New politics and new Turkey
Political theories need to invent new theories and concepts to explain what happens all over the world in the era of so-called post-democracy.
In fact, all modern theories on democracy, liberalism, dictatorship and revolution have long failed to define politics of the non-Western world.
The theories inspired by post-modern thought claimed the end of modernity or Western modernity decades ago and suggested to acknowledge the plurality of modern experiences like “non-Western modernities” or invented new mixtures like “illiberal democracies.”
After the end of modern revolutions, new terms were invented, like “color revolutions” or “negotiated changes.”
Nevertheless, on one hand, the new trend of rising authoritarian and intolerant political currents did not only dominate non-Western countries but also started to affect the Western democracies.
On the other, the so-called color revolutions and its Arab version, named the Arab Spring, failed dramatically, and “negotiated change” almost never happened in troubled countries. Instead, anti-liberal revolts succeeded political gains at the ballot boxes.
We may well argue that democracy is not only defined by elections, and majoritarianism is a form of authoritarianism.
Besides, it is not even a new issue but an old issue of controversy which began being debated as early as Aristotle’s time.
Nevertheless, in the age of universal suffrage, no solution could be found to eliminate the risks of non-democratic results of modern elections without the risk of sliding into elitist authoritarianism(s).
No wonder why the democrats and liberals feel helpless in Turkey and elsewhere to define their politics, let alone pursue their democratic goals.
Besides, it is a vicious circle to defend democracy for non-democrats, as on the one hand one ceases to be a democrat if he/she suggests limiting public opinion, on the other hand political space and liberties are gradually ceasing to exist under the dominance of non-democrats who came to power with strong social support and legitimacy.
Although, that dilemma cannot explain all weaknesses of political opposition in Turkey, it became a major obstacle after Turkey’s regime becomes totally changed and political space becomes immensely limited under the new political system.
What is worse is not only that the majority of political opposition is suffering from their lack of democratic credentials, they seem and sound as if they still could not comprehend the shortcomings of the new system.
As for the builders of the new regime, they too seem unaware of the shortcomings of the system that they succeeded to impose.
Turkey is a far more complex and plural society to be governed by an iron fist even if its opposition dynamics are not strong enough.
Finally, it is utterly difficult to foresee the political and social prospects of Turkey, and the future is curious to say the least.