Reproduction of the Reality through December 18 Middle East Technical University (METU) Riot
As one of the leading philosophical figures of the twentieth century, Michel Foucault transformed his methodological approach from 1970s onwards. He started to use genealogy, as named by Nietzsche, in his studies which focus on the impact of power on discourse. Why Foucault switched from archaeology, which is a linguistic-historical method analyzing discourse systems to discover how the systems of thought has been established through historical processes; to genealogy, that focuses on the construction process of the discourse systems instead of the discourse systems themselves, was that he realized that the popular saying “knowledge is power” can be reversed and power might also be knowledge so that these two concepts could not be separated. In his book translated to English with the title “Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison”, where he first used his genealogical method, Foucault persistently emphasized a fact: The ones those have the power could create the knowledge and change the truth if they wanted. In line with this, in his book “Archaeology of Knowledge” dated 1972, he stated: “…in every society the production of discourse is at once controlled, selected, organized and redistributed according to a certain number of procedures, whose role is to avert its powers and its dangers…”. In fact, this view had already been described before Foucault by Georg Orwell in the dystopia that he created in his book “1984”. In the novel, from the viewpoint of Winston Smith working in the Ministry of Truth in Oceania country, we see how things change suddenly. When there is a war against Eurasia and East Asia is an ally, then in a day Eurasia becomes the eternal ally and East Asia becomes the absolute enemy. Even the history is written from the very beginning and the new knowledge becomes the new truth. The aim of this article is not to make a genealogical analysis but to exemplify the reproduction of the truth by power underlined both by Foucault while switching from archaeology to genealogy and by Orwell represented in his dystopia, with a recent case from Turkey through a short media scan.