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Category: History

Value of a historical factor in formation and development of the CIS

zamestitel of the chief of expert and analytical department of the Secretariat of Council of Inter-parliamentary assembly of the CIS


History, speak... taught nobody to nothing. If it even the truth, stories does not concern as sciences at all: not flowers are guilty that the blind person does not see them. But it and lie: history teaches even those who at it do not study; it prouchivat them for ignorance and neglect. Who acts besides it or contrary to it, that always is sorry at the end about the attitude towards her.

V.O. Klyuchevsky

5 December, 2007 the concept of further development of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the plan of the main actions for its realization were adopted that demonstrates that heads of the states of the CIS count on increase in a role of this interstate regional-

ache the organizations in the modern history of Eurasia.

In the concept it is emphasized that "the CIS represents the important mechanism of carrying out interstate consultations and negotiations for coordination and realization within the Commonwealth of the directions

multilateral cooperation. A main objective of the Commonwealth is formation in the long term of the integrated economic and political merging of the interested states providing effective development of each its participant".

It is possible to assume that the reasons, contents, character, results of radical transformations which happened and happen on the former Soviet Union after 1991 long will concern still politicians, scientists and citizens of the Commonwealth countries.

Last years with all evidence showed that the unitary form in which there was the USSR had no historical prospect, demanded a certain reforming and change.

At the same time destruction of the multinational state during this period was not fatally inevitable. Most of the population of the USSR waited not for destruction of the general fatherland, but its democratic reforming, creation of civil society, formation of original federation that confirms an all-Union referendum of 1991

Creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States can be considered as a transitional form from the rigid unitary state to truly voluntary interstate association.

However it is necessary to recognize that the abbreviation of the CIS is perceived by the general public rather negatively so far, and for similar assessment there is a number of the bases.

First, it is the endured economic downturn which to overcome it appeared rather difficult. The reason of economic downturn is that the CIS countries, unlike most the states of Central Europe, had to solve two global problems at the same time: to undertake radical economic reforms and to provide formation of independent statehood. In such countries as China, Poland, the Czech Republic and others, where

only one problem — transition to market economy was solved, results were much better. GDP of China in 14 years grew almost three times, Poland — by 1.7 times. And reforms in the states of the Commonwealth an initial stage were undertaken with rough miscalculations.

Secondly, critical perception of indicators of development of the certain states is transferred to activity of interstate body — the CIS. Meanwhile exactly thanks to the Commonwealth it was succeeded to provide "a civilized divorce" of the former republics of the USSR, to resolve or transfer the armed conflicts which arose even during existence of the Union to the negotiation course. Without the CIS the results of social and economic development of our countries could become even more plachevnymi1.

History also shows that the territory of the former Russian Empire and USSR, irrespective of political regimes, always represented a certain integrity which various regions developed under similar laws, had the general rules of life. It represents the uniform continent — Eurasia which people always made symbiosis, mutually supplemented each other in various fields of activity. During centuries-old existence they united in public entities more than once and developed unique culture which scale and value for mankind can be compared only to that role what is played by such cultural sverkhmassiva as Europe, China and the USA.

It is natural that similar political and cultural giants do not arise from scratch, and are based on objective prerequisites. Existence of multinational Eurasian integrity is caused by really operating factors. To association we are pushed by the common interests connected with geopolitics, economy, centuries-old experience joint

1 M.I. Krotov. CIS: search of optimum model//Bulletin of Inter-parliamentary Assembly. 2005. No. 3. Page 344-350.

survivals, polyethnicity of the independent states.

The remained integration trends in the former Soviet Union, besides characteristic of all regions in the CIS, just amplify a historical factor — cohabitation of the people of the CIS within one state which created dense "fabric of the relations" in various forms because of the mixed resettlement, mixed marriages, the joint historical past, elements of the general cultural space, lack of a language barrier, interest in free movement of people, etc.

Conflictness of the international and interfaith relations (between two main religions: Orthodoxy and Islam) in general was low. From here desire of broad masses of the population in the Commonwealth countries to support rather close interconnection.

It should be noted that in the gosudarst-Vakh-participating of the CIS there is a gradual understanding by a considerable part of political and enterprise elite both Russia, and other Commonwealth countries, geopolitical value for their countries of the relations on the former Soviet Union. In the 90th these circles were anxious almost only with the relations with the West.

Centuries of joint survival, economic interaction, a mutually interlacing of destinies and cultures created positive ethnic complementarity, i.e. feeling of mutual sympathy and inclination between the people of Eurasia. In the relations between them there was never a genocide: internal wars had character of fight for domination in the general house, but not aspiration to extermination of the neighbor. Moreover, they accumulated rich historical experience of joint fight against the external enemy from where it came — from the West or from the East. The proximity of the Eurasian people is promoted also by similarity of their mentality, deep attitude.

It cannot but also push them to each other, despite hostility of politicians, temporary mutual offenses and claims.

Such interlacing of historical fate of the Eurasian people created the general spiritual space — this global civilized integrity which is a part of universal culture. Its destruction will inevitably lead to non-recoverable impoverishment of all people making it and will negatively affect spiritual development of humanity in general.

As binding thread of modern Eurasia also high degree of polyethnicity of the independent states acts. Today 75 million people live outside the public entities, millions consist in international marriages, have relatives and friends in various republics and regions.

Noted factors including historical, show that any problems arising in the territory of the former Union, whether it be economic, social, ethnic or territorial, it is possible to solve only in the general context of development of the Eurasian integrity, on the basis of the uniform strategy accepted by all independent states. Despite heavy shocks, a way of multinational unity for us it is not exhausted.

At the same time integration processes in the CIS encounter also centrifugal trends.

1. Aspiration of ruling circles in the former Soviet republics to strengthen recently received sovereignty, to strengthen the statehood. It was considered by them as an unconditional priority, and reasons of economic feasibility paled into insignificance. Integration measures were perceived by them as sovereignty restriction as any integration, even the most moderate, assumes transfer of some rights to uniform bodies of integration association, i.e. voluntary restriction of sovereignty in certain areas.
2. Readiness of the former Soviet republics for integration was various that was defined not so much economic, how many political and even ethnic factors. So, from the very beginning the Baltic countries were against participation in any structures of the CIS. The reserved relation to integration within the CIS was noted from Ukraine, Georgia, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. More positive relation is observed from Belarus, Moldova, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan.
3. At last, the West (first of all the USA), with disapproval meeting any integration processes in the former Soviet Union and considering them as attempts of "reconstruction" of the USSR, at first it is hidden, and then openly began to counteract integration in all its forms.
4. Considering financial and political dependence of many CIS countries on the West, it could not but interfere with integration processes. The hopes existing in the first years after the collapse of the USSR for the large-scale help of the West had considerable value in case these countries do not hurry with integration.

During the whole 1990th and now discussions and fierce disputes over an occasion of estimates of the joint past as history, consciously or irresponsibly, makes direct impact on practical policy proceeded and continue. Historical arguments are attentively listened by opponents and well by them are perceived. Politicians, anyway, appeal to historic facts and images. Some to some images and the facts, others — to others. That is, in our opinion, there is influence not only politicians on history, but also stories on politicians. The most fierce disputes, naturally, were conducted and conducted still around assessment of the Soviet stage of history. Some identify communism with fascism — from here and estimates, others consider that, despite certain shortcomings, it was the most fair system in Isto-

mankind riya, the third — that it is a real story of our states, not very well bad it or good.

In our opinion, the Soviet history in political fights was in many respects distorted. Also there was it, first of all, because it is very bad to lose in the history. The Soviet Union broke up. If it would not break up, of course, it was not. History is written by winners. At the same time also other thesis is fair. Paraphrasing the known saying, it is possible to tell: we have that story which are worthy. History as process is diverse, many-sided, tragic, etc. History as science is an interpretation of this process. Also it is necessary to recognize that history as science in the Commonwealth countries was formed as the state order, i.e. served a political regime. Therefore in textbooks of history, scientific disputes over an occasion of any given historic facts the political struggle was observed that not always promoted mutual understanding of the new independent states.

Especially it would be desirable to note that in the solution of problems of interaction of the Commonwealth countries one of the central roles is played by education including historical.

It is necessary to learn to respect from children's age the constitution, not life-threatening and to wellbeing of other people, the culture of people of any nationality, to be able to accept it that what it is, to react to cultural differences not so much emotional impulsively how many it is rational, to stimulate at youth desire to learn different cultures and to treat tolerantly those who not such as everything, and not such as ty2.

That is objective assessment of history is undoubtedly important for education of the younger generations, creation of a basis for original

2 V.P. Borisenkov. Globalization and problem

formations in the modern world//Materials IV

international congress "The World in the North Caucasus through Languages, Education, Cultures". M, 2005. Page 43.

go state cooperation and the people of the CIS, as well as other countries with various history and belonging to various civilizations.

As for performance of these principles of political level of culture, here its application in creation of textbooks and manuals on stories is important. The analysis of modern textbooks of history of the Commonwealth countries shows that, pursuing objectivity, they not always meet priorities of political level of culture at the level of the common and specific educational goals, at the level of texts, tasks and types of activity. This moment has sometimes and tragic consequences.

First of all estimates of any given historical event can mention concepts, very sensitive for any person irrespective of his nationality, about the Homeland, about his parents, about justice.

At the same time now when a lot of things in the history of the Post-Soviet countries are reconsidered for the sake of "truth" and "objectivity", understanding of how difficult happens to historians from ideology and group, ethnic, national interests comes to abstract. The French historian M. Ferro convincingly showed that history courses which are used in different countries for training of youth quite often treat the same historic facts very differently depending on national interesov3. About same the famous Russian historian V.S. Volkov writes in the article in the Clio magazine "About workers and the intellectuals of Russia from different positions, but yours faithfully to the facts" 4.

We also completely agree with opinion of other famous Russian historian G.L. Sobolev: ". the .neena having understood objectively our history in which deyst-

3 M. Ferro. As tell a story to children in different countries of the world. M, 1992.
4 V.S.O wolves of workers and the intellectuals of Russia from different positions, but yours faithfully to the facts//Clio. 1998. No. 11. Page 271.

vitelno roots of many modern phenomena leave, it is impossible to understand correctly had time and the more so to learn themselves" 5.

At the same time, in our opinion, there are no universal "laws of history". History the science — explaining, but not theorizing. Historical consciousness is an irreplaceable component of national culture. History does not repeat, and still the mankind always studied the past, looked for in it examples, conclusions, councils for the present and the future. If history also does not determine consistent pattern, then she, nevertheless, offers a certain system of assessment, classification and generalization of the facts without which the mankind would not have "key" to interpretation of enormous quantity of the saved-up facts. At each this moment history is the idea of the past corresponding to the reached level of knowledge. As the Commonwealth during the considered period constantly was in the movement, in development, respectively changed, also ways of its knowledge could not stand still. "Objectification of historical research work is promoted by two factors — internal aspiration of the historian to comprehension of the truth and the known public need for knowledge of the original facts and reasonable judgments of them" — the author of one of the latest books on methodology of history of V.F. of Kolomiytsev6 considers. These reasonings, though are not represented indisputable, but today it is necessary to agree with them.

It is difficult for historical disciplines to keep full objectivity, and it in particular is peculiar to those constructions which affect the international relations. Therefore idea that study history to understand the present and to expect bu-

5 G.L. Sobolev. History strictly punishes for ignorance of its lessons//the Bulletin of Academy of the humanities. 1995. No. 2. Page 30.
6 Kolomiytsev of V.F. Metodologiya of history (from

a source to a research). M, 2001. Page 159.

blowing, for a part of the people studying it correctly, but many at its study set before themselves the completely different purposes. They build and design the past, first, proceeding from the sociopolitical reality surrounding them and related interests, and secondly in order that, leaning on this interpreted appropriately last to nominate projects to the future. Besides, the appeal allows some politicians and officials to take away to last, original historical way and the concept of national character which is closely connected with it from itself charges of powerlessness, inability to improve a modern situation and even abuse of power. It is easier to refer to features of "national spirit" and relentless "laws of history", than to admit own misses. And to the modern people who got used to think in broad categories, such explanation quite este-quite often seems


stvenny and satisfactory.

So, in our opinion, correctly to understand and give an assessment to any given historical event, it is necessary to adhere strictly to the principle of historicism, i.e. accounting of historical conditions in which there were any given events.

Also purposeful work of interstate bodies of the CIS on formation of the general cultural space is important.

So, the Inter-parliamentary assembly of the CIS regularly carried out in St. Petersburg where its headquarters, actions connected with considerable events of cultural life of the Commonwealth countries is located. It is possible to mark out the celebration of the 150 anniversary since the birth of the national poet of Kazakhstan of Abay Kunanbayev, A.S. Pushkin's 200 anniversary, the 150 anniversary of the poet-akyn Jambyl Dzhabayev, other outstanding artists whose names are equally expensive to all people

7 V. Shnirelman. Past value: ethnocentrist historical myths, identity and ethnopolicy//Reality of ethnic myths. M, 2000. Page 13.

CIS. In the same place, in St. Petersburg the 1000 anniversary of the Kyrgyz national epos "Manas", the 1100 anniversary of the state of Samanidov, the 1700 anniversary of adoption of Christianity as state religion in Armenia was widely celebrated. All this demonstrates respect of parliamentarians of Inter-parliamentary assembly of the CIS for history and traditions of the people of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Three academic and research conferences held in Tauride Palace devoted to the 90 anniversary, the 95 anniversary and the 100 anniversary of the State Duma of Russia were of particular importance. Results of work of pre-revolutionary thoughts of Russia were demanded when large-scale processes of transformations, construction of democratic society were developed in the CIS countries.

About it representatives of all parliaments of Inter-parliamentary assembly of the CIS at the international conference devoted to the 100 anniversary of establishment of the State Duma of Russia spoke on April 28, 2006.

One of problems of relationship of the people of the CIS is also the problem of formation of an image at them any given people.

The modern historiography considers right and incorrect ideas of other people and the states (perceptions and misperceptions) as a part of history of the international relations as objective reality. Of course, it is the specific reality which is formed in the sphere of psychology. Nevertheless it becomes the integral component of the international life, a factor of adoption of foreign policy decisions (M.M. Narinsky) 8.

The image of others can develop "from below" and be formed "from above". Formation of an image of others "from below" happens in many respects spontaneously in mass psychology. At the same time an important role is played by historical traditions, cultural interrelations, civilization compatibility or incompatibility, a geopolitical position, role of any given state in between -

8 10 years of the Commonwealth of Independent States. M, 2001. Page 468.

national life and condition of its relations with other countries. Historical memory of any people contains some steady stereotypes and more changeable representations.

Designing of an image of others "from above" is carried out by the state and political management in own interests.

At the same time positive dynamics in development of the CIS is impossible without withdrawal from negative stereotypes and incorrect representations, without objective information and mutual understanding, without support of the public and creation of the corresponding psychological climate.

At the same time it is necessary to realize objective difficulties of formation of positive images of partners in the CIS.

In the Commonwealth the action of centrifugal forces, inertia of "razbeganiye" is not up to the end overcome. From here prevalence of the processes connected with formation and strengthening of the new independent states, formation their own national-state identities.

The elite of these states and a considerable part of society, willingly maintained in the 90th of the XX century national, and sometimes and nationalist, aspirations. In such situation hypertrophied attention was paid own, often embellished, stories, promotion of national sources, traditions, achievements in all fields of activity accrued. All this did not promote formation of objective ideas of itself and others in any way. Own image is embellished, and the image of others is allocated with negative characteristics. So, Russians were in certain cases represented in the former Soviet Union lacking culture, lazy, inclined to alcoholism, etc.

It is necessary to add such important factor as social and economic difficulties which endured a number of the states of the CIS to it. In similar conditions as the easiest way the appeal to national and nationalist feelings acted. They

were considered by ruling elite as the drug forcing to forget about difficulties and failures, allowing to rally the population at a difficult stage of development. At the same time there was a temptation to find the external ill-wisher, and even the enemy to confer on it a part of responsibility for the events. So, in some states of the Commonwealth all responsibility (and blame) for opposition rallies is laid on support from the outside, from the territory of other member of the CIS.

It should be noted also such negative factor as disintegration of uniform kulturnoinformatsionny space. Nothing new was in exchange created. No consecutive efforts in this direction were made. The lack of objective information promoted cultivation of false stereotypes and incorrect representations. Became fashionable to suppress that positive that was available in our past, to represent guilty any people or the people.

It is possible to state prevalence on space of the CIS of false stereotypes and incorrect representations. First of all it is perception model "the elder brother — the younger brother". Various options of this stereotype are possible: "elder brother" can be kind or strict, "younger" — obedient or disobedient. The fact from it is not changed. Such perception of the relations of the CIS inevitably ingenerated negative emotions and negative consequences.

At last, it is necessary to tell about one false and harmful stereotype. It is the phantom of neoimperial policy which was used against Russia at any progress of integration within the CIS. The systematic, purposeful campaign for suggestion of a thesis was conducted that the Russian government seeks "to try to obtain gradual transition of the Post-Soviet states to the subordinated situation within the CIS at real restriction of their sovereignty".

At the same time, summing up some results of the above, it should be noted that the Commonwealth of Independent States

played an important role in the modern history of Eurasia. In the whole ambassador of domination of centrifugal trends in the 1990th now on space of the CIS centripetal trends, despite special positions of a number of the countries (Georgia, Ukraine, Turkmenistan) began to become stronger. The important role in this process was played by a historical factor.

It is possible to draw also a conclusion that the territory of the former USSR represents uniform, internally complete world ("the median continent") equally different both from Western Europe, and from

the countries lying to the Southeast. Actually it is "Continent homeland" which destiny is inseparable from the fate of each of its people. Centuries-old historical experience shows that in cases when the people of Eurasia do not manage to reach consent, the lands on which they live become subject to claim of their neighbors. Fight for repartition of Eurasia can break world geopolitical balance and to become the cause of global cataclysms. Therefore achievement between the states of the CIS of consent answers both their own interests, and the interests of the adjacent countries.

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