What actually happened on Sept. 11, 2001?

There have been as many considerations about the event as practically no one of them looks satisfactory except maybe for a pair of simple statements, instantly having become a common place: that consequences of the terrorist attacks will concern the whole world community in the most immediate way and that a new political epoch has begun.

Those who have read the book «The Number and Culture. The Rational Unconscious in Language, Fiction, Science, Present Politics, Philosophy, History» if only up to the second chapter do not probably need any additional explanations of the events’ sense, and this article is addressed in the first place to those who have not read it yet. Because of it basic thesises should be depicted first.

What rules the modern societies? As is generally known, societies of modern type are distinctive with their mass character and, thereto, are relatively educated. The quality of the mass character («the mass epoch», this is a period when millions and millions of people become the chief maker of history) means that causes of main social and political processes lie in these masses’ conduct and, what is especially important, in their emotions and notions. Broad social movements, at least for the last centuries, are subordinated to ideologies, carrying inside themselves their own justifications and explanations. The feature of being relatively educated is nothing more than a trivial fact of universal compulsory education, even in underdeveloped countries.

What is studied in school before all? — Arithmetic and writing, i.e. sciences which are the very embodiment of the simplest rationality. For the most part, this rationality is of elementary mathematical — if you please, of «archaic-mathematical» type, grasped, for the latest, by the Antiquity: use of conventional signs (e.g. letters for sounds, numbers for quantities, or, as an instance, sign «+» for the certain mental operation), counting, elementary combinations, obedience to strict rules and so forth (for more details, see, please, the section «Instead of Preface, or the New Unconscious» in the said book). The prevalence of mathematics-like disciplines (besides arithmetic, algebra, geometry — physics, chemistry, even the better part of grammar…) is typical for the whole school course to the utmost extent. Learning truths and operations like these continues over the years and at our most tender and receptive age, when our first and most solid conceptions about surrounding world and about ourselves are formed.

Many things studied in school are forgotten later, but our school years would not be lost without a trace, and the very character of the mental operations mentioned, immanent criteria of «correctness and incorrectness» («logicality») would remain impossible to be undone — independently on a country where we live, our nationality, gender, social status, political believes, and confession. We all are identical in this, and none of the ideologies, none of any significant social motivations are able to neglect the simplest rational truths, but, on the contrary, willy-nilly are guided by them, base themselves on them (otherwise, nobody could believe this ideology and follow it in his/her practical activity). On this ground, in the book was formulated a notion of the rational unconscious being collective by its nature, and this notion was proposed for the role of leading regulatory mechanism in present culture, social frame, politics. Systems all members of which are subjected to the power of the simplest logical laws, for their part, could be investigated by means of elementary-mathematical methods: the method of analysis and its subject are identical here.

As one of the displays of the said rational unconscious could serve a form-creative meaning of the quantity of political revolutions («bifurcations») which have been experienced by one or another mass society in its history. The point is that the knowledge about the existence of these revolutions in its own society and, implicitly, about their quantity is a common property for the population of this society, furthermore, commonly shared by this society as well as it has become our second nature our readiness to be subordinated to indispensable consequences of the fact of one or another quantity. How does it affect a society’s character, its, if you please, «semantic colour»? — The whole second chapter («Revolutions, “revolutions”, society») is devoted to this question.

Examples about. Let us start from societies with two revolutions in their history. Great Britain has been under sign of its two revolutions up to now: Great English and Glorious ones. Likewise with the USA — the War for Independence, reputedly having served at the same time as an anti-feudal revolution, and the Civil War, in the framework of which the key questions of the country’s social and political life were decided, such as: territorial integrity, abolition, choice of the industrial or, as an alternative, the agrarian («plantational») way of development. Both of the states are respected for exemplary liberal ones. In Russia, the second in the succession was the February revolution of 1917 (after the Revolution of 1905–07). «Bourgeois-democratic» in the Marxist terminology, it established, no doubt, the liberal principles: collapse of the absolutism, incontestability of private property, civil rights, multi-party system, preparation for calling on the Constituent Assembly which had to work out the first Russian constitution.

In Germany, where the second by its number was the November revolution of 1918 (after the Revolution of 1848), the monarchy was overthrown, the Weimar republic established, and the country was ruled by a multi-party parliament, the rhetoric of all kinds flourished. Was it not a liberalism?

Behind the contemporary Japan’s back there have been two main political bifurcations, too: the revolution of 1867–68 called the Meiji Restoration and so profound social, economic, and political reforms carried out just after World War II (in particular, the Japanese emperor was removed from the real power) that they are equal in their meaning to a revolution, the second revolution. Who can say that Japan nowadays is not a liberal country, though with an oriental colour? To be short, let us limit ourselves to these examples only. And what would happen with social systems after three revolutions?

One of the first examples of systems like this became Russia, in which in 1917 happened the Great October — the third in general reckoning Russian revolution in the mass epoch. It is generally known that it brought a totalitarianism. In 1932–33, in Germany occurred so-called the «National revolution» (#3), that cardinally redrew the internal political map. Hitler’s regime is the next bright specimen of totalitarianism.

The «March to Rome» of 1922 in Italy brought to power Mussolini — similarly, the third political bifurcation in the country’s history (after the revolutions of 1848–49 and 1859–60, «bourgeois-democratic» by their character). Italian fascism is one more variant of the products of three revolutions.

The «People’s revolution» of 1946–49 in China, the result of which was that the state power was won by the Communists, Mao Tse-tung, is the third one again (after the Shih-k’ai revolution of 1911–13 and bourgeois-democratic revolution of 1925, which brought to the rule the Nationalists). I believe , there is no need to prove that the communist regime in China is a totalitarian one.

In France, being the moral leader of the most revolution movements, the third in its national history was the Revolution of 1848 (two first were the Great French one and the Revolution of 1830). Yet in 1849, the reactionary monarchist «Party of Order» won the election to the Legislative Assembly. In May 1850, the all-nation suffrage was abolished. On December 2, 1851, the president Louis Napoleon was proclaimed emperor, Napoleon III. On the background of political regimes arisen after three revolutions in the 20th century, it would be not quite correct to call the regime of the Second Empire a totalitarian one: in the 19th century, there were not «avant-garde» political parties yet, on the base of which a “real” totalitarianism is usually founded. But the fact that the Second Empire became a forerunner of the latter and according to many indications (a mixture of revolutionary character and dictatorship, suppression of political freedom, exclusion of controversies and disagreements) anticipated it, I presume, would not raise any particular objections.

On the said ground and out of some additional reasons, the conclusion was formulated in the book «Numbers and Culture…» that number of revolution plays role of a certain determinator reflecting the most general features of appropriate political regime, its semantic colour. There has probably been enough illustrations for the article, and for more information, please, see the book.

Now we are coming up to the chief topic. Since the end of the 19th — the beginning of the 20th centuries, the quality of mass character has been acquired by the world community as a whole. It has been written a lot about it: development of communications, economic interdependency, intensification of interchange of goods and ideas… In the given case, as the main bifurcations, radically changing global political frame, stand the World Wars. What kind of political regimes would have been created after two of them?

A nuclear and strategic parity was settled between two super-powers, two blocs — the West, the East, — which were partisans of different ideologies. On the pure structure basis, it could be compared with the two-party system in separate states, say, in the USA and Great Britain. The influential UNO was formed, to which resolutions tried to confine themselves all the states, — in some way, the analogy to a «world parliament». Relatively rare violations of international law met active protests, but, in general, it was backed up by the authority and force of great powers and obtained general recognition. One automatically makes a comparison to the liberal ideal of «legal state». One of the key historic slogans of liberalism was the right of nations to self-determination? — After the Second World War we could see a swift, as an avalanche, disintegration of the previous colonial system, the overwhelming majority of recent colonies achieved their sovereignty. Isn’t it hard to avoid the conclusion that during the said decades the world community as a whole was distinctive with predominantly liberal principles? And if, in addition, we pay heed to the fact that, on the background of the strategic parity between capitalist and socialist blocs, an obvious overweight — in the number of state-allies, economic potential, the extent of influence — was nevertheless on the side of the West (the East was just an «opposition»), then the impression about predominantly liberal world climate in that epoch would only be affirmed.

But from the late 1980s in the world community starts the next global transformation, or bifurcation in the current terminology. «The next in turn» means, of course, the third one by its number. Some analysts inclined towards dramatic metaphors call it «World War III». What a political regime has to answer it? — The readers hardly could be confused now: to all evidence, we should expect for a qualitative intensification of certain authoritarian, or totalitarian, elements.

Indeed, instead of two super-powers only one has remained, — cp. to one-party system in separate states. It has become possible not to respect the recently most authoritative UNO, and such a deviant behaviour could be noticed from the side of leading, «enlightened» powers. The centre of taking of the key for the world decisions has visibly been moving to such an internationally not authorized agency as G7 («seven and a half»), plus, certainly, NATO — cp. to the close circle of the «ordinated» of the Soviet Politburo, which did not have a legal state power but the most important decisions were taken exactly inside it, while for the parliament (the Supreme Soviet) it was left nothing more than to put a «stamp» on what had been prescribed before and beyond. The generally recognised international law? — In the context of rapidly changing conditions, its fundamental principles are changing beyond recognition, and it becomes possible, say, a military NATO’s action against sovereign Yugoslavia. Does this all not resemble something very much? A product of the third bifurcation in the world has a clear inclination for a repetition of genetic features of the political regimes coming along with the third revolutions in separate states.

Of no little importance is a following aspect, either. In some countries, the revolutions by corresponding numbers achieved their actual purposes not at once, not by a leap, but coming through clearly expressed stages. The points of relatively sudden changes, the transitions from one stage to another are named «sub-bifurcations». I suppose, it is understandable: in the course, let us assume, of the third bifurcation occur sub-bifurcations #1, #2, and so forth. Thereto, the consistent patterns of sub-bifurcations’ succession unambiguously repeat such of «big bifurcations» (for more details, please, see the book).

Let me illustrate what it is about. In the wake of the third bifurcation — the Great October revolution of 1917 in Russia — a classical totalitarian regime was established not at once. We do not need any inventions for our purpose, let us stick to what practically everybody in the Soviet Union knew. #1 — the period of the «Military Communism», #2 — the NEP («New Economic Policy»), #3 — the «Great Turning-point» of 1928–29. On the shoulders of exactly the third sub-bifurcation in the USSR was founded that what later was called Stalinism. Whereas #2, the NEP, as it is known, was distinctive with a remarkable «liberal» tinge (of course, at the same time the «commanding heights» were reserved by the only party, because the frame bifurcation was actually the third by its number, i.e. a totalitarian one). In the country, though to a limited extent, were restored private property, free enterprise, and the «chief theorist of the Party» N.Bukharin put up a slogan «Enrich yourselves!». In the sphere of culture, private and co-operative publishing houses were opened one after another, issuing a free-choice literature, by far not always the prolet-correct one, in numerous clubs were carried out events indifferent to postulates of the official ideology. Second and third sub-bifurcations are very similar in their semantic character to bifurcations with the same numbers.

We have said nothing about bifurcations with number 1 yet. Referring to the chapter 2 of the book, we would limit ourselves only to few things: first revolutions are always not quite consistent in their results and/or changeable, they look eclectic on the background of later ones, as a mixture of heterogeneous ideological principles. In France, the Great French revolution, broken out in the name of liberation, resulted in the empire. Napoleon’s regime was not equal, of course, to the former feudal regime of Bourbon’s kingdom, but it hardly resembled a right realization of the liberal model yet. In Britain, after the first revolution was established Cromwell’s dictatorship; in Germany, a consequence of the first revolution, though not instantaneous, was the creation of the Wilhelm’s empire, in which, although, certain political rights existed. In Russia, during the revolution of 1905 the «Manifesto» was royally granted, the State Duma founded, activity of political parties and public organisations was permitted, but backbone of the absolutism was not broken, elections were limited (class representation), Duma’s power was restricted, it was very far from a real political freedom yet.

The same goes to the first sub-bifurcations. Indeed, for example in Russia the Bolsheviks pursued the «Military Communism» policy but the Civil War simultaneously raged. What kind of dominating ideology was in the country in which the «Reds» (the Bolsheviks, left socialist-revolutionaries, a part of anarchists) were fighting with the «Whites» (all the spectrum from monarchists to right socialist-revolutionaries), and, in addition, the «Greens»? — The first one, the second, the third at the same time, people of every description. Is it not an eclecticism? When the Civil War was finished at last, almost immediately the NEP was introduced, i.e. quite a new stage began.

If today’s world community experiences the third in its history political bifurcation, does it not go through sub-bifurcations, either, and if so, then through which ones? The question is even more actual because it concerns everybody among us.

As the first step for dismantling of the post-war («Yalta’s») bi-polar world served Gorbachev’s «perestroika», its attendant energetic international initiatives. Two super-powers, the West and the East, as it was revealed, were not bound to be the enemies. The world as a whole is united, and its ideology must be creative and common. A thesis of «common to all mankind thinking» was suggested. The socialism of Soviet type, which was a scarecrow for all the West countries during a half a century, instantly got a «human face», not without attractiveness. A «Gorbi-mania» seized both the USA and Europe. The USSR and the USA embarked on a track of disarmament, trying to discuss if they should direct a part of military spending saved from the armament race for a help to the «third world». A spasmodic easing of war threats was observed, the political and ideological confrontation was reduced to almost invisible minimum.

Enthusiasm, fascination overwhelmed about everyone, what, let me notice, is quite characteristic for the first big bifurcation (cp. to the rejoicing of the Frenchmen on Bastille’s ruins in 1789 or the euphoria of the Russians when the «Manifesto» was granted in 1905). But the USSR, despite its voluntary objective foreign-policy losses, was still thought to be a super-power. What an ideological, political status does meet such a condition of the world community? — To all appearances, an «ill-defined» one. Who were we, people of the earth, falling down to the clean spring of «common to all mankind thinking»’s ideas — liberals, conservatives, communists? — No, we became for a certain time all that together and nothing taken separately because the habitually «human face» of the world democracy accreted with an at once humanized face of the communism to a some strange Janus. «Velvety» and «singing» revolutions occurred in the recent totalitarian holdings in the Eastern Europe, and nobody oppressed them.

As a matter of fact, such an eclecticism (like a muddle-head) is not able to exist for too long. A principally new landmark, in my view, was put with the collapse of the USSR: one of the world