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Nikolay LAPIN,

 Institute of philosophy of RAS, Moskow



At the beginning of the 20th century the role of the value of life as fundamental to human civilization diminished. Human civilization was in crisis and can no longer ensure sustainable existence of homo sapiens. In the article civilization is suggested to understand   as the man-made way of building a community of people, there are also grounded three fundamental values of real civilization perspective of humanism, that are required  in new conditions of civilized choice, the possibility of the humanistic modernization as a new stage of world modernization is also showed.

KEY WORDS: civilization, its fundamental values and the crisis of civilization, civilizational choice, real humanism, critical humanism, humanistic modernization.




Civilization is an anthropogenic way of life arrangement

It is known that civilization has emerged out of primitive specimens of homo sapiens communities. The community appeared approximately 2.5 million years ago and existed as such for about two million years, practically  being  an era of wildness in the genesis of mankind. There dominated culture, based on    half-instinctive rules of life support, established as a tradition. The status of this traditional, primitive communal way of life arrangement, especially cultural standards of homo sapiens of that period,  allowed  this kind of hominids to live only on the brink of survival.

Civilization emerged about 5500 years ago. This landmark event was associated with the appearance of a new type of culture of people, increasing rationalization of their activities,  that guaranteed not only survival, but relatively reliable existence. Knowledge and skills enabled people to use not only natural sources of food and materials for shelter and clothing, but to do all the necessary things themselves. Hunting and gathering gave way to a stock-breeding and farming, and caves and other natural shelters gave up to buildings from treated trees and stones.

The main acquisition or main quality culture and civilization as such is that the value of human life has gradually spread to the broader community of people and at the beginning of our era it was embodied in the universal commandment: “thou shalt not kill” and was indeed the first value, common to  all civilizations. At the same time the activities in culture and social relations became more differenсiated. The cities emerged as centers of culture and life of the society and large community - as ethno-cultural and socio-political centers (empires, states). A  human being became a multidimensed - biological, social, cultural - creature. This meant a great turning point in the way of life arrangement of human beings homo sapiens in the entire history of this amazing kind of living things on the planet - Earth – this meant that human civilization appeared.

This allows us to offer operational understanding of civilization as a source. Civilization is a method of life arrangement large communities of people living in certain areas of the Earth, which, unlike the state of wildness, provides sustainable survival of homo sapiens and creates conditions for   individuals to develop their human qualities. In other words, civilization is a anthropogenetic way of arrangement large communities of people. The anthropogenic qualities are achieved due to the creation of new types of culture of people thanks to their overbiological   life activity programs, including basic values, as well as the characteristics of the society (a totality of social relations between people), which create conditions for realization  the potentialities of these types of culture.

The given definition of civilization consists of four interrelated components: (1) a human being as an actively-controversial bio-socio-cultural being, or rather, quite a lot of people that live in a particular geographical area; (2) the position of this area on the surface of the Earth, natural-climatic conditions of life and activity of the members of the community; (3) a  type of a culture as a set of overbiological programs, universals, fundamental values, especially values human life [Stepin, 2000, 268-271], which allows people to widen the boundaries of natural biological survival and create opportunities for self-development of a human being; (4) the type of a society (a set of social relations between people), contributing to or impeding the realization of the potentials of a culture.

The conformity of a society and a culture provides not only survival, sustainable living of the community of people, but also developing their own human qualities (needs and abilities, freedoms and rights, responsibilities and qualivied competence), that is highly functional state of his way of life arrangement. On the contrary, society - culture mismatch hampers the capacity, means disfunctional state  of a life arrangement of the community of people, of their civilization.

The contemporary crisis of civilization

It is at the beginning of the 21st century that the disparity of social practices of international interactions and the global problems of the information age exacerbated. Checks and balances are gone bipolar world,  the regulatory role of the value of human life also weakened. Civilization loses its ability to provide sustainable existence of homo sapiens and  has already escalate man-made threats to its existence (growth of the threat of nuclear war, climate change). This means the contemporary crisis of civilization. A kind of its manifestation is the temptations of global "missionary work" of extremism - followers of certain civilizations, their destructive policy towards people of other civilizations as "outsiders" even the “nonhumans”. In the face of global informatization there is forming a new spatial logic: contrary to its  "space place", Manuel Castells called the space of  flows, "which becomes the dominant spatial manifestation of power" [Castells, 2000, 356]. The main ones include capital flows, especially financial. In the context of globalization, global capital flows were regulated by their agents (transnational actors) in order to preserve its dominance in the world markets and excess profits from the exploitation of the world's resources - especially resources of the continent of Eurasia.

But before the general public the adepts of the global capital flows act as spiritual missionaries of the Western civilization and, accompanying their teachings with the references to God in the World Wide Web, they represent this civilization as the most advanced one, deserving to be a universal  model. Their interests are presented as values, and political values are confirmed as fundamental values, above all - internationally recognized human rights and freedoms of democracy. There is no doubt that these rights and freedoms are crucial as the basis of the modern political order. But how much they are well-grounded as the highest values of civilization as a whole, that the truly fundamental value of human life is falling out of the number of priority values?

Polyvalensity of civilizational choice in the 21st century

The problem of the vector of civilizational evolution remains open. Humanity was facing a polyvalent option: a) either to choose exogenous following a "missionary" civilization or "right"  nation state and to lose in this way the status of independent civilization or endogenous continuing the evolution of each civilization; b) however, endogenous continuation  too ambiguous: It is either the preservation of an existing situation with the possible recession to suicide wildness (as it  has already happened during fascism) or to rise to  a new, more humane state in accordance with the characteristics of each civilization.

Intercultural dialogue is the way to reach a consensus concerning the fundamental values of civilization. The main obstacles on the way to consensus remain profound differences of interests of the participants-representatives of countries that are very different in terms of economic development,  competitiveness in the world market, on economic and military-political influence on other countries. The opportunity to reach  consensus is  higher, when the spectrum of basic choices is limited. The described alternative of the exogenous/endogenous civilizational choice meets this constraint.

There is a certain encouraging  fact: during the last period in a group of large countries, particularly in the BRICS (a total of population of 2.83 billion, i.e. 42% of humankind), the tendency to develop an endogenous civilization is marked. The political elites of these countries demonstrate the intention to ensure the sovereignty of the Member States and promote equitable international cooperation. The implementation of such intentions presupposes the priority of the value of human life. It is clear that these countries are just at the beginning on their aspiration to humanize the life of their communities. Their movement along this path will be enhanced thanks to the fact that they are involved in the process of world modernization.


Modernization as the integral change of civilization

Understanding   modernization as the transition from the traditional society to the modern one was sufficient for the first, industrial stage. To-day there exists  more wider understanding of modernization as civilizational changes.

Upgrading itself, out of ideological interpretations, modernization  is a collection of changes that people make when, on their own initiative or forced to do – they choose new methods of work with their objects and change their living conditions - in order to improve it. The cumulative growth, mass replication of  the nationwide changes results are converted to a culture, the social practices of its society, socio-cultural quality of the population of the country. And if these changes occur in the leading civilized  countries, these changes take place in all the other countries of this civilization, that leads to a qualitatively new state of the whole   civilization – its modernization takes place.

The process of modernization  consists of four main components.

Technical and technological component. It is a transition to a new technological mode (modes), it means the creation of such condition of human activity, that becomes the main (more than 40%)  source of the gross of domestic product of the country, region (GDP, GRP), or a new resource for competitive development among other societies.

Socioeconomic component. It shows the changes of proportions of the main sectors of economy as "submerged in society" and  adapting to its rules and functions, without losing its specificity [Etzioni, 2003]. Approval of new technological modes causes the increase of GDP per capita, as well as changes in the proportions of the major sectors of the national economy (agricultural, industrial, services in the broad sense). Apparently, in different civilizations and subcivilizations, depending on their geographic, climatic and socio-cultural conditions, the optimal level of these proportions are different.

Socio-cultural component. It includes a set of social and cultural changes: achieving worthy working conditions, and the level and quality of life of the people, the formation and adoption of the set of values, such values, as the development not only communities, but also personality, his abilities and needs, rights and freedoms, social responsibilities and qualivied competencies, and their adoption in everyday life is guaranteed by  the development of socio-cultural stratification and such institutions as science and education, social welfare and health care.

Institutional regulatory component. It includes changes of regulatory institutions, i.e. formal and informal rules of action of individuals and institutions in the economic, political and social life of a society. The general vector of changes consists of a deep democratization of the State and the political life of the society, its legal institutions, civil society activity, combating excessive bureaucracy and redundancy of officials involved in the creation and implementation of these procedures (debureaucratization). This component can be seen as a part of a widely understood socio-cultural modernization.

All the components of the modernizing process of civilization are interrelated. Together they form an integrated wholeness. If this or that component is not represented sufficiently or, on the contrary, it dominates the rest, in this case the integral modernization can turn into a partial quazimodernization.

Stages of modernization and  eras of civilization

With the emergence of civilization in Eurasia and in some other countries  for a long time there existed the agrarian civilization. People created the culture of farming – it was called agriculture (hence the term  of culture), as well as the culture of cattle-breeding. Then, beginning in the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the scientific, technical and industrial revolutions, the owners, managers, workers in several Western European countries started to develop a new type of culture -industrial labour. The societies of these countries took the path of transformation from agrarian to industrial: this was the first stage of modernization. It was the first Western European (Western) civilization, and its result was the industrial civilization as a new way of life arrangement a community of people.

In the 70-ths of the twentieth century in the United States, then in Europe  the second stage of modernization, informational one began - the transition from an industrial to a post-industrial civilization, based on knowledge, information and communications. However, in the late twentieth and at the beginning of the twenty-first century, in the context of globalization processes, the first stage of industrialization-modernization was spread among the most countries of the world. Modernization has become universal in character. Today two stages of modernization take place globally: the first industrial phase is realized in about 90 developing countries and about 40 developed countries realize the second stage – informatization.  At the same time many developing countries  are realizing two stages of modernization, but  not synchronic and uneven.

For a long time these processes could not been observed, since there were no appropriate tools of measurement. But there was necessity in the integral understanding and measurement of modernization processes. And the first answers to this need were found in the theories of post-modernization, catching-up modernization, reflexive modernization, globalization, multiple modernization. At the end of the 90-ies of XX century Chinese scholar Chuanqi He invented the general theory of modernization as a civilizational process [He, 2012] and headed the Center for modernization Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CMR of CAS). The Centre has developed a special instrumentation to measure the indexes of the two stages of modernization, as well as an integrated index of the two stages on the basis of international statistics. Using this instrumentation, CMR of CAS from  2001 leads the annual monitoring of modernization indexes  of 131 countries with populations of more than 1 million people each, subject to the availability of reliable statistical data (these countries include 97% of all mankind) [He, 2010]. Monitoring data from CMR of CAS had four groups of countries surveyed in 2001-2012 years: from about 20 countries - developed; moderately developed, the level above the average of about 30; preliminarily developed, pre-intermediate - more than 40;   underdeveloped  - 40 countries [He, 2015]. In addition to being among the most backward, typically small countries, some have not yet entered into the agrarian era: their population lives mainly due to hunting, fishing and gathering, and they shall not be taken into account in the monitoring due to the lack of reliable data.

Three of the abovementioned countries of the BRICS are preliminarily developed. Let's call them in order to enhance their integrated index of modernization as a synthesis of  international comparison (at the 2012 its size, is given in parenthesis): India (32), South Africa (45), China (52). Specify the index of the secondary modernization of China (SM = 54) reached the moderately developed countries (SM-index their minimum = 52). The other two countries are moderately developed: Brazil (61) and Russia (67). Update: Russia SM-index (76) is close to developed countries (SM-index their minimum = 80).

According to CMR of CAS, in the second half of the XXI century the world modernization will affect more than 190 countries (approximately 6 billion people). To 2100, according to the forecast  estimation, only about 20 countries  will be considered as developed, developing countries - the rest 170 countries will be called as developing, and among them 25 countries  will be vanguard developed countries. The standards of secondary modernization of the 20 developed countries will be 5 times higher than in 2005, and the average level of modernization in the world will fall short by 50 years. The position of each country in the process of world modernization can vary: the leading countries must constantly defend their leading position, and catching-up countries need to move faster. According to the forecast estimation up to 2100 the position of the two-four developed countries will come down and they will find themselves in a number of developing and the position of one-five developing countries will increase and they become developed.

Conclusion: in the XX1century  uneven modernization of countries will rise and cross-country competition will be very tough [He, 2010]. In the globalized world the risks of modernization choice will increase.  According to the opinion of the authoritative members of the XVIII Congress of the International Sociological Association (Yokohama, July 2014), now  not only individual societies, but humanity as a whole find themselves before growing risks in all areas of their life. The mankind faces the threat of degradation of civilized state and recession to the suicidal state of wildnessThis means that Western and human civilization as a whole becomes dysfunctional, there is the necessity of  changing of  the way of life arrangement a community of people in the new configuration of the fundamental values of the civilization choice for humanity.

Requiring Trinity of the fundamental values of civilization

The whole history of mankind, all civilizations give evidence: this is the preferred option, which ensures preservation of homo sapiens, the priority of human life as a unique value, the choice in favour of continuing the evolution of human civilization as the anthropogenic way of life arrangement a community of people. However, at the beginning of the 20th century under the banner of the rapid universal establishment of democracy as a guarantor of freedom in reality there took place destabilization of  political regimes in North Africa, the Middle East, in the Ukraine. As a result, hundreds of thousands of people were killed. To-day, in the situation of growing conflict in the Ukraine, in the United States and the European Union's relations with Russia and in the world in general, thousands of people dye everyday  (in wars and prisons, from terrorist assaults, bandits and other criminals), it is especially important to increase the regulatory role of the fundamental values of civilization. In the noosphere of civilization the following question is already flaming :

"If humanity is being prepared

to burn in nuclear hell:

"voluntarily" or to dye because of

unreasonable tolerance?"

In these circumstances, for the sake of preserving  civilization  axiological imperative of non-violence as a fundamental value deserves most wide propaganda. This imperative was formulated by the Russian philosopher, academician Abdusalam Huseynov, in an interview, that  he gave in New York on the eve of the third millennium:

"Currently, there is no unifying ideas of humanity, there is no general moral horizon. I guess that non-violence is the idea. Non-violence is the new spiritual and practical height, that mankind should take. This is necessary to enable it to survive, and that could prevent achievement of civilization. There is no alternative "[Huseynov, web].

Yes, it is. And if non-violence as a fundamental value, placing the evolution of civilization towards its humanistic eminence, will not find support on the side of geocivilizational centres of the world and the citizens of most countries, the Security Council and the United Nations as a whole, the reality will be pessimistic up to the realization of catastrophic scenarios and the celebration of total permissiveness.

At the same time, the totality of the rights and freedoms of the individual as the basis of the political system of a modern society is widely advocated, enshrined in international declarations and constitutions of many countries including the Russian Federation. It's really essential political values. But, I repeat and give concrete expression to the question, put at the beginning of my article: it is correct enough to characterize them  as fundamental? Can we suppose that in their base there is another, more deep, truly the fundamental value  - the value of the dignity of a human person?

The problem of human dignity as a fundamental value and the legal and political situation around it at the 18th-21 centuries was analyzed by the great German philosopher and political scientist  Jürgen Habermas: "The philosophical concept of human dignity, which dated back to antiquity, and which was formulated by Kant and is still is used to-day in his formulation, only since the end of World War II was included into the texts on international law and in national Constitutions ... On the contrary, the concept of human dignity as a legal concept is not found neither in the classical human rights declarations of the 18th century, nor in the codes of the 19th century. Why in law the concept of "human rights" appeared much earlier  than  the idea of the "dignity of man"?... Does the idea of human rights to a certain extent retroactively morally loaded - and possibly overloaded   by the idea of human dignity only in the historical context of the Holocaust?”

And he answered to his own questions negatively: "a close conceptual relationship - even if at first it is only implicit - between the two concepts existed from the very beginning". “Human dignity is ... the moral “source”, which fueled  the contents of all the fundamental rights” - the right to freedom, social, cultural and other rights, in their balance, synthesis and indivisibility, without isolating any of them (for example, economic) as a priority [Habermas, 2011].

We can add that human dignity as a fundamental value is a demarcation quality of the real human civilization, the true beginning of all human rights and freedoms, the opposite of any of permissiveness, especially one that tries to hide his face under the mask of civilization.

Human dignity also means the unmatched value of each individual, each individual in the relationship among people. The concept of human dignity, according to Habermas, is the basis of the status of citizens, mutually recognizing each other as subjects of equal rights. Consequently, it already contains the base of non-violence as the supreme ethical principle or law of the relationships  among individuals and their communities, the law, which does not allow exceptions, and in practice involves the non-violent resistance.

Thus, the preservation of humanity and the future status of its way of life arrangement even today search a new, more complex configuration of the fundamental values of civilization - configuration, which I call “Trinity of  fundamental values of the really humane civilization”. Let’s summarize their contents: human life is the supreme value and self-value as well as non-violence in the relationships among individuals and peoples; the dignity of a human person (his needs and abilities, the totality of liberties and rights, responsibilities and qualified competencies).

Requiring Trinity of the values embrace two fundamental characteristics/functions of civilization. First, it  ensures the survival of people thanks to those  values of self - preservation, or prohibitions-taboos that people can't break in order to save their lives, and thereby to continue the homo sapiens: this is the values of human life and of non-violence in human relations. Secondly, thanks to the values of human dignity Trinity of values protects the deep personal source/motif of self-realization, self-development of the creative potential of every human being as active personality and  allows civilization to save the self-development of  human qualities, the qualities  of all humanity.

This is the minimal necessary and minimal sufficient foundations of human civilization. This thin layer of axiological noosphere of civilization that will save humanity from  destructive actions of impulsive permissiveness, character to the epoch of savagery. Its immaturity or thinning leads to axiological holes in noosphere of civilization that offer exposure to temptations of total permissiveness.  Around this axiological core  of  culture there can be formed a varied combinations of values, typical to the historical and cultural characteristics of each country, each civilization.

 The name of this Trinity of values can be Real Humanism?

When I reflected on the words "Trinity of values of the really humane civilization", there appeared a stable association of their proximity to the values of real humanism. This concept was proposed by Karl Marx in his early works (before the final formation of his views as the true theory of Marxism). In this association for me there is no chance, because  first 15 years of my scientific research (1954-1968) I basically devoted to the authentic study of the life and works of  young Marx, then intermittently continuing and complementing those studies until 1986. [1]

Beginning from the first and  the following publications of my book "Young Marx" I summarized the humanistic position of Marx in the process of his writing “The economic and philosophical manuscripts” at  1844: "the focus of the true humanism must not be abstract estimates of total wealth of a nation, but the real living conditions of a particular person. Since humanity mainly consists of workers, and among them the most difficult situation is that of the proletarians, in this case humanism can be  real, that is -  really taking care of the interests of every human being,  only defending the interest of  proletarians. But this does not preclude the taking care  of the interests of other classes. On the contrary, in terms of real humanism, the situation of those who does not work (хорошо живет, не работая) can be safe in this society  only in a purely external aspect (and even not always), but essentially it is unworthy of the high title of human being» [Lapin, 1968, 268].

I should add that this score then, in 1968, was one of the arguments in favour of the revival of empirical sociological research in the USSR. It is that understanding of the early Marx and his concept of real humanity, which I adhere even now (of course, given the overriding the terms "worker", "not-worker"). Overcoming the dogmatical marxism, many foreign and domestic scholars (I am among them) had not rejected it entirely, but reflected on the constructive possibilities of its humanistic content, including his critical engagement with the concepts of the broad democratic character. The possibility of such interpretation was justified by “the bourgeois revisionist" in the early 30-ies of XX century. In post-Soviet Russia in 1990 it was academician V. Stepin who drew his attention to  its legality. He noted the importance of the fact that Marx fought  for “ the ideal future as an integrated humanity that builds its relations on a humanist basis, on the primacy of human values, replacing class priorities" [Stepin 1996, 88-89].

In his new book "The birth of Marxism» («Возникновение марксизма»)   the academician T. Oyzerman, self-critically reworking his monograph of the 1974., introduced the concept of real humanity as fundamentally important not only for the early stages, but for the entire content of Marxism. Here I quote  summarizing characteristics of the two early works of Marx.  "So, "Economic and philosophical manuscripts of 1844” ... represents, in essence, the statement of the assumptions of the new form of materialism and communist teachings, the actual entity of which is real humanism." And then, in the "Holy Family", written  by  Marx and Engels in 1845: "the main thing in it is the theoretical basis of "real humanism" – this is how  Marx and Engels called  their socialist doctrine" [Oyzerman 2011, 318, 351].[2]

The Patriarch of the modern Russian philosophy (I am his disciple with postgraduate studies, 1954-1957, at the Department,  headed by  T. Oyzerman) opened up new prospects for understanding the Marx’s position towards the essence of society and, I might add, of  civilization, corresponding the interests of all workers, which can be called civilization of real humanism. The following  successful workers struggle during more than one and half century  in line with European social democracy programmes, and, practically in line with the concept of real humanism of Marx, demonstrated possible ways of implementing this concept in the context of the 20th century.

It is desirable to reconstruct the authentic content of this concept. In this article, I can only draw attention to some of its ideas. First ideas of humanism  young Marx correlated with the image of Gumanus from "Mysteries"of Iogann  Wolfgang von Goethe, where "Humanus was the name of the wise holy image, who was the best of all with gracious destiny", and then Marx perceived Feierbach’s understanding of man as an aggregate of all qualities and ways of his life activity. In the political sphere, Marx's humanism meant the commitment to democracy: the people organizing themselves in a certain state as "the self-representation of people", and the democracy of the future is a socialized man.  On the contrary,  bureaucracy is the epitome of formalism, which it drew the state into their private property.

In contrast to the abstract humanism of the theorists, who was not associated with the humanism of the poverty and the situation of workers, the real humanism of Marx grew out of criticism social contrasts existing in the world. "The advantage of a new direction exactly is that we do not want to anticipate the future and dogmatically wish only through criticism of the old world new world found" [Marx, 1955, 379], - Karl Marx formulated as a methodological principle of its views in September, 1843, approaching the concept of real humanity.

This principle has become a way of being of the Marx’s ideas (not only early). I believe it is possible to characterize it as a critical humanism. It is the integrated approach, which includes the philosophical, political and economic views and forms the methodological core of real humanism as the broad democratic world-view. It is characterized by the "categorical imperative, commanding overthrow all relations, in which a man is humiliated, enslaved, helpless, a despicable creature" [Marx, 1955, 422], and on the basis of this criticism suggests ways to real humanism. The specific content of critical humanism depends on historical stages of development of the object of criticism and its socio-cultural features.

The creativity of the young Marx refers mainly to the first half 40-ies of the XIX century. At that time, capitalism in Europe has not yet reached a mature stage and was under the influence of increasing of the working class movement that fought against the deterioration of their lives. In these circumstances, Marx (together with Engels),  following the principle of critical humanism, formed the real humanism by critics of capitalism from the perspective of workers, particularly the proletariat - critics, which meant a struggle for emancipation of all mankind.

Marx’s criticism in the "Economic and philosophical manuscripts» of 1844 year - is the parallel ("shuttle") analysis of the three sources of income, beginning from the capital as the legitimate attribution of the another’s labour by  the owners of the means of production. This analysis was preceded by the Marx’s acquaintance with the Engels’s  article “The outlines of the critique of political economy ". In analyzing the sources of income  Marx subjected to merciless criticism  the position of economic science of the time (beginning from A. Smith and up to D. Ricardo), comparing these positions with their consequences for the real life of workers. As a Marx worked out  the fundamental concept of the alienated labour,  self-alienation of worker in the process of work. The study of the history of socialist and communist teachings allowed Marx put forward suggestions about possible stages of removing the alienation: "the removing of self-alienation goes by the same way as self-alienation " [Marx, 1974, 113]. In other words, first, you have to eliminate the rule of private property - almost exactly this was the aim of the Communist’s movement, and then real humanists (the socialists) will move to their main aim - to positive humanism through the establishment of labour associations as institutions of a future society, in which “we would work like people".  In such a society an integral, holistic man could develop.

Behind this schematic  aspects of real humanism it is easy to see the triad of  fundamental values that are required for building a civilization of real humanism, meeting the expectations of workers, who constitute the majority of mankind. The creation of such a civilization is a long process of complex changes, which nowadays is not seen as something cloudy and utopian, but as the third stage  of already ongoing modernization of human civilization - its humanistic modernization.

Currently, it is expedient only to discuss the possibilities and desired preparations for such modernization. Participation or non-participation in this discussion  presents the real civilizational choice that needs to be done in each country, civilization or sub-civilization. Of course, given the historical phase of its development and socio-cultural identities.

The preparation needs special strategy, that is worked out and supported by stakeholders. A humanistically oriented strategy of the phased development can be effective enough in the ongoing modernization. As it has been showed above, the modernization has become universal. However, the majority of the population on Earth  still live in the countries that are only at the first, the industrial stage, even in its initial phases of  development. Consequently, at the present stage of human history, the priority is to develop the industrial stage of modernization in most countries of the world.

         This task is also important for the countries of Western civilization, particularly the European subcivilization: the more successful will be the industrialization of the developing countries, the less keen will be the problem of migration of their population to more developed countries as well as  the problem of “missioner attitude”  of one countries towards the other.

While developed countries are able to continue to the second stage of modernization, information as a way of building a civilization, its culture and society in general, human communities based on knowledge, information and communications.

And most important: if the country, civilizations will be increasingly active in understanding and  rooting this Trinity of fundamental values, complemented by their own values to guide their modernization, the development would mean the beginning of the movement towards the third, humanistic stage, this would mean  aksiological preparation of the civilization of real humanism.

Axiological choice of movement in this direction can be done even today. But such choice has not yet been done.  It is far from being done, but it is already in demand. We should not wait until it can be too late.



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Nikolay Lapin – Professor, Director of the Center for study of social and cultural changes, Institute of philosophy of RAS, Corresponding-member of Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS).

Translation from Russian is Mira Sultanova, Institute of philosophy of RAS.



[1] Main results outlined in my monograph "Young Marx" (Н.И.Лапин. «Молодой Маркс»), which was abbreviated to publish my doctoral dissertation (defended in December 1968, at the Institute of philosophy of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR), has had three editions in Russia (Moscow, Politizdat, 1968; updated edition of 1976, 1986), has been translated into 8 languages (including Chinese) and was awarded the USSR State Prize in 1983 in research cycle of formation and development of the theory of Marx (this cycle also included the monographs of T. Ojzerman "Formation of Marxist philosophy" (Moscow.1974,) and of P. Kuzmin "The Principle of Systemacity in the theory and methodology of Marx” (Moscow, 1980).


[2] The more detaled author's position is describedl in the annotation, which presents the book: “The real humanism of marxism  is not an ideology but a historical developing awareness of essential solidarity of all the peoples of our planet without any exception. In is  conscientious, moral awareness, independent of any ideological preferences – awareness of the fact that real humaneness  is gradually becoming and in the course of time will surely become an attribute of the humanity despite  the numerous counterstands challenging it. The scientific content of Marxism is a theoretical  justification of the humanistic worldview without which the scientific-technological or any other social progress is meaningless.”

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