Striving for self-sufficiency
© Reflections on the Ruhnama
By Steve in Wisconsin
Publication date: September 1, 2007
A country that is dependent on imported goods and services is potentially at the mercy of the nation(s) providing those services. The international media has detailed numerous instances this year alone of countries withholding food, fuel, electricity and commodities from other countries for various reasons. We see international aid (upon which many nations are dependent) being awarded “conditionally” thereby compelling the recipient states to perhaps take action or make policies they do not agree with – all for the sake of money, goods or services. This was the situation in Turkmenistan during the Soviet era.
It became obvious that we could not go far or progress and make our people happy and prosperous within that existing Soviet System with a status independent within its borders but dependent on the Soviet System.In the Ruhnama Turkmenbashy criticizes the policies of the old USSR when Turkmenistan was a Soviet republic. He saw the inadequacies of the system and worked towards ‘tipping the scales’ back in favor of his native land once independence was secured in 1991.
Ruhnama I, p. 46.
We were a newly emerged state. Therefore, we needed everything from pins to planes, medicine to computers. In the past, we produced tea in Nusay, but to make tea we had to bring wood to boil the water for it from Russia, we cultivated cotton in Merv but sent it to Europe to be made into cloth.Turkmenbashy embarked on an ambitious modernization program designed to increase his country’s level of self-sufficiency. Large agricultural projects, more responsible use of domestic oil and gas reserves, conservation of natural resources and lands, new manufacturing facilities – all designed to diminish reliance on foreign sources.
Our ancestors did not say in vain, “If your brother has much wealth, you are rich too; but if you are able to live by your own means then you are also rich.”
Ruhnama I, p. 54.
Through it all, however, Turkmenbashy harbored no animosity towards Russia or the ex-Soviet republics who benefited from the injustices of the past.
We have maintained our friendship with the former USSR, and we have not aroused its enmity.A shining example of Turkmenbashy’s commitment to peace and neutrality.
We are very close to our former friends, and we make new friends; we have no grudge against anybody, and we have no foe burning with a great passion for revenge. So, when the general situation is like that, where is the logic to us entering and founding various political, economic, and military unions?
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