The Fareed Zakaria book “Postamerican World” is very important opus magnum because it is the book of an intellectual representative of Indian civilization – Mumbai born individual, who was bred, fostered and couched in USA.(A kind of reaction to the book of Fareed Zakaria)
The author is also one of the strongest proponents of American vision and not only the lifestyle. – Certainly, he is political visionary but with articulated language to give rational detailed explanation of his visions – a rather rare gift among visionaries. However, his alive vision can do more than dull bare rationalistic formulae. At the same time it is very difficult to regard Mr. Fareed Zakaria as a friend of Russia because of his suspicious attitude to Russia as successor of the Soviet Union. And the Soviet Union for this author is the synonym of the Evil Empire — the term earlier coined by Ronald Regan. These two points make his book even more valuable and precious for strong Russian intellectual reader who can endure different well positioned vision of the world. Fareed Zakaria is a very good opponent for those who have desire to come from wishful meditation to real problem oriented thinking.
The most fascinating enigmatic throb of this book is connected with the possibility to see through spectacles of the author the very shift of the whole world that is before us. Fareed Zakaria is sure that the main situation in the world is not connected with appeared weakness of USA but with increasing strength of other countries. Strong China, strong India, strong Brazil (Fareed Zakaria doesn’t speak about strong Russia) by their participation in economical processes change the existing world order. It is not multipolar world but rather the world where there many subjects act according to their own vision, traditions and perspectives. Strong state of China that can plan and control the main tracks of economical growth differs extremely from India diverse societal growth with rather weak feeble state. Outsourcing of engineering American services to India that results in huge social fragmentation: from the top world multibillionaires to desperate misery in rural regions – this is really different from industrialization of Brazil with slow but real integration of society.
This ostensibly simple idea of author – the existing world order is not reified physical space and empty receptacle – is really deep understanding. According to this idea any country can’t simply insert itself in the world market and the world order structure without transforming itself and transforming the whole, but the very participation of every sovereign state with huge potential (material, alimentary, water, energy, having certain demographical resources and societal capacity) drastically changes planetary dimensions of institutional order, curvature of mondialization process. These transformations of institutional world order can not be planned, orchestrated and achieved by one player because the interactions between many players – stakeholders of world economy is needed to make those transformations real.
This idea was not understood by Russian liberal elite including Chubais and Gaidar for a long period of time. They deeply hated Russian heritage which they sincerely perceived as Soviet exclusiveness , messianic supremacy and Stalinist isolationism that constantly emphasized high necessity to “plug in” the Eltzin Russia quickly as one single piece at any price in the “computer” of world capitalist society. But it was impossible to insert Russia in American unilateral world. Because dismantling soviet institution and implementation of liberal reforms under the ferule of Jeffrey Sachs and Chicago boys didn’t create joy and respect from the Western society but just in opposite – it caused distrust to Russian nouveaux riches and contempt towards Russian society. Besides, M. Thatcher`s invective that the population of Russian state had not to be more than of 50 millions of people confused Russian people: who are all these Gorbatchov’s and Eltzin’s friends and what they really wish to Russia – dignity or pest. Even blessed natural richness of Russia with oil, gas, water and also with scientific ideas did not satisfy western political elite, did not help to get the support for Russia to construct new global financial capitalist world order. But it is clear just now that “Russian bear” couldn’t plump into shallow basin of world economy with (hedge-funds) bubbles. There is no enough place in this tub for development. World capitalist tub is not development hub!
Surely, such suggestion can provoke only smile. But if the world economy is not shallow tub for the Chinese dragon with 1.3 billion inhabitants why it has restricted volume for almost ten times smaller Russian stunted population. But it is exactly the zest of the whole story about the transformation of the world order during the period of global financial crisis. By this metaphor about the small washing tub we hinted a new perspective about how to exit the crisis situation, very different to compare with usually discussed advices. This perspective is based on the idea of construction of redundant infrastructure, of entire new infrastructure systems around the whole world. We name it “reserve infrastructure” because these infrastructure entities are reserve utensils and vehicles not for the natural self-regulated growth (with exact limits), but for the specially organized quantum leap in development. Existing infrastructure that we have is enough to serve for existing economy and its growth. Redundant infrastructure will give surplus effect for development.
We distinguish economical growth from societal development with quantum leap in economical growth. From this point of view distinction between these two concepts is very important. Economical growth certainly exists during the period of societal development, but the economical growth itself is not obligatory connected with societal development. We have during economical growth usually societal stability but sometimes we are witnessing stagnation or even decay, for example fragmentation of society with quick appearance of huge disparity between enormously rich and desperately poor. Societal development is obligatory accompanied by economical growth. However, this growth is characterized by drastically transition from quantitative changes to the qualitative change-peculiar quantum leap. The final thesis is the following: the World now is simultaneously on the threshold of such quantum leap or on the brink of unfathomable recessional abyss.
My manner of reflection is not wishful thinking, on the contrary it is determined by sullen resentment. Although we have sympathy to the USA, and often contact to this country – the situation concentrated around this country is really odd one. The world has huge amounts- even torrents –of rushing back and forth money, money aggregates and money surrogates that are in permanent movement from USA to the markets of developing countries and then back from these markets to the USA. Money owner can’t relax and be quiet. Because he/she doesn’t know where the next bubble to burst would appear. Of course it is clear for all economists from Krugman to Rubini that world economy needs increase in demand but it is absent. Moreover, nobody sees how this demand would boom. The growth of inner consumption of China with democratization of its societal institution or India strategically appearance on exterior markets is a very long process with stagnation of the rest of the world.
What can be done for the benefit of the USA and the rest of the world? Before we answer this question we propose to make thought experiment. It is necessary to make it because our answer on put above question is very strange and even has the form of paradoxical joke, similar to Chinese Zen kōan (公案).
Conjure up image of impossible event even in delirium or schizophrenic nightmare that the Soviet Union and not the blessed by God USA would be winner in the Cold war. We don’t want to paint some starry-eyed or naively enthusiastic picture, we simply would like to state that we would have the same crisis approximately in the same period of time, may be a bit earlier or even a bit later. Of course, the very entourage of it would have different tinge and word about crisis would be different. But we are not interested in this sort of words, as according to Hamlet , Shakespeare verse- it can only be seen as “Words, words, words”. It would be the world crisis not of financial capitalism but crisis of linear exhaustion of existing technological complexes. Existing technological complexes would have come to the boundaries of world activity systems everywhere and have not been able to come through these boundaries to new frontiers. We put in the sphere of this technological complexes atom energy engines, missiles, oil- ,gas- , coal-chemistry, electric steel machines, tool making machines, USA and Japan digital systems with special simulation possibilities and telecommunication technologies ( computers and mobiles), arbitrary manipulation with genetic materials. As many Russian digital specialists and computer pundits worked for USA industries after dismantling of Soviet Union, so in the case of Soviet Union victory in the Cold war many American specialist would continue their wonderful works with Russian scientists. The most blocked personalities to understand the causes of this crisis would be soviet ideologists and victory men. This would happen because after the victory in the Cold war the socialist regime could be implemented everywhere with success: China has its own socialism, Venezuela is on the path to socialism, India has a kind of socialist stance, even in USA economy federal contract system is really market institution organized by the state what is very near to planned economy with, of course, entrepreneurial spirit. So dissemination of central planning institution could be set everywhere to educate all population, to sanitize and heal them, to employ all of them, to give them salary for work. And they were not able to imagine that it would happen different process beyond facade of ideological explanations. Such dissemination of existing technological complex would destroy initiative to invent, to fabricate and to use new technology according to new physical principals and effects beyond the boundaries of existing economy system. And what could be this new economical and simultaneously societal system?
This system must have not one or two but many independent foci to produce technology according to new physical principals and effects. In addition, not only Asiatic or South American states but for example some African powers such as Egypt or South Africa could be such nations that would have scientific research that promote creation of new generation of technologies. To achieve such possibilities it is necessary to organize institutional transfer to other countries. We must strictly differentiate usual relocation of assembling industries in other country with screwdriver habits as main competence for which it is possible to use cheap labor and institutional transfer of fundamental scientific centers, high level universities and innovative production centers. The Soviet Union had such experience to organize transfer of practice-oriented institutions for fostering fundamental science, developing educational institutions and industry to the ethnical outlying districts of Soviet Union to Azerbaidzhan, Uzbekistan, Kirgizstan, Kazakhstan, Moldavia and others. The task is not to organize outsourcing establishment for engineering groups or research centers in third countries. Real break-through in development is supposed to interconnect with the concrete country institutions of fundamental practice-oriented science ( not simply applied science), of developing education and innovational industry with permanent possibility of readjustment and reconfiguration. Such kind of institutional transfer differs also from financial transfer, from capital export.
I beg to assert that different nations in the current situation are on the threshold to undertake this very new move with institutional transfer. Since national sovereignty presupposes to have these three institutions in the country. Therefore, we needed our thought experiment to demonstrate that the collapse of Soviet Union or the imaginable and not realistic victory of the Soviet Union in the Cold war doesn’t change very much the explication of next step of world development. But no doubt that such picture is only image of a skeleton and not of alive organism. However, even through representation of this abstract skeleton we can reveal new possible legal initiative of every nation. This new legal initiative could be named “The right of development – the right for development”. We think that this right of every nation to develop society and economy and to organize and maintain itself as a subject of development is very important endeavor that could be proposed to every nation in the world. This is applicable to every nation right of development supplements and does not contradict to individual human rights and liberties. Individual personality possessing right of development can understand and actually use his/her national membership as participation in nationwide process and individual human rights can help him/her to oppose the tyranny of national bureaucracy. But the resistance to national bureaucracy and not participation in the process of development is not very productive participation of personality in the life of the own country. Thus, institute of human rights is devoted to fight totalitarian regimes, to defend individuals and it doesn’t have positive meaning of creative participation of peoples in the process of national development.
Further we should stop this thought experiment and discuss a bit different theme. How is it possible in this very concrete historical situation to organize the process of developments as exodus from financial crisis and transition to rather new sphere of human possibilities? As we stated it before the creation of new surplus infrastructure could lead to this result. This new surplus infrastructure must become a reserve for economical and societal development. In parallel with existing railroads we must construct new rail road for magnetic levitation superhigh-speed trains, next to the existing energy transportation new electrical grid with direct and not alternating current should be constructed, as a supplement of existing water transportation system can be developed new channels to interconnect water arteries, even alongside with existing tool- making machine industries we can disseminate fiber lasers technologies which Russian international corporation IPG Photonics produces. All these examples of different types of infrastructure systems are to be integrated in one multimodal corridor of development which can be constructed through the whole Eurasia, for example, to interconnect through Russian and Kazakhstan Shanghai and London, Tokyo and Brussels but also with different track through Bering strait Vladivostok and Anchorage.
Vladimir Yakunin — chief of the Russian state corporation “Russian Railways” spoke about a possibility to construct transeurasian multimodal transport corridor at Singapore summit in September 2009 . Approximately calculated effect from the exploitation of this trans-eurasian corridor of development could come up to 130 trillions of USA $ — which is 10 times more than the value of the whole USA economy. This transeurasian transport corridor can be realized only as an international project with participation of China, Japan, European Union, India, Russia and, of course, the USA. This transeurasian transport corridor or corridor of development (if we also add to multimodal transport lines new settlements, new towns) could be understood as an infrastructure platform. This infrastructure platform must be realized through implementation of new innovative technologies. It must be perceived as reservoir of new technologies and not as application and usage of existing technologies.
So for example technology of magnetic levitation train must be result of competition and collaboration between Siemens, Alstom, Japanese engineers, American engineers and Russian engineers, researchers from the whole world and not simply usage of existing technologies with acquired reputation. Elaboration of this infrastructure platform project must be organized as the space-flight program with spillover effects in different sectors of industry. Technologies that are purposed to be elaborated specially for transeurasian corridor of development then can be used in other industries. So this infrastructure platform can be perceived as advancement to the new unexplored territory of technological and social-cultural development. The new technologies that are elaborated for this infrastructure platform must meet the following requirements. They must exceed ten times capacity of existing and usable vehicles, material systems, gadgets and other things. So such infrastructural platform can be the reservoir of new technologies for the planetary economical development. Such reservoir of new technology can stimulate huge demand for new goods and new services.
New financial instruments must be elaborated to organize such development. But as Mr. Yakunin emphasized in his report financial capacity of this project to construct transeurasian transport corridor can be totally independent form USA FRS. What is more, a new, independent from dollar, currency could be introduced for these purpose. Once it was done in history when S.Y. Vitte (the minister of finance in Russia at the end of the XIX century) proposed to Russian tsar to introduce gold coin as the account instrument for construction of transsibirian main line. On the other side, we know that Mr. Bassanini ( president of Italian bank “ Casa depositi et prestiti” ) in Italy together with financial people in France and Germany are elaborating new financial instruments for long term investments to integrate public money and private money.
Methodological principals of this approach to new financial instruments are very important. Long term investment must overcome “short-termism” of American virulent money substitute- derivatives. Because exactly derivatives work as cheerful carcinogen to induce the real financial cancer with fast economical growth of tumor – bubbles what we have seen with subprime credits. It is clear that economical growth without development in real sector is exactly cancer, leading to tumors in different spheres- dotcom tumor, subprime credit tumor and others. But what we clearly realize, is that the long term infrastructure projects, for sure, can be such tumor as well. To prevent this Mr. Bassanini proposes to put together public and private money for integration of different interests. Public money has interest in long-termism, whereas private money- in interim profitability. And this solution is very important if we want to put together planning procedure and alive entrepreneurship with market oriented spirit. Because may be postamerican world is a soviet socialist world at the same time. If we want to overcome the crisis we must at first to make project and plan its realization – in the same way as the instrument of Federal contract system functions in the USA. It is clear , that in order to put these projects into practice we need very different consciousness and new understanding of the Postsoviet world: that it was not totally American or otherwise Americans could not endure Postsoviet world.
If the victory has been on the side of the Soviet Union – nothing would have changed in this situation- it is exactly convergence process to go to the next phase
So postamerican world for us is the universe with element of Soviet world and American world. Elements of American world are egoincarnated world with embodiment in genuine USA with strange myth of eternal market society. The Soviet world is transfigurated reality with dispersed elements through the whole planet. We have element of Soviet world in Mexico, in Cuba, in Brazil, in China and so on. It was exactly the same with ragged Dionysus body in old Greek cult or with the body of Egyptian god Osiris: new universe vegetated on its parts. Strange, but it crosses our mind.
Gospel, John 12:24
“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”
So, dear Mr. Fareed we must have many seeds to sow well not in desert, not on the rock but with project of transeurasian corridor of development.