The West, the IS and the PKK

Kurdish refugees watch from a hilltop as thick smoke rises from the Syrian town of Kobani during heavy fighting between Islamic State and Kurdish Peshmerga forces, seen from near the Mursitpinar border crossing


“The weapon of criticism cannot, of course, replace criticism of the weapon, material force must be overthrown by material force; but theory also becomes a material force as soon as it has gripped the masses.” (1)


The War in Syria moved to a geostrategic and more complex level when the Islamic State (IS) launched its impressive attack in Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city after Baghdad. Then, it invaded the Western Kurdistan, Rojava, and keeps Kobani under siege from three sides, making the Turkish border the town’s sole connection to the outside world. This later military action has created an unclear political reaction for proletarian masses in the region and worldwide.


“We do not want stability in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and even Saudi Arabia. . . . The real issue is not whether, but how to destabilize. We have to ensure the fulfilment of the democratic revolution.” (2)

One of the most important criteria for identifying the nature and status of a political force is to review the positions that these forces, in time of great social events and developments in the society, virtually apply. For a proletarian force the criteria are class line, which can be simple, but sometimes very difficult and complex to apply. However, this demands in depth a theoretical-practical ability to avoid entering to the magical and Machiavellian games that are devised and developed by the ruling classes and their dominant ideological, political and state apparatus.

Islamism and the Islamic periphery

The socioeconomic crisis in the Islamic periphery of the capitalist world system initialized an incomplete process of Islamic reaction/movements in the late 1970s; from the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Khomeinism in Iran, the AKP in Turkey, the Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Afghan Mujahedin in Afghanistan/Pakistan to the Taliban and Al Qaeda and Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram Islamist faction in Somalia and Nigeria to the Chechens and the Jabhat al-Nusra front and the IS. This Islamic process, apart from certain differences in form and content, have similar political-militaristic functions and all share common ideological-political perspectives: (3)

  • An organized approach of ruling classes to manage an economy-political crisis ridden Islamic periphery of the capital.
  • An Integrated part of the existing imperialistic power configuration in the region.
  • They normally operate as an extended arm of the right wing of capitalistic political apparatus, against the internal left wing, in the context of labor division that is set up within the political structures of capitalist periphery.
  • An ideological-political tool of the ruling classes against any potential threat from the proletarian class struggle.

In this context, all conflicts and antagonisms among major imperialist networks, i.e., the US/NATO and Russia-China, in relation to the Islamist forces, must be considered within the imperialist division of the global surface and regions, and as an internal class issue for dominant imperialist powers:  The internal power struggle of the capitalist ruling elite for world dominance.

The barbaric ravaged presence of IS in Syria-Iraq (Levant) territory in conjunction with the Syrian war has created a mass refugee crisis in the region, which is an unprecedented organized ethnic cleansing and mass refugee problem since the end of the second World War and the declaration of the state of Israel in the Middle East; 600000-700000 Palestinian forced to leave their homes in connection with establishment of Israeli Sate. Three million registered refugees are registered within and outside the Syrian borders and 100000-150000 of them are Kurds, mainly from peasant class or urban proletariat who had to leave their home and life behind and taking refuge in a neighbouring country, Turkey. (4) The Turkish-state is by historical and objective standard an anti-Kurd by definition; Thus, it is a tragic journey for Kurds to move from one darkness to another one caused by the fear of death.

The Birth of IS

ISIS (IS) is an English acronym for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (sometimes translated “Levant”). In Arabic the acronym is “Daa’esh” for Al-Dawla Al-Islaamiyya Fi-Al-‘Iraaq WA Al-Shaam”. It is aiming to resurrect the now-defunct institution of the caliphate. Its origins are pure Al-Qaeda that are deformed.

Thus, to understand the IS, it requires to understand the Al-Qaede as a political phenomenon with its embedded connection to the Western capitalist world. Any comprehensive and reliable account of al-Qaeda’s history, development, structure and operations leads to its network operating according to a common trajectory, conducive to Western interests:

As one CIA analyst told Swiss television journalist Richard Labévière, chief editor at Radio France International:  “The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and helping them against our adversaries worked marvelously well in Afghanistan against the Red Army. The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power, and especially to counter the Chinese influence in Central Asia.”  (5)

Al-Qaeda activity, thus pertained to a new doctrine of covert destabilization, to be implemented in new theatres of operation strategically close to Russian and Chinese influence, namely Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Middle East and Central Asia. During and after the Cold War, al-Qaeda has functioned as a vehicle of Western covert operations in the service of powerful corporate interests, particularly related to the monopolization of global energy resources. And thus achieved through the operations designed to secure destabilization through the creation, multiplication, mobilization and manipulation of disparate Islamist groups.

Al-Qaede derives its geostrategic structure directly from Western interests, mediated through a number of states in strategic regions; Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Pakistan and Algeria. Those, and other, states act as regional nodes, providing financial, military and intelligence assistance to Islamist groups, while simultaneously benefiting from Western financial, military and intelligence sponsorship and protection, and further serving as permanent providers of their strategic resources, especially oil and gas, to the west, i.e., the core of the capitalist world. (6)

As the IS (ISIS/ISIL) used to be Al-Qaeda can easily reveal how and where it comes from:  The IS as Al-Qaede was created and set in motion by a member-state of the US/NATO (Western) imperialist network; Saudi Arabian. The mostly unimaginative Saudi muttonheads in Riyadh were concerned about the growth of Iranian influence over the Maliki’s Shia Muslim government in Baghdad after the invasion of Iraq. Thus, the IS has its Iraq/al Qaede roots of the 2nd U.S. war in Iraq from 2003 to 2011.  Consequently, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdaadi, the present caliph of the IS gained his military/criminal background during the second Iraq war and partly in the Camp Bucca, the United State military detention facility in southern Iraq. (7)

Although, the globally published evidences suggest that the sudden emergence of the IS as a political-military force is directly connected to the imperialist re arrangement of the balance of military forces in the region. The establishment of the IS and its later development to a semi- Islamic state was originated from the belly of the Anti-Syrian opposition’s military involvement in anti-Assad “revolt”. The US/NATO imperialist network created the opposition and the FSA in an attempt for removing the Syrian regime back in the 2011. Member-states of the Western imperialist network, i.e., Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey and Jordan, launched, developed and supported Syrian opposition’s military force, Free Syrian Army (FSA), through a system of unlimited financial, military-armistice, training facilities and logistical support and backup. Interestingly: Interestingly the large part of the FSA transformed/joined to the IS forces, when it was evident that Syrian opposition were unable to dislodge the Syrian army from most major Syrian cities from the 2013 onwards.

According to the U.S. State Department, there has been around 12000 fighters (Jihadist/Islamist) from 50 countries since the fighting began in Syria. The contribution of Turkey/AKP is around 3000 of them. Amazingly, recruiting process is still well organized and openly operational in all US/NATO and Western countries which is supposedly trying to stop the IS’s military advancement in the area. The West and Saudi Arabian together for a harmonious cultural and religious approach have been establishing the complex vast network of mosque franchises all around the Europe, America in the last 3 decades. The same Saudi Arabia’s network of mosques is utilized as an employment service to recruit young men and women – mainly from the proletarian reserve army- for Al-Qaede, FSA, the IS… for.

“Thank God for the Saudis and Prince Bandar,” John McCain told CNN’s Candy Crowley in January 2014” McCain was pointing out Syrian civil war. Based on the irrationality of imperialist rationality, the IS is a creation of the Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan a capitalist psycho/mass murderer with unsatisfied lust for violence/war: who was Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States from 1983 to 2005. However, as it is coined among the vultures of the civil war in Syria, “ISIS has been a Saudi project.” As one senior Qatari official stated. (8)

The genesis of the IS as a semi state in the Middle East follows the imperialistic roles and standards framework, which is applied routinely throughout the planet: The Western network designs, organizes and set in motion Islamist groups/gangs to advance its own imperialist desire and interest in the given situation and territory, depending on how the network of Imperialist forces are arranged at the time. (9)

Forging processes of the IS

On a higher level, the IS operates as a blind node set up in the structure of the Western imperialistic system. It is only understandable, in relation to demand and desire of the Western interest in the geostrategic region in the Middle East. The Western network’s plan is to replace Assad- regime in Syria, which is allied with the rival imperialist network, i.e., Russia, China, Iran, Lebanon/Hezbollah, and is an opponent of the Israeli regime.

When the IS extended its root in Syrian soil, to fight the Syrian regime in the early 2011, then came the real change: The FSA and Al- Nusra Front (Al-Qaede’s affiliate in Syria) as an armed wing of the anti-Assad coalition played actually as cover up for the Western network with Saudi Arabia in led to forge the IS as a new military force in Syria. Close relation to the Saudi and Turkish state prepared the way: With Saudi’s financing and Turkish-state territory for training-transport hub the IS developed rapidly from an average band of Islamist to a well-organized, heavily armed and large military force in the region. The process of transforming the IS to a semi state organization was formalized when Abu Bakr took his army into Syria by announcing the creation of the IS on the 8th of April, 2013. The IS assaulted Al-Raqqa and ousted both FSA and Al-Nusra groups while imposing a ridiculous regime of stifling Wahhabist “morals” and fabricated “Shari’ah” laws upon a city already depopulated by his predecessors. Its transformation to a power factor characterized with its own infrastructures, i.e., Telecommunication, ammunition fabric, training facilities, barracks and the captured oilfields.

Breaking “free” from the masters

Consequently, the IS has its systematic roots and branches in the imposed Syrian civil war and disintegrated Iraqi and Syrian state organization. It has financially and militaristic evolved by direct guidance and assistance of the West imperialist network in the region; Saudi Arabian, Qatar and Turkey, Jordan… ; free access to military armour, ammunition, weaponry and equipment plus unlimited availability of financial capital/resources led to creation of this fascistic-Islamic force, which developed functions as semi state; at the moment, it runs its own oil production infrastructures and collect revenues form exports the crude oil in the black market particularly in Turkey.

The production and flow of energy resource/oil needs to be both granted and controlled in synchronization with interests of the core of capital, which means re-adapting the new mode of imperialist policies in the region, due to permanent destabilization caused by the West’s intervention in the region. The IS  did not fell from sky, the Syrian civil war and Assad regime’s opposition gave birth to it. However, Anti-Assad opposition internally/externally forced to realise its disability in defeating the Syrian regime by 2013. In this humiliating standstill situation for Assad’s opposition and the Western network, particularly Turkish state, the IS was forged to remap the Syrian and the Iraqi territory: This was of course with inspirational, support and approval of regional petty imperialist such Saudi Arabian, Qatar, Turkey… . The aim was to make an Islamic state with the Sunni-Shia divide as its ideological motivation, while it is also capable to run the oil fields production in accordance with the strategic demands of the Western network. However, an IS armed to teeth without a direct controlled unit connected to the Western imperialist network cannot be reliable: U.S. knows this from the past bitter experiences; Khomeinism in Iran, Mujahdin/Taliban in Afghanistan and to certain degree the AKP in Turkey.

However, the real disaster began to unfold, for the Western imperialist network, when in June, the IS overran much of the Sunni areas of Iraq from its base in eastern Syria; the IS took over and run cities, Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city after Baghdad and a commercial/oil hub for the northern part of the country, Samara and Tikrit.

This made the US very nervous at the same time opened a new chapter for the US direct/open involvement in the region: Third Iraq war since the US Forces would ultimately return to Iraq in the summer of 2014: “ISIS does not accept the legitimacy of a number of governments that are close allies to the United States and have important economic relations with the United States from which we obtain valuable resources.” (10) In this connection, the IS condemned the house of Saud as a traitor and a “deviant” from the true path, despite the fact that the Saudi state was one of the main found riser/sponsors to the IS while it was in the process of raising in Iraq and Syria.

Contrary to Al-Qaede, which is lose and geographically disestablished organization, the IS succeeds building a semi-state organizational form in controlling cities and land in Syria and Iraq. This has given a militaristic operational capacity to run geographically cross the Syrian and Iraqi borders: This enables the IS to operate without hindrance in performing its military and commercial activities throughout the war zone that the Syrian war has contributed. Although, the IS, as a semi state, bears capabilities to build a regional state structure considering its military, economic and ideological abilities at the moment. In this context, a centrifugal force inherited from Islamism (nation/Islam) ignites the breaking “free” attempts in the IS. The IS, as Al-Qaede, is a brain child and military manifestation of the Western imperialist network’s destabilization project, in managing western oil and gas interests in the region. In attempting to resolve this IS anomaly in the IS breaking away venture set, the Western imperialist network forced to disable the IS from evolving to a full state structure. However, the process of breakaway is taken very serious by the IS and it does not want the Western and Saudi network play like a yo-yo with it any more. In this relation, Abu Bakr began to view himself in somewhat grandiose terms as an angel sent by Allah to establish a Caliphate of Lunacy on Earth. To prove his point, Abu Bakr needs to expands his territorial dominance through invasion of a cross-border territories; Kurdish area.

Expansion in Kurdish area

In summer 2014, the IS swept out of the Syrian desert and into Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city: The IS seizing control of Mosul was accomplished by former Iraqi Ba’athist officers suspiciously abandoning their posts and leaving a 52,000 man military force without any leadership thereby forcing a complete collapse of the city’s defenses. However, this marked a new chapter in the IS geographical presences in the region. In this context, it opened for the Kurds windows of both opportunity and risk. The semi-autonomous Kurdish region, with Masoud Barzani as the President, that occupies the northern part of Iraq started to take over cities from Isis and seized huge tracts of territory that had been claimed by both Kurdistan and the government in Baghdad. This galvanized the old dream of Kurdish nationalism, i.e. establishment of a separate Kurdish state. At the same time, the IS has staged a series of spectacular military advances, seizing large area of territory in Iraq and Syria, over-running much of the western Iraqi province of Anbar and besieging the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani. The expansionism of the IS by seizing and controlling Kurdish areas, jeopardizes the political climate achieved by the Kurdish nationalists through the newly seized land both in Iraq and Syria.

Before the summer 2014, there were local skirmishes between Arab FSA and Kurdish PYD (Democratic Union Party) fighters. Subsequently the IS supplanted the FSA and grew powerful. After it staged a series of stunning military advances in Iraq, effectively erased the border with Syria. Then, it began to threaten to engulf Syrian Kurdish areas held by the PYD, right on Turkey’s doorstep. This is where the Turkey’s involvement in Syrian war crystallizes itself on the Kurdish question related to the west Kurdistan; Rojava.

As we know, Turkey is a prime NATO member and mighty military force; it is among the top 10 military force. (11) For Turkey the Kurdish question defines its nation state relation internally, i.e., among the different factions of ruling class, and externally with its imperialist allies/enemies.  Thus, the resent occupation of Kurdish cities and villages by the IS in Syrian territory must be welcomed by Turkey. To share border with a semi Kurdish state controlled by the PYU, i.e., a Syrian version of the PKK, is a nightmare for the Turkish state led by AKP and Erdogan.  Despite the fact that Kurdish refugee crisis is already a potential treat to existing political, and socio-economic status of Turkish capital, which is experiencing its late economic down turn in the context of European economic stagnation since financial crisis in the 2008.

In the political and military turbulence engineered through the Western imperialist network in Syria, furthered development of the IS, as a semi-state, which was in alignment with geostrategic aims of the west and particularly Turkish state: To change Assad-regime in Damascus, Turkey’s regional rival, with an Islamic west and Turkish connected regime. In this regard, there are two standards of facts related to rapidly growth of the IS since the beginning of Syrian war in the 2011I; firstly, that Saudi state’s financial backup of the IS-Syrian “file”, and secondly, that Turkish state’s enormous support of the IS’s operational activities:

  • An IS militant camp, training centre in Istanbul
  • Able to sell its oil via Turkey: Ankara turning a blind eye to the IS selling smuggled oil.
  • Transport military weaponry/equipment into Syria via Turkish borders
  • Operation of covert recruiting process of foreign Jihadist (Islamist) fighters crossing from Turkey to Syria
  • Treatment of war wounded Islamists, including the IS militias
  • Access to Turkish black market to sell smuggled crude oil

Thus, Turkish support of IS, which covered a wide spectrum of activities, accelerated and facilitated the IS dominant role in Syria and Iraq.

In this war-torn atmosphere, the IS military advancing has continued into Kurdish territory in the northern Syria (west Kurdistan). Sieging town of Kobani, near the Turkey-Syria border, began in mid-September has actualized the Kurdish national question in an obscure perspective; defence of semi Kurdish state in Syria.

Kurdish Autonomy & Nationalist Movement


 The establishment of a degree of self-government in Rojava (the Western Kurdistan) cantons cannot be unnoticed by Turkey who has been openly in confrontation with the Kurdish nationalist movement inside its boarder since 1970s. Though, PYD and Kurdish National Council (KNC) took the advantage in Syrian army’s military withdrawal from the Kurdish dominated territory and set up a Kurdish semi-state structure in summer 2012. The PYD was secretly founded in 2003 by Syrian PKK (the Kurdish Workers Party) remnants, after Syrian state i.e., Hafez Al Assad regime banned the PKK, when he agreed to strategically cooperate with its regional rival Turkey in late 1990s. As consequence of this agreement, PKK’s leader Abdullah Ocalan was expelled from Syria to be later captured in Kenya and send back to Turkey for life time imprisonment in the early 1999.

The PKK had emerged from the political scene in Turkey in the 1970’s and were part of the political analysis of Stalinism of that era from groups looking to the Russian block’s  (Soviet Union and Warsaw pact) for  practical and ideological support or inspiration.

After the 1980 Turkish coup d’état, the PKK organizationally moved to Syria to operate from the safe haven received from Syrian regime. Thus, PKK organized, structured and directed most of its political and military activities, from 1980s to 1990s, basically from Syrian until it was banned in 1998.

Both PYD and its mother organization PKK have adapted to changing reality process in Turkey and other Kurdish territory in the region since the US invasion of Iraq in the 2003. Following the real politic in the region, the PKK with Abdullah Ocalan’s theoretical “findings” moved from Stalinist ideology of the Cold War era towards a blended form of anti-Marxist libertarian communalism, which is acceptable in the capitalist world, including the West, due to its anti-class struggle vision of existing capitalist class society. The trajectory of the PKK from the old Stalinist model of state capitalism to a non-state but democratic society, was essentially linked to socio-political changes that capitalist world has been going through since economic crisis in the early 1970s. The whole capitalist mode of production forced to adapt to disruptions in its cycle of capital accumulation, which in turn had different expressions within the political system. The left of capitalist order and its political elite realized with help of its inward political “genetic” that they needed to see this changes in order to make existential adaptations to the wind of change. PKK’s desire to move forward, upward and inward demanded to follow the changing capitalist world order:


  • Decline of the old state-capitalist model that was emerged parallel with the rise of Stalinism/counter revolution in Russia and the rest of the capitalist world after WWI and WWII; The state’s central role in planning and projecting the economics in the national arena.
  • The exit plan for this Stalinist organization, who intentionally confused state capitalism with Marxian socialist-communist perspective, come from elsewhere: Libertarian -socialism/anarchism, i.e., libertarian municipalism, as it is formulated by Murray Bookchin.
  • The profound structural change in the imperialist world order, the total collapse of the Russian Imperialist block in the early 1990s. Leaving the US/NATO alliance as the only dominant supper capitalist power on world scene.
Ocalan’s attempt to reconcile Kurdish question with municipalist revelation


However, Ocalan’s ideological changeover happened, interestingly in Turkish detainment in the early 2000s: He was sentenced to death by hanging for high treason, separatism and murder on the 29th June 1999. Under pressure, mainly from the European Union, Turkey abolished the death penalty in 2002, and Ocalan’s sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. The AKP came to power the same year.

However, Ocalan’s critic of PKK’s past Stalinism, i.e., the “really existing socialism” took the form of a frontal attack against Marxism as a revolutionary doctrine. Thus, Stalinism/Maoism (Marxism accoridng the PKK) was practically, theoretically and historically responsible for all PKK’s short comings in liberating Kurdish people from shackles of capitalist Turkey. For the PKK and Ocalan Marxism/Stalinism and socialism/state-capitalism were and had to be presented identical. Although, the PKK/Ocalan in search for getting rid of Stalinism (Marxism accordingly) found Murray Bookchin’s Communalism to be the key for all closed doors in his political life cycle and answers to PKK’s political and military failure on the Kurdish question in connection to the changing capitalist world in general and particularly in confronting the Turkish state and its military-machinery, which is one one top 10 military power globally. As a military and mass party organization what the PKK needed was a new ideological construction to keep the party organized on the political and military field. Thus Murray Bookchin’s evolutionist theory, eco-urban municipalism, was adapted to break stalemate the PKK ended up with, after the disappearance of Soviet union/Warsaw pact and Ocalan’s imprisonment.  Thus, he began to re-conceptualize his findings from Bookchin’s integrated notional construction i.e., Municipalism and Confederalism, to internalize them later within the party apparatus.

Ocalan constructs a new perspective of libertarian communalism where he tries to present Bookchin’s vision on Confederalism and theoretically related supporting tool; the social reconstruction. On the idea of Confedralism and social reconstruction he presents them as radical in the sense that he tries to develop the concept of democracy beyond nation and state, and tries to do so in three projects: one for the democratic republic, one for democratic confederalism and one for democratic-autonomy. The projects are a vision of a political system where the power flows from the bottom and up. It rests on an idea of confederated municipalities based on direct democracy on the local level, and councils of re-callable delegates with policy mandates on higher levels. It is also a practical politics that seeks to democratize towns and cities, and transfer state authority and economic resources to such a network of democratized communities.


Escape from Stalinism and taking refuge in Communalism


Thus, the idea of a democratic triangle (republic, confederalism and autonomy) refers indirectly to existentialism of the capitalist civil society; citizenship rights, human rights, civil right… . As we understand it, the process of democratization begins inside the national state framework with capitalism as the really existing socioeconomic platform. This democratization is an “alternative to capitalism” and a replacement for the collapsed model of … ‘really existing socialism’. In following his vision, Ocalan presents an unhistorical outlook on the Kurdish question, which is not just idealist in itself but that is naturally an anti-proletarian in essence: To resolve the Turkish-Kurdish question within the existing capitalist order, which has been originally created after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and building the Turkish national state in the 1920s.


“In the Middle East, democracy cannot be imposed by the capitalist system and its imperial powers which only damage democracy. The propagation of grassroots democracy is elementary. It is the only approach that can cope with diverse ethnic groups, religions, and class differences. It also goes together well with the traditional confederate structure of the society. Democratic confederalism in Kurdistan is an anti-nationalist movement as well. It aims at realizing the right of self-defense of the peoples by the advancement of democracy in all parts of Kurdistan without questioning the existing political borders. Its goal is not the foundation of a Kurdish nation-state.” (12)


“Our first task,” he wrote, “is to push for democratization, for non-state structures, and communal organization.” Instead of focusing solely on changing the Turkish constitution, he advocated that Kurds create organizations at the local level:  local town councils, municipal administrations, down to urban districts, townships, and villages. They should form new local political parties and economic cooperatives, civil society organizations, and those that address human rights, women’s rights, children’s rights, animal rights, and all other issues to be addressed.” (13)


As we know, the PKK and Ocalan rejection of Stalinism or Maoism in the late 1990s had no any relevant relation to the proletarian class and its communist perspective. The sketch of minimum program taken from the second international and 3rd International known as democratic revolutionary program, which was attached to the Comintern period and the vision of revolution in the East from Baku Congress in September 1920. As Stalinism raised from the ruins of October revolution, the Comintern and later Soviet Union/Russian Block used this version of the democratic (bourgeoisie) revolutionary program to support the national liberation movements for gaining or defending its own imperialist desires/interest against its rival, i.e., the US led Western imperialist block of Cold War era.


All nationalist movements in the periphery (national liberation, national self-determination, national autonomy…) one way or another where related to the Russian block for gaining support and inspiration as the PKK did.

The Democratic Republic, The Revolutionary Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of…, was shared by all the CPs, arm struggle/guerrilla movements around the world with almost the same socioeconomic and political platform/program: a “bourgeoisie” revolutionary plan by maintaining and developing the dominant capitalist system of production.  Putting emphasis on how to run the capitalist system of social reproduction after taking the state power in the name of people, proletariat, oppressed or nation. As we understand, the PKK was not exception from this rule. “The revolution in Kurdistan, which is led by our party, is a national and a democratic revolution… “(14)


Originally, the PKK never was an anti-capitalist/proletarian organization back in the 1970s-1990s, it did not become a revolutionary/proletarian organization by constructing a blended doctrine, where it takes libertarian Communalism and at the same time keeps necessary part of the old mass militaristic party from the cold war era.  By the end of 1990s, the PKK as a bourgeoisie party was facing challenges both regionally and locally:


  • The shifting capitalistic-imperialistic geopolitics in the Middle East and the rise of Turkish state with its own imperialist ambitions.
  • The establishment of semi Kurdish state in north of Iraq after dismantling of Iraq’s national state structuer.
  • A complete stalemate in re-positioning itself against the Turkish state.


In this context, the PKK had no choice to abandon the old and invalid Stalinist model of state capitalism to replace it with a democratic model for running a capitalist stat/government. Although, this democratic state/government model of re-arranging the social fabric, logically contains a class society with antagonistic class relation between the proletariat and the “democratic” ruling class. In this context, the proletarian class, workers, rural laborer and peasants, are supposed to gain some political space to make class advancements “without questioning the existing political borders.”


In addition, the PKK as mass-military organization has been developing permanently through an available financial, military-training facilities and the logistical support available from surrounding military and capitalist states or other capitalist-financial activity at a time.



A proletarian Perspective



The inter capitalistic-imperialistic nature of conflict in the Middle East in relation to Syrian civil war caused a refuge crises of 3 million people who fled or left their home: This statistic only covers registered people. However, the Kurdish refugee crisis just appeared when the IS invaded Rojava and also cut all the ties between the three Kurdish cantons in the area.


Thus, the IS’ focus on taking over territory inhabited historically by KurdsGenerated this new wave of refuges crisis among Kurds who are forced to flee from their homes. The PKK reaction as a part of the Kurdish question is understandable when it gets militarily involved against the IS. However this does not mean that the PKK is in the battle field to defend a revolutionary change for the proletarian masses. Of course, the Kurdish proletariat has every right to leave territory or to stay and defend its home, family, life. However, in peace or war time, the proletarian masses has to distinguish its class unity and its antagonism against other classes. This must not mean to get enrolled in the militarism, militia and political activities of the PKK, which has changed from a mass-party armed Stalinist organization to a Communalist mass-party armed organization. It was a reformist organization in sense to democratize the Turkish-Kurdish periphery of capitalist order. It has firm stance on the same Kurdish question: to democratize the Turkish/Kurdish periphery without openly challenging the Turkish state with a century old Kurdish independence/nationalism .


Ironically, those Anarchist as group or individual joining the PKK to fight against the IS are committing fundamentally class line error:


  • Joining and participating in an anti-proletarian organization’s political and military adventures; Class collaboration instead of class antagonism/struggle.


  • Political misleading of the proletarian masses on the ground and in the whole region on the nature of PKK. This sector of the proletariat is already sufficiently confused after suffering years of unfinished socio-economic crisis and civil wars.


Certainly, the PKK and its aspirant will confront us with a simple truth about how they have move beyond political categories such as nation, state, antagonistic classes…

The tragic but concrete truth is that all these troublesome categories are very real and alive for the proletarian class; it does not matter on which side of the Turkish-Syrian border line one stands. Nation, state and classes, as political categories, are genuine characteristics of really existing capitalism. The only way go beyond them is the proletarian class struggle that has real potential to address the class society and all its attributes.


As Ocalan communicated to his party, the world has changed! However for the proletariat, the capitalistic dominant role of class society has not. Thus, in war or in peace time the proletariat is obliged to be capable of distinguishing reality of class society from fantasy: there is no a bridge between the proletarian and capitalist class; class struggle and a twisted nationalist movement.


We understand things and world are changed; as the prison changed Ocalan: Ironically, the members and sympathizers of the PKK refer to Abdullah Ocalan, as the sun. Some of them go further and develop an analogy and compare the organization of the party-complex to a planetary system: the sun is Abdullah Ocalan and the planets are the parties, armies and institutions, which are in orbit around a sun. (15)


The proletariat has gained sufficiently experience on danger of crossing the class line principles throughout 20th century: either it becomes the cannon fodder on the battle filed or human robo-labor for production of merely surplus labor/value on the production line for the purpose of variety of national/regional state/craft or establishing some sort of ancient holy land/nation! For the proletariat  ironically the capitalist order never changes again through good night, sweat dreams wishes of political figures/organizations; e.g. Stalinist state in Russia/China, Spanish revolution/dilemma of 1930s, Ben Gurion in Israel, Fidel Castro in Cuba, Khomeini in Iran, Nelson Mandela in South Africa…


Hamid Moradei

Stockholm, October 2014




  1. A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel Philosophy of Right:
  2. Michael Ledeen,The War against the Terror Masters(New York: St. Martin’s, 2002, 2003), pp. 172, 216
  3. Johannes J. G. Jansen, The Neglected Duty: The Creed of Sadat’s Assassins, 2013
  4. The UN refugee agency UNHCR
  5. Richard Labévière, Dollars for Terror: The United States and Islam, 2000.
  6. Paul Zarembka, The Hidden History of 9/11:
    1. Zbigniew Brzezinski: How Jimmy Carter and I Started the Mujahideen, by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair: JANUARY 15, 1998 ;
    2. In a 2004 BBC article entitled “Al-Qaeda’s origins and links”, the BBC wrote: During the anti-Soviet jihad Bin Laden and his fighters received American and Saudi funding. Some analysts believe Bin Laden himself had security training from the CIA: Al-Qaeda’s origins and links, BBC News, July 20, 2004.
    3. Robin Cook, Foreign Secretary in the UK from 1997–2001, believed the CIA had provided arms to the Arab Mujahideen, including Osama bin Laden, writing, “Bin Laden was, though, a product of a monumental miscalculation by western security agencies. Throughout the 80s he was armed by the CIA and funded by the Saudis to wage jihad against the Russian occupation of Afghanistan.” Thestruggle against terrorism cannot be won by military means London: Guardian Unlimited,2005-07-08
  11. Democratic Confederalism, Abdullah Ocalan, first edition 2011, Translation: International Initiative Published by Transmedia Publishing Ltd. – London, Cologne
  12. February 3-5, 2012, a conference was organized in Hamburg, Germany. The theme was “Challenging Capitalist Modernity: Alternative concepts and the Kurdish Question.” The following text was delivered as a speech to the conference.
  13. Party Program of The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK); Chapter Three: The Revolution In Kurdistan; January 24, 19955th Congress, Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)
  14. Joost Jongerden and Ahmet Hamdi Akkaya; Democratic Confederalism as a Kurdish Spring:the PKK and the quest for radical democracy

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