Anarchists vs. ISIS: The Revolution in Syria Nobody’s Talking About

Photos: Erin Trieb

The Middle East today is the last place anyone in mainstream western thought would think to look for progressive political thought, and even less to see those thoughts translated into action. Our image of the region is one of dictatorships, military juntas and theocracies built on the ruins of the former Ottoman Empire, or hollow states like Afghanistan, and increasingly Pakistan, where anything outside the capitol is like Mad Max. The idea of part of the region being not just free, but well on its way to utopian, isn’t one that you’re going to find on mainstream media.

But you’re not on the mainstream media right now, are you?

Along Syria’s borders with Turkey and Northern Iraq, lies a mainly Kurdish area with a population of 4.6 million where a huge social experiment is taking place at the centre of a crossfire between Syria’s dictatorship, ISIS’s collective insanity and Turkey’s ongoing hostility towards the idea of Kurdish autonomy, with the US and NATO looming large in the background. The Democratic Union Party (PYD) and Kurdish National Council (KNC) established in the region of Rojava a society that mixes fierce libertarianism (guns are everywhere and there are no taxes – none) and Occupy-friendly anarchist thought with a healthy dose of feminism. While most Kurdish groups, especially those the US is friendly with, would some day like to establish a Kurdish state, in Rojava they have leap-frogged over the idea of the nation state into a more advanced system that they call Democratic Confederalism.

YPJ2

In the cantons of Rojava, there is a small central government with an absolute minimum of 40% female delegates, but most of the day-to-day work of running society happens at a local level, street by street and village by village. Democratic Confederalism’s chief architect, Abdullah Ocalan, says that “Ecology and feminism are central pillars” of the system he has spearheaded, something that you would have to go very far to the margins to hear from Western politicians. This is similar to how trading forex works such as forex trading from Australia from Australian forex trading websites or forex online trading from usa work.. In Rojava, men who beat their wives face total ostracism from the community, making their lives in a highly social, connected society virtually impossible. Instead of a police force and jails, ‘peace committees’ in each municipality work to defuse the cycles of inter-family revenge killings by consensual agreements between both sides – and it works.

The only part of Rojava’s experiment that has received any international attention has been the YPJ, the female-only paramilitary forces that have been fighting, and winning, against ISIS and the Syrian Army. NBC, the Guardian and even Marie Claire have all covered the YPJ’s bravery without even paying lip service to the ideology that makes it possible.

It was the YPJ, along with their male counterparts the YPG, that rescued the thousands of Yazidis stranded and encircled by ISIS on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq. The Yazidi community had the misfortune to be based almost entirely inside the area that ISIS has claimed – and they have been a hated minority in the Islamic world for a thousand years, accused of ‘devil worship’. While the US dropped supplies from above, the Syrian fighting groups broke ISIS’s lines and saved tens of thousands of lives. They also successfully defended the city of Kobani when ISIS launched an all-out assault on the city of forty-five thousand with tanks, missiles and even drones. Despite heavy losses, the city remains ISIS-free, though its surrounding villages are still contested.

YPJ1

The YPJ/G and the the Democratic Society Movement that they fight for aren’t perfect: they have been accused of using child soldiers (girls as young as twelve serve as cooks and cleaners for the YPJ and undergo some basic combat training, though they aren’t deployed in combat) and they are forever tainted by their association with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), led by Abdullah Ocalan and classified as a terrorist organization by most nations. The formerly Marxist-Leninist party also has some murky connections to the drug trade and Turkish intelligence.

Despite all the obstacles facing them, the people of Rojava are, right now, the only large-scale movement on the entire planet implementing a real, working alternative to the state and capitalism. Like the Spanish anarchist federations and the Mexican Zapatistas before them, the people of Rojava have chosen to do the impossible: to create a new society while fighting as one of the smallest forces in a regional war, a tight-rope walk through a dodge-ball court. Only time will tell if they can pull it off.

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The Author

Gareth Watkins

Gareth Watkins

Born and raised in the UK, moved to Calgary, Alberta for the weather. Currently writing for this publication and others while working on a book.

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134 Comments on "Anarchists vs. ISIS: The Revolution in Syria Nobody’s Talking About"

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Jeremy
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Jeremy
1 month 1 day ago

To be more clear, Libertarianism is a compromise of Realism with American political idealism, we work within the societal limits! Compromise is bad when it comes to ideology, however this is necessary to sway opinion in a peaceful manner.

Jeremy
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Jeremy
1 month 1 day ago

This site is awesome! Found it after I googled “Kurdish Anarchism”, I am just becoming aware of the struggle for independence in the Middle East. BTW I don’t agree with you Steve, Libertarianism is not silly, it is transitional anarchism- however, when somebody calls me an Anarchist now I proudly agree and make their face red with anger/confusion.

Steve
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Steve
3 months 11 days ago

Anarchism: collective, useful, generous, practical, sensible and European.

Libertarianism: individual, theoretical, grasping, silly and American.

To understand anarchism, first you have to get past the absurd tenets of US-style “individual liberty” (a chocolate teapot concept much beloved of gun-freaks and climate change deniers).

Big up Kropotkin!

Guest
Guest
Guest
3 months 11 days ago

Afghanistan and pakistan are part of south asia btw to all the people who dont know(youll be surprised how many dont). So yeah next time just watch cuz youll sound like an ass calling them middle east

Rocketman
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Rocketman
5 months 12 days ago

Anyone who believes that Anarchy means “No private property” doesn’t know what the hell they are talking about. Anarchy DOESN’T MEAN NO RULES, IT MEANS NO RULERS! It seems that most of the posters on this article are left wing libertarian wanttabe’s who think that because they fall outside the mainstream that it automatically makes them a “libertarian” and nothing is further from the truth.

Jonathan
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Jonathan
6 months 2 days ago

But the BBC did an excellent story on these guys in november 2014. It’s on youtube.

Jonathan
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Jonathan
6 months 2 days ago

You should google a bit before you make pointless crowd-pleasing swipes at mainstream outlets. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKhjJfH0ra4

boom beach hack no survey ios
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9 months 16 days ago

Playing Boom Beach is a lot of fun but it can be a real hassle trying to build
up the amount of diamonds, wood and coins you need.

Dr. Tim Anderson
Guest
1 year 11 days ago

Get real. Kurdish militia in Syria may say one thing to please the US, but they only survive because they are backed up by the SAA.

Hofman
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Hofman
1 year 2 months ago
The Spanish Civil War was a war between Nationalists in defense, and the Papists attacking them. General Francesco Franco would wear a large papist cross around his red neck all of his life. The war started when newspapers started to spill the beans on adultery of priests, monks and nuns, and the babies murdered afterwards. In Syria about the same thing is happening, where Jesuits where expelled in 2012. Islam has been murdering perceived enemies of Rome for over a thousand years now, and will continue to do so. Putting these propaganda terms on people like anarchists, capitalists, while hiding… Read more »
Mark Chapman
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Mark Chapman
1 year 3 months ago

Just wait until ISIS gets their hands on these little hotties. They will be in dog collars and cages in no time.

gey
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gey
1 year 3 months ago

You should have mentioned that they are inspired by MURRAY BOOKCHIN. There are excellent videos of this passionate but torn man talking on youtube. He writes very well and critiques a lot of the anti-human bullshit that has permeated into metal music as well. Its silly. “KILL ALL LIFE”. Nice gimmick.

Rouén Elænné Sterling d'Arc
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THEY HAVE MY VOTE! PreBuddha Flower Glow, Rouen Sterling – the flowering tree of power glowing brightly. Relative to Jehanne d’Arc killed at Rouen. My name was not chosen by myself, nor was it known then of the relation. All coincidence. So please be well and please save our world from its present condition. They are absolutely correct and the only way we will ever get this whole world transformed into a utopia … you know .. where war isn’t a necessity but a defense … where atrocity is NOT appropriate … The vampirism of the USa has gotten out… Read more »
Missak
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Missak
1 year 7 months ago

the only large-scale movement?? Marxisme leninisme and marxisme leninisme maoisme only victory: Inde and Philippines principely. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emCsHhbgUI0 https://vimeo.com/8398072 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qCFul4bsF0 http://download.www.arte.tv/podcast/arte_reportage_f/videos/20101211-inde_fr.mp4

Aaron Boone
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Aaron Boone
1 year 6 months ago

No thanks.

Artur Sixto
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Artur Sixto
1 year 7 months ago
Well, don’t be surprised that mass media keep quiet about this. In Catalonia we have a bigger, self-determination process going on step by step, which rests on an unprecedented, distributed, mass, self-organized, democratic and peaceful civil society movement which is NOT attempting to eradicate the state or capitalism. The revolutionary thing we are doing is just taking democracy in our hands, i.e. implementing real, but also plain, democracy. This started in 2009 with an independance referendum organized by the people of Arenys de Munt. It spread to all of Catalonia. Barcelona was the last city to hold one. It was… Read more »
Spelunker4Plato
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Spelunker4Plato
1 year 7 months ago

Just be careful. If there’s another large war that steals media attention, they’ll go after you and attempt a repeat. I get the sense that WW2 was specifically to derail socialism and moving to a more logical and peaceful society.

Alexander Hagen
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1 year 7 months ago

“Forever tainted”. I would rework that paragraph.

ritacocorita
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ritacocorita
1 year 7 months ago

it is so badly written, that…what? obvious and….sort of mistaken and sort of….. it should mislead?

Mike Motto
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1 year 7 months ago

“also has some murky connections to the drug trade”

This does not move me. There is nothing morally wrong with providing drugs to consenting adults, and in an anarchist society this would be permitted.

Great article.

Jeff Armstrong
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Jeff Armstrong
1 year 7 months ago
I’d sure like to know the source for these assertions in an otherwise good article, especially the idiotic claim that Ocalan has ties to Turkish intelligence. He was the most wanted man by the Turkish military intelligence and was captured by the CIA and sentenced to death in Turkey without surrendering anything. The PKK, far from being a pawn of the US of Empire, is still a banned “terrorist” organization in the US and its supporters have been imprisoned and expelled from the country. Again, Obama would be subject to indefinite detention and possible drone strike if he were subject… Read more »
cbt13
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cbt13
1 year 7 months ago

“He was the most wanted man by the Turkish military intelligence and was captured by the CIA and sentenced to death in Turkey”

That is wrong. Really really wrong. As soon as he was captured, death punishment was removed from the law. If they killed him, or kill him anytime in future, it will quickly turn into all out war in Turkey’s streets. And that’s the exact reason they removed the law.

mikili
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mikili
1 year 7 months ago
you either have very little idea of what you are talking about, are misinformed or just romantic with no connection to reality or the wits to figure things out. OR you are just another agent provocateur engaged in perception management. there might be some romantic individuals among PKK and YPG/J who actually think as you have suggested but, strictly speaking, the organizations and the leaders are no more than mere puppets of USA. USA funds and controls everything. the leading motive is to establish another puppet state in middle east, one that is even more prone to control and manipulation… Read more »
BanzaiKen
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BanzaiKen
1 year 7 months ago
Can I have the drugs you are one? We have: -Screwed them utterly in Iraq by denying them equality in voting, in lawmaking, and active government -We have pretty much looked the other way every time Turkey threatens to leave NATO when they want to fire a mortar into their enclaves. -We let Saddam gas 5000 Kurds in Halabja at the end of the Gulf War. The only nation that protested was FRANCE. I’d say of all the regimes to back, I’d back that one. Good, bad, we have screwed them repeatedly and they are still extremely friendly and moderate.… Read more »
LeslieFish
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LeslieFish
1 year 7 months ago
It’s fascinating how small groups of people all over the world are turning on the very idea of big central govt. Apparently, desperate situations force people to think outside of the box. BTW, being Anarchist does *not* mean rejecting the very idea of private property. I’ve seen a surprising number of American Libertarians taking that step over the line to declare themselves Anarchists. I’m tickled that the leader of this particular bunch was inspired by Murray Bookchin. And I’m not surprised that the mainstream media are completely silent about this worldwide development; after all, they ignored the fact that the… Read more »
Aaron Boone
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Aaron Boone
1 year 7 months ago

‘BTW, being Anarchist does *not* mean rejecting the very idea of private property.’

It does. Control over industry and resources by a propertied class necessarily creates hierarchy, power disparity, domination. It’s the antithesis of anarchism.

‘I’ve seen a surprising number of American Libertarians taking that step over the line to declare themselves Anarchists.’

In the same sense that me having a beard and being keen on kebabs makes me middle-eastern. They have no historical or philosophical connection to anarchism beyond a couple of market socialists and individualists that they erroneously claim as theirs.

Nick Girard
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Nick Girard
1 year 7 months ago

It helps that this is a community who’s borders may be reached by any member of it. I hope that this works. No taxes in a desert sounds like a risky situation, but I’m glad to hear they’re making something of themselves. Best of luck, I hope ISIS stays far away.

Adahn5
Guest
1 year 7 months ago
Private property is theft. You’re not an anarchist if you believe ascribe to that notion, I suggest you read The Conquest of Bread by Kropotkin to disassociate yourself of that silly notion. There’s a distinct difference between personal property, and private property. Personal property, the things you use in your daily life (your house, your clothes, your car), are yours and no one else has any right to them without your consent. What Anarchists/Socialists/Communists in general have a problem with is absentee ownership. When someone claims ownership over means of production, land, or resources that they themselves do not directly… Read more »
Jack Johnson
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Jack Johnson
1 year 6 days ago
Proudhon was referring to real property (not personal property), otherwise you’re correct. In general, even left anarchists recognize some form of personal property rights. You have exclusive use of your home while you’re living in it … but not ownership in the way it’s commonly viewed (i.e. you don’t have a title decreeing ownership or the right to transfer your property via sale, since many forms of anarchism either disavow completely or severely restrict the use of currency). If you choose to relocate to another residence, someone else in the community who needs a living space would inhabit the home… Read more »
bob dobbs
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bob dobbs
1 year 7 months ago

Anarchism is directly opposed to private property in every way. The ideas do not correlate at all. Unless you are one of those anarcho capitalist dip shits.

Adahn5
Guest
1 year 7 months ago

… Did you read what I said? Where did I say that they were compatible? Anarcho-Capitalism is an oxymoron.

Nick Girard
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Nick Girard
1 year 7 months ago

Explain to me the difference between personal property and private property and why organizations shouldn’t be allowed to privatize certain areas and resources within a place of business. Specifically the example of an office where specialist work is done and intellectual property cannot be compromised else it will lead to the failure of the initial investment in the business.

Adahn5
Guest
1 year 7 months ago
Private property is any property that is used to generate wealth. It’s real estate, it’s land, apartment buildings, factories, etc. This is different from personal property, such as your car, your clothes, your house. Things you do not use to generate wealth. The first is to be abolished, the second is to be reinforced. To quote libcom: One will no longer be able to “use and abuse” something, whatever it is, just because one owns it. […] The question regarding whether, for sentimental or any other kinds of reasons, human beings or some human beings have a need for a… Read more »
Joan of Arc
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Joan of Arc
1 year 7 months ago

As wonderful as this all sounds, I hate to break it to yah all…. that it’s been written like a fictional movie script… Aaaaaah look at the website’s pages…. Music, Art, Film, Culture…

Spelunker4Plato
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Spelunker4Plato
1 year 7 months ago

i get that sense too. especially since they’re dropping the word “feminism” but not going in to any detail about it.

it could just be that they are egalitarian and the writer is just slapping that label on it.

amy m.
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amy m.
1 year 7 months ago

the zapatistas are still around, you know.

dlippman
Guest
1 year 7 months ago

What’s provoking these folks to prioritize ecology and feminism? That can’t be out of nowhere. Need to know motive to understand how to copy it! Or at least learn from it.

cosmicengine
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cosmicengine
1 year 7 months ago
They incorporate a very large amount of neo-Maoist theory. Direct your research into the ideology of “Apoism” (developed by Abdullah Öcalan) for more information. One of the main reasons for the incorporation of – or at least experimentation with – post-nationalist ideologies is the trans- / pre-national situation which the Kurds have faced for pretty much their entire existence. To quote Öcalan: “It has become clear that our theory, programme and praxis of the 1970s produced nothing but futile separatism and violence and, even worse, that the nationalism we should have opposed infested all of us.” While extremely progressive –… Read more »
Jack Johnson
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Jack Johnson
1 year 6 days ago
Very nicely written. I would tend to agree with your synopsis. I think if the Kurds were to form a Kurdish state in what is today northern Syria and Iraq (which is becoming a real possibility) they would face pressure from more mainstream Kurdish groups (who advocate something more analogous to western representative democracy and modern capitalism). Even if they’re granted autonomy within the regions they reside (and I think it’s likely they would be granted autonomy, considering the history) they will have a hard time defending the merits of their system when their people travel to neighboring Kurdish regions… Read more »
EMi Va
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EMi Va
1 year 7 months ago

probablly just by observing nature, filogenesis and listening to the most inner core of living being conciousness??

Jon
Guest
Jon
1 year 7 months ago

Ocalan, the nominal leader of the movement, directed the Rojava Kurds to read various works by Murray Bookchin — an American anarchist thinker who focused on the importance of ecology and feminism. Here’s an article by BBC’s Adam Curtis that goes into the story in more detail.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/entries/5a7b18b5-0ec3-3d3e-a307-54820a7c6a59

retakingdullest
Guest
retakingdullest
1 year 7 months ago

Bookchin FTW!

gragor11a
Guest
gragor11a
1 year 7 months ago

Glad to hear somebody has an enlightened form of government.

As for “the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), led by Abdullah Ocalan … has some murky connections to the drug trade and Turkish intelligence. …” For a minute there I thought you were talking about the CIA and the DEA and their ties to the cocaine fields of South and Central America or perhaps NATO’s association with the opium trade out of Afghanistan.

Nobody is tainted by anything western politicians might think up because they are all lying bastards.

Peter Grønborg
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Peter Grønborg
1 year 7 months ago

What can I do to help?

FritzHead
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FritzHead
1 year 7 months ago

No taxes?
Must be nice.

jtaylor991
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jtaylor991
1 year 7 months ago

you say “working alternative to…capitalism” and “anarchists” in the same article. Huh?

Paul Lord Bootle Newton
Guest
Paul Lord Bootle Newton
1 year 7 months ago

Yes; so what’s wrong with that? or do you not understand the true meaning of @narchism?

Jon
Guest
Jon
1 year 7 months ago

You do realize that anarchism has always been an anti-capitalist movement, right? Anarchism is about dismantling hierarchies, not just opposing that state. It’s libertarian socialism (as opposed to state-based, authoritarian socialism).

Or have you never heard of Revolutionary Catalonia, the Ukraine’s Free Territory, or any actual anarchist revolutions?

Adahn5
Guest
1 year 7 months ago

He probably hasn’t. Anarchism is even more obscure than Marxist-Leninism.

Jon
Guest
Jon
1 year 7 months ago
I wouldn’t necessarily describe either anarchism or marxism as obscure. Both have have major historical impacts, which are deliberately blurred in mainstream history. We wouldn’t have an 8 hour day, the right to form unions, or any other worker protections without anarchism and marxism. But school textbooks and popular mythology would rather present these things as if they were magnanimous gifts from on high, rather than the products of sustained class struggle. In terms of the present day, there are large scale anarchist and socialist experiments underway right now, completely ignored (or, if that is no longer possible in some… Read more »
Adahn5
Guest
1 year 7 months ago
You misunderstood my point. I didn’t mean to say that Anarchism is itself obscure, I’m talking about the fact that in comparison to movements such as Feminism, it’s obscure. No one is arguing that it didn’t have major historical significance. Of course the Status Quo would rather push all forms of Socialism aside into obscurity precisely to prevent people from having easy access to those systems, ideologies, theories and analyses. So your disagreement with me is purely semantic apparently. What word do you want to use, then? It’s the exact same word LibertarianSocialistRants used in one of his videos when… Read more »
Jon
Guest
Jon
1 year 7 months ago

Yea, basically my disagreement was semantic. I agree with everything you’re saying, I just think that the word “obscure” would be better as “marginalized,” or something along those lines. I was definitely not trying to say that you’re wrong, and your response shows that you clearly are well informed on the subject.

No need to get defensive, although it is always hard to register tone through text.

Adahn5
Guest
1 year 7 months ago

It is yes, no defensiveness was necessary or indeed intended xD We agree, and yes I think ‘marginalised’ or perhaps ‘obscur-ed’ would be better ways of putting it.

SCDCC
Guest
SCDCC
1 year 7 months ago

Hi Jon
Could you link up or give some search terms for the large scale experiments you mentioned would be interested to check them out .

cheers
SDCC

Jon
Guest
Jon
1 year 7 months ago
Sure! If you’re interested in historical anarchism, I’d suggest looking into Revolutionary Catalonia, the Ukraine’s Free Territory, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) actions in early 20th century USA, the antifa resistance to the fascists in Europe, and the huge role anarchists played in the Mexican Revolution. In terms of contemporary experiments, there’s obviously Rojava (the subject of this article) , there’s also the EZLN territory in Chiapas, Mexico, and large sections of Greece (notably Exarchia, although I’m not sure I’m spelling that properly), Marinaleda, Spain (sort of a hybrid between classic socialism and anarchism), the Mondragon co-op system,… Read more »
Nikkie
Guest
Nikkie
1 year 7 months ago
It is Exarchia, you spelled it right, although it’s more of a neighborhood in the center of Athens rather than a large section. There are squats and self-organised groups all over Greece but they’re either too sporadic or too ‘unofficial’ (e.g the island of Ikaria, to where communists were exiled after the Greek civil war of the 40s and to this day the population remains leftist. I think it matches the description in your quote “There are also a lot of indigenous movements that could be described as conforming to anarchist principles without explicitly self-identifying as anarchist”. People in Ikaria… Read more »
Jon
Guest
Jon
1 year 7 months ago

Thanks so much for that clarification! That’s really interesting. I had been under the impression, based around the little bit of research I had done, that Exarchia was quite explicitly anarchist (I saw a good documentary called Let’s Not Be Slaves that looks at it in more detail), so it’s very interesting to know that it isn’t so clearly defined. Is there any English or French language literature / videos that you could refer me to? I’d really love to learn more.

Nikkie
Guest
Nikkie
1 year 6 months ago

It is explicitly anarchist, I just said it is not a large section. Have you watched the documentary Agora? I haven’t but they say it s good. No other recommendations I’m afraid, only an offer to give you a tour if you visit (I live pretty close 🙂 )

Jon
Guest
Jon
1 year 6 months ago

Ahhh alright. Yea I guess “large” was not the right word to use, although it’s larger and more concrete than a lot of other anarchist experiments. So it’s comparatively large, although not necessarily actually large in size.

I’ll check out that documentary! As far as the tour, I’ll have to pass (I’m in Canada, which is not exactly close by haha). Thanks for the offer and the info though!

All the best,

Jon

SCDCC
Guest
SCDCC
1 year 7 months ago

Think some other really interesting stuff is our human history and evolution , observation of people that still live in these ways provides an interesting view on how truly egalitarian societys function.
http://radicalanthropologygroup.org/av/video/womans-biggest-husband-moon-how-hunter-gatherers-maintain-social-equality

cheers
SDCC

Jon
Guest
Jon
1 year 7 months ago

Thanks! I appreciate the radical anthro link. I’ve always been a fan of David Graeber’s writings on the same subject, and appreciate having more literature to go over.

Jon

SCDCC
Guest
SCDCC
1 year 7 months ago

Thats great , thanks alot !

SCDCC
Guest
SCDCC
1 year 7 months ago

Hi jon

, you got some links or search terms for the large scale experiments you where reffering to , interested to check them out .
Cheers
SDCC

Scott E. Greenwald
Guest
Scott E. Greenwald
1 year 7 months ago

In their case, i don’t see the child labor as a sin. i don’t believe they do it for greedy profit, but rather to help ensure the survival of their society.

duh510
Guest
duh510
1 year 7 months ago

SRSLY! For REAL?!
Better than any movie by far…
as major as what’s going down historically, currently in Greece, the Ukraine, etc., of course.
Or Iceland’s land of quiet solutions…with its shades of real life Paradise Island (WonderWoman) vs. HELL.
AND YES, LIKE THE PEOPLE & WOMEN OF NIGERIA WHO TOOK ON CHEVRON early this century:
practically ignored by major media…
THANK YOU ERIN TRIEB, GARETH WATKINS & CVLT NATION!

Anon
Guest
Anon
1 year 7 months ago

Super neat! Not sure about the libertarian designation though, this implies that they are fierce advocates of an unregulated ‘free market’, which is implicitly tied to a culture of capitalism. Perhaps they are just anarchists, recognizing an ability to self-determine and self-define.

Adahn5
Guest
1 year 7 months ago

No.. no… no… Libertarianism is a general sense of skepticism toward social hierarchy, it’s not a laissez-faire capitalism that supports private property, contrary to what the inane ramblings of Americans like Rothbart who coopted the word in order to defend corporate power and the exploitation of the working class. Anarchism, in fact is libertarian socialism. All Anarchists are Communists, and that means a classless, stateless, moneyless system where private property is abolished and the means of production (the industries, farms, apartment buildings, machinery, patents, office space, etc) are collectively controlled by the people.

Anon
Guest
Anon
1 year 6 months ago
In theory I agree with you, but in practice this is (unfortunately) far from the truth. Libertarianism, at its root, is no doubt about radical autonomous free decision making and self-empowerment, but it has so effectively been co-opted by hardcore laissez-fair capitalists that it is arguably unrecognizable from its initial form. This would be akin to claiming that democracy refers to a radical participatory form of collective governance (which is the root of democracy, but has now been transformed into a isolated competition for elites). Moreover, not all anarchists are communists, as there are many many forms of anarchism today.… Read more »
bob dobbs
Guest
bob dobbs
1 year 7 months ago

right again, the free market libertarianism idea is a modern definition and has nothing to do with the classical real definition.

Michael Jon Barker
Guest
Michael Jon Barker
1 year 7 months ago

Anarchist just means no gods no masters. Rothbardians don’t support I.P. or patent law which is the back bone of corporatism. Corporate hierarchies are state supported and protected which wouldn’t exist in an ancap society where their is no state.

Adahn5
Guest
1 year 7 months ago
That’s a deliberately reductionist definition of Anarchism meant to fit in your “Anarcho”-Capitalist philosophy. Anarchism is a social movement that seeks liberation from oppressive systems of control including but not limited to the state, capitalism, racism, sexism, speciesism, and religion. Anarchists advocate a self-managed, classless, stateless society without borders, bosses, or rulers where everyone takes collective responsibility for the health and prosperity of themselves and the environment. Simply put, your Capitalism is incompatible with Anarchism because it gives rise to social hierarchies, and cannot exist without the State, which is precisely what Anarchism seeks to dismantle. You cannot enforce Capitalism’s… Read more »
Adahn5
Guest
1 year 7 months ago

Your definition is reductionist in order to allow for your oxymoronic ‘An’-capitalism. Anarchism is a social movement that seeks liberation from oppressive systems of control including but not limited to the state, capitalism, racism, sexism, speciesism, and religion. Anarchists advocate a self-managed, classless, stateless society without borders, bosses, or rulers where everyone takes collective responsibility for the health and prosperity of themselves and the environment. Capitalism necessitates the establishment of State power and the monopoly on violence, it’s incompatible with Anarchism.

Mike_Hunt
Guest
Mike_Hunt
1 year 7 months ago

Capitalism exists in all societies and one could argue this is one of the MOST capitalist societies as there is no state to inhibit it.

TD
Guest
TD
1 year 7 months ago

If you think that capitalism can exist in the absence of a state, then you have absolutely no idea what capitalism is.

Mike_Hunt
Guest
Mike_Hunt
1 year 7 months ago

Define:capitalism…

“an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.”

Sounds like the less state the better.

Aaron Boone
Guest
Aaron Boone
1 year 7 months ago
bob dobbs
Guest
bob dobbs
1 year 7 months ago

dip shit anarcho capitalist mentality that has completely warped the philosophy

Mike_Hunt
Guest
Mike_Hunt
1 year 7 months ago

Yet you’re so far unable to tell me why.

Nicole Maron
Guest
Nicole Maron
1 year 7 months ago

You could, as a thought exercise, but in all practical sense you’d be very, very wrong.

Mike_Hunt
Guest
Mike_Hunt
1 year 7 months ago

Why?

Adahn5
Guest
1 year 7 months ago
Because the two pillars of capitalism are money and property, which are both products of the law, law can only be enforced by the State and its monopoly on violence. Think of it this way… an apartment building complex has 50 tenants, these people are exploited by the landlord, a single person. These people are forced to pay rent because if they don’t, the landlord calls the State (the Cops in this case) in order to enforce his property rights. Eliminate the state and the Capitalist dies, the renters refuse to pay and he’s powerless to do anything about it.… Read more »
Mike_Hunt
Guest
Mike_Hunt
1 year 7 months ago

Capitalism exists in all societies, regardless of the existences of a state or not.

Why can’t a private police force be used?

Adahn5
Guest
1 year 7 months ago
I’ll explain. If you were to have say a big store and were to abolish the State apparatus, what would stop people from saying: ‘I don’t want to pay you, I have a right to eat.’ And then take a twinkie from the shelf without paying? Currently what’s stopping that person is the State. Same thing with a landlord whose tenants refuse to pay rent. Or workers from tossing their boss out into the street and taking over the factory. You call upon the State to enforce the minority rule of the Capitalist class over the Working class majority. If… Read more »
Mike_Hunt
Guest
Mike_Hunt
1 year 7 months ago

Lord of my own property.

bob dobbs
Guest
bob dobbs
1 year 7 months ago
you are completely not seeing a HUGE gap in your argument, mainly the nature of capitalism.You are only seeing its basic definition and not how it really functions. The nature of capitalism does require a state that allows production of cheap goods for their product to be competitive and feed a capitalist bottom line, money. This means cheap labor victimizing the workers who really make the shit. A fat cat would not have the means of production without the state supporting their wealth. Capitalism allowed their families to build wealth to own all that they do. Why would anyone work… Read more »
Mike_Hunt
Guest
Mike_Hunt
1 year 7 months ago

I think what you’re suggesting is fascism/corporatism, a collaboration between the private and public sector, an inhibited form of capitalism, not the free market model.

Jon
Guest
Jon
1 year 7 months ago
That is only true if you define capitalism using the exclusive lens of trade / the consumer market. In fact, capitalism involves three key intertwining factors: private ownership of the means of production, the consumer market, and the use of wage labor. Without all three of those elements, it is not capitalism. What the Rojavan Kurds are doing is not capitalism, as the means of production are socially owned. It is closer to Mutualism, a school of anarchist thought developed by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. The Rojavan Kurds are directly influenced by Murray Bookchin, an American anti-capitalist / anarchist. Capitalism absolutely does… Read more »
Things We Like
Guest
1 year 7 months ago

Cool.

Ed
Guest
Ed
1 year 7 months ago

Don’t tell any members of the U.S. government. They’ll rush right in to “make it better”. Especially if there is oil in that region.

cbt13
Guest
cbt13
1 year 7 months ago

There is oil in that region and US is already making it better there…

jcts57
Guest
jcts57
1 year 7 months ago

I have thought for some time that the Kurdish struggle is among the most inspiring and just, and that it is a crime they aren’t better represented in our media and more talked about in our culture. It also occurred to me some years ago (though, certainly not an original realization) that one can tell an awful lot about the motives, indoctrination, and sincerity of advocates for Palestine by their answer to the question of an independent Kurdistan.
Defenders of nation states become mighty testy when one suggests abolishing boundaries drawn, without regard for actual People, by Great (especially European) Powers.

George Donnelly
Guest
1 year 7 months ago

Real nice but the young lady’s vest and rifles appear brand new and unused, as if she was dolled up and posed.

John Lemon
Guest
John Lemon
1 year 7 months ago

This was an interesting article but the person who wrote it really ruined it with the western propaganda, I’d like to see an honest unbiased person write an article about this. 🙂

xmodox
Guest
xmodox
1 year 7 months ago

i just made a translation to spanish of this article and posted it here http://xmodox.tumblr.com/post/110305762911/anarquistas-vs-isis-la-revolucion-en-siria-de-la

Kyle Neeson
Guest
1 year 7 months ago

This is great.

Erik Mason Von Browne
Guest
Erik Mason Von Browne
1 year 7 months ago

Holy crap! Bitcoin ASAP! 😀

Gascon Indigné Alani-Gabriel
Guest

“Despite all the obstacles facing them, the people of Rojava are, right now, the only large-scale movement on the entire planet implementing a real, working alternative to the state and capitalism.”

What the ???? is this journalism? Or sensationalism? I highly doubt there are no other movement out there living off grid and trying to be independant of the banking system..

This article treat of the war as if it was a hockey game being disputed…

Thomas Diamon
Guest
1 year 7 months ago

Very interesting

Jenner Carnelian
Guest
Jenner Carnelian
1 year 7 months ago

Maybe I need to move there…

BartiDdu
Guest
BartiDdu
1 year 7 months ago
I was surprised to read that the author is British. Usually the idea that there could be a connection between ‘fierce libertarianism’ and the fact that ‘guns are everywhere’ is very much a U.S. train of thought. Also, the last paragraph is misleading, as the Zapatistas in Chiapas are still creating a ‘real, working alternative to the state and capitalism’ on a daily basis, and have their own schools and hospitals that are run by their communities, having no link to the Mexian government. There are also similar autonomous communities that have been running their own affairs in Guerrero state,… Read more »
Neil Bailey
Guest
Neil Bailey
1 year 7 months ago

fuck yes

Neil Bailey
Guest
1 year 7 months ago

YES CVLT NATION!

Smasher
Guest
Smasher
1 year 7 months ago

Would love to have some more information than “peace committees” and “but most of the day-to-day work of running society happens at a local level, street by street and village by village”

Who builds the infrastructure? Who ‘owns’ whatever it is they are producing? What about schooling, etc.

Jon
Guest
Jon
1 year 7 months ago

Check out David Graeber’s articles about what’s going on in Kurdistan. He went and visited Rojava (specifically, I believe it was Kobane) and wrote about what he saw. Adam Curtis has a good article or two about it as well.

François Villeneuve
Guest
François Villeneuve
1 year 7 months ago

Before castigating Ocallan as all bad, it should be said that he’s the one that introduced propagated the idea of democratic confederalism to the Kurdish nationalist movement, after reading Murray Bookchin in prison and deciding to move away from centralized Leninism…

Ian Robertson
Guest
1 year 7 months ago

Story of the day / week / year – thanks for posting!

Verdigris113
Guest
1 year 7 months ago
This would be a more informative article if its integrity wasn’t soiled by ideological influence. For starters the title of the article says, “Anarchists” against ISIS, but then goes on to discuss “Democratic Confederalism” which obviously has nothing to do with anarchism. It’s like the author needed to put the ole’ A word in just to get peoples attention. It is also hilarious how in the same paragraph, the author explains that this is a social EXPERIMENT, but then goes on to claim the system of government being experimented with is, “a more advanced system”, It’s like yeah why bother… Read more »
Jason Owen Black
Guest
Jason Owen Black
1 year 7 months ago

Any sources you can share? I’d like to read more about this. Thanks.

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