Crisis opportunism is an indicator of a pathological situation…

Türkiye has been suffering from two separate earthquakes in Kahramanmaraş for three days. While thousands of lives were lost in the earthquake that affected 11 provinces, the looting and crisis opportunistic attempts that are seen from time to time in the earthquake region add to the pain, as well. Stating that there can be opportunists who try to take advantage of this situation during disasters or economic crises in every society in every period of history, the sociologist Prof. Barış Erdoğan noted that the increase in the number and the prevalence of these opportunists show that some pathological conditions have emerged in the society. Emphasizing that the state and public authorities should fight effectively in the fight against opportunism, Erdoğan emphasized that another step to be taken is to undergo a moral and mental transformation that will prevent material success from being so exalted as a cultural value.

Üsküdar University Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Head of Sociology Department Prof. Barış Erdoğan made evaluations on the looting attempt and opportunism seen from time to time in the Kahramanmaraş earthquake.

Increase in prevalence of opportunists is pathologic

Prof. Barış Erdoğan stated that opportunists who tried to take advantage of this situation emerged after ecological disasters or during economic crises in every period of history and in every society. Prof. Barış Erdoğan said, “It should be considered normal to encounter such events. However, the increase in the number and prevalence of these opportunists shows us that some pathological conditions have emerged in the society.”.

Crisis opportunists are seen in every area

Noting that opportunism can be seen in every field, Prof. Barış Erdoğan said, “Unfortunately, we see that there are crisis opportunists who are trying to make great economic gains from the victimization of others in every area and line of business, from the increase in house rents after the earthquake to the sale of extinguishing materials at exorbitant prices during forest fires.”.

The savage free market mentality has spread opportunism

Stating that there is a free market mentality in the spread of opportunism, Prof. Barış Erdoğan said, “I think that the widespread prevalence of this situation, which cannot be explained by any moral measure, is due to a savage free market mentality that has become widespread in the last 30-40 years all over the world and in Türkiye. It is almost internalized in society.”.

The spirit of capitalism was taught without moral and ethical values

Prof. Baris Erdogan said that "For years, we have been taught that individuals who follow their own interests will inevitably benefit the whole society, that the invisible hand of the market will create the balance of supply and demand, and that prices are fair and correct for this reason," and he continued as follows:

“We have been told by every tool, from textbooks to messages of popular culture products, that we can make the most profit if we make good use of the opportunities, that is, if we act at the right time, invest, buy or sell. The spirit of capitalism was taught by depriving moral and ethical values. After all, these opportunists, who are market actors, legitimize themselves with idioms such as ‘a person licks their own finger if holding honey’ or ‘you need to fill it while it is pouring’. Since there is a demand for these products and services, they see that there is nothing wrong with the increase in prices according to the market conditions.”.

It must be seen as a social problem

Prof. Barış Erdoğan stated that those that condemns earthquake opportunists today, can easily become an opportunist of another product or service in another social crisis, since they internalize the same logic tomorrow.  He concluded his speech as follows:

“Therefore, we have to see the issue as a social problem rather than a 'you-me' problem and seek a solution. I think it is necessary to take two-way steps regarding this issue of opportunism. Firstly, the government and public authorities have to intervene in various ways with the power they have in the free market, which takes a wild turn in times of crisis. Just like the government fixed rent hike rates at 25 percent. Another step is to go through a moral and mental transformation that will prevent material success from being so glorified as a cultural value.”.

Üsküdar News Agency (ÜNA)