God. Damn. It. One Post-Leftist Supports the Rojava Social Revolution.

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!


  1. I haven’t yet finished my homework on West Kurdistan but I’m too thrilled and amazed to learn of the recent developments to hold back my questions. Thus I’m kinda’ having trouble thinking of an intelligent question to pose, so hear goes nothing…

    Is it too dogmatic to summarily denounce the influence of Bookchin? As implied above I am a slow reader, so I wonder will the Bookchins of the world now be able to claim to be in possession of a superior ‘anarchist’ theory? I know that not all the writers from AJODA denounced him completely. Should the recent successes and victories in West Kurdistan be attributed in part to the merits of libertarian municipalism and Abdulla Ocallan, or to other perhaps more wide ranging anarchists influences. Also are there any known post left folks in West Kurdistan?

  2. It seems strange that some talk of social revolution when the basic condition for one — the existence of social relations that might be revolutionised — no longer exists! The larger part of the population have long ago risen up — not to overthrow capital and the state — but to get away from being caught in the crossfire between fanatical men (and a few women) with guns. As of December 2014 only 4000 people out of 140000 remained in Kobane, which seems to have rendered moot any debate about the true nature of the movement. It does beg the question however: if this is a real revolution rather than a struggle for territorial domination by rival rackets, why was there not any significant participation from the population (rather than the <3% of the population who remained, not all of whom can be assumed to have been involved in the struggle — some probably stayed to protect their property, some for fear of life as a refugee, some perhaps even sympathised with ISIL and did not fear the prospect of their victory, and so on)?

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