Неэргодическая экономика

Авторский аналитический Интернет-журнал

Изучение широкого спектра проблем экономики

Russia’s Geopolitical Start

The book considers objective principles, rules, laws, mechanisms and effects underlying the dynamics of recurrent change of global capital accumulation centers. The work reveals the fallacy of the concept of multipolarity and proves that the global geopolitical space is governed by the principle of monocentricity. The book aims to prove that today’s Russia possesses unique geopolitical advantages compared to all other nation–states, and can claim the role of a new center of capital and a new center of global activity. Based on a unified general scientific perspective, the author reveals many issues that have been overlooked in the current academic discourse: the emergence of the ideology of transhumanism, the functioning of the neo–colonialism system, features of hybrid wars, crystallization of the passionarity of the people, etc. The book can be useful to anyone interested in international relations and world politics.

Contents

 

Introduction

Abbreviations

Chapter 1. Accumulation of global contradictions

1.1. World wars: new chronology and reconstruction of events

1.2. World wars, Trout’s mistake and the phenomenon of neocolonialism

1.3. Capital accumulation cycles, their significance and mechanism

1.4. Features of the current period of global geopolitical turbulence

1.5. Russia as a center for assembling a new system of world order

Chapter 2. Signs of Russia’s eventual domination

2.1. Genesis of a new potential world capital accumulation center

2.2. Prospects of the Fourth World War

2.3. Prerequisites for the transformation of Russia into the Fifth World Capital Accumulation Center

2.4. The struggle for the status of a new world capital accumulation center: Russia vs China

2.5. A new geopolitical configuration in the Fifth Accumulation Cycle

Chapter 3. The hybrid war of civilizations

3.1. The West and the Non–West megacivilizations: main features

3.2. The West/Non–West civilizational confrontation: Natural vs Artificial, Humanism vs Transhumanism

3.3. The main mistake of the West

3.4. Phenomenon of complete cybernetic inversion

3.5. Phenomenon of partial cybernetic inversion

3.6. The lag paradox

3.7. Destruction of the national model of Russia’s social evolution; the anatomy of Neocolonialism

3.8. Cognitive cycle “Decisions – Events”

3.9. Structural model of an evolutionary leap

3.10. Primacy of geopolitical logic, the red lines, and two eternal clans

3.11. Prospects of the hybrid war

Conclusion

References

About the author

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

The year 2022 was marked by a truly historic event – Russia’s special military operation (SMO) was launched in Ukraine. Since then, several interrelated global events have occurred.

First, for the first time in more than 30 years, Russia has demonstrated refined intransigence in defending its national and geopolitical interests. Second, it marks the beginning of the de globalization of the world economic and political system, when the general rules for the global geopolitical space (GPPS) are not fulfilled anymore; from this moment, a period of confusion and vacillation begins, when many countries are intensifying the struggle for their strategic interests. Third, a civilizational conflict has emerged between the West and the Non–West, when new and old values are in opposition and it is no longer possible to reconcile them peacefully.

The forces that have come into motion in the future will undoubtedly lead to a revision of the former world order and formation of a new geopolitical configuration. However, this time of troubles itself generates a specific regime, which is commonly called global turbulence characterized by inherent instability of many economic and political processes and the unfinished nature of all social mechanisms. In such a situation, the future is more uncertain and unpredictable than ever before; and global risks are increasing by an order of magnitude. However, this very reason urges us to look into all aspects of the events comprehensively and thoroughly. This is the task addressed in the book.

Taking into account the fact that it was Russia that gave the start to all these global processes, the work itself received the appropriate title. Thus, let us consider the background of Russia’s emerging geopolitical activity and its possible consequences for the world. Moreover, we will try to do this as objectively and impartially as possible, although it is not easy to achieve this.

The author expresses special gratitude to Vladimir Ilyin for ideological support, Olga Tretyakova for organizational patronage, and RAS Vologda Research Center represented by Aleksandra Shabunova for financial and material assistance in publishing the book; with their support, this work has gone all the way from an initial idea to its final embodiment in the print edition. The book unites a series of three published articles (Balatsky, 2022a; Balatsky, 2022b; Balatsky, 2022c) with appropriate structuring and systematization. The goal was to consider all the relevant issues in one concise publication, so that it could be useful and convenient for everyone interested in geopolitics. Responsibility for all possible inaccuracies and errors contained in the work lies solely with the author.

 

ABBREVIATIONS

 

SMO

Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine

GGPS

Global geopolitical space

WCAC

World capital accumulation center

GPI

Geopolitical inversion

GPT

Geopolitical turbulence

GPTs

General purpose technologies

ICC

Industry cycles concept

PPP

Purchasing power parity

CCI

Complete cybernetic inversion

PCI

Partial cybernetic inversion

IR1

First Industrial Revolution

IR2

Second Industrial Revolution

IR3

Third Industrial Revolution

IR4

Fourth Industrial Revolution

 

Chapter 1. Accumulation of global contradictions

 

In 2022, contradictions that had accumulated between the Collective West and Russia, as well as within the Russian Federation itself, boiled over into Russia’s special military operation (SMO) in Ukraine. Today it is already clear that the SMO is not a confrontation between the two states – Russia and Ukraine, but the break–up of a consensus on previous agreements on the division of the world. In this regard, the military conflict has served as a kind of trigger for curtailing globalization and establishing regional geopolitical blocs of countries. It is quite obvious that the scale of the forces that have come into motion will lead to a revision of the former world order and formation of a new geopolitical configuration. At the same time, many aspects of the ongoing shifts are not yet fully clear and difficult to understand because the world system is entering a transitional stage that is commonly called the regime of global turbulence and that is characterized by the instability of many processes and the unfinished nature of all social mechanisms of interaction between participants in the global political market.

The SMO, a major event of the last decades, has exposed many hidden strategies of the West, Russia and other global players in the global political space; this urges us to reconsider a large segment of world history and produce new social knowledge capable of explaining the events of the present and future on a systems basis. This task goes beyond the scope of social science alone, and we implement it in the series of three papers. In this article, which is the first one in the series, we consider the period from 1945 to 2022, during which the contradictions of the post–war system of the world order were gradually accumulating. Our approach consists not only in a new interpretation of the events and processes under consideration, but also a new explanation of the causes of their occurrence and the logic of their course.

 

1.1. World wars: new chronology and reconstruction of events

 

Russia in its various forms – the Russian Empire, the USSR or the current Russian Federation – has been one of the main players in the global geopolitical space (GGPS) for the last 200 years at least. It is not surprising that in 2022, through the SMO, it was Russia that initiated de–globalization of the GGPS (Ilyin, Morev, 2022). Let us consider the genesis of this event.

The traditional chronology and understanding of world wars is as follows: the First World War took place in 1914–1918, the Second World War in 1939–1945. From that moment on, humanity has been anxiously waiting for the Third World War. However, at present there are two premises that are becoming increasingly important and allow us to look at the world in a different way. The first one is that war never comes to an end, and therefore “the history of all hitherto existing societies has been the history of wars and military art” (Devyatov, 2020a, p. 11). The second premise is connected with the evolution of the phenomenon of war itself, namely with the final crystallization of its new form – hybrid war (Komleva, 2017). Today, the hybrid war is a war of meanings and nerves and aims to “stupefy the national elites and desecrate (dehumanize) the masses” (Devyatov, 2020b, p. 83). Accordingly, the task of the war of meanings is to destroy the culture of the enemy people – their traditional outlook, ethical and aesthetic coordinates, values, faith and other elements of the worldview. The task of the war of nerves is to get the fastest and most accurate reaction of their forces to control signals and, conversely, to slow down the enemy’s reaction by means of apathy or exhausting destructive excitement (Devyatov, 2020b, p. 159). Hybrid war is informational in its essence, its “blows” are embedded in the national economy and culture, violating their original format and the direction of their evolution.

If these conceptual provisions are not taken into account, then it becomes almost impossible to adequately describe the post–war development of the world. If we accept these clarifications, we will get the following chronology of world wars: 1914–1918 – the First World War (hot); 1939–1945 – the Second World War (hot); 1949–1991 – the Third World War (cold); 2014 – present day – the Fourth World War (hybrid). Tab. 1 shows the features of these four world wars, followed by our comments.

 

Table 1. Features of world wars

Name

Period

Nature

Type

First World War

1914–1918

Hot

Limited

Second World War

1939–1945

(armed)

Total

Third World War

1949–1991

Hybrid

Limited

Fourth World War

2014–present

(cold)

Total

Source: (Balatsky, 2022а).

 

First, the First and Second world wars were hot wars, i.e. their goal was to physically destroy the enemy – its manpower and infrastructure. At the same time, the level of technological development of mankind in the First World War did not yet allow for the total destruction of the enemy, whereas in the Second World War, which ended with the test of an atomic bomb, it was already possible. After the United States of America tested an atomic bomb, the Third World War began almost immediately when the confrontation between the established two centers of power – the United States and the USSR – was global, because it covered the world capitalist and socialist systems and took the form of a military–technological competition. The objectives of this period were to create more advanced weapons of mass destruction and discredit the very essence of the enemy’s social system. This implied a war for the minds of the population of the enemy country and inflicting maximum damage on its economy. That is why we can talk about the hybrid nature of the Third World War, which was limited in terms of the scale of the confrontation due to the limited capabilities of information systems of that time.

Second, during the Third World War, its important feature was revealed – it is not officially declared by anyone, but its end, just like in an ordinary hot war, is marked by the victory of one side and the defeat of the other, with all the consequences that follow. This is exactly what happened in 1991, when the Soviet Union, represented by its leadership, admitted defeat in the Cold War and was subjected to post–war reparations in a new and modified form that, however, does not alter their essence. We will discuss this aspect in more detail in the next section.

Third, the four known world wars make up two evolutionary stages of world history – hot and cold (hybrid). The contradictions accumulated in the world capitalist system by 1914 required a radical change in the world order, which could not be done through the First World War, and therefore demanded its recurrence in 1939. In 1945, there was an actual dramatic change in the world order; two global centers of power emerged, the United States and the USSR; and when after 1949 they acquired advanced nuclear forces of mass destruction, hot wars became ineffective and meaningless. However, the main transformational result of the two hot wars was achieved – the “irritation factor” represented by Germany was suppressed, and the center of the world shifted from Eurasia (Eastern Hemisphere) to North America (Western Hemisphere), which marked a qualitatively new order in the GGPS.

Fourth, the duration of world wars is increasing, especially the duration of hybrid wars. So, the First World War lasted four years, the Second – six years, and the Third – 42 years. There are grounds to assume that the Fourth World War, which has been going on for eight years already, will drag on for another 15–20 years. Such changes in the duration of the wars are due to non–violent and indirect clashes of competing states. The “war of minds” and the “war for minds”, which constitute the essence of hybrid wars, are conducted by peaceful means in the technological and information space; as for local hot conflicts, they have an indirect form and arise, as a rule, in third countries. In this regard, the SMO is a classic manifestation of a proxy war– since 2014, the United States has been preparing Ukraine for a hot war with Russia by inciting nationalist feelings of the Ukrainian population and misinforming the world community about the true events in the region.

Fifth, the U.S. victory in the Third World War was not final, just as the results of the First World War were not satisfactory. While Germany lost the First World War, but remained a major political actor in Eurasia – the circumstance requiring Germany to be “finished off”’ during the Second World War, then after the Third World War, the USSR lost, but remained – in the form of the Russian Federation – a formidable force in the GGPS; ultimately, this became clear after the 2014 accession of Crimea to the Russian Federation, when the country demonstrated the possibility of restoring its former power. This led to the escalation of military actions by the Collective West for the final “elimination” of the Russian factor in world politics; this move was embodied in the undeclared Fourth World War, which began in the form of local hot clashes on the territory of Ukraine in 2014. Since 2022, after the launch of the SMO, the hybrid war became total and absolutely uncompromising. From the point of view of the Collective West led by the United States, this war can only end with the complete destruction of the cultural identity of Russia and the peoples living on its territory, after which an absolute hegemony of Western ideology will be established.

The latter premise needs some explanation. Thus, according to Samuel Huntington, after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the confrontation of global ideologies disappeared, and instead there should come a war of civilizations as some isolated and irreconcilable communities with different cultural and religious foundations (Huntington, 2021). However, today the fallacy of this concept has become quite obvious. Huntington spoke about the ideological opposition Capitalism/Communism; however, today it has become clear that the division runs along a different border – West/Non–West. That is why, after the introduction of unprecedented international sanctions against Russia in 2022 by the collective West, a Non–Western alliance of Islamic Iran, Sinic China and Orthodox Russia was formed. Thus, the ideological confrontation remained, but now it was different from the dimension it had assumed after the Second World War. In public discourse, it sometimes appears in a wide variety of pairs of oppositions – Globalists/Nationalists, Democrats/Siloviki, Liberals/Narodniki, etc. Consequently, the Fourth World War should lead either to the final victory of the Western worldview globally, which will automatically make the world institutionally and culturally more homogeneous than it has ever been before, or to the victory of the idea of national identity with ongoing contradictions and local wars, but on a different technological basis. This dichotomy has a geopolitical tone – the further evolution of world civilization will be determined either in the New World (in North America and the Western Hemisphere), or still in the Old World (in Eurasia and the Eastern Hemisphere). In this regard, we should mention that back in the late 1940s Arnold Toynbee wrote about the “unification of the world” in the course of social evolution (Toynbee, 2011, p. 66).

The all–encompassing nature of the current Fourth World War is manifested in the dominance of the West in the information sphere and in the full–fledged use of this advantage against Russia. In fact, all information channels controlled by the West have turned to outright falsification of facts; this, however, does not reduce the strength and effectiveness of this weapon of mass destruction used against the consciousness of the masses. The intrigue of the global clash is how quickly and effectively the countries of the Non–Western bloc will be able to organize resistance on the information front. Let us recall two important facts in this regard: the Soviet Union, inferior to Germany in military technology at the beginning of World War II, surpassed it at the end of the war; China has already taken control of the information space today: it cuts short the unwanted signals from the West and thereby preserves its own ideological integrity and cultural identity. This clearly indicates that further events are unpredictable, which constitutes the intrigue of the modern historical moment.

 

1.2. World wars, Trout's mistake and the phenomenon of neocolonialism

 

After the end of the Second World War in 1945, there was an unspoken consensus in the world regarding the punishment of the defeated countries. Already by the middle of the 20th century, a phenomenon called Trout’s mistake began to manifest itself in the GGPS: in the context of global competition, any serious mistake made by the actor becomes fatal (Balatsky, 2011). We recall that, according to Jack Trout, companies that achieved success in the mid–20th century functioned, as a matter of fact, in greenhouse conditions, making a lot of mistakes and quickly correcting them; in the 21st century any business mistake becomes fatal – the market punishes it most severely, causing the ruin and closure of the company (Trout, 2009, pp. 12–13).

As it turned out, on a national scale, Trout’s mistake fully manifested itself already by the mid–20th century. At the state level, the Trout effect can be formulated as follows: to a country that was defeated in a world war, this event becomes fatal, because this country is forever deprived of the right to political sovereignty. This provision is true, first of all, in relation to the countries that lost the Second World War. Let us look at the fate of Germany after 1945: it was divided into two parts, one of which came under the patronage of the United States, and the other – the USSR. From that moment on, Germany’s political sovereignty was lost virtually forever – until now. Moreover, the identity of Germans, if not completely suppressed, was greatly leveled through the education their youth got that instilled in them a sense of guilt for the atrocities committed by their ancestors. And neither the restoration of Germany’s unity in 1990, nor the collapse of the USSR in 1991 brought back its political sovereignty: today, its territory is covered by a network of U.S. military bases, telephone conversations of its chancellors (for example, A. Merkel) are directly monitored by U.S. presidents (for example, B. Obama), and its economy does not have strategically important industries like rocket engineering, civil aircraft construction, shipbuilding, and electronic industry that produces electronic circuit boards. Thus, the example of Germany shows that the defeated country is taken completely under the control of the victorious country that pursues a policy of selective prohibition, under which an unspoken veto is imposed on strategically important industries and activities. A similar policy was pursued with regard to Japan – two atomic bombs were dropped on it, the country itself went under the patronage of the United States, and the strategic functionality of its economy was also reduced; the youth educational policy in Japan has led to the fact that today a significant part of the Japanese population believes that it was the Soviet Union that dropped atomic bombs on their country. A similar fate befell Korea, which was divided into communist North Korea and capitalist South Korea; the U.S. tried to implement a similar scenario in Vietnam. In post–war China, as a result of the 1945–1950 civil war and the victory of the Communist Party, Taiwan was autonomized and fell under the patronage of the United States.

Let us now consider in more detail the policy of fragmenting the defeated countries, which originates in the ancient Roman “divide and rule” principle. The effectiveness of this approach for a winner country has already been confirmed both theoretically and empirically. Thus, theoretically, making a defeated state weaker by fragmenting its territory means destroying the synergetic effect by severing the ties between its individual fragments (parts); it is illustrated mathematically by the disappearance of the systemic effect in the balance ratio of the country’s potential. Empirically, it has been proven on the example of the former republics of the USSR, where after 1991 for 31 years there was not a single case of significant economic achievements: depopulation developed in the splinter countries, foreign debt dependence grew, military conflicts erupted, etc. (Gusev et al., 2022).

The above indicates that after the Second World War the phenomenon of colonialism was revived in a modified form – the defeated countries were divided into parts which were deprived of political sovereignty and de facto fell under the external control of the victorious country without a statute of limitations, i.e. virtually forever. It is the very system of post–war neocolonialism, when the state defeated in the war was deprived of chances for further full–fledged development.

In the context of what has been said, we find it appropriate to recall that the practice of banning the development of a competitor state has always been one of the main ways of geopolitical confrontation and maintaining order, beneficial to the hegemon country. Thus, according to Daniel Arnaud, already in the first millennium BC the Assyrians considered it unacceptable that states should be formed on the territory of hostile tribes: if intelligence informed them of such a threat, a military expedition was sent to the neighboring territory and devastated it to such an extent that any state formation there became impossible for centuries (Arnaud, 2009, p. 29). Essentially, nothing changed in the 20th century: the means for maintaining a geopolitical monopoly have been only slightly modified.

The above explains the essence of the metamorphoses of the USSR after 1991. The Soviet Union lost the Third World War, admitted defeat and signed an act of surrender in 1991 in the form of the Belavezha Accords, in which Russia, Belarus and Ukraine recognized the fact of the termination of the existence of the USSR as a subject of international law and geopolitical reality. After that, the country was divided into 15 “independent” splinter countries, each of which, with the exception of Belarus, came under direct external control (Volkonsky, 2021). It was organized through networks of Western emissaries created in the splinter countries and covering national governments. Emissaries, as was done at all times in the comprador power elites, were recruited from citizens of the splinter countries, who, as a rule, were trained and interned in the West and later placed in key government posts. Subsequently, Western emissaries adopted state decisions based on the policy of selective prohibition in coordination with the center represented by authorized persons from the United States. Thus, all the splinter countries were successfully drawn into the orbit of U.S. political interests.

The post–Soviet space was reorganized in such a way that all the nuclear forces of the USSR were localized in Russia. Thus, the rest of the countries turned out to be de facto defenseless and unable to defend their political sovereignty. The only exception was the Russian Federation, which after the collapse of the Union remained the only risk factor in the region and therefore continued to remain under the close attention of the West, whose goal was to further divide the country into several (or many) small states with their final demilitarization. This motive – final destruction of a potential competitor – became the dominant one for the U.S. administration for the next 32 years.

The West achieved great success on this path during Boris Yeltsin’s presidency, when the country was deprived of high–tech industries and advanced science and education, after which it found itself on the verge of further fragmentation. However, the logic of self–organization of a large nation slowed down this process. In the most general terms, this is what followed next. Representatives of the Russian security services, anticipating their own extermination as a class if the course of Boris Yeltsin were to be maintained, organized opposition to the emissaries of the West. As a result, in 2000, the post of the RF President was occupied by Vladimir Putin as a consensual figure; the choice did not completely suit either the security forces or the globalists, but it did not provoke utter rejection on their part. From this moment begins a long period of balancing the interests of the two centers of forces, which have received different names – Siloviki/Liberals, Nationalists/Globalists, Military/Businesspeople, etc.; the political balance was partially disrupted in 2014, when a conflict in the field of military security was resolved by the accession of Crimea to Russia.

Prior to the period stated above, the neocolonial policy of selective prohibition proved highly effective. The proof is found in many facts that contradict economic logic: the inability of a country that had the most advanced civil aircraft 10–15 years ago to restore this production to a decent level; chronic failures in establishing the production of electronic chips, which Taiwan, South Korea and China did from scratch almost at the same time, etc. This is due to the fact that the policy of selective prohibition pursued against Russia by the Western emissaries is initially based on the principle of destruction rather than creation; this simplifies public administration to the limit: what you should do is not force people to do something extraordinary (which is very difficult (!)), but forbid them to do it (which is very simple (!)). In other words, the entire Russian system of public administration for 23 years has encouraged the degradation of the domestic economy, rather than its rise. It is not surprising that this state of affairs led to a colossal increase in social discontent and tension in almost all segments of the Russian population; sooner or later such a situation had to come into the open. This protest in 2014 took the form of a peaceful integration of Crimea into the Russian state; this triggered the Fourth World War and urged the West to become even more active in facilitating the collapse of the Russian Federation; in 2022, this conflict turned into a hot form on the territory of Ukraine.

A classic illustration of how neocolonialism works can be found in the description by Leonid Shebarshin, former head of the First Main Directorate of the KGB of the USSR, of a conversation with the Minister of Natural Resources of Pakistan, and later with Zulfikar Ali, Minister of Foreign Affairs, in 1961: “America that has been holding Pakistan with a stranglehold of military and food aid ..., that has established its bases here with weapons aimed at the Soviet Union, America that has been bribing the Pakistani bureaucracy and military...” “It was from a U.S. base in Badaber, Pakistan, that the infamous U–2 spy plane piloted by Powers recently took off. The plane was shot down over the Soviet Union and an unprecedented international scandal broke out...” (Shebarshin, 2017, p. 40). “Many high posts in Pakistan are held by American paid agents who spy on [Field Marshal] Ayub Khan’s every move, who control all the actions of the government” and interfere with its attempts to “establish good–neighborly relations with India” (Shebarshin, 2017, p. 41). After 1991, this template of neocolonialism was applied to Russia without any alterations.

The above leads to the conclusion that the history of sovereign Russia, strictly speaking, begins on February 24, 2022 when the special military operation was launched; only at that moment the supreme power of the country in its principled decisions was able to finally free itself from the influence of the West. Until that date, the Russian Federation has been a new resource–supplying colony of the West. The tragedy of neocolonialism for Russia is that this fate befell it when most of the former colonies not only won their sovereignty, but also began to claim the role of leaders. For example, A. Toynbee back in 1947 in search of a “third great power” capable of balancing the situation of confrontation between the USA and the USSR, said that it was “certainly not in China or India; for, in spite of their ancient civilizations and their vast populations, territories, and resources, these two mammoths are most unlikely to prove able to exert their latent strength during the critical period of history that lies, we may guess, immediately ahead of us” (Toynbee, 2011, p. 136). The critical period of history, estimated at 75 years, has passed, and India, China, Iran and Pakistan have overcome the burden of neocolonialism and gained the long–awaited sovereignty, and with it the necessary military and economic power. That is why these four countries ignore the calls of the United States to impose sanctions against Russia; instead they continue to cooperate with it, persistently pursuing their own interests.

It should be noted that these countries have been striving hard and for a long time in order to gain independence. To realize how much effort they spent, let us turn again to the testimony of L. Shebarshin: “Careful thought, pragmatism with a fair amount of cynicism, strict consideration of state interests – all this constitutes the steel core of Indian politics, disguised by garlands of flowers, piles of philosophical treatises and fountains of high–flown rhetoric. The ability of Indians to achieve their goals cannot but inspire respect and even envy. They have a civilization of five thousand years behind them” (Shebarshin, 2017, p. 80).

Let us draw some preliminary conclusions. The Second World War ended with the self–destruction of Europe: Germany ceased to be an “irritation factor”, and the rest of the European countries did not possess the critical power to have an effective say in world politics. The center of power shifted to the Western Hemisphere, to the New World, to North America. The alternative center of power represented by the USSR had some features of the Eurasian civilization, and the very confrontation of the two centers took the form of military, technological and ideological confrontation of the colossuses. This antagonism and the Third (Cold) World War resulted in the defeat of the USSR and its radical weakening in the form of its main fragment – the Russian Federation. The inoffensiveness of Russia after 1991 was largely maintained through the system of neocolonialism, when, while being formally independent, the country was under external control and moved in an orbit of interests of the metropolitan country, the United States. However, internal processes in Russia aimed at gaining sovereignty led to a “political demarche” in 2014 by reintegrating Crimea, which provoked the Fourth (hybrid) World War. The 2022 special military operation finally made Russia “ungovernable” for the West; as a consequence, unprecedented international sanctions were introduced against Russia thanks to the complete “submission” of European countries (plus Japan) to the dictation of the United States. The greatest loyalty to the United States was demonstrated by Germany, which adopts decisions that are useful to the mother country, but harmful, if not murderous (!), to its own economy; this once again proves that Germany does not have political sovereignty after almost 80 years since its defeat in the world war of the 20th century. Trout’s mistake, which leads corporations to economic death, has similarly led entire countries: Germany, Japan, Ukraine, etc. – to political death; now these are just cards to play in global politics.

As a counterbalance to the policy of economic ostracism of Russia, there unfolded a powerful “non–alignment movement” of Iran and China that have not joined Western sanctions and that have formed a triumvirate of allies: China – Russia – Iran, reinforced by India, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The countries of the first group are the closest contenders for a geopolitical mopping up by the United States; this fact is what determines their position; the countries of the second group take advantage of the current unique situation to radically strengthen their international positions. The emerging configuration of geopolitical players creates an unstable equilibrium, which in itself indicates the end of the era of U.S. hegemony. Nevertheless, the latter is showing amazing persistence with regard to the elimination of Russia from the political arena; this needs a systematic explanation and will be considered in the next section.

 

1.3. Capital accumulation cycles, their significance and mechanism

 

The logic of the present–day geopolitical confrontation cannot be understood without Giovanni Arrighi’s concept of accumulation cycles (Arrighi, 2006). According to this concept, in spite of the popular ideas about a multipolar world, the world capitalist system exists within the framework of a monocentric model, when there is a certain world capital accumulation center (WCAC) in which the rules of international relations are formed and from where the world system is managed. Throughout the observed history of capitalism, Genoa, Venice, the Netherlands, the UK and the USA have consistently acted as a WCAC (Arrighi, 2006). Let us say once again that the country that has gained the status of WCAC acts as a management subsystem of the entire world economic system, while the latter acts as a managed subsystem. The WCAC forms tools, rules and norms of relations between economic agents, states and ordinary people. In the absence of a WCAC or in the presence of many competing centers, the order in the world system decreases and manifestations of chaos and disorganization increase. Schematically, the process of shifting the WCAC in time and space is shown in Fig. 1.

 

Source: (Balatsky, 2022а).

 

In the last 3–4 decades, the United States has acted as a global “legislator” of economic relations, served as a center of attraction of capital, skilled personnel and cultural achievements. At the same time, the U.S. power was manifested in the fact that almost any controversial situation anywhere in the world was resolved by the political leadership of the country in favor of its national interests. We agree with G. Arrighi, who pointed out that the U.S. “internalized”, i.e. took under its control, not only the defense and production functions of the state, but also the function of managing foreign markets (Arrighi, 2009a, p. 40). In other words, for the last 30–35 years, the United States has enjoyed a global political and economic monopoly.

However, over time, the next cycle of capital accumulation comes to its natural conclusion, and the political hegemony is to be transferred from the old WCAC to a new one, which “launches” a new cycle of accumulation. The period when the old WCAC is no longer coping with its “responsibilities” for managing the world system, and a new center has not yet fully taken shape and cannot yet take over the management of the world, is called the regime of geopolitical inversion (GPI) or the regime of geopolitical turbulence (GPT). It is characterized by the instability of many processes and the unfinished nature of all social mechanisms of interaction between political actors in the global market, the intensification of competition between states, the emergence of numerous local military conflicts in a hot form. Currently, the world is going through this extremely unpleasant stage, when the U.S. hegemony is coming to an end, and no one can take its place yet. It is at this point that the key intrigue of world politics arises.

G. Arrighi himself pointed to the shift of the WCAC from the USA to Asia and mainly to China (Arrighi, 2009b, p. 40). However, an alternative WCAC represented by Russia was later considered, although doubts were expressed about the realization of its potentials (Balatsky, 2014). Currently, the situation is beginning to change dramatically and requires that all possible scenarios for the development of the global economic system should be given closer consideration; this uncertainty in the formation of a new WCAC is shown schematically in Fig. 1.

All the current actions of the United States confirm that their task is to prevent full–fledged development of three potential WCACs represented by a united Europe, Russia, and China.

Although the general disposition in the global political arena is clear, its details require clarification. To this end, Arrighi’s concept should be supplemented with several important provisions, which we will discuss below.

First, the main driver of economic growth and social evolution in a capitalist society is not just profit, but the phenomenon of superprofit. This point has been proven both theoretically and empirically. For example, it follows from the basic equation of economic growth that its maintenance requires a “special” economic sector, in which the annual return on capital is calculated in three– and four–digit figures (in percentage terms) (Balatsky, 2021b). The assessment of the profit margin of different types of businesses in different historical periods confirms this conclusion (Balatsky, Ekimova, 2020). The main thing is that the WCAC has always been the main recipient of the superprofit phenomenon: astronomical profitability was typical of the economies of the Netherlands and Great Britain during their hegemony, and today it is the common thing in the business of the U.S. At the same time, the phenomenon of superprofit and the WCAC go hand in hand: the WCAC, through a global monopoly on the most attractive areas of activity, secures superprofit for itself, and the latter, in turn, allows the country to remain a world leader. Violation of this mechanism generates global disruptions in the life of the GGPS (read more about this in Chapter 2).

Today, the privileged position of the United States is maintained by a multitude of “unnatural” facts: the right to issue the U.S. dollar as a world currency that is virtually not backed by any commodity; control of global drug trafficking by U.S. security and intelligence agencies [1]; monopoly on high technology, etc. Only these circumstances can explain the well–known declaration of the Unites States that the life of an American is sacred: if there is a threat to the life of even one ordinary American citizen, even outside the country, the U.S. government sends an aircraft carrier to deal with the situation there. Although this slogan is largely a patriotic cliche, there has always been enough truth in it to think about the amount of revenue a state should have in order for it to be able to make such financial sacrifices. Thus it is clear that if there emerges a threat of destruction of the existing mechanism of the U.S. global monopoly, they will stop at nothing to prevent this. However, it is precisely such a threat that hangs over the United States today. This fact explains the intransigence with which the American establishment seeks the death of all its competitors.

Second, many facts suggest that a new WCAC can emerge on the territory of the Russian Federation. Russia’s area is 1.8 times larger than the United States. If we assume that there might be even an informal reintegration of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, then the index of territorial superiority of this association will be 2.2 times compared to the United States (Balatsky, 2014). In the context of a globalizing GGPS, such an advantage should be recognized as Russia’s unique trump card, which no other country even dreams of possessing. If we add to the above the absolutely unprecedented endowment of the Russian Federation with valuable natural resources and its position between Europe and Asia, the two key regions of world trade, then it is natural to assume that a new center of world economic activity – the WCAC – may appear on its territory. Given the military power and the ability to take in huge masses of capital and labor resources with the historical experience of their “melting down” into the Russian World, Russia is becoming the most dangerous enemy of the United States; this fact proves the absolute uncompromising attitude of the latter toward the special military operation; even China does not have such valuable characteristics for becoming a WCAC. For the United States, superprofit and world hegemony are at stake, and Russia acts as the main claimant to these civilizational benefits. At the same time, the situation does not depend on either Russia or the United States, it is a kind of whim of Nature and Providence, and therefore neither one nor the other country can avoid collision, which ultimately determines their uncompromising confrontation.

Third, a new WCAC should implement a new management function, which, apparently, the United States can no longer do. For example, Arrighi believed that this new property should be the ability of the WCAC to reproduce (Arrighi, 2009a, p. 39). The arrival of Donald Trump as the U.S. President actually meant an attempt to “restart” the cycle of capital accumulation within the jurisdiction of the old WCAC and thereby preserve its hegemony. However, this scenario failed; therefore, the center will continue to shift to another region. We can say that the United States can no longer rule the world in the old way, and they do not want to do it in a new way.

Important explanations should be made in this section. The fact is that the cycle of capital accumulation should also be interpreted as a management cycle. At the time when a new WCAC emerges, it carries out adequate management of global processes, but over time the world economic system becomes more complicated – the number of its elements (population, companies, technology, etc.) and connections increases. In accordance with WR. Ashby’s Law, which is sometimes called the law of requisite variety, the control subsystem (WCAC) must be no less complex than the managed subsystem (world economic system) (Ashby, 2021); otherwise, the system is destroyed. At the first stage of the accumulation cycle, the WCAC is quite progressive and is able to effectively endure the growing complexity, but sooner or later the complexity of the GGPS becomes excessive and the center no longer has time to adjust itself adequately. It is at the second stage of the accumulation cycle that the problems of managing the world economic system start to emerge. If the WCAC does not keep up with the world’s changes, therefore, Ashby’s Law is violated, then E.A. Sedov’s Law comes into play; it is also called the law of hierarchical compensation: the growing complexity of the managed subsystem is compensated by the controlling subsystem by imposing restrictions on it (Balatsky, 2013b). This statement corresponds to the concept of complexity by Danilo Zolo (Zolo, 2010), according to which politics is the search for a balance between the security of the system and the freedom of its participants; permanent global shocks of complexity (demographic pressure, growing inequality between countries, mass migration, widespread proliferation of all types of weapons, terrorism, environmental disasters, etc.) lead to the dominance of repressive (restrictive), but quite effective (!) political regimes (Zolo, 2010). This point is confirmed by observations of the world during the period of global turbulence.

The limitless source of the growth of social complexity is found in a fundamental global regularity noticed by Douglas North: the world develops by shifting risks from the physical world to the social world. Thus, knowledge and new technology lead to a decrease in the uncertainty about the surrounding physical environment, but at the same time become a source of social uncertainty (North, 2010, p. 38). The permanent complication of society leads to the desire of the authorities to simplify it, which justifies the formation of authoritarian political regimes.

The above helps to understand how a management deficit is formed in the world economic system in the second half of the capital accumulation cycle. It is in this phase that the WCAC shifts from a constructive policy of managing the world to a destructive one that hampers the development of all its competitors in order to preserve its own privileged position in the GGPS. The mechanism for maintaining neocolonialism becomes an instrument of such a policy. At this stage, the restrained countries express a growing protest against the established world order. It was this protest that urged Russia to launch the special military operation, and Iran and China to move toward an alliance with it. And it is this protest that leads to the de–globalization of the world system and stagnation of U.S. hegemony.

At this point in the analysis, a natural question arises: what prevents the U.S. authorities from rebuilding their system of world governance. Why don’t they move on to more progressive political solutions?

Steven Lukes gave exhaustive answers to these questions in his concept of the indivisibility of power (Lukes, 2010). Since power is supported by an appropriate power structure, it cannot be redistributed; it can only be destroyed and rebuilt anew (Lukes, 2010, p. 105). Power is not like a big pie, from which you can cut off a piece of the right size and share it with a competitor. It is all or nothing. That is why the U.S. global power, supported by the appropriate power structure, cannot be slightly adjusted so as to resolve global conflicts with competitors such as China and Russia. Any concession of power by the United States will require the complete dismantling of the existing architecture of global power networks; and this move can result in a complete loss of the country’s position (Balatsky, 2019b). Thus, the demand for the preservation of power and the phenomenon of the indivisibility of power automatically lead to the loss of its effectiveness and the relocation of the center of capital to another geographical niche. It is this process that leads to the confrontation of various centers of power with its inherent world wars of various types.

Let us provide a brief summary of the above: the objectivity of the capital accumulation cycle and the change of the WCAC against the background of extremely high stakes in the game – world power and superprofits – make the struggle of competing states absolutely uncompromising, which is why the U.S. has a bulldog determination concerning Russia which is well placed to become a new leader. In other words, the United States cannot help but fight with Russia, just as Russia cannot help but fight with the United States. Taking into account other circumstances, this war develops into a West/Non–West civilizational confrontation.

 

1.4. Features of the current period of global geopolitical turbulence

 

The described logic of changing accumulation cycles has a general character, but currently requires serious clarification due to the scale of the ongoing geopolitical shifts. Let us look at these aspects in more detail.

To begin with, let us recall the historical chronology of Arrighi’s cycles of accumulation: the First Cycle, 1560–1740, Venetian–Genoese (lasted 180 years); the Second Cycle, 1740–1870, Dutch (130 years); the Third Cycle, 1870–1970, British (100 years); the Fourth Cycle, 1970–present day, American («80–85 years) (Arrighi, 2006, pp. 42–49). This pattern allowed Arrighi to assert that the duration of the accumulation cycle is decreasing over time, and the era of the decline of U.S. power has already begun and now the country is in the stage of terminal crisis. According to Arrighi’s chronology, the Fourth Cycle of Accumulation should end around 2055, which is a little more than 20 years away, during which a new WCAC should emerge. However, so far this center has not been determined, and therefore a violation of the established rhythm of cycle change is possible (see Fig. 1). This is due to the following features of the current global geopolitical turbulence.

The first feature of the Fifth Cycle of Accumulation is that it is formed in the phase of the extinction of capitalist effects, including the extinction of economic growth. For a better understanding of this limitation, we can refer to Fig. 2 that shows the origins of world capitalism and its fundamental features, without which its continued existence can hardly be imagined. One of these signs is the phenomenon of economic growth, but for more than a decade there have been discussions about its coming to an end due to reaching its physical limit. Thus, Richard Heinberg proves that three insurmountable obstacles stand in the way of further economic growth: depletion of key natural resources (oil, metals, water, heavy elements, etc.); deterioration of the environmental situation (pollution of the oceans, air pollution in cities, climate change, etc.); over accumulation of state and non–state debt (the inability to service accumulated debts without triggering an global economic catastrophe) (Heinberg, 2011). World statistics indicate if not a complete halt in growth then at least a slowdown in its pace in almost all countries. This means that a future fifth WCAC will not be able to emerge in the GGPS on the wave of universal growth; this is why its crystallization stage will be slowed down.

Most likely, the disruption of a global growth regime will prolong the Fourth Cycle of Accumulation and postpone the arrival of a new leader state. It is evidenced by the fact that possible contenders for a new WCAC – the United States, China, Russia and, perhaps, Iran – are making no headway in this regard.

 

Fig. 2. Features of capitalism and the cycles of capital accumulation

Source: (Balatsky, 2022b).

 

The second feature is closely related to the first and consists in slowing down technological progress. Labor productivity growth rates, as well as economic growth rates, have been declining in all countries in recent decades, and there is no guarantee that this trend will be replaced by a new technological explosion. According to Klaus Schwab, the growth rate of labor productivity in the United States over the past 70 years has more than halved (Schwab, 2018, p. 46). At the same time, only 0.5% of the U.S. workforce is employed in industries that did not exist at the beginning of the 20th century; less than 8% of new jobs were created in the 1980s and only 4.5% of new jobs were created in the 1990s (Schwab, 2018, p. 51). Thus, current technological progress leads to a slow increase in labor productivity and is hardly promoting the supply of new labor. This slows down the effect of industrial expansion, which a new WCAC should rely on.

The third feature is the final destruction in 2022 of the “sacred” property right on which the capitalist system was based. The arrest of the gold and foreign exchange reserves of a sovereign state, Russia, by the West, the arrest of foreign accounts and real estate of many citizens and companies of Russia and Belarus (oligarchs, officials, etc.), provision of legal protection to persons illegally occupying private housing in the absence of their owners, forced withdrawal of their citizens’ businesses from Russia, non–interference of the police in the outrages of looters during the 2020 pre–election period of the U.S. presidential race, etc. – all this proves the collapse of the institution of private property. In such conditions, the launch of the Fifth Cycle of Capital Accumulation may require a fundamental restructuring of the world capitalist system, even if it is preserved. This feature imposes institutional restrictions on the Fifth WCAC that are not yet fully understood.

The fourth feature of the Fifth Cycle of Accumulation is associated with the effect of globalization. On the one hand, the completeness of this process predetermined the gigantic scale of all geopolitical castling, on the other – the SMO finally consolidated the trend toward de–globalization. This, again, will greatly hinder a new WCAC from spreading its economic influence and increasing its relative power.

All these features do not just interfere with the normal change of the WCAC, but also urge us to think under what kind of economic and political system this change will take place. Given that the most probable contender for the Fifth WCAC, China, is currently a state ruled by the Communist Party, and another potential contender, Russia, has experience (albeit negative) in building a communist regime, we can say that replacing the traditional capitalist system during the GPI remains an open question.

In this regard another question arises, which concerns a new model of world governance. Speaking about it back in 1947, A. Toynbee shrewdly remarked: “Salvation perhaps lies, as so often, in finding a middle way. In politics, this golden mean would be something that was neither the unrestricted sovereignty of parochial states nor the unrelieved despotism of a centralized world government; in economics it would be something that was neither unrestricted private enterprise nor unmitigated socialism” (Toynbee, 2011, p. 35). But if the despotism of the U.S. ruling the world in the previous 30 years is weakened by a new WCAC, then can we assume that a concentric model of capital accumulation will be preserved? Or will the hotly–disputed multipolarity prevail in one form or another?

These questions remain open for now.

We cannot but emphasize that the emerging shift of the current WCAC obviously implies a slowdown in the formation of a new accumulation cycle. So, if earlier all the castling moves concerning a WCAC took place inside the West and Western civilization, then a new center will definitely be outside the West – be it Russia or China, it does not matter. This complicates and prolongs the period of geopolitical turbulence. The situation is also aggravated by the ongoing castling of the countries of the Center and Periphery. Thus, the countries of Europe, which traditionally formed the core of the world economy and the center of our Civilization, are slowly but surely turning into its periphery, while the countries of Asia are moving in quite the opposite direction (Volkonsky, 2021).

What has been said above introduces a significant element of uncertainty into the process of ongoing GPI.

 

1.5. Russia as a center for assembling a new system of world order

 

By 2022, Russia has unwittingly found itself in the midst of geopolitical shifts. It has the economic and geopolitical parameters that make it a potential new WCAC. Its possibilities for developing its own territory are almost limitless, which allows it to “launch” the scale effect and thereby achieve high effectiveness of any megaprojects. It also has a huge potential for accepting immigrants, which has always been its typical feature.

The brewing global resource crisis has led to a rearrangement ofbasic economic values: the primacy of natural resources and the secondary nature of technology have become obvious. And it is natural resources that Russia possesses in abundance, compared to any other country. Arrighi also noticed the alternation of extensive and intensive types of development of the world system during the formation of capital accumulation cycles. Thus, under the Genoese and the British capital accumulation regimes, the expansion of the world economy took place, and under the Dutch and American regimes – its geographical consolidation (Arrighi, 2006, p. 41). Consequently, the next cycle should again become extensive, and only Russia is capable of doing this today – neither China, nor the U.S. or Brazil have such potential.

Moreover, Jared Diamond justified the priority of Eurasia in the birth of modern human civilization by its successful geometric shape compared to other continents: it stretches from east to west, rather than from south to north like America and Africa (Diamond, 2010). In his opinion, this was the reason for the spread of all its product innovations horizontally, that is, much faster and easier than vertically in other regions where it was necessary to overcome natural differences in climate. Paradoxically, today Russia still has this advantage compared to America and even China; but today Russia’s advantage is additionally backed by such factors as climate warming, the availability of modern technology, etc.

It is worth noting that the “horizontal effect” provides Russia with vast opportunities to disseminate technological innovations in the context of over–accumulation of world capital and its readiness to take part in the development of profitable economic areas (in Fig. 1, this advantage of Russia is emphasized by its elliptical shape, in contrast to circular shapes of other countries). This gives Russia enormous objective advantages in the geopolitical game. However, the country has been dealing with subjective negative circumstances for 31 years: lack of political sovereignty and a capable power elite, gradual extinction of the labor and creative activity of the masses, brain drain, etc. However, the rise of Russia will mean the inevitable decline of the United States, which the American establishment cannot allow. That is why the United States is playing its geopolitical game by waging a Fourth (hybrid) World War against Russia.

Let us return once again to the point that the main contradiction in Russia’s development in the previous period, which was growing under Boris Yeltsin, Dmitry Medvedev, and Vladimir Putin, has finally matured by 2022: Russian citizens’ life was improving, while the country was falling into an abyss. In other words, the one–sided economic development at the expense of the commodities sector alone, which makes it possible to “spread” the income from natural rent among the population, has become obvious and unbearable. This contradiction played its part in the split of society at the time when the SMO was launched: a significant part of Russians wanted their life to remain the same, while others did not want it. The SMO itself, which not only exposed Russia’s economic problems, but also consolidated other countries in a hybrid war against the United States, has become a key event in history and the starting point of the global geopolitical confrontation between the West and the Non–West.

 

* * *

 

Let us draw some interim conclusions. We have made an elementary reconstruction of the post–war events that reveal the logic of the current geopolitical turbulence. The analysis helps to understand why modern Russia is in an extremely contradictory situation: while possessing an enormous economic potential, even after 31 years since the collapse of the USSR, it still lacks crucial economic sectors. At the same time, it is characterized by a unique geopolitical position, which makes it a most likely contender for the role of a WCAC in the Fifth Cycle of Accumulation. These two facts produce a powerful contradiction both within the Russian Federation and abroad in the eyes of political competitors; this leads to social tension in the global economic system. The severity of the above contradictions led to the fact that it was Russia that acted as the primary detonator of geopolitical shifts.

We used related scientific concepts to reconstruct the events preceding the 2022 SMO: economic – Trout’s mistake, neocolonialism; cybernetic – Ashby’s Law and Sedov’s Law; managerial – external management, hybrid warfare; synergetic – synergetic effect, system complexity, order, chaos; political science – security and freedom, power structure; political economy– capital accumulation cycle, global capital accumulation center, rate of return; institutional – shifting risks from the physical world to the social world; geographical – horizontal diffusion of innovations; psychological – war of meanings, war of nerves. This made it possible to bring together many poorly compatible phenomena and reveal the logic of the geopolitical competition that has taken place over the past 50–60 years.

We find the result of the analysis in the conclusion according to which Russia, being in the epicenter of GPT, cannot avoid a direct collision with the Collective West. From now on, over the next 15–20 years, the country will have to go through all the hardships of the Fourth (hybrid) World War. Let us not dwell upon the possible outcome of this war, for now.

 

Chapter 2. Signs of Russia's eventual domination

 

The reformatting of the GGPS, which started in 2022 following the beginning of the SMO, is in full swing. As a result of this process, a new WCAC should emerge as a leader among the most powerful states of the present time. In the previous chapter, we provided a detailed substantiation of the idea that currently there are two actual contenders for this role, Russia and China (Balatsky, 2022a). Moreover, out of the two, Russia has better chances to become leader due to a number of circumstances. We can argue that this very issue will be a major political intrigue of the decade. Thus, the goal set in the article is to provide a comprehensive insight into the factors and circumstances that allow us to consider Russia as a future WCAC and that provide it with the opportunity to stand at the helm of the Fifth Cycle of Capital Accumulation, which is going to replace the current one.

As it was shown earlier, the ongoing geopolitical confrontation between Russia and the Collective West implies their direct clash during the unfolding Fourth (hybrid) World War (Balatsky, 2022a). In the paper, we will try and answer the question about its most likely outcome. The novelty of our approach consists in the fact that we consider the current phase of global geopolitical turbulence through the prism of the capital accumulation cycles theory in order to determine the vector of future development of the world economic system; we disclose the topic with the help of the knowledge provided by related sciences.

 

2.1. Genesis of a new potential world capital accumulation center

 

Russia’s capabilities as a new WCAC can be perceived only in the context of the outbreak of the Fourth World War of a hybrid type. However, let us first dwell upon how legitimate it is to talk about a new WCAC as represented by Russia. The fact arouses very strong doubts. For example, today it is already clear that China, which overtook the United States in terms of GDP (PPP) by 19% in 2021, is gaining the upper hand, while Russia, whose corresponding indicator is 5.7 times less than that of China, is rather an outsider than a future leader [2]. However, in this case everything is somewhat more complicated than it seems at first glance.

Suffice it to recall the historical chronology of accumulation cycles according to G. Arrighi: the First Cycle, 1560–1740, Venetian–Genoese (lasted 180 years); the Second Cycle, 1740–1870, Dutch (130 years); the Third Cycle, 1870–1970, British (100 years); the Fourth Cycle, 1970 – present day, American (Arrighi, 2006, pp. 42–49). The chronology shows that the First Cycle was 1.4 times longer than the Second, and the Second was 1.3 times longer than the Third. If we assume that the reduction rate for an accumulation cycle remains constant, then we can expect that the Fourth Cycle will last 72–77 years, which means that the Fifth Accumulation Cycle will start approximately in 2042–2047. Given the scale of the recent geopolitical inversion, this period may shift to an even later date – beyond 2050. Thus, we have about 30 years ahead, quite a considerable timespan by historical standards. In this regard, without going into unnecessary details, let us recall a number of important historical facts in reverse chronology.

During the Third Accumulation Cycle (1870–1970), 30–50 years before the start of the Fourth Cycle, Germany was the main contender for the role of a new WCAC instead of Great Britain: having lost the struggle for colonies, Germany had its technological perfectionism to set against the British power (Arrighi, 2006). This strategy made Germany the world’s leading industrial state and helped it to unleash first the First and then the Second World War; but its defeat in both of them put an end to these claims, and the possibilities of becoming a new leader opened up for the United States and the USSR. Fifteen years later, the Soviet Union lost the race that had started, and the United States became the fourth WCAC in the history of the capitalist formation.

During the Second Accumulation Cycle (1740–1870), the years 1796–1815 were marked by the Napoleonic Wars, when for a quarter of a century France, which briefly became a continental empire, was quire persistent in its claims to become a new WCAC. However, in the middle of the accumulation cycle, in 1815, it finally yielded its position to Great Britain.

In the middle of the First Accumulation Cycle (1560–1740), as part of the Eighty Years’ War or the so–called Dutch Revolt (1566–1648), a fierce Anglo–Spanish war (1585–1604) was waged, when Spain and Great Britain fought for the right to become a new WCAC. During this period, the Netherlands was under the protectorate of Spain and clearly did not claim to be at the forefront of the world system. It was only by the end of the First Accumulation Cycle that the Netherlands regained its independence, built a system of warehouse capitalism and created its own colonial empire with the subsequent displacement of Portugal from its overseas territories.

We can add that even Genoa and Venice, during the struggle for their hegemony, had a tough competition with Portugal, a country that in many ways surpassed these city–states. Fig. 3 shows a stylized chronology of the competition between different countries for becoming the WCAC in the world economic system.

 

 

Fig. 3. Stylized chart showing the competition of countries for the role of WCAC

Source: (Balatsky, 2022b).

 

These examples suggest an interesting pattern that can be called the false contender syndrome. Its essence consists in the emergence, approximately in the middle of an accumulation cycle, of a state claiming to be a new WCAC, but eventually losing its initial advantages and yielding a leading position to another country. The false contender syndrome requires a very careful approach when determining the global prospects of the world economic system. With regard to the current situation it means that 30 years before the start of the Fifth Accumulation Cycle it is premature to dismiss Russia and give the palm to China, because the situation may change dramatically over the next 20 years, as has already happened in the past. It is possible that China is a false contender today and will lose its leadership privilege in the future. Obviously, at the moment the question remains open.

We should emphasize that the false contender syndrome has a deep historical meaning and this effect itself is by no means accidental. The resulting desire of the social system to maintain an element of secrecy regarding the future leader is determined by the logic of intercountry competition. Thus, a contender state becomes the focus of attention for the current WCAC, which, using its gigantic administrative and resource capacities, is able to suppress the emerging political and economic activity in an external jurisdiction and thereby prolong its own existence. That is why there is almost always some kind of false contender, which occupies the attention of the major players of the GGPS and thereby enables the true contender to proceed with fewer risks and costs. At the same time, the very process of the emergence and crystallization of new players in the GGPS is largely spontaneous and unconscious: countries are fighting for their existence and are gradually enhancing their power to the level where they can claim a privileged position; the national elite becomes aware of their own global role, as a rule, only when crystallization of the new WCAC is completed.

The rise of Russia as a potential WCAC became obvious only in 2022 after the beginning of the Second Conflict with Ukraine; whereas in 2014, when the First Conflict started, the possibility still seemed incredible. This fact confirms the position according to which the identification of a new WCAC in the context of geopolitical turbulence is a non–trivial task.

Now let us consider the logic of Russia’s transformation from an outsider state that lost the Third World War (Balatsky, 2022a) into a contender for the role of WCAC.

The collapse of the USSR in 1991 led to the formation of a neocolonial political regime in the Russian Federation when the national government had no actual sovereignty. However, the Russian Federation retained its military potential, which still posed a threat of its political revenge. To prevent this, the United States set a strategic course for the final dismemberment of Russia, its demilitarization and transformation into a harmless raw material appendage. It must be said that the due to the desire of the United States to preserve its global hegemony the above strategy had no alternative, but the tactical mistakes made by American political circles led to precisely the opposite result.

For example, until 2014, Russia, being entirely under the patronage of the network of emissaries of the West and the United States, was steadily and very surely degenerating technologically, culturally and spiritually. We can reasonably argue that if the established trend were to continue, then by 2030 Russia would most likely either fall apart itself, or completely lose all ability to resist American pressure from the outside. However, political architects from the United States decided to get the desired result more quickly; thus they moved on to expanding NATO eastward and unleashing military conflicts along Russia’s borders. This was supposed to demand additional resources of Russia and finally weaken it. However, in their desire to achieve the goal the United States crossed the line, and in 2014 a virtually hopeless situation arose for the Russian Federation when its military base in Sevastopol was to be dismantled and a NATO (U.S.) base could be established there instead. Russia was cornered and reacted by integrating Crimea and supporting the population in the LPR and DPR. From this moment, there began the Fourth (hybrid) World War between the West, represented by the United States, and the “awakened” Russian Bear (Balatsky, 2022a).

We note that modern hybrid warfare involves a latent and an explicit (active) phase. In 2014–2022, the latent phase of the war unfolded, when limited economic sanctions were imposed against Russia, and Ukraine was being prepared as a springboard for future clashes with it. At the same time, the Russian government was subjected to economic blackmail by the United States that threatened to impose “terrible” sanctions like disconnection from the international financial system and imposition of an embargo on the export of Russian energy resources. Despite this, Russia unfolded military and industrial mobilization, developed and tested new types of weapons. By February 2022, the situation in Ukraine had reached a boiling point, and Russia started a special military operation. From that moment on, the Fourth World War entered an active phase with hot spots in the LPR, the DPR and then throughout Ukraine. In response, the Collective West imposed ten packages of sanctions against Russia, the cumulative scale of which reached its historical maximum. In addition, the United States and European countries provided military aid to Ukraine against Russia. At that time, Russia finally destroyed its system of neocolonial dependence on the West and turned into a kind of alternative civilization in the times of increased global GPT.

We recall that some political scientists believe, and not without reason, that the events of 2008 in Tskhinvali, followed by the recognition of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, triggered an open confrontation between Russia and the West (Dugin, 2009, p. 235). Back then, there was the first hot collision of the two poles of the GGPS. However, the point of no return had not yet been passed, as was proved by subsequent events when Russia still remained in the orbit of U.S. interests. Of course, there may be different dates of the beginning of the undeclared hybrid Fourth World War; hereinafter we will use the previously proposed date – 2014 (Balatsky, 2022a). It was during this period that the reintegration of the Russian World began, and it served as the trigger for the world war. In 2014, Russia’s territory extended due to the accession of Crimea, in 2022 – the Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporozhye oblasts; the latter circumstance finally exposes the process of reintegration of the Russian World and does not allow the West to accept this fact and let the matter rest.

Today we can say for sure that it was Russia and its SMO that launched the de–globalization of the world system, which allows us to talk about the Russia as a potential WCAC. At the same time, we emphasize once again that we are not implying any determinism. As we have shown above, in the coming years a new contender, who has not yet revealed itself as such, may emerge. Hypothetically, in 3–5 years Iran might join the club of nuclear powers and, possessing an impressive resource base, become the joker in the current MGPP. However, this scenario cannot yet be considered with a certain degree of objectivity, since it has not manifested itself sufficiently enough.

 

2.2. Prospects of the Fourth World War

 

In accordance with modern war doctrine, its goal is to rebuild the world order on the terms of the winner (Vladimirov, 2018). It is the winner in the world war that will become a new WCAC and the architect of a new global geopolitical configuration. In this regard, a reasonable question arises: is it possible for Russia to win the unfolding Fourth World War?

To answer this question, we should bear in mind that the current war is a war between the West and the Non–West. This is much broader than the confrontation between the United States and Russia. That is why the SMO triggered the formation of global coalitions – Western (USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, EU countries) and Non–Western (Russia, China, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, India, etc.). In this regard, from a system–wide perspective, the war also acquires the homogeneity/heterogeneity aspect, and therefore the victory of the West will mean the unification of the world according to the Western model, the building of a homogeneous world with the predominance of artificial rather than natural life imperatives. Such an outcome can be considered impossible due to system wide and philosophical reasons: the world develops only in the context of heterogeneity and contradictions between different subsystems of the GGPS; otherwise, cultural and institutional unification threatens the world with total stagnation and degradation. This means that in the long run, the coalition led by Russia is likely to win. Apparently, it is only a matter of time. It is this aspect of the problem that pushes various countries to create relatively stable anti–American alliances such as Russia – Iran – China and Russia – Iran – Turkey.

The second, resource–based, aspect of the war is connected with the inability of the United States to control the whole world, whose dynamism is rapidly increasing – various regional conflicts are multiplying (Israel/Palestine, South Korea/North Korea, Catalonia/Spain, Scotland/England, Serbia/Kosovo, Taiwan/China, Poland/Germany, etc.). At the same time, on the one hand, the number of participants in the parade of sovereignties – Russia, Iran, North Korea, India, China, Turkey, etc. – is growing; on the other hand, the same is taking place with the parade of imperial revanchists (Turkey as the former Ottoman Empire, Iran as the Achaemenid Empire, China as the Sinitic Empire, the Russian Federation as the former Russian Empire, Poland as the former Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, etc.). Almost all these processes unfold in the Eastern Hemisphere, in Eurasia. The United States and the Collective West do not have enough resources to effectively manage these movements; therefore, they will get out of control, which will mean the weakening of the anti–Russian coalition and the defeat of the United States in the current hybrid war. The multitude of issues all over the planet today, six months after the start of the SMO in Ukraine, leads to the waning of the interest of the world community in this event against the background of even more significant conflicts (for example, China/Taiwan).

The third, intrasystem, aspect of the war is related to Russia’s geo–economic advantages over Western countries. Thus, the West’s expectations of Russia’s early defeat in Ukraine have failed, as well as their hopes regarding the growth of popular discontent in Russia and the subsequent overthrow of its supreme power. Russia is slowly but surely conducting offensive actions on the Ukrainian front; there has been an obvious popular consolidation inside the country; a significant part of the people are filled with patriotic sentiment; import substitution is expanding; the production that was previously abandoned is being restored, and the impact of trade sanctions on the population has turned out to be mostly insignificant. In the future, these processes may transform into Russia’s technological and economic breakthrough, which will finally put to rest all the hopes of its possible defeat.

Moreover, the intrasystem factor has another important dimension: the SMO proved to be extremely helpful in the internal political struggle and is actively used to mop up the political and managerial opposition. Under ordinary, peaceful conditions, a harsh purge of managerial personnel can be looked upon as an undemocratic maneuver on the part of the authorities that has no ample grounds and may be disapproved by the people; whereas under military conditions, on the contrary, this purge is perceived positively at almost all levels of public life. Given that purges help dismantle the Western network of emissaries inside Russia and increase the effectiveness of economic administration, we can argue that the country is already gaining the upper hand in the hybrid war at this stage.

To what has been said, we can add one more point, which is not quite obvious: Russia does not need a quick victory in the SMO; this contradicts its strategic interests. The fact is that the main problem of the Russian Federation in the previous 32 years was the presence of a restraining effect of the economy on the part of the Western network of emissaries – the so–called fifth column. In this sense, the SMO screens and legitimizes the fight against this phenomenon, and since this struggle is of a longterm nature, military actions have to be long enough to have time to completely clean up hostile management networks inside the country before the struggle ends. In peacetime, it is difficult to find an excuse for personnel purges, and in any case this will not be welcomed by the broad strata of the population; martial law radically changes the situation. This is one of the modern paradoxes of hybrid warfare – the longer military clashes last, the more purifying is their effect in the internal economic space of the country. So far, the SMO is working in favor of Russia.

We cannot but mention another aspect of the events. The West is gradually raising the stakes in the Russian–Ukrainian conflict (supplying increasingly heavy weapons to Ukraine; turning a blind eye on the bombing of nuclear power plants, etc.), while Russia does not respond to provocations and refrains from destructive military strikes.

Of course, all this does not mean a final verdict regarding Russia’s victory in the SMO, even more so in the Fourth World War, and its transformation into the WCAC, but it makes the scenario under consideration very likely.

 

2.3. Prerequisites for the transformation of Russia into the Fifth World Capital Accumulation Center

 

Previously, some advantages of Russia, allowing it to claim the role of the WCAC, have already been considered (Balatsky, 2022); thus, we will now focus on relatively new facts and aspects of this problem. However, we note beforehand that here and further we substantiate the thesis of the monocentricity of the GGPS as opposed to the doctrine of multipolarity. The latter should be considered a false or at least outdated theoretical construction. A certain semblance of multipolarity arises only during periods of geopolitical turbulence, when the former WCAC weakens, and other states that have gained strength begin to claim this role for themselves. However, this is a kind of transitional period in the existence of the GGPS, which sooner or later ends with the emergence of a new WCAC. Given the scale of geopolitical processes, this transition period may last for several decades, but this does not change the essence of the monocentric model according to which the GGPS is organized.

When considering the factors contributing to the country’s transformation into a WCAC, we emphasize that the growth rates of GDP and other national economic parameters in this context do not matter; they acquire a certain meaning only when the necessary conditions of the scale and location of the country are met.

1. The presence of passionarity. Using the shrewd terminology of L.N. Gumilev, we can assert that in order for a country to transform into a new WCAC, its people must have a certain critical amount of passionarity that is manifested in readiness to participate in hot conflicts in order to preserve their cultural identity and civilization (Gumilev, 2016). The experience of the SMO shows that Russia is ready for the highest (human) sacrifices, while other potential centers have not yet shown themselves in this capacity. For example, on January 3, 2020, as a result of a U.S. missile strike on Baghdad, the commander of the Al–Quds special forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, General Qasem Soleimani, was killed; the strike was carried out by order of American President Donald Trump. Taking into account the fact that Qasem Soleimani was considered the second person in the military and political leadership of Iran, this U.S. action was an undisguised sabotage and political provocation. Although Iranian President Hassan Rouhani promised that “Iran and other countries in the region will take revenge on America”, and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei promised “severe revenge” in response to the murder of an Iranian commander [3], there was no retaliatory action on the part of Iran. Something similar took place when the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi made a provocative visit to Taiwan on August 2, 2022. The PRC regarded this visit as a violation of its own sovereignty, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that Beijing “will never leave room” for division and interference by external forces, regardless of how the United States “condones Taiwan’s independence”; Chinese ambassador to Washington Qin Gang stressed that Beijing’s response will be powerful and strong, the Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed that “the United States will pay the price in case of damage to China’s security interests”, and the representative of the Chinese Ministry of Defense Tan Kefei promised that “the Chinese military will never sit idly by and, of course, will take decisive measures to prevent any interference by external forces and separatist plots about “Taiwan independence”, and resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity” [4]. However, there were no retaliatory actions on the part of the PRC, apart from the subsequent demonstrative military exercises around Taiwan. These examples show that many potential leader states of the modern world are not yet ready for a direct clash with the old WCAC.

2. Consistency of economic systems. Earlier we noted (Balatsky, 2014) that already on the eve of the Second World War, the USSR was potentially an alternative WCAC, but its socialist system denied the very concept and existence of capital on its territory; therefore it could not fundamentally take on a mission of managing global capital flows. Today, Russia has capitalism, which allows it to operate on a global scale without fundamental institutional inconsistencies with other countries. In addition, commodity deficit and poverty that were typical of the USSR have been overcome in the Russian Federation today; besides, modern technology and climate warming allow it to use its entire territory with an unprecedented level of efficiency [5]. We can say that the institutional, economic, technological and climatic changes that have taken place since the middle of the 20th century act in favor of Russia and provide it with those advantages that are unprecedented by all historical standards. For example, currently Russia is engaged in full–fledged development of Siberia and Arctic regions; it is now that the agenda regarding Russian overland transit (the Great Silk Road) and the Northern Sea Route is coming to the fore once again. More and more such opportunities are opening up.

No less important is the fact that today Russia’s sovereign government can liquidate the “economy with a one–way hole” when there has been a negative capital balance for 30 years. To understand the scale of the economic potential of this measure alone, we will illustrate it by providing some figures. According to available estimates, the total volume of Russia’s losses from the withdrawal of direct investments to Western countries for 2007–2020 alone is almost 600 billion US dollars (Gusev, Shiryaev, 2021). In 2020, the share of net gross fixed capital accumulation (net of its retirement) in the country amounted to 21.9% [6]. This means that the investment multiplier for the Russian economy during this period was 4.6. Consequently, according to rough calculations, the volume of investments Russia has lost over 14 years could produce an increase in Russian GDP equal to 2.7 trillion US dollars. If we take into account the exchange rate of the ruble at the end of 2020 (73.8 rubles/USD), we will get almost 200 trillion rubles of Russia’s “lost” GDP. In 2020, the volume of Russia’s GDP at current prices amounted to 106.6 trillion rubles, which is almost two times less than its lost volume. In other words, if Russia had managed to prevent the export of capital in the form of direct investments alone for 2007–2020, then its GDP would have been three times its current value [7]. World experience shows that export regulation policies have been successfully implemented in countries of late industrialization (for example, in South Korea). Thus, only stemming the outflow of capital from Russia will allow its natural accumulation to be restored and promote further dynamic development of the national economy.

The 21st century will witness amazing changes in the world order, including the situation regarding different types of states. One of the traditional postulates of geopolitics is the division of all states and cultures into two types – land and sea. This is of primary importance, since sea civilizations based on navigation, as a rule, have a market–based economic system and tend to a liberal–democratic way in politics, whereas land–based, on the contrary, prefer a non–market (planned or partially planned) economy and undemocratic (authoritarian) forms of society (Dugin, 2010, p. 246). However, Halford Mackinder’s division of all peoples into two types – nomads of the land (land robbers) and nomads of the sea (sea pirates) – is not operational (Mackinder, 1904). This is due to the lack of simple and well–verifiable criteria for attributing a state to one of two types of civilization; this can be determined only with a certain degree of conditionality based on qualitative characteristics. Nevertheless, according to this largely heuristic methodology, all known WCACs can be attributed to refined sea powers; this indicates the presence of advantages of the country’s maritime orientation. However, now the situation is radically changing.

 

Table 2. Length of the state borders of the USA, Russia and China, km

Length of the state border

Country

USA*

China

Russia

Total

32,141

36,957

60,932

Sea

19,924

14,500

38,807

Land

12,217

22,457

22,125

Share of the sea border in its total length, %

62.0

39.2

63.7

* Excluding Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
Source: (Balatsky, 2022b).

 

For example, China, which has been in the shadow of the developed Western states for several centuries, cannot be unambiguously attributed either to the sea or to the land type of cultures. This has become especially evident in the last decade, when the PRC has demonstrated incredible success in creating and expanding its naval fleet, which allows the country to activate 40% of its external borders (Tab. 2). Russia has also been primarily a land state throughout its previous history, but today, with the launch of the Northern Sea Route, it is turning into a sea power, especially if we take into account its unique (monopoly) position in the market of nuclear icebreakers. Thus, excluding access to the Arctic Ocean, the share of the country’s sea borders is 31.5%, which is less than that of China, whereas with the use of this transport corridor, Russia will be ahead of the United States (Tab. 2).

Let us assume that if the share of the maritime border of a state is more than 50% of its entire length, it is considered a sea power; otherwise, it is a land power. Then the PRC still remains a land power, and the Russian Federation changes its status from land to sea power. In any case, if earlier sea transportation was the most profitable in economic terms, then with the development of high–speed railway lines, this advantage is being lost at an increasing rate. In this regard, the ongoing convergence of economic systems of different countries under the influence of technological and climatic changes removes land–sea contradictions and equalizes the chances of Russia and China in comparison with the United States and other Western countries to dominate in the GGPS; the potential of the Russian Federation is seen as the most impressive.

3. Availability of natural resources. Today, the world is facing the depletion of natural resources, so we can argue that a new WCAC should have a huge resource potential. The trend toward globalization of the WCAC, described in (Balatsky, 2014), implies not only the enlargement of the territory of the leading country, but also its resource base. In this regard, Russia has an absolutely unique position. Thus, according to the portal 247wallst.com, Russia tops the rating of the world’s ten most resource–rich countries and is far ahead of them (Tab. 3); resources with a narrow application or low cost are not taken into account in the rating [8].

 

Table 3. The world’s most resource–rich countries, 2021

Country

Resources, trillion USD

Relative to Russia, %

Russia

75.7

100.0

USA

45.0

59.4

Saudi Arabia

34.4

45.3

Canada

33.2

43.9

Iran

27.3

36.0

China

23.0

30.4

Brazil

21.8

28.9

Australia

19.9

26.3

Iraq

15.9

21.0

Venezuela

14.3

18.9

West Coalition
(USA + Canada + Australia)

98.1

129.6

Non–West Coalition
(Russia + Iran + China)

150.3

166.4

Leaders Coalition

95.3

125.8

Source: (Balatsky, 2022b).

 

 

 

Tab. 3 shows that in terms of its natural reserves, Russia is ahead of the next country in the rating, the United States, by 1.7 times, and the third state in the list, Saudi Arabia, by 2.2 times. This is exactly the advantage that the WCAC should have in the new geopolitical reality. Such large–scale natural resources that Russia possesses allow it to function successfully in self–sufficiency mode even under a complete blockade by the West.

We recall that the brewing global resource crisis has led to a rearrangement of basic economic values: the primacy of natural resources and the secondary nature of technology have become obvious (Balatsky, 2022a). Under these conditions, Russia’s position in the context of the Fourth World War becomes, if not unambiguously advantageous, then quite competitive.

At one time Giovanni Arrighi noticed the alternation of extensive and intensive types of development of the world system during the formation of capital accumulation cycles. Thus, the expansion of the world economy was carried out under the Genoese–Venetian and British capital accumulation regimes, and its geographical consolidation – under the Dutch and American regimes (Arrighi, 2006, p. 41). According to this pattern, the next cycle should again become extensive, but the current stage of exhaustion of redistributive opportunities within the framework of the GGPS inevitably transforms the existing mechanism. Let us explain what has been said.

The coastal cities of Italy – Genoa and Venice – sought to subordinate trade communications to ensure their market monopoly. At that stage, the control of trade routes was quite enough to solve the task. However, Great Britain already had to intensify its market expansion by conquering raw material bases, which required control of overseas territories, which the Italian city–states did not do. Accordingly, Holland expanded and strengthened the trade network and its grip on it, while the United States did the same with regard to trade and information networks, sales markets, raw materials and production niches, including labor resources. In this regard, the question arises: what should be the dominance model of a new WCAC?

Apparently, the next cycle will be a mixture of extensive and intensive types of development, which is achievable only with the unique Russian potential. Currently Russia is reintegrating its former territories, which sooner or later will end with at least partial (under certain conditions) inclusion of Belarus, Ukraine and even Kazakhstan in its zone of interests; it can possibly involve Armenia and Georgia as well. In any case, as A.G. Dugin pointed out, “the CIS is the pit of the coming empire” (Dugin, 2009, p. 233). Regardless of the final configuration of the recreated empire, this will provide an additional scale effect required for the phase of extensive development of the WCAC; other countries do not have such an advantage. Moreover, Russia is already deploying global transport projects – the Northern Sea Route, the Great Silk Road, the Trans–Siberian Railway. Most likely, all future transport lines will be more dense and high–tech, which automatically ensures a phase of intensive development of the WCAC. No other country has such capabilities; this fact makes Russia’s position absolutely unique when the extensive and intensive components of the accumulation cycle are implemented mainly on the territory of the country itself and do not directly enter into antagonistic contradictions with the interests of other countries.

Already today, the parade of sovereignties in many African states led to the fact that European powers, mainly France, have lost important resource deposits. In the future, we can expect a strengthening of the emerging trend. This means that all countries will have to rely on their own resource base to a greater extent than before, which again brings Russia to the forefront. If we compare the resource potential of the Non–West coalition represented by Russia, Iran and China, it is 1.3 times greater than the potential of the West coalition represented by the USA – Canada – Australia geopolitical arc (Tab. 3). This confirms that in the new geopolitical configuration, the West coalition will be far from paramount importance. All this again makes the victory in the Fourth World War of the Non–West coalition, in which Russia plays a key role, much more likely than the victory of the West coalition.

4. Ineffectiveness of economic sanctions against Russia. As mentioned earlier, an attempt to “punish” Russia for its actions in Ukraine was expressed in the adoption of eight packages of sanctions, but their political effectiveness turned out to be zero, and the economic effectiveness remains doubtful. The 2014–2021 period of sanctions against Russia is now widely known as the “vegetarian stage”, and subsequent events – the “sanctions tsunami” (Timofeev, 2022). Nevertheless, Moscow managed to avoid the economic catastrophe that the Collective West was counting on. For example, the May forecast of the RF Ministry of Economic Development assumed a drop in production in 2022 by 7.8%, inflation rates of 17.5%, a drop in real incomes by 6.8%, and unemployment rate at 6.7%, while the August forecast predicted the following figures: 4.2, 13.4, 2.8 and 4.8%, respectively [9]. Regardless of how accurate these figures are, it is revealing that the expected sanctions shock is not increasing, but weakening over time; therefore, the Russian economy is still coping with unprecedented economic pressure from the West. Thus, we can argue that the resistance of the Russian economy to international sanctions and its resistance to external influences turned out to be quite high.

At the same time, sanctions against Russia had a reverse vector – a negative impact on the well–being in Western countries. Thus, due to the SMO and its accompanying events, inflation pressure on the world economy has increased: problems with the supplies of grain, fertilizers and energy carriers have provoked a sharp increase in their prices. For example, in the United States, consumer prices increased by 9.1% on an average annual basis in June 2022, which was the highest in the last 40 years; food prices in the country rose by 10.4%, and gasoline prices – by almost 60%. In the EU at the same time, inflation reached 9.6% per annum, in the euro area – 8.6%. This is 4–5 times higher than the 2% target indicator set by the European Central Bank. At the same time, the growth of consumer prices in Germany according to the Eurostat methodology was 8.2%, in the UK – 9.4%, and in Lithuania and Estonia – 20.5 and 22%, respectively [10]. Against this background, by mid–May 2022, Moscow’s oil revenues increased by 50% compared to the beginning of the year [11].

These figures indicate that the unfolding economic war was not as terrible for Russia and not as painless for the West as originally envisaged. In the future, these assessments may change, but it is already quite clear that Russia and the West can exist without each other, but it is equally uncomfortable for both sides.

5. The impact of the cycle of general–purpose technologies. Today, the term general–purpose technologies (GPTs) has already become widely recognized; it denotes technologies that are applicable in many sectors of the national economy, have the ability to improve in different directions, have various usage options and possess technological complementarity (Bresnahan, Trajtenberg, 1995). Revealing the specifics of dissemination of these technologies, S.A. Tolkachev and A.Yu. Teplyakov put forward the industry cycles concept (ICC) for GPTs (Tolkachev, Teplyakov, 2019a; Tolkachev, Teplyakov, 2019b; Tolkachev, Teplyakov, 2020; Tolkachev, Teplyakov, 2022), according to which GPTs follow the rules of the technology and regulatory triads “production – transport – information” and “protectionism – free trade – globalism”, which are largely synchronized in time.

Identification of industry cycles over a time interval of 250 years allowed us to establish that in 2010 their new round began in the form of a qualitatively new stage of production of means of production (production of equipment): industrial Internet, additive and nanobiotechnologies, nanoelectronics, nanophotonics, nanomaterials, virtual and augmented reality, etc. (Tolkachev, Teplyakov, 2022); this stage is accompanied by the transition of most countries to a policy of protectionism; the onset of the phase of advanced development of vehicle production is approximately in the 2040s. Indeed, recent years have been marked by trade wars between the United States and China, partly between the United States and the European Union; moreover, the West has tried to exclude a number of countries (Russia, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, etc.) from the world trade market. However, it is precisely these circumstances that play in Russia’s favor. The policy of protectionism is extremely beneficial for Russia, since it allows protecting the national producer, and the country’s engineering sector needs to be recreated on a new basis. This line is gradually beginning to be implemented, and by 2030–2035, most likely, it will have reached its peak. However, as already mentioned, it is during this period that the contender countries for the role of WCAC will be on the home straight. And at this very time Russia should launch the second phase of the industry cycle in the form of widespread expansion of transport networks. It is then that we can expect the full–fledged establishment of the country’s transport communications system and receive a colossal economic effect on this basis, which should be the final step toward the status of WCAC. During this period, protectionism will be replaced by free–trading, which will allow Russia to fully realize the advantages of its existing technological economies of scale [12] (Balatsky, Yurevich, 2020) and thereby turn into a global transport hub. In the future, the country will already build an advanced communications production sector with its subsequent expansion across its own territory and nearby areas. Although this process may begin in 2060–2065, it is at this time that Russia can be expected to trigger globalization of the world communication market [13]. Thus, the technological and regulatory patterns in the development of the world economy are still in favor of the Russian Federation.

Summing up, we can say Russia has sufficient military potential (weapons, officers’ tactical experience and soldiers’ combat training) and moral and psychological readiness (passionarity) to protect its right to exist; today its national economy is ready to restrain the impact of international sanctions and continue moving forward; the availability of its own gigantic natural resources base and institutional framework attracting global capital allows the country to successfully move toward its mature phase of development with subsequent transformation into the fifth WCAC. The beginning of the first phase of the new GPTs cycle with its inherent protectionist regulatory policy will contribute to the realization of the task of Russian dominance in the GGPS.

 

2.4 The struggle for the status of a new world capital accumulation center: Russia vs China

 

If we consider Russia’s right to claim the status of a future WCAC to be sufficiently justified, then now is the time to compare its potential with the potential of China, another contender for this position.

The main thing that needs to be understood in this matter is which country objectively has more chances to become a world leader. To do this, it is enough to consider the key advantages of Russia over China, leaving aside issues that are either already well known (Balatsky, 2014), or are of no fundamental importance. In this regard, we will focus on two aspects of the geopolitical competition between the two countries.

1. China’s demographic curse. There is no doubt that China has become a leading country and, being an economic giant, seeks to strengthen its position. However, the country has very ancient specifics that hinder these ambitious plans. So, China has always been a country with a huge and population whose density is very high. Moreover, as already noted, the Celestial Empire is still the only country for the entire existence of mankind, which explicitly regulated the birth rate and restrained the demographic factor (Diamond, 2008, p. 496; Popov, 2002). However, today this practice has been discontinued and the demographic genie of the PRC has been let out of the bottle again. What does this mean in terms of the WCAC status?

China’s huge population contributes to the fact that even at the current peak of its power the country’s per capita GDP (PPP) for 2021 is 1.7 times less than that of Russia, and 3.6 times less than that of the United States [14]. It means that in order to achieve an average level of material well–being of its population comparable to Russia, China must increase its GDP by another 70%, and to achieve the level of the United States – by 260%. Formally, it is impossible, but the problem is that at the current stage of human development, the planet simply cannot withstand the 3–4–fold growth in Chinese GDP. But even without reaching this level, the PRC will not be able to become a WCAC, because it must provide its population with the most comfortable living conditions and thereby serve as a kind of standard for other countries. For example, for many decades, the high standard of living of the average U.S. citizen has made the American model of economy and politics the most advanced and worthy of imitation in the eyes of the whole world. China will no longer be able to achieve this result in the foreseeable future, and therefore its position as WCAC turns out to be largely illusory.

Regarding the difficulty of the growth of Chinese GDP by 3.5 times, it is sufficient to indicate some of the consequences of the country’s rapid economic growth: between 1972 and 1997, the Yellow River dried up in the lower reaches 20 times, and the waterless period increased from ten days in 1988 to 230 days in 1997 (Diamond, 2008, pp. 502–503); in 1998, 240 million people suffered from flooding (Diamond, 2008, p. 504); the average level of lead in the blood of Chinese urban residents is almost twice the level considered dangerously high worldwide and poses a threat to the mental development of children (Diamond, 2008, p. 508); due to deforestation, soil erosion and drought caused by human industrial activity, dust storms occur more often: for example, from 300 BC to 1950 they hit northwest China on average once in 31 years, in 1950–1990 – once in 20 months, and after 1990 – annually (Diamond, 2008, p. 509). But, as J. Diamond points out, China shares the same planet, oceans and atmosphere with the whole world (Diamond, 2008, p. 494); therefore, the environmental damage caused by China will be global and will affect everyone. It can be assumed that new technologies will significantly alleviate the man–induced impact of the PRC on nature and thereby reduce the degree of environmental problems, but this issue remains open.

It can be said that by planting a demographic time bomb under itself the Celestial Empire exhausted its economic opportunities long before its rise. Now the huge population of China prevents it from becoming a leader in the formation of an exemplary lifestyle. Russia does not have this problem – it needs to increase its current relatively small GDP by 2.1 times in order to reach the level of the United States. With the available reserves of natural resources, favorable circumstances and effective public administration, the Russian Federation can do this painlessly within 12–15 years.

2. Cultural closeness of China and openness of Russia. Russia and China form two opposite civilizations – open and closed. There are well–known cultural factors in relation to China: the complexity of the language and its fundamental difference from European languages; living together in crowded communities in a limited space; a strictly defined Mongoloid anthropological type of a representative of the Chinese ethnic group. It is not surprising that these properties of the Chinese civilization do not allow it to integrate heterogeneous masses of newcomers into its environment. As a result, there is a kind of civilizational rejection effect, when even a European who knows Mandarin, history, customs and culture of China perfectly well, who has lived in the country for many decades, still cannot become Chinese – regardless of the desire of the immigrant and the local population. This is fundamentally different from the integration capabilities of the United States, naturalization in which requires a European to know a similar and relatively simple language, understandable history and similar logic of thinking. Already these circumstances call into question the possibility of China replacing the United States as the next WCAC.

Russia, on the contrary, is characterized by high civilizational absorption, when people of completely different nationalities and peoples, coming to Russia, on the one hand, voluntarily and quite easily get into the spirit of the Russian culture and begin to consider themselves Russians, and on the other hand, they are perceived as such by the local population. The whole history of the Russian civilization is full of similar examples. Today it is difficult to imagine Russia without a representative of the Negroid race, Abram Petrovich Hannibal, Alexander Pushkin’s great–grandfather, who was a military engineer and taught military affairs in Russian military educational institutions; it is even more difficult to do this without Pushkin himself – although he retained the external ancestral signs of his great grandfather, this did not prevent him from standing at the origins of Russian literature. It is impossible to imagine Russia without its great travelers – Vitus Jonassen Bering, a Dane by origin, Ivan Fedorovich Kruzenshtern, a sailor of Swedish–German origin, Nikolai Mikhailovich Przhevalsky, a geographer and naturalist of Polish origin, etc. It is impossible to imagine the country without the creator of the History of the Russian State Nikolai Mikhailovich Karamzin from the Tatar family of Kara– Murza, and without the poet Gavriil Romanovich Derzhavin with the same national roots as Karamzin. And such examples are numerous, because this is the very essence of the Russian civilization.

Nothing has fundamentally changed in Russia today. The national and confessional polymorphism of Russian civilization not only continues to be appealing to foreigners, but also strengthens this appeal. It is not surprising that the American film actor Steven Seagal, who is a Buddhist, received Russian citizenship and sincerely considers himself Russian [15], and his son Dominic Seagal is going to live in Russia on a permanent basis [16]. The American–Russian mixed martial arts fighter Jeffrey Monson went even further in this regard: he not only received Russian citizenship and moved to live in Russia, but also renounced American citizenship in order to fulfill the duties of a deputy of the Krasnogorsk City Duma [17]. And again, we can provide numerous similar examples.

Thus, when we compare Russian and Chinese cultural systems in terms of the possibilities of involving citizens of other countries and regions into their orbit, we can state their incompatibility: a Chinese can become a Russian, while a Russian cannot become a Chinese; most immigrants of different nationalities can become Russians, but not Chinese. This is an important obstacle to the transformation of the PRC into a WCAC.

In the context of what has been said, we cannot but touch upon the question of the time factor and the timeliness of certain events. For example, regarding China, we can say for sure that it joined the race for world leadership too late. If it had managed to launch unprecedented economic growth 30–40 years earlier (not in the 1980s, but, for example, in 1950), then it would have been able to lift its demographic curse (there were no physical restrictions on expanding production at that time) and provide itself with the necessary volume of GDP; now it is either impossible, or extremely difficult to implement. The same can be said about Russia: if it had entered into direct conflict with the West in the 2000s or even in the 2010s, it would have obviously lost; at that time, the situation inside the country had not yet “matured” either economically or psychologically, and the West was monolithic. It was only in 2020 that a fundamental split between the Democratic and Republican parties emerged within the United States, and the unity of the West began to weaken. Similarly, 20 years ago it was hard to imagine that successful residents of developed Western countries, including the United States, would take Russian citizenship and move to live in Russia. All these circumstances bring to the fore the doctrine of the conquest of time; according to this doctrine, history is the sum of waves of different periods, and the art of politics consists in the ability to take into account the order of events and the ability to catch the most convenient moment in time when constructing the future (Devyatov, 2020c, p. 72). According to this doctrine, any process is a wave with three important aspects: chronos (wave amplitude), cyclos (frequency) and kairos (phase of the wave with maximum energy of realization) (Devyatov, 2020c, p. 71). The ability to catch a moment of luck (kairos) allows you to enter the opening window of opportunity (Devyatov, 2020c, p. 72). From this viewpoint, China has missed its kairos, while Russia is still quite successfully fitting into the opening window of new opportunities.

 

2.5. A new geopolitical configuration in the Fifth Accumulation Cycle

 

Discussing the possibilities of turning Russia into a WCAC, it is necessary to understand the specifics the country’s dominance in the Fifth Accumulation Cycle. If we consider whether Russia can achieve the same level of hegemony in the upcoming accumulation cycle as the United States in the current one, the answer will be unequivocally negative. It is impossible!

Let us explain what has been said.

The current type of management of the world economic system by the United States can be characterized as purely authoritarian or even autonomously authoritarian. The current WCAC lives in its own world, completely ignores the interests of others and solves problems by pushing through its own agenda.

It seems unrealistic to recreate such a system of world governance in the new conditions. Resources are largely exhausted, and direct armed conflicts are becoming more and more disastrous for their participants. Therefore, the future WCAC will most likely already be based not so much on the hegemon model as on the leader model. And this option looks quite feasible for Russia.

Today, the contours of the future capitalist system are actively discussed in the scientific literature. In particular, over the past 20 years, the focus of discussions on competition between liberal and coordinated market economies has gradually shifted to analyzing “dependent market economies” and “market economies penetrated by the state” (Yakovlev, 2021a). At the same time, most analysts believe that the response to the challenges facing global capitalism is possible only through cooperation between leading states based on the ability of their elites to limit their claims (Yakovlev, 2021b).

A more in–depth analysis shows that among all countries there is a cluster of seven states (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Switzerland and the Netherlands) that top the life satisfaction index (happiness index) and at the same time are leaders in the integral index of the quality of life, civic culture and institutional effectiveness; At the same time, the U.S. lagging behind the Seven has been increasing over time (Polterovich, 2022a).

Today, economic systems are usually divided into liberal and coordinated markets, social systems – into institutions of shareholder capitalism and stakeholder capitalism, and political systems – into majoritarian and consensus democracies. In each pair, the first type of systems relies mainly on competitive mechanisms, and the second – on mechanisms of cooperation. A thorough analysis shows that the achievements of the Seven are based on collaborative advantages, which are understood as the dominance of cooperation mechanisms in the economic, social and political spheres (Polterovich, 2022b).

This clearly sets the starting point for the future of the WCAC. Its dominance model is likely to be based not on the hegemon triangle (Fig. 4), as was typical of the United States, but on the leader triangle (Fig. 5).

 

Source: (Balatsky, 2022b).

 


Source: (Balatsky, 2022b).

 

 

We should note that Zbigniew Brzezinski can be considered the ideologist of the need to move from the hegemon model to the leader model; he made very clear statements in this regard. In particular, he wrote: “Imperial stability has historically depended on skilled domination, superior military organization, and – ultimately most important – political passivity on the part of dominated peoples against their less numerous but more assertive dominators” (Brzezinski, 2007, p. 204). Today, the submissiveness of “third” countries is becoming a thing of the past.

The hegemon triangle is based on the “power – monopoly – superprofits” chain, which assumes a closed circuit of three interrelated processes: ensuring the power of the hegemon state over the entire world economic system to maintain its monopoly in all the most important markets – economic and political; using monopoly to manage market imbalances, prices and, as a consequence, the rate of profit, which ultimately, helps to make superprofits; spending the received superprofits on preserving and strengthening its power over the world system. Today, the United States continues to act within the framework of this model: ignoring the political interests of other countries, total control over the market of high technology, drugs, weapons, etc.; financing any operations to preserve American political power on the territory of the entire planet. However, back in the first decade of the 21st century, Brzezinski expressed his concern about this: “Even the world’s paramount superpower can go badly astray and endanger its own primacy if its strategy is misguided and its understanding of the world is faulty” (Brzezinski, 2007, p. 12). He also emphasized the following truth: “No longer is military power, reinforced by economic prowess and exercised by superior elite pursuing a sophisticated strategy, sufficient to sustain imperial domination. In the past, power to control exceeded power to destroy. It took less effort and cost to govern a million people than to kill a million people. Today, the opposite is true: power to destroy exceeds the power to control” (Brzezinski, 2007, p. 214).

Today, the diffusion of the nuclear syndrome is unfolding in the world – the club of nuclear powers is at the start of a rapid expansion. Today, the United States, pursuing a strategy of Pacific confrontation with China, has included Australia in its orbit, which now is going to become the owner of a fleet with nuclear weapons produced on its territory. Thus, in 2021, the United States, the UK and Australia announced the establishment of a trilateral defense security alliance, known as AUKUS (an acronym formed from the names of its members: Australia, United Kingdom, United States), within which the Australian Navy will be able to build nuclear submarines for the first time [18]. Strengthening its position against China and North Korea, the United States is ready to agree that Japan and South Korea possess nuclear weapons [19]. As a response to this escalation of the situation, the President of Belarus A.G. Lukashenko announced the re–equipment of the country’s aircraft so that they could carry nuclear charges [20]; given that Belarus and Russia are members of the Union State, such actions are considered completely legitimate. At the same time, not only Iran, but now Turkey and Saudi Arabia have joined the nuclear weapons race. As a response to the proposed expansion of NATO at the expense of Sweden and Finland [21], Russia intends to establish military bases in the Latin American triangle of Nicaragua – Cuba – Venezuela in close proximity to the United States [22]. All these events require different relations between the superpowers, their mutual respect and a different system of managing world economic processes.

In such circumstances, it is unlikely that the United States will be able to maintain its hegemony. “What once took centuries now takes a decade; what took a decade now happens in a single year. The paramountcy of any power will henceforth come under mounting pressure for adaptation, alteration and eventual abolition” (Brzezinski, 2007, p. 206). To avoid a senseless catastrophe, Brzezinski urged the U.S. leadership to switch to a leadership model: “... the only way to exercise leadership is through subtle indirection and consensual rule” (Brzezinski, 2007, p. 205).

The leader triangle is based on the chain “power – privileges – balance of resources”, which assumes a closed circuit of three interrelated processes: ensuring the power of the leader state over the world economic system to maintain its privileged position in all the most important markets – economic and political; the use of privileges to maintain the balance of resources, which ultimately allows the implementation of uninterrupted economic activity of the country; balanced use of resources is the basis for preserving and strengthening the power of the leading state over the world system. Privileges in the market mean one of the leading (but not necessarily the first) places of the state in the market if there are other participants in it – unlike a monopoly, where all other participants are eliminated. The balance of resources means the sufficiency of vital natural and other resources for the successful (normal) operation of the leader economy, which is the key to the stability of its world power and influence. Ensuring the power of the leader is achieved not by purely forceful pressure on the participants of the GGPS, as in the hegemon triangle, but due to the objective geopolitical superiority of the country.

Brzeziński gave quite a sufficient description of the leader model: “To lead, America must not only be sensitive to global realities. It must also be socially attractive” (Brzezinski, 2007, p. 198). “Global leadership now must be accompanied by a social consciousness, a readiness to compromise regarding some aspects of one’s own sovereignty, a cultural appeal with more than just hedonistic content, and a genuine respect for the diversity of human traditions and values” (Brzeziński, 2007, p. 214).

If we proceed from the fact that the future WCAC should act within the framework of the model not of a hegemon, but of a leader, then Russia’s prospects in this capacity seem quite realistic: Russia will almost certainly not be able to create a hegemon triangle, but it could create a leader triangle. Considering that in the past the Russian Empire acted as “Europe’s gendarme”, we can assume its broader powers in the Fifth Cycle of Accumulation – as a world gendarme or, in modern terms, coordinator and peacemaker of the global political system.

Thus, according to all available signs, in the Fifth Cycle of Accumulation, a more sparing regime of world governance by the WCAC should be implemented, based on greater equality and respect for the participants of the GGPS, consensual restraint of economic growth by all countries, their more responsible demographic and environmental behavior. Russia is quite suitable for this role.

 

***

 

In this chapter, we have brought together heterogeneous factors that influence possible future dominance of the Russian Federation as the Fifth WCAC. These are geographical phenomena (ice decline in the Russian Arctic, Russia evolving from a land power into a sea power; natural resources endowment), philosophical (dialectical confrontation of homogeneity and heterogeneity of the world system), historical (syndrome of false contender for the role of WCAC; passionarity of the ethnos), political (parade of sovereignties and imperial revanchists, diffusion of the nuclear syndrome, legitimization of the struggle against political and managerial opposition), political economy (cycles of capital accumulation; world capital accumulation center; Russia’s economy joining the world system of capitalism), economic (effectiveness of international economic sanctions; GPTs; industry cycles; regulatory and technology triads), demographic (demographic curse), cultural (openness of the Russian Civilization to immigrants, its civilizing experience in relation to other peoples, high civilizational absorption), military (latent and active phases of hybrid warfare; hybrid warfare paradox) factors and management effects (autonomous and authoritarian management, hegemon and leader models).

With such a set of global advantages, Russia not only has every chance of becoming the Fifth WCAC, but is almost “doomed” to take this place. At the same time, one should remember Brzezinski’s warning: “Leadership is partly a matter of character, partly intellect, partly organization, and partly what Machiavelli called “fortuna” – the mysterious interaction of fate and chance” (Brzezinski, 2007, p. 13). In this regard, there is no predetermination in the future of Russia and there cannot be – much will depend on the subjective factor (the capacity of the power elite, the readiness of the masses for a new role of the country, the timeliness of necessary actions, etc.).

Today, the SMO is going on extremely slowly, and there is practically no change in the governing personnel. The mistakes accumulated during this time, the indecision of the authorities, their lack of a clear idea of the image of a future Russia – all this causes a feeling of dissatisfaction and anxiety in the masses. However, here we can only say that only six months have passed since the beginning of Russia’s existence as a sovereign state, starting from February 24, 2022; over such short period it is difficult to expect any miracles. Even with the assumption that in wartime one year is counted as three years, it is still too early to say whether Russia is ready to become a new WCAC or not.

 

Chapter 3. The hybrid war of civilizations

 

In February 2022, with the launch of the SMO, the GGPS entered the phase of de–globalization. In the course of the events, Russia has found itself in the epicenter of geopolitical turbulence and has become the main actor in the Non–West coalition. As we noted earlier, the Russian Federation has very serious global advantages in this confrontation; they allow it to be considered as a possible future WCAC (Balatsky, 2014; Balatsky, 2022a; Balatsky, 2022b). At the same time, it is quite obvious that no objective geopolitical and economic prerequisites for a country to gain a leading position in the world can be implemented without some additional subjective organizational, managerial and cultural–historical conditions. In this regard, a natural question arises: does Russia have civilizational grounds for its transformation into a new WCAC?

The Fourth (hybrid) World War, which began in 2014 and reached an explicit phase in 2022, led to a clear division of the world into two coalitions – “West” and “Non–West” – with the corresponding accumulation of huge resources for the unfolding struggle (Balatsky, 2022a; Balatsky, 2022b). The West coalition is quite monolithic and is represented by advanced countries, while the Non–West bloc consists mainly of developing states whose integration has not yet fully taken place. Although the West’s technological advantage is undeniable, its resource potential is inferior to the Non–West coalition. In this regard, there is a global geopolitical intrigue concerning the winner in the current confrontation. In the article, we will try to objectively consider Russia’s chances of a positive outcome in the unfolding hybrid war of civilizations. The novelty of our approach consists in the reconstruction of the geopolitical logic of previous and current events with the identification of their historical dominant; the disclosure of the topic is accompanied by the use of material from related sciences.

 

3.1. The West and the Non–West megacivilizations: main features

 

Although the concepts of “West” and “Non–West” have already become widespread and well–known, there is no exact distinction between them. Although researchers have been dealing with the West – East opposition for a long time, let us point out the essential difference between the two concepts in order to avoid possible misunderstanding.

Today, two large communities, the West and the Non–West, represent megacivilizations that divide the world into two parts on a cultural basis. The concept of civilization, as considered by S. Huntington, is narrower, and it is based on people’s religious and cultural identity; thus, he counts eight major civilizations and several “torn” (undefined) countries (Huntington, 2021). Accordingly, the unification of countries and peoples with different religious and cultural identities forms a larger community, a megacivilization. Since the Western megacivilization originated in Europe and developed in North America, identifying its member countries and peoples is determined by the extent to which they follow established traditions. Today Western civilization includes the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and European countries; some states that did not originally belong to Western civilization can be considered as belonging to it since they are in the orbit of its interests and values: Israel, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, etc. Latin American countries also belong to the West according to all indications, but most of them are in a state of hidden opposition to the United States; thus, they are rather part of a different coalition – the Non–West. As for the rest of the countries, we can state with confidence that they belong to the Non–West bloc. In addition to purely cultural traditions, the binary system of division of the GGPS assumes other oppositions that coincide with the main one: center/ periphery, rich/poor countries, etc. (Huntington, 2021, p. 38).

The accepted understanding of the West and Non–West megacivilizations generally corresponds to the existing ideas and assumes the confrontation between the Western culture of rich peoples with advanced technologies and the rest of the world. The essence of the clash is the West’s desire to align the institutional and cultural environment of the entire GGPS according to its own standards and in its own favor, while the Non–West is trying to hinder this process. Western countries have orientations toward certain economic and political regimes – liberal ideology and elective democracy. These regimes put many countries of the Non–West bloc, including Russia, China, Iran, India and other states, at a disadvantage. Thus, the initial goal of the West is to “clean up” unfriendly economic and political regimes in order to preserve its privileged position in the GGPS.

The West/Non–West confrontation has a geopolitical dimension. For example, large countries with an unfavorable climate and terrain – Russia, China, India, etc. – cannot afford an elected democracy with a lot of political checks and balances like in the United States. That is why Vladimir Lenin put forward the political structure of the USSR as an institutional alternative based on the principle of democratic centralism – elective democracy in the regions with the strongest central government. Today this principle has been effectively implemented in China and gives impressive results. If Non–Western countries abandon a strong central government, they will face a collapse of their statehood as such; this is why they show such a staunch opposition to Western pressure.

Since the West is personified by the U.S., and the Non–West – by Russia, in the future we will consider this pair of countries to illustrate all the issues raised.

 

3.2. The West/Non–West civilizational confrontation:
Natural vs Artificial, Humanism vs Transhumanism

 

Currently, the social boundary between the West and the Non–West is equivalent to the dichotomy of Artificial vs Natural or, to use modern terminology, Humanism vs Transhumanism. Today the West is breaking away from the traditional understanding of man, expanding it and going beyond it in its concepts. That is why the main manifestation of this process is the gender revolution, the essence of which lies in the denial of such traditional concepts as family, status of father and mother, and the binary gender system; promotion of same–sex marriage, etc. Thus, it is assumed that an individual is initially imperfect, and any of their elements, up to sex, can be “corrected”. This approach is opposed by more conservative circles of the population from Non–Western countries (and from Western countries, too), where such interference with human nature is considered unacceptable or, at least, undesirable.

The current Fourth World War is a clash between the West and the Non–West with the corresponding opposition in values. While the West provides humanity with endless opportunities for human transformation, its enhancement and, eventually, change into something else, perhaps more powerful, the Non–West wants to preserve the human principle in each individual and improve the world within such a global limitation. This is equivalent to the confrontation of “inhuman, but great” vs “limited, but human”. At the same time, the Western model assumes a “universal” subject – without pronounced parameters of gender, nationality, denomination, marital status, etc. In other words, a person becomes an abstract being to whom traditional biological and social oppositions such as man/woman, mother/father, Christian/Muslim/Buddhist/Jew, Italian/Chinese/Russian/Arab, etc. are no longer applicable. In the Non–Western model, the subject, on the contrary, receives their “legitimate” individual characteristics, for example, a man, Russian, Orthodox, father of two children, etc. This is a fundamental difference that each person decides to the best of their understanding of the world and their preferences. The active minority in Western countries chooses the former; the majority in Non–Western countries chooses the latter.

The social confrontation between the Western and Non–Western models is equivalent to the dichotomy of Artificial vs Natural. However, in addition to social tensions, the Western model has other civilizational flaws. For example, from a philosophical point of view, the fundamental property of the world is its bipolarity and dialectic. It is the presence of two opposites that is the source of evolution and all progressive changes; eliminating the binary world automatically entails stagnation and regression. The rejection of gender binary jeopardizes the principle of naturalness that was present in all ancient Eastern and later Western philosophical teachings. The two fundamental principles of philosophy have traditionally been the principle of unity (being and non–being, nature and man) and the principle of naturalness (dualism, dialectic, polarity, structurality). Moreover, as L.A. Petrushenko rightly notes, “the history of the relationship of the principle of naturalness with the principle of unity ... is the prehistory of the relationship of the principle of development with the principle of substance” (Petrushenko, 2020, p. 68). Thus, transhumanism with its inherent rejection of gender binary means the denial of both the development of civilization itself and the source of its self–movement, because the world is self–moving and self–active due to its unity and dialectic (Petrushenko, 2020, p. 68).

Along with abandoning the natural binary in gender issues, the West ended up trapped in insurmountable contradictions in all spheres of life, when there began the complete denial of religion, history, morality, law, and science. For example, exuberant dancing in American churches and the benevolent attitude of the Roman Catholic Church toward same–sex marriage is tantamount to a complete denial of all religious dogmas. The unilateral struggle for the rights of the nonwhite population led to the denial of American history, which was expressed in the demolition of monuments of the Founding Fathers of the United States during the 2020 presidential election campaign, the creation of historical films with nonwhite actors as characters belonging to representatives of the “white nation”, etc. The ban on discriminatory statements about transgender and bisexual leads to the ban on the activities of feminists who have traditionally defended the rights of women, which do not exist in the world of gender diversity; this, in turn, negates the traditional system of law; the 2022 seizure of Russia’s accounts and foreign exchange reserves, accounts and property of Russia’s citizens and companies abroad and the ban on Russian ships visiting international ports are equivalent to the elimination of the system of international law, the sacred right of private property, if not the Law at all. Large–scale dissemination of deliberately false information on foreign and domestic policy issues in the media means the collapse of the morality on which the Western megacivilization based its existence. By proclaiming gender diversity, the West provokes a global conflict with science, which still claims the opposite. By turning its back on the works of Russian writers and composers, the West cancels out its own cultural achievements, of which Russian culture is an integral part. Thus, Western civilization at this stage of development denies itself and its own cultural baggage.

These obvious social deviations of the West within itself make its development model extremely unattractive for the rest of the countries and peoples of the world; this fact once again emphasizes civilizational separation of the two worlds; the confrontation between the natural and man–made causes a split within the countries of the West – both in the USA and in Europe.

The emerging orientation of the West toward the construction of artificial worlds and artificial man will hereafter be called the First civilizational failure within the Western megacivilization.

 

3.3. The main mistake of the West

 

In 2007, Zbigniew Brzezinski published his program book, in which he analyzed mistakes of the American administration for 15 years after 1991, when the United States became the undisputed world hegemon (Brzezinski, 2007). During that period, America got its first chance to become a real world leader, but, according to Brzezinski, missed it. The fall of the USSR allowed the United States to pursue a linear foreign policy of pushing through its interests and decisions, regardless of the opinion of the international community. In fact, since 1991, diplomacy as a phenomenon of international relations has been eliminated, because the U.S. administration no longer showed readiness to negotiate and even talk to anyone at all.

Such a reversal in politics led to a series of military clashes. The first of them was the Persian Gulf War for the liberation of Kuwait in 1990–1991; subsequently, this undertaking was continued in 1998, and then in 2003–2011 and in 2014. The next incident is connected with the U.S. peacekeeping operation in Somalia in 1992–1995, first in the form of Operation Revival of Hope, and then Operation Continuation of Hope. The third conflict took place during the war in Yugoslavia – first in the form of Operation Deliberate Force in 1995 during the bombing of Bosnian Serbs, and then Operation Allied Force or Noble Anvil during the bombing of Serbia in the Kosovo War. Another military incident is Operation Infinite Reach, during which the U.S. launched cruise missile strikes against Al–Qaeda bases in Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998. The fifth act is related to U.S. military measures in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in the form of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in 2001–2014.

Such a purely strong–arm strategy and interference in the internal affairs of various states caused an increase in anti– American sentiment around the world, which undermined the authority of the United States and allowed Brzezinski to talk about the country’s missed first chance to ensure its global leadership. However, in his opinion, America had a second chance since 2008 for the next 15 years, which should be implemented at all costs, because it will no longer have a third chance (Brzezinski, 2007, p. 215). And here the politician makes an unequivocal warning: “Nothing could be worse for America, and eventually the world, than if American policy were universally viewed as arrogantly imperial in a postimperial age, mired in a colonial relapse in a postcolonial time, selfishly indifferent in the face of unprecedented global interdependence, and culturally self– righteous in a religiously diverse world” (Brzezinski, 2007, p. 215).

Exactly 15 years have passed since the publication of Brzezinski’s book, and time has shown that America missed its second chance. Over the years, the United States has launched another series of military conflicts. This is a five–day war in Georgia in 2008 between Georgia on the one hand and South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Russia on the other; the Georgian operation against South Ossetia was called “Clean Field” and was developed in advance by Georgia jointly with the United States, while the Georgian armed forces were trained in close cooperation with NATO. Another incident is the 2011 Libyan Civil War, also known as the First Civil War which was inspired and supported by the United States, including through the participation of a coalition of NATO member states. A similar situation took place in the preparation of the Civil War in Syria in 2011, in which the United States provided military assistance to anti–government forces. The year 2014 witnessed the first conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which was triggered by the desire of the Ukrainian leadership to join NATO and which ended with the accession of Crimea to the Russian Federation. In 2022, with the direct support of the U.S. administration, a new conflict arose between Russia and Ukraine in the form of the SMO. Thus, America spent the 2008–2022 period in its typical style of forcefully pushing through its interests in all parts of the world, contrary to the interests of other countries. Today, the United States is opposed by almost all countries that claim political sovereignty.

The above allows us to say that the main mistake of the West represented by its flagship – the United States – is a categorical unwillingness to take into account the interests of other countries and the specifics of their own political processes. Thus, America found itself in a state of war against everyone, which puts it in an extremely unfavorable position from a geopolitical point of view. The pronounced political egocentrism of the United States will hereafter be called the Second civilizational failure within the Western megacivilization.

 

3.4. Phenomenon of complete cybernetic inversion

 

Above, we have considered two civilizational failures of Western civilization, which make it very vulnerable in the conditions of the hybrid war that has begun. However, for a better understanding, let us reveal their genesis, essence and occurrence mechanism.

Let us start with the First civilizational failure, for which two issues are relevant. First: Why was it Western civilization that turned out to be an advocate of Transhumanism and the Artificial World? Second: why has this trend not affected the Non–West to the same extent?

The answers to these questions are based on the fact of the technological leadership of the West. It was Western capitalism that gave rise to the phenomena of economic growth and permanent technological progress that had not previously existed in the history of mankind. It was the capitalism of the West that created all modern technologies and all the existing culture within which modern humanity lives. However, such a situation is fraught with a well–defined danger, which has long been studied in philosophy and cybernetics: humanity as a subject of creativity and management gave rise to technological progress as an object of creation and management; but humanity was unable to cope with the scale of the phenomenon, underwent a systemic inversion and became its hostage and toy (Stoler, 1974). The described situation assumes that the subject and the object of control in the cybernetic system change places, as well as direct communication and feedback (Fig. 6).

 

Fig. 6. Complete technological inversion “Society – Technology”

Source: (Balatsky, 2022c).

 

In the 20th century, this philosophical and managerial problem became the topic of futurological discussions about whether a computer and artificial intelligence can get out of man’s control. The current stage of the evolution of mankind convincingly shows that technology has really turned into a self–sufficient phenomenon that forces man and society to diligently adapt to its logic. The possibilities of technology and the ultimate rationalization of life gave rise to the ideology of Transhumanism and the need for a “human derivative” (Dugin, 2010, p. 11). We shall call the emergence of such a social phenomenon a complete cybernetic inversion (CCI), since there is a complete rearrangement of the places of two subsystems – the controlled and the controlling.

It is not surprising that the West, having let the genie of technological progress out of the bottle, was the first to suffer from it. One has always been aware of the seriousness of the civilizational challenge posed by technological progress. For example, back in 1934, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky made a shrewd warning: “Slow progress with a possible limitation of suffering and violence is better than fast–paced progress accompanied by great agony” (Tsiolkovsky, 2017, p. 378). However, technological progress, among other things, entails active institutional reforms, in relation to which English writer Robert Louis Stevenson, back in 1896 when dwelling upon the depopulation of the Polynesian natives said the following: “...the problem seems to me to stand thus: – Where there have been fewest changes, important or unimportant, salutary or hurtful, there the race survives. Where there have been most, important or unimportant, salutary or hurtful, there it perishes” (Stevenson, 2005, p. 45). The modern explanation of this effect is that radical institutional reforms and rapid technological progress lead to the destruction of human capital in all its manifestations – devaluation of education, professional skills and practical experience, reduced motivation, depressive states, stress, general health deterioration, etc. (Balatsky, 2021a). This circumstance allowed V.M. Polterovich to view institutional reforms as being similar to technological changes, geographical discoveries, wars and natural disasters (Polterovich, 2014, p. 169). Back in 1943, Joseph Schumpeter, while being an advocate of economic progress, introduced the concept of “creative destruction” that is generated by any innovation – technological and organizational. “Creative destruction”, in his opinion, “is the very essence of capitalism ..., it illustrates ... the process of economic mutation” and “continuously revolutionizes the economic structure from within, destroying the old structure and creating a new one” (Schumpeter, 2008, p. 461).

The only way to mitigate these painful effects is to limit the pace of technological and institutional progress. However, in the context of global competition, it is not possible: lagging behind geopolitical rivals in the economic aspect may result in the death of the country and people concerned. The lack of alternative to this choice ultimately gives rise to the phenomenon of CCI.

Currently, the CCI phenomenon is especially dramatic due to the stage at which humanity is now. For example, according to K. Schwab, today we are on the eve of the so–called Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4) (Schwab, 2018, p. 48), while other researchers believe that it has already begun in 2000 (Xu et al., 2018). According to modern ideas, the First Industrial Revolution (IR1) was aimed at replacing the most difficult and primitive types of physical labor (for example, hammer work, manual handling of heavy things, etc.) and led to the primary displacement of physical labor, while the Second Industrial Revolution (IR2) gave rise to a mass reduction in physical labor, leaving only the lightest manual operations that require attention and professional skill (watch assembly, assembly line maintenance, etc.). The Third Industrial Revolution (IR3) launched the primary displacement of mental labor (computers took over simple calculations, collection, sorting, processing and storage of data), while IR4 will result in its mass displacement (due to the creation of complex digital systems and algorithms) (Balatsky, 2019). Consequently, in the 21st century, neither the muscular strength nor the human mind will be valuable, because they are to be replaced by technical devices. Moreover, labor itself is losing its former significance in all its manifestations. F. Engels stated: “Labor is the source of all wealth...But it is even infinitely more than this. It is the prime basic condition for all human existence, and this to such an extent that, in a sense, we have to say that labor created man himself” (Engels, 2017, p. 558). However, now any work becomes routine. This is the main civilizational challenge of our time, the challenge of the technogenic civilization that the West has built.

The logical consequence of this challenge is depreciation of an individual and their natural properties. Suffice it to recall how the emergence and development of photography gradually almost completely eliminated painting as an area of art; computer technologies and training programs led to the depreciation of chess competitions; chemicals (doping) became the main factor in sports achievements, and Internet technology and electronic archives substituted traditional libraries and book depositories, as well as the work of their staff. And while IR1 and IR2 left people with a vast territory to which they could retreat, the sphere of highly skilled labor, at the mature stage of IR4, the displaced knowledge workers (university professors, lawyers, doctors, accountants, financiers, economists, managers, etc.) have nowhere to migrate. Technologies of artificial insemination, surrogate motherhood, cloning, and genome correction open up new opportunities for hybrid human evolution, elimination of family problems, relations between man and woman, etc.

Thus, the logic of technological development led to the devaluation of human and their life, giving rise to the phenomenon of CCI and the First civilizational failure. It is not surprising that the Western World, having become the architect of an Artificial civilization, was the first to distance itself from its natural origin; the more conservative communities of the Non–West, although affected by the influence of progress, are more actively resisting the danger of the complete annihilation of Natural Man.

 

3.5. Phenomenon of partial cybernetic inversion

 

Now let us consider the genesis of the Second civilizational failure within Western megacivilization, which generates the main mistake of the West and consists in its categorical unwillingness to take into account the interests of other countries and its unpreparedness to enter into direct conflict with them. This phenomenon also has a cybernetic interpretation.

Proceeding from the fact that the West, represented by the United States, still acts as control center of the world economic system, its unwillingness to take into account the interests of the participants in this system means nothing more than a break in feedback in the corresponding cybernetic system (Fig. 7). The United States deliberately ignores information about the life and activities of other states and peoples and thereby falls into an informational geopolitical vacuum. In fact, they cease to understand and anticipate the behavior of participants of the GGPS and thereby become exposed to all those risks that they themselves generate with their rash actions. Quite obviously, in such a situation, the West (USA) first becomes ineffective in managing the Non–West and then ceases to fulfill the mission of coordinator of world events altogether. Ultimately, it will face an unforeseen and extremely undesirable situation, which it will no longer be able to eliminate. It is possible that such undesirable events for the United States will be repeated until the country completely loses world hegemony. This will be followed by a full reformatting of the GGPS with the accompanying change of the WCAC.

As we have already mentioned, the Second civilizational failure is equivalent to the break of feedback in the corresponding cybernetic system, hence its partial destruction, and therefore this phenomenon itself will be called partial cybernetic inversion (PCI), when the two subsystems are in relatively autonomous mode (Fig. 7).

 

Fig. 7. Partial cybernetic inversion “West–Non–West”

Source: (Balatsky, 2022c).

 

The reason for the emergence of the PCI is the monopoly position of the United States and its traditional and longstanding power, which allowed it to ignore their competitors. The military, intellectual and financial primacy of the U.S. for about 35–40 years was so overwhelming that it lulled the vigilance of the American administration. This led to a dramatic decline in the capacity of the country’s top leadership, including its presidents.

In relation to Russia, the PCI is also manifested in the U.S. political circles disregarding the accumulated knowledge and historical experience of interaction between the West and Russia. In this field, the United States has made several mistakes that are worth mentioning.

First, when instigating the conflict in Ukraine, the U.S. ignored the fact that throughout Russia’s history it was not Russia that acted as an aggressor toward the West, but vice versa. This is especially strange when we consider that British historian A. Toynbee wrote about it in detail 80 years ago. He noted: “The West, they will say, is the arch–aggressor of the modern era, and everyone will have their own example of Western aggression. The Russians will recall how their lands were occupied by Western armies in 1941, 1915, 1812, 1709 and 1610” (Toynbee, 2011, p. 252). Moreover, he recalls that up to the 13th century, relations between Russia and the West were very successful. However, during the Mongol invasion Russia weakened and the Western neighbors took advantage of it by annexing Western Russian lands in Belarus and Ukraine; Russia managed to return those lands only in 1945 (Toynbee, 2011, p. 254).

Second, Russia has always provided an effective response to all military and technological challenges of the West. For example, Toynbee notes that the acts of aggression against Russia in 1610 (from Poland), 1709 (Sweden), 1812 (France), 1915 and 1941 (Germany) were successfully repelled; an adequate response was also given to the technological challenge of 1945 (the U.S. atomic bombing of Japan) in 1949. Despite these facts, the United States orchestrated a clash between Russia and Ukraine in 2014, which ended with the accession of Crimea to the Russian Federation and marked a new round of the arms race. The provocation on the part of the West resulted in Russia’s developing the Kinzhal hypersonic aviation missile system, which was adopted in 2017, and the Poseidon unmanned underwater vehicle equipped with a nuclear power plant, commissioned in 2018. After these events, the tenseness of the situation in the world has reached its peak.

Third, overly persistent attempts by the United States to introduce a democratic political regime in Russia after 1991 led to the exact opposite result – an unprecedented strengthening of the central government in the country during Vladimir Putin’s presidential terms. And this is after Toynbee shrewdly noted that since the 14th century, “autocracy and centralism have been the dominant of all ruling regimes in Russia” (Toynbee, 2011, p. 254). Moreover, Toynbee provided an absolutely accurate assessment of the reasons for this state of affairs: “Probably, this Russian–Moscow tradition was as unpleasant to the Russians themselves as to their neighbors; however, unfortunately, the Russians learned to tolerate it, partly out of habit, but also because, without any doubt, they considered it less evil, rather than the prospect of being conquered by aggressive neighbors” (Toynbee, 2011, p. 254).

Fourth, the United States got involved in an active confrontation with Russia during the collapse of its own liberal democratic ideology. Since 1945, the clash of the West with the rest of the world has shifted from the technological to the spiritual sphere (Toynbee, 2011, p. 261). The victory of the West over Soviet communism in 1991 exposed a similar confrontation with communist China and the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution of Iran. Apparently, the sympathies of the majority of the world’s population, including in Western countries, lean toward the spiritual attitudes of the Non–West.

Thus, the illusion of unlimited power and permissiveness led the United States to the paralysis of its analytical segment of the management system and actions resulting either in the defeat of the West or the death of the whole world, including the West itself.

 

3.6. The lag paradox

 

To understand the general balance of forces in the West/Non–West hybrid war, it is necessary to consider its two dimensions – technological and spiritual. To do this, let us look at an extremely simplified, but very representative scheme in Fig. 8.

 

 

 

Fig. 8. The lag paradox

Source: (Balatsky, 2022c).

 

Both megacivilizations, the West and the Non–West, have their own level of technological and spiritual development, which is reflected respectively on the left and right axes of Fig. 8. For simplicity, let us assume that at the beginning of time, the West and the East were at about the same level of technological development and at the same spiritual level. The main characteristic and advantage of the Western world is its accelerated technological development compared to the rest of the world (in Fig. 8 this is reflected by two continuous increasing straight lines, where the line for the Western world has a greater angle of inclination). However, at the same time, the West has degraded spiritually much faster (in Fig. 8, this is reflected by two dotted descending lines, where the line for the Western world also has a greater slope relative to the timeline). We see that the intersection point of the two curves for the West corresponds to an earlier time period compared to the intersection point of the curves for the Non–West. The intersection points themselves can be interpreted as a crisis of Western and Non–Western civilizations, respectively, when the material principle begins to prevail over the spiritual one [23].

According to this representation of civilizational progress it turns out that the lagging megacivilization of the Non–West is the one that arrives to a total spiritual crisis later than its competitor, the West [24]. Thus, we observe a kind of lag paradox, when a more advanced civilization finds itself in a state of spiritual crisis and disintegration earlier, while the lagging world gains a temporary advantage.

The considered paradox is based on the idea that modern world has not developed spiritually over time, but has degraded. Rene Guenon, a French philosopher, author of works on metaphysics, traditionalism and symbolism, is considered an outstanding advocate of this position. Such statements about the dynamics of the spiritual essence of humanity can be confirmed only by indirect data, but the whole course of world history and especially the last 100 years clearly show the validity of the Guenon doctrine, which allows it to be used as a working hypothesis [25].

Strictly speaking, the lag paradox is a kind of metaphysical model of human civilization that requires at least a brief explanation. For example, the very existence of two lines of development – spiritual and technological (material) – is associated with an opposition that Aldous Huxley characterizes as “contemplation/action” (Huxley, 2018, p. 465); in Guénon’s terminology, this opposition is “speculation/action” (Guénon, 2021, p. 111). Depending on the prevalence of one or another pole, either a predominantly active human nature or a predominantly contemplative personality is formed. All the most ancient spiritual traditions postulate that the goal of human life is contemplation (i.e., direct and intuitive comprehension of God, the Absolute, Brahman, etc.), and the means to achieve the goal is action (transformation of the world and oneself); in Western teachings, the opposite is true: the goal is action, and the means is contemplation (in the lowest form – discursive thinking) (Huxley, 2018, p. 465). The doctrine of contemplation generates spiritual (abstract) values of a holistic type (truth, creativity, knowledge, beauty, love, etc.), and the doctrine of action generates selfish material (concrete) interests (household comfort, profit margin, retention of power, etc.). The above makes the diagram in Fig. 8 more understandable. Accordingly, the moment when technological progress rather than spiritual values becomes the highest meaning of the development of civilization, indicates the onset of spiritual crisis.

The First and Second civilizational failures in the functioning of Western megacivilization are manifestations and indirect evidence of the lag paradox. Indeed, the technocracy of the West already denies the culture and history of mankind, considering them to be obsolete phenomena, and thereby removes the spiritual basis of man (Dugin, 2010, p. 12). We agree with I.R. Shafarevich who notes that the principle of the technological civilization of the West “consists in the gradual displacement of natural elements by technology” (Shafarevich, 2003, p. 366). In a more radical formulation, “the goal of Western progress is to destroy nature and replace it with artificial nature–technology” (Shafarevich, 2003, p. 366). If we follow Oswald Spengler’s logic, then “civilization is the very extreme and artificial states that can be realized by the highest kind of people” (Spengler, 2009, p. 43); the most important sign of the decline of Western civilization is the extinction of spiritual creativity. The fact that Raphael and Mozart, Cervantes and Goethe, Shakespeare and Dickens have already remained in the distant past of the West confirms this thesis. However, Shafarevich develops it by talking about two stages in the development of the Western world – the early, associated with the creation of science, and the late, within which technology is created. And while science discovers the laws of nature, and technology uses the laws of nature that are already known, the early stage of the existence of the West is based on spiritual comprehension of the world, and the late one is based on practical applications of spiritual achievements (Shafarevich, 2003, p. 421). Of course, today there are already many additional signs of the spiritual degradation of the West, and there is no need for us to dwell upon them in detail.

The development of events around the SMO during 2022 also provides additional arguments in favor of a more noticeable moral decay of the West, which has gone too far in its political intrigues and does not stop even before instigating the leadership of Ukraine to bomb nuclear power plants and helping it to create a “dirty bomb” with radioactive stuffing [26].

The lag paradox is important for understanding the emerging situation on the battlefield of the current hybrid war. In this regard, it is appropriate to recall Toynbee’s idea that Western and Non–Western civilizations use both material and spiritual tools. The latter is the worldview of the Non–West, which can outweigh the material tools of the West (Toynbee, 2011, p. 258). For example, since 1917, the idea of communism has been the greatest danger to the West.

We should add the fact that a person’s spirituality is naturally manifested in their material self–restraint and increased demands on themselves, whereas the philosophy of action, on the contrary, provokes increased claims to the outside world in the individual’s own favor, and also to material expansion. In practice, this means that a more spiritual individual is prone to professional perfectionism, is capable of greater concentration and being more efficient in work, producing higher–quality artifacts; whereas a purely material orientation of an individual often results in the production of flawed items, scamped work, and idleness. It is hardly necessary to prove that people’s spiritual qualities themselves are already a huge advantage of civilization when it collides with a geopolitical opponent. It is the great spirituality of the people, ultimately, that manifests itself at the birth of passionarity, which will be discussed in more detail below.

Another important feature that shows spiritual degradation of society is the endless bustle of individuals, accompanied by “metaphysical anxiety” (Guenon, 2020, p. 21), which underlies most modern diseases – from cancer to mental disorders and dementia. In this regard, we can say that the West is a society of sick people. This circumstance cannot but provoke protest, a typical example of which is found in the viewpoint of the British intelligence officer G. Blake, who defected to the USSR: “...I’ve always hated competition between people.

To get pleasure from it seems to me something humiliating and unworthy. It is necessary to do something well for oneself, and not in order to surpass or outshine another... For the same reasons I have never been attracted to business. I hate the idea of taking part in a rat race, where you either succeed or you will be thrown into a landfill like garbage, where a person is so caught up in making money that there is no time for anything else, even for the pleasure of spending this money” (Blake, 2006, p. 136). Then Blake delivers the final verdict regarding the individualism of the West: “When you compare yourself to others, you always become bitter or narcissistic, because there is someone better or someone worse nearby” (Blake, 2006, p. 137). In other words, a lifestyle with more spirituality will always be the center of attraction for huge masses of people.

At the end of this section, we note that the lag paradox discussed above is an extremely simplified model of the ongoing civilizational shifts. In reality, the ascending line of technological progress and the descending line of the level of people’s spiritual development can break in any variety of ways – not only by stabilizing the situation, but by temporarily reversing the trend. However, at large time intervals, the directions of general trends are preserved.

 

3.7. Destruction of the national model of Russia's social evolution; the anatomy of Neocolonialism

 

Russia has approached the open phase of the Fourth Hybrid War with the West with a colossal volume of various problems. In this regard, one should find out whether the Russian Federation is capable of acting as a full–fledged participant in the war and whether it can count on winning. Thus, let us consider four global social problems of Russia, which have been finally exposed by 2022.

Problem number one: political autism of the Russian population. After 1991, the country faced an extremely negative effect of initial conditions dating back to the Soviet times. Thus, in the USSR, the ideological and political education of young people in schools and universities was based on dogmas and was conducted rather primitively; moreover, political life in the country itself was so inert and artificial that resulted in the fact that school and university graduates almost completely rejected politics as an area of their interest. The aversion of young and middle–aged people to politics lay at the heart of the indifferent attitude of the Soviet population toward the collapse of the USSR. People either did not understand what was happening, or even supported the fall of the communist regime, not realizing that the entire statehood in general was collapsing with it. After 1991, the political consciousness of all the former peoples of the USSR was generally paralyzed by the need to survive in new conditions. So far, there have been no radical changes; Russians do not have a sense of belonging to one people; there is no understanding that the country is in danger again; petty everyday problems still outweigh people’s political consciousness.

Problem number two: total de–professionalization and de qualification of the country’s cadres. After 1991 Russia experienced an unprecedented degradation of the national economy. All high–tech industries were closed or reduced to the limit. This resulted in a lack of demand for science, developments and, ultimately, high–quality education. Professional knowledge, skills and experience gradually “evaporated” due to the absence of demand. In fact, the preservation of professionalism and skill in any field has become a marginal strategy of the few, instead of being a nationwide idea, which it used to be in the USSR. Today in Russia, almost all industries are staffed with lay people who do not have specialized education and work experience and therefore are forced to master various skills on their own, which in most cases leads to outdated and unproductive amateur activity.

Problem number three: absence of the adequate political elite. After 1991, power, including top positions in government and big business, was taken by those who completely denied the main principle of the political elite – Service to the Fatherland. Even the very concept of Fatherland for most of these people has lost its meaning, because they moved their money, real estate and family members abroad. In Russia, representatives of the authorities and large companies have no values except for the opportunity to amass wealth and subsequently export it to more prosperous countries. This syndrome of rats fleeing a sinking ship has been manifested in all strata of the Russian population.

Problem numberfour: the absence of a state ideology in Russia. Paragraph 1 of Article 13 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation states: “Ideological diversity shall be recognized in the Russian Federation” [27]. The recognition of ideological diversity led to the absence of ideology in general; therefore, the population found itself without an elementary spiritual basis, without an understanding of prospects and a unifying principle. In the conditions of the SMO, this problem revealed itself to the fullest extent. Mass evasion of mobilization and the flight of conscripts from the country are particular signs of the ideological vacuum in which the Russian population exists nowadays.

These four problems are enough to destroy the national model of Russia’s development. In this regard, let us recall Lee Kuan Yew’s formula for Singapore’s development: “The country’s success = Brilliant management + Total personnel perfectionism” (Lee, 2018). These conditions are equivalent to the presence of high professionalism in personnel and the most responsible political elite, which Russia has lacked for the last 31 years. Moreover, given the absence of ideology and a sense of unity among the people, we can say that as it launched the SMO, it had no basis for victory. However, in this regard, reasonable questions arise: how this state of affairs has developed and whether it can be corrected.

As a rule, such obvious institutional failures rarely occur on their own; they are man–made. For Russia, they are a natural consequence of neocolonialism, the system of external governance established after 1991 (Balatsky, 2022a). The actions of the network of Western emissaries and the puppet government complied with the following scenario.

The current RF Constitution was adopted in 1993, and the aforementioned Paragraph 1 of Article 13 was specially introduced into it. After the collapse of communism, Russia was no longer given a chance to preserve the old ideology or build a new one. Moreover, at that moment there were no objective conditions for the development of a new ideological course; in the future, it remained only to preserve this paragraph in the Constitution, thereby making any attempts to develop a state ideology illegal. At the same time, the principle formulated by Zygmunt Bauman (Bauman, 2008, p. 40) was brought into action. In the modern interpretation, Bauman’s principle looks like this: opportunities divide people, while the lack of opportunities unites them (Balatsky, 2011, p. 136). The entire era of Russia’s existence since 1991, especially since the beginning of the 21st century, was characterized by a general contradiction: Russian citizens were gradually living better and better, while the country was sliding into an abyss – to the final loss of technological sovereignty (Balatsky, 2022a, p. 56). This contradiction was also man–made: oil and gas rents were “smeared” across the entire population of the country, providing people with a very decent standard of living; thus, there emerged a tendency toward disunity of the population. Russian citizens purchased apartments and houses, went on trips and vacations abroad, bought modern imported motor vehicles, while domestic production was gradually deteriorating, causing the loss of technological sovereignty. In the conditions of the SMO, the problems of disunity of the people and the absence of strategically significant industries have been completely exposed. Today, the gigantic Russian political opposition, which has moved to other countries and is conducting antigovernment propaganda from there, as well as the considerable amount of the population embittered by the deterioration of life after the start of the SMO, is a typical example of the man–made implementation of the Bauman principle in the absence of state ideology.

The disunity of the people was reinforced by the disavowal of the country’s history and the aberration of the Russian language. For example, already in the late USSR, Joseph Stalin, Nikita Khrushchev and partly Vladimir Lenin were partially demonized, and after 1991 they were subjected to full–scale falsification. As a result, almost the entire Soviet period was devoted to a kind of historical anathema, which undermined the connection of the people with their own history. Currently, the debunking of the positive deeds of earlier historical figures, including Peter the Great, is in full swing. Thus, the process of denigrating the history of the Russian state gradually goes deep into the centuries, so that the people are deprived of their roots and the subject of historical pride for their country. Not only the media, but also scientific conferences, textbooks and monographs are filled with new false interpretations of historical facts. In parallel, the unified state exam campaign and the reform of the Russian language, aimed at introducing formal rules that have never existed before, have led to the fact that today almost the whole country speaks incorrectly, making unthinkable accents in words that previously did not cause any discrepancies. The new rules are imposed on school students without any alternative and are the basis for passing the exam. Even the voice robot in Yandex Navigator pronounces certain Russian words with incorrect stress. Finally, the West, which “took offence” at Russia because of the SMO, stooped so low as to reject even the great literary and musical works of representatives of Russian culture.

These measures to undermine the integrity of the Russian people were accompanied by two more “special operations”: undermining the professionalism of the population and alienating the political elite from its country of origin. To ensure the success of the former, not only the knowledge intensive economic sector was destroyed, but also a mechanism of negative selection was set up, when not the best but the worst representatives of the people were appointed to all leadership positions in politics and economics. This ensured that no real political and economic problems of the country would be solved; at the same time, such a situation suppressed the natural desire of people for professional excellence. Moreover, we should note that the mechanism of negative selection can only be artificial, because in natural conditions, the very presence of large–scale problems leads to the fact that the top government posts bocome occupied by competent people. In Russia, this did not happen, which once again testifies that social degradation processes are instigated from the outside. And, finally, the logical conclusion of the neocolonial policy is the alienation of political and economic elites from their country of origin. This was achieved by Russia’s international openness, when its citizens could freely move their capital abroad; the instability of the Russian regime against the background of the reliability of Western countries predetermined the unambiguous choice made by the elites. The currently unfolding campaign to “punish” (arrest of accounts, seizure of real estate, refusal of visas, etc.) representatives of Russian elites for the actions of the Russian leadership that are undesirable for the West once again confirms the man–made nature of the policy pursued against Russia in the previous period.

We should note that the degradation of the population and elites in Russia has by no means reached its limit; rather, it has further impressive prospects. We find it appropriate to recall the results of Universe 25, an experiment conducted by John Calhoun in 1968–1972 on the example of a mouse population (Calhoun, 1973): the creation of an artificial Utopia for animals, in which food, territory and building material for nesting were unlimited, led to the complete depopulation of the group of mice selected for the experiment. The result of this work was “death squared”: extinction of a population occurs in two steps – first the rupture of social ties between individuals, and then their social autism and indifference due to the loss of the meaning of life (Calhoun, 1973). It is this algorithm that is being implemented today by the puppet regimes of the West in relation to countries and peoples subject to weakening and destruction.

Currently, in Russia, the SMO contributes to overcoming all these syndromes, but the question is whether a radical change in the situation is possible in this direction in the conditions of the active phase of the hybrid war with the West.

 

3.8. Cognitive cycle "Decisions – Events"

 

When studying historical dynamics, one should take into account the key mechanisms of transformation of social systems; let us consider one of such mechanisms in this section.

In modern neuroscience, the principle of neuroplasticity of the brain, introduced into science by Jerzy Konorski, is well known and consists in the ability of the brain to change under the influence of human experience, including for example, transferring the functions for which the damaged areas of the brain were responsible to other parts of the brain (Goleman, 2005). At the societal level, this has its equivalent in the principle of cultural plasticity of a civilization, which assumes the ability of the social system to adjust the decisions made by its leaders depending on the circumstances.

The principle of cultural plasticity of society is responsible for the evolution of peoples and countries. For example, in the absence of this principle it would be impossible to explain how the German culture of the 20th century could give rise to fascism and Nazism with all the ensuing consequences. It is equally problematic to explain such a phenomenon as the transformation of Singapore from a littered small territory into the most advanced dwarf state in just half a century. The principle of cultural plasticity is based on the cognitive cycle “Decisions – Events”, which consists in the fact that society (an individual) produces certain decisions that generate certain new events that are taken into account in the next round of decision making; and so on indefinitely (Fig. 9). The conjugacy of the cognitive process of people’s comprehension of reality and their actions aimed to change this reality forms a “laced” scheme of history described by George Soros (Soros, 1996). This cycle demonstrates the inextricable connection between mental processes and the material environment.

 

Fig. 9. Cognitive cycle “Decisions – Events”

Source: (Balatsky, 2022c).

 

The significance of the cognitive cycle “Decisions – Events” is that it removes the predetermination of any outcome in the geopolitical confrontation of different forces. According to this principle, not only people produce events, but events also shape people. This question is closely related to the well–known problem of the role of personality in history. However, G.V. Plekhanov, who comprehensively examined this question, only outlined the answer, pointing out that certain historical conditions are required for the realization of an individual’s potential (Plekhanov, 2013). Such an answer requires a static cross–section of the situation under consideration: the conditions either exist or do not. At the same time, the cognitive cycle “Decisions – Events” gives us a more complete dynamic picture and suggests that even in the absence of initial conditions for realizing the potential of a particular outstanding personality, they can eventually be created. Moreover, a series of events can form the desired conditions, which themselves will generate and demand the personality required to implement certain decisions. The most impressive illustration of how this scheme works can be the fact of the repeatability of scientific discoveries and developments: if there is a request for a corresponding discovery (development) and there are conditions for performing the necessary procedures, then there emerges not one person, but many people who are able to satisfy the need.

The above clarification is important for understanding the course and consequences of the ongoing SMO and the entire global hybrid war. During the eight months of hostilities in Ukraine, one could observe the extreme indecision and inconsistency of the Russian leadership in conducting them. The policy of these months was based on the “One step forward – two steps back” principle. However, the very course of the operation and its results at different stages gradually led to a change in the nature of management decisions on the part of the Russian authorities. Currently, there is a great consistency in the actions of the RF Armed Forces. However, the main conclusion from what has been said is that an initially generated event can lead to completely unpredictable consequences. For example, if it is carried out for a sufficiently long time, it can bring new political elite to power, generate a new ideology and qualitatively different management decisions.

 

3.9. Structural model of an evolutionary leap

 

The balance of forces in the GGPS alone does not make it possible to foresee any events, and even more so the outcome of the resulting clash of megacivilizations. The result of such conflicts largely depends on the range of subjective factors that either allow or do not allow the objective potential of civilization to be implemented. To determine this group of factors, L.N. Gumilev introduced a very successful concept, passionarity of an ethnic group, which means the amount of vital energy available in the ethnic system; in turn, the passionarity of the ethnos is manifested in the work it performs that takes the form of historical events (Gumilev, 2016, p. 283). Using Arthur Schopenhauer’s terminology, we can say that the historical work of an ethnos (civilization) is crystallized in the totality of its deeds (geographical discoveries, wars of conquest and defense, acts of self–sacrifice, etc.) guided by great hearts, and creations (sculptures and paintings, musical works of composers, books of philosophers and writers, discoveries of scientists, etc.) requiring a great head (Schopenhauer, 2011, p. 86). This makes it possible to understand the magnitude of the ethnic group’s passionarity tension, i.e. its specific passionarity (Gumilev, 2016, p. 283).

We agree with Gumilev that passionarity is based on the concept of an ethnic field, i.e. certain energy vibrations that permeate all representatives of a particular ethnic group (Gumilev, 2016, p. 317). However, he saw the source of explosions (leaps) of the people’s passionarity in planetary–cosmic, purely natural processes: solar radiation, tectonic movements of the Earth’s crust, seismological activity, electromagnetic storms, etc. Such an idea is deeply erroneous and can serve as an example of primitive reductionism, when social and spiritual phenomena are reduced to physical and chemical reactions.

A. Toynbee explained the evolutionary turns of civilizations much more subtly and insightfully, introducing the “Challenge – Response” model into consideration, rightly believing that any significant historical phenomenon is a reaction to an existential challenge from the outside world (Toynbee, 2011). Indeed, only extraordinary events stimulate the unification of large groups of people and cause their concerted actions. In this regard L. Gumilev agreed with A. Toynbee: “A genuine connection [between peoples and cultures] is a spiritual connection, not a generic one, not a natural one, not a social one, and it is achieved only in the face of “absurd situations” and “last questions” when people communicate on an existential level” (Gumilev, 2016, pp. 373–374). However, the response of an ethnic group, even ensuring its simple self–preservation, does not in itself lead to social evolution and the progress of civilization. Nassim Taleb, who clarified the mechanism of evolutionary turn, drew attention to this circumstance. According to his understanding, social systems have the ability to improve themselves (increase their functionality relative to the initial state) under the influence of adverse circumstances. This property is based on the mechanism of hypercompensation (hyperreaction), when the system more than compensates for the damage it suffered due to the initial stress (Taleb, 2014, pp. 73–75). The presence of such a property allows social systems to evolve by releasing their hidden reserves. Somewhat later, the mechanism of hypercompensation, including the main phases of its course, was revealed in literature (Balatsky, 2015, p. 119); let us now clarify these earlier results.

The above helps to synthesize all available knowledge to reveal the mechanism of the birth of the passionarity of an ethnic group (state). Let us consider its schematic representation in Fig. 10, which we call a structural model of an evolutionary leap. To do this, we break the whole process into several stages.

At the first stage, which forms the warm–up period, stressors (challenges) emerge consistently, which reduce the functionality of the system and cause primary problems. According to our logic, the one–act process of emergence of stress (challenge) does not always lead to the emergence of a hypercompensation mechanism. In many cases, the system needs a “warm–up” and a shock shake, so that all segments of the population become aware of the problem that has arisen. A typical example of such a warming up of the Russian people is the Patriotic War of 1812, when Napoleon Bonaparte was able to not only reach Moscow with his army, but also take it, whereas after he barely managed to leave Russia with the insignificant remnants of the army. A similar situation took place during the Second World War, when Adolf Hitler and his army reached Moscow and Leningrad fairly quickly, but after that a new stage of confrontation began with the preponderance of the Soviet armed forces and the subsequent defeat of Germany. Thus, the birth of the passionarity of an ethnic group is a dynamic process, stretched over time and implemented sequentially over several historical periods, including as a result of a cascade of external challenges. As a rule, among a series of stresses, the one that turns out to be the most painful appears and acts as the “last straw that broke the camel’s back” (in Fig. 5 this is illustrated by the conditions F0 > F1; F1 > F2).

At the second stage, which forms the period of reflection, there emerges an inventory–checking effect, when the possibilities of the social system, its shortcomings and hidden reserves undergo total reconsideration. At this very stage of self–knowledge the society and its management system form the vector of all further structural transformations intended to neutralize the problems that have arisen (condition: dF2/dT=0).

At the third stage, which forms the training period, the mobilization effect is launched, when all the resources of the system are focused on strictly defined, vital areas. At the same time, the system undergoes structural cleaning so as to eliminate unnecessary, harmful or questionable elements and projects; this, in turn, contributes to a more rational redistribution of resources (the effect of F3 > F2 is achieved). In practice, this stage is associated with the change of leadership elites at all levels, the dominance of the principle of professionalism in all spheres, and the elimination of ideological opposition.

 

Fig. 10. Structural model of an evolutionary leap

Source: (Balatsky, 2022c).

 

The fourth stage, which forms the period of innovation, provides the effect of restructuring the social system on the basis of a new organizational model. At this stage, as a rule, completely new solutions are generated for the government; besides, new management and organizational structures are built so as to effectively address the tasks set. This large–scale restructuring of the entire system makes it possible to radically increase its efficiency and achieve results that previously seemed unattainable. Thus, the functionality of the system turns out to be greater than in all previous time periods, including the moments of primary challenges (stresses) (provision of conditions F4 > F0 > F1 > F3 > F2).

Taken together, the above effects promote a hypercompensation mechanism and thereby launch the birth (“explosion”) of the passionarity of the people.

In conclusion, we should at least mention three points in the formation of passionarity. First, the foci of passionarity are dynamic. As the WCAC moves in time and space, so the centers of passionarity move around the planet. There are many examples proving the correlation between the centers of world capitalism and the passionarity–related activity of their peoples. Second, passionarity can be both positive (sacrifice, courage, creativity, ability to overcome hardships, etc.) and negative (cruelty to the enemy, ideological intransigence, egocentrism, pride, etc.). Both components of passionarity go hand in hand and add drama to historical clashes. Third, passionarity is formed due to two phenomena: an increase in the efficiency output of the system and an upward shift of the boundary of its potential. In other words, both the potential capabilities of the system and the efficiency of their use are growing.

The structural model of the evolutionary leap that we have considered serves as an analytical basis for the study of the West/Non–West confrontation. This introduces a dynamic aspect to the analysis, because the initial power landscape does not guarantee a particular course of events, but, on the contrary, creates prerequisites for changing the initial disposition.

 

3.10. Primacy of geopolitical logic, the red lines, and two eternal clans

 

The cognitive cycle “Decisions – Events” considered in the previous sections and the structural model of the evolutionary leap shed light on the fact that the subjective factor, being woven into the logic of objective events, is also largely predetermined. However, at the current stage of geopolitical turbulence, there is another group of factors that reinforces the conclusion we have drawn.

For brevity, let us call these additional factors geopolitical and dwell upon them in more detail. The fact is that the geopolitical logic operating with existential entities during the change of the WCAC becomes decisive and subordinates macro– and microeconomic policy, diplomacy and military strategy. For example, when the very existence of the United States as the hegemon in the GGPS is at stake, then no moral, humanistic and other considerations are of great importance. The situation is similar for Russia, which reacted to the 2014 provocations of NATO (U.S.) penetration into the territory of Ukraine; the result of Russia’s response was the accession of Crimea to the Russian Federation.

In this case, we are talking about the so–called red lines, which cannot be crossed. Red lines are understood as certain conditions of peaceful coexistence, and their violation is tantamount to a declaration of war. For example, the prospects of removing Russia from Sevastopol and the permission to deploy NATO (U.S.) military bases there were perceived by Russia’s top leadership in 2014 as an unacceptable event, which triggered the events leading to the accession of Crimea to the RF. In turn, the Ukrainian authorities reacted to the loss of Crimea by imposing a water blockade: they cut the supply of water from the Dnieper through the North Crimean Canal that covered 85% of the peninsula’s fresh water needs [28]. No subsequent measures for the construction of reservoirs on the territory of Crimea could solve the problem that resulted in a humanitarian catastrophe of soil salinization, equated by the Russian government to the genocide of the republic’s population. Thus, Ukraine shifted the territorial conflict to a geopolitical dimension, which necessitated an invasion of the Zaporozhye Oblast to unblock and take control of the North Crimean Canal. Ukraine’s preparation of a strike on the Donbass, followed by an offensive on Crimea, only strengthened Russia’s intentions; all this resulted in the SMO of 2022.

The entry of a geopolitical rival into the territory that belonged to Russia in the recent past is the red line beyond which there actually begins the disintegration of the state; no government can put up with such a situation. We can say that the red lines negate even the restrictions imposed on the country by the neocolonial system of external governance.

The latter requires clarification because of an apparent logical contradiction between the country’s dependence on external governance and independence in decisions concerning red lines. The fact is that in any sufficiently large state claiming political independence, there are always two political clans – a nationally oriented power bloc and a cosmopolitan–minded economic alliance. The former includes senior officials of the country’s law enforcement agencies, primarily the Armed Forces, and the latter includes heads of major companies and economic departments. The power bloc (siloviki) is inherently conservative and nationally oriented, because its task is to preserve and protect the state; otherwise, with the collapse of the state, its entire power bloc would disappear. However, the security forces cannot and should not develop the economy, without which the country does not exist. This mission is intended to be carried out by big business and economic departments (the liberals), which are inherently oriented toward foreign markets and trade expansion, and are interested in the country’s international openness; otherwise, business restricts itself, shrinks and degrades. In a sovereign country, a balance is maintained between these two political clans. However, during the period of geopolitical turbulence, when geopolitical logic becomes dominant, the political weight of the security forces increases. This manifests itself in the security forces controlling the red lines, crossing which is tantamount to declaring war and transferring political power into the hands of the military.

The above mechanics of the interaction between the two political clans helps us to understand the events of recent years in the GGPS. Thus, in 2014 the West’s complete control over Russia in the sphere of economy and culture “stumbled” upon the red line in Crimea; as a result, the power bloc became more active contrary to the interests of the economic bloc. Such a preponderance led to the undermining of the system of neocolonialism in Russia. In 2022, this incident was repeated, the security forces further strengthened their influence, and the comprador elite found themselves in an ambiguous position. The further course of events will determine which political group will eventually prevail.

Something very similar, but less obvious, is happening in China in 2022, where the aggravation of the situation in Taiwan has also become a red line for China’s security forces. China considers Taiwan as its integral part, and the final separation of its island part is tantamount to denying the integrity and capacity of Chinese civilization and the collapse of the former economic model of mainland China. The conflict between China and the United States over Taiwan in 2022 has already led to the strengthening of the country’s power bloc and Xi Jinping’s positions; it was manifested in the reassignments to the highest posts of the state at the 20th Congress of the CPC.

Thus, the red lines of geopolitics act as the last restrictions in the loss of political sovereignty by the countries. And that is why the logic of red lines promotes the collapse of the neocolonial system of U.S. governance. This phenomenon can be called the primacy of geopolitical logic over economic logic.

However, it would be a mistake to think that geopolitical factors are reduced only to red line markers. Over the past 400 years, the role of the geopolitical factor has been increasing. For example, city–states (Genoa and Venice) could still be at the center of the First Cycle of Capital Accumulation, whereas the second cycle required a full–fledged state. At the same time, a country that had not yet fully won its national independence (Holland) could become a WCAC during the second cycle, whereas this was no longer acceptable during the third cycle. While in the course of the third cycle a relatively small European country (Great Britain) could lead the world in the presence of even larger powers (Spain, France and Germany), the fourth cycle brought into the arena the largest capitalist state of the time (USA). Today, the geopolitical logic of the transformation of the world system requires that Russia should become a WCAC, since it is largest country in the world and the country that is richest in natural resources in the capitalist world. It is possible to violate this logic only by splitting the Russian Federation into several parts and thereby carry out a fundamental geopolitical reformatting of the GGPS. Thus, geopolitical logic urges the West and Russia to answer an existential question: to be or not to be. This circumstance largely explains mutual intransigence of the West and Russia.

 

3.11. Prospects of the hybrid war

 

Everything discussed earlier allows us to come close to understanding the current hybrid war, its present and future course. At the same time, as we have shown, Russia turned out at the epicenter, having approached this event while being extremely poorly prepared. At first glance, Russia seems to have no chance of winning in the confrontation that has started; but this is not the case, and we will prove it below.

The fact is that the First civilizational failure of the West is a problem in itself, because most people, even within the West, do not accept the new technogenic ideology. In this regard, all Western countries are divided into two parts – supporters of natural life, the natural principle in man and national culture and supporters of transhumanism and cosmopolitanism. It is no coincidence that now, for the first time in its history, the differences between the Republican and Democratic parties of the United States have become not only significant, but also fundamentally insurmountable. The countries of Europe are also split into two camps, whose positions are increasingly crystallizing around the attitude toward Russia.

The second civilizational failure of the West introduces an additional split within this alliance, when part of the Western states turn away from the general anti–Russian line due to the disagreements and contradictions that have arisen. For example, Hungary from the very beginning adhered to the strategy of cooperation with Russia and distancing itself from Ukraine. A further split was outlined after the explosions at Nord Stream–1 and Nord Stream–2, when Europe was completely cut off from hydrocarbon supplies from Russia and became fully dependent on the United States. Taking advantage of the situation, Washington set prices for liquefied natural gas for Europe four times higher than for their own industry [29]; the German chemical corporation BASF decided to curtail business activity and reduce the number of jobs when European gas prices were six times higher than their level in the United States [30]. However, in addition, America has begun to vigorously promote the Inflation Reduction Act, which implies tax cuts and energy benefits for companies investing in its territory. In addition, the bill legitimizes the “Buy American” agenda in relation to the electric car market. The United States not only carries out monopolistic inflating of gas prices for Europe, but also redirects European business and capital to its territory. It is not surprising that in such circumstances, the authorities of France and Germany began negotiations on retaliatory measures that could ignite a trade war between the two most important representatives of the West – the United States and Europe. Thus, eight months after the start of the SMO, there outlined a split in the Collective West, and its unity turned out not so strong.

Explosions at the gas pipelines and the rising gas prices require at least a brief comment. Thus, the breakdown of gas pipelines, which, as some believe, had been inspired by the United States and carried out by the United Kingdom [31], made America a monopolist in the liquefied gas market in Europe. This allowed the United States to raise prices dramatically in order to ensure its super profits. Even if we assume that gas prices in the U.S. are at the cost price level, then their 4–fold excess provides American exporters with a profit margin of 300%, and in the case of a 6–fold increase – 500%. If we consider a more realistic hypothesis, according to which the level of American prices is twice as high as the cost price, then the estimates of profit margins will rise to 600 and 1,000%, respectively. It is not surprising that for the sake of such a profit, the U.S. is ready to sacrifice political partnership with Europe and pretend not to hear the arguments of not only rivals, but also partners.

Today there are already other cases of dubious cooperation within the West. For example, according to official information, NATO members provided Ukrainian wounded soldiers with preserved blood that after examination by Ukrainian doctors was found to be HIV and hepatitis–infected [32]. Thus, assistance to Ukraine is carried out according to the principle of maximum economy, even if it directly contradicts basic medical standards.

Consequently, the unity of the West is just a political cliche, and in its absence, Russia’s chances of a successful confrontation increase. Moreover, time will play into Russia’s hands: the disintegration of the Western coalition will continue and the Non–Western alliance will be gaining strength.

But no matter how the two civilizational failures have affected the West, this still cannot compensate for the deplorable state of Russia after 31 years of neocolonial degradation. However, here lies the intrigue: the balance of forces may fundamentally change if there emerges the passionarity of the ethnos in the Russian Federation. The logic of military confrontation can bring other elites to power, generate the demand for professionalism, produce a capable ideology and ensure the unity of the people. But this effect is not applicable to the West. It is due to the fact that it is the West that takes an active position and produces global challenges aimed at Russia, which is forced to respond to these challenges; the West itself is in hothouse conditions, and their violation in extreme cases will only lead to an “uprising of the masses”, which is already beginning to manifest itself; the Second civilizational failure may result in the Western elite ignoring this internal challenge as well. In other words, there is an asymmetry in the functioning of A. Toynbee’s “Challenge – Response” model. And this asymmetry works in favor of Russia.

The realism of the birth of passionarity is confirmed by numerous historical analogies. For example, in 1917, when the country was losing the First World War, when its government was ruling incompetently for many years and the country was under pressure from foreign capital, there emerged a political force represented by the Bolshevik Party and its leader Vladimir Lenin so as to preserve and subsequently modernize and strengthen a new type of state – the USSR. By 2000, the Russian Federation under the leadership of Boris Yeltsin was on the brink of another collapse, but successor Vladimir Putin and his team managed to keep the situation under control. Napoleon’s invasion of the Russian Empire in 1812 was not being repulsed for a long time; it had to take quite a while for all the mechanisms of the structural model of the evolutionary leap to start working in full force. Nevertheless, it eventually happened. A similar situation occurred during the 1941–1945 war: initially, the Soviet troops were losing one battle after the other, but in four years the country went through a complete transformation when the economy, the defense complex, and the armed forces of the USSR unconditionally surpassed the potential of Germany. We can say that it took at least three years for the full manifestation of the passionarity impulse, but it ultimately did emerge. During this time, there appeared previously unknown military leaders, engineers, reconnaissance operatives, etc., who used their talent to contribute to an almost impossible victory [33]. It can be that in 2–3 years after the start of the SMO Russia will be able to neutralize its “low start” and turn into a state with effective government.

Paradoxical as it may sound, the war of attrition works in favor of Russia rather than the West. The fact is that the United States is already beginning to overexert its forces in several directions. The maturing China – Taiwan conflict may at any moment radically weaken the United States not only by an armed clash, but also by severing economic ties, which is already underway. There are no guarantees that the unification of North Korea and South Korea will not begin during the period of geopolitical turbulence. All these events will sooner or later lead to the weakening of the US dollar as a world currency, which will be a rapid and large–scale collapse for the United States. To illustrate the consequences of such an event, we will perform some calculations, like those performed by Yu.I. Mukhin (Mukhin, 2022, p. 45).

Currently, the status of the U.S. dollar allows the issuing country to print the corresponding banknotes and use them to purchase real values supplied from abroad. This possibility rests on the international consensus regarding the recognition of the U.S. as the hegemon of the GGPS. Then the profitability of the operation of issuing dollars into international circulation is determined by the ratio of their face value and cost. According to available data, the cost of 1–dollar and 2–dollar bills is about 5 cents; the cost of 5–, 10–, 25– and 50–dollar bills is 10–11 cents, 100–dollar bill – 12.5 cents; alternative sources provide approximately the same figures [34]. Then the profit margin of issuing a 1–dollar bill will be 1900% (i.e. [(100–5)/5] 100%=1900%), and a 100–dollar bill – 79900% (i.e. [(10000–12.5)/12.5]100%=79900%). Thus, the issuing of dollars for the purchase of goods from outside provides the American state with the profitability of the operation from two to 80 thousand percent per year. Even if we take into account all the reservations and limitations of the calculations carried out, the final profit margin is still tremendous. Granted, this profitability is not total for the American economy, but the presence of a sufficiently large amount of dollar money intended for foreign economic needs increases the efficiency of U.S. business up to a level that is beyond the dreams of businesses in other countries. These fabulous figures are the basis of the equally incredible political power of the United States. Accordingly, as soon as the established emission process is disrupted, the U.S. power will begin to collapse rapidly. Moreover, analysts at the American edition of Fox Business have already suspected Russia and China of working on the creation of a new gold–backed currency that can, if not completely replace, then significantly displace the U.S. dollar as the world reserve currency [35].

To illustrate the balance of power in the modern GGPS, let us consider how many countries currently have true political sovereignty. Taking into account all possible reservations, we can argue that today there are only a few countries in the world that are independent of the direct dictate of the United States. These are North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan and, with some reservations, Turkey and Belarus. Russia is trying to win its sovereignty through militarily means, while China is trying to win it peacefully [36]. India is also carrying out the final political balancing act to defend its independence; Pakistan has been fighting for the same thing for many decades with varying success. If their attempts do succeed (and this is more than likely), then the American hegemony will collapse, and with it its monopoly on world economic markets and the phenomenon of superprofits. The further course of events will already be in favor of the Non–Western coalition.

Thus, the clash of West and Non–West megacivilizations has begun, and its outcome remains essentially open. Any predictions about the result of the strategic confrontation will be ridiculous and groundless. Each side has a chance.

 

* * *

 

We have discussed major social mechanisms involved in the geopolitical confrontation of megacivilizations and the hybrid war between them. However, even knowing and understanding the workings of these mechanisms and the laws operating in the GGPS, we cannot make a reasonable verdict about who the future of our world belongs to. We agree with Slavoj Zizek who argued that the movement of capital is behind the entire progress and all the catastrophes in real life (Zizek, 2012, p.189). In turn, Nassim Taleb introduced a successful metaphor in the form of a so–called event generator (Taleb, 2009), which “feeds” the social system with new phenomena, processes and events, giving it the necessary complexity and diversity. It is the circulation of capital and the underlying logic that ensure the operation of the notorious event generator and act as an inexhaustible fuel for the endless transformation of the social system (Balatsky, 2013a).

Having analyzed the confrontation between the West and the Non–West, we did not consider their ideologemes, social order and way of life. It is the ideological foundations and their verbal reflections that determine the potential of the corresponding state, people, civilization and megacivilization. We agree with V.A. Volkonsky who said that “... words are deeds as well. ... a large number of correct words usually increases the likelihood of the general development of ethical systems of communities and all mankind” (Volkonsky, 2021, p. 43). Conversely, a large number of incorrect words increase the likelihood of a general degradation of civilization. From this viewpoint, the West is losing ground, generating more and more dubious theses, slogans and values into the information space; this does not speak in its favor. In Russia, on the contrary, there are more and more people who speak the right words. It takes only to hear those right words. If this does not happen, then Russia will shamefully lose the current civilizational confrontation and will leave the scene of the GGPS. In this regard, one should remember that history knows no “if”’ and no mercy: a state that had every reason to turn into a new center of the world and missed its chance has no right to exist and is not worthy of pity.

I would like to emphasize that the content of this book should not be considered as a string of strict scientific statements, but as a system–wide description of a set of mechanisms and effects that are most significant for understanding the modern historical situation. At the same time, such a description can significantly help in the development of a general political and economic strategy of the state.

 

Conclusion

 

In this short work, we have looked into the processes that preceded Russia’s geopolitical start; we also considered all the phenomena that accompanied it and followed it. The aim of the work was to “decipher” the tangle of cause–and–effect relationships that provoked a military clash between Russia and the West. Naturally, it is premature to make any specific predictions about the West/Non–West confrontation that has begun; but there are many objective patterns, circumstances and historical analogies suggesting that this start is unlikely to be a one–time show–off on the part of Russia. Most likely, the world order will change due to the awakening of the Russian Bear. Moreover, the logic of historical processes is such that, paradoxically, it would be better for the whole of humanity that the Russian Federation should succeed in this endeavor; otherwise, the world might ultimately face the new dark ages. The current West/Non–West clash should contribute to the progressive restart of most social, economic and political processes. And from this perspective, it would be very sad if Russia’s geopolitical start ended quickly and ingloriously – all the already incurred and future sacrifices from all sides would be in vain.

It is already clear that the ongoing West/Non–West global conflict will be long–lasting; and the longer it lasts, the more the scales will tilt in favor of Russia. But even if the Russian Federation does lose in this confrontation, which is an unlikely outcome in itself (!), then nothing will end at that point – all the current contradictions will be subsequently “smeared” around the world; they will become latent for some time, but then emerge in a confrontation between new alliances anyway.

 

References

 

Arnaud D. (2009). Navukhodonosor II, tsar’ Vavilonskii [Nabuchodonosor II, roi de Babylone]. Moscow: Molodaya gvardiya.

Arrighi G. (2006). Dolgii dvadtsatyi vek: Den’gi, vlast’ i istoki nashego vremeni [The Long Twentieth Century: Money, Power, and the Origins of Our Times]. Moscow: Territoriya budushchego.

Arrighi G. (2009a). Afterword to the second edition of “The Long Twentieth Century”. Prognozis, 1(17), 34–50 (in Russian).

Arrighi G. (2009b). Adam Smit v Pekine: Chto poluchil v nasledstvo XXI vek [Adam Smith in Beijing: Lineages of the Twenty First Century]. Moscow: Institut obshchestvennogo proektirovaniya.

Ashby W.R. (2021). Vvedenie v kibernetiku [An Introduction to Cybernetics]. Moscow: Lenand.

Balatsky E.V. (2011). Z. Bauman’s concept of liquid modernity and its applications. Obshchestvennye nauki i sovremennost’=Social Sciences and Contemporary World, 3, 134–146 (in Russian).

Balatsky E.V. (2013a). New characteristics of global capitalism. Obshchestvo i ekonomika=Society and Economics, 3, 59–80 (in Russian).

Balatsky E.V. (2013b). Concept of complexity and economic theory of democracy. Obshchestvo i ekonomika, 5, 5–24 (in Russian).

Balatsky E.V. (2014). Prerequisites for global geopolitical inversion.

Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 2(32), 28–42.

Balatsky E.V. (2015). The concept of antifragility and its applications. Obshchestvennye nauki i sovremennost’=Social Sciences and Contemporary World, 6, 116–130 (in Russian).

Balatsky E.V. (2019a). Global challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Terra Economicus, 17(2), 6–22 (in Russian).

Balatsky E.V. (2019b). Measurement of Power by Steven Lukes. Mir Rossii=The Universe of Russia, 28(2), 172–187 (in Russian).

Balatsky E.V. (2021a). Institutional reforms and human capital. Zhurnal Novoi ekonomicheskoi assotsiatsii=Journal of the New Economic Association, 3(51), 103–124 (in Russian).

Balatsky E.V. (2021b). Return on equity as an economic growth driver. Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 14(1), 26–40.

Balatsky E.V. (2022a). Russia in the epicenter of geopolitical turbulence: Accumulation of global contradictions. Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 15(4), 42–59.

Balatsky E.V. (2022b). Russia in the epicenter of geopolitical turbulence: Signs of eventual domination. Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 15(5), 33–54.

Balatsky E.V. (2022c). Russia in the epicenter of geopolitical turbulence: The hybrid war of civilizations. Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 15(6), 52–78.

Balatsky E.V., Ekimova N.A. (2020). Driving the economy: The role of a special economic sector. Journal of New Economy, 21(3), 5–27 (in Russian).

Balatsky E.V., Yurevich M.A. (2020). Technological economies of scale and economic growth. Terra Economicus, 18(1), 43–57 (in Russian).

Bauman Z. (2008). Tekuchaya sovremennost’ [Liquid Modernity]. Saint Petersburg: Piter.

Blake G. (2006). Prozrachnye steny [Transparent Walls]. Moscow: Molodaya gvardiya.

Bresnahan T., Trajtenberg M. (1995). General purpose technologies: “Engines of growth”? Journal of Econometrics, 65(1), 83–108.

Brzeziński Zb. (2007). Eshche odin shans. Tri prezidenta i krizis amerikanskoi sverkhderzhavy [Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower]. Moscow: Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya.

Calhoun J. (1973). Death squared: The explosive growth and demise of a mouse population. Proc. Roy. Soc. Med., 66(2), 80–88.

Devyatov A.P. (2020a). Nebopolitika. Dlya tekh, ktoprinimaetresheniya [High Politics. For Those Who Make Decisions]. Moscow: IP Sokolova A.A.

Devyatov A.P. (2020b). Razvedka budushchego kak iskusstvo obrazov i podobii [Exploration of the Future as the Art of Images and Likenesses]. Moscow: IP Sokolova A.A.

Devyatov A.P. (2020c). Upravlenie dukhom, ili Tekhnologiya incognito [Management of the Spirit, or Incognito Technology]. Moscow: Ip Sokolova A.A.

Diamond J. (2008). Kollaps. Pochemu odni obshchestva vyzhivayut, a drugie umirayut [Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed]. Moscow: AST

Diamond J. (2010). Ruzh’ya, mikroby i stal’. Istoriya chelovecheskikh soobshchestv [Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies]. Moscow: AST

Dugin A.G. (2009). Chetvertaya politicheskaya teoriya. Rossiya i politicheskie idet XXI veka [The Fourth Political Theory. Russia and the Political Processes of the 21st Century]. Saint Petersburg: Amfora.

Dugin A.G. (2010). Konets ekonomiki [The End of the Economy]. Saint Petersburg: Amfora.

Engels F. (2017). Anti–Dyuring; Dialektika prirody [Anti–Duhring. Dialectics of Nature]. Moscow: “E”.

Goleman D. (2005). Destruktivnye emotsii [Destructive Emotions]. Minsk: Popurri.

Guénon R. (2020). Initsiatsiya i dukhovnaya realizatsiya [Initiation and Spiritual Realization]. Moscow: Totenburg.

Guénon R. (2021). Krizis sovremennogo mira [The Crisis of the Modern World]. Moscow: Akademicheskii proekt.

Gumilev L.N. (2016). Etnogenez i biosfera Zemli [Ethnogenesis and the Biosphere of the Earth]. Moscow: AIRIS–press.

Gusev A.B., Shiryaev A.A. (2021). Painful points of Russian strategic development. Journal of Economic Regulation, 12(3), 6–25 (in Russian).

Gusev A.B., Yurevich M.A., Ekimova N.A., Advokatova A.S. (2022). Post–Soviet space thirty years on: Independence vs synergy. Terra Economicus, 20(2), 21–39 (in Russian).

Heinberg R. (2011). The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality. Cabriola Island, B.C.: New Society Publishers.

Huntington S. (2021). Stolknovenie tsivilizatsii [The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order]. Moscow: AST

Huxley A. (2018). Vechnaya filosofiya [The Perennial Philosophy]. Moscow: AST.

Ilyin V.A., Morev M.V. (2022). The Rubicon has been crossed: February 24, 2022, Russia entered a new stage in its development in the 21st century. Ekonomicheskie i sotsial’nye peremeny: fakty, tendentsii, prognoz=Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 15(2), 9–30 (in Russian).

Ivanov V., Varentsov M., Matveeva T. et al. (2019). Arctic Sea ice decline in the 2010s: The increasing role of the ocean–air heat exchange in the late summer. Atmosphere, 10(4), 184–207.

Komleva N.A. (2017). Hybrid war: Essence and specific features. Izvestiya Ural’skogo federal’nogo universiteta. Seriya 3: Obshchest vennye nauki=Bulletin of Ural federal university. Ser. 3, Humanities, 3(167), 128–137 (in Russian).

Lee Kuan Yw. (2018). Iz tret’ego mira – v pervyi. Istoriya Singapura (1965–2000) [From Third World to First. The Singapore Story: 1965–2000]. Moscow: Mann, Ivanov i Ferber.

Lukes S. (2010). Vlast’:Radikal’nyi vzglyad [Power: A Radical View]. Moscow: Izd. dom GU–VShE.

Mackinder H.J. (1904). The geographical pivot of history. The Geographical Journal, 170(4), 421–437.

Mukhin Yu.I. (2022). Stalin – khozyain Sovetskogo Soyuza: nauka upravleniya stranoi [Stalin – the Owner of the Soviet Union: The Science of Governing the Country]. Moscow: Rodina.

North D. (2010). Ponimanie protsessa ekonomicheskikh izmenenii [Understanding the Process of Economic Change]. Moscow: Izd. dom GU–VShE.

Palacios–Huerta I. (Ed.). (2016). Cherez 100 let: vedushchie ekonomisty predskazyvayut budushchee [In 100 Yfears: Leading Economists Predict the Future]. Moscow: Publishing House of the Gaidar Institute.

Petrushenko L.A. (2020). Mifologiya, filosofiya i nemnogo teoriisystem [Mythology, Philosophy and a Bit of the Systems Theory]. Moscow: INFRA–M.

Plekhanov G.V. (2013). K voprosu o roli lichnosti v istorii [To the Question of the Role of the Personality in History]. Moscow: Lan’.

Polterovich V.M. (2014). Why reforms fail. Zhurnal Novoi ekonomicheskoi assotsiatsii=Journal of the New Economic Association, 3(23), 169–173 (in Russian).

Polterovich V.M. (2022a). Competition, collaboration, and life satisfaction. Part 1. The Seven of European leaders. Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 15(2), 31–43.

Polterovich V.M. (2022b). Competition, collaboration, and life satisfaction. Part 2. The fundament of leadership – collaborative advantage. Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 15(3), 42–57.

Popov V.V. (2002). Tri kapel’ki vody. Zametki nekitaista o Kitae [Three Drops of Water. Notes of a Non–Sinologist about China]. Moscow: Delo.

Schopenhauer A. (2011). Izrecheniya. Aforizmy zhiteiskoi mudrosti [Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life]. Minsk: Kharvest.

Schumpeter J.A. (2008). Teoriya ekonomicheskogo razvitiya. Kapitalizm, sotsializm i demokratiya [Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy]. Moscow: Eksmo.

Schwab K. (2018). Chetvertaya promyshlennaya revolyutsiya [The Fourth Industrial Revolution]. Moscow: “E”.

Shafarevich I.R. (2003). Dve dorogi – k odnomu obryvu [Two Roads– to One Cliff]. Moscow: Airis–press.

Shebarshin L.V. (2017). Ruka Moskvy. Zapiski nachal’nika vneshnei razvedki [The Hand of Moscow. Notes of the Chief of Foreign Intelligence]. Moscow: Algoritm.

Soros G. (1996). Alkhimiya finansov [The Alchemy of Finance]. Moscow: Infra–M.

Spengler O. (2009). Zakat Evropy: Ocherki morfologii mirovoi istorii. T. 1. Obraz i deistvitel’nost’ [The Decline of the West. Valume 1. Form and Actuality]. Minsk: Popurri.

Stevenson R.L. (2005). V Yuzhnykhmoryakh [In the South Seas]. Saint Petersburg: Propaganda.

Stoleru L. (1974). Ravnovesie i ekonomicheskii rost: Printsipy makroekonomicheskogo analiza [Economic Equilibrium and Growth]. Moscow: Statistika.

Taleb N.N. (2009). Chernyi lebed’. Pod znakom nepredskazuemosti [The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable]. Moscow: KoLibri.

Taleb N.N. (2014). Antikhrupkost’. Kak izvlech’ vygodu iz khaosa [Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder]. Moscow: KoLibri, Azbuka–Attikus.

Timofeev I.N. (2022). Questionable effectiveness? Sanctions on Russia before and after February. Rossiya v global’noipolitike=Russia in Global Affairs, 20(4), 136–152 (in Russian).

Tolkachev S.A., Teplyakov A.Yu. (2019a). Concept ofcyclic sequence in the dissemination of base–level technologies in the economy and ontological causality of industrial society theories. Ekonomicheskoe vozrozhdenie Rossii, 4, 19–36 (in Russian).

Tolkachev S.A., Teplyakov A.Yu. (2019b). The evolution of foreign economic policy of the leading countries of the world at the present stage through the prism of long–term technological changes in the economy. In: XXVII Kondrat’evskie chteniya [27th Kondratiev Readings]. Moscow: IE RAN (in Russian).

Tolkachev S.A., Teplyakov A.Yu. (2020). The concept of industrial distribution of basic technologies: A new technological megacycle. Ekonomist, 1, 25–35 (in Russian).

Tolkachev S.A., Teplyakov A.Yu. (2022). Technological and regulatory cycles in world economic development: Historical and economic retrospective. Terra Economicus, 20(3), 72–86 (in Russian).

Toynbee A.J. (2011). Tsivilizatsiya pered sudom istorii. Mir i Zapad. [Civilization on Trial]. Moscow: AST: Astrel’.

Trout J. (2009). Bol’shie brendy – bol’shieproblemy [Big brands, Big Trouble: Lessons Learned the Hard Way]. Saint Petersburg: Piter.

Tsiolkovsky K.E. (2017). Izbrannyeproizvedeniya v dvukh tomakh. T. 2 [Selected Works in Two Volumes. Vol. 2]. Moscow: Knizhnyi Klub Knigovek.

Vladimirov A.I. (2018). Osnovy obshchei teorii voiny. Chast’ 1: Osnovy teorii voiny [Fundamentals of the General Theory of War. Part 1: Fundamentals of the Theory of War]. Moscow: Universitet “Sinergiya”.

Volkonskii V.A. (2021). Smyslovye ustanovki i rol’ gosudarstva v epokhu mnogopolyarnogo mira [Semantic Attitudes and the Role of the State in the Era of a Multipolar World]. Moscow: Knizhnyi mir.

Xu M., David J.M., Kim S.H. (2018). The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Opportunities and challenges. International Journal of Financial Research, 9(2), 90–95.

Yakovlev A.A. (2021a). Variety of capitalism concept: Application to Russia. Voprosy teoreticheskoi ekonomiki, 4, 41–49 (in Russian).

Yakovlev A.A. (2021b). Where is global capitalism headed? Mir Rossii=Universe of Russia, 30(3), 29–50. DOI: 10.17323/1811– 038X–2021–30–3–29–50 (in Russian).

Žižek S. (2012). God nevozmozhnogo. Iskusstvo mechtat’ opasno [The Year of Dreaming Dangerously]. Moscow: Evropa.

Zolo D. (2010). Demokratiya i slozhnost’: realisticheskii podkhod [Democracy and Complexity: A Realist Approach]. Moscow: Izd. dom GU–VShE.

 


[1] There are many works on this topic. To get a general impression, read a short report by Laila Tajeldine. Available at: https://inosmi.ru/20151218/234850836.html

[2] See: https://databankfiles.worldbank.org/data/download/GDP_PPP.pdf

[3] See: https://www.rbc.ru/politics/03/01/2020/5e0ede4b9a7947639df8729c?; https://tass.ru/mezhdunarodnaya-panorama/7460997; https://rg.ru/2020/01/16/obratnaia-storona-operacii-likvidaciia-pochemu-ssha-ubili-kasema-sulejmani.html

[4] See: https://www.rbc.ru/politics/03/08/2022/62e91a819a794747582ae47b; https://lenta.ru/brief/2022/08/02/pelosi_taiwan/

[5] Today, the reasons why the ice in the Russian part of the Arctic is melting faster than in the U.S. part have already been established. Available at: https://ria.ru/20190424/1553012341.html. For more details see: (Ivanov et al., 2019).

[6] See Rosstat data (https://rosstat.gov.ru/).

[7] Let us explain that in this case, the total value of the “lost” GDP should not be translated into an average annual measurement by dividing it by 14 years. This is due to the fact that for simplicity of calculation, a simple summation of “lost” investments was carried out with their subsequent conversion into “lost” GDP, whereas in fact each annual portion of investments would have provided an increase in GDP over many years. In other words, in this case, the fact is taken into account that investments do not give a one-time effect of production growth during the year, but an annual and reproducible from year to year effect of stimulating production. A more accurate calculation provides even more impressive figures, but here the lower bound of the corresponding estimate is taken.

[8] The rating does not take into account the arable land and fresh water reserves of the countries due to the uncertainty of the price of these goods. Taking into account these resources, Russia will further improve its resource position.

[9] See: https://www.vedomosti.ru/economics/articles/2022/08/16/936321-minek-prognoz-rublya

[10] See: https://www.rbc.ru/economics/22/07/2022/62d84de39a79478f87860522; https://zaim.com/poleznye-sovety/sravnenie-stavok/inflyatsiya-v-rossii-i-v-mire-v-godu-demonstriruet/; https://www.rbc.ru/economics/22/07/2022/62d84de39a79478f87860522

[12] We recall that the presence of technological economies of scale suggests that the increase in the capital-to-weight ratio of national production should lead to an accelerated increase in labor productivity (Balatsky, Yurevich, 2020, p. 48). It is noteworthy that this effect is a rare phenomenon and not many countries rely on it. In Russia, it is expressed extremely vividly and acts as its major economic advantage.

[13] We should note that the ICC has not yet been brought to its mature state, and therefore its authors proceed from the approximate constancy of the duration of the industry cycle (Tolkachev, Teplyakov, 2022). At the same time, as has been repeatedly noted, the cycles of capital accumulation are decreasing over time. It is quite obvious that these two cycles should be synchronized and a certain compression ratio should also be typical of the industry cycles of GPTs. This problem is not difficult to solve: the complete congruence of the two types of cycles takes place for the British accumulation cycle; in the future, starting from 1970, their duration should be approximately equal.

[15] See: https://tsargrad.tv/articles/neizvestnyj-stiven-sigal-evrej-mongol-drug-putina_33174

[16] See: https://www.popcornnews.ru/news/hochu-pereehat-syn-stivena-sigala-vyskazalsya-o-rossii_id295579_a157

[19] See: https://rg.ru/2017/09/10/ssha-prigrozili-kitaiu-iademym-vooruzhe-niem-iaponii-i-iuzhnoj-korei.html

[20] See: https://www.rbc.ru/politics/26/08/2022/630894409a7947e9ee51723a

[21] See: https://tass.ru/mezhdunarodnaya-panorama/155766697utm_source=yandex.ru&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=yandex.ru&utm_referrer=yandex.ru

[23] Fig. 8 shows the process of overlapping spiritual and technological trends in the development of the two megacivilizations. However, the units of measurement of the two processes do not coincide, and therefore the intersection of the corresponding curves can only have a qualitative interpretation, illustrating only the very fact of the dominance of one or another side of social dynamics. Nevertheless, this is quite enough for the problem under consideration.

[24] It is easy to see that, depending on the angle of inclination of the corresponding curves, the Non-West may not only come to a crisis later, as compared to the West, but also at a higher level of spiritual and material development, which in itself means a less pronounced crisis. More generally, we can say that the preservation of humanity requires a radical reversal of the curve of spiritual development — from decreasing to increasing, preferably in both megacivilizations. To the Non-West, this illusory possibility is at least theoretically preserved; then the West clearly does not have time to revise its basic spiritual attitudes.

[25] An example of digitizing moral and spiritual degradation can be found in an approach of Edward Glaeser to identify the seven deadly sins of humanity: greed, envy, laziness, gluttony, lust, pride and anger (In 100 Years..., 2016). For example, the increase in the phenomenon of gluttony can be assessed through the proportion of obese people or through the proportion of people who systematically practice religious fasting. The growth of pride and narcissism can be assessed through sociological measurements of people’s self-esteem; an alternative option is to measure the frequency of the use of the pronoun “I” in various cases in texts of popular songs over different periods (In 100 Years..., 2016, p. 132). Thus, even the most subtle matters can be quite adequately digitized through indirect measurements and the use of proxy variables.

[26] See, for example: https://aif.ru/politics/v_mid_rf_dopustilisodeystvie_zapada_v_sozdanii_ukrainoy_gryaznoy_bomby

[28] See: https://www.pnp.ru/social/pochemu-oon-zakryvaet-glaza-na-vodnuyu-blokadu-kryma.html

[29] See: https://rus-bel.online/novosti/economica/platit-za-gaz-v-4-raza-bolshe-makron-udivilsya-tsenam-amerikanskih-postavshhikov/

[31] According to an official statement, the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation has proof indicating a Western trace in the organization and implementation of these terrorist acts on pipelines. See: https://rg.ru/2022/10/01/razvedka-v-kurse.html

[33] The logic of the course of a long war is revealed quite well in the popular work: https://zavtra.ru/blogs/ocherk_o_vojnah_za_prostranstvo_vojnah_aresa_evolyutciya_i_razvitie

[34] See: https://na-zapade.ru/zametki/usa/kakova-realnaya-sebestoimost-u-dollara-ssha-iz-chego-ih-delajut/; https://www.icpress.ru/news/19835/

[35] See: https://ruposters.ru/news/31-10-2022/nachali-podozrevat-kitai-rossiyu-razrabotke-novoi-obespechennoi-zolotom-valyuti

[36] It is noteworthy that the “filter” of international economic sanctions can serve as a kind of criterion for political sovereignty. For example, Iran and North Korea are record holders for the duration of sanctions against them. Afghanistan was directly at war with the United States on its territory. Belarus has already come under sanctions, and previously it was constantly limited in economic activity. Russia has become a record holder in terms of the scale of the sanctions imposed on it. Finally, selective economic sanctions are already being imposed on China today.

 

 

 

 

Official link to the paper:

 

Balatsky E.V. Russia’s Geopolitical Start. Vologda: VolRC RAS, 2023. 119 p.

503
4
Добавить комментарий:
Ваше имя:
Отправить комментарий
Публикации
В статье обсуждаются основные идеи фантастического рассказа американского писателя Роберта Хайнлайна «Год невезения» («The Year of the Jackpot»), опубликованного в 1952 году. В этом рассказе писатель обрисовал интересное и необычное для того времени явление, которое сегодня можно назвать социальным мегациклом. Сущность последнего состоит в наличии внутренней связи между частными циклами разной природы, что рано или поздно приводит к резонансу, когда точки минимума/максимума всех частных циклов синхронизируются в определенный момент времени и вызывают многократное усиление кризисных явлений. Более того, Хайнлайн акцентирует внимание, что к этому моменту у массы людей возникают сомнамбулические состояния сознания, когда их действия теряют признаки рациональности и осознанности. Показано, что за прошедшие 70 лет с момента выхода рассказа в естественных науках идея мегацикла стала нормой: сегодня прослеживаются причинно–следственные связи между астрофизическими процессами и тектоническими мегациклами, которые в свою очередь детерминируют геологические, климатических и биотические ритмы Земли. Одновременно с этим в социальных науках также утвердились понятия технологического мегацикла, цикла накопления капитала, цикла пассионарности, мегациклов социальных революций и т.п. Дается авторское объяснение природы социального мегацикла с позиций теории хаоса (сложности) и неравновесной экономики; подчеркивается роль принципа согласованности в объединении частных циклов в единое явление. Поднимается дискуссия о роли уровня материального благосостояния населения в возникновении синдрома социального аутизма, занимающего центральное место в увеличении амплитуды мегацикла.
В статье рассматривается институт ученых званий в России, который относится к разряду рудиментарных или реликтовых. Для подобных институтов характерно их номинальное оформление (например, регламентированные требования для получения ученого звания, юридическое подтверждение в виде сертификата и символическая ценность) при отсутствии экономического содержания в форме реальных привилегий (льгот, надбавок, должностных возможностей и т.п.). Показано, что такой провал в эффективности указанного института возникает на фоне надувающегося пузыря в отношении численности его обладателей. Раскрывается нежелательность существования рудиментарных институтов с юридической, институциональной, поведенческой, экономической и системной точек зрения. Показана опасность рудиментарного института из–за формирования симулякров и имитационных стратегий в научном сообществе. Предлагается три сценария корректировки института ученых званий: сохранение федеральной системы на основе введения прямых бонусов; сохранение федеральной системы на основе введения косвенных бонусов; ликвидация федеральной системы и введение локальных ученых званий. Рассмотрены достоинства и недостатки каждого сценария.
The article considers the opportunities and limitations of the so-called “People’s capitalism model” (PCM). For this purpose, the authors systematize the historical practice of implementation of PCM in different countries and available empirical assessments of the effectiveness of such initiatives. In addition, the authors undertake a theoretical analysis of PCM features, for which the interests of the company and its employees are modeled. The analysis of the model allowed us to determine the conditions of effectiveness of the people’s capitalism model, based on description which we formulate proposals for the introduction of a new initiative for Russian strategic enterprises in order to ensure Russia’s technological sovereignty.
Яндекс.Метрика



Loading...