So after sitting on the fence for the better part of a year, I have to commit to support for and defense of the Rojava experiment, and particularly our comrades in the DAF (Revolutionary Anarchist Action) and the two militias the YPG (People’s Protection Units, in Kurdish: Yekîneyên Parastina Gel) and the women’s militia component the YPJ (Women’s Protection Units, in Kurdish: Yekîneyên Parastina Jinê). Though inspired, at least according to most reports by Bookchin and specifically calling their current political status libertarian municipalism, they seem to have moved very far toward an insurrectionary society indeed. In fact the central government is essentially a husk and currently necessary only to interact with other sovereigns, without coercive elements (army and police) and with real power residing in local assemblies (which are guaranteed effective parity between Muslims and Christians and men and women). Further the addressing of police functions is outstanding. The Kurds are training all adults in how to be effective stewards of their neighborhoods and have abolished the police, or are in the process of doing so. Brilliant, when everyone is a master, there are no slaves.
So Bookchin? Who the fuck cares? A state? Yes, but moving in the opposite direction. Do all reports concur with the above enumeration? Yes, incredibly, yes. So what to do? Write, speak and support this tiny anarchist experiment in the same way one would the various social experiments in Greece or Spain. Hope that this fertile garden overgrows its boundaries, and spreads like the Black Death. And what of their opponent ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant)? I am as opposed to them as I would be any fundamentalist lunatic, Christian, Buddhist, Stalinist or Muslim; in this case more so, because ISIL threaten anarchists, my family. In fact ISIL has been explicit in their threats to “enslave” the entire civilian population. The sole good use of the trillions wasted on US military hardware is to unleash it all on this militarized fundamentalist scum. Kill them all. Let Allah sort them out.
And that doesn’t begin to enumerate all the enemies of Rojava, including other Kurds, Syria (Assad’s rump regime) and the largest danger, Turkey and her control of the borders and the flow of arms to both ISIL, and the revolutionaries. And sitting behind these players is the United States, the EU, and of course the Russians, always interested in playing vicariously in the Middle East. Finally, the Kurds have oil, not lots, but they have been steady suppliers to world markets since the Second Iraqi War, a fact not lost to bond traders on either Wall Street or the City of London. Grim tidings, but not insuperable.
It has been hard to arrive at the place I am right now, and it has taken much reading and thought. This is the shortest blog post I’ve ever written, and the most painful. I have had to eat a lot of very humble pie to get here. Do I still think the Left is a ridiculous and vestigial organ on the body of Society? Yes, and I disdain class theory as pseudo-science and am an individualist to the bone. I also realize that the species-goal of utopia is nowhere near being reached in Kurdistan. Rather, they have moved further and faster than any other insurrection to date. In fact the current stability, of roughly two years, makes it the longest running anarchist experiment during the triumph of civilization. Then hopefully, one day the Revolution will slip beyond all control, then we will be where we need to be to finish the anarchist project; utopia. Long Live the Rojava Social Revolution! No Peace, Without Victory!