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(en) Bulgaria, anarchy.bg: APPEAL: Let's not abandon direct democracy in Rojava![machine translation]

Date Sat, 23 Jan 2021 10:24:25 +0200

Territory in northern Syria, as big as Belgium, Rojava is the site of an exceptional democratic experiment, recalls the author of this article. But, threatened by Turkey, this experiment, which mixes social and environmental revolutions, could perish if international political bodies continue to look away. ---- We have our own worries: the coronavirus, its vaccine, growing social plans, growing debt, abuses of civil liberties, the failures of representative democracy... But does this justify forgetting about the small republic of Rozava?
There, somewhere in Mesopotamia, an experiment is being conducted that we must support and protect. Because we are indebted to those who territorially defeated Islamic State at the cost of over 11,000 dead and 24,000 wounded by a total of 70,000 fighters. Not only is this military epic of the Kurds and their Arab allies rosary, it is also an unprecedented and compelling democratic experience. Unprecedented, as Rojava's constitution, called the Social Contract of the Democratic Confederation of Northern Syria, links direct democracy and parliamentary democracy. An incredible combination of autonomous municipalities, legislative assemblies and executive councils of cantons and regions, all federated by the Democratic Autonomous Administration.
She does not want to be a government. On the contrary, it intends to give the greatest powers to citizens. Behind this intention is the goal: to go without the nation-state, creating a society with as little power as possible for the time necessary to transfer all public service missions and all sovereign functions to local self-governing institutions. This leads to democratic confederalism, advocated by Kurdish leader Abdullah Yocalan, who has nothing to envy Proudhon's stateless federalism.
It is fascinating because Rojava thrives in the heart of the Middle East amid dictatorships, chaotic democracies, nation-states with hegemonic goals, among societies with patriarchal customs and conservative religious practices. This democracy protects the human rights and fundamental freedoms that any other democratic state, under the same geopolitical conditions, would curtail in the name of a state of emergency, emergency or siege.
It unites Kurdish, Arabic, Assyrian, Chaldean, Turkmen, Armenian, Chechen, Circassian and others. peoples of different religions - Muslim, Christian and Yazidi, in a federation, with equal rights and obligations. It promotes and protects the cultural mosaic; all mother tongues have the right to citizenship, from kindergarten to university. The Confederation establishes absolute parity and co-presidency of men and women in all public and civil bodies. There, women have their full place, providing them with the highest administrative, political, military and civic responsibilities. Where the law of the strongest reigned, the principle of equality and fairness of consensus now prevails.

To replace capitalism with self-government through cooperatives

Just as the state must be reduced to several functionalities, so we are working to gradually replace capitalism with the self-government of productive agricultural and industrial activities. Cooperatives do this by protecting the environment. Not ordinary ecology, but social ecology, as the American thinker Murray Buchchin theorized: to replace destructive capitalism with a natural society free from domination in all its forms, where technology is at the service of man and the decentralization of production tends to local self-sufficiency.
Undoubtedly, not everything works perfectly in northern Syria. If progress in the area of rights and freedoms is undeniable and remarkable, it remains modest in the economic field as a social and environmental alternative, and at the political level, constitutional institutions are struggling to function. As for the army - the Syrian Democratic Forces - it tends to take the place of civilian power, which, as the Zapatistas said, does not bode well. "All the power of the Communes!"Remains an ambition, constantly recalled, but difficult to achieve. How could it be otherwise in the conditions of Erdogan's Ottoman imperialist war, the pressure of the obscurantists from jihad, the threats from Assad to reconquer the territory and the betrayals of the Russian and Western "allies"?
Today the situation is very serious. Turkey and its Islamic mercenaries are bombing towns and villages in northern Rojava every day, preparing for a fourth invasion after the three that led to the occupation of the Azaz-Bad Jarabul triangle in 2016, the Afrin canton in 2018 and the strip. Girê Spî-Serêkaniyê in 2019. If nothing is done by civil society, if international political institutions continue to look the other way, and especially if the countries that guarantee a ceasefire in 2019 - Russia and the United States - once again betray the Kurds and the Arabs, this will be the end of this political experience, rich in lessons for both Democrats and revolutionaries, of"this strange unity that can be called the multitude," which Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari did not anticipate would take place in the heart of this so little anarchist Middle East.

January 12, 2021
Pierre Bans

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