Murray Bookchin and the Kurdish resistance

Murray Bookchin and the Kurdish resistance

Bookchin opposed the ideas and practices of the emerging environmentalist movements, accusing them of advocating mere “technical fixes” of capitalism, counter-posing it to an ecological approach that seeks to address the root causes of the systemic problem. In his view, capitalism’s fatal flaw lay not in its exploitation of the working class, as Marxists believe, but rather in its conflict with the natural environment which, if allowed to develop unopposed, would inevitably lead to the dehumanization of people and the destruction of nature.

In the late 1970s, while Bookchin was struggling to gain recognition for the value and importance of his theory of social ecology in the US, an entirely different struggle was emerging on the other side of the world. In the mountainous, predominantly Kurdish regions of southeastern Turkey, an organization was founded that would eventually come to adopt and adapt Bookchin’s social ecology.

Over the past decade, democratic confederalism has slowly but surely become an integral part of Kurdish society. Three elements of Bookchin’s thought have particularly influenced the development of a “democratic modernity” across Kurdistan: the concept of “dual power,” the confederal structure as proposed by Bookchin under the header of libertarian municipalism, and the theory of social ecology which traces the roots of many contemporary struggles back to the origins of civilization and places the natural environment at the heart of the solution to these problems.

“Global capital, precisely because of its very hugeness, can only be eaten away at its roots,” Bookchin writes in A Politics for the Twenty-First Century, “specifically by means of a libertarian municipalist resistance at the base of society. It must be eroded by the myriad millions who, mobilized by a grassroots movement, challenge global capital’s sovereignty over their lives and try to develop local and regional economic alternatives to its industrial operations.”

http://roarmag.org/2015/08/bookchin-kurdish-struggle-ocalan-rojava/