Worldviews and Economic Implications

The Shackled Potential of Kazakhstan and Former Soviet States

Kevin White

January 2015

The connection between worldview, corruption, doing business and religious freedom in the case of Kazakhstan. This paper explores how worldview has implications for the economic development of a country.

President Nazarbayev has routinely iterated that one of the greatest needs in Kazakhstan is the development of moral character in the lives of people, especially the young people. He is absolutely right. Many of the hindrances to economic development within Kazakhstan as well as other former Soviet states can be traced back to moral problems such as selfishness, greed and dishonesty. This lack of ethics has resulted in a “survival of the fittest” mentality which pervades society and shackles the nation from its true economic potential. Kazakhstan, like many former Soviet states, is plagued by a culture of corruption. In a 2012 address, Nazarbayev stated: “We are entering a period in the development of our state, when spiritual issues will be of no less important than the economic, material order.”