Wednesday, March 03, 2010

democracy? who wants to be a homo?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

at least one theory of politics (1) maintains that over half a century of cold war which allegedly divided the world between the u.s.a. and the soviets, was sort of a mutually beneficial arrangement that consolidated the hegemony of each side within its camp, and of the relative preponderance of the u.s. between the two. when the “arrangement” outlived its usefulness, the system collapsed and the wall fell.

that sense of “mutual in domicile beneficiarism” washed over me as i was browsing through the paper this morning. in hurriyet, ahmet hakan coskun, who transferred (according to some, converted) to the mainstream from “militant” islamism, commented that premier tayyip erdogan’s wife emine hanım was discouraged from visiting a patient lying in a military hospital because of ther turban she wears. coskun complained, if the spouse of turkey’s head of government can be banished from an official institution under her husband’s command, it is moot to speak of any threats from “civilian fascism” (2) in that country.

in another, adjacent comment, coskun also wrote that being as closely affiliated with erdogan’s akp as possible “serves one to come forth in government contracts, coveted appointments, to rise to positions, to get on to the (prime minister’s) airplane (3), to be included in the nouveaux riche class and to become elected for offices”.

knowingly or unwittingly, the ex (or crypto?) islamist columnist painted identical triangles with the cold war and the civil cold war in turkey; between two separate and discreet domains where, seemingly. “the twain ne’er meet”.

to the civilized western mind. conditioned in organized, cartesian parameters, the unending chaotic, repetitive and grossly counterproductive struggle between turkey’s military and political élites may seem too complex. i do recall reading dispatches of foreign correspondents that still naively depicted the akp as a veteran of democracy and freedoms – even claudia roth thought so at one time, though she seems to have wisened up now.

it’s garfucius’s duty to clarify: in the third and a half world, where ordinary people and their government officials are unable to manage even traffic, the simplest social organization of the homo sapiens, democracy can not elevate to the status of a consumer good in high demand (4).

hence, the seemingly democratic or secularist skirmish is nothing more than an ice cold game of grab-their-power-do-not-relinquish-yours.

naturally, it is a lose-lose game… tayyib efendi,rosy and co. wish for an army at full abeyance to them and mainly, if not only them. the generals and their cohorts would love a government that upholds a 1920’s style étatisme, under military auspices, where the state controls everything, including the decisions of who will “come forth in government contracts, get appointed to favored posts, rise to positions, get on to the (prime minister’s) airplane, be included in the nouveaux riche class and be elected for office”.

even the “religious approach” the sides adopt is similar – only, tayyib efendi,rosy and co. favor a fervent pro-islamic parlance whereas the militarist – étatist clan affects a decorous, epic, kemalist-nationalist discourse.

and a real, working democracy, a true rule-by-law that actually will do away with the paranoid fears and anxieties as well as the vested privileges of both sides in our civil cold war, is still as far as a rainbow to walk under.

also, as unreachable as it is undesirable – in turkish folk lore, your sex will change if you walk under the rainbow. in case accidents occur – and in the third and a half world, they are prone to, it is safer to stick to whomever and wherever you are… after all, who wants to be a homo?

(1) chief proponent, robert cox; criticized – not so justly – for failing to explain why and how then, the wall fell; actually explained before 1989 by immanuel wallerstein with the global spread of the capitalist modern world system and the inability of the socialist bloc to keep up with its economic and (geo)cultural appeal.
(2) basically though, fascism is civilian in origin – both mussolini and hitler created their own loyalist armies. even franco’s falangistas can essentially be considered civilian militias. İt is more after the sprout of post-colonial states in the third world that the distinction between fascist militia and utterly militarist military juntas faded; with each and every bandung member going through or still suffering from authoritarian regimes. actually, i think the term, which apparently is gai,ning some permanence in our vocabulary, should be converted in english as civilian authoritarianism.
(3) to be able to fly with erdogan on his designated jet is indeed a door opener for business”men” on the rise and budding or established supplicants in the media.
(4) in the very early 1950s, the colossal research work “the authoriatarian personality” was swiftly swept under the carpet when it unearthed severely unpleasant fascistic traits in a good number of americans; including antisemitism. however, the study indicated that authoritarian or fascistic rule is not possible without a consenting public. just take a look at iran to see how true it is… and oh, please, the greens are fighting ahmadinajad extremism, not oppression in general by an islamist regime.
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