On the New Opposition - 3

The more opposition-minded groups, associations and individual activists Kazakhstan has, the better it is for the real opposition of the future. And, therefore, bad for the current authoritarian system. However, the question remains – how are we to take action under the constant and harsh pressing?  

In our two previous publications on the subject of the new and real opposition, on when it may appear in Kazakhstan and what colour is it going to have, we have arrived at the following conclusions (quoting)

“Currently, all Kazakhstan’s opposition movements, organisations and groups are mostly active and noticeable in the context of their infightings and bringing accusations that certain structures and figures are dummies and serve the interests of the authorities. And this mere fact clearly testifies that the opposition wave generated by the collapse of the USSR and by the opportunities that opened during that complicated and turbulent time is coming to an end” (see here).

“We at KZ.expert believe that a true opposition in the form of an influential political party or a civil organisation is not going to appear in Kazakhstan for the next several years. Simply because, to create it, they need to have either an idea that will receive real support of many proactive citizens or a leader (leaders) to whom the citizens will believe and whom they will follow. Better yet, if the first and the second condition exist at the same time”. 

“Yet, both of these things is a problem for Kazakhstan. And not only because, for a number of years, the authoritarian political system and the “super-presidential” vertical have been pressurising anyone brave enough to hold up their head and speak out (let alone actually do something). But also because, for a long time, the Kazakh society has been ruled by the absence of ideas (unless one counts the slogan “Get rich by any means possible!” See here). 

Continuing the discussion, we would like to underscore that, in our opinion, in today’s Kazakhstan, it is no use to try and create some kind of multi-branch organisation (whether legal or underground), to oppose the Kazakh authorities in a direct and firm way or to demonstrate zero tolerance towards them.

In a situation when the political opponents have the unquestionable advantages (the main one being supreme power privatised by Nursultan Nazarbayev and his immediate circle), it is much more sensible and efficient to use a strategy that may be called “partisan”. In other words, to operate by small mobile groups relative to a concrete territory, time and circumstances.  

We at KZ.expert believe that such strategy will be much more effective from the perspective of achieving a real result since (quoting) –

“…de-facto, practically the entire population of the country exists in opposition to the authoritarian political system and the “super-presidential” vertical, all its levels and elements starting with Akorda and the Library and ending with the local authorities.

Of course, the nature of this opposition is not political but social and economic. As a result, the Kazakh citizens en masse are not prepared to defend their own and someone else’s rights and liberties. On the other hand, when it comes to protecting their personal interests, they are defend them to the bitter and sometimes even with lethal force.

This situation is quite unique for the civilised world and Kazakhstan has inherited it from the Soviet Union. Moreover, for the thirty years of the sovereignty and independence, the opposition moods have grown stronger thanks to an extreme social division into a small number of the über-rich and a great number of the poor, very poor and those who have nothing”.  

In other words, the more opposition-minded associations, groups and individual activists Kazakhstan has (no matter what exactly they are opposed to and in which circles they operate), the better it is for the real opposition of the future. And, therefore, bad for the current authoritarian political system and the “super-presidential” vertical.

In view of this, in our opinion, there is no point in chasing ghosts. In other words, to fight against those who (justifiably or not) may be suspected of working for Akorda and the Library. Even if this is the case, they still engage the Kazakh citizens into action. And, in today’s Kazakhstan, those who would like to change the country and its political system not in word but in deed should strive not to actually seize power but to form a civil society and breed (re-educate) those capable of being pro-active in any filled.

One must agree that, in order to change the world, one must have a toe-hold and, if there is none, it needs to be created – alas, there is no other way in modern Kazakhstan. Of course, we may continue doing what the current opposition associations, groups and activists have been doing so far, however, in our opinion, this is not going to be effective since their efforts aim at different directions, are not coordinated and intercrossed. Hence, there is no synergy.

For this reason, we believe, the time has come to (quoting) “create their own rules of the game and their own political space. How? Quite simply, by using the modern technologies. Particularly, the Internet and social networks. And limit the state’s capabilities to push back against those wishing to be pro-active”. 

In our opinion, the “partisan” strategy may turn out to be more than successful for its crucial feature is that the citizens form opposition to the authoritarian political system itself regardless of a particular sphere, regardless of whether they win or lose an individual fight; the main thing is that they try to do it at all and learn from their defeats and victories. And, if such “resistance” groups will learn to cooperate, help each other and support each other within individual residential areas, it will be simply beautiful.

By the way, we think there is no point in fearing either secret agents or “moles”. For even if the secret service infiltrates the opposition groups (in our opinion, this would be physically impossible if the latter include no more than dozens of people), it is not dangerous since, as a rule, it is the unlawful actions on the part of officials and their affiliated entrepreneurs that serve as the cause for clashing with the state in Kazakhstan.

In other words, the citizens will de-facto defend not only themselves and their rights but the rule of law in the country. Of course, the tyrannical acts on the part of the authorities will still be possible, however, it will be the tyranny that, thanks to the total computerisation, is nowadays noticed by everyone at once, and not just inside the country but abroad as well.

We would like to end this material with yet another quote that, in our opinion, certainly deserves to be repeated.

“If such tactics will be accepted and implemented by most civil activists (especially if they start interacting in a more active fashion and on an equal footing, share ideas, support each other), the effect may turn out to be particularly remarkable and, most importantly, grievous for the authoritarian political system. For, if a hundred people participate in a single protest action in a single location, the authorities will solve this problem quite easily. But if the same hundred people hold many protest in a dozen different spots, the authorities will have a much harder time dealing with it”.


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