The stagnation in the development of the space industry, which has been observed for almost a quarter of a century in all the leading countries in this regard, has the fundamental basis of a social nature.
The fall of interest in space is caused by the dominance of the individualistic worldview in the ruling elites of developed countries, their intellectual degradation and the personnel policy pursued by them, leading to the “washing out” of specialists. Technological development as a whole is held back by the power elites for fear of losing their privileged position.
Threshold of the earth
In the last quarter of a century, the problem of the survival of mankind with an increasing scarcity of natural resources has been actively discussed in the expert and political community. The volume of their consumption is approaching a critical threshold. This factor is the root cause of the global crisis. The main conflict is between the growth of production and consumption and the possibilities of the Earth’s ecosystem. Other contradictions that form this crisis: between “rich” and “poor” civilizations, industrial powers and raw materials “appendages”, spheres of production and distribution, in fact, are to some extent derived.
There are two ways out: limiting the consumption of resources or finding new ones. The first way with the accelerated growth of the population of the Earth in the long term is unacceptable in any variant of economic development and social model. No matter how you restrict the consumption of the individual, anyway, the time will come when it will exceed the capabilities of the planet. That is, it is necessary to stop the growth of the population. This path will inevitably lead to wars for the redistribution of resources and reduction of the population at the expense of other countries, up to the complete extermination of entire nations, because the question of who to limit in consumption will be decided. Obviously, in the long run, only the second path is possible: the expansion of the resource base by the exploration of other planets - initially in the Solar System, and then in deep space.
Meanwhile, the modern technological basis of even the most developed countries is still very far from conquering other worlds. And it will take a lot of time to acquire such opportunities at the current pace of development. So much so that it may not be enough until the critical threshold for the consumption of Earth’s resources is reached. At the same time, an obvious loss of interest in astronautics is observed at all levels of society, especially in elite circles.
The flooding of the "World" as the highest achievement
Starting from the flight of Yuri Gagarin to the middle of 80-x, that is, in about two decades, mankind has gone from the initial timid attempts to enter outer space to full-fledged orbital bases, expeditions to other planets. At the same time, there were only two leading countries in the exploration of extraterrestrial space - the Soviet Union and the United States, whose competition determined the direction and speed of the space race.
However, with the collapse of the USSR, even the achievements of the past years began to be lost. The Russian orbital station Mir was flooded, the United States curtailed the Shuttle program, effectively losing its own carriers, instead of increasing government efforts, began to focus on the development of the private sector, which is obviously unpromising in terms of launching large-scale projects. We still have the basis of the space industry "royal inheritance." In general, it can be stated that in a quarter of a century there has not been a single serious breakthrough. This development is in striking contradiction with objective necessity. However, it should be noted that the interest disappeared precisely to the exit into deep space with the prospect of developing new planets. Military presence in orbit is growing very intensively.
It is noteworthy that the decline in interest in space activities on the whole on the planet coincided with the collapse of the USSR. Apparently, the cosmic progress of the capitalist world was due precisely to the need for competition. It should be noted that the main role in the curtailment of space programs is played by the political elites and the global economic players behind them, above all the transnational corporations, especially the banking ones. Here we must look for the reasons for the fall in interest in the space industry.
If we are talking about progress or decline in a particular industry, first of all you should pay attention to the processes of goal setting. With regard to the management of social development, the general orientation of the individual is of paramount importance: we work for myself or for society, which is more important - my well-being or all. The primacy of higher interest forces a person to look for ways to achieve overall success even to the detriment of himself, since it is a collective victory that, in his opinion, raises him personally. The primacy of the personal involves finding any way to achieve individual success, even to the detriment of the general. You can often hear that it is necessary to create conditions in order to ensure the coincidence of personal and public interests. But this is not always possible. And even if such a coincidence arises, the contribution of personal interest in the form of a “margin” of any type still substantially increases the cost of production and complicates its production.
The space industry does not bring immediate personal or corporate benefit, therefore, with the philosophy of individualism currently dominant in the elites, it is of no interest to them.
The primacy of corporate interests over national and especially global has generated serious distortions in the personnel policy of national and global elites, which has become a tool for capturing commanding heights in certain industries. As a result, people began to be appointed to posts, especially high ones, by the criterion of reliability and loyalty. At the same time, due to their qualifications, they sometimes turned out to be unsuitable for the performance of duties, especially in significant posts.
Two more factors contribute to the deepening personnel crisis. The first is that there are two types of thinking. One of them can be called “creative”, since it is aimed at generating knowledge that forms new values, material or spiritual. The other is usually called “social” because it is focused on creating a supportive environment around a person, extracting various benefits from it. Every person has both types of thinking. But in some, the first prevails, and in others, the second. At the same time, the latter seek to assign everything that is interesting to them, not only material wealth, but also social status, seeking posts and titles that are not in line with merit or competence. The second type of people, in the absence of a reliable system of management responsibility for erroneous actions, gradually displaces the creators from management structures. As a result, the system is saturated with incompetent and ambitious personalities, which leads to developmental paralysis.
The second factor is determined by the diversity of the world, which cannot be captured by the mind of one person, no matter how ingenious it may be. The more complex the social life, in particular the economy, the higher the level of specialization necessary for effective subject activity, the narrower the circle of competence. However, when specialists in a certain field of activity are declared priority in the management sphere, and moreover there are layers of “universal managers”, “universal top managers” who are ready to steer anything, incompetent people come to leadership posts, destroying the intellectual potential of the entire production system.
The “washing out” of professionals from the highest echelons of the state hierarchy of different countries is promoted by the absolutization of financial instruments for regulating the economy (and whole life), when the main solution to any problem was the allocation of funds. Issues of organization and administration are considered as derived from funding. As a result, financiers, sometimes lacking practical organizational skills, are gaining more and more influence in management.
The consequence of this is a general decline in the intellectual potential of national and world elites. Lacking sufficient qualifications and knowledge of the subject area, the manager is unable to select a real breakthrough solution or technology among ineffective ones, and is unable to distinguish a truly first-class specialist from the showroom imitating the presence of skills by an abundance of recommendations from “authoritative people”, not always deserved rewards and titles. As a rule, the calculation is made on the fact that the organization of the case will be taken over by qualified subordinates. However, those who really know such a leader pushes them away, because they allow themselves to argue, and incompetent compromisers are unable to organize anything worthwhile. As a result, production stagnates at best, and collapses at worst.
Intellectual degradation of higher transnational elites is superimposed on the whole complex of negative factors leading to the cynicalism of the control layers. Possessing the only real power at the global level, they today live in conditions of undivided domination and lack of control, attributing responsibility for their own mistakes and incompetence to representatives of lower levels, including political leaders of the countries under their control, in particular the American presidents. This process is aggravated by the mystical basis of their worldview, which implies the predetermination of events. Accordingly, the need to carefully analyze the current situation in order to develop correct solutions is lost.
The intellectual degradation of tops is in stark contrast to the growing unprecedented rate of new knowledge. Moreover, their main part is formed outside the system of strict control by elite groups. A new social stratum (more precisely, a class) —the intellectual proletariat — is intensively forming. Without possessing significant material property, he absolutely dominates the information sphere, thereby possessing enormous opportunities for social transformations, which can mean the complete collapse of the current power elites. The most unpleasant thing for them is that they cannot control the activities of intellectuals because the breakthroughs achieved are beyond the comprehension of the upper classes. This means that the control of the new proletariat is possible only through the “tame” representatives of the same stratum. Long so can not continue. This also gives rise to fears of the power elites for their future and their desire to slow down the development of humanity in the conditions of increasing intellectual backwardness in order to maintain their privileged position. And this is possible only by deterring the most high-tech industries, including the space industry.
Judging by the direction of conceptual construction, the world and the elites of the leading states are not at all oriented toward expanding the resource base of mankind. The concept of the Golden Billion has been put forward as a global model of social order. Its essence comes down to the fact that few “chosen ones”, defining themselves as “the intellectual core of humanity”, preserve and increase the achieved level of consumption due to the cruel exploitation of the rest with artificial reduction of their number, bringing to a critically minimum level of material consumption and spiritual degradation. The disappearance of inter-civilization differences is supposed to be the unification of peoples with the division of all mankind into two super-civilizations: the Golden Billion and exploited subhumans. In this model, the problem of expanding the resource base of mankind is removed - it will not grow. However, this is followed by inevitable general degradation, since the basis for development is eliminated. There is no need to strain the Golden Billion especially - everything is guaranteed for it, and the slave community, humiliated and deprived of the right to knowledge, cannot make intellectual breakthroughs even with the most keen desire.