Radical democracy in besieged Kurdish enclaves

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The Kurdish Freedom Movement, based on three towns in northern Syria fighting for survival against the totalitarian ISIS, has created a radically democratic society based on feminism, environmentalism and community democracy.

Malcolm Harris, writing for Talking Points Memo, described what seems like an anarchist utopia which is, at the same time, an effective self-defense force.

Neighborhoods have peace committees to resolve disputes without the threat of jail.  Women’s councils enforce ostracism for spousal abuse.  A children’s council designed a playground in one community.

These three communities, which comprise 4 million people, half of them refugees from the Syrian civil war or the ISIS occupation, follow the philosophy of  “non-state political administration” or “democracy without a state” promulgated by Abdullah Ocalan, a Kurdish leader now serving a life sentence in a Turkish prison.

The KFM rejects capitalism, top-down government and male supremacy.  Decision-making is pushed down to existing community organizations.  Reportedly this is highly efficient, because it does away with the need for bureaucracy.

The Kurds in Iraqi Kurdistan are admirable in that they are democratic and they give refuge to people of different religions and ethnicities fleeing ISIS perscution.  The KFM in Syria goes further, in rejecting ethnic nationalism altogether and demanding only self-government.

I have long disagreed with friends who say that there is something about the Muslim religion or Middle Eastern culture that is inherently incompatible with freedom and democracy.

Abdullah Ocalan is a leader and thinker who not only believes in freedom and democracy, but could give us Americans lessons in how to practice it.

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The Small Miracle You Haven’t Heard About Amid the Carnage in Syria by Malcolm Harris for Talking Points Memo.

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UpdateMy e-mail pen pal Bill Harvey found the following article which fills in background and details about Abdullah Ocalan’s thought.

Bookchin, Ocalan and the Dialectics of Democracy by Janet Biehl for New Compass Press.

I strongly recommend the article and also following the links in its upper right.

Murray Bookchin is a thinker I’ve heard of, but never read.  I guess it’s time to remedy that lack.

Update 2.  Also of interest.  The Rojava Report.

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One Response to “Radical democracy in besieged Kurdish enclaves”

  1. prayerwarriorpsychicnot Says:

    Reblogged this on Citizens, not serfs.

    Like

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