Since the Gulf War of 1990-1991, the conflicts for redistribution of resources (natural, energetic, economic, cultural, and informational) are again becoming the reality. In the process of political, economic, and social changes, which are one of the manifestations of the essence of historical development, the new world policy is becoming more expansive. This fact is revealed by the recent events in Kosovo (Yugoslavia) that took place in 1999. The countries of the advance-guard of social development have reached the postindustrial stage of development by the end of the XX century, when human intellect and various forms of information are becoming the leading factors of the reproduction of economy.
The new postindustrial epoch has given birth to its own ideology post-modernism. This term was introduced at the beginning of the 1980s by the French philosopher J.-F. Lyotard for the formalization of the phenomenon of skepticism relative to the rationalist tendencies of Enlightenment. The «generic features» of post-modernism are: agnosticism, pragmatism, eclecticism, and anarchodemocratism.
post-modernism is the phenomenon of wide character, including all spheres of intellectual activity. It is based on egalitarian tendencies, contraposed to any hierarchic constructions.
The emergence of post-modernism on the horizon of social development stimulated the need in development of new paradigms, since post-modernism denies the very possibility of the social theory. Particularly, it concerns the problem of forecasting the social development.
The history is permanently demolishing prognostic scenarios, however it has its own logic. What was considered sane, was not historical, what was considered historical, was not sane. This can be reproduced by the social theory, that, of course, does not give exhaustive knowledge of objective reality but allows us to distance ourselves from the absolute relativism.
The end of the millennium, the formal beginning of the new historical epoch, stimulates the imperative need of a substantially new paradigm of the social theory. The history, being the existence in action, always goes beyond the narrow frame of temporal conceptual constructions in reality and, at the same time, often denies socio-philosophical prognoses. That is why, the revision of existing concepts and prognoses of social development offered before becomes actual. As known, futurological constructions are formed, as a rule, at a definite moment. With a change of the situation, rendering a substantial influence on the foreseen tendencies, the gap between the foreseen and the real is widening. That is why, the noncomprehension of a new social-political topology of the world becomes a source of faults and mistakes, a corollary of the absence of a future «far-horizon» project.
In this context, significant is the discussion on the role of the social science in the contemporary world between former Presidents of the International Association of Sociologists I. Wallerstein and M. Archer. Whereas Wallerstein poses a new global problem of highlighting the fact of the end of one epoch and the beginning of another one as well as various forms of the transition to the latter, M. Archer accentuates the fact that the social science cannot play the role of radical transformer.
At the same time, the discussion of the correlation of Belief and Knowledge is becoming actual for the western science. «There is no conflict between the religion and science in the East, since science is not based on the predilection to facts, and religion only on the belief; there exist the religious cognition and cognitive religion» states Carl-Gustav Jung.
We emphasize the point that the society «goes through» radical social transformations in the transitional phase of development the reform of social structures, relations and correlations, hierarchy of factors, etc. which take an important part in the system of the reproduction of social life. The processes of transitional conditions of social systems are followed by a sharp weakening of the influence of cause-effect relations which form the basis of the rational method in science. From our point of view, the realization of this fact explains a drop in efficiency and, in some cases, unsoundness of both scientific (rational) knowledge and the method of solving the task of overcoming the social crisis. Those are transitional periods (the times of «disturbance» and crises) when one can observe the growing importance of the traditional knowledge and practices backing on the intuition, popular orientations and methods, coming from ancient times, for solving vital tasks and for prognoses of the future.
It is obvious that the investigation of social development should be carried out on the principles of integration of the ancient and temporary, traditional and innovative knowledge and methods, which only together are able to give the adequate results under conditions of the transitional period of social development on the boundary of millennia.
The main scientific problem of the present research is the social development in the spatio-temporal continuum.
As the object of our analysis, we take the life cycle of the society as a subject of the historical process. We also shall investigate the genesis of societal processes, their characteristics and conditions.
We note that the analogous trend in social philosophy gives no any distinctive criteria for the rational construction of a system of classification and periodization as integral elements of a scientifically grounded foresight. In this connection, a new wave of the «traditional» discussion about progress is very significant. For example, A.Nazaratyan separates five through tendencies (vectors) of changes (on sufficiently large temporal intervals):
1) rise of technologic power;
2) demographic growth;
3) intellectual development;
4) growth of organizational complexity;
5) enhancement of tolerance.
Such an approach to the progress is criticized by A. Korotaev. He states that we do not know whether the humanity is approaching its apotheosis or abyss. Indeed, the utilitarian ideal of progress formulated by Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) is as follows: the sum of individual profits gives the overall profit «the biggest happiness for the largest number of people». But it still remains just a philosophical utopia for the largest part of the population over the world.
The theoretical constructions continue to be created at the corresponding levels of abstraction upon the analysis of objects of various scales. It is necessary to remove the contradiction between the forms of development on the basis of the formulated universal laws and all the variety of achievements of natural sciences. The question is the social science striving to become an exact science normative for the political sphere, especially in the context of social engineering.
The solution of this main task should promote the attainment of the main objective of this research creation of a universal and, at the same time, applied model of epochal historical cycle as the unit of analysis and the means of prognostics at the level of the specific countries, regions, and civilizations.
The research has a polydisciplinary character, which is related to the development of the main concept of cyclicity of social development in the historical context.
The expected results, which are of hypothetical character prior to a receipt of empiric data, may become a subject for further specific researches in the sphere of the sociology of history, social philosophy, politology, psychology, right, geopolicy, philology, etc.
Thus, the contemporary macrosocial situation and the condition of theoretical developments stimulate the formation of a new research paradigm of the social science on the basis of integral societal indices. Of course, unless the corresponding empirical information is received, the offered concept is a hypothesis.
Problem of historical-
A historical-sociological conception is represented as a synthesis simultaneously containing the analysis of the most important tendencies of development of specific countries and regions, interpretation of the contemporary epoch, and forecast of long-term historical development. As is well known, the history of sociological science includes similar theories. In the period of the transition from a traditional to industrial society, this problem was solved by the conceptions of O. Comte, E. Durkheim, and K.. Ma