To give objective assessment to the process of the generations’ adoption in our country, we should touch some theoretical aspects. What is the meaning of the “generation” in particular, and what are its quantitative and qualitative parameters? By the way, the theory of generations, has got its development in XIX centaury, and determined by “quantitative and qualitative” criteria in addition with “anthropological” principles.
For example, formulating the conception of the “generation”, founder of positivism August Conte gave priority to the theory of quantitative parameters. He tried to present it as a dimension of the history by 15, 25, 30 years time circles, based on generations’ shifts. In particular, the highest level determined as 30 years, characterized the typical family period from the wedding of parents up to children’s age of majority and marriage. He also added the analysis of the characteristic changes of the society under several generations’ shifts.
Contrary to the conception of Conte, the German philosopher Wilhelm Dilthey and his confederate Karl Manheim didn’t regalement it by quantitative analyses, and showed the necessity to dominate the qualitative criteria. They qualified the “generation” as groups of people, whose thoughts determined by the similarity of the life experience. But their similarity is not absolute and determined by the level of society’s influence on individuals and understanding of the reality.
Founders of such theories based on the thesis of human’s flexibility caused by internal factors. The consciousness crystallized by the period of human’s age 15-25 years, has got the highest level of flexibility. The German philosopher- existentialist Martin Heidegger affirmed that these frames could be expressed just by one metaphor – “Fate”! Fate of the people of any period reflected by their understanding of the reality and shows their common characteristics, determined by the social – demographic and social-cultural period of life.
In general, balanced synthesis of these two theories let to find regularity of the historical movements and selections of the main events, which formatted the thoughts of the group of people, who plays an important role during one or another historical period. Using this we can classify the generation as a generation of war, crises, depression, renaissance or other periods... because such historical periods influence on their views and consciousness.
Formatted under the common social circumstances and “spirit of the generation”, people are differenced as “generation unions”. By the way, A.S. Pushkin used terming “generation union” in relation with “chicks of Peter’s nest”, when he told about generation of the Peter’s life and education period.
Today, the scientific and objective understanding of the “generation” theories is quite important, when we speak about the Azerbaijani people, who passed through qualitative different periods of the government development, starting from 1991. Quantity of the dramatic factors of this period of the state’s history raised people’s understandings of the demographic conception and makes deeper the willing to preserve the heritage of forefather’s generations.
If we do the excurse to the second half of XIX and first quarter of XX centaury, when the scientific, social-political, philosophic, cultural, industrial development of Azeri people were incredibly high, we could say that “generational schemes” of Conte, Dilthey, Manheim and other scientists are not just theoretical.
Even the samples of our, Azeri history, shows the regulation of the “generational theory”: influence of one “generational union” to another, war generation – in particular. And it is exactly noticed, that if the war is victorious - the influence is positive, if defeated - the influence is negative.
We can speak about Ismail Khan Nakhichevanski – IV “St Georg” battle order cavalier, general-major, higher general officer of the Russian Imperia – general of Cavalry; general-lieutenant Aliaga Shikhlinski called as “father of Russian artilleries”; cavalier of “St. Georg III and IV level order, general of artilleries Samedbek Mekhmandarov; general lieutenant Huseyn Nakhichevanski; general-major Ibragim bek Vekilov one of the best topographer of Russian army – as about best samples of the bright representatives of the “war generational union”. A lot of Azerbaijani officers of the Russian army during I World War – were determined as a positive “generation union” representatives of this period.
As a result, a huge generation of unique Azerbaijan creators appeared at these times and after, such as M.F. Akhundov – historian, diplomat, drama writer; A.K. Bakikhanov – historian, poet; G.B. Zardabi – who wrote works on biology, agronomy, and was well known as great journalist – founder of “Ekinchi” newspaper; N. Narimanov – doctor, drama writer and famous government actor; Uz. Hajibekov – coryphée of Azerbaijani classical music and drama writer, and wrote libretto to his musical comedies and others.
Speaking about identity of the generational processes in XX centaury, we should notice Eric Hobsbawm, who named it as “short XX centaury” - starting from First World War and ended by the collapsing of Soviet Union.
Looking at our history from this methodology point of view, we can resume that Azerbaijan, which got independence in 1918-1920, was involved in the formational “waterfalls” of the history and gave birth to the generation of deep depression. This generation was under the pressing of repression periods, civil wars, fear and surviving instincts. And just the new generation which was formed by the Second World War, shook the depressive generation and forced for changes. Great victory over fascism, created an atmosphere which initiated a birth of new renaissance generation.
A huge category of the people, who was called “front people” were leaders in society. Youth didn’t stop to admire heroism of general Hazi Aslanov, and was oriented to the moral behavior of compatriots – World War generals – division commandant Mamed Osmanov, colonel Malik Megerramov, Salahaddin Isayev and others. The Hero of the Soviet Union Ziya Bunyatov became at the same time the famous scientist. More than 600 thousand Azeri people participated in the Second World War, 170 thousand became heroes and got medals and orders, 121 became the Heroes of Soviet Union.
This generation also was enriched by the union of outstanding world meaning scientists - Yusif Mammedaliyev, Murtuza Nagiyev, Hasan Abdullayev, Firuz Melikov, Kasum Gul, Mirali Gashgay, Shafayet Mekhtiyev; writers and poets – Samed Vurgun, Jafar Jabbarli, Mirza Ibrahimov, Mirjalal Pashayev, Suleyman Rahimov; musicians – Gara Garayev, Fikret Amirov, Rauf Gadjiyev, Jovdet Gadjiyev, Niyazi; and artists – Sattar Bakhlulzadeh, Tair Salakhov, Togrul Narimanbekov, Fuad Abdurakhmanov.
The global transformation of formative character of the last decade of the XX centaury activated the next generational level of Azerbaijan society. The negative processes of the first decade of Azerbaijan Independence brought a sinusoid of the generational conception to the lowest point. Absolute of negativism of the historical past resulted by the lost of traditions, and torpedoed the positive heritage of the “generational unions”.
Leading practically drowned in the depth of inner contradictions and extra collisions ship of Azerbaijan Governance, great public-political figure Heydar Aliyev with his intellectual power and will, natural geniality, mind of great capacity based on generations tandems, stopped the social degradation of the society and created a good conditions for reincarnation of the traditions and heritage of the past generations.
I am, as a diplomat with semi centennial experience, as a man, who was brought in the spirit of the military glory and works of the generations of the glory and proud Azerbaijan people, glad to see, that the fundament of the comprehensive government, economic and cultural development of the republic, founded by the genial Azerbaijan government’s founder Heydar Aliyev, let the modern generation of creators, such as President Ilham Aliyev, to create powerful, strong building of the social-political, economical foundation based on the heritage of past generations.
Yes, today, the generation I belong to, proudly passed the herbarium of our knowledge to the next generation for future development! But, let the young generation (with a lot of difficult problems they should solve), remember that: “The Great – (as famous Russian writer of today, theology, Boris Kriger said) – very often built their greatness on the basis of past generation’s efforts”!