Issue 24 – Experiences of Contemporary Social Struggle

Editor: Nevra Akdemir

“All colours were getting dirty…”: Struggles For Right To Water In The Process of Escaping From Praxis
Gaye Yılmaz

Struggles for right to water which have been in an uptrend since from the early 2000s deserve a critical analysis not only because of specifity of this topic but also because of the very fragmented presence of social movements. It is noteworthy to underline the fact that despite there is a vast literature on water policies in general including pricing mechanisms, international institutions and success stories about water struggles it seems that there is very limited interest among social scientists on mapping or analysing struggles for right to water from a critical perspective. Therefore this study aims both to make a mapping of water movements around the world according to the balance of powers between different NGOs and also to bring internal discrepancies of ongoing struggles everywhere including Turkey into sharp relief. It is hoped that the warnings made in the study would make secret strategies of capitalist class aiming to embrace and moderate militan organizations more visible in the eye of social movements.
Keywords: Water Struggles, Capital, Embracing of Opponents, Praxis.

Trade Union Movement and Feminism: Beyond Solidarity
Elif Gazioğlu

The echos of “Novamed strike” is still ongoing in academia and in the field at the third year of collective agreement which ends at December 2010 (Kurtoğlu ve Fougner, 2010; Teke, 2010; Üstübici, 2009; 2010). This article aims to discuss the results of Novamed strike termed as “women strike” (Üstübici, 2010: 50) from the standpoint of feminist movement while questioning the assumption that a practical struggle centered on the solidarity between trade union and feminist movements always culminates with positive results for women.
Keywords: Novamed strike, women, trade unions, feminist movement.

Search for New Forms in Urban Politics: 2009 Lo cal Elections and
“End to Sultanate in Municipal Administrations” Campaign in Ankara
Bülent Batuman – Tezcan Karakuş Candan

Being an important actor in urban politics during its 55-year history, the activities of the Chamber of Architects have been defined with institutional and legal boundaries. Functioning in a city severely experiencing anti-democratic policies of the local administration, the Ankara Branch of the Chamber of Architects attempted to develop a course of action that extends beyond
its traditional activities during the 2009 local elections. To this end, a campaign entitled “End to Sultanate” was organized, which aimed to develop a new language in urban struggle and reach beyond the institutional boundaries of the Chamber’s activities. The campaign was inspired by the actions organized via internet, which are recently identified with concepts such as “flash-mob” and “smart-mob”. Although it was not successful in terms of affecting the election results, the participatory organization of the campaign and the recognition of the demands it has raised confirm its role as a noteworthy experience in urban struggle.
Keywords: Chamber of Architects, End to Sultanate, urban politics, local administration, flash-mob.

Positivist – Marxist Conception of Class and its Deadlocks for Class
Experiences
Vefa Saygın Öğütle

Within Marxist arguments, the issue of class has been considered by means of the epistemological couple of class-in-itself and class-for-itself. Here, there is a problematique of transition. A great number of Marxists have regarded the transition from class-in-itself (or, economical subject) to class-for-itself (or, political subject) as a kind of ontological transformation and have argued that this transition is empirically demonstrable. This paper aims to show that because of its mechanistic/ positivistic and teleological character, the problematique in question has regarded the transition as both unproblematic and unavoidable. This conception manifests itself as a specific synthesis of a positivist epistemology (a spesific idea of “dialectical law”, what became materialistic in positivistic sense) and a kind of Hegelianism (a historical teleology). Namely, here is a specific kind of positivist teleology. This conception has regarded the fact of social class as not a (both objective and subjective) process of formation, but a givenness, a stable entity, and has cut off the objective dimension of social class (“the economic” and “the social”) from its subjective dimension (“the political”). It has implied that the transition is a telos for the history of humanity.
Against this positivist-teleological conception of class, we suggest that (a) we should give up the category of class-in-itself because of its fixed and intrinsically teleological character; (b) we should regard class-for-itself as only Marxism’s political vision, not as a historical necessity; (c) while analyzing the social classes, we should work in an empirical, not speculative way; and (d) as a political result which is derived from all of them, we should find a way to politicize the ‘existing’ field of experience belonging to working classes, instead of attempting to impose the ‘required’ consciousness to working classes.
Keywords: Positivist Marxism, positivist teleology, consciousness-in-itself, consciousness for-itself, concrete fields of experience.

Space, Hegemony and Strategy in the Context  of the Tension between Authoritarianism and Liberty
F. Serkan Öngel, Kurtul Gülenç

Global capitalism enables the power relations to be international as well as the other relations. Besides, on the one side it emphasizes on diversity / variety, on the other side it standardizes space and social structure. This situation creates a serious tension in temporal and spatial sense. This tension also brings about new possibilities for the current opposing movements. One of the most significant tools to make these possibilities visible is to realize the necessity and importance of spatial dimension in the sense of the social struggles. The spatial dimension of class design and relations among classes is important as well as the temporal dimension. At this point, it could be argued that globalization process is shaped like network of relations embedded spatially, administratively, militarily and economically. The elimination of the reactions of masses against inequality, spatial fragmentation and increasing poverty has powerful links with the establishment of hegemonic process. The tension between variety and standardization strengthens the tension and swinging between authoritarianism and liberty. Therefore it increases the environmental, social and economic risks of our world, as it reveals the new possibilities for these risks. In this sense, related to this, some Marxisms based debates on are very important. In the framework of the tension between authoritarianism and liberty, this study aims to explain the hegemonic relations steering globalization process and to establish some propositions that might build up system against strategies in spatial sense.
Keywords: Space, hegemony, strategy, Marxism, working class, identity, culture, politics, liberty, authoritarianism.

“ The Primordial” and “The Latest” Communication Media: “Human”
Serdar Öztürk

It is clearly seen in new terms that the analysis of media focuses on technical and technological dimensions. One of these new terms is new media. This term, which is generated from new developments on communication technologies, has to be questioned in respect of certain ways. When the inquiry is conducted by anthropological view which emphasizes that communication is the basic human experience, human, the real agent beyond the technology, should be replaced to the center again. Regarding an anthropological view, which takes the historicity and the process into consideration, this paper questions the primordial and the latest media terms.
Keywords: communication, new media, traditional media, human, communication technology, technological determinism.

The Prferences of Turkish Capital Organizations in Turkey – EU
Relations and the Cyprus Policy
Emine Tahsin

This article aims to challenge the state-centered approaches that evaluate Turkish policy on Cyprus solely in terms of diplomatic relations, and tries to understand the social forces that form
and transform Turkish policy on Cyprus from a political economy perspective. In this context, since 1990 the traditional foreign policy on Cyprus issue would be investigated so that the main facts leading to change in this policy would be defined. Addition to these, how the approach of the state and the capital segments have been transformed related with the Cyprus policy would tried
to be analyzed. The EU integration process of Turkey have been also recalled as a period of leading transformation of the traditional Cyprus policy. Within this period, the Cyprus policy of Turkish state and capital segments approach to Cyprus issue have changed. Related with EU integration process, the national interests of Turkey and the interests of capital segments have been contradictory with each other so that the main turning points within this process have been analyzed. The expectations of capital segments from the EU integration process, Turkish goverments’ EU and Cyprus policy and its relations with the internal dynamics in Cyprus would be considered.
Keywords: Cyprus policy, Turkey-EU relations, international relations, Turkish foreign policy, political economy.