The Korday conflict in Kazakhstan (which killed 11 people, injured dozens of people, burned down 39 homes, 20 commercial sites and 47 vehicles) demonstrated deep contradictions in Kazakhstan's multinational society. The accumulated socio-economic problems, the lack of efficiency of the work of the authorities in maintaining interethnic and inter-confessional consent, and all kinds of phobias in society give good ground for the development of negative manifestations of nationalism, as the superiority of one ethnic group over another. On the other hand, nationalism, in its civilizational form, can play a key role in the successful development of a country.
The Center for the Study of Army, Conversion and Disarmament presents an article by political analyst Asenbek Knarovich, a candidate of historical sciences, an associate professor on whether nationalism in Kazakhstan is dangerous, what causes the tensions of society and what needs to be done for the effective development of the state.
Nationalism is a concept that in Kazakhstan is associated with negative associations. In terms of the concept of "nationalism" approaches chauvinism, implies ethnic aggression. Accordingly, it has a sharply negative connotation and implies the superiority of one's own nation over others, above all the neighbors, and contrasting them with the ideal image of their people. But is everything so simple?
Negative interpretation has a long tradition dating back to the Soviet period, when nationalism was opposed to internationalism, the idea of equality and the union of peoples. At the same time, there was an active struggle with nationalism, which seemed to be the main obstacle to socialism. Despite the fact that party documents of the 20s speak of the need to combat nationalism and great-power chauvinism, the latter were later mentioned in a more ritualistic manner. But the dominant in politics was the fight against nationalism, which turned into mass repression not only against the bourgeoisie, the intelligentsia, the bureaucracy, but even members of the Communist Party. Suffice it to say that in Kazakhstan during the 20's-50's of the twentieth century, under the flag of the fight against nationalism, almost all not only the intellectual elite, but even the little literate people were destroyed. The new Soviet generation received such a charge of "internationalism" that any attempt to talk about the need to preserve national traditions met with stiff resistance.
It should be noted, however, that the idea of proletarian international internationalism did not withstand the first major challenge - the Great Patriotic War. Already in the first days of the war, the authorities abandoned the idea of unity of workers regardless of nationality and made Soviet patriotism their ideological weapon. In the propaganda work the images of the tsarist generals - A. Suvorov, M. Kutuzov, P. Nakhimov, F. Ushakov and others - were actively used. In the national republics also began to appeal to figures of fighters for independence. In Kazakhstan, it was Kenesari Kasymov. But already in the second half of the war the main focus was made in favor of the heroes of the dominant ethnic group - the Russians. At the same time, the appeal to the historical memory of the Turkic and other peoples was virtually forbidden as they saw the ground for the growth of "bourgeois nationalism". In 1944 and 1945 the resolutions of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) on the ideological work of the Tatar and Bashkir organizations were adopted.
In 1944 ideological work in Kazakhstan was checked and compiled A note in the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) "On the errors and shortcomings in ideological work in the party organization of Kazakhstan." The note stated that no work was done in the republic to correct the deficiencies specified in the resolutions on the work of the Tatar and Bashkortostan organizations. As noted in this note: - "The authors of" History of the Kazakh SSR ", contrary to the Marxist methodology, laid the basis of the history of Kazakhstan not the development of productive forces, industrial relations, classes and class struggle, but the struggle of the Kazakhs for their independence ... In the History of the Kazakh SSR, feudal-patriarchal relations in Kazakhstan are adorned, no distinction is made between the genuine national liberation movements of the Kazakh people and the robbery raids of the Kazakh sultans and feudal lords, the feudal-reactionary movements of the Sultans of Karatayl . The authors of the History of the Kazakh SSR gave an incorrect anti-historical assessment of the fact of Kazakhstan's annexation to Russia, without showing the truly positive, progressive importance of Kazakhstan's accession to the Russian Empire. The authors give the history of the Kazakh people in isolation from the history of the great Russian and other peoples of the Soviet Union ... Despite the instruction of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) on the Khan-feudal nature of the Epic of Yedig, given in the decree "On the state and measures of improving mass political and ideological work in Tatar Party Organization, ”a number of writers continued to write praise poems about Yedig in 1945.
In the following years, the idea of a new historical community - the Soviet people - actively promoted. Naturally, the values of the main ethnic group that became a model for other peoples became dominant. First of all, there was a narrowing of the sphere of use of national languages in favor of the Russian language. In Kazakhstan, Kazakh schools are closing down, and there is a decline in teaching in Kazakh at higher and secondary specialized institutions. Over time, even the defense of dissertations had to be carried out in Russian.
In Kazakhstan, which by virtue of many tragic circumstances became a multinational republic, Kazakhs were an ethnic minority. Internationalization policy was more active here than in other republics. Therefore, the very concept of "nationalism" became more and more widespread and even attempts to protect language, traditions, spiritual and cultural heritage were declared nationalism.
So far, the concept of "nation" in post-Soviet countries is reduced to "ethnicity". Therefore, "nationalist" is used in a negative context.
To some extent, this is due to the fact that nationalism in the times of the Russian Empire and the USSR was a threat, and therefore the positive interpretation of the concept adopted in the part of world science was excluded.
In modern Kazakhstan, the concept of "nationalism" is also used in a negative sense. It is a tradition that has moved on in our time. Therefore, nationalism is always used in the negative sense and represents the image of the enemy of unity the people of Kazakhstan.
In modern political thought, the concept of "nationalism" has many definitions, and the content - hundreds of interpretations. We will not dwell on them. Let us note only that nationalism is an ideology that has shaped the modern world and continues to exert its powerful influence on politics.
Nationalism emerged in modern times, when feudal ideas collapsed. After the Peace of Westphalia, the doctrine of "whose land is that religion" came into force. This principle denied the idea of the rule of pan-European empires and the Catholic Church. A kind of partnership of nationalism and liberalism has formed. In the ideas of the Enlightenment, a strong emphasis was placed on the sovereignty of the people, cooperation in the name of realizing the will of the nation. Hence, nationalism in France is based on the ideas of citizenship, which rejects class inequality, and equal participation in the affairs of the state. In England, the formation of nationalism went hand in hand with the restriction of the monarchy, the extension of parliamentary powers as a people's representation.
Nationalism played a major role in the victory of the American and French revolutions. The motivation behind this was the requirement for representation in the authorities as a basis for paying taxes. The immigrants felt they were a united nation in the struggle for their political rights, which was reflected in the US Constitution. France, by promoting the idea of "freedom, equality, brotherhood", develops the idea of civil rights and freedoms, denies the class hierarchy of the feudal era. It is at this time that the principle "State is me" disappears into oblivion, and instead the state is identified with the nation.
In the 19th century, the process of unification of Germany and Italy took place on the wave of the development of capitalism and the growth of nationalism. Old empires, such as the Austrian and Ottoman ones, are entering a period of crisis due to the growth of national movements. In the second half of the twentieth century, in developed countries, nationalism focused on issues such as citizen participation in political decision-making in the country, at the level of legislation and the economy, improving the competitiveness of the nation, and preserving culture. The latter usually includes the requirement that all citizens should speak the state language, know the history of the country and share basic values.
Naturally, nationalism throughout history has taken extremely negative forms in the form of fascism, xenophobia and genocide. This was the case in Nazi Germany, Rwanda, Cambodia and many other countries. But the fight against these phenomena also relied on nationalism, but of a positive nature. Therefore, we are talking about an ideology based on positive feelings about one's nation, which encourages political action in the name of national interests. Nationalism is not racism or Nazism.
In modern Kazakhstan, the idea of nationalism is suppressed not only by virtue of the "Soviet" tradition. The ideological apparatus retained the slogans "Kazakhstan - Laboratory of Friendship of Peoples" which was part of the Soviet idea of friendship of peoples. But the authorities preferred not to mention how Koreans, Germans, Chechens, Crimean Tatars, Greeks, Kurds appeared in the republic… Not to mention numerous cases of social protests and interethnic clashes, persecution on national and social grounds.
Neither the collapse of the USSR, nor the events of December 1986, after which the CPSU Central Committee resolution on Kazakh nationalism was adopted, nor interethnic clashes in different regions of Kazakhstan, were able to compel this relic of the old ideology. Moreover, a constitutional ban on the formation of parties on ethnic and confessional grounds was introduced. An instrument of national policy was the Assembly of the Peoples of Kazakhstan, which in the days of the holidays demonstrates interethnic accord and unity. But in reality, there is no way to solve real problems.
The fact that nationalism is the most powerful and unifying people of different political views with ideology is still ignored. Nationalism became the basis for the construction of the nation-states of Europe in modern times. Thanks to this ideology, the colonial system collapsed and in the twentieth century dozens of independent states of Asia and Africa emerged.
Turkish nationalism in the early twentieth century became an alternative to the imperial ideology of Ottomanism, the sultanate, the dominance of Sharia. Kemal Ataturk proposed to the people the ideology of nationalism, which included statism, republicanism, equality of citizens, separation of religion from the state, education. The new ideology made it possible to mobilize citizens for the protection of the republic and to create a modern state after numerous trials.
In the context of globalization, nationalism preserves its own culture, language and traditions. It is enough to remember the laws adopted by France to preserve their culture. More striking is the example of Japan, which not only preserves its own culture but also promotes it on the world stage. One should not ignore the fact that if earlier, globalization meant westernization and Americanization, then in the twenty-first century it had an oriental content. That is why nationalism today is not only the preservation of identity before the influence of the West, but also of the East. From this, the task of maintaining identity becomes even more difficult.
The history of mankind shows that the idea of positive nationalism can become a serious foundation for the formation of political opposition to power, which will unite the efforts of citizens in the struggle for their rights, sovereignty, representation in the authorities, and the formation of a political course. Nationalism pushes the state to reform for the sake of realizing the interests of the nation in various spheres - economy, social policy, party system, international relations. And this our government does not need. That is why the ban on the ideology of nationalism still exists today.
In today's world, most states position themselves as political rather than ethnic nations. This means that they recognize the principle of popular sovereignty, and the people are understood as a community of citizens.
Thus, nationalism has, before and now, two assumptions. We can conditionally speak of "bad" and "good" nationalism. Good is patriotism. But with this notion is also not easy. In the Kazakh vocabulary, such a combination as "national patriots" is often used, which has a very negative content. A national patriot is even worse than just being a nationalist. But can one forget that nationalism is a political manifestation of patriotism when the interests of the state arise from the interests of the nation. English writer Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) is often quoted as saying: "Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel" as a valid argument against patriotism. But S. Johnson condemns not the use of patriotism per se, but the use of the slogan of patriotism for selfish and unimaginative purposes. I am closer to another sentence that appeared in ancient Greece - "Patriotism distinguishes citizen from slave"! Therefore, patriotism is not only a manifestation of love for the Fatherland, but also a complex of human and citizen rights and responsibilities. Without such a combination, there is no citizenship, no homeland, no rights and no obligations. Patriotism means not only the right and the duty to protect one's homeland, but also to govern one's own country.
Nationalism is one of the founding principles of the modern world, and it is much more widespread than its critics admit. It is necessary to understand that no nation will be ruled by another. Coexistence is possible only under conditions of equality of nations. When it is declared, but it is not in reality, the growth of discontent is guaranteed. This was characteristic of the USSR, which proclaimed the equality of peoples a hierarchy. In such a situation, nationalism carries a positive charge not only for the elite, but also for ordinary citizens, who hope in the new conditions for a better position in the new state system.
It can be said that the negative evaluation of nationalism in scientific works and journalism is far from scientific understanding of the subject in modern Kazakhstan and is based on ideological postulates of the Soviet period. By the way, the ideological origin of Soviet ideology - Marxism did not negate the positive charge of nationalism. They noted that bourgeois nationalism played a positive role in the fight against feudal prejudice, opening the way to basic bourgeois freedoms. YOU. Lenin recognized the right of nations to self-determination, including those of the USSR. But over time, this right took a formal character.
In modern conditions, nationalism as a positive theory has two grounds. The first is the right of the nation to realize its own interests and expressed in a variety of forms of interests in the fields of culture, education, art, spiritual and intellectual life. So far, this is quite problematic. The authorities, without looking at public opinion, offer a variety of, sometimes contradictory and even mutually exclusive ideologues. The constant appeal to the origins, the historical past, is interspersed with ambitious, but unsupported programs to become one of the world's foremost countries. But in the first case, the bewilderment celebrates the anniversary of the Golden Horde, which is a fragment of the Mongol Empire. At the same time, Kazakhstan positions itself as a Turkic state and is a member of the Turkic states. The Eurasian idea lost its original content, became a branch of the idea of the Russian world and is actively used by the Kremlin. Kazakhstan accepts the path to Europe programs, chairs the OSCE and the OIC, participates in the Turkic and Customs Union, as well as many other international structures. All this is not at all like a balanced international policy based on an understanding of national interests.
Statements about the beginning of Kazakh statehood are directly opposite - from the 550th anniversary of the Kazakh Khanate to 1991. The Assembly of People of Kazakhstan, which emphasized the multinational composition of the population, was transformed into the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan. And this strongly resembles the concept of the period of developed socialism - "the Soviet people - a new historical community of people." But even the creation of such a body did not prevent the periodic inter-ethnic clashes that occur in different regions of the country. Almost without revealing national requests, major decisions are made in the country. For example, switching to Latin, moreover without serious preparation.
The other side - nationalism is a form of expression of the will of the people. Thanks to it, civil society, the system of interaction between power and society, citizen and state, were formed. In Kazakhstan, the process is one-sided so far. The practical and legal prohibitions on free independent political activity have not only been maintained, but have become even more effective.
We can state that suppression of positive nationalism creates a situation of aggression growth in the sphere of inter-ethnic relations. It is because of bans, instead of dialogue, that consensus-seeking during conflicts is aggressive. The lack of opportunity for self-organization of citizens, institutions of interaction between civil society and the state leads to direct aggression. And this aggression is directed against representatives of another nationality as the culprit of problems in various spheres.
In addition, any statement, not even a demand, for the implementation of the specific national interests of the Kazakh ethnic group is met with resistance from the authorities. Those who advocate the development of the language, the restoration of historical place names, the observance of the status of the state language are accused of nationalism and hang the stigma of "national tribes". This creates a picture of backward, stupid, aggressive nationalists who harm the cause of the unity of the country.
The reforms that are being talked about so much nowadays will be effective if the creative potential of the people is released. It is because of this that great and successful countries were created. Nationalism has created all modern states, including the most successful ones. Of course, there were many problems along the way. But historical experience avoids many mistakes on the way to building a prosperous Kazakhstan.
Nationalism is an objective reality. The question is that the ideology of nationalism should take on a civilized form and organization. And this is quite possible and even was in Kazakh history. The leaders of the Alash Party in their program documents and political practices fought not only for the interests of the Kazakh people, but also emphasized the urgent need to take into account the interests of other peoples, including through representation in the authorities. If one looks at the activities of the Kokand Autonomy, there was also a clear understanding of the need to take into account the multinational population of Turkestan.
An obstacle to the civilized form of nationalism, which is being created in modern Kazakhstan, is leading to increased tensions in society. Suffice it to recall that virtually all regional interethnic contradictions have grown into a stage of open conflict, since self-organization of citizens is virtually prohibited and dialogues between citizens are absent. NSOD, the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan, various councils under the authorities, despite all the statements, are just simulacra. It is therefore necessary to amend the constitution and laws of the country to allow for full-scale democratic reform. It is necessary to free the creative energy of the people from the custody of the bureaucracy. Only this difficult path opens the real prospects for creating the conditions for the successful development of the country.