Violence and Non-Violence at Different. Stages of World History

Author: Nazaretyan, Akop P.
Almanac: History & Mathematics: Analyzing and Modeling Global Development

History is the progress of moral tasks. Not doings, but just the tasks, which humankind's collective might puts before any individual person. The tasks become more and more difficult, almost impracticable; nonetheless, they have been fulfilled – otherwise, all should have fallen to pieces long ago.

G. Pomerants (1991)

"After the notion of progress was basically discredited, no one dared to ask what mattered for the history of humankind as a whole", – said William McNeill in the interview to the newspaper Historically Speaking (Vol. IV, #2, Nov. 2002) on his and his son's forthcoming book (McNeill and McNeill 2003). Still, the authors indicated and welcomed the growing interest in global retrospection among both professional historians and the interdisciplinary scientific community.

In this article, we expound on some cross-disciplinary research results obtained recently by Russian scientists. Insights from archeology, comparative history, social psychology, cultural anthropology, ecology and biology have been synthesized. A synergetic (i.e., chaos-theory) view of society as a sustainable non-equilibrium system and of culture as a complex anti-entropy mechanism served for data integration.

This research was mainly aimed at the practical tasks of ecological and geopolitical strategy, however its results acquired additional meaning in the context of my academic interest in Big (Universal) History (Christian 1991, 2004; Spier 1996; Nazaretyan, 1991, 2004, 2005-b). Trying to discover common mechanisms and causal links, certain regularities are noted that may throw new light on two points thoroughly discussed in historical sociology. The first point is whether or not "panhuman history" may be reasonably construed; the second is whether or not there may be singled out anything like "laws of history".