Mr. Anarchist, we need to have a chat about colonialism

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Flint
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Apr 3 2015 04:04

It seems weird to me that the definition of the state is now tied to whether or not there is an organized body capable of violent conflict, and that organization is capable of agreeing to a ceasefire (peace).

As to "control of "resources"/development of "productive forces," the claims in the collectivizations and commons is that the relationships being created are not hierarchical but organized at local level either as worker-controlled collectives or controlled through the local Tev-Dem assemblies. The PYD's "People's Economic Program" put forth these ideas, but they haven't been fully implemented, or evenly implemented. Noone in the forums seems to want to engage information about that, or are just dismissive that certain details are not "full communism", but I'm rather optimistic that "three-quarters of traditional private property is being used as commons" and that "Workers are to control the means of production in their workplace through worker councils that are responsible to the local councils... worker councils have only been set up for about one third of the enterprises in Rojava so far." Are these lies? Such claims are certainly worthy of investigation by communists!

Certainly if LibCom is inspired by "tiny everyday examples such as people collectively organising a meal, or helping a stranger carry a pram down a flight of stairs", sympathy strikes, and worker cooperatives in Argentina in 2001--then these claims to have seized all Ba'athist state property, having put 3/4ths of all private property into the commons and that 1/3rd of all enterprises are now worker controlled councils... that should be worthy of some investigation and discussion. If they are lies, they should be exposed as lies! With evidence!

Black Badger
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Apr 3 2015 04:10

As something of an anarchist, I have this perverse tendency to be skeptical of the pronouncements of hierarchical politico-military formations that are tightly disciplined adherents to groups with a long history of Marxist-Leninism (aka Stalinism) despite the youth affiliates having more unruly tendencies.

As something of an anarchist history buff, I have a perverse tendency to be skeptical of ostensibly anti-hierarchical and anti-bureaucratic outfits (like the CNT-FAI and the Makhnovists) who make pronouncements that look good on paper but have been shown to be mostly honored in the breach.

You're right. I don't believe them. Why should I? Why should anyone? Politicians lie. Oh, of course, except this time. I guess you don't think they're politicians, despite many of them engaging in negotiations with other politicians...

Flint
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Apr 3 2015 04:11
mikail firtinaci wrote:
However, PKK is still controlled by the leadership residing in its central Kandil mountain basis. Its acting (and unquestionable) second leader is (since Ocalan was captured by the Turkish state) is the same person since 1999: Murat Karayilan. All political and military directives emanating from this center are unquestionably followed by the rest of the organization and its fronts. This central institution (whatever it says about itself) acts like a state. Can you see any evidences that could counter this?.

There are numerous accounts of the organization of worker councils in the Rojava cantons is controlled by the worker councils themselves, not by Murat Karayilan on a Qandil mountaintop. Its refreshing not to hear a claim that Tev-Dem is being controlled by Ocalan in prison.Or by the Turkish secret police manipulating the HDP and/or the KCK.

Flint
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Apr 3 2015 04:16
Black Badger wrote:
You're right. I don't believe them. Why should I? Why should anyone? Politicians lie. Oh, of course, except this time. I guess you don't think they're politicians, despite many of them engaging in negotiations with other politicians...

Whose opinion would you trust? What evidence would you find convincing? How can we make that happen?

Black Badger wrote:
I have a perverse tendency to be skeptical of ostensibly anti-hierarchical and anti-bureaucratic outfits (like the CNT-FAI and the Makhnovists) who make pronouncements that look good on paper but have been shown to be mostly honored in the breach..

Sorry, I thought LibCom took inspiration from "Spain 1936, Russia 1917", the "Spanish CNT" and "libertarian communists in the Spanish revolution"

radicalgraffiti
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Apr 3 2015 04:19

when you talk to people on the libcom forums you are talking to people on the libcom forums, not an entity called libcom

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mikail firtinaci
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Apr 3 2015 04:19

During the German Revolution in 1918-1919 there were real genuine workers' councils in Germany. And they were controlled by the social democratic party which was clearly a counter revolutionary organization that was integrated to the state. Councils which represents local clan chiefs and extended family heads are not even close to that. "Council" after all is just a word. Which class holds the power via councils is the real question.

Flint
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Apr 3 2015 05:16

Mikail,

These articles describe a situation far more under worker's control than clan chiefs:
http://nicolasphebus.tumblr.com/post/106580014578/some-concrete-examples-of-how-the-rojava
http://www.tangledwilderness.org/a-mountain-river-has-many-bends/
http://wire.novaramedia.com/2015/02/6-notes-on-the-economics-of-the-rojava-revolution/
http://kurdishquestion.com/index.php/kurdistan/west-kurdistan/rojava-the-formation-of-an-economic-alternative.html

I think the situation is more mixed than the rosier descriptions. I think there is some real difference between the situation and Afrin and Cizîrê Or the situation between Afrin and Kobane before the siege. There are probably differences neighborhood to neighborhood, village to village and enterprise to enterprise. Its the segments that have gone most towards workers control and communism that interest met the most. The is probably a left and a right within Tev-Dem.

I would like more information and investigation about it.

But its easier for some to consider it all a giant pack of lies. Seems like a funny thing to lie about in this day in age when the advocates of communism are few and far between with little in the way of resources.

Black Badger
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Apr 3 2015 05:20
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Whose opinion would you trust? What evidence would you find convincing? How can we make that happen?

I would trust the opinion and analysis of people whose analyses and opinions aren't based on wishful thinking and/or tours of Potemkin villages. I don't think you should be concerned with me not being satisfied in this area. Why do you need me to be convinced of anything? I already told you I'm perverse, so I'm not sure you'd really want me on your team.

Your conflation of one individual (me) with "LibCom" is strange. And "inspiration" isn't the same as unquestioningly supporting the official line of an organization.

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mikail firtinaci
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Apr 3 2015 06:01

Flint,

I read one of them. This:
http://kurdishquestion.com/index.php/kurdistan/west-kurdistan/rojava-the-formation-of-an-economic-alternative.html

The article shows the social-nationalist and micro-state-capitalist nature of the regime established in this most stable of the "cantons", in Afrin. So thank you for the clarification.

However, still you did not cite any reference indicating a change in the statist structure of the PKK itself, which is the ruling power and owner of the whole business (soap factories and everything else), since it holds the arms... So let's say do these so-called "councils" (of what uncertain) have any authority and control over the PKK/PYD? Do you know anything about that?

Spikymike
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Apr 3 2015 09:40

Flint has a very narrow conception of what constitutes a 'state' and 'statist tendency' or even of what constitutes 'nationalism' given that there are many existing and proposed nationalisms which do not depend on any ethnic or religious ideological basis even if admitedly there are strong tendencies in that direction historically and currently.

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Apr 3 2015 10:06
radicalgraffiti wrote:
when you talk to people on the libcom forums you are talking to people on the libcom forums, not an entity called libcom

I really, really, REALLY wish people would realise this..

Back on topic: I definitely wouldn't consider myself 100% anti what's going on in Rojava (though I did really like the Dauve text because it at least laid the basis for the questions which I think need to be answered). I'd consider myself having reservations about it being like Spain 1936 but willing to have it otherwise proved (lord knows we need some good news!).. that said, one thing I think would really help is if those cheerleading the Rojava revolution could say what they think are the limitations/contradictions.. coz at the minute I feel there's lots of 'yeah sure it's not the PERFECT revolution but that's how real struggles are' but the minute there's any criticism there's a barrage of 'racist!', 'colonialist!' etc etc.

Also, maybe I missed it, but has anyone ever responded to the thing about the PKK killing Turkish teachers 10-15 years back?

Will read the thing Flint posted up as soon as I get a minute..

Flint
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Apr 3 2015 12:09

For folks who think it's weird that I drug up libcom's "about" statement and it's inspiration from the Spanish Revolution, Argentina in 2001 and group dinners... it was Soapy who called to question why anyone on this website would be interested in Rojava: "so people on here are most interested in class struggle, maybe this isn't the right website to get all angry about Rojava on."

I know much of (but not exclusively) many of the folks most skeptical to hostile to Tev-Dem and the PYD are leftcomm/ICC/ICT/EKS. I know that there are libertarian communists who agree with them. I know Dauve isn't an anarchist, and AFed are.

Good to see some have also shown their "preverse" bias against the CNT-FAI of the 1930s and the Makhnovists.

I know that unless a statement is collectively signed by a organization, it's just the opinion of the individual. But some posters on libcom have had problems drawing that distinction in the past.

I'm also aware that now when I even post just factual articles and comments, I can expect to get five or so down votes from people who disagree with my opinion on the Rojava.

kurekmurek
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Apr 3 2015 12:37

Just an out of context observation Flint;

The only way to fight against negative votes, is keep on commenting I guess, because I normally get 5 or so, but now as I am not commenting in this thread my negative votes sky rocketed to above tens grin

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Apr 3 2015 12:41
Flint wrote:
For folks who think it's weird that I drug up libcom's "about" statement

Just to be clear, I don't think it's weird that you quoted the 'about' statement.. my comment was more in relation to a few times in fairly recent history where people have given me/other admins shit for things posted by users on the site as if we'd said it ("Libcom said this to me" sort of thing).. so basically nothing to do with you..

As for down votes, when its four or five you can usually guess who they're from, I wouldn't worry about it..

Back on topic: I still genuinely would like to hear what the pro-PKK/Rojava people think are the limitations/contradictions of the Rojava revolution, not because I think that's the death knell for it (even the 'purest' of struggles will contain them) but because the lack of any criticism from supporters makes me think that those limitations are too big even to think about..

Sharkfinn
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Apr 3 2015 19:05

I think the reason for the lack of critical comment is that there's 5 critical comment to one mildly supportive one here on average. Mikail & Co have the ruthless critique thing pretty much covered. But lets give it a go:

I don't think there are many PKK supporters on the forum. I think the struggle in Rojava against IS is a positive development in the region and for the libertarian movement. That doesn't make me a supporter of the PKK. Equalizing the population of Rojava with the PKK robs them of any agency, I would avoid that in analysis. I'm sure the structure of PKK and Leninist elements within it have an effect on the politics of the region, but I don't have concrete information to what extent. Authoritarianism and violent coercion have more to do with the nature of war and all military structures than the supposed ideological influence of "stalinism".

I pretty much agree with Flint's previous post:

Quote:
I'm rather optimistic that "three-quarters of traditional private property is being used as commons" and that "Workers are to control the means of production in their workplace through worker councils that are responsible to the local...

...as opposed to IS just killing everyone. Its difficult to answer questions on "limitations of the revolution". I find the concept too general. Limitations compared to what? Giving up? Mass refugee migration to Europe? Taking a time machine to Germany 1918-1919 and asking them how to defeat IS, and diversify local farming, low skilled textile manufacturing based village economy to something more self-sufficient, get FDI, and how to negotiate trade relations with hostile capitalist powers? So yeah, there are limitations, I don't see anyone denying that, but they don't live in capitalist core economies, which is why Mikail's comparison with Germany doesn't really work.

Besides, our revolutionary wage theft cases aren't without their own limitations, we still do them because of necessity and in hope of building wider politics through them. I don't think me or anyone has suggested that this is the beginning of global communism. Rojava seems to be developing a heterodox capitalist economy with a large emphasis on democratic control of community resources, this happening during a time of war, which usually means an immediate danger of famine - the situation sounds to me a lot more positive than any thinkable alternative. That's the bourgeois, racist, colonial, stalinist, po-mo, intersectional, academic, idiot-savant ideological legitimation of my support.

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JoeMaguire
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Apr 3 2015 16:06

Rather than have to deal with accusations of colonialism racism etc...which I assume many of us feel are problematic and side stepping the matter, would it not be more useful to critique those forces on the ground, in Rojava and the bordering regions who have criticised the PKK and the prospectus of a class/libertarian revolution?

In the AF statement it puts forward two sources. This and this

I would also suggest this is quite good

Quote:
Do you work with PYD/PKK/PÇDK?

No we do not. Because we reject any support or co-operation with any hierarchal, political and authoritarian groups and organizations. We only line up ourselves and are interested in any resistance from the mass of people and the social movements wherever they are in this world and we are ready to support them by whatever means we can.

...

Some Kurdish women from the PKK came to Barcelona last month. One of them recognized herself as an anarchist. She was from Germany and she wanted to learn more about anarchist history here in Spain. Do you think there are anarchists in the ranks of PKK? Do you have contacts with them? Would it be possible to have a left libertarian current inside this hierarchical movement?

Yes. Inside the PKK and PYD there are men and women with anarchist ideas and thought. Some of these people have reached that through their own struggles and experiences; the others have become anarchist and libertarian under the influence of Abdullah Öcalan. They have realized that anarchism is the most radical answer to the capitalist system. We believe that those who have embraced the anarchist idea under the influence of Öcalan may not be as solid as the people who reached the same ideas through their own struggles and experiences. Obviously the reason for that is while Öcalan is still at the top of a hierarchal organization like the PKK, and has every power, if for some reason he orders the people inside the PKK or PYD to change their direction, we are sure many of them are happy to do it. If that happens there is a possibility for this group to change its principles and direction. We think differently about those especially guerilla women who have become anarchist through their own experiences as they are members of the groups and committees in the villages and towns in society; we believe they are more stable and solid. We have seen a few interviews that they have given and also seen a few films that show how they live together and how do they manage their work and daily life together, like living in communes. All these give us more hope, yet again because we do not live with them, therefore we do not know how much of this is true. We must also say that among their sister parties in Iranian and Iraqi Kurdistan, we unfortunately do not see these positive changes and directions. These people almost look like the PKK of the early 1990s; they are still nationalist and most of their leaders are very authoritarian. We think they do not embrace the current ideas and thought of Öcalan, like economic cooperatives, communes in the towns and villages, people’s self-rule, direct democracy, the system of federalism and free confederation. We believe the parties’ policies in Iranian/Iraqi Kurdistan are very much in contradiction with the current policies the PKK and PYD: they are still insisting on political changes rather than social changes, they are still competing with the other bourgeois parties in gaining money, power and position.

The experiences of many of us have proved or at least shown that it is very, very hard for a libertarian/anarchist idea and direction to grow and develop inside a hierarchal organization. Not only this, it is impossible for such ideas and directions to remain or stay and continue in an ideological nationalist organization. We can always separate or distinguish between the social movement and the leftist political movement whatever form they have because the leftists and politicians are always authoritarian and corrupt. We can see in reality the leftists are always trying to tame and control struggles and the movement of the mass people and use them to achieve their own political aims, making political capital out of it. We are the witness of all the attempts that have been made by leftists during the uprising which took place in Iraqi Kurdistan in 1991 and up to present, how they have tried to change the direction of the mass movements, deceiving them, disappointing them, compromising with the State and trying to plant the seeds of naivety among people to believe in political parties, centralism, “the workers state”, “communist state” and “socialist state”. This is all the propaganda that they have produced since then.

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Apr 3 2015 16:17
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I don't think there are many PKK supporters on the forum. I think the struggle in Rojava against IS is a positive development in the region and for the libertarian movement. That doesn't make me a supporter of the PKK.

It certainly does not make you a supporter of PKK, but the problem us that a few posters here do not seem to be that capable of making the distinction. Though it is a conflation of the two in this way: CrI don't think there are many PKK supporters on the forum. I think the struggle in Rojava against IS is a positive development in the region and for the libertarian movement. That doesn't make me a supporter of the PKK: criticism of Ocalan and PKK is critiquing the Rojava experiment. They defend ocalan and PKK almost on the same level as Rojava. To me, that is what makes me the most skeptical towards Rojava (though I consider myself agnostic).

Sharkfinn
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Apr 3 2015 16:34
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They defend ocalan and PKK almost on the same level as Rojava.

Who? This forum? I check this site pretty regularly and I honestly don't know who you are talking about. Could you reference a thread, please?

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Apr 3 2015 16:49

To respond to Flint saying "nobody cares that you are not interested" you completely missed the point of my post. I was saying that why are you and other supporters of the Rojava experiment getting so angry over this? Just chill out, it doesn't seem to be possible to have a conversation about this without it turning into a rather vile argument.

I am all in favor of discussing whether or not the Rojava experiment has libertarian qualities, I am not in favor of it becoming an argument filled with vitriol.

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Apr 3 2015 16:50

Pick almost anyone of them. Lots of furious defenses of ocalan.

Sharkfinn
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Apr 3 2015 19:02
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Pick almost anyone of them. Lots of furious defenses of ocalan.

Pick any of what? Sincerely, I don't remember any defenses of Ocalan on the forum for the past six months. The closest thing you get is kurrem pointing out that some sexual abuse allegations concerning him are besides the point when discussing feminism in the context of Rojava revolution. That's not even close to defending him.

If you claim that there's Ocalan supporters on the forum, you should at least substantiate the claim.

I don't think anyone here is angry. Soapy, I'm sorry if the climate of the thread makes you unwilling to post (same here usually) but I think frustration with unsubstantiated assertions is legitimate. Also, talking about the war and mass suffering in the context of whether or not the struggle fits properly into libertarian communist standards, might strike as callous to a lot of observers. I don't see the struggle as a revolutionary experiment (I assume you don't either), its a case of trying to survive i.e. "disaster communism", much less a choice than a necessity born out of difficult circumstances. The critique on the forum hasn't really reflected on that so far.

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Apr 3 2015 19:46

Fair enough, as long we all just chill out for a second and take a breather I think we are ready to have an anarcho-friendly debate about this

Flint
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Apr 3 2015 19:59

I'm not angry.

If I feel anything in regards to this forum, its disappointment.

Flint
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Apr 3 2015 20:09

"I would also suggest this is quite good
Do you work with PYD/PKK/PÇDK?"

Zaher Baher of Haringey Solidarity Group and the Kurdistan Anarchists Forum has revised his opinion after visiting Northern Kurdistan in Turkey.

"It is interesting the people are defying and challenging the power and the state. There is a power within the power. There is ‘’people’s power’’ that people believe in, work with, have forced themselves through the actual state’s power and have made it workable and powerful. This is the way for them to gradually take back the power form the elite minority. While this is not difficult in the cities that overwhelming majority are Kurdish and believe in changes. This is how the social revolution starts from the bottom of the society, and not from the top.

"After 28 years of war, PKK has realised that they must change their direction of their struggles, their aims and their strategy otherwise their future won’t be better than the future of other movements.

"PKK or at least the dominant faction or group within the PKK, has taken the right decision and the right direction by silencing their weapons and opening their minds, changing from military forces to people’s power and from political revolution to social revolution. The wave of the social revolution is so strong it will be extremely hard for anybody or any political party to change its direction let alone to stop it. It became a culture, custom especially for the young generation, they have realised that is the only way to defy the power, to challenge the system and make major changes..."

"The attitude of US and the western countries treating the PKK as a terrorist organisation does not help the situation. Continuing such a policy will bring no benefits either to Kurdish people or to their allies in the region. These countries need to change their attitudes about PKK, they should understand that it is not the same organisation as it was in the 1990s. They should consider PKK as a main force in the region and is very popular. It has indeed changed and progressed considerably during the recent years. Therefore the PKK cannot be marginalised. The US and the western countries should force the Turkish government not to take the ceasefire for granted, they should all grab this opportunity to end this very long dispute."

The social revolution will sweep Turkey Kurdistan sooner or later

If we considered the KAF a valid perspective before, do we have to consider a valid perspective now?

Flint
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Apr 3 2015 21:19

" what the pro-PKK/Rojava people think are the limitations/contradictions of the Rojava revolution"

1) They are dealing with deliberately under-developed industrial economy that has been focused on agricultural and resources extraction (but not processing). They can achieve subsistence with what they have now, but the desire for more will expose them to trade with the rest of the world and that means in roads for global capital and/or the Ba'athist state-capital regime. Economically, they either need to develop their capacity in Rojava, or expand the Rojava revolution's People's Economic Program to other areas. Expanding into Syria will require a similar revolution as happened in Rojava. Does Burkan Al-Firat constitute not just a militarily alliance but expansion of the principles of the revolution? I think its a strategic alliance, not one that is going ti spread Tev-Dem like structures to Jarbalus, Raqqa, etc...

If they can't expand economically into a network with similar worker collectives/cooperatives in Syria, what are their options? Turkey perhaps where the movement is ideologically strong but subject to a hostile Turkish state. The peace process and the electoral efforts of the HDP seem geared to open space to allow greater autonomy and Tev-Dem structures. Even with any sort of autonomy breathing room though, they don't have the advantage of the state effectively collapsing and the bourgeoisie fleeing as it did in Rojava. Infact, it seems like the bourgeoisie of northern Syrian fled TOO southern Turkey. It'll be interesting to see what comes of the Turkish elections this June. Whatever happens, it'll probably be a change in Turkey's relationship to the PKK and the Kurdish majority areas--for good or ill.

They'll look to the east, to the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government. They've already had a long term plan and now are implementing a Tev-Da structure among the refugees of Sengal (Sinjar). The HPG came down from the mountains to defend the Turkish-Kurd refugee camp of Makhmour and stop the Daesh on the road to Hawler (Erbil). Gorran is a left break away from the corrupt PUK. Gorran has a goal of ousting both the KDP and PUK from control of the KRG through electoral politics, but it was also involved with its own version of Arab Spring centered on Sulaimaniya. PKK has let it be known that it supports Gorran and vice versa. In August, KRG President Barzani's extended term is up and he must face election. Based on passed elections, Gorran and PUK would have the votes to oust him. The PUK in Syria has effectively dissolved into Tev-Dem and the YPG. Barzani is just crazy enough to pull some sort of anti-democratic shennigans to try and hold his position and turn Iraqi KRG into more of a KDP dictatorship. I think that he and much of the rest of the world is underestimating how popular the PKK has become and how unpopular the KDP regime is. If the electoral arena is blocked, I wouldn't be surprised to hear a number of cantons declared throughout Iraqi Kurdistan. Iraqi Kurdistan does have industry and even the sort of proper proletariat to satisfy the most vulgar Marxist historical determinist. It also has the history of the Kurdish Workers Council Uprising. The Hekmatist Workers Communist parties would like to claim the mantle of the resistance movement; and they have vocalized their support for the YPG. At the very least, Gorran and the like will be pushing to normalize relationship between Iraqi KRG and Rojava allowing for some kind of trade.

Its possible Rojava could build itself with enough work and humanitarian aid, but that is also tied into ending the embargo it faces.

2) One contradiction is that the collectivization, commons and workers control has expanded into the vacuum left by the collapse of the Ba'athist state and fleeing of the bourgeois from the area. This is the "disaster communism". They were able to take the farms and the oil fields without having to fight the entrenched regime. But they are having to fight Daesh to hold it now! But in the process, while most private property (particularly productive agricultural and industrial capital) has been expropriated into the commons, there are still some capitalist private property relations. They sound strongest in Afrin with its high rents because of the relative safety Afrin has had. Tev-Dem economic minister has expressed a desire to basically build their way out of a confrontation with landlords by providing housing as a common right. While that certainly feasible in the ruin of Kobane; Afrin isn't a ruin. By not confronting landlords there because they are picking their battles, they are leaving a exploitative capitalist class. Many of their other decisions such as abolishing banks, abolishing financial interest and a stated goal of reducing or eliminating money in addition to the common ownership of agricultural and industrial capital is going to make it difficult for global or local capitalists to profit. Capitalists hate that. They won't be able to avoid a confrontation over this forever.

3) The militarization of society. 70% of their productivity is going to the war effort. Workers can't stand that forever. While I have a lot of problems with Seidman's "Repubic of Egos", he is addressing a real problem worker-controlled enterprises face when engaged in a long term war. Constant violence makes civil society difficult. War drains productivity. The climate of violence encourages some of the worst behavior even from the well meaning. The protest that was fired upon at Adena would have been far less likely to happen if there was not a war going on. The conscription act, as weak as it is, is reaction to the militarily dire situation faced by Kobane and Cizîre cantons. While the war gave the PYD the opportunity to put for the Tev-Dem and the space abandoned by the Ba'ath and bourgeoisie to grown their alternative structures; as the war drags on it threatens to undermine any of those achievements in ruin. Kobane was defended but also ruined. While "we are not afraid of ruins" is a great slogan, I think its probably significantly easier to build a libertarian socialist society not out of ruins.

4) Peace. Peace will also be a threat to the collectivization and commons. A return to peace means old owners (bourgeoisie or the Ba'athist state) may return and press their claims of ownership. New capitalists will be looking for a market to exploit. The 30% of the Rojavan population that does not support a democratic confederalist structure and would prefer a capitalist state will push for that and won't have the threat of war to temper their ambitions. The KDP will become more assertive in being the force to the right of the PYD in Rojava politics (they just boycotted the Cizîre canton municipal elections). An end to the war means an end to the "disaster communism". Will that also spell the end for the collectivization and commons? There are certainly organized factions in Rojava that would want it to mean that, just as there are organized factions that will want to continue it.

5) They could all be killed. Thats usually the final chapter on libertarian socialist uprisings.

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Apr 3 2015 21:40
Flint wrote:
I'm not angry.

If I feel anything in regards to this forum, its disappointment.

And so it was that Flint became disillusioned with libcom posters because some of them had the wrong political position on a political conflict that they had no control over

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Apr 3 2015 22:29
Sharkfinn wrote:
Also, talking about the war and mass suffering in the context of whether or not the struggle fits properly into libertarian communist standards, might strike as callous to a lot of observers. I don't see the struggle as a revolutionary experiment (I assume you don't either), its a case of trying to survive i.e. "disaster communism", much less a choice than a necessity born out of difficult circumstances.

I'd agree with this, but then I don't think it's me/skeptics who are making comparisons with 'libertarian communist standards' but the supporters themselves. Graeber's article, for example, seems to view it as a social revolution. I think it's fair enough then to ask how it compares to other social revolutions and I also think it's unfair to then turn around and say "well, look, there's a war going on, people are just trying to survive, you can't go comparing it to other social revolutions PS racist colonialist".. maybe you don't see it as a revolutionary experiment but it's clear that a lot of people do, and in such a situation I don't think it's callous to ask how the experiment is going and, particularly in the case where the experiment seems to be propelled by a formerly Stalinist-nationalist party who were murdering Turkish teachers 15-odd years ago, whether there might be any internal obstacles to this experiment..

To this end, I really appreciate Flint's last post, though I'd say points #2 and #4 were the main ones of interest to me, as they related to internal limitations/contradictions rather than external ones (like the mental fucking war they're involved in!).. I still retain some skepticism (mostly around the transformation of the PKK, Ocalan's cult of personality etc) and prob have more to read but it's certainly given me at least a chain of events I can understand..

kurekmurek
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Joined: 15-11-07
Apr 3 2015 22:41

Well actually they also did bombings in tourist sites of turkey in 90's to decrease the tourism revenue of Turkey And to hurt it politically.

Sharkfinn
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Apr 3 2015 22:48

I didn't say anyone was being racist colonialist. Where did I say that? I just pointed out that the infantile disorder was acting fucking infantile.

Guerre de Classe
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Apr 9 2015 15:59

Spikymike wrote here above (#41):

Quote:
Flint has a very narrow conception of what constitutes a 'state' and 'statist tendency'…

It’s indeed necessary to deepen the discussion about the State, especially when “anarchist” supporters of PKK/PYD pretend this latter broke with any practical statist conception or when they echo their mottos about the nature of Rojava and the “Democratic Confederalism” structures…

Here are some short reflections about this issue:

The State is not merely a structure of government, police, army and administrative apparatus…

The State, as the communist movement grasps it, is a social relation, a materialization of capitalist world order, no matter whether its legitimacy is based on parliament or community assemblies. If therefore PKK and its PYD’s henchmen claim that they do not seek to create a State, it is just because in reality they already – due to their role, practical and ideological, they play in Rojava – represent the State. This is what some of PKK’s partisans call quite rightly “a State without a State”, i.e. a State that doesn’t necessarily territorialize as a Nation-State, but which ultimately really constitutes a State in the sense that capitalist social relations, private property, are not fundamentally challenged.

Indeed, contrary to all the idealistic beliefs conveyed by the dominant ideology, and therefore also by a large number of proletarians in struggle and militants, contrary to how the State is grasped generally, that is to say while being reduced to an “apparatus”, an “institution”, or a simple “structure”, the State is not a “neutral” tool that the proletariat could take in hand and use as such for its own purposes or even something that could be transformed from “vertical” decision-making into “horizontal” decision-making (fetishism and misery of federalism!) or even something that could be remove by single decree and voluntaristic will. A large number of revolutionaries of the past, whether they were “anarchists”, “communists”, “Marxists”, “revolutionary socialists”, etc., always grasped the State as a “tool” or quite simply as “the government”…

The State is a social relation, composed of various apparatuses (government, parliament, police, army, employers, unions, political parties, school system, etc.) combined with many ideologies that make it strong (parliamentarianism, religion, positivism, authoritarianism, etc.). The State is a social relation that reproduces even within our struggles, and which we vehemently fight against.

The State is a social relation and at the present level of the development of class societies (and capitalism is the ultimate outcome of this development as a synthesis of previous modes of production), the State can only be the State of the capitalists, and therefore it can only be destroyed not through simple reforms (whether “radical” they may appear) but rather through the force of social revolution, through the movement of subversion of this world that will terminate all shapes of exploitation to hand over to the communist society…