Tolerance is under attack. However it's the basis of country survival
Tolerance — major vitality resource of Kazakhstan has become a subject of testing. The specificity of our country is the high level of tolerance; it's impossible to speak of any normal country development without it. Tolerance is the most important element of state safety for Kazakhstan. Kazakhstani tolerance started to give failures at the very inappropriate moment.
Market relations development is taking its course far from civilized shapes in Kazakhstan. You can hardly define when it was worse: in current last days of the crisis or at the first "five-year plans" of capitalism. The extensive polarization in population income has become one of the practice consequences. Palaces and hovels often stand near to each other in the biggest cities of Kazakhstan, particularly those who bearing the title of "economical development main places". Considering the threat of poor population segments will excite a riot, state authorities just can't work without a cult of tolerance in this kind of reality. You needn't go far to find some material objects for avenging the righteous anger of the crowd: luxurious houses, cars, restaurants and boutiques are always at hand.
The difference in income was at the communistic period also, but its scale is not compared with the current situation. Communistic party nomenclature and "red bosses" had luxurious places for rest which were closed to common people. The places were camouflaged and disposed far away, so it wasn't the eyesore for people. In addition, all those villas had the main accent decoration inside the rooms and the appearance of the buildings was made as ordinary as possible. Country houses and SPA resorts weren't private property of soviet political elite; many members of the elite have to get out of the habit when retiring or being dropped from the team.
Current situation is quite different. Palaces, luxurious cars, enterprises and money belong to a quite certain owners. Banknotes hadn't particular value in soviet period; in the conditions of planning-distributing system it was more important to have the access to a certain goods and services than to money. State authorities tried to impose restrictions under consumption standards in a view of deficit of the quality fast moving consumer goods (FMCG). There is no goods and services' deficit in Kazakhstan now; you can do everything you want in sphere of consumption, if you have enough money. If you don't want to spend money in Kazakhstan – the whole world is at the service of solvent men. That is why the current economical model will work only when political elite won't forget about tolerance in all its different varieties.
Poly-ethnical structure of the Republic objectively keeps the common tolerance spirit. In spite of active migration process at the first half of the nineties, the most mass nations of Kazakhstan are still Kazakhs and Russians; it is more than three-fourths of all population. However, compromise and consensus are necessary not only between these groups. In conformity with social sciences the society cannot be considered as the stable one if discriminated number of population equals 3% (and 16-17% of discriminated population means the beginning of the end). Taking into account the quantity of the Uigurs, Chechens, Koreans, Uzbeks and other ethnical groups, it's required to create particular surroundings for making the whole country population feel comfortable.
The same picture is in linguistic sphere; situation is far from homogeneity and experiences high dynamics. Particularly, English-speaking segment increases along with domination of Russian and Kazakh languages, as well as Chinese language grows in demand. It's connected with the globalization and engaging our country into world-wide and regional, economical and cultural processes. According to above said conditions, ruling elite cannot make any abrupt movement because it could bring to common imbalance.
Religious and confessional map of the country is notable for its diversity. It's easier to name the religion that is absent in Kazakhstan than all the religions country has. It is added with serious cultural differences in population as well as westernization and Islamization processes running all together at the same time and in the same segments of society. Moreover, there are essential regional differences and great civilization gap between cities and countryside.
According the situation, ruling elite is practically deprived the opportunity to use scaled political maneuvers which can directly or indirectly undermine the tolerance in the country. Figuratively speaking, when yashmak and mini-skirt will stop to live peacefully at the streets of Kazakhstani cities then the political elite would be extremely difficult to retain its power.
Even at the conditions of 2001—2002 years' political crisis, when suppressing the opponents, state authorities tried to avoid the methods aimed on formation of enemy image. "Beat the oligarchs!" motto would simply transform into "Death to bourgeoisies!" or "Down with the regime!" Ruling elite tried to prevent high society politicization level while "dealing with" the opposition. The indexes of news programs watching shows us that people in Kazakhstan is already quite politicized. In the same time the population is atomized and usual cannot gather into united mighty political power. State power fears to lose control under society, so it keeps population in atomized condition.
Last challenges towards tolerance (and to the whole system) are connected with "Kazakhs card" playing: language, aggrieved national pride, the demand of preferences etc. Those who use "Kazakhness" in struggle for resources offer simple and easy understandable mottoes for the crowd but quite dangerous for state stability and integrity. Formal political opposition uses the same method; but it's difficult to say if the process controls by the opposition whether the opposition controls by the process.
Ethnical differences cannot provoke the conflict itself, but when they are imposed upon the injustice – then the tension will sharply grow. Kazakhstan is full of injustice, feeding by corruption and disability of state structures. For example, intelligence services tried to struggle with religious extremism but have discredited such kind of practice and provoked the negative process in result.
While trying to be up the challenges, state authorities repeat hoary clichés of PR-events and enounce the words of friendship and good feelings between different nations as a kind of sorcery. The lines of split are growing along with unemployment and criminality against the background of recession drop in population income. Dynamics of the process is under control so the traditional hope for "perhaps" may not work. It should be made efforts on situation normalization urgently. Meanwhile there are different forces seeing their political capital in incitement of ethnic hatred and intolerance; they are going overboard and rock the boat. May be, among them there're people who sincerely worry for the nation; but it can bring to "irreparable use". The reaction from healthy forces of state and society at the address of destabilizing players is unseen.
The lines of split will activate very soon if the effective measures won't be taken. There are a lot of splits in Kazakhstan and all of them are painful: between poor and rich, between languages, religions, ethnic groups, and regions. If ruling elite will not pay attention towards intolerance in time, then it as all chances to get the scenario when before "ruling" we will add the prefix — "former".