COMMON LAW PHILOSOPHY OF
POTENTIAL FOR DEMOCRACY
2.1. CIVILIZATIONAL TRADITIONS AND THE
ADVOCACY OF RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES IN
Most social scientists now acknowledge a higher productivity of the civilizational paradigm compared to the formational one dominant within the Soviet social and humanitarian sciences. The analysis of civilizational bases of the traditional Kazakh society enables us better to understand the essence of the processes of modernization taking place in the modern Republic of Kazakhstan.
The East-West dichotomy, enabling us to determine two super-civilizations, is commonly recognized in science. The East is characterized by a high degree of etatism, state property, domination of the group over the individual, absence of the notion of autonomous personality and, consequently, of the category of human rights and liberties. Individualism, high development of the institution of private property and the resulting autonomy of personality, essential rights and liberties are inherent of the West. The main value of eastern civilization is stability, of the western is dynamism. In the East the state is practically all-powerful, in the West it is restricted by law.
The civilization established in the Steppe has absorbed characteristics of both East and West. The phenomenon of nomadism originally combines the collectivist and individualistic, etatist and liberal beginning. The political culture of nomads does not accept full domination of either corporativism and individualism. As a result, a nomad turns into some "centaur" – an amazing mix of individualism and corporativism, originating from the personal-clan consciousness implicitly inherent in him, and forming the quintessence of the civilizational mentality of nomadism1.
The influence of the different directions of East and West brought to development a peculiar nomadic democracy in the Steppe, based on the nomadic way of production.
The Kazakh love for freedom revealed itself in the absence of slavery and despotism, in a comparative liberty and equality of women, in a respectful attitude to a person and absence of servile worship of authorities. The freedom-loving lifestyle of nomads had deep influence upon the institualization of the political structures of the traditional Kazakh society.
An orientation toward compromise and political balance is one of the principles of the exercise of authority in Kazakh society. In other words, rivalry in the efforts of the various political groups to place staff in the higher ranks of state authority, as a rule, took place in an atmosphere of full secrecy due to the compromising way of thinking of the authorities. That, in turn, urges participants in the political process to achieve consensus or to sign some "gentleman’s agreements", clearly defining behavioral rules of each "player". Thus, to better understand the nature of authority in Kazakhstan, first we need to study the traditional political culture of the Kazakhs, their hierarchy of values, political traditions and the role of these in the modern life of Kazakhstan.
According to Russian orientalist, Leonid Vasiliev, "a structural element of the traditional East is the institution of the power of property with central re-distribution under the secondary or dependant role of the market and commodity-money relations". Consequently, the classic Marxist formula cannot serve as a universal research instrument in the study of the power relations in eastern societies, including a traditional Kazakh society, though many researches try to prove that ethnic-social structure of Kazakhs does not meet many parameters of the traditional oriental culture.
Omnipotence of authorities, corporativity, clan relationships in the form of patronage-client attitude – these are the features of all oriental societies. Such specifics of ethnic-political structures are elements of the general culture of relations in Kazakh society. However, the Asian form of social stratification of Kazakhs is found basically in the political sphere. The weakness of the political traditions, characteristic of the East, in the Kazakh society can be explained by the following factors:
The state did not play special role in the Kazakh society because there was no state in the western (Marxist, we may say) understanding. A declassed Kazakh society basically functioned as a civil society, since the behavior of an ordinary member of society was regulated with the help of certain rules of "steppe democracy". The contents and nature of power relationships, however, were determined by classical eastern traditions of state management. Kazakh society can be considered a specific social organism, as a system penetrated by vertical and horizontal relationships.
For a very long time Kazakhs were subject to colonial power, the result was the introduction of a European (western) lifestyle into the home life of nomads. Based on the theory of modernization of L.I. Reysner and N.A. Simoniya, the success of social-political transformations in the Kazakh society at the end of the past century and the beginning and middle of the present century can be explained by a skillful synthesis of traditional values with modern ones. This eventually determined a comparatively successful move to implement democratic processes in modern Kazakhstan.
Having analyzed fundamental categories of the Kazakh mentality and traditional political culture, we shall look at the role of political traditions in the system of power relationships in contemporary Kazakh society.
Compromise is one of the basic categories in the mentality of Kazakhs; it is interesting from the point of view of political tradition. It was under development for several centuries of the historical development of the Kazakh ethnos. Tengryanism had special influence as a religious concept rejecting the self-destructive mechanisms in the process of existence. Tengryanism advocated harmony and called for a mutually penetrating interaction of opposite parties, usually the development of harmony between a person and his or her environment. Nomads have transferred this to the system of social relations. Later Islam confirmed it as a system of political rituals, a form of hierarchical subordination and a key element of political pressure. In the period of development of Islam, its huge expansion in all the spheres of public life, compromise became a component of the political culture of the Kazakhs.
This was also promoted by faith in predestination, in stability of set traditions and the laws of Nature inherent to Kazakhs. The following curious detail is of note: in many Kazakh fairy tales and legends skill in acknowledging one’s own defeat, to making a truce or solving conflicts only by exchange of opinions on this or that issue is seen as a sign of true humanity. Probably, therefore Kazakhs associate nobility with readiness for self-sacrifice, taming of one’s own emotions, daily behaviour in accordance with common norms of life, with self-restraint, a sense of measure, obligingness and liability. Moreover, in the old legends regarding prominent figures of national history, certain leaders of the state are estimated by storytellers as positive or negative according to whether the character was able to reject his own principles or lives of people close to him for the sake of his fellow-tribesmen, country, etc. All these together prove that compliance and compromise for the Kazakhs meant something more than just an agreement on the basis of mutual concessions. The principle of compromise as a category of balance and stability entered into the political sphere of Kazakh society. This principle is a sum of formal rituals and conventions as forming premises for a harmonious development of the entire society. The principle of compromise prevents sharp political maneuvers and forces the participants of the political process to obey and to reconcile. To some extent this principle sometimes acts as a stabilizer of public-political relations, as a mechanism of balance in the operation of the political system.
Due to the fact that it was difficult for nomads to manage in the expansive steppe, the power of khans was never as strong as the power of eastern despot-rulers in settled-agricultural civilizations. Upon reinforcement by pressure or conflict with the authorities a clan or a tribe always could move from the place, as, for instance, happened to several tribes headed by the founders of the Kazakh khanate, Dzhanybek and Girey.
Human rights were already specified in the laws of Tauke-khan - Zhety-Zhargy. The existence of presence of this code of laws speaks of a high enough level of law-consciousness of the Kazakh society. According to modern terminology, there were the rights to life, marriage, agricultural activity and property, that is, basically, personal (civil) and economic rights.
An important factor in the presence of political rights with Kazakhs is an institute of elective appointment of a khan or, to be more specific, the legal procedure of legitimization of an authority of tore-chingizid, already recognized by the public opinion as a leader. The power of khans was not transferred by inheritance, but was electoral. From native history it is known that only the worthiest candidates were proclaimed as khans and raised on the white carpet.
The institute of biy played an essential role in the Steppe. As Chokan Valikhanov wrote in his "Note on Judicial reform": "Election as a biy with Kyrgyzs (i.e. Kazakhs - A.N.) was not stipulated by some formal choice on the part of the people and appointment by the ruling authority; only deep knowledge of judicial custom, united with eloquence, gave a Kyrgyz this honourable rank... The importance of biy is founded on authority, and this rank is like a patent for judicial practice"2. Thus, the main resource of biy power was an authority but not the power of state enforcement.
For nomads the clans and tribes being the main form of self-organization of the society, bore a great social and political load. In particular, Kazakhs had private property for cattle and only collective property for land.
The mechanism for the solution of conflicts in regard to breaches of individual and collective rights was a specific institute of biys, which executed the functions of judicial and, partly, administrative authority. We may say that biys executed the functions of vertical and horizontal regulation of the life of the society. The first presupposes co-ordination of interests of powerful structures, a clan-tribal top and various social layers of the population (political function); the second concerns the solution of civil, property, territorial and other disputes between clans and tribes, on the one hand, between members of one clan and a tribe, on the other (social-legal function)3.
The following fact bespeaks the power of traditions and the level of law-consciousness of the people in the Kazakh steppe: sultan Barak, who killed Abulhair-khan, was judged by the biys. In this case we may say that one of the most important principles of a legal state was implemented here: no people are beyond the legal field, everyone is equal under the law.
Democracy in the biys court as a specific institute for the protection of human rights and liberties in the traditional Kazakh society has been clearly described by Chokan Valikhanov.
First, in case a biy was of suspected objectivity, both plaintiff and defendant had a right to choose another judge.
Secondly, each of the litigant parties had an unlimited right to appeal with other biys judicial decisions which from their viewpoint seemed unjust.
Thirdly, in the event of insufficient of evidence against the accused, a biy had the right to call upon a juror from honest relatives of high reputation, who under oath accused or justified the defendant. Moreover, the number of jurors and the circle of their choice were stipulated by the weight of the accusation.
Fourthly, the court of biys was carried out verbally and publicly.
Fifthly, people respected it so much that it did not require any disciplinary steps4. In other words, the regulating role of the legal tradition was so high that the judicial performance was produced by society itself without interference from the state.
All the above-mentioned is obvious evidence of high ability on the part of the political systems of a traditional nomadic society of Central Asia. A variety of channels for the transfer of information promoting mass political participation in the process of making powerful decisions assured the stable and sustainable operation of the entire system. As a matter of fact, the Kazakhs’ own system of division of powers was already developed in medieval society. The institute of khan authority for all its monarchism allowed for elective appointment.
Authority in the Kazakh society was specific in that carriers of powerful authority were not as much appointed and elected, as recognized, i.e. the title of ruler was a well-earned honourable rank. The ritual of the ascension of the one elected as khan on the white carpet, or transfer of a permanent license for judicial-administrative, military-political and diplomatic activity to biys only in the presence of public recognition is evidence of "the act of recognition" of the political will of the claimant as the form legitimization of authority. There were limits to the powers of authority like the current widespread system of restraints and counterweights. Khans had the right to take the final judgment only legally. Practically they had to reckon with the opinion of the majority in the course of discussion of these or other state questions at the khan’s council, where the interests of the common people, by the way, were defended by biys elected from the people. As a result a broad expansion of the elective appointment practice of separate instances of authority, a self-reproduction of powerful social resources was implemented. This called the attention of the elite to the needs of society, intensifying the adaptative abilities of the political system. The fact that the right of any person was consolidated in the common law of the Kazakh people by the right to free expression of their opinion, says much about the practice of protection and the ensurance of the rights and liberties of a person in traditional Kazakh society. This right of "dat" was used, as a rule, by the convicted or sentenced, and the history of the Kazakh people rich with many examples when the disagreement and objection to the actions of a khan or other representatives of khan’s authority were expressed.
Further colonization of the Kazakh steppe by tsarist regime, introduction of the judicial system of the Russian empire led to a significant deformation of the traditional mechanisms for the protection of human rights and liberties and unjustified high etatisation of the process.
The Soviet totalitarian period totally deprived Kazakhs of all rights and liberties. From a formal-legal side, in some cases a Soviet man had even more rights than citizens of civilized countries. In particular, it is well known that the second generation of human rights – part of the economic, social and cultural rights – were developed under the influence of international communist and proletarian movement, as well as the experience of Socialist countries.
At the same time, the former Soviet Union gave the world vivid examples of violations of the natural and inalienable human rights to life, personal inviolability, freedom and property that are neither granted nor can be taken away, by anybody. Millions of miserable lives were sacrificed for the sake of the doubtful goal of building a Communist paradise.
We are sure that violation of original natural human rights cannot "be compensated" in any way. Can the right to life or personal inviolability be replaced by anything?
The world recognized the Soviet political system as a classical example of totalitarianism under which people were totally deprived of the political rights of democratic participation in the management of the state. Having woken up from a terrible lethargic dream, our society shuddered from the scale of the tragedy completed by the totalitarian regime. Independent Kazakhstan, like other post-Soviet states, on the basis of the principle of historical receivership, has proclaimed a return to the bosom of the world civilization, transition to common human values and democratic institutions, and approval by the world community as a strategic goal of its modernization.
At the same time, to increase the success of democratic reforms and establish the priority of human rights and liberties, it seems necessary to introduce the civilized traditions and mentality of the Kazakh people, with our rich experience of original nomadic democracy, respect, and efficient protection of personal and collective rights. We need to activate the historical consciousness of the nation, and creatively to combine our own and the world’s experience in the protection of human rights and liberties in the development of democratic institutions of Kazakh civil society. Development of such a society and legal state, which is the purpose of our Constitution, should be based upon our own historical practice of guarantees and protections of human rights and on international standards of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
2.2. TRADITIONAL ETHICS OF KAZAKHS AND DEMOCRACY
Presently there are two different positions regarding the axiological bases of democracy. According to the first point of view, democracy is born and develops on the basis of certain values. This position, based on the Aristotle’s doctrine and continued by Montesquieu and Kant, held that in any form of democracy the actions of certain people, social groups and the institutes of power should be aimed at the acquisition of the common good while conforming with certain values and moral norms. According to Aristotle, they should correspond with such civil virtues as loyalty to the law and state, involvement in social life, etc. According to the philosophers of the Age of Enlightenment, legality is the major virtue of the state and citizens. Kant, emphasizing the significance of values and responsibilities coming out of the categorical imperative, elevated the self-value of every individual person and personality. Recently Popper in his work, Open Society and Its Enemies, denies the correspondence of the democratic model to strictly defined values, acknowledging the possibility of replacing the government in a peaceful way, i.e. without armed conflict.
According to the other point of view, democracy has a procedural character. It is created by the power and institutions of power elected by people. A requisite of democratic procedures is the division of the branches of power to provide for multiple interests, and the acquisition of personal and common goods. Habermas presented his version of development of democracy, which he called a proceduralistic or communitarian model. According to him, today many civil virtues and values have lost their former actuality and therefore post-modern societies have rejected them. Under these conditions achievement of consensus means stability of the procedualistic consensus. Common values should not be declared from above, but should be formulated from below by certain people or social groups5.
In essence, universal concepts coherent with western culture and progress as templates of modernization have become effective means to transform obsolete "traditional" political cultures into "modern" and "advanced". In practice a systematic annihilation of non-western cultures has been a consequence of such modernization. The Declaration of the Human Rights is based upon such universalistic concepts declaring the postulates of an exclusively European moral code. But in the oriental (especially Muslim and Confucian) countries it remains in many regards Utopian, though the UN is trying to take steps to implement the European rights where they are infringed upon. In the larger politics the Declaration is a means to lobby selfish political interests of the community leaders of the countries of the world. For this reason the non-western world sees an "imperialism of human rights", and resists the violent introduction of the values of a foreign culture.
The above approaches explain mainly the reasons for failures in the democratization of post-Soviet societies. In Kazakhstan an institutional democracy is being formed, but there is lack of attention to institutional ethics. Therefore today civil society structures are incapable of fulfilling the constructive function of providing social changes with democratic content. Hence, social development projects suggested by various political forces fighting for the power do not find a wide social and psychological support in the community. In reality, civil society as a community of independent subjects expressing and protecting their interests "in a country where a legal nihilism has been cultivated for centuries"6 has taken on monstrous features: fragmented, irreconcilable, incapable of compromise, particular and maximalistic in protecting narrow group interests. In the growing polarization of the society and alienation of power, a tendency for elite consolidation emerges, aimed at meeting narrow-minded, top-corporative interests. Abuse of power and low authority for law result in the growth of mutual distrust.
The principles and ideals of democracy do not then lead everyone who has broken free from the regimentation and prohibitions set by the authoritarian system. Hence, the civil society does not grow automatically out of the institutionalization of democracy, or out of the liberalization of the forms of property, rights and liberties of every person that should favor the development of subjective characteristics. "The export of liberalism at the end of the XXth century like the export of revolution in the first half of that politically intense century, is counterproductive"7. We need factors of a moral axiology. Popper is right in this regard emphasizing that "democracy will be successful only in a society that shares the values of freedom and tolerance. It will not work in a society that has no idea of these notions. Democracy can encourage the preservance of freedom, but it cannot create the freedom where citizens do not seek it"8.
In Hegel’s philosophy of right it was noted that real morals is not a sum of abstract and objective rights, of abstract and objective morals. Just as fish will not become golden if they are put into a golden swimming tank, so people will not become moral only due to the laws imposed on them if they are external and do not correspond to their own spirituality. According to Hegel, to become "a citizen of the state" means spiritually to merge with the law. Being only law-observant is not enough to become a citizen; it is important that the laws to be taken as something spiritual, cultural, and personal.
If we want the ideas of a civil and open society in modern Kazakhstan to cross the boundaries of the narrow circle of the intellectual elite and to start "working" in our social-political life, it is necessary to give them more clarity and definition. They should be re-considered in terms of the complications of the cultural-historical and the political situation. There is no need to dramatize the situation in search of a cultural niche or civilized identity. We should reject naïve efforts to present our national history as a center of world events. We should develop the potential of traditional cultural interaction and not build new cultural barriers. Kazakh culture should objectively become a nucleus around which the cultural community will be built, not diluted by all Kazakhstani people9.
In my opinion, the so-called "legal state" ( i.e. a democratic state) is possible due to the aspiration of the whole people for the common good, and the affirmation of the principles of a world ethics oriented toward a combination of public and national, corporative and personal, values and interests. The moral universals of the entire epoch and nation are built on a balance of the public and the individual. Without the limiting force of a spiritual-moral basis, of the culture, the market system may turn social life into a "struggle of everyone against everyone".
This important public integrating role is played by political ethics explaining the basic values of the society, the formation of the social order, and the issues of institutional interaction of social groups and movements10. In the course of studying in the spiritual inheritance of the Kazakh nation its traditional ethics, we uncover the co-existence of two contradictory tendencies. Some values are socially-centrally oriented non-personal norms, which authoritatively support the public order by serving to preserve and stabilize the socium; others are universal-historical promoting the development of universal subjects. There are two ways of normative regulation of human relationships and actions: moral and ethical11. If morals relate to the potential universality of a person as an endlessly transcending being whose principles are therefore unconditional, unlimited and common for all, then ethics relates to the actual limitedness of a person as a member of this or that social group in their being and is a finite system of norms and rules12.
We find these tendencies when talking about the spiritual inheritance of the Kazakh nation, about the sources of moral values in the people’s sayings and proverbs, epos, akyns’ creative work. Neither all nor always have statements had a universal character; sometimes the understanding of good and bad, and of progress revealed a close connection with social tendencies. The zhuz patterns, rehabilitated in some places today, according to which each zhuz has its own sacred predestination, are counter-productive for they are aimed at the preservation of a conservative social order. Besides, they divide people according to the particularism of a tribal moral13.
The traditional ethics of the Kazakhs was based upon a cosmological visions of the transparency of frontiers between the living world and that of the ancestors, of harmony and the continuity of the link between the past, the present and the future. The souls of the dead influence us; our destiny depends on them as do our good and bad luck; our troubles depend on them. They do not reflect the realities of the autonomous behaviour of a nomad in severe climates. Support for the sacred cosmic order defines the objectives and final meaning of an individual’s action, his prospects for success and the acquisition of personal identity. A valuable aspect of a closed society over an open one, of conservative values over liberal ones is their ability for self-development and creative evolution. In the traditional ethics of the Kazakh people there co-existed open and closed, universal and final values as sources of self-development.
Bergson in his Creative Evolution located the source of personal ethics in the intuitive-empathic experience of the internal sense of the existential spiritual emergence with a religious-mystical sense of the connection to the objective. It is important to be able to accept and evoque in oneself ideals and values not as external, but as experienced. "Openness, kindness, acceptance of the other not as "not-me" but as a friend – these are the qualities stably reproduced in the patterns of ethics and culture of traditional society". Those societies whose social institutes are organized in such a way as to overcome the polarity between selfishness and non-selfishness, between the personal and altruism have a high synergism14.
Today conservative ideas with which traditional ethics is commonly associated are interesting and fruitful with regards to the formation of a civil society in search of a common good, a positive sense between people, and the metaphysical and ontological bases of cultural diversity. These seem to contradict liberal ideas by their principles: the priority of common interests (state, nation, society) over the individual. However, liberalism lives by interaction with conservatism, in correlation with which it expresses itself. Adherents of liberalism declare adherence to three principles - freedom, priority of individual interests and change. They are inclined to reject all that is obsolete, and the obligations of moral and religious norms in order to achieve permanent progress. But one cannot help remembering that "without culture any nation and any state can easily disappear without a trace"15.
Both for conservatives and liberals and above all for national-liberals the problem of returning to the ideals of the classic past as not to stay there, but to move on. Today there is a conflict of values—of individual well being (= survival) and collective existence—accompanied by opposition between the ideology of democratization and the national identity. The solution can be found in mutual restraint by both liberals and conservatives, in mutual tolerance for the sake of the high and major aim of constructing civil society. A civil society is proportionate to the stability of the group morale for meeting public norms.
It is from this position that we consider the importance of a traditional ethics in the constitution of civic consciousness and civil society. Zoroastrism, Buddhism, Sufism, Manichaean religion and Islam had considerable impact on the content of ethical categories of the Kazakh nation. Worship of the sky (Tengry) by Kazakhs transcending into a search for the elevated taught a person to be proud and invincible and to project a philosophy of heroism incompatible with a slave psychology. Worship of the Mother Land (Tengry-Umay) strengthened belief in the power of labor, a sense of the holiness of the native land and support of the holy spirits. The ethics of Zoroastrism raised the need to follow three principles in day-to-day life – well thinking, well saying, and well doing. In the meantime everyone would have to make a choice between the good and bad, not for one’s own well being but for the destiny of the entire world. Shamanism is a pre-Islamic religious belief directed at the integrity of behaviour in life. While in Islam human existence was a sort of preparation for the after-life, for the adherents of shamanism this life was real, having its own imperatives of conscience and truthfulness in order not to lose one’s good fortune and health.
The Islamic universal principles in the field of ethics, in particular understanding of the essence of human happiness, teach one to follow four main principles: justice, wealth, intellect, moderation. In the course of time the Islamic socially oriented understanding of good and bad has been changing. The good was associated with the things that do not contradict Islam, and evil with the things that do contradict it. People’s actions were being evaluated from this position and therefore few dared to oppose the set traditions.
Nevertheless, Islam was not the only source of unification of the world and morale of the Kazakhs. People always voted for an ethics based on common sense and reasonable actions. People say, "A person has become sinful not when one was born, but when one started living"; "a reasonable life is a combination of virtues which people cultivate in themselves and according to which they act". In the process a person is required not only to speak wisely, but also to act wisely. A person’s virtues were evaluated not by external traits, but by the way he talks, or what he says in this or that life situation. "If you follow the good you will get what you want; if you follow the bad you will stay ashamed"16. Human happiness was determined not by the financial well being, though this often had a considerable importance, but by the wealth of a human soul and one’s moral deeds. "Only the one who is modest, reasonable, honest, fair, the one who cultivates virtues in himself can acquire happiness". Islam’s statements in regards to women have not determined Kazakh society, which continued to respect a woman-Mother.
Great Abay’s spiritual inheritance and the principle declared by him "Adam bol" (i.e. of humanity) is a concentrated expression of the spirituality of the Kazakh nation. According to Abay, "to be a Moslem" means "to love all three": Allah, the humankind, and justice.
The ruling class saw customs and traditions as moral rights and obligations, made these serve their interests, a special social group of bii was considered to be experts and keepers of the people’s customs, yet the common Kazakh law contained democratic bases. According to the great scientist of the Kazakh nation, Chokan Valikhanov, the common law was peculiar for its "openness, tribal solidarity and simplicity, court process and involvement in this of representatives of all parties; and the power of public opinion, and the absence of repression such as imprisonment"17.
Alongside the socio-cultural roots, there is the fact of shame, and the peculiar cultural- psychological mechanism of fear to lose face in front of the tribe. This stimulated the responsibility and self-development of everyone, which explained the efficiency of common law. Chokan Valikhanov explained the power of the law in a traditional society by its socio-cultural roots since "the law which is well-known to the people, and has formed the person is good for people; however imperfect it is, it should seem to be better, clearer and more understandable than the wisest laws"18.
He voted against the universalism of Tsarist Russia for "the transformations projected for the Christian and settled population will do no good and will be useless if they are not applied to the nomadic foreigners of European and Asian Russia"19.
These ideas regarding legal universalism that ignores traditional ethics and culture, have not lost their actuality in the contemporary legal practice based mainly on the European democracy and culture traditions. Today the resident legal science tends to reject positivistic criteria in understanding the law in terms of a legal pluralism20. The ethics of the formed pluralistic society should flow from the mutual restraint of conservative and liberal ideas, acknowledgment of cultural diversity, and the value of each personality. Such an ethics is being formed as a mechanism of rational control of politics in an independent civil society. This approach means a change in the origin of individual moral values. Public forms of control are no longer believed by faith, but are shaped by self-discipline, and the rationalization of images and behaviour; there is a transfer from a traditional institutional morals to personal ethics.
Analysis of the bases of civil society demonstrates that rationalism, pragmatism, independence, responsibility, individualism, etc. are its necessary socio-cultural and market modes. For some civilizational reasons the above modes cannot be cultivated in Kazakhstani society without a certain transformation of the national mentality and traditional ethics. Socially-centered models face invisible obstacles rooted in deep socio-cultural foundations.
Thus, the Moslem part of the population is familiar with rationalism, but one that is significantly different from western rationalism. Here the aim is not to get the authentic knowledge and truth; instead there is a great interest in intuitive-mystic understanding, intuition and subjective experience is preferred. Here subjective vision prevails. Moslems thought the adherence of the Europeans to the principles of truthfulness to be the expression of an inability to see the divine signs. It is not accidental that the notion of "rational work" is not common in the Moslem culture.
The domination of the tribal element in the national mentality is a barrier to free individual activity. Though nomadic conditions of life encouraged personal self-sufficiency, every nomad saw the meaning of his life to lie in service of the tribe. Exile from the tribe was considered to be an exile from the space, from God, it was a great shame. The labor of the nomadic cattle-breeder was that of the person without a certain profession; it was a way of life incomparable with a modern professional occupation. At that time it was not the labor itself that was honoured, but the privileges it gave the owner. Being wealthy was considered the same as being protected by the spirits of the dead. And today the so-called "new Kazakhs" value the symbols of wealth more than rational or professional labor, or work ethics. They believe they are protected by the spirits of the dead; they stick to the traditional statement "the one who feeds the living will be a biy, the one who feeds the dead will be a bai".
Such socio-cultural modes as democracy, justice and equality are relevant ethical categories, but still differ significantly from western models. In the traditional understanding of Kazakh belief, freedom is equal to a game with no strict rules; it is connected with chaos and willfulness, i.e. it does not include an understanding of the normative legal behaviour in regards to each other or to social institutions as the foundation of the social order. In the western outlook, on the contrary, freedom is associated with a certain quality of social institutions, with the organizing principles of social order: with rights, responsibility and obligation. Besides, in the western culture these have been constructed with a certain balance of individual and public interests regulated by professional norms, ethical requirements, a tax system, etc.
While loyal to the principles of democracy, we should not blindly follow individualism, rationalism, etc., but should differentiate between the universal-historical elements of setting up civil consciousness, and subjectivity. Then the rationalism of an individual person will not limit the freedom of the others, nor contradict ethical understanding. Neither profit nor career will become the highest value, but human personality and dignity.
Therefore today it is important to understand deeply common ideas, to achieve a balance between the individual and the public, and to develop a collective mind and will.
2.3. THE ISSUE OF EURASIANISM IN CHOKAN VALIKHANOV’S WORKS
Much has been written about the first Eurasians in the "the last Eurasian", Lev Gumilev in his scientific publications, monographs, and articles. But the Eurasian interpretation of Chokan Valikhanov’s works can take a quite an unexpected and new turn. Long before the officially acknowledged founders of the Eurasian doctrine, he made genial predictions and projections of a special mission of the Eurasian community of peoples united in a common historical destiny.
We shall evaluate the idea of Eurasianism from a modern viewpoint. The Eurasian gives primacy to the spiritual base over the material one, and to collectivism over individualism and its consummerist focus. Thus, it ensures an active and decisive counteraction that is natural even if the expected among in the unlimited diversity of minds and interests. The whole is good yet each person is individual. This very complicated association is achieved by the Eurasian community by uniting different interests into something holistic. At the beginning of the century, listening to the exiled heart, Russian emigrants were looking into Eurasianism for a spiritual foundation for the unification of a society divided by tragic disasters. This happened as well in the idea of President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan A. Nazarbaev, with regard to the creation of the Eurasian Union. As a political initiative, it intended to revive the economic integration of historically interconnected states. On the one hand, it addressed an old Eurasian issue, but on the other hand, it raised serious objection, which blocked practical implementation of the project. Leaving aside trivial political jealousness, unavoidable for the personified state consciousness characteristic of post-Soviet countries, there are two major negative tendencies with regard to the Eurasian Union.
The first, rather transparent one, is the pro-western mood that influenced the collapse of the Soviet Union. A two-head eagle, Russia’s Byzantine heritage is periodically under the threat of losing the head that looks to the east. It is typical to think that there was and is no Eurasian civilization or Slavic-Turkish super ethnos with Eurasian thinking. Despite its Eurasian location, in its deepest roots Russia is a European state and the strong taste of Asian culture in its native history21 is considered an "environmental condition" that hindered the development of Russia. The impassioned experience of the reformers is the best witness. Their unlimited adherence to the western norms of liberal democracy, despite its numerous victories in countries and continents in the XXth century, has not been successful for those of Eurasia who do their best to understand the rational-pragmatic philosophy of the western world. Obviously, overcoming the prejudice about a Eurasian Union depends on a general revival of the cultural-historical, spiritual integration of Eurasian states, and only then and to a lesser extent on the political climate in Russia.
The other negative reason is in the classic Eurasianism which saw Christian Orthodoxy as a center of Eurasian culture, giving the Turan element a secondary role. This firmly developed within the Russian community the sense of its priority. This civilizing paradigm saw Russia fulfilling a political uniting function. But Eurasia is not a synonym to Russia; such narrow-minded thinking is inadequate for this great idea. Eurasia is not just broad geographically, more important is the fourth dimension, namely, time. This contains a demonic meaning, filled with the exciting history of the peoples of the forests and the Great steppe. In such a multi-faceted sense Eurasia is a holistic system, an economic and spiritual integration of the peoples, a united source of specific cultures entwined with the imperative rhythms of history.
Only Russian culture has the potential to unite Eurasian ethnoses, but historically in the time and space of Eurasia peoples were continually uniting and preserving their contacts. Russian power was formed in inseparable interaction with its neighbors. In historical retrospective it actually is a part of the Eurasian community as are also the nomadic civilizations and ethnoses. To the same extent that one considers the impact of Russia on the other ethnoses, if one keeps in mind the cultural-historical commonality of the nomadic sources of the Eurasian peoples which determine their genetic similarity, we can talk – after Lev Gumilev – of a nomadic wholeness of Eurasia. "The nomads of the Great steppe played in the history and culture of mankind a role not less important than that of the Chinese and Europeans, Egyptians, Aztecs and Incas. But their role was special and peculiar like every ethnos or super-ethnos, and for a long time it could not be understood"22.
For the civilized essence of the nomadic society as an integrating force we shoul look for the common sources of the outlook of nomads and other Eurasian ethnoses. The nomadic civilization was of great importance in the historical foundation of Eurasian unification. Hence in modern Kazakhstan any search of a unifying national idea brings one to the sources that have always defined the stereotypical behaviour and way of life. It is briefly that we are the heirs of the great nomadic civilization. The realization of this fact, which previously was carefully masked, can consolidate the ethnos in it face of the conflict of cultures which in the third millennium is expected to replace the economic and political rivalry of nations. In a unified zone of interaction it will be very difficult to keep the ethnic and territorial wholeness by the power of the guns, which all used to rely upon. Today thinking in terms of national security is much too limited compared to the power of the culture which has no boundaries in the technological world. Besides other factors, a guarantee of the ethnos security, can be healthy in preserving the traditional outlook, peculiarity, and profound traditions, along with not excluding an historically justified integration. Only a stable culture can enter the world’s economic processes without disappearing in the third millennium. From such a viewpoint Kazakh culture, which inherited the culture of the nomadic civilization, has the right to declare itself as the Eurasian space. The initiative to create the Eurasian Union comes from this priority.
Hence, in the Eurasian framework the nomadic culture is shaping a spiritual essence, not less than Russian culture. This is true not only in regard to the nomadic Turks in the past who actually boosted ethnic contacts in Eurasia. In the history of the Kazakh people there is a more recent example, more appropriate for contemporary understanding of Eurasianism, but which forestalled the integrating efforts of classic Eurasian of the XX century. The example demonstrates not the scale of socio-cultural transformations, but just a short and bright life which like a star from a distant world, shed a lasting light on the sky which still attracts the eyes of the countrymen.
We are talking about Chokan Valikhanov, a wise and genial personality, an outstanding scientist, ethnographer, linguist, geographer, historian, and philosopher, whose works have been and are acknowledged worldwide. He communicated with, and was a friend of, many famous people of his time. Having acquired a European education, he served in the tsarist army as an officer and fulfilled a number of dangerous and responsible assignments for the General Headquarters. In 1864, when General Chernyaev conquered Aulie-Ata, he failed to prevent the slaughters after which he left the army. This was seen as desertion and in less than a year he died in sultan Tezek’s aul.
For 35 years he lived a life which many will not live in 70: a star has come and gone. Early, he grew up, grew old and passed away. He did not know stable love; he was not a father - his eternal companion was loneliness.
His time coincided with the Russian Empire is entering the Steppe. Taking a risk in his choice of terms, we would say that the actual colonization of the Steppe in the XVIII-XIX centuries was nothing but Eurasian integration. That is the reason for the Russian claim of priority in Eurasia. It is also obvious that Eurasian community of emigrants of the 20s is subsidiary to the integrating processes, which began much earlier. This is what caused Chokan Valikhanov to write as follows, "To expand its trade with Middle Asia Russia needs to have in all the three zhuzes permanent or, at least, temporary agents who would be able to develop in those peoples trust in the Russian power"23. Such integrating movements could be considered unilaterally from Russia to the Steppe if there were no Chokan Valikhanov.
In fact in the XIXth century the peoples knew little about each other: ignorance was mutual. The differences in cultures, languages, and beliefs seemed so invincible that Russia and the Steppe could not have the right image of partnership and its approach was long and difficult. That is when the star of Chokan Valikhanov rose. He was almost the only one to bring the significance of nomadic culture before the eyes of educated Russians. He placed the peculiar, talented, self-sufficient peoples of Central Asia, in continuing comparison and dialogue with Slavic culture. This was a purely Eurasian deed in spirit, as our contemporaries would say. Grigory Potanin, Chokan’s friend, was the most precise: "His dream was to serve the future of his nation. He said that first of all he loves his Kyrgyz people, then Siberia, then Russia, then all humankind; one love was entwined with the other like those Kungur chests put in one and the same row which noble people in Middle Asia like to present to each other"24. This is a truly Eurasian sense of the world: to serve one’s nation, to love all humankind!
He was a typical Eurasian, without even assuming that such a term would arise. His external parameters alone would foretell the Eurasian image of the XXth century: geographer, ethnographer, writer with his own peculiar style, member of the Russian geographical society, on the one hand, and khan Ablay’s great grandson, expert in history of Asian peoples and languages, on the other hand. All his works reflected a high ethics and intellect, and at the same time were full of the contemplative spirit of the nomadic people. In general, Eurasianism as a phenomenon, first of all in the spiritual sphere and expressed in a dialogue of cultures, has long been strong with the Kazakhs. Then breadth and openness of the soul, unity with the nature, harmony in regards to the world are close to the Eurasian idea. Chokan could be called the first real Eurasian in a modern sense of the word. For it was not the Russian Empire that at the time was bringing the ideas of a spiritual unification of the peoples into the steppe – it was interested in the "collection of lands". On the contrary, Chokan, in opening the rich world of the nomadic community to Russia did a thousand-fold more than a thousand educated colonists. As Veselovsky noted, "Russian orientalists have unanimously acknowledged him as a phenomenon and were expecting from him great and important revelations of the destiny of the Turkish peoples"25.
What exactly then was Chokan Valikhanov’s Eurasianism? First of all, it was about openness and readiness to accept the experience of the other peoples in adjustment to the needs of his Motherland. He was seriously convinced, in line with his education, that the future of the Kazakh nation was connected with Russia, hoping for a cultural-historical and territorial kinship of the nations. Chokan’s desire to make Kazakhs familiar with the Russian culture was unlimited. People were amazed at his encyclopedic knowledge and did not at once value Chokan’s efforts. It was his fate, that only later did people come to understand their own genetic potential and capabilities through his exemplifications of these capabilities.
We should acknowledge that previous to Chokan there were adherents of what, carefully speaking, could be termed integrating processes. But he was the first representative of the nomadic culture who contributed to the contact of cultures through the generosity of his unlimited talents. He raised the interest of the Russian community in the peoples of Central Asia, whose history and culture he presented in such a completely civilized light. "It can be positively said about the Kyrgyz that they are a preserved remnant of the ancient Tartars, but with higher intellectual skills – with great poetical historical legends, with improvised songs of different times, with love of music and amusements and a great code of determined human rights, courts and police. Not a single memorable event, not a single outstanding person in the peculiar life of this nation would not be remembered"26.
His activity in the scientific and public circles of Russia was so ebullient and multilateral that we should talk of sincere mutual enrichment, of common historical interests whose essence, in our view, is the cultural source of Eurasianism. Chokan understood more than anyone at the time that "…the forms of our public development are at that very natural stage when they are most similar to the results of the highest cultural development. All our hopes for the future are based on this fact. Above all, as descendants of Baty’s Tartars, we are connected with Russians historically and even by blood relationship"27.
Presently this idea might seem trivial as active communication is a norm of life, but one should not forget that Chokan was one of the first to open this path. With his outlook, works, actions he was breaking prejudiced stereotypes of the nomadic community as a wild and underdeveloped nation. His Slavophilism was the conviction that only Russia, and not China or colonial Britain, might serve as a guarantee of the safety of Kazakh society. Its proof was the elements of historical commonality of the nomadic and settled cultures in the Eurasian territory. Up to the present these provide the historical bases of Eurasian unity which Chokan foresaw as a synthesis of the national culture and Eurasian education. But with all that, he continued to call for reasonable caution with regard to the areas of contact, "There are a lot of different nationalities living in Russia who have their own ways of life, quite different from that of the native Russian population, with their own customs and traditions. Clearly, the transformations projected for the Christian and settled population will be of no use or sense if wholly applied to the nomad peoples who are foreign to European and Asian Russia"28.
Chokan did not suddenly begin to have hidden concerns about the fate of his people and the preservation of their national identity. Only in the course of time did his words fill with bitterness and pain for his long-suffering tribesmen, and the bitter fruits of integration. Being quite young he liked to discuss the sufferings of his soul, "… I want to be free again, I want to return to the steppe. Then, I breathe with a whole heart and my thoughts are broader. Everything is unlimited like the steppe – both desires and actions… One cannot live in the mountains and be merry and carefree. Only a steppe inhabitant can be really happy, for he knows the price for enjoying tranquility"29.
The open idealism typical of Eurasians of the twenties, and blind belief in the kind intentions of educated civilization brought Chokan deep tragic frustration, but in the course of time his Eurasian tendencies helped his people continue the way he initiated. He is still loved both in Kazakhstan and in Russia. His fate, as in a mirror, has been repeated by the next generations of Kazakhs. It is sufficient to look once into his soul, as pure as a spring and as deep in aspirations as an ocean, for anyone will take him as kin. No writer or journalist in Kazakhstan would not write at least two lines about Chokan. People have a very simple and warm opinion of him as of their closest kin whose kindness and generosity was drawn upon by everyone while he was alive. Only after his death, having realized the loss, had they felt his divine impact. Chokan’s closeness to there unknown descendants is a proof of the commonality in spirit of his Eurasian destiny.
Chokan was truly foundational into the environment which presently we call Eurasian. He lived in two cultures, two worlds, two dimensions, thus, expanding the boundaries of the national territory. He was very popular with both his nation and Russians and seemed to be protected by a guardian angel. When hardly an adult he used to say, "All this is a dust compared to the eternity" as if he knew how short human life could be. An irreparable loneliness was filling his soul, "I see now how hard it is to fight everyone alone, I see that the truth, however bright it is, cannot exile the long-standing errors, especially regarding the Kyrgyzs…"30. He failed to become totally European as Potanin said he would be. Moreover, he opened the road to the world of education in Russian universities for many generations of Kazakhs after him, but he gave no recipe for how one should live on two banks of the river or two different cultural worlds, or how leaving his roots in the yurt and opening the treasury of knowledge and experience accumulated by humankind, one should not forget the language and the soul of the Steppe. He left the solution of this issue to the Europeans of the following centuries.
Chokan’s sufferings and internal contradictions were inevitable. The nations still had to walk a long way, transforming the mechanisms of ethnic contacts in order to approach an acceptable definition of Eurasianism. Thusfar the duality of existence turned tragic and having seen the severe downside of the colonizing regime, he chose voluntary exile which resulted in his death.
The ideas of cultural and spiritual unification of the peoples of Russia and Central Asia described in Chokan Valikhanov’s works and passionately pursued by him in practice were not forgotten. Creators of contemporary Eurasianism amend their statements based on his works. It is only that some time was needed - indeed the entire restless XXth century – for his spirit to become a defining factor in the integration of Eurasian states. But in the coming millennium it will not be easy for the inhabitants of the Earth to be forever rid of conflicts, which frequently grow to armed conflicts due to the vitality of the greedy and aggressive component of the human nature. The fear of the XXI century is not just academic exercises of futurologists; it has already spread over the whole planet. One should but use one’s imagination to see it, bringing orphanage and loneliness in its threshold. By their own hands people have created a global ecological crisis and world disasters which now are felt by every concerned inhabitant of the Earth.
We should be helped by the Eurasian culture of ethnoses as a community with a deep ideological basis emerging out of an ecological, pure and typically oriental understanding of the world. The oriental component in the Eurasian culture in the conditions of the global cultural Renaissance, inevitable in the evolution of mankind, should protect the ethnoses from the troubles to come.
Whatever it is, the active Eurasian initiatives of the President of Kazakhstan at the end of the XX century sublimated in the creation of an Eurasian Union are aimed at a general integration in the third millennium, recognizing that a slow-down might cause severe damage. Obvious concern about the national safety of the state in the growing tension between cultures, renders especially important the aspiration for Eurasian integration at all the levels. To these are adjoined the continuous revival of spiritual links of generations made by the Presidential initiatives which are close to Chokan Valikhanov’s great efforts in regards to the integration of the cultures of Russia and the peoples of Central Asia. As the truly first Eurasian in a contemporary sense, Chokan has become a linking personality in Eurasian history and philosophy, and for that reason he is extremely modern. Not avoiding Eurasian aspirations, Nazarbaev thus demonstrates the historical continuity, confirming Arnold Toinby’s ideas. These include: a parallelism of historical periods, a philosophical simultaneity of civilizations and generations, and a cycle of human ideas. As historically stipulated in this, Eurasian integration is aimed at the future.
2.4. HUMANISTIC VALUES AND IDEALS IN KANYSH SATPAEV’S SCIENTIFIC INHERITANCE
There are powerful personalities who, against all the obstacles of destiny and barriers of history, by the strength of their spirit conquer all. The light of their unquenchable hope which penetrates all as a guiding star calls people into unknown expanses. That was the personality of Kanysh I. Satpaev for the contemporary Kazakh and the entire Kazakh nation. According to Ilyas Omarov he was "a star celebrity of the entire epoch". Gifted among the intellect inhabitants of the Earth to preserve the ability to value the traits of a genuine intellect and an authentic intelligence, Satpaev’s name will remain in the memory of humankind. As a strong rock, which cannot to be seen at close glance but stands out at a distance, in the course of years and centuries, Satpaev will join the most outstanding bearers of human genius, who have been inscribed in late national culture and world civilization. Thus, in 1998 UNESCO celebrated Kanysh Satpaev’s 100th anniversary.
It would be as rash to try to write something new as, standing at the bottom of a show-capped mountain, to state one’s own subjective and approximate sense of its size. Nevertheless, as "learning begins with wonder" (Aristotle), researcher are fascinated by the mystery of how the person, born in an old-fashioned aul would to such an extent master the world of knowledge. He became an erudite person of truly European scale, founded an entire field in science – metallurgy – and thus, contributed invaluably to world civilization.
Our scientists and writers have said and written a lot about the life, scientific and social activity, and personal virtues of the phenomenal Satpaev. By sagaciously forecasting the richest of the natural resources of modern Kazakhstan, he prompted their intensive exploration for the sake of the Motherland, and for this was awarded the Lenin and State awards of the USSR. He was the first Central-Asian scientist to be elected an active member of the former Academy of Sciences; he founded and was the first President of the Academy of Sciences of Kazakhstan, which presently is a broad-scale and versatile scientific research center.
But we still do not have a clear idea of the spiritual world, humanistic objectives and ideals of Satpaev’s inheritance, of the sources of his indomitable energy, of the high pride and elevated morale that was peculiar to him. Regarding morale, which our social scientists have only begun to study, I unwillingly recall the dialogue that took place in 1947 in London between a great political member of his time, Winston Churchill, and officials of the Supreme Council of the USSR.
"Are all the Kazakhs as tall as you are?", Churchill asked Satpaev.
"What are you talking about, my people are much higher than I am", said Satpaev.
Those words were not accidental And if so, then whence the confidence of this young man? In 1914, studying in the teacher-training seminar in Semipalatinsk, one of the centers of Kazakh public thought at the time, Satpaev began to be involved a socio-political life. One by one he survived the cruel massacres of the civil war, and the "red disaster" of 1931-1932; later with a bleeding heart was a silent witness of the brutal repression of such most respected teachers, friends and relatives as Baitursynov, Aimautov, Zhumabaev, Ermekov and others, in turn he experienced the despotism and anarchy of the administrative-command system. What was the source of his unbroken spirit and unbending will?
In this regard I often recall unforgettable meetings with him and remember his unique image. All the elder respected academicians came out of "Satpaev’s greatcoat". At that time it was a great good fortune to be at least an ordinary employee of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic. Early in the morning we would hurry into the science library where the spacious reading halls there was hardly a vacant seat. It was a time of a great desire to study on part of young people.
Having hardly had time to take our turn and order the books, we postgraduates would again go outside for we knew that at 9.00 a.m. sharp Kanysh-aga slowly got out of the car and all of us greeted him. Without a single sign of servility, we were greatly pleased that he warmly shook our hands and briefly asked how we were doing.
I remember that in April, 1961, circumstances forced me to seek an appointment. Though my request was very trivial, at that time the issue of a place to live could be solved only with the President’s personal assistance. Salyk Z. Zimanov, the former Director of the Philosophy and Law Institute advised me to address the President himself. Kanysh-aga received me and I remember all the details of that meeting. In a snow-white tunic, in his grand simplicity he started the conversation by asking of how I was doing, and wanted to know what issue I was researching. I answered as a diligent student."It is very good that you study the philosophical-methodological issue of natural sciences. No one has studied it before and all the outstanding philosophers are former natural scientists. Do you know Sergey I. Vavilov?"
"I heard of him a bit".
"In the entire Soviet Union he was the first expert in this issue. You should go to Moscow; you should study. Science is not an easy thing to do. I see fire in your eyes; and feel that you are on the right path. This is the way into the great field of science. I will send you to study in Moscow".
I said something as thanks but then it was not studies in Moscow but a flat in Almaty that I needed. He must have sense me crumpling the paper in my hands and asked, "What is it, the application?"He looked through it and, having marked something down, returned it to me. And I did not dare to look at the signature."Good", he said after a pause, "now go to Karpinsky. And remember my words".
Excusing myself, I stepped into the executive office. The secretary, Tamara, smiled softly, "What happened, Abdumalik?"Instead of answering I showed her the paper.
"Oh, you have got a flat, even in that 2-storeyed house at the corner of Lenin and Kirov streets. One room is 24 square meters in size. Congratulations! Go to Karpinsky".
I ran towards the Manager’s office. Luckily, he was in there. He thoughtfully looked at the paper and asked, "Did he write it down himself?"
"I have already given this flat to another person. Maybe, you can wait for a month? A new hostel is being finished around the Frontier College. You will get your flat there.
Thus, in a month I became a permanent Almaty inhabitant. It was real fatherly care of a young person who had not had it since his childhood,- and from Kanysh-aga himself! The same autumn I was sent to study in Moscow as a postgraduate. But to our deep regret, in three years we lost this great benefactor.
Later I found out that I was not the only one of whom Kanysh-aga took fatherly care and advised; there were many young people like myself. It is his students who today take the major burden of the national science upon their shoulders. Here I see real continuity of generations of scientists: the national Academy of Sciences of Kazakhstan is truly Satpaev’s Academy.
But where are the sources of that irrepressible strength that conquers all, the strength of spirit and belief in the future which he preserved despite being very busy with scientific, state and social issues, despite the gossips of envious people and liars that always followed him, despite the cruel grip of the injustice and persecution of the time?
Some researchers look for these sources in the exclusive character of his genealogy, in that aspiration for knowledge which was passed by his ancestors from one generation to the other. They might be right and I do not exclude the significance of such continuity. On the contrary, it is very important to follow that spiritual link between the families of Valikhanov and Chormanov: the influence that Mashur-Jusup Kupeev, Toraigyrov, Jayau Mysa, Aimautov and others had on him. But it would be wrong to limit the sources of the great virtues of this extraordinary man only to the impact of a certain circle of people, tribe or region.
We should expand this circle and look at the things from the level of socio-cultural factors. First of all, in the versatility and multi-faceted character of Satpaev’s gifts, in his ability to see any matter on a broad scale and with profound connections, we should see the fruits of his traditional kazakh upbringing. Today passing on to the new generation only national customs and habits restricts the notion of a traditional kazakh upbringing. In reality this notion is much broader. In the traditional kazakh society there was a peculiar system of multilateral upbringing of gifted youth and cultivation of truly civil qualities with a broad outlook and high ideals. This included such features as memory enrichment, intellectual and physical hardening, cultivation of nobility and wisdom, love of knowledge and art, of genuinely humanistic and spiritual life values. Satpaev is a graduate of this very traditional school of upbringing of outstanding representatives of the Kazakh nation. In the present transitional period it is extremely important to combine the traditional values of the Kazakh society with the values of western civilization. This is first.
Second, we should not forget that the Kazakh traditional elite society benefited from the light of western civilization that came to our steppes via the Russian language and literature which in turn has filled its ranks with new members.
One cannot help noticing that some presently take the notion of "internationalism" with the same neglect with which when young we took cod-liver oil. Sometimes we do not realize that this word, which made us sick in the Soviet period, should be re-considered and understood in a more realistic manner.
Historical experienced demonstrates that at all times all nations’ truly intelligent representatives profoundly understood each other, protected their common interests, and were very close to each other in spirit. All this can be called "spiritual consonance".
We need not go far back into history, but only to observe the life of yesterday’s Alash-Orda doers to understand that each of them had their own tried and tested friends and loyal adherents among the intelligentsia of the other nations, and especially Russia. These intelligent people always respected their national interests and actively supported, when needed, their aspirations to protect thier national concerns. This is even more impressive when their desire to improve the life of their nation was perverted and persecuted by the totalitarian regime, but the compassionate representatives of other nations defended them and saved them from death.
The clearest example of such understanding and mutual assistance is the fact that as far back as 1923, 24-year-old Satpaev, who was a judge in Bayanaul region, was invited to work in the Tomsk Technological Institute by a famous Russian professor, Michael A. Usov, a close friend of the famous Alash-Orda members Alimkhan Ermekov and Abikey Satpaev. Later Kanysh Stapaev himself, developing the viewpoints of the outstanding Russian scientists Obruchev and Usov uncovered the buried treasures of the Kazakh steppes based on the metal-genic forecasting method, thus founding a quite new field of the world geological science. Scientists from all over the world supported Satpaev’s discoveries.
Kanysh Satpaev always tried to attach the national scientific circle to the intellectual world community. His trips to England and China, as well as his thorough preparation for the First international congress of geologists in which, unfortunately, he could not take part, prove this. It is vital for our colleagues not to break international links in various fields of science; on the contrary by all means they must strengthen their creative scientific contacts with foreign colleagues. This is the second conclusion of Satpaev’s lessons.
Third, Kanysh Satpaev belongs to a new generation of Kazakh intelligentia which grew up at the beginning of the XXth century. Its representatives brought up on the examples of Alikhan Bukeikhanov and Akhmet Baitursynov remind me of the French educators of the XVIII century.
Note that, the Soviet ideology gave a distorted understanding of the enlightenment tendencies in the history of the world civilization. We see this as a negative stereotype of some Utopists with an underdeveloped revolutionary conscience. That is why till now we associate figures in the Enlightenment with defective practice. In reality the Enlightenment was a high manifestation of the human genius and spirit.
The Enlightenment in the new age studied well the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus’s statement that "education alone gives one no intellect." Not satisfied with self-improvement, they tried by all means to pass on all their knowledge and experience, virtues and ideals in order for them to serve their national interests. They were convinced that only in this way could the society of people and the community of the whole of humankind become perfect.
This understanding and these viewpoints are still popular with thinkers worldwide. For whatever heights the development of modern technology and technics reach, the reflective activity of people will be limited and unilateral without the perfection of human spirituality and moral development. Without spiritual and moral development human civilization is doomed to stagnation and even catastrophe.
Representatives of the Kazakh national elite at the beginning of the XXth century who selected the right way of renovation of the society and struggled by all means for the true freedom for their nation made both political effort and thought to share genuine knowledge. That is the key to understanding some features of the flexibility of their romanticism in the abrupt revolutionary coups in Russia.
A new wave of Kazakh enlightenment figures, including Satpaev, tried to lead their people on the way of the world civilization at its juncture with science, culture and education. That is the noble stimuli that encouraged Baitursynov to design a new alphabet; Dosmukhambetov to write "Medical" textbooks; Aimautov, "Psychology"; Aueov, "Construction material"; Satpaev, "Algebra".
Young Satpaev’s active involvement in the organization of the Abay party in Semipalatinsk, his passing to Zataevich of 25 Kazakh songs for musical notation, the staging of Enlik-Kebek in the Bayanaul region and personally playing a part in it, publication of the poem of Edige in Moscow with his own preface and his first article on the Kazakh national theater – all these were done by him not for personal glory, but to serve his people.
Sensitivity to the interests and needs of his people, care for the talented youth, his patient and sometimes even ascetic attitude to various gossips and liars, etc. – all this manifested his inherent enlightenment-humanistic ideals. This elevated ideal which became his life principle also lifted him up high. In his answer to the English Prime Minister "My people are higher than I am" lies deep belief in the eternity of his ideal, and confidence in its continuity in the deeds of the next generations.
In 1998 at the turn of it millennium we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the great son of the Kazakh nation. Along with us, all the people bow their heads to the memory and greatness of the spirit of this amazingly gifted person, thankful to him for his intellect and talent, for his nobility and humanism. The President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan A. Nazarbaev was quite accurate in saying, "We step over the threshold of the XXI century together with Satpaev". His lasting spirit and highly enlightening humanistic ideals remain especially valuable and actual for our contemporary intellectual elite.
1. Abenov, E.M., Arynov, E.M., Tasmagambetov, I.N. Kazakhstan: evolution of the state and society. Almaty, IDK, 1996, p. 16.
2. Valikhanov, Ch.Ch. Collected works in 5 v. Alma-Ata, 1985, v. 4. pp. 87, 93.
3. Orazbayeva, A. "The Historical Role and Social Meaning of the Institute of Biy in history of the Kazakh Nation (the formulation of a problem)" // Cayasat. 1997, n.5, p. 103.
4. Valikhanov, Chokan. Ibid., p. 88
5. Habermas, J. The Democracy, Reason, Morality. M.; Academia, 1995, p. 243.
6. The message of the President of the country to the people of Kazakhstan "Toward a free, effective and secure society" // Mysl, n. 11, 2000.
7. Ibid., p. 7.
8. Cit.: Natturno, M. "The Open Society and its Enemies": Society, Authority and Bureaucracy // Voprosy Philosophi, n. 11, 1997.
9. "The Spiritual-Cultural development of the Nation – the Basis of Strengthening the Independence of Kazakhstan" // Kazakhstanskaya pravda, 16th December 2000.
10. Vasilenko V.V. "Concerning the Possibilities of Political Hermeneutics. // Obshestvennye nauki i sovremennost, N. 6, 1999.
11. Kapyshev A.B. "The Dialectics of Morale and Ethics in Forming of the Person // Dialectics and ethics. Alma-Ata: Nauka, 1983, pp. 267-274.
12. Arsenyev A.S. "The Problem of Goals in Up-bringing and Education. Scientific Education and Moral Up-bringing. // The philosophical-psychological problems of education development. M., 1981, p. 78.
13. Galiyev A.A. Traditional World-outlooks of the Kazakhs. Almaty: Gylym, 1997.
14. Maslou U.A. On the Way to a Psychology of Being. M., 1997, p. 215.
15. Presentation of N.A. Nazarbayev on the VII Assembly of the people of Kazakhstan "The Spiritual-cultural development of the nation – the Basis for Strengthening the Independence of Kazakhstan" // Kazakhstanskaya pravda. 16th of December 2000.
16. Urazbekov A. Ethical ideas in Kazakhstan. Almaty: Gylym, 1982.
17. Valikhanov Ch. Ch. Notes about judicial reform. In the Collection of works in 5 v. Almaty: Nauka, 1985, v. 4.
18. Ibid., p. 94.
19. Ibid., p. 77.
20. "The Common Right and Lawful Pluralism." Materials of the II International Congress. M.: IE iA RAS, 1999, p. 215.
21. Izvestiya , 1998, 17th of December.
22. Gumilev L.N. The rhythms of Eurasia. P. 305.
23. Valikhanov Ch. Collection of works. Alma-Ata, 1985. V. 4. P. 182.
24. Ibid., v. 5, p. 366.
25. Ibid., v. 1, p. 79.
26. Ibid., v. 4, p. 77.
27. Ibid., v. 2, p. 157.
28. Ibid., v. 4, p. 81.
29. Ibid., v. 2, p. 175.
30. Ibid., v. 5, p. 153.