The crisis of Representation and Authority

The Crisis of Representation

The concept of political representation signifies simply to act on behalf of somebody. In Ancient Greek and Rome there is no similar use of this concept. The concept of representation is subjected to a political investigation in Hobbes’ works firstly (Hobbes, 2009). Then it had been discussed by the Federalists in United States and by the struggle of general suffrage it completed its evolution (Pitkin, 1989: 132-155) Hobbes’ theory of representation that based on the distinction between natural person and artificial person has not been overcome by that evolution. In fact the democratic deficit in the representative democracies is based on this form of political representation. In the case of Turkey the crisis showed us clearly how this logic of representation led a so called democracy.

The habitat of people is made benefits available to the proponent capitalists by the government, by the municipality which are the institutions purporting that they act on behalf of the people. Prime Minister whose claim is to act on behalf of the whole nation, talked on how many children women must give birth, on abortion, on the women’s hemline. The Ministry of National Education, the institution that decides on behalf of the whole nation, supported compulsory religious classes ignoring parents’ beliefs. The establishment based on that the government acts on behalf of the people or nation in a deep crisis. In Turkey parliament, government, governors, judges are reflecting this crisis clearly. Therefore the discourse of numerical superiority is being continuously kept on the agenda by the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Further to that the crisis of representation is not restricted to the governmental body. The whole institutions organized in this logic of representation experienced the crisis in the Gezi uprising. The political parties, the unions, the local self-governments experienced the crisis all at once.

The Crisis of Authority
The other thing the uprising showed is the crisis of authorities. As Arendt’s very appropriate expression “the greatest enemy of authority, therefore, is contempt, and the surest ways to undermine it is laughter” (Arendt, 1970: 45). This unexpected situation could be created by different activism forms of protestors. Turkey had experienced an occupy activism in 2009 Tekel Resistance. It had a crucial effect on city life. The sovereigns were so afraid that after the resistance they suppressed all occupy initiatives by the most violent methods.

What Gezi resistance created in this regard is another mode of coming together out of capitalist mode. The resistance did it not only occupying an open public space but also creating a cheerful resistance. What the authorities couldn’t stand is that cheerful form of resistance. So the first things the authorities applied for suppress the resistance were violence and lie. A serious crisis began for the government, governors, police, media, liberal intelligentsia, conventional left and the apolitical families with the Gezi uprising.

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