The President of Kazakhstan has established a new aim for the industrial and innovative development of the Kazakhstani economy through impoverishment of new business ideas. The President’s vision is highly supported by the young generation of Kazakhstanis, as it aims to improve young people’s futures.
Today there are three factors which are needed for the development of the Kazakh state. Firstly, the different social groups in Kazakhstan need to be united by a single will. Secondly, there should be a strong state policy which strengthens national interests. Thirdly, human capital must be developed; otherwise, education of young patriotic generation of professional administrators, governors. The last point is crucial, as it affects the possibility of innovative and industrial modernization of Kazakhstan and the implementation of all significant plans, which can only become real if there are people who can fulfil those plans.
In this regard it is interesting to recount the story of the father of Abai, who was the greatest Kazakh poet, philosopher and thinker. His father Kunanbai was the governor of the Semey region in Eastern Kazakhstan. Kunanbai was educated and was a rich aristocrat, who gave much attention to the education of the young generation. It is known that Abai was able to receive both an Islamic and a European education because of the help and will of his father. Kunanbai supported talented youth, which then became a feature of the personal character of Abai. Many Russian thinkers who were travelling or living in Eastern Kazakhstan, scientists and politicians who were arrested by the Tsarist regime and sent to Kazakhstan, and Kazakh poets were all guests of Kunanbai. Abai used social occasions for his own self-development with the aim of increasing his knowledge, as a person learns more useful information during a live discussion than by being part of the audience for a lecture.
Being the sultan (governor), Kunanbai was a strong organized person and administrator with a strict character. It is useful to study his method of administration, as it shows how Kunanbai was trying to raise responsible, patriotic and skilful young Kazakhs. The valuable notion was that Kunanbai was always trying to participate in special events and weddings of young people, who were living on his territory. At the same time, Kunanbai gave presents to young married couples in the form of cattle or other domestic equipment. However, the most significant thing was that Kunanbai gave land to new families with the aim of developing young husbands’ administrative skills and underpinning their love for their native land and their responsibility for the wellbeing of their relatives. However, the only requirement which Kunanbai requested from married couples was a careful attitude to the land that had been given to them. If the young couple could not take good care of the land, then Kunanbai had a right to return it and entrust the land to another couple. The main criterion for Kunanbai was effective administration of his territory (Kipshakbaiyev, 2009).
According to the tradition of nomads, it is vital to change the area of land on which people are living and breeding their cattle, as the constant use of a certain area of land slowly but surely destroys the livability of that land. The reproduction of cattle and its growth also depends on organizational skills. Through this practice, Kunanbai was trying to show that land and resources could not be administered in a careless way.
Nowadays, living in a market economy, it seems that Kunanbai was acting in the right way. When the person feels that he owns property, he starts to value and care for his or her possession and thinks how to enlarge it and at least to save what he or she has already got. Sometimes, looking at the actions of so-called “top managers”, who have administered national wealth poorly, there is a wish that ‘the principle of Kunanbai’ had applied to them. If you are not able to manage the resources which were entrusted to you, be honest and give the opportunity to another person who would manage it properly and with responsibility.
There was an attractive fact in the history of the Russian Empire, when Tsar Nikolai II used to collect reports from Government members and regional governors during his holidays at his residences. It was usual that the Emperor did not have enough time to read them all. Moreover, many of those reports had similar content to each other and were repeating statistics of the preceding years. However, the reports were necessary to show the progress of work implementation over a certain period of time, even if Emperor Nikolai was not interested in them. Nevertheless, the Emperor once took a letter in which a regular governor of one of the Russian provinces, Stolypin, was describing the mechanisms of the modernization of the Empire. Peter Stolypin soon became the Prime Minister of the Russian Empire and with the support of Emperor Nikolai had the chance to make many effective and significant decisions that would benefit the state. After the reforms, which Stolypin initiated, the Emperor of Prussia, Wilhelm, told Nikolai during a private conversation that the social and economic reforms of the Russian Prime Minister were much more effective than the policies of his famous Prime Minister, Bismarck (Solzhenitsyn, 2008: 5–143). It was a personal talent of Nikolai to discover, mark and promote skilful administrators of new formation.
Today, contemporary Kazakh literature and academic papers try to reflect the diversity and complexity of the Kazakh nation’s history and culture. It is important to admit that according to local critiques it seems that today in Kazakh society there is much focus on the materialistic side of social life, rather than on art, science and knowledge. Therefore, there is a real necessity for the spiritual and mental enrichment of the young generation.
Recently, historian and writer M. Suleimanov (2009) wrote a book devoted to the ancient formula of the great Genghis Khan, which was universal in Kazakh steep. The author described the principles that were the main criteria for Khan in his training of future administrators for his Empire.
Thus, Genghis Khan was always dividing personalities into two kinds.The first kind consisted of individuals who, in his opinion, were truthful to their occupation and were real professionals, whereas the second kind of people acted only in terms of their own self-interest and not in the interests of the state and of society members. Khan gave much attention to the issues of morality among his entourage.
Moreover, today, due to research, a large audience has become familiar with the ancient nomadic principles of state administration, such as ‘Jasa’ of Genghis Khan and the ‘Power’, ‘Authority’ and ‘Army’ of the past. It is notable that all these principles had one common feature: the aim of finding and supporting people who were faithful and displayed honour and morality in their profession, and for whom it was important to implement their task honestly, rather than to seek material benefits. According to Suleimanov, Genghis Khan named such personalities, who were faithful and reliable, the ‘ar isi’ (which in the ancient Kazakh language meant “truthful and responsible execution”) (Suleimanov, 2009: 23). Afterwards, this term was used in the 1930s in Nazi Germany to indicate the “nation of higher origin”, also known as the ‘Aryan race’ (Wildman, 1996: 87). However, initially, in the era of Genghis Khan, this terminology was in use for the description of a person with distinctive professional and moral traits and strong administrative skills.
Genghis Khan saw people who were mainly occupied with their self-interest, who had a wish for material possession and personal safety and lacked dignity, as potential traitors. In Genghis Khan’s belief, such people were honest with their rulers only because of fear. At that time it was the ruler’s priority to deprive properties of their men. Therefore, such people were not seeing beyond the limits that were identified by their masters. That was the reason why Genghis Khan supported and encouraged initiative, creativity and bravery in his people’s decisions concerning military or public questions. People who only cared about their self-being and their self-preservation could not be inventive and useful for society. Therefore, it was natural for Genghis Khan that such people could easily betray their masters purely because of the wish to increase their own material possessions and avoid any responsibility or obligation. Therefore, Khan found such people to be ‘psychological slaves’ and was forced to dismiss them from his state apparatus, and from the right to govern the population of his Empire (Myzun, 2005, in Suleimanov, 2009: 124).
Moreover, during his invasions of new lands and states, Genghis Khan attracted to his side those opponents who fought with him until the last moment of battles and who were devoted to their former governors. Such people, Genghis Khan believed, would adhere strictly to their beliefs in any situation, and with the help of such individuals, Khan began to build his Empire (Kalashnikov, 1985: 337).
Khan was facing those difficulties which governors often meet when they form the state apparatus. Most of the representatives of the nomadic elite were opposed to Genghis Khan’s attempts to centralize and institutionalize the state power and strengthen the role of the state among tribes. Certainly, those representatives did not care about the state, as they were mainly concerned with their status in society, with their power, and were not thinking about a united and powerful country. Aristocracy was seeking independence and sovereignty from the state. However, Genghis Khan was aware of the destabilizing moods of people in power and therefore made necessary decisions by replacing the representatives of the old aristocracy with new ones. Despite a constant, exhausting search lasting 30 years and which experienced many difficulties and mistakes, Genghis Khan was able to find talented and skilful commanders and governors for his Empire, people whom he later named as the real ‘aristar’ or “aristocrats of the spirit”. At first many of the new ‘aristar‘ did not support Genghis Khan. However, seeing his truthful reign, they accepted his power later. The 30-year period defined individuals for Khan, who had in his perception a moral right to govern the state. Certainly, it was uneasy for Khan to accept the fact that the process of selection was followed by a constant war among tribes and groups, but this was a way to identify the “real” state administrators (Suleimanov, 2009: 164).
One of the key principles of Genghis Khan’s method of administration was objectivity. This notion underpinned the practice of Khan judging and assessing both the old and the young without concern for their material prosperity and rank. This practice enabled young talented public administrators to reach high governmental positions, as Khan listened to their knowledge and thoughts. For instance, nowadays there are many sources which admit the talent, humaneness and strategic mind of Zhaushy, the first son of Genghis Khan, who was greatly respected by Kazakhs for his deep knowledge of the issues of governance and therefore was named the ‘Alash-khan. It was to Genghis Khan’s credit that he could teach his son Zhaushy in such a way (Suleimanov, 2009: 191).
The issue under discussion is significant for Kazakhstan, as there are difficulties in the region. In the post-industrial twenty-first century, the region is faced with problems of rapid growth of population and scarcity of resources, including limited water, land and natural resources. Therefore, the issue of the formation of skilful and intellectual cadres becomes crucial and decisive.
In conclusion, it is worth admitting that today Kazakhstan needs in highly professionals and idelogical patriots, in skillful administrators of public sector, of social affairs and of strategic national resources. In the next few years it is extremely important that Kazakhstan modernize its social and economic potential, strengthen its democratic institutions and underpin its political course. These intentions are possible only if the state has young people who are qualified and eager to lead the country with enthusiasm in the new era of challenges and responsibility.
- Myzun, U. (2005). ‘Khans and Governors’ The Golden Orda and Russian knyazhestva’, in Suleimanov, M.H. (2009). ‘The era of Genghis khan in Kazakh history’. Zerger Ilyas Press, Almaty, Kazakhstan.
- Kalashnikov, I.K. (1985). ‘The cruel century‘. The Sovremennik Press. Moscow, Russia.
- Kipshakbaiyev, N.K. (2009). Conversaition on the ‘Story about Kunanbai‘. Noverber, 2009. Astana, Kazakhstan.
- Solzhenitsyn, A.I. (2008). ‘Tsar. Stolypin. Lenin‘. U-Factor Press. Moscow, Russia.
- Suleimenov, M.H. (2009). ‘The era of Genghis khan in Kazakh history‘. Zerger Ilyas Press. Almaty, Kazakhstan.
- Wildman, S.M. (1996). ‘Privilege Revealed: How Invisible Preference Undermines America’. New York University Press. The United States.