No. This is a Genuine Revolution - Interview with Graeber by Evrensel Newspaper

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kurekmurek
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Dec 31 2014 08:01

@ klas batalo

Ok, Becky's article is real and it is quite good actually, it provides a lot of reasons to support the experiment (I hope people read it and then liked it grin ) She basically says it is directed towards eliminating state power as it is the basis of capital and exploitation. (and maybe more importantly it is the right formulation to mobilize and politicize masses in the region)

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While what is taking place is not communisation*, it is a real movement against state plunder and cohercion, fighting militarily on its boarders and inwardly through the diffusion of power within them. The limits of the struggles in Rojava in this sense are those of struggles everywhere where the relation between labour power and capital has become a matter of repression and struggles that take that repression as a starting point.

@ Joseph Kay

With all respect, I think your example of disaster communism does not fit. Because Kurdish movement is developing these thesis of Autonomy for at least 15 years now and as everyone know 3 years ago nobody could predict they will had such a change to realize it. So it appears unrelated to just spontaneous formation of solidarity-help-communities. Rojava is much more political outright. Moreover I must point to another thing (Not to you JK): in this forum people hastily try to associate any form of communal or libertarian organizing in Rojava to necessity, spontaneity, backwardness, culture etc... As if Kurdish movement was not arguing for these and as if these were not political at all. However when the issue is US intervention or diplomatic relations to capitalist states PYD somehow instantly get the whole power of being an agent. (like: PYD is pro-American) And judged its actions o be reveal of its inner nationalist nature. The real political context is just lost in such view (The war with IS, the problem of continuity of experiment under hostile conditions, etc...)This is just one sided view of things. Such biased analysis takes no one to no where. It just makes you lie to yourself and feel good.

Actually I think your point is really good though, we should not discuss socio-economic development with nationalism (or better term "political ideology", because they are not nationalists - at least in the original modern sense- however let's leave it here for now). So for me: for example as Boomerang summarized (based on Graeber) there is quite a lot that is in direction of communalization going on. Federalist- dual power system has been also discussed before and it appears also quite admirable*. So what is your thoughts, did any of these new info just came in (thanks to Graeber) made anyone to wish to debate on them, comment on them (and not on Graeber)?

*Of course I say all these; as evaluation of real things on basis of concrete historical context we live in and not in comparison to my imaginative full communism.

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Joseph Kay
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Dec 31 2014 11:32
kurremkarmerruk wrote:
With all respect, I think your example of disaster communism does not fit. Because Kurdish movement is developing these thesis of Autonomy for at least 15 years now and as everyone know 3 years ago nobody could predict they will had such a change to realize it. So it appears unrelated to just spontaneous formation of solidarity-help-communities.

What made me think in terms of the similarities to disasters is the wartime adversity and collective responses to that, e.g. as described here:

Heysam Mislim wrote:
Everybody is a volunteer in Kobane, in order to keep up the resistance against ISIS. Doctors and nurses work for free at the makeshift hospitals; shopkeepers have emptied their shops of food, drinks and other accessories in order to distribute them for free to the fighters and civilians.

Courageous mothers whose sons and daughters are fighting on the frontline gather and cook food on a daily basis for whoever is hungry and needs food. Money is no longer worth anything because everybody wants to share their resources as well as their willpower to help one another through these hard times and continue with the resistance to save the city.

The above reminds me a lot of responses to disasters - some of which have been explicitly political/anarchist - Common Ground in New Orleans, Occupy Sandy in NYC - many others which had similar mutual aid dynamics without an overt political orientation.

kurremkarmerruk wrote:
Rojava is much more political outright. Moreover I must point to another thing (Not to you JK): in this forum people hastily try to associate any form of communal or libertarian organizing in Rojava to necessity, spontaneity, backwardness, culture etc... As if Kurdish movement was not arguing for these and as if these were not political at all.

I wouldn't associate spontaneity with 'backwardness', or see it as mutually exclusive to organised forces with a programme. To take the Spain '36 example, the reason spontaneous collectivisation was so widespread in, say Aragon, when the state effectively collapsed, was because of a decade or more agitation by the CNT-FAI, so when the opportunity came they knew what to do and didn't wait for anyone to issue instructions. If the PYD have been proselytising Bookchin, something similar could be happening here, given the opportunity presented by the withdrawal of the Syrian state. That doesn't mean it is - it could be directly organised by PYD units rocking up and declaring things to be municipal collectives, but the discussion of Tev-Dam suggested this was more of a bottom-up thing (with the encouragement of the PYD).

In terms of necessity, basic survival under wartime conditions is surely a factor. It was in Spain. I'm not even sure how money can be abolished except by necessity. If there's a material need for a means of exchange, i.e. an economy of discrete firms trading in a market, then declarations to abolish money will be a disaster (or see a new spontaneous currency take its place, like cigarettes in prisons, or some of the barter schemes in Argentina 2001). Money can only be abolished by making it obsolete, e.g. by replacing market relations with reciprocity and mutual aid between collectives, replacing wages with basic universal entitlements etc. That can be driven by ideology, but even ideologically capitalist states tend to partly suspend market relations during full-scale war (rationing, central planning etc). This is the impression Janet Biehl gives:

Janet Biehl wrote:
Rojava has been fighting a long, grueling war of self-defense against ISIS, and to that end the self-government maintains defense forces (YPG, YPJ) and security forces (Asayis). Arming these men and women, providing them with food and uniforms, and meeting other military needs consumes 70 percent of the budget. The remaining 30 percent goes to public services. Rojava considers health and education to be basic human needs, and on that slim budget, it finances public systems for both.

The main economic activity in Cizire is agriculture. With its fertile soil and good growing conditions, the canton is rich in wheat and barley. Before the revolution it was the breadbasket of Syria. Notably, the Baath regime declined to build processing facilities in Rojava, even flour mills. The self-government built one only recently, at Tirbespiye, and now provides flour for the whole canton. Bread remains the staff of life—each household gets three loaves of bread a day, which the self-government provides at 40 percent below cost. (...) The result is an economy of survival. Electricity and clean water are in limited supply.

Caiman del Barrio
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Dec 31 2014 11:37
Joseph Kay wrote:
It would be very good news if murderous nationalist gangs could turn into forces for genuine liberation. But I think it's pretty much unprecedented for that to happen (EZLN, possibly?), and it's certainly far more common for leftist guerrilla forces to reconcile themselves to state power (e.g. Nepalese Maoists) or become proxy forces for regional/global powers.

It might be a useful exercise to briefly draw out the similarities and differences between the EZLN and the PKK/PYD.

Possibly the most pertinent difference is the environment in which both formed: there was no atrocious civil war going on in Chiapas prior to the emergence of the EZLN; rather, it was peacetime (at least in the eyes of local and federal government officials) and the Marcos et al arrived there in the 80s with the intention of forming a Maoist rebel army. This meant that when they chose their moment to rise up and commence military operations (1st Jan 1994), they had to confront the complete attention and deployment of the federal state and its repressive forces (which, realistically in Mexico, includes the media, eg the pro-PRI Televisa TV station), leading to an almost instant military defeat. They then had to focus on building an international solidarity movement to prevent a counter-insurgency massacre, which was much more successful, and thus they ensured their own survival and a certain (debated) level of autonomy.

From thereon in, there was (seemingly) a huge amount of internal debate within the Zapatista communities on their future direction, simultaneous to peace negotiations with the government. In the end, we saw the Zapatistas effectively renounce foquismo (in all but name anyway) and instead take a sort of radical liberal approach towards building a mass social movement across the country which seemingly ignored electoral politics (La Otra Campana/Sexta Declaración), which many outside commentators have lauded as a leftward drift. Others since a certain Leninist/national liberation tint to the Declaración and terms like "mal gobierno" (what is "good government" then? etc).

Due to the peacetime origins of the movement, it hasn't been subject to international geopolitical pressures and attempts at cooptation. I'm not sure how Marcos et al would have responded to overtures from a US govt hostile to the Mexico City administration - tbh, the notion of the State Dept allowing an unfriendly President in Los Pinos is fantastical anyway.

Neither does it have the legacy of a bloody multi-decade uprising in which - however much Graeber may throw his toys out the pram screaming racism - atrocities were committed (Googling for a brief chronology of the PKK should suffice for evidence). A better comparison for the PKK in Turkey might be someone like the Sendero Luminoso in Peru (admittedly, the PKK weren't quite as murderous, but the comparison holds with their leaders being in jail and their cadre occupying/'cleansing' remote mountain village outposts).

I'm not trying to present EZLN as the good example to the PYD's bad one, but rather indicate the importance of material conditions in terms of the creation of social forces. Perhaps the central question is whether we can actually see positive, revolutionary social movements in times of international (proxy) civil war. Spain is a good example of how to do it right and wrong, and how the continued engagement of the liberated areas in the anti-fascist popular front ultimately led to their liquidation. This is a lesson which Graeber et al seemingly refuse to take into account with their glowing articles: if you believe this is a "genuine revolution" to be compared with Spain, then why aren't you arguing against the cross-class collaboration which destroyed the Spanish revolution?

kurekmurek
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Dec 31 2014 11:55

@Caiman del Barrio

Interesting. But I am not convinced.

Quote:
This is a lesson which Graeber et al seemingly refuse to take into account with their glowing articles: if you believe this is a "genuine revolution" to be compared with Spain, then why aren't you arguing against the cross-class collaboration which destroyed the Spanish revolution?

I do not agree with you here, you just assume if they acted purely on class basis would they not be defeated? How can you know such a thing? This makes no historical sense.

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Neither does it have the legacy of a bloody multi-decade uprising in which - however much Graeber may throw his toys out the pram screaming racism - atrocities were committed (Googling for a brief chronology of the PKK should suffice for evidence). A better comparison for the PKK in Turkey might be someone like the Sendero Luminoso in Peru (admittedly, the PKK weren't quite as murderous, but the comparison holds with their leaders being in jail and their cadre occupying/'cleansing' remote mountain village outposts).

This just shows that you have no idea about PKK. You explain EZLN, ok. But then this paragraph, what do you mean? You do not want anyone to think this is a real comparison?

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I'm not trying to present EZLN as the good example to the PYD's bad one, but rather indicate the importance of material conditions in terms of the creation of social forces.

Definitely it is what you should do, but you do not do. If you want to look at it you would see PKK born as shinning path (maybe) but as it could not win the war against the Turkish state, - and unlike shining path- it is (with some ups and downs maybe) now effectively being turned into a model that is first illustrated by EZLN. and this is why it is now gaining strength (again unlike Shinning path) and extended to neighboring countries. And this is why some libertarians are started to find it interesting. For example I was very critical of them I guess 7 years ago or so due to my biases.

kurekmurek
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Dec 31 2014 12:26

@Joseph Kay

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What made me think in terms of the similarities to disasters is the wartime adversity and collective responses to that, e.g. as described here:

I get that, However I want to make connotations of the concept "disaster communism" clear and show some of important difference from the experiences in Rojava. As you also point out below (in your reply), We can not reduce it to a "just" spontaneous activity. (as a side note: The spontaneity (in unpreparedness or narrow sense) issue was discussed by Zaher I think on the basis of comparison to Arab spring.) Because it is a political project formulated to end "capitalist modernity" in political social and economical terms. On the other hand disaster communism article for example mentions apoliticalness of such experiences etc... I guess we agree here.

Quote:
I wouldn't associate spontaneity with 'backwardness', or see it as mutually exclusive to organised forces with a programme.

I did not meant this. But ı think we can skip this part. As it was not related to you. And I agree what could be called spontaneous is debatable and rightly so.

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the discussion of Tev-Dam suggested this was more of a bottom-up thing (with the encouragement of the PYD).

I also guess so.(at least in the sense more dominant factor of emergence of such relations)

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Money can only be abolished by making it obsolete, e.g. by replacing market relations with reciprocity and mutual aid between collectives, replacing wages with basic universal entitlements etc.

Yeah I am also not sure if they can do it. I also think they not necessarily need to though.

Can we also discuss another thing, JK you always argue: the burden of proof is on the shoulders of supporters. It is fine the problem is what can be criteria that "we" need to meet. I understand it is of course subjective. for example I do not think Devrim would never ever think PKK can do anything positive (please do not respond Devrim, it is just an example) However for example boomerang seems to be more convinced after what has been discussed here. (As he/she also listed them)

Maybe it could be better not to discuss this issue on the basis of burden of proof (as there is some proof to some people at least) but more like on the basis of 1) What is communist project today? 2) what is the criteria for political solidarity? 3) So in what sense for example Rojava falls short from it (or passes). This can be more constructive.

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Joseph Kay
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Dec 31 2014 16:39
kurremkarmerruk wrote:
Can we also discuss another thing, JK you always argue: the burden of proof is on the shoulders of supporters. It is fine the problem is what can be criteria that "we" need to meet.

I think the burden of proof is on supporters insofar as they make extraordinary claims. If the PKK has transformed itself from a statist nationalist gang into a force for some form of libertarian socialism, I think - though I'm open to correction - that would be the first such metamorphosis in history. What has made me skeptical is the fact this extraordinariness isn't really acknowledged, it's just presented as self-evident and skeptics casually dismissed as imperialist etc (anti-imperialism now means calling for US airstrikes, but whatever).

In terms of what is required, well some basic information on the content of the purported revolution. I appreciate in David Graeber's case it's taken this time to arrange a visit, go, etc. But in that time we've had literally hundreds of posts demanding support and labelling skeptics as colonialist imperial sectarian internet warriors etc with hardly any detail about the content of the 'revolution'. This isn't just on libcom, I've got friends/comrades on Facebook who are really enthusiastic about 'the revolution' but don't seem to know anything beyond 'womens militas!' and 'Bookchin!' and we absolutely must support it right now stop asking questions.

If you'd have asked an anarchist in August 1936 about the revolution in Spain I'm pretty sure they could have reeled off something about collectivised transport, workers in arms, agrarian collectivisation, maybe shown some pics of the collectivised trams or proclamations of libertarian communism etc. The paucity of concrete information despite the volume of chat in this case has struck me as odd. I don't speak any of the regional languages, but it's not like there's a shortage of english language articles, they've just been very short on substantiating what is meant by 'revolution'.

I'm trying to keep track of concrete info here, but the signal-to-noise ratio on Rojava threads has been really low. I'm glad David Graeber wrote up his account and I hope he expands it, as it's the first detailed concrete info I've seen. But as I said to him on twitter, and above, I think it's reasonable for people to be skeptical given the unprecedented nature of the claim. The best way to persuade skeptics is to acknowledge the doubts are reasonable and provide information which shows they're misplaced. Throwing around insults ('colonial left' etc) has the opposite effect, giving the impression there's no substance.

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Red Marriott
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Dec 31 2014 16:41

@ kerre; I think I stated it clearly enough the first time in #44;

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how could any desired “Kurdish homeland” – however democratic and self-managed - exist except as either a nation state or semi-autonomous region under the umbrella of a nation state? How this goal fits into a claimed “anti-state, anti-capitalist revolution” remains unexplained.

What kind of acceptance, recognition - and from whom - would ensure and protect the existence of such a Homeland? Regardless of “anti-national/anti-state” etc rhetoric - however the political authority of the Homeland described its territorial entity, to emerge and survive as an entity it would have to be recognised and function in relation to other nation states and international capital as itself a nation state or an autonomous region within a larger state. If the Rojavan political authority (despite acting now like a militarised state) is really to reject statehood but obtain a Homeland then - whatever its ideological claims of rejecting "capitalist modernity" - any Homeland will have a de facto existence under the umbrella of a larger state. It would only be displacing statehood onto Big Brother and asking for a partial delegation of statehood – as ‘regionally autonomous’ state power - to itself. So the demand for a secure internationally recognised territorial Homeland can't be an anti-state demand - for gaining it depends on securing statehood and/or the protection and recognition of other states. And it all leads back to the question of the non-possibility of 'socialism - esp. an anti-state version! - in one country'. This has nothing to do with your claims of “pessimism” over “imperfect” movements; it’s a contradiction in the articulated demands/goals, yet I haven't seen this contradiction addressed. So if, as you apparently say, you think it’s not “impossible to exist even in imperfect shapes” in this world then say why and how.

kerre wrote:
Caiman wrote:
This is a lesson which Graeber et al seemingly refuse to take into account with their glowing articles: if you believe this is a "genuine revolution" to be compared with Spain, then why aren't you arguing against the cross-class collaboration which destroyed the Spanish revolution?

I do not agree with you here, you just assume if they acted purely on class basis would they not be defeated? How can you know such a thing? This makes no historical sense.

This is again avoiding answering the question – Caiman didn’t ask your opinion of likelihood of victory but why relevant lessons from Spain 36 aren’t being taken into account by those who repeatedly reference it. Any “victory” under cross-class collaboration and PKK Homeland democratic (pseudo-anti)-nationalism will be a defeat for the working class and would hasten the end of any more radical tendencies (if they exist). Maybe a lesser defeat than other possible defeats (though the PKK’s bloody history doesn’t prove that); but if those are the only options – and they will be while there is no critique of cross-class alliance – then dressing those options up in simplistic anti-national, anti-state, ultra-democratic blah blah propaganda is just mystifying bollox.

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Jan 1 2015 01:27
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Sorry. But it's very difficult to figure out any other interpretation for people who claim to be libertarian communists screaming in rage the moment something that looks like a libertarian communist revolution actually appears.

The situation is obviously more nuanced than this swipe suggests. From my perspective, one day, all of a sudden, self described anarchists were trumpeting an obscure strategically unimportant guerrilla group with a history of atrocities as the bulwark of a libertarian communist transformation of society. Those who questioned the reality of this situation were dismissed as "internet warriors" who were too "purist" to see that the "Rojava Experiment" was either the champions of libertarian communism or social democratic reformists who nonetheless should be supported depending on who you asked. Instead of offering any evidence after being tirelessly requested to do so, these true anarchists instead repeated the same arguments over and over again, demanding that all anarchists fall in line to support this obscure group. So now in the English speaking world we have a situation where we are at each others' throats over an argument about a strategically insignificant guerrilla organization that is as alienated from our daily lives as one could possibly imagine. Who is to blame? We can judge for ourselves. But my god this argument has passed the height of stupidity and entered in the realms of Trotskyists.

kurekmurek
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Jan 1 2015 18:15

@Joseph Kay

Quote:
I think the burden of proof is on supporters insofar as they make extraordinary claims. If the PKK has transformed itself from a statist nationalist gang into a force for some form of libertarian socialism, I think - though I'm open to correction - that would be the first such metamorphosis in history.

Quote:
The best way to persuade skeptics is to acknowledge the doubts are reasonable and provide information which shows they're misplaced.

You also mentioned EZLN as one such example in your earlier post. so maybe Kurdish movement is the second of such changes
However more serious point is this: How can one prove another, a change in "a political subject" is real? Well, we (more or less) have access to same resources to evaluate whether Kurdish movement is what it claims to be or not. I am convinced they really changed and start to form something new, but (let's say) you doubt that and demand proof. I mean practices in Rojava is known, You can read on their ideology, you can read the first hand accounts, etc... I do not know what I can offer to you more than that. Your demand itself actually jumps over all of these because people can basically just act and lie. Whatever proof I can come up with you can always say well no they just pretend so and deny it. (if I get more general) This is actually kind of a tradition in Libcom forums. And do not get me wrong, I agree "you can deny it". I mean if you do think they might be lying/acting nationalists, yeah you can say no they just pretend to be libertarian socialists. So I am not sure what I can do now in this situation? As the real question seems to be not an issue of proof but rather (unnecessarily) become an issue of belief.

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But in that time we've had literally hundreds of posts demanding support and labelling skeptics as colonialist imperial sectarian internet warriors etc with hardly any detail about the content of the 'revolution'.

Did you banned them? I saw very few here on libcom.

Quote:
This isn't just on libcom, I've got friends/comrades on Facebook who are really enthusiastic about 'the revolution' but don't seem to know anything beyond 'womens militas!' and 'Bookchin!' and we absolutely must support it right now stop asking questions.

Well bad for you, however also on another side of earth (here) I am trying to discuss with people who call themselves anarchists/communists, who think that they have so much knowledge about places they never see or know. So end up being fool westerners just uttering their hidden orientalism. I think these both kinds of friends (yours and mine) are not really the best people. Moreover I really do not know how we can reconcile to a common point, if you and I experience this process so differently.

Quote:
they've just been very short on substantiating what is meant by 'revolution'..

Well you can substance what is a revolution for you, that might be a start maybe then? I don't know all these goes back to the first issue (above) for me.

kurekmurek
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Jan 1 2015 18:34

@Red Marriott

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how could any desired “Kurdish homeland” – however democratic and self-managed - exist except as either a nation state or semi-autonomous region under the umbrella of a nation state? How this goal fits into a claimed “anti-state, anti-capitalist revolution” remains unexplained.

I think we are stuck. They have an answer to that in Ocalan's essays. If you really want to know you should go and read it. You can read it in a more abstract way in Bookchin.
The real problem is though I am not sure if you want to accept that because of ideological differences. So I feel like I will waste my breath without any results

Quote:
And it all leads back to the question of the non-possibility of 'socialism - esp. an anti-state version! - in one country'.

Again they do not want socialism in one country. This is a very old debate. Their current refusal of real socialism is exactly based on it. I can not believe you want to discuss it now.

I lost hope from this debate. This is, again, turning into a discussion of comparison of ideal full communism with Rojava and how real entities lack beauty and perfectness of ideas.

kurekmurek
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Jan 1 2015 18:42
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From my perspective, one day, all of a sudden, self described anarchists were trumpeting an obscure strategically unimportant guerrilla group with a history of atrocities as the bulwark of a libertarian communist transformation of society

Well thank you for finding my neighbors unimportant. That is really nice form of internationalism.

Quote:
Instead of offering any evidence after being tirelessly requested to do so, these true anarchists instead repeated the same arguments over and over again, demanding that all anarchists fall in line to support this obscure group.

well what do you need? What is your criteria?

Quote:
So now in the English speaking world we have a situation where we are at each others' throats over an argument about a strategically insignificant guerrilla organization that is as alienated from our daily lives as one could possibly imagine. Who is to blame? We can judge for ourselves. But my god this argument has passed the height of stupidity and entered in the realms of Trotskyists.

Well, calling a conversation, of which you are part, stupid is interesting by itself. secondly I do not live in English speaking world. If you do not care about it, mind your own business, why you show up here and call people, swipe, groups unimportant etc... You are contributing and making this discussion worse by your arrogant attitude.

S. Artesian
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Jan 1 2015 18:51

First things first-- get rid of this ridiculous infantile "up" "down" crap. This isn't supposed to be Facebook.

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Jan 1 2015 19:37
S. Artesian wrote:
First things first-- get rid of this ridiculous infantile "up" "down" crap. This isn't supposed to be Facebook.

Sorry, I felt duty bound to vote you down grin

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Jan 2 2015 14:09
kerre wrote:
I think we are stuck. They have an answer to that in Ocalan's essays. If you really want to know you should go and read it. You can read it in a more abstract way in Bookchin.
The real problem is though I am not sure if you want to accept that because of ideological differences. So I feel like I will waste my breath without any results

That seems to be your answer to everything you don't have an answer for; but I'm not asking an abstract "ideologically trained" PKK cadre to repeat the Party line - I'm asking you (though, with replies like that, I begin to wonder if there's much difference). But if you don't have an answer but you're so sure there's an answer in the All Knowing Ocalan's writings then I presume you've read it - so please give some idea of the basics of what he says on this. You're clearly trying to dodge a very simple, clear question by using your now-standard avoidances of difficult questions.

Quote:
"I think we are stuck. They have an answer to that in Ocalan's essays."

I think you are stuck - clearly the Guru has the last word on everything and you don't see the need to think it through to the point where you can express it for yourself. Very "anti-hierarchical".

Spikymike
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Jan 2 2015 15:31

But Bookchin's strategy is clearly wrong as a means of struggle against capitalism, so presumably Ocalan's is no better, and the EZLN, however supportive we may be of the Chiapas indians struggle against the encroachment of capitalist commercialism and the Mexican states military, has no strategy of use to the worlds working class in developing an autonomous struggle within and against global capitalism. The PKK may not want 'socialism in one country' but would surely settle for a more democratic autonomous region within one or other of the existing states with all the inevitable compromises that Red has indicated would ensue. Non of this invloves denying everthing people in Rojava are doing to survive in such desperate circumstances but it does involve serious questioning of the claimed revolutionary significance of that as a force against both the global capitalist economy and the influence of imperialism and nationalism. It is not a denial of facts on the ground or an accusation of lying but an important difference of interpretation of those facts based on historical experience.

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Jan 2 2015 15:34

Following on from Red Marriot's post... so maybe a link to the golden words of the PKK leader, or a copy and paste of the 'answer to that' would be of help. Thanks in advance, Kurremkarmerruk.

Spikymike
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Jan 2 2015 15:34

Serge - there is at least one text by Ocalan on this site for reference if you search.

kurekmurek
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Jan 2 2015 15:48

@ Red Marriott
Ok thank you for your kind words. I am really get disappointed after seeing Graeber insulted here just because he tried to defend himself and express his first hand account of Rojava. After this point I really started to think maybe I am speaking here for no real purpose and without any possible understanding.

Anyway if you want an answer so be it: The basic idea is to show people can be organized themselves from bottom up without a state, to do that Kurdish movement proposes not to built a central state of kurdistan (and its kurdish nation) but propose that they will try to establish canton system (or another form of decentralization) in each of the states that have apart of Kurdistan ( It is divided to four). So idea to have at least at first have cantons of relative political and economical autonomy. So if this could be achieved by some of them they will push for abolishing of borders between them thus Kurdistan will not be a central political entity but a place of different cantons connected in economic and social terms. By this way they wish to show that people can really organize themselves without a need of state. (state understood here as a central national political power that has the monopoly on force) So the idea is if a kurdistan organized like this shows democracy and development and peace as opposed to tyrannies or western looking central representative democracies around will effect other people also to federate their states and develop different bounds that are beyond the borders of their states. Thus eventually rendering states obsolete as citizens of cantons will not feel connected to their "centralized government" but to their communes (and canton) and also to other neighbor cantons communes whom they have social economic etc connections. This feel towards a social bound without a state is prevalent for example in Kurds, it looks possible at least for them. However if the things go more general the ultimate idea is to counter nation-states, capitalism and industrialism (this is related to ecological theories I did not discuss here) everywhere thus bring the end to capitalist modernism.

I hope this was not for nothing.

kurekmurek
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Jan 2 2015 16:21

I see while I was writing my reply Serge again showed the kindness of insulting me without any provocation by my side. Thank you.

Also people (in general) what is wrong with you. Red Marriot and Serge why do you say I will repeat "the golden words of the PKK leader"? I mean come on: Red asks for what is their plan. I just say I do not want to summarize it for you. Red says you dont know shit. So I try to summarize it as much as I can (of course this includes some terms from Kurdish movement) While I was writing that Serge says you will repeat Ocalan's words. What can I do Serge? Red wants me to.Come on people: you really seem to lack any respect for people you debate.

@Spikymike

Quote:
But Bookchin's strategy is clearly wrong as a means of struggle against capitalism

I do not agree that he is "clearly wrong". This is just your conviction speaking. You need to come up with arguments examples that show the internal contradictions of his theory.

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the EZLN, however supportive we may be of the Chiapas indians struggle against the encroachment of capitalist commercialism and the Mexican states military, has no strategy of use to the worlds working class in developing an autonomous struggle within and against global capitalism

I totally agree with you here.However if you think so you should feel a political solidarity to Rojava. Of course as you say: they will not make world revolution possible themselves. but they are not obstacles either. Why is hostility then?

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The PKK may not want 'socialism in one country' but would surely settle for a more democratic autonomous region within one or other of the existing states with all the inevitable compromises that Red has indicated would ensue

No, even if they want to their demands can not be satisfied in a state. This is a real interesting issue I discussed in my reply to Red above. Because kurdistan is already divided to four. They need to create (maybe) the first example of a social bound and a political unity that will not be a centralized state. As it will be based on different cantons in different states but feel connection much more to each other than the central authority of any state.

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it does involve serious questioning of the claimed revolutionary significance of that as a force against both the global capitalist economy and the influence of imperialism and nationalism

But again this is your ignorance speaking. If you read him, try to evaluate what they do in (at least) relatively objective basis you will see they try really hard to answer these really hard and serious questions. Also in the first place what make you think they do not question stuff anyway?

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It is not a denial of facts on the ground or an accusation of lying but an important difference of interpretation of those facts based on historical experience.

This is not history, this is what "undeveloped" can achieve in your eyes. To you: They are doomed to repeat the same questions as you argue above. However I think real history seems to indicate that the oppressed is trying to formulate the new questions or concepts to overcome the problems proposed to them by the state and capitalism. They might not be formulating the right one yet, but their endeavor is itself really respectable.

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Red Marriott
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Jan 2 2015 15:56

A fair summary, Spikymike.

From a video linked to by kerre on another thread; http://libcom.org/forums/middle-east/rojava-economy-class-structure-1710... - these quotes seem to confirm what I said above about the fatal contradiction between the ideological claims for a supposedly ‘anti-state, anti-national’ Homeland and the statist form it must inevitably take. The apparent vision described is of a democratic mixed economy capitalism with investment invitations for US and other foreign capital. Whatever anyone else is imagining, the Rojava leaders seem to be clearly talking here of either independent statehood or regional autonomy within a larger Syrian state ;

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Rojava has an all encompassing solution. It can be an example to other regions. This is a consensus based, democratic way of life. It could become the way forward for Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Lebanon. It is a really advanced form of democracy. But we are part of Syria. We don't want to partition Syria. ...

If there was political change in Damascus, one which led to democracy then we could deal with them. Our Rojava system could function in cooperation with them." - Aldar Xalil, Rojava Governing Council

The economy here is based on a system where everyone has a role. It’s a mixture of private enterprise and collectives. The aim is make Rojava self-sufficient.” - Abdul Rahman Hemo, Rojava Economics Department

If America defeats ISIS in Iraq it could push those fighters towards us. So the Americans have a duty to protect people [so] Both in Iraq and elsewhere human rights are respected, like here. Rojava is a new territory – and a new market. And everyone can play a role here, including the Americans. - Sheikh Nafas, Head of Rojava Internal Security

Quotes from - ‘Our World’, BBC, Nov 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKhjJfH0ra4

Edit; this post wasn't a response to kerre's last post as I hadn't seen that before posting.

kurekmurek
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Jan 2 2015 16:44

I shared that video. However let me remind you that the person who it is the minister of defence and US is their top ally. Moreover I do not think what he means is lets come here open McDonalds etc, but especially related to petrol selling, or trade for necessary equipment for modernization. As bookchinian project of democratic autonomy for example prohibits finance capital and makes market responsibility of communes. I do not see any point in tiny Rojava conducting their foreign policy on an explicit anti-USA stance. This is not realistic at all.

Spikymike
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Jan 2 2015 16:45

kurrem... afraid I don't follow the logic in your response to my comment on the EZLN. A separate critical discussion of Bookchin's later libertarian politics might be helpful but I would have to re-read a lot of stuff to do justice to that and that is not top of my list just now, but maybe later. I think if you stitch together my various contributions on the different Kurdish discussion threads here they are fairly coherent in their criticism of what I see as 'territorial' approaches to revolutionary change. I feel we often end up talking across each other and don't have your resilience or persistance in keeping that up.

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Jan 2 2015 17:17
kerre wrote:
Red asks for what is their plan. I just say I do not want to summarize it for you. Red says you dont know shit. ... Serge says you will repeat Ocalan's words. What can I do Serge? Red wants me to.Come on people: you really seem to lack any respect for people you debate.

Wrong - I originally asked you what you thought;

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it’s a contradiction in the articulated demands/goals, yet I haven't seen this contradiction addressed. So if, as you apparently say, you think it’s not “impossible to exist even in imperfect shapes” in this world then say why and how.

After several requests for what you thought, instead of answering for yourself you referred me to the works of the great Ocalan - a man who has a personality cult built around him both on the ground in Rojava ('his picture in every room', his god-like image on flags, badges worn etc) and among supporters elsewhere. I clearly wasn’t asking for the Party line. So hardly surprising I should question your response in that way.

There seem to be three sources of ideology/rhetoric;
1) The distant figurehead Ocalan; his influence filtered through his leadership and personality cult, preaching his Bookchinian conversion to a version of ‘municipal/town hall socialism’.
2) The on-the-ground Rojava leadership; paying lip service to vague democratic sentiments while pursuing pragmatic nationalist/statist goals via geo-political and military diplomacy and conflict.
3) The supporters; leftists including anarchists (who may go down in history as anarcho-stalinist cheerleaders) who often paint on-the-ground events in the most idealistic rosy light, often based on flimsy evidence and/or wish-fulfillment.

Much of 2) above blatantly contradicts 3), yet this is seemingly ignored. Kerre can link to a video containing those quotes from Rojava commanders to support his case and yet still imply there’s no contradiction between their statements and the “anti-state, libertarian etc” claims made by himself and others. It’s bizarre.

kurekmurek
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Jan 2 2015 17:49

@Red Marriott

I do not know what to say. Yeah I understood your comment 75 wrongly. However I do not get it what do you mean by saying give me your answer? I have no answer to that except what I wrote above. Do you have an answer to how to solve the crisis in middle east? Do you know how to overcome capitalism and state? Do you know how to make that theory a political force?

However don't you see your comment 75 is already biased against Kurdish movement?

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That seems to be your answer to everything you don't have an answer for; but I'm not asking an abstract "ideologically trained" PKK cadre to repeat the Party line - I'm asking you (though, with replies like that, I begin to wonder if there's much difference). But if you don't have an answer but you're so sure there's an answer in the All Knowing Ocalan's writings then I presume you've read it - so please give some idea of the basics of what he says on this. You're clearly trying to dodge a very simple, clear question by using your now-standard avoidances of difficult questions.

As you must be aware that I do not think his answer is impossible or meaningless. Why should not I quote him, moreover why do you avoid showing what is really nationalist in his answer? (spiky maybe also you?) But no need I guess you watched a documentary and defence minister said something well that must be it. You have immediate knowledge of everything beyond any temporary or discursive act and just solved the true nature of kurdish movement congrats.

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Jan 2 2015 17:55

I'm "biased" against certain interpretations of the Kurdish movement and against statisms and nationalisms. And against people who repeatedly misrepresent what I say to avoid dealing with awkward questions.

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Jan 2 2015 18:09
Red Marriott wrote:
Much of 2) above blatantly contradicts 3), yet this is seemingly ignored.

Fwiw, this is what David Graeber said on Twitter regarding this:

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Joseph Kay
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Jan 2 2015 18:12

(Yes I spent my new year arguing about Rojava, I was at home ill)

kurekmurek
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Jan 2 2015 21:13

@red marriot
what do you mean then? I do not try to misinterpret you. I really made a mistake and I though you did not know what democratic autonomy is, and ask me that (so the answer to queation how can be kurdistan be a real entity but not a nation-state at the same time) I told you what I know of their plan. And now you accuse me of nationalism and statism , not because you discuss anything I wrote, but just because what I wrote is the ideas of another mand and ı find them really interesting. We are not having a debate here as far as I understand, you just wish me to admit kurdish movement is nationalist as you believe them to be so and you do not care to discuss any other explanation except that, without showing me any sufficient reason.

kurekmurek
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Jan 2 2015 21:31

@jk

I need to learn how this twitter works I guess now, as the debate jumped to there. I was avoiding that thing all my life ☺ anyway get well happy new year

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Jan 2 2015 22:05
kerre wrote:
And now you accuse me of nationalism and statism

roll eyes Just try reading what people actually said.

(Though it might well have been an accurate accusation if I'd made it...)