Looking to the Future: Modernization
“Looking to the Future: Modernization
Kazakhstan has entered a new historical period.
This year with my Address I announced the beginning of the Third Modernization of Kazakhstan.
So we started two important renewal processes – political reform and modernization of the economy.
The goal is known – to enter the thirty developed states of the world.
Both modernization processes have clear goals and objectives, priorities and methods of achieving them. I am sure that everything will be done in time and as effectively as possible. But it is not enough.
I am convinced that the large-scale changes we have begun must be accompanied by an advance modernization of public consciousness. It will not just complement political and economic modernization – it will act as their core.
It should be noted that during the years of Independence we have adopted and implemented a number of major programs.
Since 2004, the program “Mini Deni” has been implemented, aimed at restoration of historical and cultural monuments and objects on the territory of Kazakhstan.
In 2013, we adopted the program “Halytarich tolyynda,” which allowed us to systematically collect and study documents from the world ‘s leading archives dedicated to the history of our country.
And today we must begin more extensive and fundamental work.
So I decided to share my vision of how to take a step towards the future together, to change the public consciousness to become a united Nation of strong and responsible people.
I. ON NATIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS IN XXI CENTURY.
Before our eyes, the world is beginning a new, largely unclear, historical cycle. It is impossible to take a place in the advanced group, maintaining the previous model of consciousness and thinking. Therefore, it is important to concentrate, change yourself and, through adaptation to changing conditions, take the best of what the new era carries.
What was, in my opinion, the main disadvantage of Western models of modernization of the 20th century in relation to the realities of our time? In that they transferred their unique experience to all peoples and civilizations without taking into account their peculiarities.
Even largely modernized societies contain cultural codes whose origins go back to the past.
The first condition of modernization of the new type is preservation of its culture, its own national code. Without this, the modernization will turn into an empty sound.
But that doesn ‘t mean preserving everything in national self-awareness – and what gives us confidence in the future, and what leads us backwards.
New modernization should not, as before, look arrogantly at historical experience and traditions. On the contrary, it must make the best traditions a prerequisite, an important condition for the success of modernization.
Without reliance on national-cultural roots, modernization will hang in the air. I want her to stand firm on the ground. This means that history and national traditions must necessarily be taken into account.
It is a platform connecting the horizons of the past, present and future people.
I am convinced that the most important mission of spiritual modernization is also to reconcile the various poles of national consciousness.
I would highlight several areas of modernization of consciousness both of society as a whole and of every Kazakhstani.
Today, not only an individual, but also a nation as a whole has a chance to succeed, only developing its competitiveness.
This means above all the nation ‘s ability to offer anything of value and quality in regional and global markets. And it is not only a material product, but also knowledge, services, intellectual products, finally, the quality of the labor resource.
The feature of tomorrow is that it is the competitiveness of man, not the availability of mineral resources, that becomes a factor in the success of the nation.
Therefore, any Kazakh, like the nation as a whole, needs to possess a set of qualities worthy of the XXI century. And among the unconditional prerequisites of this are such factors as computer literacy, knowledge of foreign languages, cultural openness.
Therefore, both the Digital Kazakhstan program, the trilingualism program and the cultural and confessional harmony program are part of the preparation of the nation (all Kazakhstanis) for life in the twenty-first century. It ‘s part of our competitiveness.
Modernization is impossible without changing a number of habits and stereotypes. There are many examples of genuine pragmatism in our history.
For centuries our ancestors have preserved a unique ecologically correct way of life, preserving the habitat, resources of the land, very pragmatically and economically spending its resources.
And only in a few years in the middle of the last century, the unsustainable use of resources led to the disappearance of the Aral Sea, the transformation of thousands of hectares of fertile land into ecological disaster zones. And this is an example of an extremely unpagmatic attitude towards the environment. So the former national pragmatism turned into waste.
On the path of modernization we should remember the skills of ancestors. Pragmatism means accurate knowledge of their national and personal resources, their economical spending, the ability to plan their future.
Pragmatism is the opposite of waste, sneakiness, life on display. The culture of modern society is a culture of moderation, a culture of affluence, not luxury, it is a culture of rationality.
The ability to live rationally, with an emphasis on achieving real goals, with an emphasis on education, healthy lifestyles and professional success are pragmatism in behavior.
And this is the only successful model in the modern world. When the nation and the individual are not oriented towards concrete practical achievements, then there are incomparable, populist ideologies leading to catastrophe.
Unfortunately, history gives us many examples where entire nations, led by unflattering ideologies, have been defeated. We saw the collapse of the three main ideologies of the last century – communism, fascism and liberalism.
The age of radical ideologies has passed. Clear, understandable and forward-looking installations are needed. Such a setting can be a focus on achieving specific goals, calculating their capabilities and limits both by the person and by the nation as a whole. Realism and pragmatism are the slogan of the coming decades.
- Maintaining national identity
The very concept of spiritual modernization implies changes in the national consciousness. There are two points here.
First, it ‘s a change within national consciousness.
Second, it is the preservation of the inner core of the national Self when some of its features change.
What is the danger of today ‘s dominant modernization models? In that modernization is seen as a transition from a national model of development to a single, universal one. But life always proves it ‘s a mistake! In practice, different regions and countries have developed their own models.
Our national traditions and customs, language and music, literature and wedding rites – in a word, the national spirit, must remain with us forever.
Abai ‘s wisdom, Auezov ‘s pen, Jambul ‘s penetrating lines, Kurmangase ‘s magical sounds, Aruha ‘s eternal call are only part of our spiritual culture.
But modernization is also that a number of archaic and non-global habits and addictions need to be left in the past.
This also applies to such a feature of our consciousness as the regional division of a single nation. Knowing and proud of the history of your edge is a necessary and useful thing. Except we cannot forget about much more – membership in a united and great nation -.
We build a meritocratic society where everyone should be assessed by personal contribution and personal professional qualities. Such a system does not tolerate nepoism. It is a form of career development in backward societies.
The challenge is not to list positive and negative experiences. The challenge is to understand two immutable rules.
The first. No modernization can take place without preserving the national culture.
The second. To move forward, it is necessary to abandon those elements of the past that prevent the development of the nation.
- Knowledge cult
The desire for education has always been characteristic of our people.
Much has been done over the years of Independence. We have trained tens of thousands of young professionals at the best universities in the world. The beginning, as is known, was started by the program “Bolashak” in the early 1990s. We have created a number of universities of very high level, a system of intellectual schools and much more.
But the cult of education must be universal. And there is a tough and clear reason. The technological revolution is causing half of existing professions to disappear in the coming decades. No era knew this speed of change in the professional appearance of the economy.
And we have entered this era. In such conditions, only a highly educated person who can change his profession relatively easily thanks to a high level of education will be able to live successfully.
Therefore, Kazakhstan today is among the most advanced countries in the world in terms of the share of budget expenditures on education.
Every Kazakh should understand that education is the most fundamental factor of success in the future. In the system of priorities of young people, education should be the first number.
If in the system of values education becomes the main value, the nation awaits success.
- Evolutionary, not revolutionary development of Kazakhstan
This year will mark 100 years since the radical changes in the vast part of Eurasia that took place in October 1917. The entire 20th century was marked by revolutionary upheaval.
Every people learns their own lessons from history. It ‘s his right, and you can ‘t impose your point of view on others. But also no one has the right to impose their subjective vision of history on us.
And the lessons of the 20th century for our people are in many ways tragic.
First, the natural path of national development was broken and alien forms of social structure were imposed.
Second, there has been a terrible demographic blow to the nation. A blow that has affected for a century.
Third, Kazakh language and culture were almost lost.
Fourthly, the territory of Kazakhstan has become a territory of ecological disaster in many regions.
Of course, there is no only black and white in history. The 20th century brought a lot of positive Kazakhstan.
It is industrialization, creation of social and production infra-structure, formation of new intelligentsia.
A certain modernization happened. But it was the modernization of the territory, not the nation.
We must understand the lessons of history clearly. The era of revolutions has not passed. They have changed greatly in shape and content. But all our recent history says explicitly and unequivocally: only evolutionary development gives the nation a chance to thrive. Otherwise, we will get back into the historical hood.
Evolutionary development as a principle of ideology should be one of the guidelines and at the personal, individual level for each Kazakh.
Of course, the evolutionary development of society as a principle does not mean eternal preservation, but it is important to understand not only the lessons of history, but also the examples of modernity and signals of the future.
The nature of revolutions changed. They have a distinct national, religious, cultural or separatist character. But in the vast majority of cases, everything ends in violence and economic collapse.
Therefore, a serious rethinking of what is happening in the world is part of a huge worldview, ideological work that must be carried out by society as a whole, political parties and movements, and the education system.
- Openness of consciousness
Many problems arise from the fact that the big, global world is rapidly changing, and mass consciousness remains within the “home framework.”
It would seem that to prove the need for mass and forced teaching of English when around the world more than a billion people learn it along with their native as a language of professional communication?
Do more than 400 million European Union citizens not respect their native German, French, Spanish, Italian or other language? Are hundreds of millions of Chinese, Indonesian or Malays just learning English like that?
It is not someone ‘s subjective desire, it is a condition for working in the global world.
But the question is not just in this particular. The openness of consciousness means at least three features of consciousness.
First, understanding what ‘s going on in the big world, what ‘s going on around your country, what ‘s going on in your part of the planet.
Second, the openness of consciousness is a willingness to change the new technological order. It will change in the next 10 years huge formations of our life – work, life, rest, housing, ways of human communication. You need to be ready for that.
Third, the ability to adopt someone else ‘s experience, learn from others. Two great Asian powers, Japan and China, are the classical embodiment of these abilities.
Openness and susceptibility to better achievements, rather than the known repulsion of all “not your own” – is the key to success and one of the indicators of open consciousness.
Why is open consciousness so important in the future world?
If Kazakhstanis judge the world from the windows of their houses, it is possible not to see what storms are coming in the world, on the mainland or in neighboring countries. It is possible not to see forests behind trees, it is possible not to understand even external springs, which force us sometimes seriously to change approaches.