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(en) lasoli.cnt.cat: REFLECTIONS FROM KURDISTAN: THE REVOLUTION IS (MORE THAN) A WAY OF LIFE. by Arturo Martínez (ca) [machine translation]

Date Fri, 3 Nov 2017 16:00:58 +0200

"Live as you act, act as you speak, speak as you think" -- Member of Komalen Ciwan (Youth Movement) ---- The news and analysis that comes with us from Kurdish confederal and democratic experience are many and varied. We know the main features of his political project: liberation of women, radical democracy, communalism, youth, self-defense, ecology. We admire its guerrillas and the fight against fascism of ISIS. We applaud the democratic advances in Northern Syria and pay attention to the cooperative economic model that begins to cement. The achievement of including the different cultural and ethnic sensibilities within the same project of coexistence is taken as an example to be followed for the Middle East region. But, are we really aware of the political militancy behind all that? That political militancy that has made it possible for all that is now developing.


We can not think of the Kurdish movement under Western movements. They are not a social movement, they are a moving town. They do not conform to collectives, activist groups or campaigns, they make up a social system, an own institutionality. Academies, cooperatives, youth organizations and women or the communes do not form isolated realities, if not that regulate social life in the territories where the democratic movement has sufficient force.

There is an ideological monolithism. In the political organization of cadres, the project is one, which is collectively decided in the Congresses and Conferences. The discussions are held and given internally in the different organizations and bodies. But the discipline and acceptance of collective agreements are shown as one of the fundamental facts for the success of the project.

The ideological and strategic changes of the movement as a whole are a sign that there is a constant discussion, criticism and self-criticism. For a lot of importance and weight that Öcalan has in the movement, the opinions of a single person are not sufficient for the development of a whole political project. And less when that person has been years of prison isolation. The PKK is essentially the space where all experiences and practices are collected, discussed, analyzed, shaped and returned to society in the form of slogans and proposals.


A political picture is a militant person with intensive training and proven experience. The Kurdish political cadres are formed through the network of Academies and within the political organizations themselves. This training is based on the constant discussion among militants and in practice in all areas of a militant's life: social, military, economic, philosophical, ideological ...

Beyond the training, there is commitment. The picture is a person 100% committed to and with the movement. He is a person who does not possess material assets, has no property, does not develop a family or sex-affective relationships, does not receive a salary or have a paid job, he does not have a fixed residence. His life is dependent on the movement, his life is devoted to the revolutionary paradigm. This idea is based on the fact that revolution is a way of life, it is about prefiguring in the political cadres the ideal of being to which one aspires, a person released from the evils of capitalist modernity: private property, patriarchy or the individualism The communal life develops there where the pictures coexist.

In this way, the only material link of the political picture with reality is the materiality constituted by the movement. Nothing aches them to state-capitalism, his life is by and for movement and revolution. And there are thousands of political cadres on all fronts and territories. The respect won is a true hero and referent of the Kurdish people.

When they say that revolution is a way of life, they do not say it from the individualist reading that statement has from the West. They say it because only a body of people released from the evils of capitalist modernity can develop an ideology, a system and a social paradigm capable of breaking with the social structures of domination rooted in the depths of each individual.

If they have the capacity to have this body of political cadres, it is because they have a mass movement that supports them, supports them and reproduces the slogans of this nucleus of the new town.
This militant way exists since the origins of the PKK, where they conceive that there can be no revolution without revolutionaries fully dedicated to their task. Today the cadres are not exclusively the guerrillas of the Qandil mountains, but they are there where the popular movement needs them. Therefore they do not have a residence or a fixed task, it is the organization, and their collective decisions and needs, which guide the action of each painting. Today in Qandil, tomorrow at Qamislo and passed to Ahmed.


The political cadres develop, in the possible and according to the circumstances, a form of community life. The lack of material possessions leads them to develop these communal life practices. This is not something exclusive of the paintings, in the youth academies these practices are also carried out, as well as in women's organizations.

This way of life means sharing all aspects of everyday life, from feeding to rest. This allows you to generate essential ties of trust in a revolutionary movement and with military components. In addition, continuous coexistence is used to carry out a constant political formation through discussion.


Who is not a painting, but it supports or participates in the movement, it is named as a patriot. What unites all patriots is their active ties with the democratic movement of various forms. In general, patriots contribute the amount of one month's salary to the movement every year. The patriots are also the activists, who form the organizations, participate in the communes, go to the acts or support the cadres.

They are the bulk of the population that ultimately lives and reproduces the social system generated by the movement. The patriotic-cadre relationship is deeply admired. In general, the Kurdish people had been devoid of their identity and culture, and it has been the action of the cadres, constituting the movement that today has given back the pride of being to the bulk of the Kurdish people.


In order for us to get an idea of the importance of the political cadres, we can give a sample of its fat brush action.

Northern Syria, West Kurdistan, Rojava, is beleaguered by ISIS. Popular self-defense groups are not enough to fight. That's when guerrillas, political-military cadres, move from the mountains of Qandil (Iraq) to the territory of conflict. The sum of forces gains territory and expels the city from the city to ISIS invaders.

That's when, once the territory is liberated, the political action of the cadres is set in motion. The cadres are those that form Civil Councils that lay the foundations of the new Democratic Institution, the Communes and Confederalism. The cadres build the entire social structure and occupy positions of responsibility, thus orienting under the idea of democratic paradigm policies. When the system is mounted and there has been a time during which they have also been dedicated to training the local population, the cadres have already fulfilled their objective and are removed to another task where they are required.

Makhmur, Iraqi Kurdistan, Bashur. In 2014 ISIS begins to take an accelerated territory in northern Iraq. The town of Makhmur flees to the Qandil mountains before ISIS arrives. Qandil is the guerrilla headquarters, where the population goes for help and protection. The guerrillas organize the displaced, get housing and meet their needs. Meanwhile, another large group of guerrillas, remember: political-military cadres, go to Makhmur, already taken by ISIS, and in a matter of days they release it.

In Makhmur during the invasion of ISIS no civilian died. Once released, the population returned to Makhmur and 3 defensive lines were established. A form of community policeman (Asayish), a body of voluntary and rotating participation that carries out guards around Makhmur and the third line are guerrilla groups that watch over in the adjoining areas with the town.

In 2015, two ISIS militants tried to commit an attack, but popular self-defense groups killed the two terrorists, a Kurd fell martyr.


The Kurdish example is not reproducible mechanistically in our territory. But of course we must keep in mind that the general features that they have developed are, many of them, indispensable for any truly revolutionary project.

The construction of a paradigm, commitment, formation and discipline, understood as respect for collective agreements, are necessary points and common to any emancipatory movement.

The existence of a parent organization, the PKK, has enabled the formation of several generations of militant cadres who have been able to develop different rooted structures in the territories for the satisfaction of social needs. Even so, the PKK is far from being the central and centralizing party that was once. The strategic line of the party consists in being more and more a social political movement that a party to use. Hence the idea that the PKK is an ideology in itself, leaving the tasks of generating institutionality and political project to Koma Civakên Kurdistan (KCK - Union of Communities of Kurdistan), a transnational entity that brings together all that magma of organizations, cooperatives and institutions.

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