Transcribed from the 21 March 2015 episode of This is Hell! Radio and printed with permission. Edited for space and readability. Listen to the whole interview:
“Social democracy, fascism, and state communism are a lot more similar, in certain structural ways, than any of them want to admit. The leftwing critique was always to point that out. Now it’s the right saying that. They say anything that looks like a welfare state is both communist and fascist at the same time. But that critique no longer has anything to do with what’s going on.”
Chuck Mertz: The total, brutal, oppressive bureaucracy we find ourselves living in today is a creation of our own choosing. Here to tell us how we can still choose another way before it’s too late, David Graeber is the author of the new book The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy. Welcome back to This is Hell!, David.
David Graeber: Thanks for having me! Hello.
Note from the LeftEast editors: The attempted rape, murder, and burning of 20-year-old university student Özgecan Aslan on Feb. 11th touched a nerve in a society where male-on-female violence has been a chronic problem. Massive demonstrations throughout Turkey followed soon after, but what will it take to stem the surge in femicide over the last decade or so?
(And an AntiNote: in a characteristic attempt to draw connections between issues and interests across movements and contexts, we would also like to emphasize evident ideological and geographical overlap between radical feminism in Turkey and the Kurdish women’s movement, which has found such striking expression in Rojava and the fight against ISIS in particular. We thus invite our hungrier readers to a second helping of Anatolian feminism, from Kurdish revolutionary scholar Dilar Dirik.)
“Women face the most extreme cases of violence when they attempt to become independent of men. The religious-conservative ideological imposition that women should behave according to their purpose of creation is the discourse that perpetuates violence against women because it encourages men to “punish” women who step outside the confines of patriarchal family.”
Mattia Gallo: Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan said that women are not equal to men. This public statement is only one piece of a policy pursued by his party of conservative neoliberalism, a policy that increases precarity and poverty for men and women, and which tries to control and subordinate the role of women. What have been the effects of this policy on Turkish society since 2002, the year that brought Erdoğan’s party, AKP, to power? What are the issues that feminists have faced?
Selin Cagatay: This is not the first time that Erdoğan has stated his disagreement with gender equality. In 2010, when he was prime minister, he said, “I do not believe in the equality of men and women. I believe in equal opportunities. Men and women are different and complementary.” More strikingly, he said this at a consultation meeting with women’s NGOs, which included long-standing feminist organizations, during which he addressed women exclusively as mothers.
By Peter Kropotkin
AntiNote: This text was first published in 1880 in ‘La Revolte’ and was later issued as a pamphlet. The texts presented on AntiDote has been left consciously unedited.
It is to the young that I wish to address myself today. Let the old – I mean of course the old in heart and mind – lay the pamphlet down therefore without tiring their eyes in reading what will tell them nothing.
I assume that you are about eighteen or twenty years of age; that you have finished your apprenticeship or your studies; that you are just entering into life. I take it for granted that you have a mind free from the superstition which your teachers have sought to force upon you; that you don’t fear the devil, and that you do not go to hear parsons and ministers rant. More, that you are not one of the fops, sad products of a society in decay, who display their well-cut trousers and their monkey faces in the park, and who even at their early age have only an insatiable longing for pleasure at any price…I assume on the contrary that you have a warm heart, and for this reason I talk to you.