of the laws and mechanisms of transformational cycles of human life experience is extremely important in this case.
I already indicated above that, in spite of all these integrative potentials which the concept "life experience" contains, it is not yet recognized in world literature as a category intended for this role. In spite of the theoretical breakthroughs in the theory of biological evolution, genetics, cellular organization of life, of essential achievements in the areas of cybernetics, systems theory, synergenetics, general evolution theory, the concept of life experience has not yet acquired its proper status. Moreover it is often simply neglected. It concerns even the most generalizing approaches including those, which focus on the self-maintaining aspects of the evolution of living systems. This latter trend is embodied in a number of rather well known and examined in literature conceptions which emerged in the field of natural sciences (see Maturana, Varela, 1980; Haukioja, 1982; Csanyi, Kampis, 1985).
The conception of the reproduction dynamics also is a manifestation of the trend under review. But as distinct from the above-mentioned manifestations of this trend, the conception of reproduction dynamics was created in the area of social sciences, and, apparently, it is not accidental.
It became normal to think that all general scientific ideas must originate from physical, chemical and biological sciences, but it is not so. The advantages of these sciences are rooted, first of all, in the developed traditions of integrative thinking. It is sufficient to acquire the capacity for such thinking in the field of the social sciences and the situation can change radically. There exist important potential sources of great generalizing potentials of social sciences. They are rooted in specific constitution of their subject matter – sociocultural reality. The very position of these sciences compels them to make wide generalizations in order to comprehend human social life and culture against the background of physical and biological realities.
Konrad Lorenz in his well known book on natural history of human knowledge "Behind the Mirror", wrote: "A reflecting self-investigation of culture has never yet, come into being on the planet, just as objectiving science did not exist before the time of Galileo. The scientific investigation of the structure of human society and its intellectual processes is a task of mammoth proportions. Society is the most complex of all living systems on earth and our knowledge has barely scratched the surface. Yet I believe that man stands at a turning point in history and has at this moment the potential capacity to scale new and unknown heights" (Lorenz, 1977, 245).
In the previous sections I tried to reveal the potential capacity of integrative systems evolutionary approach to human social life self-organization at the level of general theory. In the following sections this capacity will be demonstrated at the level of the theory of modern world civilization.
My first systematically stated position on contemporary world civilization was published in 1989 (Markarian, 1989a). It was named "machine civilization". However, afterwards I began to use the concept "machine industrial civilization". And it was not a simple terminological specification and perfection (even now I prefer the first term). This became the result of the critical analysis of the still globally dominating approach to the study of contemporary processes in the development of the modern world civilization. It is manifested in the conception of transition from "industrial" to "postindustrial" ("information") society.
This conception became influential first of all due to the works of American scholars Daniel Bell and Alvin Toffler. Both of these authors generalized new tendencies in the middle of the century generated by the progress of information technologies. Toffler, in his "The Third Wave", examines the discussed tendencies against the background of the description of the basic general evolutionary stages of civilization on the planet using wave analogy for that purpose. The first wave embraces the stage before the First Industrial Revolution of the 18th century, the second – the civilization that emerged after it. It is named the "industrial civilization". As to the third wave, it is just noted to express the above-mentioned new tendencies in the development of the contemporary civilization. From Toffler's point of view, they provide the basis for a new emerging postindustrial civilization.
It is important to stress that he does not agree with those who assert that the existing world development pattern is fraught with global catastrophe. Toffler believes that the emerging pattern of civilization is potentially hopeful (Toffler, 1980). Characterizing industrial civilization he makes many interesting generalizations especially while breaking its "hidden code". He singles out the following parameters of the code: standardization, specialization, synchronization, concentration, maximization, and centralization.
All these features are real and important. But nevertheless they, having particular character, are not at all sufficient to single out the essentially new pattern of civilization that emerged after the First Industrial Revolution. The solution of this task requires, first of all, creating a wide integrative theoretical perspective and premises called to promote the understanding of this pattern as a specific manifestation of civilization (as a generic phenomenon) in relevance to its derivative particular manifestations.
The methodological capability radically to overcome the usual opposition of civilization and culture appears to be one of the needed premises. In the general evolutionary perspective, civilization is a specific historical state of culture. The formation of civilization was marked by such specific traits of culture as the further development of modes of productive economics, the emergence of statehood, social classes, writing, developed religious systems, elements of scientific knowledge. All civilizations in the past were characterized by different locally identical combinations of the mentioned traits. It is this point of view that gives ground to qualify them as evolutionary equivalents. The principle of the equivalence of the highest cultures, civilizations was the most stimulating point of the conceptions of O. Spengler and A. Toynbee. But they turned out to be unable properly to substantiate and prove it, proceeding from the antievolutionist position typical of them.
The mistake of Spengler and Toynbee consisted not in putting forward this principle but in applying it to the whole West-European local culture, civilization. The question is that within this culture two essentially new, really unique evolutionary traits were generated after the First Industrial Revolution. They were machine industry and practice-oriented science. Toffler did not indicate them while characterizing the code of the civilization of the second wave. Meanwhile it is the combination of these traits that marked the essentially new age in human evolution. In particular, the Toffler's position on the "hidden code" and its elements of the "second wave" civilization are just derivatives of the combination under review.
The idea of machine age is not at all original (see, for instance, Webster, 1940). What is here original is the systems evolutionary way of its substantiation. Especially important in this case is the comprehension of the unique evolutionary functions of practice-oriented science. Being an essentially new means of generation and transformation of human social life experience, the latter provides a key to understanding of a qualitatively new evolutionary pattern of civilization. The discussed civilizational traits compose the initial basic, quite evident evolutionary dimensions of the machine age. But the latter from the very beginning has become the carrier of another unique but not evident, hidden dimension. It was disclosed much later, when the human beings tangibly sensed and realized the destructive and destabilizing evolutionary consequences of the combination of these traits. It is the dimension, which reflects a qualitatively new kind of responsibility of humans for their actions after entering the machine age, machine industrial development.
In the contemporary epoch the ability to produce and use machines should be interpreted as a general, universal civilizational property. In case of globally normal, non-catastrophic course of human evolution, any stage should be based on this property although the character of production of machines may essentially differ from the past and present stages of the evolution of civilization. For me it is a single developmental pattern that can be manifested in space and time in numerous general and local evolutionary variants.
The ability to produce and use machines must be accompanied by another capacity – to produce scientific knowledge for its practical consumption in various fields of human activity. It means the emergence of an essentially new phenomenon – practice-oriented science as a permanently acting mechanism of interaction between scientific and other areas of human activity. This kind of interaction appears to be an extremely powerful, mutually stimulating and strengthening mechanism. Intended for the generation and transformation of a new social experience, it is manifested first of all in knowledge. But it also contains systems of values called to give the appropriate orientations to develop and perfect the modes of realizing various areas of activity. The primary issue is that practice-oriented science is intended not only for the production, perfection of machines and their use although up to now these functions constitute its strategic development priorities. It always potentially carried in itself another fundamental, even more significant function which as such was usually overlooked.
To understand this function it is necessary to overcome the usually dominating short-term, technocratic consumptive value orientations and to elaborate a new vision of the civilization that emerged after the First Industrial Revolution. Practice-oriented science must serve as a mechanism for the transition from spontaneous to consciously guided evolution. Spontaneous sociocultural evolution was quite natural for premachine civilizations with typical empirical modes of accumulation and transformation of social life experience and slow development rates. But the transition to machine industrial civilization carried in itself an imperative for another kind of transition – to a consciously guided pattern of evolution. This transition today is a question of to be or not to be for the whole human race. As we already know, to guide consciously a whole sociocultural evolutionary process means first of all to acquire the capacity to govern the basic parameters of the process in question. As we also know, the main obstacles in the way of the discussed transition are the compartmentalized short-term scientific-educational and managerial cultures.
As it was shown above, the contemporary social practice generates a pattern of thinking that splits the studied phenomena into smaller and smaller parts. And the most important in all this is that such breaking up is not accompanied by efforts directed at revealing the links of the analyzed parts and accordingly to their theoretical synthesis. Instead, they are usually opposed to each other. And these processes are naturally accompanied by the arbitrary interpretation of concepts.
The use of concepts of "industrial" and "postindustrial" is a quite natural product of the described intellectual atmosphere. This conception is based on the inadmissible identification of the phenomenon of industry with only some of its specific manifestations during the recent centuries. And it is first of all this identification that essentially distorts the whole vision of contemporary civilization and its dynamics. In the light of the systems evolutionary integrative principles industry appears to be a much broader phenomenon. It is intrinsic to any stages of human evolution. For instance, when archaeologists and anthropologists speak of the Stone Age industry, it is not at all an arbitrary metaphor. It is difficult to overestimate the role of such concepts-integrators that permit theoretically to link all the stages of human evolution and provide common criteria and standpoints for their study. "Industry" is the most convenient concept for characterizing modes of material production especially means of life sustenance in different epochs. There are influential scientific traditions for such broad use of this concept (and I suppose that it is not the last bound for the extension of the discussed category). In accordance with them, the characteristics of industrial development of recent centuries were captured by the concept "modern industrialism" (Webster, 1940, 32, 733).
The conception of machine industrial civilization allows us to develop the very logic of the described approach by using the potential of the systems evolutionary culturological and traditionological principles. This civilization embraces all cultures of contemporary peoples who have entered the stage of machine industrial development. Accordingly they are involved in the processes governed by the specific laws of this development. The discussed pattern of civilization at the present phase constitutes a very contradictory, multilevel system. In particular, this system is manifested in the tremendous gap and lag between central and peripheral zones of world civilization. Nevertheless, even the zones most remote from the center of civilization constitute parts of this definite cultural formation that is governed by its specific evolutionary laws.
I also differentiate two basic patterns in the development of the contemporary civilization. But the very ground of the differentiation essentially differs from the one, which is used for singling out "industrial" and "postindustrial" development patterns. In the evolution of machine industrial civilization a spontaneous and consciously guided developmental patterns are differentiated. In this perspective Toffler's "second" and "third" waves turn out to be not distinct civilizations but two different stages of the spontaneous phase of the development of machine industrial civilization.
In spite of all the differences of the discussed stages, they have several fundamental common features and properties that are usually completely overlooked. Meanwhile it is these properties that predetermine the spontaneously blind nature of contemporary world civilization development and the intrinsically destructive short-term technocratic consumptive pattern of thinking (see especially 1.2., 1.3., 1.4.5.). It is this common background that makes one sense acutely the qualitative difference of the two above-described approaches to the processes of the contemporary civilization dynamics and to assess them from the standpoint of the strategic evolutionary survival imperatives. Whereas all the possibilities of the approach expressed in this book are directed to meet these imperatives, the advocates of the other completely neglect the very existence of the global key survival-development strategic issues. The necessity of the systems transformation of the world destructive development pattern is not even realized as a real problem. On the contrary, they seem to be the consistent advocates of the consumption orientations of the contemporary civilization and carry them to their logical completion – to the idea of service society. German Diligenski well shows what this idea means in the realities of contemporary planetary crisis (Diligenski, 1993, 56-58).
May be most vividly the common background intrinsic to "industrial" and "postindustrial" stages of civilization is manifested in the studies of Daniel Bell which are devoted to the characterization of his understanding of the latter stage (see Bell, 1980). From his point of view, the most distinctive and important aspects of postindustrial society are: 1) the transition from industrial to service society; 2) the decisive role of codified theoretical knowledge for the realization of technological innovations; 3) the transformation of the new "intellectual technologies" into the key instrument of the systems analysis and the theory of decision making.
Speaking about "codified theoretical knowledge", Bell reduces it completely to the knowledge produced by natural and engineering sciences. As to "intellectual technologies", they are reduced to material instrumental modes of activity. So both of the stated distinctive features represent not new phenomena, but the modified continuation of the same background processes which began after the the First Industrial Revolution. Their gist is just the alliance between natural sciences and machine industry. It is the neglect of the indicated background processes that permits to interpret the studied stages of the development of civilization as its essentially different patterns.
Bell's views on postindustrial society are worthy of a special analysis because in this case they appear to be a bright manifestation of a particular pattern of systems analysis which was widely used in research and management practice. Its most distinctive feature is the subordination of the possibilities of systems approach to approving the goals and priorities of the existing world development pattern. This pattern is very ambivalent. And while reading Bell's cited book, one senses this ambivalence very keenly. In particular, a really brilliant analysis of the essentially new forms, which the alliance between machine industry and natural science has acquired in this century, is accompanied with a very narrow theoretical evolutionary perspective. One cannot observe even the slightest signs of realizing the greatest dangers coming from this alliance, the above-characterized extreme cultural asymmetries, imbalances and contradictions that it generates. Bell believes that the necessary decision making process can be based on the generalizations and inferences of natural and material-technological sciences. Seeing theoretically miserable state of social sciences, he simply passes it by.
Being very influential in the world, this pattern of systems analysis, intrinsic to it ambivalence, as well as its intellectual products, like the analyzed conception of industrial and postindustrial civilizations, became perhaps one of the sources of general disappointment in systems study of sociocultural reality and even its rejection. This kind of approach is very typical of postmodernism. Meanwhile it is necessary not to reject systems thinking in the area of social sciences as such but to bring it in correspondence with the requirements of the epoch and first of all with the survival-development strategic imperatives. The analysis made in the previous sections of the present book permits to conclude that the examined ambivalence is rooted in the lack of integrative knowledge of the fundamental laws which govern the evolutionary self-organization of human social life, contemporary civilization dynamics, in particular. And it is in the cognitive situations like the one, which is created by the dominance of the conception of industrial and postindustrial societies that one begins to understand clearly the urgent need of such knowledge.
National/regional and global aspects of contemporary world development are often opposed. It is a false opposition. The question is that the dynamics of machine industrial civilization as a real process is mostly embodied in the development of its national/regional local variants. They are composed of the cultures of those peoples that have entered the machine industrial evolutionary phase. And this means that global and national parameters of world civilization are organically connected. This interrelation constitutes an interdependent process. The correct solution of the problem of these interrelations is of extreme importance today. I have already indicated that the systems principles of interrelation between general and local historical types of culture promoted me to understand the interrelation under review. But the decisive factor which helped to solve the discussed problem became the above-analyzed principles of world civilization initially elaborated by me as the basic instrument for examining the key global and national/regional survival and development strategic issues. These principles gave essentially new possibilities for the productive examination of the core of the problem – the interaction of global and national/regional levels of world civilization dynamics from the standpoint of prospects of overcoming the basic sources of destructiveness of this civilization.
The common structure of world civilization and the general laws of functioning and development provide an essential unifying influence on contemporary national/regional cultures. They become carriers of the destructive features as well as possibilities of this civilization. But the other side of the problem is of no less importance. However unifying the tendency may be, it is unable to deprive national/regional cultures of their identical properties. There are fundamental life evolutionary laws concerning the necessity of local diversity of biological and sociocultural dynamics. The contemporary epoch cannot be exception to this rule (for details see Sahlins, 1968; Markarian, 1983b). National-local evolutionary variants of the world civilization are able potentially to influence essentially its general development pattern. Up to recent decades this kind of influence usually came from national cultures of the Western world. But today the situation has changed in this respect. The Japanese local evolutionary variant of machine industrial civilization, which influences its general world development pattern more and more, confirms this conclusion (cf. Era of Civilizations, 1987).
Further I will share basic conclusions of my analysis of the problem of interdependence of national and global parameters of world civilization development from the standpoint of potential possibility to overcome the destructive nature of this development. The gist of the conclusions of the search is the following. Some national-regional subpatterns of world civilization strengthen its destructiveness, some others can smooth it out because of the local nature preserving traditions, material technological achievements and the like factors. But even the latter group of subpatterns, for instance in Japan or Scandinavian countries continue to be the carriers of the basic deep sources which predetermine the destructive nature of the general development pattern of civilization and intrinsic to it major contradictions and imbalances.
The described situation permits us to formulate the top priority strategic evolutionary issue of today. It is the issue of elaborating the evolutionary variant potentially able to pave the way for revealing and removing the aforementioned basic sources, contradictions, and imbalances. And it is most probable that this kind of strategic innovation will also be generated at the level of a particular national subpattern of the world civilization and only after that will be disseminated and accepted by other peoples. The reason is that peoples with their inherent identical cultures, as the elementary units of human evolution, contain the potential sources for basic cultural innovations.
The new global and interdependent system of the contemporary nations has not at all changed the situation. I have already examined a system of strategic ideas which from my point of view, could possibly help to solve the above-indicated issue. These ideas have emerged in Armenia during the last decade and are embodied in the RENE project. The wave of interethnic conflicts in the USSR, in particular, during its rapid disintegration, became a basic stimulus for the essential development of those aspects of the RENE project which are called upon to fulfil the functions of a qualitatively new peoples consolidating mechanism.
The disintegration of the USSR became a stimulus for the development of the RENE project in one more aspect. In order to make it understandable it is necessary to indicate that the break-down of the USSR very sharply put forward before all the newly independent states the task of finding out their own way to the world civilization. This way in a generalized form should correspond to the specificity of the cultures, which represent these states and reflect the potential of the total ethnocultural heritage of each nation. Undoubtedly these cultures were parts of machine industrial world civilization before the disintegration of the USSR, but mostly as specific manifestations of the general Soviet cultural type. It is this basic common superethnic cultural formation of the USSR that motivated the activity of the peoples of the country and programmed the basic parameters of their development.
But the discussed type itself, in turn, was a specific manifestation of the larger world cultural formation – machine industrial civilization. Many scholars gave attention to a cluster of striking similarities between such essentially different countries as the USSR and the USA (see, for instance, Toffler, 1980, Henderson, 1988). These similarities just reflected the initial algorithms of the civilization under examination.
It was not difficult to single out two top priority programmes which the USSR as a specific carrier of the potentials of machine industrial civilization, developed in the conditions of the competition of the great powers and the ever growing arms race in the world. They were the programmes of socialist industrialization and militarization of economics and science. Accordingly, the vector of science development and its potentials were just subordinated and mobilized to achieve these goals first of all.
Armenia became the republic in which the discussed priorities and programmes were inculcated may be most intensively and consistently, proportionate to the size of its territory and the population. In particular, during a very short historical period, practically starting from zero, a very large army of scientific intelligentsia was created in the republic and numerous disciplines were mastered. The representatives of various natural-technical as well as mathematical sciences constituted the overwhelming majority of this army.
The explosive development processes of science (and education) in Armenia has its historical background, rooted in some national cultural properties predetermined by archetypes of the traditions of the Armenian people which were shaped under the influence of its religion and philosophy. I agree with Constantin von Barloewen that particular religious and philosophical traditions are intimately linked to the daily conduct of lives of peoples (von Barloewen, 1992, 221). The mentioned properties are manifested in a cult of knowledge, written language, and books. It seems that the predisposition of the Armenian people to scientific activity is rooted in these national properties.
This predisposition in the general context of the above described the USSR's technocratic development priorities and programmes played strategically a very contradictory role in the destiny of the nation. It spontaneously promoted a many-sided rapid industrial and scientific-technological development that at that time symbolized social progress. But rather soon it became evident what a great potential damage and dangers this kind of spontaneous technocratic, ecologically unreasonable industrial development contained. In particular, in spite of the limited energy and water resources of the republic, power consuming (first of all chemical) industries were extensively developed. As a result, the problems connected with inadmissible intensive way of using the water resources of Sevan Lake and the Armenian atomic electric power station emerged. I mention these problems because they are very typical manifestations of the narrow technocratic voluntaristic pattern of thinking very often accompanied with extreme violation of ecologically accepted norms. For instance, within the territory of the capital of Armenia – Yerevan, the city with population over a million, the production of a very poisonous substance – chloropren was developed.
Or another example. The aforementioned nuclear station was built in immediate proximity to Yerevan (about 20 kilometers), in the Ararat valley – the only granary of the country that is situated in a very active seismic zone. The Chernobyl disaster (1986), the catastrophic Spitak earthquake in Armenia (1988) which could have resulted in a similar disaster potentially, if its epicenter had been somewhere in the Ararat valley, very brightly demonstrate how primitive and dangerous this pattern is. And soon the station, the very model of which had a number of essential shortcomings, was closed. But recently in the conditions of the total social crisis in the republic, its permanent economic blockade and the extreme shortage of energy, the activity of the nuclear station was resumed.
The general scientific-intellectual pattern shaped in Armenia during the Soviet period can serve as a bright manifestation of the tendency, which Charles Snow tried to generalize in his conception of two cultures. The carrier of one of them is a very large army of superethnically oriented representatives of the priority branch of science – physics; the carrier of the second culture is the humanitarian intelligentsia oriented to the preservation of traditional ethnical values. This circle of intelligentsia includes the representatives of a specific branch of knowledge and values known as humanities (Snow, 1971). On the whole these generalizations reflect a real and important tendency. But Snow did not succeed in precise elaborating the conceptual scheme called upon to express these generalizations. This concerns both poles. It is sufficient to say that Snow in fact reduces the whole science to physics. And this arbitrary interpretation of science has its quite definite logic. It is clearly manifested in Snow's no less arbitrary interpretation of humanitarian culture oriented towards ethnical values. It is reduced in fact to the representatives of art. Undoubtedly, they are important carriers of these values. But the representatives of such branches of science as history, ethnography, archaeology, linguistics, philology are no less important carriers of these values. It seems that Snow did not identify these branches within the humanitarian culture just because of the logic imposed by his narrow understanding of science.
Nevertheless I apply to Snow's scheme because it potentially, under the condition of its appropriate correction, allows to express the global tendency concerning the interrelations between superethnic and ethnic orientations in the area of science. For using this scheme with the purpose I put forward here, it should be developed and adapted to the RENE principles. In several of my recent studies I demonstrated how consistently the global tendency of the split and polarization between natural-engineering and social-humanitarian sciences manifested itself in Armenia. The structure and state of affairs in the Armenian National Academy of Sciences quite well confirm it. Thus, the traditional predisposition of the Armenian people to scientific and educational activity in the Soviet conditions became an essential factor, which promoted the emergence of cognitive trap in its classic, developed machine industrial manifestation. Proceeding from the conclusions made above, I assume that the general scientific-intellectual pattern shaped in Armenia could become a very convenient subject for a possible application of the RENE principles.
Such an application could be manifested in the initial steps directed toward inculcation of the basic elements of integratively specialized modes of production and use of scientific knowledge and specialists with a purpose to overcome the phenomenon of a cognitive trap. As we remember, this concept reflects a discrepancy between the existing pattern of scientific-educational culture and the realities of the planetary crisis. We also remember, that a cognitive trap is accompanied with a normative trap which expresses another very dangerous discrepancy – between the imperial culture of regulation of international relations and the qualitatively new systems state of humanity (see 1.4.2.). In this connection I would like once again to indicate that the RENE project functionally has been essentially developed. Accordingly, now it is substantiated as a possible means for overcoming the discussed discrepancy as well through the processes of creation of regional ecological-noospheric zones as experimental areas intended to found the basic elements of culture of peace. I assume that the Armenian people, because of their tragic historical fate (see 3.9.), belong to the nations who, having acquired the appropriate moral predisposition, could become the initiators in starting in the world these so urgently needed processes.
I have used numerous arguments to prove that the RENE conception represents global survival and development strategic principles at the regional level. But in the situation, which was created after the breakdown of the USSR, the RENE project began to be developed also for achieving national survival-development strategic goals. The problem was to elaborate an effective way out of the ever-increasing total crisis in which independent Armenia found itself in the extremely unfavourable geopolitical conditions. From this standpoint, the RENE project was used for working out the general principle of a specific way for Armenia to come into world machine industrial civilization. The survival-development strategy for the Armenian people in this case was designed first of all as a national theoretical model called to demonstrate the possible ways of solving the initial issues the RENE project puts forward. The fact that the RENE project was created in Armenia did not at all become the only ground for designing this model. It was planned to use some traditional cultural national properties and first of all the mentioned predisposition of the Armenian people for humanistic morality and scientific-educational activity.
The primary question the national strategic model under review is intended to answer is how to deal with inertial forces that are contained in the patterns of global and national activity. As these forces predetermine the permanent reproduction of the split of moral and scientific consciousness, this factor seems to be vital problem for the RENE project. As we already know, in accordance with the principles of the project, the initially necessary favourable conditions for overcoming the world destructive development pattern can be created only due to the mobilization and integration of moral and scientific consciousness.
In the conditions of the sectored, discontinuous mode of specialization typical of this pattern, it is impossible even to put forward at the professional level the whole cluster of the key survival-development strategic issues. They immediately lose their systems and strategic nature through splitting into a number of autonomized parts that are transformed into the elements of existing operational programmes. So the super task in this case is to acquire the capacity for creating a qualitatively new professional pattern of activity. Practically this means the emergence of integrative universities and various research centers, managerial programmes and the appropriate professional areas of activity specially oriented towards survival and development strategic goals. The realization of the RENE project is just intended for that.
But this will become possible only under the conditions of shaping the appropriate field of motivation of activity corresponding to the strategic goals sought after. So to shape such a motivational field of activity seems to be the major problem for creating the necessary favourable regional conditions and making essential steps directed towards the systems transformation of destructive development pattern intrinsic to the present stage of civilization.
This issue in the context of the current total crisis in Armenia is a good occasion for developing the examination of the RENE project from the standpoint of the interdependence of national/regional and general evolutionary patterns of world civilization in the conditions of the current planetary crisis.
For the understanding of the issues I am going to examine, it is necessary first of all to continue the general characteristics of nonequilibrium thermodynamics (see 3.5.) and to describe its conclusions widely discussed today. They concern the recurrent replacement of stable and bifurcational states of systems (in this case human societies). In accordance with the above conclusions when certain levels of fluctuations are created by increasingly complex input, a critical, chaotic or bifurcation point is reached. In this state the system can move in any one of many different directions until a new order is established, after a period of turbulence. If a new order does not emerge, the system returns to a previous level of organization (for details see Montouori, 1992).
The combination of tradition dynamics theory and survival-development strategic principles allows us to use these conclusions from a very important standpoint. It is the standpoint of the inertial behaviour of the contemporary sociocultural systems in the course of their reproduction dynamics. And this, in turn, permits us to receive essentially new inferences. They concern the evolutionary self-organization of the systems in question and to substantiate a mutually beneficial large-scale kind of cooperation between the prosperous, developed countries and the countries which are now in a state of total crisis.
It is generally believed that it is the developed, prosperous and stable countries that will pave the way for trends leading to the sustainable state of civilization. However, it seems that these countries are not able to be real pioneers in this direction. The RENE conception explains the reasons. Stable, prosperous at present countries are inflexible due to powerful forces of inertia.
At the same time, the RENE conception became able to uncover the evolutionary potentials hidden in countries, which are in total crisis state. The immediate subject of analysis are the newly independent countries (and the countries of the former Soviet block, in general) in which the crisis is manifested in the disorganization of the very rhythms of daily activity of these countries.
The core of the issue is that despite the negative phenomena, in which the social crisis is manifested in these countries, they are countries also characterized by a considerable decrease of inertial forces. And thus they are presently much more open to the programmes of radical change. And this must be used to achieve both national and global survival and development strategic purposes. It is a particular case of turning minuses of situations into pluses. Usually the relations between the most developed countries and the countries under review are considered in terms of unilateral aid. In the opinion of the prosperous Western countries, their central mission as regards these countries consists in helping them to develop democratic forms of governance and market economy. But the problem is that the existing patterns of democracy and market economy themselves are not suitable for the contemporary crisis epoch.
On the whole they are subordinated to achieving short-term ends. "National policy, write A. King and B. Schneider, is often in practice the sum of range of sectoral policies, not always harmonized... Governments, like individuals, tend to ignore problems that can be put off till tomorrow – in this case until after the next election... Fundamental causes of difficulties, being long-term in their operation, are too easily ignored or unidentified in favour of cosmetic measures of ephemeral importance (King, Schneider, 1992, 168, 170). The authors also indicate that this has probably mattered little in the past, but not in the periods of rapid change such as the present (ibid., 170).
I suppose, that these critical remarks do not at all mean that democracy or competition (as a core mechanism of market economy) is in these cases rejected as such. They in principle allow no admissible alternative. The main issue is to bring them in correspondence with survival-development imperatives.
The uncritical attitude to the existing forms of democracy and market economy is inevitably accompanied with the same uncritical attitude towards the whole destructive world development pattern. This is the main danger that comes from the current typical ways of interrelations between the most developed and other countries, including the newly independent states. Therefore the task of appropriate perfection of these forms is a top priority.
The realization of the RENE project could become a possible means for removing this danger if the project is used as an element of survival and development strategic policy in the system of interrelations under examination. The world development pattern is not a sum of its parts but a systems formation in which legal, economic and other basic components should be in conformity with each other. So we once again come to the conclusion that the starting point must be the systems transformation of the whole development pattern of civilization.
At present, the most important is to have precisely formulated basic requirements to the necessary development and perfection of the principles of democracy and of market economy. The world needs such forms of democratic governance that will eliminate the usual dependence of solving the basic survival-development strategic issues on the short-term political interests. Moreover, the future evolution of democracy must transfer them into priority issues and thus to provide means for their solution regardless of the current political situation. As to the perfection of market economy principles, their main vector must consist of the transition from the antagonistic kinds of competitive behaviour to the patterns of behaviour based on cooperative competition. Correspondingly, this will mean the transition from the dominance of the one-sided operational technoeconomic priorities to the priorities of ecosystem evolutionary economics.
In accordance with the RENE project, the initial decisive premise for achieving these goals depends on the radical overcoming of the split of consciousness and its moral and scientific manifestations first of all. The reader already knows my views on this global issue (see 1.4.). He also knows that it has been decided to use these innovative strategic views for the elaboration of the principles of a search of the Armenian people's own way to world civilization. And the fact that the RENE project was elaborated in Armenia became not the only objective ground for that. The aforementioned predisposition of the Armenian people for humanistic values and scientific activity became no less important factors in this case. The concluding sections of this part of the book will permit the reader to understand better the historic roots of the first predisposition. As to the second, I personally, proceeded from the following assumption: if the traditional predisposition of the Armenian nation for scientific and educational activity in the Soviet conditions became an essential factor which promoted the emergence of cognitive trap in its classic manifestation, typical of the spontaneous development of machine industrial civilization, the same property may become an important promotional factor for a reverse process. I mean a process that can pave the way for removing this trap under certain conditions.
In order to make understandable what conditions are needed for that, let us assume for a minute that the RENE project is accepted by the UN system as a survival-development strategic innovation and Armenia is selected as one of the ecological-noospheric experimental zones. Then immediately the crucial question comes up: what strategy and tactics should be used for breaking the vicious circle which is created in the course of reproduction dynamics of contemporary civilization. And the discussion of this issue, in turn, can be a convenient subject for demonstrating how interdependent global and national problems now are.
In this connection it is reasonable to remind of two conclusions made above. The first is that the vicious circle under review is a result of the permanent regeneration and strengthening of the sources of destruction due to the high level of inertial forces in this reproduction dynamics in the usual stabilized conditions (see 1.4.1.). The second concerns the proposal to use for removing the sources under consideration the bifurcational, crisis states of societies, which are accompanied with an essential diminution of the inertial forces and are much more open for radical transformation programmes. But the problem is that these forces are quite sufficient to continue the reproduction of the examined sources through the regeneration of the traditional technocratic patterns of thinking and behaviour. The crisis situation in Armenia quite well confirms it. In this situation, in particular, a permanent reproduction of the above-described polarization of "two cultures" takes place. So in order to use the bifurcational state of a society for achieving the discussed strategic purposes some other cultural factors are needed.
I suppose that the first among them must be a qualitatively new field of motivation of national activity in the areas of scientific-educational and managerial practice, the field able to meet quite definite global criteria. It should reflect aims, values, knowledge, programme principles intended for bringing scientific-educational and managerial cultures into line with the basic requirements of the contemporary epoch.
However, the main question is that the nation itself is hardly able to generate sufficient stimuli necessary for transferring these aims, values, knowledge, programme principles into the nationally driven motivational forces. Such stimuli should come from outside, from the appropriate international and national referent groups. In particular, they may appear in case the RENE project and related to it ideas pass through the many-sided examination at the various meetings and get the world recognition. This could create the necessary premises for transferring them into commonly accepted national ideas. Thus the required motivational field of activity can be shaped in the country where the discussed ideas emerged and developed. As a result of the above-described processes the favourable conditions for systems transformation of the world destructive development pattern at national level could be created. Advances in this direction, in turn, could be used by other nations through the dissemination of the positive (as well as negative) social experience accumulated in Armenia as the supposed initial RENE zone and creating a number of other zones of this kind.
The above schematically demonstrates a possible scenario of the first steps directed to the transition from the present destructive stage of machine industrial civilization to its qualitatively new, sustainable stage. The creation of grounds for the latter must be based just on the efforts of revealing and removing the fundamental imbalances and sources of destructiveness acquired during its previous developmental phases. My conviction is that any real advancement in the studied evolutionary direction cannot be traceless because of the timeliness and crucial importance of these efforts.
I believe that the examination of the RENE idea through the prism of behaviour of human societies in stable and bifurcated states gives one more argument in favour of this idea. It once again demonstrates that the RENE project is not an arbitrary construction, but the one that takes into consideration specific manifestations of general evolutionary laws in human social life at its current critical stage. Besides this examination gives ground to conclude that this project can be used not only for regional cooperation between particular nations but also for large-scale global cooperation between the different groups of countries. The idea of a cooperative survival strategic project between the highly industrially developed countries and the newly independent states has been substantiated recently (for details see 4.2.; Markarian, 1992b, 35-37; 1992c, 58-65; 1995, 23-25). From my point of view, the elaboration and implementation of such kind of projects can best of all practically confirm the interdependence of global and national/regional evolutionary patterns of the contemporary world civilization and subordinate the feedback mechanism of this interdependence to achieving the basic survival-development strategic goals (for details see 4.2.).
The strategic views stated in this work would be incomplete without my conclusions which have been drawn in the course of the recent analysis of the genocide of the Armenian people in Turkey. An extremely important aspect of the problem is the attitude of the great powers and the whole international community to the genocide and the consequences of this attitude. My first works on this issue were published in a form of series of newspaper articles on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the genocide (see Lragir, April 25, May 12, June 9, 13 1995). Their ultimate goal was to reveal how the genocide itself and the aforementioned attitude towards it influenced: 1) the evolutionary self-organization in the whole area of culture of international relations and of moral culture of humanity ; 2) the culture of the country where the crime was committed; 3) the culture of the Armenian nation and its prospects. Mostly the first two aspects of the problem are in the focus of these sections.
The ideas stated in the sections 1.4.2.-1.4.4. and 3.9.1.-3.9.5. are very similar. They concern the same subject – the necessity of replacement of the imperial mode of world regulation (as a particular manifestation of culture of war) by the mode that must be based on humanistic principles of cooperative solidarity of peoples for the sake of their common future (culture of peace). But if in the above sections this subject is examined at the level of general theory, here it is considered through the prism of examination of the quite definite ominous result of culture of war. In the course of its analysis some basic inferences made in the above sections are specified and developed.
The mass genocide of the Armenian people in Turkey began in 1894-96 and was repeated several times during approximately three decades. More than two million of Armenians were killed. The culmination of the genocide took place during World War I in 1915-17 in Western Armenia. It was an especially dangerous kind of destruction of a people, planned at the state level beforehand. In particular, it was planned to annihilate the efficient male Armenian population in the army at once using the fact that the men were mobilized after the beginning of the war. The genocide was carried out through an especially barbarous murder and deportation of Armenians from territories where they had lived for several millennia. In 1918-23 the genocide of Armenians continued. This time it took place in the regions of Eastern Armenia as well, during the invasion of the Turkish army to the Transcaucasus. As to Western Armenia, mass atrocities continued in Kilikia where after the end of the World War I many Armenians returned to their homes. The immediate occasion for the concluding episode of the genocide of the Armenian population in Turkey became the Greek-Turkish war (1919-22).
Numerous atrocities were committed after these sinister events of the century. But this first large-scale genocide of the modern epoch remains among the most serious crimes against particular nations and humanity.
The Armenian genocide was at the center of global concern for rather a long period of time. Many outstanding figures from different counties and areas of activity stood up for the Armenian nation, demanding condemnation and punishment of all those who were responsible for the crime.
One could think that the decisions of the Sevres Peace Treaty (1920) meant that the principles of historical justice and compensation began to be inculcated in the practice of international relations. In accordance with this Treaty, it was presupposed, in particular, that Armenia as an independent state would get back a number of its historic territories and would have access to the Black Sea. The inculcation of these decisions could have promoted creation of some of the initial premises for the fair solution of the Armenian question. Firstly, it could have given the people the territorial preconditions for the return of numerous expatriated Armenians to the motherland and for national consolidation. Secondly, the discussed decisions could have been considered as quite definite sanctions against the country responsible for the genocide and correspondingly would have served as a warning against the potential criminals and the commitment of similar crimes in future.
But the Russian-Turkish Moscow Treaty (1921) and the implementation of its decisions through the Kars Treaty (1921), as well as the recognition of these decisions at the Lausanne Conference (1922-23) showed that the Sevres Peace Treaty was dictated mostly by the usual short-term political interests. Developing this conclusion, I would like to draw attention to the following fact: in the light of the Lausanne Peace Treaty the ideologies and moral values of the Communist Russia and Western democratic states turned out to be particular manifestations of a definite general pattern of imperial thinking.
It is because of the aforementioned imperial thinking and short-term political interests that the Armenian question was buried in oblivion. And it is notable that this happened soon after the foundation of the League of Nations called upon to secure peace, justice, and scrupulous observance of treaties!
I realize quite well how many crimes against different peoples were buried in oblivion. However, the Armenian question is worthy of special interest and analysis in this case at least for two reasons. The first is that a very short period of time separated the passionate discussions on the issue and its complete neglect. The second is that the interest in the Armenian question and the complete disregard towards it were embodied in two such important international legal documents as the Sevres and Lausanne Peace Treaties.
After the Lausanne Conference, the examined crime officially was completely ignored at the international level as if it had not taken place at all. As to the Armenian people they for several decades were left alone to their own devices with the memory of the greatest tragedy the nation suffered. And it was the time when atrocities against the people were still continuing. Many researchers assert that this crying injustice became for the Armenians no less a shock than the genocide itself (see, for instance, Lourie, 1994, 242,).
True, in 1933 Franz Werfel's well-known book "Forty Days of Musa-Dag" was published. It was based on real events that took place in Turkey during the genocide of 1915 describing one of the main spontaneously organized centers of the resistance of the Armenian people. The outstanding Austrian humanist's book was one of his creative means to fight against fascism. The writer saw the direct link between the latter and the crime committed in Turkey. The book evoked great interest in the world, was translated into numerous languages and thus, once again called the attention of public to the unpunished genocide. But it was the period of active preparation for the next world slaughter and naturally it was not the time to discuss officially the problems of committed genocides and historical injustices, even the most serious and crying ones.
Only after the World War II the whole atmosphere in the world changed so radically that favourable conditions for the official discussion of the Armenian question were created, but only potentially. Special efforts were required to recall in the memory of humanity the crime committed against Armenian people. Unfortunately, numerous acts of terrorism against Turkish diplomats in different countries became one of the basic means for achieving this goal. They were carried out by the secret Armenian army, specially created with a purpose to remind the world of the very fact of the discussed crying injustice. Here we face a particular manifestation of the generalization made above (see 1.4.2.). In accordance with it the accumulation in the world of injustices fixed in ethnic memory of peoples constitutes one of the basic sources of mutual hatred between peoples, of ever increasing waves of violence. These waves are not isolated phenomena. They are links of a single chain composed of the feedback effects in the processes of permanent generation of aggression and injustices produced by the existing pattern of culture of war.
In order to continue this genocide case analysis, it is reasonable to recall and develop some conclusions made in sections 1.4.2.-1.4.4. Firstly, one of the specific features of this pattern is that it was shaped at the unique stage of machine industrial civilization, the stage of transformation of humanity into a globally interdependent system. During the previous dispersed state of the existence of humanity when war was the final regulator of interrelations between peoples and states, – imperial values, cult of military force, ethnic and racial discrimination were quite natural products of civilization. But today, from the evolutionary standpoint, they have suddenly become historical relics in the context of the new global realities. It is not accidental that all great empires and colonial regimes disappeared during a short historical time. However, imperial values and patterns of behaviour in a modified form are still alive and very influential.
Secondly, the transition of humanity into a new state of existence turned out to be so rapid that there was no sufficient time to work out an adequate system of mechanisms for the regulation of international relations. Humanistic values and norms should fulfil binding functions within this system. Humanistic thought of previous epochs put forward the principles of a non-violent world and other related principles, but they were enunciated only as ideals practically unattainable in the past. The novelty of the current situation is that it marks the beginning of an essentially new globally wide process. It is just characterized by the objective new state of humanity, which imperatively demands the actualization of the aforementioned principles and their transformation into real norms and behaviour patterns of human beings and communities.
Thirdly, the introduction of the concept of culture of peace as an important category, in its turn, demands, in particular, generalizing the concept of human rights. The gist of the problem is to embrace by one concept both individual and collective subjects of human activity including peoples and the whole humanity (see 1.4.4.). Consequently, in accordance with the principles of culture of peace as a newly emerging civilizational formation, both social and historical justice must become a basic norm of behaviour intrinsic to the new global systems state of humanity. Hence it follows that if the rights of this or that nation were roughly violated in the past, then the repentance, and historical compensation should take place. And for the nation guilty of the crime, repentance from the standpoint of its further evolution is no less important than for the nation against which the crime was committed (see 3.9.4.).
Nightmares of World War II became a mighty catalyst for the development of humanistic consciousness and the repentance processes. The repentance of the German people for the crimes committed by the fascist regime testifies to an effective mechanism of normalization of international relations. Such moral actions are very significant and impressive from this point of view, as was, for instance, the visit of Chancellor Conrad Adenauer to Israel.
My conviction is that these nightmares could have been less likely to happen if the necessary preventive measures had been taken in due time. These measures could have taken, in particular, if the attitude towards the genocide of Armenians in Turkey had been qualitatively different. It was necessary to punish the war criminals that programmed and implemented the atrocities and to use the necessary sanctions against Turkey. But in reality just the opposite actions took place. To understand what happened, it is sufficient to apply to the aforementioned 1921 Moscow and Kars Russian-Turkish Treaties. Sometimes they are condemned as unjust documents. However, this characterization is too gentle. Looked at from both a legal and moral point of view, the treaties turn to be monstrous by their antihumanistic nature. The reason is that they are treaties that legitimated the consequences of the genocide and unconditionally preserved for Turkey the historical territories of the Armenian people where they were massacred, from where they were mercilessly deported. It, in fact, became the precedent for the international legal encouragement of the most dangerous crime against peoples and humanity.
What is more, this encouragement was essentially straightforward. In accordance with the treaties, Turkey as if rewarded for the crime, got several other territories, including the biblical Ararat Mountain, which never belonged to that country. Besides, the indigenously Armenian district – Nakhichevan as a protectorate autonomous republic on the insistence of Turkey was given to its new imperial creation – Azerbaijan. This decision, in particular, permitted Turkey and Azerbaijan to have a common boarder. The Turkish invasions to Nakhichevan, which preceded the decision, essentially decreased its Armenian population, and later after the transfer of this district to Azerbaijan no Armenians remained in this arbitrarily created colonial formation. As a result of a similar arbitrary decision, made personally by Stalin (also on the insistence of Turkey), in 1923 another Armenian district – Mountainous Karabagh (further Nagorno-Karabagh) was given to Azerbaijan (96% of the population of the district at that time were Armenians). It was done when the facts of the recent mass atrocities against Armenians in Azerbaijan and Karabagh committed jointly by the Turkish solders and the Azerbaijani nationalists were still fresh in the ethnic memory of the people. Especially large-scale atrocities were committed in the main cities of Azerbaijan – Baku (1918) and Nagorno-Karabagh region – Shusha (1920). It is through the arbitrary joining of this region to Azerbaijan that seeds of one of the sharpest contemporary interethnic conflicts were sowed.
Usually the studies devoted to the reasons and motives of aforementioned extremely unjust territorial decisions made by the leaders of the communist Russia are accounted for by some of their particular value orientations, ideological beliefs and expectations. A special stress in these studies as a rule was laid on the communist belief in the permanent socialist revolution and the specific role that was assigned to Turkey and Azerbaijan in this process. But how to explain then the results of the Lausanne Conference? Its other participants through signing the Lausanne Peace Treaty not only legitimized the territorial claims of the Russian-Turkish Treaties but also unconditionally preserved for Turkey other historical territories of Armenian people abundantly stained with their blood. Thus, other nations, which participated in this conference, became equal partners in the encouragement of genocide.
True, the very fact of the genocide connivance and encouragement by the great powers was not a new phenomenon. Their previous attitude towards atrocities against the Armenian people well testifies to it. From this point of view, such an encouraging attitude towards genocides of Armenians was transformed into one of the most shameful traditions in the area of international relations of the current century. It is a multifaceted phenomenon manifested in definite stereotypes of reacting to atrocities of the people out of the simple neglect in regard to these atrocities to their direct factual (as in case of the attitude of State authorities of Germany in 1915-17) and even international legal encouragement as in the above-described cases of the Russian-Turkish and Lausanne Treaties. In these cases the Armenian nation was used as a change in the course of political interrelations and negotiations. A bright description of the unattractive moral make-up of the persons who participated in them, like the Russian diplomats Prince A. Lobanov-Rostovski or A. Nelidov, is given in the papers of Alexander Amfiteatrov written in 1905 (Amfiteatrov, 1991).
In the case of the Lausanne Peace Treaty the discussed tradition acquired a new quality. The reason of it is rooted not only in the scale of the genocide under review. The Lausanne meeting was a conference called to conclude the results of World War I and thus to express the legal as well as moral principles of the postwar world order. The League of Nations also joined the Lausanne Peace Treaty having raised no objections against the territorial decisions made. Thus, this organization put the last dot in the process of their legitimization and accordingly participated in the encouragement of the genocide at the top international level. And this was done at the very stage of transition of humanity towards its global systems interdependent state the symbol of which the League of Nations was.
I described and assessed quite definite, irrefutable facts that compose an extremely dangerous precedent. It has two basic aspects. One is the crime itself, cynically unveiled and carried out before the eyes of the whole world. The second is the internationally institutionalized common attitude of the global community towards this crime at the new transitional stage of world civilization.
Now let us analyze the many-sided influence this precedent had upon the world culture. I believe that the methodology intrinsic to this book opens new possibilities for such an analysis. As we already know, culture, being a specific mode of human activity in particular, stimulates and motivates it. Thus, every subject and area of human activity, including the area of international relations, must have its own cultural stimulating and motivating means. So in this theoretical perspective the precedent under review became a real and important link of stimulating and motivating subsystem of culture of international relations after World War I and, consequently, a mechanism of the processes of evolutionary self-organization of this area of world civilization.
The negative influence of an international legal precedent for the encouragement of actions aimed to destroy an entire nation upon these processes was extremely great. Such a precedent, metaphorically speaking, became a permanently acting detonator which generated a chain reaction of aggressive patterns directed towards commitment of similar crimes. In other words, such an encouragement created a quite definite global sociocultural field of motivation for genocide-oriented political activity. Proceeding from the very logic of the precedent, the potential criminals could not fear punishment for such actions. It is the creation of this field which permitted me above to assert that the precedent of the discussed encouragement occupied its stable place within the stimulating and motivating subsystem of the modern culture of international relations as one of its important links and mechanisms.
In literature one can rather often find the statement of Hitler made before the invasion of Poland by the German army. He asked: "Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?" (see, for instance, Genotsid, 1968, XII). The Turkish government made an effort to deny that Hitler ever made this statement (Smith, 1989, 35-36, note 31).
From my point of view, it is not so important whether Hitler made this statement or not. It is much more important that, firstly, its logic was quite appropriate to the discussed historical situation (the statement could become one of the arguments intended for leaving the army free to act). And secondly, that the above-characterized points of Lausanne Peace Treaty were without any doubt, among the factors stimulating monstrous plans and patterns of behaviour of Hitler and his ilk. In such cases the precedent as a past instance that served as an example, after fulfilling its basic initial function may not be even realized. Nevertheless, it does not at all disappear as a cultural phenomenon.
I shall try to show it using the discussed case – the precedent of commitment in XX century the first large-scale genocide and the attitude of great powers toward this event. As we already know, the major starting socioregulatory function of this precedent was manifested in the above-indicated field of motivation of genocide-oriented patterns of behaviour at the global level. Afterwards, being expressed in a portion of accumulated and stereotyped social experience, it continued to act further in a latent form within the motivating subsystem of culture of international relations (it was combined there with the similar parts of experience concerning other committed and not punished genocides). Only the triumph of the principle of historical justice is able to remove or neutralize this stereotype of activity. In the examined case it means, first of all, the recognition of the Armenian genocide in Turkey by global community accompanied with the adequate sanctions.
I would like to draw attention to another example of the genocide against the Armenian population that once again created field of motivation for commitment of similar crimes. And this event was organically linked with the portion of experience described above. The event happened in February 1988 in the Azerbaijani city of Sumgait. It took place after the Resolution by the Parliament of the Autonomous Region of Mountainous Karabagh Requesting Incorporation into Soviet Armenia (see its text in Chorbajian et al., 1994). I already indicated above that in 1923 this region arbitrary, without any legal ground, was given to Azerbaijan. The gist of the issue is that at the expense of a victim nation to please Turkey – the country, which committed the genocide against this nation – a new miniempire and a colonial regime, was created.
Having believed the democratic slogans of the Soviet perestroika, Armenians, the native population of the district, decided to put an end to this regime using their democratic rights. And the state authorities of this imperial formation within the great Soviet empire immediately reacted through organizing the Sumgait genocide. The monstrous traditions shaped in Turkey were used there.
This time the main persons responsible for the crime were not punished either. The crime was not even treated as genocide although all its attributes were evident. Such immoral, shortsighted behaviour of the leaders of the country and first of all of M. Gorbachov turned out to be a new version of genocide encouragement. And the latter once again fulfilled the function of a detonator that resulted in a mighty explosion manifested in a chain reaction of ethnically colored mass crimes in the USSR. There are all grounds to say that this precedent became the initial basic factor of disintegration of the Soviet Union. These crimes also included several relapses of the genocide of the Armenian population in Baku, Kirovabad and Nagorno-Karabagh in 1990-1992. It is this series of genocides that became the basic factor that generated the national-liberation war of the Armenians of this district against the colonial regime under review and finally predetermined their victory.
In this connection I would like to attract attention to the position of a special body of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) – the Minsk Group because it is this Group that is called upon to find out the just mode of resolving the Karabagh problem. The Co-Chairmen of the Group are presented now by France, Russia, and the USA. In the light of the facts described in the previous section, the position of this Group seems very strange. In spite of the convincing victory of the native people of the region and the actualization of their intrinsic right for national self-determination, the Group considers that the inclusion of Nagorno-Karabagh into the structure of Azerbaijan is the most appropriate model of resolving the conflict. However the question is that there is not any legal or other ground for this position. The very fact that this district after the above-indicated decision of 1923 turned to be in the structure of Azerbaijan can not at all serve such a ground. The crucial question is just in what historical context and how it was included in this structure. It is this question that is constantly neglected by OSCE and other organizations while looking for a model of resolving the conflict.
The principle of territorial integrity is used as an argument in favour of this model. Meanwhile, there is ignored the basic principle which is adequate for this and similar situations, i. e. the principle of the right of a nation for self-determination. It is very important to take into account that the principle under review is possible to use when the interrelations between different states are discussed. It is convincingly shown in literature, in particular by a well-known specialist of international law Y. Barsegov (Barsegov, 1998), a Russian diplomat, the former Ambassador of Russia in Armenia V. Stepanishin (Stepanishin, 1997), the President of the Centre of the Russian-Armenian Initiatives A. Vartanian (A. Vartanian, 1997), and many others. This principle usually does not concern national liberation movements generated within particular states. Moreover, in the context of the present epoch the principle of territorial integrity in general cannot be applicable to the situations when the processes of destruction of imperial formations and colonial regimes take place. Especially it is so if we take into account, firstly, how Azerbaijan was created as an imperial formation; secondly, what rigid and primitive (from general civilizational point of view) imperial pattern was transmitted from Turkey to Azerbaijan (for details see 1.4.2.; 3.9.4.).
Specifying the conclusion made, it is necessary to take into account that Azerbaijan as a miniempire was created at the junction of three basic processes. The first was the collapse of the Ottoman empire. Being in the state of agony, it nevertheless succeeded to generate a new similar imperial formation and transmit to the latter its one-sidedly aggressive traditions, accumulated in them experience, oriented to ethnic cleaning and related actions. The second was the process of emergence of the Soviet communist empire that adjusted this formation to its specific structure, hierarchical state organization. As to the third process, it manifested in the concluding stage of the Armenian genocide of that period. It is, first of all, at the expense of the palled state of the Armenian ethnosocial organism that Azerbaijan as an imperial formation was shaped.
It is hardly necessary to explain specially how immoral it was even at that epoch when empires and colonial regimes were considered as quite natural and immovable states of sociocultural orders. But how we shall assess the position, which is oriented today to the restoration of imperial order and colonial regime in this region when they as such are disappeared all over the world? And this is done in relevance to the people who, after becoming a subject of a series of genocide relapses on the territory of Azerbaijan and being despaired of finding justice, by own forces realized the sanctions against the responsible country. This very important aspect of the issue is also constantly neglected: even if Azerbaijan had before any legal right on this native Armenian territory, it already lost such a right because of the mentioned relapses of genocide against the Armenian population. These facts and the related circumstances must be taken into account by the OSCE and other organizations called upon to be on the guard of peace and justice.
In the light of the above-described situation, it becomes extremely important to find out the reasons of the neglect by the OSCE the historical background of the examined conflict. It includes the numerous mentioned instances of genocide commitment against the Armenian population in Azerbaijan during the century, beginning from the crimes committed in Baku in 1905. These reasons are of different origin. One is that these organizations do not use in their practice general principles of resolving interethnic conflicts. They simply proceed from the particular interrelations of political, military, economic and other forces in this region (see on the state of elaboration of such principles 1.4.4.).
The main issue is that if the discussed conflict is resolved as OSCE is inclined to do now, it could become one of those fatal decisions which will essentially discredit this potentially very important organization. One need not be a prophet in order to predict what will happen if Nagorno-Karabagh is again included into the structure of Azerbaijan, this time as an independent country. It is sufficient to take into consideration the immovable imperial orientations of the Azerbaijanian leaders, the firm resolution of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabagh to defend their independence and the present mutual distrust and the hatred of two peoples, the state of their incompatibility. These feelings and state are natural results of the long opposition and the recent war. The latter factor is worthy of special attention while resolving interethnic conflicts. To place one nation under the authority of another in such conditions means to create a situation potentially fraught with new sharp conflicts, wars and genocides. Particularly when the discussed feelings are essentially heightened because of the above-described specific origin of the conflict on the Nagorno-Karabagh district.
One of the basic strategic goals of the OSCE and similar organizations in this respect must be to transform incompatible at present peoples into compatible and create the necessary premises for directing free-will cooperative efforts of these and other peoples against common threats. But this end is impossible to achieve through the military and other oppression means that are used for stabilizing conflict situations. True, in the world we live today there are situations when these means are necessary. However, they are not at all sufficient for achieving the strategic end under review. It demands essentially new consolidating mechanisms which are discussed in sections 1.4.2.-1.4.4., the mechanisms specially intended for the elimination of the mutual distrust and hatred and the elaboration of the atmosphere able to promote the necessary free-will cooperation of peoples for the sake of their common future.
Stable foundations of culture of peace in Europe and other regions of the world can be created under the condition of permanent research and practical efforts directed towards achieving this strategic objective. The latter must be always in mind, even at the stage of carrying out peacekeeping operations and various sanctions. In the light of the above analysis, I would like to explain how I came to the idea of the necessity of the elaboration of the RENE as a specific peoples consolidating mechanism. This idea emerged when I conceived the very fact of constant neglect of the examined strategic objective by the appropriate international organizations as well as the factors that conditioned this neglect. An especially strong stimulus for the emergence of the examined idea became the comprehension of the necessity of specific means for endowing the incompatible at present neighboring peoples with the capacity for free-will cooperation in the conditions of the current planetary crisis. These conditions presuppose the maximal mobilization of the potentials of the whole planet for the prevention of the common death threats. But the question is that the usual economic, trade and other cooperative kinds of interaction are quite insufficient.
The ASDS suggests that the RENE principles intended for creating the necessary zones of peace in the interracial and interethnic conflict regions should be thoroughly examined. It is especially advisable to do it under aegis of the UN, OSCE and other organizations intended to provide security, peace and specific kind of cooperation of peoples called to overcome the planetary crisis. Today even military organizations are involved in this trend under the pressure of survival-development strategic imperatives. For instance, such powerful organization as NATO can essentially contribute to the processes of creating culture of peace, in case of its radical institutional conversion. Such conversion must be intended to provide not only military but also other basic strategic aspects of security in Europe and other regions. But in order to succeed in such transformations, it is necessary to keep in mind the already well known to the reader principle: to provide entire regional and global strategic security will be possible due to the transition from symptoms of crisis situations to revealing and removing their basic sources. And this, in particular, presupposes a consistent struggle against the imperial patterns of thinking and actions. Otherwise no necessary transformations can be possible.
Taking into account the ultimate goals of OSCE, such struggle must naturally be in its priorities. Meanwhile, observing the search of ways for resolving the conflict on Nagorno-Karabagh, one faces the opposite picture. I mean in this case the OSCE's position to preserve Nagorno-Karabagh within the structure of Azerbaijan. Such a position naturally encourages and strengthens the imperial ambitions of its State authorities and makes them uncompromising during the negotiations. Asserting this, it is very important not just to state the very fact of this position, but to find out other basic factors that determine it.
In general the decisions on interethnic conflicts in the end are based on the information of these conflicts and their interpretation. But the very process of gathering information and its interpretation depends on the way of approaching the conflicts and the sources of information. The reader already knows two of the basic features of the used operational approach. As it was shown above, the practice of dealing with the interethnic kind of crisis situations is guided not by general unified principles. Even a desire to have them is not observed. Thus, this approach is compelled to proceed from the particular correlation of political, military, economic and other forces in the conflict regions. In the case under review it becomes quite clear what great damage can cause the new world order the absence of general principles and objective criteria of resolving interethnic conflicts. This state of affairs is finally predetermined by the approach that gives priority to achieving the short-term, narrow political and economic ends. This case brightly testifies to this conclusion. It is sufficient to say that the interests of a number of countries and big companies to make contracts on oil production in the Caspian sea becomes one of the basic motives for resolving the discussed conflict in favour of Azerbaijan.
The presence of Turkey as a powerful military NATO member country of the region is not the last factor that promotes the elaboration of the model of resolving the Karabagh problem described above. So the country that committed the first large-scale genocide of the century and participated in sowing the discussed conflict today appears to be a factor which essentially influences the creation of preconditions for new conflicts and genocides. This intolerable situation is a direct result of the post World War I international decisions discussed above and the present reluctance to develop and use the general principles and criteria for resolving interethnic and other kinds of conflicts. And it happens when the international law and the emerging global ethics have created all the necessary premises for such principles and criteria.
For the reader to imagine how tendentious and politically cynical is the very attitude of Turkey towards the examined issue, it is reasonable to inform him that the Turkish government denies the very fact of the commitment of the genocide against the Armenian people(see Hovannisian, 1984). With this purpose the disinformation, the falsification of the events connected with the genocide were made the priority issue of state policy accompanied by the permanent and ever strengthening mobilization of financial, intellectual and other resources.
A many-sided analysis of this denial policy was made by Roger W. Smith. In particular, he describes the difficulties of this policy in the post World War II conditions. For all its success in the past, writes Smith, Turkey's denial of genocide has come under increasing scrutiny – with greater exposure, the facade of denial has begun to crack. There are indications that historical truth is beginning to break through the wall of denial that Turkey has erected with the help of powerful governments, indifferent bystanders, and a journalism that historically has been more geared to murder on a subway than to murder of a people (1989, 27).
In some other place of the paper, Smith develops the following thought: "The Holocaust is part of the contemporary moral imagination, forty years later it continues to evoke a strong response from us all. The government of Turkey is not concerned about a possible dilution of sympathy for the suffering of Jews. Rather it fears that if the public comes to see the destruction of the Armenians in 1915-17 as similar to the destruction of the European Jews during World War II, the sense of horror and outrage that was directed at Nazis will be transferred in part to the Turkish government. There is also, of course, the matter of reparations, but this is of less importance to Turkey than its general image in the world. What the Turkish government wants to prevent is the recognition that what was done to the Armenians belongs to a common category: genocide" (ibid., 18).
Contemporary psychology assesses a denial as the most inappropriate, primitive and ineffective of all psychological defenses used by personalities as well as groups. The case of denial of the Armenian genocide by the Turkish government brightly testifies to this conclusion if one goes deeper into the created situation. Although the denial policy often gives operational effects sought after, strategically it causes great damage. It is sufficient, for instance, to mention the damage, which the genocide denial policy causes to the moral states of the country. It is well known that the permanent multiform lie is fraught with moral degradation at the personal as well as collective levels.
Further this conclusion will be developed. Here, using the opportunity, I would like to stress that the denial policy is only one of the important structural links of the fabric of lies, falsifications and provocations. The grounds for it were created by the Ottoman empire long ago. In general any imperial state formations try to conceal the real situation typical of them using for it various means. But the fabric under consideration because of some specific features of the Turkish history became especially impudent, cynical and dangerous. The Armenian question played an important role in the development of this fabric for more than hundred years.
It is reasonable to single out four boundaries, which periodically generated additional strong stimuli for the development and perfection of the action of the discussed fabric. The first became the 1878 San Stefano and Berlin Treaties when the Armenian question acquired an international character. The second was manifested in the period marked by the commitment of the great Armenian genocide, particularly immediately after the end of World War I when Turkey turned out to be among the defeated countries. The third boundary was created after World War II when after the long oblivion this genocide once again began to be discussed officially at the international level. As to the fourth boundary, it was founded by the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict.
The specificity of the latter boundary is that this conflict became an occasion for Turkey and Azerbaijan to join their efforts on the path of lies, falsifications and provocations. Azerbaijani state after its creation well adopted the Turkish traditions in this respect and became such a capable pupil that even excelled the teacher in impudent, rough falsifications of history and provocations in all other achieved results.
All the mentioned boundaries compelled Turkey to change the tactical behaviour of the discussed fabric of lies, falsifications, and provocations, to renew some of its instruments. But its strategic goals as well as basic means remained the same. The efforts of the Turkish government were directed not only towards keeping from other countries the truth about the evil deeds, committed against the Armenian people. Other priority aims were to discredit the Armenian nation in the world public opinion and to falsify the appropriate pages of ancient and modern history. Great sums of money were spent for achieving these aims through bribing the representatives of mass media, science, international as well as national bureaucracy of different countries. From this point of view, comparing different historical situations, for instance, the situation which was created after the Russian-Turkish war of 1878 and the one that began after the emergence of the conflict on Nagorno-Karabagh, one can observe a striking resemblance between them. And it is the result of many-sided efforts directed towards achieving the desired traditional imperial aims through using the aforementioned means.
The most alarming is that it is not observed an adequate rebuff for the actions of this fabric of lies. There are certainly works, which expose some of these falsifications and lies. But they are few, disconnected and devoted to the particular cases and thus quite insufficient. On the whole this fabrication of lies is usually neglected in the world. It is done for different reasons: because it is difficult to see the activity of the fabric as a whole formation, because of usual public indifference or dependence on Turkey for various present-day interests and profits. At the same time there are forces in the world, which support the examined policy because of the coincidence of long-term, strategic imperial interests.
True, as it was mentioned, from the very
beginning of the
emergence of the Armenian question, many outstanding figures from different countries and areas of activity stood up for the Armenian nation. And this support continues today. I am not going to characterize it here. This is a special issue. I would like to make only one comment. Personally I am especially impressed by the genuine attitude of Baroness C. Cox towards the Karabagh people through backing their struggle for freedom. And thus this noble woman defends her understanding of justice, strives for the implementation of the humanistic principles.
The functioning of the fabric of lies under review is dangerous because it is very active and aggressive and thus often achieves its goals. Thus it essentially misleads world public opinion, the opinion of the appropriate international organizations. The condemnation by the UN General Assembly of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabagh as "aggressors" can serve the brightest example in this case. The paradox is that it is a case when the people stand for the right to live in their own historical territory and not to be in a position of colonial dependence. And the UN is the organization that, being called upon to defend this right, already demonstrated its capacity to fulfil this function. The UN General Assembly could hardly have passed such a resolution if it had not been misled and accordingly had an adequate information on the processes in the region and the historical background of the conflict. That is why it is high time that the fabrics under review were made a subject of special examination.
The task to mislead the General Assembly and world public opinion was facilitated by the position of the Armenian government. Defending the right of the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabagh on self-determination, it at the same time, firstly, did not focus on the fact that there took place a national-liberation war against the colonial regime created in the Azerbaijani miniempire. Secondly, the Armenian government in its approach decided not to use officially the factor of the genocides committed against the Armenians in Turkey and Azerbaijan in the political relations with these countries.
There are different opinions on the motives of the acceptance of such a position. They vary from the direct charge of the President L. Ter-Petrossyan with the betrayal of the goals of a just solution of the Armenian question to the assumption that the discussed position was conditioned by the intention not to strain more the relations with these states in the very unfavourable for Armenia geopolitical situation which was created after the disintegration of the USSR. In accordance with this assumption the Armenian government hoped that in exchange for not using the genocide factor Azerbaijan and Turkey would be pliable in the course of negotiations on the Karabagh problem.
The problem of motives of the acceptance by the Armenian government of its current position on this problem is a special issue that I am not going to discuss here in detail. My purpose is to show that in any case, irrespective of the motives, without the active use of the genocide factor the foreign political activity of the Armenian government on the Karabagh problem and the related issues is doomed to be ineffective in the created regional situation.
President Ter-Petrossyan in one of his recent statements on the Karabagh problem indicates that he does not assess his position as a sole option. In accordance with this, President addresses all those who have new ideas on the problem to present them for consideration (see Respublika Armenia, November 4, 1997). Using this opportunity, I would like, firstly, on behalf of ASDS to present my approach to the Karabagh problem stated in this book for a thorough examination. Secondly, I wish also to present my understanding of vulnerability of the position of the Armenian government on the Karabagh problem and to show what has happened as a result of its refusal to use the genocide factor.
The specificity of my approach is that this problem as an organic part of the Armenian question is given here in the context of general vision of the current world evolutionary dynamics expressed in the conception of the key survival and development strategic imperatives and issues. I am sure that only in such a theoretical perspective it is possible to see clearly the great potential dangers, which contains the discussed model of resolving the Karabagh problem. Accordingly, I present this approach for the examination by not only the Armenian State authorities but also by the State authorities of all the involved countries as well as by the appropriate international organizations.
As a starting point of the discourse let us suppose that the above assumption concerning the intention of the Armenian government not to use the genocide factor in the political interrelations with Azerbaijan and Turkey correctly explains the motives of this position. As the reader remembers, in accordance with this assumption the Armenian leaders hoped that in exchange Azerbaijan and Turkey would be pliable in the negotiations on the Karabagh problem. Even in this case the position under review gives ground for a resolute objection. Genocide is so serious a crime that it in no way can become a subject of a haggle.
Now in the light of the above-said, let us continue the assessment of the discussed position of the Armenian State authorities from the standpoint of their capability to participate in these negotiations. From my point of view, their very decision not to use the genocide factor became a real strategic blunder, which first of all equalized the rights of the negotiating parties. Apart from all other consequences, it could only strengthen the ambitions of the Azerbaijani government and make its imperial approach to the Karabagh problem immutable. At the same time, it made the Armenian side very vulnerable because of the distortion of the whole vision of the conflict, of its character and basic sources. Without using the great genocide factor and the historical chain of its numerous subsequent relapses during the century, the probability of perceiving the Karabagh problem as the result of an ordinary territorial dispute and a manifestation of so usual today ethnic separatism is very great. Especially so it is if one takes into consideration the quite unequal capacity and experience of Armenian and the joint Azerbaijani-Turkish sides to defend their state interests at the international arena.
The situation can be qualitatively different if the Karabagh problem is considered against the background of the national-liberation movement of the people and the genocide of Armenians in Turkey and Azerbaijan. Because the crimes committed and the traditional political short-sighted attitude towards them in their totality compose a real global issue, its solution can not depend on this or that position of the Armenian government, its capacity to uphold the national rights. This issue must be solved through the combination of efforts of all the appropriate organizations called upon to be on guard of international security, peace and justice. Positive results of their activity will have great strategic significance not only for the Armenian people but other peoples as well, including the Turkish and Azerbaijani peoples. Otherwise deadlock situations will take place. In particular, such situations are inevitable in the area of morality. To prove this it is reasonable to continue the analysis of the genocide denial policy, which the Azerbaijani government also uses today.
The following example can demonstrate brightly to what negative moral consequences such a policy can lead. After the emergence of the Karabagh problem and the tragic events related to it, including the Sumgait genocide, Armenians rather often were called by representatives of the Azerbaijani intelligentsia as "masochists". The ground for it they saw in the fact that Armenians constantly marked the sorrowful events of the national history, remembered and actively discussed them. This nickname can be qualified as a bright manifestation of a very primitive moral consciousness of those who used it, their incapability to sympathize with tragic fate of other peoples. Following this logic, all the peoples who mark such sorrowful dates in their history including the Azerbaijani people themselves should be called "masochists". For instance, in Azerbaijan January 20, 1990 is piously revered because it is a date when the Soviet troops killed numerous Azerbaijanians in the capital of the country – Baku. But while marking this date, nothing is said what preceded it: during several days in Baku took place the genocide of the Armenian population of the city carried out on the Sumgait scenario. It was just this event that was used by the Soviet leaders as a formal occasion for bringing the troops into Baku. It should be noted that this time also, as in Sumgait, the troops were brought into the city with a great delay, when the monstrous atrocities against the defenseless population were over.
In this connection it is necessary to draw attention to the extreme abnormality of such a differentiation while marking a mourning date – to mention the victims of one nationality of the citizens and to neglect completely the victims of another. Being the most barbarous form of division of citizens of a country, this ritual besides all the rest is a means of concealment of the genocide, a specific form of its denial. At the same time the Azebaijani government, pursuing a definite political purpose, uses every opportunity for stressing that they consider the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabagh as citizens of Azerbaijan. Such are the moral deadlocks to which the evolution of constantly encouraged imperial consciousness has brought. This consciousness evolved within a miniempire, but its inner logic is the same as the evolution of consciousness shaped within a big empire. The same is also the means through which the deadlocks under review can be overcome.
During the recent decades Turkey was able to make a real economic and material-technological leap. It testifies to the ethnical potentials of the Turkish people for development. But the major issue is that ethnosocial organism and its intrinsic mode of activity (culture) compose a single systems formation, moral and other links of which must be in a certain harmony. Such harmony between the basic components of culture took place in the course of emergence and further existence of the Ottoman empire. It was a well designed, specialized machine consistently oriented to the purposes of violence, conquest and exploitation of peoples. The appropriate system of moral principles corresponded to these purposes in the Ottoman empire. But in the contemporary epoch the situation began to change rapidly. The time of empires became irrevocably a thing of the past, although due to the action of laws of inertia, the imperial patterns of thinking still continue to persist.
Undoubtedly, the problem of the out-of-date imperial inheritance is the issue of not only the Turkish nation. This is brightly manifested, in particular, in the ultimate strategic goals of the policy of the great powers. As before, it is oriented to the redivision of the world, to the increase of military forces and the creation of particular regional alliances as possible devices for increasing power. The major tendencies of contemporary geopolitical thought are developed as they were intended for the previous epochs (see also 1.4.4.). The old paradigm of geopolitical strategic thinking essentially hampers the assimilation of the new global realities, even when the most widely thinking politicians and scholars try to include them into the line of study (see, for instance, Brzezinski, 1993). In general the state of theory and practice of international relations permits to make the conclusion concerning the close interdependence of cognitive and normative traps (see 1.3., 1.4.3.). They mutually strengthen each other. The data of the present genocide analysis well testifies to this inference.
The imperial aims and patterns of behaviour find especially consistent and bright manifestation in Turkey because of the above-described distinctive features of the Ottoman empire. And today this imperial inheritance appears to be the basic obstacle in the way of a really progressive development of the country, for shaping a Turkish national evolutionary model within the world civilization able to meet the basic requirements of the contemporary epoch.
But in reality, instead of efforts directed to overcoming this obstacle, we as a rule face the opposite actions. The following claim of Turkey brightly confirms this conclusion. The Turkish representative in the UNESCO put forward the proposal to include the date of the 700th anniversary of the foundation of the Ottoman empire into the calendar of measures for the international celebration in 1999. And the most important and alarming thing is that the May 1997 session of the Executive Committee of UNESCO approved in principle that proposal. It was done through the creation of a quite fictitious image of the Ottoman empire. The Executive Committee in its first reading adopted the resolution, which refuses to face realities, neglects the well-known historical facts. This is convincingly shown by Anna Polyakova in her article written to assess the discussed initiative and resolution (Polyakova, 1997).
She describes the main points of the adopted resolution. Among the historical merits of the Ottoman empire the resolution indicates the elaboration of a specific culture and a political system which were able to preserve cultural, linguistic and confessional identities of the various peoples that lived within this empire. In accordance with the resolution, this civilization spread the magnificence of Asia in Europe and provided order and tolerance.
Irrespectively of how this issue will be solved in the UNESCO, the above-made general assessment of the Ottoman empire is notable by itself from the discussed point of view. And I would like to draw attention to some of the implications of such an assessment.
Commenting on the aforementioned points, Polyakova stresses that although it is impossible to deny the specific culture shaped in the Ottoman empire, the consequences of this culture were rather negative. The Turkish culture proper, she argues, absorbing the cultural inheritance of the subjugated peoples, at the same time eradicated the culture of autochthons of the empire.
I cannot help recalling on this occasion the characteristic of the Ottoman empire given by Arnold Joseph Toynbee in his famous work "A Study of History". Proceeding from the above-indicated one-sided, military specialized nature of this empire, he qualified it as an "arrested civilization" (Toynbee, 1947).
Polyakova in no way can agree with the opinion that political system of the Ottoman empire succeeded in preserving cultural, linguistic and confessional identities of the peoples that lived there. She mentions the heavy lot of the Balkan and Arab peoples under the Turkish yoke, many of them were assimilated by force. But, certainly, indicates Polyakova, the Armenians who were subjected to a monstrous genocide suffered the greatest losses.
I specially cited these conclusions of the paper with a purpose to ask how it became possible that the officials of the UNESCO, who had given start to the discussed initiative and participated in the formulation of the resolution in question, did not take into account these and other related facts? If these officials do not know about them, then they have no right to work in the UNESCO, the organization in the focus of which is the problem of transition from the imperial culture of war to culture of peace! If their purpose was to please Turkey through clumsy attempts to present one of the most cruel and brutal empires as a kingdom of peace and tolerance, all the more the officials under review do not deserve to be in the staff of the UNESCO. It is most probable, that we face here an instance of penetration of the metastases of the above-described fabric of lies and falsifications into the structure of UNESCO as well.
I suppose that surrendering the denial policy and repentance of the Turkish nation for the commitment of the Armenian genocide could become a very important step in the direction of removing obstacle under examination. The crucial moral task is to take out the capacity for empathy from its repressed state. The steps towards normalizing moral state of the people and bringing it in correspondence with existing realities could become a catalyst not only for revealing the essentially new possibilities of national evolution. They could elaborate an initial premise for the creation in the region one of the so urgently needed zones of peace discussed above.
It is not at all difficult to imagine an alternative to this perspective. Under the weight of the present imperial inheritance a version of aggressive "arrested" national evolutionary model of civilization in new historical conditions will be elaborated. And it will be a constant source of danger for the world peace and security. Azerbaijan as n formation of imperial pattern, which has turned out to be in the similar situation, has today the same alternative evolutionary options.
The basic problem, however, is that the necessary moral transformations are not possible without a strong constant pressure of world public opinion, of appropriate international organizations and mass media. Meanwhile, as we already know, the short-term, operational approach to conflict situations which is intrinsic now to these organizations does not at all promote carrying out the needed pressure. On the contrary, as it was shown, they sometimes in fact encourage the imperial pattern of thinking. Their attitude to the great Armenian genocide, its recent relapses and accordingly to the ways of resolving the Karabagh problem convincingly testifies to it. It is logical to suppose that the consistent, humanistically oriented reform of the UN system could become a powerful positive factor able radically to change the examined situation in the world. Especially important in this case is to achieve the necessary balance between operational and strategic approaches to interethnic conflicts. Such a balance is the basic mechanism able to break the analyzed vicious circle.
During the recent decades, when the great Armenian genocide was recalled in the memory of the peoples, the process of its recognition began. It was recognized by the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal, European Parliament, and a number of countries, including Russia. But this process develops very slowly, and it is not clear up to now when and how the crime will be acknowledged by the world community. The major obstacles in this way are already known to the reader – the stereotype of activity which gives priority to achieving the short-term, present day political, economic ends, the lack of adequate information, the world destructive development pattern that splits scientific intellect as well as moral, legal, religious, ethnic manifestations of human consciousness. From this point of view, the attitude towards the Armenian question reflects, in particular, the very ambivalent state of world moral and legal culture.
However, the committed crime under review is so serious, its negative influence upon the culture of international relations is so great and the injustice done to the Armenian people so crying that the recognition of the genocide by global community is inevitable. But it should be done in due time: being the first large-scale genocide of XX century, it should be acknowledged in the same century (see 4.5.).
In this connection it is necessary once again to stress the great importance of creating the favourable conditions for the utmost development in the world of the feeling of empathy. Being based on capacity to put oneself in the place of others, the mature state of this feeling, as we already know, constitutes the psychological basis of humanistic morality and the major instrument of human solidarity. The humanity has greatest potentials for empathy. But some obsolete inertial factors and first of all culture of war continue to suppress it. So it is necessary to cultivate this feeling through the inculcation of the principles of culture of peace. This is the only way out of the deadlock.
The catastrophic 1988 earthquake in Armenia created a unique possibility to compare two essentially different attitudes of global community towards two kinds of disasters befallen one and the same people: nature-genic and culture-genic. The tragic consequences of the earthquake generated a strikingly great wave of worldwide solidarity, a very strong feeling of empathy. And this wave became one of those cases, which visibly demonstrated the greatest moral potentials of the world peoples for co-experience of suffering of others. This wave was so strong that it gave ground for certain assumptions. Apparently this wave besides everything else was conditioned by the hidden, usually not realized, complex of guilt before the Armenian people for the injustice described above.
At the same time the global community on the whole continues to be indifferent toward a larger scale and more dangerous disaster manifested in the aforeanalysed genocide and its consequences. During the last decade the situation in this respect has not been changed radically. The basic reasons for the indifference are rooted in the weight of inertia of imperial pattern of thinking and those signed international treaties because of which the Armenian question was buried in oblivion; the reluctance of great powers to admit the guilt for that action and to say the truth; the fabric of lies, falsifications and provocations discussed above.
So in this section I tried to show the immoral and destructive nature of the short-term attitude of the great powers to the Armenian question. Being transformed into a tradition, this attitude has created a very dangerous vicious circle of periodically generated unpunished genocides. Its negative consequences concern not only the Armenian people but other peoples as well. The very existence of such a tradition is one of the most disgraceful phenomena of contemporary civilization. The need to uncover this tradition and to demonstrate its place in the evolutionary self-organization of contemporary civilization belonged to one of the basic motives of carrying out the present analysis. I hope that it will promote realization by the world public and appropriate international organizations what a serious obstacle the tradition under review is in the way of the transition from culture of war to culture of peace. Accordingly, the task of elimination of this tradition is very urgent.
In accordance with laws of cultural dynamics, the appropriate precedent carried out in due time and place could play a decisive role in starting this process. The above analysis was directed to revealing the negative, destructive role of some precedents in the evolutionary self-organization of civilization. But the same mechanism can be used for starting its self-preserving, strong positive tendencies in this dynamics. I suppose that a really just resolution of the Karabagh problem could serve a role of the needed precedent.
Some other steps would be able essentially to strengthen the process started by such a resolution. I suppose that the appropriate assessment and condemnation of the above-analyzed Russian-Turkish and Lausanne Peace Treaties must be among them because of their genocide-encouraging role. During the last decades a number of unjust treaties, which paved the way for aggression, were properly assessed and condemned. And it is high time that the same attitude should be expressed to the treaties under review. It could symbolize a real triumph of historical justice and thus become one of those important means that will be able to promote the creation of the basis of culture of peace.
This analysis of genocide issue puts forward particular aims. It is devoted only to the first instance of its large-scale implementation in the current century and to some of its recent relapses. Unfortunately, I had not at my disposal sufficient time and necessary data to compare systematically the Armenian genocide with other similar crimes of the century. Nevertheless, there are grounds to say that by bringing to light and generalizing some of its hidden global aspects and qualities in the context of evolutionary self-organization of world culture, it has become possible to reach some widely important and alarming conclusions. The gist of the issue is the following: In 1948 under the influence of the nightmares of World War II a very notable International Convention was adopted by the global community. It concerns the prevention of the crimes of genocide and the punishment for its commitment. Article 3 of the Convention quite definitely indicates the acts that should be punished. Among them is the direct and public instigation to the commitment of genocide. Meanwhile what do we see 40 years later after the adoption of this extremely important document? One can easily observe the violation of the very essence of this particular article and the whole Convention by the governments of the countries which are considered to be the advocates of human rights and the organizations called to defend these rights internationally and to provide peace and security in the world. This violation, as it was shown above, is manifested in the factual encouragement of the genocide-oriented patterns of behaviour.
It is high time to call things by their proper names and seriously direct our efforts to comprehend this very dangerous phenomenon. This chapter is just intended to fulfil this exposing function to provoke the necessary discussion. My ultimate goal in this case is to generate the effect of a mirror in which the appropriate persons who represent the governments and organizations under review could recognize and assess their actions and encouraged patterns of behaviour in perspective of global realities and survival-development strategic imperatives. Only against the background of these realities and imperatives is possible to elaborate the objective criteria for the necessary assessment of the discussed actions and see the extreme global dangers they potentially contain.
I believe that the above-made analysis immediately concerns the basic long-term issues, which the task of radical reform of the UN system generates and is able to promote their fruitful investigation. In the last part of the book I shall develop some of these conclusions.
Concluding this part and the analysis of the first large-scale genocide of the century I would like to suggest on behalf of ASDS a project specially intended to support the UNESCO's initiatives directed to the elaboration of the issues concerning the transition from culture of war to culture of peace. The immediate occasion for this project has become a particularly important event of the Armenian cultural history discussed in the present section. I believe that this project could become a stimulus and means for the Armenian people to participate actively in the processes of development and inculcation of the above humanistic initiatives. And it will be the contribution of the nation to the establishment of conditions able essentially to promote preventing the relapses of genocide-oriented patterns of activity on the planet. As it was already indicated, the Armenian nation has a specific cultural predisposition for such participation. It is rooted in the tragic history of the Armenian people who became the victim of their geographic position. It is difficult to find another nation whose geographic position so constantly and negatively influenced the geopolitical conditions of their existence.
And, on the contrary, there are instances when the geographic position of this or that nation constantly positively influenced their geopolitical conditions. The Turkish people can serve in this case as a bright example. The geographic position of Turkey became an extremely important factor that even during the most critical situations was used constantly by this country to its own benefit in the end. It became possible due to the acquiring a diplomatic capacity to rip benefits from the contradictions between the great powers, from difference of their political interests and aims. It is this rather primitive by its cultural traditional nature but always effectively working capacity that permitted Turkey, in particular, not to bear the proper punishment after the World War I for the committed monstrous crimes.
The geographic position of Armenia although being very unfavourable and vulnerable from the geopolitical standpoint, at the same time permitted the Armenian people to create an original and rich pattern of culture. Having been shaped at the junction of the ancient civilizations of the East and West, this local civilizational pattern could absorb and assimilate many of their achievements. In order to survive under the onslaught of the great powers of the ancient world the Armenian State was compelled to be innovative. In particular, Armenia became the first country that adopted Christianity as a state religion. The 1700th anniversary of this event will be internationally celebrated in the world in 2001 in accordance with the decision of the UNESCO. This step and the further evolution of the Armenian Christian church played a crucial role in working out the survival strategy embodied in the ethnoculural traditions of the Armenian people. Especially tangible the national survival functions which the church fulfilled seemed to be when the Armenian people, having lost the statehood, dispersed all over the world.
The aforementioned historic date is notable by itself because it reflects an important state innovation. But the celebration of the event could be essentially strengthened if it is accompanied with important strategic innovations, which reflect and generalize important realities of the contemporary world. And one can observe the emergence of one of such innovations – the RENE idea and project. As the reader already knows, the RENE idea at the stage of its origination was adopted by the State authorities of Armenia; and in 1992 the Armenian delegation at the Rio Earth Summit put forward the initiative to implement the RENE project internationally. Now after the above-made many-sided characteristics of the global and national-regional strategic significance of the RENE idea, I would like to express the following opinion: it is high time that the efforts were directed towards the transformation of this idea and project into a real, steadily fixed state innovation. The preparation for the celebration of the 1700th anniversary of the adoption of Christianity as a state religion could become a good occasion for that. And the evolvement of the Armenian Church in this process could play a very important role.
In fact it could be the continuation of the fulfillment by the church the national survival functions in the contemporary conditions. But in this case these functions will acquire a global sounding as well because of the very nature of the RENE project. I would like also to use the discussed issue to say that in general it is difficult to overestimate the potential role of religion and church in the solution of survival-development strategic issues. At the same time the participation of the church in this process, in its turn, could become an important means for bringing the activity of this institution in correspondence with the basic requirements of the epoch. Especially important the potential role of the church may be in the solution of those aspects of survival and development problems, which concern the transition from culture of war to culture of peace.
In this connection I would like to say that the consideration of the initial function of the RENE project evokes in some of my colleagues and me an association with Noah's Ark. And really, there are grounds to present ecological-noospheric zones as "ships of evolution" able radically to change the course of the world destructive "evolutionary deluge". From this point of view, the creation of such zones could fulfil the same self-preserving function in relevance to the humanity, as, in accord with the Bible, the construction by Noah of the Ark in the conditions of the Deluge was. And it is symbolic that the idea of RENE as a supposed "new Noah's Ark" emerged at the foot of the Ararat Mountain. And how symbolic it will be if the first decisive steps in the direction of constructing of a basis of culture of peace, as "a human social life-preserving Ark", are made in the same region!
In the light of the above-said, the ASDS, proceeding from several circumstances, suggests the following plan. The first among these circumstances is that a search of ways and modes for the transition from culture of war to culture of peace is in the focus of UNESCO's Medium-Term Plan 1996-2001. And it so happened that some initial key hypotheses needed for approaching this circle of problems are elaborated due to the RENE principles (see 1.4.1.-1.4.5.). Suggesting it, the ASDS proceeds also from the fact of the coincidence of completion of the UNESCO's fourth Medium-Term Plan and the celebration of the date of the first adoption of Christianity as a state religion. Taking into account all these circumstances, the ASDS proposes not to reduce the UNESCO's role in the course of the celebration to the formal function of the organization under the aegis of which this event is marked. It would be much more fruitful to use this occasion for a cooperative substantial analysis of the UNESCO's priority issue within a specially elaborated common programme. If this suggestion is acceptable, the ASDS is ready to present such a programme for examination as soon as possible.
In the focus of the project will be the ways and means of bringing in correspondence the pattern of the needed humanistic morality with those integrative patterns of science, education, and management which are able to meet the basic survival-development strategic imperatives. The initial principles of solving this issue are already stated in chapter 1.4. So the preliminary examination and assessment of the idea of the project and its methodological and theoretical background can be started just now. I hope that this project can promote to the developments of the practical inculcation of elements of culture of peace (see 1.4.4.).
I also believe that the elaboration and implementation of the suggested project could be important for the UNESCO itself because it proposes ways of achieving and inculcating integrative principles of studying culture, science, education and communication (information). Thus they could be ways which will contribute to acquiring by the UNESCO so urgently needed consistently integrative systems approach to the whole cluster of the basic constituent parts of its subject matter (for details see 4.4.). The project could have many other positive consequences, including national ones. This is not the place to discuss this issue in detail. I shall mention here only one possible consequence because it reflects the issue, which has a definite relevance to the Armenian genocide as well as to one of the basic post-genocide duties of the Armenian humanitarian science, intelligencia, and the Armenian studies in general.
The Armenian question and the genocide, in particular, having attracted the attention to the Armenian people, became a tragic occasion for awakening interest to their history. Many outstanding figures from different countries discovered for themselves the spiritual wealth of the Armenian culture, its treasures. Among those was Nikolai Marr, an outstanding researcher of the Caucasus. In his well known Parisian lecture devoted to the characterization of this culture, delivered in 1923, he assessed the Armenian nation as the oldest true keeper, generous sower, patient cultivator of the totality of the Eastern and Western cultural heritage. Marr regretted that there was no understanding in the world of this evident reality. From his point of view, there was no recognition of what fantastic horizons for studying of the word and speech, these most important instruments of the human culture and civilization opens the language treasures of this astonishing people and what greatest possibilities they conceal for clearing up the roots and cultural relations of their own and many other peoples.
Concluding his lecture, Marr appealed to the Armenians, especially to the Armenian young people with the following words: "The harvest is rich but there are no reapers" (Marr, 1990, 53).
During the passed decades the situation did not radically change in spite of the fact that there exists a developed branch of Armenian studies carried out in different countries. The fundamental shortcoming of these studies is that a taste and an interest for theory (and it should be first of all culture theory) and comparative studies is not intrinsic to these studies. And one of the basic reasons of this state is the above-described very consistent polarization of "two cultures" in the Armenian science (see 3.8.). Returning to the idea of the project substantiated above, I hope that under the influence of the elaboration and implementation of this project, based on integrative culturological and traditionological theories, the Armenian studies will acquire the lacking taste and interest.
In this connection, it is important to indicate that the discussed project will have its historic dimension, specially intended for the study of the peaceful traditions of the past, their cultivation and development today. It is impossible to transit to culture of peace without this work. From this point of view, the Armenian traditional culture is worthy of interest. Many authors, including Lord G. Byron, indicated this moment.
I would like to call once again the reader's attention to the necessity of a qualitatively new model of the UN system. The basic requirement is to change radically the present general managerial pattern of the UN system, very its principle. Until now this system was intended to adjust to a spontaneous and uncontrollable world development, to the extremely destructive pattern of its dynamics. The ultimate real goal of the existing model of the UN system was not to change this pattern and to acquire capacity for governing the world evolutionary process by revealing and removing the basic sources of its destructiveness. The goal coming from the underlying principle under review was to react to the emerging crisis situations and to decrease and smooth out as far as possible the destructive and destabilizing effects generated by these sources. In spite of all the changes that took place in the UN system over the last 50 years, they did not touch this principle.
My conviction is that the basic reason for the present deep dissatisfaction with the activity of the UN system is rooted in the above obsolete model. As indicated in the book, the continued use of the old managerial approach to world development by the UN at the present stage of machine industrial civilization will only accelerate the global catastrophe. Even the essential perfection of this approach cannot save the situation. Meanwhile it is not difficult to see that all the ideas and suggestions concerning the reform of the UN system are intended for the perfection of the old model (see, for instance, Tinbergen, 1994; Boutros-Ghali, 1995a, 1995b; Kortunov, 1995; Batjuk, 1996).
True, the recent statements of the new Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in which he emphasizes his commitment to the UN reform, create general preconditions for comprehending the necessity of the required model of the UN system. The current crisis that the United Nations faces, in his view, could not be dealt with simply by tinkering with budget or using better cash management techniques. "It is rather a political crisis – a crisis of faith in the Organization." The Secretary-General shared his vision of a more effective and efficient UN. He would strive to create a UN that was more adapted to the needs of the international community, with clear priorities and effective means of responding to the international crises and emergencies. The Secretary-General emphasized that the reform must be rooted in a new consensus among Governments on the role of the UN, its core functions, its priorities, what it should do with others and "what it should leave others to do" (Secretary-General, 1997).
In his Report "Renewing the United Nations: A Programme for Reform" Kofi Annan writes: "Reform is not an event; it is a process. And the process will not end with the present report. The proposals contained herein, therefore, are important not only for the specific ways in which they will produce a stronger, more resilient and more flexible United Nations now, but also for the general direction their implementation will impart to the future evolution of the Organization. The coming century promises to be a time of yet deeper and more rapid global change. United Nations must be ready" (Renewing, 1997, 9).
It is hardly possible to refute that the ultimate common goal of all the peoples of the world today is to prevent self-annihilation of the human race and create favourable conditions for its further evolution on the planet. Accordingly it is reasonable to conclude that the current core functions of the UN and its priorities are objectively predetermined by this goal. The problem consists in acquiring the capacity to find the appropriate means for its achieving. The present book just presents the ASDS' vision of solving the problem.
In the light of the above-said, I once again want to focus on the basic reason why humanity cannot continue its usual spontaneously blind kind of evolution. The latter is not able to remove the greatest imbalances and contradictions of the contemporary epoch, to correct the evolutionary blunders committed by the human activity during the last centuries. This pattern of evolution blockades the very possibility to overcome its destructiveness through revealing and eliminating the basic sources of the latter. Moreover, the spontaneous reproduction dynamics of civilization ever increases its destructive forces. Accordingly, the gist of the problem of the UN's reform from the present standpoint is to elaborate the means by which the Organization can gain the capacity for guiding humanity consciously through the solution of the key survival-development strategic issues as a common top priority task.
It is the imperative that can not be avoided even if it is impossible to carry out the necessary restructuring of the UN system because of the inertial forces therein. Then a new structure of world civilization specially intended for fulfilling strategic evolutionary managerial functions must be created to meet this imperative.
In this work it is assumed that the required restructuring of the UN system in principle is possible due to its involvement in the processes of elaboration and implementation of the cluster of ecological and other survival-development strategies. And this involvement must be accompanied with the processes based on revealing and removing the major sources of the planetary crisis, its global and national/regional manifestations.
It is wrong to oppose diametrically the traditional model of the UN system and its model discussed in this book. The first reflects its mostly operational state. The majority of the existing functions of the UN system are actual and important and the fulfillment of them should be continued – but through their linkage with the basic survival-development strategic functions. As to the second model, it is still a normative model construction called upon to present the way of achieving this linkage and thus to characterize the possible future mature state of the UN family.
In the integrative systems evolutionary perspective these models of the UN family, considered as specific links of world civilization, can be described as two different states of the "central nervous system" of humanity as an emerging sociocultural organism at the global level. Applying the concept of central nervous system to the type of life organization intrinsic to human society, I mean a universal superbiological regulative mechanism called upon to carry out all the basic functions of sociocultural organisms, control them and provide a balance between specialization and integration of human activity. Social science urgently needs the concept of the "nervous system", just because it reflects the mechanism of activity specially intended to provide this functional balance.
Contemporary science has accumulated much experience in transferring concepts originally used in its particular branches into the general scientific vocabulary of different levels. There are grounds for transferring the concept "nervous system" into a general category for all the sciences of life. This can be done through generalizing basic invariant regulative functions of biological and sociocultural systems, their common self-organizing properties. No less important is to take into account the qualitative differences and specificity of these systems. And it is high time that sociology as a science on subjects of human activity and culturology as a science on a specific mode of this activity should combine their efforts for elaborating the principles of a superbiological nervous system in the general context of the theory of sociocultural organism (see Markarian, 1989a, 34).
The idea of a cultural nervous system for humanity can be very useful for conceiving the role and place of the UN system as a specific institutional link of world civilization, its existing and future evolutionary stages and states. This idea can also be very useful for working out the adequate principles of interrelations between general bodies of the UN system and its specialized agencies.
The first operational state of this system was naturally primitive from the evolutionary point of view. In this perspective it is comparable to the traditional operational state of contemporary national governments and their priorities. Governments today, because of their initial operational design, do not seem to be intended for strategic solutions of problems generated by the contemporary planetary crisis either. And without acquiring this strategic capacity operational functions themselves can not be fulfilled fruitfully (for the global results of adherence to the operational priorities see Graf, 1995).
As to the required contemporary and future states of the UN system, they should be specially designed to deal with these problems in the course of the forthcoming reform. We already know that the initial requirement this new design must meet is to provide a balance between operational and strategic approaches to crisis situations (see 1.1.). The principle of such a balance, if it is accepted, must be obligatory both for the central bodies of the UN and its appropriate specialized structures. And it is just through inculcation of the discussed principle that the UN family could be transformed into a really well organized functional system and acquire the necessary capacity for fulfilling the function of world strategic evolutionary management.
The reader already knows that the capacity to fulfill the crucially important function under review is put forward in the conception of the book not only an abstract normative requirement. The conception contains a quite definite systematically elaborated and substantiated means of world strategic management: the RENE project (see 1.4.). It was discussed from different standpoints and this permits to make some concluding generalizing remarks on the RENE idea.
In order to assess this idea adequately it is necessary to take into account that one extremely important common theoretical gap is typical of innumerable normative global alternative future constructions elaborated during recent decades. They do not contain a mechanism able to transfer humanity from the present unsatisfactory state to the desirable future state. In other words, these constructions lack the principle of a general transitional model necessary in such situations. Distinct from them, the RENE project contains the needed principle. It is embodied in the RENE idea itself.
To make understandable the gist of the principle under examination, it is reasonable to describe the intellectual atmosphere in which the RENE idea emerged. A starting point for the RENE idea became a wide interdisciplinary, ecologically oriented trend which was shaped in the 80s in the former USSR and some other countries under the stimulating influence of V. I. Vernadsky's teaching on biosphere and noosphere (Vernadsky, 1988). It is notable to mention that Vernadsky, being by his background a representative of natural sciences, nevertheless had many thoughts concerning the phenomenon of culture (for details see Zhdanov, 1995). This trend, manifested in numerous studies and publications, facilitated launching a discussion on actual world issues and generated many interesting ideas. But these studies and discussions could not give a real mechanism of inculcation and practical testing of generating ideas either, and thus like other global ideas, continued to stay at theoretical, speculative level. It is the RENE project that for the first time could propose such a mechanism through the idea of organizing the appropriate regional noospheric experimental zones (see 1.4., 3.7.– 3.8.).
The one-dimensional operational pattern of thinking and actions, which dominates today in the world managerial structures, is not able to use the RENE idea and project. For instance, the only practical organizational result of the participation of the governmental structures of Armenia in the RENE project at the starting stage of its emergence and development (and afterwards) is very symptomatic from this standpoint. It is the Center for Ecological-Noospheric Studies. It has been founded as an ecological laboratory which does not at all correspond to the very meaning of this title.
In the previous parts of the book I already shared my general preliminary vision of how the RENE project can be used by the UN system for survival and development strategic purposes. Here I would like to continue this topic, in particular, through developing the idea of a large-scale project formulated in section 3.8. In this connection it is necessary to remind the reader that in this section and section 3.7. the proposal was made to apply the RENE principles first of all to some of those societies of the machine industrial civilization which are now in the crisis bifurcation state. The reason is that the latter is accompanied by the essential decrease in inertial forces. There I argue that such a decrease creates potential favourable conditions that should be consciously used. From my point of view, a decisive step in the direction of solving the initial issues the RENE project puts forward is the creation of the appropriate motivational field. I proposed a scenario of taking this step in Armenia as the country were the RENE project emerged and was substantiated. I assumed that an appropriate international examination and assessment could become a possible means for creating the field of motivation we seek.
Having developed the scenario for how all this could happen and yield positive results, including the necessary feedback effect, I formulated the idea of a large-scale East-West cooperative survival-development strategic project (EWCSDSP). My primary idea in this case is to change radically the very attitude towards the vast crisis region composed of the Russian Federation with other newly independent states and countries of the former Soviet block. Instead of considering it as a region that is constantly in need of unilateral aid, it is proposed to carry on strategically mutually profitable many-sided experimental ecological-noosperic work. The latter, in particular, should include a search for the ways of bringing the existing forms of democracy and market economy in correspondence with the contemporary survival-development strategic imperatives. The world's most developed, prosperous at present countries can invaluably contribute to the experiment through the creation of various preconditions for such implementation: scientific, educational, managerial etc. At the same time the acquired experience could pave new ways for the necessary steps in the direction of making these countries the subject of ecological-noospheric experiment. This should also naturally mean that the appropriate ways for the essential decrease of the typical of them high levels of inertial forces would be found.
Gradually EWCSDSP could be transformed into a really globally wide project. I am not going to describe this process in detail at its embryonic stage. From the standpoint of the UN system's reform the most important now is the very idea of this and other possible large-scale survival-development strategic projects which should be elaborated and implemented under the aegis of the UN. The use of the RENE conception presupposes different types of projects and kinds of participation. But in the focus of all of them should be the key survival and development strategic issues. And as I tried to show in the book, the RENE conception appears as a system of views which contains all the initial hypotheses and methodology intended to start the systematic discussion in this direction.
In order to make the analyzed views clear in the perspective of the new strategic functions and priorities of the UN system at its current transitional stage, I would like to remind that RENE is constructed as an international polyregional project. It is suggested that all the major socioeconomic patterns of contemporary nations, geographic as well as cultural-historical areas of the planet should be represented in the ecological-noospheric zones. This would combine in the experiment the general survival and development strategic transformational principles and national/regional identical traditions. Should the RENE project proceed, it will provide a permanent basis and ground for a systematic comparison of ongoing processes across experimental zones. This would become a very important channel for gaining a very rich life experience which could be disseminated and used in the world (1.4.1.; for details see Markarian, 1986a, 91-97).
Let us imagine now that there exists a network of experimental zones which represent various areas of Europe, Asia, Africa, America, Australia, different general and local evolutionary types of culture, different regional and national traditions shaped in specific natural and sociocultural ecological conditions. In spite of all the distinctions, these experimental zones are based on the same general systems-optimizational principles intended for solving the key survival-development strategic issues and breaking the vicious circles created by the cognitive, normative traps and the gulf between evolutionary levels of countries of different groups (see 1.3.; 1.4.3.; 1.4.5.). They will be designed as zones intended to promote the transition to culture of peace through the combination of efforts in the fight against the common death threats hanging over the peoples (see 1.4.4.; 3.9.5.). Thus, they should include the sharpest interracial and interethnic conflict areas.
If we succeed in organizing such a network of experimental zones, the UN could have at its disposal a framework of a real mechanism for world strategic evolutionary management. Institutionally this mechanism could be embodied in the general and regional governing bodies with the following main functions: to inculcate the general ecological-noospheric experimental principles, to specify and develop these principles in particular conditions, to watch and control the ongoing processes in different experimental zones, to carry out their systematic comparative analysis with a purpose of generalizing them, assess and disseminate the acquired positive experience and to fulfill some other related functions.
To organize such a network is a very difficult and unusual task that will require the mobilization of the cultural potential of the whole humanity. But I personally, looking around and assessing the existing anti-crisis approaches, do not see any possible alternative way to acquire capacity for the world evolutionary strategic management. From my point of view, it is in the processes of organizing this kind of network that the UN system and the national governments could be given these managerial functions.
In this connection I would like also to mention some essential methodological advantages of the RENE project. They are rooted not only in the fact that the elaboration and implementation of this project presupposes the large-scale and close integrative interaction of social, natural and engineering sciences (see 1.4.5.). The question is that the RENE project also presupposes creation of a permanently acting feedback mechanism between the systems-optimizational modeling and the real dynamics of a human social life within regional experimental zones. The RENE project has been substantiated just as a feedback mechanism of this kind. In order to make understandable its nature, it is necessary to return to the problem of limitations of potentials the most important methodological innovation of the world studies of the 70s – the computer prognostic modeling of human social life dynamics. Assessing the general importance of this type of modeling and the method of various scenarios used in its course, I compared this method with the specific mechanism of trail and error (Markarian, 1992b, 30-31). The specificity of this mechanism consists in the fact that it is transferred in this case from the level of evolving systems to the mind-model level.
It is difficult to overestimate the potential role of this mechanism at the stage of transition to consciously guided evolution. But at least two factors essentially limit the potential possibilities of this powerful mechanism at its present state. The reader already knows about one of them – the lack of integrative, systems evolutionary knowledge on sociocultural formations and their dynamics (see 2.3.). Another factor is the following: prognostic modeling like any other kind of research may give only a system of hypothetical conclusions. In order to use these conclusions, in particular, for selecting this or that variant of evolution and for working out the effective programmes of action the conclusions made must be tested. The creation of ecological-noospheric experimental zones could essentially promote to remove both of these factors.
Proceeding from the above analysis of the laws and mechanisms of human social life evolutionary self-organization (see especially 3.3.-3.5.), it is possible to conclude that to master the whole sociocultural evolutionary process means to control the action of cultural tradition dynamics, its fundamental parameters. I mean the parameters that represent the basic human social life experience transformational cycles. If it is so, then the above-characterized feedback mechanism must be adjusted to these transformational processes. The main stages of the cycles in this case are: 1) generation of new life experience units represented by the models of holistic variants of sociculural evolution; 2) creation of a mechanism which is called to select among them variants of evolution able to meet the criteria of ecological and other survival and development strategic imperatives; 3) preservation of the selected variants by means of creating favourable conditions for stereotypization, replication and dissemination (within and beyond the experimental zones) of the accepted units of experience thus transforming them into the rather stable but ever perfecting collective patterns of activity.
Above is given a description of the logical sequence of self-preserving evolutionary processes in the contemporary human social life, which could start a chain reaction of positive effects intended to counterbalance and overcome the chain reaction of destructive effects on the planet. For the first time I revealed this logic in my work already known to the reader. It was prepared as a special issue for the Earth Summit (Markarian, 1992b, 31-32). In this connection I cited there the following thought of Ervin Laszlo from his book "Evolution. The Grand Synthesis": "If an activist acts with a sound knowledge of the dynamics of social evolution and intervenes at the right place, at the right time and in the right way, he or she can create that tiny but crucial internal fluctuation that the nondeterministic and nonlinear dynamics of an otherwise random process of bifurcation could amplify into society's dominant operating mode".
Applying these inferences to the supposed processes of creation of the RENE zones I concluded that the selected variants of progressive cultural evolution could play the role of crucial internal fluctuations which Laszlo had in mind. And the stages of transformational cycle of life experience the mentioned fluctuations pass permit to understand the real mechanism of human social life evolutionary self-organization through which these fluctuations could become a dominant operational modes and patterns of sociocultural development.
I want here once again to touch on the problem of transition to a guided evolution from the standpoint of interrelations of conscious and spontaneous aspects of this evolution. It is important to repeat that the transition to a consciously guided pattern of evolution does not at all mean that its spontaneous processes will be overcome. Such a transition first of all means that the capacity to master the decisive parameters of the sociocultural evolution, of the systems control over them will be acquired. In accordance with the RENE conception, the survival-development strategic orientations and interdependence of moral, scientific, educational and managerial parameters of the process of sociocultural evolution is especially important for mastering this process. Only due to such orientations and interdependence of these subsystems of civilization the existing short-term economic priorities can be transferred into the priorities of evolutionary, ecosystemic economics.
While discussing in ASDS the possibility of endowing the UN system with the capacity for the world strategic evolutionary management we always faced the question: how to start this process? We have come to the conclusion that the initial premise for it is the organization by the UN of a World Open Survival and Development Strategic Discussion Forum. Such a permanent Forum could become the most effective means to combat such calamities of our age as the hypertrophied ambitious and corporative patterns of thinking and behaviour are.
The focus of the Forum naturally has to be the transition from symptoms of the planetary crisis to revealing and removing the basic sources of its global and national/regional manifestations. One of the initial tasks should be cultivating the necessary interest and taste for the key survival and development strategic issues as well as for the integrative patterns of knowledge intended for their solution. Another group of issues should concern the place and role of the UN system in the discussed transitional process. I believe that the content of this book permits us to imagine our vision of the basic circle of problems and patterns of knowledge intended for the proposed Forum.
The Forum should be designed not as a discussion club where every participant is free to speak about any topic he wishes. On the contrary, the problems as well as approaches submitted for discussion always should be thoroughly and objectively selected and prepared for the examination. So the combination of the words "open discussion" in this case should mean that any organizations and persons who have definitely elaborated positions on solving the discussed problems would be able to express and substantiate them.
As an alternative to the traditional discontinuous way of organizing meetings where autonomous presentations are often not directly connected with each other, the ASDS suggests a series of interconnected meetings, which would be parts of the permanent discussion forum. The important point is to create the necessary research atmosphere able to promote and discuss in an integratively specialized way the various aspects of the issues under review. This discussion must be programmed by a system of integrative interconnected projects, which will have a hierarchical structure. We believe that the topics of the ASDS' projects presented in this book could occupy their appropriate place in this hierarchy. Another vital issue will be to create an atmosphere of cooperative competition, enabling the participants to work out the objective criteria for the assessment of the presented ideas and principles for solving the key survival-development strategic issues and related problems.
In order to achieve these purposes, various measures can be used, including EXPO-2000, which is to be held in Germany. The theme of the EXPO is announced as “Humankind – Nature –Technology” and its motto is, how to survive in the next century. In fact, it appears to be an exposition of environmental ideas, and it can become a very advantageous means for creating the needed atmosphere for cultivating a taste and interest to the key environmental survival-development strategic issues. I took this circumstance into account, when I was proposed to elaborate two projects for the EXPO-2000. The following themes were been chosen: “From Symptoms of Environmental Planetary Crisis to Revealing and Removing Its Basic Sources” and “How to Acquire Capacity for World Ecological Survival-Development Strategic Management” (the latter was applied as an international project).
In accordance with B. Boutros-Ghali's opinion, the value of ideas suggested for the reform lies in their potential for practical application (Boutrous-Ghali, 1995b), which really is a very important requirement. But at the same time one should take into account that to meet it is not so easy as it may seem at first glance. It is necessary to be very careful while discussing the question of whether this or that idea has the application potential or not. For instance, the idea of the strategic evolutionary model of the UN system proposed in this book has been elaborated as a practice-oriented survival-development theoretical construction. But the whole problem is that the scientific-educational and managerial patterns which dominate all over the world simply are not intended for the inculcation of this kind of ideas. Therefore, if we approach the model under review basing on the potentials intrinsic to these patterns, it, most probably, will be neglected or rejected as a utopian construction. Accordingly, in case this model is based on really valid survival-development premises, the examined patterns themselves must be radically developed in order to meet the imperatives of the epoch.
The ASDS’ opinion is that the above-proposed and substantiated new model of the UN system has no other permissible evolutionary alternatives. The studies of the recent years concerning the necessity of mastering the spontaneous and uncontrollable world development pattern make it much more urgent (see, for instance, Gorshkov, 1991; Fedotov, 1995). At the same time the ASDS takes into account that the task of inculcation of this model is unprecedentedly difficult. We know examples of consciously programmed large-scale radical transformations of sociopolitical life. But never before have we confronted the task of mastering the whole sociocultural evolutionary process including its nature-ecological parameter. Meanwhile, only the solution of this task can create the basis for the transition to the really sustainable pattern of civilization through revealing and removing the basic sources of the current planetary crisis.
We do not know yet to what extent the task of systems transformation of the contemporary world development pattern is solvable. And it is quite natural because the peoples of the planet for the first time have collectively turned out to be in such a unique globally critical situation. Apparently there are many unknown to us, hidden difficulties. At the same time the humans do not yet know about their hidden self-preserving cultural possibilities. That is why we must direct the efforts toward revealing them by means of the maximum mobilization of the reserve adaptive potential of culture of humanity. With this purpose in mind the ASDS puts forward the following initiative.
It is proposed that the UN should declare a special Decade for Mobilizing Survival-Development Potentials of World Culture. Its working title may be Survival-Development World Decade (SDWD). As it is known, the UN already declared 1988-1997 as the World Decade for Cultural Development (WDCD) to stress the fundamental significance of the idea of culture and UNESCO was chosen as the major organization called to realize this initiative.
In this connection it is important to stress that WDCD was adopted in the situation when the question "to be or not to be" concerning the very fate of the Homo sapiens species and other living species was already put forward quite distinctly before international community. And accordingly the contemporary generation of human beings began to realize their unique responsibility for justifying this name of the species to which they belong. But nothing has been done to use the chance of WDCD in order to mobilize the world culture to achieve this purpose. It is sufficient to say that no point of WDCD programme is devoted to the survival-development objectives. So SDWD is proposed to fill this serious gap which is a very urgent task. Therefore, if the proposal is acceptable in principle, such a Decade should be declared as soon as possible after the necessary preparatory steps. So it can be 1999-2008 or 2000-2009 time interval.
I do not at all call in question the themes of the WDCD programme. I also do not call in question the UNESCO's possibilities. On the contrary, I consider the UNESCO potentially as the most appropriate organization to govern the SDWD programme as well. Nevertheless, today essentially other hierarchy of priorities is needed while declaring the decades like WDCD. This issue concerns in general the task of actualizing the total potentials of the collection of concepts which reflect the core constituents of the subject of the UNESCO's activity as a specific institution, its area of competence. They are culture, science, education, and communication. The intellectual compartmentalized traditions shaped during the past 50 years in the UN and UNESCO, as one of its specialized agencies, do not adequately permit to combine and synthesize these constituent components. Meanwhile, in this case we face a conceptual collection that contains a really unique integrative theoretical and applied activity programming potentials. The integrative systems evolutionary approach to the area of the competence of the UNESCO could become indispensable for solving the key survival and development strategic issues. In the book I try to prove this assertion.
Regardless of whether the readers agree with the methodology used in the book and its main ideas, I believe that this way of constructing the integrative theoretical grounds of social science as an inseparable and vital component of the general science system is worthy of attention. I tried to interest the UNESCO in these ideas numerous times because I believed that this institution could play a vital role in the fate of humanity using an integrative approach to the basic issues which make up the subject of UNESCO's activity. One of the attempts was exclusively devoted to endowing the WDCD programme with a survival and development dimension. My opinion is that the consistent integrative restructuring of the UNESCO oriented towards the key survival-development strategic aims could become, so to speak, the engine of the UN reform intended to replace its existing model by the essentially new one. The reason is rooted in the objective functions, the basic constituents of UNESCO's subject are potentially called to fulfill in the processes of the contemporary human evolutionary self-organization. They are called to produce the "ganglions" for the mature "central nervous system" intended for the world strategic evolutionary management. Thus the initial question now is to succeed in conceiving the indicated functions, to gain the appropriate knowledge and to use it for the creation of the necessary central strategic regulative mechanism of humanity.
Taking it into account and knowing about the UNESCO's need for integration, I elaborated the project in 1993. An attempt was made to link all the Major Programme Areas of its Medium-Term Plan 1990-1995 from the standpoint of survival-development strategic imperatives. It was named "Survival-Development Strategies and Scientific-Educational Cultures". The main links of its structure were presented in the form of the following interconnected subprojects: 1) Contemporary University and Strategic Imperatives; 2) The RENE Project and the Problem of Ways of Mastering the Scientific and Technological Dynamics for the Sake of Evolutionary Strategic Management; 3) The World Decade Plan of Action and Survival-Development Strategies; 4) Mass Media as a Potential Powerful Tool for Transforming the Processes of Elaboration and Implementation of Survival-Development Strategies into the Top Priority Area of Human Activity; 5) The Ways and Prospects of Integration of Social, Natural and Engineering Sciences; 6) The Elaboration and Implementation of Survival-Development Strategies as the Central Problem for the Prospective Studies; 7) Survival-Development Strategies and Interdisciplinary Scientific-Educational Culture as Instruments for the Transition from the World Based on Culture of War Towards Humanistically Organized Sustainable Civilization.
The project was foreseen as a transverse integrative and mobilizing programme. While the project was being elaborated it was thought reasonable to transform the aforementioned subproject 3 into an independent project for attaching a new, very important dimension to the WDCD Plan of Action. The projects were officially submitted to UNESCO through the Armenian National Comission, but both of them were rejected.
Rejection of a project is normal when it is based on arguments that the work does not meet the necessary criteria. But when large-scale projects oriented to such urgently needed integrative efforts for solving top priority issues are rejected even without any written opinions, it is quite an abnormal phenomenon. It is still more abnormal when in the same month the initial documents concerning the Medium-Term Plan of UNESCO 1996-2001 with an initiative oriented towards achieving similar integrative goals, were sent all over the world for comments.
I mean in this case a very valuable initiative by the UNESCO to replace the discipline-based approach by the thematic approach and to link more closely the sciences of nature and society. This initiative was put forward in the Working Document which was sent round with the Circular Letter of the Director General of the UNESCO in April 1994. These documents were also sent to the Armenian National Academy of Sciences by the mediator organization – the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) with a special request to concentrate the attention on the paragraphs in which the discussed initiative was stated.
I was asked to comment on the documents for the Armenian Academy of Sciences. In the focus of the Comments prepared by me was a suggestion to develop the aforementioned initiative and to use it to bring the existing scientific and educational culture in correspondence with survival-development strategic imperatives (Markarian, 1994). It is this work that immediately stimulated the official registration of ASDS. When I got acquainted with the initiative under review it became clear to me how important the direct involvement of the UNESCO could be in the process of overcoming the obsolete and destructive priorities and modes of production and use of knowledge and specialists. At the same time I realized quite well how great was the distance between putting forward the initiative and its realization. The recent experience connected with the projects described above and many other facts testified what mighty inertial forces were accumulated not only in the traditional scientific and educational structures of the world but in the structure of the UNESCO itself. Accordingly, it was necessary to start the process intended to support and develop proposals of the UNESCO. Otherwise they could die away. Proceeding from this, the Initiative Group for the foundation of ASDS made a decision to register the organization in order to be a part of that process officially.
Assessing that decision four years later, I can say with confidence that it was correct. I assert it in spite of the difficulties the ASDS experienced being involved in this work without any financial support, in spite of the fact that the Comments either were completely ignored by the UNESCO (true, the response from the Executive Director of ICSU with an expression of interest in the Comments and the foundation of ASDS came immediately). The preparation of the Comments as the first ASDS' work has become a very useful school in elaborating the programme principles of a large-scale international plan of activity, a stimulating starting point for their generalizations. The present book is a particular developed result of these generalizations.
While elaborating the above-described projects and working to support and develop the discussed initiative, I underestimated the inertial forces accumulated in its bureaucratic compartmentalized patterns of activity of the UNESCO called to preserve its existing state. Unfortunately, my fears that its integrative initiative characterized above could die away became true. The principles of the previous Medium-Term Plan which, in fact, autonomized and split natural-engineering and social sciences, just moved to a new place in a modified form in the current Medium-Term Plan. Meanwhile the problems connected with the transition to culture of peace which are in the focus of this Plan cannot be fruitfully solved under the conditions of the split of scientific consciousness (see 1.4.4.). Apparently the radical restructuring of the UNESCO can take place only in the general context of the whole UN system's reform. And as I tried to show above, such restructuring, in its turn, could become crucially important for this reform.
From my point of view, it is such a restructuring that could become the core of the UN Economic and Social Council's reform. And one of the ultimate goals of this reform must be the transformation of this Council into a central survival-development strategic center for the whole UN family. The Council must become the conceptual and organizational attractor able to strengthen and perfect the interrelations between the central bodies and the appropriate, future oriented agencies of the UN. It seems that such developments could essentially promote the transformation of the UN family into a real functional well ordered system as distinct from its present state that is characterized by ever-growing unilateral centrifugal tendencies.
If the UN accepts the idea of this decade, a serious systematic many-sided interdisciplinary and interdepartmental work will be needed for the elaboration and implementation of its programme and plan of action. The Global Open Discussion Forum could be used, in particular, for this purpose, and problems of a number of interconnected, mutually penetrated transitional processes should be in its focus. Among them, the most comprehensive and all embracing is the problem which expresses the idea of transition to a consciously guided evolution. I would like once again to draw attention to some above-made conclusions on this problem in order to develop them. In spite of the fact that the idea under review is discussed in literature and intuitively conjectured by many researchers and politicians, innumerable difficulties and problems connected with such transitional process are usually not taken into account. Moreover, the real systems mechanisms of this process are not yet identified. So although a consciously guided development has no permissible alternative, it still looks like Terra Incognita to which our "ship of evolution" takes us.
As we already know, the major task in this case is to acquire the capacity for a systems control over the basic parameters of sociocultural evolution. It is such a control that could become the necessary instrument for a conscious guidance of the evolution and creation of alternative future states of civilization able to meet the survival-development strategic imperatives. This instrument is possible to create only through a balance between operational and strategic approaches to crisis situations. Apparently the basic obstacle in the way of achieving such a balance is the problem of finding out the effective ways of bringing together two fundamentally different but equally important principles called upon to programme and plan human activity.
One is intended to organize the daily rhythms of human activity directed towards satisfying the innumerable every day needs of social life (see 1.1., points 11 and 12). Today many of them seem to be a result of the action of the above-described destructive, extremely wasteful mechanism that produces new and new needs regardless of their social necessity. But among them are really basic life-sustaining needs that must be constantly provided by society. And thus here we also face survival imperatives. But they have operational character and the very logic of this process requires a sectoral-disciplinary compartmentalized manner of programming and performing activity. So the destructiveness of today's world development pattern is conditioned not simply by fulfilling the short-term needs of society. It is rooted in converting the satisfaction of the arbitrarily created needs to an end in itself. At the same time all this is accompanied with neglecting another, also vitally important but long-term group of needs of society. They are first of all those needs which in this or that way are connected with the necessity to remove the above-mentioned generator of needs and certain related mechanisms of civilization and thus to create its really sustainable states.
And the very approach to the solution of this task demands consistently integrative approach to sociocultural systems and synthetic knowledge about them. It is this initial requirement that imperatively demands today overcoming of the split between social and natural-engineering sciences and conceiving and mastering the mechanism of the evolutionary self-organization of human social life. But in spite of this demand, the virus of disintegration essentially affected even the most important integrative achievements of recent decades embodied in the systems movement in science and management.
In order to be convinced of this, it is sufficient to call attention to the organizational structures in which systems thinking is manifested today. For instance, alongside with the oldest among them – the International Society for Systems Sciences (formerly the International Society for General Systems Research) there now exists, on the one hand, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) together with similar national structures, and, on the other hand, a number of systems evolutionary societies. Among them are the General Evolution Research Group, The Washington Evolutionary Systems Society and Osaka Group (for details about the evolutionary trend in systems research see Mannermaa, 1990).
These two kinds of structures usually have no mutual creative contacts and work separately. Meanwhile they, being equally justified, functionally represent different levels in the hierarchical metastructure of systems knowledge and its application. And thus they must be linked by many ties. I see the objective ground of these ties in the mutual interrelation and stimulation of operational and fundamental systems knowledge elaborated for different social purposes. As we already know, the patterns of systems knowledge intended for the organization of the daily rhythms of human social life or for the operational approach to crisis situations essentially differ from the patterns required for the creation of alternative futures or for the strategic analysis of crises. Nevertheless, these patterns, being the parts of the aforementioned metastructure, depend on each other.
In section 1.1., point 10, I argue that the balance between operational and strategic approaches requires the elaboration of an appropriate fundamental conceptual scheme specially intended to link and bring together theoretically these approaches. With this purpose, I propose to subdivide the concepts of applied systems analysis, social engineering, management, and policy into their operational and strategic manifestations. From my point of view, in the created today situation such subdivisions are of great importance. For instance, it is well known that the development of IIASA as an interdisciplinary structure is accompanied with numerous research and organizational difficulties. Moreover, it seems that the understanding of the very idea of interdisciplinarity has turned out to be in a deep crisis situation today. The objective ground for such a conclusion one can find, for instance, in the results of the meeting of research managers of 17 institutes on the basic issues of global environmental change which took place in IIASA. The participants agreed in general that “there is no such thing as interdisciplinary analysis”.
From their point of view it is more correct to speak about multidisciplinary analysis. They identified the latter with the integrative analysis (Global Environmental Change Institute, 1993, 4). As distinct to the described opinion, I consider that interdisciplinary analysis is not less real phenomenon than multidisciplinary analysis. Simply the first is a generic phenomenon with reference to the latter. Summarizing my approach to the issue rather consistently stated in the present book, I would like to repeat that multidisciplinary analysis represents the initial, embryonic stage of the interdisciplinary pattern of interaction of sciences. Although this kind of interaction permits to get new information, nevertheless, being mainly based on disciplinary conceptual schemes and other cognitive means used in analysis, it continues to keep scientific intellect in a dispersed state. As to integrative interaction of sciences, it represents the highest level of interdisciplinary studies. As we already know, it is based first of all upon common transdisciplinary concepts and other means of cognition (for details see 1.3; 1.4.5.-1.4.6.).
I suppose that one of the basic reasons of the difficulties observed in the IIASA and similar institutions are rooted in the identification of applied systems analysis with its particular, operational manifestations (Markarian, 1992c, 26-29, 82). Such identification essentially limits the evolutionary vision of the whole field of possible systems applications and influences the very framework of the used concepts and principles. Apparently the key issue here is consistently to overcome the usual narrow understanding of the concept of technology and thus to reveal its applied potentials (see 1.4.6.). There are many other evidences for the difficulties under review (see, for instance, Keyfitz, 1994).
On the other hand, the discussed identification negatively influences the general theoretical trends of systems thinking. In particular, it hampers finding out the necessary subjects of application of the theoretical schemes and models elaborated within these trends. As a result, in the conditions of the absence of definite application objectives, the creation of such schemes and models naturally becomes an end in itself and the systems thought usually revolves at the level of theoretical constructions. I began to develop these ideas more than 20 years ago. They were generalized in the report prepared after my visit to IIASA with a purpose to get a first-hand acquaintance with its activity. The ground for this visit became the invitation to work at the IIASA for several years. Trying to find my place in the structure of IIASA, which was composed of a number of quite insufficiently connected projects, I proposed to elaborate an integrative programme specially intended to link these projects. The report, in turn, became my next attempt to assess the theoretical and institutional state of systems thinking (see Markarian, 1992c, 82).
As it was already mentioned above, my participation in the activity of GERG was especially useful for me for the holistic comprehension of the present theoretical and organizational state of systems movement in science and management. Specifying this conclusion, it is important to take into account that GERG and similar structures accumulate great interdisciplinary potential because they are composed of bright, integratively oriented representatives of various branches of knowledge. Due to this numerous original general evolutionary ideas and theoretical models are elaborated. At the same time there is a strong inspiration to apply such ideas and models to the current cultural dynamics, but two factors essentially hamper achieving this goal in a proper way: the first is the above-examined multidisciplinary mode of carrying out interdisciplinary studies and the second – the lack of integrative knowledge on cultural systems and the specific manifestations of the laws of evolutionary self-organization of these systems, of its elementary mechanisms. As it was already mentioned above (see Preface) the incapability to penetrate to the level of these mechanisms is the most essential gap of the existing pattern of systems thinking, its heel of Achilles.
The examined factors are interdependent. For rather a long time I could not understand why such advanced structures continue to stick to the multidisciplinary studies – the embryonic form of interdisciplinarity. But then I understood the reason. In accordance with it, multidisciplinary form is mostly conditioned by the latter factor. I suppose that regardless the extent of realization of the importance of the aforementioned inspiration to apply general scientific systems evolutionary ideas to the current world cultural dynamics, this task objectively plays a decisive role for the whole systems knowledge. And the gap under review creates an insuperable obstacle not only for the advancement of this knowledge but of the modes of its interdisciplinary organization as well. It seems that the discussed obstacle can be removed only through the use of the analyzed and other related systems intellectual potentials for solving the key survival-development strategic issues. The reason is that these issues, as we already know, demand the consistently integrative knowledge of cultural systems and their dynamics.
The reader already knows my position on the steps that are necessary for overcoming the split of scientific consciousness. They must be expressed in the efforts called radically to change science development pattern and to create in the world a network of integratively specialized universities and other related structures intended to achieve a balance in dealing with operational and strategic survival-development issues. I personally already have an experience of elaborating the principles of an integratively specialized humanitarian university and clearly see how difficult is the task of their inculcation (about the difficulties in the way of radical changing the existing general pattern of universities see Interdisciplinarity, 1972). Accordingly, the theoretical and managerial aspects for achieving the discussed goals are foreseen as fundamental topics of the proposed Forum. In this connection the initial practical task in the case under review is how to turn the idea of a balance between operational and strategic approaches to the whole survival and development problematic into the top priority objective for the UN system.
The latter has a sufficient number of institutions, which potentially are able to provide the elaboration of the basic aspects of this problematic. The primary among them (besides the UNESCO, the potential role of which was analyzed above) are: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations University (UNU), United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). There is no need to give a detailed analysis of the activity of these structures here. I would like only to share some common considerations from the standpoint of the task under examination.
One of the wisest generalizations I always have in my mind is: "There is nothing more practical than a good theory". This thought is very well known and widely accepted, but it is often neglected, in particular, in the area of survival and development problematic. As I tried to show above, the integrative, systems evolutionary knowledge of cultural systems (including contemporary world civilization) and the basic laws and mechanisms of their dynamics is of great importance for examining and solving the key strategic issues of this area. And it is high time that the mentioned and other related UN institutions, regardless of their specialization, should permanently absorb, assimilate and develop the best theoretical achievements in the discussed area in accordance with the specific needs of their subjects of activity. This must be done in close cooperation of these and related institutional structures on the level of fundamental theory. All this will permit them to set the fashion in the world in this field, to cultivate globally the taste and interest in it.
As structures of the UN system, they have all the financial, organizational and other premises to mobilize the needed intellectual creative potentials for achieving the goal under review. The success in the field of survival and development theory and its fundamental theoretical background, in turn, will permit to achieve a balance between operational and strategic approaches to crisis situations. The most important thing is to start without delay this process in the correct direction and to intensify it. I believe that the ideas of this book and their analysis can promote to actualize this process.
The analysis of the UNDP's conception of sustainable development carried out in sections 2.3.-2.4. is just an attempt to start such kind of discussion. There, in particular, I try to show what application potential is contained in the fundamental systems evolutionary theory of sociocultural development for the whole area of the key survival-development strategic issues. I also believe that because of the very nature of its subject, the UNDP under certain conditions could become one of the basic UN institutional structures able in the future to set the fashion in the field of fundamental theory of human sustainable development oriented towards solving these strategic issues.
But in order to be fruitful, only the efforts directed towards mastering the human development process through using the objective integrative scientific fundamental theory and its application to the area of survival-development issues are not sufficient. They must be proportionally accompanied with the efforts directed towards bringing moral consciousness in conformity with the requirements of the epoch. In this connection ASDS proposes to start a discussion on the large-scale measures specially intended disburden the common moral culture of humanity. Soon the peoples of the world will enter not only the next century but the new millennium as well. So the basic aims, value orientations and expectations with which they will cross this historical boundary should have greatest mobilizing and symbolic importance. Therefore it is necessary to decrease as much as possible the burden of historical injustices accumulated by humanity. The discussion will be called to reveal various effective ways for achieving this goal. But there are ways quite evident today that can be indicated without special discussion.
Among them is the just solution of the Armenian question including the international recognition of the 1915-1923 genocide in Turkey. In section 3.4. I stressed that this crime is so serious, its negative influence upon the culture of international relations is so great, and the injustice done to the Armenian people is so crying that the recognition of the genocide by the global community is inevitable. At the same time I added that it must be done in due time: being the first large-scale genocide of the century, it should be acknowledged in the same century. It is hardly necessary to explain the greatest symbolic significance of such an action. This precedent through breaking the above-described monstrous tradition of encouragement of the genocide-oriented behaviour, could become a real triumph of humanistic principles. It could have an essential positive self-encouraging effect on humanity and thus would promote bringing the moral and legal subsystems of the world culture in correspondence with the strategic imperatives of survival and development. Such a precedent would symbolize that the humanity during this very ambivalent century has acquired a sufficient mental maturity for the adequate solution of the problems of the next century.
I would also like to call attention to several particular measures which could become the initial premises for realizing the programme of the Survival– Development World Decade and for endowing the UN system with the world strategic managerial functions. It is necessary first of all to organize a special Fund for Survival-Development Strategies (FSDS) and a Bank for Survival-Development Strategic Ideas (BSDSI). It is reasonable to recall that in 1988 the International Foundation for the Survival and Development of Humanity was organized. But unfortunately the search for general survival and development strategic principles did not become the focal problem for the activity of the Foundation. This was one of the major reasons that this potentially very important institution existed only for a few years. Being the author of one of its first projects (see Markarian, 1989a), I had from the very beginning the opportunity to watch the evolution of the Foundation. I even wrote a letter to its Council of Directors. But it was too late. In early 1992 it ceased to exist. This failure became the first stimulus for the organization of ASDS.
While creating ASDS, it was necessary to take into consideration the aforementioned negative experience. But I suppose that the problem is much wider. It cannot be reduced to the foundation of this kind of institutions. Alongside with it the UN should use all its authority for the reorientation toward survival-development strategic goals of those appropriate structures of the world civilization designed for the cultivation and stimulation of the priority patterns of activity. Crucially important is to begin a systematic work in the same direction in the areas of mass media and publishing activity. Only in this case the proposed Decade for Mobilizing Survival-Development Potentials of World Culture will be able to achieve its basic aims.
I once again insist on assessing the approach presented in the book through looking into the gist of the above-examined key survival and development strategic issues and the potential role of the UN system in their solution. Are there any permissible alternatives to the actions and developments of the discussed approach? This is the basic question.
It is very easy to ignore complex strategic approaches or turn them down as utopian, but it is necessary to remember that in doing so without a serious examination we in the end turn out to be helpless against the problems the human race faces today.
I cannot help calling attention to one more issue. It concerns the general principles of the art of comparatively painless overcoming the inertial forces accumulated in organizations with obsolete structure. This issue is of crucial importance for any radical institutional restructuring, especially for such complex institutional formations as the UN and its family. Taking into account the unprecedentedly complex and unusual problems we have examined above, it is necessary to acknowledge that human beings are compelled to solve them without having the adequate principles and experience at their disposal. Hence, proceeding from the very logic of the presented proposals, I suggest that this issue should be made one of the top priority subjects of examination at the Forum.
I think that methodologically the most preferable approach to the issue is the functional one. It should proceed from the functions which are fulfilled at present and those which must be fulfilled in future. Looking from this point of view, it is possible to say that the majority of functions, which are fulfilled now by the UN and its specialized agencies, are valid and should be preserved. The most difficult problem is how to link them with the new strategic evolutionary functions with which the UN system must be endowed.
Structural development and perfection of this system in many cases immediately depends on the solution of this problem. I suppose that the starting point of its solution should become the creation of a new institutional structure – the carrier of the essentially new strategic functions. As to the main means through which its activity will be linked with the activity of the already existing structures, they will be manifested in the system of integrative interdependent projects. It is through the cooperative implementation of such projects that the UN system and other appropriate organizations could be given these new functions so urgently needed. It will be a mutually influencing and enriching process.
There are grounds for qualifying ASDS as one of the possible structures of the described class. We know that it was specially created for the promotion of solving the key survival-development strategic issues, which usually fall out of sight. And what is most important – that they fall out of sight of those future-oriented organizations which, in principle, are called upon to deal with this kind of issues. Accordingly, it is reasonable to make the ASDS and its potential possibilities the subject of a thorough international analysis and assessment from the discussed point of view. In this connection I suggest that those readers who are able and wish to contribute to such an analysis should make their proposals on the optimal organizational structure of the ASDS. It seems that the publication of the extractions from ASDS' charter (see Appendix), where its basic functions are characterized, could facilitate better understanding of the nature of this Association. The question is that at present the structure of governing bodies of the NGO is rather a standard (General Assembly, Central Board, Council, President etc.). As to the functions of ASDS, they are quite non-standard and apparently their fulfillment needs an unusual structure corresponding to them. This particular issue can be discussed in the context of problems concerning the further elaboration and implementation of the project "How to Acquire Capacity for World Strategic Management".
As we already know, the RENE project has become the constituent core for this integrative project construction. The latter is composed of a number of closely interrelated projects. Some of them have been already described in the book. Here I would like to mention one more recently formulated project “The Problem of Human Society as an Adaptive System in the Context of the Contemporary Civilization Dynamics”. It is called to get answers to two basic questions: 1) Why human society, being an adaptive living system oriented to its self-preservation, nevertheless during the last centuries has entered so destructive, strategically quite disadaptive evolutionary pattern? 2) How to transfer the latter into the normal self-preserving pattern of development through the mobilization of the reserve adaptive potentials of the contemporary civilization?
While elaborating this project, we are going essentially to develop the above-described principles of understanding human society as a universal adaptive-adapting system. In the focus of the previous research efforts to comprehend the problem were the specific evolutionary advantages of culture as an adaptive-optimizational mechanism of human activity. Now the focal issue will be to reveal in a systematic way the ambivalence of this mechanism, the inner sources of its vulnerability and present destructiveness. We believe that this focus will permit essentially to develop the theory of human society as a specific adaptive, self-organizing system, using its great inner generalizing possibilities.
At the present initial stage it is reasonable to discuss the major project in its wholeness, embracing all the basic parameters. I wrote this book with the intention of provoking the necessary starting discussion at specially organized interdisciplinary meetings. They should work out a general vision of the examined complex problem, principles of integration of its numerous aspects and subproblems, of conceiving their linkage and logical sequence. Before expressing my understanding of this sequence, I would like to mention that during the recent years a number of other, not published yet books were written by me. In them is given a detailed analysis of some basic problems discussed in the present book.
These books are: "Principles of Guided Evolution"; "Science and Sociocultural Self-Organization. A Systems Evolutionary Analysis of the Scientific and Technological Revolution"; "Survival and Development Strategies (Global and National/Regional Aspects)"; "Tradition Dynamics and Survival Imperatives". The latter is a collective study edited by me.
As to the logical sequence under review, it is suggested in the following list of topics of meetings, which are called to express it:
1) The transition from the uncontrollable world development pattern to the pattern of guided evolution as an initial survival imperative.
2) The forthcoming reform of the UN system and the need of an evolutionary strategic regulatory mechanism intended for humanity and world civilization.
3) The strategic value of the principles of interrelations between general and national evolutionary patterns of world civilization.
4) The forthcoming reform of the UN system and the imperative of transition from the symptoms of the planetary crisis to revealing and removing the basic sources of its global and national/regional manifestations.
5) Achieving a balance between operational and strategic approaches to crisis situations as a decisive premise for endowing the UN system with world strategic survival-development managerial functions.
6) The transition from the departmental to systems optimization of human activity as the way of endowing the mechanism of world strategic management with the necessary general adaptive-evolutionary criteria and orientations.
7) The means of bringing the priorities and modes of production and use of scientific knowledge and specialists in correspondence with humanistic morality.
8) The ways of transition from culture of war to culture of peace.
9) From multiversity again to university: towards a new, integratively specialized generation of university structures able to meet the needs of world strategic evolutionary management.
10) The problem of leadership from the standpoint of the key survival-development strategic issues.
11) Sociology and culturology through the prism of survival-development strategic imperatives.
From the ASDS’ points of view, the organization of scientific meetings on the above-stated topics could become a successive step in the realization of the initial plan of action intended to create the necessary premises for the implementation of the proposed in the book ideas. These topics can be developed, perfected, supplemented to make the plan more effective.
The book presents our understanding of the ways and means of approaching and solving the basic problem which the project "How to Acquire Capacity for World Strategic Management" contains. Undoubtedly, other approaches to the issue under review can be possible. And one of the main aims the book pursues is just to open the large-scale discussion on the issue. Moreover, it seems quite expedient to organize by the UN an international competition on the best modes of solving the discussed task. It could become a stimulus for the mobilization of world strategic thought and consequently the advancement of the UN system's reform.
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Stimuli of the
Foundation, Objectives and Tasks
(Extractions from the Charter)
1. General Propositions
1.1. International Association for the Promotion of Creating Survival and Development Strategies (further – the Association) is a nongovernmental, not for profit organization functioning on the basis of the Constitution and legislation of the Republic of Armenia, the standards of international law, and this charter. The working title of this NGO is: Association for Survival-Development Strategies
1.2. By registration with the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia, the Association has the status of a juridical person endowed with the corresponding rights and obligations.
1.3. The Association has a round seal (with an imprint of its emblem – a dead tree with a sprout of new life shooting its way through the trunk), stamp and official forms.
1.4. The juridical address of the Association: 44 Arami St., Yerevan 375010, Armenia.
2. The Stimuli of the Association's Foundation
2.1. The initial stimulus for founding of the Association was the realization of the quite unsatisfactory state of elaboration in the whole area of the key national-regional and global survival and development strategic issues. These issues are connected with diagnosing crisis situations that generate threats to the very existence of human social life at various levels and revealing and removing the primary causes of these situations. First among these causes are those which are responsible for starting and sustaining the chain reaction of destructive and destabilizing effects in the world that generate threats to the existence of the whole human race. These threats are manifested in the arms race, total environmental pollution and degradation, exhaustion of natural resources, skyrocketing birth rates, and ever-growing split between the evolutionary levels of the countries that represent the center and periphery of the machine industrial civilization.
2.2. The task of disclosing and removing the primary mechanisms which generate threats to the existence of particular peoples, regions, and indeed all of humanity, usually fall beyond the scope of the national/regional and global anti-crisis studies and programmes. Thus, these efforts on the whole concern, in fact, only the symptoms of the crisis situations manifested in the numerous destructive effects that are generated by these situations. Consequently, these studies and programmes are unable to effectively counteract the threats to the existence of the human race.
3. The Objectives of the Association
3.1. The Association is founded for the purpose of mobilizing the moral and intellectual potential of the planet necessary to create a comprehensive set of solutions to the key problems connected with the tasks of elaboration and implementation of survival and development strategies at various levels. The primary role of the Association is to promote the elaboration of the scientific-theoretical basis of such strategies.
3.2. The Association will first of all strive to achieve the following initial interrelated objectives:
– To overcome the dominant strategy of producing and using knowledge and specialists based on the quite abnormal, discontinuous, compartmentalized modes of specialization and ever growing split and lag between social and natural-engineering sciences. In accordance with ASDS’ principles, it is this strategy that started the chain reaction of destructive effects in the world and predetermined the extremely dangerous cognitive trap in which humanity appears to be caught as it faces contemporary global issues.
– To carry on a search for ways out of this trap which is composed of the following vicious circle: on the one hand, the existing priorities and modes of production and use of knowledge and specialists in no way promote the creation of consistently integrative sociocultural ideas, approaches, and theories necessary for the elaboration and implementation of the cluster of survival and development strategies, on the other hand, the same scientific-educational culture predetermines inability to create the required conditions for the adequate examination and use of such ideas, approaches, and theories. When scholars do succeed in creating them they usually are neglected or simply rejected without necessary argumentation.
3.3. The Association also is fully determined to promote the achievement of a number of other objectives:
– The elaboration, substantiation, and propagation of the very idea and principles of the transition to a consciously guided development pattern of civilization and correspondingly of its means – a strategic evolutionary management. The reason is that the usual spontaneous sociocultural development pattern is fraught with inevitable global catastrophe at the contemporary stage of machine industrial civilization.
– The establishment of a qualitatively new attitude towards the social sciences in light of their rapidly increasing role in social practice, because of the vitally important functions which they must fulfill in the processes of carrying on the such an essentially new kind of social governance as the strategic evolutionary management.
– The elaboration of principles of the transition from the previous discontinuously specialized, compartmentalized scientific-educational culture to the integratively specialized one, based on the close cooperation of social, natural and engineering sciences.
– The forming of a qualitatively new integrative pattern of practice oriented science able to provide the elaboration and implementation of evolutionary survival and development strategic programmes necessary for mastering the basic parameters of civilization dynamics, including the development of material technologies.
– The mobilization of scientific intellectual potential called to bring the knowledge on the modern world civilization in correspondence with the survival strategic imperatives.
– The discovery of the relationships between the integration of sciences and the creation of survival-development strategies, on the one hand, and the humanization of culture, on the other hand.
4. The Tasks of the Association
4.1. The Association will use all available channels and means to carry on the systematic work among the representatives of academic, governmental, political, religious circles, and the appropriate international organizations for accomplishing its objectives and principles. A special stress will be laid on the explanation of the crucial importance of solving the key survival and development strategic issues and of overcoming the extreme imbalance between operational and strategic approaches to the crisis situations.
4.2. Taking into consideration that the integrative interaction of social, natural and engineering sciences is the vitally important premise for the elaboration and implementation of survival and development strategies, the Association intends by every possible means to promote the stimulation of a special kind of studies. They should be called to reveal the basic factors which abet the reproduction of the split between social and natural/engineering sciences even in the most advanced interdisciplinary oriented organizations and research centers and to discover the means of removing these factors.
4.3. The Association considers as one of its top priority tasks the promotion of the elaboration of the conceptions and models of a new integratively specialized, ecologically oriented generation of universities and scientific academies specially intended for production of knowledge and specialists necessary for the creation and implementation of survival and development strategies.
4.4. The Association also puts forward the task of promoting the creation of a bank of survival and development strategic ideas as well as mechanisms for their effective, comprehensive examination and assessment.
4.5. While founding the Association it was taken into account that the accomplishment of the aforementioned tasks is beyond the power of any separate organization, so unprecedentedly comprehensive and many-sided they are. But at the same time it was realized the urgent necessity of putting forward and solving the discussed tasks in their systemic unity. The main function of the Association is to initiate the process of elaborating consistently integrative, systems-optimizing mode of solving the global issues under review. Thus, the super task of the Association is the elaboration of a systems mode of activity which will pave the way for the chain reaction of positive negentropic effects in the world to counterbalance and overcome the present chain reaction of destructive effects.
4.6. One of the most important conditions for the effective fulfillment of the functions of the Association is its close cooperation with the appropriate interdisciplinary, future oriented international and national organizations. It seems that such a cooperation, in turn, could be useful for these organizations. The reason is that the Association focuses on top priority issues that inwardly are common for all of them, as well as on a search for effective ways of systems correlated solutions of these issues.
4.7. The major emphasis of this cooperation should be laid on the elaboration and implementation of the integrative projects expressing various aspects of the key survival and development strategic issues. The focus of these projects would be a search for effective ways and means, first, to bring the scientific-educational and managerial culture in correspondence with the tasks of creating the cluster of survival and development strategic programmes; and second, to overcome the destructive and obsolete patterns of behaviour of the appropriate structures of civilization in the course of the realization of such programmes.
5. The Association has the right:
– To initiate studies, and to call international scientific meetings at different levels within the area of competence.
– To put forward concrete projects and proposals concerning strategic survival and development tasks in cooperation with international organizations and governmental structures of different countries.
– To appeal to the appropriate governmental entities, international and national public organizations and foundations with requests to promote the implementation of measures conducted under the aegis of the Association.
– To open divisions of the Association in various countries and regions.
– To authorize particular persons to represent the interests of the Association in the appropriate international organizations as well as governmental and public structures of different counties.
– To carry on publishing activities.
– To have pay and other accounts in a banking establishments in Armenia and abroad.
– To found independently its property and financial means and to use them.
Please send all the comments on the book to the address indicated in the Appendix (1.4.).