Journal section "Theoretical and methodological issues"

Polycausal Concept of Social Evolution

Balatsky E.V.

Volume 14, Issue 6, 2021

Balatsky E.V. Polycausal concept of social evolution. Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 2021, vol. 14, no. 6, pp. 49–69. DOI: 10.15838/esc.2021.6.78.3

DOI: 10.15838/esc.2021.6.78.3

Abstract   |   Authors   |   References
The article puts forward a polycausal concept of social evolution (PCSE) based on taking into consideration the structure of the competition mechanism. The novelty of the PCSE lies in the simultaneous consideration of a set of interrelated variables of the competition mechanism that exclude the establishment of simple cause-and-effect relationships typical of monocausal theoretical constructions. A structural scheme of the PCSE includes the subject, object, environment and the process of competition; all of them are directly associated with such civilizational phenomena as technology, institutions, culture and ecosystem; together, these variables determine the nature of economic growth and the type of capitalist (market) relations. This approach can be called a method of structural (organizational) competition. To illustrate the PCSE and test its explanatory capabilities, we look for answers to the following classic questions: Why has human civilization matured in Eurasia rather than in other continents? How did humanity manage to break out of the Malthusian trap? How can we explain the Needham Puzzle? Why are some countries and peoples rich, while others are poor? Why do some poor countries and peoples manage to catch up with rich ones, while others do not? How can we explain the “case of the USSR”? The proposed PCSE is used to reconstruct key events in the history of human civilization. For this purpose, we put forward a structural outline of social evolution, which includes basic principles and mechanisms that determine certain results of the development of human societies. In conclusion, we make an attempt to use the PCSE to designate reference points of a modern civilizational crisis


economic growth, profitability, competition, evolution, capital

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