Monuments of Duplicity: Exploring the Ruins of Modernity
Palaces, Potentates, and Sand Castles of the Really Real
The death of the real, and it's replacement by ghostly simulations which - for almost all of us - are now what we believe "reality" to be represented by, is a subject of remarkably little interest to to those who suffer most the loss of it. The allure, and the verisimilitude of the illusions which replace it are great enough to nix any longing for that almost forgotten state of being wherein we experience the world unmoderated by the many buffers now employed to "protect" us from it's harsh intensity. The intensity of being fully "alive."
Much of that allure is based upon the promises which the post-reality paradigm offers up - freedom from pain, from suffering, isolation, even death itself! And although there is little evidence to support the conclusion that any of these promises have been, or ever will be, met, we exist in the "age of marketing," where every objection or doubt can be cancelled out by the power of "brand persuasion."
The "brand" under the microscope here - what I might call "modernity," in all it's forms - is that social project by which people are induced to participate in their own extinction via a premise marketed under different guises, but with the same essential message.
As contradictory and confusing as it may first sound, the project of modernity is a vehicle which can be driven in two directions - both future and past! While we might suppose that modernity by it's very nature implies a constant propulsion towards the future - and away from the past - if you have studied the subject with some degree of care, one realizes that is not accurate.
The reason I can with assurance make that claim will be discovered in the two areas of investigation which will be studied and compared in this outing. First off, we extend the map further westwards into the Mediterranean part of our world - to the "Greek Islands." Specifically, to Crete, and the civilization reputed to have grown up there, long in advance of any Greek, or European model of the same.
Here, at the site of "Knossos," the palace "reconstructed" by Sir A Evans and crew, we are witness to the birth of "modernity" as filament of a European imagination in search of invented beginnings - for a legacy which could compete with those of the ancient Mesopotamian world. As Chester Starr put it: "Minoan civilization is the only great civilization created in the twentieth century." Archeological endeavors in employ to a European thirst for identity turned out to be not just capable of digging up the past, but of creating it too! The reinforced concrete structure Evans produced out of the ruins found at Knossos is a temple of "modernity," not antiquity.
And so embedded in the European consciousness was the need for such temples that the English and Germans of that opening part of the C20th, though competitors and rivals in all other aspects, were united in their philHellenism & need for roots. "‘Hellenism’ in the West is about the way in which Western colonial powers have valued Greek culture, particularly ‘Classical’ culture, as embodying the founding spirit of their own (Hamilakis and Yalouri 1996).
While Schliemann's work in exposing a Mycenaean culture on the far margins of a Europe still completing the job of expelling the Muslim Turk from it's shores was an important step in that same direction, only via creation of the "Minoan" civilization could the feelings of inferiority at the core of it's being be assuaged. Ironically, what stirred popular imagination the greatest among the artifacts "discovered" at Knossos are those objects(faience Snake Goddess statuettes, for example)that are most under suspicion now of being forgeries - faked by his own custodians. Art, artifacts, popular culture and "high" culture together, mixed into a potent brew by which the real - and real history - could be subsumed to the new project of taking Europe on a one way voyage to mythical lands of enchantment - where they all live today! And though I began the work of sketching out the background to this voyage of the damned almost a decade ago - in Musings - the sense of connection and continuity between it, and the central topic of this platform for the past year - Anatolia - has only now become crystal clear! As another... adjoining society collapses in ruins under the weight of the same talmudic campaign of terror, we can better engage with a salient truth about "ruins:" ...
"ruins are ideal in that the perceiver’s attitudes to them are so central as to constitute a way of seeing. Anything slipping into dereliction engages human feelings about where we see ourselves in history and, as such, Knossos as a modern building is one that uses the concept of the ruin as a sophisticated game. By effectively blurring the distinction between ancient and modern, Evans’s Knossos was to engage the perceptions of visitors in a way that historical monuments had never achieved before." -Inventing the Minoans: Archaeology, Modernity and the Quest for European Identity John K. Papadopoulos
Ruins of old - ruins of new... in all their iterations, it is in the ruins of things that we must seek for clues as to where "the real" has been hidden away from us.
For which task we need travel back across the Aegean to view a modern kind of ruins - a structure which by it's very creation, and presence announced the ruination and destruction of the Turkish Republic. The monumental building created near Ankara which is known as Aksaray Palace is no ruins in the visual sense. One needs understand the neo-Ottoman love of symbols to see it in it's proper context.
a year ago
For beholding the MEANING of AKSARAY PALACE, the observer needs equip themselves with some facts which will supplement the visual immensity and overkill of the building itself. Four times the size of the palace of Versailles -30x the size of the "WHITE HOUSE," this albatross dedicated to the monumental ego of a pretender to the throne of Sultans has cost already some 20 billion lira - with more construction to come. It's worth considering, when weighing up the social cost of this folly, that the country where it is located has a GDP but a fraction of the countries of the above mentioned comparison. It's stretching credulity a long way past max to suggest that there is a need for such an amount of space - for a couple of people and their entourage.
While it might seem ridiculous to present the palace as another example of "ruins" in any way similar to those of Knossos, there are some considerations to be placed in favor of such an argument. Like the Cretan structure, the AK SARAY palace has been built purposely to maximize the visual connection to time past - Ottoman glories in this case - as well, oddly enough, to create the impression of utmost contemporary standards and usage, at the same time! Bridging antiquity and modernity this way is emblematic of the method that the man and his party have used to inveigle the country into a fantasy where Islam and the modern west are somehow coexistent - yet with the advantage of place and performance going to the former, via a complicated system of signals which Islamists also love to use in communicating.
It's as if - in the dementia of hard-core religious ideology where these people exist, the very cables, rebar, antenna and wireless signals of the western technologies they import with abandon are "dhimmi-like" servants which exist as part of the Occident's imagined obeisance to the moral superiority of the Islamic state!
In the same way that the Wahabi apostates in control of Mecca/Medina have consistently demolished the authentic remains of Islamic holy sites and replaced them with modern, commercially-oriented structures, the Turkish fantasists have rebuilt the entire country in their image of a faux-Islamic shopping mall & theme park. The neo-liberal ideology of the regime creates in it's imagination the notion that a whole world of people just like themselves are poised to come and "shop till they drop" in this halal consumer disneyworld - with it's Islamist -friendly beach resorts and luxury hotels catering to the uber wealthy Muslim tourist. Unfortunately for that economic program - the rest of the world is regrettably "shopped out" at this time!
The legitimate archeological treasures and uniquely authentic places - like Cappadocia, Ephesus, or Patara, are all now viewed in dwindling numbers as Turkey unconsciously re-brands itself as the place least receptive - and attractive to - foreign visitors outside the ill-chosen demographic desired. The great surge of effort in these past two or three years to turn the country into an incipient Sunni Caliphate and mono-cultural desert has worked wonders to cut the flow of people and revenue which was such a key part of the national income. With nothing to replace that money other than illicit artifact and stolen oil deals the profits from which go into the pockets of the power hierarchy anyways, the capacity of the nation to afford the extravagance of an AK SARAY would clearly be already in doubt to any rational on-looker.
But now we must factor in something I've seen little mention of in the press anywhere - the cost of sequestering the businesses and assets of the most productive and successful elements of society - who as I mentioned in the previous story - are being stripped of their wealth and thrown into jail right now by the dozens, as I write. That these individuals have been punished illegally and immorally for their own independence from the state and success in business is bad enough. What is worse, for the country as a whole, is that the entrepreneurial spirit of enterprise and competence in management is being crushed and eliminated -forever- as well. Just as technical and intellectual standards have been rubbished through the purging of the university staff, the "religification" of the education system proceeds apace - at the expense of competence and employability!! And though the state has seized the entire assets of much of it's business class, none or little of those funds will be delivered to the social sector -or even the business one! They are merely the spoils of war, which the political plunderers will arrange to be sent into the appropriate channels which most profit themselves.
I may not be doing a great job of getting my point across here - so let me come right to it! You see, all of these various accretions of the last three years of failed political policies, foreign adventurism, "islamification" of the schools, the economy, and the culture, and finally, of the phony coup itself, have hollowed out the real economy to such a degree - though NONE seem willing to talk about it - that there is nothing but RUINS ahead for a country totally unprepared to deal with any downturn in national income. As if by design, one by one, each pillar supporting that economy has been chopped down in sequence, and when the roof finally follows, it's going to seem like the Santorini Explosion all over again!
That's "Islamic" modernism, I greatly fear. At the behest of their talmudic controllers, some vain and petty political operatives turn their respective satrapy back towards the middle ages. It's being repeated all over the middle east. And those who believe that the same template of destructive intent cannot be reused for the western satrapies are so purposely naive as to deserve every bit of those same tsunamis of shock which are due to land upon their shores soon as well. All the fantasies of modernism" - eastern or western version - will end in ruins - you can depend upon it
And while I'm on the subject of predictions, I must announce that in one of them, from last winter past, I badly misjudged the people whom I'd thought I'd come to know well, in making the claim that they would doubtless resist the kind of overthetop silliness and hypocrisy of the kind I'd underlined in the story "White Slavery, Dark Migrants: where I wrote at the time:
"Because it is extremely unlikely that the Turkish body politic will react to the overt hypocrisy, double standards, insider trading, and flouting of the law in the same complacent manner which the people of Brunei appear to adopt in relation to their own leaders.
Sex, lies and Sharia Law: The secret life of the ... - News.com.au
In a story on 60 Minutes, viewers saw how the Sultan of Brunei lives a very extravagant but somewhat moderate Muslim life. But last year the Sultan introduced ..
As we learn from the story above - "last year the Sultan introduced Sharia Law - where thieves would have their hands cut off and adulterers and homosexuals would be stoned to death. It applies to everyone living in Brunei except the Sultan and his Royal family."
It would serve the Turkish imitators of the Brunei Sultan's excesses well to remember that his country is rated fifth richest in the world - per capita - due to the abundance of oil & gas deposits found there. Turkey has no such natural abundance - nor a way of avoiding the harsh economic blowback from it's serially self-damaging foreign policy misadventures. So a complacent and forgiving population of subjects cannot be taken for granted for much longer."
Sadly, in the aftermath of the staged event that was called a "Gulenist Coup," complacency has become the order of the day. Whether or not my hunch that some kind of sophiscated mind-control was employed back in July against the population at large proves to be correct in the long term - this misjudgement on my part needs be acknowledged.
The rest of the paragraph from that same story from which the quote came, however, has proven all too supportive of my previously excellent track record in diving the course of events!
"The resumption of the tourist season later this spring will effectively demonstrate the carnage done to the countries international image as a friendly and desirable holiday zone, adding to the disasters wrought upon the export sector by the Russian sanctions. And with the Saudi's simply being out of spare change with which to prop up their sidekicks in Ankara, the devastating economic consequences of misrule are set to kick in within weeks. Perhaps that is why the demands emanating from the Presidential Palace for speedy accomplishment of the Constitutional coup d'etat - whereby the government will surrender it's functions willingly to the new Sultan - are increasing weekly in volume and stridency. Perhaps the regime realizes that the window to achieve this sleight of hand de facto elimination of the Republic is closing fast! In a setting where the government is able to hand out goodies and perks to it's supporters and electorate, the reception to such maneuvering can be supposed positive. In a setting of economic downturn and reduced governmental largesse, such acceptance is unlikely. We are on the cusp of both bloody civil war and economic regression. Not an inviting climate for leaders looking for accolades."
I rest my case.