An authoritarian regime, which has been established in Kazakhstan, cannot generate its own original ideas in the field of political technology. The Kazakhs markedly prefer to copycat well-known models of a dictatorial way of thinking. Often, these imitations end up with rather grotesque outcome. For example, 28th Winter Universiade was held on 29 January – 8 February 2017 in a Kazakh city of Almaty. It was a major event for college athletics, all right. But, in terms of overall prestige the Universiade is hopelessly lagging behind the Winter Olympic Games. So, the braggart Kazakh dictator, Nursultan Nazarbayev, secretly cherished a hope to be on equal terms with Adolph Hitler himself, who brilliantly guided both Winter and Summer Olympics in 1936. However, Mr. Nazarbayev was nowhere near to an innovative showmanship of Mr. Hitler’s sports events of global importance.
Nevertheless, the stubborn Kazakh has yet another ace up his sleeve. At least, he might think so, because the World Expo-2017 will be held in the Kazakh capital, Astana, from June 10 to September 10 this year. And the dictator’s 77th birthday on July 6 will be conveniently celebrated at the height of the event. Some optimistic experts say that there will be about three million visitors to this event. Well, half-empty stands at athletics venues of the Almaty’s Universiade vividly demonstrated a pathetic potential of the Kazakh tourism industry. But, even if these unrealistically high estimates come true, then it still will be far behind full-fledged Expos of industrially developed nations. For instance, the World Expo-2005, which was held in Japan, atttracted some 22 million visitors from all over the globe. Moreover, global expositions, staged in leading nations of the world, have invariably featured one technological advance or another. But, what would you expect from the oil-rich Kazakhstan, whose manufacturing industries are in tatters?! There will be just another PR campaign, fueled by petrodollars. No more, no less.
This Expo’s affair also reminds me of a magnificent EUR (Esposizione Universale di Roma) district, built under the direction of Benito Mussolini for the doomed World Exhibition of 1942. By the way, if the exposition had taken place, it would have also celebrated the 20th anniversary of Italian fascists in power. The EUR’s impressive architecture and wonderful sculptures have been praised globally ever since. I don’t think that the Astana’s (Satana’s?) exposition district will gain a comparable critical acclaim.
Of course, the Kazakh dictator and his henchmen don’t limit themselves with public events in their copycat attempts. They also imitate Nazi slogans. There was a notorious motto of the Third Reich: Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer (‘One People, One Nation, One Leader’).
The Kazakhs were quick to adopt it with minor changes. Their strategic plan, The Kazakhstan-2050, contains a telltale slogan in Kazakh: Бір халық – бір ел – бір тағдыр (‘One People, One Nation, One Destiny’). And the Kazakh-style Führer is also present: Mr. Nazarbayev has been officially proclaimed as Елбасы – The Nation’s Leader.
Incidentally, December 1 is a Kazakhstan’s holiday, The Day of the First President. It is also dedicated to Mr. Nazarbayev. The holiday is accompanied by a motto in Kazakh: Бір Отан, бір тағдыр, бір Елбасы! (‘One Homeland, One Destiny, One Leader!’). Sounds familiar, eh?))) But, appearances are deceptive. How can one compare an African-style dictatorship to great scientific and cultural achievements of German Nazis and Italian fascists?! They were the leading nations of the world at that period of time. Advanced German submarines and formidable Italian battleships, great movies of Leni Riefenstahl and monumental Cinecitta Studios of Rome, amazing highways of the Third Reich and the Stazione Centrale in Milan… All these artefacts rightfully belong to the common treasure of the mankind. Yes, Messrs. Hitler and Mussolini were war criminals, all right. But, they also left an everlasting legacy of noble aspirations. True, they promoted Germany and Italy at the expense of their neighbors, but it is more sane way of action in contrast to Mr. Nazarbayev, who promotes foreign powers at the expense of the Kazakh people. Chinese, Russian, Turkish, the US, and other aliens should erect golden monuments to Mr. Nazarbayev, who has dramatically enriched so many foreign politicians, musicians, businessmen, etc.