[Marxism] On Erdogan’s ‘Ordinary Things’: The Soma Massacre, the Spine Tower, and the Corporate-State’s Fitrat in Turkey

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun May 18 14:15:39 MDT 2014

Erdoğan’s anachronistic collage of nineteenth-century Britain, 
late-twentieth-century India, and many other places and times in between 
as the explanatory grounds to rationalize coal mine explosions as 
unfortunate but ordinary parts of the business of mining is itself not 
only unfortunate, but simply despicable: void of thoughtful and grounded 
zikr (remembrance; invocation), before we can even get to fitr (genesis; 
constitution) to put it differently. What Erdoğan’s interview reveals is 
less the characteristics of the coal mining and extractive industries 
under the ordinary business of capitalism, and more the very fitrat of 
the Erdoğan administration’s “corporate-state” itself per Bulent Kucuk’s 
formulation, and its ways of doing capitalism in Turkey. More directly, 
what is revealed in Soma is the fitrat of the contract-based companies 
that blatantly perpetuate working conditions that keep workers on the 
brink of a potential or real massacre in the extractive as well as in 
the construction industries in Turkey. As the people of Soma and those 
protesting in solidarity with them have repeatedly underscored, the 
death of more than 321 people in a mine does not constitute a work 
accident, but a massacre that was committed by concrete actors. They now 
need to be held accountable.


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