Aggressive language weakens economic rationale

Aggressive language weakens economic rationale

“TÜSİAD is a tool serving dark interests.” This is what the head of Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (İTO) said about the prestigious business association TÜSİAD… Why is he saying that? It is because the head of TÜSİAD, Cansen Başaran Symes, said rising inflation, which coincided with the deteriorating security environment, “can also be regarded as a consequence of declining confidence in Turkey, as its reputation deteriorates,” in her long speech.

The head of İTO, İbrahim Çağlar, reacted to this, saying, “While we are constantly emphasizing the need for continued stability, such statements coming from TÜSİAD can only be explained, unfortunately,  in the sense that they are ‘hired hitmen’ for evil interests.”

Which one is right; which one do you agree with?

I want to view the topic not from the point of taking sides but in terms of “analytical thinking,” something we definitely need a lot.

Analytical thinking

Turkey’s economic indicators are indeed much better than many “developing” countries but how are they compared to five years ago? This is the correct question to ask to understand the course of events.

The “factor of confidence” in economy can be provided not by words of appreciation but when indicators confirm this.

If Ali Babacan is saying, “We were not able to go from $10,000 to $11,000 in the past five years,” then isn’t it apparent that some things are going wrong and need to be corrected?

Shouldn’t we think that there are some problems in the economy given that the inflation rate has always been above the targeted level for the last four years?

When the national saving rate has fallen, when the share of industry in the national income has sunk, when our growth has become dependent on consumption rather than production, should we not see these realities, show them, emphasize them and demand solutions for them?

This is the “analytical thinking” style; it analyzes complicated events and trends, researches components and determines the failing and positive factors. It develops a thinking and behavior that depends on all of that. 

This style of thinking lies in the roots of the Far East miracle and modernity as well.

Conspiratorial thoughts

Well then, what kind of thinking is mentioning “hitmen, dark interests, the interest rate lobby, secret powers and a superior mind”? This style of thinking does not have any correspondence in scientific philosophy and it does not take us anywhere.

Moreover, it blocks the analysis of facts, research of the problematique, positive factors and the chance to develop solutions accordingly. It causes enemy-obsessed and aggressive behavior. Problems awaiting solutions are perceived as the “conspiracy” of secret powers.

The suitable behavior for this is to “exorcize,” like the exorcizing rituals of the past thousands of years when an epidemic or a problem in society emerged. Problems will remain unsolved, becoming deeper.

Scientific mentality

Analytical scientific thinking has always remained a thin vein in human history. However, in the current era, a scientific mentality at the level of general culture is a must. The economy has also become a science. When talking about the economy, the language of the economy should be used; especially in a society as ours that met the science of the economy 150 years late.

The head of TÜSİAD should also be criticized with the language of economy. She may have said too much or too little. A criticism in the language of the economy could also have been enlightening.

Unfortunately, the aggressive language which dominates our political life is also weakening the economic rationalism mentality which we desperately need. At least the business world, academia and commentators in the media who address large audiences should protect “analytical thought.”

When Max Weber said the market economy would bring rationalization, he was right; unfortunately, however, the change in mentality develops slower than material welfare; we need to be keener.