Thursday, February 22, 2024
Main > Mass Media about us > National culture and national intellectuals

National culture and national intellectuals

Umbetkan Sarsembin,

the Candidate of Philosophical Sciences

In the historical space of the culture of any nation, in the spiritual life of the state, the driving force of its development, especially in its history, is something that has a special place – the intellectuals, the activity of the intellectuals, especially the phenomenon of their activity. It is known from history that the culture of each nation brings intelligent people to the society for its future. Culture itself develops through the spiritual level of society. In particular, the spiritual creative activity of the generation, which is formed on the basis of the nature of the nation, its living conditions and experience, is always the driving force in the development of the culture of the nation. Without the spiritual activity of the generation, including the traditions of intellectuals, cultural values ​​have not been formed and spread evenly throughout the nation. As our ancestor Al-Farabi said, the basis of the state’s achievement of high culture is the recognition of the benefits of society (people), the right choice of ways to achieve it, the intellectuals who achieve civilization in that society, the intellectual activity of the generation. Intellectual activity is a professional creative activity of a person, consisting of spiritual qualities, strengthened by the foundations of historical and national consciousness. In intellectual activity, along with the personality traits, the creative qualities of a person stand out. The formation of the characteristics of the national intelligentsia and its transformation into a common good determines the beginning and development stages of historical time. The intellectual experience formed during the emergence of the history and culture of the nation will also justify the peculiarities of the formation of personal traditions in the life of its society. A clear sign of the beginning of the history of the nation is the historical consciousness.

These features of historical consciousness have become a phenomenon of cultural development in each region with their own peculiarities. According to the well-known historian Hangeldy Abzhanov, “the viability and significance of the state is determined by a set of internal processes imbued with the spirit of the people, the intelligence of their personalities, the foresight of the authorities. The main wealth of the state is the people. The power and fortress of its people is the state. Usually the social basis is the indigenous, autochthonous population. That is why we can observe continuity and continuity in material and non-material, spiritual, political, linguistic, and even anthropological nature and appearance. These are evidences of the continuity of the line of history and time in the territory of the state “[1, p. 4]. Given that the problem facing science today is determined by the principle of reconsideration of the foundations of development of society (the necessary experience), we see that the phenomenon of intellectuals, especially the peculiarities of the formation of the national intelligentsia is a phenomenon inherent in any culture. That is, where there is a nation, especially where its interests and state are preserved, the phenomenon of intellectuals stands out. For this reason, in any epoch of history, those who look to the interests of the state, first of all, try to destroy its spiritual potential. Spiritual opportunity for society, the state, national values, people who promote national values, protect the interests of the country.

While the national intellectuals are the main product of the nation’s culture, one of its main phenomena, the peculiarities of its formation are closely linked, first of all, with the nature and history of the nation. At least the nature and culture of the nation should be taken into account. In our opinion, the nature and culture of the nation is the history on which it is formed, the fatherland that influences the development of the state, its climatic conditions. Alash intellectuals also wrote about it. In the article “Sharuashilik ozgeris” published in several issues of the newspaper “Kazakh”, published by Alash intellectuals, they made a scientific conclusion on the factors influencing the formation of the culture of any nation. In today’s context, if we study the peculiarities of the formation of the culture of the nation and the activities of intellectuals who are its representatives, the scientifically based conclusions of the Alash intellectuals are still relevant. Kazakh intellectuals analyzed the views of world scientists on the concept of culture and civilization, saying that “the state of nature, the frequency of the country, the name of the master, these are the primary causes of economic change. Below these are secondary factors: the transfer of power from one people to another, the spread of culture, state care and politics. Understandably, the reins of one nation are subdued by another. It is not so obvious that one person rules so differently. The question of why the rule of one people is not the same as the rule of another is a matter of great concern. To date, there is no consensus on this issue. The problem is that people’s lives are made up of different customs, different attitudes, different people and different approaches.

Moreover, such things as religion, desire, intellect and mood are covered. Law, politics, economy, religion and interests are as different as government. It is difficult to find out which of them is a mystery to each other,”wrote Alash intellectuals [2, p. 252]. Intellectuals of the nation regulate society. Regulation of society means that the forms of public consciousness function at their own level in accordance with the national interest. Historical experience has a direct impact on this. As historical experiences become the historical consciousness of a society, its internal state develops in a stable and holistic way.

If we look at the statements of Alash intellectuals about history, the peculiarities of the historical development of human society, it is impossible to look at the features of the culture of the nation and the formation of its personality, especially the values ​​that determine its personality. First of all, it is necessary to know the nature of the region, the basics of the formation of the nature and culture of the nation in accordance with the homeland. To do this, that is, to understand (know) the nature of culture, it is necessary to study its history and its spiritual roots. Because the generation lives in accordance with the conditions of the homeland (nature), a natural environment that requires experience in life. In this regard, the Alash intellectuals once again said: “Before deciding why one person’s life or government will be different from another, it is necessary to decide why one person’s appearance, character and behavior are different from another’s “[2, p. 252].

Indeed, the differences in the views of intellectuals on culture may be due to their natural habitat. If we look at the early stages of human culture, the culture of each region, each nation and the laws of nature that contribute to the formation of the people who form and develop it stand out. As the natural environment of a nation becomes more vast and arid, so does its culture and personality.

It is known that the main force influencing the development of human culture and the emergence of civilization was the taming of the horse, which took place about five thousand years ago in today’s Kazakh land. Therefore, if we look for the roots of the formation of consciousness in the interests of the country, the most obvious is the Kazakh culture of riding. According to our historians, “the future of a country that is unable to defend itself is bleak. The armed forces are needed by both the empire and the young state. There is a rule that a country that is unable to maintain its own army will support another’s army. These principles were immediately understood by the ancient Turkic society. After all, the birth of the ancient Turkic state, its territorial expansion, liberation in the struggle against the Tabghash, recognition of its neighbors – all this was the result of victorious conflicts and wars, which ended with the victory of the Armed Forces. The ancient Turks made a great contribution to human civilization. One of them is unique – a legacy of military tactics, strategy and martial arts “[1, p. 8]. In the historical space of our national culture, in the aspects of intellectual activity that date back to ancient history, our ancestors formed the experience of harmony with nature, thereby ensuring the sustainable development of the culture of the nation, the state. The main and unique of them was fighting and heroism. In Kazakh history, kagans, khans, batyrs and byis became heroes in the protection of national interests. Wisdom and heroism became the key to their personal identity.

The pedestal of the native culture of all nations and ethnic groups stands out in its worldview and life experiences. It is true that in the preservation of the culture of the nation through the territory in which it lives, or through the spirit of culture, the experience of living in harmony with its worldview is formed. Intellectuals are those who remind the society of the worlds which in historical conditions ensure the integrity of the national identity.

Nations living in such a large territory as the Kazakhs chose a nomadic way of life. It is known that in the possession of a large territory, the issue of will, intelligence, historical consciousness takes a special place. It is in the national interest that the historical consciousness of any nation meets and equals each other. For this reason, it should be noted that in this regard, there are several approaches to the study of the phenomenon of intellectuals in culture. First is the theological approach. That is, the language and mentality of each nation are different, the reasons and patterns of formation depend on the realities of nature. Second is a view that historically substantiates the laws of evolution. According to this conclusion, the peculiarities of human formation, the nature of personality largely depend on the territory and spirituality of the nation.

Third is the philosophical anthropological conclusion. It is known that today in the world of humankind there is a large-scale study of the phenomenon of globalization of culture, especially the phenomenon of intellectuals, its main representative, on a historical basis. It should be noted that this is a problem due to the rapid development of modern science. Environmental issues, which have become a mystery in the world of mankind, impose the task of reconsidering the historical phenomenon of intellectual activity.

We all know that it is the intellect of intellectuals that determines the strength of society in any age. In short, the spiritual depth of society is reflected in the minds of intellectuals. Therefore, it is not enough to combine the place of any historical time and culture in the world with its material wealth and science. It is important to study the experience of the nation, especially the common home of the generation as a nation, the state, the national interest, its preservation and strengthening. The main value for a state that thinks of its independence is the land, the history, language, traditions, culture, religion, etc., arising from its protection. It is always important that the wealth of this nation becomes the historical memory and consciousness of future generations, including the experience in this area.

The reason for the awakening of the intellectuals is that the pattern can take place at different levels in the culture of each region. For example, in ancient Greek culture, the enlightenment of thinkers such as Socrates was aimed at diverting public consciousness from negative ideology. The same was true of European culture in the Middle Ages. And in the culture of the Turks, especially in our culture, intellectual activity is often reflected in the correct implementation of practices in the tradition of protecting the country and its interests. They also had a city. But in all cases, the main part of intellectual activity, especially the experience of protecting the interests of the country, is based on the promotion of national consciousness and national affairs.

In the social cognition of the Saks and Turks, a person who guides his society must go through the school of historical life. We say this because the conclusions of Western scholars of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries regarding the phenomenon of intellectuals in historical times need to be reconsidered in our time. For example, “Suppose that somewhere in Asia there is an urban settlement full of interesting things under the rubble, but its style does not directly or indirectly indicate the time of its existence. In this case, this remnant of the past, while often valuable and important, can not be a historical fact. As it is not in a specific time, but in a general time, it remains in a historically empty space “- said Georg Simmel, one of the representatives of the new Kant school [3, p. 56]. It is known that such conclusions or views delay the philosophical study of the phenomena within the historical space and culture of the nation, especially those that are its driving force. History is a struggle, the separation of black and white is a world that will be inherited by future generations. Especially in the study of the history of nomadic peoples, it is necessary not only to present the facts, but also to carefully study the historical memory, the types of spirituality.

Al-Farabi is one of the greatest representatives of Turkic-Kazakh culture in this nomadic life. He was born on Kazakh land, he rose from the city of Otrar to the heights of civilization. Although the city was destroyed, its personality, activities and representatives of the world will not be destroyed. Not to mention that the cultural environment of Otrar alone, the Turkic culture in general, and Islam have contributed to the formation of thinkers who will benefit the world. Al-Farabi, thanks to his native culture and Islam religion, brought new works in human culture. In particular, all his works, his work on music, testify to this.

The vast majority of Western scholars of the last century have neglected the role of intellectuals in the culture of the nations of the world, the connection of intellectuals with their own culture. In most cases, the historical space of culture is viewed only in terms of the specifics of their regions. According to the research of Alash intellectuals, the peculiarities of the wisdom of the society of each region and the basis for the formation of its culture should be given priority. In this regard, we believe that in the study of the phenomenon of intellectuals in culture, it is necessary to cite the views of our domestic scientists, who spoke about the role of thinkers in medieval Turkic culture in world culture. Orientalist Absattar Haji Derbisali’s articles on our history offer the following new facts: As a result, the geniuses of medieval Kazakhstan and Central Asia: Abu Nasir al-Farabi (870-950), Abu Yaqub Siraj ad-din Yusuf bin Abu Bakr bin Muhammad bin Ali al-Khwarizmi as-Sakkaki (1160-1299), Sagad ad-din Mas’ud bin ‘Umar al-Taftazani (1322-1390), Abu al-Qasim Mahmud ibn’ Umar ibn Ahmad al-Zamahshari al-Khwarizmi (1075-1144) and others. … I also saw the works of two medieval brothers [Ala ad-din as-Sayrami – XIV century] and [Saif ad-din as- The discovery of the treatises of Sairami al-Masri al-Hanafi] can also be considered a great event. .].

It is important to keep in mind that religion and culture are the main factors influencing the formation of thinkers in any culture, regardless of their own culture. The great product of intelligence has always been in history, based on the traditions of wisdom and thought. Western scholars often (as mentioned above) combine culture, especially the culture of their region, with Christianity. Al-Farabi’s contribution to the human world, the religion and culture of the Turks in their publication are not mentioned much in history. As a result, it is known that the Turkic culture seemed to be a region beyond the post-civilization. Probably, there is a policy behind it. “In modern history, great kings have conquered either small kings or culturally inferior ones. The less cultured people were more able to acquire their culture than the farms of the more cultured ones, and their economic life progressed or could not coexist with them ”- Alash intellectuals wrote[2, p. 523].

According to Alash intellectuals, history is a book of creation, a world that teaches the right way to future generations, a chronicle of the nation. What contradicts the nature and prosperity of the country, which influences the origin of history, the ability of generations to deal with it. The spirit of historical consciousness is also reflected in the intellectual consciousness of the people. The direction and types of intellectual activity in the life of the state may be different in different centuries, in the conditions of that time. But it is the national consciousness of the intelligentsia that promotes society, based on culture, contributes to the preservation of the independence of the state, and on this basis continues the tradition in the history of the nation. Social cognition based on the national consciousness of the intellectuals.

Representatives of the national intelligentsia are not indifferent to the state of society. We call intelligence the existence of all personal qualities, starting from the will. And intelligence comes from indifference to the things that take place in the spiritual life of society and threaten the future of the nation. For example, in ancient Greece, ancient Chinese and Indian cultures, the consciousness that gave rise to intellectual activity was largely the result of the study and settlement of internal contradictions in society.

Even in this epoch, there were people in the realm of our original culture, associated with the intellectual processes taking place in world culture. Unfortunately, the Sak’s worldview, rules of life, including the principles of life subject to the requirements of the homeland, influenced the great cultures of today, but did not accept the emerging new cultural initiatives. Therefore, the processes of historical consciousness were based on the cultural values ​​of the local people. But there is another side to this. In other words, Scythian society probably did not have problems that would soon lead to a crisis in society. As the philosopher, Kazakh scholar Zhakhan Moldabekov wrote, “In the Great Steppe, the traditional types of civilization are divided into branches, the types of methods are improved and multiplied in accordance with the industry and the region. Turan culture adapts the concepts of man, nature, truth, power, personality and more to its needs. These types of civilizations coexist. Culture as a force for socio-economic change has played a key role in the renewal of society “[5, p. 127].

For a society to be strong, its culture must be deep and strong. Culture is a set of common consciousness, knowledge, artistic experience and wealth of the nation. For this reason, the internal integrity of society depends on culture. Historically, the peculiarities of the independent culture of the nations at the forefront of Western and Eastern cultures, their contradictions due to internal and external factors, have led to major crises, on the basis of which a number of intellectuals are formed. From this point of view, intellectuals are an institution formed on the basis of public demand. In other words, personal consciousness in the space of historical time often took place in the spiritual life of society, and ultimately came from the prevention or direct resistance to the problems that lead to the spiritual crisis. An example of this is the doctrine of thinkers that emerged at that time.

From time immemorial, the intellectual activity of individuals in human culture has been to form and maintain the ability of society to analyze the benefits. As Aristotle himself wrote, “Meanwhile, we call the goodness in man not the goodness of the body, but the goodness of the soul, and the activity of the soul as happiness. If this is the case, then it is clear that a statesman must know something about the soul in a certain sense. Indeed, intellectuals must be people who have a deep understanding of the soul of the people. To do this, an individual, among the intellectuals of the nation, must specialize in their work. The specialization of an intellectual person in his work comes from a thorough knowledge of the state of society, a full understanding of the nature, patterns, contradictions of social life, including the values ​​that lead to it. In this regard, the works of Aristotle also say: “Happiness is the action of the soul in the fullness of goodness, so it may be necessary to consider goodness in detail, so that we can better understand everything about happiness” [6, p. 74].

Aristotle said that the limits and dimensions of intelligence are the combination of knowledge of the individual, personal tastes and actions in the interests of the state. Qualities, knowledge, accumulated experience in the inner world of a person should be directed (serve) to the peaceful life of the state. In the minds of those who are able to use all their resources for the benefit of the country, the highest good is the state, the owner of which is the peaceful life of the nation. That is, where there is a state, there is the life of the nation, where there is a life of the nation, there is confidence and opportunity for the future. For this reason, according to Aristotle, an intellectual is a citizen of this state: “a real statesman also makes every effort to do good, because he wants to make citizens good and obedient to the law” [6, p. 74]. In order for society to follow the direction given by intellectuals, they must first be kind, well-meaning, intelligent, experienced and educated. According to philosophers, in the nature of individuals who have become a time zone in history, there are ideas that have been advancing the consciousness of the nation for thousands of years. If we look at such ideas in our history, in every age there are spiritual values ​​that stand out through the forms of social reality of that time. In any age, society will not be able to create, let alone leave for the benefit of future generations, a full understanding of the essence of independence, spiritual depth, national identity, literacy and creativity. For example, understanding the world, which connects not only the state to the generation, but also its life and preserves its independence, begins with self-consciousness. At the time of the generation, it is necessary to serve the interests of the nation for the future, even if the country is far from happy. The combination of the self-consciousness of the generation with the phenomena of historical consciousness on the basis of the idea of ​​the nation in history is called the field of reason. The idea of ​​independence and freedom, which has taken place in the history of every nation, has led to the formation of a new consciousness in the world of mankind, the knowledge of intellectuals. A generation that truly looks to the future, to spiritual life, has formed a tradition that promotes the development of culture. It is true that such a tradition has become a source of universal knowledge. For this reason, “the content of the moral case must be meaningful or holistic and universal,” writes the German philosopher Hegel in his work “Phenomenology of the Spirit” [7, p. 238].

The development of culture is also based on the principle of soul development. No matter what culture you look at, you realize that the problem is in the soul and consciousness. Ancient thinkers also came to the principle of improving culture in this direction. The driving force of social development began with the study of ethical norms, the categories of happiness, charity and justice in this area. This is the main principle in the tradition of intellectuals and continues to this day. At the same time, we see that the activities of intellectuals are reflected on several levels, depending on the culture of human culture in the historical space, including the culture of nations in each region, each state. The first is to raise the public consciousness to a new level, thereby expanding the field of development of society. The second aspect is to protect and preserve the interests of the country in the event of a clash of cultures in the region at a certain historical time. This tradition is reflected in the history of any nation. Intellectuals are those who form the spiritual depth of its social nature in any state. Without intellectuals, the system will not be consistent, not only in the spiritual life of the state, but also in the public consciousness. It follows that in order to guide society, one must first know all the areas. For example, in order to become a dancer who gives advice to the Kazakh society, he must first go through the school of national life. After all, any public affairs, national affairs do not want or do not want small things. Time requires real experience. Because the basis of social cognition of society is the intelligence and the cognitive qualities of the nation. It can be mastered by the population to some extent, though not completely. The person who guides the society, the person who rules the country, is strong and experienced, but the spiritual nature of the society is shallow.

It is clear that in historical times, society has turned directly to the advice of the intellectuals. Even if the authorities do not apply, the people do. Representatives of the intelligentsia also knew their responsibility to society.

In our opinion, the reason for this was that life was difficult and demanding. Despite the shortcomings of society, time does not stand still, and people still go through difficult times in the spiritual life of the country. The difficulties of historical life have clearly shown that the rightness of each person will benefit the future. Therefore, both the state and society need the services of the intelligentsia. If the state does not take this into account, in the end, the intelligentsia will reveal the truth to the public. Generations return to the ideas and spiritual heritage of individuals in history.


  1. Abzhanov Kh. Memleket – tarikhi urdister alany (The state is a platform of historical processes )// Akikat №11, 2019. – pp. 4-18.
  2. “Kazakh” gazeti / Editor-in-chief A.Nysanbayev. -Almaty: “Kazakh encyclopedia” Bas redaktsiyasi, 1998. -560 pages.
  3. “Alemdik philosophiyalik mura (World Philosophical Heritage)”. “XX-gasirdagi tarikh philosophiyasi (Philosophy of history in the twentieth century).” Twenty volumes. Volume 16 Almaty: “Zhazushi”, 2007. – 544 pages.
  4. Derbisali A. Otyrar zhane Sairam sanlaktari (Otyrar and Sairam’s snouts) // Akikat №5, 2019.
  5. Moldabekov Zh. YEZHELGI SHIGIS: tarikhi, madeniyeti, dini zhane filosofiyasi (ANCIENT EAST: history, culture, religion and philosophy). Textbook. Almaty: Karasai, 2013. – 416 pages.
  6. Aristotle. Sochinenya (Essays: In 4 vols. Vol.4 / Per. with ancient Greek) .; General ed. A.I. Dovatura. – M .: Mysl’, 1984. – 830 p.
  7. Hegel G.F. Fenomenologiya dukha( Phenomenology of the spirit) / Per. G.Shpeta.-Saint-Petersburg: Nauka, 1992.-443 p.