Beyond Syria: Life After the State

Several weeks ago, when I wrote this piece for CVLT Nation, my aim was to make people aware of something hugely important happening in a part of the world that the press won’t touch. Understandably worried that they’ll end up in the next ISIS beheading video, news agencies don’t have people on the ground in Rojava, embedded amongst not the people fighting for their freedom, but those living it day to day.

The original article got a lot of comments. Probably as many as if I’d written the article ‘Liturgy: Greatest Band Ever or Just Greatest Metal Band Ever?’. Most pointed out, quite correctly, that I was leaving out the subtleties of the conflict in Syria and post-state politics in general (which I reduced to the term ‘anarchism,’ though there are a lot of ways that what is happening in Rojava isn’t anarchist). The huge range of ideas that can be called ‘anarchist,’ even broadly, create the same problem that always comes up when discussing metal. So many contrary ideas are contained within these two words that every time they are invoked, everything inevitably devolves into a replay of the most incisive thing ever written about revolutionary politics: this Monty Python bit.

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(Image © Zoriah