Evolution: Development within Big History, Evolutionary and World-System Paradigms
The application of the evolutionary approach to the history of nature and society has remained one of the most effective ways to conceptualize and integrate our growing knowledge of the Universe, life, society and human thought. The present volume demonstrates this in a rather convincing way. This is the third issue of the Almanac series titled ‘Evolution’. The first volume came out with the sub-heading ‘Cosmic, Biological, and Social’, the second was entitled ‘Evolution: A Big History Perspective’. The present volume is subtitled Development within Big History, Evolutionary and World-System Paradigms. In addition to the straightforward evolutionary approach, it also reflects such adjacent approaches as Big History, the world-system analysis, as well as globalization paradigm and long wave theory. The volume includes a number of the exciting works in these fields.
The Almanac consists of five sections. The first section (Globalization as an Evolutionary Process: Yesterday and Today) contains articles demonstrating that the Evolutionary studies is capable of creating a common platform for the world-system approach, globalization studies, and the economic long-wave theory. The articles of the second section (Society, Energy, and Future) discuss the role of energy in the universal evolution, human history and the future of humankind. The third section (Aspects of Social Development) touches upon four aspects of social evolution – technological, environmental, cultural, and political. The fourth section (The Driving Forces and Patterns of Evolution) deals with various phases of megaevolution. There is also a final section which is devoted to discussions of contemporary evolutionism.
This Almanac will be useful both for those who study interdisciplinary macroproblems and for specialists working in focused directions, as well as for those who are interested in evolutionary issues of Cosmology, Biology, History, Anthropology, Economics and other areas of study. More than that, this edition will challenge and excite your vision of your own life and the new discoveries going on around us!
The formation of the Afroeurasian world-system was one of the crucial points of social evolution, starting from which the social evolution rate and effectiveness increased dramatically. In the present article we analyze processes and scales of global integration in historical perspective, starting with the Agrarian Revolution. We connect the main phases of historical globalization with the processes of development of the Afroeurasian world-system. In the framework of the Afroeurasian world-system the integration began a few thousand years Before the Common Era. In this world-system the continental and supracontinental links became rather developed long before the Great Geographic Discoveries and thus, they could quite be denoted as global (albeit in a somehow limited sense). As some researchers are still inclined to underestimate the scale of those links in the pre-Industrial era, it appears necessary to provide additional empirical support for our statement. It also turns necessary to apply a special methodology (which necessitated the use of the world-system approach). We analyze some versions of periodization of history of globalization. We also propose our own periodization of globalization using as its basis the growing scale of intersocietal links as an indicator of the level of globalization development.
What determines the transition of a society from one level of development to another? One of the most fundamental causes is the global technological transformations. Among all major technological breakthroughs in history the most important are the three production revolutions: 1) the Agrarian Revolution; 2) the Industrial Revolution and 3) the Scientific-Information Revolution which will transform into the Cybernetic one.
The article introduces the Theory of Production Revolutions. This is a new explanatory paradigm which is of value when analyzing causes and trends of global shifts in historical process. The article describes the course of technological transformations in history and demonstrates a possible application of the theory to explain the present and forthcoming technological changes. The authors argue that the third production revolution that started in the 1950s and which they call the Cybernetic one, in the coming decades, that is in the 2030s and 2040s, will get a new impetus and enter its final stage – the epoch of (self)controllable systems. There are given certain forecasts concerning the development in such spheres as medicine, biotechnologies and nanotechnologies in the coming decades (the 2010s – 2060s).