[Marxism] Revolutionary Rojava: An polyethnic, feminist and anti-capitalist experiment (Links)

Chris Slee chris_w_slee at hotmail.com
Sat Oct 27 16:35:18 MDT 2018

The Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, though it does not call itself a state, has many of the features of a state - in particular, it has bodies of armed men and women (the Syrian Democratic Forces).

However, the DFNS does not aim to defeat Assad militarily.  It says it wants a negotiated solution that will democratise Syria.

This probably sounds unrealistic.  But I think what the DFNS leadership is hoping is that, in the context of negotiations, that section of the Syrian people that sees Assad as a lesser evil compared to Sunni-sectarian rebels will be open to a third alternative.  The DFNS hopes to win the support of the religious minorities, many of whom currently support Assad.

Chris Slee

From: Marxism <marxism-bounces at lists.csbs.utah.edu> on behalf of Louis Proyect via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu>
Sent: Saturday, 27 October 2018 11:42:52 AM
To: Chris Slee
Subject: Re: [Marxism] Revolutionary Rojava: An polyethnic, feminist and anti-capitalist experiment (Links)

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On 10/26/18 7:57 PM, Chris Slee via Marxism wrote:
> http://links.org.au/revolutionary-rojava-polyethnic-feminist-anti-capitalist-experiment

"Öcalan's new approach emphasises organising alternatives to each part
of the state, run by the people, which will ultimately replace the
existing state."

The "existing state" is based in Damascus, right? Sorry. I can't buy
this. The Kurds have never shown the slightest interest in confronting
Assad. Rojova is an enclave in a tyranny--more or less the equivalent of
Mondragon in Franco's Spain. Live and let live.

Marxist parties are about revolutionary struggles against the capitalist
state. Anarchists, in contrast, are about creating alternative
institutions within capitalist society. It is a variant on utopian
socialism. Nobody could ever fault Robert Owens or Charles Fourier for
establishing utopian colonies that elevated the working class but Marx
and Engels had different ideas.

For Lenin, state power was the goal. For Bookchin, like Negri and Hardt
in "Empire", the state is a poisoned pill. If you take state power, you
will succumb to authoritarianism. The whole idea of Bookchin's
"Libertarian Municipalism" was to sidestep these temptations. He wrote:

        Thus, libertarian municipalism is not merely an effort simply to “take
over” city councils to construct a more “environmentally friendly” city
government. These adherents or opponents of libertarian municipalism, in
effect, look at the civic structures that exist before their eyes now
and essentially (all rhetoric to the contrary aside) take them as they
exist. Libertarian municipalism, by contrast, is an effort to transform
and democratize city governments, to root them in popular assemblies, to
knit them together along confederal lines, to appropriate a regional
economy along confederal and municipal lines.

In the USA, such tactics could certainly make a place like Putney,
Vermont less oppressive but in Assad's Syria, they are largely
irrelevant to the broader confrontation between the Syrian workers and
peasantry trying to win state power in order to put an end to torture
and oligarchic rule. What are those millions supposed to do? Wait to be
liberated by the YPG?

I can understand why non-Marxist radicals would see Rojova as the wave
of the future. What is the Socialist Alliance's excuse?

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