THE ONE MAN SHOW

Modernity in Turkey has been initiated by a revolutionist, avant-garde group who problematized the Ottoman empire and its cultural foundations thus kick-started the Republic with strong and convincing arguments treating the nation as a tabula rasa conditon. This radical idea originated in Atatürk’s mind, as the story goes. Yet there must have been some breeding grounds for it already that it was rather quickly popularized amongst his soon-to-be followers and comrades and eventually the entire nation had been reinvented on the persona of
One Man.

More less at the same time, more less his peer Le Corbusier was also experimenting with Tabula Rasa condition by back slamming the entire Paris downtown and proposing aggressive modernity. Although the similarity in the attitude of these two well-dressed, well-mannered gentlemen is worth investigating, that is not what we are after here.

One can argue that in fact there has never been any revolution in the fabric of the society: one man and his infinite responsibilities for the people who made him that specific man.
This pattern of human behaviour can be followed in the entire nation from as small as how a family is managed, to as large as how the state is managed and all the rest in between.

Captains and their ships...

One should not confuse it with a tradition. This behaviour is not a tradition; tradition is artificial. Traditions has rules that some of them are counter-intuitive; they are beyond the urges; they demand adaptation of the individuals to partly give away their impulses and adopt new behaviours.
One man show is not a tradition, it is what any person with some leadership skills does the first. It is instinctive, addictive and it is normal.

However, the difference is made by abnormals who manage to build institutions out of individuals, who manage to shift the level of an organization from one state to another by establishing rules of interaction rather than rules of authority. Then follows the tradition. Tradition is not the accumulation of information but accumulation of wisdom over long periods of times. Tradition gives the newcomers a foundation to built upon mutually with the dynamism of the youth and the experience of the old. Then leave it to the next generation when the time comes. One man show is counter-tradition.

One man is alone in his mind, therefore suggestive in his suppositions. That is why he is inspirational and yet, he makes inevitable mistakes. He is the control-freak. His responsibility is beyond his capacities but he is unable to cooperate, he can only operate. His authority is legitimate but unchallenged. His value system is strong but immature. He lives in hierarchy, treating his superiors exactly how he is treated by his minors, and he contently does so. He  adamantly reproduces the same pattern day in, day out.

You can find him in his city. You will see him designing bridges, building infrastructures, destroying neighbourhoods. He constantly mobilizes investment to spread programs and infrastructures all over the city. He has friends who are helping him to achieve his best and meet his desires. He can build districts out of numbers, blocks out of Gecekondus and he loves doing big things...
He is obsessed with significance therefore his actions are big. He is the ultimate utopian and the grand optimist, therefore his city never stops developing.

He builds, he destroys, he builds again.

Please don’t be mad to him,
he only does what he knows the best.