Forecasting the future is a primary task of the human intellect attempting to comprehend the laws of nature and society. In order to plan their lives, people have always desired to know the future, withdrawing it from the logic of history and everyday experiences. The more fundamental is the forecast, the deeper it tracks the coming events and the more successful are those who obtain a profound understanding of current events, causes of human behavior, the spirit of the epoch and patterns of historical processes.
Theories of social development have always tended to set forth a certain concept, which, similar to classical physics, becomes a set of unquestionable ultimate truths not subject to revision except for some exotic cases.
The future is logically derived on the basis of universal principles and laws. A huge array of historical events is compressed into several brief formulas taken up by politicians and public associations. Further compression of the theory by political practitioners drives out rationality, preserving only adherence to the current situation, an appeal to emotions and intended impression. For cynics of every epoch (beginning from ancient Cynics), theory remnants of the serve just one purpose – to make a lure by which the politicians are trying to attract the public expecting miraculously prompt enrichment, and slander to attack the opponents. As far as the scholarly truth is concerned, it is usually sidestepped to serve the interests of various groups and clans. The scientific and systematic grounds are pushed aside when the propaganda machine is called to implant ideas to somebody’s benefit.
The open confrontation of liberal and socialist ideas in the 20th century has generated an illusion that there is no alternative ideology to seriously compete with these two approaches. Tradition and nationalism seemed to have sunk in the past, with only two global systems, capitalism and socialism, struggling to establish their versions of the future. Everything else was described as dark medievalism and vestiges of the past epochs. Even nations and states, which emerged in those epochs, were presented as pieces on the chessboard where the grand confrontation should shape the world.
The grandmasters of the new age believed that all prior games were worthless, as they lacked mastery, system or academic approach. In fact, the confrontation of the systems resulted in the neglect of their fundamentals – the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen and works by the founding fathers of liberalism, on the one side, and the leftist idea of the kingdom of liberty for the workers who have overcome alienation from the means of production, on the other. Even the very social architecture of nations and states, where those ideas had been nurtured and gained popularity, was found archaic.