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(en) Bulgaria, F.A.B.: SINGULARITY part 1 - Ideas that are close to us -- The scariest technologies of today and how humanity reaches them. (ca, de, it, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Sat, 18 Mar 2023 08:33:42 +0200

Alexander Shubin: The path of informality (instead of the proletariat) ---- The whole history of mankind is a struggle for the germination of human creativity in society, it is the path to overcome successive systems of oppression, reification (the process during which an abstract idea about a computer application can be converted to an object or explicit data model), human instrumentation. The result of this process of overcoming can be a truly humane society centered on cooperation and creativity rather than domination and oppression.
By creating a human culture capable, in principle, of giving man true freedom based on humanity and solidarity, civilization simultaneously enslaved people. The confrontation between man and his environment, the lagging behind the capabilities of society from the needs of man, the slow development of the creative abilities of most people, the lagging behind the advanced achievements of the human spirit - all this led to the hierarchy of society, the transformation of the majority of people into an instrument of the will of the minority, in an element of the "human machine". The dominance of this minority was reinforced by organized state violence. The oppressed responded with rebellion and self-organization, with a desire for social creativity.

The Road Traveled: Traditional and Industrial Societies
Man's liberation from the shackles of oppression and despotic traits of his own culture cannot happen overnight. Humanity is an inertial system that passes through certain stages in its development, each of which provides its own opportunities for humanity, solidarity and freedom on the one hand and violence, oppression and domination on the other.

In order to build a thorough forecast for the development of humanity in the long term, it is necessary to begin with a description of the main characteristics of the path already traveled by humanity.

For thousands of years, mankind lived in a pre-industrial traditional agrarian society (Toffler's First Wave). This social system is based on the predominance of agricultural production and the regulation of social relations based on tradition and... the whip. At this stage of development, man is still very little removed from the biological environment, in fact, the human creative principle is only now beginning to manifest itself in him. This society can be characterized by a number of interrelated parameters: biological type of population regulation (high birth and death rate), cyclical rhythm of life associated with the agricultural cycle, patriarchal-tribal and/or religious-corporate organization of power, patriarchal family, communal organization of population, orientation towards reproduction rather than creation of something new in the field of technology, ideas, world view and moral doctrines. The defining feature of traditional society is the lack of narrow specialization of the producer and his alienation from the means of production and even more subordination to the rule of the elite in all spheres of life. The majority of the population is engaged in agriculture and is not cut off from the natural environment. The artificial environment that surrounds a person in our time, in traditional society, accompanies the life of an insignificant urban minority, and in part. A person is guided in his life above all by tradition, social norms that have been formed over the centuries. Therefore, it is appropriate to call the pre-industrial society traditional.

Why are we skipping over 5,500 years of slavery and feudalism?
In the XIX-XX centuries, the global decomposition of the traditional agrarian society took place, industrial relations began to dominate. In the 20th century, migration to cities affected billions of people. The industrial order (Toffler's Second Wave) developed rapidly in most countries of the world, destroying, displacing and absorbing traditional society.

The industrial path (industrialism) is a system of social relations based on innovation provided by standardization and narrow specialization.

In an industrial society, lifestyle, culture, economy and power are guided not by tradition but by change, not by the individual and the family but by collective activity, where each person is given a narrow standard function. The spread of the industrial structure leads to the movement of masses from the villages to the cities (urbanization), so such a society can be called urbanized.

An industrial urbanized society, the core of which is high-productivity industry, opens up spectacular prospects for eliminating hunger and devastating epidemics for humanity. But the same industrialism leads to unprecedented destruction of nature and culture, alienation and control of man by man in all spheres of his activity. Industrial society is controlled by the ruling classes in almost all its spheres.

The slow development of civilization is replaced by an accelerated pace of life. In the social sphere, industrialism formed new social strata. The intellectual elite is now needed for the constant production of new knowledge and criticism of the old. The management layers organize the joint activity of specialized producers on standard "rational" and not on traditional (as before) principles. They are divided into owners ("bourgeoisie") and managers ("management", "technocracy"). Workers are narrowly specialized, deprived of productive property and even of participation in its management, "alienated" from the means of production and the urbanized way of life. Such a working class is called the proletariat.

The results of the modernization:
In the manufacturing sector, the result of modernization, the transition to industrialism, is a technological revolution (industrial revolution, industrialization).
In macroeconomic terms, it comes to the widespread use of fossil resources and the struggle for them, from this point of view "capitalism" - this is the competition of capital;
In the intellectual sector - the transition from traditionalism and providentialism to rationalism and criticism;
In the field of information - mass circulation of information produced by the elite, development of mass communication systems;
In a political aspect - the emergence of national bureaucratic states, the beginning of the era of socio-political revolutions and mass party politics.
All these characteristics stem from the most important social and production principle of the new era - innovative development based on standardization and narrow specialization. The most important characteristics of industrial society are closely related. The mass production of material goods led to the gradual elimination of the biological method of limiting the population (famine and epidemics), which led to a demographic explosion. At the cost of turning man into a specialized tool for production, industrialism managed to create a new artificial environment for people to live in, to temporarily weaken humanity's dependence on natural elements. Population growth and technological concentration of industrial production led to a process of urbanization. Specialization required the alienation of the worker from the means of production, which led to the spread of the principle of manageability in the sphere of production and unprecedented social mobility and the painful breakdown of traditional institutions. The system of universal division of labor required the creation of a standardized national culture and, therefore, of nation-states. Industrialism gave rise to technocracy and worldview rationalism and the widespread dissemination of simplified knowledge necessary to participate in industrial production (universal literacy, "mass culture").

The humanistic, creative, liberating aspects of modernization are inseparable from its destructive and enslaving aspects. Already in the 19th century, the greatest thinkers began to look for ways to consolidate the gains of modernization while overcoming its negative sides. This task, which still faces humanity today, was connected with the transition to a new system - socialism - a society without the division of ruling and working classes. From the beginning, the proponents of socialism saw this post-capitalist society in different ways. Socialists - anarchists, followers of P. J. Proudhon and the Russian populists, believe that self-governing communities (communes) will become its basis. Marxists advocated a single centralized association of workers. With the development of socialist ideology, these two currents borrowed a lot from each other and created synthetic models of socialism (anarchism).

But the task of the socialist thinkers, those futurists of the nineteenth century, was hampered by the fact that industrial society in its formative period was seriously different from its mature forms. It painfully "hatched" from the shell of traditional society. The transition from a traditional to an industrial society was accompanied by numerous revolutionary uprisings and social disasters. Early industrialism developed in the form of spontaneous capitalism. The industrial sector was organized in the form of spontaneously competitive capitals - structures that united producers under the leadership of a private owner or his representatives. The destructiveness of capital clashes only increases in proportion to their monopolization. Spontaneous capitalism is unstable and does not control the growth of its own social costs (unemployment, overproduction, financial speculation, worker poverty, etc.). The apparent property differences between private owners (capitalists, landlords, and rentiers) and workers caused widespread public protest and a desire to eliminate private property as the source of all social evils.

The principles of "democracy" proclaimed by the liberals - supporters of capitalism - parliamentarism, the competition of parties for the votes of the electors - in fact turned out not to be democracy, but equality for the commercial and political elite.

The destructive crises inherent in capitalism exacerbate social disasters. The plight of the broad masses of the working people led to revolutionary upheavals. The authority of the anti-capitalist agitation of anarchists and Marxists among the "lower" layers of the population is growing. As a result, the capitalist oligarchy made concessions. The mission to "order" the industrial (as a rule - still agrarian-industrial) society was undertaken by the technocratic bureaucracy, which established more or less strict control over the economy. The bureaucracy used the opportunities to concentrate resources in the hands of the state to complete industrialization in a number of countries and to create a "welfare state" - a system of redistribution for the benefit of vulnerable (and therefore "explosive") social groups, as well as for its own benefit , to increase the power of the state. The bureaucracy became one of the ruling classes alongside the private owners (the state-capitalist countries of the West) and could completely replace them (examples are the state-socialist countries of the USSR, Eastern Europe and Asia). So in the 30s-50s. In the 20th century, a welfare state and a state-regulated industrial (and industrial-statistical, in which the state directly intervenes in the economy) society was created - the highest phase of industrialism. Wider strata of workers, peasants, and officials gained access to such goods of civilization as free education, paid vacation, health insurance, a separate apartment, and even a comfortable house. This makes it possible to talk about a "consumer society", where, thanks to the growth of the income of the population, the difference between the income of the elite and the rest of society is decreasing. The view that the welfare state contained elements of socialism became widespread. But modern societies are still divided into ruling and working classes, social hierarchy has not disappeared anywhere. So socialism did not arise either in the USSR or in Sweden. The welfare state is a mature stage in the development of industrial society. However, by the end of the 20th century, it began to fall apart.

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