Alexander N. Chumakov
Metaphysics of globalization:
Monograph. – 2nd ed., rev. and extra.
– Moscow: “Prospect”, 2017. – 496 p.
The monograph is an important part of the general globalization theory that continues a fundamental study initiated by the author in his book «Globalization: outline of the holistic world».
While in the first book globalization is represented as a self- sufficient and objective historical process, progressing in accordance with its own patterns and the logic of local, regional and global social changes, now it appears to be one of the most important characteristics the world sociosystem allowing to understand this system in its dynamics taking into consideration transformation of its inner contents culture) and changes of its forms (civilization).
Culture, civilization and globalization analyzed as tightly connected id fundamental characteristics of various social systems and world immunity as a whole are in the center of the study.
The book, written in exciting and understandable manner clearly demonstrates how thank
s to objective reasons global problems of modernity have penetrated economic, political and spiritual life of various nations and how their cultural-cum-civilizational development is become part of the spiraling multiaspect globalization.
Step by step the reader may see the logic and certain consequence of historic events when civilizational ties that engender separated focuses civilization emerge and enhance as a result of progressive development and perfection of culture. Finally, civilizational development had led to globalization that, in its turn, gave birth to the global problems of modernity in the second half of the 20,h century.
Using systemic approach to understanding social processes and leaning upon the newest scientific and philosophical achievements in this sphere, the author concludes that a linear and plane world in the 20th century has been finally replaced with a multi-dimensional world.
The world understood this way is represented as a complex fractal, consisting of separated cultural-cum-civilizational systems where relations between culture and civilization are defined by such principles as subsidiarity and uncertainty. From this viewpoint culture and civilization are thought to be an inseparable unity when something related to culture can be at the same time analyzed as related to civilization, and vice versa. At the same time, attempts to define culture more precisely make the definition of civilization less clear; clearer definition of civilization makes the definition of civilization less precise.
The approach to understanding cultural-cum-civilizational systems suggested in the book allows to study separated societies and humanity as a whole not only in one or two dimensions, as within contemporary cultural or civilizational approach, but «multi-dimensionally» - in three planes at the same time: from the viewpoint of culture, civilization and globalization.
The author demonstrates that the tightest connection of mutually defining terms «culture», «civilization» and «globalization» (and, what is more important, of those phenomena that exist behind them) is still not enough recognized and researched. In this volume the issues in question are focused on while interdependence and mutual support of culture, civilization and globalization are being formulated as a research problem to be resolved.
The author stresses that not only at the level of everyday thinking, but among professionals more and more people regret that globalization has destructive impact on culture, rums its traditional forms, «levels», «depersonalizes» or even «wipes out» its originality and specific features.
At the same time, «civilization» understood mostly as «Western», «technogenic» civilization is often proclaimed to be the one to blame for globalization and it-engendered problems. It is blamed for excessive dynamism and aggression, soulless mechanism and expansionist aspirations, environmental degradation and, last but not least, unification of values and destruction of «human nature». In the other words, civilization is thought to have destructive and demonic nature and to be the engine of destructive forces of globalization. Culture, in its turn, is seen as something passive, a phenomenon, threatened by globalization and forcefully changed by it through destruction of cultural basics.
Culture, civilization and globalization are usually analyzed as separated, self-sufficient phenomena, being mostly in a situation of serious contradiction and confrontation, which need to be removed through building obstacles in the way of «soulless technogenic civilization» and fighting globalization mercilessly.
The volume emphasizes that such, according to the author’s opinion, mistaken positions ground many popular and non-constructive neo-Russoist claims, such as «to protect nature», «to preserve culture», «to change the type of civilizational development», «to restrain globalization», «to resolve global problems finally», etc. This philosophical platform becomes the basis for isolationism and noncosmopolitism, for straight-out struggle to protect «national interests», for mass protest movements, such as «antiglobalists», «alterglobalists» and so on.
The author suggests that one of the reasons for this is the fact that absolute majority of people consider modern world to be linear and plain. But by the end of the last century it has finally become non-linear and multi-dimensional. Nevertheless, we try to understand, to explain, to describe this new, changed world using customary but old-fashioned terms and ideas.
The author specially stresses that the volume is not a special study in cultural or civilizational history. It does not aim at building a new system of periodization or a scheme of historical process in the context of globalization, as it may look like. Its central purpose is to combine in the framework of a single approach towards history and modernity three components or, in the other words, three dimensions: culture, civilization and globalization. These terms have emerged long ago and are actively used by social sciences but separately; they still are not taken as a whole in one context, inseparably, holistically, according to subsidiarity principle. The time for such approach has come because cultural-cum-civilizational approaches have nearly lost their heuristic value and are now in a vicious circle of finding new ways of being applied to understanding social processes.
The thought that people will sooner or later have to change their vision of the world if they want to cope with global problems they encounter is the leitmotif of the book. Our idea of the world should change in accordance with the changes of the world itself. For example, as a result of the «Copernican turn» our ideas regarding the position of our planet in outer space have changed. Now global studies face a necessity to have a new look at the apparently unshakable prepositions and to rethink some established concepts typical for both everyday and research language but being already backward and non-adequate to the rapidly changing modern world.
The book tackles many philosophical, humanitarian, historic problems and will be useful for researchers and specialists, providing valuable and topical information for teachers and students. It will also attract attention of the general reader interested in world problems of modernity and the future of globalization.
1. On specifying terms
2. On methods and principles of research
Chapter I. HISTORICAL PROCESS CATEGORIZED AS «CULTURE», «CIVILIZATION» AND «GLOBALIZATION»
1.1. Social development as a subject matter of a theoretical study
1.2. The holism of historical process: philosophical aspect
1.3. Systemic approach to understanding social processes
1.4. Global evolutionism
1 5. Unity and interdependence of «culture», «civilization» and «globalization»
1.6. Synthetic vision of history
Chapter II. CULTURE AS A PHENOMENON AND METHOD OF DESCRIBING SOCIAL REALITY
2.1. Culture as a general characteristics of society
2.2. Etymology of the term «culture»
2.3. The idea of culture: in search of meaning
2.4. The universal and unique features of culture
2.5. The basic functions of culture
2.6. Statics and dynamics of the cultural complex
2.7. Bearers and fundamental components of culture
2.8. The nature of cultural diversity
2.9. Spiritual and material aspects of culture
2.10. Mass and elite cultures as products of globalization
2.11. Dialog and conflict of cultures in the global world
2.12 Globalization of culture
2.13. The phenomenon of universal culture
2.14 Value and ethical components of the global world
2.15. Historical process in the context of culture
2.16. Culture as a method of reflecting and understanding social reality
Chapter III. CIVILIZATION AS A PHENOMENON AND METHOD OF DESCRIBING SOCIAL TIES
3.1. Civilization as a general characteristics of society
3.2. Etymology of the term
3.3. 3.3. Meaning and evolution of the term «civilization»
3.4. Civilizations systematized
3.5. Civilization as a form or external frame of culture
3 6. Civilizational unity of countries and peoples of the world
3.7. Historical types of civilizational development
3.8. Local and regional civilizations
3.9. From local and regional civilizations to the global one
3.10. The emergence of the global civilization
3.11. The global civilization as reality
3.12. Historical process in the context of civilizational development
Chapter IV. CULTURAL-CUM-CIV1LIZATIONAL SYSTEMS
4.1. Culture and civilization in their unity and diversity
4.2. Genesis of cultural-cum-civilizational ties
4.3. Cultural-cum-civilizational systems as way of describing of the social reality
4.4. Ecumenes as regional manifestation of the unity of culture and civilization
4.5. Cultural-cum-civilizational conglomerates
4.6. Historical types of cultural-cum-civizational systems.
4.7. Universal unity of the world community
4.8. Cultural-cum-civilizational dimension of the modern world
Chapter V. GLOBALIZATION OF CULTURAL-CUM-CIVILIZATIONAL SYSTEMS
5.1. Globalization as the third dimension of the world sociosystem.
5.2. Dynamics of globalization'
5.3. Fundamental principles of natural sciences applied to society.
5.4. The formation of a new reality
5.5. Cultural-cum-civilizational systems in the context of globalization
5.6. Metasystem «culture - civilization - globalization»
5 7. On the way to a global society (instead of the Conclusion)
 Alexander N. Chumakov. Globalization: outline of the holistic world. M.: Prospect, 2005. (2th eds., 2009; 3th eds., 2016).