Big Brother Is Watching You!

If we look at history of world, nowadays and look around, we can see easily that people don’t have freedom and their own choice about their life exactly in history and today. Governance and it’s institutions or certain institutions which are generated certain people preclude our liberties and things that we want to do them. At this point, it is interesting thing that we support unconsciously or consciously these institutions, norms, and pattern of thoughts, ideologies that are presented us and we cannot escape from the system itself. Because, as Michel Foucault who is a French and postmodernist thinker in twentieth century said that power is everywhere and it comes from everywhere. Therefore, power is related with hegemony and discourse that are produced and constituted by groups of signs, groups of acts of formulation like media, social classes, institutional forms, structure of education etc. I think concept of hegemony is more general than discourse and discourse is part of hegemony. I will try to connect between these concepts and movie of 1984 and I will try to show some example from some events that we face them in our country.

1984 is a movie directed by Michael Radford and adopted from George Orwell’s book about fear utopia. Movie is beginning with this sentence: ‘‘who controls the past, controls the future, who controls the present, controls the past’’. To summarise the movie shortly, Oceania is fear of empire and the people who live in this country have to obey country’s rules word by word, there is no book reading, there is no love, intercourse etc. Governance has a power on citizens and controls all aspect of their life with cameras. Also, there is no freedom of press and dictatorship is censoring the press. Governance using way of propaganda to affect people with creating fake realities and it’s press is setting new agenda about something that is actually not exist like productions, developments etc. and publishing them with loudspeaker in everywhere. In addition, there is a class distinction between people like proleters, workers, members of party etc. So, we can see easily system of hegemony in this state of dictatorship.

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Today, we can easily face discourses that are created our society in our country. For example, our republic has launched by Atatürk instead of Ottoman Empire and he created new system of power and group, which is based on modern society, new alphabets, new principles etc. and people had to obey these rules. To give an example another example, we are watched by police with surveillance cameras in streets, squares and we believe that it is necessary for our security. This perception of security is created by governance itself to spy citizens and we feel safety and this is also discourse as well I think. Discourses also can be sentences that are created by society and media like ‘men don’t cry’, ‘each Turkish boy comes world as a soldier’, ‘men don’t wear pink’ etc. These examples represent that you cannot do anything against this thought because it is right. Therefore, I think there is something like obligation and certain rules in essence of hegemony and discourses because these have power and identify what people do or behave.

To refer another point in this article, people cannot think new way and read a different types of book that include different ideology in the movie and so, thought crime is death as you know. If we look at our country’s past, most of students, writers, and journalists were executed for the sake of having different ideas. So, there was no freedom of thought and authority censored press. If come to the present, when you write anything against government, you can attract attention easily in terms of determination by police. So, I think there is not certain freedom of thought or behavior like activity, although we use system of democracy. For instance: Gezi event.

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As a result, if we look around, we can see easily that hegemony is continuing to live in every aspect of our life. We cannot escape from this system like culture industry. I personally believe that culture industry is a good example of hegemony as well. But, we don’t need to be pessimist like philosophers of Frankfurt School. Although, the system itself is continuing to flow, at least we can realize it with our information. But, there is one more question: what about others who don’t realize anything.

Mustafa Yılmaz


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