Democratic Modernity vs Capitalist Modernity: Rojava’s Alternative Model

*Reblogged from Kurdish Solidarity Network, 11/10/2016.

Today, in the 21st century, we live in a world where exploitation, oppression and basic human rights violations are at an increase and are being legitimized. As a result of capitalism, within political, economic and social life all kinds of inequality and injustices are never ending. One can argue that the capitalist-imperialist system with the problems of nationalism, racism, militarism, statism and sexism has put society in a state of chaos. This hegemonic system feeds on and creates wars, destroys nature, causes disasters and poverty and keeps us under a constant threat of such instabilities. Capitalism, which is the global economic and social order, has fatal contradictions between reality and reason, and consequences by threatening human welfare and causing ecological catastrophes, thus, one can argue that capitalism has reached its limits of sustainability. The end of the cold war gave a rise to the embracement of neoliberal social democracy; which evidently has many contradictory dispositions. But, it has also driven those on the left, and others who desired socialist principles in to a state of pessimism. Most people today have been pacified with the illusion and belief that no alternative to capitalism is possible. Yet, in recent history from Latin America to the Middle East, there have been social movements that have restored the faith that was once lost but now reborn with a new form of spirit such as those of the Zapatistas in Chiapas and the Kurds in Rojava (Northern Syria) and Bakur (Southeastern Turkey) among others.

There is an alternative to capitalism, that of democratic confederalism; which is being presently constructed in northern Syria (Rojava) despite a lack of global recognition. The Kurdish Liberation movement is currently undertaking a revolutionary experiment, establishing a confederal system in northern Syria, where four million Kurdish people live. This essay would set out to discover the theoretical and practical aspects of this revolution with a focus on the economic model being tested in Rojava to see whether it can be an alternative to the neoliberalism of capitalist modernity. The first section would engage in a discussion of the current ills of capitalism and the global problem of inequality, and the second section will look at how the Kurdish Liberation movement lead by Abdullah Ocalan, inspired by the ideas and theories set forth in the first section, have transformed their independence movement to one that endeavors to create an alternative, more democratic and libertarian system, based on the principles of democratic autonomy, gender equality, ecological industrialism and social economy.

Historical background to the development of capitalism and nation-statism

Capitalist modernity came about…

*Read the full – and much longer – post at Kurdish Solidarity Network.

Jeremiah Morelock

Jeremiah Morelock

Jeremiah Morelock holds a Masters Degree in Sociology and teaches at Boston College. He is also the Director of the Critical Theory Research Network. His research focuses on political themes in biological horror and science fiction films. He is editor of Critical Theory and Authoritarian Populism (forthcoming in 2018, University of Westminster).
Jeremiah Morelock

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