A. Toynbee's Theory of Local Civilizations
("Comprehension of history", "Civilization before the court of history"): the negation of the linear development of history; non-opposition of civilization to culture, disagreement with the conclusion of O. Spengler about the general disunity and non-penetration of cultures into each other; the progress of mankind - in its spiritual perfection, in religion; the meaning of history - in the realization of the moral and creative human dignity in response to external challenges for man.
The stages of the development of civilization: the emergence (birth), growth, breaking, decomposition, death. Two conditions for the birth of civilization: the presence in a given society of a creative minority and the existence of an environment. Calling the environment to society and finding a response by society through a creative minority (Law of Challenge-and-Answer). The constant movement of society, which leads to civilization.
The growth of civilization does not mean the geographical spread of society, technological progress, strengthening of domination over the natural environment. The true growth of civilization is the process of its internal self-determination and self-expression, the exaltation of values, the complication of its apparatus and technologies, the continuous creative "Care and Return" charismatic minority of society in the process of successful responses to new challenges of the environment (Law of Care-and-Return).
Unity of a growing civilization
Voluntary adherence to the majority of society (the inner proletariat) and the neighboring barbarian peoples (the external proletariat) behind the creative minority. Absence of fratricidal war, social disengagement. Solidarity of society. The development of civilization: aesthetic - in the ancient, religious - in the Indian, scientific and mechanistic - in the Western, etc.
Abysmal and decay of civilization
Society can not cope with the challenge. The death of civilization is not from an external enemy, but from its development. According to A. Toynbee, out of 21 existing civilizations, at least 16 ceased to exist, and out of the remaining eight, seven are threatened with destruction or assimilation with Western civilization. Saving five basic live civilizations: Orthodox Christian, or Byzantine, Western, Islamic, Hindu, Far Eastern.
The stage of breaking is characterized by: 1) a lack of creative power in the creative minority; 2) the refusal of the majority to imitate the minority; 3) the disintegration of the social unity of society. The minority has to resort to force for self-preservation and preservation of civilization. The creation of universal states like the Roman Empire, the emergence of world religions. The birth of the Universal Church in troubled times, in the period of the breaking of civilization. Split in society, discontent and protest movement. The attack of the external proletariat on the decaying civilization. The state is doomed to destruction. The creation of a universal church (world religion) by the inner proletariat, for example, Christianity as the basis for a single world civilization.
The appearance of four types of "saviors": archaic, futuristic (savior with a sword), impassive stoic, transfigured religious savior, associated with the supersensible world of God. Transfer of goals and values to the supersensible Kingdom of God. The ascent of man to the Superman and the City of Man to the City of God. The possibility of the birth of a new civilization on this basis.
The development of A. Toynbee's ideas in ethnographic works L. N. Gumilev ("The ethnogenesis and the biosphere of the Earth"). Investigation of the life cycle of 40 individual ethnic groups and the determination of the duration of ethnogenesis (about one and a half thousand years). Its successively changing phases: the incubation period (the formation of a new ethnos); passionary ascent; the acmatic phase; breaking; inertia; obscuration; regeneration; relic. The difference in phases in the number and effectiveness of actions of passionaries - active selfless individuals. Their distribution is associated with clusters of cosmic energy: the primary source of historical progress is outside man.
The theory of sociocultural systems, or "cultural supersystems", PA Sorokina : the negation of the concept of linearity of historical development, the closure of local civilizations, or cultural supersystems; their interrelation and interaction is the result of the appearance of subcultural types in each historical epoch.
The criterion for distinguishing cultural types is the value system (or truths) taken in culture.
Three types of cultures in accordance with the main values - truth, beauty, good and their unity - benefit:
1) Ideal culture - is based on a system of values associated with perceptions of supersensitivity and the supramentality of God. The values and needs of this type of culture are mainly spiritual, aimed at bringing the person closer to God (the culture of Brahmin India, the Buddhist culture, the culture of the Middle Ages);2) the idealistic cultural system - embraces the supersensible, supra-rational, sensory aspect, forming the unity of this infinite variety (Greek culture V-IV centuries BC, culture XIII-XIV centuries in Western Europe);
3) The sensual type of culture - is based on the idea that objective reality and its meaning are sensual, for beyond the sense reality there is nothing. This type dominates with the XIV century. and determines the characteristics of modern culture.
In the history of world culture in its pure form, there are no ideal models. The cultural appearance of the epoch is determined by the prevailing type of world perception, the system of values of previous periods of development, as well as the development of new spiritual values for future stages.
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