İnce Memed and Paternalism

I’ll be using the quote from İnce Memed in my lecture on migration today. More on the recently deceased great writer here:


I just found out that somebody (from behind a pseudonym) has accused me of engaging in “fascist cultural production” – mainly on the basis that I reject “paternalistic systems of domination”  which my accuser identifies with “all non-capitalist relations”. That’s nonsense, of course, as fascist cultural production is, for the most part, precisely this: a celebration of paternalism.

For anybody thinking highly of paternalism because it looks like a cosy alternative to capitalism, I recommend the work of a socialist who knew paternalism inside out – Yaşar Kemal.

In his most renown novel İnce Memed (Memed my Hawk) it is when the protagonist first gets away from the villages controlled by the ağa, secretly making a trip to the kasaba,the local market town, that the possibility of a life free of oppression occurs to him. After a day in the shops, after being treated with respect by…

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