by Claudio Gallo
Debbie is not only the daughter of Murray Bookchin, the theorist of Communalism. She is a journalist and writer: in 2004, she wrote, together with Jim Schumacher, “The Virus and the Vaccine: Contaminated Vaccine, Deadly Cancers, and Government Neglect” about the polio vaccine scandal. She served as presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ press secretary from 1991-1994. But, yes, she is also her father’s daughter, spreading the legacy of the American philosopher born from Jewish Russian parents emigrated to the United States.
From Abdullah Öcalan to the Kurds who were recently fighting ISIS in Kobane, all threw Marxism over their shoulders to embrace your father’s philosophy: Communalism. What is Communalism?
Communalism is the idea that democracy works best when citizens make decisions together on the local level, in assemblies. They meet face-to-face with their neighbors and discuss issues of importance to their communities. They send recallable delegates to councils to make regional decisions; but power always resides at the local level, rather than with the nation-state. My father believed that these local assemblies would transform, and be transformed by, an increasingly enlightened citizenry. People could reclaim and redefine politics as something we do for ourselves rather than just voting for someone and hoping for the best. Communalism also envisions what my father called a “moral economy” in which people make collective decisions about how to use natural resources for economic production, with the ecological impact in mind.
In this vision there is no money, no market: how is it possible?
Today we take capitalism for granted. But God didn’t ordain capitalism. In much of human history societies functioned without it. As my father first pointed out in the early 1960s, capitalism is on a collision course with nature that threatens our survival as a species. Capitalism’s “grow or die” ethos demands the ceaseless exploitation of natural resources. The rapacious growth and individualism that it has fostered has led to global warming, that is on the verge of making our planet uninhabitable for our grandchildren. Is capitalism so sacred that we are willing to destroy the planet for future generations? There are many examples in history of people working cooperatively to make decisions for the benefit of a community without using money – from primitive societies to large Israeli kibbutzim. Communalism assumes that in a free society, people with different skills, interests, and desires, will contribute their labor to the well being of society. And given the advanced technology of the modern age, it means that we would all have to work less and have more leisure time than we do today.
What do you think is so remarkable about Rojava (the Kurdish area of Syria)?
The Kurds have created a society that fully empowers women and people of every ethnic and religious plurality to work together in charting the future of their communities. Their economic planning is ecologically sensitive and they are practicing the most democratic form of government there is on the planet, all under conditions of war. It is truly inspiring.
How did Communalism make its way to the Kurdish land?
When Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan was sentenced to life imprisonment, he was brought many books by his lawyers, including some of books by my father like The Ecology of Freedom and From Urbanization to Cities, which had been translated into Turkish. Öcalan had become increasingly disillusioned with a Marxist-Leninist approach that had led to three decades of warfare with the Turkish state; he believed that by employing my father’s ideas Kurds could achieve self-rule and true democracy even while remaining within the borders of Turkey. But while Öcalan’s concept of Democratic Confederalism incorporates my father’s thinking, Öcalan, has contributed many original ideas, for example, particularly emphasizing the role of women.
Which is the strongest criticism that you father had against Marx?
My father had enormous respect for Marx, but he felt that modern day Marxists were living in the past and that we had to go beyond “class analysis,” and the tactics employed by revolutionaries in the 1930s, and examine why workers had not, in fact, made a revolution. He rejected the idea of workers or the proletariat as the “hegemonic class,” and argued that social change today will only come about if we appeal to people as citizens of their communities who share a common desire not just for income equality but for clean air and water, safe food, and an end to all forms of hierarchy and oppression, be it of race, ethnicity, gender, etc. He also saw that socialism hadn’t led to freedom in the Eastern European countries and felt that power had to be decentralized and located at the municipal level, not in a centralized party apparatus.
Despite the ideal of Communalism, the Syrian Kurds were accused by Amnesty International in 2015 of destroying Arab households: you wrote an article in which you questioned those charges.
I think that as exciting as it is to see the remarkable social project unfolding in Rojava, under conditions of war mistakes will be made; they must be acknowledged and corrected. But there were a number of questions raised about the evidence they cited, including the veracity of those they interviewed and the failure to corroborate some anecdotes. Many people felt it lessened the credibility of that report.
Communalist Kurds and Washington together against the IS: a strange coalition, isn’t it?
It should be a natural coalition because the USA and EU promote themselves as champions of democracy. However, while the West recognizes that the Kurds are their best ally in fighting Isis, the USA and EU are also fearful that Turkey will open its doors and allow migrants to enter Europe. So they bowed to Turkey and have excluded Rojava representatives from the Geneva talks about the future of Syria. They have turned a blind eye to the ways Turkey assists ISIS and to the Turkish military bombardment of the Kurdish towns of the southeast — in which the military has killed hundreds of innocent civilians, including children, under the pretense of searching for PKK terrorists. If they really believe the democratic values they claim, the US and EU should invite Rojava representatives to the Geneva talks and encourage the expansion of the Rojava model throughout Syria so that a peaceful, democratic solution can be reached which will allow people to stay in their homes instead of having to flee.
The idea of an autonomous Kurdish region has to come to terms with Turkish hostility: there will be another war in the near future?
I am a journalist, not a Middle East analyst, so it’s hard for me to predict if there will be an all-out war. My personal feeling is that people are very justified in worrying that President Erdogan is heading down the path of dictatorship. An authoritarian regime will only spark more unrest and instability, which is bad for the people in the region and harms our efforts to defeat ISIS. It is my deepest hope that Western leaders will use the substantial leverage they have to demand an end to Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s violence against the Kurdish people and insist on a return to peace negotiations. It is clear that the “Kurdish Question” cannot be solved militarily and that the sooner Erdogan resumes negotiations the better it will be for all of Turkish society and the rest of the world.
(Original interview http://www.lastampa.it/2016/04/22/cultura/cos-i-curdi-siriani-hanno-abbandonato-marx-per-mio-padre-WOVS5lxc8XH7Iyt75hx9DN/pagina.html appeared in Italian in Turin-based newspaper “La Stampa”)
“hile the West recognizes that the Kurds are their best ally in fighting Isis”
-The best is Syria, kurds even sporadically attack Syrian troops.
A blatant lie. The best partner to combat ISIS is Assad.
NATO has chosen Kurds.
“Debbie is not only the daughter of Murray Bookchin….She served as presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ press secretary from 1991-1994…But, yes, she is also her father’s daughter, spreading the legacy of the American philosopher born from Jewish Russian parents emigrated to the United States.”
Impeccable zionist Jewish credentials. no doubt she is her father’ daughter and is one of israel’s influences working on the Kurds. This sort of stuff is the “leftism” of the sorts who are associated with the marxists.com and znet. Different specifics in their approaches, but working the same monolithic, stealth zionist/judeo-suppremacist angle furthering the interests of the zpc under the guise of seemingly leftist political philosophy and activism.
Edward Abbey had some amusing things to say about bookchin, having observed him and several co-disrupters attempting to mess up an eco-freindly gathering. Same tactics used by the zionist “militant” agents (RE: marxists.com critters) to disrupt left activism in the UK.
This communalism of bookchin & co. is a beehive set-up. Antagonistic of independent thought. The purpose is to have everybody be on the same message without questioning. The zpc needs populations to be that way, whether they are deceiving them from a left, right or centrist angle.
(removed MOD). You’re just shoving pieces into your puzzle whether they fit or not because there are Jews involved. Really, ZNet as Zionists?! They’re the most consistently anti-Zionist bunch I’ve ever seen.
“They’re the most consistently anti-Zionist bunch I’ve ever seen”
They wish you to think so. And they are obviously successful…
Their only influence is the ideas they spread. So, spreading anti-Zionist ideas even though they’re Zionists would do . . . what, exactly, for their supposed Zionist cause?
There is a distinction between intelligent skepticism, looking behind the platitudes of those in power etc., and tailchasing knee-jerk conspiracy theorizing. Next I expect you’ll be telling me Noam Chomsky is a Zionist who backs imperialists. He does, after all, have strong ties with ZNet.
But if conspiracy theory is your bag, I’ve got one for you: Typically, the people who sling accusations like that, who try to split up those opposing empire into tiny camps hating on each other more than they hate the genuine enemy–the people pushing that, are generally the FBI/CIA plants. Their job is to be ultras, holier than thou, who splinter movements to make them powerless. Now I’m not saying you’re an FBI plant. But you’re doing their work for them.
@ Purple Library Guy
If you really don’t know by now that homo Chomsky is big part of the imperial A-Z establishment, as genuine an article as they come, then “there is no help for you” one could say. However, you might in fact know very well what he is, and are merely trying to help perpetuate that myth, that carefully designed FBI/CIA lightning rod to blunt genuine dissent. Now I’m not saying that your case is the latter, no, by no means, for it indeed might well be the former.
Right-wingies pretending they’re “rebels”.
Consider getting real. I’m sorry, but most of the real critique of Israel comes from the left, and most of the real critique of the media comes from, not just the left, but half of it ultimately traces to Noam Chomsky specifically. His relentless books dissecting the Imperial media spin, along with he and Edward Herman’s “propaganda model” of the mass media described in “Manufacturing Consent”, created the framework that has been used by most critics since. It’s not just the left that owes him a debt, most of the best analysis getting to the truth behind media obfuscation done from any point of view is ultimately drawing on Chomsky’s model and approach.
You are biting the hand that you are too ignorant to realize feeds you. If it weren’t for Chomsky, you yourself very likely would never have been enabled to see past some of the stuff you actually see past.
As I said. You are either blissfully unaware beyond hope of the true role of that decrepit governmental piper of the American homos. Or you are quite aware of it and consciously participate in the “operation”. Your listing his (“it’s”?) phoney “works” here would accord with either case.
Do you have the faintest idea what Chomsky actually says? I’m thinking no. Do you, in fact, have anything backing your point of view whatsoever other than you and whatever camp you’re from desperately wanting people from other camps to be traitors?
Gah. Why am I wasting my time?
As I told you already. You are running in circles either completely unaware of it, or fully aware that you are not succeeding in your “task”.
I’ve made points and made factual claims, which you would be welcome to refute if you had anything. You’ve had nothing to say but vague smears, no matter how much you are prodded to make with something resembling substance. You’ve been far too insubstantial to be running in circles–to run in circles, you would have to actually be somewhere, but you’ve got nothing.
Maybe you should leave these discussions to people who have some idea what it is to make a claim, let alone argue for it.
@ “Library” … 6:52 …
Again. Not that it could sink in. Either you are mercifully unaware of your forlorn blindness towards your devotional subject of ill repute, or you are not and are not so mercifully trapped in failure to proceed with your “assignment”.
she is kibbutzim-speak on steroids.
I had thought that you had wanted this poster permanently banned Saker, so not sure what this is doing here. Do banned comments make it into spam, which is where I found this? I thought I”d send it your way to decide what you want to do with it. Hope you had a lovely rest, spiritually as well as physically. Namaste. PS
You say it so perfectly.
Readers and commenters come and go. What frightens me is how the newer arrivals are so perfectly zionified. They can no more detect their own commitment to zionist principles than a fish can detect water.
Purple Library Guy, for example, represents a generation that is toxic to all who came before. Very soon these children of the corn will be using their zionist ‘booksmarts’ to eliminate all non right thinking people. I expect to be euthanized in an old folks home by exactly this type.
Here is part one of a great three part article on the zionist engineering project known as Greater Kurdistan.
The Kurds Hate Filled “Federalization” Manifesto Part I
by Andrew Korybko
That’s real cute, albeit pretty fascist. Anyone you don’t agree with is thinking forbidden thoughts even though they are unaware of it–terrible, toxic, poisonous (unconscious) thoughts which presumably should be eliminated. Seems to me there’s an awful lot of projection in your claim that, in the future, people like me will be trying to “eliminate all non right thinking people”. Excuse me, but who is the camp accusing whom, evidence-free, of being horrible homo lying conspirators? With one breath accusing people of plotting to eliminate independent thought, with the next it’s “Pay no attention to anything those people say because it’s all a plot to ensnare you!” Um, yeah, so who’s trying to stifle independent thought here? What a hoot!
Ooo, and I love the “booksmarts” bit. What it means is, even if you make no sense at all and I totally do, it doesn’t matter because making any sense is just “booksmarts” and should be ignored.
So far, I still haven’t been able to figure out what this unconscious Zionism of mine, or this clever treachery of theirs, is supposed to consist of. What is it I’m supposed to believe, unconsciously, that’s Zionist? What are these lefties supposed to be doing, with their dastardly making of strong anti-Zionist and anti-Imperialist arguments, which is supposed to help Israel and Empire somehow?
All I’m seeing is empty McCarthyist smears and squirting ink like an octopus to cloud the waters. I might be able to make the first tiny step towards taking this stuff seriously if there were something there that I could even figure out if it could be taken seriously.
As a side note, I’ve read through some debates between Bookchin and ZNet’s Michael Albert. They were at serious loggerheads, Albert IMO probably with the better arguments but coming across seriously passive-aggressive, all “I’m-so-reasonable” while in fact preachy and superior. The hard, vaguely-anarchist Chomsky/ZNet/Bookchin/etc left is anything but monolithic. On the question of Israel, while pretty much everyone on the hard left supports the BDS movement and thinks Israel is an imperialist neo-colonialist thing, their opinions about just what can and should be done, whether to go for one-state, two-state, whether to reform the Palestinian Authority or junk it, how to build a strong Palestinian movement and on and on, are all over the map. If they have some agenda on Israel they’re supposed to be sucking people into it’s awfully well disguised.
C I eh?, you hit here the nail on the head. The pushy “children of the corn”, the psychopathic “me first” sayanim, won’t stop frothing at the mouth till turning blue, attempting to numb your senses with verbal violence “or else”. And then … label you “fascist” if you won’t comply… Social networks abound with those missionary goblins. A golden remedy would be, “don’t feed the trolls”. An old Chinese proverb comes to mind, “It is most difficult to deal with a primitive man. If you are nice to him, he takes it as an invitation to climb on top of your head. And if you ignore him, he gets insulted.” Not a very difficult choice under the circumstances, is it…
The link you provided is quite interesting, I like Korybko’s dispatches. Katehon is a solid site, Dugin on its board confirms its respectability.
I agree with Korybko when he sees in Syrian Kords (and in their “media-power”) as dangerous tools of Imperialism/Zionism, but I think that his article is “too loaded” by anti-Communism; too much ideological prejudice in seeing “Communism” in the background of all wrongdoings by the Kurds…
Wow, yet another think-tank genius selectively picked sentences from a big picture to make a “case”. Dual of Juial Ropcke et. al. however the only thing they seem to agree is that Kurds are their enemies. Everyone can have freedom and their country but when Kurds strive for anything humanly, oh no, it’s an “X”-project. Replace “X” with anything that might be disliked by the crowd you are talking to.
@ vot tak
You said it as it is.
Libya was organized on a similar basis under Gaddafi. It is reminiscent of the way the Swiss canton system was intended to work, before imperial pressures imposed extra-territorial diktats. Some small New England towns still conduct their local business that way. Anabaptist religious communities such as the Amish, old order Mennonites and Hutterites also conduct their local affairs similarly. It is not a popular concept to those who prefer Leo Strauss’ concept of the conduct of society. When the Kurds have served their current purpose, they will be reintroduced to full subservience to the masters of the universe, just like the Libyans and the Swiss.
This is an attempt to deny the populace access to a body or organization that would be most suitable for negotiating and countering a transnational corporation, isn’t it? Like, an organization such as a national government?? “Look at the quaint utopia of the little people” – it’s like we’re supposed to zoom in to such a degree, on the Kurds in Rojava in this example, that the perspective of what is taking place across a geographic range of a nation, drops away. This would presumably be accompanied by a total lack of coverage of “national” or “global” issues in the MSM, along with PC/propaganda pressure to disapprove of anyone thinking beyond the perfect idyllic total sum of the specified tiny region. Over time, the people would be seduced to believe it is impossible for humans to even have successful long-term relations over a geographic range any larger than northern Syria. This is the age of Internet, nonetheless! (no google in these mini-utopias either, I guess, Kim.)
If it’s perfect, it’s a vehicle for total suppression, tyranny, given that there is no technocratic “perfect” within human relations (except maybe the human nuclear family – quick reference to Dennis’ extrapolations on love and the lover, or the beloved.)
Thus, the disturbing creation of the exceptional version of socialism, which we were introduced to in a previous bright and cheery article.
I find this quite sickening. No offense intended to the Kurds, of course.
It’s true that the Bookchin communalist vision may come up short in one aspect that’s awfully important in an imperialist-dominated world: Self defence at a large scale. But this massive hostility seems a bit much. What do you suggest? Just doing more of the same stuff that’s gotten us where we are now? You know, Putin’s a great international chess player, but he shows no signs of being able, or even wanting, to change Russia in any way that will stop it from just turning into another US due to elite-driven “market forces”.
I myself am not a Bookchin communalist. But Bookchin is/was at least grappling with the real problems of both capitalism and centralized socialism or communism, and doing his best to come up with a solution. I personally think it came up short, and that my ideas are better (of course, they’re mine! ;) ). But any proposed system in my opinion has to deal with the problems of hierarchy, centralization, the forces created by markets, money, the corporate form and so on, and the way all these things create oligarchy and destroy both freedom and prosperity. As I say, Bookchin saw those problems and tried hard to come up with a way around them, and it looks like the Syrian Kurds are giving his system a pretty good shot so far, and even fighting pretty effectively under it.
So my perspective is, Bookchin is on my side, even if he’s the Judean People’s Front to my People’s Front of Judea; no reason to treat him with venom.
“Massive hostility” and “with venom”, I would consider re-directions of what I wrote – which reflected neither. Can’t reply further now (no time) but will later.
Ok, about those suggestions.
First, when I was in school, I was taught that politics is about power – who has it, how it’s obtained, how it’s used, etc. In the case of the Iraqi Kurds, it’s my understanding that although they enjoy some autonomy, they are dependent on foreign corporations to extract their significant oil reserves. The profits from this go directly to the corporation quite neatly passing by the Kurdish people altogether, who live with much poverty. *That* is massive hostility. Who has the power there? Would the situation be any different for the Syrian Kurds? Where are politics and power entering into this?
(a couple of sources for the above:
1) To quote fellow Saker community member, Nussiminen: “…as per the outline of the TTIP. To wit: Unrestrained corporate tyranny once and for all putting an end to the pretensions of “Parliamentary democracy” ==> a good reminder to give myself a refresher course on parliamentary democracy, to ensure I’m clear on how it is supposed to operate and protect me from corporate (and other) tyranny
2) Nussiminen again: “It’s always fascinating to listen to Westerners pondering over 20th century subject matters. Stalin’s USSR achieved in 30 years’ time of ferocious struggle what took the bloody West half a millennium of plunder and murder across the globe to accomplish for its home constituencies. Yet Stalin and the USSR that he led pass for “socialist failure” according to these folks?” ==> a good reminder to look more deeply and critically at how the USSR did manage to progress rapidly, for some clues/ideas that may apply to the current situation in my country.
3) Globalization seems to have accelerated the transfer of power from governments to corporations and corporate interests. This was largely initiated by the USA, but some people in the inner circle of Washington strongly disagreed with globalization. I’m thinking of Paul Craig Roberts (http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/) and Pat Buchanan (http://buchanan.org/blog/), also Ron Paul (http://ronpaulinstitute.org/). Reading their perspectives may give some necessary context and background to consider when addressing the current situation my country is facing. In 2016, we all have to deal with the transnational corporations, no matter where we live.
4) From “goodsensecynic”, posted yesterday on thetyee.ca: “It might be more helpful to revisit the “Regina Manifesto” which was written in 1933 as the founding document of the CCF, remained the official CCF policy handbook until 1956″ ===> I am Canadian, and this manifesto led to Medicare and unemployment insurance in Canada. A good reminder to go back and look at specific instances in my country when “people power” prevailed politically, and resulted in some benefits for the people.
5) This is a bit of a tangent. About a year ago, I first discovered the radio show, “Focus on the Family” (http://www.focusonthefamily.com/). They represent two groups which I don’t self-identify with, evangelical Christians and Americans, but they make a good case that a society gains strength from the strength of individual families. They really reminded me how the corporate culture, or brand, has caused some significant shifts in family life. Strong families = strong communities = more power to the people?
I’m also a Canadian, by the way. And certainly a CCF booster.
Talking Stalin for a moment–sure, in the early decades of Communist rule, Russia industrialized real fast (although other, non-Communist, countries have done the same). And at that, Russian education in many areas became pretty impressive, for instance, so it wasn’t purely a matter of industry. But there are two major caveats here. First, how much good did that do the average Russian? Second, then what happened after that?
On the first–some good, but not all that much. And for lots of Russians, even Russians who weren’t like rich or anything, it did less than no good at all. Let’s face it, collectivizing agriculture, particularly in a mass-scale top-down fashion, was a stupid idea. And it was an idea that did flow pretty directly from some basic ideas that were actually Marx’s. Communism never really grappled well with the question of peasants, farmers, and agriculture generally.
On the second–so let’s stipulate that Stalin was awesome. I remain somewhat skeptical about that–the best I’d say would be that his record was mixed, and his vicious tenacity was effective in a World War II. But sidestep that and let’s say he was awesome. After Stalin, things gradually stagnated and deteriorated. Now one could readily say, that was Khrushchev’s fault, and Brezhnev’s, and Yuri Andropov’s, and so on. But that’s a problem; what we’re saying here is that Soviet Communism depended largely for success on the single leader at the head of it and that the majority of the leaders it threw up were crap. How can we say that’s overall a good system? But I think there were also significant problems with the general nature of rule by the Communist party. It was pretty good for crash programs doing big obvious stuff, but it tended to suck at dealing with complexity and down-at-the-average-joe-level detail, and this caused things to bog down over time.
All this is purely an instrumental assessment, though. It deals with how effectively the Soviet system produced tanks, or whatever. But man does not live by tanks alone, or even by utilitarian housing projects. At the level of quality of life, control over one’s own life, ability to realize one’s potential and genuinely contribute, and so forth, the Soviet system was not that great. And the whole thing with censorship and looking over your shoulder for the commissars seems to have been quite real, in a way that the West is only starting to arrive at. There is no way in hell I’m going to make something like the Soviet system my objective. We can do better.
PLG, I agree with all of what you said. Even Stalin himself would have to change for the situation in 2016, I think? And I’m sure those who were members of the former USSR would recreate it differently too, if they set out to do so. A progressive Soviet system perhaps? I don’t know.
re “Communalism is the idea that democracy works best when citizens make decisions together on the local level, in assemblies. They meet face-to-face with their neighbors and discuss issues of importance to their communities. They send recallable delegates to councils to make regional decisions; but power always resides at the local level, rather than with the nation-state.”
They are reminiscent of the original soviets. There remain open questions (among many) of how they work together. Is there true democratic centralism of some kind , which can democratically over-rule, and if necessary coerce the local assemblies ? Can money be injected into local elections somehow, perhaps by electioneering, enabling the high rollers to buy the game, as in table-stakes poker ? Can the rich somehow change the rules in their favor via the judiciary, as in Citizens United ? Etc., etc. .
When this sort of topic comes up there is no reference to anarcho-syndicalism , Bakunin, Catalonia; hello Elsi! Of course money will try to destroy community, it’s most hated sign of independence and self determination. There will always be “judiciary” promulgated by state force. I can’t go to the area and walk among these families but bless them in their struggle.
Erdogan is not maybe a dictator, but is one in spades doing his best to humiliate Europe using the grovelling Angela Merkel to open all EU doors, throw away all human rights. She has done so with passionate enthusiasm, making links between German global power and the Mexican Government’s global drug trade as with insane Erdogan.
This writer should be able to travers the political world she inhabits as a journalist. I suggest she is more a researcher than anything else. Biased toward her brilliant Dad.
” Communalist Kurds and Washington together against the IS: a strange coalition, isn’t it?
It should be a natural coalition because the USA and EU promote themselves as champions of democracy. ”
EU and USA are no democracies, never were and never will be. They use “democracy” for propaganda purposes.
EU is a transnational organisation ruled by unelected bureaucrats with a rubber stamp EU parliament.
EU has stripped member states of their political, monetary (e.g EUROZONE) and economic sovereignty.
EU enforces policies on member states even though the electorate of the various member states is opposite and sometimes voted against in elections and referendums (e.g austerity measures, TTIP, European constitution etc). The creation of the EU happened so as to promote neoliberal globalist capitalism. EU is in essence a large “free” trade area with the 4 “Freedoms” of the movement of goods/services/capital/persons establishing neoliberalism and globalisation. The consequences are catastrophic for the working and middle class people of all european countries as jobs are outsourced, cheap foreign labour is imported, the welfare state is dismantled. For economically weaker states, their industrial base is decimated as they cannot compete with the multinational conglomerates of Germany, France, Netherlands etc
USA is an oligarchic republic, not a democracy. The political system of US resembles the ancient Roman Republic system. The American founding fathers created a political system so as to preserve the power of the wealthy elites. Two similar oligarchic parties share power indefinitely with
multi-millionaire “patricians” elected in offices (with the help of corporate “donations” and the corporate mass media). The elites will never share power with the masses. They create the illusion of elections and participation, but in essence the system has nothing democratic.
The democracies of Ancient Greece (such as Athens) were very different political systems with officers selected through sortition.
For more information read
The Athenian Constitution by Aristotle
Without intending to make a comprehensive critique of the so called “communalism”, the essence of which is grass-roots democracy, there is nothing novel about it apart from the inclusion of the environment as a further incentive for people’s resistance to capitalism. The soviets were grassroots democracy, the Paris Communes of 1848 and 1872, the Catalonians of 1933, and many others throughout history, including the Celtic tribes of pre-Roman Europe, were grassroots democracies.
The seduction of this “ideal” resides in its simple-minded acceptance of an apolitical world where every member of the community would participate in the decision making process independent of outside forces, not to mention the insidious seeds of power grab within the commune. The naivety of this ‘trend’, if there is one, is exposed by showing the kibutz as a model, in a nation-state known for its tyrannic brutality.
Yes, let’s construct communalism and leave power to the capitalist elites, the thinktankers, the warmongers and camp followers to play politics! What a message! Debbie girl, you are a messenger from Tel Aviv, via the Potomac.
Laugh at Öcalan. He doesn’t even speak the Kurdish language. The whole movement is a fanatical nationalist cult and they will do anything to keep their people in power. Despite causing nothiung but huge losses for “his people” in the nineties war against Turkey, they cling to their narcissist delusions.
The PKK never had anything to do with “Marxism” except some lending from the worst aspects of Maoism. Nowadays their “communalism” is just another chameleon form of ethno-nationalist fascism. Can you believe they even “abolished money” for common citizens in Rojava. No worse form of slavery than this.
There you have Some Guy who Thinks hè knows THE kurds culture.brother you don t know any (removed,MOD).we kurds only adept systems who can cooporate with THE relegions and cultures of our people and THE people surrounding us.That THE main reason communalism is there.
The interview says “communalism” like in a Kibbuz… oh wait those had to steal the land and cleanse the Arabs from it before they could start amateur strawberry farming. At least we know whats coming.
The PKK in reality is a weird mix between a nationalist/religious psycho cult, organized crime and terrorist outfit. And the great leader, deluded nutjob “the sun of Kurdistan” Öcalan doesn’t even speak the language. It’s a suicide cult sponsored by Anglo-Zionism if there ever was one.
” It should be a natural coalition because the USA and EU promote themselves as champions of democracy. However, while the West recognizes that the Kurds are their best ally in fighting Isis ” >>
Neither USA nor EU ever represented “democracy” (USA political system is anything but democratic, while, the EU project is a bureaucratic dictatorship as a modified version of autocratic dictatorship planned by Nazi party, the common parameter between both versions being authorship of AZ cabal).
West created ISIS, and Kurds are fighting ISIS for their own survival. If Kurds assume West as their ally, it will be a disaster for the Kurds. It is Turkey and Saudi who are real ally of West . Just look into Iraqi Kurdistan – what Barzani developed there is nothing but an extensive region of petroleum slavery where the local inhabitants, the Kurds toil with bare minimum income and insufficient amenities only to fill the coffers of Barzani clan and his bosses: AZ cabal of West and its all-weather ally Turkish-Saudi oligarchs.
Kurds should be extremely careful about allying with Western oligarchs, and their so-called ideologies – rather, a long list of ideologies… capitalism, liberalism, conservatism, communalism…
The idea of communalism is both loved and hated. It brings to the table the comflicting forces that are tearing our world apart. This is good and bad news. Good because these issues need to be aired and bad because they accentuate the already deep divisions.
This vineyard can act as mediator and moderator because its purpose is to stop the empire’s war with pertinent analysis and catalysis. The science now has been honed to an art. Time to step into the breach.
A very small group of people are fighting for their survival. Their methods are debatable. Russia is also a small nation by population and the largest by land mass. It also is fighting for its survival. The earth too is fighting for its survival.
There’s an immediate irony: fighting for peace.
Choice are being made and sides are being formed. Things appear to be coming to a head.
There’s a drive for world wide control by a small elite resisted by small groups attempting to preserve their own identity.
Individuals come forth to influence the way things shall be with their ideas. In this case communalism, in another communism, in another capitalism.
If an idea or ideology comes along at the right time and in the right place with the right circumstances it can take off. Jesus presented his ideas of love in the face of fierce opposition. They posed such a threat to the Roman empire that it threw all its resources into co-opting them and largely succeeded.
History repeats itself until it exhausts itself. It creates a vacuum that is at once a danger and an opportunity. We are now in one of those black swan opening events.
I was raised with the ideas of Christianity, at the core of which was love. I went on to be a priest in Catholicism and later in a new age Christianity. I left both because the ideal of love was corrupted. I myself was part of the corruption.
I could not stomach the tight box of love that was suffocating me from the culture of religion, economy and ideology.
I didn’t really know what I was doing but it was a matter of survival. I needed love and still do like air. Out of unacknowledged desperation I made up my own system of love, my own version of communalism.
Mostly it remains an ideology. I see traces of it here and there, like in this vineyard. It’s tenuous but it’s all I have to survive with.
With fear and trembling I put forward my vision in bits and pieces, always getting a kick in the gut blowback from the culture within and without.
I really don’t know where to go from here. I can’t go on like this but I can’t stop either. I’m hung up big time. I’m hanging on by a thread. That thread appears to be the idea of love. Without that lifeline I fear I will go under.
Naturally I project my own state of uncertainty onto the world.
Yesterday I was working with some one else’s tax forms, trying to help. At one point I became so angry at the absurdity that I could not go on. My chest felt like it was in a vice, the same tension I feel when I have an anxiety attack. I had to leave the situation to survive (that’s exaggerating).
I project that kind of thing out into the world; or does it introject its dynamism onto me? The anger and anxiety can get so intense that it leads to explosion or implosion if I can’t escape. Fortunately in the case of taxes I can escape.
But what if I’m caught in the cross-hairs of cultural currents, like in a perfect storm? My propensity by training is to say: what’s the use and give up. Become a zombie swept along by the current.
Or, just say the word. “Just say the word and your soul will be healed,” said the man of my youth. He said the word was “love” and then walked his talk. It might be mostly a story but it’s a story that makes sense to me. And it’s not a matter of sense either for me. It’s survival.
I look out into the world from this vineyard oasis and with the poet I feel: “We’re all boxed in–no where to escape.” But my mind tells me there is a way out through love.
Sounds true but the devil is in the details. Those details are the cat-of-nine-tails that scourged the back of one who dared enter the devil’s den and challenge him on his own ground. Not sure I have that kind of love.
Communalism is a dangerous two edged sword. It can cut or cure or both. The early Christians tried it and ended in the lion’s den. The communists tried it with the same results. What are the chances for the idealistic Kurds?
An idea’s home is primarily within an individual. It can spread to a community which comes in all sizes, shapes and styles, real or virtual. In the end it seems to be about an individual in community. What kind of community do I wish to join?
My ideal community is described at thelovegovernment.com. It’s a work in progress according to my own progression.
This vineyard community is a virtual one, not really an ideal one. It’s real in some respects but by reason of being virtual remains unreal.
I believe we once had a real community but lost it in the proverbial “fall of man.” It’s still real to me but in my mind. So I guess that’s half-real. Still that’s where I live more and more as I approach my own passing. “I live in another world where the earth is strung with lovers’ pearls.”
But that’s only half true. We restore things here on this earth as they were given to us by our lover ancestors or we will hang around here until we do. In that sense there is no place to escape to, in my system of love because love’s sister is Justice.
I hang around here because I sense there’s more reality here than I’ve found anywhere else, even though safely virtual and largely anonymous. We’re living in what seems to be a sort of communalism despite ourselves. At the moment it’s ostensibly analysis but there are signs of catalysis.
In literature vineyards were catalysts for love if not catapults. Solomon’s Vineyard Song of Songs for one emerging through the fog of war in the music here.
I feel better now for getting a few things off my chest. I’m still quite fearful of going into the devil’s details much less his den. But then “den” begins my name which in reverse is “sinned.”
” ….he believed that by employing my father’s ideas Kurds could achieve self-rule and true democracy even while remaining within the border of Turkey ”
Without sufficient national and economic sovereignty, it is only as a joke that this “communalism” could work.
There can be no self rule and true democracy for Kurds while remaining part of the turkish state. At best, they will achieve a status similar to the so called Kurdish puppet state of Northern Iraq which sells its oil to Erdogan.
The democratic (ancient) Hellenic states practised democracy but they were also politically and economically sovereign. When Athens lost to Sparta or Macedonia, it’s democratic system was abolished
Kurdish communalism seems to me just a form of libertarian socialism. Which is fine with me. I hope it spreads…