Where has chaos gone? Unboxing stability

A lot has been written about the author of this text, Vladislav Surkov, and reading a bit about him which makes it easier to frame the conclusions extracted. Nonetheless, this text has an interesting set of ideas that help understand the world of today.

This text was originally published here, in Russian – it was Google-translated.

No system contains evidence of its own truth. Any system includes elements of self-denial and self-destruction. So or so said Hegel and Gödel. Both, each in its own way, one mathematically, the other in the language of philosophy, pointed to irreparable inconsistencies in human logic, through which harmony and meaning leak out of our everyday existence continuously and unstoppably.

The same thing, but already applied to physical processes, was stated by numerous co-authors of the second law of thermodynamics. Indeed, the vulgar retelling of this law, which has become a real megahit of scientific pop, says: entropy in a closed system increases. In other words, chaos (disorder) never diminishes. On the contrary, it almost always increases. And accordingly, everywhere there is a chronic decrease in order and stability against the background of progressive turbulence and decay.

The second law of thermodynamics, predicting the inevitability of the “thermal death of the Universe” and the ultimate triumph of chaos, turns pessimism from a “bad mood” into a scientifically grounded doctrine. And in terms of influence on the willingly despondent part of humanity, it is ahead of not only the book of Ecclesiastes, but also the classic maxim of Captain Lebyadkin “the samovar was boiling from the eighth hour, but … it went out … like everything else in the world. And the sun, they say, will go out in turn … ”Not everyone, however, is prone to despondency. Social physics and political dynamics offer their own recipe for establishing and maintaining world order – powerful statehood. Yes, the state, whatever you call it (an apparatus of violence or a social contract, an amiable fatherland or a bunch of bureaucrats), is primarily a tool for reducing social entropy. At the same time, no one canceled the second law of thermodynamics – and any state sooner or later wears out and perishes in the struggle against the “many rebellious desires” of its own citizens. However, for some and often quite a long time, the state can be effective.

So, at the beginning of the century, the Russian system of power stopped the avalanche of social chaos and pulled the traumatized country out of the rubble of perestroika. We now have twenty years of stability, which Stolypin lacked. And there will be more. Verticality, order and braces are guaranteed. These years, for sure, will someday be remembered as the golden age. But.

But if the second law of thermodynamics is correct (and it is correct) and entropy cannot decrease and disappear, then the question arises (a rather disturbing question) – where is it in this case? When the order was restored, what became of the disorder? Where is the chaos now, which seems to be nowhere to be seen? Where did he go? In what places does it grow now (after all, “according to the law” it must grow!)?

Until recently, the internet was a haven of chaos and a canalization of freedom. He was praised as a beautiful anarchy out of this world, where everything is allowed and where everyone feels good from permissiveness. For some reason, it was then forgotten that the Pentagon was actually the customer and developer of the Internet. And it would be strange to expect that this completely military department, by definition intended to impose discipline and control, and by all possible methods, up to mass murder, suddenly preoccupied with creating a product for “our and your freedom.” It didn’t even bother. If we talk about freedom, equality, brotherhood … then the Internet is obviously not from this product line. And from the other, the Pentagon: MQ-9, Stuxnet, F-35 … As a result, policemen from all countries came to the Network with searches, users screaming “it was not me,

Chaos, methodically displaced from both realities (material and virtual), goes into the blind zones of social life. It stimulates the spontaneous spread of unannounced collective practices directed not against the mainstream, but in parallel to it. People don’t want to be against it. People want to be in parallel, without interfering with the system unless absolutely necessary. The massive dispoliticization of the population leaves the establishment alone with itself. For parallel people, going to the polls or carrying the correct poster is nothing more than a way to quickly give Caesar what was Caesar’s, in order to then return back to their personal non-universe, where they live in complete inconsistency with the spirit and letter of this poster. The widespread occurrence of such pinpoint loyalty and one-off patriotism means

When the correct words from too frequent repetition are smoothly meaningless, sincerity evaporates from them, and the symbol of faith turns into a banal password for gaining access to the system of distribution of positions and privileges. And then what people say becomes essential, but what they are silent about. The prevailing discourse is losing its credibility and is increasingly in need of forceful support. And untimely and therefore unspoken thoughts, ideas and doubts fill the silence with bewitching meaning. In a sense, silence is becoming an alternative ideology. And this is also a symptom of the accumulation of irregularity.

Disorder does not pose a direct threat to the established order, which has passed into a regime of silence and parallel to the public. The system is as strong as ever, thank God, and chaos is not a problem for it. Galloping centralization remains the general trend. The use of extracts of historical memory, expired morality, administrative and spiritual values ​​and other heavy social preservatives in unlimited doses ensures the preservation of the desired stability.

And yet it is unwise to ignore the “non-problem”. The ideology of silence is also unpleasant because it is not spoken, which means that it is not structured, dark and incoherent. If (albeit not soon) her time comes, she stupidly falls on the existing order of things, without formulating intelligible goals. When, in the late 1980s, the silent majority was lured into the political arena, no one could figure out what they really want – “but how can you understand if you don’t say anything?” When the people tried to “talk”, they heard a lot from him that only marveled and were completely confused. As a result, the confused leadership of the Soviet Union opened indiscriminate “fire on headquarters” and foundations. And everything did not go according to plan. Because under the noses of the Central Committee and the State Planning Committee, some kind of unplanned, non-Soviet, incomprehensible and unexpectedly dashing society has ripened silently, ready, at the first opportunity, senseless and mercilessly to go all the way. It is known how it ended.

The fact that, in theory, entropy tends to grow in closed, closed systems seems to suggest a simple solution to the problem – to open the system, “let off steam,” and chaos will recede. But this simplicity is deceiving. It is extremely risky to set up liberal experiments on the domestic political bloc. Depressurization of the system, this “social reactor” that is working well today, is fraught with uncontrolled emissions of civil irritation and can lead to irreversible destabilization – see examples from the 80s and 90s.

Social entropy is highly toxic. It is not recommended to work with it at our home. It needs to be taken out somewhere far away. Export for disposal in a foreign territory.

Exporting chaos is nothing new. Divide and Conquer is an ancient recipe. Separation is synonymous with chaos. Unite your own + disunite others = you will rule over both. Discharge of internal tension (which Lev Gumilyov vaguely called passionarity) through external expansion. The Romans did it. All empires do it. Throughout the centuries, the Russian state, with its austere and sedentary political interior, has survived solely thanks to its relentless pursuit of its own boundaries. It has long forgotten how to survive, and most likely never knew how to survive in other ways. For Russia, constant expansion is not just one of the ideas, but the true existential of our historical being.

Imperial technologies are still effective today, when empires are renamed superpowers. The Crimean consensus is a vivid example of the consolidation of society due to the chaos in the neighboring country. Complaints from Brussels and Washington about Moscow’s interference, the impossibility of settling significant conflicts around the globe without Russian participation show that our state has not lost its imperial instincts.

The largest supplier of various unrest to the world political market is, however, the United States. It should be noted (not without surprise) that proprietary American instability is highly cost-effective and in phenomenal demand. The United States compensates for the wild imbalance of its surrealist budget by the irrational emission of the dollar, which has long been not so much money as a unit of measurement of financial entropy, a chaos virus that is spreading a pandemic of economic bubbles, imbalances and imbalances across the planet. The export of “color” revolutions and edifying wars, as if suspended, will instantly resume, as soon as potential importers relax a little. Experimental ethics made in USA are sweeping like a storm over the heads of Africans, Asians and our Eurasians, shaking untrained minds of traditionalists. Disturbance,

Chinese restraint masks the enormous reserves of chaos amassed by a disciplined nation. If you put your ear to the Great Wall, you can hear how they boil. When the internal contradictions of the Celestial Empire overflow, it will become the most important issuer of entropy, challenging American leadership on this topic. Beijing is rising steeply above the world, and the geopolitical situation for many peoples resembles life in the vicinity of Vesuvius: everything is fine, but when the eruption of China begins, who will become Pompeii? The European Union, which is in a strange quantum state, whether it is still in the making, or is already decaying, in the future can be both a source of chaos and its absorbent. The latter seems more likely, at least in the near future, thanks to the loose and superbly goofy structure of Eurocratic rule.

The emissions of social entropy by the political systems of large states, as well as the emissions of carbon dioxide by their economies, can in principle be controlled. But how far must climate change go for nations to truly agree on how to deal with greenhouse gases? And to what extent must geopolitical divisions escalate in order for the superpowers to develop a new order of coexistence? Historical examples are disappointing: the Munster Accords, the Vienna Congress, and the Yalta Conference became possible and successful only after the chaos reached the level of hell. Be that as it may, the next section of the spheres of influence is needed. And it (sooner or later, formally or informally, secretly or openly) will definitely take place. The only question is at what cost. From the point of view of social physics, a sphere of influence is a contractual space for dissipating and disposing of the chaos that is being forced out of a stable political system. If there is no treaty, turbulent currents generated by supercountries begin to collide with each other, generating devastating geopolitical storms. To avoid such collisions, you need to direct each stream in a separate channel.

In the meantime, the world is enjoying its multi-polarity, a parade of post-Soviet nationalisms and sovereignties. But in the next historical cycle, globalization and internationalization, forgotten today, will return and cover this twilight Multipolarity. And Russia will receive its share in the new global collection of lands (or rather, spaces), confirming its status as one of the few globalizers, as it happened in the era of the Third Rome or the Third International.

Russia will expand not because it is good, and not because it is bad, but because it is physics.