Alla Glintchikova : Social conflict in the information society. Social contradictions of Industrial-Information transition.
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In Russia, we share many of the same problems as faced by the Finnish welfare state, but even more so. Points to the need of global efforts.
Russia is living in a period of contradictions, of social conflict which is determining and disrupting its transition from an industrial to an informational or network society. It was thought the transition would come around spontaneously, but the disruption of the postindustrial transformation in Russia and the revival of industrial tendencies in the western world ( American foreign politics, growth of nationalism in Europe) show the limits of spontaneous, "objective" development of an information society without any active participation of social movements. Social forces are needed.
Russia's transition is characterised by contradictions in the intellectual and the industrial sphere, the latter posing its constraints on the former. The limits of industrial society are connected with:
- the change in the basic type of social labor and labor force. Industrial epoch was served by non creative labour. Growth demands creative labour, which brings challenges. Finland resolved this by the creation of the welfare State, so did statism in Russia. Intellectual creative labour has its own forms of reproduction, which can only be public. The US used speculative capital, as it had no strong state to resort to.
- crises of basic industrial information and communication technologies (bureaucratic system and market communication)
- Crises of basic foms of social integration (national representative party democracy).
This crisis of these main industrial, communicational and information forms is connected with the following factors:
- the change of the general types of growth (from quantitative to qualitative)
- the growth of the speed of development based on new informational technologies.
- the change of the direction of the impulse for development (from the industrial to the intellectual sphere)
These factors made the general laws of industrial development, its formal laws of social intergation, social information and social control inefficient. The transition from the industrial to the postindustrial communication and information technologies is connected with the essential change in the distribution of social power and control typical for the industrial society. The transition to the network society deprives the industrial power elite of its main source of power - pirviliged control over social information. So it came to a crises in the late industrial type of development. To the forefront came the question of the information revolution.
This conflict of the industrial-postrindustrial transitino can have different ways and forms of development and resolution. From moderate transformation of industrial social forms of control and communication under the influence of civil society to the criminalisation of the society and the destruction of its intellectual sphere. In any case the problem has a global nature and needs global civil activity for its resolution.
However, there are two types of globalisation stances, which will ultimately split up the so called anti-globalisation movement, which itself is global in its essence :
- Industrial, aimed at unification, nationalistic in its aspirations, imposing its own interests. We should not be deceived by the developments via the new means of technology. There are contradicitons in this type of globalisation.
- Informational, making better links This will eventually split the movement.
Summaries by Ruby van der Wekken