Saturday, October 20, 2007


"Pretend you have some responsibility," said my dad. "Changing jobs every three months won't serve your career."

He said this after he asked me what would happen if he quit his shitty first job and I reminded him that he already had a wife and a daughter by then. He didn't have the choice.

But it's hard to think you are responsible for something when in fact you aren't. It's hard to run after food when you aren't hungry. It's too easy to get distracted and get all these noble ideas like becoming a novelist and an academic and inspiring people. (Think of Refik in Cevdet Bey ve Oğulları.) Thinking you're special. One only gets these ideas if one has spare time. One can only be an idealist if one can afford it. Everyone else is busy sustaining themselves.

In my freshman year History of Capitalism class we read an article about the pendulum - how nations work hard and become rich, and then once they become affluent, they start spending more time and money on culture and arts and philosophy and education (and enlightening others, if you know what I mean :) They become complacent. Then one of my professors this year crudely suggested that if the soft budget constraint was the weakness of communism, inheritance was the weakness of capitalism. It breaks the momentum.

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