The national theme is relevant in Kazakhstan today.

     And, probably, will be relevant as long as there live many nationalities, that is always.

     People argue with foam at the mouth, but often use the same words, giving them different meaning or different emotional tinge.

     Let’s take the word “nationalism”.

     Some consider this word an insult, others call themselves nationalists with pride.

     Who is right?

     Here is what Wikipedia writes:

     “Nationalism (French nationalisme) is the ideology and direction of politics, the fundamental principle of which is the thesis of the value of the nation as the highest form of social unity, its primacy in the state-forming process.”

     As you can see, the description is very vague.

     There is not a word about the belittling or oppression of other nationalities.

     But at the same time, the words “the value of the nation as the highest form of social unity, its primacy in the state-forming process” sound, that is, the nationalists realize themselves first of all, for example, as Kazakhs or Russians, and then as Kazakhstanis. That is, if the interests of the ethnos and the state come into conflict, they will be guided by the interests of their nationality, not their state.

     If we understand the word “nationalism” in this way, I am inclined to consider it a negative phenomenon, which is harmful to our country.

     But how should we call the people who consider it their duty to develop their nationality without interfering with other nationalities, but, on the contrary, propagating equality and friendship between them? Who wants to preserve their language, their traditions, their culture within our country and at the same time in no case interfere with representatives of other nationalities to do the same. For example, dozens of national cultural centers operate in our country. All of them are designed to unite representatives of different diasporas in our country for the preservation and development of their national culture. Can they be considered “nationalists” that are harmful to our country? Is this the kind of nationalism that is evil? I don’t think so. I think that identifying oneself as a German, a Russian, a Chechen and so on is their holy right. They should not hide or be ashamed of their nationality. On the contrary, let them be proud and develop as an ethnos. It is necessary at least not to stop this, but better to encourage.

     But under one condition.

     If representatives of all nationalities recognize the supremacy of the interests of our common state – the Republic of Kazakhstan – over the interests of their ethnic group and the interests of other states. This means that the Russian Kazakhstani must protect the interests of Kazakhstan in conflicts with Russia (I say theoretically, God forbid to get to this), and the German should root for the people of Kazakhstan, and not the Germans.

     The same goes for the Kazakhs themselves. The interests of Kazakhstani people must be higher than the interests of separate Kazakhs. Therefore, one of the Kazakhs who says that Kazakhs should be masters in Kazakhstan, and all other nations – guests and have correspondingly less rights than Kazakhs, is no longer a nationalist, but a chauvinist.

     Here is how Wikipedia describes this concept:

     “Chauvinism (French chauvinisme) is an ideology, the essence of which is to preach national supremacy in order to justify the right to discriminate and oppress other peoples.”

     Thus, I believe that for clarity and uniformity of understanding, we all need to clearly separate these two concepts.

     “Nationalism” should be perceived as a positive phenomenon, the essence of which is to develop the nationality without infringing on other nationalities and recognizing the primacy of state interests over narrowly ethnic ones.

     “Chauvinism” should be condemned and banned by law (now it is), because our state ideology cannot support the superiority of one ethnic group and the oppression of others.

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