Economy Over Values / Opium

Economy Over Values - Opium

I regard myself as an iconoclast. Tradition for the sake of tradition is irrational in my mind. On the other hand, I also reject the abandonment and unnecessary replacement of working values and traditions - for the lack of a better word - with commercial ones. This photograph was taken in Afyon, a province in Turkey with an outstanding culinary culture. But even in Afyon, the bling of modern malls and colorful signs is just too attractive...

Afyon literally translates as opium. The city was once the center of opium production in the Ottoman Empire. Karl Marx wrote: "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people". Today, there's a new opiate for the masses, and that is the perception of economic prosperity. The myth of the American Dream has "caught on" in other cultures.

Although the results are not final yet, it looks like the embattled Turkish PM Erdogan will walk away with almost half the vote, with the other half shared amongst half a dozen political parties, none of which were really viable. How did he do it, considering the scale of his corruption. Easily; The master demagogue used the two most potent opiates together: Religion and the promise of economic prosperity. The people will, of course, pay in the long run - they always do. Here is a basic analysis of the "illusion" of the Turkish Middle Class; you decide.

Don't get me wrong, I'm in no way against religion or prosperity. But faith and hope are the most abused of all human emotions. Demagogues show absolutely no reservation in abusing these.
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