Virtual Resistance of “Çiftlik (Farm) Bank Scapegoats” and Discursive Atonement of “Being Scammed”

Virtual Resistance of “Çiftlik (Farm) Bank Scapegoats” and Discursive Atonement of “Being Scammed”

Gurur Sönmez (Istanbul Medipol University, Turkey) and Savaş Keskin (Bayburt University, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1041-4.ch010

Abstract

Çiftlik Bank (Farm Bank) is an investment system based on fraud that may be described to be a Ponzi scheme as a commercial term. It reached thousands of investors in Turkey via the service it provided over the internet and attracted attention by leaving a high profit margin for its investors for some time and using some abstract concepts that are held sacred by the majority. Çiftlik Bank created an earning-oriented exclusivity for its investors, but also created suitable scapegoats for the community, along with fraud. This chapter focuses on the rhetorical conflict between the scapegoat virtual group organized with the name “Çiftlik Bank Victims” on Facebook, and the society, as well as the activities of regaining the contingent/select identity.
Chapter Preview
Top

Introduction

In the post-truth age where lies and lying are not found much strange, the great shame of scamming may also be covered up or tolerated by the society. A lie, which constitutes a cover against the sharpness of truth in many situations, determines the destination of the relationship the person or the society establishes with their self-existence. While the founding lies told by societies in the form of organized rituals (Demirkent, 2017) are a part of the show that needs to be kept up with, individual or inner circle lies have a riskier aspect. This is because auxiliary lies need to show a synergy with main lies. Otherwise, auxiliary lies have the potential to disrupt not the truth, but the lies told by the collective. Moreover, the position of the existence of the lie in the system also determines the dosage of the reflexes that are developed against the lie and those who are scammed.

An ‘orchestrated lie’, which is bound to constantly reestablish societies under the roof of a truth, is not always connected to the truth. Although thinking of the lie by itself involves difficulties, it is needed to focus on the subjective aspect of the system of judgments that dominate truthfulness and the collaboration it forms with promises that embrace desires (Aytaç & Demirkent, 2017). It may be argued that big lies usually are not the successor of the previous truth, yet they may also be independent of the following stage of truth. The age of post-truth where especially judgments rise above objective truths and become more effective (Yanık, 2017) has social dimensions where rational action is pushed aside, justified universalities. For this reason, the final power of rhetoric is controlled for Pathos which shapes judgments rather than Logos which aims at rational utility. In the judgment society, as soon as a lie that contradicts large-scale productions of truth is noticed, the judgment of the liar and the victimization of the scammed start.

Çiftlik Bank, which is an investment system based on fraud that may be described to be a Ponzi scheme as a commercial term, reached thousands of investors in Turkey via the service it provided over the internet and attracted attention by leaving a high profit margin for its investors for some time and using some abstract concepts that are held sacred by the majority. However, in the end, the system collapsed, and the owner of the company fled abroad by saying he went bankrupt, eventually being included in the wanted list of Interpol. At the first stage of the system, Çiftlik Bank managers resorted to orchestrated rhetorical maneuvers and developed discourses that would shake spirituality and the spirit of nationalism that are much outside an economic system. Çiftlik Bank discourses, which were constructed between the myth of being national (Alpman, 2016, p. 2) and the Pathos of the lust felt towards getting rich, easily grabbed the attention of people of the capitalist regime who competed for hitting the jackpot in an instant. When the urge to be close to masses and crowds was added to the process, the size of the masses that were scammed by extravagant shows and lies of profits increased like a snowball. When the impression of elitism that was gained with the rhetoric of the cheater turned into the sin of being cheated, the story of the counter-rhetoric of being scammed started. This situation is an indication that the investors formed arguments over two different phenomena in the times when it had not yet been understood that Çiftlik Bank was a fraud system and in later times. The investing mass, who adopted the Çiftlik Bank rhetoric where the existing orchestrated lies were produced before the time of getting scammed, developed a new counter-rhetoric that aimed to be saved from the victimhood attached to it after getting scammed which was not very moderate. The people who got organized through the channels of new media that used to be investors and now were victims created atonement with the arguments they produced and went into activities of rubbing off the traces of the purification ritual directed towards them and wriggling themselves out of the disgraceful situation they found themselves in. These joint attempts towards developing identity again occasionally uncovered the potential of the victim on the stage of othering to produce hostile attitudes.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Post-Truth: It is a social production in which convictions and beliefs are more effective than objective reality.

Virtual Community: It is social formations where users on digital platforms come together.

Scapegoats: It is the category of identity that creates social cleanses and is inculpated the delinquency which is producing in the bosom of society.

Victimizing: It is the process of building a subaltern identity category, which is chosen by the society and deliberately accused against the sins of society.

Social media: It is the new media derivative that provides interaction, empathy and participation production opportunities.

Çiftlik (Farm) Bank: It is basically a fraud system offering investment opportunities (!) to users through a virtual game.

Virtual Atonement: repair activities in groups of people who experience identity and recognition problems in traditional spaces.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset