Ocalan and Zizek in 1980's

Read original here

Original with comments here .

My comments:

1. The article is very informative. One can feel a "professor" approach to the material, i.e. thoroughness. However, Alex de Jong didn't notice the divergence between PKK and Ocalan in 1990's, the increasing Stalinization of the party, which Ocalan was opposing. This was covered in the book "Turkey’s Kurds. A theoretical analysis of the PKK and Abdullah Öcalan", by Özcan, Ali Kemal, New York 2006.

2. The "professor" approach is also a major drawback, as the author tries to maintain a visibility of "neutrality" in the actual class struggle in which he is participating. There is a very grave danger for members of the PKK, and its sister parties, like the PYD, which participate in the movement for which there is no defined, clear goal. Alex de Jong is well aware of this lack of clearness - his last section is called "potent vagueness", but he is not drawing attention to it of the fighters who are participating in the struggle. One feels that he is trying to accomodate all left - liberal opinion. In his own words: "From liberals to anarchists, people can recognize their own desires in it."

3. Alex de Jong should have said clearly that Turkish authorities have broken A. Ocalan in prison. Hence, he should not be considered a leader of a revolutionary movement anymore, but just another political prisoner. 

4. Main problem is lack of real ideology, a real alternative to "Ocalan thought" and the failed, and reactionary strategy of "people's war" for the sake of establishing a separate state of Kurdistan. This is a reactionary strategy as establishing a separate state in the age of globalization, i.e. overcoming separate nations and unification of humanity on global scale, is utterly reactionary. On the contrary, all efforts should be made towards an international revolution. 

So, Ocalan has given up on armed struggle, has betrayed his own followers. But the goal which was proclaimed initially - a separate state for Kurds - is also reactionary. 

Main effort should be to formulating a clear goal, a clear modern ideology.

5. Notice, the working class cannot be considered to be revolutionary in Kurdistan because it has come to serve the ruling class of Turkey, and hence in a privileged position in that society. That's a strike against Marxism being a revolutionary ideology today. 

6. In formulating an alternative for Kurds, Ocalan has turned to Murray Bookchin (1921-2006). Bookchin, after World War II, has also rejected the notion of the working class being a revolutionary vanguard. However, he has not turned to the question of examining the modern productive forces, and who is leading their development. Instead, he has pronounced that the old antagonism between capital and labor is replaced by antagonism between capital and ecology. 

The contradiction between capital and the needs of ecology exists, but the problems of ecology (and also: "cruelty to animals", etc.) is one of the consequences of the global domination of imperialism, as the highest form of capitalism. One should address the cause, not the many consequences. 

The most visible, and threatening to life on Earth contradiction now is between states that have started a socialist revolution in XX century, such as Russia and China, and imperialism, lead by the United States. 

The "inner" side of the crisis is the contradiction between those who possess knowledge, the principal productive force of modernity, and use it for their own private gain, or to protect the powers that be, and those who don't possess knowledge and are oppressed by capitalism, or the civil wars and the mafia regime in what was formerly called as "real existing socialisms". The real struggle is obtaining the necessary knowledge and skills. Battle for new ideology is the most prominent on this front. 

7. Bookchin proposed a "small is beautiful" type of solution where cities are reduced in size, people grow their own food, and govern themselves through local assemblies. However, this type of "solution" ignores the state, ignores the classes that exist in the global society, and hence give rise to an intense struggle between states. 

The state can be ignored only at the cost of being annihilated by the state, as the experience of anarchists in the Spanish revolution of 1936, in Catalonia, shows. 

The Turkish state will not suddenly become "democratic" and will continue to kill and repress the Kurds. 

8. Instead of proposing to "evade" the state, the PKK should have argued for international revolution, one that starts in any part controlled by the movement, such as Syria's Rojava, and spreads outward. International volunteers fighting for Rojava would have welcomed this news.


FARC weapons to be handed over to the U.N. in May 2017. Notice: the Colombian army and right-wing paramilitaries do not hand over weapons!

9. The PKK now is starting to disarm the Kurds, but suggesting they fight the state only when attacked. The final phase of such disarmament we see now in what is happening to FARC , in Columbia. First, ideology is softened. Then, weapons are turned in. 
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.