39th International Conference of
From Sorokin to Huntington and Beyond--Civilizations
ABSTRACT-RESEARCH IN PROGRESS. The presentation outlines some of the most thought-provoking 20th- century theories on the state of civilization in times of crisis and change. The work covers creative output of such eminent theorists of civilization as Pitirim Sorokin and Samuel Huntington.
In each part of the presentation a brief bio is followed by analysis of the scholar’s main academic achievements as well as of his contributions to the studies of civilizations and cultures during times of transition and crisis.
Why Population Demographics and Fundamentalist Forms of Religion are the most important Causes of the Developing Global Crisis
ABSTRACT: The Conference Call for Papers lists Civilization (or Cultures) in a Time of Change and Crisis as a main theme, with many derivative problems as sub-themes.
Having taught interdisciplinary courses on the developing global crisis since 1981 at the undergraduate level and since 1997 at the graduate level, the purpose of this paper will be simple. It will be explaining exactly why two factors emerge as causal to the many other challenges listed (poverty, economic chaos, ecological degradation, epidemics, resource depletion, political destabilization, terrorism and outright warfare). Those two powerful drivers are population pressure (and more complicated demographics including sex ratios, age distributions and migrations) and fundamentalist forms of all the major world religions that truly believe that ‘God’ wants them to dominate the earth, often specifically to outbreed others as a tactic of competition.
Since the resource and ecology crises drive other economic crises, and since demagogic politicians are ever eager to acquire power by blaming all problems on hated neighbors, policies of aggressive pronatalism are extremely dangerous during a civilizational crisis like this. We have seen some before in Easter Island and the Mayan Empire. Since desperate people may become more violent in their competitions, and since ecological crises generally result in greater migration to other lands, there is an intimate connection between resource competition and war.
The most thorough and technical discussion of these issues I can cite are Chapters 12 (Population Pressure) and 13 (Authoritarian Law and Militant Religion) of “On the Causes of War” which won a national peace writing award in 1999. Those are too long for an ISCSC paper. But I can certainly condense them to present the primary dynamics involved. Of special importance is recognition that the drive to outbreed competing religious traditions is NOT confined to any particular sect, denomination or primary faith group, but rather is represented as a form of all the major ones. Of interest to evolutionary biologists is connection to the drives to survive and reproduce, which theory predicts and evidence abundantly confirms will be defended most vigorously of all the appetites. How this translates into full-page ads in the New York Times and strident calls to action among zealots in contested areas (like Israel / Palestine, Eastern Congo and Kashmir) takes some explication.
Politicians typically rationalize these forces in terms of economic or ideological conflicts rather than facing the underlying realities due to fierce reactions among the very actors most eager to wage their total war against the rest. This makes resolution of the problems extremely difficult as people keep dealing with symptoms instead of with root causes.
Globalization and International Development: *
ABSTRACT: The proposed paper discusses the key issues of globalization and International development from an economic perspective. The paper is based on the synthesis of papers by six eminent scholars who contributed to the Sichel lecture Series directed by the author during the academic year 2007-2008 at the Western Michigan Campus. While the discussion of the ideas draw from the six papers, and from other scholars on the same theme, the paper includes injection of the author’s own ideas to the subject, including interpretations of statements and ideas contained in the papers and other expert authors. The reader interested in the details of the issues discussed in the paper are invited to read each paper in a forthcoming book edited by the author to be published by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research at: http://www.upjohninst.org/ including other references in this proposed paper. The paper is also an introductory first chapter to the book. The topics of the papers are dealt with in the six chapters of the book as follows:
Globalization and International Development: An Introduction
The Influence of Intercivilizational Contact on Intracivilizational Discourse on Identity: Samurai Imagery as a Response to Changes in Meiji Japan
The reasons for the broad dissemination of these apparently anachronistic symbols are varied, but one of the most important is that the majority of Japanese themselves did not identify with the samurai until well into the twentieth century. The development of this facet of national identity occurred during the last two decades of Meiji, and even the term “bushido” was practically unknown before the 1890s. To understand the factors behind the creation of the modern samurai image, it is necessary to review developments in Japanese intellectual and political history in this crucial period. Specifically, it is essential to assess Japan’s changing position in the geopolitical order and the effect this had on the national character.
The Revolutions of Nature and Naturalizing Revolutions: Seeking Religious Authority in the Yellow Turban Uprising and the Fall of the Han Dynasty
ABSTRACT – RESEARCH IN PROGRESS: This paper addresses how religious authority has and may be called upon to either construct or deconstruct a political or social reality, particularly focusing on the Daoist “Yellow Turban” sect and their failed 184 C.E. revolt against the waning Han dynasty. Traditionally, either Marx or Weber would have been used to address the influence of religion revolution, the former finding it an opiate of the masses and thus a tool to restrict social resistance, and the latter seeing religion as a facilitator of political dissent through the emotional influence of charismatic leaders. However, as Bruce Lincoln notes, Marx’s theory of revolution overlooks the many non-Russian instances in which a prophet, mystic, or any person who is seen to speak on behalf of “Heaven’’ has revealed that it is the will of a Deity(-ies) to overthrow a given king or social system. Furthermore, while Weber acknowledges this revolutionary possibility, he reduces the self-sacrificial dedication of those willing to follow the prophet into battle to a seduction by the irrational addictive charm of the car-salesman.
According to Lincoln, religious authority is neither inherently stabilizing or destabilizing, nor is it an irrational force. Rather, when, by either meditation or revelation, followers come to believe the religious expert to access the words of the Divine, in effect they access a level of discursive authority - an ability to speak authoritatively that may be used to either legitimize a current social reality, or to legitimately critique it in favor of an alternative that calls for its removal. Lincolns prescription, then, for the revolutionary leader, is to enter in upon a convincing symbolic discourse that constructs such a connection to the ‘Divine’ and in so doing gaining legitimizing authority.
Particularly, then, this paper explores Lincoln’s third theoretical alternative in a case study of the Yellow Turban revolt. Chinese history consistently speaks to this formulae, in which the ‘Mandate of Heaven’ grants imperial dynasties a divine command to rule based upon their elite moral superiority and thus ability to harmonize the kingdom. While the imperial agenda, then, is to symbolically embody this legitimizing morality, that of the revolutionary opposition, as seen in the Yellow Turbans, is to undermine their right to rule by symbolically deconstructing the emperor’s morality and constructing their own pathways to divine legitimacy. This paper focuses on examining Turbans’ embodiment of this agenda - orienting, amongst other symbols, the uniform of a yellow turban, the leaders’ appropriation of the titles “Generals of Heaven, Man, and Earth,” and graffiti heralding a coming millennial change or crisis, within the context of the “Yellow Heaven” ideology– a coming utopian age of peace and harmony to be ruled over by the divine ‘Yellow Emperor’ calling for the righteous removal of the Han dynasty.
CELINSKI, ILACQUA, and ALLEN
Resilience and Resourcefulness in Various Ethnic Groups
ABSTRACT: This paper will present a study that exemplifies use of two concepts: resilience (i.e. ability to withstand stressful situations without developing psychopathology) and resourcefulness (use of personal skills and knowledge and personality characteristics for optimal recovery) with comparison of responses from various cultural perspectives. More than 120 individuals of diverse ethnic backgrounds (Italian, Eastern European, Asian and Canadian- born) who suffered traumatic events as a result of a motor vehicle or work-related accident were compared with respect to their responses to Resilience to Trauma (Celinski, Salmon, Allen, 2006) and Resourcefulness for Recovery Inventory – Research Edition (Celinski, Antoniazzi, Allen, 2005).
On this basis, it was established that the Italian group was significantly different than other groups by showing lower level of resilience. This lower level resulted in a higher degree of psychopathology related to depression, anxiety, and pain coping. The data would be reviewed from the perspective what are the distinguishing features from the cultural perspective that may predispose Italians to present with lesser degree of resourcefulness and resilience.
Between Civilizations: Is Belarus a Cleft or a Torn Country?
ABSTRACT-RESEARCH IN PROGRESS: Is Belarus a split or torn country in the terminology of S. Huntington? The history of Belarus reflects both the conflict and interaction between Western and Orthodox civilizations. There are many examples of the changing of basic cultural programs or “cultural codes” in the history of different countries and civilizations. However, it is difficult to find the country where these codes have been rewritten so dramatically as in Belarus.
Belarusian lands began as a part of Kievan Russia and adopted Christianity under the Byzantine rite at the end of the 10th Century. During the 13th-14th Belarusian lands became the core of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The Lithuanian pagan nobility gradually assimilated Russian Orthodoxy and language over the course of the 14th Century.
Although Grand Duke Jogaila of Lithuanians had been baptized in the Orthodox Rite, in 1385 he accepted Roman Catholicism and obligated all Lithuanians to be baptized in the Western Roman Catholic rite. Lithuanian and Russian nobility split over this religious, whereas the majority of the population of Belarusian lands practiced the Orthodoxy.
In the 15th and 16th Centuries there was gradual Polanization of the elite of the GDL under the influence and culture of Poland. In 1569 the Lublin Union bound Poland and GDL into The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. However, fundamental civililizational modifications happened after the Brest Church Union of 1596 and the formation of the Greek Catholic (Uniate) Church that accepted the tenants of the Roman Catholic faith and was subordinate to the pope of Rome.
These civilizantional transformations lasted until the end of the 18th Century. By this time 80% of the Belarusian rural populations were Greek Uniate Catholics. A majority of the nobility were Polanized, the Ruthenian (old-Belarusian) language, grounded on the Cyrillic alphabet was forbidden to be used in government and was replaced by Polish grounded on a Latin alphabet (1697).
After incorporation of Belarusian lands by the Russian Empire of the end of the 18th Century, an inverse civilizational dynamic occurred. The Church Union was abolished, Russification became the norm and finally there was a partition of Belarus under the 1921 treaty between Poland and Soviet Russia. The parts were joined again as a result of the partition of Poland between Germany and the USSR in 1939. Presently (at the beginning of the 21st Century) 80% of Belarusian believers are Russian Orthodox, 14% are Roman Catholics and the Uniates are a very minor part of them. Both Belarusian and Russian languages are official under the Belarusian Constitution; Belarusian language is grounded on the Cyrillic alphabet.
Belarus is not a torn country because the leaders do not aspire to change civilizational identity. And Belarus is not an actually cleft country because the ethnic component of the countries civilizational identity (Eastern-Slavonic) prevails over religion. Belarus can be identified as a potentially cleft country seeking the methods of integration of the elites with different civilizational orientation.
Cold War, Hot Climate: City Planning in Times of Crisis
ABSTRACT -- RESEARCH IN PROGRESS: City planning has a long history of addressing crises in the urban environment. The birth of the modern planning profession in the West concerned itself with eliminating the “social evils” of the crowded and polluted industrial city. Many planners now argue that our own present circumstances call for another era of reform, by institutionalizing sustainable development to avert global ecological catastrophe. The shadow of irreversible climate change and resource depletion looms implacably over the contemporary city, and urban planners are striving to reinvent the city for long-term sustainability.
Another period in American planning history was equally, if not more, doom-laden: the early years of the Cold War, when humanity faced, for the first time, the prospect of self-annihilation. With two Japanese cities reduced to radioactive debris, and a culture of fear permeating the United States, city planners believed they could lend their expertise in an effort to stave off disaster. Having long believed the congested industrial city was a threat to the public good, they now saw it as a threat to national security as well. In the crisis of the atomic age. they found an opportunity to rebuild America’s cities as spacious, healthy communities distributed throughout the countryside, away from the dangerous, vulnerable old cities. Working alongside military scientists, social scientists and policy analysts, urban planners contributed to a significant literature on “defensive dispersal” as well as actual policies advocating the dispersal of industries and residences and freeway construction.
Relevant themes in this historical crisis are of interest for our own era. Both represent a challenge to the future orientation of planning, as both portend the very real possibility of “futurelessness.” Both also seek to address crises brought about by human action and technologies, and to do so through those same means. But there are significant divergences too: city planning for the atomic age was embedded in government structures, while planning for sustainability has been institutionalized from the grassroots up – all the while facing suspicion from governments and the private sector alike. Finally, it is also of interest that these two themes have, over intervening decades, found common ground: urban security, disaster planning and adapting to climate change in cities have all been framed as problems of sustainability.
Most significantly however, we see in both movements the promise of not only resolving their respective crises, but of building better, more humane cities in the future. Yet each movement occurred in times of very different theoretical planning paradigms.
In previous peer-reviewed papers, I have explored the defensive dispersal movement for its contributions to planning discourse in general (2001) and for its parallels with post-9/11 securitization (2007). Now I would like to examine how planning to resolve the crisis of the atomic age – which has never really left us – can inform our thinking as we struggle to reshape our urban arrangements in an era of climate change, resource scarcity and global conflict.
Dynamic Systems and Theoretical Approach to Civilization: Rise, Fall, Competition, Cooperation, and Self-Organization
ABSTRACT/POSITION PAPER: Mathematical models based of dynamic systems theory help to illuminate the spatio-temporal process of the individual civilizations and the interactions among different civilizations.
The following topics are discussed:
1. Growth processes: Malthusian and super-Malthusian growth, limits to growth
Thanks to the Henry R. Luce Foundation for general support.
The Role of Religious Conversions in History
ABSTRACT: For most of human history, religion has been a matter of community tradition. People worshipped the spirits or gods they did because their ancestors always had. However, civilizationists note that when monotheism arose to challenge the prevailing polytheism of the ancient worlds, some people made this transformation out of conviction. These formed the initial core of new religions, whose followers were ready to die for their beliefs (again, something new in religious history).
What propelled large-scale conversion to a new religion, however, was the force of a prince or chief. If the prince could be converted, his people were brought in without any discussion. Some prime examples of this process were:
Judaism. A group that formed around monotheism and initially rejected urban life. This group has been close to destruction many times in its history by enemies—conquerors who would not tolerate rebellion—or rival monotheistic religions. Not much discussed in history were periods when Jews left their tradition for survival or out of discouragement.
Zoroastrianism. This religion was another ancient monotheism that began by voluntary conversion of a royal court and subsequent conversion or all subjects. This religion was attacked by Islam and almost destroyed. A fragment lives on today.
Christianity. This is another monotheistic (sometimes Trinitarian) religion, a spin-off of Judaism, that grew from its own voluntary early converts to mass conversion ordered by princes. Both Roman and Barbarian princes ordered mass conversion. But this faith has always had fragmentation problems, the most serious of which was in the 16th century with the emergence of Protestantism.
Islam. This monotheistic faith, a spin-off of Judaism and Christianity (with elements of Zoroastrianism), began as did the others with a core of personal converts. Deliberately militant, the religion was spread by force and succeeded in overwhelming all previous religions in their conquered territories. Where they ran into trouble was when they were too geographically remote to support occupation: Beyond Spain, beyond Persia, and into the Indian subcontinent.
Modern Conversions. The great surprise is how much of this is going on in a post-religious world. This will be the bulk of examination for this paper. Some particularly interesting conversions took place among upper-class British, romantic converts to what they thought was Islam. Other Englishmen converted from Protestantism back to Catholicism. In Spain today, some are converting back to what they think their ancestors might have been: Judaism or Islam. Cults are very active in luring converts—and then killing them when they try to leave. Africa today is in a contest between Christianity and Islam—both sides militant. China is finding many converts to Christianity for the first time. And even more curious—many Muslims are converting to Christianity or becoming totally secular.
ABSTRACT: Samuel D. Huntington, one of the 20th century’s best historians, died on Christmas Eve, 2008. His obituary has been widely observed in the press, and those of us who were galvanized by his 1993 essay in Foreign Affairs Magazine: “Clash of Civilizations,” (and the 1998 book: Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order) have been discussing and debating his ideas ever since.
While most of us were thinking that with the end of the Cold War, the world was inevitably headed in the direction of an obvious world order, Huntington was seeing the next conflicts. He wrote:
It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future.
The cultural divides, say, between the West and China, have not yet risen to the level of conflict, and our interconnectedness makes that increasingly unlikely. But where Huntington was right on target was the clash between the secular, modern West and Militant Islamism could push us to global warfare. He described the Muslim world as having “bloody borders,” which to a large extent is true.
Observers such as Fouad Ajami (and, I confess, myself) thought that Huntington was overlooking the sometimes even more deadly conflicts within a culture (or in this case, within Islam). I considered the educated, secular elites of the Muslim world little different from their European or American counterparts. But Huntington saw something more: that the violent, bitter minority of Militant Islamists could gradually silence the rest and head us all for war. He wrote this before 9/11 turned him into a prophet, not just a scholar.
But Islam is not the only militant religion in certain parts of the world. In Africa, there is growing warfare between Christians and Muslims in active conversion campaigns, meeting in Nigeria with violence. In village India, Muslim and Militant Hindus periodically and violently erupt. In Thailand, the struggle is between Buddhists and Muslims. And, of course, the struggle over land that once characterized Palestinian/Israeli conflicts has now morphed into a Militant Islamist vs. both secular and religious Israel. It is no longer two secular cultures fighting over property.
This raises the question about human issues behind warfare—and even more important, questions about the very nature of human beings. Are we Homo Economicus, as many government planners suppose, or are we really Homo Ideologicus? And was Toynbee right that religion is essential to a civilization?
FERNANDEZ-MORERA (In absentia)
The Citizen and the Law in Islamic and
ABSTRACT: In al-Andalus the religious and therefore also civil authorities in every day life were a class of people in charge of developing and interpreting fiqh by using the sacred Quran and the ahadith as their source and point of reference. These religious and therefore also civil authorities were the ulama (ar. ulama, sing. alim, meaning "wise" or "learned") or Islamic clerics: educated men, and only men, expert in the eternal Holy Book (the Quran) presumably dictated by Allah to the Prophet through the Angel Gabriel and in the variously authoritative traditional narratives (sing. hadith, pl. ahadith ) of the Prophet's sayings and deeds (sunnah). Therefore, strictly speaking, Muslims in al-Andalus lived under a hierocracy–a government of clerics.
These clerics' functions explicitly included making sure that Muslims behaved in a religiously proper manner, which meant in a manner always according to Islamic teachings and their exacting daily ritualistic details as interpreted by the clerics. The ulama constituted a social class of religious intellectuals who ruled over the daily life of the Muslim population and were consulted over details of an individual's existence that in a different--say, Christian--religious context would be considered insignificant and even onerous, such as whether donkey's milk should be drunk, or whether objects or water touched by Catholics could be used for ritual purposes, or whether a Muslim was allowed to wipe his hands on his socks after an ablution, or whether one could enter a mosque after eating garlic, or what hand should be used for eating and drinking, or what should be the correct punishment for having intercourse with one's wife during Ramadan, or the proper blood cost of a cut off penis or testicle.
In contrast, in Europe and Spain, the clergy did not have such encompassing function. The Catholic Church had its own system of law by which it ruled itself and to which priests were subject, namely canon law. The lay population, however, was ruled by civil law, which although ultimately inspired and certainly influenced by the Christian principles on which the post-Roman Medieval societies were partly based, was nonetheless an organic artifact that variously incorporated autocthonous practices, Roman law, which was secular, and the laws of the Germanic and Baltic invaders of the Roman Empire who created the modern European nations. This civil law, in Catholic Spain as in the rest of Catholic Europe, was administered by lay people, not priests.
Capitalism, Internationalism, Socialism
ABSTRACT: Capitalism is the dominant mode of production dominating a complex and hybrid World-System. Internationalism is expressed by articulated actions coming from people and from institutions of different State/Nations origins. Internationalism rises from the bottom and from the top of the societies: from urban social movements linked by Internet, to decisions taken in common by governments at the G-20 encounters. About Socialism, one can say that in the present times of crises, some people expect for a larger presence of the State in social life, and Socialism as a possible perspective for the future. Many look to China, which replaces the former USSR as one of the leading world powers being ruled by a Communist party.
In the recent past, in its efforts to stay in power, the authoritarian Stalinist regime of the former USSR used the strategy of emitting the idea of rigid frontiers between modes of production, between capitalism and socialism. The former Soviet Union rejected the offered Marshall Plan, forbidding its acceptance by the satellite States. By raising the banner of Internationalism, and entering in the Cold War, the Soviet Union disguised its struggle for world state hegemony. Ironically, the past Soviet state authoritarian regime is now named as real socialism.
Mode of production is an abstract Marxian concept about social relations of production present in a given social system. A new mode of production realizes itself by integrating former social formations and by creating new economic social formation. Marxian theory relates the appearance of a new mode of production to the introduction of technological innovations. For example, it links the origin of capitalism to the invention of the machine. However it distinguishes means of production from social relations of production, the last ones characterizing a mode of production. During the same Agrarian civilization, when land was the main mean of production, or the main economic base, Slavery and Feudalism, with differed social relations of production, were two different modes of production. Industry can remain as the main economic base of socialist forms of socialist relations of production.
Marxian theory also directs its view to the class conflicts inside a social formation, and to the conflicts of interests between different sectors of activity of a social formation. Different interests of sectors of a social formation influence the moves of the formation, to peace or to war. The Second World War started between economic social formations belonging to the same capitalist mode if production.
Nowadays, the capitalist mode of production dominates the World system, but a complex and hybrid set of social formations has been installed due to the geographical diverse forms of integration of the former system. On the contrary to the past Soviet Union, Communist China collaborates with the West in the sustaining of the present Economic World System. On the other hand China declares itself in the way of building a Market/Socialism economy.
Soviet rhetoric presented itself as guiding an historical arrow on the form of >Capitalism>Socialism>Internationalism. However considering the nature of capital, Marxian theory, and the recent developments of the World’s Economic System, it seems to be a better hypothesis to consider the order of the arrow as >Capitalism> Internationalism> Socialism.
From Real to Virtual Civilization: A Comparative
ABSTRACT: Human civilizations started more than 6000 years ago. While numerous studies were conducted towards the evolution, essential definitions, classifications, and conceptual modeling of historical and existing human civilizations, little research could be found that is focused on the impacts and implications of emerging “virtual civilization” due to the advent of “virtuality technologies” in late 1990s. Using the known three-element model (TEM) of civilization (Targowski 2009:14, emphasizing the role of infrastructure in civilization), we employ a comparative approach to investigating the civilization path evolved from e-mail communication to virtual community to virtual civilization. Specifically, we focus on the impacts of the addition of an “invisible” infrastructure to the TEM model on the future human society and analyze its implications to human behaviors, work environments, and the possible development of bifurcated social architecture that does not exist in human history due to the digital divide. Our research also looks into the difference of human behavior, as an individual or as a group, between a real and virtual environment. Suggestions on possible measures to maximize the benefits from and furthermore to minimize the negative impacts of virtual civilizations are also provided in our study.
Is the University Still a Source of Progress
ABSTRACT-RESEARCH IN PROGRESS: Since the 12th Century, the university has served as an engine for progress in Western Civilization. The university as an institution not only survived the transition from feudalism to modernity, it thrived. Today, however, the role of the university and its ability to continue as a source for social and technological innovation is open to question. The triumph of neo-liberalism, or perhaps more appropriately capitalism, over Marxist-Leninist style socialism has left the university open to critiques based purely on economic efficiency. Society increasingly perceives knowledge as a private good rather a part of the commons. Thus, society insists on the creation and assessment of measurable outcomes for the university that mirror the tools for accountability in business. Similarly, society has increased pressure on the university to train students for employment resulting in both a decline in funding for research and an increase in the economic burden on students in the form of higher tuition and fees as well as greater reliance on student loans to provide financial aid. Measures designed to help the university, such as allowing the university to commercialize its intellectual property, while consistent with the prevailing neo-liberal or capitalist worldview, only make matters worse.
Clerical Courage, Crown, and Citizenship
ABSTRACT: Ethiopia’s rich spiritual legacy is impressive in its historical context, but it is even more impressive in its legal and theological experiences. Until the onset of “diverse and strange doctrines,” such as the Soviet-inspired communism of the 1970s, the country upheld sophisticated ecclesiastical and royal laws that were expertly woven to govern political and spiritual life in a sturdy fiber of canonical and princely laws.
These national edicts emerged as a result of heated and sometimes violent theological debates, pitting two religious camps led by two prophetic monks. The two camps were known as the House of Ewostatewos and the House of Tecle Haimanot. Ewostatewos was a saint living near Asmara, Eritrea, and his disciples were known as the House of Ewostatewos. All churches in the northern Ethiopian provinces, namely, Bahri Negash (modern Eritrea), Tigray, Gonder, and Gojam were followers of Ewostatewos. . Tecle Haimanot governed his disciples from the monastery of Debra Libanos, in south-central Ethiopia. All churches in southern Ethiopia belonged to the Tecle Haimanot camp.
The theological divide that caused deep division within the national Church, the Ethiopic Orthodox Tewahdo Church, had to do with the divinity of Christ and whether to observe or not the two Sabbaths. The House of Ewostatewos was a constructionist observing merging strict apostolic cannons with Old Testament Mosaic Laws. The two Sabbaths, the First and the Seventh day were observed in the North in accordance to Old and New Testament tradition. The Tecle Haimanot House followed the Egyptian tradition in Alexandria. The Alexandrian Church was more of a liberal activist opting for New Testament dispensation with little or no Old Testament canonical laws in manners of worship.
The Emperor Dawit/David called a Church council to put to rest the question of two Sabbaths once and for all. His irresoluteness caused more confusion than mitigate the division. His son, Emperor ZerA YaEcob, called The Council of Debra Mitma Q, a monastery near Lake Tana in 1450.
This paper will explore the debate on the two Sabbaths, the monks who debated the issue, and the royal house’s endorsement of the House of Ewostatewos.. The theological debate that locked the two camps and the force of their intellectual power in the Scriptures, philosophy, and political savvy will be highlighted.
Global Financial Crisis: is it Failure of Market or Government?
ABSTRACT: What is the ultimate answer for sound management of economy, free and competitive market or government intervention? This has been a controversial issue for centuries, and since the Great Depression in 1930s, Keynesian views of government intervention had prevailed.
But the climate of opinion began to change in favor of market in early 1980s which was sometimes called either as “the second coming of Adam Smith” or “Neo-liberalism”. However, recent financial crisis from Wall Street was followed by speedy and vigorous intervention responses of not only the US government but also many other countries in the world. This triggered the revival of the century-old controversy.
Does recent intervention of many governments mean, as some intellectuals insist, abandoning market discipline? That is to say, is it a setback from the free competitive capitalism to the Keynsian interventionism? According to Milton Friedman, a leading pioneer of the neo-liberal competitive market capitalism, the critical means to stabilize the economy comes from monetary policy which has a high risk of mismanagement, abusing the discretion of an individual authority.
His theory gives us an excellent insight to explain exactly why the crisis was created in the US and soon after it was aggravated seriously to be spread out to the world. The financial crisis was produced at first from sub-prime mortgage crisis which was stemmed from the US monetary policy adopted to boost and revive construction business years ago. The flawed financial system in the US and successive bursting bubbles in housing prices made the situation grow worse. This was compounded by Greenspan’s too long-lasted low interest policy and the government policy of “Home for everyone.”
Market economy has a strong self-recovery mechanism in itself: historical bubbles such as Dutch speculation on tulip in 17th century, and Mississippi Company of France and British South Sea Company in 18th century waged storming turmoil on each country’ economies but they were subsided soon and market system of Capitalism progressed onward.
The recent rescue measures such as providing tremendous amounts of bail-outs, nationalization of banks and FRB’s decision of zero interest rate are to save the system which is about to fall apart without taking emergent actions. Nevertheless, the cost for the intervention will be enormous. Since too much liquidity has been supplied willfully as if throwing cash out of a helicopter during the crisis, the monetary authority will have to collect the bail-out loans as well as raise interest rate when the crisis will be over. If the heavy government intervention remains for too long, the pendulum would come back to market again because the government is not also an ultimate answer.
Market is the arena where economic actors interface for their livelihood and economic actors’ activities are disciplined ultimately by self-interest, though the self-interest should be contained not to harm others’ interest. In another words, self-interest and incentive play a central role in entire markets. Government’s intervention usually goes either against self-interest of individuals or distorting markets. Any policies or measures that run against self-interest of individual people and thereby run against market would probably go awry: this is a great teaching from Adam Smith and a universal lesson from human history.
JUNG & PARK
Economic Growth and Development of Korea under
ABSTRACT: Korea's economy has been one of history’s most remarkable performers in the world. Once, one of the poorest countries in the world with a per capita income of only US $67 in 1953, Korea is now the world’s 13th largest economy just 60 years after the founding of its new government in 1948. Top leader with proper vision and decisive action is crucial for economic growth and development. There were two unique presidents in the era of economic development of Korea, Park Chung Hee and Chun Doo Hwan, not only draconian dictators, but also effective leaders, and the two former presidents have definitely played as the main engines of the rapid economic growth and development. In this sense, we have reviewed Korea’s economic processes under Park’s and Chun’s administrations in economic development perspective.
Park’s administration (1961-1979): Economic growth of Korea, which began with the 1st of four 5-Year Economic Development Plan initiated by the Park Chung-Hee regime in 1962, took the form of government-led growth. The Park administration decided that the government must play the key role in economic development because no other South Korean institution had the capacity or resources to direct such drastic change in a short time. Under the initial plan, the economic focus shifted from a “domestically-oriented economy” to an “export-driven economy.” President Park chose exports because it lacked natural resources and had a small and underdeveloped domestic market. To this end, Korea would leverage its ability to provide low cost labor for light industry, before moving on to heavy industry. The government guided private industry through a series of export and production targets utilizing the control of credit, informal means of pressure and persuasion, and traditional monetary and fiscal policies.
However, the market distortion by Park’s policies to intervene rather than allow market function was the price Korea had to have paid for rapid economic growth.
In concluding, we argue that not all strong leaders are effective leader, especially un-developed countries, economic performance is the key requirement. In this sense, the positive legacies of 2 former military regimes are to the extent of getting worth doing well.
How Education Leads to Peace
ABSTRACT--RESEARCH IN PROGRESS: Education is seen as one of the cornerstones of the peace building process. It does so by building the foundations for good citizenship, teaching respect and tolerance for a variety of ideas as well as providing skills needed for economic development in the society as well as the individual. If a country wants to cultivate peace, the leaders must recognize that its citizens are its best resource; therefore, an educational system must be established and made available to the children of every family living in the particular country. The process of teaching and learning contributes to the development of the cognitive skills, as well as the social skills needed to create a community of people among who there will less likelihood of war.
Educational research proves that when youth are trained in civics, negotiation, ethnic toler¬ance and conflict resolution as well as provided needed employment skills, the likeli¬hood that they will resort to violence later in their life is diminished. Students who have a better understanding of peace will become more discerning voters. This will in turn result in a leadership that values and promotes peace in the global community. History tells us that education does not serve as a guarantee against war (e.g. the Rwandan genocide, the war in northern Uganda, etc.). The key is that education has to be offered without bias and selectivity to the whole population.
The rationale for this literature review and current best practices study can be found in Article 26 (2) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948 which states: “Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.”
If this Declaration is to be implemented in the global community then educators must assume the responsibility of operationalizing the Declaration by educating all members of society, not just an elite few, for peace. The UN General Assembly in 1992 initiated a program to build a culture of peace, justice, tolerance, and opportunities leading to plenty for the world's children. This culture of peace consists of values, attitudes and behaviors that reject violence, attempt to prevent conflicts by addressing root causes, aim at solving problems through dialogue and negotiation. It also promotes an education for peace and sustainable development through respect for human rights, gender equality, democratic participation, tolerant solidarity, open communication, and international security. If curriculum materials and training were to be made available to teachers, school-age children all over the world could learn and internalize the steps that lead to a peace-keeping way of life.
Membership in WTO and Gross Domestic Product
ABSTRACT/RESEARCH: The World Trade Organization plays an important role in promoting Global Economic Growth. Increased Gross Domestic Products of WTO member countries contribute to this growth.
The purpose of this study is to examine whether membership in WTO has effect on gross domestic products of member states based on the level of participation in international trade. It is hoped that, the study will be an addition to the many studies that have examined WTO membership and other dependant variables.
Two Critical Transitions in the Emerging 21st Century Global Civilization and Their Impact Upon World Civilization
ABSTRACT: This paper places philosophical and scientific concepts related to human nature in juxtaposition with the real behavior of businessmen and corporations. We consider two discrete transitions that promise global penetration and change in civilization: nanotechnology and the global 2008-09 recession considered under the rubric, world political economies.
This paper aims at two questions: (1) What role will religion and social traditions play in the transition of nanotechnology to global civilization giving special reference to the enhancement of the human body? (2) How will world political economies respond to the global recession of 2008-09 with special reference to the economic and political power exercised during this experience through private transnational financial institutions?
In the transition to nanotechnology, there are circles of philosophers, scientists, attorneys and public policy professionals who are actively discussing ethics and a wide band of public affairs professionals. Their purpose is to think though the problems, anticipate and preclude resistance to these advances. Nanotechnology occurs at the molecular level – one billionth of a meter. Living matter is its base providing services to mankind that would involve the “enhancement” of the human body.
The transition element “world political economies” focuses on power and behavior of corporations from mortgage brokers to global bankers. The subprime mortgage disaster created a credit crisis, which initiated a recession in the U.S. and spread to the entire world.
One was astounded at times as the defensive power of the banks appeared to dominate officials and the policies of the U.S. Government over two regimes. At times the U.S. Government appeared incapable of controlling its finance system. It was difficult to find recognition by bankers that their behavior had created a severe financial crisis for the world. Profit appeared as the only operative value in the banking system.
Executive Rewarding and Compensation System:
ABSTRACT: Making talent a strategic priority is the biggest source of competitive advantage of companies. In the increasingly global nature of that competition, no other global trend was considered nearly as significant. Talent issues have unquestionably moved up the boardroom agenda.
Robust talent systems and processes for recruiting, developing, and retaining talents lie at the heart of any successful talent strategy. Especially the impact of top talent on corporate performance hasn’t diminished, because organizations are now competing based on their ability to organize its human capital and their performance. Investors appear to be very aware that a shift in the source of competitive advantage has occurred.
The purpose of this paper is to approach executives’ compensation system driven by performance through case study of Samsung and GE.
According to the ‘Executive Compensation Database’ by Towers Perrin 2000CDB, CEO Compensation is divided by four categories: long-term incentive (65%), basic grant (16%), short-term incentive (14%), well fare or managers’ special (5%). The importance of long-term incentive is that the upper grade top talents effect directly on the long-term management performance.
CEO’s paradigm has been changed to CEO3.0 – Team Builder CEO, or Culture oriented CEO. The evolution process of CEO is as follows: CEO1.0 (Built Empires – Jack Welch), CEO2.0. (Fix-it Men – City group’s Charles O. Prince 3), CEO3.0 (Boeing’s James McNerney)
Reviving Western Civilization with Tax Reform in the New Millennium
ABSTRACT: “Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.” [Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.]
We are in a time of economic, political and social crisis and change. Civilization has changed. America has changed. The balance of economic and political powers around the world has changed. America’s role in the world is slipping—not because other powers, like China and India have claimed their own rights, but because we have abrogated our own rights. Most great civilizations in world history fell because of their own internal deterioration—self-imposed collapse. In many civilizations, that collapse occurred within generations. Other powers periodically rejuvenated themselves and extended their prominence for many centuries.
We are at a pivotal point in history. The United States is confronted with many challenges, which must be confronted simultaneously. One of the key issues is fiscal sanity. We need a fundamentally new federal tax system. We need to look in new directions. Our current income-centered federal tax system is archaic, damaging and increasingly unworkable. We need to shift to a tax system which is consumption-tax centered—which relies primarily upon a federal consumption tax. There have been proposals for such tax systems around for many years. However, they have all been designed to continue the obsession with primarily benefiting the ultra-rich. That is wrong. It is very divisive socially and politically. And, it makes passage of such proposals virtually impossible.
No tax system should completely exempt huge incomes or the transfer of massive amounts of un-taxed wealth from all taxation. What is needed is a conversion of our federal tax system to primary reliance upon a federal consumption tax, which everyone will pay. This should be supplemented with a vastly simplified income and wealth-transfer tax, which very few will pay. This proposal is exactly for that type of system: Sensible Tax Reform-- Fair, Simple and Effective. It is a system that discards the tax mess that currently oppresses us. And, it is a proposal where both liberals and conservatives can find common ground. Only the joint support of most of the political and economic spectrum will offer hope of bringing the fundamental tax reform that America needs.
Overseas Chinese Business Networks
RESEARCH PAPER ABSTRACT: This paper examines the rise of Chinese manufacturers in Hong Kong and Singapore amidst the clash between collapsing British capitalism and surging Chinese nationalism in the early twentieth century. It argues that while overseas Chinese business networks abided by the British colonial status quo, Chinese business elites managed to pursue their profits both within and outside of this framework. Their establishment of manufacturing sectors in the interwar years in Singapore and Hong Kong was a response to the collapsing British free-trade capitalism. To secure their nascent market in Chinese communities, overseas Chinese industrialists mobilized the nationalist aspiration for the re-strengthening the Chinese civilization to solicit support from both ethnic Chinese customers and the Chinese government of their businesses—even to the point of competing head on with British products. Overseas Chinese elites were proven to be effective economic agents that shrewdly took advantage of the clash between Chinese and British imperial civilizations during the Great Depression. These Chinese businessmen remade themselves into a formidable economic force and paved the way for the rise of East Asian Tigers after the Second World War and the economic resurgence of China in the early 21st century. This study shows that the clash of civilizations and global economic crisis not only generated conflicts and wars but also new opportunities for certain actors to help reshape their destiny and the long-term change in the inter-civilizational balance of power.
The Spirit of Indian and Western Civilizations: Clash or Cooperation
ABSTRACT: India is like a kaleidoscope: its diverse shapes and colors form a culture born of antiquity, but the picture is never static. Ever changing, ever growing, this ancient civilization throbs with life and energy. Yet with all this diversity, there is an unmistakable unity in the Indian culture. It is this spirit of unity in diversity that mystifies and fascinates the visitor/scholar to India.
The curious explorer might ask: What is India? India resembles a house with few walls and many open windows. Ideas from many cultures have lived in this house, coexisted with it, and ultimately have been absorbed by it. Still, this house continues to stand, a symbol of the tolerance for which India is justly famed. It is the capacity for tolerance, which pervades every aspect of Indian life.
The inquisitive voyager might ask: how is it possible, for mystics to exist side by side with modern business people, for arranged marriages and joint families to coexist with singles cohabitating in Mumbai (Bombay), for the 4500 years old Vedic hymns to be chanted alongside Western rock music and for yogis to become politicians and philosophers “kings?”
India, which is a salad bowl of languages, rainbow of people, amalgam of cultures, spectrum of religions, and the homogeneous heterogeneity of ethnic groups, is a genuine study in contrasts.
How should one study India’s kaleidoscopic diversity? How should one uncover India’s majestic multifariousness? How should one reveal India in its living colors? How should one delve into this mysterious spirit of India? Although a monumental task, through a diligent attempt, this spirit can be uncovered, grasped and displayed,
During the 21st century, in the wake of Globalization, India stands out as a model for the other Asian countries. Multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-linguistic, India is the world’s largest and most diverse democracy on earth. It is the home of multiple civilizations including those of the Indus Valley, Aryan, Hindu, Buddhist and Greek as well as the Islamic, Mughal, French, Portuguese and British, leading to a smorgasbord of both East and West.
Chiseled by both the Eastern and Western influences, Indian civilization reveals a continuous living spirit that displays itself through its cosmogony, cosmology, mythology, religion, philosophy, art, literature and music as well as through its politics, society, economy and films. These are the crucial points on which a dialogue between the Indian and Western civilizations could take place at present and in the future. My paper will make an attempt to reveal the spirit of tolerance of differences that is uniquely embedded in the Indian civilization as the point of cooperation between India and the West. This cooperative model could then be imbibed by other nations of the world as part of the globalization process that will be making inroads during the 21st century.
Origin of Civilization
ABSTRACT: It is my contention that the origin of advanced civilization and the origin of the aristocrat peasant form of society are one and the same thing. Advanced civilization includes: agriculture, urban culture, religion, government, laws, writing, learning, sophisticated craftsmanship, and all the different institutions and organizations that evolved to help human societies become larger, wealthier, more cohesive, and more secure. The phrase aristocrat peasant society will take a great deal longer to explain.
The origin of civilization is a difficult area of study, partly because of its size; we have to look at the entire world, and partly because it happened so long ago. We are talking about a time long before records were kept. A massive amount of really important things were happening. Population density was increasing; agriculture, including animal husbandry, was developing; people were learning new skills; society was differentiating, and we have very little direct evidence about it, mostly what the archeologists have managed to turn up.
Despite the problems, this kind of work is totally fascinating. I am going to take every bit of knowledge that I have gathered from a lifetime of reading history and archeology and use it to give an explanation of how civilization originated.
GLOBALIZATION—the Rise, Decline or Mutation of
ABSTRACT: Western Civilization appears likely to provide the foundational civilizational framework for what may eventually be called global civilization, but in the transformation from Western to global—in the absorption and mitigation of the myriad cultural elements from other cultural streams, what is today thought of as Western culture will certainly become less recognizable and may become virtually unrecognizable within this new global culture. By examining factors at the level of the State, the City and the Individual, this paper attempts to show that in fundamental ways Western Civilization is, in fact, the least “culturally rigid” and most open to change, and by extension, the most adaptable civilization available to serve as the foundation for an evolving global culture.
Why Civilizations Decline
ABSTRACT: Human civilization is facing a number of external challenges relating to environmental degradation, disease, and resource shortages. Is that why civilizations decline and die? The contrary view advanced by Spengler and Toynbee is that civilizational decline is part of a life cycle similar to that in animals and plants. It is due to some “mysterious internal dynamic” built into the culture itself, like the internal clockwork by which human beings after maturity grow old and die.
My own view of civilization, expressed in my book: Five Epochs of Civilization, is that civilizations decline for the same reason that successful organizations grow bureaucratic and eventually self-defeating. Their epoch of dominance typically ends in war because persuasion gives way to attempted coercion. Power, once acquired, becomes its own end.
I will argue that this process can be understood in philosophical terms. Hegel comes closest to providing an explanation. He wrote of ideas becoming realized. Purposes become objects as someone successfully works to achieve them. When thought is thus objectified, its worldly element joins all the other existing objects in the world. A change in direction then potentially takes place as a mind of contrary purpose acts upon it. Two minds are implicit in this situation - that which created the original realized idea and that which treats its object as an element within a new idea of purpose.
I call these two minds or types of thought “consciousness” and “self-consciousness.” Consciousness is thought of a worldly object. Self-consciousness is thought of a prior thought. It is, however, thought which has been realized through successful action in the world rather than that which only remains in the mind. Thought that reacts to another thought necessarily becomes more complex than the other kind. That is why human societies become more complex as once-conscious materials from the past accumulate.
When organizations, once inspired by a vision, become rich and powerful, money and power become the object of their leaders. These leaders want to maintain or strengthen their positions more than advance the purposes that the organization originally had. Self-consciousness then assumes the upper hand. And with this comes an inevitable process of decline since power is the result of successful action toward another end; its increase should not be an end in itself. Otherwise the purposes that sustain the organization fail to be served. Its motivational foundation weakens.
I believe that world history, with its succession of civilizations, is the story of how certain institutions have developed: government, religion, business, education, entertainment, and whatever institution(s) the computer will spawn. Each is subject to the processes of self-conscious thought. That is the closest I can come to explaining the “mysterious internal dynamic” that drives civilizations into a phase of decline.
How are these terms defined?
Is peace rare?
How frequent are intercivilizational wars?
How does globalization affect war and peace?
Does war have a function?
What are the prospects for world peace?
MICHALEC and LILIEN
Computer Networks as
ABSTRACT: Internet gave us a basis for an ever-growing sequence of computer services, from e-mail, and on-line SMS-like services (e.g., Twitter’s) to advanced social networking services. Statistics for use of Internet and social networking services are exploding. In 2008, over one and a half billion people surfed the Internet, and the number was growing fast. Within a year from June 2007 to June 2008, the number of users of social networking services increased by 9% in North America, 23% in Asia Pacific, 33% in Latin America, 35% in Europe and 66% in Middle–East Africa. One of the most popular social utilities, Facebook, has over 200 millions active users. Other popular social networking services known globally are MySpace and Hi5. Their local equivalents like Nasza-Klasa.pl or Giovani.it are very popular in Poland and Italy, respectively.
The social networking services owe their explosive growth to the advantages obvious to their users. They not only help keep in touch with the old friends and to meet new ones, but also assist in finding a job. If you use them, you have benefits denied those who do not—the latter become excluded from needed information, including job opportunities and social support.
The most critical disadvantages include users’ privacy risks and addiction to the networking services (negative impacts on personal relationships due to stealing time from users’ families and real-life friends are well known in media). Also, cyber-friends might turn out to be malicious or even criminal. Claims of supporting narcissistic users’ tendencies are frequent. As a joke—relevant for both abuse and ego trips—has it that even a dog can order sausages over the Internet, and pay with her owner’s credit card. Perceived anonymity only encourages antisocial behavior by dishonest users.
The Future Teachers and Formation of Orthodox
This paper is focused on future teachers in the educational process of high school and on the formation of their orthodox values and the formation of world outlooks of modern youth in the conditions of the crisis in socially-cultural space.
Self-Realization of the Students in Pedagogical
ABSTRACT: This paper is focused on the questions of religious education, spiritually-moral development as a bases of orthodox life, world outlooks of the future teachers in the conditions of modern socially-cultural space.
The Influence of Religion in Western Civilization
ABSTRACT: According to many experts, the role religion plays in the lives of people in western civilization has, in recent times, been waning. Further study, however, suggests that though fewer individuals in many western European countries are attending religious services and expressing a belief in God, members of other western countries still maintain strong religious and spiritual affiliations and convictions.
Religion is sometimes seen as creating and promoting intolerance and hate. Many well respected authors, columnists and political pundits have suggested that extremist religious groups pose one of the biggest threats to world peace. Even mainstream moderate religious beliefs have been cited as representing principles based on antiquated ideas that are often at odds with modern culture and sensibilities and, ultimately, detrimental to the future well being of the world. However, an analysis of world conflict in the twentieth century reveals that countries with secular, rather than religious, ideologies have been responsible for the overwhelming number of deaths and murders that occurred during that time period.
This paper will examine changes in the number of believers in western nations and discuss possible reasons for these trends. In addition, the paper will present information on the sources of the most significant conflicts in the twentieth century and possible threats to future world peace will be outlined. Finally, it will be suggested that spiritual belief may be one of the best tools to encourage peace and, when needed, to respond to oppressive secular, as well as extremist religious, threats.
The Slave Trade, Hydrocarbons, and Globalization
The proposed paper results from an effort to reconcile my studies in the slave trade in the Niger Delta between the 15th and 19th centuries and my recent participation in a global study "The Changing Roles of National Oil Companies in International Energy Markets" (see Nwokeji 2007: The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Development of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry: History, Strategies and Future Directions, James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, Houston, TX).
Such an effort resulted in my "Slave Ships to Oil Tankers" (in Curse of the Black Gold, edited by Michael Watts). The foregoing chapter represents only a skeletal form of the parallels and contrasts that I plan to detail, and while the chapter eschewed globalization, the proposed paper introduces globalization as its organizing principle.
From “Tom-Tom” to Wireless Communication:
ABSTRACT-POSITION PAPER: Wireless technology specifically mobile phones have revolutionized communication in Africa. No one could have predicted this success in a continent where basic necessities are a luxury.
This paper looks at the integration of African culture into the global world by the use of wireless technology. Reasons for wireless phone growth in Africa are a plenty. The difficulties that landlines posed to African countries, the reasonable price of wireless phones, and the greater accessibility the wireless technology created are main reasons for the growth of wireless phones in African countries. Users of cell phone in African countries have found innovative ways of using the device that goes beyond simple voice communication. From literature, it is apparent the use of wireless phone in African countries will continue to grow and even surpass the number of users in some developed countries. The implementation of wireless phone has contributed to the economic growth in African countries, and has helped in part to overcome the major problem of infrastructure that causes barriers in communications among dispersed population.
Modern Warfare Up Close and Personal
ABSTRACT/POSITION PAPER: In the period between 1991 to 1995 I and my daughter (born in 1990) lived in Zadar, the town where I was born at the beginning of the sixties, a picturesque and impressive 3,000- year-old town, with one of the oldest Roman forums in Europe, and one of the oldest Catholic churches in Europe, on the Adriatic coast. However, in this period, at the very end of the 20th century, Zadar was a part of Croatia heavily affected by the Homeland War and it was a victim of one of the most destructive and horrible wars that took place in modern Europe.
The basis for this paper is my own book On the Bay, Peter and Paul (Diary Notes, Articles, Letters... /1991-1998/) published in Zagreb (2006). In that book I offered my impression of the events that were going on in the period when individual, separate destinies seemed to be less important than „collective events“ and “global movements“.
During those years the students at the University of Zadar, where I have been teaching world literature, were the “craziest students in the world“ – as I put in that book; some texts in it had been read out in radio broadcasts in the spring 1993, during the nightly bombardment of the city, in the center of which the radio building was located. In those very nights my colleagues and I were sitting in the radio studio from time to time making jokes about the shells and dying. Each of my radio programs started with my citating one of the most prominent Croatian 20th century poets – Antun Branko simic – who died very young but was old enough to write this verse: Man, do not walk small under the stars! The stars here was the ironic connotation of shells – of course. The radio-broadcast was called Usprkos (Defiance) and was dealing with literature, culture, theatre in the period where people thought of the survival, when there was no electricity, tap water, the hospital in Zadar was reduced to the basement rooms where everyone – adults, children, soldiers, invalids - were lying down patiently and silently. ...
It was an unusual, “rich“ way of living. Extremely dangerous, of course. Some journalists from abroad, from the “civilized world,“ who used to visit what they called “the Balkans“ (the pseudo-geographic expression meaning “semi-primitive mentality of killing and destruction“) – spent the weekends in some Croatian towns such as Zadar, Vukovar, Dubrovnik, at that time affected greatly by shelling, or Sarajevo (in Bosnia and Herzegovina) that would soon become “the butchery in the center of Europe”... they would say or believe that it was an adventurous lifestyle and their visit to the war region was considered as a tourist-agency organized safari: adrenalin was crucial. However, I assume that all of us who lived there would have rather lived without that kind of adventures. Our “best days,“ years, passed living that way , “adventurously“.
Some of my foreign colleagues assert that the mentioned book might be relevant to foreign academic audience interested in “The Balkans“ and recent current events and history. The book is now in the process of being translated into English. When I was writing the most parts of it – during the war, witnessing the destruction, untold horror and deaths of the people known or absolutely unknown to me – the idea of writing in a literary manner, writing of something that was presumably ”literary attractive” or even ”marketable“ had never occurred to me. As it could be noticed here: in my description of the way of our living - none of the ideology or (anti)national connotations have been mentioned.
On the other hand, the idea of the survival, the concrete, human, individual saving of my/his/her own life was all that mattered in those years that I call - “the years of binary system:“ it was important whether one were alive or dead.
And there was the rage that we felt listening to the midnight radio news after having concluded that “nothing had happened that day,“ in spite of our hope, eagerness, enthusiasm and the basic, atavistic need for life, the news about world events involving “powers“ which were our “friends,“ ”allies” even, our hope, the political authorities we had trusted – but very often did little of what could have been of any importance to an individual, merely existing in the darkness of a basement, sitting by a candle, by the radio, or in some other allegedly “safe“ rooms: the facts show that no basement, nor any other ”safe“ room in my city in those years were safe enough -- people got killed even in the basements!
That was then. Since 1995 many things have been expected to change. And they have. However, Croatian society passed through the dismal years of posttraumatic stress disorder outspread among the ex-soldiers of the Croatian voluntary army; the population passed through hundreds, even thousands of bizarrely-committed suicides, not only of the soldiers, but of the civilians who had lost faith, hope, perspective, or focus.
The catastrophic and cathartic episodes in the current experience of the contemporary so called civilization – from New York (9/11), Madrid (3/11) to London (7/7) – have probably made the world realize how a small and fragile place it is, an extremely violent place. Today it has become possible to watch quietly the decapitation of a human being on the TV screen – and not even in a selected evening time but during the day – over a spread table and a steaming, fragrant meal while the objectively monstrous impulses put in motion a simultaneous process of adjusting and numbing in the mind of the viewer. The tolerance and sensitivity threshold of violence dropped to the point resulting in frequent forgetting about the individual identity and destiny.
And finally we got the economic crisis, ideological assumptions and forces so intense on the region(s) of the South-East Europe. The rest is supposed to be – silence.
A Healthkeeping Component As a Basis
ABSTRACT: This paper is focused on one of the important components of keeping youth healthy under the conditions of socially-cultural world civilization, developing healthy priorities for young people, and motivating them to preserve healthy potentials for the future of their country, environment, and social culture. We propose a system of on physical education for the rising generation developing skills for a healthy way of life.
Moving Toward Virtuality: New Cultural
ABSTRACT OF POSITION PAPER: In this position paper the author argues that specific technological and cultural challenges must be overcome in order to transform current cultural paradigms to virtuality-based cultures that will transform into new civilization structures.
Connecting Laws of Science and Society
ABSTRACT—RESEARCH PAPER: The current global economic crisis demands pragmatic solutions to complex social and technological problems. The severity of effects on all world civilizations imposes significant pressure on world leaders to find solutions that work, and manage the process to successful implementation. All of management is prediction. But how can leaders be confident in their predictions?
Accurate prediction is the essence of technological achievement and effective management. The most accurate predictions we know are scientific laws. They come as close to absolute certitude as anything that exists. The reliability of science comes from engineered nomological machines, and they are not necessarily limited to the physical sciences. They can provide insight, regularity, and prediction in socio-economic environments as well. The frameworks of nomological machines can provide important perspective to business managers and government policy makers in addressing their most challenging problems.
Transfer of concepts from scientific nomological machines to social policy is possible, but special care must be taken to consider shielding complexities of social systems. Significant shielding limitations of predictive models in social settings require continuous research, flexibility, and review.
Conservatism and Chaos: Martin Heidegger and
This paper elucidates some general features of interwar German conservative thought with special attention paid to its specific rhetorics of cultural pessimism and declinism. I will concentrate on the work of Heidegger, although the writings of Spengler, Junger, and others will also be discussed. This conservative movement reacted to a number of profound cultural shifts in the western world (which constitute the advent of “modernity”).
During the upheavals of modernity, a number of long-standing traditions and basic cultural presuppositions were rejected but were never replaced. Some of these developments included the discoveries of the scientific revolution and the gradual diminishing of religion as an explanatory force, the loss of a sense of community (and the loss of a relationship to nature) during the industrial revolution in which many abandoned the countryside to work in alienating urban environments, and the destruction of many optimistic, rationalistic enlightenment ideals following the pointless carnage of World War 1. Moreover, the German defeat in World War I and the subsequent imposition of the Treaty of Versailles led to a profound sense of national humiliation as well as to an economic collapse. Yet, when ways of life are extinguished and new paradigms have not yet been offered to replace them, the individual subject is left at a loss to find guiding principles with which to navigate an overwhelming world.
Feeling bereft (i.e., spiritually “homeless”) in the face of this rapid pace of change and the loss of baseline cultural assumptions, these interwar German conservative thinkers sought theoretical refuge in the traditional and familiar, and hence began to emphasize nationalism and German “rootedness.” This paper will thus explore how this crisis led a number of these conservative thinkers to endorse an antimodernist agrarianism as well as an “deology of war” in which military virtues and the experience of battle were glorified as having the potential to bring forth a new, redemptive German reality.
This analysis of declinism will then be extended to some contemporary cultural realities, as post-modern philosophies have (in different ways) pushed the modernist legacy of spiritual uncertainty and indeterminacy to even more extreme conclusions. Finally, as Spengler prophesized the awakening of a “new religiousness” during the latter days of the Decline of the West, the contemporary rise and spread of religious fundamentalism throughout the western world will also be analyzed in this connection.
How to Sustain An Economically Viable Civilization?
ABSTRACT—RESEARCH IN PROGRESS: Sustainable business has many elements including environmental impact, social consciousness, and ethical corporate practices. The jury is still out on whether sustainable business practices lead to superior long term financial performance. The focus of this study is to identify whether one element of sustainability, namely, environmentally responsible strategy, results in value creation
There is a general consensus that unless corporations embrace environmentally responsible practices, planet earth is heading towards environmental disaster. However, environmental responsibility lies in the eyes of the beholder. There is no universally accepted definition of environmental responsibility. There is general agreement that there are two main elements of environmentally responsible strategy: judicious use of non-renewable raw materials and responsible disposal of industrial waste.
A rigorous study of whether corporate environmental responsibility results in stock market value creation runs into one immediate challenge. There are well-known measures of corporate financial performance: the two best known are probably return on investment and return on equity. However, there are no universally recognized metrics for measuring environmentally responsible corporate practices. There are environmental and sustainability based rating services such as Innovest (New York) and Sustainable Asset Management (Zurich). These ratings agencies rely extensively on surveys in order to identify corporations whose practices are environmentally responsible. There is no publicly-available information, whose veracity has been certified by an independent auditor, which can be used to classify firms as being environmentally responsible. This is the main reason why there is so little literature in existence on an issue that clearly merits a thorough examination, namely, the relation between environmentally responsible business practices and corporate financial reward in the form of stock market value creation.
Dialectical Religiology: The Future of Religion
ABSTRACT: This paper will trace the evolution of religion from the traditional union between the religious and the secular through their modern disunion toward a possible post modern reunion. There is a three-fold dialectic at work in modernity: 1) between the sacred and the profane; 2) in the secular enlightenment; and 3. in religion.
Three alternative religious futures seem to arise out of the modern dicotomy between the religious and the secular: 1) a religious - fundamentalist, theocratic society; 2) a totally secular society; and 3) a society in which the religious and the secular are reconciled, or if that is not possible, a society in which the antagonists have at least an open public discourse with each other.
People who are aware of the dialectic of enlightenment can meet with people who are aware of the dialectic of religion. Enlightenment means to free people from their fears and make them into masters of their fate, but sometimes scientific enlightenment has increased people's fears and enslaved them to their fate.
Religion is the longing for the wholly “Other” than this finite world, including the yearning for light, friendship, and love --- not for global alternative Future I, a totally administered society, or global alternative Future II --- a totally militarized society---but rather for global alternative Future III --- a reconciled society, in which people can live with each other in a friendly way.
However, sometimes it has happened that the religion of truth turned into ideology understood as false consciousness, the masking of class-, race-, and national - interests, i.e. the untruth, and the religion of love has turned into hate and prejudice, crusades, inquisition, and witch hunts. Enlighteners who reflect on the dialectic of enlightenment and religious people who repent the dialectic of religion can make the attempt at least to keep the discourse between the two sides open in direction of global alternative Future III---a free and just society.
Explaining British–Chinese Divergence through
ABSTRACT/RESEARCH IN PROGRESS: This paper compares late 18th century Britain and China in terms of grand strategic scope, or the geopolitical extent of an international actor’s security interests. Using Britain’s 1793 Macartney Embassy to the Qing Emperor’s court as a focal point, this study examines the so-called “great divergence” between the West and China. It finds that grand strategic scope more fully explains the two states’ divergent paths than other accounts.
Scholars have focused on this historical moment to understand how and why a divergence between East and West could occur. Lord George Macartney’s Embassy to the Qing was a British effort to gain commercial access to China; however, the Qianlong Emperor declined because, he wrote, the Chinese had no use for Europe’s innovations and industry. Nevertheless, after about 1800, China became mired in domestic and international challenges while European states came to dominate the world. Though fruitful, research into the Embassy and the divergence it represents has tended to favor either material (such as geographic) or ideational (such as cultural) factors.
The paper concludes that as a conceptual tool, grand strategic scope both clarifies the Macartney Embassy as a key moment in the “great divergence” and provides a useful case study tool in the comparative study of civilizations. It reifies and elaborates on research suggesting that material, geopolitical realities channeled the West’s dramatic uptick in relative power. Nevertheless, it also suggests that beliefs and culture, interacting with these realities, shaped the conceptual horizons of both British and Chinese decision makers. More broadly, scholars interested in comparing civilizations or representative actors within civilizations should find scope an important axis along which material and ideational variables diverge, both across cases and through time.
On Megalopolitans and Retards:
ABSTRACT/RESEARCH: Both Oswald Spengler and Arnold Toynbee sought to explain regional “variability of rate of cultural change” (as Toynbee called it). This paper summarizes and seeks to update the ideas of Spengler and Toynbee regarding the reasons for and ramifications of the regional differences in cultural development, specifically within the United States as a principal part of Western Culture.
The Origin of Civilization in Ecological Crisis
ABSTRACT: A major issue in the study of civilization is obviously its origin. Why did some agricultural villages grow into cities while other did not? In this paper I would like to propose a new answer to this question, since the theories proposed in the past are inconsistent with the data and especially inconsistent with information about civilizations in the Americas.
The two best-known theories about the development of civilization are based on (1) irrigation and (2) metal. In the first, civilization is assumed to have resulted from the need for a social organization able to build irrigation systems. In the second, the need for trade required for metallurgy is seen as the primary causal factor. Neither of these applies to the development of civilization in Mesoamerica. Furthermore, I will argue that the estimates of the labor involved in irrigation projects have been seriously overestimated.
Rather, I will suggest what I will call an ecological model of civilization. When people began depending on agriculture, they actually made their subsistence situation more precarious. Foragers (the current “in term” for hunters and gatherers) are actually in a fairly good situation when faced with ecological disaster. Since they depend on a large number of plant and animal species, the failure of a specific crop can be compensated for by shifting to other, perhaps less desirable, sources. Also, of course, they are free to move about.
Likewise, when confronted with problems such a drought or flood, the foragers can just go somewhere else. The villagers, however, have too much invested in a particular area to move casually.
Thus, the villagers have, in essence, put all their eggs in one basket. The only solution available to them is to expand the area within which food is traded or shared. When there is a crisis in the microclimate in which a village is located, the villagers may be able to get supplies from other microclimates that have not suffered from the same problem. However, getting the other villagers to trade or share may represent a problem. Ultimately, an authority must develop to organize this trade. This is very nearly a description of the economic definition of a city, i.e., a central area that dominates and trades with a number of surrounding areas.
The advantage of this model is that it is testable. If it is correct, then primary civilizations, those which developed independently, should appear in areas with high levels of ecological instability, while in areas in which the ecology is fairly stable, civilization should only develop as a result of borrowing. This borrowing is, of course, a result of the fact that once a civilization exists in a given area, there are strong, nonecological, incentives to become civilized
Eschatology: The mysterious internal dynamic
ABSTRACT: Sir Arnold Toynbee was acclaimed for persuasively arguing that civilizations could be studied through a processional prism. Past civilizations each had a beginning, middle and end, he showed. This concept allowed scholars to examine patterns and trends in the contemporary moment for clues about the shape of eventual results. While Toynbee used the historical sciences for his analysis, he also introduced a philosophical dimension into his work. The implicit moral evaluation in much of the Toynbee corpus suggests that human civilization not only moves in a chronological plane: beginning, middle and end; but also on a moral one: promise, fulfillment, corruption.
This paper will show that a similar perspective on civilizations can be found in religious scriptures, particularly those of the Abrahamic traditions. Eschatology – literally, the study of “last things” – has a counterpart scriptural form of apocalypse. This genre will be explored, both in canonical and extra-canonical writings. Comparison will be made with the perspectives of philosophical evaluation of civilizations in Toynbee and others. Special attention will be paid to the concept of decline and destruction of civilizations. It will be argued that one reason for the collapse of civilizations is a belief in eschatology in which societies are destined to end. In the words of Toynbee, there is “schism in the soul.”
Special attention will be paid to three past civilizations in an effort to show that the historical and philosophical analysis of Toynbee has a parallel scriptural exegesis. The Assyrian-Babylonian Empire, the Roman Empire, and the Aztec Empire each fell in different epochs and to different forces, but collapse is recorded in apocalyptic literature. By deciphering the symbolic language in the religious literature, it will be suggested that each empire contained some intimation of eschatology. These have some correspondence to material and social forces, but on the larger plane exhibit the characteristic referred to above as “schism in the soul.”
Finally, there will be some reflection on how these themes reflect on the resurrection of apocalyptic terminology in describing the collapse of the American Civilization in the economic and social disintegrations of 2008.
Pre-Diction and Prophesy: Two Modes of Announcing
ABSTRACT: There is general agreement among scripture scholars that apocalypse is a genre of writing that on the one hand, denounces an existing situation; and on the other, invites divine/transcendent intervention to install a new social order. This paper will dissect aspects of the most familiar of antiquities’ scriptures. Focused on the Book of Revelation, the analysis will include the Book of Daniel and extra-canonical works such as the Book of Enoch and the IV Book of Esdras. This analysis will focus upon a technique that provides legitimacy to the content of such works, namely, pre-diction and prophecy. The process is also present in religious, but non-scriptural literature, such as the Kabala and a Muslim haddith.
These two related concepts have significant differences. Prophecy is a new truth or fact, held to be unknowable without communication from a divine/transcendent source. Pre-diction is an assertion of a possible result, but one that is knowable from human observation. The paper will show that pre-diction is often confused with prophecy in the scriptural sources cited. Such scriptures utilize the identity of a personage in the past when writing about current events. As a consequence, the scripture appears to anticipate current events and that such fore-knowledge came from revelation. However, more sober analysis shows this to be a literary device and one echoed in similar writings from non-Abrahamic religions.
The exposition of this difference will be illustrated by historical examples from non-scriptural sources. The religious vs. scientific tonality can be found, for instance, in the duality of astrology and astronomy. The former carries the prophecy aspect, while the latter the prediction function. Ironically, both are rigorously exact in mathematical formulae, but one is derived from the divine/transcendent force and the other is purely logical. Examples of how the two concepts interact can be examined in writings of historical figures like Roger Beacon and Nostradamus. Carl G. Jung explored these notions in his treatment of alchemy.
In modern times, the literary genre of science-fiction explores the rational element of pre-diction, while literary explorations of fantasy – despite the similarities to science-fiction – are more alike prophecy. The paper will then examine how pre-diction and prophecy are used with apocalyptic effect in the modern world. Special attention will be paid to popular literature and cinema. An example of early science-fiction is the 1863 work, Paris in the 20th Century by Jules Verne, which predicted many later developments such as the Eiffel Tower and automobiles. In more recent times, one might contrast Star Wars which is fantasy with Star Trek which is science-fiction. Both critique civilization.
Using Frank Herbert’s Dune as the basic example, the paper will show how techniques found in apocalyptic scripture have been reinvented. They mold contemporary attitudes and make critique on society through works of science fiction and fantasy. It will be shown that Dune treats very seriously issues like the environment, technology, cultural change, colonialism, and religious conflict.
It will be suggested that Dune and kindred works provide commentary on civilizations and should be considered as popularized comparative study of civilizations. They include themes that translate into environmental concerns, critique of culture and religion, the conflicts of war and ideologies, while supplying civilizational alternatives that generate new synergies and surprises to the status quo.
ABSTRACT: This paper investigates a role of business in the civilizational development and transformation of Western Civilization into Global Civilization. The rapid growth of population and business leads to the rapid depletion of strategic resources, which may lead to the end of civilization as we practice in the last 6,000 years. To avoid this catastrophe, the strategy of sustainable development must be applied. Also the old business paradigms must be updated accordingly in order to research and teach future professionals what kind of decisions should be made to safe civilization and make it universal. Those civilizations will survive, which will be the wisest. If not, humans will face the post-civilization époque.
The Role of Race and Prejudice in the Russia-Chechnya Conflict
ABSTRACT – RESEARCH IN PROGRESS: This paper presents a short history of the Russian-Chechen conflict. The nature of this conflict is a vicious action-reaction cycle that reinforces the prejudices and hatreds of both sides. Starting with an initial view of the Chechens as barbarians, the subsequent history of prejudice on the part of Russians is justified by the terrorist methods used by the Chechens. The history of abusive treatment justified the Chechens in adopting brutal means to resist the Russians. With violence begetting violence on both sides of the conflict, a peaceful solution is difficult to be achieved. This conflict is an excellent example of how history can influence the present and dictate the future.
VON DER MUHLL
Paradigms and Paradigmatic Shifts in the Study of Çivilizations: Spengler, Toynbee, McNeill, Huntington, and Diamond
ABSTRACT OF POSITION PAPER: Examination of the contributions of five eminent and influential theorists to the formation and alteration of paradigms for studying the rise and fall of civilizations.
Economizing on thought is indispensable to organized inquiry. Paradigms perform that function. They provide a framework for structured communication among participants in the study of diverse aspects of complex phenomena. They link past, present and future study through consolidating findings, recording significant modifications in problem formation, and delineating insufficiently investigated or unresolved issues demanding further investigation. They pressure investigators to identify and clarify proposed approaches and differences in terms of a common conceptual language, and they alert all practitioners to algorithms and purported discoveries that, if accepted by other influential researchers, entail a comprehensive shift of focus necessarily impacting future directions of study in the field. In all these ways, paradigms efficiently facilitate the cumulative growth of what is understood to be a common body of knowledge, whereas acceptance of paradigmatic shifts invites a broad reappraisal both of what is known and of strategies for accumulating further knowledge.
In the paper I should like to present, I reexamine the work of five authors who have profoundly shaped our understanding of the entities we call “civilizations”, the dynamics of their growth and decay, and how and where to look for explanations for these elementally crucial processes.
I first consider in some detail the role of Oswald Spengler in promoting, both through exhortation and example, the comparative study of civilizations and the search for uniformities in their trajectories. I seek to show that criticisms in his time and since of his dubious metaphorical analogies and overly deterministic pessimism have come to obscure his significance in institutionalizing the expectation that an analysis of the determinants of the rise and fall of civilizations should extend beyond the study of intrinsic internal flaws in a single civilization or the binary contrasts of Herodotus, Gibbon, and Prescott to a comparative undertaking encompassing numerous civilizations past and present that had received only casual attention by Western historians.
I then trace how Toynbee carried out Spengler’s program in a far more systematic and comprehensive manner, providing in many respects a model of inquiry that has often been subsequently followed but never clearly surpassed in its reach and multi-dimensionality. William H. McNeill’s treatise on The Rise of the West, much admired by many professional historians, can be seen in part as a reaction to the overly mechanistic uniformities in both Spengler’s and Toynbee’s analyses, thereby providing an occasion for weighing the potential risks of an explicit and confining paradigm.
In turn, Samuel Huntington, though best known to most readers for his theses concerning prospective clashes of civilizations, seems significant to me in the present context for his reaffirmation of the directive utility of the Spengler-Toynbee paradigm, which he nevertheless greatly enriches while adding much-needed explanatory flexibility through his close consideration both of the internal politics of contemporary civilizations and of the crucial role of external pressures in shaping their probable futures. Finally, I see Jared Diamond’s works as providing a strikingly clear example of the transformative implications of a paradigmatic shift such as is embodied in the nature, sources and time scales of the data he uses in his analyses.
Landmarks in the Comparative Study of Civilizations
ABSTRACT: Scholars today increasingly pursue the comparative study of very large societies. Some label the objects of their observation "macrosocial systems," others "world systems," others "civilizations." In earlier times, the study of very long-term very large-scale social entities and processes was called the "philosophy of history." Regardless of the label one now prefers, the contemporary student ought to be aware of the ideas of certain paramount scholars of the past whose influence persists: Hegel, Danilevsky, Spengler, Toynbee and Sorokin.
Of the five scholars mentioned, Toynbee provides the best foundation for the extension of the comparative study of civilizations. Perhaps it is no coincidence that Toynbee was also the most open to the systematic revision of his theories based on criticisms received.
Some leading recent and contemporary analysts of macrosocial systems whose work ought to be reviewed by those in and entering the field are Andre Gunder Frank and Barry Gills; Christopher Chase-Dunn and Thomas Hall; Carroll Quigley; Matthew Melko; and Samuel P. Huntington. All but Melko and Huntington focus on the economics of macrosocial systems, and have been influenced in one way or another by the work of Marx, some directly, others by way of Immanuel Wallerstein’s world-system analysis.
The study of macrosocial systems--civilizations and world systems--is richer in theories than in data. Many existing theories lend themselves better to dialogue than to verification, but most contain significant elements open to verification. Matthew Melko followed the right track in extensively collecting evidence to test and to generate hypotheses. The post-Wallersteinian world-systems work of Frank and Gills, and of Chase-Dunn and Hall, has large empirically testable components, some tested and passed, which can be paralleled in cross-civilizational studies. Huntington's theories invite Richardsonian tests. The study of civilizations as macrosocial systems can be, and begins to be, a part of science, as well as of humanistic philosophy.
“The Times, They are a Changin’: American Racial
ABSTRACT: This paper seeks to examine historical changes in population demographics/racial categorization in global perspective using U.S. society as a nexus from a comparative approach (with an emphasis on comparisons between U.S. society, Brazil, and South Africa).
There has been a profound shift in U.S. population demographics since 1967 (in terms of size and the ethno-racial composition of the society overall). This “profound shift” has produced significant changes in American civilization as related to racial identity formation and categorization. These changes include the rise of interracial marriages, trans-racial adoptions, and the expanding number of “self identified” mixed-race youth.
The Supreme Court decision in Loving vs. Virginia (unanimous decision rendering laws against interracial marriage unconstitutional) and the comprehensive forces of globalization can be seen as two determinant factors shaping these demographic trends in American civilization.
In 2000, the U.S. Census gave Americans the chance to identify themselves by selecting more than one race for the first time; and this change in policy was facilitated by a vigorous multiracial consciousness movement that has been steadily expanding since 1967 amid the rising immigrant population coming into America out of Latin America and Africa. Many population scientists insist that America is vastly becoming a civilization of groups once deemed “minorities.” An estimated seven million people chose to select “more than one” on the decennial census and 80% of these individuals were under the age of 25.
There is now a proliferation of associations, organizations, websites, clubs, blogs, and listservs, that promote multiracial consciousness such as the Association for Multiethnic Americans (AMEA), iPride, MAVIN, SWIRL, Interracial Voice, and a host of others. It seems, as once popularized in a 1960s song, when it comes to race and relations-in America “The Times, They are a Changin’.”
This paper will explore the changes in U.S. population demographics and the overall ethno-racial composition of America between 1967-2008 as related to issues of racial identity formation and categorization; and as compared to demographic shifts in other countries as associated with issues of racialization. Given the historic candidacy of Barack Obama who has been lauded as the “post-racial” candidate (as in bi-racial individuals having a unique experience through which to transcend racial categories), has America changed enough to move beyond race given trends in socio-geography? What then of the globalization of white supremacy that has helped to shape these demographic shifts in contemporary times?
The Proclaimed Globalization – an Ideology of Soft-totalitarian
ABSTRACT: This presentation is a speculative review of psychology’s approach to the cultural and civilizational determinants of the development of human identity. It discusses the relation between human freedom and necessity as it is determined by culture and its alternative suggestions concerning normative human existence. At the beginning the Feliks Koneczny’s quincunx philosophy of history together is presented with its five basic categories of existence. One can try to transpose these categories into the factors which constitute human intra-psychic space and also into measures of description of the mechanics of human behaviour. Attention is drawn to the fact that, in this context, the axiological shortcomings of psychology are exposed, especially the deliberate refusal to evaluate behaviour in terms of good and evil or the exclusion of ethics, moral obligations, conscience and responsibility from psychological discourse. Then the analysis on globalization and its soft-totalitarian aspects is discussed along with the social and psychological consequences emerged from this type of ideology in the context of development of human society and human identity during the last two centuries, especially in context of concept of globalization and value relativism. It discusses too the relation between human freedom and necessity as it is determined by mass engineering practice and its alternative suggestions concerning normative human existence.
Pitirim A. Sorokin and Russian Civilization
ABSTRACT—POSITION PAPER: Pitirim Sorokin’s biography has become an object of specific sociological interest for discovering the specific mechanisms of academic career. This paper claims the suggested interpretations of his career haven’t taken into account his cultural and ethnic background.
One of the essential features of that tradition is the principle of moral absolutism that allows no ethical compromises for earthly benefits. Sorokin applied this principle of moral absolutism to science. But he did it never making distinction between science per se and its social aspect. As a result self-sacrifice, honesty and rigor absolutely necessary in finding the truth lead to intolerance and conflicts when requested from people in their social contacts. Sorokin never accepted compromises nor made concessions. He warned of an oncoming collapse of Western civilization, strongly believed that he knew how to save the world, crashed the ‘enemies’, i.e. anybody who disagreed with him, and paid the price of failing in his own career and friendships.
In order to understand better Sorokin’s paradox some important characteristics of Russian mentality should be taken into account. I refer here to the ideas presented in my paper at the XX World Congress of Philosophy (Zyuzev, 2008). The basic idea is that Russian social space, very roughly, can be seen as consisting of three concentric circles: the first one produced by the individual himself and his closest relatives and friends; the second one, the most distant form the individual, usually represents the governing bodies; and the third one serves as a barrier between the first two. The Western social space is characterized by bigger number of circles and more active communication between them. Consequently the Russians typically have more difficulties in social communication.
Keeping all this in mind let’s turn once again to Sorokin’s behavior in America.
Finally, we should point at an ethnic factor which has eluded the attention of American researchers. Sorokin’s origin as a native Komi (he was born of a Komi mother and Russian farther and grew up in a typical Komi village) had important consequences for forming his character. Martindale (Martindale, 1975) talking about Sorokin as a ‘soldier of fortune’ concerned exclusively with defeating enemies and survival comes very close to understanding the ethnic side of his nature. He explains Sorokin’s character by the hardships of his childhood and youth. But it is not the whole truth, and his cultural background preceded later influences. The Komi people were traditionally hunters and fishermen. They used to leave homes for months and live deep in forests alone among wild animals and dangers relying only on themselves and expecting no help in hard situations. Was not Martindale talking about these characteristics defining Sorokin as the last representative of sociology’s heroic period? And was not Coser (Coser, 1971). meaning this particular kind of individualism when he pointed out that Sorokin was more individualistic than the Americans themselves?
Sorokin had been formed within Russian civilization and all his writings, actions and character bear clear marks of his origin.
ABSTRACTS OF WMU STUDENTS’ AWARDED PAPERS
THE NEW ENLIGHTENMENT: THE AGE OF CONSILIENCE IN THE SCIENCES
Richard W. Seim
BARACK OBAMA: A PROSPECT FOR A NEW ENLIGHTENMENT OR JUST ANOTHER SUPERSTAR CEO?
Carrie McDonald Swift
CONVERGENCE OF SIX ENDOGENOUS FACTORS AS THE CAUSE OF THE CURRENT CREDIT CRISIS
THE ORANGE CIVIL SOCIETY OR THE ORANGE SOCIAL MOVEMENT? THE CASE STUDY OF UKRAINIAN REVOLUTION OF 2004
ABSTRACT: The paper applies the active audiences theory to show that Ukrainian Orange Revolution resulted from the massive social movement but not from the developed civil society.
CLIMATE CHANGE AND SOCITIES’ CHOICE
CARBON CREDITS AND THE GLOBAL TRADING MARKET
Steven K. Srivastava
VIABLE SOLUTIONS FOR SUSTAINABLE URBAN WATER SYSTEMS
The Dream of Middle-Aged Educational Leader
Copyright ©2009 - ISCSC. All Rights Reserved.