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Anarchy in Rojava: A libertarian revolution in the Middle East

In this sedition, we look at the fierce men and women, who have been fighting the head chopping Islamists of I.S.I.S. to create libertarian commune along the border between Syria, Iraq and Turkey. On the music break we have Kurdish rapper Rezan with “Em Kurdin.” Our guest this week is Chris Dixon, author of “Another Politics” a book about anti-authoritarian organizing in Turtle Island.

5 Comments on "Anarchy in Rojava: A libertarian revolution in the Middle East"

  1. Plantagenet on Sat, 21st Feb 2015 10:12 pm 

    There actually aren’t very many libertarian muslims. The word “Islam” means submission, which isn’t exactly the basis of libertarian thought.

  2. James Tipper on Sun, 22nd Feb 2015 12:02 am 

    Anarchists, Hah! That’s rich, keep fucking dreaming.

  3. Cloud9 on Sun, 22nd Feb 2015 7:32 am 

    A rather interesting portrayal of the Kurds. I hope it works for them. A Kibbutz may be a model for post collapse societies. However the attack on private property will produce nothing but starvation. Consider the loss of property rights in Zimbabwe that resulted in starvation under the current thugocracy.

    As the system unwinds, the Cuban model of breaking up large collective farms and turning the property over to small farmers is the way to go. We have adverse passion laws on the books that would allow for the eventual private ownership of vacant land. Here in the south east forty acres is about all one family can successfully farm with 19th century methods.

    The Middle East is overrun with disenfranchised young men facing the bleak future of overshoot. It is not uncommon to turn to magical thinking when faced with collapse. Consider the Flagellants during the Black Death or the Ghost Dancers on the Great Plains. This radical brand of Islam will burn through a lot of people. As times get more difficult, we are not immune to magical thinking in the U.S.

  4. J-Gav on Sun, 22nd Feb 2015 5:55 pm 

    I was expecting worse. It looks to me as if there is something trying to find a core here.

    Murray Bookchin as central reference though, does rub me a little bit the wrong way … Nothing personal against Murray but at a minimum, Proudhon, Bakunin, Tolstoy (yes, Tolstoy!), Elysée Reclus and Kropotkin should be read as background.

    From there, the story of a certain Nestor Makhno in the Ukraine (1920s) should be required reading for anybody actually interested in the subject. It’s available in the form of a monumental book by Voline called “The Unknown Revolution.” The Eastern Ukrainian anarchists just wanted to organize their own society. Moscow’s Commissars weren’t going to have that.

    Makhno and his ragged band of anarchist who knew what they were talking about, stopped talking and started acting.

    They saved Lenin’s narrow ass from the White Russian invasion on their eastern front, thus sparing him the ignominy of carrying out his planned flight to Finland … only to find themselves (literally) shot in the back by the Red Army sent down to establish centralized order.

    Do not neglect history folks, if you wish to understand anything about today’s world.

  5. J-Gav on Sun, 22nd Feb 2015 6:19 pm 

    Given the present situation in Ukraine, I must return to Mahkno’s story. Imprisoned by the Czar during the 1905 uprising, he contracted tuberculosis. Once released he met with Lenin and they didn’t reach an agreement.

    He returned to his native Ukraine and found himself and his community besieged on western, eastern and soon northern fronts. To maintain their vision of what a just and egalitarian society should look like they were forced to take up arms, or else become the slaves of centralized authority.

    Miraculously he survived, only to die penniless in Paris, France in the 30s after having done factory work for years with his tuberculosis and war wounds eating him alive. Justice? Don’t wait for it.

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