Biophysics of human civilization
Human civilization is usually associated with culture. Art, literature, music, architecture - all this is man-made. Accordingly, a civilization is perceived as created by somebody's will. For example, a young king decided to build a new capital which later became a center of world culture like Alexandria in Egypt. The idea of this work is that instead, civilization is a natural phenomenon. Kings only reproduced it. Initial developments were spontaneous and distributed. By some reasons people changed their mode of life. Our goal is to understand these reasons and the direction of development. This will help us to sort out where we are now and to make short-term and long-term forecasts.
What kind of physics may be found in civilized society? The answer is simple. Existence. This was acknowledged long ago by religion. The term sacred means related to existence. Birth and death, wealth and misery, success and failure - what religion handled for millennia - all this is, in the end, related to existence which is the ultimate criterion of any solution. Suppose a nation which dwelled so-so for centuries. Then, a reformer appeared and promised to boost the living standards to a principally new level. However as a result, the nation disappeared. The criterion of existence proves that he was wrong.
How to define civilization? What is the difference between a non-civilized tribe and a civilized society? Historians tell that the latter emerged together with agriculture and settlements. The cradle of agriculture is West Asia. It is interesting that wheat grows in wild there and humans did consume it during the Stone Age. Only at the beginning of the Neolithic they decided to cultivate cereals. That is, humans switched from gathering to production.
Civilization is a change of the living strategy. For Stone Age people it was the adaptation to the wild nature. For civilized humans - the creation of the artificial environment.
They wanted to take their fate in own hands. Humans decided to become gods. This created a lot of new problems. It's hard to be a god. A human may have not enough resources to achieve his goals. Another major problem is the choice of goals. From this moment, men themselves ought to decide how much grain they want to grow. The culmination of civilized dwelling is a city. In villages, humans still lived among nature albeit that nature was under control. The city is a completely artificial environment.
Another consequence of that decision was the emergence of structured society. Tribes of Stone Age were egalitarian. Despite the existence of social hierarchy, the living standard for all individuals was approximately the same. With the rise of civilization this changed radically. Humans use collective production which led to professional specialization and creation of a social organism. It may be regarded using the concept of fractal design. The principle is as follows. There are elementary building blocks that are used so as to create some construct which becomes an elementary block itself. Then, building continues at the next level. In our case, living cells were used to create the human being while the social organism is created of humans themselves. Interesting to note that these 2 organisms have much in common. Thus, a body has many muscles but just one brain which controls them. Likewise, an economy has many production or service organizations which may duplicate each other but the single government. The goal of biophysics is to explore various possible structures of the social organism using the aforementioned criterion of sustainability.
The idea to take fate in own hands was fine, but who will do it all? Fertile lands of Southeast Anatolia are full of marshes which mean malaria in that climate. Drainage in this country is not just unpleasant. It is unhealthy. The exit was found quickly. Historians (including those in democratic countries) acknowledge that slavery played a positive role at the early stages. Indeed, human civilization was built by slaves. How do we tell a developed nation of the Ancient World from an undeveloped? By the remains of king's palaces. They were built of stone usually by prisoners of war. This created another major problem. If people do the most basic - so important - job, but don't receive compensation, the whole of the social construct becomes unstable.
Stone Age society was egalitarian. Humans lived among wild nature and struggled for existence in the ever-changing world. The initial idea of civilization was to make the environment more predictable and more friendly. The reality turned into the antipode. The bright future shined only for the absolute minority, while for the majority life either didn't change or became worse. Even the elite faced a new threat. In addition to common difficulties from nature, they needed to maintain their social status. This only aggravated segregation, antagonism, and animosity. The simple and promising idea had led to a complicated construct full of contradictions. The history of human civilization is a story of how trials to solve initial problems bore the next so that wheels of the bicycle rotated to infinity. It is very important not to get lost in this jungle, to keep track of why certain rules were introduced and which side effects they brought. Technology and human abilities evolve permanently. At later stages, some decisions may become obsolete. Large-scale history has no random accidents. Major details of social structure are objectively justified. Let's use biophysics so as to derive them from the very beginning.
Pastoralism vs. agriculture
People of the Stone Age were nomads or semi-nomads but not in the modern sense. They were not pastoralists. A tribe came to some site, lived there for a while, consumed until local resources were exhausted, then moved elsewhere. They are named hunters-gatherers.
Suppose that different tribes had some specialization. Then, with the advent of civilization (that is production) hunters turned into pastoralists and continued their migrations, while gatherers became peasants spending more and more time at the same place. This is only an abstraction. The reality may be more complicated. Nations which practice settled plant cultivation usually have developed husbandry too. Only pastoralism is not accompanied by nomadism.
Some nations practice seasonal migrations. For example, they may bring herds to alpine grasslands in summer and return to the lowlands for the winter period. Also the idea of settlement as a consequence of agriculture is challenged by archeology. Indeed, the first links to a place emerged when people began to use fire. This is reflected in the legend about Prometheus. That rock was a place with a cave where a tribe maintained fire. Archeology tells that it was very long ago, was practiced already by previous Hominids. Neanderthals, maybe earlier.
Interaction between these two very first branches of civilization was the very first complication. They have a clear conflict of interests. Suppose a farmer settled at some place and seeded a meadow with crops. Then a nomadic tribe came here with their herds. This was not an intrusion. They simply returned to the place which they used for generations.
Another development may be traced to its roots. Nomadism is often linked to aggressive wars. Economists calculated that half of economy for some nomadic peoples consisted of robbery. No wonder. If they descended from hunters, they had good weapons and skills to manage it. The only decision needed - to turn existing weapons against the newly emerging prey.
While hunters became herders and warriors, gatherers adopted farming. Where did it happen? Science tells about Southeast Anatolia, but look at the photos of the most ancient sites like Gobekli Tepe there. This is a semi-desert. No water. Stony, infertile soil. An alternative development was possible. Plant cultivation could emerge somewhere in the wet tropical climate and much earlier than 10000 years ago. What was in Southeast Anatolia - a large-scale cult. Maybe agricultural practice spread not spontaneously but was actively disseminated as a sort of religion.
In any case, there are two distinct types of farming which influenced the course of history. The first settlements appeared at the Upper Mesopotamia and were probably communities of gardeners as reflected in the legend about Adam and Eve. This type of agriculture is also widespread in the Caucasus. Such societies had no large cities and centralized power. Despite a high level of culture, they remained mainly egalitarian and were ruled either by religious leaders or simply by a council of the wise.
Another branch of development relied on crops. Several species were popular. The best known are wheat, barley, and rice. Cereals are convenient for storage and may feed not only humans but also domestic animals. Wild wheat grows at Southeast Anatolia, was consumed at the end of the Stone Age, and possibly cultivated in small amounts later, but turned out to be very useful in different places. Namely - down the river where it brings natural fertilizers and provides a source for artificial irrigation.
It is in such places as Lower Mesopotamia, the Nile Delta, and China that people began to produce grain in large amounts which changed life forever. Cereals became a sort of currency. It is easy to expropriate, accumulate, then distribute. This made it possible to create large centralized governments. They ruled from big cities, were spared from food production, and could concentrate their efforts at science, art, politics, and military development. Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt are perfect samples which show how such social structures emerge and evolve. Note that the line of development is not determined by the voluntarism of a particular ruler. Decisions were dictated not by personal preferences, but by objective conditions. If such conditions establish themselves in our time, the same social processes are triggered.
The first centralized governments of Mesopotamia were city-states. They were usually ruled by a separate king and controlled some territory around. They could be in permanent wars with each other despite talking the same language. Finally, one of them took over others thus forming a normal kingdom with the capital and several subdued towns. After that, internal wars stopped, but this kingdom began military engagement with another nation. In case of victory, the next stage emerged. An empire is a multinational centralized government.
A very interesting case of empire emerged when it was created by nomads. Suppose several peoples without centralized government wage permanent wars against each other. A small nomadic group comes, makes an alliance with one side which instantly boosts its strength and launches a process described above. As a result, this group could create a unified nation out of that peoples and form a ruling elite over them.
Evolution of social structure
Civilized society has a very complicated internal structure. How was it established? The main principle is self-organization. Even if some tough ruler introduced particular laws, he fulfilled wishes expressed by some part of the population. Reforms without popular support were doomed. How does this principle work? Humans group together because in this manner it is easier for them to maintain their existence. Now suppose there are 2 different solutions. Both are sustainable. Which one will be materialized? That which is better, but how to determine it? For this purpose, it is necessary to use some quantitative measure for the standard of living. Again, it should be linked to existing of the society and its probability. Let's try and recreate development from this approach.
Probably the history of Rome provides a characteristic picture which was (maybe partially) reproduced in other places. Initially, food was produced by many individual farmers. The expansion of the Roman Empire created many rich people from one side and many slaves from another. Accordingly, they began to buy small pieces of land and join them into big plantations. Previous owners moved to cities or joined the army and this only accelerated the process. As a result, a very structured state with a very high standard of living for the wealthy was created. Meanwhile it had 2 obvious vulnerabilities. Slaves that created that wealth obviously were not satisfied with their status. Also territorial expansion could not continue forever. It was exactly these factors that turned the process. The Roman Empire was finished by slaves' uprisings and barbaric intrusions. Nevertheless the model was so attractive that remained into Medieval Europe. Former large slave-owners became landlords. They rented lands to farmers. Even slavery returned later in the form of bondage.
With the fall of Feudalism and its replacement by Capitalism, the rule of money came. The distribution of power remained the same. Most of the wealth was concentrated in a few hands while others were forced to work hard so as to earn their living. This system remained into our days.
We see that essentially, nothing changed from early times. Only instruments became different. In particular, money became that quantitative measure which was mentioned previously and this made the economy incomparably more flexible.
Present state and nearest perspectives
Let's try and describe how present-day society is arranged in principle. Then it will be possible to guess what's ahead. We will consider the typical market economy. Variants of government control or monopolization may be derived from this basic structure. Trade emerged already in early agricultural society as soon as they have got a surplus of production. At that time, every household provided all the necessary for themselves. Trade was a supplement. Since then, the situation radically changed. At present, nobody can ensure own needs completely so everyone became dependent upon trade and money. The overall system operates as follows. Each person produces what he can and brings it to the common market, sells it, and receives money. Then he comes to the same market again already as a buyer and gets all the rest for his money. The scheme looks genial at the first glance, but any cybernetician will instantly see a lot of vulnerabilities in it. As soon as you are going to put a perfect scheme into real-world conditions, the first feature to think about is sustainability. Will this construct survive under pressure? Purely market economy is unsustainable even in ideal conditions of the self-sufficient country. Who can guarantee that the person will sell his products? Who can guarantee that he will earn enough to satisfy his needs? How should he forecast demand before production? Will all the necessary goods be present in the market? ... Real-world conditions only aggravate these difficulties. External interaction may put pressure already on all the producers in this country while natural disasters may annihilate all their efforts. Obviously, relying on self-organization is too risky. Some kind of a predetermined structure is needed, but who will maintain it? This is the function of the government, but they don't want to do it. Too complicated a task. Self-organization is much simpler. Let's list the most notable processes which happen in such a self-managed environment and see what the initial bright idea turns into in reality.
Instead of thorough planning production, the government prefers to let private organizations do it and simply collects taxes. The government needs to wage wars, support education and medicine so taxes become more and more. As a result, production becomes harder and harder, but how to keep it going? Competition. They say, competition stimulates improvements. A doubtful statement. Innovation and progress are natural human desires. Competition is needed to force employees to work in harsh conditions. They respond accordingly. The market is full of low-quality products or products which are useless at all.
Another resource for manipulations is money. Initially, some valuable goods such as gold or silk were used as money. With the introduction of paper, their self-value dropped dramatically. Nowadays, electronic money are non-material at all, serve exclusively as an intermediary for trade. The government has the monopoly on money issue and may substantially regulate their buying power. As a result, the same worker for the same monthly wage can buy a different amount of goods or services.
Present-day society is an overcomplicated cooperative system where all depend on all and nobody feels confident.
How to resolve these complications? We saw that one of the basic problems was slavery. Technological progress makes it possible to replace slaves by machines. The process began already long ago regarding physical labour. With the recent invention of computers, it embraced management and other intellectual jobs too. In many cases mechanics + electronics not only is competitive with humans but well surpasses them. In such cases, retaining manual production would be stagnation or even lead to regress. Nevertheless, humans resist such innovations despite they bring visible relief to them. Why? Present-day human society is a result of long evolution in course of which initial problems were compensated rather than removed. It is these compensations that hinder radical resolution. In the case of slavery, it was prohibited by law, but how to answer the initial question: "Who will do the hard job?" The modern solution is to pay more. Now if you replace a former slave by a robot, he will be dissatisfied with his liberation because you took that money away from him.
Universal basic income
Social conflicts of automation are not the only brought by the progress of civilization. Successes of education make people more equal so their segregation into the elite and common folks loses justification. On the other hand, more skillful workers means that they do their job more efficiently hence less percentage of them will be employed. The principle of total employment becomes unnecessary. Only a small percentage of the population can satisfy the major needs of the society as a whole. Then, where the remaining people will get their means for living from? In any case, this is yet another problem waiting for resolution. The simplest method is just to give them free money. Note that this will not lead to extra inflation because as we saw, the products are on stock. That money will be fully funded. This is called Universal Basic Income or UBI. Let's consider various arguments in its support.
Opponents of UBI tell that it would be too expensive. This is an economically incorrect statement. The introduction of UBI is not an addition to the existing economic scheme. It is its restructuring. On one hand, UBI will require extra funding, but on the other, the increased purchasing power of population will stimulate trade and production. By the way, the government and other structures give away various free money permanently, only not to end users or not to all of them. With the presence of the aforementioned problem and the absence of UBI, how is it resolved indeed? Unfortunately, the most popular method is a fake job. The principle of payment according to labour requires to pay "for something". If a person has no actual job, it should be invented. As a result, huge money is paid out for useless activity. What's worse, it may be even harmful. In addition, such inventions require extra organizational efforts which are paid for too. Universal Basic Income will simplify this and lead to a reduced financial burden. The most difficult thing is to change the principle of decision making. Money should be paid not "for something" but "because" people must satisfy their basic needs. No difference how this will be achieved. If there is some job, people will be employed. If there is no, they should be cared for. UBI is not a subject for discussion. It is a necessary element of civilization. Just stunning that mankind can fly to Mars but can't afford decent living for everybody. A popular task for astronomers is the search for stars having planets with Earth-like conditions. Seemingly, as a potential retreat in case the Earth itself will be polluted beyond limits and become uninhabitable. What is easier: to fly several light years to an unknown destination or to prevent the destruction of the already existing paradise?
Another argument against free money is that unemployment stimulates competition. This is already something different. This approach employs fear. In the past, large slave owners had special employees which oversaw slaves and used physical punishment so as to maintain a proper pace of work. Competition is a source of many sins. On the other hand, mankind has the intrinsic tendency for progress. The search for a better life will proceed without competition as well. In many cases people work bad not because they are lazy but because they have no necessary resources and competition only aggravates this. The correct formulation of the idea that competition is useful is slightly different. If you prohibit competition, any activity will be impossible.
Competition is inevitable evil, no panacea.
Another argument in support that competition is useful comes from Darvin's theory of evolution. Meanwhile, this theory was already challenged by science. The key process there is adaptation which can proceed without competition at all. An organism changes when it struggles with non-living nature. Struggle with other organisms is a negative side effect which reduces chances of survival, not enhances them. This competition may be efficiently avoided by rational distribution over the Earth surface. In addition, Darvin's theory was developed for animals. Is it acceptable to apply it to a civilized human society? The competitive economy of Adam Smith may be criticized on quite reasonable grounds. How is it possible to live in a society composed of enemies? Now we know how. It tumbles from one crisis to another. The competitive economy is based on the idea of self-organization, but any cybernetician will explain to you that self-organization may easily turn into self-destruction. Maybe evolution through the competitive natural selection pushed the development of living nature for millions of years, but human civilization is something different. This bubble popped in a record short period - just 10000 years. This is one blink on the evolutionary scale. Who can guarantee that it was the first and the only one? If not, then what happened to the previous? If they disappeared, why? Maybe the previous trials simply annihilated themselves because competition in the overdeveloped society went out of control? Such situations are well known in technology, especially in chemistry. When you experiment with simple reactions, the method of trials and errors is quite suitable. When you build a complicated chemical plant, you need a well designed automatic control system.
Now look how UBI affects competitive relationships. One particular example when competition is useful is the following. Suppose there is a service with stable demand and there is an organization which provides this service. Then, another organization appears and offers a better method. An obvious solution is to replace the provider, but what will happen with the people? At present, their fate is indefinite which for real-life conditions doesn't promise anything good. Hence, they will resist. This will entail struggle which will be harmful for customers for sure. In the case of UBI, this transition will be easy and volunteer. If somebody can do my job better - let him do it. This will lift average living standards for everybody.
This example may be generalized. Since the beginning of civilization with the introduction of agriculture, humans search for an optimal social structure. This search continues into our days. In many countries government and opposition have different views on such a scheme. Sometimes confrontation erupts into full-scale revolution only to discover later that the alternative is not better (sometimes even worse) than the previous solution. Such experiments are numerous and no end for them is visible. Meanwhile ordinary people need to live somehow even if the trial was unsuccessful. An obvious solution is to introduce a limitation on political creativity. Want a better life for your people? Come on, but only if you are able to ensure some minimal income.
If such considerations are so obvious, then why aren't they being implemented? Because of competition of a quite different sort. Civilization and barbarism are usually perceived as antonyms, but historical reality is different. In many cases, well-known governments were formed as a result of a conquest. Suppose a peaceful people which invest most of their efforts into own well-being and don't bother about self-defense. Eventually, they become easy prey for predators which roam around. A typical example is mythical Igigi and Anunnaki of ancient Mesopotamia. Even after being enslaved, they prefer to work hard and feed their masters. Such civilizations are internally contradictory from the very beginning and this defines their evolution.
Physics is based on the discovery of world constants. Something similar exists in social systems too. When some country passes common stages from stone-age society to slave-owning, to feudalism and capitalism, it looks like that it is changing. Indeed, changes are only superficial. Inequality emerges at the first step after which each reformation only enhances it. The foundation of the feudal system was laid in Rome when large slave-owners bought land from small farmers and created plantations. When the feudal epoch came to end, small merchants and entrepreneurs saw their chance for equality. Nevertheless, after a few centuries it ended up in corporate capitalism with total control over the free market. The principal invention was using organized labour of some people for the benefit of others. This construct is unstable so improvements were obvious - make it more and more complicated so as to hide the core and retain it. Meanwhile this is not a solution. Only adds to instability. The growth of a competitive economy is the growth of inequality and its contradictions. Sooner or later the strength of the framework won't endure. After the crash, former nomads leave their palaces, mount on horses again, and begin searching for new prey.
The first life on the Earth was in the form of monocellular organisms. Later they formed tightly linked colonies such as volvox. In the end, this line of development led to our highly structured human multicellular organism. Further on, evolution did the same on the social level. The first humans of the Upper Paleolithic dwelled in small egalitarian tribes which adapted to wild nature. Instead, civilization forms the living environment and relies upon production. It is disputable whether agriculture was a cause of civilization or just its correlate. In any case, at the end of the Neolithic human society became structured like a single living organism. This structure was like a root of a tree. It determined the whole of further development.
There were several notable solutions. Everybody knows that the first nations separated. Some became settled peasants, plant-cultivators. Others preferred nomadic pastoralism. It is less known that for centuries, even millennia the first profession existed in 2 different forms. The present-day Western variant is called farming and implies individual ownership. In the East, more popular was collective work which later developed into slavery. These 2 forms determined economic models till the modern time.
The popular theory of changing socioeconomic formations told that different nations passed the same stages: tribal society, slavery, feudalism, capitalism, socialism. The real picture is more complicated.
Civilization moved from the southeast to the northwest. In densely populated countries of West Asia slaves were needed for such works as digging channels. Grain produced in large quantities concentrated in the city adding wealth to the ruling elite. This made it possible for them to invest in science and advanced management. Civilization stepped up to the next level of development. Finally, this led to the creation of the first empires.
Instead, northwestern Europe was a periphery of the civilized world. The rare population used individual farming as the main model. The farmer is a full owner of his products so can participate in market relations. Thus, we have 2 completely different types of the social structure. Centralized government with planning and slavery in the South-East. Relative freedom with individual production and market relations in the North-West. What happened further?
Already the first civilizations of Mesopotamia were marred by permanent wars. With the creation of empires, armed conflicts became more and more devastating. The word Armageddon refers to the first large-scale battle in history. It claimed many human casualties. Assyria became the first superstate. After invading Egypt, it created the unipolar civilized world but struggled to retain control. Historic records show complete exhaustion of their economy and even demography. Finally, the whole civilization in West Asia declined and the centre of human culture shifted to Persia and South Europe. The Roman Empire reproduced the same economic model. Large-scale agricultural production on plantations (latifundia) and participation in wholesale international trade. This is not a market economy.
Finally, the Roman Empire was finished by slave uprisings from inside and barbarians from outside. Feudal Europe emerged on its ruins. What is a Medieval feudal lord? Essentially the same that a Roman planter. He could not own peasants directly, but land ownership gave him full control. Maybe the previous Roman elite was terminated, but emerging Germanic rulers quickly borrowed their methods. In later times, the new system shifted even closer to slavery with the introduction of the bond law (serfdom). When this became clear, feudalism was doomed and eventually replaced by capitalism.
Capitalist revolutions proclaimed free entrepreneurship, but let's look at the details. A large-scale enterprise uses the same social organization that West Asian agriculture. Also workers are formally free but are completely controlled via the wage system. In fact, capitalism reproduced the same scheme that the previous feudal society only in the virtual space of money. Looks like some advanced individuals wanted to become aristocrats but were restricted by formalities. Finally, they have found the solution for themselves but not for the society as a whole. Note that capitalism and the market economy are not the same. Capitalism of the 18 and 19 century did not prevent the creation of large empires. International relations developed similarly to the Roman time. At the end of the 19 century the whole of the Earth surface was filled and further expansion became possible only for the expense of a competitor. The Silver Age of the new human civilization ended up with a terrible disaster - World War One which gradually turned into the World Revolution.
Newly coming socialism was initially presented as liberation once again, but harsh reality quickly returned the government control and restrictions unbelievable under capitalism. In fact, there were 2 different variants: in the Soviet Union and in Sweden. They exactly correspond to the aforementioned models of agriculture for the South-East and North-West respectively. The second variant was a mild redistribution of wealth by means of progressive taxation. The first was a harsh radical solution which banned free entrepreneurship as such. In fact, the Soviet Union was a reproduction of the social system known for Ancient Egypt where all citizens were slaves of the pharaoh.
This analysis shows that in reality, there was no change of formations. The only principal step was moving from egalitarian society to slavery. The latter system turned out to be super-stable and simply reproduced itself in new conditions. What is about the free market? As civilization moved from West Asia towards Scandinavia, Old Europe had nowhere to go. Modern countries employ hybrid solutions. Eventually both models coexisted in the same society and even used elements of each other.
The free market consists of many small enterprises which operate independently of each other. In reality, this doesn't exist even in the zero approximation because the same market space is used also by large corporations and even government structures. Nevertheless, let's theoretically explore how relations will evolve in this imaginary living system.
The division into 2 groups - employers and employees exists from the very beginning. The well-being of the former is ensured not by their own talents but by hard work of the latter. Obviously, their wealth will grow faster. As soon as you have got into the elite, you will try and lock your status. Inequality is a guarantee so it will only grow.
A major improvement of this system is that it is more complicated so can efficiently hide what happens. In the primitive ancient economy expropriation went directly. Slaves worked; masters consumed. Here, wealth redistribution happens already inside a firm, but not very large. The most interesting things go elsewhere. Expropriation also happens. Enterprises work not for themselves but for the market. They give away their products and receive money in return. Later, their workers buy other products from the same market. It is this abstract buffer space that becomes the main area of manipulations. The most primitive used money directly. Medieval governors added cheap metals to coins and devalued them. Now they can just print more money and pay to own employees. Then, these people will go to the market and exchange this paper for really valuable goods. This is only the beginning. Suppose you have created a firm and started marketing of some absolutely new product. Nobody knows its true value. Everything depends on advertising. If it is successful, people will buy just to try it. It will take some time for them to determine that it's rubbish. By that time you will already be rich and again - can go to the free market and exchange this fake money for true goods. The methods are numerous, but all of them lead to the same goal of inequality and with the same result that in the very first slave-owning societies. A number may grow to infinity only theoretically. Even in computers, you will get the overflow error. In real life, a crash will happen even sooner. The system returns to the initial state. The cards are shuffled and ready for the next game.
Evolution of Capitalism
The beginning of the 20 century was marked by the demolition of the colonial system. Empire was replaced by democracy. Note: both in the West and the East. Lenin was a prominent member of the European Social-Democratic movement, but while Russia undertook radical left reforms, the West resorted to gradual changes. Nevertheless they are obvious. The fight for workers' rights never stopped. The Labour Party in Britain pushed for the liberation of India. The black movement in the US struggled for equality. It is obvious that Swedish Socialism was not unique. Norway sold natural gas and put money into the huge national fund. Natural resources belong to the people and money from their selling should follow suit. Despite the crash of the Soviet system, the last stage of the changing socioeconomic formations remains valid. The initial concentration of resources helped the technological development, but when civilization rose to the principally new level, the obvious tendency is distribution of all values. Not only wealth. Also knowledge, health, dignity.
The most interesting transformations happened in economy. Initially, a capitalist was a rich man which hired workforce, received some profit, and reinvested it into production. The popularity of stock exchanges grew since the early 17 century. In this model, initial capital is collected from the wide public so this is nothing else than yet another Socialism. Also stock trading is permanent voting, election of the best enterprises. On the other hand, these enterprises become larger and larger. Transnational corporations are already more like governments operating in the virtual space of business. They have planning and centralization. It turns out that the competition between the Soviet Union and the United States was not the competition between Socialism and Capitalism - between 2 different models of the former.
Copyright (c) I. Volkov, June 11, 2020