7.4 Elements of Democratic Civilization

  • ONE
  • TWO
  • FOUR
  • FIVE
  • SIX
  • NINE
  • TEN

SIX – The Emergence of the Social Problem

6.1 Defining the Problem of Historical-Society
6.1.a The First Major Problematic Stage of the Monopoly of Civilization
6.1.b From Rome to Amsterdam
6.1.c Eurocentric Civilization’s Hegemonic Rule
6.2 Social Problems
6.2.a The Problem of Power and the State
6.2.b Society’s Moral and Political Problem
6.2.c Society’s Mentality Problem
6.2.d Society’s Economic Problem
6.2.e Society’s Industrialism Problem
6.2.f Society’s Ecological Problem
6.2.g Social Sexism, the Family, Women, and the Population Problem
6.2.h Society’s Urbanization Problem
6.2.i Society’s Class and Bureaucracy Problem
6.2.j Society’s Education and Health Problems
6.2.k Society’s Militarism Problem
6.2.l Society’s Peace and Democracy Problem

SEVEN – Envisaging the System of Democratic Civilization

7.1 Definition of Democratic Civilization
7.2 The Methodological Approach to Democratic Civilization
7.3 A Draft of the History of Democratic Civilization
7.4 Elements of Democratic Civilization

7.4.a Clans
7.4.b The Family
7.4.c Tribes and Aşirets
7.4.d Peoples and Nations
7.4.e Village and City
7.4.f Mentality and Economy
7.4.g Democratic Politics and Self-Defense

NINE – The Reconstruction Problems of Democratic Modernity
9.1 Civilization, Modernity, and the Problem of Crisis
9.2 The State of Anti-System Forces

9.2.a The Legacy of Real Socialism
9.2.b Reevaluating Anarchism
9.2.c Feminism: Rebellion of the Oldest Colony
9.2.d Ecology: The Rebellion of the Environment
9.2.e Cultural Movements: Tradition’s Revenge on the Nation-State
9.2.f Ethnicity and Movements of the Democratic Nation
9.2.g Religious Cultural Movements: Revival of Religious Tradition
9.2.h Urban, Local, and Regional Movements for Autonomy

Elements of Democratic Civilization

It may be instructive to elucidate what constitutes community in a moral and political society. Defining the diversifying social elements will also be necessary if we are to gain an understanding of its totality. Its totality can only have a meaning in diversity. We cannot consider the city, in terms of being the state, an element of democratic civilization. However, those craftspeople, workers, unemployed, and self-employed people who live off their own labor, even if they are from the city, are part of the democratic element, and we will be discussing them in further detail.


We briefly touched on the clan. It is the mother cell and spans 98 percent of humanity’s long adventure. Life was extremely difficult for these groups of twenty-five to thirty people, who used sign language and lived on hunting and gathering. It was hard not to fall prey to wild animals and to find healthy food. At times, the climate was extremely cold; there have been five major ice ages. We should not underestimate our ancestors. If it wasn’t for their great efforts we would not be here today. The totality should be sought here. Existent humanity is the result of their struggle for survival. History is not just the written parts. Real history must take into account the state of our social nature millions of years ago, if it is to become meaningful. The main features of clan society were, perhaps, the original form of a united humanity. We have tried to show that the clan was the purest form of moral and political society. These communities continue their physical existence in a number of places, as well as being the mother cell that lives on among all of the elements of developed societies.

The Family

Even if clans were not families, they were something close to that. The family was the first institution to differentiate itself within the clan. After a lengthy period of the matriarchal family and the experience of the agrarian-village revolution (c. 5000 BCE), a transition to the patriarchal family under male-dominated hierarchical authority occurred. Administration and the control of children were left in the hands of the male elders in the families. The ownership of women became the basis for the initial concept of property. This was followed by male slavery. During the civilization period, we come across large and long-lasting families in the form of dynasties. The simpler sort of family of the peasants and craftspeople have always existed. The state and rulers have equipped the father and/or male within the family with a copy of their own authority and gave him a role based on this. This made the family the most important instrument for legitimizing monopolies. It was also always the source of slaves, serfs, workers, laborers, soldiers, and all other service providers for the networks of capital and domination. This is what underpins the importance and sanctification of the family. The most important source of profit for capitalist networks is their exploitation of women’s labor within the family. By disguising this fact, they put an additional load on the family. The family has been turned into an instrument for securing the system and has been condemned to live through its most conservative period in history.

A critique of the family is essential if it is to become a key element of democratic society. It is not sufficient to analyze the situation of women alone (the approach taken by feminism); we must analyze the family as the cell of power—in the absence of which the ideal and implementation of democratic civilization shall be deprived of its most important element. The family is a social institution that cannot be overcome but can be transformed. For this, hierarchical property claims on women and children must be abandoned, and no kind of capital and power relation should play any role between partners. Instinctive drives, such as the preservation of species, must be overcome. The ideal approach to the relationship between women and men is one based on a philosophy of freedom bound to moral and political society. A family that underwent a transition of this sort would become the most robust guarantee of democratic society and one of the most fundamental relationships within democratic civilization. Rather than simply being officially recognized spouses, it is important that couples become natural partners. Both parties in the relationship should always be ready to accept the right of the other to live alone. In relationships, we cannot act in a blind and slavish way. It is clear that in a democratic civilization the family will undergo a very meaningful transformation. If women, who have lost much prestige throughout the millennia, do not regain their esteem and power, there can be no meaningful family unit. A family built on ignorance is not worthy of esteem. The family has an important role to play in the reconstruction of democratic civilization.

Tribes and Aşirets

Families are inherent to two important social elements, the tribes and the aşirets. They share a common language and culture that primarily developed within the agrarian-village society. The tribes and aşirets are the necessary social units for production and security. When the family and the clan were no longer sufficient for solving the problems of production and security, the transition into a tribe became necessary. They were not units based solely on blood ties but were the core elements of a society assembled to meet these production and security needs. They represent a tradition that lasted thousands of years. One of the most far-reaching genocides of capitalist modernity was declaring these social structures to be reactionary and aggressively eliminating them. This was essential, because had people remained in these tribal units they could not have so easily have been turned into workers ripe for exploitation. The same was true for slave owners and feudal lords. Tribes were, in a word, the enemy. The tribe could not turn its own members into slaves, serfs, and workers.

Tribal life is closer to communal life. The tribe is the social form with the highest development of moral and political society. Tribes have always been seen as the merciless enemy of classical civilizations because of their moral and political features. Besides, it was impossible to conquer and control them; they would live free or perish. There have, of course, been tribal societies that were corrupted over time. Collaborators played a negative role in both the family and the tribe. The tribes, which were always first and foremost nomadic, were one of the most constructive of historical forces. The slave, serf, and worker have never given rise to anything like the historic resistance of the tribes, neither in term of rebellion nor in the freedom with which they lived lives. They have mostly (with exceptions) been the masters’ most loyal servants. Perhaps if history were evaluated in terms of tribal resistance instead of class struggle a more realistic picture would result. One of the most important distortions of those who have constructed the history of civilization has been to downplay the role of the tribe, presenting their historical impact as negative or not considering their role at all.

The aşiret, a kind of federation of tribal communities, was even more important. Aşirets arose primarily in response to the attacks of slave-owning civilization. The need to unite and resist in order not to be wiped out led to the aşiret as an organization. It was a social formation where military and political organization rapidly developed; it was essentially a spontaneous military and political force. To function an aşiret needed a shared mindset and organizational unity. Aşirets carried with them a long history and culture. They were the headwaters of the nation cultures. As well, their contribution to production should not be underestimated. Their collective social structures made mutual assistance essential. Aşiret and tribal communities had a strong communal spirit, providing one of the positive qualities of national character but could pose a danger if collaborationism developed. Despite the efforts of historians of civilization to discredit the aşirets, they were one of the key motor forces of history. If they had not resisted in the name of freedom, communalism, and the democratic tradition, humanity would have been reduced to a servant masses or a herd. All of this made the aşiret a fundamental element of democratic civilization.

The history of democratic civilization, to a great extent, is the history of resistance, rebellion, and insistence on the life of the moral and political society of the tribes and aşirets in their struggle for freedom, democracy, and equality in the face of the attacks by the civilization. The best qualities of society are found in tribal and aşiret structures. The nation-state’s sweeping destruction of the aşiret and tribal cultures to gain the dominance for an ethnic group was effectively an all-encompassing cultural genocide. Although this far-reaching genocidal attack on society has since been somewhat relaxed, it remains a major threat. In forming democratic nations, tribes and aşirets could make much more positive contributions than nation-states or state’s nation. This should make clear why aşirets and tribes are seen as essential elements of democratic civilization.

Peoples and Nations

In democratic civilization, the way societies are shaped as peoples and nations, and their lives are different to those of classical civilization. In official civilizations, peoples and nations were conceived of as an extension of the ruling dynasties and ethnic groups. Thus, the history of the formation of peoples and nations was fictionalized to give credit to the ruling dynasty or ethnic group. In this fictional history, the state of natural society is obscured. Heroes were made of individuals, who were then declared by the dynasty or the dominant ethnic group to be the founding fathers of the people and the nation. This is the step after deification and the step before deification of founding fathers. History, in a way, is the art of manufacturing this deification and of creating founding fathers. The reality, of course, was different. Society advanced in the form of tribes and aşirets that developed language and culture as they adopted a more sedentary life. In maintaining its essential identity—moral and political society—it began the transition into becoming the people and the nation. Societies were not born with peoples or nations as their identity. However, in the Middle Ages they began to draw closer to an identity as the people and in the modern era as the nation.

Being a people is in a way the material necessary to form the identity called nation. In the modern era, peoples become nations in two ways. The official civilization transforms people’s asabiyyah into modern nationalism, and then attempts to determine the state’s, the bourgeoisie’s, and the city’s new society form as the state’s nation. A dominant ethnic group generally plays a key role in this process, and its identity becomes the identity of the entire nation. Moreover, different tribes, aşirets, peoples, and nations with different identities are forcibly assimilated into this ethnic group’s language and culture. This is the way of what could be called “savage nationalization.” This approach of the official civilization meant the greatest of cultural massacres in all nations and of the languages and cultures of thousands of tribes, aşirets, peoples, and nations. These peoples and nations are the primary elements that we need most to focus as we configure the history and system of democratic civilization.

The second way of becoming a nation is to transform the same or similar language and cultural groups—which are part of moral and political society—into a democratic society on the basis of democratic politics. All tribes, aşirets, peoples, and even families play their part as units of moral and political society in forming such a nation. They transfer their linguistic and cultural wealth to this nation. This new nation will not allow any single ethnic group, denomination, belief system, or ideology to dominate. The richest synthesis is always voluntary. Moreover, democratic politics allows distinct linguistic and cultural groups to live together as democratic societies under the identity of nation of nations—the common über-unit of nations. This way is the most suitable to social nature. Whereas the state’s nation method is the approach of capitalist modernity and is far removed from natural society and shaped as “one language, one nation, one country, one (unitary) state.” This is the secular version of the former “one religion, one god” approach. Thus, it is the new form of capital and power monopoly and the state. The state’s nation denotes how capital and power monopolies took their place at the heart of society at the stage of capitalist transformation and colonized society, dissolving it within itself. Maximum power is the form that allows for maximum exploitation. It is alienating society from its moral and political dimension, relinquishing it to death, turning individuals into worker ants, thereby creating a herd-like fascist society. Profound historical and ideological factors, as well as factors like class, capital, and power, play a role in this model, the model most contrary to social nature. Genocides were carried out as a combined consequence of these factors.

Within the democratic civilization system, nation formations and fusions are the antidote to capital and power monopolies. It is also the main way to eliminate the disease of fascism and genocide (the cancerous metastasization occurring within society), along with their root causes. Once again, we are confronted with the harmony of social nature with democratic civilization.

Village and City

Villages and cities will have a different meaning from a democratic civilization perspective (paradigm). Just as agriculture and industry are two necessary reciprocal fields of production within social nature, the same is true of the village and the city. The equilibrium between them must be protected. If it is undermined, we are on the road to ecological disaster, the ratcheting up of class and the state, and the monopolization of capital. Once price disparities begin to be exploited to maximize profit, trade becomes an increasingly illegitimate practice. Our watchword must be: “Yes to the city, but no to the monopoly of class, the state, and capital.” These fundamental ideas lie at the base of any sound history of the development of the city and the village. It is incredibly ironic that the triad of city, class, and state are defined as civilization, while those communities living in harmony with true social nature, in a reversal of reality, are called “barbaric” and “savages.” True barbarism and savagery are the plunder and destruction of social nature effected by the alliance of this triad, represented as a single unit by the city. This irony shows us, once again, how ideological hegemony stands truth on its head. Throughout history, ideology has been important both for leading us to the truth and for steering us away from it.

Democratic civilization evaluates the city, class, and state triad as the real barbarity, hypothesizes that those who oppose this triad are the true expression of moral and political society, and ideologizes this.

Village community is important as the first example of settlement. It is an essential aspect of ecological life that must be renewed in the industrial era. The village is not just a physical phenomenon, it is a fundamental source of culture. Just like the family, it is a basic unit of society. This is not changed by the fact that the city, industry, the bourgeois class, and the state attack the village. It is also of the utmost importance, because it is the most suitable unit for implementing moral and political society. The city, on the other hand, will only play a positive role if it undergoes a clear transformation in terms of population and function to reestablish its equilibrium with the village. Only a radical transformation can stop it from being a center for exploitation and oppression and allow it to contribute meaningfully to social development. The city must stop being the site of the cancerous growth of the middle class and capital in the form of state and company bureaucracies. This is vital to the liberation of contemporary society. In their current form, cities—both in terms of their scope and their meaning—are the key centers for the rapid depletion of society (ecological destruction and societycide). All of this stands as unquestionable evidence of the failure of classical civilization. There was a single Rome, and it reigned throughout antiquity. As such, its collapse signaled the collapse of antiquity. It is the cancerous plurality of our present-day cities, on the other hand, that make society cancerous. Cities are centers for absorbing society, including rural and village societies. Humanity, as a society, must rid itself of this fallen city. Otherwise, the city will certainly wipe out what remains of humanity’s social nature.

The harmonious unity of village and city is of the utmost ideological and structural importance to the democratic civilization system. Social nature can only maintain its existence safely on the basis of this harmony.

Mentality and Economy

The economic foundations of democratic civilization are in a perpetual conflict with the capitalist monopolies based on social surplus value. Taking fundamental social needs and ecological factors into consideration still leaves a lot of room for the development of agriculture, trade, and industry. Aside from monopoly profit, all revenue should be considered legitimate. Democratic civilization does not oppose the market. On the contrary, because it offers a truly free environment, it has the only genuine free market economy. It does not deny the market’s creative competitive role. What it opposes are techniques for amassing speculative revenue. Fecundity is the measure for the question of property. The role of monopoly, as property, always contradicts fecundity. Neither excessive individual ownership nor state property ownership are consistent with democratic civilization. Social nature stipulates that the economy be in the hands of the communities.17 In the absence of monopolies, neither the individual nor the state have anything to do with the economy. Economies where individuals or the state make economic decisions will either generate profit or go bankrupt. The economy is always the work of groups. It is the true democratic sphere of moral and political society. Economy is democracy. Democracy is especially essential for economy. In this sense, the economy is neither the base nor the superstructure. It is more realistic to interpret it as society’s most fundamental democratic action.

Both the analysis of capitalist political economy and Marxist interpretations that alienate economic relations are quite harmful. The action of the boss and the worker does not constitute the economy. I had to evaluate the boss-worker dichotomy to portray the monopolist thieves of the economy, which is the essential democratic act of social nature. If we include the clan and tribal periods, it is more appropriate to call the economy the essential activity of moral and political society. In this case, what I mean by a worker is the concessionist worker who, in the form of wages, receives a small portion of the value stolen from the other poor sections of society, in particular unpaid housewives and young women. Just as the slave and serf were the extensions of their masters and lords, the concessionist worker is always an extension of the boss. We should view slavery, serfdom, and becoming a worker with suspicion, oppose it, and, on that basis, develop our own ideology and practice—that would be the basic prerequisite for being moral and political. Just as the master, lord, and boss triad is worthy of no praise, the triad of slave, serf, and worker, as their extension, should also never be glorified. We should feel sorry for them, see them as degraded social sectors, and struggle for their freedom.

The economy is an essential action of historical-society. No individual (master, lord, boss, slave, serf, or worker) or state can be the proponent of economic action. For example, no boss, lord, master, worker, peasant, or individual from the city can remunerate the work of mothers—the most historical and social institution. This is because mothers carry out the most difficult but necessary act of society: maintaining life. I am not only talking about childbearing. I look at motherhood more broadly than that; it is a culture, a phenomenon that is in continuous state of emotional upheaval, with all mothers’ actions charged with intelligence. I think this is the correct way to look at it. What sort of reason and conscience are compatible with treating women—who are constantly rebelling, full of emotions and reason, always obligatory, arduous, and active—as unpaid laborers? Marxism, the ideology that best represents the interests of laborers, did not consider the actions of mothers and other similar social sectors as falling within the scope of value, thereby legitimizing their unwaged status. This has placed the boss’s servant in the seat of honor. How can an economic science of this sort claim to present its solution as a social solution? Sadly, Marxist political economy is a form of bourgeois political economy. Marxist political economy needs to critically examine itself. With its collapse and self-dissolution after seventy years, real socialism taught us that searching for socialism in the area of bourgeois profit and an alleged commitment to socialism that lacks courageous self-criticism provides a very valuable and unreciprocated service to the capitalist system. How right Lenin and others were when they said, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions!”18 Could Lenin have imagined that his actions would confirm the accuracy of this saying? I hope to further develop this analysis in the relevant sections.

The economy can be thought of as the main moral and political act of historical-society that, should it prove necessary, could possibly be turned into an abstraction and a science. But to envisage Eurocentric political economy as a science is to intellectually fall prey to the second most exploitative mythology after Sumerian mythology. A radical scientific revolution is vital in this area.

We must insist that economic activity is the most moral and political of social activities. With this characteristic, economy must be the top priority of democratic politics. The democratic civilization system promises a true revolution and a correct interpretation of the economy of historical-society. This is a thousand times more important to the health of society than any medication could be.

Contrary to popular opinion, society’s mentality is not a superstructural element far removed from the economy. In fact, this and other base and superstructure distinctions complicate our understanding of social nature. Intelligence in nature is most intense in social nature. To think of separate elements of mentality may be seen as out of place. But science has been detached from historical-society, put to service by official civilization, and has been reduced to the most efficient source of power for rulers. This is why it is important that we look closely at the mentality and structure of life in a democratic civilization. Opposition and the construction of alternatives to the mentality and structure—the ideological hegemony and science—of the official civilization have been constant. Movements based on ideological struggle and alternative science have never been absent. Classical civilizations have primarily exploited the analytical development of intelligence, and have used an array of deceptive, intimidating, and delusional fiction and symbolism to cover up this abusive reality. They have consistently advanced the idea that it is futile to search for other truths, using mythology, religion, philosophy, and science to assert that their material reality is coterminous with general social reality.

This suggests that the “monistic” ideal capital monopoly is the “only right path.” They have attempted to reduce the extraordinary diversity of first and second nature to uniformity to prove that this is our only option. A small amount of the surplus value they have amassed was used as intellectual capital, assuring constant ideological hegemony. Schools and educational systems became locations and structures where their way of life was learned by heart. They have used the university not as a site for grappling with truth and social identity, but as an area of exclusion and denial. In the name of objectivity, the content and structure of science has been carefully designed to objectify the reality of historical-society and prevent it from acting as a subject. Mechanisms within a rigid civilizational line are presented as the ideal universal rules and forms.

The harmony of democratic civilization with that of social nature can be seen in the development of the mind. Even the clans, having a childlike mentality, were aware of their animate connection to nature. The idea of “dead nature” is betrayal and falsification on the part of civilization forces, with their mentality that is increasingly detached from nature. Today’s global financial era fails to apprehend the vitality and divinity it sees in “money” in any natural formation. In this sense, the clans were more advanced in their understanding of nature’s vitality and divinity than are present-day monopolisms. Tribes, aşirets, peoples, and democratic national structures have become the realm of existence of an animate mentality. For these social formations, intelligence and structure are for bonding with life. Analytical and emotional intelligence can only achieve dialectical unity within the democratic civilization system.

Democratic civilization’s mentality has always included skepticism about official schools, academies, and universities, and throughout history it has developed alternatives, from prophets to philosophical schools, mysticism to natural sciences, and the many maqam,19 dervish convents, ocak,20 sects, madrasahs, monasteries, tekkes, mosques, churches, and temples. As we can see, a dual as opposed to singular existence of civilization is apparent in all areas of social nature. The issue is not to get bogged down by the official singular structure but to develop an analysis based on the naturalist side of this contradiction, and with it the diversity of free life that makes democratic civilization possible.

Democratic Politics and Self-Defense

Politics and security, as elements of democratic civilization, are essential to the existence of moral and political society. Another specific category of democratic politics would be extraneous, since society itself is understood to be political. However, there is a difference between the two. A political society is not necessarily synonymous with democratic politics. In fact, throughout history the official civilization has overwhelmingly imposed the domination of despotic kingdoms on political society. Political society does not disappear under the weight of this domination, but it cannot democratize itself either. Having an ear does not guarantee hearing; sound health is also required. Similarly, having a political social fabric does not guarantee that it will always function freely. The healthy functioning of these structures requires a democratic environment.

In general, a democratic environment and the political structure of society can be called democratic politics. Democratic politics does not just denote a way of doing things, it also indicates the totality of the institution. In the absence of political parties, groups, assemblies, media, meetings, and other such institutions and activities, a democratic politics praxis cannot develop. The true role of institutions is to facilitate discussion and decision-making. Life cannot continue in the absence of discussion and decision-making when it comes to all the common affairs of society. The result will be either chaos or dictatorship. This is always the fate of a society that is not democratic. Such societies are always oscillated between chaos and dictatorship—it is one or the other. The development of moral and political society in that environment is unthinkable. This makes the primary objective of political struggle, which is to say, democratic politics, the formation of a democratic society and finding the best approach to common affairs through discussion and decision-making within this framework.

The primary goal of politics—deprived of its real function—in the environment and in the institutions of bourgeois democracy is, above all, to hold power. Power, on the other hand, is about getting a share from the monopolies. Obviously, this cannot be the objective of democratic politics. Even if democratic politics are to operate within the institutions of power (e.g., the government), their fundamental task remains the same. This task is not to seize a share of the monopolies but to arrive at and implement decisions that serve the vital interests of society as a whole. It is meaningless to say that “as a rule, we should not participate in bourgeois democracies.” In fact, it is necessary to understand how to conditionally operate in that arena. Unscrupulousness can only benefit the pseudo-politics of the ruling class.

It is important to always keep in mind that democratic politics require competent cadre, media, political party organizations, and civil society organizations, as well as continuous education and propaganda. We could define the required features of successful democratic politics that attain results as based on an overall respect for diversity within society as a basis for equality and reconciliation, a rich and courteous open discussion, political courage, the prioritizing of morality, a good understanding of the issues at hand, a grasp of both history and the present, and a holistic and scientific approach.

Self-defense is the security policy of a moral and political society. More precisely, if a society cannot defend itself, its moral and political features become meaningless, and society is either colonized and goes into decline or must resist and try to regain its moral and political qualities and its capacity to function. This process could be called self-defense. A society that insists on determining its own course, that rejects colonization or any form of imposed dependency, must be capable of self-defense and have strong institutions. Self-defense is not only required to face external threats, conflicts and tensions will also occur within the structures of the society. Let’s not forget that historical-societies have long been the subject of class division and submersed in power, which means that they will want to maintain these characteristics for a while. These forces will resist with all their might to protect their existence. Therefore, self-defense as a widespread social necessity will have an important place on the agenda for some time to come. In fact, to be effectively implemented, decision-making capacity needs to be reinforced with self-defense.

Moreover, power is not only external but has seeped into every nook and cranny of society. It is vital that self-defense takes places in as many of these nooks and crannies as possible. Societies without self-defense are societies that have surrendered and been colonized by the capital and power monopolies. Self-defense has always been an issue for all of the different historical social units, including clans, tribes, aşirets, peoples, and nations, as well as for the religious communities, villages, and cities. Capital and power monopolies are like wolves pursuing their prey; they seize what they want from those who lack self-defense—like grabbing a stray sheep from a disbanded flock.

It is imperative that self-defense be established and always be at the ready to defend democratic society and ensure its continued existence, at a minimum, inhibiting the attacks and exploitation of capital and power monopolies. It is important not to fall into either of two mistakes, since we will be living with capital and power apparatuses for a while. The first mistake is to entrust self-defense to the monopolistic order. We know of thousands of devastating examples of this error. The second mistake is to try to become a power apparatus under the rubric of forming a state to counter the existing state. Real socialist experience has sufficiently elucidated the consequences of this error. As such, meaningful and functioning self-defense will continue to be a factor in democratic civilization that cannot be ignored historically, at present, or in the future.

It is surely possible to increase the elements of democratic civilization and explain their essence, but I believe that this presentation is sufficient to make clear the importance of the topic.


1 The 114 chapters of the Koran are referred to as suras.

2 Henri de Saint-Simon (1760–1825) was a French political and economic theorist and businessperson whose thinking influenced politics, economics, sociology, and the philosophy of science. His economic ideology, known as industrialism, recognized an obligation to meet the needs of the working class for the smooth functioning of the economy and society.

Charles Fourier (1772–1837) was a French philosopher and “utopian socialist.” Fourier is credited with having coined the word feminism.

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809–1865) was the founder of mutualism and the first person to self-define as an anarchist.

Auguste Comte (1798–1857) was the founder of sociology and positivism, which called for a new scientific doctrine to respond to the problems that arose with the French Revolution.

Émile Durkheim (1858–1917) was a French sociologist, social psychologist, and philosopher whose work addressed the maintenance of social integrity and coherence in the face of the breakdown of social and religious ties in modernist period.

3 “The march of God in the world, that is what the state is”; see Thom Brooks, ed., Hegel’s Philosophy of Right (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012 [1820]), part 3, section 3.

Shāhanshāh is a Persian honorific meaning king of kings.

5 The Levh-i Mahfûz, Arabic for the protected tablet, is, in the Islamic tradition, the divine book where all that has happened and will happen is written. See also Öcalan: Beyond State, Power, and Violence, (Oakland: PM Press, forthcoming).

6 Here is the statement referenced: “Whatever the theoretical aspects, the accumulation of capital as an historical process, depends in every respect upon non-capitalist social strata and forms of social organisation.” Rosa Luxemburg, The Accumulation of Capital, section three, chapter 26, Marxists .org, accessed December 4, 2019, https://www.marxists.org/archive/luxemburg/1913/accumulation-capital/ch26.htm.

7 The author uses the word şebeke, which can mean either gangs or networks; in this case, both meanings are intended.

8 Michel Foucault, The Order of Things: An Archeology of Human Sciences (London: Tavistock Publications, 1970 [1966]).

Zillullah is an Arabic word meaning shadow of God.

10 For example, the archeological remains at Tepe Gawra.

11 Rabb means LordSustainerCherisherMasterNourisher. In Islam, Ar-Rabb is often used to address Allah, although Ar-Rabb is not one of the 99 names (or attributes) of Allah.

12 The Sabians were grouped by early writers with the ancient Jewish Christian group the Elcesaites and with gnostic groups like the Hermeticists and the Mandaeans. Today, the Mandaeans are still widely identified as Sabians.

13 Mohammad’s adoption of facing north toward Jerusalem, Islam’s first qiblah, or direction of prayer, later changed to facing toward the Kabah in Mecca, when performing the daily prayers.

14 Ahl al-Bayt means People of the House or Family of the House. Within the Islamic tradition, the term refers to the Mohammad’s family. Khawarij means those who went out and refers to a sect in early Islam that revolted against the authority of Caliph Ali ibn Abu Talib after he agreed to arbitration with his rival Muawiyah to decide the succession to the caliphate following the Battle of Siffin.

15 The Mughal Empire, based in the Indian subcontinent, was established and ruled by the Muslim Persianate dynasty of Chagatai Turco-Mongol origin that extended over large parts of the Indian subcontinent and Afghanistan.

16 Asabiyyah is a concept of social solidarity with an emphasis on unity, group consciousness and a sense of shared purpose, and social cohesion, originally in a context of “tribalism” and “clanism.” It was familiar in the pre-Islamic era, but was popularized in Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah, where it is described as the fundamental bond of human society and the basic motive force of history, pure only in its nomadic form.

17 Öcalan uses mülkiyetçilik, derived from the Turkish word for ownership, to describe it as an ideology, similar to nationalism.

18 The saying is thought to have originated with Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, who, in 1150, wrote “L’enfer est plein de bonnes volontés ou désirs” [Hell is full of good wishes or desires]. Many people have used some form of the phrase, including Karl Marx.

19 Maqam and tekke are buildings for the gatherings of a Sufi brotherhood.

20 Every wise old religious man or woman is said to belong to an ocak, which is seen as sacred.

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