On the analysis of mega-trend foundations of modern world development: methodological aspect

Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №11 - 2019

Author: Guseva Nina, East Kazakhstan State Technical University in honor of D. Serikbayev, Kazakhstan

Doctor of Philosophy, Chair of the East Division of Kazakhstan Philosophical Congress, Head of the International Center for Methodological Research and Innovation Programs, Member of the Academy of Acmeology

The East Division of Kazakhstan Philosophical Congress, The International Center for Methodological Research and Innovation Programs, Kazakhstan

The analysis of foundations, that give raise to certain trends, has a methodological nature as it has to reflect the logic of development processes or, contrariwise, the logic of society degradation. Mega-trends are global processes covering the entire world community, which have already passed through their establishment stage and have a significant influence on everything that is happening in the world.

Modern global development and identification of its trends as the subject matter requires initial determination of what development is, especially regarding the whole world. Development is commonly understood as existence of certain changes. But obviously, just changes cannot be considered as development. If development is viewed in the dialectical tradition, then we must admit that its nature is expressed through understanding that changes can be considered development, first of all, only when there emerges something qualitatively new compared with already existing in a process under revision. Besides, secondly, the emergence of something qualitatively new shouldn't be neutral against the 'positivity' scale for the community reviewing the development phenomena. Thus, if there emerges something qualitatively which is characterized by attributes of decreasing 'positivity', then, in this case we are to talk not about the development, but about a counter-process, i.e. degradation.

The determination of world development and the trends arising in it as forms of its certain concretization makes sense only when there is a question of clarifying the possible perspectives for qualitative changes in the world which should have a positive status. In the modern world fundamental characteristics of its qualitative changes are related to the processes that are implemented by humans who link their mental and material power to deal with life's challenges. Different types of human activity in a society, the depth of this joint activity, its focus on understanding the natural and institutional being, etc., are the contextual conditions due to which it is possible to consider a question of positive and negative mega-trends in the modern world development.

The appeal of a man and a human community to the world always preserves the features and structure of activity. It is this activity that is the procedural basis of any conditions in society and an individual human life. The methods for its implementation determine the nature of the upcoming changes and their positive or negative nature. The main options for such methods are always options for holistic and shared activities. The former becomes the basis of real cooperation, the establishment of mutual understanding and respect in the human community. The former, on the contrary, is the basis for placing interests at the poles, on the one hand, of those who dictate and, on the other hand, those who are dictated certain positions. Let us explain what was said.

Every activity in its structure always has, as is well known, its following main 'structural and functional blocks', that is, structural elements that determine its certain functions in the process of activity. These include: AIM - SELECTION OF MEANS - EXECUTION - OBTAINING RESULTS. In a holistic activity, the human community or a certain group of the community carries out all these 'structurally functional blocks' independently or together. That is, the GOAL is worked out together, then: the MEANS of achieving the goal are determined together, the goal is achieved together, that is, EXECUTION is realized together. The result obtained also turns out to be a shared result, that is, it bears directly the shared or, in this case, social character. People who have completed a holistic activity turn out to be creators equally related both to the process of this activity and to its result. On the basis of the holistic activity, there is no differentiation or polarization in the statuses of the people, which then express their social inequality.

In a divided activity, each of the 'structural and functional blocks' (goal, choice of means, execution, obtaining a result) is assigned to different people or groups of people. As a result, the divided activity from the very beginning becomes the initial basis for the separation of not only the interests of people in accordance with the part of the divided activity, but also becomes the basis that serves not the development of society, but creates deadlocks and causes a serious deformation of social relations that impede development. The loss of the characteristics of integrity by an activity on the scale of the society means the beginning of a process of deep social differentiation.

The initial division of activity took place already in ancient times. In the modern world, it characterizes the substantial majority of activity processes. Speaking of the division of activity, one should not associate it with specialization, although the use of this term in relation to various types of activities according to their nature (cattle breeding, tillage, handicraft, etc.) is historically quite common. In ancient times, this division of activity characterized the differentiation of large primitive communities. In the modern world, the division of activity means, as you know, the fact that within the same sphere of activity, some people are engaged in goal-setting, form their interests in the framework of this activity, which is limited precisely to the goal setting and everything connected with it. Others, engaged in choosing the means for its implementation, form their own interests, which differs from the interest of goal-setting agents. Still others, being performers, also form their own interests, which again do not coincide with the interests of both the first and second groups[2].

The division of activity at all levels of society leads to the atomization of individuals, and the entire social process begins to simulate Brownian motion in its form. The leading attribute of human existence is the disagreement of interests, turning into their antagonism.

In his 'German ideology' K. Marx noted that the separation of activities and private property are one and the same. In one case, it is a process, and in the other, it is a result.

The atomization of individuals through a tendency to consolidate the embodied results of divided activities leads to a serious confrontation between social groups belonging to different, or, more precisely, opposite 'structural-functional blocks' of activity. This is most clearly manifested in the belonging of some people to the group of goal-makers, and others to the group of executors of goals that they did not set. The embodied results of divided activities are expressed in a socially significant form - in the form of private ownership of the means of production, which further acts as a matrix of the prospects for the development of social relations. This prospect is built on even greater differentiation and the accompanying polarization of people's interests. This is what K. Marx called the atomization of individuals.

Public interests are becoming a matter of concern to social institutions. Moreover, the structure of social institutions expressing public interests, that is, the interests of the whole society, neither in its form nor in its content coincides and cannot coincide with the immediate interests of a person who carries out his life activities. Institutions manifest their influence in the form and status of contexts in which the functioning of atomized individuals takes place. As such contexts, institutions play the role of adaptive, balancing, etc. authorities, which although located outside of each individual, at the same time are able to influence their behavior, the choice made, decision making, preferences, etc. This indicates that institutions have the role of a kind of regulators that ensure the direction of movement of the masses of atomized individuals. The importance of social institutions in this case is becoming more and more decisive in the organization of public life. It is about the parameters of civilizational existence. These parameters distinguish civilization from culture. If culture, in fact, expresses the processes and results of holistic socially significant, creative activities of people, then civilization, on the contrary, expresses the processes of organizing replication, application, use, implementation, etc. of what is created in the culture.

In the context of a social state in which atomization of individuals predominates, cultural parameters exist and are implemented with great difficulties. The parameters referring to civilization, on the contrary, turn out to be the same as the parameters for realizing the partial interests of atomized individuals, although these interests in this case are no longer the interests of people capable of creativity or seriously oriented towards creative activity. In this case - the case of a social state in an atomized form - people's interests are focused on application, use, implementation, etc. as part of their private needs and preferences. The question of creative making becomes in some sense transcendental, that is, it turns out to be unconnected with the logic of everyday existence. Within the framework of the civilizational parameters of social being, the logic of people's everyday existence is what is called functioning, and not creative making. The functioning of people is always regulated. The regulation is contained in the instructions for the execution of various systems of actions for each employee at each workplace. Job descriptions describe the sequence of application and the requirements for implementation of methods, the responsibility, etc. of each employee for the performance of his functional duties. Functional existence is predominant under conditions of the leading role of civilizational organization of human life and the entire human community in the modern period.

The orientation and prevalence of functional existence on a global scale leads to the gradual degradation of what is associated with the possibilities of preserving and developing a creative attitude to life, realizing the creative potential of people and, therefore, with the existence and development of culture itself. It is not accidental that the theme of cultural death is one of the leading topics in the world philosophical thought over the last one and a half to two centuries.

The absolutization of civilizational parameters, coupled with the characteristics of the consequences of atomization of individuals, is the basis of significant transformations of all forms of social life and corresponds to the formation of negative prospects in the future. This applies not only to the material foundations of social existence, but also to those related to the sphere of human relations proper, which are traditionally considered to belong to the spiritual world of a person. For material reasons, the atomization of individuals, entrenched in a civilizational form of organization of social life, turns out to form difficulties in achieving technological renewal and development of production. Since private interests do not contribute to this. They can reach the level of major social tasks only if their own satisfaction is ensured, expressed in certain profits and financial gains. But even in this case, private interests in no way begin to coincide in their essence with the interests of society. In this case, there is only a formal concomitance with the public interest, which takes place until the action satisfying the particular interest conditions is completed. Here we will not point out the numerous facts and revelations that clearly speak about this, which take place in the modern history of various countries and states.

In the spiritual sphere, there is also a significant transformation of both meanings and conditions that characterize the modern existence of the human community. This can be seen if we turn to well-known situations concerning understanding and appreciation of important phenomena for a person and society. Thus, for example, one can compare the understanding of what is considered fair under conditions when the relations of people develop in the situations of share activity and when they develop under conditions of divided activity, where private interest predominates. Justice in the conditions of shared activity cannot but characterize the equal situation of all those who carry it out. Justice in a divided activity, on the contrary, characterizes the priority of those who set goals in contrast to the position of the performers. As an example of this we can consider a widespread situation when the leader in the field environment of divided activities allows considering it possible to establish a reward for his activity hundreds or thousands of times greater than that of the performers. In the political sphere, those transformations of meanings that affect the essential for modern ideology understanding of the characteristics and possibilities of democracy are significant.

The 'matrix' of understanding the fundamental role of activity (divided or shared) for the process of and prospects for the development of society 'works' when we consider it in relation to other phenomena, and not just in relation to the moral or ethical definitions of human life. These include political, scientific, and art phenomena, law, religion, and philosophy itself. Consideration of this can be a subject of more than one monograph, the conclusions of which, as well as in this article, will focus on the understanding that positive perspectives and trends in social life can and should be associated only with the implementation of the logic of shared activity across the whole society. Otherwise, the prospects will be negative, and they will affect all spheres of human existence.

1) The materials of this article were presented at the XVI International Scientific Conference 'Modernization of Russia: Priorities, Problems, Solutions'.

2) The classical example is when the executor is not interested in the goal of the activity, since he is completely absorbed by his own executive goals and objectives.

3) See: Marx, K,, Engels, F. German Ideology. The words, as is known, belong to K. Marx.

Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №11 - 2019

About journal
About KAFU

   © 2022 - KAFU Academic Journal