Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Query

This is the copy of the comment that I made about an article on Renegade

Thank you for presenting us with an article detailed enough to cover the historical, economical and social extents of the multifaceted situation of the region.

I want to raise a very speculative question, which I have neither investigated by any means of statistical data nor carefully contemplated on:

Following the recent debate in Marxmail about the question of contemporary imperialism, I have developed a strange PARANOIA concerning the immediate role of the Turkish Army in the imperialistic expansion. As I stated before, Turkish bourgeoisie has been bolstered heavily by European finance capital. I can’t IMAGINE a notable Turkish company issuing an annual report that does not include liabilities to European creditors. We should also take direct investments and joint partnerships into the account. In other sense, one should reevaluate the gradually rising influence of European Union in the Turkish economy. I’m SUSPECTING the good old days that one could unhesitatingly count Turkey simply as a satellite of the U.S have remained in the past. Now the pie is bigger and prospects are more alluring.

Another thing to bear in mind is the up to date consequences of the power struggle in Turkey. The Turkish Army (i.e. its appendages in the political racetrack) waterlooed heavily by bourgeoisie in the recent election. But, this rivalry has to be maintained friendly as both teams need each other for the sake future organizations. Now it is time to regenerate the relations and establish brand new table-images which were spoiled by busted bluff attempts. A couple of showpiece triumphs against PKK might save reliability of the Army and suspicions about the the devotion of bourgeoisie to the political heritage.

The existence of PKK is a practical tool for Turkish ruling classes to prolong nationalistic sensibility. After the dissolution of Soviet Union and extermination of socialist movements, Turkey has been deprived of a “real enemy” excluding PKK, religious fundamentalism and those noisy Armenians and their persistent claims. Nationalistic consciousness is not a gift from god; you must strive relentlessly to constitute it by every tool. On the other hand, uncontrollable forces always represent a threat to “free trade”, which is an enormous risk to take for the small-minded justification of keeping the enemy in view. The one who jeopardize business affairs is a threat not only for Turkey also for all the participants.

We endeavored to a large extent to analyze the interests of American imperialism in the region. But we are bereft of a careful research about the position of Europe in the picture. How about an investigation to reveal the possible cooperation between Turkey and the usual suspects of European imperialism? Who knows what bargains are in process behind the curtains? Maybe accession of Turkey to the European Union will be a shorter process than predictions.

This is not an attempt to mystify the current debate with conspiracy theories. I just tried to throw out the question that is rambling in my mind. And I have no idea about the validity of my thoughts. Voicing it in front of the public was the only way to test it.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Don't Think Twice, It's All Right

I wrote the text below regarding Dbachmozart’s post, http://www.marxmail.org/msg32639.html

But then I changed the title with Dylan’s song.

This month a Turkish nationwide news channel, NTV, broadcasted BBC’s dramatized documentary “Ancient Rome, the Rise and Fall of an Empire”. A particular episode depicting the land crisis of the 2nd century led me to think on the mechanism of democracy today and the infamous flaws of representative democracy.

In that episode, the misadventure of a politician is introduced, Tiberius Gracchus who inspired François-Noël "Gracchus" Babeuf. Briefly, he was a heroic figure for lower classes and caused an interruption of the Republic’s ordinary executive process by his insistent attempts to legislate agrarian reforms. His reforms were targeted to recapture the land that had been occupied by wealthy class and transformed to latifundias. In the dramatized version, we see Tiberius Gracchus while he is giving a zealous speech in the “tribune of the people”. But when the time to decide whether to put the proposed laws to people’s vote comes, one of the members immediately uses his veto power. In a nonchalant manner, Gracchus says, “Let us discuss the other matters then”. Afterwards, Gracchus starts to veto every single proposal to discuss irrelevant agendas decisively. He suddenly puts the Republic out of commission, which provokes an ultimate turmoil. His motto is: “You can not discuss the budget while people have no place to live”.

Shortly after watching this documentary, I read an interesting article in Card Player magazine which should be regarded as irrelevant to the question by any rational mind, but obviously not by a lunatic like me:


The author argues that, even though analyzing close decisions enables us to see the big picture; close decisions have lesser effect on the outcomes. In other words, for instance, contemplating on the question of what portion of the state budget should be reserved for educational expenses facilitates to comprehend the system of civil society. But solutions of the most devastating structural dilemmas of this society do not dwell on close decisions; they are the matter of life and death, i.e. fundamental questions like provision of subsistence, deciding to what will be produced and how it will be distributed, etc. etc.

It is apparent that modern democracy has been reduced to a quest for the conclusion of endless chain of close decisions. The refrains of we should content with the representative democracy in spite of its all deficiencies is a piece of pure nonsense since it is not the characteristics of representation where the limitation lies. The shortcomings of democracy originates from the expulsion of fundamental questions from political field, which could probably change the big picture. The trick in here is to heighten the close decisions to the abstract universal, the field of immediate knowledge. But a proper democracy should be all about cognition.

Think about the recent mass demonstrations against terror in Turkey and pro-war parades which go far to devastation of the properties of Kurdish citizens. We had been asked whether we want that the terror to be stopped before every election. People natively voted for so-called social contractors just to witness their persistence to exercise the same policies which have been proved to be disastrous for couple of decades.

Responding positively to the calls like “Say No to the Terror!” is a close decision as long as they are voiced abstractly. In truth, it is not really significant if you have no intention to ensure the related question will be descended from the field of universal. I don’t really care about it on the condition that my cognition is forced out the debate. But, making a decision between practicing a tedious nationalist violence, discrimination of ethnic minorities, being an everlasting subject of militarism; and responding positively to the political demands for general amnesty, constitutional guarantee to preserve their cultural heritage, etc. is not even close.

Unfortunately, what we are ordered now is to participate to a debate about the universal abstractions, battle of semantics for definitions like “local insurgents” or “terrorists” (One can easily be branded as a terrorist, if he hesitates to utter PKK and terrorism in the same sentence), and tricky competitions to prove who is the most patriotic, etc. etc. Sorry, I am not eager to buy this garbage. I just want a proper democracy addressing my cognition. I don’t want to fiddle around grappling with close decisions.

Mehmet Çagatay