Russia at the turn of the millenniumVladimir Putin, 29 December 1999 (translated by the author)
The contemporary world lives under the sign of two global events: the new millennium and the two thousandth anniversary of Christianity. In my view the enormous interest in these two events represents something greater and deeper than just the tradition of celebrating significant dates.
New possibilities, new problems
It may or may not be a coincidence, but the onset of the new millennium coincides with a dramatic turn in global developments in the past 20-30 years. I mean the rapid and profound changes in the life of humanity associated with the development of what we call the post-industrial society.
[Italics throughout in the original.] Its main features include:
|• Changes in the economic structure of society, with the decreasing weight of material production and the growing share of secondary and tertiary sectors.|
|• The continuous renewal and rapid introduction of advanced technologies and the growing output of science-based commodities.|
|• The tempestuous development of information technologies and telecommunications.|
|• Priority attention to management and the modification of organisational and managerial systems in all spheres of social activity.|
|• And finally, human leadership. High levels of the education, professional training, entrepreneurial and social activity of the individual are becoming the main dynamic forces of progress today.|
The development of a new type of society is a drawn-out enough process for attentive politicians, statesmen, scientists and all those who use their minds to observe two elements of concern in this process. The first is that changes bring not only new possibilities to improve life, but also new problems and dangers. These were first most clearly revealed in the ecological sphere, but other acute problems soon became apparent in all other spheres of social life. Even the most economically advanced states are not free from