How far can statements about decolonization and post-colonialism, developed to explicate events in the 1940s-1970s, be applied to more recent events, such as inCardinal Asia?In his critical expounding of the impact of imperialism upon the building of cultural individuality in the Orient, Edward Said notes how the history of humanity is, in kernel, the history of imperialism [ 1 ] . When, for case, we think of the impact of Roman imperialism upon the ancient universe or Western European planetary imperialism over the class of the 19th and 20th centuries so we can understand the extent to which this cardinal observation rings true. Imperialism and colonization have historically been of import edifice blocks of cultural individuality throughout the universe with the relationship between the colonizer and the colonized playing as the ideological epicenter of the planetary colonial experience. Therefore, as Said remarked in another seminal survey entitledCulture and Imperialism, “the occupation confronting the cultural rational is hence non to accept the political relations of individuality as given, but to demo how all representations are constructed, for what intent, by whom, and with what components.” [ 2 ] ( Said, 1993:380 )The undermentioned essay seeks to look at the issue of colonialism, decolonization and station colonialism from an frequently unmarked position, viz.
from the position of the Soviet Union and the impact of Russian imperialism upon Central Asia. We intend to look specifically at the issue of Soviet imperialism and its impact upon the cardinal Asiatic province of Kazakhstan. In order to make this we need to prosecute in our analysis from the critical position of post-colonial theory, which was developed in the immediate station war old ages so as to better understand the impact of the interruption up of the former European imperiums upon the underdeveloped universe.
In this manner we hope to achieve a more subjective position from which to pull our decision. Before we begin, though, we need to offer foremost a definition of post-colonial theory and statements refering to decolonization in order to set up a conceptual model for the balance of the treatment.As we have already ascertained, post-colonial theory was ab initio developed in order to assist understand how the remotion of one time powerful imperial civilizations from lesser developed states around the universe impacted upon the lives and the administration of the once colonized peoples. Post-colonial theory therefore begins at the point of the going or prostration of the former colonial master. Yet we must observe that while post-colonial theory begins at the point of going or prostration of the former colonial master, the inquiry of independency remains something of a conceptual Grey country. As Ania Loomba observes, “a state may be both post-colonial ( in the sense of being once independent ) and neo-colonial ( in the sense of staying economically and/or culturally dependent ) at the same clip. We can non disregard either the importance of formal decolonization or the fact that unequal dealingss of colonial regulation are reinscribed in the modern-day instabilities between ‘first’ and ‘third’ universe nations.” [ 3 ]Therefore, station colonialism refers preponderantly to the transitional stage in a 3rd universe state’s being: the point of official political independency being granted after the prostration of the governing power yet besides the point at which dependance ( both economic and cultural ) upon the former colonising power remains in tact, functioning to perpetuate the ties that have historically bound the subjugated peoples to the vanquisher.
This is an of import point to observe and one that straight impacts upon our apprehension of the relationship between Russia’s former Central Asiatic districts because while Kazakhstan and the remainder of the provinces which comprised the former Soviet Union were officially granted independency after the death of the USSR in 1991, the economic and cultural dependance upon Moscow has ( to changing grades ) remained really much in tact. Indeed, harmonizing to Bhavna Dave the autumn out from the prostration of the USSR was particularly hard for new provinces such as Kazakhstan which “had really close economic, geopolitical, lingual and psychological links with Russia.” [ 4 ]Economically, hence, every bit good as strategically and geopolitically, we should observe that the coming of the epoch of decolonization has done small to break up the ties between Russia and its former Central Asian district of Kazakhstan. This is, by and large talking, true of the huge bulk of the new ‘third’ universe provinces which emerged after the terminal of the Second World War, go oning through the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Indeed, the really nature of colonialism – with its speech pattern upon trade, commercialism, political establishments and protecting critical strategic imperial paths – ensured that this was a changeless characteristic of the full decolonization procedure. However, while we should do a point of observing how post-colonial theory can explicate the prolongation of geopolitical and economic ties, we should besides do a point of observing that the close lingual and psychological links to Russia hold conspired to do the procedure of separation from Moscow all the more complex.
Unlike, for case, the Gallic experience of decolonization in Algeria, which erupted into one of the bloodiest wars of the post-colonial period, the separation of Kazakhstan from Russia did non represent the stoping of a matrimony of geopolitical and economic convenience that had simply its class. There was, furthermore, no Velvet Revolution the likes of which occurred in the Czech Republic in the physique up to the disintegration of the Soviet Union to talk of in Kazakhstan. As a consequence, the political divorce from Russia was non the consequence of a great democrat or nationalist rebellion ; instead, it was the consequence of a broader Cardinal Asiatic procedure of province edifice in the aftermath of the disbandment of the USSR.Yet while none of the combat, anarchy and popular agitation which characterised the decolonization procedure in big parts of Africa and the Far East ( and, so, other parts of the former Soviet Union ) afflicted Kazakhstan, we should non misinterpret this as grounds that none of the classical cultural marks of decolonization have non become evident in the state since its official independency in December 1991. There has been, for illustration, clear grounds of the merger of civilizations between the autochthonal Kazakhstan civilization and the cultural ‘other’ posited by the opinion Russians during the class of the business of the state, which has conspired to will a certain, post-colonial type of cultural hybridity and ambiguity upon post-imperial Kazakhstan.
[ 5 ] This sense of hybridity and cultural ambiguity is a cardinal characteristic of the post-colonial procedure throughout the development universe where the synthesis between the colonising civilization and the autochthonal colonized civilization serves to hammer as sense of coaction and assimilation between the master and the vanquished.However, while we are right to admit hybridity as a common and valid symptom of decolonization, we must besides be wary of the alone geographic and demographic fundamental law of Kazakhstan whose mobile dwellers represented “a more natural campaigner for incorporation into the Russian/Soviet state.” [ 6 ] Viewed from this position, the innate ‘backwardness’ of autochthonal Kazhak society facilitated the creative activity of a intercrossed colonial civilization with Adeeb Khalid comparing the modernising forces of the Soviets in Central Asia with the modernising forces of the Ottomans in rural Turkey during the early old ages of the Ottoman Empire [ 7 ] . Viewed from this position, there was no consolidative Kazhak national civilization to move as a beat uping point against Soviet rile, surely non in any robust political sense ; hence the hybridity of both civilization and ethnicity was a bygone decision.We can besides see clear grounds of decolonization in the blunt reassertion of autochthonal Kazhak ideals in the aftermath of the Soviet prostration. The enshrining of Kazhak as the official province linguistic communication of the state in add-on to the nationalising of province symbols, flags, memorials, ethnicity, faith and civilization all stand as clear grounds of the reaffirmation of the autochthonal civilization which occurs after the remotion from power of the colonizing force. However, if we scratch beneath the facade, we can see clear grounds of a discernibly Russian sort of station colonialism that stands in resistance to statements formulated to assist explicate planetary events between the 1940s-1970s.
Whereas European imperialists sought to stamp down national individuality within their abroad districts, the Soviets sought to face the inquiry of squelching autochthonal hostility head-on by “systematically advancing the consciousness of its cultural minorities and set uping for them many of the characteristic institutional signifiers of the nation-state.” [ 8 ] Therefore, we should construe the Resurrection of autochthonal ideals in Central Asia non entirely from the broader point of view of post-colonial theory but besides from the specific point of view of the Russian/Soviet Empire – an imperium entirely unlike any other in modern universe history that “championed the right to self-determination” . [ 9 ]DecisionIt has been shown that many of the classical characteristics of the broader, planetary decolonization procedure have presented themselves in Kazakhstan. A intercrossed civilization, a reassertion of autochthonal ideals and a go oning economic, strategic and geopolitical trust upon the former colonizing power all stand as testimony to the basically transitional nature of the experience of station colonialism. However, we have besides seen how Cardinal Asia poses alone geographical and demographic jobs for analysts trying to enforce post-colonial theory upon new provinces such as Kazakhstan and, moreover, how the construct of the Russian Empire under Soviet regulation differed markedly from the more traditional impressions of imperialism which spawned the construct of post-colonial theory in the old ages and decennaries which followed the terminal of the Second World War. Thus, in the concluding analysis, we have to admit how post-colonial discourse remains of intrinsic value when taken into a Cardinal Asiatic context while at the same clip admiting the built-in restrictions of utilizing wide based theories associating to decolonization as a agency of understanding the alone complexnesss of the relationship between the colonizer and the colonised within the context of the Russian/Soviet Empire.MentionsBeissinger, M. ( 1995 )The prevailing ambiguity of imperium, in,Journal of Post-Soviet Affairs 11, 149-84Bhavna, D.
( 2007 )Kazakhstan: Ethnicity, Language and PowerLondon and New York: RoutledgeCrawford, N.T. ( 2002 )Argument and Change in World Politics: Ethical motives, Decolonisation and Humanitarian InterventionCambridge: Cambridge University PressKhalid, A.
( 2006 )Backwardness and the quest for civilisation: early SovietCardinal Asiain comparative position, in,Slavic Review 65, 2,231-51Loomba, A. ( 2005 )Colonialism/Post Colonialism: The New Critical Idiom: Second EditionLondon and New York: RoutledgeMartin, T.D.
( 2001 )The Affirmative Action Empire: States and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939New York: Cornell University PressSaid, E. ( 1993 )Culture and ImperialismLondon: Chatto & A ; WindusSaid, E. ( 2003 )Oriental studiesLondon: Penguin Classicss1