We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up
Friday, April 14, 2017
The Epic Resistance of Kobane
I especially loved this article for primarily two reasons. One, I have been wondering if I have been a dupe of Western propaganda furnished mostly by the former owners of Reflections on a Revolution (ROAR) who ran a series of articles (to find them, enter "Rojava" into any of my search boxes) several years ago extolling the revolutionary character of the Syrian Kurds that inhabited northern Syria. Since then I've seen the US military collaborating with these Syrian Kurds and even establishing military bases or installations on their territory which I saw as part of an implementation of a plan to carve up Syria into "safe zones". During this latter period I've seen nothing about this more recent development in leftist websites.
Second, this article written by a Western leftist has a pure ring of authenticity about it. Read it to see for yourself. What I found most satisfying is that it deals a bit with the issue of the collaboration with US forces--although not enough in my opinion.
I remember reading somewhere that the Syrian Kurds were surrounded by the Empire's terrorist army known mostly as ISIS, and US forces came to their rescue. This fact suggests that these Kurds out of sheer desperation were forced to collaborate with US forces. I also remember reading somewhere that the Syrian Kurds were discriminating against non-Kurdish residents in the same area which is flatly denied in this article.
This confusion about reality in this area of Syria is, I suspect, caused by leftists wanting to only write positive things about people they regard as serving a progressive revolutionary agenda. The same thing happened in Venezuela after the Chavez government took power. Revolutions are messy and many unusual, and sometimes disturbing, issues present themselves along their path. However too many writers on the left seem resistant to presenting any information about such messy issues. This, I believe, is a serious mistake. Such issues that confront revolutionary movements must be dealt with frankly and fully in leftist media so that the thinking of all revolutionary forces throughout the world can be advanced.
There are no "good guys" and "bad guys" that capitalist media likes to suggest to their many readers/viewers. There are just human beings, most of whom just want peace and to achieve a reasonably good standard of living. (Their "good guys" are those who support the needs of Empire capitalists--the others are "bad guys".) Sometimes people in a revolutionary movement must make compromises with powerful capitalist adversaries (or some other ruling class like the feudal regimes in the Persian Gulf) in order to survive to fight another day. Then on the opposite end of the psychological spectrum from principled revolutionaries are sociopathic people who are easily compromised by rewards that powerful capitalists (or their agents) can offer in exchange for their services. Unfortunately capitalist ruled societies cultivate and promote the rise of too many sociopathic personalities.
Those of us who are consciously aware and simply living in advanced capitalist societies know that we must make daily compromises to power in order to survive in reasonably good conditions.