• Sunday, 14 August 2022
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GOVERNMENT’S WOES AND THE TWITTER BAN IN TURKEY

GOVERNMENT’S WOES AND THE TWITTER BAN IN TURKEY
If there is such a thing called the ‘public mind’ it must make a choice between governance and domination. Governance is based on reality. Social reality is always complex and plural. Consciousness of reality requires managing of diversity, conflict prevention/solution, seeking the possible, reconciliation, impartiality of government and adhering to rule of law as a prerequisite for justice.

Domination on the other hand rests on the assumption that preferences and interests of the rulers comes before the expectations and interests of the people. By the token of being ideological, domination does not heed social realities. Rule of law and reconciliation are seen as forms of compromise.

For the domineering/authoritarian governments the society is a dependent, submissive body rather than being the source of legitimacy and authority. The domineering government sustains it power if it succeeds to satisfy the masses economically and pacifies them ideologically through religion and nationalism. It loses its credibility and later power if it fails to successfully employ these ideological instruments.
Experiencing the downward trend in their power and popularity, authoritarian governments may lose their composure and become more repressive.

Historical experience tells us that governments that get tougher and transgresses bearable legal boundaries alienate new groups with each repressive measure they undertake.

Development of democracy and modern technology are concentric phenomena. The age of propaganda that rely one a single authority (outlet), single channel and single message is no more. Today there are multiple channels of communication, multitude of messages and many organized groups that need communicating amongst themselves. This is exactly what globalization means.

In the age of globalization, world communities are interconnected by many ways and channels. Twitter is only one of these means. You cannot simply stand up and say that you are closing this medium for your people with excuses that do not go well with a civilized society and popular government. May be you can take such an executive decision if you have the will and power to severe your country from the rest of the World as it is in North Korea that is a perfect example of totalitarianism. Can such a government remain in power in the fringes of the Western World?

A country such as Turkey that takes pride in being the 17th largest economy in the World cannot lag too far beyond in individual rights, civil freedoms and equality among its citizens. If it does, then it cannot cope with systemic crises. It starts to slide down the international scale.

The global system does not allow countries becoming black holes of instability because in an integrated international system, instability is contagious.

A political system that constantly produces “internal enemies” and feeds on the fear and hate of “external enemies” cannot develop healthy relations with neighbors and third countries let alone produce internal solidarity.

If the domineering government has reached a point where it is engaged in “War of Independence” against putative internal and external enemies, that government must be left with little credible instruments to cling onto power. What prolongs its tenure is the effectiveness of ideological instruments it employs. Constantly generating fear of the other and being under siege by enemies that aim at the nation’s welfare and stability is a potent anesthesia. But it is not sufficient to generate national solidarity and to build a common future.
Twitter, as other collective communication media, offer numerous opportunities to the individual at a time when boundaries of social classes, political organizations, even nation-states have become obscure or transcended. These media appeared as freedoms have become globalized. That is why they are called forms of democratic interaction.

No doubt the opportunities they offer are abused and mal-information is also communicated. Character assassinations are made. But a government that takes pride in being democratic or even ushering is “advanced democracy” cannot ban the entire communication network. If it does, as in the Turkish case, it must be very worried of the information that is being shared and yet to come.

But technology is more advanced than authorities that strive to cling on to the status quo. Let us see which one wins.
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