Difference between revisions of "Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria"
(Created page with "The '''Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria''' (abbreviated as '''NES''', and known informally as '''Rojava''') is a territory of the Syrian Arab Republic. It...")
Revision as of 22:04, 9 October 2019
The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (abbreviated as NES, and known informally as Rojava) is a territory of the Syrian Arab Republic. Its founders were influenced by a wide variety of tendencies, from anarchism to communalism to socialism in one country.
After Syrian Arab Republic descended into civil war in 2011, the North and East citizens, including many Kurdish leftists, overtook the region and embarked on a radical project of what they termed ‘democratic autonomy’. This new project aimed to statelessly generate democracy through overlapping councils and communes, empower women, and abolish the police. Previously the North and East regions of the SAR had simply been lands with raw materials and thousands of oil wells, and during the revolution most of the officials and existing capitalists fled, with the resources they had controlled left be expropriated by the local governing councils.
For several years the NES’s military had been struggling against an imperialist movement known as ISIS, and sometimes anticommunists that the Turkish government supported. In the 2010s the White House agreed to cooperate with the NES in stopping ISIS, but this alliance was purely militant rather than political. Some socialists have strongly condemned the NES for cooperating with the US, accusing them of complicity in imperialism, and have accused them of committing ethnic cleansing against Arabs. By March 2019 the NES had finally defeated ISIS as a movement. Several months later on October 7th US forces began withdrawing one thousand troops from positions along the Turkish-Syrian border,  and the Turkish anticommunists were now free to invade the Syrian Arab Republic directly, which they began on October 9th.
The priority for the various levels of the NES is to implement a social economy; an economic system based on a series of cooperatives across all economic sectors, binding them together in a network where the use of money is either minimal or nonexistent. The initial objective is to be self-sufficient in meeting basic needs such as food and fuel. This has been materially necessary since the NES has endured Turkish embargoes for years, with even the most basic of supplies very difficult to import into the region. Much of the economy has remained in the hands of either cooperatives or private individuals though, so trades unions have been scarce. There are a number of both unions and associations however, including several for engineers and agriculturalists, as well as a women’s union that is organising for the rights of care labourers, both paid and unpaid. The immediate economic programme aims to create the infrastructure to provide people’s necessities, thus the local administrations provide bread rations to each household, and local communes distribute the fuel.
- Carne Ross, “Power to the people: A Syrian experiment in democracy,” Financial Times, October 23, 2015.