Dr. Joshua Mitchell of the Georgetown University, haring his thoughts on the trip to Turkey

…I don’t think I can offer much more than for all the other people have said because as I have fallen asleep at night; pardon! Josh Mithchell, Government Department, Georgetown University (laughs). As I have fallen asleep for midnight nap, just what is really for introduction, hah hah, for each night I have tried to parse out what is exhausted relations from the kind of judgments about what is happening here and what I found is that, both the conversations on the bus and late at night before falling asleep I had tremendous optimism in spirit about what I have seen. I think part of the reason why that’s the case is that I have studied history of political philosophy, development of modernity for twenty five years, and I realize I don’t think we have the categories any more to understand what is really about to unfold in the 21st century.

I look around the table I see all of us, even the youngsters in the end there, all of us are profoundly shaped by kind of a cold war story we told ourselves in the West; and that was; is it gonna be top down authoritarian government or representative democracy; is it gonna be Marxism or Adam Smith? And then in 1989 when Berlin Wall fell we thought the remaining history is been determined; and that representative democracy one and Adam Smith at the other! And so we talked about a post-war period which is an extraordinary notion in itself when people come to the end of the war. And then in 2001 a lot of us waken about the fact that there is this thing called Muslim World and our confrontation with it as Michael has pointed out. It was not a pretty one. And so what is being setup now I think in the United States is an antinomy between the forces of life and then Islamic fundamentalism. We do not have a category in our public discourse in the US to deal with some other alternative. I think that’s what Turkey is showing me is that there is a fact that there is a lot of understanding option which remains complex but as you don’t know how things gonna unfold I think what this new world is showing us is that even in the West when told the story and I believe in the story by the way. The March of Freedom and the March of Women to co lead but I caution all of us because it is not self evident to me the West’s story on this will be the final story. It is gonna unfold in ways that we can’t even begin to imagine. We don’t have a guide now; I think that’s what we have in the West to understand. We can’t use the old guides and the only way we are gonna proceed is one conversation at a time. That’s why I think what you are doing is absolutely extraordinary.

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