By Michael Schmidt
An extract from my forthcoming book In the Shadow of a Hurricane: Global Anarchist Ideological and Organisational Lineages, this is a brief overview and analysis of the Rojava Revolution that erupted on the 78th anniversary of the outbreak of the Spanish Revolution. The Revolution is viewed by many purists with disdain: radicals accuse it of creating the nucleus of a future state, of being aligned to Western imperialism, and of militarising the notion of a free society. Yet the Rojava militia – including anarchists – have not only defeated Islamo-fascist ISIS, but have created a unique councilist, eco-feminist, grassroots libertarian communist society – a multi-ethnic polity in a Middle East entirely unaccustomed to such innovation. Not without its challenges and contradictions, the Revolution nevertheless now controls a territory the size of Belgium – and poses hard questions about the exercise of pragmatic counter-power.