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

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kurekmurek
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Jan 13 2015 10:49

Red Marriott

Unfortunately debating with you is going nowhere, but here I am replying back.

Quote:
Disagreeing with Graeber or questioning his views by, eg, contrasting with other sources isn’t “bashing”

But the problem is that Graeber is not expressing his "view" 1) he is writing his experience 2) telling us what people told him as their final aims. So most of his account is actual practices, right? (just like Zaher does in another article, which is very quickly forgotten interestingly). If you know for sure he is for example "lying" tell us and prove your claim, I am open to that. But I do not get the apparent temptation in this forum to "correct"/"contrast"/"contradict" his narrative. I see no real reason that Graeber is "manipulated" to be a poppet of Kurdish movement in anyway OK? (for example he intentionally obscures and does not express something that he see to us and tells us what he is told) If you do not agree with me it is fine, but please just prove your point.

However the interview you shared is based on "views". There is nowhere anybody claims they went to Rojava. ( http://syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/kobane-turkey-and-th...)
They are just expressing their opinion on Kurdish movement OK? Which is of course fine but is not an analysis of any actual practices, therefore it is just his impression of "top-down" nature of Kurdish movement. The problem is that this is already been stated thousand times in libcom, am I right? At this point in debate we can be sure "many leftist from oriental or occidental countries think that Kurdish movement has some authoritarian tendencies". This interview you shared is just restatement of this fact (i.e. an existence of an opinion among left). and that is all. So I do not think it can not contrast to anything OK? I think I am clear, right?

So, I think what we need is more internal, insider accounts of practices and aspirations of Rojava, both critical and supportive to make sense of it and possibly gain valuable information for future of revolutionary practice and theory, OK? However I see no possibility of such debate emerging here as we "correct" comrades real life accounts with opinions expressed in a casual interview or insulting each other with language skill superiority or trying to frame people (and movements) as mindless zombies who just follow their leaders etc... I think this situation is essentially unproductive to any understanding of Rojava.

kurekmurek
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Jan 13 2015 11:03

Also I just saw this quote from the same interview:

Quote:
Just as we support the self-determination of the Palestinian people, but we should criticize very much the Palestinian Authority or Hamas. This does not stop us from supporting the self-determination of both peoples.

I totally agree with it. I expressed my opinion on this as "political solidarity" (Actually I very much agree with the most of the interview interestingly, propably more so than Red Marriot). Anyway if we leave me aside,what Graeber (Zaher) says in their first hand accounts is basically this: PYD is, unlike Hamas, has a strong libertarian communalist tendency and ideology. It can be a good political ally to support. It can produce a positive effect on future of libertarian communalist practice (of course, not without problems or a magical solution to everything). So if we again turn to discussion of whether PYD is libertarian or not, I think then we are stepping into debate on beliefs (i.e. despite the evidence represented, I do not believe such tendency, because of this and that...) I really do not know what I can say on such a debate, as I already expressed, it is not a debate on arguments and proofs but opinions.... All I can say at that point is (based on repeated discussion here): I do not live in a world operated by some god-like idea of communism or a structural fixation and determination that is falsely called "history". I guess I do not want to discuss this any more.

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Red Marriott
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Jan 14 2015 13:45
kerre wrote:
But the problem is that Graeber is not expressing his "view" 1) he is writing his experience 2) telling us what people told him as their final aims. So most of his account is actual practices, right? (just like Zaher does in another article, which is very quickly forgotten interestingly). If you know for sure he is for example "lying" tell us and prove your claim, I am open to that. But I do not get the apparent temptation in this forum to "correct"/"contrast"/"contradict" his narrative. I see no real reason that Graeber is "manipulated" to be a poppet of Kurdish movement in anyway OK? (for example he intentionally obscures and does not express something that he see to us and tells us what he is told) If you do not agree with me it is fine, but please just prove your point.

I already long ago in discussions on this subject (see #44) pointed out several historical examples of people who returned from USSR, Nepal etc with false views of what wonderful societies, movements etc were happening. Similarly, Orwell’s ‘Homage To Catalonia’ earned him condemnation from most of the pro-republican left, including other eyewitnesses and participants, yet his account today of Stalinist counter-revolution stands up historically. There are various other examples. To assume that just because someone has been somewhere they must always be assumed to have a superior understanding of what’s going is naïve and ignoring relevant history. There are various reasons why one must be cautious of such accounts; Party loyalty, wishful thinking, blatant dishonesty, that people may be only shown what their hosts want them to see, that they may only see what they want to see and believe and may be blinkered to contradictions of that etc. Rojava has 2 million people over a wide area so what anyone could learn in a few days visit is necessarily limited. Some people also publicly invest a lot of their reputation in their chosen cause and become increasingly reluctant to admit any of its failings or its failure to deliver what they claimed it would.

I haven’t seen evidence to convince me that it’s the deep anti-capitalist, anti-state revolution that many are claiming. But my point – if you have read and understood my posts you’ve replied to – is that, regardless of the truth of what’s happening on the ground, what the PKK/PYD leadership are regularly saying and doing (see #81, #117) is consistent with a pragmatic bid for winning regional autonomy within major states in the region. As I explained at length (see #44, #68), I can only see this taking a statist form in this world. All ideological claims to the contrary are rhetorical fantasy and likely partly a means of presenting Ocalan’s pragmatic capitulation of ending the demand for an independent Kurdish state as a somehow radical shift to non-statism/non-nationalism. That can be the case regardless of what ‘social experiments’ may or not be happening on the ground. As stated earlier;

Quote:
how could the desired Homeland be established to have any permanent existence outside of both global revolution - which you insist it must not be postponed for - and the nation state structures of “capitalist modernity” that dominate the region and the world? What permanent, supposedly "anti-national", relation - legal, military, territorial, economic, geo-political etc - could it have to the existing powers-that-be? ...

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.

As Spikymike said in #76;

Quote:
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.

kurekmurek
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Jan 14 2015 15:59

@Red Marriott

Have it your way

Quote:
But my point – if you have read and understood my posts you’ve replied to – is that, regardless of the truth of what’s happening on the ground, what the PKK/PYD leadership are regularly saying and doing (see #81, #117) is consistent with a pragmatic bid for winning regional autonomy within major states in the region.

As you openly say even if the alternative economical, political and social structures that emerging in the ground are truths, you would still be against Rojava. Well, I won’t. I see no common point we can continue this discussion with you. I do not tend to confuse my beliefs and opinions with actual stuff that needs to be understood and/or evaluated. I was trying to discuss Graeber's account here, but you try to turn this into boring course of elementary level Marxism.

Spikymike
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Jan 14 2015 17:08

kurrem,
Unfortunately despite your obvious inteligence in some areas your comments on support for ''peoples self-determination'', qualified only by some criticism of the peoples self-appointed representatives, suggests you are much in need of some ''..elementary level Marxism''. You keep saying on more than just this thread that you don't want to discuss ''this'' any more but seem intent on repetition of the same points. Critcising some of the exagerated claims for the significance of the social and political movement in Rojava does not reduce to 'being against Rojava' though it may serve your purposes to suggest that.

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Red Marriott
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Jan 14 2015 20:19
kerre wrote:
As you openly say even if the alternative economical, political and social structures that emerging in the ground are truths, you would still be against Rojava.

Once again you blatantly misrepresent what I said. If there was a radical social movement on the ground and it came into conflict with the PKK leadership’s stated statist goals then – depending on its own content and goals - I might well be for that movement. Unlike you, apparently, I don’t see a necessary absolute indivisible unity between PKK and any possible social movement. To criticise one is not – necessarily – to have to criticise the other, it depends on the relationship made by a movement between itself and those who seek to politically represent, control and lead it. But the Ocalan personality cult might, eg, suggest that such autonomy on the ground isn’t very prominent right now.

kerre wrote:
Jan 1; I lost hope from this debate
Jan 2; I hope this was not for nothing.
Yesterday 1; Unfortunately debating with you is going nowhere, but here I am replying back ...
Yesterday 2; I guess I do not want to discuss this any more. ...
Today; I see no common point we can continue this discussion with you.

You’re a real martyr to the cause.

kurekmurek
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Jan 14 2015 20:49

What you wrote is up there, I do not misrepresent anything (well if you do not change it of course). I am leaving you to your "what if senarios". Spikymike is right: this is going in circles however it is so not just because of me.

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Red Marriott
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Jan 14 2015 22:27
kerre wrote:
Yesterday 2; I guess I do not want to discuss this any more. ...
Today; I see no common point we can continue this discussion with you.

You guessed wrong, obviously. But please, for once, be consistent...

Quote:
Tonight; I am leaving you

Promise?

(((See you soon, no doubt...)))

Guerre de Classe
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Feb 7 2015 18:55

There is a new text about Kurdistan written by Gilles Dauvé in French: http://libcom.org/library/kurdistan/
Somebody would be interested in translating it in English?

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Agent of the In...
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Feb 7 2015 19:03

My browser translated it:

Originally published on the blog DDT21: [url = Originally published on the blog DDT21: http://ddt21.noblogs.org/?page_id=324 ] http://ddt21.noblogs.org/?page_id=324 [/ url]

"There are times when we can do nothing,
but do not lose your head "
Louis Mercier-Vega, La anonymous Ride

When the workers are forced to take matters into their hands to survive, they open the possibility of social change.

Kurds are forced to act in the manner they find and they are trying to create in the middle of an internationalized war unfavorable to emancipation.

We are not there to "try".

Nor crazy.

Auto (defense)

In various parts of the world, the proletarians are led to self-defense through self-organization:

"A vast nebula" movements "- armed or unarmed, swinging between social banditry and organized guerrilla - act in the most deprived areas of the world capitalist dump, and exhibit similar characteristics to those of the current PKK. They try, in one way or another, to resist the destruction of subsistence economies now remaining, the looting of the local mineral resource, or the imposition of capitalist land which limits or prevents access and / or use; [...] Include jumble cases of piracy in the seas of Somalia, MEND in Nigeria, Naxalistes of India, the Mapuche in Chile. [...] It is essential to understand the content that unites them: self-defense. [...] We always self-organized on the basis of what we are inside the capitalist mode of production (workers of a particular company, resident of a particular neighborhood, etc.), while abandoning the defensive terrain ("protest") coincides with the fact that all these issues overlap and the distinctions vanish, since beginning to undo the report's structure:. the capital / wage labor "[ 1]

In Rojava, self-organization she led (or could it lead) a necessity of survival at an upheaval of social relations?

Needless to repeat here the history of the powerful Kurdish independence movement in Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and Iran. The rivalry between these countries and the repression they are suffering tear the Kurds for decades. After the explosion of Iraq into three entities (Sunni, Shiite and Kurd) Syrian civil war in Syria released a territory where Kurdish autonomy has taken a new form. A popular union (that is to say transclassiste) was established to manage this territory and defend it against a military threat: the Islamic State (EI) was used as breaking agent. Resistance mixes old community ties and new moves, especially women, through a de facto alliance between the proletariat and middle classes with "nation" as cement. "The transformation that takes place Rojava relies to some extent on a radical Kurdish identity and an important representative group of middle class, despite the radical rhetoric, always has some interest in the sustainability of the Capital and the state. "[2]

Democratic revolution?

In politics, much is in the words: Rojava when developing its constitution and called Social Contract is echoing the 18th century Enlightenment. Lenin and Mao forgotten, the current Kurdish leaders read Rousseau, non Bakunin.

The Social Contract proclaims "coexistence and mutual and peaceful understanding between all sections of society" and recognizes "territorial integrity of Syria": it is said that a democratic constitution, and there is no to expect an apology for class struggle, nor the demand for the abolition of borders, so the states. [3]

It is the discourse of a democratic revolution. In the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789 too, the right to "resistance to oppression" explicitly provided was consistent with that property. Freedom was full but defined and limited by law. In Rojava, and the "private property" is a right under the law. Although qu'optant for the qualifier of "autonomous region", the Social Contract provides for administration, police, prisons, taxes (thus central to raising money).

But we're early 21st century: the reference to "Almighty God" alongside "sustainable development", almost equal (40% women) and "gender equality" (although related to the "family").

Add the separation of powers, that of the church and state, an independent judiciary, an economic system to ensure "general welfare" and guaranteeing workers' rights (including the right to strike), limiting the number of political offices, etc. : A Republican left program.

If some people in Europe and the US sees in such an ad objectives of social revolution fault is probably in the "cultural relativism". In Paris, the program would just make mockery in the radical middle, but "there is not bad ...".

Those who make a parallel between Rojava and Spanish revolution should compare this social contract with the program adopted by the CNT in May 1936 (and how it is concretely translated two months later).

New nationalism

Like any political movement, a national liberation movement gives ideologies, the means and the allies he can, and it changes when it suits. If ideology is news is that it reflects a change in time.

"We can not understand the future of the Kurdish question or the trajectory of both political expressions - the PKK first - without considering the end of the golden period of" nationalism from below "- socialist and progressive - in peripheral and semi-peripheral capitalist system. "[4]

The PKK has not given up the natural goal of any national liberation movement. Though now avoids a word that sounds too authoritarian, it is the creation of a central device management and policy decision on a territory that covers the PKK, today as yesterday; and there is no better word to describe a state thing. The difference, besides the administrative qualification is that it would be so democratic, so the hands of its citizens, that it no longer deserves the name of state. That's ideology.

In Syria, the Kurdish national movement (under the influence of PKK) has replaced the demand for a state of law, by a more modest and "basiste" program: autonomy, democratic confederalism, human rights and of women, etc. Instead of the ideology of socialism led by a single party worker-peasant developing heavy industry, instead of references "class" and "Marxist", which is put forward, it is self-management, cooperative, common, ecology, anti-productivism and the added bonus of the kind.

The goal of a strong internal autonomy with basic democratic life is not absolutely utopian various parts of the Pacific, living, governments leaving a wide margin of self-administration to populations that do not interest anyone (except when mining interests are at stake: while the army is sent). In Africa, Somaliland has the attributes of a state (police, currency, economy) except that it is recognized by anyone. Chiapas (which many compare the Rojava), people survive in a protective semi-regional autonomy of their culture and their values ​​without this bothers many people. The Zapatista uprising, the first of the anti-globalization era, not elsewhere sought an independence or to transform society but to preserve a traditional way of life.

The Kurds, they live in the heart of a coveted oil region torn by endless conflict and dominated by dictatorships. This leaves little margin Rojava ... but maybe a small place though: although its economic viability is low, it is not non-existent thanks to a tiny oil wealth. Black gold has already created puppet states like Kuwait, and allows the survival of the Iraqi Kurdish mini-state. Suffice to say that the future of a Rojava depends less on the mobilization of the people that play the dominant powers.

If the abandonment of the nation-state project by the PKK is real, we must ask what would be a confederation of three or four autonomous areas in at least three countries, across borders, as the coexistence of several autonomies n 'not abolish the central political structure that brings them together. In Europe, cross-border regions (eg around the Oder-Neisse) does not reduce the state power.

Another life

As sometimes in such cases, solidarity against an enemy caused a temporary erase social differences: management of villages by groups, links between combatants (men and women) and population dissemination of medical knowledge (exceeding primer specialized authorities) , sharing and free of certain foods during the worst (fighting), innovative treatment of mental disorders, collective life of students, justice rendered by a joint committee (elected by each village) arbitrating disputes, deciding punishments, seeking to reintegrate and rehabilitate, integration of ethnic minorities in the region, out of women outside the home with self-organization among them. [5]

Is it "a state without democracy"? Our intention is not to oppose a list of the negative to the positive list drawn up by enthusiastic: you have to see where this self-administration and how it can evolve. Because we have never seen the state dissolve in local democracy.

Unchanged social structure

Nobody argues that the whole "Kurds" would have the privilege of being the only people in the world living always in harmony. The Kurds, like all other peoples, are divided into groups with conflicting interests, classes, and if "class" feels too Marxism divided into rulers and ruled. Now, it sometimes reads a "revolution" is under way or in preparation Rojava. Knowing that the ruling classes never willingly cede power, where and how have they been defeated? How intense class struggle has taken place in Kurdistan to trigger this process?

From this it tells us nothing. If slogans and headlines talk about revolution, the articles claim that the inhabitants of Rojava fight EI, patriarchy, the state and capitalism ... but on this last point, no one explains why and how the PYD-PKK would be anti-capitalist ... and no one seems to notice this "absence".

The so-called Revolution of July 2012 is in fact the withdrawal of troops Assad of Kurdistan. The previous administrative or safe to have disappeared, another replaced it, and self-administration called revolutionary took things in hand. But what "self" is it? What revolution?

If one likes to speak of empowerment at the base and change in the domestic sphere, it is never a question of relations of exchange transformations and exploitation. At best, it describes cooperatives, without any indication of the beginning of collectivization. The new Kurdish state presented according wells and refining centers and produces electricity, nothing is said about those who work there. Trade, crafts and markets work, the money continues to play its role. Zaher include Baher, a visitor and admirer of the "revolution" Kurdish "Before leaving the area, we talked with traders, businessmen and people in the market. Everyone had a rather positive opinion on the DSA [self-government] and Tev-Dem [coalition of organizations including the PYD is the center of gravity]. They were satisfied with the peace, security and freedom and could manage their activities without suffering interference from a party or group. "[6] Finally, a revolution that does not scare the bourgeoisie.

Soldiers

It would be enough to change the names. Lots of praise for today Rojava, including gender, were addressed by 1930 the Zionist pioneers groups in Palestine. In the first kibbutz, besides the often progressive ideology and socialist, were the material conditions (insecurity and need for defense) that obliged not to deprive half of the labor force: women should participate also agricultural activities and the defense, which meant to release the "feminine" tasks, including the collective rearing children.

No trace of this in Rojava. The arming of women is not everything (IDF clearly shown). Z. Baher says: "I made a curious observation: I have not seen a single woman working in a store, a gas station, a market, a cafe or restaurant. "Refugee camps" self "in Turkey are filled with women care of the kids while the men go to look for work.

The subversive nature of a movement or organization is not measured by the number of weapon women. Her feminist character either. Since the 60s, on all continents, most guerrillas have included or include numerous combatants in Colombia for example. This is even more true in the Maoist-inspired guerrilla (Nepal, Peru, Philippines, etc.) using the strategy of "People's War": equal male / female should help to bring down the traditional frames, feudal or Tribal (still patriarchal). It is in the Maoist origins of the PKK-PYD that is the source of what experts call "martial feminism".

But why does it pass weapons women for a symbol of emancipation? Why are so easily we see an image of freedom, to forget what they are fighting for?

If a woman armed with a rocket launcher can appear on the cover of Paris-Magazine or a militant newspaper, is that it is a classic figure. The monopoly of the use of arms is a traditional male privilege, overturning must prove the exceptionality and the radicalism of a battle or a war. Hence the pictures of beautiful Spanish militia. The revolution is at the end of the Kalashnikov ... held by a woman. A vision is sometimes added the more "feminist", the army vindictive woman who will gun down the dirty guys, rapists, etc.

Note that IE and the Damascus regime constituted few all-female military units. But do not criticizing of gender, they do not seem contrary to YPJ-YPG, make use of the front line, and confine them in support or police missions.

Weapons

When Parisian demonstrations in support of Rojava, the banner of the unit anarchist procession called "arms for Kurdish resistance." The average proletarian did not assault rifles and grenades sent clandestinely in Kurdistan, to turn to for weapons? Should we rely on international arms dealers or NATO weapons deliveries? These have cautiously begun but libertarians banners are not to blame. Apart from the IE, nobody is considering new International Brigades. So what armed support is it? Is it to ask for more Western air strikes with the "collateral damage" that we know? Obviously not. It is therefore an empty formula and that is perhaps the worst of the deal: the so-called revolution is a pretext for demonstrations and slogans which no one seriously expects them to be acted upon. We are right in politics as representation.

It is less surprising that people always ready to denounce the military-industrial complex will now issue invitations if one remembers that in 1999 already for Kosovo, some libertarians had supported the NATO bombing to ... prevent a "genocide".

Libertarian

More than organizations that have always supported national liberation movements struggling this is that this exaltation reaches a wider community, anarchist comrades, squatters, feminists or autonomous, sometimes generally lucid friends.

If the lesser evil politics enters these environments is that their radicalism is invertebrate (this does not prevent either personal courage or energy).

It is much easier to get excited about Kurdistan (as 20 years ago for Chiapas) today is despairing Billancourt activists "there", at least he n 'there is no such proles who resigned picolent, vote FN and only dream of winning the lottery or finding a job. "Over there," there are peasants (although the majority of Kurds live in the city), the mountaineers in struggle, full of dreams and hope .... This rural-natural appearance (hence ecological) is mixed with a desire for change here and now. Gone are the days of the great ideologies and promises of Grand Soir: we built something, you "create link" despite the lack of resources, cultivating a vegetable garden, you realize a small public garden (like the one mentioned by Z. Baher ). This echoes the ZAD: up our sleeves and do the concrete here in small scale. This is what they do "out there", the AK 47 shoulder.

Some anarchists texts evoke Rojava that in terms of local achievements, neighborhood assemblies, not to mention the almost PYD, the PKK, etc. As if it was just spontaneous actions. As if to analyze a general strike, the talk was of AG strikers picketing, without considering the local unions, maneuvers of their staffs, negotiations with the state and employers ...

The revolution is increasingly seen as a behavioral issue: self-organization, interest in gender, ecology, creating the link, the discussion, the affects. If we add disinterest, recklessness as to the state and political power, it is logical to see indeed a revolution, and why not "a revolution of women" in Rojava. Speaking fewer classes, class struggle, whatever this is also absent from the PKK-PYD speech?

What criticism of the state?

If this bothers radical thought in the national liberation is the goal of creating a state. It would be enough to give it up and consider that basically, the nation - provided it is stateless - it is the people, and the people, how to be against? It's a bit of us, well almost 99%. I Do Not?

Anarchism has the characteristic (and deserves) hostility in principle to the State. Given this, and that is not nothing, its great weakness is regarded primarily as an instrument of coercion - it is certainly - without wondering why and how he plays this role. Therefore, it is sufficient to wipe out the most visible forms of State for anarchists (not all) conclude its demise befallen or near.

For this reason, the libertarian is disarmed before that looks too much like its program has always been against the state, but for democracy, democratic confederalism and social self-determination have naturally favor. The anarchist ideal is to replace the state by thousands of municipalities (and group work) federated.

On this basis, it is possible to internationalist support a national movement, as long as this practice generalized self-management, social and political, now called "common ownership". When the PKK no longer claims to want power, but a system where everyone will share power, it is easy to recognize the anarchist there.

Prospect

The attempt to Rojava democratic revolution, and social transformations that accompany it, were only possible because of extraordinary conditions: the bursting of Iraq and Syria States and jihadist invasion of the region, threat had the effect of promoting radicalization.

It now seems likely that, with the Western military support, can Rojava (in Iraqi Kurdistan image) exist as an entity independent sidelines of a persistent Syrian chaos but held off. In which case, this small state, however democratic it wants, by normalizing will not leave intact the social conquests or advanced. At best remain some local self-government, progressive education, a free press (just avoid blasphemy), a tolerant Islam and, of course, gender. Not anymore. But still enough for those who want to believe in a social revolution continue to believe, hoping of course that democracy become more democratic.

As hoped a conflict between self-organization at the base and the structures that the umbrella is to imagine exists in Rojava a situation of "dual power". They forget the power of the PYD-PKK itself has driven this self-administration, which retains the real power, political and military.

To return to the comparison with Spain, in 1936 it is the "premises" of a revolution that was devoured by the war. In Rojava, there was first the war and, unfortunately, nothing indicates that a "social" revolution is about to be born.

GD & TL

[1] Lato Cattivo "Kurdish Question, Islamic State, USA and other considerations."

[2] Becky, "A revolution in daily life" translation here.

[3] The Social Contract Rojava. l

[4] Lato Cattivo, op. cit.

[5] on Eclipse social disparities as the richest of the Kurds were exempted from participation in the self-administration of the camps by taking refuge in countries and more comfortable conditions.

[6] Zaher Baher, "Towards the self Rojava? "Where is the Rojava? The revolution, No. 1, July-November 2014 p. 21

anagoldman
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Feb 11 2015 11:07

Some great articles on Rojava:

http://www.kurdishquestion.com/index.php/kurdistan/no-state-solution-libertarian-socialism-kurdistan/610-no-state-solution-libertarian-socialism-kurdistan.html

Comparison with the Zapatistas in Chiapas:

http://kurdishquestion.com/index.php/kurdistan/west-kurdistan/exclusive-on-kq-from-chiapas-to-rojava-more-than-just-coincidences.html

Spikymike
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Feb 11 2015 12:44

anagoldman,

A little too much leftist 'gushing' in these articles for my taste. Whilst not dismissing the social elements of the two movements entirely (which have emerged in different contexts in practice) you might consider some more critical assessments of both. There have been a number posted here on Rojava but in relation to the Zapatistas and Mexico try these for starters:

http://libcom.org/library/the-sixth-declaration-zapatistas-nationalism-s...
http://libcom.org/library/a-critique-zapatista-other-campaign-grupo-soci...
http://libcom.org/library/commune-chiapas-zapatista-mexico

There are others still more strident in their criticism of course.

anagoldman
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Feb 11 2015 20:39

I started reading the first one, which is completely unfair and illogical. Not sure whether it's appropriate to post here, but anyway.

"Whether a worker’s boss is Mexican, American or even from Indonesia is irrelevant – what is important is that the exploitation of the worker is the result of capitalist social relations. Mexico is not dominated by the United States, it, like all other countries, is dominated by capital."

For Mexicans it is not irrelevant who their boss is, America being next door and suppressing any social change century after century. Would you say that for black people during slavery, it was irrelevant who the slave owners were? Just a question of capital?
All the accusations of nationalism are equally unfair – identifying as a people with a common culture, with a common history of oppression by a particular country/government – the US, does not make them nationalists. Neither does feeling you belong to a place, or ‘homeland’.

“However, despite this distinction, the language used in the document tends repeatedly to contradict this emphasis, with the United States as a homogenous entity being castigated on more than one opportunity (see above quotes).”

When people say the US and Britain bombed Iraq, nobody thinks that every single person in the country went to bomb it. This is how everyone talks. It’s ridiculous to pick on the Zapatistas for not continuously referring to the government.

““The link between the exploitation of the working class and the strategy of the Zapatistas is left unstated.”

They have been open about their methods and strategies. They know what works for them and how to go about it in their particular area in their particular situation. Accusing them of not explaining how the rest of the world should go about a revolution is unfair.

"‘yes to a clear commitment for joint and coordinated defense of national sovereignty, with intransigent opposition to privatization attempts of electricity, oil, water and natural resources.’
Although clearly a direct comparison cannot be drawn between Mexico and the UK, the call for national sovereignty and focus on nationalization…”

Being against privatisation is not the same as being for nationalisation.
Etc. etc.

It seems that many people are more keen to show that different movements are not 'proper anarchism' than actually help these movements and work with them in what they think is the right direction.

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Red Marriott
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Feb 11 2015 23:28
Quote:
For Mexicans it is not irrelevant who their boss is ... Would you say that for black people during slavery, it was irrelevant who the slave owners were?

So black slave owners would've made slavery a better experience, more acceptable - and any less necessary to challenge? And native Mexican bosses are 'nicer' and less exploitative to workers??

anagoldman
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Feb 12 2015 10:27

"So black slave owners would've made slavery a better experience, more acceptable - and any less necessary to challenge? And native Mexican bosses are 'nicer' and less exploitative to workers??"

The fact is, that slaves in the US were all black, and owners all white, and it is no coincidence. Black people were considered inferior. Extreme racism is what allowed slavery to take place, not just greed. Racism is also extremely relevant to colonialism and the imperialist attitudes and past of the US.
And no, I don't think Mexican bosses are less exploitative, but that doesn't make US dominance and imperialism insignificant to Mexicans, as history and power relations between the countries have shown throughout the centuries.

Battlescarred
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Feb 12 2015 10:30

No, owners were not all white in the USA . Some Native AMerican tribes kept black slaves.

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Red Marriott
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Feb 12 2015 11:39
anagoldman wrote:
The fact is, that slaves in the US were all black, and owners all white,

Wrong - your knowledge of this appears to be as simplistic and limited as it is about Rojava;

Quote:
About the Book
Most Americans, both black and white, believe that slavery was a system maintained by whites to exploit blacks, but this authoritative study reveals the extent to which African Americans played a significant role as slave masters. Examining South Carolina’s diverse population of African-American slaveowners, the book demonstrates that free African Americans widely embraced slavery as a viable economic system and that they—like their white counterparts—exploited the labor of slaves on their farms and in their businesses.

Drawing on the federal census, wills, mortgage bills of sale, tax returns, and newspaper advertisements, the author reveals the nature of African-American slaveholding, its complexity, and its rationales. ...
http://www.amazon.com/Black-Slaveowners-Masters-Carolina-1790-1860/dp/15...

Caiman del Barrio
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Feb 12 2015 12:26

Ana do you know that from 2010-13 the richest man in the world was a Mexican telecoms tycoon? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Slim

Quote:
América Móvil, which was Latin America's largest mobile-phone carrier in 2010, accounted for around US$49 billion of Slim's wealth by the end of that year.[8] His net worth as of December 2014 is estimated at US$72.6 billion.[1]

ie the majority of his personal wealth has been generated in Latin America, not the US.

You're right to recognise how race and nationality plays a role in capitalist extraction, but it is not an essential one, and in fact, the tendency of capital - at least in its purest form - is to undermine barriers such as national borders and race (eg globalisation).

Of course, these questions are important, since they direct our gaze as to who is 'the real enemy': unfortunately, in Mexico, a lot of popular struggles are targeted against foreign bourgeoisies, which in turn exonerate local ones. You mention the Zapatistas, who have a complex relationship with 'mexicaniedad' (they apparently have no problem with the national flag, for example), but even they have evolved beyond blaming NAFTA (ie US capitalists) for their poverty and exploitation.

Black Badger
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Feb 12 2015 13:38

Racism was extended from ancient xenophobia into Biblical- and then Enlightenment-based justifications for slavery. European chattel slavery existed prior to the widespread acceptance of this kind of racism.

Battlescarred
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Feb 12 2015 13:42

Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole were all slave owners:
http://atlantablackstar.com/2014/04/09/5-native-american-communities-who...

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Auld-bod
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Feb 12 2015 15:11

Anagoldman #136

‘The fact is, that slaves in the US were all black, and owners all white, and it is no coincidence. Black people were considered inferior. Extreme racism is what allowed slavery to take place, not just greed.’

In Basil Davidson’s books on Africa he brings out that when Europeans first made contact with the indigenous people they were impressed by their wealth and treated them as ‘equals’. It was the time of the ‘golden triangle’ between Africa, India and China. It was later, after the Europeans developed the Chinese invention of gunpowder from fireworks to projecting cannonballs that white racism developed. He uses the Belgian treatment of the Congolese as an example.
I would be genuinely interested if this chronology has been contested.