Answers for questions of Ukrainian Prospects Fund
Leonid Kuchma, President of Ukraine
There can be many scenarios. I cannot accept only one of them, the pessimistic one.
Ukrainian statehood is only nine years old. You will agree with me that this is not a long time for a state that, in essence, has just begun a new count of its modern history, and has entered into a qualitatively new sociopolitical and economic system.
We managed to cover this extremely tense period without critical shocks, conflicts or failures. We also managed to provide every basic attribute of statehood – from essentially external ones to such complex structures as the infrastructure of the national economy, money, banking, customs, and tax systems.
No small price was paid for all of this; we have many difficulties. But we cannot be blind to the positive changes that are more and more confidently emerging.
These include signs of economic stabilization that are being seen for the first time over the past few years. In particular, the decline in the gross domestic product has been stopped; industrial output has begun to grow. Over the nine months of this year, the volume of industrial output was up11.6% compared to the same period last year.
Such figures naturally are relative and unstable, but they are good proof that the hardest period has passed and that conditions are being made for the next stage in economic growth.
The changes underway strengthen my confidence that Ukraine on the whole is able to join the ranks of countries with highly developed economies within the next 15-20 years. Such a forecast is based upon the experience of states that have moved ahead relying mostly on their own forces. And Ukraine has the same potential – strong economic and intellectual potential, as well as highly qualified professionals.
We also need to take into consideration the beneficial geo-strategic location of Ukraine, which makes it possible to co-exist normally and actively interact with post-Soviet countries, with Europe, the USA, and Eastern states. More generally, our geo-strategic location allows us to join global world processes and economic integration.
There is every ground for the conclusion that within the next few years, basic foreign-policy objectives will have been achieved. First of all, this means acquiring of the status of an associate, and later a full-fledged member of the European Union. At the same time, development of mutually beneficial relations with Russia and other states of the former USSR remains among our top priorities.
We are witnesses to a turning point in the history of Ukraine, which coincided in time with radical changes in the world’s history.
Only those states which clearly define and dynamically realize their domestic and foreign goals, which provide stable economic growth, and which can cooperate with the surrounding world on equal basis, will be able to survive and fight for the right to a decent existence under current conditions.
I am confident that Ukraine will be among such countries. Our future depends first of all on us.
Serhiy Tolstov, Director of the Independent Center for Political Analysis and Forecasting
The next decade in Ukraine will be a period of “regulated democracy”, which will partially resemble the “conducting” of the rule of General Charles de Gaulle in France. The economy may partially stabilize in three to five years. It will center mostly agricultural sector and the food industry, metallurgy, chemistry, some fragments of machine-building and high industrial and productive technologies, and the service sector. The population will radically decline, and changes in the social-professional structure will, to a degree, come closer to the standards of Asian and Latin-American countries. The level of the gross domestic product of 1988-1989, with an average rate of growth of 5-6% of GDP, may be reached only in 2010-2012.
In the European context, Ukraine will be mildly integrated into its western region, primarily NATO and to a lesser extent, the European Union, and likewise its southern region, the Black Sea Cooperation, the Caucasian oil-transportation corridor, etc.
The problem of access to alternative sources of oil and gas will remain significant. It can be solved only if the Baku-Odessa-Poland-Europe oil-transportation transit project is implemented. This is especially true from the viewpoint of the decline in gas output in Russia, which will have long-term consequences.
In the case of aggravating of tensions in relations with the Euro-Atlantic community and Russia, two alternatives are possible:
In the case of a comparatively quiet international situation during the transformation period, Ukraine will pursue its multi-vector policy with preference for a military-political union with the USA and NATO.
Viktor Yuschenko, Prime Minister of Ukraine
We are living in an open world, in which any commonly recognized initiative takes hold of people’s minds with the speed of light. In the economy, this initiative is the process of globalization. Within the next 15-20 years, the development of the situation in Ukraine will be much like developments in Europe twenty to thirty years ago, when the so-called “basement of Europe”, specifically Spain and Portugal, gradually joined the all-European technological processes due mostly to their cheap workforce. These gradual, step-by-step activities led to the equalizing of living standards across the European community.
Ukraine, with its open borders and open policy, is-to put it bluntly-doomed to such an equalizing. Money does not like emptiness, and in ten years the difference in the level of European and Ukrainian salaries will be about 20%, not more. At the same time, Ukraine's technological presence will impact the whole world, not to mention Europe. Ukraine will become one of the factors in the large-scale transformations in information and other new technologies. And this role will be due not only to certain demographic resources, but to a combination of many elements, including natural and intellectual resources, and geographical location. We will witness the synergetic effects of this combination.
The world even now feels Ukraine’s intellectual potential in the work of Ukrainian specialists in various areas of minor and major global projects, and the Ukrainian presence will only continue to grow in the world. I would like to believe that Ukraine's inner life will not suffer as a result. Natural wits and stubbornness, or better-perseverance and patience-will lead this nation and this country into the ranks of the most influential ones.
It would be well to mention Zbigniew Brzezinski and his visit to Ukraine as an equal element of the Paris-Berlin-Warsaw-Kyiv European security axis. The military factor in this axis will, in time, no longer be dominant. Information and super-technology, rather than raw materials, will provide Ukraine with a decent place in the international community.
Stating the death of history, Francis Fukuyama did not consider the existing of Ukraine. It is in 15-20 years that the Ukrainian history will acquire its new sense and flavor.
Serhiy Golovatyj, National Deputy, President of the Ukrainian Legal Foundation
Ukraine has no chance of becoming a highly economically developed country. In the course of ten years of independence, and especially in the years of Leonid Kuchma’s rule, the state has been moving towards Moscow, and towards the power of criminally tainted capital, which has been internationalized in the territory of the CIS. The last several years have demonstrated that the national economy in Ukraine has been ruined rather than built up. Ukraine and her people are surviving by some miracle, in defiance of the politics and actions of the government. But the social organism is extremely ill. While nominally remaining an independent state, Ukraine will no longer be one in a few years.
Today, Ukraine’s economic potential has fallen to the pre-war level. In the future, we will become just a source of raw-materials to supplement to our great neighbors, and also their source of cheap labor. We have no political elite that will fight for the interests of Ukraine as an independent state. There is no Ukrainian social stratum that can to defend these interests even in principle. The fact is that power in our state is neither Ukrainian nor humane. Unlike the Baltic countries, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia or Slovenia, Ukraine has become neither a European nor an independent state.
As far as the political development of the state is concerned, Ukraine is sure to run into authoritarianism, dictatorship and ruling of criminal capital. Those who used to call themselves democrats have been fed and given portfolios. Part of them cannot even think in prospective. Some leaders are for some reason still thinking about Hetman’s mace and are unable to comprehend that they will not even reach new presidential elections. Neither do they understand the fact that in the parliamentary elections of 2002, the tornado of oligarchic-criminal capital will wipe them away from the political arena. For these reasons Ukraine has no chance of building up a normal European democratic society.
Maxym Rozumnyj, researcher at the Institute of Social and Political Psychology of Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine
The development of Ukraine is defined by two groups of factors: the inner logic and dynamics of Ukrainian society, and the impact of outside circumstances which help to shape this logic and these dynamics.
Ukrainian development can be quite clearly foreseen for at least the next ten years. Its main component is the strengthening of state power. While for now the growth of the administrative power of the state is painfully, indeed brutally evident, at the end of this period we can expect its inner demobilization. Following this demobilization, we can forecast a certain stabilization of living conditions, and the establishment of a new frame of social roles. However, the path to such a condition in this country is unlikely to be passed without moral and intellectual losses.
A certain tendency toward closure will also be felt. The gap between internally and externally oriented activity will become of key significance. The circle of those partaking of externally oriented activity-including those humanitarians who receive grants, exporters of domestic products, workers of respective state departments, foreign companies’ missions, visitors of exotic resorts, etc.-will be limited and look more like the Soviet elite circles.
At the same time, strict, indeed neo-feudal relations will be take root in the domestic affairs of the nation. Low incomes plus dependence on state administration, aggravated by a decline in the collective intellect, will create quite redacted and regulated opportunities for personal self-realization. “Shadow” economic niches for common citizens will be gradually and constantly eliminated. Instead, a new bureaucratic machine will gradually create low-income but guaranteed jobs in the spheres subject to it, from controlling bodies up to the system of education and academic sciences.
In connection with this decay of technological and scientific schools, opportunities for Ukrainian youth to find jobs abroad will continue to dwindle. Many people will desire to “break free”, but for that part of the new generation which knows no psychological fatigue from the Soviet lifestyle, the administrative system may seem attractive in offering steady careers and forceful self-affirmation.
Ethnic patriotism will lose all of its prestige, even if regional distinctions are cherished as evidence of quasi-cultural identity. The remnant of the intellectuals will return to esoteric studies and the propagation of religious renaissance.
Such a scenario is possible if Ukraine remains outside of geopolitical transformations.
Dmytro Vydrin, political scientist, President of the media corporation, “Vidomosti”
I cannot be optimistic about the possibility of cardinal improvement of the economic situation, since there are laws, in keeping with which the curves representing the beginning and end of crises have approximately the same duration. It took ten years for Ukraine to find itself in a crisis that began in the early 1990s with the decline in national gross products. Hence the end of the crisis it will take at least ten years. And only when we take good advantage of the traditional mechanism of ending the crisis will we reach the level of industrial output of 1990.
There are non-traditional ways of ending the crisis. Sometimes countries end them in a single leap, when they find non-traditional and innovational ways, use the hidden reserves of their citizens’ mentality, or the unique geopolitical situation of their country. Unfortunately, in our incumbent government or its reserve I see no people who would be capable of such “crazy” actions.
The main problem for us today is not a lack of money or resources, but rather a lack of qualified management. I see no good economic managers in Ukraine, none capable of the veritable feat that is required to answer the crisis.
Ukraine still has to cover a few socio-economic stages laid out for it by its past. We have passed only the first stage-the stage of frustration and collapse of democratic illusions. We hoped that it would be possible to build a highly developed democracy in a country without a highly developed free market. But there can be no civilized democracy built on an uncivilized market basis. Every normal country first created a normal market and built democracy upon it. We have striven to do it vice versa.
Since no market has been created, Ukraine must now go back to its starting point and pass through the inevitable authoritarian phase. During this period, the powers of the legislative body will be extremely restricted, the position of the judicial power will be weakened, while the position of the executive power will be increased. The influence of parliament as a whole and of deputies in particular will be essentially lessened, and the parliament may even be dissolved (in order to show whose power is stronger), but at any rate real power will flow to the presidential structures. Kazakhstan, for example, is now following this scenario of development. This situation will last until Ukraine establishes a civilized market economy, until owners achieve protection against the will of those wielding power.
Within the next two-three years I forecast a strengthening of the authoritarian tendencies in Ukraine, an unequal division of power and the radical weakening of regional power.
Our worst shortcoming is a lack of political culture, which can be remedied only through elections. In order to achieve a normal civic society in ten years, we need to go through a great series of elections. That is why I support referenda, public opinion polls and elections. I believe at least one parliament should be dissolved, so that others would learn from it.
Only in about ten years will have a possibility for a real movement ahead. Until then we will only have years of preparation.
Oleksa Nehrebetskyj, translator
The power of oligarchic capital, mostly Russian, will increase. Enterprises will be transferred into Russian hands, as well as into possession of transnational corporations. Only a few of them will actually be functioning.
Private property in land will be established, and peasants will immediately sell their land plots, maybe through straw middlemen. The Ukrainian village will totally decay, and those peasants who will not die on their own through the lack of medical care, elemental necessities, electricity and legal protection will be cast out from their houses through decrees or normative acts of the local bodies of power, and even by force. Gangs will abound in the countryside. Some places will become “garbage-cans” for industrial wastes from all over Europe, while others will become military training ranges. The Bundeswehr will train at some of them, while the rest will be for the maneuvers of the Russian Army and the retooled Soviet Army of Ukraine. In order to uphold the morale and patriotism of its soldiers, the Russian army will hold antiterrorist operations in the territory of Ukraine every once in a while. They will target some renegade band, which will in fact be one of many spawned by the oligarchs. But more gangs will contain “degenerate” peasants cast out of their land, and homeless urban citizens, as we can be certain that in time the authorities will come up with new ideas to deprive city dwellers of their flats, perhaps for failure to pay rent.
Urban citizens deprived of their homes, as well as peasants seeking refuge in cities, will build paper or clay houses around big cities and towns and sink into alcoholism, drug addiction and crime.
A citizen of the Russian Federation will become the president of Ukraine for two terms. By the end of his rule, every citizen will have received special identification marks on their foreheads or right hands that can be seen only in x-rays.
Epidemics of tuberculoses and hepatitis will spread wildly, as well as some other diseases that will constantly kill people. As a consequence of all these factors, the population of Ukraine will decline by 10-15 million. In Donbass, famine will break out in about five years, and all its population will free to Russia to capture plots of land to build cities and towns. Emigration to Argentina will be counted in hundreds of thousands; Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania will shut their borders with Ukraine. The southern coast of Crimea will find itself in the hands of several private persons; control of the Russian military bases will spread all over the peninsula, which formally remain under the jurisdiction of Kyiv.
In about fifty years the developments will be even more interesting, but we are talking about the scenario till only the year 2020…
Oleg Khavych, expert at the Agency of Humanitarian Technologies
Expert estimations show that only a small percentage of the population of the Earth are living in the 21st century. The rest remain in the past. Even the 20th century began in reality only in 1914 for Europe. All of this directly concerns Ukraine, for three quarters of its lands (Malorosia, Novorosia and Western Ukraine) exist in different historical epochs. In fact, only the latter has a chance to catch up with Europe.
After the loss of statehood in the 14th century, western Ukrainians got “stuck” in the Middle Ages. Only the Austrian Empire-the first since the time of King Daniel to unite practically all western-Ukrainian lands-placed Ukraine on the path to building their own state, the norm for Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. However, both the Austrian and the Russian Empires buried a mine underneath this road, namely the idea of “Great Ukraine”, which each empire saw as under its own control. Hence, in 1918 the nations of the Danube monarchy created their own states, but western Ukrainians turned out to be unprepared to do the same due to the “export” orientation of their nationalist doctrine. There was enough strength to create the Western-Ukrainian People’s Republic, but its interests were sacrificed to the “Great Ukraine” idea.
The subsequent history of relations between eastern and the western Ukrainians prove the unprofitability of the pursuit of unification for the latter. As a result of Stalinist terror in 1939-1941 and in 1944-1954, administered from the east of Ukraine, hundreds of thousands of western Ukrainians perished, while millions found themselves outside their motherland. Western Ukraine slipped back to the 18th century… The years 1960-1980 brought no changes to this process. The years of “national revival” and “independence” proved once again to the western Ukrainians that historical differences accumulated with centuries can be overcome only through assimilation of one part of “the state of Ukraine” by another. Apparently, ten million western Ukrainians have no chance of winning against the 40-million-strong army of residents of the east and south of Ukraine, who are supported by the whole of 150-million-strong Russia.
Maybe this is why for the first time in many years the western Ukrainians are demonstrating some signs of recovering from the “Great Ukraine” ideas. Western Ukraine has practically entered path-traditional for Central-European states-of independence. This path begins as an idea by intellectuals, from which develops civic movement in support of this idea, followed by a political force that implements the idea. When will this movement appear? It looks like it will appear soon enough, because for the first time in their thousand-year-long history, western Ukrainians are now facing the real danger of total assimilation.
Taras Kuzyo, political scientist, Great Britain
Ukraine has two choices, and accordingly two scenarios for its future.
The first one involves integration into Europe through a more decisive realization of the post-Soviet “four-step” transition. It contains four separate but interlinked transformations: the building of a civil society, institutional building, the creation of a free market economy and a democratic state.
The alternative choice is to continue following the “Ukrainian special third way”, which has already led to stagnation and poverty. This choice means neither movement back towards Eurasia, nor movement forward towards Europe.
I am not even taking into consideration a third scenario, a turn to Eurasia following the “Belarussian way”, because it is impossible in a country where two thirds of the population support the idea of independence.
Besides, today’s ruling elite of Ukraine is afraid of turning to Eurasia, where it would become a Russian province. However, the same elite is afraid of processes linked with movement towards Europe. And so we see declarations of “strategic partnership” and integration both with Eurasia and with the West, neither of which are implemented.
Neither the European scenario, nor the scenario of the “special third way” will cause Ukraine to lose her independence. However, the pursuit of the third scenario will undermine the independence of Ukraine and make it possible in the future to return to a union headed by Russia.
The West does not take seriously Ukraine’s objective of “returning to Europe”, for in reality Ukraine gives preference to balancing between Europe and Eurasia.
If Ukraine desires genuinely to be considered a European country, in the next decades it needs to take the following steps. First, it must to renounce its membership in the CIS. Even though Ukraine has never ratified the CIS Charter, the international community understands it as full-fledged member of the Commonwealth and de-facto as part of Eurasia. Second, Ukraine must invigorate efforts to implement the “four-step transition”. And last, Ukraine must categorically renounce the “third way”.
For the next 20 years Ukraine can either join Europe through implementation of the “four-step transition”, or decay somewhere between Europe and Eurasia in pursuit of her “third way”. The latter presents a greater threat to Ukrainian independence, for such stagnation will inevitably lead to reintegration between Ukraine and Eurasia.
Aleksander Kwasniewski, President of Poland
The world of the 21st century is being formed in front of our eyes and with our participation. We believe that the new age began with the transformations of 1989-1991. At that time the Yalta division of the world into two opposite blocs was abrogated. It was then that the countries of Central and East Europe gained an opportunity for self-identification, joining the path of democracy and economic reform. It was then that the real prerequisites for the process of unification of the whole continent appeared, which define the new dimension of global cooperation, and dialogue between world centers of civilization.
The processes forming the 21st century resemble melted glass: they are partially transparent and let one guess the future form; but are at the same time flowing, changing, unstable.
In the new world, the danger of a global conflict will be reduced. However, there will be more international mutual dependence and cooperation and, we hope, solidarity. More and more the world is realizing that it has many aspects and many cultures. Due to the further deepening of democracy and the power of law, the protection of human rights, the space for human freedom will increase. On the other hand, we will be haunted by other threats: local conflicts, terrorism, loss of control over weapons of mass destruction, extremism, instability of situations in many regions of the planet where the influence of the state power will not be of decisive character. The world of the 21st century will be a world of contrasts, imbalance, competition between the forces that build up and those that tear down. We are witnesses to the beginning of conflicts whose size and force can be only guessed.
We, Europeans, are mostly interested in the future of our continent. What will be the place of Europe in the world of the 21st century? In what direction will European transformation go? Here I am a cautious optimist. I believe Europe-if we manage to outline our chances and threats correctly-will have good prospects. Even recently it was predicted that the future century would belong first of all to Asia. The Asian crisis made us doubt those predictions. Today, the American economy is in the best condition; the latest technologies are born there. The new century will be the age of America, maybe of Asia, and without doubt, of Europe. The process of European integration creates a great moving force and will become a factor of the civilization development. We can be participants in the European renaissance, in the invigoration of potential that is part of the riches of Europe. But Europe should not stop halfway, should reject the temptation of selfishness and particularism, and should strive to level old ditches and counteract new split lines.
I look at the Polish-Ukrainian relations from the same point of view. We are building them, first of all, for the sake of the good of our states and nations, however, we should not lose sight of the European context of these relations. Poland and Ukraine, united by cooperation and strategic partnership, should play an important role in Europe. I believe those still unable to see it in full-for instance, some Western circles-will have to revise their point of view under the influence of developments in the next decade.
The road Poland and Ukraine will cover within the next 20 years depends first of all on us.
So, I am confident that the factors that will prompt the drawing closer of Poland and Ukraine will be social, economic, and civilization transformations in our countries. We can see proof of it even now.
We have reached some kind of maximum of the good political will declared at the top levels of the authorities of the both states. In order to effect the next significant steps in the drawing-close of our countries, we need the commitment of societies, environments, local leaders and common people, Poles and Ukrainians.
I would not fear that Poland’s decision to take upon herself the Schengen obligations might negatively affect the Polish-Ukrainian cooperation. Nothing has been decided here, and much depends on ourselves, in particular on the Ukrainian side. For Ukraine’s decisions will be an argument for Poland in her talks with the European Union in order to reach a situation in which our eastern border becomes friendly and open to interaction. The introduction of visas will be the last step. But even if this step is taken, we want these visas to be cheap and easily accessible. No barriers can be put in the way of people who want and need contacts and cooperation. So there will be no barriers.
Poland will always watch the process of transformation in Ukraine with great respect and sympathy. Poland will always strengthen good-neighborly relations and strategic cooperation with Ukraine. Poland will always have a stake in Ukraine's participation in uniting Europe and in the growth of its significance there.
These are the basic and inviolable principles that will outline our common path, the path into the new age during the 21st century.
Pierre Assner, Center of International Relations Research, France
Prospects of development of the West, that is the USA and Europe, are relatively predictable. However, they too may face a great economic crisis like the one in 1929 that would put everything in question. I do not think this scenario is the mostly likely one; I tend rather to believe that the situation in Europe and in the United States will not cardinally differ from today’s. The USA will probably concentrate on its own affairs, while the European Union will neither collapse, nor turn into a federal state, nor become a real military power. So, by the beginning of 2020, we can assume that the strategic alliance between the USA and Europe will have been preserved.
On the other hand, it is much harder to forecast the development of Asia and Russia. The most important question will probably be the future of China. There are three groups of forecasts today. Some experts believe that China, with its human, economic and military potential, will try to gain revenge over the West and become a great power. Others believe that China will be able to integrate into the capital system just like Japan. The third group of experts says China may encounter disintegration or major shocks, since the unstable balance between the authoritarian, ex-Communist regime and the capitalist market cannot exist always. So, there are many factors upon which the development of China depends and which are difficult to predict.
I do not think Russia will become another superpower in some 20 years and threaten the world; however, nobody can foresee today in what direction Russia will develop. Russia may pursuit the renewal of its strength, which will make it a great regional power. Under such scenario, it is unlikely to become very dangerous for the West, but is sure to present a threat to its closest neighbors. Neither do I exclude that after the period of corruption and violence, as in the case with the war in Chechnya, Russia will still choose the path of liberal democracy and capitalism.
In general we are encountering a rather philosophical question about the tendencies of development of the modern world. If the deep striving to possess strength and a powerful dominion is in the very nature of people and nations-even though it can fade sometimes-then Japan and Germany, for instance, will again become powers in the classical meaning of the term. If a certain evolution is inevitable, namely the transformation of Western countries into rich and individualistic societies in which any desire to sacrifice oneself or capture territories has lost its actuality to a large degree, then Russia and China may also finally follow the West. It is difficult to give accurate predictions. It is easier to list the most likely extreme hypotheses.
According to the optimistic scenario, we are currently watching the beginning of a new era in the history of humankind. In this scenario, the role of the law, international organizations led by the UN, international judicial bodies, and tribunals is becoming more and more important, and a system of global security is being formed. Thus, Francis Fukuyama is confident that we are coming to the end of history, since there are no more rivals to liberal democracy and the free-market. Subsequently peripheral countries with ethnic or religious conflicts still going on will gradually join the liberal-democratic path of development.
Samuel Gantington believes to the contrary that we are coming to the conflict of civilizations. Still other experts believe that the wars of the future are likely to break out within the frameworks of one civilization, for instance, between China and Taiwan, or between two Koreas, or as a result of disintegration of the existing state formations and emergence of new nations. According to yet another pessimistic scenario, we will witness even greater demarcation between the North and the South, between the periphery and the well-developed countries of the Center. Finally, some specialists are confident that great agglomerates of the third world with their anarchy and epidemics are the future of the whole planet, including the West, within the framework of the total essential weakening of state powers.
It is hard for me to choose one of these hypotheses, since there are factors today that are arguments for several scenarios at the same time. To my mind, for the next 20 years the model of liberal democracy will remain the only model, and in this I agree with Fukuyama. This does not mean, however, that the liberal-democratic model is eternal. In the Western world there are people who are dissatisfied with the life of the individualistic, consuming and relativist society. So, it is possible that prophets and new models of development will appear in the future.
Serhiy Krymskyj, Professor of the National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”, Academic at the New York Academy of Sciences:
The greatest peculiarity of the end of the 20th – beginning of the 21st century is the unique acceleration of the movement of history. Most of the states that we know emerged over the last 40-60 years of the 20th century. Ninety percent of human knowledge was accumulated in the 20th century. Over the past fifty years unbelievable changes took place in industry.
This acceleration will continue in the 21st century. Its result will be in increasing reliance on and culture of information, and increasing intellectualization, and the automation of production and the whole technologic sphere.
As far as geopolitical developments in the world are concerned, we can expect the world to be divided into two great systems: the Euro-Atlantic community and the World’s South. China and Russia, Eurasia, and Far East will remain separate and preserve their archetypes.
The future world will remain unstable, as conflicts between globalization and the national archipelago of humankind will remain. Differences between the Catholics and Protestants will grow in the North-Atlantic communities.
As far as Russia goes, she will stand in a position of strength and strive for cooperation with Eurasia, rather than Europe.
A serious conflict between the so-called “golden billion” (the population of the seven highly-developed countries) and the rest of the population of the planet will be preserved. Unfortunately, it is impossible to spread the standard of living of the industrialized countries to the whole planet.
Within the next 15-20 years, the role of China and Japan will grow. The crisis of the South will deepen, particularly in Africa, which has lost its way in financial difficulties and is unable to return loans. The return of totalitarianism and the strengthening of the power of the military will contribute to that.
The “seven” countries will let no one else join them. They will do their best to restrict the development of technologies in other countries (in Ukraine in particular). There is a way out of such circumstances for Ukraine. The development of relations and cooperation with industrialized countries not allowed to join the “seven”, namely Argentina, India, Brazil, can be promising. In general, the only alternative to the problems of the 21st century is the strengthening of spirituality and culture.
Gavriil Popov, economic consultant, Russia
Integration (globalization) of the world will increase, but important changes will also take place. In particular:
Today’s American model of the globalization process in the form of pyramid headed by the USA will be forgotten.
The main geopolitical model of the world will be a planet with several power centers. Theoretically, it will be something like the following:
Russia will integrate with Ukraine and Belarus. However there will be no separate Russian bloc in the world. Russia will join one of the power centers as one of the leading countries of the world in this center.
Most people today speak about Russia’s joining the European bloc. But we cannot exclude the possibility of repeating the 12th-13th century, when most of the provinces of the Kyiv Rus headed by Novgorod and Alexander Nevsky were oriented toward the Golden Horde and the Asian direction at large, leaving behind orientation of Galitian princes to the West.
Everything will depend on the place that Russia will be offered by the competing force centers of our planet.
Roman Zvarych, National Deputy of Ukraine
We can be sure only that life will bring us many surprises. However, even today we can say what kind of world we would like to see in twenty years. First of all, this should be a world in which peace is not established through dictatorship or blackmail.
I would like the interstate relations to be built first of all on the basis of mutual trust and tolerance, so that we hear nothing about ethnic cleanings, so that every nation will be able to choose without the interference of others what kind of life it wants to build for itself and its descendants. I would like to see a moral world, a world of human relations.
One can surely say that this sounds like utopia, that the strongest have always dominated the weakest, and that is how it will always be. Why? It was on the edge of the new millennium that the humankind created for the first time preconditions for building up a new type of interstate relations. All great empires disappeared under the pressure of contradictions built into them. The overwhelming majority of nations are able to realize their right to self-identification. And this fact creates conditions for the building up of democratic social relations in those countries.
Our common prospects in the new century are not all that bad. We are living in a fantastic world, which our parents could not even dream of. If we behave correctly, our children will live even better, longer and more freely, without fear or lack, in prosperity and justice.
Anatoly Gutsal, Deputy Director of the National Institute of Ukrainian-Russian Relations
In my opinion, the condition and directions of development of the world’s community will be defined by the dominion of the collective and traditional (conservative) elements in social relations against the background of innovation and technical progress.
The liberal-democratic paradigm of western society will play only a decorative role; it will be like an identification procedure for joining the “golden billion”. It will serve as a formal pass, an ethical norm that defines, first of all, the level of acceptability for any given country’s contact with the western world.
In the domestic life of the countries of the East, including Russia, liberalism and democracy will come down to simply virtual categories, appealed to by the so-called centrists in their inner “clarification of relations” and referrals to the West.
So what will be able really to change the liberal dogma in social construction? Corporatism. Ideas of corporatism are all-covering and are implemented in various forms: in regional integration, political unions, social partnership, strengthening of corporative elements in the economy.
The American dominion will increase, and impose its own norm of conduct-first and foremost economic-upon other countries, including demonstration of intolerance toward “unlike-minded”. The USA is coming to the next turn of the spiral of reproduction of its historical share. But today, instead of black slaves they import while intellectuals. I do not exclude the possibility that with time, these processes may grow into a serious socio-cultural tension, some kind of a war between North and South.
Today’s processes of European integration look mostly like the results of the post-war influence of the United States, first of all directed against the USSR in the cold war. It is only logical that NATO remains in the vanguard of spreading the Euro-Atlantic integration in the East, and the European Union is part of its “wagon train”. That is why the destiny of Unified Europe will to a large degree depend upon the United States. Alienation from eastern neighbors is growing deeper in the most important parts of Western European civilization, and not as a matter of malicious intent.
Tadeusz Andrzej Olszanski, political scientist, Poland
Ten years ago, the collapse of the so-called Socialist commonwealth meant the end not only of the “cold-war” confrontation between the two blocs. It was the end of a much larger confrontation that started in 1912-1914, in which two coalitions collided, first European, and later global. This was a military confrontation that can be called the Second Centenary War. Its final result was the destruction of the world’s two-pole system and returning to the natural multi-pole system.
This, on the one hand, has led to unstable international relations, and on the other has slowed down the development of science. That is why the future world will be less secure, less stable politically. This instability will be the source of many threats, but also many chances that will enable societies to meet the challenges that they will face. For only multi-vector movement, competition, instability can lead us forward. The European civilization has always based itself upon such a shaky balance, or I should say, a shaky imbalance. Many authors state that the former totalitarian threat is now replaced with the “globalization” threat, which is linked with the formation of a world market, first of all-and one based on financial speculation-as well as the advantage of transnational concerns over countries, so-called turbo-capitalism. This threat, however, cannot be compared to the previous one. First and foremost, globalization and turbo-capitalism are processes, while totalitarianism was a project that was implemented according to a plan. It is obvious today that besides global there are intensive regional processes going on. In the future, simultaneously with the globalization of markets, a regionalization of social and political movements will also take place, leading up to emergence of new countries or autonomous units.
I do not exclude the possibility that the declared expansion of the European Union at the expense of Central-European countries of the “first group” will never take place. In some years, a number of hierarchic communities may already exist instead of the homogeneous European Union. The most stable of them (“Euroland” – a currency union and possibly a political confederation) will more or less openly compete with the United States. The countries of today’s European Union (“Schengenland”) will form a wider circle, and the next one, the so-called “outer Europe”, will include the countries around the EU, starting with Poland and Slovenia, and ending maybe with Morocco, Israel, and Ukraine.
The United States will remain the main super-state of the world, with which “Euroland” and later perhaps China will compete. Russia will be unable to fight for the position of a super-state. As an optimistic variant, in about ten-twelve years, it will become stable and relatively independent, but weak. This will become possible under the conditions of deep decentralization of the Russian Federation. According to the pessimistic variant, China will dominate Russia.
Poland might have a chance to join the European Union. Ukraine has none. More likely, in 20 years these two countries will become elements of the “outer Europe”, should such a unit be formed, or just space that will depend upon the EU for a long time. Even today Poland is a part of the latter. Only the process of “Slavic integration” may impede Ukraine’s joining the EU. Unfortunately, this possibility cannot be excluded.