Our latest polling where the readers of FORUM.msk should give the answer to the question "When do You think world crisis will end?" brought uniform distribution of opinions:
To the middle of 2009 (151)
To the end of 2009 (222)
Not earlier than the end of 2010 (365)
Appr.iIn three years (298)
Appr. in five years (163)
Appr. In ten years (240)
I won't live up to it (360)
A number of optimists expecting improvement to the middle of the current year with minister of finance Kudrin appeared to be minimal. Maximal is a number of moderate optimists thinking that it would happen to the end of 2010, the difference in number from pessimists made only 5 voices, not planning to live up to the end of crisis.
What does such distribution mean? Only that there is still no definite understanding of crisis in society and our respondents lean in their answers mostly on feelings than on concrete data.
In fact there is no data! If we would see on the forecasts and estimations of the leading experts, we would receive approximately the same uniform spread of point of view as ordinary readers of FORUM.msk have. Well, actually what is the difference of the expert, even the leading one, from ordinary reader in the moment of absence of specific tooling and some info known only to him?
There's no data. Due to it "egghead" experts and their modest worshippers have to use non specific tooling, indirect data, frequently even from allied with economics disciplines from political science to culturology.
Such situation has also a number of advantages - it allows to look at the current crisis more widely, than economic horizon allows. Besides both policy, culture and social sciences - all these are "superstructures" which lays on "basis" of specific way of manufacture, characteristic for the given society. Hence, "superstructure" will inevitable reflect the processes occurring in the "basis" and not always it will be done on the skew.
Actually world crisis begun is completely not classical crisis of capitalist overproduction which cyclicity and inevitability had been described by classics. More likely we observe not overproduction of the goods but overproduction of means of production and tools of regulation of manufacture. System itself based on collective manufacture and private character of assignment of profit is suffering from crisis. Educational level and degree of access practically to any information in globalizing society are sufficient that the overwhelming majority of workers understand injustice of such order, the more that absolutely unfamiliar to classics public factor - mass-media - "with home delivery" shows the degree of social and property stratification, it's enough just to look though society column and then switch to the news channel where some starving people are shown. Once Marx had to prove how "fair" businessman thieves the workers - today it's enough to look on a belly-button of the next telestar to see diamonds there which prices would suffice on livelihood of the whole village somewhere in Bangladesh.
To tell you the truth, mass-media form rather wildish scale of values in which "to rise" is "prestigiously", while to remain in the social niche is "to stay looser". But already today everybody realize that there are few recipes of individual success and 99,9% "will never rise".
The role of mass-media and Internet in formation of public ideology is not realized up to the end. If imperialistic globalization masks social inequality and severe exploitation of purely spatial, geographical segregation, when there are whole regions of a planet where the lion's share of manufacture is concentrated and they are rather far situated from the regions where there's maximal consumption, TV and now Internet easily discover "global camouflage". The Chinese miner living in dugout and eating dirt for 1 dollar a day has TV in his hole and now also the computer with high-speed access, he can easily observe global difference between his consumption and consumption of some ordinary American - he also can see the life of billionaires.
World financial crisis caused also crisis of the national state based on a capitalist way of manufacture. That is the state based on cumulative work of everybody - and especially "elite" conversion of the results of common work by 5-7 percent of the top classes. It blows away illusion of "the advanced countries" where injustice of conversion is being masked by endowing of ordinary citizens with blessings unearned by them - the blessings produced in other regions, with worse average level. Firstly, "middle class" even of the countries of "gold billion" are beggars in comparison with the top of their societies. It is especially appreciable in those places where "elite world" willy-nilly adjoins to the world of simple people - in some Courchevel where simple people cleaning snow and puke of "elite consumption" also live. All this is being brought to general public by mass-media and Indie-media.
The very system of the national state based on a principle that there is in the world only one superstate, the USA, "last empire" while other states - national, i.e. "one state - one nation" experiences crisis. At such world order, obviously, none nation - state ever can make competition to "the union of peoples" of the USA. Though there is in such world order especially economic sense - nation closed in the national borders produces much more, than its internal consumption is. Additional product is being appropriated outside of jurisdiction of the state - nation. Citizen doomed for operation is adhered to a "cell". He, certainly, can, having overcome significant difficulties to get over other labour market, with higher payment but there he remains "Guestarbeiter", deprived of the rights of citizen as well as of social guarantees put to him at birth.
Moreover, at final formation of the state - nation representative of other nation will feel extremely uncomfortable in alien environment even if he will manage to get formal civil rights. As they say in the USSR, "they beat not the passport but physiognomy".
Injustice of such social system becomes obvious to everyone. As well as absence of possibility to solve of some key problems either at individual level, or at the level of the state - nation. This system has rotted through completely. Social production based on exploitation of one person by another person (or one group of people by other group) is not capable to develop. High share of creative, as a matter of fact, free and equal in rights work is necessary for postindustrial development. Mechanisms of economic compulsion to work in the modern world delays this development. Political tools for this compulsion also delay it.
When will such crisis end?
It's impossible to give an exact time. Though the end of the crisis will have both political and social-cultural features. New state - firstly as a model - should appear. Whether it will be "technetronic" USSR - 2, "neuro-social" of Maxim Kalashnikov, whether it will be a society of Common sense which outlines we try to formulate now - likely, it's not so important how it would be called. But in due time especially American capitalists on the outcome from the previous world crisis formulated that a share of payment in the cumulative price of the ready-made product should make something about 70 percent - only so it is possible to provide reproduction of labour and balance between manufacture and consumption. Probably, the law deduced for simpler, as a matter of fact conveyor manufacture is a little bit obsolete for postindustrial innovative manufacture with high level of participation of workers in management. "Elite conversion" should disappear totally. It delays progress. Gold toilet bowls, crystal columns, castles on Riviera, brilliants in belly-buttons - all this should remain in museums, together with crowns of emperors, silver cups of dukes, thermaes of Caesars.
Anyhow, but "geography of inequality" should also disappear. Difference of the Siberian village from Swiss should be only climatic but in no way social - the European peasant cannot receive the state grant for hectare of the ground bigger, than the price of the crop which has been brought up on it, if there will be no deliveries of agricultural products to some Southeast Asia at the price not accessible to peasants who raise it.
For preservation of existing planetary system of exploitation, in essence, the main for today brake of progress of mankind there is only one way to be preserved - world war. As it was on the outcome of the previous world crisis. Many consider that this world war has been already taking place, simply it's now in a "cold" phase. For "elites" it is the only way to keep their position and there are no obstacles before them including the threat of global self-liquidation of mankind using the weapon of mass destruction. As under the order there are already "expert" estimations which say that threats of "nuclear winter" and so on are strongly exaggerated and more likely are political factor, rather than scientific. At such estimation last answer of our polling - "I will not live up to it" - gets not abstractly - divert but quite concrete meaning.
What it is possible to oppose to the lawleness of "elites"? Only new revolutionary theory, new image of the future and force of the weights categorically not interested either in own fast destruction "in the name of stability", or in infinite hopeless vegetation on boondocks of history at achievement of this "stability".
Therefore, not being the fortuneteller, it is impossible to say, WHEN crisis will end. But it is possible to say confidently WHAT will be the end of it - either world war, or world revolution. Let's choose what is pleasant to us more.