Social Laser Model for Stimulated Amplification of Social Actions

In recent years, we have seen the occurrence of a high level of social protests throughout the world, see, e.g., Krasev [188]:

In the five short years between Occupy Wall Street and Vladimir Putin’s "Occupy Crimea," we witnessed an explosion of protests all around the world—the Arab Spring, Russian Winter, Turkish Summer, and the dismembering of Ukraine all were part of the protest moment. Each of these demonstrations—and many less monumental ones—was angry in its own way, but the protests are also a worldwide phenomenon.

The problem of the "explanation” of the recent social explosions, especially in the Middle East, but also in Southern Europe, and the USA, has been debated actively in the social and political literature. We can mention the contributions of Tucker [226], Demes and Forbrig [64], Butora [47], Fisher and Bijelic [80], Krastev [188,189], Fukuyama [99], Mason [198], Mitchell [200], Schmidt and Cohen [218], Travers [225], Bouchet [35], and Putin [213] to this debate. However, the diversity of opinions and conclusions is really amazing. At the moment, there is no consistent and commonly acceptable sociopolitical theory of these events.

What Can Be Expected from the Social Laser Model?

We propose to use the social laser model for such social events. In the last sentence the word "moder plays a crucial role. The social laser model is quantum-like. Such models are operational. They can represent formally process structure, but cannot “explain" its origin. In this way quantum-like models are similar to the genuine quantum model. The experience gained from quantum physics supports the use of such operational models, although they are not able to provide a kind of explanation of processes.

Reaction to application of such a methodology in social science may be negative. One may say that the social laser model ignores the most interesting questions such as

What are the basic social, economic, political, and historical causes for the Maidan revolution in Kiev or for the election of Donald Trump in the USA?

However, ignoring such problems does not devaluate quantumlike models. By using the social laser model it is possible to derive constraints on human population, "gain medium,” and the information field generated by the mass media and the Internet, leading to stimulated amplification of social actions. In the same way as in physics, quantum-like models, including the social laser, have predictive power (see section 7.3). The main casualty of quantumlike social models is that their predictions are still qualitative. In contrast to physics, it is still impossible to present the concrete numerical values of the model's parameters guaranteeing initiation and successful functioning of stimulated amplification of social actions. The main problem is the absence of a well-developed methodology for measuring social energy.

In physics some researchers tiy to complete the operational quantum model by finer models having more explanatory power. The most well known example is Bohmian mechanics. In contrast to the operational quantum formalism, the latter describes the particles’ trajectories. However, such subquantum models have merely a foundational value. They are essentially more complicated

Georgia's Rose Revolution (Tbilisi 2003)

Figure 2.1 Georgia's Rose Revolution (Tbilisi 2003).

than the operational quantum model. In principle, one can try to construct similar subquantum-like models for social processes. (See, e.g., the works [14, 52-54, 104, 106, 145] for applications of Bohmian mechanics in behavioral finances.)

Another subquantum model, prequantum classical statistical field theory (PCSFT), was proposed by the author [157-160, 162, 174]. In this model, quantum systems are represented by classical random fields. This a purely wave model of quantum phenomena. In contrast to the nonlinear mathematical structure of Bohmian mechanics, PCSFT is a linear theory. (See [156] for its application of modeling the brain's functioning.)

Color Revolutions

Here we consider a special form of social explosions known as color revolutions. Each of such revolutions is characterized by its special color label (often associated with some flower). Such coloring plays

Ukraine’s Orange Revolution (Kiev 2004)

Figure 2.2 Ukraine’s Orange Revolution (Kiev 2004).

an important role (see section 4.3) in social lasing. Coloring is crucial for the reation of sharp output beams of social actions from human gain media.

The series of color revolutions (see map at Fig. 2.3)1 started at territory of the former Soviet Union and Balkans, for example, Yugoslavia’s Bulldozer Revolution (2000), Georgia's Rose Revolution (2003, Fig. 2.1),[1] [2] Ukraine’s Orange Revolution (2004, Fig. 2.2),[3] Kyrgyzstan's Tulip Revolution (2005), Belarus's Jeans Revolution (2006), and Moldova’s Grape Revolution (2009). Further examples are presented by color revolutions outside of the former Soviet Union and Balkans, e.g., Lebanon’s Cedar Revolution (2005, Fig. 2.4),[4] Kuwait's Blue Revolution (2005), and Myanmar's Saffron Revolution (2009). Some researchers trace the roots of color

The map of color revolutions

Figure 2.3 The map of color revolutions.

revolutions to the 1986 People Power Revolution (also known as the Yellow Revolution) in the Philippines. Recent years were characterized by a wave of color revolutions at the Middle East: Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution (2011), Egypt's Lotus Revolution (2011), and Muslim military uprisings in Iraq, Libya, and Syria. We can also mention Iran’s Green Revolution (2009) and China's Jasmine Revolution (2011), Ukraine’s second color revolution, the Maidan revolution (2014), and the following civil war in Ukraine.

These revolutions were the subject of numerous studies and publications in political and social science: see, e.g., Tucker [226], Denies and Forbrig [64], Butora [47], Fisher and Bijelic [80], Krastev [188, 189], Fukuyama [99], Mason [198], Mitchell [200], Schmidt and Cohen [218], Travers [225], Bouchet [35], and Putin [213]. The color revolutions are definitely the new sociopolitical phenomenon. They differ crucially from, e.g., the French Revolution or the Great October Revolution. However, by recognizing the specialty of color revolutions, different authors treat them in very different ways: from folk uprisings against corruption to a new form of warfare and terrorism. For the latter viewpoint, see, e.g., the citation of Putin [213]:

In the modern world extremism is being used as a geopolitical instrument and for remaking spheres of influence. We see what tragic consequences the wave of so-called color revolutions led to.

Lebanon's Cedar Revolution (Beirut 2005)

Figure 2.4 Lebanon's Cedar Revolution (Beirut 2005).

The majority of authors point to common features of these sociopolitical events in spite of differences in interpretations:

  • • no clear programs, aims, and long-term plans;
  • • no real leaders compatible with the leaders of "real revolutions" such as Marx, Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin, Orozco, Villa and Zapata, Atatiirk, Mussolini, Hitler, Mao, Castro, and Che Guevara;
  • • no ideology as was expressed in Marx's Capital, Lenin's Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, Trotsky’s The Permanent Revolution, or Hitler’s Mein Kampf
  • • "quick relaxation"—the explosion-like character of events.

Democratic Social Protests

Recent events that have happened inside the Western democratic system show similar features: the Greek bailout referendum (2015), Brexit (2016), election of Donald Trump as president of the USA

(2017). For example, Travers [225] presented the viewpoint that Brexit can be considered as antigovernment vote:

The Conservatives have been in power since 2010, albeit as the leaders of the coalition from 2010-15. Facing an opposition which even its own (largely ex-) frontbenchers believe to be unelectable, it is small wonder some voters sought refuge in a referendum protest vote.

And he continues:

2008 and the banking crisis: The economic havoc caused by the 2008 banking crisis has never led to any obvious downside for many of those who caused it. Inflated boardroom pay has been sustained, with a massive gap in earnings between senior executives and shop-floor workers. Many on the centre- right of politics share with those on the left a view that something is wrong with this outcome. The public almost certainly believes it.

A similar viewpoint regarding Trump's election in the USA was presented in a series of interviews collected by Fishwick [81]. For example, he presented an interview with Rachael, 34, Indiana, small business owner:

I want to change America to serve the people instead of a political system that wants to serve itself. My life won't change much, except I will have more hope that my government is trying to make our country strong instead of pandering to its own liberal interests. My main hope is that he will help balance our budget, and secondly that he will help our economy to remain strong.

Social Energy Pumping

It is easy to see patterns of social energy pumping preceding the aforementioned social protests. And this is also one of the basic components of functioning of social lasers.

Ukraine’s Maidan revolution

Figure 2.5 Ukraine’s Maidan revolution: massive protests in Kiev (2014).

Consider, for example, the Maidan revolution (see Figs. 2.5 and 2.6)[5] During a few years preceding it, the Ukrainian and international mass media generated high-intensity information flow of shocking news about the corruption of President Yanukovych and Ukrainian politicians in general.[6] This information flow was combined with the equally intensive flow of negative news about Russian policy and Russians in general. The important role in energy pumping was played by massive events at which big crowds of young people were charged with social energy through simple, but extremely energetic, slogans, such as "if you’re not jumping, you're a Moskal," "one language, one nation, one homeland,” and "hang the Russians."

Ukraine's Maidan revolution

Figure 2.6 Ukraine's Maidan revolution: brutal uprising in Kiev (2014).

This way of social energy pumping in human gain media was already tested during the previous massive protests on the postcommunist territory. In particular, we can mention one of the first energy-pumping campaigns, OK '98 (Slovakia, 1998)[7]:

The largest and most visible OK '98 project was "Road for Slovakia," organized by the civic association GEMMA 93. During a 15-day march (August 19-September 3, 1998), some 350 civic activists covered more than 850 towns and villages across Slovakia, distributing 500,000 brochures to inform voters about the elections. Door-to-door campaigning explained voting procedures, stressed basic principles of parliamentary democracy and emphasized the importance of citizen participation in the elections. Theatre performances featuring popular actors were an integral part of this activity (see Butora [47]).

The OK '98 project also pumped social energy in the Slovak gain medium by using simple slogans carrying a huge charge of social energy; e.g., see again paper [47]:

Aiming to attract young voters, the civic association Hlava '98 (Head '98) organized a series of TV and radio spots airing the slogan "I think, therefore, I vote. I vote, therefore, I am" in cinemas, on the private station TV Markiza, on TV NASA in Eastern Slovakia and twelve private radio stations covering different areas of the country. In a non-traditional and artistically imaginative way, these spots stressed freedom and the importance of voting. In the ads, young people called on their peers to take part in the elections. Young people's role models, like athletes and actors, relayed the message. The ads were chic, genuine, humorous, and they had the charm of personal expression.

From the viewpoint of content, the Ukrainian slogans such as "one language, one nation, one homeland" and "hang the Russians" have nothing in common with the aforementioned Slovak slogan "I think, therefore I vote. I vote, therefore I am,” but they are very similar from the viewpoint of social charging.

Already in Slovakia mass media-based delivery of social energy played a crucial role. Energy pumping is impossible without the involvement of financial flows, as was emphasized in the paper by Butora [47]:

A large-scale campaign, such as OK 98, requires considerable resources and funding. An effective system and procedure for the submission of NGO projects was created by the Donors' Forum, an informal association of grantmaking foundations supporting democracy and civic participation. '32 Donors built a flexible funding system, simplified application procedures and provided co-financing for projects. Information about these activities was regularly published in the Non-Profit magazine and on the Internet. While the campaign benefited from an enormous amount of voluntary work, from in-kind contributions like, for instance, the creative input of artists and professionals specializing in "social campaigns," as well as from smaller contributions made by local business and private donations, the support provided by European and U.S. donors, coming from both the private and public sectors, was of critical importance. [These included the Civil Society Development Foundation, the Open Society Foundation, the Foundation for a Civil Society, the Children of Slovakia Foundation, the Carpathian Foundation, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Jan Hus Educational Foundation, the British Know How Fund, the Fund of Canada, the United States Information Service (USIS), and others. The overall financial volume of the campaign was estimated at approx. 30 million Slovak crowns or, at that time, US$857,000.]

In [80], we can find data on the funding of GLAS 2000 campaign for the presidential elections in Croatia, including international funds such as the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the British Know How Fund, the USAID Mission, and the U.S. Embassy’s Democracy Commission.

Now consider such an unexpected event as voting for Brexit in the UK. In fact, the UK mass media, although positioned as generally liberal, worked properly to pump social energy to Brexit supporters. Emigration was the hot topic in the European mass media: boats with hundreds people approaching the European coast, people infiltrating the UK through the tunnel under the English Channel, huge crowds moving from South to North towards Germany, the UK, Sweden. In the UK mass media, local economic problems were coupled with emigration from East Europe, especially from Poland. Such topics as corruption and nonfunctionality of costly EU bureaucracy were presented and discussed in thousands of posts and videos which were spread via the Internet and social networks.

In the USA, the process of population inversion in the social laser with Trump as the output (Fig. 2.7)[8] started with Clintons' couple. Their sexual and financial affairs and widespread accusations in

President Donald Trump being sworn in on January 20,2017, at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington

Figure 2.7 President Donald Trump being sworn in on January 20,2017, at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington.

corruption were massively highlighted by mass media and the Internet. This campaign played an important role in pumping social energy into the Trump-oriented gain medium. Obama's policy, especially his attempt of medical insurance reformation, can be considered as the continuation of the energy-pumping phase. The USA’s mass media and social networks worked intensively to present failures of the functioning of American presidents and governments in both internal and foreign affairs, e.g., in Iraq, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Ukraine, and Russia. This energy pumping was crucial for population inversion: converting the initially neutral part of the American electorate into excited supporters of Trump's slogans.[9]

Quick Relaxation

All aforementioned events are characterized by quick social relaxation. And this is one of the basic features of spike-like emissions generated by social lasers.

Consider, for example, the Maidan revolution in Kiev. Nowadays, in spite of a tremendous decrease in income and increase in the level of corruption, the Ukrainian population is being in the ground state, the state of complete social relaxation.

The same can be said about the situation in the USA after Trump’s victory. The part of population which served as the "gain medium” for Trump’s election is totally relaxed, although the new administration can propose only cheap populist actions.

In the UK, Brexit came as a shock wave. Now it is fully evident that the real Brexit has not so much to do with the expectations of voters. However, Brexit supporters are staying peacefully in the ground state of complete relaxation.

Perestroika in the USSR is the best example of rapid relaxation to the ground state of social energy. In 1990, in spite of having fallen to real poverty and destruction of industiy and agriculture, science, education, and culture, the Russian population was staying in the ground state. All social energy was realized in the Perestroika spike, in the form of massive protest actions as in my own town, Zelenograd, near Moscow. We, the students and teachers of Moscow Institute of Electronic Engineering, radiated a huge amount of social energy in demonstrations and meetings against the corrupt communist bureaucracy in Uzbekistan, known as the Uzbek mafia.

This rapid relaxation is in striking contrast to situations caused by "real revolutions,” such as the French Revolution and the Great October Revolution. Real revolutions are not followed by relaxation to the ground state of social energy. After the revolution, French people were so strongly excited that only the battle at Borodino and the Russian winter of 1812 were able to cool them down. In the same way, the post-revolution excitement of the population of Soviet Russia was really amazing.

Echo Chambers

We emphasize the crucial role of the Internet echo chambers in organizing protest actions nowadays (see section 7.2 for quantumlike modeling). Their functioning has led to an essential increase in the approachability of individuals, even those who distance themselves from absorption of news generated by the conventional mass media in the form TV, newspapers, and journals.

Anti-globalization actions were definitely the first tests of the possibility of pumping social energy into human gain mediums with the aid of the Internet echo chambers as well as of approaching the homogenization of the output spike of the corresponding social lasing. Anti-globalization social lasing started to function properly in Prague in September 2000 with a strong spike involving around

  • 10.000 protesters. The next spike was in Quebec City in April 2001. The strongest spike was in Gothenburg in June 2001 with around
  • 25.000 activists. Three activists were shot and injured. And then, one of the last strong spikes was in Genoa in July 2001, where one activist was shot dead by the police. As well as color revolutions, anti-globalization actions led to quick relaxation. Now these actions are practically forgotten.
Anti-globalization protests in Gothenburg, 2001

Figure 2.8 Anti-globalization protests in Gothenburg, 2001.

Conflating Opposition Protests with Warfare

We have already pointed to the diversity of opinions on the origin of the color revolution. One of the extreme viewpoints is that these revolutions should be treated as warfare. The Russian president Vladimir Putin is one of the most prominent opponents of such an interpretation. The detailed analysis of the consequences of this viewpoint on color revolutions was presented in article [35]:

The tendency of foreign actors to overstate their role in colour revolutions has declined but Western governments are still tempted to express support for ostensibly pro-democracy protesters, as happened in Ukraine in 2014. Western reactions to the antigovernment protests in Armenia, Macedonia and Moldova last year were more low-key, partly because these were smaller and the countries less important, yet Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, again warned about the West inciting colour revolutions there. In case of mass demonstrations against the less democratic governments in post-Soviet countries during the coming years, the United States and the EU will again be tempted to show some support. However, their decision-making on how to react to such protests will now have to factor in the risk of triggering a Russian military reaction.

The latter statement may be surprising, but article [35] contains reference to Russian official documents supporting the above statement:

The new National Security Strategy that President Vladimir Putin signed at the end of 2015 goes further than previous Russian official documents in identifying foreign-sponsored regime change as a security threat. This has been reinforced by the recent experience of Ukraine where Russia accused the United States and the EU of inciting and supporting an anti-constitutional coup. The Russian authorities have voiced concern about "colour revolutions" i.e. toppling governments by mass protests for at least a decade, accompanied by talk of preventing them abroad as well as at home. At the same time, there are signs that Russia is looking into military capabilities and tactics to carry this out. In other words, the Russian authorities are moving from securitizing

the issue of anti-regime protests to militarizing it____Conflating

opposition protests with warfare, extremism and terrorism can be used by Russia to justify military intervention abroad in what others would see as non-military crises.

It seems that Russian authorities react to color revolutions as to the appearance at the international arena of a new kind of weapon, say as starting to use lasers in antimissile defense. The author of the analytic paper [35] concluded:

This analysis is not to say that Russia’s official counter-colour revolution stance is a promise to intervene militarily in all or any protest crisis in its neighborhood. But its official documents and statements indicate how its leaders think about this issue, and this will shape how they react to future events. Any decision would be based on the right combination of Russian interests being in play, and the calculation would vary with each country....

Given the aftermath of the Arab revolutions and the conflict in Ukraine, Western government look like they have lost what enthusiasm they had for people-power revolutions. Nevertheless, as they were with Ukraine's Euro-Maidan, they could still be tempted to react reflexively or Opportunistically—in support of what they would see as pro-democracy protests. And protests remain a possibility across the post-Soviet space, as recent events in Azerbaijan and Moldova show.... Either way, Western governments must take seriously the fact that Russia has upgraded its official messaging about colour revolutions and developed justifications for a military response—not least when seen alongside its growing willingness to use force abroad.

  • [1] By A. Katsaris,
  • [2] By Zaraza,’’>Link
  • [3] By M. Duimel,
  • [4] By E. Ghobeira,
  • [5] By A. Hikari,; byM. Chernov,
  • [6] This corruption news-flow started long before Yanukovych. The news aboutcorruption in the apparatus and among relatives of Presidents Kuchma andYushchenko were massively pumped by Ukrainian newspapers and TV and echoedin social network chambers.
  • [7] "Slovak nongovernmental organizations earned considerable public reputation inthe struggle against the nondemocratic practices of Prime Minister Vladimir Meciarand his government. With the parliamentary elections in September 1998, thisstruggle came to a head. A consolidated platform of NGOs launched the civiccampaign known as OK '98 (full name: Obcianska kampan '98) to increase citizens'awareness about the elections, to encourage them to vote and to guarantee a fairballot through independent civic supervision" (see Butora [47]).
  • [8] By White House photographer: Official White House Facebook page, Public Domain,
  • [9] ,JNowadays we can see new energy pumping generated by Trump's actions, but intoanother gain medium, oriented to the Democratic Party. But, in turn, the recentprotest actions of liberals work as energy pumping in the Trump-oriented gainmedium ... The same happens in the UK. Brexit, as well as following actions of theBritish prime minister, Theresa May, pumped social energy into the labor-orientedgain medium.
< Prev   CONTENTS   Source   Next >