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(en) Solidaritat Obrera' of CNT Catalunya: THE KURDISH MYTH: BACK WITH DEMOCRATIC CONFEDERALISM -- S.A.C. (ca, de, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Mon, 18 Jan 2021 09:58:08 +0200


Article that is answered: https://rojavaazadimadrid.org/respuesta-a-la-critica-vertida-en-el-blog-solidaridad-obrera-de-cnt-catalunya-a-la-propuesta-del-confederalismo- democratic / . ---- 1. Criticisms of Öcalan to the anarchist and communist movements. ---- " The criticism that Öcalan pours on the communist and anarchist movements and currents should be taken as a gift that opens the doors to the movements and their members to rethink what faults they are having and how they can improve, and should not feel like an attack that hurts the ego of his followers. Perhaps this is why many of the anarchist and communist movements in the 21st century are completely stagnant, obsolete and far from being able to effect any persistent and incident revolutionary change in their societies. " (Rojava Azadi).

We thank Öcalan for the great gift he offers us with his criticism, and for opening the way to the true and definitive political paradigm... Of course, I can agree with you on one thing: lack of self-criticism. And incidentally, moderate the cult of personality a bit. At this point, it will not be difficult to understand why the analyzes focus on the figure of Öcalan. Of course, that does not mean that he deeply regrets the detention of the Kurdish leader, sentenced to life imprisonment by the Turkish government. It is more than evident that he is a political prisoner, and I would celebrate his prompt release. How could it be otherwise. However, his political condition cannot always be used as an argument to avoid criticism that may arise about his thought, or the praxis resulting from it.

Öcalan's opinions are entirely less respectful. He criticizes Marxists for their supposed economic reductionism, but not only that, but he even classifies them as "the left of liberalism and the most useful tool of the system."[1]He not only tells anarchists that "they lack a correct political philosophy"[2]and "a political alternative."[3]He goes further when he describes anarchism as a "sect that protects itself from the evils of the system."[4]Basically all these movements represent in his eyes instruments at the service of the system.[5]The messianism of his political proposal is more than evident, it seems that his project is the only possible way. On the other hand, from Rojava Azadi it is argued that "many of the organizations and collectives of the western spectrum, clinging to the purism of their ideological theory, they ignore and forget the reality that surrounds them, condemning themselves to political failure ". Of course, you should not know what a trade union organization like CNT does, which operates precisely in the field of concrete realities (in this case, labor). I would like to see what the militancy of your group does. I will not go into these types of questions further, since it is evident that they are argumentsto a person .

2. The myth of the anarchist revolution

" I am not denying the role of the State in the administration of society and neither do I believe the anarchist anti-State conception is significant or applicable" (Abdullah Öcalan)[A].

"We totally agree that the Rojava revolution should not be called an anarchist revolution ...", you say from Azadi. And yet you have for years been continuously proselytizing among our militancy using the supposed similarities of democratic confederalism with anarchism, or of the so-called "Rojava revolution" with the Spanish revolution of 1936. Now you clearly say that Öcalan "has never maintained that its main objective is the immediate fall of the State "but not long ago it was sold that democratic confederalism was synonymous with democracy without a State. Öcalan himself argued in this regard. You have played confusionism to attract followers. In the same way that you address anarchists or anarcho-syndicalists with a certain speech, you go with another totally different for example to the independentistas of the CUP or Endavant. With the former you extol anti-state rhetoric, with the latter the similarities of the struggle of the Kurdish people with that of the Catalan. It is a chameleonic and opportunistic speech. It was not necessary to create a myth to request solidarity with the Kurdish people. "Democratic confederalism frames the abolition of the State as a deterioration of it." This rhetoric is not even new; It is what since Marxism has been called the extinction of the State. "Democratic confederalism frames the abolition of the State as a deterioration of it." This rhetoric is not even new; It is what since Marxism has been called the extinction of the State. "Democratic confederalism frames the abolition of the State as a deterioration of it." This rhetoric is not even new; It is what since Marxism has been called the extinction of the State.

Political or armed structures are necessary, of course. No one has said otherwise. But what is really key here is not that, but the agents that are involved. The state is an instrument of the ruling class; let's not forget it. Beyond pure anti-state rhetoric, it is clear that behind democratic confederalism are political parties. The Democratic Union Party (PYD) bureaucracy is the true ruling caste in Rojava. Although there are communes and popular councils, there are also governments in each canton (autonomous administrations), with their respective Parliaments (legislative councils), executive councils and municipal councils; finally the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), and its respective constitution ("social contract"). That is, a bourgeois representative democracy,Not to mention that the police are centralized, the "militias" are arms of the PYD (really representing a full-fledged Army), and these parties also control the communes and councils. Regarding the supposed alternative economic model, it is openly recognized that cooperatives - mainly agricultural - represent a marginal part of the economy.[5]The economic structure of society has not been transformed, least of all in a revolutionary sense. And of course, social classes have not been abolished, nor has private property ceased to exist, as you now well admit.

3. Class struggle and the working class political subject

" We are deeply dismayed at the constant rejection by many activists of any change in the vanguard political subject. The text reveals a disregard for the achievements of the revolution in Rojava in the areas of gender and a profound invalidity of the theory of women as the first oppressed nation and, therefore, the necessary vanguard political subject ". (Rozava Ajadi).

" One of the main errors of Marxism is to consider the industrial bourgeoisie and the working class as progressive, and the rest of society as reactionaries; when reality is the opposite "(Abdullah Öcalan)[B]

My consternation is greater at your insistence on imposing this creed on class organizations, with the consequent absurdity that this implies. The union practice that we carry out leads us precisely to see the value of the working class subject, which plays a key role in the production process. That a union organization has as its reference the working class should not lead to anyone's consternation. But let's make something clear: all this sentimental rhetoric is nothing more than a means of moral coercion in the absence of solvent arguments. In fact, the struggle for the liberation of working women - the main agent of reproductive work - can be perfectly conceived from the perspective of class struggle. For something there were Free Women, and there is no reason to speak of anti-capitalist feminism today. "In order to destroy capitalism and the state, first the patriarchy has to end," you say. You establish here a hierarchy of the struggles that is meaningless. Ending patriarchy without destroying capitalism and the state will, of course, lead to a very egalitarian society... with businesswomen, bankers, soldiers or policemen. The correct thing would be to affirm, therefore, that capitalism, the State and patriarchy must be destroyed. And thus we avoid a regrettable interclassism. But my mistrust towards the supposed anti-capitalist and anti-state character of your movement has its reasons. Ending patriarchy without destroying capitalism and the state will, of course, lead to a very egalitarian society ... with women entrepreneurs, bankers, soldiers or policemen. The correct thing would be to affirm, therefore, that it is necessary to destroy capitalism, the State and patriarchy. And thus we avoid a regrettable interclassism. But my mistrust towards the supposed anti-capitalist and anti-state character of your movement has its reasons. Ending patriarchy without destroying capitalism and the state will, of course, lead to a very egalitarian society... with businesswomen, bankers, soldiers or policemen. The correct thing would be to affirm, therefore, that it is necessary to destroy capitalism, the State and patriarchy. And we thus avoid a regrettable interclassism. But my mistrust towards the supposed anti-capitalist and anti-state character of your movement has its reasons.

What is truly disturbing here is your disinterest in the class struggle, the working class, trade unionism or anything minimally related, which makes me once again doubt the goals of democratic confederalism. Öcalan is because he denies the role of the class struggle as the engine of history or considers the interpretations based on historical materialism as reductionist, but allows himself to affirm that "the logic of confronting class against class supposes a voluntary integration in the new power system (civilization) ".[7]But let's not forget, when he says things like that the working class is reactionary, that he is the leader of the PKK, a party that represents the petty bourgeoisie. Marking distances from Öcalan's thought and the praxis resulting from it is not dogmatism, but the only coherent answer that a revolutionary unionist can give. Having said all this, it is clear that your main interest is not to destroy capitalism either. From a trade union organization like CNT we verify the theory of the class struggle daily in our praxis. And all this, I repeat, without denying the struggle of working women. In fact, in the workplace we can find dismissals of women for becoming pregnant, situations of harassment, brutal precariousness of feminized sectors, etc., situations that we constantly fight against; against which the trade union organizations themselves are fighting. So that later they come to tell us that we despise the female question! We do not really need anyone outside to talk to us about "vanguard political subjects", whatever type they are. Our union action is enough for us to reaffirm our horizon.

4. Democratic Confederalism as Democratic Socialism or Social Democracy

" The claim that democratic confederalism is a practice of social democracy is simply absurd. Reducing the deep meaning that Öcalan gives to the concept 'democratic socialism' to make it synonymous with 'social democracy' is at least a clumsy play on words. The constant efforts to make the communes and base assemblies the main decision-making force and political and social organization, encouraging direct participation in all the institutions, are the opposite of the delegationism of the social democracy ". (Rojava Azadi)

The first party of this type, the Social Democratic Workers 'Party of Germany (SDAP), would include in its Gotha program (1875) the "establishment of state-assisted production workers' societies, under the democratic control of the working people." It is not unusual to find this type of proposal in social democratic parties. Be that as it may, with the schism represented by the Third International (1919), people began to speak of democratic socialism in opposition to Bolshevism or "communism", understood as a democratic path (constitutional and parliamentary) towards a classless society. The parties that after the Second World War use terms such as social democracy or democratic socialism, they no longer usually use them as an alternative to capitalism, but from the acceptance of the existing system. The German SPD, for example, he speaks of democratic socialism in his Godesberg program (1959). Nor can we lose sight of the fact that the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), along with many other communist parties of the 1990s, began its ideological transformation caused by the failure of the so-called "real socialism", symbolized by the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989). Gorbachev himself had presented perestroika as an attempt to democratize Soviet socialism. Therefore, it does not seem accidental that Öcalan opts to equate democratic confederalism with democratic socialism, nor can the ideological transformation of the PKK be dissociated from the historical context in which it occurs. As this party is currently an illegal organization,

Regarding the HDP you say: "It does not seem correct to criticize the usage as if the HDP were a traditional party of Western social democracy, since its members confront repression in a radical way that we do not see in other political parties on this spectrum, and who are not intimidated despite the arrests and the difficult circumstances that confront him ". This is a fallacy; the fact that a party is repressed is not relevant to clarify or establish its ideological affiliation. The militants of the German Social Democratic Party (SDP) were repressed during the Nazi regime, and those of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) during the Franco regime, to give a few examples. But if this does not convince, we can add that the HDP, ironically, together with the SDP, the PSOE and other similar parties, It is part of the Party of European Socialists (PES), a party that presents itself as SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC OR SOCIALIST DEMOCRATIC (terms considered synonymous). What has been commented is easily verifiable in the PES search engine:https://www.pes.eu/en/members/parties-map/#list . Therefore, establishing links between democratic confederalism and social democracy is a logical consequence, and not a simple play on words as suggested.

5. Conclusions

" We believe that the criticisms that any individual or organization pour out should be adapted to a political framework of the reality in which they live and not based on exclusive and reductionist ideological dogmas." (Rojava Azadi)

I fear that the exclusionary and reductionist ideological dogma has ended up being, however paradoxical, democratic confederalism, and the entire philosophical conception that this political project entails. Your aggressive proselytizing is beginning to elicit reactions, and my article is but one symptom of it. You carry out political propaganda within our organization through the most varied methods, trying to control our activity, and attract our militants with formations that more closely resemble indoctrination. My initial article was not a reflection aimed at your group or any other external group, but rather at the CNT militancy, so that they take extreme precautions against what can be considered a clear case of entryism. The CNT is not going to become the transmission belt of any political party, which includes the PKK and its long shadow. Our organization already has its own "confederalist" political project based on libertarian communism. We belong to a long tradition that goes back to the first workers' associationism, to the revolutionary syndicalism that picks up the baton, and which finally leads to anarcho-syndicalism. And, as has always been characteristic of this tradition, we are addressing the working class, no matter how much your leader calls it reactionary. Selling other types of stories in our own home as not appropriate. We belong to a long tradition that goes back to the first workers' associationism, to the revolutionary syndicalism that picks up the baton, and that finally leads to anarcho-syndicalism. And, as has always been characteristic of this tradition, we are addressing the working class, no matter how much your leader calls it reactionary. Selling other types of stories in our own home as not appropriate. We belong to a long tradition that goes back to the first workers' associationism, to the revolutionary syndicalism that picks up the baton, and which finally leads to anarcho-syndicalism. And, as has always been characteristic of this tradition, we are addressing the working class, no matter how much your leader calls it reactionary. Selling other types of stories in our own home as not appropriate.

I have surely missed some questions in your answer, but I think I have already answered the main aspects. Regarding the pamphlets 'Democratic Confederalism' and 'War and Peace' I don't know what your point is, honestly. If what is being suggested is that the International Initiative association has deliberately manipulated the thinking of the Kurdish leader, Rojava Azadi should publicly denounce it. Be that as it may, if a future article appears -attacking, in this case, Öcalan's philosophical conception- I only need the first two volumes of the 'Manifesto for a Democratic Civilization', for which I am glad that this translation has passed your process of authentication and present the seal of quality. It is what I have already done in this answer.

We can show solidarity with the Kurdish people, of course, but it is also necessary to distance ourselves from this political project, and this is what I have done in this article and in the previous one. I have nothing more to add (at the moment).

OTHER

[1]Öcalan, A. (2009). Manifesto for a Democratic Civilization. Origins of Civilization (Volume I) . Editorial Descontrol, p. .117.

[2]Öcalan, A. (2017). Manifesto for a Democratic Civilization. Capitalist Civilization (Volume II) . Editorial Descontrol, p. 60.

[3]Ibid., P. 274.

[4]Öcalan, A. (2009). Manifesto for a Democratic Civilization. Origins of Civilization (Volume I) . Editorial Descontrol, p. 118.

[5]Information dossier - Cooperatives in North and East Syria: developing a new economy (2020). Rojava Information Center: http://rojavaazadimadrid.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Dossier-RIC-Cooperativas-NES-081120.pdf.

[7]Öcalan, A. (2009). Manifesto for a Democratic Civilization. Origins of Civilization (Volume I) . Editorial Descontrol, p. 63.

[A]Öcalan, A. (2017). Manifesto for a Democratic Civilization. Capitalist Civilization (Volume II) . Editorial Descontrol, p. 226.

[B]Öcalan, A. (2017). Manifesto for a Democratic Civilization. Capitalist Civilization (Volume II) . Editorial Descontrol, p. 322.

https://lasoli.cnt.cat/2021/01/14/opinio-el-mite-kurd-a-voltes-amb-el-confederalisme-democratic/
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