On the evening of July 15, 2016, a friend called around 10:30pm and said that both bridges connecting the Asian and European sides of Istanbul were closed by military barricades. Moreover, military jets were flying over Ankara skies. As someone living on the European side of Istanbul and commuting to the Asian side to my university on a daily basis and spending many hours in traffic in order to do that, I immediately knew that the closure of both bridges was a sign of something very extraordinary taking place.
So the author seems to suggest. That she says openly even what she has is likely very dangerous for her. I'm reading these articles on the attempted coup with much more interest than I normally would, as I have close friends currently in Turkey visiting the family of one of them. The article also must raise for Americans, of course, thoughts of our current presidential candidates. If Trump were elected, could a scenario like this happen? I believe his actual fervent supporters are small in number right now, but would they grow exponentially if events ramped up fears of immigrants and terrorism with Trump in office?
I have no trust that Clinton would be much safer, and might actually be more dangerous, with her love of militarism. I truly feel that someone of great wisdom, such as Jill Stein or Bernie Sanders, is desperately needed.
The parallels between the Reichstag fire being blamed on the convenient target when in reality it was an inside job enacted so that powers that would not ordinarily be elected could claim full control over the state cannot be limited to current events in Turkey, although they do indeed apply.
It works like a template and that template was also used on 911 to similarly invert civil liberties, beef up the legions of armed gendarmes, and enact a massive surveillance state... the likes of which would never be tolerated (presuming the logistics were known at all which apparently was the agenda prior to Edward Snowden exposing the activity) had there not been a seemingly major OUTSIDE threat in place.
This is how illegitimate power makes its way into positions of total control.
Since those enamored of total control have an obvious disdain for Democracy, they could care less about law, Civil Liberties, Constitutional Protections or any other such quaint (to them) notions. For this dark underbelly of humanity, the only thing that counts is that Might Makes Right (i.e. Mars Rules).
Once again, the modus operandi is not limited to current events in Turkey. They already Hit Home.
Kudos, Ayşe Kadıoğlu, for your brilliant analysis.
This seems to me a very good question. It seems to me also to raise the spectre of a striking difficulty which is rarely dealt with in considering the significance of Hitler in relation to the power of the state. AH made of himself the icon of the state and state power. Germany became identified with his personality, and he identified Germany with his personality, such personality as he had. I think this is the way it was in the minds of the "volk". But the question of the state as both a spiritual power and a determinative entity is much harder to analyze and elucidate. No wonder. Its most essential characteristic and manifest reality is chaos itself, the chaos of death`s own reign.
Ultimately, however, the reality of the state itself (or "the nation," such as it is named, for example, in the U.S. as "America"), as an entitity, as a being, both independent of and identifiable with the people who live within its geographical boundaries is far more determinative of history than the personality of any "leader" of the nation. It´s as if to say, it´s not the leader who determines the direction and character of the nation, but the nation which determines the leader. The leader is servant, if not spiritual slave, of the nation. The power of dealing out death appears to be bestowed upon the leader. But it is the power of death itself, so to speak, incarnate in state power, that through the leader creates a veritable hell for human beings under his and its dominion.
So, what´s being consolidated may be, but only superficially, the reign of Erdogan, just as Hitler´s reign was superficial. Twelve years and countless corpses later, it was over. Something far more serious than the power of one human being is at issue in the case of Erdogan, as with AH, or any murderous regime.
Tangentially, I would suggest that this same issue may be very easily witnessed in the ascendancy of Trump, who is being propelled by a very dark power to such position as he may attain. But he is not the problem. Rather only a pathetic symptom of a disease far deeper and more problematic in the res publica, in the nation, in "America," which "the American people" suffer as from a mortal infection. As a saying attributed to Josef Goebbels, the Nazi Minister of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment, goes: "Even if we lose, we shall win, for our ideals will have penetrated the hearts of our enemies."
We are witnessing the consolidation of a new form of authoritarianism with a populist streak.
One of the best single statements to describe the attainment of power in Germany by the NSDAP (National Socialist German Workers Party). Correct me if I´m wrong, but it sounds like what´s going on in the good old U.S.A. as well.
Thanks for your response, Tom.
Of course! Well, we are looking at it differently, as through different lenses. I don´t necessarily disagree with your description. Indeed, it looks valid to me, as far and deep as it goes.
Of course, too, from state to state, from coup to coup, the specifics are always different. I did not mean to suggest that the same material influences were involved in the same ways in the U.S. as in the German example. At the very least, one would have to take into account the far more advanced power of technology in the current U.S. situation, and its use in dominating the streets and in pervasive, state-sponsored propaganda. This, I believe, and perhaps you would agree, is but one difference that decisively separates the two instances far more than any personalities involved in the specifics of the rise of facism, if one is comparing the contemporary U.S. and the Germany of the 1930s.
Specific to the current sitch in the U.S., the question that lingers for me is merely whose face will represent the current catastrophe to any sort of popular governance--the face of Trump or of Clinton.
You get an "A" in the most creative elaboration on the theme of blaming The People.
According to scripture, evil's most potent tool is deception.
That's why any authoritarian leader who legitimately or illegitimately makes a claim upon power requires a complicit mass media (or squad of willing intellectuals).
As studies by Stanley Milgram showed, most people FOLLOW authority figures.
It's amazing how this forum's intellectuals so readily identify with the Libertarian view of Individualism: as if each person has ultimate sovereignty over their own destiny, as if such pesky problems as centuries of structural racism, sexism, and what the Marxists identify with most, classicism, don't succeed in setting up an entirely hierarchical structure... hardly that of the level playing field.
Furthermore, and I get very little support for pointing this out--there are behaviors that become so habitual and codified that they pass under the radar of intellectual scrutiny; and those behaviors are related to the centuries of patriarchal religious indoctrination.
Perhaps due to the fact that I am an outspoken woman whose beliefs are far more spiritual than orthodox religious, I can easily identify with the THOUSANDS of women like myself who the church-state took JOY in murdering through public spectacles of torture. That barbaric ritual went on for centuries and did MUCH to render females docile to the Male Orders in which they were confined.
In the same way that the animal kicked enough times will show obedience, a population subjected to the rigors of financial serfdom, liberties punishable with death, and extreme prejudice is not going to produce a striking number of rebels.
Most people have been conditioned--over centuries--to go along to get along, that is, to conform to group standards. And group standards can be manipulated the way a skilled puppeteer manipulates a puppet.
That's what Edward Bernays understood and by lending that secret to Madison Avenue, the legion of Advertising Powers (and their P.R. partners in crime) was launched.
Why do you suppose Hitler had to make use of such effective Propaganda? His own propaganda minister, Goebbels (I believe, if memory serves me well) argued that most people do NOT want war. That the only way they can be coaxed into war is through a threat so massive that they see no other choice.
That's why threats are created. Two articles today speak about either the Reichstag fire (Germany's 911), or the complicity of the Saudis in our own.
So playing down the role of leadership is inaccurate.
Leon Uris penned a novel entitled, "Armageddon" that sought to explain the German psyche and why many (hardly all) of its citizens were conditioned to accord with the Third Reich and he tied his findings to Germany's dominant mythology: That of the male super hero.
I term this Mars rules.
While treated as a dangerous pariah, Wilhelm Reich was in many ways a genius. The problem was that he touched a 3rd rail that Western Judeo-Christian culture takes as blasphemy. After all, so much behavior has been controlled (by the church-state) on the basis of the belief in Original sin and the related eternal damnation of the soul.
Reich coupled sexual repression with latent levels of aggression, a "tide-pool" which could be tapped by those persons BENT upon acts of collective aggression. His thesis goes far deeper, and I recommend that OPEN minded thinkers look into it.
Just as I came upon Noam Chomsky's significant work, "Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies" while browsing through a cool bookstore in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico; I came upon Reich's "manifesto," entitled "The Function of Orgasm" while studying in London back in my college days.
Perhaps (albeit, not likely) the references I have provided in contrast to YOUR frame might encourage you to look further...
Your thesis is off.
Nicely argued. Good info here:
"The MSM is the propaganda engine of the US ruling class. Trump's rise has not come from the "volk." What he is doing is manipulating real concerns of a certain demographic of people under economic and social distress. It's scapegoating, ..."
Well, fine, but I don´t see how the "ruling class" gives a frozen turd on a New York sidewalk in winter about how the rest of the world views the U.S., any more than it cares about the interests of those commonly referred to in the U.S. as the 99 percent. People outside the U.S. are left with not much more than one concern--that they don´t end up the target of a drone strike or some sort of other attack from a different terrorist source, both of which can be argued to originate in U.S. policy--which U.S. citizens continue to pay taxes to support, no?
Good luck with Ms. Stein and your obviously conscientious support of her campaign, which I do indeed highly respect.
Welll, Siouxrose, I don´t think you read my comment that well. And I don´t think you understood what I meant by "nation," which was not nearly to equate it exclusively with the people who live inside a country´s geographical boundaries. Your condescending history lesson to me is utterly redundant.
outstanding piece...succintly apropos
I'm not buying into this coup business. Turkey is a sophisticated and modern country with a competent military. That the coup leaders were so sloppy in their execution it appears and feels rather amateurish and off-handed. So few deaths ( 200-300 ) in a country so large, really? CNN getting to Erdo but not the perps, hmmm.... Very little us vs. them battles in the major cities and public spaces..... etc. I've seen bigger fights in Panama when Noriega was kicked to the curb. No sale here, for me.
Utterly redundant? Your screen name is new.
... But nonetheless necessary.
You said a nation gets the leader it deserves. I posed a nuanced counter-argument.
"Ultimately, however, the reality of the state itself (or "the nation," such as it is named, for example, in the U.S. as "America"), as an entitity, as a being, both independent of and identifiable with the people who live within its geographical boundaries is far more determinative of history than the personality of any "leader" of the nation. It´s as if to say, it´s not the leader who determines the direction and character of the nation, but the nation which determines the leader. The leader is servant, if not spiritual slave, of the nation."
To an arrogant male, a female suggesting an alternative vision is typically characterized as something far more sinister.
Poor little boys...
I think once you get too intellectual about concepts like 'nation' you are on shaky ground. There is no such thing as a nation in the sense that it entirely reduces to people's convictions otherwise. Whatever the 'nation' apparently gets up to is nothing more than a massive collection of indivvidual human actions. And as there are rather a large number of unique individuals to be considered, I think a lot of circumspection is required in relation to any and all simplistic analyses. In terms of sociology or so-called 'political science', the salaried intellectuals have no interest in admitting what is otherwise obvious - you cannot really grasp the subject matter outside of the most broad and possibly mistaken generalisations. But who wants to admit that certain aspects of reality are so difficult to penetrate? Hence there is a form of mass intellectual pretence that we know more than we possibly can.
not long ago, there was a bombing at a political rally of Erdogan's party's opponents. The State blamed it on Kurdish separatists. Not long afterward, the Turkish military began an intensive military campaign against the Kurds in the Southeast.
In short, this has happened before, pretty recently, although not on this scale. And with each "crisis", Erdogan conveniently emerges stronger than ever.
This is not evidence, obviously. But there is ample grounds to be suspicious of any "crisis" on Erdogan's watch. He's done this before.
The harder question is, if it was a set up, what does he gain from emergency measures that he didn't have before? Or, if the coup was real, why did the military and the bureaucracy decide that something drastic had to be done now?
I'm looking forward to clear answers emerging over the next few weeks, but a part of me can't help but think that Syria is involved in all of this drama, one way or another. Or perhaps Russia.
Times are past dangerous and desperate everywhere. All of this mess--the rise of neoliberalism, the military conquest of leftist states with rich resources, and the financial control of everyone on the planet--is coming to an explosive head. I suspect a lot of us will have to choose "sides" pretty soon.
Very good point. I'd expand on it. I would submit that some aspects of reality are simply far beyond actionable human comprehension and that respect for this is an absolutely essential aspect of the human condition. The vast areas of the unknown that we live into, if not lived into lovingly and respectfully, result in tragic mistakes of commensurately vast tragedy. One aspect of that tragedy is the erasure of the potential in the interface of human life with the unknown. Another is the loss of knowledge of direct experience that is essential to human creativity, equilibrium and learning.
The predatory premises of the economic theory that the system must be in constant expansion feeds on this unseen but wholly real aspect of life in the apparent paradox of laudable "production" of the technological extension that is also rife with precisely all of the missing pieces from so much being "externalized". Otherwise the system would never, ever have gotten off the ground. As it is all that has been denied seems to be aggregating into massive retrogression.
... You're saying some pretty profound stuff here my friend, although I'm not surprised Siouxrose is not behind your analysis. When it comes to holding up a candle to either the media, or the masses, she has long since chosen to hitch her wagon to the former, rather than the latter. And she has been quite the regular 'jack-in-the-box' for many years running now, whenever any would-be upstart like yourself deems to come on these boards and to suggest otherwise. I do not like to disparage people -it never seems to solve anything- yet despite my misgivings, I have to share an analogy here with regards to Siouxrose which could probably be construed as less then charitable. I almost see Siouxrose's incessant schooling -or scolding- as like that of an old professor who once coined a phrase many years ago, and has habituated themselves over the years with the task of reminding the world of that past accomplishment.
... Siouxrose has a certain metaphysical mix which I myself find quite refreshing, and the parallels which that perspective brings to our political and social milieu is more than useful and pertinent. This mystical side of reality generally eschews any particular 'either/or' world views or metaphysics however, and I have even shared on occasion or two, this peculiar flaw in her contemporary ontology. "Why do you insist on choosing one aspect of a very obvious diad over the very obviously, necessary 'other?'" It would seem to be a very fatal flaw in her own deeply held metaphysics.
... I am a union, and a political activist. Most of my fellow union members are very politically conservative. They vote against their own best interests, time and time again. I am forever trying to educate them beyond their own deeply engrained biases and prejudices, to no end. Sure they get the usual tripe from the media which only feeds their misguided convictions. But I believe these fellow plebes are at least as responsible for their own acquiescence, as the main stream media is in feeding it to them. One or the other? No, there is more than enough responsibility to go around. Of that I am certain.
... One final, little added dimension, if I may. As an activist, and an engaged citizen -I don't really give a hoot who the next politician coming down the pike is. I am far more concerned with the level of intelligence, and awareness of my fellow 99 percenter's. As the author shares with her own historical context -and as you do with yours- even the most radical of right wing, authoritarians, will never even consider a departure from the norm, without their one-dimensional, myopic, uninformed population to cheer them on -and as always- against their own, unenlightened self interests. I worry about fighting my good fight daily, to try and educate my co-workers, more than I ever worry about what particular politician occupies whatever particular office. When I was in the military many years ago, we had a saying that insisted that 'we can only march as fast as the slowest man.' That truism applies equally -if not more so- with full spectrum politics as well. Yours -and the authors- concerns are quite justified, and there is at least one fellow observer here, who also believes both of your aims is more than true...
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
“The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly - it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over”
“Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.”
Joseph Goebbels, MiniProp for Hitler’s Third Reich
"Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same for any country."
Herman Goering to Gustave Gilbert at Nuremberg, 18 April, 1946
It just goes on and on and on.
Thanks, Tom. I see your point and its validity. I thank you for it, and I can agree. I was meanwhile, without saying it, thinking of the "ruling class" as international, and largely operating behind the scenes, behind the faces of apparent heads of state and other government functionaries. But then that seems to me a very dark region after all, and rather difficult to penetrate--for me in any case. I certainly don´t live among the inhabitants of that region, nor would I ever wish to, although I sense, however obscurely, their influence and power without feeling too tempted to indulge in any extensive and morally exhausting theorizing about it, as some will do. My capacities as a human being are as limited as anyone else´s. I appreciate your contributions to the conversations at Common Dreams.
I can´t thank you enough for your response, more for revealing yourself to be of a character compassionate, patient, sensitive, intelligent, and even noble--I think of your union and political activism, "forever trying to educate . . . to no end, "which I profoundly respect--I don´t know how you are able to continue to do it. I had to stop some years ago. I always wonder whether I´ve always just been missing a breakfast ingredient or something (No, what was lacking in me was much more than that!)--than for any personal consolation towards me, which I will not hesitate to say was also signficant and I thank you for it.
To continue to struggle to stay human, to think, read, write, speak, and act out of sanity (to me, healthy intellect) and conscience is to my mind one of the most needful, and significantly lacking, characteristics of our place and time. Dreadful indeed to see how people continue to vote, among other things, against their own interests. Certainly institutional powers are greatly responsible for provoking this. Many people seem actually spellbound, in the literal sense, as if by black sorcery. I also remember years ago reading in Jacques Ellul´s work Propaganda (Vintage 1973) that the reason propaganda works is because people want it to work, and that indeed they even welcome it. This continues to seem true to me, and indicates a deeply tragic state of affairs for humanity in general and individual human beings in particular. And what can possibly be said that comprehends the catastrophe to this jewel of a planet.
I pretty much agree with your perspective on Siouxrose. I´ve been around Common Dreams in this most recent incarnation for a year, and one cannot easily miss her. I respect her struggle to stay human as well, and I think she does a pretty good job of it. She doesn´t always read carefully, however, but seems to enjoy an opportunity to go off over a phrase that she has perhaps taken out of context or otherwise misunderstood. I recall that this is probably a tendency of my own that I need to keep a clear eye on. So I guess I cannot mind it all that much in her. When that approach is taken towards something I write, I tend to ignore it or dismiss it with a phrase, depending on the decibel level that has been engaged to propel it. Tone has become an important indicator to me in considering what I respond to and how.
So, along with knowing that I´m not going to save the world due to the fact that I happen to have an opinion about something, the comment page of Common Dreams can function to some degree as a place to exercise listening (when things aren´t too shrill) and personal discipline, maybe even humility, in thinking and writing. And sometimes I go for days staying away from the news because it´s so grief-provoking, and then, frankly, all I can do is include the world in prayer. I understand very well how people can be so angry at times, or maybe all the time. Still, the music of the broken heart is holy.