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Аналитика   The Informatiogenic economics as a generation force of the future

Экономика | понедельник, 4 ноября 2013 в 14:26

 

Valerii Muntiian

Doctor of Economic Sciences,

professor,

member of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

 

The Informatiogenic economics as a generation force of the future

 

For a long time, supplying the economy with natural resources was not perceived as dependence on the laws of ecology. But this dependence began manifesting itself more often and on a greater scale as production grew, and especially in the twentieth century. It turns out that it takes a ten percent increase in expenditures to compensate for a one percent decrease in soil fertility in order to maintain the former crop yield. This also applies to forest and water resources, including the seas and oceans. [1]

It is our conviction that the world ought to be offered completely new economics that would act as a new generating force in the world economic system and save humankind from a global crisis, preventing a fatal collision between post-industrialism and the neo-economic model. This is the way to balance a high spiritual level, material well-being, and the development of humankind as a whole. That economics has to be Informatiogenic economics. We will examine in more detail this new line in economic science.

We know that economic science is the science of the economy, of managing, of the relationships of people with the surrounding world in the process of producing, distributing, exchanging, and consuming material and non-material blessings.

Economic science has now entered a dead end; it cannot provide an answer to the problems of the present, much less the future. Therefore economics needs help, and only information can help. At present economic theory cannot answer the question of what systems to introduce in order to secure sustainable development and peaceful compresence. The existing economic models and systems are eating away at our planet and its biosphere like rust. We do not notice nature's losses, although we ourselves are in danger. These losses, like the famous canaries that miners used to take into the mines, are a silent alarm telling us that animal and plant species are now disappearing worldwide a thousand times faster that at any time in the past sixty-five million years.

The ideas of informationization and ecologization have been traveling mostly in parallel without seriously converging, although from the very beginning it would have been worthwhile to bring up the topic of their integration as to both worldview and methodology. As a planetary information society comes into being, information-not only as a concept of economics but also as a social and even environmental category-is taking a high-priority place among other developmental resources, Material and energy resources have proven to be limited, and that, alongside worsening environmental conditions, has made it necessary to renounce the unsustainable development model.[2]

We think it is certainly the case that economics has made the greatest contribution to the state of crisis, and prevention of a planetary catastrophe is also to be sought in the new economics.

Systemic analysis, on which great hopes were pinned thirty years ago, has been unable to provide a new economic model for human development.

As L. G. Melnik asserts, "development of any system is accomplished by means of feedback mechanisms of two types: positive and negative. Support of the existing homeostatis-that is, sustainable system equilibrium ensuring a constant metabolism- that is, the system's energy-information exchange with the external environment-is accomplished due to negative feedback mechanisms."[3] Without that support, says the author, the system cannot exist. For economic entities, an indicator of the homeostatis that has taken shape is the nature and structure of the financial trading balance, and the nature of the metabolism is mirrored in the flows of monetary goods that enterprises or territories exchange with other economic entities.

Today a new model is necessary, one built on a new philosophy and new approaches. Modern economic science cannot answer the many questions that are arising on both regional and global levels. Neither can it provide a theoretical base for creating new economic systems for the development of humankind. Interscience integration is necessary, because the requirement is arising to integrate both local research processes into a unified intersystem process and partial systems of knowledge about an object of study into a generalized system of knowledge. Integration of the applied sciences is predetermining the necessity of general interscience integration. A general scientific foundation is necessary to integrate a multitude of sciences into one single-system formation. Informationology is laying its foundations.

An enormous imbalance between technology and spirituality has arisen in human development. The economy, in order to secure people their well-being and in pursuit of profits, has taken on such ugly forms that today they threaten the existence of humankind. Nature is already unable to cope with environmental changes like pollution, climate change, the greenhouse effect, and destruction of the ozone layer.

Despite the great results achieved by the scientific-technical revolution, humankind has fallen behind in its spiritual development. Problems are being resolved by force. More than fifty military conflicts are taking place in the world at the beginning of the twenty-first century that take human lives and cause human pain and suffering. There is a colossal gap between the developed and the developing countries. Poverty, starvation, and epidemics exist, yet humankind devotes about 1,7 trillion US dollars a year to military expenditures. With every day the world community comes closer to the abyss, to chaos, and it is moving in seven-league strides, facilitated by the modern capitalist global informational economy. A merciless competitive struggle for markets is proceeding that would have been hard to imagine earlier, and a struggle for the resources that are the basis for life is proceeding for energy, air, and water. Modern times are not going to stop to consider whether the capitalist or the socialist economic systems are of a predatory nature. Having exhausted water and land resources, they have set about polluting near-earth space just as rapidly. And what is most terrible is that destructive, pernicious concepts like the "golden billion", that do not answer the question of what to do with the the overwhelming majority of the population, are appearing in the democratic, industrially developed countries.

Two German political writers-Hans-Peter Martin and Harald Schumann, in the work they published at the end of 1996 called The Global Trap - justifiably emphasize that under the present conditions of world stratification the citizens of other countries "...will never be able to achieve a level of prosperity so destructive to nature."[4]

The authors of the "Third Wave Policy," however, place their faith in human reason. The Third Wave has brought with it a completely new lifestyle based on renewable energy sources, on production methods that have shown the obsolescence of the majority of production lines, on a new social institution that can be called the "electronic cottage," and on the radically changed schools and corporations of the future. The approaching civilization is preparing a new code of behavior for us and is leading away from standardization, synchronization, and centralization, away from the concentration of energy, money, and force. The new civilization has its own specific worldview, its own ways of contact with time, space, logic, and cause-effect links, and its own principles for managing the future.[5]

The authors proceed from the idea that even if the next decades are fraught with upheavals and disorder, even if violence becomes widespread, we will still not destroy ourselves. They accept that the changes we are now undergoing are neither chaotic nor accidental, but in fact are coalescing into an exact and comprehensible model. Their conclusions are predicated on these changes bringing us closer to a complete transformation in lifestyle, work style, game rules, and thought itself, and to the possibility of a normal and desirable future.

Knowledge is the basis of the entire economic system. And to a certain extent all business associations depend on that factor, which was formed in society.

Man must expand the forecast horizon and reexamine development goals with the help of information and reason. The uninterrupted growth of civilization's might while the traditional goals of development of the world economic system are retained forces us to take the problem in all seriousness. The market is blind. Selection occurs according to the condition of the market at the given moment; it does not take into account the horizon that forecasts the results of that selection. The processes taking place in practice are outrunning the processes that make sense of the realities of science. The breakneck development of the world economic system is placing more and more questions before humankind. The future belongs not so much to the countries that have achieved a high level in the area of high technology as it does to those that can induce new ideas in its interrelationships with nature. The contradictions between nature and man are growing constantly, and the tendencies for the technosphere to squeeze out the biosphere are ever more pronounced. As we choose our path of development, it is essential that we understand that very soon the determining criterion for humankind's success will be its ability to fit into the biosphere, to make our activities proportionate to the capabilities of natural systems. In the near future the problem of the interrelationship of nature and man will become the determining motif of activities at all levels, from the governments of various countries down to private individuals.

V. I. Vernadsky noted the global nature of human activities as early as the 1930s. "For the first time man has covered the entire outer shell of the planet with his life and culture — the entire biosphere as a whole, the entire interconnected surface of the planet. We exist, and by living we take part in creating a new geological factor which has never been before, neither by might nor by socialization... We see distinctly that this is the beginning of a spontaneous movement, a natural phenomenon that cannot be stopped by fortuity of human history. This process is caused by the march of the history of scientific thought, and this march is inextricably bound to the speed of relationships, the successes of means of travel, and the ability to transmit thoughts instantaneously and to discuss them everywhere on the planet simultaneously... Creation of the noosphere from the biosphere is a natural phenomenon that is more profound and powerful than human history. Its creation requires that humankind manifest itself as an integrated whole.”[6] In Vernadsky's opinion, science is the kind of planetary phenomenon that freely bridges national borders.

Michael Milken, who has uncommon experience in the sphere of investments, made the following generalization: "Human capital has replaced monetary capital." And all that is because knowledge decreases the need for raw materials, labor, time, space, capital, and other resources, turning into the irreplaceable agent-the basic resource of the modern economy, the value of which grows constantly.

As we see, information and knowledge are mainly directed at servicing and multiplying the very same capital that, unless there is a change in principle in the existing paradigm, will only hasten the coming of global catastrophe, because the basic cause of the catastrophe is in the global crisis of economic theory. Only by overcoming this crisis will we acquire effective mechanisms to neutralize other global threats.

The emergence of an enormous imbalance between technological development and spirituality at the contemporary stage of civilization's development had led to a state whereby nature is already unable to cope with contaminants arising from the economy, climate changes, global warming, destruction of the ozone layer, and the natural resources that support life - air, water, and soil.

Although the economy of the twentieth century proved to humankind the fmiteness and exhaustibility of natural resources, we failed to draw the right conclusions, continuing to increase consumption and affording the ecosphere neither the possibility nor the time to reproduce itself. These negative trends, begotten by man within the framework of modern economic systems, have created a threat to the existence of the biosphere as a whole. Natural disasters, which are only a dress rehearsal for a global cataclysm, have taken on catastrophic dimensions.

The acute necessity has arisen to break the cycle of cause- effect connections leading to planetary catastrophe, to the destruction of civilization on Earth. This is within the power of a new informatiogenic paradigm as the generalizing basis for the harmonious development of the world community and the preservation of our planet's noobiogeocommunities.

Studying the nature of the crises, catastrophes, dangers, and disasters experienced by society, the author makes the case that their cause is the predatory nature of modem economic systems, which are only aimed at satisfying material wants, that is, lower level wants, ignoring the true values and interests of humankind as an integral part of nature, which leads to the degradation os society and, in the end, to its destruction.

References:

1. T.A. Akimova, V.V. Khaskin, S.N. Sidorenko, V.N. Zykov, Makroekologiia i osnovy ekorazvitiia: Ucheb. Posobie (Macro-ecology and the foundations of eco-development: A textbook) (Moscow: RUDN Publishing House, 2005, 367 pp.).

2. N.P. Vashchekin, Ye. N. Paskhin, A.D. Ursul, Informatizatsiia obshchestva i ustoichivoe razvitie (The informationization of society and sustainable development) (Moscow: MGUK (Moscow State University of Commerce) Publishing House, 2000), p. 4, 5.

3. L.G. Melnik, Ekonomika razvitiia: Uchebnoe posobie ( The economics of development: a textbook) (Sumy, Ukraine: Universitetskaia kniga, 2000), p. 8.

4. Put’ k XXI veku^ strategicheskie problemy i perspektivy rossiskoi ekonomiki ( The path to the twenty-first century: strategic problems and the prospects for the Russia economy), ed. D. S. Lvov (Moscow, OAO Izdatel’stvo Ekonomika, 1999), p. 17.

5. Alvin toffler, Heidi toffler, Sozdanie novoi tsivilizatsii. Politika tret’ei volny (Creating a new civilization. The policies of the third wave) (Novosibirsk: Sibirskaia molodezhnaia initsiativa, 1996), http:// www.freenet.kg/jornal/n5/JRNAL511.htm.

6. S.I. Duka, Informatsionnoe obshchestvo: sotsiogumanitarnye aspekty (The information society: sociohumanistic aspects) (Saint Petersburg: Saint Petersburg University Publishing House, 2004), p.9.

 

Метки: informatiogenic econics, information

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