8.1 Deconstructing Capitalism and Modernity

  • 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

Deconstructing Capitalism and Modernity

According to Anthony Giddens, capitalism first appeared in Europe. An overwhelming number of Eurocentric social scientists hold a similar view. According to them, in no other period and location in history was such a development seen. The capitalism referred to here is the capitalism that rose as the world hegemonic power center in sixteenth-century Dutch-English capitalism, with Amsterdam and London as its hub. There is some truth in this, in that, subsequently, Amsterdam and London took over the hegemony of the classical global center of civilization from this century onward. The question of how this shift in hegemony occurred is the subject of an extremely large body of literature dealing with this phase of world history. I cannot and need not repeat all this here; I will simply remind you to keep it in mind. I touched upon these issues in the previous two volumes. What is more important is what remains incomplete and incorrect about this observation.

a) The assertion that capitalism is singular is simply incorrect. I have presented a comprehensive analysis that shows that the first capital monopoly arose in the Sumerian priests’ temple (the ziggurat was perhaps the first bank and the first factory). In this context, we can comfortably conclude that we owe the formation of the city, class, and state triad as the first hegemonic monopoly to the Sumerians. After I encountered the views of Andre Gunder Frank and his friends who share his way of thinking about central civilization and the world system,4 I felt particularly strengthened in my views. But I emphatically argue that the monopoly of power represents another form of capital monopoly. I have stressed that the importance of grasping that power is one of the four main forms of accumulation. The first monopoly was established over agriculture, which was becoming more productive. The surplus product necessitated trade, allowing a trade monopoly to develop. In addition, the first industrial monopoly was established over craftspeople in the city and temple. The city administration, on the other hand, had taken on military and administrative tasks; it worked closely with three previously mentioned monopolies to form a strong monopoly of power. The unequal distribution of power among them necessitated hegemonic relations. Initially the priests were the main hegemonic power, but that eventually changed. In short, both monopoly and a hegemonic character already existed in the founding phase. In the two previous volumes, I roughly traced the historical course of these developments. Another very important observation is that no matter how much internal conflict exists among them, monopolies within civilization react to external forces (the forces of democratic civilization) in a united way and historically behave like the links of a chain. No civilization would have developed without the legacy of the previous ones. I am talking here about the central civilization system, not the Chinese or Incan civilizations.

I had also tried to present in detail the story of the formation of the European link in the chain. I especially emphasized its relationship with Eastern civilization (even the Neolithic Age of the East) and the role of Venice in transferring these values for over three centuries. It could be claimed that the highly advanced quality of money-capital was a singularity of European civilization after the sixteenth century. Undoubtedly from this century onward, the money-capital monopoly succeeded in establishing its hegemony in Europe. It is possible to speak of a singularity or being unprecedented in this sense. But clearly it is not possible to conclude that Europe is the homeland of money-capital, or that it emerged for the first time during this era. Other items that were used in a similar way to money existed long before the civilization. Experts researching antiquity agree that obsidian and other similar materials were the first to assume the role of money. Various valuable materials still play a similar role in primitive communal societies. We know that the first coins were minted by the Kingdom of Lydia, on the eastern shore of the Aegean Sea, around 560 BCE, and that they were made of gold and silver and bore the image of Croesus.5 The same is true of money-capital accumulation. Accumulation is a very old tradition. Valuable metals and goods have been accumulated throughout history in this sense. Archeological records offer plenty of examples, and the old expression “as rich as Croesus” also bears witness to this reality. But nothing can tell the story of the use of money-capital to produce profit in such an original and attractive way as the Assyrian karum (simultaneously meaning money, trade, the market, and a warehouse).6 There were many cities in the East that were home to money-capital thousands of years before Venice, Amsterdam, and London.

What is singular about European money-capital was its rise and its establishment of hegemony. For the first time, Karl Marx regards this kind of hegemony of capital as something positive and speaks of its favorable and progressive role in shaping modernity. Immanuel Wallerstein likens this hegemony to a lion breaking out of its cage, but he also feels the need to emphasize that its role is positive. When he links the emergence of the new hegemony to the weakening of the Church and the kingdoms, as well as to the Mongol invasion developing in the East, it is as if he is confessing that he is faced with great question marks. Ultimately, he concludes that this was not the best course for history to take. This is not the place to present the horrifying balance sheet of the last four-hundred-year reign of money-capital. However, it is not difficult to understand the kind of hegemony we are up against if we consider the number of people who have died or been wounded in wars, the number and duration of these wars, the devastating consequences of economic crises, the rates of poverty and unemployment, and, most importantly, its role in the ecological crisis.

b) That the modernity that rests on capitalism is singular is insufficient and incorrect. Nonetheless, this assertion by the Eurocentric social sciences is quite comprehensive and all-encompassing. And it is not so different from previous civilizations in claiming that its existence as a world-system and its all-encompassing reach mark “the end of time” and are “the last word” of truth. Furthermore, it makes this assertion even more absolute, using science as its weapon. Liberalism, having established its ideological hegemony, joins the media monopolies in claiming that this assertion is a common truth of all humanity. To this end, it makes an extraordinary effort to create ages within the age (e.g., the media age, the information age). Although it recognizes the importance of presenting the content and form of reality within its historical dimension, it does not refrain from constructing a futurology (the science of the future) detached from both the past and the present. It is amazingly concerned with the “now” and instills an ethos of “live the now; all else is meaningless” as a fundamental doctrine.

Neoliberalism, formed from all sorts of old and new ideas and ideological templates with an eclectic approach, smacks of the decline of Rome, only much worse. We are in a period where the three S’s, sports, sex, and art [Turkish: sanat], have been maximally ideologized.7 All three have been given a religious dimension. It is really difficult to find another religion today that is more of an opiate than soccer, which has been transformed into a fiesta in the stadiums. We are seeing a similar development in the field of art, which has been transformed into an industry. The most basic of natural instincts, sexuality, has been turned into the sex industry. Sex with its opiate effect has also been transformed into a religion on par with sports and the arts. It might be more appropriate to refer to this triad as the religious celebrations—the fiesta—of capitalist modernity. Even religious fundamentalism, which pursues the goal of the religious rule, is a current of modernity, no matter how anti-modern its façade.

When examined in depth, it would seem that the modernity influenced by capitalism is the most insecure of modernities. Its need for such broad eclecticism proves this. Although postmodernism was a product of this insecurity, it failed to provide an alternative to modernity. Its only goal was to open a window for all those intellectuals who were sick of modernity. In terms of its way of life, it was deeply immersed in capitalist modernity. A typical example would be the philosopher Theodor Adorno saying, “Wrong life cannot be lived rightly,” in Minima Moralia.8 He explained modernity in a very clear and concise manner but offered no alternative. This is among the reasons why the revolutionary youth turned against him. Neoliberalism actually wanted to renew the flaking varnish of modernity. But despite its add-ons and innovations, whitewashing the contradictions of the age of global financial monopoly and saving the system is no easy task.

Andre Gunder Frank came very close to discovering the truth when he determined the role and importance of European civilization within the five-thousand-year-old civilizational process. But he also profoundly regretted that, apart from some generalities, he could not develop and present an alternative or any solutions. But he retained hope. The formula of “unity in diversity” within the classical civilization is a correct but extreme generalization. There is no explanation offered of how to achieve this. His error, however, is the hope that a better and different modern life (in theory and practice) is possible within the system. Immanuel Wallerstein is positive and radical in this regard; he does not believe in a solution within the system. He repeats tirelessly that the current crisis is systemic and structural and suggests that we devote ourselves wholeheartedly to the intellectual, moral, and political tasks that he correctly defines. His shortcoming, however, is that he does not present a comprehensive answer to the question of what kind of system. However, he offers a sincere self-criticism when he says, “We have all drunk from the same cups in the sacred temple of the bourgeoisie.”9 At the same time as he metaphorically expresses his fear of the wrath of the gods, he talks about the ways in which intellectual capital is strongly dependent on capitalist modernity and how difficult it is to make a radical break. In short, he makes many points that provide necessary lessons.

On the other hand, my situation is best expressed in the saying: “It is of no use to try to escape death.” I fled from capitalist modernity, but this flight was not enough to escape its clutches. Therefore, instead of dying in its clutches, I decided that trying out the alternative would be more realistic and courageous. Thus, I was neither content with speaking the truth like Nietzsche or announcing the death of humanity like Michel Foucault nor, like Theodor Adorno, did I resign myself to fate, sulking and saying, “What cannot be cured must be endured.” I also did not find it sufficient to seek shelter under the slogan “unity in diversity.” Moreover, contrary to Immanuel Wallerstein, I did not believe that it was sufficient to determine the importance of the intellectual, moral (ethical), and political tasks. However, these people of thought and virtue have doubtless made significant contributions to this attempt of mine and gave me courage. However, “wrong life cannot be lived rightly” is not something that could have been true for me. I never lived that way. I ran after it a lot, but neither my strength nor my faith was enough to grasp the capitalist modern life. But what is more searing is that the human who rebelled within me kept saying, “Don’t sell us out; whatever you seek, find it within yourself.” I am writing about my rebellions.

One might ask, “What can you do about the triad of forces of modernity that have taken root in every mind and soul for five thousand years and in the last four hundred years have seized every social value, whether inside or outside, from the highest layers of the air to the deepest layers of the earth, turning them into commodities to be bought and sold, and which have become a million times stronger than the orders of the Nimrods and the pharaohs?” But, of course, I am posing the question incorrectly, in a way that modernity wants. What I hope to show is that there is no positive value to such a question or the construct that lies behind it.

I have neither discovered nor invented democratic modernity. Although I have a few things to say about its reconstruction, that is not terribly important; to be more precise, the real important point lies elsewhere—and that is that democratic modernity has been dichotomous since the emergence of official civilization, whenever and wherever it arose. What I am trying to do, even if only in broad terms, is to give due recognition to this form of civilization (the unofficial democratic civilization; the name is not so important) that exists whenever and wherever official civilization exists and to meaningfully clarify its main dimensions in a way that arouses interest. Additionally, I will try to understand and define its basic forms of mentality, structures, and living society.

There is nothing incomprehensible about the fact that whenever and wherever the supposedly singular civilization (the modernity of different eras) existed, a counterpart has necessarily existed for dialectical reasons. It is rather incomprehensible that this natural consequence of the dialectical method has not been systematically expressed throughout the history of civilization and has not been given a voice. From Sumer to Egypt and Harappa, from China to India and Rome, when all these civilizations took form, was there no reaction, no ideas, and no social structures among the numerous tribes, aşirets, and religious communities that were oppressed and enslaved, but who rebelled from the Great Sahara to the deserts of Central Asia and from Siberia to Arabia? Could it be possible that nobody thought of this? Is it really possible that the agrarian-village communities fed all civilizations for ten thousand years but never raised their voices, never reacted, and never had counter-structures? Is that conceivable? Is it just? If they were exposed to all sorts of repression and exploitation by the rulers of the cities that they had built with their own hands for thousands of years, would the working peoples sit there quietly and be grateful for their fate? Is that really possible?

It is possible to ask thousands of questions about different areas and periods, and there are answers. What is missing is the weaving of a system of civilization (construct of thought, theory) from the answers to these questions. There are also counter-structures (the attitude of moral and political society). The level of interest shown for the despotic, imperial, and power and capital monopolies is not shown for the situation and development of moral and political society, the basic state of social nature.

Take Islamic civilization, with which I am quite familiar. Even the most minute details are recounted in the extensive stories of the caliphs, sultans, emirs, and sheikhs, but the stories of the believers, sects, and denominations spread across three continents, and their resistance, longings, and convictions are either not deemed worthy of a similar treatment or are distorted. Clearly there is an internal conflict and dichotomy within civilization, but while one side is exalted by boundless praise, its opponents are abased. I have witnessed this myself; I have observed Alevi Kurds, Sunni Kurds, and Yazidi Kurds. I can unequivocally say that the civilization of the Alevi and Yazidi Kurds, distilled over thousands of years, is more moral and political than the counter-civilization. But the classical discourses of civilization are full of unspeakable slanders against the Alevis and Yazidis. Of course, when I say that I am not talking about the laborers or tribal and aşiret cultures that belong to the Sunni faith. All these social sectors are part of democratic civilization. Examples of this can be shown at all times and in all places, but this will suffice to explain what I mean.

It is important to clarify another point about modernity. In a way, the term capitalist modernity is incorrect, and it should be noted that I use the concept conditionally. If the concept of capitalist society is ambiguous and risks obscuring reality, this is even more true of the concept of capitalist modernity. Modernity in general is a given era’s social way of life. It is the material and immaterial culture that contains all the elements of technology, science, art, politics, and fashion that shape a certain period. In this sense, it is a grave mistake to attribute modernity to capitalism. In fact, many of its elements are overwhelmingly opposed to capitalism, which is essentially a monopoly. Moral and political society, which is social nature’s main mode of life, is opposed to civilization in general and to capitalist civilization in particular, so it holds a similar position in modernity. Modern society is not a capitalist society. So why do I use the term capitalist modernity? Because capitalist monopoly and its hegemonic allies would like to shape not only society but the modernity that is understood to be the way of life of this particular time. Together with its ideological, political, and military allies, it systematically strives through education, military barracks, places of worship, and the media, to appear to be the creative force of the era’s way of life. It creates a dominant mentality that reflects ownership of what does not belong to it. If its propaganda effort has been successful, then it has shaped society or modernity.

Anthony Giddens most probably does not realize that he is caught in a dilemma when he considers capitalism to be the most important pillar of modernity. The crucial question is which gave rise to or determines the other. It is unthinkable that modernity gave rise to capitalism; modernity is lived as an era specific to social nature. But when oppressive and exploitative monopolies took the form of the city, the class, and the state they tried to shape the way of life of that period and take credit for its development. We have to admit that they were mostly successful, but it was a propaganda success. An entire era has been attributed to impostors. When using the concept of capitalist modernity, we should always keep this in mind. But social nature never totally adopts the colors or way of existence of capitalism or any other monopoly as its own identity. It is also impossible for social nature, as selfhoods, to transform into a network of oppressive and exploitative monopolies. Just as we have shown that pure capitalism is impossible, it is also impossible to realize a pure civilization. We should ask those who think it is: When there remains no society to exploit and rule, how will the city, the class, and the state live on as they are? How will they even maintain something as basic as their material life? That, however, doesn’t mean they can’t shape and exploit the social nature of the period. If we speak of Europe, for example, we cannot attribute the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Enlightenment to capitalism. The creators of the Renaissance were not the owners of money-capital and the rulers, who nonetheless hoped to use their money and their power to leave their mark on it, knowing they would earn even more money and power if they were successful.

Its counterpart, society, which is targeted by money-capital and the rulers, can also leave its mark on the way of life of an age, and there are a variety of examples of the various ways it has done so. The selfhood of social nature also tends in this direction. Society is overwhelmingly anti-capitalist, because it experiences the exploitation and domination of capital monopoly on a daily basis. Youth, women, the unemployed, colonized peoples, many religious communities, and all communities that live off their own labor are the main block (demos) of historical-society that give the way of life, the modernity of an era, its true color.10 As a matter of convenience, we call all of these and similar groups the demos. Democracy is the expression of the self-governance of these groups. Although these are political concepts, “democratic society” and “democratic modernity” are closer to its essence, because the realm and the groups they cover constitute the main block of the society. Therefore, I ask that you bear with my frequent use of these terms. When I speak of the option of democratic modernity, this is what I mean. Therefore, both the concepts of a singular modernity and of modernity influenced by capitalism are quite dubious and contain a high likelihood of error.

What will determine any given modernity’s color are the ideas, structures, and struggles of its opposing poles and the extent of their success. To call either pole entirely capitalist or entirely democratic is to fall into blind and crude reductionism. In any case, when we talk about society we should use the concept of “entirely” sparingly. Social nature is complex and never corresponds entirely to one thing or one color. We must not forget that contradictions require differences. Diversity is the meaning of life. The end of contradiction and differentiation would spell the end of life. Even death is nothing but proof of life. Can you imagine, for example, a life that has been condemned to last an eternity, a life with no death? Such a life would be great torture. If it is not for the purpose of crushing opponents, seeking similarity at all times is the negation of life. The efforts of fascism or capitalist modernity—besides fashion, what is called fashion is the most fraudulent art form invented by capitalism to conceal its hostility to life, demonstrated through the torture of making things similar—to liquidate all social differences and reduce them to a single color is more proof of its hostility to life.

In conclusion, although we describe modernity as a dubious concept, it is nonetheless important to determine its scope and duration. Reducing it to singularity is rife with serious errors. Describing modernity as contemporary, as the present of the civilization, requires us to make careful choices about its social context. The sweeping shortcomings and errors of the social sciences in this respect are obvious. We can best explain this by the pressure of the capital and power monopolies and the money on which these sciences depend. Science breeds power and power breeds capital, but the inverse is also true. Despite this, the main block of social nature remains democratic in the age of capitalist hegemony. Therefore, there is no reason to believe that modernity, which is the era’s way of life, cannot be democratized. The social scope of democratic modernity exceeds that of the modernity of the capitalists and their collaborators many times over. To understand this, we only have to learn to think correctly.


Elah is the Aramaic word for God. The word Elah is also an Arabic word which means GodElah is etymologically related to Allah.

2 See Anthony Giddens, The Consequences of Modernity (Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 1990); see also Abdullah Öcalan, Manifesto of the Democratic Civilization Volume II: Capitalism: The Age of Unmasked Gods and Naked Kings, 2nd rev. ed. (Oakland, PM Press, forthcoming 2020).

3 Michel Foucault, The Order of Things (London: Routledge, 1989), 373, accessed July 31, 2019, https://is.muni.cz/el/1423/jaro2013/SOC911/um/Michel_Foucault_The_Order_of_Things.pdf.

4 In Andre Gunder Frank and Barry K. Gills, eds., The World System: Five Hundred Years or Five Thousand? (London: Routledge, 1993); several authors argue for an extension of world system analysis beyond the last five hundred years. The concept of central civilization is also developed in this book.

5 Croesus was the king of Lydia from 560 BCE until his defeat by the Persian King Cyrus the Great in 546 BCE.

Karum, meaning port, or commercial district, the word used for ancient Assyrian trade posts in Anatolia (present-day Turkey) from the twentieth to eighteenth centuries BCE.

7 An expression used in Turkish to refer to the “three ‘F’s” (Fado, Fátima, Futebol—music, religion, sports), the three pillars of the Salazar dictatorship in Portugal.

8 Theodor Adorno, Minima Moralia: Reflections from the Damaged Life (London: Verso, 2006 [1951]).

9 Immanuel Wallerstein, Historical Capitalism and Capitalist Civilization (London: Verso, 1995), 98; the complete quote correctly reads: “Even as I write this, I feel the tremor that accompanies the sense of blasphemy. I fear the wrath of the gods, for I have been molded in the same ideological forge as all my compeers and worshiped at the same shrines.”

10 In sociology, demos from Greek δῆμος, describes a political and legal concept of people, in contrast to ethnos as an ethnic concept of people.

11 Lenin completed his work “The State and Revolution,” which the author alludes to here, in September 1917, just before the October Revolution; see V.I. Lenin, “The State and Revolution,” in Collected Works, vol. 25 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1964), 381–492, accessed December 23, 2019, https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/staterev.

12 The original quote is: “Power is accumulated like money”; Fernand Braudel, Civilisation and Capitalism 15th to 18th Century: Volume 3: The Perspective of the World (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992), 50. Elsewhere he also says that capitalism is an accumulation of power; see Fernand Braudel, The Perspective of the World: Civilisation and Capitalism 15th to 18th CenturyVolume 2: The Wheels of Commerce (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992).

13 Ewen MacAskil, “George Bush: ‘God told me to end the tyranny in Iraq’” Guardian, October 7, 2005, accessed August 1, 2019, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/oct/07/iraq.usa.

14 G.W.F. Hegel, Elements of the Philosophy of Right (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 219.

15 David Shasha, “Understanding the Sephardi-Ashkenanzi Split,” Huffington Post,” May 25, 2011, accessed September 9, 2019, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-shasha/understanding-the-sephard_b_541033.html.

16 The decisions of the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 were even more radical. For example, it became mandatory for Jews and Muslims to dress differently from Christians and to wear badges.

17 The term dönme (convert) is generally used in Turkish to describe converted Jews, especially those who continue to practice Judaism in secret, so-called crypto-Jews. Among them were the followers of the self-declared Messiah Shabbtai Zevi in the seventeenth century, the Sabbatians, many of whom, like him, later converted to Islam.

18 Membership in Masonic lodges requires a belief in a single God, but the Lodges are neutral with regard to the individual religions. That is why Jews and Muslims were accepted relatively early. The discussion of religious matters in the lodges is forbidden.

19 This refers to Cyrus II, also known as Cyrus the Great, c. 585–530 BCE.

20 Taqiyya, which literally means fear or caution, describes the Islamic practice of Muslims denying their faith to the outside world in the event of danger, while in reality continuing to practice their faith.

21 His sons were called Mikâ’îl (Michael), Arslan Isrâ’îl (Israel), Mûsâ (Moses), and Yûnus (Jonah).

22 In 1391, extensive pogroms against Jews took place in Spain, with tens of thousands of them murdered.

23 In 1492, after the Reconquista ended, the Alhambra Decree was issued. As a result, tens of thousands of Sephardic Jews who did not want to be baptized were expelled from Spain.

24 Sabbatians (sometimes rendered Sabbateans) is a complex general term that refers to a variety of followers of and, disciples and believers in Sabbatai Zevi (1626–1676), a Jewish rabbi who was proclaimed to be the Jewish Messiah in 1665 by Nathan of Gaza.

25 Müsadere refers to the ruler’s right to confiscate unfairly acquired property, which is common in many Muslim states.

26 In reference to Max Weber, who saw capitalism favored by certain forms of Protestantism, Werner Sommbart postulates this applies even more to Judaism; Werner Sombart, Die Juden und das Wirtschaftsleben (Leipzig: Duncker und Humblot, 1911).

27 In 1938–1939, R.G. Collingwood wrote: “Modern Germany thus stands officially committed to the same error which infected ancient Jewish thought, and which Paul exploded—the error of regarding a given community’s historical function as bound up with its biological character, i.e. with the common pedigree of its members—and thus persecutes the Jews because it agrees with them. Intellectually, the Jew is the victor in the present-day conflict (if you can call it that) in Germany. He has succeeded in imposing his idea of a chosen people (in the biological sense of the word people) on modern Germany: and this may explain why the victims of this persecution take it so calmly.” R. G. Collingwood, The Principles of History and Other Writings in Philosophy of History. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 7S.7.

28 These three pillars are capitalism, industrialism, and the nation-state.

29 Rabb translates approximately as the Lord or, the Great. The term is a common name of God in the Islamic world, the Hebrew form is rav. It corresponds in meaning to the Hebrew adonai; perhaps this is what is meant here.

30 Immanuel Wallerstein, The Modern World-System: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World-Economy in the Sixteenth Century (New York: Academic Press, 1976).

31 This is another name used for the people previously known as the Assyrians.

32 The Committee of Union and Progress (CUP: İttihat ve Terakki Cemiyeti), later the Party of Union and Progress (İttihat ve Terakki Fırkası), began as a secret society established as the “Committee of Ottoman Union” (İttihad-ı Osmanî Cemiyeti) in Istanbul, on February 6, 1889, by medical students İbrahim Temo, Çerkez Mehmed Reşid, Abdullah Cevdet, İshak Sükuti, Ali Hüsyinzade, Kerim Sebatî, Mekkeli Sabri Bey, Selanikli Nazım Bey, Şerafettin Mağmumi, Cevdet Osman, and Giritli Şefik. This was the political party of the so-called Young Turks, and the ruling party in the final years of the Ottoman Empire.

33 From 1897 onward, Geneva was CUP’s headquarters, while the first Zionist congresses were held in Basel.

34 Moiz Cohen was a Turkish writer and philosopher of Jewish origin active in pan-Turkism movement. Born to a Jewish family, he later changed his name to Munis Tekinalp. He was a proponent of the assimilation of minorities within the Turkish Republic into Turkish culture, and in 1928 issued a pamphlet on the subject titled Türkleştirme. Hungarian Ármin Vámbéry, also known as Arminus Vámbéry, was a prominent Turkologist.

35 Öcalan’s thesis of the Democratic Republic is detailed in Abdullah Öcalan: Declaration on the Democratic Solution of the Kurdish Question (Neuss: Mesopotamian Publishers, 1999).

36 The question is addressed in Abdullah Öcalan, Manifesto of Democratic Civilization, Volume IV: Civilizational Crisis in the Middle East and the Democratic Civilization Solution (Oakland: PM Press, forthcoming).

37 In Turkish Miryam and Maria are both rendered as Meryem.

38 The Marx and Engels passage referenced here, reads “When, in the course of development, class distinctions have disappeared, and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation, the public power will lose its political character. Political power, properly so called, is merely the organised power of one class for oppressing another. If the proletariat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organise itself as a class, if, by means of a revolution, it makes itself the ruling class, and, as such, sweeps away by force the old conditions of production, then it will, along with these conditions, have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class. In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all”; Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, The Communist Manifesto, Chapter 2, accessed February 8, 2020, https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch02.htm.

39 Biologism is the use or emphasis of biological principles or methods to explain human, especially social, behavior; “Biologism,” ScienceDirect, accessed September 5, 2019, https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/social-sciences/biologism.

40 Michel Foucault, Society Must Be Defended: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1975–76 (New York: Picador, 1997).

41 “Braudel’s influence was crucial in two regards. First, in his later work on capitalism and civilization, Braudel would insist on a sharp distinction between the sphere of the free market and the sphere of monopolies. He called only the latter capitalism and, far from being the same thing as the free market, he said that capitalism was the “anti-market.” This concept marked a direct assault, both substantively and terminologically, on the conflation by classical economists (including Marx) of the market and capitalism. And secondly, Braudel’s insistence on the multiplicity of social times and his emphasis on structural time-what he called the longue durée became central to world-systems analysis.” Immanuel Wallerstein, World-Systems Analysis: An Introduction (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004), 19.

42 A Turkish idiom: “biri yer biri bakar kıyamet ondan kopar.” It literally means “some sections of society live in hardship, others live in luxury, this creates a contradiction that will lead to doomsday.”

43 The author uses here his own term for an autonomous unit, which subsequently became popular, especially in its Kurdish language form, xwebûn.

44 One of several militaristic terms commonly used in Turkey to describe the Turkish nation. It is also formulated as “every Turk is born a soldier.”

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