The first time as tragedy, the second as farce – that’s what Karl Marx had to say about the woof and warp of history as it repeats sheer folly in different forms. And that certainly describes the attraction of many American leftists to the cause of Kurdish nationalism: it’s the latest lefty fad. A recent article in the Village Voice – where else? – depicts the journey of two “anarcho-communists” as they travel to “Rojava,” the northernmost Syrian enclave where a curious blend of Murray Bookchin-style anarchism and the neo-Marxist blatherings of Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the terrorist Kurdish Workers Party, holds sway.
What is democracy, precisely? Will it ever deliver on what it promises? How significant is the difference between state democracy and direct democracy? Is anarchism a kind of direct democracy, or something else entirely? And how do democratic discourse and procedures serve the social movements that adopt them?
By Zaher Baher
Many articles from different people about Rojava have expressed different views. The vast majority of them have covered the positive and bright sides of this experiment. I too have written many articles, in both Kurdish and English. In addition, I have given many interviews to Kurdish and non-Kurdish media. I have attended and addressed several meetings, both in the UK and abroad. I travelled once to Rojava and twice to Bakur (the Kurdistan part of Turkey).
From The Brilliant
In this episode, we try to recover from our losses: Bellamy happened to be generally dispirited about life at the time of recording (and it shows!), while Aragorn! broods over having lost two episodes of The Brilliant through some unknown and unknowable techno-incompetence. Perhaps fittingly, we spend some of the episode talking about an event and a project which excite us and the last third of the episode responding to our most consistent and harsh criticism.
From Dissent Magazine - by Marina Sitrin
From Dissent Magazine - by Sheri Berman
This article is part of Dissent’s special issue of “Arguments on the Left.” To read its counterpart, by Marina Sitrin, href="https://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/anarchist-spirit-horizontalism">click here.
Dear God no! Not another episode of The Haters!
This week (or whatever) we're going to talk about the dumbest eye candy movies we've seen for a long time: Crimson Peak. Venture capitalists beware, morbid incestuous twins want to sell you bloody clay and kill your babies!
From MTL Counter-info
This was originally written as a reflection after visiting friends while they were imprisoned in Mexico City. They have now been released, but the discussions we had concerning dignity and responses to repression are still relevant. I hope that this can contribute to ongoing discussions within Montreal and elsewhere about how and when anarchists interact with repression, and maintenance of dignity.
From Rojava Plan
Anarchism, once a powerful movement is now in sharp decline. Although the ideals are prospering in new sister movements, the symbols and language of anarchism are declining. Rojava is a good lesson for anarchists.