Cihan - Birsen Tezer

epeydir bu kadar keyiflenmemiştim, ne güzel ses, ne güzel kadın, ne güzel şarkılar, ne güzel istanbul.

"anne ben postmodernist oldum" konulu reaction paper

The postmodernist of modernity trio

Modernity’s main interpreters were Marx, Durkheim and Weber. This “trio” observed the change process and emergence of new modes of production, division of labour, new social and organizational structures and the rise of rationality, and then referred all these as “a progress” but also define the negative consequences of this progress as alienation, anomie and disenchantment (iron cage). I think Weber’s approach was the most postmodernist one among these modernist narratives, although I do not know if I’m saying something new, in my opinion Weber’s postmodernism is in his non-assertive manner. He clearly sets what he observes and does not put any clear cut conclusions like “Organic solidarity or socialism will be the salvation of societies!” Plus, in an era that everyone worships rationality, he sees the iron cage that is created with “rationality” and I think criticizing modernity through the “rationality” concept is likely to be the first step in postmodernist response to modernism.


I think it is clear that modernity has failed to keep its promise to the humanity. The process of enlightenment and emancipation cannot be consisted of world wars, holocausts, two atomic bombs, plus high levels of authority and control. The emancipation should have been something against authority, but it has created its own authorities, experts, consulters etc. Therefore, the postmodern discourse is ironically more rational than this so called rationality that is only a consciousness attached to efficiency in modernity, and also it is more fun and so has human sense. The most haunting consequence of modernity is treating human like it is a servant of rationality and fixing every single thing by measuring, explaining and generalizing it. Postmodernism, on the other hand, is against normalization and appreciates diversity. Therefore, unlike modernism, postmodernism provides a room for “other.” Other voices, other cries, other laughing find themselves room in postmodernism and in my opinion “others” will be the “subject” in postmodernist emancipation. So, in my opinion, that is why Alain Touraine answers the question “who are waiting to be a subject?” as “youth and women” because in a very basic sense, especially women are excluded by modernity and they are continuously struggling for recognition. Modernity built its rationality mostly on male experience, not human experience. Therefore I believe that the struggle of females could find its arena in postmodernism with postmodernist approach and the real enlightenment could only be exercised by the emancipation of all individuals of society.

Liquid Modernity

In his study, Bauman (2000) demonstrates the consequences of modernity under the name of “liquid modernity” and exemplifies how societies become societies of consumers by showing that every activity of an individual has become “a shopping activity”. While discussing compulsive and addictive shopping, Bauman quotes T.H. Marshall’s two questions: “What are they running after?” and “What are they running from?” then he concludes that the individuals are running from the agony of insecurity, they want to be free, confident, trusting, they have a great fear and they try to get rid off these feelings by shopping. So all of the individuals become consumers and there is no such thing called individualism, it turned out to be consumerism. The hitting metaphor of “aircraft with full of fearful passengers that do not know where are they going because there is no pilot” is a sad reality and again an emphasis on the absence of a subject, “an agent” what Bauman calls. The worse thing is that even supposing that the world found its agent, it is not clear what to do to move the world a bright forward. I do not know if there is a better option, I should read and observe more and more, but if there will be an agent of this new world, I think it will born and find the way with the help of postmodernist thought.

reaction paper

M. Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, New Work: Scribner’s, 1958

In my opinion “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” is a highly empirical study of Weber that tries to explain a relationship between religion sects and capitalism, in this particular study the ethics of Protestantism and the spirit of capitalism. In short, Weber examines that Protestants economic position in the society is high and their accumulated welfare is developed much more than Catholics and then he tries to find out the reason behind this and explains his findings. The main difference of Weber and Marx’s approaches to capitalism is; Weber is not totally against to Marx’s materialism discourse, he is not rejecting that the superstructure is the result of infrastructure but he states that also superstructure has affects on infrastructure. Rather than accepting religion just as opium of people, he tries to clarify religious ethics impact on spirit of capitalism.

In my opinion this study should also had been conducted in a quantitative way in order to present real participation of Protestants and Catholics in economic life, the welfare of these two groups, the average working time of them etc. It is not I’m not believing Weber’s social observations but if there exists, numerical and obvious results of certain economic indicators of different religious groups could be a supporting part of this kind of a study. Otherwise there is a very little difference in Weber’s study and Turkey’s primeminister Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent declaration: "Yahudilerin çok ciddi keşifleri var. Oturdukları yerden para basıyorlar. Telefonun geçmişinde ve ampulün geçmişinde bunu görüyorsunuz." In this manner, one could easily argue that Jews have a strong affect on the spirit of capitalism, they are the master of trade etc. So the society in which this observation is done also prevent it from being a general theory. Plus, I think that “you may labour to be rich for God, though not for the flesh and sin” quotation resembles the approach of Fethullah Gülen’s religious community. They also say that they are working hard in the real world but they always say that they are working for the other world, not for themselves. Maybe Weber’s approach on the protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism could be followed to retrieve a reflection of it in Islamist communities and the spirit of capitalism.

reaction paper

E. Durkheim, The Division of Labour in Society, trans. L. Coser London: MacMillian Press, 1984.

Durkheim studies the function of the division of labour and states the social need behind this. Durkheim investigates the division of labour from a moral aspect and indicates that it satisfies the solidarity need of societies. In order to explain the social solidarity he chooses law as an organization of social life and divides law into two types which are repressive (penal law) and restitutive (civil law). While arguing the role and reflections of repressive law he argues that consciousnesses of people represent both their individual personality and the collectivity and the social solidarity is the result of society’s common consciousnesses. After expressing solidarity results from repressive law, he puts the restitutory law to the opposite side and derives a second solidarity; organic solidarity, from the nature of contractual law since contracts also includes mutual obligations of the two counterparts. He defines organic solidarity as a system of different functions united by definite relationships and he definitely states that there is a positive solidarity, a cooperation, a completion in the nature of division of labour.

He also investigates the causes and conditions that the division of labour depends on. He puts the need and motivation for happiness as a main cause of all progresses in social life and he states that it forces the individual to specialise more and more. Therefore, one could easily say that Durkheim sees division of labour as a natural and a normal result of a basic need of a human. But then, he states the abnormal forms of division of labour. He argues that as the density of division of labour increases, it may cause social instabilities. For example, he points out that the increased diversification of functions may result moral diversity. Industrial/commercial crises, hostility between labour and capital, boycotts are other examples. He quoted passages from Comte that explains the isolation of an individual as a result of division of labour, the lost of awareness about who the other collaborators are and what the task is. Durkheim states that these states of anomies main cause is the lack of solidarity that division of labour fails to produce. Finally he concludes that under normal circumstances the division of labour is a source of solidarity and it assumes that the workers feels they are in use, their activity is meaningful and they are going forward to an accomplishment of a goal.

In my opinion like economists’ “perfect market” assumption, although he mentions the abnormal results of division of labour, Durkheim draws a “perfect division of labour” picture. It is my belief that these defined “abnormal forms” are not anomalies but the natural results of division of labour since capitalists will never think of self-awareness and solidarity of a worker but always seek for their own benefit and apply what is necessary in order to increase their welfare.

("so you can develop a Marxist critique of Durkheim!"  diye not düşmüş kağıda Kenan hoca)

a sample of the mentality of Nazi administrators*

The Reich Minister of Justice
Information fot he Fuehrer
1943 No.

After the birth of her child, a full-blooded Jewess sold her mother’s milk to a pediatrician and concealed that she vas a Jewess. With this milk babies of German blood were fed in a nursing home for children. The accused will be charged with deception. The buyers of the milk have suffered damage, for mother’s a milk from a Jewess cannot be regarded as food for German children. The impudent behavior of the accused is an insult as well. Relevant charges, however, have not been applied for so that the parents, who are unaware of the true facts, need not subsequently be worried.

I shall discuss with the Reich Health Leader the racial-hygenic aspect of the case.

Berlin, April 1943

* from Bureaucracy and National Socialism by Frederic S. Burin

Bir gün herkese bir ayakkabı gerekebilir

01 Ekim 2009'da Bilgi Üniveresitesi'ndeki toplantıda Selçuk Özbek IMF başkanı Dominique Strauss-Kahn'a ayakkabı fırlattı. 02 Ekim 2009 tarihli BirGün gazetesi kapağı yukarıda.

reaction paper

Bolca Marx'tan sonra 3 not alabildim kendimce:

1. "Yabancılaşma"yı modern iş hayatında bilgisayarla insanın ilişkisi üzerinden inceleyebilirim pekala. Kim demiş servis sektöründe yabancılaşma yok diye.

2. Bir ürünün değeri onun içinde yer alan sosyal iş gücünün tamamı ise, bir taşlanmış kotun değeri içerisindeki tüm emeğin yanında bir de eninde sonunda insan hayatından oluşmaktadır. Marka değeri vs. dendi, marka değerini de yaratan işçinin kendisi değil mi? Benetton'ı bir kapitalist durup dururken tek başına bir anda yarattı ve sonra sadece işçiler benetton etiketini mi basmaya başladı? O yüzden mi onların emekleri ürünün değerine katılamaz? Absürd.

3. Marx feodalizmi de kapitalizmi de doğal bulmuyor ve kapitalistleri din adamları gibi "bizimki iyi bizden öncekiler bozuk" demekle suçluyor. Peki doğal olan ne? Sosyalizmde iş hayatı nasıl olacak? Biraz bunları hayal edeyim.

Bu 3 madde aşağıdaki ingilizce reaksiyon yazısının temel noktaları. Bunları burada paylaşıp paylaşmamak konusunda çok emin değilim ama eğer devam edersem 3 sene sonra bu şekilde akademik okuma ve yazmada nasıl, ne derece ilerleyebildiğimi basitçe görebilirim ve faydalı olur diye düşünüyorum. Üstelik yorum alabilirsem de pek şahane olur.


From Economico-Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844

From the First Manuscript: ‘Alienated Labour’

Karl Marx definitely divides society into two classes: property owners and propertyless workers and defines the private property as the central reason of political economy. After setting the first side of the alienation of a worker which is from (1) the products of his work, since the product is a result of production activity, he states that the (2) act of production is an active alienation. Plus, while most of us refer “satisfying physical/mental needs – such as socialisation – ” when we tried to find out the definition of work, the view of Marx is that the worker’s work is not voluntary, but a forced labour and for that reason it is not a satisfaction of a need but only a means for satisfying need external to it, furthermore a self-sacrifice.

Also he separates man from animal with the fact of conscious life activity and argues that the worker makes his life activity a mere means for his existence that leads to (3) alienation of a man from his own body, human nature, and (4) alienation of a man from (other) man. In conclusion, Marx puts the private property that belongs to someone other than the worker as a result of alienated labour. One could argue that alienation is mainly caused by routine work which was one of the consequences of mass production and division of labour, but I believe that the role of computers in today’s working life should be investigated deeply as a factor of alienation of millennium’s workers.

From Value, Price and Profit – 1865

According to Karl Marx, labour is the common element of all commodities and the measure of the value of a commodity depends on the social labour included in it and price is only the monetary expression of it. Therefore, accepting that the wages labourer is selling its value of labouring power to the capitalist and the value of a commodity is equal to the value of labour in it, he concludes that the surplus value, that is the profit of the capitalist, basically results from unpaid overtime of the worker. Marx states that the main aim of the capitalist had always been prolonging the working day and increase in wages should be considered in this dimension, so rise in wages should be equal to the rise in value of labour and would result in loss of profit rates of the capitalist. Therefore capitalist’s aim will always be lowering the wages and working class’s aim should be the destruction of the wages system in total.

Although supply demand curve and their intersection with the help of “so called”  invisible hands tries to explain the price/value of a commodity in a more materially (mathematically) understandable way, it is my belief that defining the value of a commodity in means of value of the total labouring power in it is maybe more complex and abstract for today’s capitalist structure but more realistic. For example, I do not accept that the price of a stoned jeans that results to soon or late death of a worker involved in its production is not the price label on it but the life of a human being.

From Capital, Volume I – 1867

In this study, Karl Marx investigates the capitalist mode of production and the conditions of production and exchange corresponding to that mode and takes England as a base country while giving his examples. It is clearly seen that Marx accepts the industrial development as a progress and believes that all countries will reach this stage inevitably. While investigating the use-value he refers to quantity and quality of labour included in a commodity and again he never accepts the value of a commodity as something other than the labour-time socially necessary for its production. In the argument of use value he concludes that if a thing is useless, the labour in itself should be useless and should not be accepted as labour since it creates no value. He discusses exchange value of a commodity as a choice of expressing the value of one thing in terms of other thing(s) and explains that one commodity could have lots of exchange values. In this discussion he concludes that exchange relations between products are directly determined by the exchange of the labour time necessary. Finally, he states that the conversion of products into commodities is the conversion of men into producers of commodities and criticizes the economists for acting like theologians and accuses them for thinking that there are only two kinds of institutions and accepting feudalism as artificial and bourgeoisie as natural. I think this clearly brings into sharp relief that Marx is accepting neither feudalism nor capitalism as natural.


I am quite not sure about sharing my reaction papers after submitting to my class but I think 3 years later this will be a good track to see the progress of myself in academic review/writing and also I'd appreciate if I receive some comments through social media.

the working day

We have till now supposed that the working day has given limits. The working day, however, has, by itself, no constant limits. It is the constant tendency of capital to stretch it to its utmost  physically possible length, because in the same degree surplus labour, and consequently the profit resulting therefrom, will be increased.

Value and Labour from Value, Price and Profit, 1865, The Portable Karl Marx, p. 421

One question

Almost everyone recognizes that the world could be a better place, and that there is much work to be done to improve it. Why then is so much of the debate about whether the world is getting better or worse, rather than about what can be done to make it a better place? It is because the debate is ultimately about policies. The implicit premise is that if the world is going to hell, then the policies that have been followed for the past fifty years are likely to be wrong. And if the world has been getting better, then the policies are more likely to be right. It is a separate question whether it is globalization that is responsible for what has happened.

from Globalization and Its Challenges by Stanley Fischer, p. 7

çocuksun sen

çocuksun sen sesinin çağlayanına düştüm
bir çiçeğe tutundum düşerken, ordayım hâlâ
sallanıp durmaktayım bir saatin sarkacı
nasıl gidip geliyor gidip geliyorsa öyle
ahmet telli'nin "çocuksun sen" şiirinin ikinci bölümünün ilk dört mısrası.
sizin de gözünüzün önüne tek eliyle bir vadinin kıyısından doğan büyükçe bir papatyaya tutunmuş koca bir adam geliyor mu? bize bakarken gülümseyerek sallanmıyor mu?
- bir saatin sarkacı nasıl gidip geliyor gidip geliyorsa öyle -
içimden bu mısraları okurken sanki biri kalbimin içinde salıncakta sallanıyor, o kadar canlı işte hem görselliği hem de sesi bu şiiirin.

dedim ki

sana bağlıyım, sana bağımlıyım.

bana bağlanmanı, bana bağımlı olmanı istiyorum.

"commitment is not enough, i want to become your addiction. i want you to be addicted to me"

ingilizce yazasım gelmesi de ilginç ama ingilizce yazınca daha bi oldu sanki ifade etmek istediğim.

bi de geçen dedim ki "aşk beni bencilleştiriyor, aşk beni sencilleştiriyor."

bunlardan bir ara bir öykü tutturmam lazım.

aşık olmanın tam zamanı*

İncesaz'ın 6 Kalbimdeki Deniz albümü çıkalı bir kaç ay oldu, hala "iki eylül şarkıları"na yaklaşamadıklarını düşünsem de bu da yine keyifli bir albüm, aylardır da kulaklarımdan eksik olmuyordu dün nihayet canlı dinleme fırsatım oldu yine Oyun Atölyesi'nde yine albümün ilk konserinde.

İlk yarı enstrümentaldi eskilerden çok çaldılar iki üç şarkı da yeni albümden çaldılar, benim hatırlayabildiklerim Kar ve Damat Havası oldu. Eskilerden de Eski Nisan. Hatta ilk şarkıda sadece Cengiz Onural, Murat Aydemir ve Derya Türkan vardı, yıllar önce beraber otururlarken çaldıkları ilk şarkıyı “Bakın İncesaz 001 budur, bu proje böyle doğmuştur.” diyerek bizi mest ettiler, şarkı bittikten sonra diğerleri geldi. İkinci yarıda Kalbimdeki Deniz’deki solistler vardı Bora Ebeoğlu’yla Dilek Türkan. Dilek Türkan’ın sesi albümdekinden güzelmiş canlı dinlerken daha çok hoşuma gitti ama “Çok Aşığın Var Diyorlar”ı söylerken pek içime sinmedi, Melihat Gülses’i aradı inatla kulaklarım. İkinci yarıda da eskilerden çaldılar, Çok Aşığın Var Diyorlar’dan başka Mazi Kalbimde’yi ve Ateşli Gözlerin’i dinleyebildim canlı.

Bu konserden sonra da İncesaz'ı Melihat Gülses'le dinleyebilme arzusu ve sadece eylül şarkıları'ndan oluşan bir konser isteği doldu yine içime. Oysa bu konser de çok keyifliydi ve konserden çıktığımızda iki buçuk saat geçmiş bitmişti.

Not: Konser boyunca bir kaç fotoğraf çekmeme izin verdiler, tamamı şuradan görülebiliyor.

İncesaz - 6 Kalbimdeki Deniz

Gitar: Cengiz Onural
Kanun: Taner Sayacıoğlu
Bas Gitar: Akın Aral
Tanbur: Murat Aydemir
Klasik Kemençe: Derya Türkan
Vurmalı Çalgılar: Türker Çolak
Lavta: Murat Aydemir

Solist: Bora Ebeoğlu
Solist: Dilek Türkan

*albümdeki "tam zamanı" adlı şarkıdan alıntı,
ne yarın ne dün olur ille bugün
aşık olmanın tam zamanı