Syrian Kurds have launched an unlikely radical experiment in governance without hierarchy, patriarchy or capitalism.
Their leaders developed their guiding philosophy out of a long engagement with Murray Bookchin, who fused Marxist and anarchist ideals into a vision of a world where citizens' assemblies supplant state bureaucracy and environmentalism is king. Debbie Bookchin told HuffPost her father insisted “we could only heal our relationship with the natural world when all forms of hierarchy were abolished.”
Today, Rojava has evolved its own understanding of Bookchin's face-to-face democracy. Each of its neighborhood communes selects delegates to send to higher assemblies — three layers of smaller and smaller councils that each cover wider regions. Those neighborhoods can recall their assembly representatives at any time. Each assembly must include Arabs, Kurds and members of other minority groups.
At the highest level of governance, each of the three cantons is led by two co-presidents, a man and a woman.
“We will succeed in this, because there is no other model left to try on Earth. Because this model is the model by which the history of humanity will be brought back to life.”