THE "GOOD GUERRILLA"
What is the current role of the PKK and its section in Syria the PYD (and its armed branch the YPG), and what is the perspective and the political content of its project? Today there is a near general consensus among all the factions of the revisionist and anarchist “left” (mainly in the imperialist countries), a big part of the liberals and reactionaries and even some of the Communist Parties, that the project of “democratic autonomy” of the PYD in Rojava is “progressive” or even “revolutionary”. Although yankee imperialism formally maintains its definition of the PKK as a “terrorist organization”, the reactionary and revisionist media (yankee and others) have launched a massive campaign on world level to promote the struggle of these guerrillas against the Islamic State (IS). Just as was the case with the Zapatistas in Mexico, this shows imperialism’s need to present a “good guerrilla” as an alternative to the “bad guerrillas”, i.e. the armed organizations that maintain the principles of the proletarian revolution and/or the national liberation. It is natural that the revisionist and anarchist petty bourgeoisie receive such a myth of “good guerrillas” with open arms, but we communists, we Marxist-Leninist-Maoists, must analyze the question from a proletarian and scientific position, and see the role of these organizations in the context of the concrete situation of the current imperialist aggression against Syria and the whole Middle East.
The just struggle of Kurdish national liberation
First, from our Marxist-Leninist-Maoist point of view, the national liberation struggle of the Kurdish people is a just struggle. If we start from the fact that the Kurdish nation is an oppressed nation that has been deprived of its territory by imperialism and its lackeys, what is needed is a war of national liberation; a war against imperialism and the reactionary states that oppress this people, mainly the Turkish state; a war to establish the state of Kurdistan. This will necessarily mean throwing out all the reactionary states (mainly Turkey) from the Kurdish territory, sweeping away all the imperialist superpowers and –powers and confiscating all forms of their property, destroying bureaucrat capitalism and semifeudalism and confiscating all its property, turning the land over to the peasants, mainly poor peasants, according to the principle “the land to the tiller”. These are the tasks of the democratic revolution established by Chairman Mao; a democratic revolution that cannot be developed and fulfilled without a protracted people’s war that destroys the old state and builds the new, and that must continue without any interruption as socialist revolution to continue the march towards Communism. It will be up to the communists of Kurdistan to apply these principles to the concrete reality of their revolution and define – together with the communists of Turkey and other countries – the relationship between the revolutions in Kurdistan, Turkey etc. But without solving the above mentioned fundamental tasks of national liberation, the struggle of the Kurdish people will be betrayed and the oppression and exploitation of the proletariat and people of Kurdistan will continue (and perhaps with the participation of a Kurdish bourgeoisie, if the South African model of “reconciliation” is applied.).
Furthermore, the struggle of the Kurdish people for their national liberation must be considered in the context of the world revolution and the other struggles in the Middle East, in order to develop a coordinated struggle against imperialism in the region. The principal and indispensable task is to define and combat the main enemy – today yankee imperialism and its allies – and ward off the actions of the other imperialists. If a national liberation struggle is seen as isolated from the others, and if the main imperialist enemy is not defined and combatted together with the other oppressed peoples, the struggle will inevitably be used by the imperialists as a pawn in their wars of redivision, taking advantage of all kinds of national, religious and territorial contradictions to set masses against masses. That is to say, one thing is the correct method of "exploit[ing] the contradictions between imperialist countries [...] striking at the chief immediate enemy" as Chairman Mao says, but another thing is to make collaboration deals with the imperialists instead of uniting with the other oppressed peoples against imperialism. Moreover, one must keep in mind that yankee imperialism for quite some time has considered the possibility of creating a Kurdish state to use as an outpost of imperialism in the region – i.e. with the same role that Israel has – a project that they are already carrying out with the Kurdish collaborators in Iraq.
The role of revisionism in the plans of imperialism
To prevent that the oppressed peoples develop victorious wars of national liberation, imperialism has to prevent that the proletariat with its ideology assumes the leadership of the struggles; i.e. it has to prevent the reconstitution of the Communist Parties and that they assume the leadership and initiate and develop the people’s war in all the countries to fulfill the tasks of the democratic revolution and the socialist revolution, and it must prevent that the peoples unite on world level, coordinating their wars so that they may flow together in a world people’s war that will bury imperialism. Therefore imperialism – all the imperialist superpowers and powers in collusion and contention – are promoting all kinds of revisionism, anarchism, liberalism and fascism among the ranks of the people, and the most efficient way to do it is through organizations and leaders with a “revolutionary” image. The decisive point is that such organizations reject and abjure Marxism, proletarian leadership of the revolution and the revolutionary war, the destruction of the forces of imperialism and the confiscation of all its property. What the imperialist exploiters need are organizations and leaders that maintain a "revolutionary" image and enjoy a certain prestige among the ranks of the people, while they accept and promote the ideology and politics of the imperialist bourgeoisie: the vulgar and reactionary theory of "totalitarianism", the revisionist thesis of "peaceful transition", and the idea of the "western democracy" and "civilisation" (currently used to justify the genocidal wars against the oppressed peoples in the Middle East with the pretext of "combatting the Islamic State"). It is in this context we must see the current politics of Öcalan and of the PKK/PYD and its agreements with imperialism.
The ideological and political historical course of Öcalan and the PKK: betrayal and capitulation
In an article by the French writer Alex de Jong, Stalinist caterpillar into libertarian butterfly? The evolving ideology of the PKK, we can see the ideological and political historical course of the PKK/PYD under Öcalan's leadership. The PKK, founded in 1977, in its first program presented itself as a "Marxist-Leninist" party to lead the war of national liberation and the socialist revolution:
In this way, taking on - at least in words - the tasks of the revolutionary war against imperialism and the reactionary Turkish state, the PKK gained the trust of the Kurdish masses:
Abandoning Marxism and the proletarian revolution
But already during the 80's the PKK leadership began to explicitly reject the ideology of the proletariat and the revolutionary principles. It became clear that its previous "Marxist-Leninist" declarations had been nothing more than demagogy, when it started to introduce shamelessly bourgeois and idealist ideas to replace class consciousness with other "identities":
The rejection of Marxism and proletarian revolution continued in a more obvious way during the 90's:
In accordance with this, the leaders of the PYD in Syrian have declared repeatedly that they have no intention of abolishing private property, and that they struggle for a "democratic Syria" for "all the social classes". And as we shall see, the "democratic Syria" that they refer to would be a Syria under the control of imperialism, mainly yankee.
Abandoning the war of national liberation
That is to say that the leadership of the PKK openly rejected the fundamental principle of class struggle and the principle that the proletariat is the only class that necessarily has to lead the revolution; suggesting - instead of the class struggle - a struggle "above" the classes. But that is not all; it also abandoned the struggle for Kurdish national liberation, to instead seek negotiations and agreements with the reactionary Turkish state and with imperialism:
In 1993, the same year that imperialism and reaction in Peru staged the hoax of the "peace accords" in collaboration with the rats of the right opportunist line (ROL), and the imperialist "peace and reconciliation" project was carried out in South Africa, the leaders of the PKK took the same road of capitulation:
After his arrest, Öcalan expressed his betrayal of the struggle of the Kurdish people even more shamelessly:
The capitulationist statements from Öcalan and the other PKK leaders follow almost literally the model of the hoax of the “peace accords” in Peru and similar processes in other countries, stating that not only must the armed struggle be terminated, but even that it was a mistake to initiate it:
Collaboration with imperialism
Behind these changes in the official ideology and politics of the organization is the fact that the PKK simultaneously began to collaborate directly with imperialism and its lackeys. In 2010 it was revealed that the PKK since 2002 had received logistics and surveillance equipment from the state of Israel, and several PKK/PYD representatives have admitted that for some time they have held secret meetings with representatives of the armed forces of yankee imperialism and the CIA. In 2012 the PYD was incorporated into the Kurdish National Council, led by the Kurdish authorities in Iraq, that in turn are directly under the control of imperialism (principally yankee). The Council was formed with the explicit purpose of “combatting the Assad regime” – i.e. in the service of yankee imperialist aggression against Syria.
In an extensive article (http://en.rnp-f.org/2015/03/24/pkk-and-imperialism/#) about the relations between the PKK/PYD and imperialism, the writer Ivo Kovačeviƈ gives several examples of how the “democratic project” of the PYD in Rojava serves the interests of imperialism:
In the declaration of the YPG General Command from October 19, 2014, it is clear what is the character of the alliance between the PYD/YPG and the FSA (Free Syrian Army), i.e. the lackey forces of yankee imperialism in the country:
And as we have already seen, the “true partnership for the administration of this country” includes not only the mercenaries of imperialism in the FSA, but also the imperialists themselves.
Bourgeois ideology in the service of imperialism
Given its full collaboration with imperialism and its “war against terrorism”, the PKK leadership swears loyalty to the principle of the supremacy of imperialist “Western civilization”:
In fact, the myth of a “clash of civilizations”, of a conflict between “Western civilization” and the “barbarity” of the oppressed peoples today is not only promoted by the self-declared right-wing reactionaries, but it has also been fully adopted by all kinds of revisionist and anarchist “leftists”. To justify the imperialist exploitation and aggression against the oppressed countries, and to combat Marxism – today Marxism-Leninism-Maoism – the reactionaries use all kinds of old and rotten bourgeois ideas. As part of this it is well known how they use bourgeois and petty bourgeois feminism in the service of the genocidal imperialist wars, and in the case of the PKK it is precisely that kind of feminism – and not proletarian feminism – that is being used to seek the support of the petty bourgeois revisionists and liberals in the imperialist countries. That is to say, a feminism that does not serve to mobilize oppressed women to make revolution, abolish exploitation and private property and thus completely destroy the exploitation and oppression of women, but to deny the class struggle with the fashionable “theories” of imperialism:
The influence from “postmodern” and “post-Marxist” concepts, like the theory of so-called “intersectionality” and “identity politics” is evident in Öcalan:
Concerning violence, the PKK/PYD (just like the “left” opportunist line in Peru, the FARC in Colombia and others) assumes the position of armed revisionism, i.e. that one abjures revolutionary violence (that is applied to destroy the old state and build the new), maintaining armed forces and carrying out military actions only to be able to negotiate privileges and seek a position inside the old power; under the pretext of “only using violence in self-defense”. As all revolutionary experience shows, this will never lead to establishing the power of the proletariat and the people, but will only lead to obtaining posts for a handful of leaders (like we have seen in the case of Nepal among other examples):
Combat imperialism and all its lackeys, crushing revisionism and capitulation
The main and urgent task today, when it comes to Syria and the whole Middle East, is to condemn and combat the imperialist aggression and exploitation and its whole “anti-terrorist” campaign. What the communists must do is to support all the struggles of national liberation against imperialism in the region, and as part of this – in implacable struggle against revisionism, opportunism and capitulation – contribute to the reconstitution of the Communist Parties to initiate and develop the people’s war in all countries. It is not for us Marxist-Leninist-Maoists to promote and ride on the back of any “revolutionary struggle” that at the moment gets the attention of the reactionary press and the “left” in the imperialist countries, because it is opportune or to preserve a supposed “unity”. Such opportunism only serves the plans of imperialism and is an expression of the revisionist position that the revolutionary forces in the world are weak, that “there are no conditions” and that one therefore must “make do with the existing armed groups” instead of carrying out the bold advance that is needed to impose Maoism as the only command and guide of the world revolution. Ultimately, such opportunism shows that there is no confidence in our class or in our ideology, or in the masses in general. The revisionists’ and anarchists’ approval of the “good guerrilla’s” collaboration with imperialism and its “libertarian” and anticommunist ideas, is part of the current overflow of pro-imperialist social-chauvinism in the so-called left, that serves to strengthen the imperialist rearguard to serve the imperialist war of redivision. As we have seen, all this also has repercussions within the international communist movement through the new revisionism of Avakian, Prachanda and the current convergences with them.
This does not mean that we communists cannot enter into alliances to combat imperialism together with non-proletarian forces of national liberation (under the condition that they actually combat imperialism). But in the case of the PKK/PYD it is becoming more and more obvious that its leaders are already selling out the heroic struggle of the Kurdish people to the highest imperialist bidder, and that the motive of their actions is not to destroy the system of oppression and exploitation, but to defend it and seek a more favorable and conciliating position within it. What the Marxist-Leninist-Maoists must do is to struggle to strengthen and unite with the left – i.e. the proletarian forces – in Kurdistan and in the whole region, and to isolate and combat the right, in this case represented by Öcalan and the PKK/PYD leadership.