Tuesday, June 04, 2013
Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan : "Democracy is like a streetcar. When you come to your stop, you get off."
Proving once again that if you elect a tyrant you end up with one-man one-vote once. Turks are protesting their government as it becomes more and more authoritarian. Erdoğan believes that his is the perfect end-point of political development. In that he has a lot in common with the other practitioners of Islam as well as of Liberalism in the West. In the US, Team Obama and its media, academic and cultural partners want to cement their power far into the future and if it takes the IRS, the FBI, the EPA and other agencies of government, that's fine. Erdoğan believes that his regime is the stop at which democracy gets off. That's why injuring thousands and killing others is worth the price.
In a related essay, Richard Fernandez makes the point that information flow is now multi-directional.Riding high and dominating all branches of government, the charismatic Mr. Erdoğan dispensed with political compromise and doubled down on Islamism and old vendettas. He antagonized Turkey's minority Alevi population—one-quarter of Turkey's 75 million citizens—by naming the new Istanbul bridge now under construction after Selim I, a 16th-century sultan who massacred 40,000 Alevis. The proposed skyline-dominating mosque antagonized secularists, and new laws that would dramatically restrict the purchase and drinking of alcohol in Istanbul's Western-leaning districts provoked liberals. So on May 31, when Mr. Erdoğan dismissed the environmentalist protesters as "marginal elements" after the first police assault, for many it was the last straw.Washington over the past decade has made a habit of celebrating Turkey as a model of Muslim democracy. But from Turks' perspective, economic and political freedom have become increasingly elusive.
Erdogan is now caught on the horns of the dilemma. Turkey’s recent economic progress has provided the cash for people to buy smartphones. Now can you sell them on an 8th century ideal?You can have one of two things: a free information flow or repression. The way the establishment fudges the dilemma is by resort to the Narrative. The Narrative — an artificially constructed and commonly agreed fiction — keeps people from thinking about the truth of their condition by distracting them with and endless succession of squirrels. Talk about gay boy scouts, Global Warming, hatred for Israel, “reality” TV and you can postpone the choice for a time. But once the population begins to focus on the relevant facts, the Narrative must give way to more kinetic modes of control.