Worldview guidelines for the historical modernization of public consciousness in the post-Soviet space

This article analyzes the process of historical modernization of public consciousness that is relevant for the modern post-Soviet space. Using the methodology of the philosophy of history, the authors reflect on the identity crisis associated with the transformation of the existing social structures and the revision of the ideological foundations of public consciousness. Problematic and promising tendencies of enhancing the participation of citizens in the discussion and solution of issues of modernization of public consciousness through the formation of the values of an «open society» and overcoming the influence of the totalitarian worldview are being considered. The authors argue the relationship and mutual influence of the factor of historical time with the personal readiness of a person to consciously choose new worldview guidelines for civilizational development.


One of the main goals of the transitional stage in the development of the independent states of the postSoviet space was their achievement of the state of an open society. The conceptual development model adopted by the former Soviet republics provided for the creation of an open society, the construction of a democratic, peaceful state with a multi-structured market economy, which opens up equal opportunities for each person to make an independent choice in realizing their economic, social, national and political interests.

In essence, this formulation coincides with the definition of an open society proposed by K.R. Popper. In his understanding, an open society is «a democratic (bourgeois) society in which ordinary citizens can live peacefully, freedom is highly valued and in which one can think and act responsibly, joyfully accepting this responsibility» [1; 5].

However, while agreeing with the thesis of the classics of Marxism that history is nothing more than the activity of a person pursuing his goals, we cannot but take into account the following circumstance. If for K.R. Popper, the ideological value and social significance of the idea of an open society was confirmed both by the personal historical experience as a citizen of Great Britain — the stronghold of liberal democracy, and by the scientific experience of a researcher of social history and methodology from antiquity to the present day, then for the majority of Kazakhstan citizens the idea of an open society in many ways still remains a declaration, not affecting the fundamental layers of daily life. This is due, first of all, to the fact that the personal historical experience of the majority of citizens of the post-Soviet states was formed under the conditions of the domination of a totalitarian worldview, albeit it has undergone some transformations in recent decades. It is certainly impossible to discard this worldview or instantly replace it with another. But to understand its historical specifics, to understand the historical sources and prospects for the existence of this worldview in order to overcome its destructive influence, of course, is necessary. Analysis of the features of the totalitarian worldview conducted by A.A. Khamidov allows us to better understand why the idea of an open society penetrates our consciousness with great difficulty, and what we must change in our views on the world in order to acquire new worldview guidelines, without which the existence of a democratic society is impossible. True, all this will be significant, from our point of view, only on condition that we really want to get rid of those features of the totalitarian worldview pointed out by A.A. Khamidov.

Methods of research

In the proposed research, the unity of the logical and the historical is considered the leading method. In its most general form, the application of this method of studying the researched object presupposes that a thought aimed at an object with its own history should proceed from this historicity and should strive to realize it. In the historical process of the existence of the researched object, we should distinguish the periods of formation of stable structures and periods of their reproduction on their own basis, that includes the functioning of these systems as well as the processes of their development. This logical component of the research should be included in a broader historical context of consideration, which involves referring not only to the reproduction of the system in the present, but also to its origins and possible prospects in the future. The historicism of theoretical thought, ultimately, appears as a necessary condition for understanding the multivariance of historically developing reality.

Results and discussions

So, «one of the main features of the totalitarian worldview is its closeness and self-centrism. It is maximally protected from the inside from the influence of other worldviews, which are deliberately false for it»[2; 199]. Therefore, the totalitarian worldview claims its exclusive universality and proclaims itself the only true one, not admitting the necessity for its critical improvement, and, even more so, meeting any external criticism with hostility.

«The second most important feature of the totalitarian worldview is its extreme simplicity, or, more precisely, simplification. It is extremely poor in content, but this is what makes it the total worldview of the «new man», homo soveticus» [2; 200]. Such a worldview, in practice, does not address the sphere of rational, reflection, relying on the emotional-volitional level. Lack of independent thinking skills and the emergence of a stable habit of not reasoning, but obeying, deprive a person of his personal social initiative, the desire to «joyfully accept responsibility,» which K.R. Popper talked about.

The third feature of the totalitarian worldview is «its extreme ideologization, indoctrination. Hence, such an essential feature of it as a given purposeful unrealism: it is aimed at a given (desired by the authorities) vision of the world and is immune to that in the world that undermines at least faith in the justice of the regime «[2; 200]. Therefore, in a totalitarian worldview, the world is arranged in the most simple way, knowledge about its structure exists in a ready-made and unchanged form. And what remains incomprehensible to the «common man» is, as an absolute truth, «in the hands of the authorities and, above all, of the Leader, who sends it down to ordinary people who, through thoughtlessness etc cannot accept it as a whole «[2; 201]. In turn, the authorities themselves establish total control over the worldview, giving it the status of a state one and requiring members of society not only to follow it, but also to believe in its obligation. «The following of the state worldview merges with the attitude towards the regime and power, and thus — personally towards the dictator, with blind and boundless love for him. It merges with the cult of power and the Leader, and therefore the exercise of a religious cult is at the same time the administration of the cult of power and the cult of the Leader «[2; 202].

As we can see, the presented features of the totalitarian worldview represent a serious obstacle on the way to an open society, and overcoming this obstacle is possible only by a gradual change in the nature of social life of people. Therefore, we return to the question of the ideological foundations of the process of democratic transformations. The need for such a question in the light of the above analysis of the features of the totalitarian worldview, in our opinion, is obvious. We have to figure out what criteria indicate that the process of democratization of society has become the real basis of our social practice and that a sufficient number of social actors are consciously involved in it.

As Ye.Zh. Yesengaraev points out, if we consider the processes in the post-Soviet space from the standpoint of institutional theory, then the changes in society will not be so radical. Esengaraev draws attention to the presence in society of basic norms, which are the framework of the socio-cultural system and are distinguished by increased resistance to the impact of events and innovations. «Basic norms rely on a very ramified array of social knowledge, and this array serves as the basis for defining the world, society, human interaction. The arrays of social knowledge that underlie society and its basic norms serve not only to solve social problems, but, due to their massiveness, have very effective compulsion «[3; 93]. The formation and rooting of basic norms in society cannot occur arbitrarily and in a short time. Therefore, attempts to introduce modern social institutions into society, not supported by appropriate socio-cultural standards, lead to the complex of borrowed institutions «turning into a set of relations simplified to the level of only technical and, as a rule, ineffective adaptations» [3; 95]. The main problem that needs to be solved to improve the efficiency of modern institutions is the transformation of the state of «massively low institutional competence» into «effective and viable institutional identity», based on dedication to the «cognitive nuances of institutional knowledge» [3; 96]. In other words, a democratic society cannot exist only because people are democratically inclined and want democratic changes. This is important, but not enough. It requires the establishment of social systems that are resistant to undemocratic influences. Yes, the institutions of a totalitarian society are being dismantled, but the arrays of knowledge that determined their existence have been preserved in the social perceptions of people and continue to influence their actions. Therefore, society should lay an adequate foundation for special institutions of the modern type in the form of more complex structures of social knowledge, which presuppose «the transformation of basic epistemological standards, cognitive values and ideals» [3; 97]. Another important condition that ensures the effectiveness of modern institutions is the formation of differentiated lifestyles of social actors. «The correlation between complex transcendental forms and the growth of the effectiveness of special forms of activity is empirically repeatedly proven and stable. This dependence explains the steady growth of societies where we observe the rootedness of complex cultural forms, and the lagging of societies where there is no developed tradition of practicing complex cultural forms, where complexity is not a legitimate value «[3; 99]. The gap between the way of life and special institutions that persists in post-Soviet society is a factor that determines the low functional efficiency of modern social institutions. It is required to form stable organic ties of modern institutions with the world of everyday life. «Without achieving an organic correspondence between the way of life and special types of modern activities, the latter will always suffer from narrowness and fragmentation» [3; one hundred]. Accordingly, the main problem for the majority of post-Soviet societies «is the extreme limitation of their ability to generate modern sociocultural cognitions» [4; 153].

It is no coincidence that K.R. Popper, in his explanations of the fundamental principles of an open society, constantly returned to the idea of the need for individuals to make personal decisions. He insisted on the need for constant effort to be rational, refrain from satisfying at least some of our emotional needs, watch our actions, and take responsibility. He argued the need to be critical of various kinds of social taboos and to base their decisions on joint discussion and the capabilities of their own intelligence. And, most importantly, he argued, that the cornerstone of building an open society is the belief that «the future depends on us, and no historical necessity dominates us» [1; 7].

Ultimately, it is the time factor in the conditions of a constant increase in the rate of social development that becomes in many ways a key reference point for the search for new paths of human history, possible only on the basis of advancing situational demands of the present moment of socio-political, spiritual and moral development of society and man [5; 11 -16].

A decisive role in outstripping the time of the existing structure of social relations belongs to autonomously acting or conscious subjects of objective, social and cultural-historical creativity. Only they can, ultimately, be the engines and real creators of time. And on the other hand, only they can be a real obstacle to mastering it as a creative principle that creates objective social and cultural forms of human existence. Today, the degree of personal readiness to be an independent and responsible subject of individual and social activity, capable of controlling and directing the objective process of historical development, is extremely important. The ability to be a conscious creator of his own life manifests itself in a person's ability to coordinate the temporal rhythms of natural, social and existential life, for which it is required to abandon the habitual forms of life that have lost their effectiveness, to reorient their actions and deeds in accordance with new ideas about the goals and objectives of the individual and social life or to restore the original principles of his life purpose, violated by the person himself.

The awareness of oneself as an independent and responsible agent is striving for an autonomous beginning of everything from the whole of one's own being, as a reasonably assimilated reason. This is the beginning of the isolation of the agent and the opposition of his strength to the strength of the environment. As a result of this, consciousness sets a new impulse for universal transformation. The essence of the process is that a new manifestation of the general action of the world multitude is being created in the center determined by consciousness. In this regard, each action corresponds to its special mind, effective nominal for this action. Cognition therefore begins with the entry of a person into an uncertain situation. And the mind is formed as the ability to correlate existing knowledge with «actually taking shape in life and therefore each time unique, each time unforeseen, each time unexpected and individual coincidences of circumstances» [6; 25]. The assertion of oneself and the strengthening of one's duration, as the existence of a uniting center, is the control of the external parameters of time, generated by the consciousness. Through conscious activity, we constantly influence time and its modification. Such is the meaning of intelligent action. This must be understood not in the sense that there is no time outside the activity of our consciousness and that, consequently, time is a subjective form of consciousness. We say that time is created by conscious beings in the sense that only where a separate, individualized action exists, can we talk about the duration of the existence of something. If there is no isolated action, there is no the individual, and therefore only the general process lasts. But a separate, isolated action only exists where there is a consciousness that separates it from the universal action. In this case, there is a subject of action isolated by this consciousness and the corresponding time created by it. In the case of the absence of consciousness, there is generally no private action at all, but only a single undifferentiated action of the whole world. There are no separate temporary existences of separate entities, but there is a resultant of all the forces of the world, which is expressed in the uniform flow of time of the world at whole.

Thus the modern idea of time is directly related to the type of behavior, life position, the advancement of time along the hierarchy of the values of being. Only the activity of creation, aimed at ensuring a better future, fulfills the filling of a person's time with the authenticity of events, provides joy in the present and recognition of the significance of the past. Awareness of this phenomenon becomes the basis for the formation of culture of a person, which cannot be reduced to simply the possession of a sum of knowledge, external forms of behavior, and labor activity. In the structure of the value orientation of the individual, the active and practical manifestation of the need for awareness of the time of finding oneself in the world comes to the fore. «A person who has not crushed living life in himself by some absolutized «image» of one hundred percent correctness, guaranteed substantiality, in fact, meets every day anew with an eternally different universe, inexhaustible and non-complete by no being» [7, 172]. Carrying out his world-transforming activity, a person not only realizes and evaluates the most complex spectrum of time (from natural, biological rhythms, through the time of personal existence, to the time of history and culture), but also develops his own time of «becoming subjectivity». «And this becoming, this incomplete self-formation, is the most normal state of a person!» [7; 173]. It is all the more important to immediately direct all efforts of sociohumanitarian thought, and especially its pedagogical component, to foster «creative and authorial human participation in history and in universal evolution in general» [7, 176].

Therefore, we cannot do without the formation of a new worldview culture of attitude to the required changes in social development, a culture without which it is impossible to join the inner, spiritual, endless dimension of freedom and the meaning of our participation in modernization processes. Encouraging selfunderstanding and mutual understanding, a new worldview culture in a modernizing society will contribute to the acquisition of individual and national identity, while maintaining the universal values of spiritual harmony. For this, the humanitarian fund existing today has all the necessary samples of a spiritual and moral strategy.

The policy of innovative development is focused on the implementation of this strategy in the modern educational space, since without the state-wide formation of a free creative personality, actively using the spiritual heritage in the development of his self-awareness, one cannot be sure of the success of the historical modernization of public consciousness. It is the modern education system that should offer new formats of educational activities for young people, in which the achievement of social and personal success by each young person was the result of hard work and positive life guidelines, the formation of innovative behavior among young people. It is young people, due to their receptivity to everything new, adaptability to life changes, creative intellectual energy and readiness for socially active activity, can become a conductor and accelerator of the introduction of new ideas, initiatives and technologies into practice.

At the same time, it is important to form youth adherence to the principles of meritocracy («the power of the worthy»). The main attribute of the modern professional career of a young specialist should be the recognition of his social success solely on personal merit. Young people should move forward with positive ideals and align themselves with the best, those who have risen to the pinnacle of success thanks to their own talent, hard work and personal responsibility.

An important condition for the formation of a sense of social responsibility among young people is the strengthening of spiritual and moral values and the values of familial well-being. Young people should become the bearers of a new ecological ethics, take care of their native land and its natural resources. The principle of responsibility for their health, rejection of bad habits, and a healthy lifestyle should be of great importance for young people.

Modern trends in the development of the leading states of the world show that economic prosperity and social well-being today are achievable only through a high level of human capital. Achieving this level presupposes the formation of each person's ability to live rationally with an emphasis on achieving realistic goals, on education, a healthy lifestyle and professional success.

Therefore, there is a need to provide such knowledge and practical recommendations that would aim each person, and especially a young specialist, at educating oneself as a person who can actively and independently analyze, evaluate, draw conclusions, make adequate, objective decisions, and be able to participate in forming an open, democratic, legal society characterized by a dynamic social structure, high mobility, innovation and criticism.

Modern higher professional education is designed to prepare specialists who not only have the competencies necessary for the technological implementation of professional activities, but also professionals with the necessary level of culture of a new quality, in which the essential forces of a person, his spiritual and moral potential, harmonizing the relationship of spirit, consciousness and being are realized person.

Educational and professional activities at the university should contribute to the awareness of young people of justice and the appropriateness of the requirements imposed on them, the transformation of ethical norms, initially external to them, into their own life principles, as well as the formation of a humanistic worldview in young people and the ability to moral and volitional regulation of their behavior. In addition, a necessary condition for self-actualization and spiritual and moral development of students is their appeal to models that reflect the true values of national and universal culture.

The acquisition of political independence by the post-Soviet states, the formation of new economic relations, and the transformation of social ties raised many questions about the role of spiritual factors in these processes before the representatives of socio-humanitarian knowledge. Understanding the need to propose a program of spiritual renewal adequate to political and socio-economic changes should determine the nature of the relevant research.

The awakening of interest in the problem of spiritual modernization, the real need of the restless soul of our contemporaries to find their way in the incomprehensibility of the chaos of new relationships and other values, to find a higher goal (than the vanity of everyday life), to find the true meaning of their life. Spirituality does not oppose the materiality of the world, does not oppose the inner world of a person to the external (natural, social) conditions of his existence, but is a manifestation of universal unity, the manifestation of the One of the specific personality in its meaning-bearing function.» Recognition of spirituality as beingness is the «fusion of the World and Man» in the long and arduous process of man's self-improvement. The process of forming the spirituality of an individual is a constant transformation of a person, the purpose of which is to acquire a state of refined perception and internal combustion, thanks to which the acquisition of integrity and purification of a person takes place.

Orientation of a person to the outside world, to cognition and change of this world, elevated to an end in itself, to an immutable principle, impoverishes a person, leads to «narrowing of consciousness by the framework of empirical reality», to oblivion of the spiritual depths of a human being. All this, ultimately, becomes the cause of human lack of freedom, unreasonableness, immorality, meaningless existence and suffering. The restoration of the original integrity of human existence, the revelation of the «inner man» in oneself in the modern world is feasible only on the basis of spiritual practices, offered as an accomplished experience of the spiritual ascetics of humanity. At the same time, the matter now consists not in utilitarian activity to transform the world of objects and not even in creativity as the creation of something new in the surrounding reality: the task of transformation — a radical transformation of the person himself — is brought to the fore.


Alienation of people from their ethnic roots is one of the threats to the modern world, which threatens a gradual loss of the originality and uniqueness of national cultures. Overcoming this threat is the essence of the revival of national cultures, which in the modern situation presupposes both the creation of conditions and a mechanism for the formation of a national culture as an integral system that has originality and uniqueness, is capable of self-development and self-reproduction, and the establishment of a cultural environment that would include himself not only the objective world of the values of traditional culture, but also human activity, the person himself — thinking and creating. A mandatory change in the worldview matrix, paradigm of consciousness, categorical structure and way of thinking that determine the type and way of being a person in culture are called as important condition for the implementation of these requirements in the general context of the formation of new national relations. Which, in turn, is impossible without a transition to a methodology based on the recognition of the multidimensionality and intrinsic value of various forms of national and cultural life, overcoming various kinds of local culture-centrism. The key issue of this methodology is the attitude to the historical past of the people, which, regardless of the emotional form of its perception, has an intrinsic value as a fact of the history of the people. It is necessary to take possession of the heritage of the past «constructively, ie. implement positive continuity. Moreover, to master it in the subjectpersonal aspect of social development, which will make it possible to correctly determine when answering the question: what is the significance of this heritage for reforming society. The cultivation of totalitarian forms of socialist culture led to the destruction of the ethnic core of the personally significant content of culture, which ultimately resulted in the formation of a fairly stable marginal complex in human consciousness: the loss of the personality of its own «I», sense of national dignity, responsibility and shame for the fate of its people; the automation of the individual, the loss of social ties by it, its alienation from society. The revival of national culture opposes the dehumanization of a person as a real opportunity for an individual to selffamiliarize with the spiritual values of their people and common human culture, when conditions arise under which the culture and spirituality of an individual are not reduced only to the totality of the morally positive qualities it assimilates (kindness, conscience, honesty, etc.), but act as ways of constituting a person themselves, choosing their own image (gaining self-identity, the meaning of individual life), their own destiny.

Thus, we see that modern searches for public consciousness, responding to the challenges of a difficult time of social transformations and spiritual upheavals, suggest turning to the spiritual heritage as an existential questioning about the meaning of one's own life in the multilevel relationship between Man and the World. Spirituality involves us in finding the truth of human life, which is born from the comprehension of life itself. The phenomenon of spiritual heritage, realized as a process of self-knowledge, in which the essence of a person unfolds, reveals itself to an ever increasing degree of humanization of a person. And only in this way is the state of forgetfulness of oneself overcome by a person, which develops into a spiritual crisis of mankind, into the loss of the humanistic principle in society.

The meaning of the development of our society lies not in achieving a theoretically planned stage of social development, but in the fact that any society in any form is progressive insofar as it contributes to human development. In the conditions of modern crisis situations in civilizational development, a person loses the idea of his own identity, of the stability of his own inner world, of human existence. The destruction of traditional social structures and stereotypes of social behavior, deformation of the usual forms of social life, stormy social and psychological processes, intensified by the threat of natural disasters, give rise to social apathy, a person's lack of faith in their own creative forces.

Real humanism is a revolutionary change in social relations, the construction of a society that will reveal the talent, universality of each person, their moral perfection, the ability to selfless creativity based on the ideals of truth, goodness and beauty. And for this it is necessary to cultivate the ability to independently solve the tasks set by life itself, and not to give ready-made recipes, in each person. Only by introducing them to the logic of solving such problems can one develop the ability to think creatively, find new things and not be afraid of it.

It is necessary that the growth of material and technical civilizational possibilities is constantly accompanied by an increase in the moral and cultural level of people. People will assert themselves through the wealth of their personality, through the possession of cultural treasures, and not through the possession of things. Only those who work creatively and develop spiritual and material culture are capable of creatively mastering cultural values. Creative work is a manifestation of freedom, a condition for a decent and happy life of a person, a key principle of his all-round development.



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Year: 2021
City: Karaganda
Category: History