It is emphasized that the British Empire diverges from other Western imperialist states in terms of expanding its sovereignty to different regions and forming permanent hegemonies. Referencing liberal democracy when explaining this has almost become a tradition. While the use of the freedom concept in the explanation of this process is not considered odd in terms of the Eurocentric historical understanding, it veils reality in terms of the continents, countries and societies that have been subjected to the military, political, economic, religious and ideological pressures of imperialism. Concepts from the 19th century in particular make the reality a little more complex. When we try to understand the British Empire’s idiosyncrasies, imperialism using Western concepts, or when we are unable to look beyond the Eurocentric view, we will not have the chance to understand the present.
The U.K. and U.S. in particular did not take the necessary measures when the coronavirus turned into an epidemic; despite the examples of Italy, Spain and France, they were left helpless against the epidemic. Thus, we need to comparatively interpret Turkey’s control of the epidemic by producing effective solutions and boosting measures to the highest level. Opening “states” to serious discussion in a considerably short time is meaningful.
Authors such as Niall Ferguson, whose books are widely known in Turkey, say that the British Empire was established on theft. Pirates are in the forefront in the theft incidents that started in the 17th century. The pirates seized the gold and silver that Spain obtained from colony lands. These operations were carried out with permission from the British state and the profits obtained were shared. The East India Company should also be considered as an institutionalized form of pirate activities. Imperialism cannot be understood without making the connection of the companies carrying on activities on behalf of the British with the aristocracy. Aristocracy established colonies and operated overseas productions at plantations. It is also possible to understand the freedom of colonies and America’s independence process with the role of the rising bourgeoisie. The British always won in the fight between the bourgeoisie's demand for trade liberalization and the aristocracy’s slavery plantations.
We can say that this period was revived again in the 1990s. The periods in which the aristocrats and bourgeois ruled the world on behalf of the U.K. were back. Global arms and energy companies started a new world domination process in the name of the U.S. and U.K. The production of a strong resistance by different regions, primarily the Islamic world, was the West’s biggest dilemma. We all remember that the Queen, who is running from the coronavirus today, had in the early ‘90s set her sights on Middle Eastern oil again. Both the U.K. and U.S. thought they could retake control of the world with giant companies like Blackwater. This actually signified a return to 19th century imperialism. The mushrooming of nongovernmental organizations in our region in the ‘90s should be seen as the social response of the aristocracy and bourgeoisie or the emergence of broker institutions in markets.
Despite striving for three decades, they could not achieve what they wanted in Iraq. This applies to Syria as well. Companies that are irresponsible toward their own communities dragged companies, societies and nations into a quagmire. As world giants were gaining strength, they lived happily with the incomes transferred by these new pirates. The taxes paid by everyday Britains and Americans were allocated to protect the companies that were constantly earning but had no sense of responsibility towards their people. Despite this, the people trying to survive in Iraq and Syria with their bare hands and feet did not break. States were replaced by murder organizations like Blackwater. After the coronavirus epidemic, the onset of the states and global companies’ discussion in the West cannot be brushed off as a conspiracy theory. Similarly, opening liberal democracy to discussion is not insignificant either.
A new pursuit in Turkey making its way on the agenda in terms of local production especially after the 2001 crisis cannot be explained with coincidences. We must pay attention to the concept of local production gaining prominence in the war of global companies with Turkey representatives in terms of understanding the process. The “let humans thrive so the state will too” understanding came to the fore when the state mind and national will joined powers. In other words, Turkey did not surrender to aristocracy and bourgeoisie. Thus, “we are self-sufficient, Turkey!” is one of the best statements defining the era.
The West did not meet the demands of the West.