What proportion of anarchists support the Rojava revolution?

Submitted by anagoldman on February 11, 2015

I was wondering what proportion of you support the revolution in the Kurds’ own terms, not just in the hope that it will turn out how you want it to.

I’m amazed it’s not the main topic/concern of anarchists at the moment, and that there have been virtually no international volunteers.

Red Marriott

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I’m amazed ... that there have been virtually no international volunteers.

If you think that I'll be amazed if you weren't the first volunteer.

Serge Forward

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There are a few who would support the PKK fighters on here, anagoldman, but I would guess most would not be joining the PKK for reasons similar to why we never joined the ANC, MPLA, ZANU-PF, the Sandinistas, FARC or the Provisional IRA.

Khawaga

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Why should it be a main topic of concern for anyone but those who live in or around that area? It's interesting to discuss, but what can most of do about it but discuss it? Austerity is imposed on us, work is still shit etc. The main topic of concern, as always, should be how we can build solidarity among the working class to better our conditions where we live, and sure, make international links, but often this immense focus on things far away takes away from practical organizing where you live. Not that I think it's either or, only that there is very little any of us can do about events that far away.

anagoldman

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Serge Forward, none of the organisations you mention are remotely similar to anarchism, whereas the Rojava revolution is very similar. There has been nothing comparable since Spain 1936.

Khawaga, it should be the main focus in the way that Spain during the civil war was the main focus, with thousands of people joining the international brigades. Wherever there is a revolution people should concentrate on helping it, through fundraising, raising awareness etc. Meanwhile in Europe anarchists have achieved virtually nothing in the last 80 years, and couldn't be further away from revolution. Building solidarity among the working class and improving the way we live is important, but is hardly exclusive to anarchism.

rat

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

anagoldman

...and that there have been virtually no international volunteers.

anagoldman, I assume that you are either already out there, or rapidly on your way to Rojava? If not, why not?

anagoldman

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Because I have a serious disability

anagoldman

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

But, yes I am planning on going, just not to fight. Btw, I’m not criticizing anyone for not going, I’m just surprised at the seeming indifference, and contrast to Spain.

Khawaga

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Check out any number of threads on Rojava on this site and you'll see that's it's not a position of indifference. It's been one of the most debated issues on libcom recently, multiple threads with 100s of comments. So please, don't make assumptions. And to equate Rojava with Spain is spurious at best (if you want reasons I suggest you read up on the discussions).

anagoldman

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Khawaga, so where are the UK based anarchist/Rojava solidarity organisations? It's not quite enough to comment..

Dannny

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

anagoldman

Serge Forward, none of the organisations you mention are remotely similar to anarchism, whereas the Rojava revolution is very similar. There has been nothing comparable since Spain 1936.

Khawaga, it should be the main focus in the way that Spain during the civil war was the main focus, with thousands of people joining the international brigades. Wherever there is a revolution people should concentrate on helping it, through fundraising, raising awareness etc. Meanwhile in Europe anarchists have achieved virtually nothing in the last 80 years, and couldn't be further away from revolution. Building solidarity among the working class and improving the way we live is important, but is hardly exclusive to anarchism.

Hi anagoldman.
What is it about the Rojava revolution that you think is comparable to Spain 36?
At that time in Spain millions of workers were participating in industrial and agrarian collectives, some villages and towns abolished money, the militias operated on the basis of assemblies and in several major cities questions of food supplies, public order, education and transport were, to a greater or lesser extent, controlled by revolutionary committees that also operated on an assembly basis. All of this was framed by a mass workers' organisation with a commitment to the establishment of libertarian communism and internationalism. I don't mean to diminish what people are experiencing in Rojava, but in terms of the history of the workers' movement, or of anarchism, it seems that comparisons with Spain aren't very useful. Still, I'd be interested to read arguments against this.
In terms of the support the Spanish revolution received from anarchists internationally, this came in the form of money and volunteers willing to participate, but also in the form of increasingly vocal and bitter criticism when this was considered necessary. Although rejected by a generally indignant CNT-FAI hierarchy, these criticisms chimed with positions that were adopted by revolutionaries within Spain, and I imagine that many anarchists today would consider such criticisms to have been worth making and in line with a tradition that we identify with.

plasmatelly

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Good post Dannny - but am I right in thinking the CNT's message for international anarchists was to stay home and build revolution in their own countries?

Dannny

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi plasmatelly. I think that became the official line yeah. It's hard to unpick these things sometimes. The majority of foreign volunteers coming to Spain by the end of '36 were Communists, so there was some reticence about permitting their presence - the CNT's sometimes nationalistic rhetoric can be seen in this light too - 'this must be a Spanish revolution' etc.
Meanwhile, the Republic's offensive against the CNT on the Spanish - French border in Spring-Summer '37 was predicated on the (risible) notion that 'uncontrollable elements' were coming over the border on 'FAI passports'. Members of the CNT charged with investigating this allegation denounced the notion as offensive, describing the foreign anarchists in Spain as ‘comrades who have been active in the revolutionary movement for years and [who] have come here hounded by reactionaries the world over’. This apparent concern for ‘five hundred people’ was further considered strange given that ‘thousands upon thousands of suspicious elements walk freely in the ministries and public offices of Valencia, Madrid etc.’
All the same, it should also be borne in mind that some foreign anarchists were effectively kicked out of Barcelona with the CNT higher-ups turning a blind eye (at best), as a consequence of their criticisms of government collaboration, so I think where 'shut up or fuck off' turns into 'stay home and build a revolution in your own country' is blurred tbh,

anagoldman

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi, many things are comparable to Spain.

4 million people living according to anarchism in Catalonia, 4 million living according to ‘Democratic Confederalism’ in Rojava. Plus many more are now organised in a similar way in Turkish Kurdistan.

Democratic Confederalism rejects nationalism and the state in favour of a grassroots, bottom-up style direct democracy, with an emphasis on consensus.

The revolution in Rojava aims to end patriarchy, with quotas for women in all organisations. It’s often referred to by the Kurds as a ‘women’s revolution’. Women’s only groups, councils and academies are given a major role, if anything much more importance is given to gender equality than in Spain. The Mujeres Libres, in any case would be an obvious comparison. Gender education classes are given to all the fighters, men and women.

In Rojava some places have abolished money altogether.

The ‘government’ in Turkish Kurdistan and Rojava is purely administrative, easily recalled, and has no decision- making power.

“The building of such a model is closely aligned to Bookchin's conception of confederalism which he defines as “a network of administrative councils whose members are elected from popular face-to-face democratic alliances, in the various villages, towns and even neighborhoods of large cities.” Such administrative councils do not make policy, but rather are “strictly mandated, recallable, and responsible to the assemblies that choose them for the purpose of coordinating and administering the policies formulated by the assemblies themselves.” Administrative councils are just that: they administrate and do not constitute a system of representation which accords high levels of decision-making and policy-making power to representatives.”
http://www.kurdishquestion.com/index.php/kurdistan/no-state-solution-libertarian-socialism-kurdistan/610-no-state-solution-libertarian-socialism-kurdistan.html”

The society generally is run almost entirely at a grassroots level, with thousands of assemblies all over the region.

There is no unemployment, and there is an effort to make industries and land cultivation to run as cooperatives.

The Kurds have repeatedly said that they are not just fighting for themselves, but for humanity, so like Spain, internationalist. They have a strong emphasis on integrating the different ethnic and cultural groups from the region. There are quotas for this so that Arabs, Assyrians, Chechens and many others are not excluded.

As for what you say at the end about useful and valid criticism in Spain, criticism mostly came from people who were actually involved and went to fight, having friends killed and going through all sorts of horrors. It’s not particularly useful to criticise without knowing much, and without any sort of involvement.

Red Marriott

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

As for what you say at the end about useful and valid criticism in Spain, criticism mostly came from people who were actually involved and went to fight, having friends killed and going through all sorts of horrors. It’s not particularly useful to criticise without knowing much, and without any sort of involvement.

Then that's at least as true of uncritical praise.

anagoldman

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Then that's at least as true of uncritical praise.[/quote]

The revolution in Rojava isn’t perfect, nothing can be.

Articles such as these show where there can be room for improvement:
http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/discussion/can-the-revolution-in-kurdish-syria-succeed

Neither do I particularly like the cult around Ocalan.

However what has been achieved is truly inspirational and it’s madness of anarchists/socialist libertarians to ignore it or dismiss it. There is lot that can be done to support and campaign for Rojava from here. If anarchists are really so internationalist it’s about time we showed it.

anagoldman

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

meant to quote the first line of the above, can't work out how to do it.

Tyrion

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Looks a lot like the evidence in this thread that there even is a socialist revolution happening in Rojava is based on official statements rather than firsthand accounts, a far cry from the accounts of the Spanish Revolution written by Gaston Leval, Augustin Souchy, and so on. And of course a significant difference between the two is that everyone in Barcelona in 1936 was talking about anarchist communism, whereas the supposed anarchist aims of "democratic confederalism" seem largely projected by the Western left.

anagoldman

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Tyrion

Looks a lot like the evidence in this thread that there even is a socialist revolution happening in Rojava is based on official statements rather than firsthand accounts, a far cry from the accounts of the Spanish Revolution written by Gaston Leval, Augustin Souchy, and so on. And of course a significant difference between the two is that everyone in Barcelona in 1936 was talking about anarchist communism, whereas the supposed anarchist aims of "democratic confederalism" seem largely projected by the Western left.

The revolution in Rojava is happening now, so there are hardly going to be many books out yet. There are many good news and analysis websites written by kurds with first hand acounts:

http://www.kurdishinfo.com/
http://kurdishquestion.com/
http://en.firatnews.com/
https://rojavareport.wordpress.com/

Khawaga

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Khawaga, so where are the UK based anarchist/Rojava solidarity organisations? It's not quite enough to comment..

I don't live in the UK, so I can't really answer that. The world is rather larger than just the UK. But if you're in the UK what is stopping you from starting one? And also, you should take into account that maybe organizations have discussed this, found that a better use of their time is to do thigns locally, or they may even have offered financial/material and/or political support.

anagoldman

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There are very few Rojava solidarity organisations in the world. In Latin America it’s unfortunately almost unreported in the mainstream news.

I’m not sure how these clearly very private local organisations you think might exist could help politically without even speaking out.

No need to take things so personally, by the way. I’m not claiming to be better than anyone. I’m suggesting as a group we could do more. I’m new to libcom, I thought it was almost all people from the uk, all the better that it isn’t!

As for your previous comment:

“And to equate Rojava with Spain is spurious at best (if you want reasons I suggest you read up on the discussions).”

Would be very interested to hear your personal reasons. Maybe don’t assume other people are ignorant? And maybe check out more reliable sources than discussions on libcom.

Khawaga

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

No need to take things so personally, by the way. I’m not claiming to be better than anyone. I’m suggesting as a group we could do more. I’m new to libcom, I thought it was almost all people from the uk, all the better that it isn’t!

I'm not taking things personally; if you interpret it that way it's likely because so much is simply "lost in translation" when communicating electronically. Something as simple as "ok" can be interpreted with indifference, rage or happiness. So I was neither having a go nor was I upset.

Would be very interested to hear your personal reasons. Maybe don’t assume other people are ignorant? And maybe check out more reliable sources than discussions on libcom.

Where did I assume you were ignorant? I merely claimed that equating Spain 36 with Rojava today is spurious at best. A closer comparison would be the Zapatistas in Mexico mainly because it is closer in time and thus reflect better the current state of working class militancy world-wide (i.e. basically none).

And without you even having read the discussions on libcom, not realizing that there were both cheerleaders and people extremely critical of Rojava (I consider myself to sit somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, though more to the side of the critics; I am pretty agnostic on the Rojava question) that all have posted a lot of links. It is really an insult to a lot of the posters on libcom that has done quite incredible work of collating lots of sources, in some cases even posting originally translated stuff from Turkish and/or Kurdish. Part of my agnisticism on Rojava is that as someone who doesn't speak Kurdish and Turkish, it is hard to actually evaluate which sources are reliable or not. I don't just take anyone's word for it.

So again, please actually read the discussion on libcom. They cover the whole spectrum of view on Rojava; I personally have found those discussions more informative than anything else. Have you even read one? Or are you just dismissing them because you cannot stomach critique of the experiments in Rojava?

Caiman del Barrio

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ana - what are the streets made of in Rojava? I heard it was gold?

;)

Have you tried reading up on any of the previous discussion threads on here? You may find people are a bit cynical/weary of the topic, since it has dominated discussion here for the last 6 months or so.

Also, if you are from Latin America, then I must say there has been precious little actual discussion of it in the latino circles I'm close to, with people preferring instead the sort of uncritical fawning I sense from your posts.

Red Marriott

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The 'anarchist revolution' at work?! - the Kurdish state(-in-waiting) meets the French state;

President Hollande supports this 'libertarian revolution' too;

Abdullah: We received pledge of help from Hollande

11 February 2015
News, Rojava

YPJ commander with Francois HollandePYD Co-president Asya Abdullah and YPJ commander Nesrin Abdullah said they had spoken to French President François Hollande regarding joint struggle against ISIS and the reconstruction of Kobanê.

Democratic Union Party (PYD) Co-president Asya Abdullah, Women’s Defence Units (YPJ) Kobanê commander Nesrîn Abdullah and PYD Fransce representative Dr. Xalid İsa met French President François Hollande at the Elysee Palace on 8 February.

PYD Co-president Abdullah told ANF that victory in Kobanê had made such meetings possible. She said they had discussed the future of Rojava and developments in the region with the French President, drawing attention to the fact that with Kobanê a new page has been opened in Kurdish history. She added: “Our victory over ISIS has presented us with opportunities internationally. Our relations with France were already good.”

Abdullah said they had discussed the rebuilding of Kobanê, the opening of a corridor, the future of the cantons of Rojava and joint struggle against ISIS with Hollande. She added: “He greeted us warmly and congratulated us for the victory in Kobanê and promised to assist us.” Abdullah said such meetings were important for the Rojava revolution and were just a beginning.

‘Everyone was talking about the success of Kurdish women’

YPJ commander Nesrin Abdullah said they had met with great interest, adding: “Everyone at the Presidential Palace was talking about the success of Kurdish women. They said the spirit of Kobanê was in Paris. If it hadn’t been for the victory in Kobanê such a meeting could not have taken place. For Kurdish women’s military force to have been welcomed like this made us happy. It is important to be accepted officially.”

The French President’s official website has published 4 photographs of the meeting, which was described by the French media as ‘a first’ and a ‘historic meeting’.

Source: Firat News Agency
http://www.kurdishinfo.com/abdullah-received-pledge-help-hollande

Cue; 'just cos something's not perfect you cynics slag it off... blah blah' ... even when it's blatantly just bourgeois politics, pointing that out is apparently a terrible counter-revolutionary crime...

Serge Forward

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

anagoldman

Serge Forward, none of the organisations you mention are remotely similar to anarchism, whereas the Rojava revolution is very similar.

I wouldn't say the PKK is remotely similar to anarchism either.

anagoldman

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

“Part of my agnisticism on Rojava is that as someone who doesn't speak Kurdish and Turkish, it is hard to actually evaluate which sources are reliable or not. I don't just take anyone's word for it.”

Khawaga, if you trust things written by Turks and Kurds, see the links I posted, most articles are translations.

“Also, if you are from Latin America, then I must say there has been precious little actual discussion of it in the latino circles I'm close to, with people preferring instead the sort of uncritical fawning I sense from your posts.”

Caiman del Barrio, maybe the latino circles you are close to aren’t representative of an entire continent? Anyway, I’m not a spokesperson for Latin-americans, your comment is pretty dismissive with the implication that my supposed lack of criticism is due to being latin American.

Red Marriott, what’s wrong with dialogue? There is currently an embargo against Rojava making trade impossible, so the revolution can only last a couple more years unless it is lifted. This can only be negotiated with states. If the Rojava kurds and the PKK hadn’t coordinated with the Iraqi Kurdish government and the US, they would have been defeated by ISIS, but I suppose if you’d been in their place you would have stayed true to your superior anarchist principles and faced slaughter or IS rule.

Serge Forward, the ideology of the PKK - Democratic Confederalism is similar to anarchism for the reasons I’ve already explained in detail in this thread.

bastarx

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What proportion of anarchists support the Rojava revolution?

Any proportion above 0% is too high.

anagoldman

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Bastarx, thanks for your insightful comment.

So far no dialogue/discussion with anyone who actually knows about Rojava on this thread.

Battlescarred

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Particularly from you...

kurekmurek

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

anagoldman

Hi, nice to see you here. I did debated here about Rojava and its importance for any revolutionary in contemporary capitalist world. Unfortunately people whom you are debating above has a tendency to reject every first hand account and any actual evidence (check all of new compass it has good articles on actual organization of Rojava by the way also see this including the comments section where Graeber actually writes) that remotely demonstrates Rojava has some sort of progressive politics that might be relevant and imporant for a revival of anarchism as a social project. Instead they are happy with their own image of anarchism/communism and only interested in criticizing any actual process by how it lacks the perfection of this ideal image. That is why people can after all these discussions still argue "there is no first hand account" or "Kurdish movement is unrelated to anarchism" or "I am in the middle ground" (in other words; "supporters" are a bunch of people hypnotized to blindly follow what Ocalan says)
Anyway actually I was thinking international solidarity was going good for Rojava myself. You don't think so? Especially in terms of political solidarity or discussion of kurdish situation and Bookchin etc... If you mean only direct involvement in combat. I think it is not really a requiremnt for YPG right now. and most of the people who go to Rojava (for example from Turkey) actually try to make a "civil" repression on Turkey to open its border or to help people etc... So mostly "solidarity" actions (Though you can still be killed for that) What is your impression on current state of support for example in Latin America for example?

Edit: Added more links and context

anagoldman

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Kurremkarmerruk, thanks for your post! Yes, it’s getting tiresome to be continually dismissed by people with no interest in what’s happening. They probably feel threatened by the fact that there is finally a reason for revolutionary commitment, which they never intended to have anything to do with.

Yes, you’re right, there doesn’t seem to be a need for many more fighters anymore. I think the most important thing is political solidarity and pressure on Turkey to lift the embargo.

I don’t live in Latin America, but haven’t found anything on the internet that shows Rojava support groups there. Hopefully they’re out there though! I think if more people knew about it there would be great support, as Latin Americans tend to be more politicised than Europeans. It just hasn’t been reported as far as I know, and the people I’ve spoken to have no idea what’s been happening.

There are solidarity groups in Spain and France though :)

Serge Forward

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

To be fair, Kurremkarmerruk, over many discussions, some of us have not been completely dismissive of what is happening in Rojava. Anagoldman is clearly in the role of recruiting sergeant for the PKK. Yet s/he refuses to look at any of the previous Libcom discussions on Rojava - which s/he has decided must be unreliable as only PKK accounts have any validity. How should we respond to this, Kurremkarmerruk? I think we've been reasonably polite so far.

Devrim

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Certainly there was one Kurdish communist on here, Leo, who thinks its a reactionary nationalist movement.

Devrim

kurekmurek

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

You are right, it is interesting we did not hear from Latin America, despite their higher level of political activity. It is curious. However I am not sure if this is itself bad. Because for example if you search for statements by anarchist organizations in libcom you will see they are mostly rubbish. They are written in "a very apologizing manner for their support for such authotarian/nationalist groups". The most they can offer is just a call for "humanitarian aid" for the displaced. So anarchist organisations themselves (proving some of Bookchin's old criticisms) are devoid of understanding political importance of Rojava for social anarchism. So my fear is : the amount of misinformation produced about Rojava in anarchist circles over-weights the actual information produced. I really do not think such empty statements help at all with building an international solidarity, if they are outright damaging it. So I would be sad to see another of such "self-righteous anarchist statement that claims we know everything". I am just hoping that Latin American comrades are not badly affected by this bad form of politics.

Anyway (see last part of this , I particularly liked the last expression "the warrior-democrats of Rojava." :D That is my kind of democrat :D ) You are right ending the embargo is very very crucial right now as stated in the text.

As a more long term solidarity project: I also think that the theories and political projects of Kurdish movement should be discussed in larger anarchist circles and groups. Despite people's ignorant reactions in this forms they DO have an originality that might help revitalizing anarchism as a social project in many different places. Because they aim at the heart of the issue, especially on practical ground, what can be a non-state and how can it be established at the actual world dominated by global capitalism. I do not think their solution will solve everything in one stroke, though they nonetheless might -at least- give us hope to develop our own answers wherever we are.

kurekmurek

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

@Serge Forward

Please do not start the same thing again. I am just wishing to discuss something with anagoldman. What makes newcompass or Zaher or Graeber a PKK source is beyond me. You really see reality in a very very distorted form unfortunately.

@Devrim

Certainly there was one Kurdish communist on here, Leo, who thinks its a reactionary nationalist movement.

Devrim

Well it is settled then :D (By the way you produced a very interesting sort of nationalist politics, congrats)

Caiman del Barrio

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

anagoldman

I don’t live in Latin America, but haven’t found anything on the internet that shows Rojava support groups there. Hopefully they’re out there though! I think if more people knew about it there would be great support, as Latin Americans tend to be more politicised than Europeans. It just hasn’t been reported as far as I know, and the people I’ve spoken to have no idea what’s been happening.

What? Surely this is a rather paradoxical statement, and it is highly contentious. What is your relationship with Latin America, out of interest? On the one hand, you call them "more politicised than Europeans", but on the other, you claim they're unaware of political movements which are more or less broadly recognised in Europe? This is totally unsubstantiated and rather wide-eyed, in my opinion. In my experience, Latin America, just like everywhere else, has a left wing which is largely cross-class collaborationist, nationalist and full of shit and a tiny anarchist movement which is unable to break out of its ghetto. Of course, there are exceptions to this, but the most exciting movements are generally those built and constituted by ordinary people rather than 'political' cadre.

Also, how are you defining 'politicised'? What makes you think that you're anymore 'politicised' than anyone else? Your hobby of making internet posts about far away events which - if I'm honest - I'm not sure you've really fully researched?

kurekmurek

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

@Caiman del Barrio

Why do you write as if you are trying to disprove or criticise anagoldman? Did I missed anything? I don't know Latin situation but anagoldman thinks they are politicized, what is so wrong with that?

Also, how are you defining 'politicised'? What makes you think that you're anymore 'politicised' than anyone else? Your hobby of making internet posts about far away events which - if I'm honest - I'm not sure you've really fully researched?

What? Why do you think he says she/he is more politicized then anybody else? am I missing a post here? are you cross-posting or sth?

anagoldman

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I’m just going to ignore the aggressive posts of people on here.

Kurremkarmerruk, yes, these general statements by anarchist organisations condemning Rojava are very arrogant. The Anarchist Federation’s dismissiveness of the gender equality achieved, saying that the YPJ is insignificant because ISIS also has female fighters etc. is totally moronic. I think anarchist groups everywhere can be affected by this type of attitude. It would be good to have a combination of anarchist solidarity groups as well as solidarity groups for non-anarchists.

What’s interesting about the Democratic Confederalism model is that it seems to be thought out/designed particularly for the region. The emphasis on tolerance, inclusion, and cultural, ethnic and religious diversity is very different to say, the anti-religiosity of Spain (which was understandable at the time, given the role of the Church in Spain). Different systems work for different places!

I’ve checked out other links you’ve posted on different threads – they look really interesting, I’ll read them later.

kurekmurek

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

You are welcome

Khawaga

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So anagoldman, you're not interested in debate, you only want to talk to people that support your view? That's, well, rather uncritical. Take a leaf out of kurremkarmerruk's book. At least he was willing (actually over the top at times) to have a discussion.

Battlescarred

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Listen, Anagoldman you pro-PKK troll, please go away and stop insulting people on here, some of whom have done a lot more really revolutionary stuff than you could EVER dream of. If you're so keen on people volunteering to fight in Syria and Iraq, why not make the first move and do it yourself. Otherwise, sling your hook.

Serge Forward

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think we've been reasonably polite so far

Just got kyboshed by Battlescarred :D

Tyrion

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Apparently the sort of "discussion" that this thread is calling for involves dismissing any doubts about the great achievements of the great socialist Rojava revolution as disingenuous, pointedly ignoring the very lengthy and involved past discussions on this topic, and hand waving any unavoidably clear examples of class collaboration as just being "realistic." But then again, I am just a fearful armchair anarchist (not to be confused with the heroic warriors battling for Rojava on their keyboards from far away) and I guess there's no reason to be skeptical that social democratic programmatic statements from a nationalist ruling party could be anything less than a genuine embrace of anarchism.

Serge Forward

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Lest we forget:

Beatrice & Sydney Webb

We have given particular attention to this point, collecting all the available evidence, and noting carefully the inferences to be drawn from the experience of the past eight years (1926-1934) We do not think that the Party is governed by the will of a single person or that Stalin is the sort of person to claim or desire such a position. He has himself very explicitly denied any such personal dictatorship in terms which, whether or not he is credited with sincerity, certainly accord with our own impression of the facts...
...
Stalin is now universally considered to have justified his leadership by success; first in overcoming the very real difficulties of 1921, then in surmounting the obstacle of the peasant recalcitrance in 1930-1933; and in the successive triumphs of the Five-Year Plan. For him to be dismissed from office, or expelled from the Party, as Trotsky and so many others have been, could not be explained to the people. He will therefore remain in his great position of leadership so long as he wishes to do so...

kurekmurek

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Lovely picture :D Just as I would have one :D I think Tyrion really made an interesting point btw I will reply back later

Red Marriott

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeh, nice pic of kurremkarmerruk & anagoldman in an earlier incarnation.

kurekmurek

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Are you into that sort of thing Red Marriott? :D Well it does not surprise me to see people with essentially Hegelian ideas to go into religion quickly :D

Red Marriott

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

anagoldman

Red Marriott, what’s wrong with dialogue?

Nothing – you should try it instead of routinely dismissing those who don’t agree with you and assuming we're any less informed than you.

Re. the PKK/Hollande French tea party; of course, statists and ruling classes - established and emerging - have dialogue in the halls of power. Cos this is geo-political horse trading – primary motives prob being for PKK to shed their international ‘terrorist’ listing and make closer relationships with fellow statesmen/women, cement military backing, set up trade deals/reconstruction contracts/capital investments etc. While for Hollande perhaps (in light of recent French events) it’s opportune to promote an image of alliance with those fighting ‘Islamic extremism’.

There is currently an embargo against Rojava making trade impossible, so the revolution can only last a couple more years unless it is lifted.

So what is claimed to be “libertarian revolutionary” is dependent on the ‘freedom’ to sell oil etc on the world market - and if the embargo lifts this free trade will be a central part of the Rojavan “anti-capitalist” "revolution". And we can speculate that any strikes by Kurdish oil workers would be denounced and suppressed by PKK leaders as ‘counter-revolutionary sabotage’? We’ve been there before... PKK have been repeatedly explicit that they desire a ‘mixed economy with foreign capital investments’ etc – ie, capitalist business as usual, class society and class exploitation intact. None of which is necessarily always incompatible with the participatory democracy so praised by Rojava supporters.

This can only be negotiated with states. If the Rojava kurds and the PKK hadn’t coordinated with the Iraqi Kurdish government and the US, they would have been defeated by ISIS, but I suppose if you’d been in their place you would have stayed true to your superior anarchist principles and faced slaughter or IS rule.

Like Rojava supporters generally you conflate ‘anti-capitalism’ not with challenging class society, its economic relationships and the political administration of it but merely with increased democratisation of territorial political organisation, whether described as a state, regional autonomy or local assembly. Wanting to avoid IS rule is now for many probably a case of ‘become a PKK soldier or leave’ - or end up in a PKK jail for refusing conscription; for those disillusioned with all sides in a conflict there are no sides worth dying for. But dressing up PKK’s exploitation of the situation to pursue their explicitly capitalist long term political/economic territorial ambitions as supposedly part of a “libertarian revolution”? Just how debased and bankrupt does your understanding of anarchism, communism, anti-capitalism etc have to become to accept that? It may be that internet warriors squabbling over a distant struggle most of them have no real possible agency in is not that important - except that when the dominant perception of what is really subversive is reduced (particularly by anarchists) to a new low and such a pathetic definition it only strengthens capitalism and likely makes any real challenge just that much harder to find some clarity.

Red Marriott

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Are you into that sort of thing Red Marriott?

I'm neither very Hegelian or at all religious - nor into movements dominated by quasi-religious personality cults, unlike some... :)

kurekmurek

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Tyrion kind of shaked me about something:

I will try to be as open as possible so that maybe we reach a higher understanding still I really hope that. Mainly because I like this site, I like the magnificent library, I wish at least to some extend think we are a great community of people here who can reach an understanding, you know like prefiguring post-capitalist post-state life etc… :D I want to see all this happening right now here.

The thing is I -more or less- agree with what Tyrion (or critics in general) says :
1) Kurdish movement is class collaborationist
2) Kurdish movement is nationalist ( Well not really but I do get it: I agree that Kurdish movement mainly consists of -well you know- "Kurds" So they are at least socially "Kurds" and this might affect future of their project (i.e: it might turn out to be another terrible nation state of -this time- Kurds))
3) It is social democracy not communism
4) We can also add here the existence of "Ocalan cult" (as anagoldman also said)

The thing is I agree with all of these*. I think these are real problems to be worried about. So If we were not polarized in this debate we could have reached an agreement on all of this and we would see that our “opponents” and us are not really that different on the “facts” and basic “principles” (like anti-militarism conscription is bad, it should not be etc...).

So why we disagree? Let's take "class collaboration" for example. If I made the impression that I try to say people should just get rid of the obvious evidence that Kurdish movement is "class collaborationist" to be realists, I am sorry but I was trying to do the opposite of that. I actually think we should be very aware of the obvious “class collaborationist” character of Kurdish movement. We should judge them whenever it contradicts their “democratic autonomy ideals” As it will inevitably crash with them. They will of course contradict each other in the long run and then a decision will be needed to be made. So you see my point? We should never let go off our critical capacity to Kurdish movement however this is not something we can do by distancing ourselves from it from the first moment. So for example some Turkish anarchist groups are doing great job ensuring the egalitarian and libertarian ideals are preserved in Rojava. I think many other people as well try to do that. Anyway I hope that this brings some new stuff into the discussion.

*I also think that not only me but also possibly nearly all supporters –including even some PKK members- agree with these criticisms.

Spikymike

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

kurrem...

Some fundamental disagreements over the supposed revolutionary significance of democratic confederalist ideology, there are it is true still some overlapping areas of common understanding between us but 'we critics' on this site take a distinctly different view as to what are the predominant trends in 'the Kurdish movement' based on our understanding of both the 'internal' forces at play and the 'external' forces of both global capitalism and imperialist power, that is the material realities of the situation rather than the understandable wishful thinking of radicals desperate for a beacon of hope in an otherwise rather desperate situation.

kurekmurek

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

well I guess Tyrion get it wrong then :D It was not him/her that was called to be realist ( and accept class collaboration), it was me (or supporters) apparently. :D (to accept "realities" of global capitalism)

Anyway my point was not that we agree on everything: It was rather that If we can bring together your knowledge of

the predominant trends in 'the Kurdish movement' based on our understanding of both the 'internal' forces at play and the 'external' forces of both global capitalism and imperialist power,'

(in a non-patronizing manner) with "Turkish anarchists" or even PYD maybe, that would be really helpful for realization of democratic autonomy project against seemingly impossible odds. (certainly more so than you making a speech about how class collaborationist PYD is in a rich country classroom to a -let's say- an audience of 20)
To be brutally honest though, in my eyes you are kind of "expendable" in this sense. There are certainly a lot of very intelligent and educated people (just like you) making solidarity, fighting (even dying) in Rojava for hopes of a better future (and I assure you they are not just reading Ocalan) However again to be brutally honest, you (and your knowledge of the world) do not give me any hope that you will manage to facilitate something as big as Rojava.

Note: Btw this is not personal, I just try to hint more of what I think about all these debate we (all) had here

ChumpChange

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ana, you are right. We should be doing something for the population of Rojava but instead we are all tapping away at these infernal devices. And not even getting paid! By the way, I tried getting there but was turned back at the border. Good luck

ChumpChange

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

...the current state of working class militancy world-wide (i.e. basically none).

Which world do you live in Khawaga?

Tyrion

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

kurrem, I was criticizing more what ana's written than your posts. It's totally contradictory to claim both that there's a socialist revolution occurring in Rojava so obvious that any anarchist who doubts it probably has dark ulterior motives while also acknowledging but defending the active class collaborationist policy of the organization supposedly leading this revolution.

Khawaga

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Chump Change, I live in North America, before that in the middle east/ north Africa, before that in Europe. Of those three regions the most militancy I saw was in north Africa, though that was before. But my horizon is world wide militancy; militancy in just one country or region will not be enough and will likely be defeated. Hence why it is paramount that we build militancy where we live (although how to do that is a difficult question).

Edit: Sorry, I misread that. I thought you asked what part of the world I live in. But then, my question to you is: you actually think we live through a time of actual working class militancy worldwide? I guess you're from Earth-2 then (or I'm living in that world).

ocelot

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Bugger. Why must I read these threads when I have to go to bed to get up in 3.5 hours to get on a plane. This thread is in some way another example of the fact that in the last 6 months the only people I've found even more unconvincing than the critics of the "Rojava revolution" thesis are most of its supporters. The lack of real hard information is only the smaller part of it.

Anyway, no time now. This will have to be a marker for when I next reconnect to t'interwebz. For now I'll just leave as a parting shot the proposition that real movements are problem-driven not ideology driven. i.e. that the common misconception that the causal sequence of movement development is: ideological development -> correct praxis -> solution; is an inversion of the reality which is closer to: problem -> reactive praxis -> ideological post-factum justification.

By which (obviously) I mean that the idea that the PKK's ideological "turn" is first and foremost an ideologically-driven development is nonsense. Before the critics get too smug, I would point out that their conclusion "therefore it must be bogus" accepts the same false premiss as the starry-eyed "supporters".

More later...

ChumpChange

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ChumpChange

...the current state of working class militancy world-wide (i.e. basically none).

Which world do you live in Khawaga?

Sincere apologies mate. No offence! I shouldn't talk glibbly. But to be honest, every time I go on holiday to a place, as soon as I get back to my yard I turn TV on and the place I was just holidaying in is shown to be ablaze. Palestine, September 2000, Greece 2008, UK n Spain 2011, Turkey ?...

I may have a different definition of militancy but proles on the streets fighting war with the tool of their oppressors surely counts.

The social revolution lives

Khawaga

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ChumChange

Sincere apologies mate. No offence!

Oh no worries. I wasn't offended...

Palestine, September 2000, Greece 2008, UK n Spain 2011, Turkey ?...

Well, I wouldn't really say that Palestine is where there is working class militancy at all (a place I've visited several times); it's almost all nationalism there. Sure, it's on fire, but unrest does not equal working class militancy. And sure in Greece there has been militancy, but it's been recuperated into this Syriaza bs. And in general the other places and times you mention appear to me more like riots and expressions of frustration (and nought wrong in that!) rather than having their basis in some class conscious movement. I'd say one of the most militant movements I've seen recently was actually the Quebec student movement (that struck for half a year) recently where they were openly calling for a sustained social strike, neighbourhood assemblies were forming and so on.

But in all of these cases, the militancy is very local, did not spread and lasted for a short time only. Hence, I would still argue that worldwide there is basically zero working class militancy (and militancy means directly attacking capital and the state, not just proles fighting cops and such).

ChumpChange

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Quebec is nearer to you than me. Sounds good though. The events we discuss you describe as local and short lived but I view them as part of one continuous struggle from the dawn of history.

I applaud your defeatism and admit I am wrong and once again apologise for my glib talk.

Khawaga

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Sure, it is not an abstract, but just fighting it (or burning down warehoues) doesn't mean that we actually attack the social relations of capital, which is what keeps the system going. We may burn down a warehouse today, but we still have to work tomorrow to feed ourselves. If there is nothing in place that go beyond capital's social relations we will be bound by the wage, bound by the commodity and still beaten by the state. So what you're describing is not a fight or struggle in any real sense, but just a skirmish that has practically no bearing on overcoming capitalism. Not saying that these things shouldn't be done, but that there are limits to a pure insurrectionary strategy outside of a general social revolution.

Serge Forward

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ChumpChange

If we burn its warehouses, we are directly attacking capital.

And if we burn a post box or a waste paper bin, or if we smash up a bus shelter, we're also directly attacking capital. How many warehouses should we burn before capitalism falls apart? Ten thousand? I reckon it'd take about a million bins and post boxes and about 500,000 bus stops before The Man throws in the towel and we can have teh anarchy.

ChumpChange

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Or we could simply 'evacuate the cemetery'.

Agent of the I…

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

"If we burn its warehouses, we are directly attacking capital." -ChumpChange

This is very much common to primitivist ideology. Primitivist want to burn up everything, because every thing, and technology, is oppressive in and of itself.

Mr. Jolly

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

bangers in dog shit?

Serge Forward

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yes, bangers in dog shit would bring the capitalists to their knees in no time. And I'm surprised ChumpChange hasn't yet suggested knackering cash point machines with superglue. That'd fuck up capital big style. Then we can all go live in a fucking cave.

Kureigo-San

7 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

You first, anagoldman. Got that plane ticket booked yet?

Chilli Sauce

7 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There is currently an embargo against Rojava making trade impossible, so the revolution can only last a couple more years unless it is lifted. This can only be negotiated with states.

Basically, this.

They probably feel threatened by the fact that there is finally a reason for revolutionary commitment, which they never intended to have anything to do with.

I didn't think we'd get to armchair psychology by only post 31...

Spikymike

7 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This communist critique of the claimed revolutionary significance of the 'Rojava revolution' in both French and English with some follow-up discussion can be found here: http://libcom.org/library/kurdistan

ChumpChange

7 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I am not suggesting what proletarians should do in response to capitalist catastrophe, I am simply observing, and reporting on, what we have done.

ChumpChange

7 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thank you for clarifying my position, although it is not ideology: it is my reality; and it is only primitivist in the sense of time.

ChumpChange

7 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I know this is probably difficult for you Serge but can you refrain from the 'fucking' and the 'shit'. It causes the Public Libraries to bar access to this website and it is parochial.

Plastic fork in dog shit?

jaguar101

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I will be going to Rojava in January to be a part of the YPJ Lions of Rojava. I am studying the language now, reading on both current events and history of government, etc. Anyone who has additional relevant information or a veteran of a tour there, it would be most appreciated. I am a retired military officer both Army and Marine service.

admin: personal identifying information removed

Flint

6 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi Jaguar101,

Most of the discussion on Libcom about Rojava and Kurdistan can be found here: Kurdistan News and the earlier Rojava News. There are links in those threads to other interesting threads on the site.

Don't be surprised if the moderators here remove your post. They've done so in the past for folks who have asked about recruitment. Libcom is based out of the UK, and I believe the UK is currently prosecuting a woman who announced her intention to join the YPJ on the internet.


British teenage girl charged with trying to join Kurdish forces fighting Isis
, Owen Bowcott, The Guardian, Friday 13 March 2015

potrokin

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

anagoldman

Khawaga, so where are the UK based anarchist/Rojava solidarity organisations? It's not quite enough to comment..

https://www.facebook.com/rojavasolidarityscotland/

This is a Rojava solidarity group based in Edinburgh.

potrokin

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

anagoldman

Khawaga, so where are the UK based anarchist/Rojava solidarity organisations? It's not quite enough to comment..

https://www.facebook.com/rojavasolidarityscotland/

This is a Rojava solidarity group based in Edinburgh.

Juan Conatz

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I know this is an old thread, but as for the OP...

I eventually just tuned out on this issue. I followed and read the articles and threads quietly. In the end, I found both the anarchists and socialists that were very excited and the left communists were very critical often ridiculous. So my mind was never made up and I just tuned out.