Academic journal article International Journal on World Peace

Seven Phases of Social Development: Politometrics Instead of Political Alchemy

Academic journal article International Journal on World Peace

Seven Phases of Social Development: Politometrics Instead of Political Alchemy

Article excerpt

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"The process of democratization develops on its own objective laws. They should be learned. One should be guided by them."

(Islam Karimov)


On causes of uncertainties in political science.

About 30 years ago, a few people could be found in the world who believed that in some years the USSR would collapse, that the system of the superpower based on Marxism-Leninism ideology fixed in dozens of volumes and taught to millions of people as the "most advanced" and "most correct" doctrine in the world would swiftiy disappear. The ideology of socialism, which took more than 20 million lives, was called a lie (a pseudo-science or political alchemy), and hundreds of millions of volumes with its description, on which we in the former USSR passed our exams, now are put in wastepaper bins. How can this be explained? Was the USSR really doomed to collapse?

Some scientists tried to discuss this question, others refused, and yet others thought it impossible. One of the most prominent political scientists, former U.S. presidential advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski said that he could not explain it, as "there is neither a model, nor a guiding conception on the foundation of which we could engage ourselves with accomplishment of grandiose tasks..., there is no knowledge base which would allow sorting out the questions put before the Western scientists by processes taking place in the post-Soviet space" [10].

Nowadays many politicians and scientists promote democracy, since it has led at least 32 countries of the world to remarkable achievements. However, there are about 100 states moving along this path for many decades that have only been able to create pseudo-democracies that provide nothing but weakened states, collapsed economies, unemployment, crime, corruption, poverty, and mass disturbances. What is the reason for this? Is it not the same reason for which democracy was rejected more than two thousand years ago throughout the entire world, and even became a swearword in many countries?

Can political science give clear-cut and undeniable answers to these questions? Unfortunately, no. Even such fundamental concepts as "capitalism," "democracy," and "socialism" have various and controversial interpretations. Former Prime Minister Harold Wilson of England wrote that he "got acquainted with all great theories of social development,... and they cause the feeling of sadness and grief,... these all are kind of devilry" [2,p. 33],

Such existing deficiencies of political science are reflected in the materials of many international forums such as, for instance, "Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy," held on 3 April 1992 in Washington, D.C. In that conference, eight important questions were formulated collectively on the quantitative characteristics of democracy and other social systems, as well as conditions of transition. For example:

* Which conditions of the market economy and democratic formation really lead to development, and which lead to regress and crisis?

* What should be the pace, sequence, and type of reforms?

* What should be the ratio between shares of state regulation and market regulation of economy?

* What are the laws of change of these and other indexes in time?

Observers at the conference wrote the following about answers that six leading political scientists gave to all questions: their answers were sometimes sharply controversial and contained passionate disagreements [3, p. 5]. This tells us not only about the profound nature of these questions but also about the inability of contemporary social and political sciences to give strong answers to them.

Scientists often say that a good theory is the best practice. Such theories have been created in natural sciences. They are, for instance, Newton's, Mendeleev's laws, and others. They are universally recognized, short, univocal, and permit us to analyze, predict and manage with high precision corresponding systems. …

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