NATIONAL IDEOLOGY IN THE INDEPENDENT STATES OF CENTRAL ASIA AND THE SOUTHERN CAUCASUS: ITS PHENOMENON, SPECIFICS, AND PROSPECTS

Bakhodyr ERGASHEV


Bakhodyr Ergashev, D.Sc. (Philos.), Professor and Independent Researcher (Tashkent, Uzbekistan)


Introduction

The political processes underway in the independent Central Eurasian republics call in particular for a detailed analysis of the emergence, functioning, and development of their national ideologies. Throughout world history, no reform, modernization, or democratization during the formation and development of nations could have succeeded, nor can ever succeed, without majority support for a set of clearly formulated and desirable aims and easily grasped ideas. In fact, at all times, states with a national ideology left those states which rejected ideology as part of their policy far behind in every respect.

The following fairly succinct comments are intended as an analysis of the past, present, and future of the national-ideological complexes in eight independent republics of Central Asia and the Southern Caucasus (including Georgia); they are compared with what is going on in this respect in other CIS countries (Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine).

In view of the fundamental role of the state and weakness of civil society in practically all the CIS countries, I concentrated on the official position in the particular country, because it is this position, and not the alternative platform of the systemic and non-systemic opposition, that has so far attracted the attention of the academic and expert communities.

1. Evolution, Periodization, or Expansion?
The Cornerstones of National Ideas Interpreted

The leaders of Tajikistan have offered the most complete description of the starting point of the countrys national idea which, Dushanbe believes, existed before everything else (it was born along with the nation, or rather, along with its language, irrespective of the national market and industrial epoch, the two main prerequisites for the emergence of a nation). President Rakhmon has pointed out that the national idea reached unprecedented heights under the Samanids and rested on political (I. Samani) and spiritual (A. Rudaki) foundations. Avicenna, Beruni, and other prominent figures of the Muslim Renaissance developed and strengthened the national idea of the Tajiks. S. Ayni, A. Lakhuti, B. Gafurov, and others are hailed as intrepid scholars and writers who managed to preserve the national idea, develop and strengthen it. The legal act of 1989, which made Tajik the state language, and the 16th Session (twelfth convocation) of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Tajikistan (1992) are accepted as the starting points of Tajikistans recent history and the latest stage of the development of the national idea.

The logic of the Tajik leaders, though obviously time-serving and very vague when it comes to establishing the.


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