Michael Löwy: “Libertarian Kurdistan: it matters for us, too!”

“What these revolutionaries in the northern provinces of Syria are trying to do is without precedent. By way of community self-organisation from below, they are trying to rally the Kurdish, Arab, Assyrian, and Yezidi populations in a secular confederation that breaks out of religious sectarianism and nationalist hatred. To put ecology and feminism at the heart of an anti-capitalist, anti-patriarchal, and anti-statist project. To drive forward equality between men and women through the co-president of all decision-making bodies, and the creation of an armed force composed of women. To invent a form of decentralised, democratic political power, based on communal assemblies and going beyond the state: democratic confederalism. This unprecedented experience is being built amidst dramatic circumstances, in a constant confrontation with powerful and implacable regressive forces. In a region of the world torn apart by religious intolerance, the exterminatory struggles among nationalisms, blind violence, wars between clans each one more reactionary than the last, the interventions by imperialist powers, and the hegemony of capitalism in its most brutal form, libertarian Kurdistan appears as a little flame of utopia, a light of hope, a haven of democracy.  Libertarian Kurdistan has no equivalent anywhere else in the world. The only comparable initiative is that of the Zapatista communities of Chiapas — they, too, founded on direct democracy, grassroots self-organisation, the rejection of state and capitalist logics, and the fight for equality between men and women.”