Andok: The PKK is a women’s party - PART FOUR
In a four-part interview, KCK Executive Council member Xebat Andok explained the importance of Democratic Confederalism.
This is the fourth part of the ANF interview with KCK Executive Council member Xebat Andok. The first part can be read here, the second here, and the third here
In this part, Andok talked about the Rojava Revolution and analyzed the conditions for Democratic Confederalism to develop.
Why the emphasis on women’s freedom?
The first slave in history was a woman. The hegemon man did this. Consequently, the oldest libertarian and the one who has resisted the longest for the sake of freedom is the woman. Even our enemies have said that ‘the PKK is a women’s party’. And this is true. The PKK really is a women’s party. It is not only a party with a large number of women in its ranks, it is a party that bases many of its fundamental strategic and ideological characteristics on women. In this respect, it really is a women’s party. It sees the solution to problems in the emotional intelligence of women. The women and men in the PKK argue that it is necessary to think outside the existing male mindset, that this mental structure, shaped by the male-dominant ideology of the ruling/statist system, must be changed. The male mindset is the reason why there are so many problems. Therefore, it is necessary to go beyond this mindset. The intelligence you will acquire when you step out of this mindset is the emotional intelligence of women. All men and women in the PKK have a duty to adapt their mentality and way of thinking to the emotional intelligence of women. To the extent that they do this, they become more humble, democratic, faithful, sensitive, responsible and stronger. This is why the PKK is a women’s party. The kind of social form that the PKK bases itself on and that it wants to create is natural society. If it is not interfered with from the outside by different distorted mentalities, natural society is a society centered around the mother-woman. It is a society that develops under the leadership of women. Therefore, the PKK’s goal is the realization of a society led by women. The PKK itself is also led by women. The most valuable thing for us is the strong stance of women that have discovered their own essence and nature. The empowerment of women means the empowerment of men, because it changes and transforms them. The woman throws away the existing statist, sovereign aspects of men and wages a struggle against him. Empowered women make life beautiful. The leadership of such women is something that all men in the PKK predicate themselves on, believe in and have faith in. From this perspective, the social system, the form of society that the PKK is based on is the natural society led by women. The PKK predicates itself on the nature of society.
Taking into account the practice in Rojava, what does the relationship between men and women in the democratic-confederal system look like?
In the Rojava Revolution, if you look at what the relations between men and women are like in the face of all the attacks, you can see how active women have become, and how much men have given up their hegemonic features. They have become prone to change and transformation. We can see how a meaningful life, equal and libertarian relations unleash the potential of women and how life thus becomes more beautiful. In the democratic-confederal system, relations between men and women will be equal and free. No one will be superior to anyone. No one will dominate anyone. Everyone will live as equal and free beings according to their uniqueness, on the basis of their essence. Since there are no obstacles in front of anyone, you can live out the potential in your essence as much as you want. There are unlimited possibilities. The same is true for men. A meaningful, equal and free life is precisely the life envisioned in the system of Democratic Confederalism. In its purest form, this kind of life is already being tried to be lived within the PKK today.
Your paradigm also has an ecological dimension. Why is this important as a complementary dimension?
Currently, we are faced with serious droughts. Everyone talks about them, but they know that droughts are not a natural reflex. It is something created by capitalist modernity. In this context, people talk about the greenhouse gas effect or the burning of fossil fuels. There are so many environmental disasters and ecological problems. All of them are caused by the hegemonic and insatiable human being. The main cause of all ecological disasters and environmental problems are the rulers. The forces of capitalist modernity. There is a war against nature. Nature is literally groaning. Today, this has reached a point where the question is how long nature will be able to continue to exist. There are problems like thirst, droughts, etc. Because they are hegemonic men, these ruling state factions, who are the pioneers of the hierarchical state system, are hostile to all groups of society on the one hand, and especially to women on the other hand. They are hostile to nature because they see it as a blessing given to them and do not look at it as a living being. They approach nature as if it was a machine, an object and a resource.
Throughout history, all rulers have been hostile to society, women and nature. To all the oppressed. There is first nature and second nature, in which human beings and society form one. Women, nature and society are all oppressed. But there is no such approach to nature in the system of Democratic Confederalism. It approaches nature like a mother. We all come from nature. We define nature as the first nature. We see ourselves as a part of nature, as its offspring. Just as an offspring should not commit crimes against its mother, we, as second nature, should not commit crimes against the first nature, which is our mother. It is important for us to know that we live surrounded by living things. By tampering with the system of that living being, we also eliminate our own conditions of existence. We see nature as being alive. This is the approach to nature within the PKK. At least we strive for this approach to prevail. We conduct our internal struggle on this basis. We are a community that does not harm nature. We are a community that tries to live according to what nature provides. If we spread this attitude on a wider level within the peoples, within the whole society, humanity will no longer commit crimes against nature.
Could you elaborate a little more on the issue of ‘third nature’?
The third nature is the coming together of human beings and nature in the right way. It means that human beings participate in nature as they should be. Throughout the history of the hierarchical state system, so many crimes have been committed against nature and its balance has been tampered with. As you push back the ruling statist mentality, as you break its hegemony over life, as you open up space for democracy, freedom, equality and open minds, and as you develop the appropriate social organization, you also improve communication with nature. You create a generation that is more sensitive to nature, a human species/social reality that has a more sensitive, responsible and democratic stance towards nature.
The deviation that has emerged with imperialism and male-dominant thinking, has turned itself into the state. It has given birth to the formation of classes and has survived until today. Human beings, society, women and nature cannot live with this. The struggles all over the world show clearly that they can´t live like that anymore. The hierarchical statist system, the power system, is a deviation. It cannot be lived with. The current version of it, i.e. capitalist modernity, cannot be lived with at all. Its only goal is profit and selfishness. Its soul is full of selfishness.
Is Democratic Confederalism the real alternative to this system?
As an alternative to this, Democratic Confederalism constitutes a system of communal life that is in accordance with the nature of human beings and society. It is a system in accordance with the mentality that predicates itself on the communal nature of human beings and society who strive for a life in harmony with nature. As a movement, we want and struggle for the realization of Democratic Confederalism as a system in Kurdistan, the Middle East and the whole world. The ruling, hegemonic powers all over the world today have established themselves as a system through the organization of states. Similarly, Democratic Confederalism is a system in which all oppressed people all over the world, all social groups subjected to the oppression and attacks of this system can come together, unite their struggles and organize themselves. On the one hand, there is Democratic Confederalism, and on the other hand, there is the state. The system of the ruling, statist powers is the state. Basically, it is the nation-state today. The system of all groups in society is Democratic Confederalism. It may be called the KCK in Kurdistan and something else in a different place, but its essence does not change. The essence is to establish a non-state system that is in accordance with the nature of human beings and society.