What policy will be successful in Russia in the nearest decades? And can the policy of Russian elite be successful?
Russia is entering “long winter” at the time when many of its neighbours are entering “long summer”. This predetermines the policy and problems of Russia for a long period. It means that during a prolonged historical period constructive but, true, also actively destructive, forces inside the country will decrease and it will be more difficult for the country to counteract the agressive neighbours and her own illnesses.
The worst side of it all is that the national code “will - patience - strict tsar” can be adequately realized only in a despotic state which governs politically indifferent people. Modern scientific revolution requires democratic or, at least, limited in rights state and free, economically active individual or economic community. It means that in Russia of the first half of XXI century not a single of liberal models will be able to become firmly established as dominating and, at best, liberalism will become a strong opposition.
The influence of “pre-summer” China and “spring” Islamic world, in Russia itself including, will be increasing, getting over both Russian proper and Orthodox immunity and the influence from the West where, already in the first half of XXI century, there will start change of leaders. Presently leading European powers, Germany and France, will be pressed back by modern outsiders: Spain and Italy. The USA will start “playing the fool” and, after “getting lucid”, quite unexpectedly for themselves they will be involved into a rigid confrontation with Latin America and Latin Europe.
At the beginning of XXI century, the policy of the USA in Euirasia will be petty balanced, chiefly anti-Russian and dogmatically liberal, which will enable China to become a world power already by the year 2030, and in the following years to turn to the policy of moderate but purposeful positional “pressing out” of Europe and the USA out of European part of Russia and the Islamic world. Since 2050 China will start to play a part even in intra-European affairs, giving an incentive to the split of Europe into Germanic East, Latin West and, possibly, Slavonic-Turkish South-East.
The mistaken policy of the USA in Eurasia will reveal itself first and foremost in the actual incentive and even deliberate channeling of China expansion to the region of Central Asia (“the Eurasian Balkans”) in order not to permit cutting down American hegemony in the Pacific Ocean, “to do a bad turn” for Japan and to preserve their influence on the Philippines, Indonesia and even Korea. Taiwan will gradually “be ceded” to China under the accompaniment of obtrusive and even false statements about the progress of democracy in China. As for China, it will pretend to really swallow the Taiwan bait and, ostensibly because of this, refuse active policy in the Pacific Ocean. However, it will strive with doubled zest for predominant influence on Central Asia, Iran, aiming at Russian Caucasus, Azerbaijan and even Turkey. At the same time, it will aim at strengthening its pressure on Russia and presence in Russia.
American politicians counting on the fact that China will get lost in its complex relations with the Islamic world and Russia will prove true only partially. More and more weakening Russia first will become dependent on China, but then, after the year 2020, having made a conscious choice in favour of Europe reckoning on joining European community after the year 2040, it will again be no better off than before, as the crisis of liberal economy will prove to be fatal and for the idea of European unity. After the year 2030 Russia will find itself in the zone of Germany’s and China’s economic influence, in the absence of European and American military and political support.
That is why after the year 2030 Russia, against its will, will start getting involved into the orbit of more and more powerful economic and political influence of China the same as it will happen some 15-20 years earlier with Kazakhstan and the countries of Central Asia.
The Islamic world, which will become an active ally of China in he struggle against the hegemony of the West in the first four decades of XXI century, after the year 2040 will divide into those allied to China - Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Iran; balancing between the West and China Europe-oriented pan-Turkic Turkey with its south-European and Asian allies and Arabic confederation, rather hostile to the West than allied to China. It is possible that already by the end of XXI century the Islamic world will be united as either the Arabs will draw the Turks in their confederation or the Turks will recur the experience of the Osman Empire which united the greater part of the Islamic world in the Middle Ages, but unlike the past time, in a kind of confederation or military-political union like NATO, with special stress on Turkish-Egyptian friendship.
What will happen, if the US policy will, after all, be “correct” - if the USA will provide the control of China on the whole perimeter of its borders, except the borders with Indochina and India? The policy will be fraught with clashes between China and the USA in Korea, Philippines and even Japan. It may hold up the transmission of China into a world power for some 10-15 years, but it is more likely that it will bring to a closer union of China with the Islamic world and even Russia, who again will not appreciate USA’s “care” for her. Apparently, not any American government will be able to conduct a consistent policy to prevent China’s transmission into a world power, which is beyond the limits of any government of any country of the world in XXI century, except maybe the government of China itself.
At present, as never before, and in the coming century especially, not so much the focus of strategy, but its ability to adapt, the readiness of political elite to a quick replacement of strategic paradigm are important. But particularly with this there will be problems in the USA in 2008-2050. Why will it be so? Because in the USA comes the period of “summer winter” when “the power plays the fool”. American economy will remain alive and expansionist, having been regenerated after the crisis in the 20-ies of XXI century, and the political system will stagnate and bring the USA to a sequence of abnormal political flops in Central Africa; to confrontation in Latin America and Europe. The political system in the USA itself will temporarily become vitally dependent on Latin American and Chinese lobby. General cultural immaturity of the USA, uttermost individualism and the superficial character of mass culture will turn out to be a serious moral crisis of 2030-2040, intensifying the influence of extremist sects, the crisis of a traditional Protestant religion at the same time as the influence of Catholicism and Islam in the USA will grow. In the final analysis this crisis will become the crisis of growth, and not decay, it will be this crisis that will create American culture of value, which will again increase its influence on Europe, America and even Africa in the years 2050-2150.
Russian history of XXI century will be developing in such background. It will be difficult, but not tragic if Russia finds a constant ally interested in her preservation against the threat from the East or the South. The USA, Europe (one of Europes), China and beginning with the year 2050 India and the Islamic coalition can become such an ally. It reminds us of what approximately Turkey did in XYIII-XIX centuries. “The guardian-angels” of Osmanli Empire was first France, then England, then Germany, though once it happened so, that it was saved by tsarist Russia, from whom all this time its European patrons had been defending it!
Already in the first half of XXI century the art of diplomacy based on the correct understanding of its place - the place of Russia in Eurasia and the world - by Russian elite will become more important than its military might and political influence. Home, as well as foreign, policy of Russia must also become diplomatic, but based on principles. The use of force in various parts and situations inside the country is a must, but it should be used resolutely and, what is more important, precisely. The most dangerous thing for Russia at the beginning of XXI century is to be carried away with new imperial myths and this danger is particularly great now, in the first decade of the century. The attempt of confrontation with the West and war with the former USSR countries may be successful for a short term and even find secret support from the same China, but will surely frustrate as a boomerang Russia itself in the first decade of the century. Later on the imperial idea may be used by the rulers “to put the screws on”, will play rather an “instrumental”, subsidiary, maybe, mobilizing part, but will not bring to a large-scale regional war because the war as such, on the initiative of Russia and with aggressive aims will be committing an obvious suicide.
That is why confrontation with the West at the beginning of XXI century is quite probable, but farther than the sound effects of propagandist war and economic sanctions, of course, unless the military elite of the country believes itself in its own lie and crazy deductions of primitive geopolitical theories.
What is Russia now as a spiritual-religious force?
It is the country the main part of which more and more realizes the inadequacy of the national idea to the key factors of success in the modern working, waging war and competing world. The feeling of post-imperial and post-messianic hangover increases the general state of disappointment and uncertainty. Powerful nationalistic (national energetic and spiritual) resource, accumulated by the Russians in XIX century, was exhausted in XX century during the 70-year-long war to found a world empire. Russia enters “winter” being not only weakened but also devastated. Possibly it is not by chance that American geostrategists call the territory of modern Russia “black hole”, dragging foreign aggression by its size and weakness.
But the agression against Russia is not inevitable. Modern interconnected “global”, civilized world, nuclear danger and science-engineering revolution are able to prevent the beginning of large-scale wars, bring down tension in society, provide people with means of subsistence in case of ordinary reasonable policy. “Patient” Russia can create a stable land scheme having carried out territorial decentralization of power, its distribution between the Centre and regions. The Russia of “tsar-father”, on the opposite, will provide, though useless, but seemingly impressive and intrinsically understandable centralization and consolidation. The Russia of “people’s will” can now completely destroy it or bring to power some hysterical subject, a philosopher with a sore soul, the shade of Ivan the Terrible, but not Stalin.
As a matter of fact, Russia of XXI century will be slowly, but consistently, moving towards decentralization and this process will be intensified by the policy of neighbouring powers and “summer” peoples of Russia itself. But periodically this process will undergo “freezing”. Decentralization and accompanying it migration of population, intensifying and consolidating, in its turn, the disintegration of Russia, in the end will promote adaptation of Russian territories to the surrounding world, cultural, political, economic, but will inevitably cause strong and rigid reactions of all-Russian organism. “Freezing” and centralization will provide preservation of political organism and united infrastructure of the country, but will make inevitable the accumulation of contradictions in economic, social systems, in interethnic and foreign economic relations which in the course of several years will again bring to the concession of part of its power by the Centre and the renewal of decentralization process. If as a result of transition from centralization to decentralization the Russian political mechanism will preserve its inner stability, and as a result of evolution (and devolution) economic and social systems will retain the ability to satisfy the main human, social and state requirements, then Russia will, at the least, reduce the risks of “long winter” twice, and in case of good (patient) diplomacy will practically secure itself against normal, “reasonable” but not extraordinary risks.
Already in the first half of XXI century Russian elite will have to make room for Islamic and Turkic elite of Russian Federation at the sources of power. Russian Church will have to refuse not only making claims on absolute religious power in the main Russian cities, but also to acknowledge absolute equality of Islamic and Orthodox institutions. It will not be easy to do because Islam will be in spiritual attack during all this period, spreading among Russians, especially it will be noticeable among servicemen and politicians. Russian political elite will have to give up Orthodox-Messianic (Constantinople) idea, that will also turn out to be a difficult thing to do in practice.
The struggle for the Caucasus, the Republics of the Volga region with prevailing Muslim population, finally, struggle for the preservation of a certain influence in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and other countries which were formerly the USSR republics, will gradually go over from mainly military, political and economic spheres into the spiritual sphere. In order to preserve the country Russian elite will consciously or unconsciously cultivate Islamic tree in itself, having, by the way, made a “discovery” that both religions are sisters with single God, single ancient history, single ancient prophets. Members of the Orthodox Church, intellectuals, (maybe to comfort themselves) will be substantiating Byzantine Orthodox paternity of Islam.
The elite of the country will gradually turn from Slavonic-Jewish into Slavonic-Turkic-Jewish. The policy of Russia beginning with 2030 will start re-orientating toward the South. It will give Russia’s policy necessary support, its own interest and again turn Russia into one of the main world participants. You know, Europe, first monolithic and unfriendly, then broken up, preoccupied with its own problems and indifferent, and besides, as before incomparably more powerful than Russia, Europe, taking Russia for buffer between itself and unstable Islamic world, effusive China, and interested in it first and foremost as the object of economic influence, will be a source of constant troubles and even humiliation. China will become the source of constant fear. But the Islamic world will become the place of self-assertion for Russia, as among the biggest Muslem countries, such as Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, it will, as before, be the biggest and most powerful country. In the South there is also huge India - the main natural ally of Russia in its struggle against the hegemony of China in Central Asia and Russia itself. Therefore one of the strategic aims of Russia’s policy after the year 2030, will be “to pave the way” to a real union with India through the active role in contiguous with it countries and Russia itself.
The Muslem population of the country will grow from 14 to 18-20 % in the first half of the century and the main factor here will be migration streams in the 30-ies and 40-ies. The “spring-summer” character of the Muslems in XXI century will promote their attainment of key positions in political and economic spheres of Russian Federation, enable the country to create energetic and faithful political elite, on the whole quite correctly determining the course of the Russian ship in “the Bermudas triangle” between China, Europe and the Islamic world.
Possibly already by 2050 Russia will stop being “black hole” and “emptiness”, attracting the agression from the contiguous countries and, thanks to the properly conducted decentralization, the correctly defined geopolitical balance, the doors open to the South, West and East and national-religious evolution in its political elite, will become the field of clearly structured and balanced forces. Europe will control the greater part of big enterprises. The South will get powerful political representation and powerful political and military ally, considerable control of small business, the territory for spreading its religious influence and emigration of excess population. The East will control the greater part of minor- and medium-size business, and also part of the criminal world and will gradually “cultivate” Russia’s Far East, Siberia and the regions of Russia adjoining to the territory of Kazakhstan. Europe and the USA will be ready to set up a net of its military bases on the territory of Russia as the rivalry between the West and China will become the leitmotif of world policy. All the main forces of the South, East and West will be interested in the territory of Russia for the transit of load and people. All the forces of the South, East and West will be interested in Russia as the territory - damper of incresing contradictions between them.
Most likely that Russia’s acquiring the character and qualities of a transit country, buffer-country, floodgate country, even the country as the place for the trial of strength in 2008-2050 will give it the possibility not only to preserve its independence but also enable the Russians to keep their cultural self-identity and, moreover, in XXII century Russia’s being transit will become the environment for finding a new Russian idea and before this, in XXI century already will help Russian elite to formulate pragmatic, logical and even business all-Russia mission in Eurasia. Apparently, the priority of the South in Russian policy and diplomacy will be consolidated in this mission. Will the priority of the Turkis, Arabs, Indians, Persians be specified in it or will the tactics of constant rotation of “main” countries of the South be the priority? Most likely, the Turkic world which has already strong position in the country and dominating among the Muslems of the CIS will become a more or less permanent ally of Russia. And the Russians themselves, not by religion, but by birth and culture, are a third the Turkis, aren’t they?
In XXI century Russia will start paradoxical and hesitating movement to itself, having, it would seem, rejected itself. For this, its elite must find the balance between the Centre and regions, regulate the migration of Chinese in the East of the country, transform into chiefly Russian-Turkic elite, provide real equality between the Islam and the Orthodoxy all over the territory of the country, and not make sudden motions in policy and diplomacy already in the first three decades of XXI century. Chinese expansion should be treated as “bad weather”, as actuality with which there is no need to struggle, but which must be regulated. After all, there are not so many Chinese who certainly want to settle in Russia, it is more difficult for Chinese to lose touch with the native land, than for others! But it is necessary to pay attention to the intensive assimilation in Sintzyan, consistently conducted by the Chinese government. And this is done quite simply and effectively: in some town they quarter a Great Chinese regiment, its officers and soldiers shortly after marry Uighur girls and most often stay to live there because the state encourages their settling in every way possible. As for Uighur youth, they serve in the other provinces of China... The result is on hand - only within some decades the portion of Chinese there has grown from several to fifty percent!
Russian political elite must gradually cross out economy completely from the short list of the main social spheres regulated by it. Their task is to preserve legislative, administrative, political and military systems. Their economy must be only national currency and taxes (the Treasury). Local authorities must also be limited by law in their claims to economic control. But the hands-off policy of state in economy will become firmly established only after 2050, and before this, Russian economy will be severely slated by civil servants, first by practical workers of centralism and later by the ideologists of “social agreement”. But in reality the state’s influence on the economy will be consistently decreasing, in spite of woe-reformers’ will. True, we should make a proviso here. The decrease of the state’s interference into economy, right up to its complete removal from any “creative” activity, is possible only in the process of forming the economy as the force autonomous from the Russian state, as the system in which all interested people outside and inside the country will find their place. In fact, such a system will not be able to become established before 2040, but the correct state policy will not only accelerate its establishment, but also will enable to avoid unnecessary crises and risks (at least, they will not cut down vineyards, struggling against hard drinking).
It is not easy to find the correct economy policy in Russia. It would seem you must only continue liberalization process and everything will go swimmingly. But it is not so. Liberal policy of creating and developing market institutions, encouraging competition and free enterprise in Russia will demand only a comparatively small economically active part of population, and many people among those who kept their economic activity, have to realize their professional competence only partly. For example, they are engineers who became “shuttle”-dealers and teachers who became computer operators. Business initiative itself, distorted by officials’ “enterprise”, and not only by it, is inclined to do in “black” and “grey” business, show “wonders of enterprise” not in creative but parasitical and criminal activity. No legislative and other reforms will be able to master the situation even within twenty more years of continual efforts of Russian “chubaises”, as it is a Russian person who “is not ready”. And even worse than that - s/he is not “not ready”, s/he is “against it”.
That is why it is necessary to partly reconstruct centralized economy, not state, but oligarchical, or in other words, the economy of very big companies - oligopolies supported by central power and, in their turn, supporting it. These companies will call for all the best and “best” qualities of active part of Russian society: the sense of mutual responsibility, administrative instincts, the sense of being associated with the state, being “stool-pigeons” etc. The biggest of these companies will prove to be flourishing, because the size of the establishments they control will be, as a rule, a level (by 5-25 times) smaller than related to a particular branch of industry ministries of the USSR had, and two levels (by 50-200 times) smaller than such monsters as the Soviet “Gosplan” (State Planning) had. Besides, these companies, though oligopolistically, will compete between themselves and, especially, with foreign companies. Private enterprise interest will be the basis of justifying these oligopolies. Oligopoly-companies will provide the vast bulk of qualified labour force with jobs (an engineer will again become an engineer, and a worker will become a worker).
“The strong” and “the weak” will go into oligarchic economy, into big enterprises of raw, semi-raw, mechanical engineering, military-industrial sectors, some of them as leaders, ”organizers of manufacture”, chief specialists, pushers, others as specialist-performers and technical staff.
At the same time territorial decentralization will set up islets of liberal economy in national autonomies, cities and regions, for example, in St. Petersburg, Tatarstan, Samara region. The owners of a new type, who will feel comfortless working in the economy of “mutual responsibility”, will stream here. But oligarchic economy will bury the hopes of liberals to establish the basis for liberal economy during the first two decades of XXI century. “Liberal reservations” will be unstable, hence as ineffective as the rest Russian economy.
The twenties of XXI century will become not only the years of crash of global liberal economy and of the most critical international crises, but also the decade of tectonic breaks of economical and political influence. The influence of the USA will dramatically decrease, its economic and political models will lose popularity, and incomparably more cardinally than it happened in the 70-ies - 80-ies of XX century. For the first time China will resolutely declare itself a world power, making use of force far from its borders, and establish itself as absolute leader in the areas of South-East and Central Asia. The Europeans will reject liberal economic model and return to the corporative one, the Chinese will reject not only liberal economic, but also liberal political models and successfully establish their own corporative social-political and social-economic models. Doubling of Chinese gross domestic product in the 20-ies, in the time when the USA is in crisis and Europe in stagnation, will become an important ideoligical argument-makeweight to political success of the Chinese in this “fateful” decade.
These events will put an end to Russian liberals’ claims to power and give ideological basing for the transformation of state oligarchic capitalism which is in crisis into social, corporative capitalism. Reinforced Russian trade unions will find possibility to join the Russian political and economic establishment in the corporative idea. Lenin, after the first experience of revolution, said disappointedly, ”In Russia, it is difficult to tell the person who debates and talks big from the person who works”. Our Russian qualified chatterboxes will again revolutionarily and noisily deprive of power those hard-workers, who managed “to be at the helm”, and they will again begin “to make soup out of an axe” (to do some useless job). In the 30ies Russia will have the same two troubles: fools and roads. But this will come to light only at the end of the 30ies - the beginning of 40ies. And during the first years of Russian “corporative revolution” people’s activity will go up, into big companies there will come many people with new ideas, medium-size and minor business will also break loose from the oppressive grip of the state and oligopoly economy, which are busy with their own reforming. By the year 2040 “chatterboxes will chatter, natter “corporative revolution” and in Russia there will begin long drawn-out economic crisis, accompanied by a sharp increase of big foreign capital positions in Russian economy.
By 2060 the geoeconomic hole, into which Russia turned in the 90-ies of XX century and into which oligarchic and Russian corporative capitalism will collapse, will have been filled with effective, balanced and dynamic, but indifferent to Russian land reality of new global economy, with strained balance of three main culturally alien to each other economic systems: American liberal capitalist, European corporative social-capitalist and Far East corporative “socialist”, put a damper on by minor and middle-size enterprizes of local, eastern and southern origin.
If at present nobody seems to be interested in united Russia, then in 60 years everybody may be already interested in its independence and territorial integrity. Even China, most likely, will prefer to slowly but surely increase its influence in the European part of Russia to a risky separation of its Asian part. But it will be “brutal love”, “love” accounting on the fact that if the East and the West have to collide in direct confrontation, then it is Russia that will be the battle-field of this trial of strength.
In all the changes of 2040-2060 there will be present one more positive and hopeful moment. Russia will become the place on the Earth, which will be really attractive for those who seek adventures and spiritual renovation. Intensive social life, linguistic, religious, national mosaic, economic dynamism (first, the change of formation, then, economic growth), openness to all winds, risk, Russian North’s, Siberia’s, East’s wildlife, territorial pluralism (each autonomy and many provinces will acquire their own architectural and social look), gushing up interests of owners from all over the world - these all will present a striking contrast to fanatical constrained societies of the Muslem South, haughtiness and closed character of Chinese and even Japanese and Korean societies, stagnated and rationally boring societies of the greater part of Europe. North America may present not less varied and mosaic (though, most likely, mixed than mosaic) society, but people will go to the USA to do the sights, have a rest and earn money, and they will go to Russia to plunge, test and find themselves. Strange as it is, weak and “winter” Russia will become the Wild Center of Eurasia (somewhat reminding American Wild West of XIX century), hence, the World Center, some Capital Region in which world policy and economy matters, though in the form of trial of strength or economic experiments, are run; the place attracting adventurists and romanticists from all over the world.
But Russia will not become a cruel boiling copper as it will happen with Africa. Relative stability and protection of human life will become the basis for creative activity of people, comparative poverty and the severity of climate will weaken the expansionist wishes of neighbours (the population migration including). Birthrate among the “aborigenes” (Russian, Tatar and Bashkir) will increase in comparison with most neighbouring countries.
Since the 60-ies of XXI century superexpensive and super-high-speed motorways will stretch across Russia. Across Russian Far East Euro-American motorway will be built. In the second half of XXI century Russia will become the main transit country of Eurasia.
The described plot is based on three far from obvious, but, on the contrary, at first sight strange suppositions about the inevitable crash of American global model, appearance (rebirth) of competing with it corporative one, about inevitable split in Europe minimally into two (but it is possible into three-four) blocs. Let us consider them in greater detail.
We shall begin with the problem of “Europe’s split”, defining the main factors of integration process of 1950-2008. There are only two such factors (groups of factors). It is the consequences of the two world wars, but especially of the Second World War, and it is constant Soviet threat from 1946 to 1991, which partly itself is one of the main consequences of that war.
Among the war consequences we single out the following:
The latter of the above-mentioned factors may seem less significant, but all the time it has been very significant and, maybe, it has exerted main constructive influence on the whole system of post-war interrelations between the USA and Europe. The Jews, who underwent either concealed or revealed discrimination in all spheres of life and in all the layers of society both in Europe and the USA before, turned out to be “rehabilitated” in mass social consciousnesss and that enabled their financial, ideological and political organizations to become active subjects of that liberal, and from the beginning of the 90-ies global as well, economy. It is not by chance that at the end of the 90-ies there “broke” a scandal around “Nazi gold” in Switzerland. It is not the question of gold as such and even not the question of the beginning of American-European competition in the financial sphere, it is first and foremost a try of the Jewish elite “to remind” the Germans of the sense of guilt to them, of the necessity to prolong “the rehabilitation” time (the most favorable policy) for the Jewish capital in Europe. The fact that the sense of guilt is fading from the consciousness becomes obvious judging by the new growth of antisemitism, nationalism and even Nazism in Europe, in Switzerland itself.
The Soviet war threat not only united Europe into NATO, but also made the USA, beginning with Marshall plan, conduct a flexible and noble policy of organizing a single common European market, growing a potential powerful competitor for itself.
But now, after the ruin of the Soviet bloc and disintegration of the USSR, unification of Germany, gradual disappearance of the sense of guilt and other moral consequences of the Second World War, there disappear all initial stimulating causes for forming United Europe.
True, there appeared new ones. It is the necessity of global competition with the USA and Japan and the wish to consolidate the success of the 90-ies by forming eastern and southern buffer around Western Europe. But these motives are not dictated by unconditional instinct of survival and in their realization are already possible doubts and retreats in the face of obvious national economic and political interests of European countries.
But the process of unification has already been launched. Behind them, “top ten” have enormous positive experience of constructing United Europe , they also have working institutions and programs as the asset. New currency has been introduced. So maybe the inertia of unification itself will unite the continent?
However, at present powerful mechanisms of disintegration are beginning to work.
The USA policy from being on the whole noble and strategically oriented, aimed at joint survival in the struggle against the common strong enemy, gradually (but quickly) becomes petty, more and more pursues the aim of preserving supremacy for the sake of supremacy itself, to which (this aim) the real unification of Europe defies. To change the vector of its policy, the USA does not need proclaim a new course and provoke lots of accusations of betraying Europe directed at themselves. Europe consists of nations being in different stages of “big cycle”, presently powerful Germany will implecably begin to lose its positions, and weak Spain and Italy - to increase theirs. East-European countries and Turkey may add to general picture of re-distribution of power in Europe still more unexpected and conflict character. The USA will only have to “gently” intrigue, delicately direct contradictions against the countries, conducting the policy of unification. The USA may also “nobly” stand aside, as they understand that the Europeans will break themselves, as “to break is not as difficult as to build”. But most likely that the USA will choose strategically fruitless but requiring efforts tactics of unification process impeding according to the principle “neither peace, nor war”.
Of course, America will not be able to stay aside from European struggle, in some 20-30 years already the USA will face almost complete loss of influence of its social and economic models (corporative revolution) in Europe, and after 2040 American elite will have to set up relations with Latin and German blocs.
“Chinese threat” will not become consolidating factor in the interEuropean policy during the nearest fifty years as it will be divided from West Europe by two safety belts: Russian-Iranian and East-European-Turkish, behind which the Europeans will feel in safe hands.
In 1950-2008 liberal economy, the main managing circuit of which is capital market (stock market) basing on the hard world currency or parity of some hard currencies, developed quite successfully, without destructive and dangerous crises, like “the Great slump” of the end of the 20-ies - the beginning of the 30-ies of XX century. The crash of the Soviet model became the real triumph of USA model, and the Japanese economic crisis, which coincided in time, but less noticeable, dispelled, it would seem, all doubts in universal and alternativeless character of the USA model proper.
True, well-prepared stock market can do a lot: provide quick overflow of capital into growing and perspective branches, control enterprise management with the help of an easy and effective mechanism of “voting with one’s feet”, attract genius participants, inventors, financers, book-keepers to property management in the most logical game of chance at the stock markets, improve the level of information awareness and economical literacy among different levels of society, increase their devotion to economical and political system, cause the sense of participation in all relevant things that take place in the country and the world. At present it is the most perfect form of economic democracy in which freedom is connected with responsibility, and economic activity takes the form of game of chance. Here even bad mistakes of big participants usually contribute to common success, because the loser, clearing his place at the market, indirectly rewards more careful and far-sighted participants occupying the empty place. In this system three elements are in active interaction, they are democracy, responsibility, play (creative and agressive mind). Without a play element the system will lose flexibility and, what is more important, its vigorousness.
The system of liberal economy leaning on “economical person” brought up by Protestant culture has, however, a rather narrow range of stability. In the globally functioning economy there appears dangerous dependence of markets and countries on each other. Asian crisis began with the local currency crisis in a small Asian country and brought down financial and capital markets of a huge region, ruined all developing markets of corporative securities.
Markets extensiveness presupposes more and more effective and delicate regulating work of international financing organizations and main guarantor-countries , first of all, the USA itself. But in variance with this objective need, now we observe a reverse process, noticeable degradation of IMF and decrease of the US administration policy’s moral level. In relation to Russia, for example, IMFproved to be not only the creditor of democratization and liberalization processes, but also the performer of a dishonest game called “Crush Russian power through the raised too high rouble rate”. Having thrusted the policy of superhard rouble exchange rate on Russia, it practically provided for fatal lowering of competitiveness of Russian military-industrial complex and machine-building (generally, of highly technological) sector both at the foreign and home markets and their accelerated degradation. However, if Russian liberals had not been facing communist and imperial threat, they, like Hungarian liberals, would have been able to conduct a more flexible currency policy and IMF in a gentleman fashion would have agreed with them. You can be a gentleman only in the society of gentlemen, can’t you?
Liberal economy, “diabolically” stable on the microlevel, greatly depends on the US government (especially FRS) and “great Goodwin” - US stock exchange and NASDAQ, that is honesty and intellect of the Chief Arbiter (a group of several hundred specialists, making up finacial-political elite). With the development of globalization processes the responsibility of this elite objectively comes up, but with the growth of collective self-satisfaction and the egoism of this elite their productive responsibility comes down. There arises a dangerous gap between demand for responsibility and its supply, which increases the risk of world financial cataclysms.
At present it seems to many people that the US stock exchange, which during the last decade grew more than four times, is on the verge of crash. But the persistent rumours about the coming crash themselves and that stubborn unwillingness of the US government to pay attention to them may mean that in spite of the obvious overheatedness of the market by 30-40%, nothing catastrophic will happen here. The US government relies on the internet-revolution which will enable the US economy to get over this gap without any crisis, but, in case of special emergency, if there happens any essential change of stock market, then by joint functioning of devaluation and other regulators within two or three years only the situation will stabilize.
For the USA, most likely, the time of increased inflation and attack of yen and euro is coming. A two-three-four-year “bear” period will start on the US stock market. Economic growth will slacken its pace, but not for long. Already in 2004-2005 stock market and economy will renew their growth, but not so rapid as it was in the last five years of XX century. In fact, in the 90-ies of XX century there took place revolution of trust, not yet realized. The crash of socialism raised trust to public institutions of the West and, first and foremost of the USA itself, in the eyes of investors all over the world, and changed the basic correlation between the main indexes of real economy and the cost of corporative securities. In the present stock index of the USA there is 30-40% speculative component, which has grown with the money that “ran away” from Asia, East Europe and CIS, and the euphoria of globalization fruits expectations and the revolution in the sphere of communications. It is a dangerous component, but the Americans will brilliantly cope with it within the nearest coming years, of course, if the growth of the stock index does not continue at the same rate in 2008-2009.
Further on, this success will do the USA itself, that will seriously believe in the coming of “golden century” of the US prosperity and supremacy after the year 2005, a bad turn. The rate of savings in the US economy will remain very low till the end of the first decade and will grow only at the expense of “repressive” methods - tax increase to finance the growth of military expenses in the military confrontation with China. In the country already takes place a dangerous change in the distribution of experienced labour resources (the nation’s men of talent) in favour of such “branches” as financial speculations and political games. Not less than half of the “brilliant thousand” of most productive minds of the country are in fact involved in a superbeneficial, but in the end destructive for the country “business”on the exploitation of common American goodwill.
Return of the arms race in the first decade of XXI century will exert contradictory influence on the country which within two decades got used to easy money and self-increasing riches. On the one hand, more and more people in the USA will begin to realize the fatality of unrestrained hedonism, there will start a re-distribution of resources in favour of real economy, but, on the other hand, there will begin, at first quite imperceptible, crisis of trust to property in general, American property in particular, and the exploitation of American influence on the world will begin to take already improper shape, as for instance, information war against Euro.
In the course of this struggle in the second decade of XXI century the USA will waste half of its authority as the leader of the West and the World Arbiter, the crisis of trust will bring down the US stock market and lead to prolonged economic crisis. Grave, but more short-lived, crisis will break out in Europe, Japan, Latin America, Russia. Easiest of all the crisis will be got over by China and the countries closely linked with it by that time. European Community and the USA will get out of the crisis one at a time, everyone introducing its own economic methods: Europe - corporative capitalism, the USA - partly improved but also simplified and more severe institutions and procedures of state control and liberal economy regulation.
Such development of events is almost inevitable because elites as large groups of people are ruled, first and foremost, by the Nation’s God ( and He is in “summer winter”), then by interests and passions (greed and fear), and only thirdly, by economy and reason. Only good (and timely) fright, for example, in the course of China-USA competition, already in the years 2005-2008 can ease the situation, leading to a less abnormal crisis and mild “divorce” of the two economic systems of Europe and the USA.
Is it really so? Or is it irrelevant extrapolation of fascist episode in the history of Europe?
What is the difference between corporative-capitalist and l iberal systems?
The difference is in the following: corporative-capitalist system presupposes not only joining capital together, but also labour, and in the developed forms some other direct and even indirect “production participants” (not only of production proper, but also exchange, up to the consumer and also a state). Capital and capitalist are limited in rights here. The system is hierarchical, with the division of roles, rights and responsibilities between all “production participants”, it denies the dominating sovereignty of capital as it is in liberal system, restricts the boundaries of market regulation, giving, it is true, more chances for informal political regulation within the framework of agreement of elites, or formally, through the recognition of dominating role of the state.
In fascist corporative economy the interests and will of the state governed by the extremely nationalist party were dominating, in Middle Ages guilds of craftsmen there was dominating labour as the main social force. Cooperatives are also corporations, only of a simple kind. Swedish model of capitalism (or socialism?) is chiefly a corporative model. That is, corporations should not be identified with fascism or nazism. In fascist states they were used by racists and militarists as a most adequate system of self-regulation of economic basis, allowing permit for strict state administration as well. It is not worth while considering them as a survival of Middle Ages, identifying economic progress only with liberal models.
Corporation may have a complex mechanism of co-ordination of interests, formal and informal, in this case it may not have absolutely dominating participant or social force. It is this system that German social economy must be developing towards, as its managing capital is divided into shareholders’ capital and creditor’s (bank) capital, and one kind of capital is opposed to the other, mutually restricting one another. The role of banks is also increased by the fact that they usually act as owners as well, having big shareholding of the trust company. In their turn, banks are strictly controlled by state, because they operate not with the money of owners but with the one of investors, as a matter of fact, take the risk of someone else’s belongings. Stability and “corporativeness” to the system of social market economy are additionally added by, let somewhat formal, but essential participation of other social groups in management and control. It is not yet a corporative system, but not already a liberal one as well. It is a successful hybrid of the two.
In any of these systems, both in American liberal and German social, there is its Achilles heel. In the US economy it is several hundred of guru, politicians and administrators managing the US stock market and FRS (Federal Reserve System). In Germany it is as narrow circle of highest bank elite. “Collective representations” about the world and themselves in this peculiar crowd are not always adequate, but are always subjugated to the same wavy processes of activation and dying down within the bounds of big, medium and small cycles and microcycles as the whole national organism of these countries. It looks as if the present representation of German economic elite about itself and the nation’s goals began to considerably disagree with the nation’s goals (it usually happens by the beginning of “middle winter of big autumn”). The goals of nation become rigid, the mood - determined, ambitions - excessively increased, (eye)sight - nearsighted. The elite withdraws into itself, its balances and calculations, tries to somehow correspond to new mood of the nation, to find new magic recipes, but does not, and as a result it is defeated and goes away leaving place for populists who find resolute but wrong answers in which everybody believes for some reason.
It does not mean that moving towards corporative economy will turn out to be a mistake. No, it is simply that Germans will be less successful with it than Italians, Spaniards and Chinese; they will just create unsuccessful, ineffective system out of good ideas in the first half of the century.
At present, considerable advantage of liberal model over corporative is conditioned by the fact that “liberals” managed to create mechanism of constant property rotation on the basis of the criterion of market effectiveness of its work, that this process naturally accompanied by the effective change of other essential production components as well, first of all, that of management. Thus, the system is constantly regenerated. But it has its weak spot. It is the head or narrow layer of managing elite where the rotation does not correspond to the market laws. It has already been said about. But it should be added that in new corporative models the problem of “head” may be solved, it possibly will be done by means of endowing the “heads” of corporations (presenting the interests of not only the capital, but also those of the whole society, though, mainly through the prism of effective economic activity) with part of prerogatives which are now exclusively in the hands of governments. It does not mean that the governments will disappear, but it means that corporative system will create in the person of their highest organs additional competition to national governments and supernational political organs. At present world hegemony of the USA gives a chance to the US government and narrow circle of elite standing behind a chance to impose decisions on their “competitors” - governments of other countries and, thus, plunge more and more into an abyss of national and narrow-group egoism. But not only they will suffer - it will be the whole world!
“Genetic shortcoming” of a liberal model is “nearsightedness” of market. Property in the market is nearsighted property, directed toward short-term (sometimes - quarterly) aims. Besides, main motivation of a “liberal owner” is personal enrichment through speculations on the Stock Exchange, and his main skill is the speculations. Such motivation is not always sufficient to discover a person’s talents, develop them and support creative activity of a person. With ideal competition the ability to work with shares presupposes deep knowledge of macroeconomy and enterprise economy, constant control of the whole complex of economical, social and political matters in the country and key parts of the world. In this case person’s talents are most properly applied. But, as the system begins to distort, allow speculations and manipulation by investors, the players’ energy is switched over to these parasitic components of market activity and gradually the whole system is blowing-up. And again the world monopoly of the USA becomes a constant active factor of degradation and distortion of a key for the country and its economic model activity in the stock market. Hopes for regulating and “clearing” work of the Securities and Exchange Commission will not be justified.
Dispersion of capital among small shareholders in the system
of “American people capitalism” often determines exceptional position of managers,
making them not so much concerned about the point of view of virtual crowd of shareholders,
especially as if managers themselves own a rather big block of shares (sometimes it is
enough to own 0.5 - 2% to control gigantic concern or conglomeration). True, there remains fear before agressive speculative buying up in the market of a larger block of shares, but here also those who are particularly “strong” (drawn near to elite), having access to investment banks and other sources of great financial resources, can have reverse motivation to successful activity of a company (enterprise) - to worsen the results so that the price of shares should come down to acquire more shares! By adducing this example, having individual character, I want to illustrate once more the main thesis that there are no perfect ideologies, but there are good or bad social models, and good models may imperceptibly become bad ones if the proportions are distorted and the ranges of their steadiness are exceeded.
Corporative ideology, based on the idea of possibility of creating stable and ideal hierarchy of all “production participants” with clearly defined functions and roles and aimed at common and understandable for everybody aims, will soon realize in corporative models, not less effective than liberal ones.
What parameters will the corporative system in Europe have?
This system will lean on a clear-cut distribution of responsibility and power between the owners of a producing corporation (company) and the owners of “branch corporation”.Though it is not at all necessary that in the branch there should be only one corporation or, that corporation should work only in one branch. But let us call it “branch corporation” in connection with the fact, if only, that the size of such supercorporation will be comparable with the size of a branch in which it works, especially as, such corporations will often have not national but international character, for example, common European, Chinese-Korean-Japanese or even global (but this will happen rarely as for the normal functioning of a corporation cultural compatibility, the sense of “a person of corporation” are important.
In a branch corporation there will be represented the participation of property of a state (states), producing corporations (companies), both entering it on terms of accepting membership regulations different from the usual owners’ regulations, and those that do not enter, as well as other organizations - both voluntary (up to religious ones), and economical as well, either having or not the rights and duties of membership.
The owners (participants) of a branch corporation will elect a branch council, which can have one, two or three chambers with different functions, but only member-owners will be able to be representatives in the council.
Branch council will form on its own councils of directors in producing companies which became members of branch corporation. General meetings of producing companies will not count in the matter of electing the council of directors, but they will elect the president (Board) and auditor (audit commission) of their company. The council of directors will have the right to relieve of the post the president and demand the election of a new president of the general meeting, but in relation to the auditor it has not got such right.
Thus, in Europe there will start to be formed such a system in which the interests of a branch, as a rule, on the common European level, the interests of the main states in the economy of which this branch is main and important, the interests of main producing companies and the interests of general communities, consumers and ecological community including, will be tied in together. Will there be “extra people” here? The answer is positive, but as participation in branch corporation will be connected with substantial investments and membership obligations, then the number of such “extra” people will be small and in the course of time will lessen.
Bureaucrats (technocrats) of branch councils, controlling the councils of directors of sometimes hundreds of producing companies that regulate the system of internal taxation in the branch corporation and also controlling links with the owners of branch corporation and participant-states, will have special power in branch corporations. The power of branch councils will be increased by a special Messianic mood, feeling themselves missionaries of a common European process of unification in the first decades of XXI century. Further on, this spirit will acquire a narrower character of Latin, pan-German or other patriotism.
Branch-corporations will gradually create a developed hierarchical motivation system of statuses, privileges and rewards, similar to a feudal one, for the owners, but first of all, the managers, members of councils of directors and even for workers and employees of producing companies. Family succession will also be encouraged but the social status will be acquired only on the basis of personal contribution. In some corporations property donations will be encouraged. Insurance and pension systems will become mainly intracorporative.
The first elements of this system will arise at the beginning of the second decade of XXI century already, and they will will get speedy development during the world economic crisis in the twenties of XXI century. In the third decade the fathers of the system, Germans and French, will be surprised at discovering that the power in these corporations passes into the hands of more “friendly” Spaniards and Italians, and that the income disproportionate to their real investment flies away to South European countries. Gradually the process of demarcation and further division of corporations into Latin and pan-Germanic will start, and beginning with the year 2040 the Germans will start more and more to re-direct the attention to Slavic East and European South, though in the Slavic East there will also be increase of Latin influence, balanced by the Turkish one. And after the year 2050 Latin-Americanization will start in Europe.
Chinese corporative revolution will also start in the twenties of XXI century and in the thirties the subsystems of Chinese-Korean-Japanese corporative capitalism and Chinese corporative “socialism”, based on the leitmotif of national goals and domination of the state pursuing the policy of expansion in Eurasia, will be formed.
By 2050 the world will be rigidly divided into the spheres of supremacy of American liberal, Latin, Chinese, Pan-Islamic, Japanese and German corporative kinds of capitalism. It will be only Japan and Europe that will manage to preserve certain penetrability of different systems. Russia will be divided into pieces between all main participating economies, the presence of Chinese and German (more exactly - East European) capital will be dominating.
In order to give a better and more concrete idea of the future of Russia, let us again plunge into the past, this time the past of “winter” periods of Byzantine Empire and Turkey, whose history passed around the mystical heart of Russia - Constantinople. Analogies and associations with the history of these countries may help our imagination to envisage a more real and complex picture of the world’s future and the future of Russia.
Let us choose two hystories - the history of two “winters”: Greek and Osmanli. Severe Greek “winter” of XIV - the beginning of XVI centuries and mild Turkish one of XVIII - the beginning of XX centuries give us the range for comparison and analysis of Russia’s prospects proper. Cruel Russian “winter” of XIII - the beginning of XV centuries has been considered in the first and second parts of the book and is the consequence of unfavourable factors, so we consider it inappropriate for the aim and forecasting for XXI-XXII centuries.
In 1333 “big Greek winter” began and, some years before it, Osmanli Turks were first invited as mercenary to Europe by the Byzantines. In 1330 Osmanli Turks founded a small regular beachhead on the Bosporus shores, right opposite Constantinople; in 1345 one of the pretenders to Byzantine throne suggested his ally, Osmanli Sultan Orkhan to marry his daughter, and already in 1353 there began Osmanli colonization on Grecian islands and in Greece itself, that was indifferently, if not with pleasure , taken on by the Greeks, who were tired of almost continuous wars during a century and a half.
Before 1360 Osmanli Turks captured Thrace and much Greek land. Troops moved along river valleys, they were followed by members of the brotherhood of dervishes who founded the shelters, which became the core for Turkish villages. They brought with themselves defence from robbers and social revolution: collectivization of land (becoming state-owned), liberating people from paying tax and the yoke of landowners. Already in 1959 the Byzantine Emperor recognized himself as Osmanli Sultan’s vassal.
When at the beginning of the 70-ies Constantinople turned out to be surrounded by Osmanli land, the Byzantine Emperor made up his mind to conclude an alliance with the West, having adopted Catholicism, but did not find support of Orthodox Church hierarchy and in 1370, already finally, took vassal dependence on the Sultan.
Intensive process of adopting Islam by Greeks has begun as Osmanli Turks liberated Muslems, newly converted ones including, from taxes, and prisoners of war were liberated in exchange for convertion. The system of Osmanli supremacy was “summer-like” flexible, Christians were recruited into Osmanli army, giving many of them a chance to make use of the results of Osmanli victories; Osmanli Turks did not take their women with them showing a preference for Christian bondwomen, thus making for mutual physical assimilation.
Such, or similar, development of events in XXI century Russia seems improbable, but, if to remember how we were “undressed” in the 90-ies, how there was no logical political will proceeding from national interests during the whole decade, then such development begins to seem frighteningly probable. It was not just that the Greeks had no will at that time, their will was paralyzed by hatred to Catholic West and fear of Slavic North. Osmanli Turks seemed to be a lesser evil, and for many people, taking into consideration their flexible policy, even a benefit. There were other deeper causes of Byzantines’ “lack of will”.
Now , let us have a look at Turkey. What happened at the beginning of Turkish “mild winter” of 1717 - 1761?
This period begins with the defeat in Turkish-Austrian War and signing a treaty in Pozharovatse in 1718 according to which the Osmanly Empire ceded sizeable territories in Europe to Habsburgs. It is from this time that Osmanli Turks did not advance in Europe, but only defended themselves.
The reign of the first “Europe orientated” Sultan Akhmed III (reigned from 1703 to 1730) fell on the beginning of “winter”. In Turkey the epoch of keenness on French culture, aestheticism (“the epoch of tulips”) began. During the last twelve years of Akhmed III’s reign a consistent course to westernization was conducted. For example, the first in the Islamic world printing-house, which caused great doubts of Islamic religious circles, was built.
After Akhmed was dethroned by janissaries, who were “tired” of lasting peace, in 1730, Makhmud I became Sultan. His reign was not prominent, but Makhmud managed to raise the level of the art of diplomacy to the height necessary for the Empire to survive. Turkish-French “love” and good understanding of its place in Europe enabled Osmanli elite to avert the division of the Empire by Russia and Austria in the 30-ies of XVII century. Since then (the 30-ies) Osmanli Turks have never considered themselves an independent source of force and always looked for strong and interested in the Empire European ally.That is, during the first twelve years of “big winter” cardinal overestimation of the place and role of the Empire in Europe took place in the ruling elite of the Osmanli Empire!
Till 1763 Great Vizier Raghib-pasha reigned the Empire. He consciously strived for westernization, but without threat to “the harmony of existing institutions”. In 1761 they signed “a defensive treaty” with Prussia. Several years later the Turks were really frightened by the division of Poland, carried out by Russia and Prussia. They considered it a dangerous precedent for themselves and Sultan decided to actively interfere into the European policy. But it was in the next, second period of “big winter”.
What characterizes this first period of “Turkish winter”?
The elite of the country, that earlier perceived Europe only as the land of barbarians destined for Osmanli conquest, now has lived through “cultural revolution”, the period of being charmed by alien and still religiously hostile culture, made timid attempts of reforming and introduction of French innovations. At the same time the policy and diplomacy of the Osmanli Empire became quite adequate to its place and common European balance of forces. We should also point out comparative weakness of its main enemies: small Austria, which founded great empire and still too young, and after Peter also “lost”, Russia.
Well, what is in store for Russia in 2005 - 2053, Turkish or Greek variant of the beginning of “winter”?
Let us begin with the Greeks. In 1391 Manuil, who occupied a humiliating, low post at the court of Sultan Bayezid I of Turkey, became the Emperor of Byzantium. By that time a good deal of Muslems lived in Constantinople already and on demand of Sultan Islamic court began to function within town walls and a separate quarter was allotted for the Muslems.
In 1395 Bayezid, already “Caesar’s heir” (as he proclaimed himself), prosecuted the whole family of the Emperor of Byzantium in Seres and sentenced them to death. The sentence, though, was reversed on the insistence of Islamic leaders.
Thus, the Byzantine Empire only 60 years after the beginning of Osmanli expansion was a pitiful spectacle. But “till its death” there were still another 60 years of living.
In 1402, after six years (!) of siege, Constantinople was ready to surrender, but in 1402 - 1403 Osmanli Turks suffered devastating defeat from Timur’s (Tamerlane’s) troops. Proud Sultan Bayezid became a slave of the great conqueror. Timur prepared a campaign to China, suddenly fell ill and died, together with him his empire died. The Osmanli Empire fell apart for ten years.
The Byzantine Empire had a short rest, but, as it turned out, did not manage to take this opportunity. In some years after the reunification of the Osmanli Empire new sultan besieged Constantinople again. Despite the fact that the siege of Constantinople was raised again, Osmanli Turks thrusted on Byzantine Emperor new, more rigid terms of subordination. The Empire was decreased till Constantinople itself and a small adjoining territory.
At last, in 1453 Constantinople was seized by storming after a dramatic siege.
Constantinople’s end (and the beginning of Istanbul) was worth its great history, the Greeks showed valour and self-sacrifice, but did not manage to withstand the numerical superiority in military forces. However, it happened already in the third quarter of “Greek winter”.
In the second quarter of “Greek winter” not only Byzantine Empire, but also the Greeks themselves stopped to be a single organism; moreover, they began to perceive themselves as part of Osmanli organism which, seemingly, turned out to be extremely close, related to Greek. Greek Byzantine mind is based on the values of autocracy, conciliarism and mysticism. Osmanli mind, possibly, grasped and, maybe, fully imitated the idea of Emperor as the father of the nation, the defender of belief (God’s anointed sovereign), Caesar-warrior against barbarians, autocrat bearing the cross (burden) of supreme power in the multilingual Empire, which will inevitably fall apart without emperor’s reign and selfless service to it. Islamic conciliarism is religious brotherhoods and mosque as a real centre of all social life, which through the rigid system of rituals (fasting including) never lets believers go far from it, in contradistinction to Christian Church. It is also the power of spiritual leaders in the state. For example, word of sheikh-ul-Islam, the highest ecclesiastic in the Osmanli Empire, more than once became fatal for sultans. In definite situations, the life of the sultan himself depended on him.
In the end, Byzantine mysticism and Turkish fatalism, although they are of different nature, give different answers to the questions put to them, but they put these questions in the same way! Byzantine Greek and Turk are ready to give their lives for God, for “that must be so”; but a Byzantine looks for God in life and all his life he is preparing to meet with Him as already an Acquaintance, while a Turk does not look for God (Allah), he knows that God is always somewhere near him, in his mosque, and when he must make a choice, to live or not to, he pragmatically searches for an opportunity to live a little more , but if “that must be so”, then to die with dignity. As a Turk is a cheerful fatalist, he feels quite well when “it must be” and when “not”. So a Byzantine is good at the strategy of defence, especially so when his deeply-rooted values and interests are wounded, then he “struggles till the end”. A Turk is good at the tactics of both attack and defence and, like a Turkish rider feeling the smell of victory and defeat, he is swift in attack, quick in retreat and determined in flight.
Mystic Byzantine Greek “overlooked” the coming of a smart Turk. A Turk felt the mystic weakness of a Byzantine quite well and came to him with social revolution, “friendship”, strict and clear power. The greatness of a two thousand-year-long history did not enable the Greeks to make out a master in a Turk, who came to his land for a long time. When he realized it - it was already late. And he realized it only after Constantinople fell!
The Turks, as good tacticians, after Constantinople fell and much later, acted reasonably and nobly enough, they not only really bluntly oppressed Orthodox Church, but allowed the Greeks to occupy considered to be inferior, but rather influential posts of managers (!), profitable posts of merchants and financers of the Osmanli Empire.
Will a Russian overlook the coming of a smart Chinese or the same Turk to his land in XXI century? In XVIII century Russian elite, very much like Byzantines, “overlooked” the Germans, didn’t it? And in XX century the Russians mostly stand in the background in corridors of power.
Now, let us have a look at the panorama of the second quarter of a “big Turkish winter” of 1765 - 1813. During this, much less favourable period for the Osmanli Empire, it suffered one defeat after another, slowly giving in parts of its territory. In 1770 Orlov defeated the Turkish fleet and in 1771 Potyomkin drove out them from the Crimea. True, according to the thrusted on Russia Treaty of Kucuk-Kaynarca, it had to return part of the territories, but according to the treaty, liberty of conscience was guaranteed to Christians in the returned Turkey Georgia, Mingrelia, Valakhia and Moldavia.
In 1783 Catherine II annexed the Crimea and brutally put down a rising of the Crimean Tatars. In 1787 a new Russian-Turkish war in which great Suvorov won several brilliant victories began. The Austrians, in their turn, occupied the greater part of Serbia and Bosnia.
But by 1790 the idea that it was necessary to preserve the Osmanli Empire as a counterbalance against Russia had widely gained a firm hold. England, earlier consistently supporting Russia, also revised its policy and in 1790 in order to support and preserve the Osmanli Empire founded a Triple Union with Prussia and Holland. Catherine II, clashed with European coalition, to which Austria joined, temporarily retreated. But preparations for the decisive war with Osmanli Turks was continued and its aim was the mission of liberating once great Orthodox capital - Constantinople. Catherine’s death in 1796 prevented Russian elite from realizing these plans.
Russian-Turkish and Austrian-Turkish wars revealed the weakness of the Empire to the Osmanli elite. New Sultan Selim III resolutely started the country’s reforming. The ideas of French revolution exerted special influence upon him and his closest retinue. The sultan took steps “to Gallicize” Turkish army, promoted the spread of the French language in the high society of the Osmanli Empire, for the first time set up constant diplomatic representatives in the leading European countries. In the economic and social reform the sultan pursued first and foremost the aims of re-centralization of practically decentralized social organism of the Empire during the last two centuries.
However, sultan-reformer came to a bad end. Napoleon wars in which the Osmanli Empire was involved, increased instability in its European borders, and Egypt and Syria became the objects of Napoleon’s agression. The Janissaries, dissatisfied with the military reform and military weakness of the Empire, dethroned Sultan Selim in 1807.
In the period between 1808, when Makhmud II came to power, and 1812, when Osmanli Turks right before Napoleon’s intrusion into Russia concluded peace with the Russian tsar, another Russian-Turkish war took place, victorious for Russia, and Napoleon once more betrayed his Turkish allies. Before his great march to Russia Napoleon vainly tried to draw Turkey to joint campaign against the Russian Empire, Osmanli Turks did not trust him any more and were afraid of his victory.
This was the end of the second quarter of ”Turkish winter” during which the Empire continued to decrease and several times was on the verge of its violent division by Russia and Austria, or subdual by Russia or France. Westernization out of esthetic plane turned into military, economic and social reforms. The reforms were rightly directed, but were not successful, the Empire suffered one defeat after another, but still preserved amazing inner stability and in the art of diplomacy it worked wonders. Turkish sense of Force unerringly set them on the right allies ready to fight for weak Turkey.
The Osmanli Empire became even weaker in comparison with its main rival - Russia, but its territory decreased very slowly and “unwillingly”. Often what has been lost by the Turks at wars, they made return in diplomatic games.
It is also surprising that “summer” Greeks and Slavs went on accepting the supremacy of “winter” Osmanli Turks. The Empire still had great safety factor, effectively directing the energy of Christians into administrative activity and economy. Egypt has got almost complete independence and its ruler was used by sultan to put down Christian risings. Diplomacy ruled not only the foreign policy of the Empire but also its home one!
“Winter”, in contradistinction to “autumn” , is good because passiveness of people makes them a rather convenient object for direction, though, because of their passiveness, ineffective direction, and in autumn people often boil up, lead by dangerous and even destructive ideas. Greek passiveness did them a bad turn, having let Osmanli Turks to conduct creeping colonization of former Byzantine borders and of the metropoly itself. Turkish passiveness turned to be self-satisfied and retired into itself life of Turkish depths, which is impervious and dull to strangers and even for its government. Turkish elite perceived the danger of deep reforms, that is why it did not begin to “wake a sleeping beast” (to “trouble trouble”). Instead of this it imitated superficial experience of military achievements of Western countries (the initiative which cost his life for Sultan Selim) and concentrated on the European and internal diplomacy. It is also remarkable that stirring up Christians got additional possibility for the realization of their economic and administrative activity in XYIII century.
There is no sense in analysing the third period in the history of Byzantine Greece, which finally disappeared in the middle of this period, that is why hereinafter we shall consider only Turkish “winter”.
Osmanli third quarter of “winter” begins in 1813 and is over in 1861. As “winter’s winter” it is the most dangerous period for the country, but Turkey lived it through happily.
Let us have a look at how it managed to do it.
In 1821 a rising in Greece began, which seemed to have been put down by 1827 by Mekhmed Ali - an Egyptian vassal of sultan. But for the first time they set up a common European coalition against Turkey, which managed to obtain Greece’s independence in 1830. The force of public opinion in the European policy of XIX century was as real a force as it is in XX century! Isn’t this support the main chance for weak countries in the struggle for the survival in XXI century?
At the same time Russia, having won the next war, tore away a part of Moldavia and Georgia from the Osmanli Empire. Serbia , at last, got its independence.
Makhmud II actively continued the reforms, begun by Selim III, overcame destructive might of janissaries and found Prussia to be the main ally and consultatnt in the matters of military reform. Religious authorities’ power was restricted. Law and education reforms were started. Some innovations seemed to be met with disproportionately impetuous reaction. For example, the change over to the European style clothes in the army and, especially, the change of a headgear, turned out to be very painful. Before servicemen changed turban with fez, they had to be persuaded for a long time that it would not enrage Allah.
In 1832 the war against Mekhmed-Ali - Egyptian vassal of sultan, who decided to join Syria to his possession, broke out. Europeans did not respond to sultan’s request for help and then he turned for help to Russia! The appearance of Russian fleet near Istanbul not only made Egyptians stop but also mobilized England and France to help the Turks. Russia was soon put off the settling of “Egyptian problem”.
The reforms were continued under the new sultan who occupied the place of late Makhmud. For the first time all the subjects of the Empire were made fully equal in rights by law. Christians, as well as Muslems, became men liable for call-up. However, civil reforms “did not work”, having been lost in corruption and prejudice. But on the other hand, capitalism “began to work”. The rapid process of growth of towns and establishing banks, insurance and trade companies began. The specialization, having taken shape before, between the Turks, who worked chiefly as administrators, servicemen, farmers and the Greeks, Armenians, Jews, who usually became merchants, businessmen, financiers, was supplemented with the Europeans, who occupied the key positions in new capitalist enterprises. Budget deficit at that time was unchangingly financed with printing-press.
From 1852 the reforms were, for the most part, continued from force of inertia, as the sultan was interested only in the life of his harem, while the chief vizier was up to his eyes in corruption.
In 1853, after Russia gave ultimatum to Turkey, having required immunity and traditional rights of the Byzantine Empire for Orthdox Church on the territory of the Osmanli Empire, the sultan, having beforehand got support from European powers, declared war on Russia. After the odds in that war began to be in Russia’s favour, England, France and Austria first defeated Russia in the Danube War and then England and France won the victory in the Crimean War as well.
As a result, the Osmanli Empire got so important period of twenty-year-long respite, which saved it from division, in the most hard and vulnerable for foreign aggression period. Osmanli Turks were, as before, saved by diplomacy, which is especially notable, if to pay attention to Russia’s diplomacy of Nickolay I and his envoy - Prince Menshikov. Rudeness and impatience of those people, apparently, expressing not only their own emotions, but also collective impatience of Russian elite, made European countries quickly unite to support Turkey and promoted their determination in the accomplishment of military operations against Russia. Nickolay, having not endured the ruin of his hopes, committed suicide.
The Osmanli Empire won another, this time decisive diplomatic game with Russia, but till 1861 more and more sank into the quagmire of promissory and financial crises.
That was the end of the third quarter of “Turkish big winter” During that period the Empire underwent not only foreign, but also home threat of power destruction. It is paradoxical that it was Russia who saved Osmanli Turks from a dangerous internal enemy - Egypt in a crucial moment for the Empire, when the Egyptian vassal felt strong enough to strike a blow at Istanbul.
Westernization of the Empire turned out to be successful in the growth of European component in its economy, and unsuccessful in reforming the Osmanli economy proper. Turkey became one of the main debtors of the West.
European powers, striving for mainly economic interests in the Osmanli Empire, “gave rap over the knuckles” to Messianic Russia. The English for a long time cherished the illusion about the economic reforms, conducted under their guidance, but as a result were disappointed, in grateful loyalty of the Turks to them including. In the next period of “winter” the Turks did their best to release their “benefactors” from the West from any illusions about liberal transformation of Turkey. During the fourth and last period of “winter” Osmanli Turks tried on successively three ideologies: the ideology of “new Osmanli Turks”, based on cultured Islam; the ideology of pan-Islam and Islamic brotherhood; and the ideology of Young-Turks, based on the Turkic community and Turkish nationalism, combined with the ideas of the sovereignty of people and economic progress.
It was a severe period, but it was then that Turkey became Turkey, having lost (or rather, having let go) all its European and Asian colonies, but in a cruel war against the coalition of western countries having saved its own, Turkish body proper. Terrifying slaughter of the Armenians in 1915 showed the world that for their internal borders the Turks will fight with indomitable vigour and cruelty of their forbears.
In 1861 Abdulaziz became the sultan.”Sacred” fourth quarter of “big Turkish winter” began. In the course of some years (by 1871) liberal reforms have been stopped, and the Sultan’s harem, served by three thousand eunuchs, together with other his fancies absorbed 15% of state budget. They started the realization of ambitious projects in railway construction, there was rapid growth of expenses on the service of state debt. After these expenses exceeded 50% of budget revenue return by 1875, the country practically acknowledged itself bankrupt, having cut down payments on the securities Famine began. Mass dissatisfaction of population soon caused risings in Herzegovina, Bosnia and Bulgaria. Slaughter, made by the Turks in Bulgaria, dramatically changed the public opinion in European countries, that were actively sympathetic with “the sick person of Europe” before.
The war between Turkey, on one side, and Serbia and Montenegro, on the other side, broke out; a little later Russia joined it on the side of brother-Slavs.
Under the influence of public opinion the English managed to keep themselves from intervention, the more so as Russia, after the defeat in the Crimean War, was not “gendarme of Europe”any more. A new Russian-Turkish war ended with complete liberation of Bulgaria and the extension of the territory of Serbia and Montenegro. The Russian army was practically at the walls of Constantinople, but active interference of the English, who got frightened of the new Russian hegemony, stopped short the Russian tsar. England, possibly for its support, got Cyprus “as a present” from Turkey. But before these events, in 1876 Abdulaziz was dethroned and, after a dramatic and hard fight for power, Abdul-Khamid became the Sultan.
The circumstances of new sultan coming to power present special interest, as in the dethroning of Abdulaziz particular role was played by “New Osmanli Turks”, a small but influential group of imperial elite educated according to western standards, who began to synthesize new imperial ideology combining Islamic and liberal European values. “New Osmanli Turks” were the first experience of the synthesis of new-Turkish national idea, reflecting the attitude of high Osmanli elite of XIX century, which was far from the wider circles of Osmanli elite, and especially from the people. But the impulse was given and it happened at the beginning of the “destined” for the appearance of new national values period - “medium spring of long winter”. Soon the group of “ New Osmanli Turks” was smashed.
Abdul-Khamid was quite unlike his predecessor, being ascetic, hard-working, careful, reserved and insidious. He did not trust anybody, governing the country with the help of a huge army of spies and constant personnel rotation, tried to have in his clutches as many government threads as possible. A huge bureaucratic staff of the Empire grew up during his reign till monstrous proportions.
In 1882 the English “as if temporarily” occupied Egypt. Even earlier the Turks ceded Tunisia to the French. In 1897 Turkey lost Crete.
Having repressed the “New Osmanli Turks”, Abdul-Khamid made an attempt to find buttress in Pan-Islamism, the ideologists of which were sure that all important achievements of Europeans are the development of Arab discoveries. They began to edge Christians out and, on the contrary, invite Arabs, Kurds, Albanians, Circassians “to power”. The escalation of anti-Armenian moods began as they, like Greeks at the beginning of the century, went into he struggle for their independence. The Sultan personally played the role of provoker in the campaign of mass murders of the Armenians in 1894-96.
At the beginning of 90-ies the group of “New Osmanli Turks” smashed by Abdul-Khamid turned out to be a good start for the setting up of new ideology, which later became the ideology of new Turkey. The driving force of this ideology, that got the name of the movement of Young Turks (according to the name of emigrant magazine “Young Turkey”) was not narrow high circles of Empire’s managers, but students, students of military schools and young officers.
In contradistinction to educational-Islamic character of the ideas of “New Osmanli Turks”, Young Turks had Pan-Turkism, Turkish patriotism, constitutionalism and liberalism (“fatherland, nation, constitution and freedom”) as their ideological basis. Already in 1896 they made an attempt of coup d’etat.
The revolution of Young Turks began in 1906 and in 1908 revolutionaries came to power in Macedonia. The troops, sent to put them down, went over to those risen in rebellion. Abdul-Khamid had to turn over the control of executive power to the rebellious warlords and agreed to the election of Parliament. During the first days of victory in the streets of Istanbul there began uncontrolled fraternization between the Muslems, Christians and Jews, even between the Turks and Armenians.
But in 1909 an insidious sultan provoked counter-revolutionary revolt, which was quickly put down. During the revolt a new wave of the Armenians’ mass murders rolled over the country. The Sultan lost power. The “Jacobinian” phase of revolution began: severe measures against the opposition, turcanization of the Arabs, Albanians and other Muslems. Since that time “a Turk”which called forth the association with ancient nomad and modern ignorant peasant of Osmanli elite, became a proud name of the whole nation.
In a few years Turkey let go Iraq, Syria, Palestine (in Asia), Tripolitania, Kirenaika (in Africa), Macedonia (in Europe). But when in 1916 the coalition consisting of Italy, France and Greece intruded in Anatolia - the territory inhabited by mostly the Turks (the native land of Osmanli Turks), it met with a rebuff. In 1915 a mass slaughter of the Armenians, which far surpassed the brutality of Abdul-Khamid, was made.
The last “sacred” quarter of “big Turkish winter” ended seven years before the complete disappearance of the Osmanli Empire and the birth of Turkey. The Turks, as a matter of fact, managed to effectively use acquired during the previous centuries “territorial capital”, settling accounts with it because of its weakness in the “winter” centuries. The Empire, suffering one defeat after another, slowly, but implacably kept being contracted till the territory inhabited mainly by the Turks. The national idea was born at the meeting point and combination of the ideology of the high elite, educated in accord with European standards, more European than Turkish (“New Osmanli Turks”), the ideology of Islamic elite (the ideology of Pan-Islamism) and of awoken ancient spiritual values of a Turk-Turki: ordinary peasant, clerk, merchant, soldier (the ideology of Pan-Turkism). Young Turkish officers and students, the sons of celebrities and ordinary offsprings of Osmanli conquerors became “combination zone”.
What saved Turkey from being divided and turning into a colony in XYIII-XIX centuries besides accumulated “fatty reserve”, innate art of diplomacy, European contradictions, “friendly” Greeks and Jews?
One of the base national values in which the ideas-feelings of humbleness before the fate as the Force, tragically-joyful feeling of personal existence being second to the existence of God (Allah) turned out to be a means of escape for Turkey. Otherwise we should not understand the stricken root already in XIY century severe tradition of almost ritual killing of his own brothers as possible pretenders to the throne by Sultan. During twenty-forty years pretenders to the throne lived in their “cage” with the prospect of either being strangled with a cord ( a traditional Turkish way of killing), or ascending to the throne. And for most inhabitants of “the cage” the probability of a fatal end was incomparably higher than that of happy continuation of life. The one who is not a fatalist would go mad. Many fatalists, by the way, also broke down.
Fatalism as positive, constructive value, enabled Osmanli Turks to quietly perceive a new historical period of defeats and humiliation, as the force of circumstances, Force. Not only the constant feeling of God, but also the living feeling of Force - this is the content of Turkish fatalism! When a Turk is strong, he is merciless, but he is merciless rationally (“so it must be!”), when a Turk is weak, he is a diplomat. Everybody knows the comparison of a Tatar, Russian and Turk in the face of inevitable death in a fight. A Tatar fights till the end, until he dies, a Russian runs but he does not throw himself on the enemy’s mercy, a Turk kneels and asks for mercy (but not because of cowardice, but because of “being diplomatic”).
The Turks are not just fatalists, they are fatalist-politicians and fatalist-diplomats, their fatalism is humbleness not before Fate, but before Force or fate as force. “If force is on enemy’s side, then Allah is on his side too”. So at the beginning of XYIII century the Turks, having appreciated that force was in Christian Europe, began to adapt themselves actively to this force, not meaninglessly, obediently or “ideologically” but pragmatically and playfully. At the end of XIX century they already could put some of their teachers in their place, and at the beginning of XX century found their own way having freed themselves from the remains of the Empire, and defended their “primordial Turkish” land with doubled energy and rage.
What is in store for Turkey in the nearest half a century (in 2008-2050)? It will be the third quarter of “big spring” or “mid-winter of big spring”. It is the period of young fanatic expansion, when there is not enough strength and intellect yet, but there is idealism and self-sacrifice beyond measure. The vector of Turkey’s policy is defined by a new national idea - it is Turkic world. It follows that the Turks will try to found something like confederation of Turkic peoples, but, obviously, will clash here with Russia’s opposition, “Iranian stopper” between the Caspian Sea and the Bay (The Indian Ocean) and with the vector of Chinese expansion.
The passiveness of China would again make Turkey and Iran the main rivals, but in this rivalry Iran is obviously weaker as the Turkis predominate in the region, besides the Turkic population is also great in Iran itself. Shiite Iran is comparatively isolated in the Islamic world, which is mostly Sannite. Particular relations with Europe and the USA, its appropriate economic power and hostility to Iran and Iraq are on Turkey’s side as well.
In the first half of the century Turkey will set up special relations with Georgia and very close ones with Azerbaijan. Economic and cultural cooperation with Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan will also become one of the priorities. The role of Turkey may become fatal for Russian Caucasus, as the Turks will strive to expand their influence zone all over the Muslem Caucasus, invariably supporting Islamic separatists there.
In a severe winter of XIV-XV centuries the Greeks lost their State system and during almost four centuries had to live on their own land under the conditions of supremacy of foreign laws, alien faith and traditions. Instead of a citizen’s dignity or, at least, the one of his own state’s subject, the Greeks had to accept their oppressed position and adopt a careful pose of a slave and, at best, inferior nation.The Turks, who preserved the State system in XVIII-XIX centuries, remained the masters of their land and fate. Their faith was not humiliated as the faith of the Greeks. No less hard and humiliating was “blood tax” for the Greeks (as well as the Slavs), when the healthiest and strongest boys were called up to the sultan Guards (janissaries), and the most beautiful girls were taken to the harem. They were taken for ever, into alien faith, into slavery.
Why did it happen so? And what is in store for Russia - the fate of “winter” Byzantine Greeks or “winter” Osmanli Turks?
Let us have a look at the external surroundings of these countries.
In XIV-XV centuries there was not yet a single system of counterbalances in Europe and the Middle East, but in XVIII century such system was already formed.
In XIV-XV centuries Catholic West ingloriously ended the splendid epoch of crusades and was played out in its Messianic uprush to the Lord’s coffin (and the East’s riches), but on the other hand, Islam found a new executor of their world mission in Osmanli Turks. In XVIII-XIX centuries powerful capitalist West did not have religious or national (for example, “the search for living space”) mission and was concentrated on the economic and political (colonial) expansion, and Messianic Russia remained all this time an outsider (maybe, except the period of 1813-1850).
In XIV-XV centuries European State system was weakened by feudal division and Islam found the model of society which created a monolithic and great power in the course of a few decades.
At last, in XIV-XV centuries Byzantine Greeks hated agressors from the Catholic West and were afraid of agressive Slavic North so much, that they completely underestimated the potential power and danger of Islamic East, which, besides, was divided from Greece by the sea and never before had threatened to the life interests of the Byzantine Empire (neither in the epoch of Arab expansion, nor later). As for the Turks, in XVIII-XIX centuries they knew their main enemy quite well, first it was Russia and Austria, and later - Russia.
For Russia of XXI-XXII centuries external situation will be better than for Greece of XIV-XV centuries, but worse than for “winter” Turkey of XVIII-XIX centuries. It will be better because the system of counterbalances will be preserved, but by the beginning of XXII century China will not be economic outsider any more, and in the world not rational but Messianic spirit will dominate, as it was in XIV-XV centuries, and state basis will weaken in the face of revolutions in the sphere of transport and communications.
In XIV-XV centuries Byzantine Greece, having an even national composition, underwent quick turkanization, moreover, the ruling circles of Byzantium considered the Turks to be their military allies and the Greek people thought them to be the bearers of social revolution. Conquest of Greece was conducted in the form of rendering assistance, though quite slowly, but thoroughly and implacably. The Turks’ being “diplomatic” and adaptable served as the key to open the gates of the Byzantine Empire and the doors into the houses of its subjects. The Greeks got defence from Osmanli Turks, brave people - the right to war spoils in the Osmanli army, the Emperor - military and political support, the Church - the illusion of independence and hope for vengeance to the Catholics, and all together - the feeling that great cosmopolitan Empire war reviving!
In Turkey of XVIII-XIX centuries internal situation was determined, on the opposite, by the initial predominance of non-Turkish population and the considerable portion of Christians. It even led to the situation that in the middle of XIX century in Turkey a new law made Muslems and Christians fully equal, though these laws did not “become acclimated”. In the course of this period the Turks gradually lost non-Turkish component of their population and territory.
At the beginning of XXI century Russia will be in the position more like that of Turkey of XVIII-XIX centuries. Russia has now comparatively small imperial territory. It is the greater part of the Caucasus, national republics of the Volga region, Russian North, East. Twenty million Russians are Muslems. But we should not forget about the CIS, especially Kazakhstan, Byelorussia and the Ukraine. Political independence has not yet brought the liberation of these countries from Russia and vice versa! The Russians , as before, are of course the largest and that is why, naturally, the prevailing people in the CIS.
The Russia of the beginning of XXI century has also the factor which advantageously distinguishes its situation from the one of Greece and Turkey in the compared periods. It is nuclear weapons, which, however, quickly becomes out of date, and morally as well. Perhaps, radiation weapon which is now being created will make nuclear arsenal practically powerless. Maybe, already in the first half of XXI century powerful countries will thrust on the world nuclear disarmament as well. That is why this factor, most important for the security of the country at the moment, may quickly come to naught. At present it already does not help Russia even in the war against small Chechnya.
In XXI-XXII centuries Russia must find itself in rigid, but possible for counting up field of forces, the main of which will be Europe, first single, and then Latin, German and, evidently, Slavic-Turkish; the Islamic world, first Iranian, Turkish-Turkic, Arab; India; Chinese-Pakistani union; American-Japanese union. There are participants enough to play for Russia as well, but not the attack games of chances, but the careful defence games.
What will the Chinese expansion in Central Asia and Russia of XXI-XXII centuries be like? Will it be traditional for China state-imperial, or national-messianic, or economic? Will this expansion aim at dissemination of ideological, economic, social, political institutions and rules, or will it mainly aim at physical assimilation of “under wardship” peoples and conquering “life space”?
As for the first time in its entire history “pre-summer” China got out of isolation and found itself to be a real world power (it considers itself to be such for two thousand years already, with the space limited to the eastern part of Eurasia only till XIX century), having hard-working and clever population, exceeding the population of the whole Europe more than twice, and that of the USA and Canada more than four times, then it will not be able to fail to try and found a great Eurasian empire (hegemony?), as “summer” passes away ...
It will be possible to speak of a concrete character of Chinese expansion only after a thorough analysis of Chinese history and culture, for example, the prospects of Chinese imperial and everyday cult of forbears’ development. But it is a separate large-scale work, as for this work, its tasks have been fulfilled - we have specified some main tendencies, which, probably, will become historic phenomena in XXI-XXII centuries and, we hope, the impulse for the further specification of the panorama of the future concerning the quality and definiteness of “seasonal chart” in the descriptions of the past is given.
If you read this book attentively you may have noticed the inconsistencies in the conclusions between Parts One and Two, Two and Three, One and Three of the book. For instance, in Part One I assumed that during the two-three nearest centuries Christianity will be on the decline, but in Part Two, having discovered that Orthodoxy and Catholicism are in the different phases of “a big cycle”, I made an opposite conclusion - about the coming heyday of Catholic branch of Christianity.
I quite consciously refused from the possibility to shift backwards the “discoveries”, made in the process of further reasoning, and change the previous ones. It is much more important to penetrate into the process of thinking itself, directly into the “laboratory”. Besides, pondering over the future cannot help being multilateral, otherwise it will be either a silly claim over the competence of God himself, or an attempt of science fiction narrative in which artistic basis must be more developed.
I tried to remain in the sphere of popular-scientific, publicistic genre, at the same time by the depth and density of thought trying to create some intuitive synthesis of psychological, ethnographical, sociological, cultural and even theological approaches to the study of the history and culture of peoples.
Historical forecasting is not only a historiographic and futuristic theory, but also the outlook, the philosophy, which has at its basis spiritual freedom both of a personality and the community, and cultural richness and diversity are considered here as the result and criterion of nation’s greatness and wealth.
I am not afraid of a discussion and rigid evaluation, because I am sure that any energetic discussion will be interesting and even “ socialy-useful”. Why is it so? It is because here really important and deep problems have been touched. XXI century’s breaks will be no less deep, than the breaks of XX century.