A letter to the losers and winners - SÜLEYMAN SEYFI ÖĞÜN

A letter to the losers and winners

Political parties submitted their candidate lists to the Supreme Election Committee for the 2015 elections. An important gap has been exceeded. On June 7th, a part of these candidates will be elected, while the others lose. A new parliament will start functioning in Turkey.

The modern world is a competitive world. In tradition, the feeling of competition would have taken place in the list of defective feelings. Of course, this doesn't mean that there are no competitions in the traditional worlds. Competition was even valid in those days. The essential difference between the traditional and modern worlds is that, while competition is being done “implicitly” and even “secretly” in traditional worlds, this has become “explicit” in the modern worlds. Of course, the differences are not limited with this; as the competition became “explicit”, and at the same time, became “legitimized”, it gave birth to it being “affirmed” and ultimately became “popular”. The widespread and hegemonic expressions in our present time are even the positive contributions of the “competition” at individual and communal levels. Let us incline our ears to the expression and remember; “Competition is good”. “Competition mobilizes communities, and renews their cells”. “Competition is the key to success”…

All of those are praises. Things that are being praised only raises my suspicions towards them. Beautiful things don't need praises. If something is being praised, then most likely there is an ugliness hidden in it. For example, let us think about the “sweet competition” expression. Let's approach it from the opposite side; Then there is “sour” competition. Then, what is it that makes the competition sweet? Maybe it's because its regular and reasonable. In other words, this is the oppression of possible tensions or even revolts that will be experienced by losers emotionally when they lose. All is good, however, I wonder, what part of “oppression”, “suppression” or “accepting” is sweet? From which part of the people's losses, caused by this sweet competition, can this taste be distilled? What sediments will this oppression or suppression leave behind? How will these residues become evident to the spite of relatively calming environments, where cold comforts like “come on now, don't be sad, work harder, you will win someday” are floating about?

This reminds me of the ultimate endings of the sport competitions we watch. For example, let's think about a live broadcast of a 100-meter race. At the beginning, each athlete will be presented to the spectators. Race begins and in the end there is only one winner. Objectives and cameras will leave the rest and focus on the winner. The others will be out of sight, as if they are vaporized, and disappear.

Somehow, I've always been more interested in the losers' world. I wonder; what's the athlete, who came in fifth, and the other, who came in last, doing at that moment? Why won't they be handed the microphone? Why are their feelings left out?

There is an unfair distribution of success in the modern world. No matter how hard the difference between the winner and loser is attempted to be hidden with the “civilized competition”, it's quite sharp and merciless. This is an ideology that renders the winners as a minority, while the losers a majority. There are quite refined and banal equivalents of this ideology. However, in the end, it leads to the same door. We are not discussing this. Even, we find it futile to argue over it. For example, Darwinism is attracting my attention the most in this matter. How can we explain as the Social Darwinism and, as a biological theory, that the fiery arguments conducted around Darwinism are left suspended?

It could be seen with a straight view that the “sports”, “arts” and “politics” in Turkey are giving off the most savage codes of this organized competition world. Solving these codes are almost equal to resolving Turkey. This also does not require anything special other than forming some relations. After all, we are witnessing these fields losing their autonomies and gaining permeability against each other. It's easier to discuss politics as football; football as politics; arts as politics and politics as arts nowadays.

I guess the skill is; to be able to exclude some fields of life from the organized and coded world of competition; and to remember the individual and participative taste of “being processed” in these fields, without competing with anyone and with only the incentive of curiosity. Come on now, neither should the winners be that happy nor the losers be that sad….

It isn't worth it… Really, it isn't…


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