8 August 2020 | Abdullah Öcalan| Jacobin

For over two decades, Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan has been held in the Turkish prison on İmralı Island. In this op-ed for Jacobin, he calls for a “democratic nation project” able to unite citizens of different ethnic backgrounds and cultural traditions.

Capitalist modernity is history’s deadliest and most continuous crisis of civilization. In particular, the general destruction of the last two hundred years has disrupted thousands of evolutionary links in the natural environment. We are probably not yet fully aware of the devastation this has caused the plant and animal worlds. It is, however, clear that, like the atmosphere, both these worlds are steadily emitting SOS signals.

How long can humanity go on enduring this modernity, which has inflicted far-reaching environmental devastation and caused the disintegration of society? How will humanity soothe the pain and agony of war, unemployment, hunger, and poverty?

The claim that the nation-state protects society is a vast illusion. On the contrary, society has been increasingly militarized by the nation-state and fully submerged in a kind of war. I call this war a societycide, imposed in two ways.

First, power and the state apparatus control, oppress, and surveil society.

Second, the information technology (the media monopolies) of the past fifty years has replaced real society with a virtual one. Up against the canons of nationalism, religionism, sexism, scientism, the arts, and the entertainment industry (including sports, soap operas, etc.), with which society is being battered 24/7 by the media, how can society be defended?

It’s become quite clear that nation-statism in the Middle East is, in fact, one of capitalist modernity’s tools of domination. What the Treaty of Versailles was to Europe, the Sykes-Picot Agreement drawn up between the British and the French in 1916 is to the Middle East: “A Peace to End All Peace.”

Read the full article for free here: https://jacobinmag.com/2020/08/ocalan-turkey-syria-kurds-op-ed/