Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Promise of the Truth and A Turkish Anti-American Film

This article was orginally published by

The promise of the truth is a profitable mediator in a society where the "mutual relations of the producers take the form of a social relation between the products". Thus, from TV commercials to popular novels, countless O'Briens who had jumped out of Orwell's 1984 whisper paternally to our ears: "We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness". As in the novel, this meeting becomes reality mostly under the spotlights of the chamber of torture in the depths of the Ministry of Truth, which is always kept luminous.

Conspiracy theories function similarly with that spotlights, supposedly arranged to illuminate the truth hiding behind the reality, and the "truth", as Badiou once said, "is first of all something new. What transmits, what repeats, we shall call knowledge". So, the constant promises of the truth on TV screens, on the bookshelves of well decorated stores, on the columns of newspapers signify the transformation of the 'unknown' to a knowledge, unknown as a knowledge. Just as formulated by Donald Rumsfeld as known unknowns. It presents us the most shallow appearance of the reality as the truth. It is the persecution of mind.

The disgusting Turkish political-action, repeating the primitive past of Hollywood's political pictures as a farce, "The Valley of the Wolves" is striving to cut our eyes out with an informative light-sabre. It promises its spectators to display the lowdown of the American politics in the Middle East, but it ends with the conclusion of that all Americans are vulgar materialists, intractable infidels, well-educated torturers, self-seekers, egocentrics, i.e the incarnate Evils, the concentration of our innumerable internal and external enemies who have been depicted in the official discourse of the Turkish elites as they are in everywhere outside the clever and hardworking body of the Turk. By the virtue of its impossibility for an abstract human infant to identify himself with the deliriums of its ancestors, a strict set of non-historical premises is implemented to arrive a educational syllogisms. Throughout the education of my generation, we had been taught that approximately every single nation in the world is our natural enemy, or the enemy by nature (As in the Artistotelian concepts of 'slavery by nature' and 'freedom by nature', attributing the ephemeral outcomes of human deeds to a transcendental being conceals their historycity) and their bloodthirsty jealousy stems from the geopolitical position of our heavenly country which has the richest resources of the world. We are one of the seven the nations managing to survive by leaning on only her resourses (we are never informed about the other six) and these acquisitive evils had sworn to death to take them away from us. They had sworn to disintegrate our country, to defile our purity, to degenerate our substantial language, to trample on our values, to rip off our family bounds, to prevent our soccer teams from reaching further rounds, etc. We are living in a world where Turk was the object of the evil. i.e, Turk is a holly figure suffering in the hands of pure evil. So we have told that our nationalism is just a defensive one, but we have never enlightened about the modern motto: "Offense sells the tickets, Defense wins the game"

In retrospect, by recalling that after the Turkish war of salvation, in his speeches related with the subject Mustafa Kemal had stated that our aims of acquiring the sources of petroleum and getting rid of a possible formation of a Kurdish state as the foundations of our claims on Musul and Kerkuk, i.e almost with the same logic of the imperialist states that we had fought against, we should ask to ourselves, were our bygone purposes stemming from more sublime values from the immediate pragmatic reason of Americans? The historical reality of that you had once confronted a definite stage of capitalist accumulation does not signify that you are truly an anti-imperialist. And after your political emancipation, if your first deed was laying the foundations to build a nation state, a civil society, etc. which was qualitatively identical with the explicit projects of the imperialists but only recognizable by the amount of nation states that it had proposed, it means that you had merely shot at your future. In this way, Marx's famous phrase, The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living", acquires an other dimension. The backward forms of the capitalist production insisting on their relative irrationality, i.e the spectral ancestors of the modern civil society crumbled hither and thither, weights like a nightmare on the utmost social form of capital, in the guise of Turkish nationalism, fundamental Islamism, etc. Anti-Americanism is the crude socialism, the mediated being of the exploited man who has not comprehended himself as a subject of a transitory form of division of labour. Thus what he understands from the emancipation is a progress of himself as an object towards the subject (the god, the prosperous nations, etc) in the given laws of grammar. That could be depicted as the hopeless struggle of the apes against more powerful animals for the sources of nourishment, as long as they share the common denominator of being an animal. However, they have to break loose from the denominator to emancipate from the struggle for throne of the animal kingdom and thus posit themselves as the real masters of nature. In this manner, the emancipation of Turk reveals itself as the emancipation from the common denominator, from the restrictions of bourgeois society. It is the struggle of the Turk in the guise of subjective living labour which has not yet objectified in commodities but which should be materialized properly as an organized movement against the aggregate capital of his own masters, the restrictions of the afficted Turkishness begotten by Turkish elits and then adopted by native capitalists. Namely it is the struggle of the living labour lurking in the muscles of the Turkish working class against their dead labour buried in the inventory books of their capitalist masters, in the walls of the summer villas of politicians, in the gilding epaulets of army officials and in the stylish suits of bureaucrats. In other words, socialism for Turks is not a struggle for future mediated through Americans. It is the complete negation of this mediation which will enable us to a direct confrontation with our past. By only this way, we can truly overcome the actual Americans because Turkey is the anchor of the U.S, immersed to the economical history of mankind. Or, for a while, we can be proud of our artistic taste which does not confuse the art of torture with performance arts.

I have to admit that I am not impressed with the rubbish The Valley of the Wolves phenomenon but with the revealing confession U.S Army. They avow their manipulation of the nervous system of Americans through movies by warning their soldiers in Turkey not to draw close to Turks who are stimulated with a duplicate of Hollywood political-actions.

In its version of TV series, the mafiatic organization which rules the world was once depicted as a sect of Illuminati and in the rite, mafia barons were dressed up just like in Kubrick's EYES WIDE SHUT. There has been going various discussions about the meaning of Kubrick's title since it was released, I hope that my contribution will make sense.

They have expelled the darkness, I have been illuminated and I saved my soul. Amen!!!

Mehmet Çagatay

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