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Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies

under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Address of the President to the people of Kazakhstan

Third Modernization of Kazakhstan

"Only those nations who manage to set the future goals and proceed resolutely facing the challenges,

instead of sitting on the hedge and waiting, are the winners."

Pragmatism: Principles of Building a Nation of Doers

 

 

In his article "Looking into the Future: Modernizing Public Consciousness" President Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan pointed at the directions the entire endeavor shall have, some of which are very desirable, for example that of “pragmatism”.

 

What does "pragmatism" mean? What kind of person do we call “pragmatic”? The term, coined by Pierce in the USA in the second half of the 19th century, means in its philosophical sense, that practical activity is the mother of all truth and significance.

 

We call a person pragmatic when he or she is a strong character, striving to improve the quality of life. Such a person has analytical mindset, focuses on achieving the result and gaining benefits, and does not waste time. A pragmatic is a "(wo)man of action" who rejects idealism and assumes fully responsibility for the life he/she is living.

 

Pragmatism is also strategic assessing how far the members of the public look to the future as individuals with poor grasp of their future tend to be more lavish and prone to postponed or quit doing important and urgent things. Pragmatic societies are prudent, highly appreciative of the results such as the eastern nations of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea unlike the Western ones, particularly the USA.

 

Therefore, if we want to live in a harmoniously developing society, it is necessary to build in new values and pragmatism is one them as an indispensable feature of rational individuals.

 

The question arises, how to become a pragmatic. It can be achieved through the observance of several principles. First, rational thinking and good time management, short-term and long-term planning, setting the deadlines and thinking about the best ways to reach the goals. Second, self-discipline and resilience; ability to remain less emotional and keep calm in stressful situations is of particular importance. Third, realistic assessment of one’s capacities and abilities when making important decisions.

 

Thus, as President Nazarbayev rightly notes, pragmatic approach, "the ability to live rationally focusing on achieving realistic goals" should become one of the main principles for the entire nation and this will lead to the individual confidence about their future, good-quality education, healthy lifestyle and professional achievements.

 

Doctor Lyatsat Nurkatova, Head of the KazISS Department of Socio-Economic Analysis, Professor, Corresponding Member of the National Academy of Kazakhstan