Size Matters II

Garen Yegparian

BY GAREN YEGPARIAN

Turkey’s chest thumping, arrogant, threats against France, over the anti-denial legislation that passed both houses of the French legislature, betray Turkey’s inherent weakness, stemming from its refusal to come to terms with and atone for its past misdeeds, and the Armenian Genocide isn’t its only transgression against humanity.

Much like an adolescent whose body is big but whose brain still doesn’t know what to do with it, Turkey is thrashing about, lumbering bewildered, and trying to find its way and place in the international community.  An just like its youthful human analog, it hasn’t yet learned that being straightforward will help it progress.

Does anyone recall Turkey being quite this loud in its knee jerk, denial-policy-based reaction before?  Was it this intense a decade ago with France’s recognition of the Genocide?  How about the UN’s acceptance of its special rapporteur’s findings about the Armenian Genocide?  Or the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of Armenian Genocide resolutions?  Or the U.S. arms embargoing arms to Turkey over its invasion and occupation of Cyprus?  Or the decades long farce of the EU keeping Turkey as “always a bridesmaid never a bride”?

The reason Turkey is so voluble and strident in its reaction is its self-perception as being in a much stronger position than it used to be.  And there’s some truth to this.  Its economy has been growing rapidly (though some argue unsustainably).  Its population exceeds that of every European country except Russia and Germany (though a quarter of that is actually Kurdish).  It has had relatively better governance for a decade now.  It feels young, strong, and surging.  It has all the attributes that coupled with immaturity, overweening pride, and insecurity lead to bullying.

So it’s clear that bigger can mean badder.

That’s why it is an insoluble mystery to me why that same lesson is not applied by many in society to another institution that is a manifest example of “bigger-badder”.  I refer to those who reflexively defend large corporate interests.

Corporations are set up as vehicles for conducting business to make money.  That is their primary purpose (with the exception of those organizations that incorporate as a legal necessity, even though their purposes are charitable or civic).  When an organization gets big, it unavoidably becomes less personal, and the money making impetus becomes the sole organizing theme and unifying factor.  So far this is not a problem.

But, as with any human endeavor, there are costs and tradeoffs.  The efficiencies that accrue to big companies enable them to get ever bigger, and with their financial prowess, deform the functions of their surrounding societies, bending them to better suit their purposes.  This happens at a cost to the individual citizens of these societies, usually impinging on their freedoms and voice in governance.

The only way to counterbalance this deformation is through control, limitation, of corporate activity.  A single citizen is clearly not up to such an onerous task.  That’s where the citizenry’s representative, the government, comes in.  It is the only agent capable of counterbalancing corporate power.

However, big government can be just as effective a choker of individual liberty as any money-addled corporation.  So citizens must be aware of and involved in their government, otherwise, “clookhuh g’arneh, g’erta” (it will run amok).  As paraphrased from a 1790 speech by John Philpot Curran in his “ Speech Upon the Right of Election”, “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty”.

Corporations of course, act to subvert the only power able to check theirs, so citizens must be doubly vigilant.  A current example of this awareness/engagement requirement is the effort now underway to restore corporations to what they rightfully are, legal constructs that exist based on the government’s permission.  Two years ago, in its “Citizens United” decision, the U.S. Supreme Court effectively granted “personhood” to corporations, a huge threat to every human citizen.  Now, many are out to remedy this abomination.

Big Turkey is bad.  Big Corporations are bad.  “Citizens United” is bad.  Please explore this issue and get involved in taking back your government and powers as a citizen.

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4 Comments

  1. Mabuballah said:

    What all this ado about corporate and government powers and responsibilities has to do with Turkey remains a mystery to me. Turkey remains the rapacious and dangerous hegemon that it has been since its inception a millenium ago, and we Americans have little appreciation for the ages-long dread shared by all Eastern Europeans of the threat that it imposes to this day.

  2. Just as I see it... said:

    What a lovely and condescending article.

    You write: “Much like an adolescent whose body is big but whose brain still doesn’t know what to do with it,” so now you’re a child psychologist?! Oy!

    Instead of writing such “emotional” pieces, why not turn to “professional” journalism, and look for “constructive” ways to approach the issue at hand; an approach that does not make you seem as emotional as a 9 yr old school girl.

    Your over all “tone” makes it easy to just “ignore” what you have to say. You write like a controversial politician, rather than a professional journalist. You point a bony-finger, yet you’re nothing of substance to say… Aside from that, the article was great…

  3. Haik Azad said:

    Dearest just as see it from my crooked point of view but can never get it,because of all the crow I ate and now a terrible indigestion is aching my soul,pardon my belly.It seems the cold turkey state of mind has gotten your professional journalist`s soul,and the reason for that can only be too much talking turkey on asbarez and other sites.Did they pay you with money or the halal halva rahat lokum pilaf pork liquor &crow were enough?Or maybe the they sent you a bartered child bride or two?The mind boggles??? We all suggest a visit to the turkish bath for a quick hanky-panky will help.And dont forget to take off your glasses while youre doing it-we dont wanna miss yer razor sharp deep and thoughtful insights on all things armenian.

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