Liberal arrogance

Global powers promoting apolitical revolutions were targeting to establish a geographical location in which they could integrate Islam with global capitalism; thus transforming the 'menace' that was the Middle-East and North Africa into a client.

Liberal arrogance

Akif Emre

During the apolitical revolution process dubbed the Arab spring, the arguments of any intellectual, whether it's a politician or an academic, regarding politics has simply been related to Islam's political and social offerings.

However, these arguments have nothing to do with how Muslim opinion in a Muslim society will take a role in the new process. Rather, they have more to do with the concern over how Islam or Muslim opinion had to be effaced through accusations of political Islam or Islamism. This western-centric perception of politics and society is not a new strategy for the western hegemonic powers or their collaborators.

During the Arab Spring, the key concept of the discussion with the focus on Islam and politics was secularism. While it was put forward as one of the most inevitable values of liberalism, answers were sought to questions such as 'what is the standpoint of Islam with regards to it?' and 'what do Islamists want?' Even though a reply was seemingly inquired, the reality is that the judgment of a likely Islamic demand was given from a liberal perspective, including its conviction over the loss of legitimacy, which was always the basic motive before the process ended.

Also during this process, there were two notable strategies: the first was the given impression that Muslim Arabs demanded a political order respecting the religious values and meeting the need of their basic demands. The second is the objective to convict Muslim societies through the liberal perspective for their political demands that were based on Islam.

Global powers promoting apolitical revolutions were targeting to establish a geographical location in which they could integrate Islam with global capitalism; thus transforming the 'menace' that was the Middle-East and North Africa into a client. They are still insisting on this goal.

In this process, what was to be established was a Muslim-consumption society as integrated into global capitalism where the circulating hot topics in terms of economics, like the usage of interest, were removed from the list.

It was the liberals who laid down its political foundation. The historical and theoretical tripartite of the process was respectively a modernism, capitalism and secularism that had been debated intellectually as the stage of a structural construction. It is helpful to know that in the U.S., besides serious works and published books, there were projects prepared during the 1980s regarding Islam and liberalism discussions on a theoretical framework.

Given the new, notable fact that the Middle East is the last social-cultural structure which resisted modernization, or in other words, did not become modernized, the historical and psychological aspects of why dominant, arrogant and theoretical discussions were so welcomed in the Arab Spring can be better understood.

Indeed, the secular modern design has not been cancelled, as it targets transforming and integrating the Islamic world into a client for global capitalism by removing the opportunity for it to be an alternative. However it is quite likely that what actually happened was a reset to the default factory settings, as this region will now long struggle to save itself from a cycle of violence.

The intellectual milieu, who finds the courage to judge the Islamic political and social view with liberal values, considering modernity as an absolute data, also applies in Turkey. Moreover, the Kemalist elite, that lost its influence and social privilege in the state authority, seems to have surrendered its throne of arrogance in the new era to liberal intellectuals.

Holding the magic keys of self-justification, the liberal intellectuals' arrogance has recently turned into a high temper, which manifests in their groundless, meaningless arguments they use in every situation.

This explosion of temper stems not from failures, but from the achievements of the government. The reason of this paradox is that liberal, secular intellectuals portraying their major Kemalist character in its nature cannot enjoy their privileged position in the new era.

The political criticism is unsurprisingly based on secularism and liberalism through the defects, mistakes of the Islamic movements in the world or those of Islamism. This applies to Turkey, too. Liberals, who never feel the need to check themselves, find the right in themselves in every situation to reconciliate Islam with liberal values or question how close they are to achieving it.

At the face of the dominant and arrogant mode of its intellectual milieu, every objection is easily stigmatized as being categorized under the title of 'radicalism'.

The uniqueness of the situation in Turkey is that it derives from both the liberal temper and the nature of its political authority. Turkey's adaptation into a free market or its integration – as opposed to common knowledge – has not been accomplished at the hands of liberals. Rather this has been achieved by the conservatives. This process in particular brought in a kind of wealth and power which leftist liberals couldn't execute through their political power and autonomy. This situation produced the dilemma of their theoretical goals being practically realized at the hands of their political rivals.

As the conservatives gained more self-confidence in not hesitating to deploy this power, this led to the expansion of its efficiency while becoming a state.

The tensions between the two let to a majority of liberals to turn to their Kemalist roots. On the other hand, conservatives, while filling the void in the new era, are being addressed with a class grudge mixed with a theoretical arrogance.

When arrogance confronts the political authority, an explosion of tempers arise. This explosion proves the significance of the reasons that cause the friction, as well as who has the winning argument.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 15 Temmuz 2014, 11:39