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Rojava is a radical experiment in democracy in northern Syria. American leftists need to pay more attention.

Rojava is a radical experiment in democracy in northern Syria American leftists need to pay more attention


In Rojava’s three Kurdish cantons, together comprising an area about the size of Connecticut, society is being organized according to the principles of an American anarchist-ecologist philosopher named Murray Bookchin. (Bookchin’s most famous work is The Ecology of Freedom.) This unlikely turn of events springs from the ideological conversion of Abdullah Ocalan, the founder of the Kurdistan Workers Party, or P.K.K., which was once a Marxist Leninist terrorist group in Turkey. With America’s help, Turkey captured Ocalan in 1999, and he was imprisoned alone—surrounded by over 1,000 soldiers—on an island near Istanbul. There he discovered Bookchin, who inspired a manifesto he issued in 2005.

The manifesto called on all P.K.K. supporters to implement a version of Bookchin’s ideas; Ocalan urged all guerrilla fighters to read ‘‘The Ecology of Freedom.’’ He instructed his followers to stop attacking the government and instead create municipal assemblies, which he called ‘‘democracy without the state.’’ These assemblies would form a grand confederation that would extend across all Kurdish regions of Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Iran and would be united by a common set of values based on defending the environment; respecting religious, political and cultural pluralism; and self-defense. He insisted that women be made equal leaders at all levels of society.

Stashed in: Middle East, International Incidents

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Nice!  Finally, some local people are finding a way forward.  Sounds like they are making a nice leap.

Yes. Now that we're paying attention what should we do?

Read, support, replicate.  Probably.  Have to read this book and look more closely at what they are doing, but sounds promising so far.

A grand confederation based on values sounds like a good idea. 

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