Nikolai Kondratiev was a Russian economist who was executed by Stalin in 1938 because he was opposed to the collectivization of the earth and because he claimed that capitalism would always return and will never die.
Kondratiev became known for his famous waves that last 50-60 years and which consist of the expansion, the crisis and the contraction upon which capitalism is renewed.
According to analysts around 2020, in the recovery of the fifth Kondratiev wave, the beginning of a new world war is estimated. The reasons for this war will be the intense competition mainly on raw materials and markets as well as on the multipolar distribution of military power among big countries. New forces will create a new hegemony.
Some researchers (Chase-Dunn and Podobnik, 1999) argue that the European Union led by Germany, with a 50/50 chance, will be involved in a global military controversy with the US in 2020, or the other possibility is the US- Japanese war. While Wallerstein (2000) argued that a war between Europe and Asia in the 21st century was most likely. Goldstein (2005) estimates the existence of war in 2025, while Boswell (1999) estimates it for the years 2010-2020.
It is a fact, however, that the conditions that have been shaped and are still shaped bring the Western world and mostly Europe, under constant pressure at all levels.
China and India are now emerging giants demographically but also economically, possibly also military, while the population in the West shrinks. Migration was thought to solve the demographic problem of the West and the problems in the pension system and will boost the economy through the market and real estate growth.
However, it has not been taken into account that in the downfall phase of the Kondratiev cycle like the one we are experiencing, which is characterized by shrinking jobs, there will be massive groups of unemployed (both locals and immigrants). Public budget will be burdened since the benefits given are much higher than the taxes paid. In addition, continuous automation causes further jobs shrinking and, therefore, redundant “working hands”, while through telecommunication the transfer of skills and knowledge is now very easy and fast so there is no need for “local working hands”.
Regarding the birth rate, newcomers in one country and their children have been shown to have birth rates lower than those of the natives (observed in Canada and in Greece with the entry of Albanian immigrants). The demographic problem in the West stems from the problems faced by the modern woman and has to do with both economic insecurity and non-protection of motherhood by the state (nurseries, maternity leave, etc.) and the instability of modern relationships (see divorce increase). On the other hand, the working environment is negative for motherhood. A population that is renewed and age distribution is smooth can bring some smoothness to the fall (winter) stage of Kondratiev cycles, and this goal can be achieved if there is a balance between personal and professional lives of women and young people in general.
Another solution to avoid the significant impact of the Kondratiev winter cycle is surplus capital of the rich countries to be invested in poor countries so as to contribute substantially to their development and economic growth.
Maybe this way, it will be possible to avoid the world war predicted by analysts, which will be devastating to humanity.
Chase-Dunn C., Podobnik B. 1995. The Next World War: World-System Cycles and Trends. Journal of World-Systems Research 1/6: 1–47.Goldstein J. 1988. Long Cycles: Prosperity and War in the Modern Age. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Wallerstein I. 1984. Economic Cycles and Socialist Policies. Futures 16/6: 579– 585.