Rojava, an unlikely place for a democratic revolution.

I have been following the developments in Rojava, an area of Northern Syria that adheres to the thoughts of Murray Bookchin. (ghohnsit's recent article reminded me I wanted to write about Rojava, a spunky little area in a war-torn region that is promoting a new form of decentralized democracy, and this started as a comment on gjonsit's recent article on Iran but it was growing long so I made it a separate diary.)

This is gonna be a messy article/diary, plus I'm not an expert on Murray Bookchin, But basically, Bookchin is a libertarian socialist, meaning socialist without government, meaning worker co-ops, and he's for "green" stuff, meaning the ecology, and he's for equal rights between the sexes.

Here's a link to the DFNS (Rojava) "constitution," the Social Contract of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria. Like it says in the Wiki quote below, they aren't seeking independence from Syria, but to serve as a model for Syria. So it looks good, to me, that the"Kurds" are talking to Syria without US involvement.

I believe the articles referencing the Kurds talking to Syria are actually referring to the DFNS, or Rojava, which would be bad because Rojava has gone out of it's way to explicitly say they are multi-ethnic.

Here's a bit from Wikipedia:

"The Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (DFNS), commonly known as Rojava, is a de facto autonomous region in northern Syria. It consists of three self-governing regions: Afrin Region, Jazira Region, and Euphrates Region.

The supporters of the region argue that it is an officially secular polity based on the democratic confederalist principles of democratic socialism, gender equality, and sustainability, and that the diversity of Northern Syria is mirrored in its constitution, society, and politics.

While entertaining some foreign relations, the regions within the DFNS are not officially recognized as autonomous by the government of Syria or any international state or organization. For their part, supporters of its constitution consider their system a model for a federalized Syria as a whole, rather than independence."

This is a fairly decent video trying to explain the quagmire they are in the middle of ...

"How Syria’s Kurds are trying to create a democracy"

Random Rojava links:
Rojava News
Rojava: A Syrian Kurdish Democracy (at The Kurdish Project)

From the article referenced in gjonsit's recent Iran article:
Top Syrian Kurd hopes Assad serious about talks

... Direct negotiations between Kurdish groups that control much of northern Syria and Damascus would reshape the seven-year-old conflict and - if successful - hold out the prospect of a deal between two sides which together hold most of the country.

Such talks would also complicate U.S. policy in Syria, which today rests largely on a military alliance with the YPG, the main Kurdish militia. U.S. forces have deployed in areas held by Kurdish-led militias during the fight against Islamic State.

Unlike rebels who have fought Assad, the YPG and YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have mostly avoided conflict with Damascus. Instead, they have focused on Islamic State and guarding their autonomy.

The YPG and the YPJ were both referenced in the Vox video above, and they work together obviously. I don't know how to deal with reddit's new layout, but here is the group for Rojava:

Here is a link to a list of informative links:

Here is the link to a list of informative books:

Here is a link to a list of informative news links:

Here's a nice video on the structural and strategic aspects of Rojava:

Rojava: A Sincere Revolution

(And yes, "Make Rojava Green Again!" is an intentional dig at MAGA Wink )

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Lookout's picture

...much like my suggestion a couple of weeks ago that we forget government and politics and just start creating coops and communes. I hope the seeds of this movement take hold and prosper. Thanks for introducing me to Bookchin and his concept of communalism.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

GreyWolf's picture


Yeah, I've been advocating that for years, along with Wolff and Alperovitz.
But like I said to Snode below, "there is low enthusiasm for democracy of any kind in the US."

I'm thinking I should just follow an old friend to Stockholm, or even more radically ...

American philosophy student: The Rojava Revolution is asking important questions

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in The New Yorker that touched on Rojava, with a higher profile on women fighters. It also mentions a couple pages in that Bookchin was made aware a couple of years before his death, that his ideas were being made real, he had no idea.

It's difficult to see the Rojava community outside of war, the 2 are so meshed together. Or maybe it binds the community right now. I would like to see it in peacetime for it holds great promise to what we have now.

I don't know if we (Americans) can "think" that way easily anymore. We swim in a river of refined capitalism, bombarded all our lives with targeted advertising/propaganda,and our thinking has become reflexive. We have to see the box before we can think outside it.

Lately I have been thinking many people in the US want to disengage from class warfare, knowing they'll never win the lottery and just live a meaningful life on their own terms, but don't know how, and find a sense of real community(don't tell me, there's an app for that).

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GreyWolf's picture


"I don't know if we (Americans) can "think" that way easily anymore."
Yes, there is low enthusiasm for democracy of any kind in the US.

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