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4. Global Thinking – Necessity and World-System analysis


The present article speaks about the necessity of convergence and synergetic approach in people’s attempts to realize what is exactly happening and to understand the world as the Global Unity. The author shows the global trends, role of civilizations, world’s dynamics and concludes that there’s the necessity of the world-system analysis. The world-system analysis school must unite the social sciences (philosophy, religions, history, sociology, economy, politics, psychology, etc.) and the natural sciences (physics, chemistry, biology, fractals theory, etc.). Global thinking is the coming future and it is going to determine the way the modern world will be developed.



We face a new world. It seems so, because we can suggest that every generation thinks that it faces new and uncertain times and challenges, or it could be just usual history with some innovations but today.

In what directions do we rush? And what consequences we may face and deal with in the coming future?

But the most important thing is that we have to work out more sophisticated and complex intellectual instruments to deal with the new problems today and the swiftly expanded quantity of data.


Majority of intellectual modern people today believe that they totally understand what they see and what exactly is happening. But in reality they are just implicitly suggestible; they even create illusions that realize it, because it’s better to live this way.

If we have a look at what is happening today – in science, politics (and geopolitics), economy, different types of technologies including the ones which contain the work with information (mind-influences technologies) and finally in the whole world, precisely do it the way any science does (meaning to look at the world by its “eyes”) – for example astronomy, philosophy, sociology, geopolitics, physics, chemistry and others, we get only a small piece of the general global picture. Otherwise we do not speak here about situation when we have an access to some confidential and inside information. In that context each scientist, trying to speculate about what is happening with the world today, generally will explain it using the angle of particular science but unfortunately not wider.

And this is the problem which (according to our view which we attempt to explain) must be tackled and transformed into new sophisticated mental principles. The core of the problem is we can’t view a more complex picture than we can. We just will be stopped in our attempts to realize any issue using narrow-mindedness of any individual science, its instruments and abilities to understand the world – as the Unity.

But if we combine several instruments from different sciences to try to understand something, we could be more successful. The answer is the world-system analysis

But first of all we have to take a short view on what dynamics are happening today and what its perspectives are.

So, first we have to say a few words about basic data of Modern world.


Global trends

1. Fast growth of world population in the developing world and serious dynamic of death rate in the modern countries. In total we have today 7 billion people. Population from the developing world is slowly replacing senescent population in the Modern world particularly in the West;

2. Decrease in natural recourses (oil, gas, coal, drinking water, etc.). Huge consumption in the Modern world has a consequence – irretrievable extermination of natural resources. That circumstances forces the West to think and discover new technological principles to cover the lack of natural resources firstly because of growing prices, secondly because of the looming global collapse when the situation is going to be transformed in omnipresent deficit (the richest will have necessary resources and others will have nothing – meaning potential global revolution and probability of wars);

3. Huge consumption in the Modern world as well as desire of several developing countries to catch up with the West. The habit to consume more than can be produced in the West has the result – permanent global economic crisis and future clashes with the dynamically developing world;

4. Development of new technological principles – new technologies which have to change the world. There is a variety of directions where now concentration of power is accumulating to catch up the new technological wave. This is the set of computer technologies (including creation of virtual worlds, virtual universe with using new possibilities to connect the whole consciousness of the man – all the five senses, even tactile perceptions), bioengineering and medicine technologies (creating self-sufficient avatar, tissue engineering, DNA creation, etc.) environmental technologies and green technologies, high-hume, hume-tech, space technologies, etc.;

5. Strong growth of information volume (Internet, mass media, databases, social networking services, etc.). Annually huge quantity of data is being produced in the world (it is millions times bigger than all books are wrote ever during the whole human history). Besides all of that it has another consequence – growing amount of perfunctory persons (smattering – everybody knows about everything but only few facts in general and knows about subject nothing in depth);

Summarizing here (points 4 and 5) we have to conclude that the Modern world will more and more plunge into the new era of virtual reality. Increasing quantity of global data, strengthening computer and virtual technologies are conducing to the wide human mind-transforming processes, which will force the digital society to discover new principles of life. That means we will change our minds but gradually even it seems that we will not notice that process.

6. Increasing concentration of different conflicts. Local wars (Middle East) and set of revolutions (“Arab Spring”), protest movements (Europe because of the euro zone crisis – Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Cyprus, etc., United States – “Occupy Wall Street”, Russia – Bolotnaya Square, etc.), religious movements (Israel and Islamic world), threat of future conflicts (nuclear program of Iran, North Korea, etc.).

7. Threat of anthropogenic disaster (for example in Japan – The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster) and natural disaster (hurricanes in USA, meteorite shower in Russia in February 2013, etc.) – each time it demonstrates to us that we are absolutely not protected.

8. Accumulation of the Crisis potential in world context (the global economic and financial crisis, cultural crisis, political and social crisis, civilization crisis, etc.). Like Roman Empire which was gathering strength and then when it achieved the peak of its superiority and started to enjoy it, it got other trend – a trend to lose its might. Everybody knows the result very well. But what’s happening with the West today is quite similar to the example. All the historic examples have the same distinguishing features and same principles. Nevertheless the West is much bigger and much more sophisticated than Rome. Moreover the time is quite different. Today, as we argue here, humanity is working with new technological principles and the most part of its principles were created again in the West.

All crisis manifestations – in economy and finance, or which is more important – in culture – are the strong challenge to the West. And the West has to tackle it. Otherwise there will be much more conflicts – especially between the West and the dynamically developing world.

In this case the issue about multipolar world is reaching new horizons, new possibilities and the new historic revanche.

9. Increase of growing threat of global conflict (Middle East, nuclear weapons). Here we face little possibility that all points above will be transformed into one Huge Conflict – Third World War or something else. But there is such the possibility.

10. General Trend towards globalization. All issues above are in the context of one global process – globalization. The process takes place on the Planet using exclusively western principles and historical particularities or patterns. That means the globalization is the western innovation. So whole world and lots of other civilizations (21 civilizations according to Arnold J. Toynbee [1]) have to fulfill, focus and be guided by the wants of the West. Is that the true globalization or just an attempt of the West to build the Planetary Western Unity?


Civilization approach

Everything in the context of globalization will create a huge potency of qualitative leap to the new direction of the world. And it seems it’s not to be stable. Especially if the global tendency to multipolar world formation is going to reach the new phase. This is the new era of chaos, or otherwise the era of global transformation into something very new.

Here we have to say a few words about some specifics of that approach. The main point is that most of this basic data is about the West. But there’re lots of other civilizations like Asia (China), India, Africa, Japan, Latin America and Eurasia (Russia), etc. We have to revise civilization approach – meaning that each civilization has ability to think about the world in its own way (inherent in exact and every civilization, nation, ethnos).

For example the construction of language of each nation influences the way it thinks. So if we speak about the process of globalization in the context of the common dynamics, we in general “stick together” a lot of civilizations – their ways of thinking, cultural and historical values. That means possibilities of new clashes like Samuel P. Huntington writes in his book The Clash of Civilizations [2].

The most interesting thing here is that if each civilization and each nation or country will accumulate its intellectual potential which on its own is quite different and specific, it could in perspective be united and then synergetic effect could be reached. In the context of world-system analysis there is the possibility to get new innovations in the human thinking.

Large Hadron Collider is an example and its discovery – Higgs boson. This is the creation of humanity after some kind of convergence.

Thereby the first step in global thinking creation has to be the understanding of civilization approach – not only the western one. We have to accumulate the potentials of thinking and innovations in mind and social technologies from the whole world but not only from the western countries.


Two brunches of the world development

Summarizing we may highlight the two brunches of the world development.

1. The first one is accumulation of conflict potential (see global trends above), and the second one is an almost inaudible convergence of collaboration of nations in the wave of globalization basing on principles of the West.

In the same context we may formulate some social patterns. The XXI century is the century of new challenges and new possibilities under the influence of which the new generations will get new intellectual abilities.

2. The same dichotomy will be created in human’s ability to think – most of the people will be snowed under the huge quantity of information and lose a chance to realize something, but the other part of people will get the new skill to work with hugest amount of data and get the sense from it very well.

The school of world-system analysis will emerge clearer, mostly because of necessity. It will help people create and discover new horizons in several type of science. In the wave of the chaotic Era new growing generation is going to get a new ability to work with new bigger volumes of data, news, etc.


Necessity of world-system analysis

What are the essential elements of the school of world-system analysis?

The set of some previous schools and thinkers of world-system analysis like Immanuel Wallerstein, Samir Amin, Giovanni Arrighi, Andre Gunder Frank and others mostly based its theory on sociological and historical context but didn’t use principles of natural science. The inclusion of natural sciences in the world-system analysis is the future separate issue, and it will be researched carefully further.

The most important is to concentrate on the increasing set of crisis potentials and perspectives of multipolar world formation.

Many authors showed the world which is totally united. Everything is connecting with everything and with everything which we’re surrounded (such “the butterfly effect”). So, if we are participants and witnesses of the spectrum of crises and conflicts (remember the gloomy global trends above) – it might mean the world is facing not usual, particular times.

There’s fractal theory (fractals are typically self-similar patterns, where self-similar means they are “the same from near as from far”). For example human circulatory system, river delta, frost crystals, tree brunches and lots of other natural phenomenon are based on fractal principles (see picture 1).  




River delta – Russian River Lena


Tree brunches


 High voltage breakdown within a 4″ block of acrylic creates a fractal Lichtenberg figure




Frost crystals formed naturally on cold glass illustrate fractal process development in a purely physical system


Romanesco broccoli, showing self-similar form approximating a natural fractal

If a human being, a being of spectrum of our societies (in civilization context) simultaneously with being and developing the world as the system are evolutionizing on basis of fractal theory – meaning getting more complexity – we have to face new horizons after some very difficult transformation.

If the global unity is facing such a spectrum of conflicts, challenges – including the technological developments – our existence in XXI century needs to be strengthened by new technologies in education and thinking in general.

That highlights the necessity of the new complex world-system analysis (social sciences as well as natural sciences). Thereby there must be new discoveries, like fractal theory, but it must be in human thinking sphere.



  1. Arnold J. Toynbee, A Study of History, 1934 — 1961
  2. Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, Simon and Schuster, 1996

Fedor Smirnov, by The World-System Research Center, 2013

Федор Смирнов, Центр мир-системных исследований, 2013

Материал опубликован в научном журнале Новый университет:  Новый университет. Серия «Актуальные проблемы гуманитарных и общественных наук» [Текст]: науч. журн./учредитель ООО «Коллоквиум». — 2013, №3(24). — Йошкар-Ола: Коллоквиум, 2013. — ISSN 2222-1484

Опубликовано: 10 ноября 2013

Рубрика: Исследования

Отзывов (2) на «4. Global Thinking – Necessity and World-System analysis»

  1. Человек пишет:

    Почему открытие конфиденциальной инсайдерской информации может вредить массам,большинству? Проясните ситуацию. Может это уже было в истории? И история знает последствия.Кто и по какому праву огораживает людей от информации?

  2. Человек пишет:

    «большинство людей будет завалено огромным количеством информации и потеряет шанс реализовать или преобразовать её во что-то новое» Откуда такие панические настроения?
    «не слышной сходимостью в сотрудничестве наций на волне глобализации,базирующейся на принципах Запада.» Почему именно Запада? Запад так видит выход из своего тупика малой кровью?

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