Kazakhstan: the roots of the rising

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      Ohio Barbarian
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      This is a very long article from Marxist.com which argues that the recent uprising in Kazakhstan is NOT some CIA-sponsored color revolution, but is in fact a genuine, popular, working class movement against the capitalists and oligarchs who control the government and economy. The author lives in the country, and is most likely a Trotskyist in his political views. Seems to me he has a perspective that should not be ignored. The article also gives a good summary of Kazakh history from the time of the Mongols to the present. 

      The January uprising in Kazakhstan, and particularly in Almaty, was the most notable event in the living memory of most Kazakhstanis. In his address to the extraordinary session of the CSTO [Collective Security Treaty Organisation], the president, Kasym-Jomart Tokayev, described it as “the heaviest crisis in the whole 30-year history of independence”. This was the first time that the bourgeois regime of modern Kazakhstan has ever faced such a threat.

      In a matter of days, the whole country became engulfed in protests of a truly revolutionary and – most importantly – nationwide scale. This shook the ground beneath both ‘presidents’, their oligarchs and their guard dogs. It is true that this mighty movement has (temporarily) been drowned in blood. But even this required the summoning of foreign forces of intervention.

      The predecessor of the current president gained infamy as ‘the butcher of Zhanaozen’. His successor should rightfully be known from now on as ‘the butcher of the Republic’. Kazakhstan will never be the same. Alongside the events of 2011 in Zhanaozen; the ‘land demonstrations’ of 2016; and the protests of 2019, the events of January this year represent a further stage in the eruption of the fundamental contradictions of Kazakhstan and of world capitalism. These events are progressively preparing the ground for the development of an organised mass movement, which will finally tear down the whole rotten capitalist edifice and build a new society upon its ruins.

      Chronicles of the uprising

      Mass protests against fuel price increases in Kazakhstan began in the western part of the country, in the Mangystau region, after a liberalisation of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) prices was announced. This led to a price hike from 50-60 tenge [Kazakhstani currency] per litre to 120 tenge and above. In this oil-producing region, LPG – or ‘autogas’ – is widely used as fuel for vehicles, as well as for cooking and heating. On 2 January in Zhanaozen – a city with a rich labour and trade union movement tradition – residents came out onto the streets in protest at the rise in prices. On the same day, protests spread throughout the region, including its administrative centre Atyrau, where protesters began putting up tents and yurts on the central square.

      Full article here

      Never let your morals stop you from doing the right thing.--Isaac Asimov

      The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagance, they have two of them.--Julius Nyerere

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