Why I joined the revolution in Kurdistan

An introduction to Arthur Aberlin's blog in which he explains what motivated him to join the YPG as an international volunteer.

Submitted by donaldo on July 22, 2017

YPG-Training camp for international volunteers, canton of Cizîrê, April 12, 2017

This blog is the travel notebook of a libertarian communist who decided to join the revolution in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava).

I will try to hold it up do date (as far as practicable, as you can imagine) in order to keep you posted about my experiences and discoveries here.

I guess I should start with a short introduction of myself.
My name is Arthur Aberlin.

I don’t want to make it too easy for our friends from the intelligence service – even though I’m pretty sure they already know that I’m here – so I won’t tell you very much about my background, except the following: I was born in a workers family in a medium-sized town. I was lucky enough to study in a provincial college but given my study fields chances were low to find a job afterwards. I started to engage with the students movement and eventually joined a libertarian communist organization.

So, why did I decide to go?

An unavoidable question, I suppose… The first reason is, of course, my wish to put into practice my solidarity with the currently ongoing revolution in Rojava. I am aware of the intellectual masturbatory debates within the activist spheres that discuss whether one can call these events revolutionary or not, and, by the way, I have myself participated in such discussions.

Nevertheless, with time I gained more and more respect for imperfect action as compared to perfect theory. And I grew sick of being a simple observer of events that happen just a few days-trip away from us. The trigger was doubtlessly very personnel, but, as the saying goes, everything is political.

So, after several years of activism, I found it more and more difficult to give meaning to the militant routine… and I could sense, slowly but surely, a feeling of resignation taking over. It had been a while since I was following the situation in Syria; and I cherished the comforting thought that, worse case, I could join this revolution. A fantasy that allowed me to reassure myself about my true revolutionary nature, I suppose.

Anyway! On a January morning, reading the blog of a comrade who had taken the plunge – I hope I will meet him so I can tell him that, somehow, he gave rise to this turning point in my life -, I thought to myself that I’m standing at a crossroad:
- either I continue my everyday activism which I didn’t find satisfactory anymore and which I feared would lead to an unpleasant ending of disillusions from my ideals and a lot of alcohol to forget about it.
- or I make my dreams real and I walk ahead to the unknown.

The next day, I had made my choice.

I started to think about how to join the YPG.

The author of the blog could not be reached in order to gather his opinion about this translation, so the responsibility for the translation lies entirely with the translator.
Find the original text here (french) : http://www.kurdistan-autogestion-revolution.com/post/159277077950/pourquoi-jai-rejoint-la-r%C3%A9volution-au-kurdistan



6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Spikymike on August 4, 2017

You see this is a genuinely honest, if sad, personal explanation of why this 'political activist' got tired of their (perhaps questionable) ''militant routine'' in Europe and ended up turning their 'fantasy' of engaging in something proclaimed 'revolutionary' by both the European leftists and much of the liberal media, into practical military engagement in a nationalist and inter-imperialist war in which any doubts about the revolutionary credentials of the movement could be subsumed. These motivations are of a substantially different category to those Syrian Kurds faced with the practical dilemma of a defensive fight back or fleeing to physical safety but refugee status elsewhere, in which many personal compromises (from a revolutionary point of view) have been borne out of necessity rather than any choice. The choice made by this blogger are still open to question in terms of their understanding of what amounts to anti-capitalism and revolution in today's global capitalism and their underlying propaganda message towards others in the circles they left behind.