Reevaluating the Democratic Nature of Secularism in Modern Turkey: Towards a Vital Recognition of the Religious, Spiritual and Historical in the Disclosure of the Self in Modern Turkish Democratic Society
James Kennefick, PhD Candidate, Catholic University of America
This paper was submitted as part of the Rumi Forum Fellowship program
The dichotomy that ever exists between tradition and modernity has animated a continual analysis of identity among men and women of the modern age. While it may be said of many modern nation-states that this investigation of self has led to a renewal in finding what it means to be both men and women of their cultures and of their states, nowhere does the simultaneous pull of history and progress manifest itself so lucidly as among the people of the Republic of Turkey. Presenting the curious and captivating example as a gateway to both East and West, the region that Turkey now occupies has long been a corridor for synthesis in the disparate traditions of two, culturally and religiously distinct continents, and that history of philosophical, social and especially religious dialogue has characterized the people that now inhabit modern-day Turkey. Yet, with the establishment of the republic in 1918 by Mustafa Kemal, that most important of sentiments, the religious, was compelled to be shorn off of the identity of a new and secular people, to radically break with the past by dint of the perceived threat of a historical and religious encumbrance, and later, of the apparent potential for religiously motivated violenceThe enlightened leader’s shadow stretches far unto the modern day, and the pretention of a democratic political order has been asserted on the ruins of dearly held religious, spiritual and cultural institutions that connected a people with its historical decorum. Establishment secularists continue to champion the tenets of modern democracy in contradistinction to the Islamic, failing to see, as Fethullah Gulen maintains, not simply the coexistence of the democratic and the religious spirits, but further, their complementarity in crafting novel political arrangements in an increasingly complex reality that sees religion (Islam, specifically) reasserting itself and seeking to take its place in the public sphere. In spite of the measures to encapsulate the religious within the private, a revival is occurring in the Republic, and increasingly, the spiritual is gripping citizens to more authentically reveal their deepest selves. Just as man can never escape the history that cradles him, so too can he never escape the self that demands its fullest expression. This brief project surveys the trajectory of such awakening, and hopes to more clearly articulate the need for a reconsideration of the assertively secular order that the Republic has so long held in order to more fully serve the imaginative, spiritual and religious aspects of the citizens that comprise it. The Turkish polity has labored beneath a Western imposition in the form of Laïcité that has stifled its democratic flourishing, its citizens’ self-realization and potentially its experimentation with entirely innovative religio-political programs, hoping to emulate, under the influence of the Young Turks and Kemalists more broadly, a sea change in Europe that has yet to prove itself to have been entirely salutary. Additionally, the project seeks to dispel a necessity in Western thought to associate the democratic with the secular, especially in cases outside of the West, and in so doing, delimit the accusations that faith can only assent to the democratic by compromising religious identity, as well as foster the nascent political dialectic that continues to consider an integrated role for religion to play in the body politic. “If some Muslims today fight shy of secularism, it is…because they have often experienced efforts at secularisation in a particularly virulent form”. The radical efforts to secularize in 20th century in the states of North Africa, the Levant and Anatolia are testament to the responsibility political actors and observers bear in not simply employing an order, but catering to the circumstances of their experiences.
The example of the Republic’s growing religious movements, increasing religiosity, and the call, by religion, to have a voice in the Republic they jointly shoulder without immediately coming under suspicion or hostility of the secular establishment, produces the unique experiment that will enthrall political theory and political science in more scholarship to come. “We fail to understand the rise of Islamic forms of modern politics as long as they are framed only as a backlash against modernization or a revival of pre-modern Islamic tradition”. It is in coming years, as the Republic of Turkey treats the religious and secular contentions of its populace, that new forms of modern politics will be framed, both Western and non-Western alike, and the citizens of the Turkish republic will blaze a trail [SA1] that warrants the attention of all modern states and its citizens.
At issue in the increasingly byzantine efforts of Turkish secularism and its proponents to maintain the integrity of its supposedly religious-less constitution and derivatives is a concerted effort to attack and warp the imagination of those citizens within the state. The imagination, specifically, a particular kind of imagination that treats the moral, is that which stirs the mind prior to the faculty of reason, informing human experience through one’s historical participation within it. Edmund Burke, the earliest and most enlightening on the subject of the imagination, conveys what human experience would be like relying solely upon the rational.
“All the pleasing illusions which made power gentle and obedience liberal, which harmonized the different shades of life, and which, by a bland assimilation, incorporated into politics the sentiments which beautify and soften private society are to be dissolved by this new conquering empire of light and reason. All the decent drapery of life is to be rudely torn off”.
The goal of this project, however, is not to provide an exposition on the imagination, nor indict the rational, but the imagination’s explanatory power in the realm of both politics and faith is of great utility to it. As the essay continues, the substance of the imagination will come to permeate what is perhaps encouraging the rise of a religious pressure that has long been suppressed in various efforts by numerous different political movements, from the Young Turks, to Kemalism, at asserting the secularism of independent Turkey, and, indeed, may catalyze such revival. “The Kemalist state’s suppression of Sufism seems to have facilitated preservation of its networks and solidarities, secretly and informally, so that it could emerge, at the appropriate moment, into activism and renewal”. Even some organizations traditionally thought of as sympathetic to a historically and religiously informed imaginative character, like the Justice and Development Party founded in 2001, have been skeptical of the role of a comprehensive self that displays its religious tenets as informing its political presence through the formation of judgments and notions of social life.
A more detailed investigation of Turkey’s French influenced secularism will be explored below, but the demand of this secularism is the eviction of the historical and cultural roots of Turkish ‘statehood’ prior even to independence, and instead, contending a radical break from the social, culture and religious institutions that helped to craft Turkish imagination as it manifests today. The effects of such eviction see the self chained to a private sphere, and religion relegated to the status of mere novelty in its inability to inform the imagination and moral sentiments of the citizen that operates within the public sphere. “The state can be considered truly legitimate only to the extent that it respects and promotes the ability of the citizens to realize the goal known in ethical conscience…the state under a high authority by which it can be judged and, as it were, humbled”. The goal of the reformists of early Turkish political movements post-independence was the formation of a modern, liberal state, but the transformation of the imagination in such reformers saw that both political institutions and Islam itself should be “heavily impregnated with Western notions”, among such, the assertive secularism that carries the day. The influence of Jean-Jacque Rousseau in the radical transformation of the imagination in both the French of the early modern period, and the Young Turks who would come to be influenced by them in the 20th century, sees the divorce between a people’s religious sentiment and their judgments beyond the religious, namely, their participation in the republic.
The result has been a building skepticism of harsh secularism and the creation of various religious movements, parties and secondary associations that foster a more authentic expression of democratic selfhood in the Republic of Turkey. It is the hope of this essay that the cultural trends that are becoming manifest through such religious recovery realize that the imposition a strictly secular order is ultimately not in the interest of the liberty is purports to herald. Furthermore, the flourishing of a religious renaissance in the forms of disparate movements has the effect of making clear that the imagination, complemented by the “expression in religion, [is] the common method by which the majority comes to form concepts and judgments”, and that contemporary anti-religious sentiment and suspicion will be stymied as a vigorous and renewed assertion of identity, history and religiosity proliferate.
Before turning to the effects of the Republic of Turkey’s secularism, it will serve this short essay to expand upon the nature of that secularism, taking particular attention towards recognizing its origins and mirrors in other, previous secularist experiments. Of note is the influence of the Young Turks on the secularist paradigm to come, and, in turn, their influences within the French Third Republic. Secularism, broadly, has been delineated between a passive and assertive variety, with the former’s resistance to deference towards a particular institution of religion, but nonetheless assenting to its exercise, while the latter explicitly excluding and resisting religious sentiment in the public forum for fear of its pollution by such. Operative in the French Third Republic following the passage of the well-known Loi du 1905, was a French variety of assertive secularism, dubbed Laïcité. While the principles enshrined in such legislation seem fairly benign, the effects of Laïcité have been so varied and numerous that their details immediately exceed the purpose of this project, but pregnant within Laïcité prior even to the Loi du 1905 itself was a tradition of violent and emphatic anti-clericalism and hostility towards the Religious that permeates such a concept. The Young Turks, thus; “who had been in exile in France before the war, had been strongly influenced by the French Revolution and its Jacobin tradition of anti-clericalism and state-enforced secularism, or laicite”, and it is with this in mind that the long shadow cast by such secularism continues to prove problematic to this day in the modern Turkish state.
Insofar as the Young Turks assented to a particular, secularist paradigm that cultivated an air of rationality, Westernization and reform in the early 20th century, that structure was carried forth by a more broadly Kemalist program following independence, where progress for the nascent Turkish state “was defined as the management and control over local Islamic culture”. While this project is primarily oriented to the contemporary effects of the Turkish variant of secularism, the measures taken by Kemalists post-independence fostered a problematic dichotomy that remains contentious to this day regarding the need to continue to modernize the Turkish state along a so-called Western model, precisely by suppressing its formerly and overtly Islamic character. The prevailing view among Kemalists regarding the failure of Ottoman institutions and the perceived ineptitude of state authority to enforce its will prompting its ultimate collapse, was to be found in its Islamic identity, cursed as it was by its reliance on “religious feeling, not on reason”. The danger of such assumptions within Kemalism is not directly in their superficiality, although much can be said of such; it lies in the implication that a Western imposition becomes necessary for a state’s progress, and that to authentically disclose the self in an independent Turkey was contingent upon a rupture between what had come before, as in the Ottoman Empire and the apparent complementarity of a faith life with that of a public one, and what was to be, that is to say, an entirely novel identity that chains the self to a private sphere and forced beneath a Western system. “This view is based on the essentialist (and wrong) assumption that there is only one form of modernity and that Islam and modernity are two separate, incompatible worldviews and lifestyles”. The picture, thus, grows clearer as the demands made by a Turkish state to its citizens at the foundation, and, though to a lesser degree, today, are an affront to what is most truly their selves with regard to religiosity.
How, then, does secularism relate to the disclosing of one’s self in the public sphere, and, further, why is religion a crucial aspect of such revelation? Citizens are only fully participants in the states they bear when they are capable of bringing themselves fully to the table in so bearing it. German idealists came to realize that the truest expression of the human was not through the exercise of reason, but through the labors of art, philosophy, and, perhaps most critically, through religion. Under the influence of the Kemalists, the Republic of Turkey, to greater or lesser degrees through its brief history, has emphasized aspects of Laïcité that would divorce the state’s operation from the religious course of affairs. Furthermore, the implication of such a divorce is not merely a ‘separating out’ of one realm from the other, as sociologist Mehmed Ziya Gökalp plastically asserted in service to Young Turk reform efforts, but a shattering of the complementary order that exists between the material and the transcendent, between the ultimately limited and the truly infinite. Martin Heidegger asks the modern man to overcome his ‘forgetting’ that occurs in mundanity, and to recover his most authentic self in that overcoming; this overcoming is catalyzed through man’s prospect of what is beyond him, indeed, what is above him, limitless, that is, the purview of the arts, philosophy and religion.
This ‘discourse of authenticity’, thus, opens wide the opportunity for a citizen to disclose themselves in the most intimate manner possible to the state that bears them, and it is within this discourse of authenticity that Turkish citizens find themselves engaged in, that the problem of secularism is made so apparent.
Mirza Tahir Ahmad makes clear where separation between two the realms may appear, at least initially, beneficial change, but will ultimately compromise man’s participation in both through his anecdote of the wagon.
“Religion and statecraft are two of the many wheels of the wagon of society. It is, in reality, irrelevant whether there are two, four and eight wheels as long as they keep their orientation correct and revolve within their orbits….It will be over-simplifying the matter if one conceives that there is no meeting point or common ground, which religion and the state share with each other” .
What is implicit is that the absence of a wheel implies the disability or even collapse of the wagon as a whole. What assertive secularists in the Republic fail to genuinely treat is that the ‘wheel of religion’ here referenced in the form of Islam specifically (although it can hardly be doubted that Ahmad would assent to a similar assertion for other faith traditions) “is more than a doctrine, more than a private belief or worship. It is also a culture and an institutional framework governing all aspects of interpersonal relations”, and those interpersonal relations between one another within the state are precisely that state’s most fundamental reality, by which it maintains itself, and, by which its most important purpose is known.
The spiritual reality that exists both within and beyond the mundane for all spiritual beings, men and women, is never a singular enterprise; it is ever a plural one. The great hope of the democratic state in this spiritual dimension is that it provides a venue where man can disclose himself as a spiritual being, as the only place he can be acknowledged as such is in the presence of other, equal spiritual beings; his fellow citizens. This relates to the democratic experiment in the Republic of Turkey specifically in that the democratic element is burdened with a solemn, quasi-religious duty to ensure that the public can go about such disclosure to the Others it is in communion with. Emmanuel Levinas, the 20th century Jewish philosopher of Otherness, refers to this phenomenon as the invitation of the face, an invitation that leads ultimately to the infinite that personhood represents. While this language bears a distinctly theological bent to it, it serves to illustrate where secularist trends in Turkish intellectual schools actively oppose the freedom that a secular paradigm, awash as it is in Western sentiments, that such schools would seek to guarantee.
Illuminating, in this regard, is the Rousseauistic tendency to champion the imposition of freedom by the république upon its subjects. “Whosoever refuses to obey the general will…shall be forced to be free”, his Social Contract proclaims, which, while paradoxical in numerous respects, nonetheless warrants assent from those that realize the nature of the republican state in the lives of its citizens, and further, the need to construct a manner of freedom that is itself only free in a certain measure. The example of Merve Kavakçı is here instructive as an example of this Rousseaustic feeling and the inimical nature it represents to a true exposure of self in a supposedly democratic sphere. Elected as a Virtue Party deputy for Istanbul in April, 1999, Kavakçı was precluded from taking her oath of office due to her appearance at her swear-in ceremony wearing a headscarf. She was subsequently stripped of her Turkish citizenship following the uproar from the secular establishment to such flagrant disregard for Turkey’s secular constitution. Accusations abound regarding her dual citizenship to the United States, but what followed two years later was the outright institutional destruction of the Virtue Party itself by the Constitutional Court in June, 2001. The controversy of such dual citizenship may deserve sustained scholarship, but such is the purview of other scholars, as the actions of both President, Court and the Democratic Left Party that nurtured the atmosphere of suspicion and abrasion with what has been called “creeping Islamization” [SA2] has implanted a woeful distrust between the religious and the democratic that is largely unfounded.
This so-called Islamization is viewed not as an expression of the will of citizens within the public sphere after nearly a century of repression, but as an effort to demolish that sphere in an effort to replace it with something fundamentally and radically different, when in truth, “secularists should not be scared of becoming an increasingly smaller and weaker minority in an increasingly religious society”. The dualism between state and faith is illusory, but one perpetuated by secularists as a means of not simply shaping the state’s institutions, but shaping the imaginations of the citizens within that state in an effort to carry on secularism in spite of building pressure to resist the assertive variety the Turkish state has championed since independence. The influence of neo-Jacobinism is carried forward in the ‘reformism’ that made the Young Turks so influential on subsequent national-political movements. “As with Rousseau’s meditation on change and action, it is the state that will remove this obstacle to democratic modernity’s political and cultural self-realization by way of law”.
Among the most concerning aspects of Turkey’s declining, but entrenched secular establishment is coaxed from the example of the former deputy, Merve Kavakçı, in that her example has had a radicalizing effect on secularism’s proponents. Under the constitution of the Republic, assertive, even draconian secularism is increasingly utilized ideologically by opponents to ‘creeping Islamization’ as an ad-hoc solution to increasingly crucial questions of democratic identity and revelation of the self in the public sphere. “To this day, the Kemalist opposition in Turkey has adopted the catchphrase ‘US Citizen Merve Kavakçı when referring to her,” and this vitriol seeps into varied political camps regardless of affiliation. While the dual citizenship controversy of former deputy Kavakçı warrants a renewed dialogue on what it means to serve the Turkish state, what the sentiment above conveys is an increasing association of the Islamic faith specifically, and faith of any kind more generally, with opposition to the constitution, the ‘secular legacy’ of such and, most strikingly, that religious character, be it Islamic, Christian, Jewish or any other faith tradition, is notTurkish character.
Kavakçı’s example has stimulated an increasing suspicion of religiosity in the forum of the Republic of Turkey, and such impetus has manifested in disheartening and dangerous ways. The ramification of associating religiosity with the activity of foreign agents is, again, a ploy against the imaginative character of a Turkish populace that is growing increasingly religious with the passage of time under an avowedly secularist regime, and finds outlet in likely and unlikely places. Of recent note is Prime Minister Erdoğan’s crusade against Hocaefendi Muhammed Fethullah Gülen-inspired Hizmet movement, translating a Kavakçı style religious wariness to the accusation of foreign powers utilizing an influential ‘pawn’ to transform the state.
PM Erdoğan’s response has been to call this a coup attempt against his government orchestrated by a coalition of foreign and domestic enemies and to call for Turkey’s second struggle of independence against these forces. Erdoğan claims that the ‘domestic pawn’ of this plot is the Gülen-inspired Hizmet movement which he claims to have infiltrated the state.
The Hizmet movement, as one of Turkey’s most influential and successful ‘exports’ in the expansion of local educational initiatives and promoting a dialogue of interfaith conviviality, has seized [SA3] upon both the Turkish experience of history and religiosity in that conviviality pre-Republic, filtered through the thought of Fethullah Gülen. “The principles of the movement attempt not to recreate a golden past, but to revitalize modernity with traditional values”. Yet, such warrants the suspicion of the political establishment insofar as it is, in some measure, non-secular and not obeisant to a state-exacted artifice of what it means to be both ‘secular’ and ‘Turkish’, which been a motivating factor in homogenizing political actors since the time of Atatürk. “I see a lot of individuals, however, who do not have responsibilities in [religion], but still continue to wear the same garb. I came across many among these who are ignorant, even illiterate…it is never permissible to permit this carelessness”. What Mustafa Kemal is here describing is the appropriate means of Islamic expression, that is to say, however the state would come to define such, and deviation “characterizes someone as un-Turkish, an enemy”.
Religiosity and religious leaders that generate a compelling narrative of life and experience have always warranted the scrutiny of the Turkish secular establishment. Yet, in M.H. Yavuz’s estimation, such scrutiny will not likely ebb the growth of religiously inclined and ethically imaginative citizens in the Turkish republic that seek a continuum with their past and present. An authentic disclosure of the spiritual self occurs only when the state can assent to the unique and crucial place of the citizen in that disclosure. Unfortunately, the state hoped for by the Young Turks and articulated by Mustafa Kemal and his colleagues saw a premium placed upon the Western and the rational, stifling the imaginative character that had flavored existence in the Ottoman Empire and even prior. “In Ataturk’s modernist discourses, these were purely scientific problems, as if dealing with inanimate matter that must conform to well-behaved rules”. History, imagination and religion are not meant to craft polemics against the rational, the secular and the statist, but rather to make manifest the experience of a life actually lived, and thereby to complete their reductionist accounts of the human experience. Man reveals himself to the Other as a holistic and spiritual being, that is nonetheless infinite and unknowable in its entirety; the invitation to an ultimate humility before the infinite. Where men and women are invited to take responsibility for one another in light of such humility, so too must the state with regards to its citizens, ultimately deferring to this revelation with respect and awe. Assertive, political secularism is increasingly losing its grip on the hearts and minds of those that operate beneath it, and while passive secularism retains great utility for states, as men and women find their identities fulfilled in venues unapproved and repressed by assertive secular orders, the choice between permitting and denying citizens their full agency and claim to personhood rears its head once more. The impossibility of escaping the historical consciousness and the spiritual nature of man demands that states accommodate the person in a fundamental way, and it is with great hope that such accommodation realizes the gifts of the spirit that contribute to the flourishing of life within the state. Reevaluating the Turkish relationship to Laïcité is a monumental challenge for modern political actors, but one that will ultimately see the development of a more fulfilled life in those citizens that see their faith lives as inseparable to their identity, a contingent of the Turkish population that has always sought voice since independence, and that continues to expand.
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With many earnest thanks to Emre Celik, Rasit Telbisoglu and The Rumi Forum for facilitating this wondrous opportunity to experience the Republic of Turkey and expand my personal scholarship, and my colleagues from the Rumi Forum Ph.D Intercultural Fellowship of Summer 2014 for their company, friendship and intellectual engagement.
 Armstrong. “The Myth of Religious Violence”. (2014, September 25)
 Elizabeth Shakman Herd. “Contested Secularism in Turkey and Iran”. Contesting Secularism: Comparative Perspectives. Ed. Anders Berg-Sorensen. (Fanrnham: Ashgate Publishing, 2013) 181
 Edmund Burke. Reflections on the Revolution in France. (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 1987) 67
 Sami Zubaida. “Turkish Islam and National Identity”. Middle East Report, no. 199 (1996)
 Claes Ryn. Democracy and the Ethical Life: A Philosophy of Politics and Community. (Washington D.C.; The Catholic University of America Press, 2001) 140
 Aziz Al-Azmeh. Islam and Modernities. (London: Verso, 1993) 79
 Abū l-Walīd Muḥammad Ibn ʾAḥmad Ibn Rušd. On the Harmony of Religion and Philosophy. Trans. George F. Hourani. (Oxford: E.J.W. Gibb Memorial Trust, 2012)
 “The Concept of Laïcité in France”. (2007) Normandy Vision. Retrieved from <www.normandyvision.org/article12030701.php>
 Jenny White. Muslim Nationalism and the New Turks. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013) 28
 Herd. “Contested Secularism in Turkey and Iran”. 182
 Enver Ziya Karal. “History of Turkey and Kemalism Lecture”. Stanford University. Stanford, CA (March, 1959)
 Nurullah Ardıç. Islam and the Politics of Secularism: The Caliphate and the Middle Eastern Modernization in the Early 20thCentury. (New York: Routledge, 2012) 2
 Anthony Black. The History of Islamic Political Thought: From Prophet to the Present. (New York: Routledge, 2001) 312
 Ibid. 311-313
 Ali Mirsepassi and Tadd Graham Fernee. Islam, Democracy, and Cosmopolitanism: At Home and In the World. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014) 48
 Martin Heidegger. “Being and Time: An Introduction”. Basic Writings. Ed. David Farrell Krell. (New York: Harper Collins, 1993)
 Al-Azmeh. Islam and Modernities. 48
 Mirza Tahir Ahmad. Islam’s Response to Contemporary Issues. (Tilford: Islam International Publications, 2012) 237
 A.R. Taylor. The Islamic Question in Middle East Politics. (Boulder: Westview Press, 1988) 32
 Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Phenomenology of Mind. Trans. J.B. Baille. (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1949) 223
 Emmanuel Levinas. Ethics and Infinity. Trans. Richard A. Cohen. (Pittsburg: Duquesne University Press, 1985) 86-87
 Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The Social Contract. (London: Penguin, 1968) 19
 “Headscarf Deputy Stripped of Turkish Citizenship”. BBC News (2014, July 22). Retrieved from <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/344787.stm>
 Constitution of the Republic of Turkey. (1982, November 7) Art. 2, Sec. 1
 Richard Peres. Headscarf: The Day Turkey Stood Still. (Reading: Garnet Publishing, 2012) 214
 Metin Heper. “Does Secularism Face a Serious Threat in Turkey?” Secular State and Religious Society: Two Forces in Play in Turkey. Ed. Berna Turam. (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2012) 91
 Mirsepassi and Fernee. Islam, Democracy, and Cosmopolitanism. 57-58
 Peres. Headscarf. 218
 Ismail Mesut Sezgin. “Erdoğan’s War against Hizmet: Step by step”. (2014, July 22). Today’s Zaman. Retrieved from < http://www.todayszaman.com/national_erdogans-war-against-hizmet-step-by-step_353694.html>
 Salih Yucel. “Spiritual Leader in a Global Islamic Context”. The Rumi Forum. (January 5, 2010) Retried from < https://www.rumiforum.org/gulen-movement/spiritual-leader-in-a-global-islamic-context.html>
 Mustafa Kemal. “Hat and Dress Revolution Speeches”. Kastamonu. (August 30, 1925) as quoted in Andrew Mango’s AtatürkTrans. Birol Baskan. (London: John Murray, 2006)
 White. Muslim Nationalism and the New Turks. 91
 M.H. Yavuz. “Islam in the Public Spehre: The Case of the Nur Movement”. Turkish Islam and the Secular State: The Gulen Movement. Ed. M.H. Yavuz and J.L. Esposito. (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2003) 3
 Mirsepassi and Fernee. Islam, Democracy, and Cosmopolitanism. 76
[SA1]Find a rather more positive way,” blaze a trail” is somewhat negative and blunt. We need something positive and elegant.
[SA2]I hate the word choice “creeping,” find a better one.
[SA3]This word has negative connotations. Find a better one.