DOES COVID-19 ACCELERATE THE CYBERNETIC REVOLUTION AND TRANSITION FROM E-GOVERNMENT TO E-STATE?
Authors: Grinin, Leonid; Grinin, Anton L. ; Korotayev, Andrey
Almanac: Kondratieff waves: Processes, Cycles, Triggers, and Technological Paradigms
We elsewhere pointed out that the forthcoming sixth K-wave will merge with the final phase of the Cybernetic Revolution (the 2030s – the 2070s). Thus, the technological and economic tide will be more powerful than in the fifth K-wave. So any factors that may change the time or way of the Cybernetic Revolution will also affect the sixth K-wave. In this article we will analyze one of such factors. Among many influences that the pandemic has and will have on society and the World System as a whole, one of the most important is the acceleration of the start of a new technological wave and a new technological paradigm in the near future. This impact is determined by the growing need for the development of a number of areas in medicine, bio- and nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and others, which we denote as ‘MANBRIC-convergence’. It is shown that the experience of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic has confirmed that the final phase of the Cybernetic Revolution will begin in the 2030s at the intersection of a number of medical, bio-, digital and several other technologies, with medical needs as an integrating link. Among the multitude of self-regulating systems in the economy and life (which, in our opinion, will flourish during the Cybernetic Revolution) socio-technical self-regulating systems (SSSs) will play a special role. Thus, COVID-19 becomes a powerful impetus not only in terms of accelerating technological development and approaching the final phase of the Cybernetic Revolution, but also in changing sociopolitical (and socio-administrative) relations in the forthcoming decades.
Keywords: COVID-19, Cybernetic revolution, final phase, self-regulating socio-technical systems, e-government, e-state, vaccines, biotechnology, AI.
COVID-19 pandemic as a trigger for the acceleration of the cybernetic revolution, transition from e-government to e-state, and change in social relations
Authors: Leonid Grinin (HSE University, Moscow; Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia), Anton Grinin (Moscow State Lomonosov University, Russia), Andrey Korotayev (HSE University, Moscow; Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia)
Received 7 April 2021, Revised 4 November 2021, Accepted 7 November 2021, Available online 12 November 2021, Version of Record 19 January 2022.
• COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the MANBRIC-convergence.
• MANBRIC-convergence involves medical, additive, bio-, nano-, info-, robotics, and cognitive technologies.
• COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating start of final phase of Cybernetic Revolution.
• Final phase of the Cybernetic Revolution will begin in the 2030s.
• A special role will be played by socio-technical self-regulating systems (SSSs).
Among many influences that the pandemic has and will have on society and the World System as a whole, one of the most important is the acceleration of the start of a new technological wave and a new technological paradigm in the near future. This impact is determined by the growing need for the development of a number of areas in medicine, bio- and nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and others, which we denote as “MANBRIC convergence”. It is shown that the experience of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic has confirmed that the final phase of the Cybernetic Revolution will begin in the 2030s at the intersection of a number of medical, bio, digital and several other technologies, with medical needs as an integrating link. Among the multitude of self-regulating systems in the economy and life (which, in our opinion, will flourish during the Cybernetic Revolution) socio-technical self-regulating systems (SSSs) will play a special role. Thus, COVID-19 becomes a powerful impetus not only in terms of accelerating technological development and approaching the final phase of the Cybernetic Revolution, but also in changing sociopolitical (and socio-administrative) relations in the forthcoming decades.
Introduction, 1.1. Multidimensional impact of COVID-19
By now, there have been quite a number of articles about the coronavirus (COVID-19 pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)) and its effect on society (e.g., Atkeson 2020; Baker et al., 2020; L. Grinin 2020; Irshad 2020; Jasiński and Bąkowska 2020; see also further references below). In addition to research on possible strategies for dealing with the pandemic (including its consequences) and various medical aspects, many other issues are being studied, from economic consequences to the impact on the climate (Aslam et al., 2020; Belhadi et al., 2020; Brammer et al., 2020; Chakraborty and Maity 2020; Forster et al., 2020; Yoo and Managi 2020; see also below).
So far, with the exception of the book by Klaus Schwab and Thierry Malleret "COVID-19: The Great Reset" (Schwab and Malleret 2020), the study of this new phenomenon still seems mostly unsystematic.
However, one may argue that the COVID-19 pandemic can become an important driver of even greater changes (e.g., Brammer et al., 2020; Brem et al., 2020; Hofbauer and Komlosy 2020), whose nature and consequences, however, are still mostly unclear. We believe that the COVID-19 pandemic will significantly accelerate the processes that we have already discussed in our other works (Grinin, L., Grinin, A., 2015; 2016; Grinin et al., 2017a; 2017b; 2020; Grinin, Korotayev 2015, Tausch 2016). It will also speed up some other processes that deserve close attention.
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed the public's focus; these changes are likely to persist for a long time. Ultimately, this may lead to significant technological transformations, which, in our opinion, are rather underestimated.
In the present article we would like to show that the COVID-19 pandemic has become a powerful trigger which will both accelerate technological development in medicine and other areas – especially in the ones forming the MANBRIC-system – and, at the same time, catalyze the convergence of these areas. This is greatly supported by the sharply increased demand for the development of a number of fields of medicine, bio and nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and others. In a series of papers, including ones on the pages of this journal (Grinin et al., 2017; 2020) we made some forecasts concerning a new technological wave making the final phase of the Cybernetic Revolution, which is likely to start in the 2030s to 2040s. In the present article, we refine our forecast, arguing with greater confidence that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the final phase of the Cybernetic Revolution will begin in the 2030s, that is, in the next 10 – 15 years. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only confirmed our forecasts, but also allowed us to significantly refine and enrich them.
We also argue that among numerous self-regulating systems in production, economy and everyday life that will thrive during the final phase, the socio-technical self-regulating systems (SSS) will play a special role. With the help of AI, they will regulate a variety of administrative and social relations. During the pandemic, there appeared an urgent need for regulation of public life, which served as an impetus for the development of such systems. Meanwhile, the employment of socio-technical self-regulating systems will almost inevitably lead to a noticeable change in social and even political relations in society, shifting them towards e-government and e-state.
The present article also devotes considerable attention to the analysis of the latter, while addressing such an issue as the rapidly growing threat to privacy and personal data.
Combining technological and social forecasts in a single study appears all the more important, since a systematic research of the relationships and interactions between the rapid development of various technologies, especially AI technologies, medicine and biotechnology, on the one hand, and social and political relations, on the other, unfortunately, remains insufficient. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown some mechanisms of such system connections, thus helping improve forecasts.
[…]Among the existing and future self-regulating systems, we pay special attention to what we designate as socio-technical self-regulating systems (SSS). These are technologies designed to regulate administrative and social relations in society through combining the AI with other technologies; in some respects, they are able to perform functions of administrative/ law enforcement bodies.
The focus of this article can be formulated in the following questions:
1) How can the coronavirus pandemic affect the speed and canalization of the approaching final phase of the Cybernetic Revolution, as well as the acceleration of the MANBRIC-convergence?
2) How does COVID-19 influence the formation of socio-technical self-regulating systems and how can their development affect people's social behavior and formation of an e-state in the future?
Despite the magnitude of these problems, they are closely interconnected, so we believe that they should be studied in a single set.
1.3. Theoretical and practical contributions of this paper
This paper contributes to the analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic as a trigger for the acceleration of the Cybernetic Revolution. This considerably supports the ideas of the integrating role of the medical technologies in the MANBRIC-convergence and implies practical recommendations regarding the most promising directions of the technological development in the nearest future.
The paper also contributes to the emerging theory of e-government through the introduction of the notion of e-state, which also suggests some practical recommendations regarding the regulation of this sphere.
1.4. To whom is this paper relevant?
Due to a rather pressing subject and research questions raised in this article, it could be relevant to a wide readership—including not only experts in technological forecasting and its social consequences, but also to many other experts. Futurologists may find a brain provoking comprehensive forecast of future development and its negative and positive aspects, whilst for economists it can be useful for the analyses of economic projections in light of technological change; as well as for demographers it might suggest a new approach for the analyses of global aging and its multiple consequences. Political scientists and politicians can find answers about political changes during Cybernetic Revolution, while sociologists and anthropologists can find answers about social changes generated by the technological development. Philosophers can also find a wide range of topics discussed in the article, including the issue of privacy and identity.
In the present study, we use a number of studies on COVID-19, especially of its impact on future changes in society (Schwab and Malleret 2020; see also above), as well as our own studies on the subject (L. Grinin 2020; Grinin, Korotayev 2020).
2.4. The cybernetic revolution, MANBRIC-convergence and self-regulating systems
We also rely on the theory of Production Principles and Production (technological) Revolutions (Grinin, L., Grinin, A., 2015; 2016, Korotayev 2017a; 2017b; 2020; Grinin, Korotayev 2015, Tausch 2016). We designate the technological revolution that began in the 1950s as the Cybernetic Revolution. We define three phases in the course of this revolution (see Fig. 2).
The first phase lasted until the mid-1990s and was associated with the rapid development of fundamentally new technologies, including computer information technology. The second phase began in the 1990s and is still in progress. The third phase, that is the final phase of the Cybernetic Revolution, which, as we have earlier forecasted, will begin in the 2030s or 2040s (below we specify our forecasts, defining the 2030s as the exact starting period of the final phase largely because of the COVID 19 pandemic; see also Fig. 3).
This will be a new and powerful wave of innovation, which should accelerate the scientific and technological development (it is expected to continue till the 2070s). It will finally form the MANBRIC complex of technologies. We define this complex after the first letters of innovative technologies that are being actively implemented and will become the basis for the final phase of the Cybernetic Revolution (MANBRIC is Medicine, Additive, Nano, Bio, Robotics, Information and Cognitive technologies). In our opinion, the centerpiece of the MANBRIC complex, and its integral part, will be medical technology, which can unite around itself biotechnology (and, naturally, pharmacology), information and other technologies.
We combine various methods: historical, comparative, evolutionary, logical, theoretical, systemic (as well as principle of emergence), and some prognostic methods.22
2.6. Analysis and results
The COVID-19 pandemic has become a phenomenon that, for the first time in many decades or even centuries, placed health care problems at the center of both intrasocial and global relations. The pandemic has affected almost every area of life and activities.
This led to noticeable changes in technologies and their diffusion, as well as in economy, politics, and the life of society. It has also spawned a number of projects that can significantly accelerate the development of certain technologies, as well as change socio-political relations. In general, the analysis of data in different areas over the recent years allowed us to point out the following important changes in connection with the pandemic.
The socio-political and economic role of medicine has sharply increased due to the large number of COVID infections. This significantly changed the government's attitude to health care services and its funding
, including redistribution of the budget in favor of medical expenses (Abi Younes et al. 2020; Anderson et al., 2020), which led to an increase in its technological component (Abi Younes et al. 2020; Brem et al., 2020). In some cases, the redistribution of funds for R&D was carried out in favor of a number of medical and biotechnological industries
at the expense of other scientific and technical areas (e.g., Abi Younes et al. 2020; Basu et al., 2020); which is also in line with the latest WHO guidelines
(see, e.g., WHO 2020). Thus, the needs created by the health care crisis have dramatically accelerated the adoption of a wide range of technologies, and many companies have moved quickly in this direction (Schwab, Malleret 2020).
B. The role of red (bio-pharmaceutical) biotechnology as a decisive factor in returning society to normal life has grown. The development of vaccines gave impetus for innovative breakthroughs in red biotechnology and genetic engineering
(e.g. Abi Younes et al. 2020). Funding and application of these biotechnologies, especially vaccines, have dramatically increased (Chung et al., 2020; Zimmer et al., 2020). It is of the utmost importance that already by the end of 2020 several vaccines from different countries and producers became available, but it is worth noting that more than a hundred different vaccines are currently being developed by dozens of companies in the world (Corey et al., 2020; Jeyanathan et al., 2020).
C. The need for isolation and social distancing has led to a dramatic rise in online technologies. This led to an increase in the use of information technologies and their qualitative growth, including in the areas like remote / telemedicine health care services (e.g., Basu et al., 2020; Shah et al., 2020), or remote psychological assistance (Liu et al., 2020), the use and development of biometrics, including noncontact one (Kumari and Seeja 2021). Let us also mention the distance education (Rapanta et al., 2020), which has already been actively developing (Ashman et al., 2014), but has now become a necessity (Dhawan 2020). One can agree with the forecast of the significant impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the speed, implementation and direction of ICT (Abi Younes et al. 2020). The Internet commerce has also demonstrated explosive growth which has increased the demand for innovations in robotics, including drones (Estrada and Arturo 2020; Jat and Singh 2020; Skorup and Haaland 2020).
D. The struggle against the coronavirus has raised questions of a) deficit of medical personnel and prompt treatment of non-pandemic patients in order to concentrate forces on dealing with the pandemic. Robots in medicine, in particular robotic surgery (e.g., Kimmig et al., 2020) can appear useful in this case. The safety of doctors can also be achieved through the development of robotics (Kimmig et al., 2020; Palestino et al., 2020; Tang et al., 2021) and remote medical technology.
E. The pandemic has given impetus to the development of a number of other technologies – in particular, additive technologies (Choong et al., 2020; Javaid et al. 2020), which also have important medical applications (Choong et al., 2020). Nanotechnology has also been stimulated, since the need for new materials (including for the protection of doctors) impacts their development. Nanotechnology is especially urgent for the search for new principles for the development of vaccines and drugs. Since modern biotechnology works with nanoscales, the development of effective nanocarriers is extremely important for overcoming the limitations of traditional antiviral therapy (Chauhan et al., 2020). In the future, cognitive technologies can also be widely used in medicine and other areas.
Thus, the above described phenomena have increased the interdependence between medicine, biotechnology, information technology, additive technologies (Choong et al., 2020), as well as nanotechnology (Chauhan et al., 2020; Palestino et al., 2020; Tang et al., 2021; Weiss et al., 2020).
This also emphasizes the predominance of a number of areas of medicine, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, as a result of which they will be at the top of scientific and innovation programs (Abi Younes et al. 2020), which confirms our earlier conclusions about medicine and related technologies as a breakthrough point for a new technological wave.
Urgent solutions to health care problems are becoming a factor of global political and economic scale, without which the development of globalization will stall. Countries need to unite in the fight against the pandemics (Fisher and Wilder-Smith 2020). The measures taken in this direction actually bring closer the beginning of a new technological wave.
In addition, it is important to note that the transition to anti-crisis management of society and monitoring of the implementation of anti-epidemic regulations, including tracking of movements and contacts, has caused a surge in demand for artificial intelligence technologies, mainly for medical administrative purposes. This led to the introduction of techno-social innovations into society's life. We believe that these measures can accelerate the development of e-state technologies, change social relationships, as well as increase confrontation in society.
As we have pointed above, the COVID-19 pandemic, by placing medical technology, organization of health care and medical control in society at the center of public attention, has stimulated change and acceleration not only in technological innovation, but also in social, administrative and even political relations.
All this represents in many respects a single complex of transformations that can be productively studied in a system (see Fig. 4).
3.1. How can the coronavirus affect the speed and channeling of advancement of the new technological wave?
Let us determine how the pandemic became the trigger. Why do we consider the pandemic as a phenomenon that will inevitably demand certain changes? The fact is that the COVID-19 pandemic has both undermined the idea of public safety and revealed the vulnerability of modern society to possible pandemics; also, it has not only posed additional threats to people's health and lives, especially to the elderly, but it began to depress the economy more than other economic crises and recessions (see Abi Younes et al. 2020; L. Grinin 2020; OECD 2020). In fact, the fight against the pandemic has set back the economy and social comforts, while at the same time pushed back, at least temporarily, globalization by suspending travel and tourism industry: flights, trade, etc.
Moreover, it has revealed the need for changes at the world-system level. Suddenly it became clear that the pandemic threatened the development of globalization on many fronts, while breaking this deadlock requires additional development of various technologies.
It is likely that the abovementioned problems will not be radically solved in the coming years. In addition, the outbreak of another pandemic caused by new pathogens is highly probable, and it is necessary to be ready for it.
In fact, there is a dilemma: come to terms with the destructive impact of the pandemic, expecting herd immunity, or develop various technological, social and socio-technical innovations that will help to cope not only with the current pandemic, but also with new ones. It is quite obvious that countries and the World System in general will choose the second option. Accordingly, as we have seen above (in the Analysis and Results section), such technological needs for innovations are relevant for those directions which form the MANBRIC complex (i.e., not only medical, but also bio-nano-robotic, AI, additive, cognitive technologies) (Chauhan et al., 2020; Choong et al., 2020; Kimmig et al., 2020; Palestino et al., 2020; Tang et al., 2021; Weiss et al., 2020). Both the pandemic and the need to overcome its negative impact, as well as the possibility of a new pandemic will powerfully stimulate a technological breakthrough and bring closer the beginning of the final phase of the Cybernetic Revolution.
The competition between countries over vaccine development has intensified, which in fact is a positive development and will contribute to the development of medicine and biotechnology in general. The urgency of safety issues and the emergency situation have helped to remove some of the obstacles to the development of science and technology, especially to the approval of drugs and vaccines nationwide and around the world. The approval system for new drugs and vaccines is changing dramatically due to the COVID-19 crisis and it becomes significantly simplified and accelerated. In addition, a movement have begun toward the reorganization of some important areas of science (especially in pharmacology). In particular, Abi Abi Younes et al. (2020) write that the pandemic has shown the need for coordination and openness at all stages of the research and product development process. We agree that scientific openness can accelerate the development breakthrough in science and technology.
Previously, we assumed that one of the main factors that would allow medicine, as an integrating part of the MANBRIC convergence, to take center stage in both the technological wave and in solving social problems (including acute labor shortages, pension and social obligations pressure and others, see above) will be the inevitable accumulation of very large financial resources for the health and social welfare of pensioners. All these remain and will have their effect. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic the problems of health care unexpectedly came to the center of public attention much earlier and appeared more acute (previously we had supposed that such a rise in the importance of medicine would only become evident only in the late 2020s). [Note - mmm no, your assumptions were for "around 2020" and in many places and exactly “2020"
, do not be so modest
] The pandemic has intensified the role of medicine as an integrating part of MANBRIC convergence.
3.2. Impact of COVID-19 on the development of socio-technical self-regulating systems and how this may affect social behavior and formation of the e-state
The development of technologies for tracking human activity leads to the commercialization (and actually alienation, according to the terminology of Karl Marx) of human behavior and privacy that were previously considered inalienable (desires, inclinations, habits, etc.). It has long been noticed that a new structure of power over people is emerging on the Internet. This state of affairs has serious implications for democracy (Schwartz 1999). Today's AI capabilities already entail systemic dangers to society and human rights (see Schwab, Malleret 2020). [note - lol]
[…]One should realize that information privacy is a value that helps shape the society in which we live and our individual identity (Schwartz, 1999). The urgent need to monitor compliance with security measures during the pandemic exacerbated this problem and at the same time showed that further development in this direction will lead to qualitative changes. The fact is that new combined technological systems are being formed on the basis of AI technologies that collect, store and analyze information about billions of people, as well as networked ICTs. Such systems are aimed at administrative, legal, social and even political regulation and control over the behavior of individuals, social groups and even society as a whole, up to the regulation of the World System. SSSs will be used to regulate many legal aspects, sometimes hierarchical relations in society, and may cause the formation and widespread use of social ratings (similar to the Social Credit System in China). In short, there is a tendency to delegate more and more tasks (Plebe and Perconti 2020) from the authorities to socio-technical systems. At present, such systems are actively implemented, for example in face recognition, location tracking systems, traffic control (e.g., Transparency Market Research 2020), imposition of fines, electronic registration, issuance of documents and many others that were previously the prerogative of the authorities.
Socio-technical self-regulating systems (SSSs) perform social and administrative functions (that is, control, verification, distribution, security, rating and other functions) using a set of technologies in the absence or little participation of officials and specialists. The development of SSSs is progressing rapidly. In some cases, they begin to be used in order to impose certain patterns of behavior on people. The most noticeable in this regard is China, where officials have developed the Social Credit System for individuals, businesses and government for their control and assessment for reliability, in particular, for example, for controlling non-urban residents (Kuznetsova and Mashkina 2020). Many projects of the Social Credit System have been implemented only as regional pilot programs, although there are plans to distribute them countrywide (Chin and Wong 2016; Creemers 2018), and which also serve as a model for other countries (Síthigh and Siems 2019). The year 2020 was in some ways a turning point in this regard. For example, the use of facial recognition systems (including recognition of masked faces (Sulochanan et al. 2021)) has increased by around 7% and may grow another 12% by 2022 (Technavio 2020). Famous vpn company reported the presence of location tracking systems already in 42 messenger apps with at least 187 million downloads (Sean 2021) and it rapidly increases during pandemic (Stanley and Granick 2020).
The pandemic and the emerging need to control anti-epidemic measures have dramatically accelerated the development of such SSSs. In particular, electronic pass systems, control of movements, system of punishment, accounting systems, systems of businesses control and many other systems emerged as a result of the lockdowns and they can be considered as prototypes of SSS (Lyon 2001; Ram and Gray 2020, 2020; Richards 2012; Wang et al., 2020). Various projects began to appear: electronic passports (COVID immunity passports) (Hasan et al., 2020; WHO 2020b), QR codes which are supposed to record all vaccinations (Barnes 2021), etc. Thus, the coronavirus pandemic has shown that the introduction of SSS can become a fast developing process which will unfold within 10–20 years. At the same time, the idea of creating immunity passports goes beyond the national level in cooperation with the largest IT companies (Leswing 2021). In the future, one may expect that the development of the socio-technical self-regulating systems will proceed in different directions while continuing to develop in the field of medicine. For example, there may emerge systems for continuous monitoring of health and critical parameters of not only patients in hospitals but also of people staying home (L. Grinin and A. Grinin 2016), including chronically ailing and elderly people.
The need to monitor compliance with COVID-19 restrictions led to the fact that such technologies began to be actively implemented by the authorities. However, their introduction not only improved the control, but has also brought up some problems, e.g. connected to the techno-social ranking of people (this issue [but with reference to commercial companies] has been discussed for a long time [see, for example, Lyon 2001]). Anyway, the positive aspects of SSSs are quite obvious, which is why they are spreading. SSSs in many different ways can significantly improve the social environment. Some evidence of this has emerged already during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, in China [note -
]several AI programs were used to treat mental health crises during the epidemic. For example, people at risk of suicide can be recognized using special artificial intelligence software by tracking and analyzing posts on Weibo and alerting certain volunteers to act accordingly (Liu et al., 2020).
However, such a rapid and uncontrolled implementation also carries serious risks. Obviously, there is a danger of increasing standardization of people and losing their individuality. One of the main problems is that over many decades people have become accustomed to freedom of behavior and this kind of regulations can cause and already are causing protests (Brennan 2020; Kowalewski 2020). As a result, SSSs can lead to the emergence of a considerable behavioral stratification in society, which will negatively affect its consolidation…
[…]And since very powerful forces and huge financial and political interests will concentrate around innovations related to medical control over population (and influence on them), these innovations can cause serious conflicts and affect all societies.
Nevertheless, most people are likely to agree with this form of regulation, although there is no doubt that such an attack on human rights (Gerstenfeld 2020) can not only cause a wave of protests, but also split society, cause strong behavioral stratification, social tensions and turbulence. However, there may appear a large number of outsiders, that is, a mass of people who fail to fit into the rather strict requirements of the SSSs and electronic state. Besides, deviant behavior will increase, such as rejection of such demands (e.g., Kowalewski 2020).
The processes of active implementation of SSSs and other information and digital technologies, as described above combined with the COVID-19 restrictions, have intensified the role of the state, which, to a certain degree, is beginning to turn into an electronic/digital state (or e-state).
the concept of e-state is something more advanced in this respect than e-government. We understand e-state as a state with a significantly reduced number of state supervisory bodies, mainly based on SSS technology. This can affect democratic procedures.
One of such major changes will be the transformation of public administration towards the increasing use of electronic automated forms of interaction and control. Speaking in the language of cybernetics, SSSs will create a new communicative circuit in the management of society, more precisely, it will change the contours of the relationship between the center and the periphery of society. In particular, it can increase opportunities for quick feedback from the public. The influence of the SSSs will be perceptible and will significantly change or even revolutionize the nature of governance. Major changes can be expected in the structure of the administrative apparatus. Some administrative units (for example, local governments, officials, special control bodies, etc.), which are important for the interaction between the central government and population, will disappear or will be transformed. As a result, the facilitated interaction between a citizen and a state will affect many officials and may deprive them of their jobs, that is, in many ways it will be a revolutionary transformation. On the one hand, this will significantly reduce the cost of the management process, thus the state will need much less funds for its maintenance. This is, of course, a positive process. But on the other hand, the power of the state will increase, and management will become less flexible, since it will largely depend on technology and the human factor of programmers. A historical analogy suggests itself. In the first half of the 19th century, workers had to adapt their physical, psychological and mental abilities to the needs of machine production. This led not only to the alienation of labor (according to Marx), but also to a large extent to the alienation of the personality of the worker (see Grinin L., Grinin A., 2015). Like the described process, the technological features of social control in the future can force people to adapt to them, causing alienation and frustration. This will also be strengthened by the fact that electronically organized authorities will look like an impersonal, unusual and, therefore, alien government.
This research has been supported by the Russian Science Foundation (project No. 20-61-46004)
Let's introduce and Anton
Last name: Grinin, Name: Anton L.
Anton L. Grinin, PhD in Biological Sciences, is Senior Research Fellow of the International Center for Education and Social and Humanitarian Studies as well as leading Research of Volgograd Centre for Social Research. His main research interests include Big History, evolution, biotechnologies, global technological transformations and forecasts. He is the co-author of the monograph From Biface to Nanorobots: The World on the Way to the Epoch of Self-Regulating Systems (2015; Uchitel Publishing House; in Russian) and a number of articles including ‘Macroevolution of Technology’ and ‘Global Technological Transformations’.
The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971, and...
Research Fellow, Moscow State University
world economic forum, 07 Jan 2022:
Klaus Schwab Releases “The Great Narrative” As Sequel To “The Great Reset”
..“The Great Narrative” encapsulates the Davos Vision, and explores how we can shape a constructive, common narrative for the future. ..The book derives from a collaborative effort with some of the world’s leading thinkers, and describes how we can create a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable future.
“Going into 2022, we all look forward to a better future. Yet the challenges we are facing coming out of the pandemic are multi-fold and interconnected. The Great Narrative shows what the way forward could be, and what the role of cooperation, innovation, morality, public policies and business can be,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.
The Great Narrative book relies to a substantial extent, but not exclusively, on interviews conducted with 50 of the world’s foremost global thinkers and opinion-makers who come from a broad spectrum of academic disciplines and from diverse geographies and backgrounds. ..”
THE HEAD OF THE INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC FORUM INCLUDED LEONID E. GRININ AND ANTON L. GRININ INTO THE LIST OF 50 “FOREMOST GLOBAL THINKERS AND OPINION-MAKERS"
According to the World Economic Forum, Leonid E. Grinin and Anton L. Grinin are included in the list of 50 “foremost global thinkers and opinion-makers”. Their and other thinkers' interviews concerning the vision of the future world contributed to the new book "Great Narrative For a Better Future". The book is now widely discussed around the world, while the contributors received a personal gratitude from the chairman of the forum, who noted that the interviews became “a great inspiration to the book, making it intellectually rich and diverse”.
What was accelerated through "covid"? How did this go on and on? What was the main thing in 2022 (and continues to be) and who were the main characters?
Where, apart from here, among the billions (in total for the whole world-a huge amount that keeps growing daily) of articles about great reset, can I read at least one article about Grinin and Grinin and their research? How about "nowhere"? Why is that?
Applause for alternative media researchers