Kurdish group fighting Islamic State tells America: Stop calling us terrorists

Before people start yelling that their communists, that's not true at all.

  1. There's nothing wrong with being communist. Communism is a good thing. You can shout "communism!" all you like in reference to the Kurds but all you're doing is making communism look good, not the Kurds look bad, which is fine by me.

  2. They are communists. They might not be Marxist-Leninist (quite frankly I'm not convinced they ever were) but they're certainly communist and quite rightly proud of being communist. The tradition they look to now is closely linked to Anarchism, but that doesn't stop them being communist. Anarchists are communists, just communists that don't want to have a transitionary period between captialism and communism where the socialist state manages things (whether that state be a liberal state with social democratic government or a workers state and a leninist vanguard party). Often this gets called Anarcho-communist, although this term is technically a redundancy as the word communist implies "no state" and "no class system" and most Anarchists are quite happy to refer to themselves as communists so long as it's amongst people who don't mistake that for support of Soviet Communism.

  3. The type of social organisation they favour is to replace the liberal state with decentralised federations of democratically organised grassroots committees - essentially working-class self-organisation to replace the day-to-day functions of the liberal state - which is totally consistent with communism. That's what a communist system would look like, a weak central state (ultimately no central state) with decision making power in the hands of ordinary people.

As for terrorism, quite frankly I don't care if Kurds do resort to terrorism, I'd never condemn an oppressed minority for choosing methods of fighting back against their own extermination that I personally wouldn't support. It's too easy to sit back in our relatively secure western states and condemn people facing ruthless tyranny for using methods that make us uncomfortable - that's the sort of moralist handwringing that ends up with people saying they support the right of the Kurds to their own nation state, but don't support the only means by which they'd ever be able to claim that state, armed struggle against the occupying power. I'm sure the Turkish army doesn't have these sorts of moral dilemmas when they're murdering Kurdish civilians (with NATO backing)

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