«We need to look into the past in order to understand the present and foresee the future»
N.A.Nazarbayev

How Were Kazakh National Ideologies Promoted in the Past Century?

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How Were Kazakh National Ideologies Promoted in the Past Century?
The 20th century entered with anxiety, greater doubts, and tangled problems for Kazakh society, rather than a hope for the future, as contradictions and difficulties became aggravated in all spheres.

It became obvious that the local colonial administration does not intend to implement the functions and purpose of national statehood, finally liquidated in the middle of the XIX century, and the traditional economic and cultural type, poorly adapted to the needs of market relations, will not stand the competition with Russian and foreign capital, with parties enjoying unilateral support of official St. Petersburg. The fears of Abylai Khan and Bukhar Zhyrau, outstanding personalities of the 18th century, warnings of the 19th-century poets Shortanbai and Dulat that the domination of strangers will lead to the destruction of the destinies of people and the country were confirmed.

The Tsarist Russia, which treated the Kazakh people in a negative light, itself experienced not the best times of its history. Its cultural and economic backwardness-the darkness and ignorance of the illiterate peasant masses, embezzlement, and corruptness of the administrative and military leaders, the technical poverty of material production-were exposed in the infamous war with Japan in 1904-1905. "On the verge of centuries," wrote one of the leaders of Russian liberalism, A. Kerensky, that ever-wider sections of the population felt dissatisfaction with the created situation and hoped for the best. Particular indignation was caused by the absurd policy of Russification in areas with non-Russian populations. And not because at all that the population of the Russian provinces the freedom of other nations cared more than their own, but because the authorities in the non-Russian areas openly mocked the elementary concepts of freedom.

It was a period of a new division of the world. In the recent past, Soviet historiography viewed it as an era of imperialism. Moreover, the main argument and methodological trump card was the well-known Leninist work, which forced both scholars and ordinary readers of the country of the Soviets to regard imperialism only as decaying, dying capitalism, the eve of the socialist revolution, as a real chance of liberating the peoples of Asia from the colonial yoke. But life was richer than Lenin's theory. Today, the blunders and failure of the materialist understanding of history are clearly visible. First, Lenin underestimated or misunderstood the content of the conclusions and assessments of his teacher Marx regarding the Asian and national modes of production, the peculiarities, the socioeconomic situation in the East. Secondly, capitalism is still alive, socialism has sunk into oblivion. Thirdly, on the expanses of the Kazakh steppes of the early twentieth century, a unique phenomenon emerged that completely rejected the canons of the materialist understanding of history, linking progressive progress with the social and economic formation, the class struggle of the proletariat, the socialist revolution. The fact is that in Kazakhstan, where tribal relations and communal consciousness prevailed over class ones, and workers did not constitute 1% of the population where the economic and other prerequisites of the socialist revolution were completely absent, the progressive vanguard of the national intelligentsia acted as the leader and hegemon of the liberation movement, and not exploited classes, as claimed by the Marxists of the West and the Bolsheviks of Russia. The West looked at the world through the eyes of capital, the East - wise with the bitter experience of the sufferer.

How Did Alash Become the Pride and Hope of the People?

Alash was responsible for the destinies of the disenfranchised Kazakh people, who were lost in political intricacies. Under the terms "Alash", "Alash movement" we mean the national elite and its activities. At the turn of the century, the personal and intellectual potential of this movement consisted of A. Bokeikhanov, A. Baytursynov, M. Dulatov, B. Kulmanov, M. Tynyshpaev, J. Akpaev, S. Lapin, B. Karataev and other figures with a world level of political culture. They received a brilliant professional education, incorporating the best moral and ethical values ​​of the great steppe. Their mission was picked up by H. Dosmukhamedov, M. Zhumabayev, S. Seifullin, T. Ryskulov, S. Sadvakasov, M. Auezov, J. Aimauytov, M. Shokaev - the new generation of the national intelligentsia. In the early 20s, K. Kemengerov rightly and confidently noted that A. Bokeikhanov as an explorer is on a par with the best scientists in Europe. The young Alashorda figure M. Auezov later entered the galaxy of world literature classics, S. Seifullin, the youngest contemporary of A. Bokeikhanov and A. Baytursynov, became one of the founders of the method of socialist realism in Kazakh literature. Here we consciously united a high debt in a single mighty handful of people, whose class and political sympathies did not always coincide in all. The most important thing is that at all stages of their life they stayed on the front lines of the struggle for the interests and happiness of their native people, devoted all their intellectual abilities to the work of serving their native land.

Of course, we are far from thinking of idealizing the history of the national intelligentsia of the early 20th century and its activities. According to M. Dulatov, in any region of colonial Kazakhstan, one could meet an interpreter, a police officer, a secret agent, a volost from among the Kazakhs who zealously served the system, mired in bribery, completed careerists, active accomplices in the exploitation of ordinary people. But they were not in the epicenter of historical progress.

Leaders and activists of the Alash movement are called okygandar (educated) and ziyalilar (intellectuals). There were not many of them. For the last 30-40 years of the autocracy, a little over 100 Kazakhs received a diploma of higher education. In the ranks of members of the party "Alash" was about 1000 people. But they were the best of the best. Contrary to the classical colonial policy of "divide and rule," accompanied by persecution, provocation, exile and imprisonment, the Alash intelligentsia steadfastly pursued the great goal of freeing the people from oppression and achieving freedom.

Of course, in the midst of the progressive national intelligentsia, consent, mutual understanding and unity did not always reign. Whatever happened, conflicts, mutual resentment had not escalated into mortal enmity. If we take into account that the time and environment of the activity of that social community were ten times larger in number than threats and dangers today, then you involuntarily begin to realize the cultural and moral limitations and professional inconsistency of modern officials and policemen who commit corrupt and criminally punishable acts. And this is in the 21st century, in the conditions of independence, which Alash intelligentsia dreamed of. Therefore, the lessons and ideas of the patriotic history of the early twentieth century are still alien and did not go into use for a certain part of civil servants and managers.

From the very first days of the struggle for national liberation and intellectual search for ways of becoming one of the leading nations of the world, Alash leaders welcomed the pluralism of opinions. Thus, already during the first bourgeois-democratic revolution in Russia, the socio-political life of the Kazakh society was aware of pan-Islamists and Westerners. Later, heated discussions turned around the initiative of B. Karataev on the transfer of Kazakhs to a settled - urban culture. The positions of the magazine "Ayqap", newspapers "Kazakh", "Tirshilik", "Birlik Tuy", "Ush Zhuz", "Saryarqa" did not always coincide. For similar facts, we should see the intense intellectual and practical activities of both the Alash movement and other detachments and groups of the national intelligentsia, rather than their confrontation and disunity. The Alash figures, in the words of A. Baytursynov, adhered to the principle of being unlike a swan and a pike. "It should be done without fuss, deliberately," he wrote in 1912. Many ideas and conclusions of the Alash intelligentsia are in tune with today's construction of an independent Kazakhstan.

How Did National Ideology Emerge?

The national ideology of ​​the early twentieth century, born in torment and mobilizing the Kazakh intelligentsia for great achievements, which formed the basis of its socio-political, creative development, ripened under the influence of three factors and causes. First, the crisis of the entire life-support system of traditional society, which cast doubt on the future fate and historical prospects of the Kazakh people, deeply troubled the best minds of the steppe. Secondly, the growth of the potential of liberalism in Russia, to the limit covered by contradictory trends and changes. Third, the expansion of the geography and scale of the national liberation movement and the awakening of the national self-consciousness of the colonial peoples.

The purpose and objectives of the Kazakh national ideology acquired concrete outlines during the first Russian revolution. The clashes between the parties and the socio-political trends of the metropolis on the issues of the state system and democracy, strikes, and insurrection against autocracy and socioeconomic inequality forced the thinking of both the national intelligentsia and the masses, served as a call to action, and became a school of maturity. The significance of those years A. Bokeykhanov revealed as follows: "The whole steppe was involved in the sphere of politics and captured by the flow of the liberation movement. A lively correspondence began about the needs of the Kirghiz people. The April 17 decree on toleration was even more upbeat. In the spring of 1905, with the onset of a life of freedom, congresses began in the steppes in the summer camps, at which local needs and the needs of the entire Kyrgyz people were discussed. More and more steppe fairs of this year became the arena of Kyrgyz political congresses, where Kyrgyz people discussed and signed petitions filed in the Highest name. At the same congresses, delegates were elected, authorized to personally file these petitions. Religious and land issues faced the Kyrgyz people ahead of issues of political freedom." Saken Seifullin stressed the political and intellectual turning point of 1905 at the time.

Yet the main determinant of the national idea was the Kazakh factor: the centuries-old history of the people, the spiritual and cultural connection and the succession of generations from Asan Kaygy to Abay, the rich oral histology of the steppe.

It was something to be proud of and to fight for. Of course, a deep trace in the historical memory of the people left uprisings led by Syrym Datov, Issatay Taimanov and Makhambet Utemisov, and many others. But they were of a local nature, for known reasons, were initially doomed. Now a different kind of action has come to the fore: enlightenment, affirmation of the priority of liberal democratic values, the choice of the evolutionary path of development, which, thanks to the active social practice of the intelligentsia, resulted in the birth of a qualitatively new political thought engulfing all regions of the region, organizational development, an attempt to create a national party. In this regard, the adoption of the Karkaralin petition (June 1905) and the Congress of the Kazakh intelligentsia of the five provinces, held in the city of Oral (December 1905), were of great importance. They gave impetus to the process of forming a political culture that contributed to the establishment of the national idea in the public consciousness, moreover, disoriented under the pressure of colonial exploitation and ideology. Similar actions were held in the future. In the opinion of Academician K. Nurpeisov, at the Congress in the city of Oral, leaders and activists of the Alash movement made an attempt to create a national political party of the cadet model, rather than the Kazakh branch of the Cadet Party. As for the Karkaralin petition, in this important document prepared by A. Bokeykhanov, A. Baytursynov and J. Akpaev, economic, spiritual, cultural, social and first political (giving zemstvo rights, condemnation of Russification policy) requirements to the Russian government are formulated. After 18 years in an article on the occasion of the 50th birthday of A. Baytursynov, the young scientist M. Auezov wrote that the Karkaralin petition raised burning problems of the Kazakh society, received the support of the steppe Kazakhs, and initiated the awakening of the masses.

Comprehension of the meaning and purpose of the national idea was facilitated by the election of prominent Kazakh figures to the State Duma of Russia I and II convocations. Shifts in the political culture of the population of the region and other objective trends eventually led to a fateful milestone with a high cognitive and intellectual potential. Firstly, the national idea, which is typical for the Kazakh people, was born, and secondly, it turned out to be a universal progressive idea for the entire colonial East. The Great Steppe, which enriched the world civilization with the creations of al-Farabi and H.A. Yassawi, Shokan and Kurmangazy, once again demonstrated intellectual nobility and leadership.

On How "Oyan, Kazakh!" Became a Motto for the People

Not a single generation of thinkers and intellectuals fought over the issue of mechanisms and ways of harmonizing interests, goals, relationships of people, different in status, social status, income level, people who are members of the same society. The fusion of the axiological unity of the ethnic community in the whole diversity of life is called in this case a national idea. It is she who is called to stand on guard of the features and identity of the ethos, to indicate the main direction of the historical perspective. In short, the national idea is focused on the fate of the people, the future of society. The Alash movement is great because it offered the only true national idea of ​​the beginning of the 20th century. Since the essence and mission of the national idea are to determine the ethnic-consolidating goal, the driving factor of progress, the central issue on the agenda, all the features and properties of this fundamental and global thought are expressed by the formula "Oyan, Kazakh!" ("Wake up, Kazakh!"). This is not a slogan or even a collection of poems by M. Dulatov. "Oyan, Kazakh!" Is an objective result, a moment of prophecy and insight, effectively revealing the potential of the people, the coordinates of time, space and action for the sake of progress and self-preservation. By the time of the birth of the classical national idea, the Kazakh population, crushed by cruel exploitation and arbitrariness, forced to the margins of market relations, hardly understood what was good, which is bad in the ideology and practice of Russian colonization of the region.

The awakened people began to discern the grain from the chaff, the true patriots from the satraps. And makes his choice. In the years of a new revolutionary upsurge, the awakening of Asia drew the attention of all liberal and radical forces of Russia. The main work of M. Dulatov, which became the prototype and symbolic symbol of the national idea, truly a nationwide book, caused the wrath of the Tsarist administration. The author was imprisoned, the book was withdrawn from circulation. Communists at the head of the Soviet Union also hated the book "Oyan, Kazakh!" and its author. This fact, preserved both before and after the October 1917 coup, exposes the hidden calculation and unkind intention of the power of those who hold it.

Similar to the inscriptions in honor of Kultegin and the norms of "Zhety zhargy" summarized the results and lessons of the Kazakh history of the period of independence and as part of the Russian empire, revealed the consequences of the violent disruption of the natural and historical development of the society, awakened the pride and responsibility of everyone for the present and future, for the native language and culture, for the upbringing and education of the youth.

The leaders of the Alash movement did not turn into a dogma the content and form, the direction of activity and the concept of the national idea. Her every position and thesis, the intended goal, they theoretically substantiated, creatively updated. There were books widely distributed amongst the people: Baytursynov's "Masa", the works of A. Bokeikhanov and other authors written in the spirit of "Oyan, Kazakh!". Magazine "Ayqap", newspaper "Kazakh", Kazakh books of those years made an invaluable contribution to the dissemination of the national idea, to the creation of a single information field, to the cause of ensuring national unity. So, the newspaper "Kazakh" enjoyed great popularity in the steppe, penetrated "to all corners and remote backwoods ... the edge." On its pages articles of writers, lawyers, doctors, teachers, studying youth on burning topics of life of the people were published. "Such a visible participation on the part of prominent intellectuals and the general sympathetic attitude of the people to the newspaper pleases us," it says in one correspondence about the first anniversary of the newspaper Kazakh, because it shows that we are not yet a completely lost people, that we can still hope to a bright future. "

The Alash figures, acting in full accordance with the demands of the time, taking into account the changes in the life of the empire and the colonial land, in world relations, won the heart and mind of their people. The problems of education, land, immigrants, ethnicity, religion, women and children, power, justice, language were first raised from the standpoint of the socialization of the Kazakhs; and at the time of the worst aggravation of the crisis and the collapse of the empire, they were linked to the specific tasks of creating a sovereign state. In short, a break in public consciousness and political culture allowed to find a national idea, which in turn predetermined the fate of millions.

The events of 1916 are the main result and crown of the national idea "Oyan, Kazakh!". They testify to the final awakening of the Great Steppe. At the same time, it should be emphasized that the armed speech was not included in the plans of the Alash movement - a supporter of settling society on liberal-democratic principles, and is not a conscious choice of the Kazakh people who sincerely desired the successful outcome of Russia's war against Germany. The national liberation uprising of 1916 broke out as a protest to the tsar's decree of June 25, embodying imperial ambitions, the arrogant attitude of the metropolis to the colonial peoples. In 70 years the story repeated itself again. If the events of 1916 accelerated the collapse of the autocracy, then the anti-Kazakh decision of the Moscow leaders to replace D. Kunaev was the reason for the December 1986 uprising in Kazakhstan, summed up the 74-year existence of Soviet totalitarianism.

So, the situation that was formed in the region in the summer and autumn of 1916 laid the preconditions and conditions for the birth of a new national idea. If from the revolution of 1905-1907 to "Oyan, Kazakh!" The Alash movement separated several years, the path to the new national idea turned out to be short. The turbulent processes of the beginning of 1917 opened a new strip in the intellectual history of Kazakhstan.

On the Fate of the 'Kazakh Authonomy'

Practical work on the definition of a new national idea began with the victory of the February bourgeois-democratic revolution in Russia. The overthrow of the monarchy set in motion the entire colonial region from Semirechie to Omsk, from the Altai to the Caspian. This was a manifestation of the actions of "Oyyan, Kazakh!", On the one hand, brought new political forces to the arena of struggle, on the other. In those days A.Bokeikhanov, M.Dulatov, M.Shokayev wrote: that the morning of freedom had come. They suggested that the cherished wish was fulfilled and that in the past we were obedient people, but now all were equal. Supporters of the Provisional Government, adherents of Bolshevism, pan-Islamists, pan-Turkists and, of course, the organizers of the Alash movement stood on the front lines of the search for an adequate day of the national idea. Each of them justified his model of reorganization of the Kazakh society. Intellectual tension reached its apogee at the first general congress of the Congress (June 1917).

Thus, in the summer of 1917 the ideology of ​​"Oyan, Kazakh!" which changed the ideological and political worldview of the indigenous ethnos in a short historical period, was replaced by a new national ideology - "Kazakh autonomy". With its proclamation, the strip of forcible alienation of the Kazakh people from the executive, legislative and judicial power in their historical homeland ended. The transformation of the new idea from de jure to de facto occurred at the second General Congress in December 1917. For the seizure of central power by the Bolsheviks further accelerated the need for practical realization of the idea of ​​"Kazakh autonomy". Alash leaders rushed to take advantage of the Bolshevik program position that every nation has the right to self-determination, up to the creation of an independent state. The emergence of Kazakh committees, the results of the elections to the Constituent Assembly, the works of Sh. Kudaiberdiev, Zh. Aimauytov, M. Zhumabaev, S. Toraigyrov, M. Auezov are a proof of the priority and triumph of the idea of ​​"Kazakh autonomy". All these moments were systematically and objectively reflected in such a classic document as the program of the "Alash" party. Its ten sections give a clear idea of ​​the forms of the state, freedom on the ground, basic rights, religious affairs, justice and court, the protection of the country, the tax, workers, science, education of knowledge, land issue.” Areas inhabited by Kazakhs will unite in a whole, will be self-governing and will become one of the members of the Federation of the Russian Republic," the program underlines. 

In other words, the development of an adequate national ideology opened up broad prospects for the liberation of spirit and social progress.

Thus the intellectuals and ideologists of the Alash movement wrote bright pages of the new history of the Kazakh society. Based on experience, organizational development, intellectual potential, no political force or the current of pre-October Kazakhstan can be compared with the Alash movement. M. Dulatov was right in asserting in the fourth year of Soviet power: "Was not the first wave of educated Kazakhs nationalistic? Until the February Revolution, no Kazakh was a member of the political party of the European type. The tales of those who speak of their membership in the Communist Party since prehistoric times, since 1905, are not perceived by our ears. There is no Kazakh secret that is not familiar to us."

The most valuable of the legacy of the Alash movement, it seems to us, was devotion and sacrifice for the sake of the interests of the people, the national idea, this is the ability to skillfully isolate the current, next and future tasks of the day.

However, our general conclusions have nothing to do with the idealization of Alash's past, with the unrestrained praise of the results and lessons of his activities. It is necessary to call things by their proper names. So, for example, A.Bokeikhanov's position concerning Turkestan is not absolutely faultless. Both on the eve and after the second General Congress he opposed the unification of the Alash autonomy and the Turkestan mukhtariyat." It is not easy to implement state affairs," he wrote. - Our people are short of specialists, the majority of Kazakhs are illiterate; In Turkestan, the darkness of the population and the lack of specialists are ten times worse. If the Kazakhs form a single autonomy with Turkestan, we get an autonomous Arbus, which is pulled by a camel and a donkey. We will not go far in such an arb. " A.Bokeikhanov's supporters took the upper hand. The unification of autonomies did not take place. In this lies, in our opinion, one of the reasons for the defeat of the Alash movement.

There are other, no less significant factors. Alash leaders from the first days of the movement's origin lived and worked in the most miserable conditions. "Ayqap" magazine ceased publication in 1915 due to many factors, including lack of funds proved to be an insurmountable barrier. Financial difficulties were also well known to the publishers of the newspaper "Kazakh". The intellectual elite of the colonial region did not really feel the support of the national bourgeoisie. Because it was weak and small. The incompleteness of the formation of the Kazakh bourgeoisie is one of the main reasons for the belated appearance of the Alash party.

The national ideologies put forward by the Alash movement did not find understanding and support among Russian liberalism. Even in the critical periods for the empire, the Committee of Members of the Constituent Assembly, the Omsk government, the Supreme Governor of Russia, Admiral Kolchak, rejected the idea of ​​the Kazakh autonomy. The Bolsheviks, having started a political game for the sake of gaining time, eventually declared the Alash autonomy outlawed. The foreign ethnic population of Kazakhstan, with the exception of individual representatives, remained indifferent to the fate of the national idea and the Alash movement. Alash autonomy did not have military and technical and economic resources to protect sovereignty and independence

The Kazakh autonomy as a national idea passed through the crucible of tests. The Bolsheviks, although they dealt with the Alash movement, were forced to reckon with his brilliant idea. They realized that the status of state education of Kazakhs could not be lower than autonomy now. And the autonomy of the Kazakhs was announced in the third year of the Soviet power. The stellar hour of the national idea "Kazakh autonomy" struck on December 16, 1991. "At the beginning of the 20th century, the spiritual and intellectual elite took on the task of developing the Kazakh national ideology," stressed Nursultan Nazarbayev in his book "In the stream of history." The personal destiny of the great Kazakh statesmen of the beginning of the century turned out to be tragic. But the lessons of national courage and intellectual maturity are not forgotten. 

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