The mankind enters an era of critical transformation. The conflict between different political forces is deepening. But, most importantly, the communication zone of political battles expanded enormously. Formerly an insignificant player - the broad world masses - gained space for direct political action. Traditional political elites - educated and wealthy - risk losing control over the world processes.
Just before the new year, on the air is the next season of the "Black Mirror", a TV series extremely critical of reality, sarcastic and fully postmodern, filled with uncontrolled critical subjectivity of the authors. At the time of writing this text, the series is still not accessible to viewers, it can only be judged by trailers and previous episodes. By the way, in one episode the British prime minister enters into an intimate relationship with a pig, and in the new season the authors promise a deafening mockery of the world elite and, above all, the American elite. According to the trailers, someone similar to Donald Trump, heads the starship's crew similar to the "Star Trek" series and, presumably, makes the audience happy with unthinkable eccentricities.
Regardless of the personal talents of writers, directors and actors, I would like to note that skilled intelligentsia will have a hard time to influence the world public opinion, since it is now largely shaped by other ways, and the new political mass has found other ways of comprehension and discussion of what is happening. Strangely enough, but there is a feeling that the left postmodern arrogance has lost many levers of its influence. And no matter how the intellectual establishment of the US hates its president, it will not be able to shake his position seriously. The resource of vertical mobilization was somehow limited; we live in a world of multipolar manipulations, self-manipulation of the masses, if you like. Millions, if not billions of people, have found a peculiar opportunity to organize communities that are gaining more weight.
So we all have to rethink seriously in a new way, which tools we use to understand the modern world.
In this polyphonic environment properly the artistic way of comprehension, reality perception seem to gain more and more influence. This is not news in itself. Throughout the human history the main comprehension of reality was artistic, in some sense mythological one. Only in the twentieth century there was a strange illusion that the mind was worth something. But the illusion seems to disappear. The artists tell about the contemporary world more accurately, than university professors.
A few considerations about the specifics of what is happening.
The world media, including the Russian one, is full of gloomy forecasts about no common future, no fruitful cooperation between Russia and the USA. However, this misanthropic picture somewhat contradicts not only the statements of the leaders of both countries, but also some circumstances, which it would be worth paying attention to. The Russian leader, not appreciating highly the current state of relations between the countries, said nevertheless, that he hopes for a possible improvement of relations in the future. Although the US President called Russia a strategic rival along with China, but, so to speak, did not go beyond the framework of sports and political terminology. In fact, is it possible to describe the world differently than through the prism of competition and cooperation, which always determined the coordinates of the political world?
Even more interesting is the fact that practical relations between the US and Russia are continuing very successfully. In the field of space research, for example, and even in the fight against ISIS, banned in Russia. That does not mean absence of friction, public controversy, stinging mutual accusations, but this does not prevent the US special services from warning Russian colleagues about the dangerous terrorist act and, thereby, to prevent it. It is characteristic that the leaders of the two countries speak about this act of mutual assistance with frank approval.
The problem is that both countries, strange as it may seem, are experiencing something similar in their development. Both Russian and American societies are experiencing the sharpest moment of self-determination, the moment of choosing the path of development. So it turned out, that the most important "other" in relation to which the self-identification was sought, was the Russian society for the American elite, and the American elite for the Russian one (the question is how imaginary images coincide with the real ones, of course). This new self-awareness, which necessity is a direct consequence of unprecedented world progress, occurs primarily through understanding of ourselves in the future, through the image of ourselves in the future. The image of the future is a great intellectual investment. It turns out that in a painful reflection on the future, both countries are actually investing in the image of the future, where they will have different relations than they have now. In other words, both countries, their elites do not imagine the world without each other, the question is, of course, who is in what role? There are many other countries in the world, not only Russia and the United States. Nevertheless, all the present annoyance can be considered a painful process of searching for a new general model of the future. It is possible, of course, that everything is really not so. And we cannot cope with the challenges of mutual disagreements.
Maybe it's worth starting with a simple issue: from working out the rules of a hostel in an incredibly changing world. In general, reproaches, for example, on the part of the US, boil down to the problem of interference in internal affairs, in elections. To be honest, this reproach is strikingly out-of-date: how can one live in peace and not interfere, willingly or unwillingly into each other's affairs? Trade, for example, is a clear example of intervention: goods, objects from one country fall into another and are used there. International trade, the notorious WTO is nothing more than an example of the most acute intervention and even consent with such interference. International justice is another example, and the Nuremberg trial is one of the most striking elements of such intervention, of a very radical quality. Finally, the communication revolution, which we clearly see, makes any public discussion inconceivable without external interference, that is, from the citizens of other countries. The world is unified and is becoming more united. So there is a relevant question, how can we regulate this inevitable mutual interference? How can we arrange things? Living in the same world, discussing common problems, we need to be confident in mutual good faith, that the natural right of freedom of expression would not destroy our ability to negotiate and act together, trusting each other.
Earlier I wrote about the fact that the basis of the current international differences lies in the unusually close internal and external agendas, that the world is becoming too unified, and this requires us to pay more attention to our own identity. In other words, politics, even the international politics, is increasingly determined by people, even by the broad masses. If you like, the year 2017 may become the year of the pivotal turn. In any case in Russia. The transformation of the way of people's participation in politics at all levels is inevitable.
It may be that the year 2017 will remain a year of very important changes in Russia. These are changes, associated with the development, with the formation of a new Russian political, civil nation, if you like. There is a chance that for the first time in the history of Russia this could be possible.
Above all a generation that did not live in the Soviet Union was drawn into active social, economic, cultural, political life. This generation needs self-identification, to find itself not only within the coordinates of its country, but of the whole world. Without this a full self-identification is impossible.
That is why, by the way, the discussion on foreign policy, about Ukraine and Syria, the US and China plays such an important role in the domestic political debate.
This formation process is most actively seen in tremendously sharp battles on domestic political issues, and not only about how to develop the economy or political life. The notorious "Matilda" movie or "Nureyev" ballet are just pretexts for delineating the values of the new society. And the constantly arising ethnic issues, the issues of relations between different peoples of Russia are also signs that the emerging political nation is looking for a common identity, a kind of balance between the universality and the individuality of the peoples.
It is interesting, that properly in 2017 the sociologists recorded a significant interest increase to the image of the future, the desire of a large number of citizens to see the horizons of development. It is also a characteristic sign of a new society that is looking for its own, not only spatial or value boundaries, but temporary ones, as it seeks to live and develop, relying on the image of itself in the future.
Another, but a very vivid confirmation of this, some kind of a Russian spring, of one's own emotional identity experience was the Levada Center poll, which recorded a steady desire to find a national-political identity, a form of self-awareness. The population of Russia is clearly inspired by the feeling of belonging to Russia, the experience of pride in their country. The poll results are simply impressive and, in my opinion, perform a quite clear evidence of an intensive and sustainable process of forming a new political, civilian Russian nation. Of course, it would be naive not to see the difficulties and contradictions in this process. But the fact is a fact.
In general, in 2018 we clearly have to see many amazing changes, new phenomena and new entities. One of them, almost sure, will be a new Russia. Other - new political actors, extremely skeptical about the current elites. And what else will be new phenomena is even difficult to imagine.