PKK political evolution

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ocelot's picture
ocelot
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Oct 21 2014 16:46

Playing catch-up on this particular thread, so apologies for jumping back to an earlier post.

Red Marriott wrote:
Funny – I was wondering about this possibility today, that Ocolan’s anti-statist turn could be very convenient for someone who has decided their enemy can’t be militarily defeated. But is there any hard evidence for its being opportunism – apart from that, for cynics, it seems to fit?

There's also many counter-examples of political leaderships of armed struggle groups realising the situation is militarily hopeless and opting for a "peace process" within the current state borders, without feeling a need to reinvent themselves as "anti-statists".

In Ireland, Adams and Mcguinness were able to stand down the IRA and make the transition to being the local representatives of nationalist bourgeois politics without having to re-invent themselves as libertarians or anarcho-crusties (although Adams does a rather humorous Twitter line in tree-hugging hippiedom).

Admittedly Irish republicanism was never the most ideological of movements in the first place, but there are myriad other examples around the world of M-L and other armed struggle groups throwing in the towel without feeling any need to associate themselves with obscure US anarchists. And lets face it, there's not much patronage to be had from cosying up to an anarchist movement that is extremely marginal at best, and practically non-existent in the Middle East. The explanation for the specific selection of political elements that Ocalan picked needs to be sought elsewhere.

Spikymike
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Oct 22 2014 09:43

Ocelot where should we look for the explanation by Ocalan for his selection of a turn to an anarchist democratic federalism other than the isolation and disorientation of a Turkish prison cell and the realisation that an independent Kurdish state without compromise with the existing global and regional powers was an impossibility?
Reading some of the more than sympathetic texts on the 'compass' site it still seems to me that whilst Ocalan's change of direction is genuine enough that it doesn't necessarily involve in the practice of the PKK any significant shift from Ocalan's earlier emphasis on the objective of a democratic Turkish republic with a longer term goal of some cross border Kurdish alliance?
Beyond that we should anyway contest the strategy laid out by the modern day libertarian communalists of a counter power based on a reconstructed citizenry and a gradual territorial expansion of liberated space rather than an international working class struggle against global capitalism (whatever the potential insights and strengths to be gained from the ''buried memory of organic society'' recognised by both anarchists and marxist communists).

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ocelot
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Oct 22 2014 15:05
Spikymike wrote:
Ocelot where should we look for the explanation by Ocalan for his selection of a turn to an anarchist democratic federalism other than the isolation and disorientation of a Turkish prison cell and the realisation that an independent Kurdish state without compromise with the existing global and regional powers was an impossibility?

You misunderstand me. By specific selection, I mean the entire assemblage, including not just the "democratic autonomy" bits, but also the feminist and ecological aspects that mikhail dismisses as "bla bla...". (I can understand why someone with such blinkered economistic politics would dismiss these elements as irrelevant window dressing, but I would have expected something better from yourself.)

My point is that, to take the feminist aspect, this involves the council movement activists in a fair amount of work (in a number of the council areas, this is reported as the bulk of the social movement work, in the Tatort report) in dealing with issues around forced marriage, domestic violence, honour killings, family feuds, etc. This activity is not only dirty and dangerous, it comes with a potentially high cost to the organisation in terms of risk of alienating socially conservative families, earning emnity from powerful clans, etc, etc. If a political decision has been made to engage in such high cost activities, it must be because there is a potential benefit to be gained - and I don't think a bunch of Facebook "likes" or re-Tweets from Western anarchos or feminists really cuts the mustard.

To really answer these questions would require access to proper sociological data which for various reasons (not least the hostility of the Turkish state) are just not available to us, afaics.

However we can see that Daesh, which has also had some success in enlisting Kurdish recruits, are also, in their own, radically different way, addressing the management of civil society in a far more interventionist way than the default bourgeois approach of defending private property, freeing market forces and letting civil society look after itself if best it can. The ability of both Daesh and the KCK to recruit willing volunteers from within the Kurdish community suggests that they are a symptom that the default laissez faire approach to social reproduction is not working. i.e. that both are responses to social breakdown within Kurdish society. Similarly to how Swiss confederalism and Bavarian national socialism were different responses to social and political fracturing in their time.

That's my speculation from very limited information. But I certainly don't think the selection of the different pillars of "democratic confederalism" are either random or done for the purposes of gaining hippie-cred.

klas batalo's picture
klas batalo
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Oct 25 2014 20:31

for k yes the talk was by zaher

here is the audio you may have found it and posted it elsewhere

http://www.mixcloud.com/workerssolidarity/anarchist-eyewitness-to-self-m...

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Mr. Jolly
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Oct 26 2014 09:59

Interesting vid,

The resistance has successfully implemented new models of grassroots democracy, gender equality, and sustainable ecology, its members practicing a political project they refer to as Democratic Confederalism. Women and men stand side-by-side in its armed forces in the face of both ISIS and the Bashar al-Assad regime. Despite the resistance’s efforts, Rojava is currently threatened by a massacre, and the international community continues to stand by silently as tragedy unfolds.

http://vimeo.com/109625788

Spikymike
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Nov 23 2014 11:14

This text is probably relevant to this extended discussion though it looks more at the fundamental relationship between modern global capitalism and developments in the Middle East:
http://libcom.org/news/kurdish-question-isis-usa-etc-17112014