In this first article of Gazete Kültür, I will talk about the philosophy of Transformism, which I have been working on in recent years, in order to indicate the newspaper’s principle of “encouraging its readers to question the issues with a philosophical perspective” from the very beginning. Transformism articles will continue after this introductory article. Our aim will be to explain this philosophy to the readers in depth with a book that collects Transformism articles to be published in Gazete Kültür, along with the movie that has been in production since 2018 in New York and Istanbul.
I think it’s fair to state that together with writer, director and actor Ege Maltepe, who wrote the screenplay and played the lead role of our Transformism movie, we partially take the famous French writers Jean Paul Sartre and Simon de Beauvoir from the recent history of philosophy as an example. Based on our concerns about the crash of culture as a whole rather than politics, those who follow our stage performances and our writings may not see much of a similarity between us and the Sartre-Beauvoir duo, because the political aspect of their work predominates their legacy. Well, then one may ask if the similarities are this few, what is it that Gamsız-Maltepe are taking from Sartre-Beauvoir as an example. We can say that the aspect of the Sartre-Beauvoir movement that we value is to create a new way of thinking that they had at the beginning. Our aim is to contribute to social life and culture as well as they did.
The acrimonious political attitude that Sartre had in his later years, which caused a political turmoil in France, is exactly the opposite of our view that aims to reach a harmonious social culture in Turkey and globally. At that point, Beauvoir distinguished herself from the unpleasant attitude Sartre headed towards. In the future, you can read our critical articles about the Sartre-Beauvoir duo in Gazete Kültür.
The philosophy of Transformism suggests the notion of “not being incurred to the future”. This will only be possible if we can realize a transformation towards the opposite direction of the experiences we had until now. In one of the Gazete Kültür articles titled GK#00002 – MELODİ VE KONTRPUAN, we explain how societies can balance the contrasting dynamics of the culture through music. We would like to underline from these very first articles that our goal is social cohesion.
The article publishing schedule and the motto of Gazete Kültür reflect the philosophy of Transformism, which I will introduce below. Gazete Kültür is not published every day, and the publication times of articles and columns do not contain a certain schedule. Since we want to publish articles about all fields of the culture, we seek articles that examine the issues of the past, present and future, rather than the ones that concentrate only on the current newsworthy events. If there is a current event that will change the perception of the past and our view of the future about the related issues, Gazete Kültür will present articles about that current event to its readers. In this age of abundance and rapid sharing of information, we see that journalism is restricted to a single time, namely “today”, and we see it as an obstacle to the development of societies and their cultures.
In the history of philosophy, there are two main groups of philosophers, in terms of the basic understanding of time in which they set their chain of ideas. A group of philosophers such as Hegel, Foucault, and Schopenhauer built their philosophy on traditions and traditional ways of thinking. In other words, their philosophies suggest that we can secure the future only with the knowledge of the past, clinging to the past and past experiences, even though the knowledge of the past has its limitations. Another group, which includes philosophers such as Voltaire and Rousseau, establishes their philosophy with a way of thinking that cares about a present time that will be planned and created by foreseeing the future. As an example, let’s remember Voltaire’s famous “We must cultivate our garden”. These conclusions of mine, which are not presented through the scholarly traditions of the academia, argue that these groups form their view of the future on two opposite foundations, but apart from these two main groups, it is possible to label another group that includes two great philosophers such as Confucius and Socrates. This third small group sees the present as a bridge between the past and the future, and Transformism can be counted in line with this third group of philosophical thoughts, but offers a slightly different and a new philosophy.
Transformism is a new philosophical thought that sees life as an undivided whole of three time periods (Past, Present, Future), and defines it as a transformation that takes place during these times. Apart from the transformation that life inevitably brings for all living and non-living beings, life itself also aims to be the transformation itself. The philosophy of Transformism argues that being a force that gives the transformation a direction is the main requirement in order not to be incurred to the future. If this very much needed force is weakened by the limitations of the present time (country borders, language and race), the society will be incurred to a future in all fields created by the current invisible forces that the society is not aware of. Some of these fields could be music, literature, art, science, philosophy, religion, politics and economy. The past, the future, and the present are a whole, and how all these time periods are perceived is determined in the present. When the present is the beginning of a transformation that will affect the future, the perception of the past changes as the future changes. The past that we haven’t learned from may become a past that taught us a lesson with a Transformist attitude.
Another subject that the philosophy of Transformism proposes to transform is the perception of east-west. When we are in Marseille (south of France) and we turn to east Istanbul is in the direction we are looking, so it would not be wrong to say that Istanbul is on the east of Marseille. But when you turn in the opposite direction, Istanbul is right in front of you again, but this time towards the west, so it would not be wrong to say that Istanbul is on the west of Marseille. What would be wrong would be to culturally label Istanbul or Marseille (or anywhere else in the world) as east or west. More about this subject is in the article titled GK#00024 – DOĞU VE BATI.
Last but not least, let’s give some examples of questions for this article so that our readers may find similar questions for most Gazete Kültür articles:
– What kind of contribution would the idea of “evaluating the past, present and future as a whole” provide to individuals and society?
– Would questioning the perception of the past change our view of the present and the future?
– What is the use of using directional words “East” and “West” to create distinction by labeling cultures?