This is the first part of a seven part voice recording of a seminar delivered by Eric Hobsbawm. I was not able to locate the time, but i guess early 1990s.
Intersubjectivities can be summarised briefly as “those shared notions of the nature of social relations which tend to perpetuate habits and expectations of behaviour” (Cox, 2007, 516). Intersubjectivities can be taken as the fundamental upon which social discourses take place, they are in a way the reflections of the common sense at a definitive place and time. They frame the possibilities of discussions, and possible options, they draw the limits of possible. They are not unique nor they are essentials which are constant in time and close to change. They are a part of the human mind, and as the human mind modifies itself through the contact with the material conditions in which it finds itself, they do change. We can discern the historical evolution of these intersubjectivities and by doing so we can (if we wish to) strive to change them through political action.
Controversial issues and the discussions that took place around them is a time of photo opportunity for the curious intellectual. The more controversial the issue the more sentimental and natural the discussion. They are the gateway to understand the niveau of the discussions and intersubjectivities shared by people who feel themselves mentally belong to a specific groups of social forces.
In Turkey such a discussion began to take place during the last week, following such a controversial campaign on a even more controversial issue.
Some independent intellectuals of Turkey, decided to sign a petition to present their excuse for the neglect of research and action on the issue of the ‘Grreat Tragedy’ the Armenian people experienced during the 1915. Turkey sometimes digs her head in the ground and behave like the three-monkeys, never heard, never saw, never spoken about it. Since the last decade, the issue of the Armenian tragedy was officially forgotten. If yes, then it is portrayed as a case in which Ottoman Armenians collaborated with the Russians and other enemies during the First War and hence forces to leave their home and deported to south of the Ottoman Empire. The Turkish state officially accepts that there were a number of death, this was due to bad weather and famine. In no ways, an assault on the population took place. Anyone questioning this would have to bear harsh criticisms and be labelled as a traitor.
The President Gül, commented on the campaign and he said that it is good for the maturing of the Turkish democracy. Paradoxically, a parliamentarian from the allegedly social democrat, member of the Socialist International, the party of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi. She is a member of Parliament from the most social-democrat city of Turkey, the secular castle of Izmir. She commented that one has to search the President’s mother’s families ties, to understand the President’s smooth respond to the campaign. She by no means meant that the mother of the President is to be an Armenian. This kind of a fascist tone that easily pronounced by such a lady MP. This is the time to shoot the film, and to take a snapshot of the intersubjectivities in Turkey.
During the last 5 years, I have been seeing a proliferation of Turkish flags in houses and streets in Turkey. Sometimes these are near the autobahns, on the mountains and at the balconies of houses. One can have the feeling that Turkey just came out of the war gloriously. In the last 10 years, private TV channels are pumping nationalist images through bad-quality Turkish series. The character is mostly a Turkish and Muslim hero, fighting against the bad word of underground or PKK or even the United States. Crazyheart they call this kind of people.
This is a new dimension of the intersubjectivity in Turkey. The Sevres Syndrome, which always seeks external enemies behind all actions in Turkey, and such intellectuals were mostly seen as collaborative of external agents. They can be puppets of SOROS, of CIA and the covert world. They cannot have their own idea and own motivation to question an issue in Turkey, it is impossible because it is an intersubjectively acceptance that there is always a plot against the Turkish state.
The President’s reply, is another wonderful moment of photography. A sudden rush of sentimentality. The President officially announced his family tree, and shared with the people, that he was a Muslim and a Turk. So he officially certified his identity. He was not an Armenian, as if being an Armenian is something bad. How can she blame her mother as Armenian? I would be happy if the conversation ended here, but it went, I am a Muslim Turk, i cannot be an Armenian. Both parts of the discussion illustrate the niveau of discussions in Turkey nowadays.
Prime Minister Erdogan was again fantastic on his comments about the issue. He said, “They must have committed genocide because they are apologizing. The Turkish Republic has no such problem.” – “We cannot join a campaign such as this just because writers started it. Personally I do not accept their campaign, nor take part in it. We did not commit any crime, why should we apologize? This is a debate discussed by historians.”
In an hour’s conversation in Hobsbawm’s house in Hampstead Heath, we didn’t have time to revisit the famously exotic dimensions of his life: his quasi-religious attachment to Communism and his fascination with jazz, or the polar views of the man and his work. Link here to the loving, the venomous and the measured. Hobsbawm’s bookshelves groan with a lot of my favorite jazz tomes, like Stanley Dance’s The World of Count Basie, and Robert Gottlieb’s collection, Reading Jazz. I am sending him Arthur Taylor’s marvelous interviews with the post-Parker jazz stars through the Civil Rights revolution, Notes and Tones. But in the time we had, it seemed best to hear the crunchy numbers and sweeping authority that are acknowledged from all points of the history profession — not least from his young opposite number, the neo-imperialist Niall Ferguson .
I asked him to speak of the themes in his pithy new book: On Empire: America, War and Global Supremacy. I said it’s still mysterious to me that Tony Blair and long post-imperial Britain followed President Bush and the United States into Iraq.”
Direct quote from:
Is the intellectual opinion of capitalism changing? British Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm, “arguably our greatest living historian” according to the New York Review, discusses the current economic crisis and the problems with a free market economy.
This is the front page of the Atlantic Monthly, published in 1990, written by Bernard Lewis. The picture itself tells all. But if you wanna read and see how the Huntingtinian idea on the so-called “Clash of Civilisations” origined.
Norman Dodd (June 29, 1899 – January 1987) was a chief investigator in 1953 for U.S. Congressman B. Carroll Reece Special Committee on Tax Exempt Foundations (commonly referred to as the Reece Committee). He was primarily known for his controversial investigation into tax-exempt foundations.
A term brought into the mental dictionaries through an article written by the economist John Williamson (1). Accordingly, this term meant to be “the lowest common denominator of policy advice being addressed by the Washington-based institutions to Latin American countries as of 1989.” Which were:
- Fiscal discipline
- A redirection of public expenditure priorities toward fields offering both high economic returns and the potential to improve income distribution, such as primary health care, primary education, and infrastructure
- Tax reform (to lower marginal rates and broaden the tax base)
- Interest rate liberalization
- A competitive exchange rate
- Trade liberalization
- Liberalization of inflows of foreign direct investment
- Deregulation (to abolish barriers to entry and exit)
- Secure property right (2)
(1). Williamson, John: What Washington Means by Policy Reform, in: Williamson, John (ed.): Latin American Readjustment: How Much has Happened, Washington: Institute for International Economics 1989.
(3). Video of Williamson commenting on the topic.
(4). http://www.henryckliu.com/page40.html also look at this article.
Lately i saw an ad on one of the mainstream Turkish daily about the photos of the former beauty Queens of Turkey. One photo striked me at first. This was the photo shooting of the holder of the 1960 trophy, posing near a cabrio sport car, I guess behind there is the symbol of the modernity, Airports. It reminded me the films of Godard from 1960s. I also looked at some of the photos from the 1960s US media press coverage of the Miss International 1960s.
These photos reminded me the cultural side of the hegemony and the intersubjectivities created through the hegemonic order. As a widespread spectacle, a coverage for newspapers, periodicals and toddling TV stations, a fuel to the machines of the culture industry. How fashion becomes an a priori acceptance, and becomes embedded in the mindsets of the members of the Pax Americana. On the other hand, the portrayal of the feminine in this scale had also inherent in its body the subordination and dominance in a fascist way. The model women, with an international herbal beauty parlour.
An interview with Robert Cox, on his ideas and his latest interests.
Globalisation, Societies and Education, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2003
Interview with Robert W. Cox
School of Education, University of Auckland and GSOE, University of Bristol, 35
Berkeley Square, Bristol BS8 1JA, UK
GSOE, University of Bristol, 35 Berkeley Square, Bristol BS8 1JA, UK