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The Future?

The Future?. SOC 370: Social Change Dr. Kimberly Martin. Chaos Theory. A theory that attempts to explain how complex systems work.

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The Future?

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  1. The Future? SOC 370: Social Change Dr. Kimberly Martin

  2. Chaos Theory A theory that attempts to explain how complex systems work. Predictions about complex systems are extremely difficult to make because a tiny change in one part of the system can ripple throughout, causing a very different outcome “The Butterfly Effect” Cultural systems are EXTREMELY complex and therefore prediction is very difficult.

  3. Warren Wagar’s Fictional Future Characteristics Mega corporations rather than nations Electronic media and news World wide depression with more than 50% unemployment internationally Massive overpopulation Massive increases in ozone loss, soil erosion, global warming, rising sea levels, resource depletion Massive increases in poverty, urban unrest, violent crime and drug use

  4. Warren Wagar’s Fictional Future Results Nuclear holocaust: Most of North America/Europe destroyed 70% of the world’s population killed Most population left in the Southern Hemisphere

  5. Warren Wagar’s Fictional Future Two strategies for economic and political reorganization of the World System: • A “World Party” single global government Goals: to end tribalism, capitalism, sexism Economy socialist based on production for use-value (rather than exchange-value) Guaranteed income if working ½ Guaranteed income if not working All workers must know a variety of skills Class system abolished National boundaries abolished

  6. Warren Wagar’s Fictional Future “World Party” System Problems Absence of personal liberty Massive state bureaucracy State surveillance Dissent and New Political Parties form

  7. Warren Wagar’s Fictional Future Two strategies for economic and political reorganization of the World System: • The “Small Party” Strategy Abolish the world state Establish many small local political communities Freedom to choose own government, economy, religion In Wagar’s fictitious world, 41,525 political communities formed and ruled themselves and “Small Party” global organization disbanded

  8. The Club of Rome Report1972Heilbroner, Meadows, Meadows & Randers Thirteen scenarios that took into account: The amount of cultivable land Agricultural yield per unit of land The amount of non-renewable resources The capacity of the earth to absorb pollution Definition of collapse: Decrease in life expectance, Decrease in consumer goods available Decrease in amount of food available Irreparable damage to the environment

  9. The Club of Rome Report Scenario 1: Current trends continue unchanged Leads to overshoot and collapse Scenario 2: Twice the resources with current trends Leads to overshoot and collapse over a longer time Scenario 3: 2 plus pollution controls Leads to overshoot and collapse Scenario 4: 3 plus land yield enhancement Leads to overshoot and collapse Scenario 5: 4 plus erosion protection Leads to overshoot and collapse Scenario 6: 5 plus resource efficient technology Leads to overshoot and collapse Scenario 7: 6 plus faster technology development Leads to overshoot and collapse



  12. The Club of Rome Report Scenario 8: Current trends with population control Leads to overshoot and collapse by 2050 or earlier (1970 study so that means 40 years) Scenario 9: 8 plus decreased industrial output per capita Leads to overshoot and collapse at a slower rate Scenario 10: 7 plus 9 Sustainable world at high standard of living (SOL) Scenario 11: 10 plus changes starting in 1975 Sustainable world at higher SOL than 10 Scenario 12: 11 plus changes starting in 2015 Leads to overshoot and collapse with a recovery to a lower SOL that takes 50 years Scenario 13: 12 plus greater demands for food and consumer goods Leads to higher standard of living until 2100 with decline



  15. The Club of Rome Report What needs to be restricted? 1. Population growth 2. Industrial output 3. Pollution 4. Land erosion 5. Use of non-renewable resources

  16. Club of Rome Report What needs to be developed? • Resource efficient technologies • Increased land yield We will fail without these restrictions and developments. A main limitation of this study is that it is a simplified model (Chaos Theory) Will we need authoritarian governments to accomplish these steps in time?

  17. The Dynamics of War Goldstein War and Kondratieff Cycles from 1495 on Major wars occur at the end of an upturn cycle World War II is an exception if you treat it as an different war from WWI, but not if you treat them as a single war. States can best afford to go to war when they are at or just beyond their peaks

  18. Kondratieff Cycles and War

  19. Chase-Dunn & O’Reilly Believes there will be a Core War (50/50) Because of -Phase of Kondratieff Cycles -Ecological degradation -Deteriorating U.S. position in World System In spite of -Efforts at nuclear disarmament -International organizations explicitly intended to avoid war

  20. Chase-Dunn & O’Reilly OR A war started by peripheral or semi- peripheral countries who have or get nuclear weapons -Maldistribution of economic resources -Resentment toward high standard of living countries -Increasing global polarization -Nothing to lose

  21. What Kind of Changes? Chase-Dunn suggests:+ A single global state ( a world confederation of states) Authority to inspect and disarm by force No need for cultural uniformity Combine capitalism and socialism Considerable individual state autonomy “a multilevel, self-reliant, culturally pluralistic, minimally centralized” government whose main focus and responsibilities are to keep peace (prevent struggles between interest groups from threatening the human species) and balance development with ecological sustainability When might there be a single global state? Robert Carneiro 2300 Raoll Naroll 2175 Rein Taagepera 3800 ALL OF THESE ARE TOO LATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  22. What Kind of Changes? Wallerstein says: Capitalism is stronger than Marx thought but is fatally flawed 100-150 years to a world socialist system The transition from capitalism to socialism is inevitable A socialist global state: Advanced technology provides adequately for all needs Production resulting from collective decisions to meet needs Low labor requirements Individuals will work less and pursue personal fulfillment Social motivation for collective aggression gone Collective decisions in common interest lead to environmental sustainability

  23. What Kind of Changes? Goldfrank Four Possibilities: Barbarism I (Nuclear Holocaust) (2015-2050) 15% chance Collapse Barbarism II (Global Fascism) (2015-2050) 15% chance Giant centralized authoritarian bureaucracy Monopoly of means of production, property, violence Police repression Extermination/eugenics Socialism I (Swedish Welfare) 2088-2148 50% chance Socialism II (Democratic Socialist) 2088-2148 70% chance Democratic planning for food and some industrial Some capitalist production for consumer goods Worker control of enterprises Popular control of communities Rational assessment of human needs rather than profit motive

  24. What Kind of Changes? Sanderson: Capitalism Strengths Scientific and technical development Increases economic productivity and wealth Parliamentary democracy Room for realizing human potential Weaknesses Economic inequality (national and global) Boring and alienating work Commercialization of human values Consumer mentality extremes Modern culture at lowest common denominator Environmental degradation

  25. What Kind of Changes? Socialism Strengths Humane concern for welfare of individuals More egalitarian and economically democratic Weaknesses Centralized economic planning can be ineffective Concentrated political power in a large bureaucracy The Swedish Model of Social Democracy Protections for minimum income for all Protections for minimum health care for all Protections for education for all Economic planning plus some market production

  26. What Kind of Changes? What do we need in a system for the future? A system that Promotes economic production in line with environmental protection Eliminates dull work through mechanization Promotes arts, sciences, intellectual pursuits as equal to production of wealth Has universal and free lifetime education Allowing time and resources for individuals to develop their potential Is as democratic as possible Avoids excessive centralized planning AND excessive profit motive/market production Avoids serious inequalities, but not necessarily completely egalitarian

  27. What Kinds of Changes? • Sorokin and Culture Change • (the way people think about the world!) • Three types of cultures • Ideational – spiritual, ascetic, non-material Is found in periods of economic stagnation and decline • Sensate – materialistic, focused on body and bodily needs Is found in periods of economic growth and vitality = CAPITALISM • Idealistic – a combination of ideational and sensate Will this be the culture of the future?

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