8.5 The Dimensions of Democratic 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

The Dimensions of Democratic Modernity

I believe that the analysis to this point has served to elucidate democratic modernity, the main elements of which we have defined and the development of which is intertwined with the history of civilization that we have addressed, as well as providing a thoroughgoing critique of civilization and modernity. Here I will try to further clarify the subject, both in terms of its key dimensions and as a whole. I will address how democratic modernity can be presented in its main dimensions from a broader point of view. The basis of our scientific work should be to shatter the monistic conception of modernity and to reveal the numerous historical-society existences it conceals. The history of civilization resembles a bottomless well that has dried. Whatever our efforts to illuminate it, new dark spots immediately arise. We may assume that under the millennia of ideological bombardment by the ruling monopolies, the social memory (conscience) will be folded in such a way that it will remind us of the twists in the brain and will give rise to a phenomenon similar to the subconscious, with thousands of winding tunnels of social memory. Yet we must not get discouraged. A human organ cannot be treated until its disease is properly diagnosed; likewise, social problems cannot be properly analyzed (diagnosed) and resolved (treated) until they are adequately explained.

It should come as no surprise that I repeatedly emphasize one thing: if the social sciences or other equally ambitious scientific disciplines had been successful, humanity would not have repeatedly experienced such terrible war, genocide, and societycide, including the huge and growing gap between the rich and the poor, unemployment, migration, cultural degeneration and immorality, monstrous monopoly forces, individuals reduced to nothing, and environmental destruction reminiscent of the apocalypse, a state of affairs it has been caught up in for the last four centuries. It appears that over five thousand years the world civilization system exhausted all of the instruments of material and immaterial culture that it presented as remedies. There is nowhere left to conquer or reseize by war. Whatever the claim, the damage of a conquest would far outweigh any potential gain. What remains of the instrument of the city is an ultimately cancerous proliferation of urbanization without cities, alongside an agrarian-village society doomed to perish. What endures of the instrument called the economy is unrestrained and bloated global monopolies that make money in a highly unethical way, for example, making money from money, and the millions of unemployed and poor, whose numbers continue to grow every year. All that remains of the adored instrument of the state is completely dysfunctional monopolies of power and nation-states, bloated from devouring domestic society, and a completely stultified herd of citizens who have lost all connection with moral and political society. What remains of the much vaunted ideological instruments is a religionism that has lost its moral function, a sexism that spreads power into every pore of society, a nationalism that has drenched us in a chauvinism a thousand times worse than any tribalism, and a scientism with no other purpose than to show the capital and power monopolies the way to maximum profits. What remains of the arts is a cultural industry that commodifies any sense of beauty and the sublimity of feelings. This situation, referred to as “the end of history,” is the balance sheet of civilization. To whatever degree a society suffocated and blinded by media monopolies in a virtual world may be deprived of its reflexes, and no matter how thoroughly the power apparatuses monitor and control its every nook and cranny, it is undeniable that the five-thousand-year-old world system of civilization and modernity in general, and particularly the last four hundred years, is at the zenith of its intellectual and structural crisis. Financial capitalism, which has become a global and hegemonic power, is the most obvious evidence of this. A world with its wheels turned by financial capitalism is a world of crisis writhing in the throes of depression.

My purpose is not to develop theories about economic depression or crisis. I do not intend to define capitalism simply as a system with cyclical crises but as a systemic structural phase of crisis in a civilization system prone to ongoing cyclical crises. Every phase of crisis has internal phases that are the most severe, and we are going through just such a phase. That being said, I must point out that I am not one of those socialists who once hoped, and perhaps still hopes, that crises will lead to revolution. Crises not only give impetus to revolutions, they also generate counterrevolutions. Furthermore, I view such crisis-revolution-counterrevolution theories to be more rhetoric and propaganda than an expression of reality. Thus, the discourse I put forth is not based on the idea that “the conditions are rapidly becoming suitable for democratic modernity.” I accept economic depressions and periods of crisis as real phenomena, but I do not see these depressions and crises as decisive factors that will produce historical developments. The universalist progressivist school of thought endeavored to derive successive forms of society that develop from worse to better from crisis theories, but concrete reality has not confirmed these theories.

So we should seek the decisive factors elsewhere, both historically and at present. Democratic modernity as an option was the result of intense efforts in just such a search. I always find it necessary to return to this option, and I am convinced that knowledge of its distinctive features will make practical efforts more productive. I am devoted to the positive, democratic legacy of history, which I highly respect. I personally also see this as a self-criticism. It is not just a matter of the lessons I’ve learned from history; I believe that shaping the now on the basis of history is an indispensable method. I do not have the same respect for or commitment to thoughts and actions—no matter what their value and results may be—that do not comprehend that “history must be the now, and the now must be history.” I simply do not believe in such thoughts and actions. I also know that the future passes through the now, and I believe that there is no future unless you analyze and resolve your own now.

The reason I frequently emphasize this methodology is to underline that democratic civilization is not conceived as the return to some illusory past “golden age” or as an imagined future “utopia.” It is the daily expression and meaning of a way of life that is constantly, even instantaneously, being realized in thought and action. It neither wallows in old memories nor consoles itself with dreams of the future. Existing realities are neither instantaneous creations nor past- or post-eternity. Perhaps we can call existence based on the flexible intelligence of social nature, with its high potential for freedom and unity in diversity, democratic modernity. However, we should never forget that modernity, having arisen as the opposite dialectical pole of the civilizations of the classical era, designates an era and must always be understood in that light.

As with modernism, the hegemonic age of capitalism is a specific term used to define the last four hundred years of classical civilization, while democratic modernity should be thought of as a specific term for the last four hundred years of democratic civilization.

Another important point is that democratic modernity exists as the opposite pole whenever and wherever networks of capitalist modernity are found. Whether successful or not, whether free or enslaved, whether marked by similarity or diversity, whether approaching equality or far removed from it, whether ecological and feminist or not, whether it has attained significance or not—in short, close to the characteristics of moral and political society or distant from them—democratic modernity exists at the heart of capitalist modernity always and everywhere.

The seizure of power (and therefore of the state) by the left-wing or right-wing opposition, whether by revolution or counterrevolution, to implement its brand of social engineering, i.e., its plans and programs, to create the society it longs for with methods of central planning, is not only absurd but is based on a propagandistic discourse. Moreover, I consider this approach as one that leads to thought and action that turn movements into playthings of liberalism, which will have no difficulty in absorbing them, even if it takes seventy years.

Social nature has genetic codes similar to that of biological nature. I am aware of dangers of biologism. I know that it is social Darwinism to apply this to social natures, and as vulgar materialism it provides intellectual material for social engineering.39 What I am concerned with here is that even if they are particularly open to the option of freedom as nature with the highest level of intelligence, changing the memories and basic structural features of historical-societies have their unique sensitivities. We cannot change societies like we would plants or animals, whose genetic coding we are attempting to alter to breed new varieties. It is not for nothing that the memory of social nature has established this reality as moral and political society. It is particularly important to note that a method of changing society can only be considered legitimate if it increases moral and political social level. Any totalitarian and authoritarian method will decrease this moral and political social level and cannot be accepted as legitimate regardless of the consequences.

Democratic modernity is a system that serves the unique function of keeping the legitimate path to change open. Its high moral and political value is related to the substance of this system. The legitimate path for change, while very important, is also very simple, and every member of society, anywhere and anytime, can contribute to this change. Both a member who still carries within them remnants of Neolithic society, or even of clan society, and a member in Moscow or New York have an equal potential to contribute to change at any point. This does not require heroic deeds like those found in the grand sacred tales. The only requirement for using this ability (or virtue), which surely exists in every individual, even if only minimally, is to think and act morally and politically—the fundamental state of existence for social nature. Obviously, I’m not saying that the grand and sacred narratives that have emerged throughout historical-society and entered the memory of humanity to illuminate the legitimate path to change are unimportant. On the contrary, because the legitimate path to change is blocked by ideological and material monopolies, these narratives have a major role to play. Similarly, heroic acts have indispensable and sacred value on the path to freedom. The important thing is to understand that change in democratic modernity cannot be attained without the overall effort of historical-society. This is not to deny the role of key personalities and organizations, but their role will not mean much if it is not embedded in society’s moral and political fabric and does not follow a legitimate path.

The same considerations are also true for revolutions: in terms of social development, change that is not legitimately realized and is not embedded in the moral and political fabric must not be seen as an integral part of social nature. Societies are not created but lived. No doubt there are different ways of living. There are lives that are lived more freely, equally, and democratically, but there are also those, perhaps most, that are lived in unbearable slavery, inequality, and under dictatorship. Under these conditions, democratic modernity denotes the mentality and structure that, using appropriate methods, can make life freer, more equal, and more democratic. Getting a stone out of the way is just as valuable in the context of democratic modernity as engaging in revolution as a last resort for legitimate change. On the other hand, we can regard both divine salvation and slavery-scented fatalistic Sufism within the same framework and reject both as unethical. In light of the lessons drawn from the experiences of democratic struggles for freedom and equality over the last four hundred years, it is possible to strengthen and even renew democratic modernity through far-reaching reconstruction in various places during this period of structural and systemic crisis under the hegemony of global financial capitalism. Therefore, our efforts are more likely to succeed if we reflect on and illuminate the main dimensions of democratic modernity.

The Dimension of Moral and Political Society (Democratic Society)

We have addressed capitalist modernity within the scope of its three fundamental dimensions and can do the same for democratic modernity. In contrast to the fundamental discontinuities and unique qualities of capitalist modernity—capitalist production society, the industrial society, and the nation-state society—the dimensions of democratic modernity that come to the forefront are moral and political society, eco-industrial society, and democratic confederalist society. The dimensions addressed in both systems could be formulated in greater detail, but defining these three dimensions in outline should be sufficient for our purposes. The dimensions of capitalist modernity were analyzed in detail in the previous sections. We have also tried to evaluate the historical development of democratic modernity, comparing it to classical civilization and modernity to make its main elements more visible. Defining them separately in their fundamental dimensions will strengthen our discourse and support practical approaches.

We could also have presented moral and political society as democratic society (democratic communality). Perhaps this would have been the most appropriate categoric response to counter capitalist modernity. But we did not hesitate to use the term moral and political society, which denotes a more fundamental category, because it includes democratic society. We’ve addressed this society in various parts of my defense. My intention here is to bring the various pieces together. Before describing moral and political society, I would like to say something about its substance that cannot be emphasized often enough: the essential relationship of moral and political society with happiness, righteousness, goodness, and beauty, on the one hand, and freedom, equality, and democracy, on the other hand. Goodness and happiness are, indeed, the essence of morality, while righteousness is related to truth. To pursue truth outside of moral and political society would be in vain. Anyone who is not moral and political cannot find the truth. Beauty, on the other hand, is the goal of esthetics. I do not consider beauty outside of moral and political society to be beauty. Beauty is moral and political! We have already analyzed in detail the relationship between moral and political society and the triad of freedom, equality, and democracy, qualities that no society can produce and guarantee to the extent that moral and political society can.

The first point is related to the capacity of moral and political society for change and transformation. As long as the moral and political dimension as a basis is not eliminated, we can consider moral and political society to be the society with the greatest capacity for change and transformation. Morality and politics cannot be completely eliminated in any society, but their role can be seriously restricted. For example, in the society of capitalist modernity under the rule of nation-state, morality and politics have been reduced to a bare minimum, even pushed to the edge of annihilation. We discussed the reasons and consequences at length earlier. When morality and politics are restricted, does society change? No. On the contrary, it means that they have been constricted and change and transformation have come to a halt. It could even be said that society has been forcibly homogenized and put under a very harsh legal status. There is no capacity for change; in capitalist modernity change is limited to homogenization that creates a uniform culture and citizenry and reduced to an us/others dichotomy. At the outset, a colorful picture of modern society undergoing boundless change is painted. But this is only the media’s propagandistic view. The underlying reality is monochrome—almost gray or black.

In contrast, democratic society, as contemporary modern moral and political society, is the society with the broadest and most lived diversity. In a democratic society every social group can coexist in a way that includes all the diversities that are formed around its own culture and identity, without the need for a uniform culture and citizenship. Communities can develop and actively live out their potential in light of their diverse identities and politics. No community needs to worry about being homogenized. Monochromaticity is regarded as ugly, boring, and impoverished. Multicolorism, on the other hand, is associated with wealth, tolerance, and beauty. Freedom and equality are more likely to be ensured under these conditions. Only freedom and equality based on diversity are valuable. In any event, freedom and equality established by nation-states only serve the monopolies, as the world’s experience proves. Capital and power monopolies do not give real freedom and equality. Freedom and equality are acquired by democratic society’s democratic politics and protected by self-defense.

Perhaps one could ask the question: How can a system endure such diversity? The answer lies in the unity based on moral and political society. The only value that no individual or group should ever compromise is the insistence on remaining a moral and political society. The only and sufficient condition for diversity, freedom, and equality is moral and political society. Democratic society, as the modern state of this historical-society, is increasingly proving itself over time.

Liberalism, the central ideology of the official system, uses numerous arguments to reverse this. It presents itself as something like the equivalent of democracy, thus creating a confusion of concepts. The identification of liberalism, an ideology, with democracy, a political system, is a typical example of such confusion. Essentially liberalism constitutes the unbridled destruction that the individual brings upon the society, and the domination of monopolies over the society proves this. Due to its undemocratic structure, all forms of individualism, from within the family to within the state, exhibit dictatorial tendencies. Democratic individuality, on the other hand, is something different. The determination of society as a common voice anticipates the individual. Individuals will only take a valuable and respected place in society if they situate themselves on the basis of this voice and this determination. Liberal individualism, for its part, as a kind of unlimited and innumerable monopoly, is anti-democratic. No liberal or neoliberal bragging and confusion of concepts can change this essential feature. Liberalism, which is synonymous with freedom, i.e., liberation, has achieved little in practice beyond the unlimited development of monopolies. The alleged freedom it offers has, in reality, been chained up in ideological and material shackles, in many respects to an unprecedented degree not even paralleled under the regime of the pharaohs. True freedom can only meaningfully exist in society if it is supported by the social dimension. Individual freedoms that are not supported by society can only exist at the mercy of the monopolies. This, however, is contrary to the true spirit of freedom. In any case, equality is not an issue for liberalism.

Under the conditions of capitalist modernity, moral society is in a more constricted, dysfunctional, and lapsed state than at any other time. Moreover, at no other time in history have moral rules been replaced by legal codes. The bourgeoisie as a class has rendered morality obsolete and imposed its class sovereignty as law on the society, codifying it down to the finest detail. Moral society is replaced by legal society. Here we face an important change. There have been other historical efforts to create law, but at no time has law been so inundated in details as in bourgeois modernity. In fact, behind the term law we find class monopolism and the creation of legal monopolism. It is impossible to govern a highly complex nature like that of society with laws. No doubt there is room for law in society, provided it is just; in this sense, law is indispensable. But what is being imposed on the society by the state in the name of “positive law” is not a just law but the monopoly of the ruling class and the nation, with nation-state norms embodied as law. The destruction of morality is synonymous with the destruction of society. Current events confirm this. At present, even societies like the US and Russia could not survive for even an hour without official laws and the status quo. As has been experienced in some instances of crisis, without official law society falls into savagery.

This situation actually expresses a certain reality. Previously, we defined the nation-state as a state of war that infiltrates every pore of society. This fact is quite openly evident during periods of crisis and economic depression. Official legal societies have the greatest potential for crisis, because they lack moral principle. If the environmental crisis has taken on catastrophic proportions, that is because the moral dimension is missing and environmental law is not yet sufficiently developed. Moreover, the environment is not something that can be protected by law, because it is infinite, and legal action relative to it is extremely limited. Therefore, the decline of the principles of moral society underlies the ecological problem. A society that does not give the principles of moral society the place they deserve cannot sustain its internal structures and its environment. We see this quite clearly today.

The same considerations also apply to the principle of political society. When the nation-state’s gigantic bureaucratic administration replaces politics, the democratic functioning of society is destroyed. A society that the nation-state administration has infiltrated every pore of is a society that has been paralyzed. A society that has abandoned all its activities, all its common affairs, to the bureaucracy is indeed seriously paralyzed, both in thought and in will. It is not for nothing that Europe, having noticed this, embraces the principle of democratic politics. Europe is slightly more developed, because, in addition to a bureaucracy, it has allowed limited space for social politics.

In the eyes of modernity’s nation-state, political society poses a threat to its existence, unity, and integrity. The nation-state administration and bureaucratization don’t simply constrain the political element, the mode of society’s existence, but make it virtually unusable. This doesn’t simply hang over the society like the sword of Damocles, it cuts society to pieces hourly. This is not only the fundamental problem of our era’s political philosophy, but, in practical terms, as fascism, this is the greatest obstacle to life. I have said elsewhere that Hitler as a person was defeated, but his system won. In terms of the elimination of political society, nation-statism is identical to Hitler’s fascism (while Hitler was not the first person to succeed at this in its purest form, he was the first to officially declare and defend it).

A society that lacks the principle of politics, does not use it, or has seen it destroyed is nothing but a cadaver; at best it can be considered a colonized society. Therefore, the functionality that democratic society gives to the principle of politics is vital and is the primary proof of its superiority as a system.

The history of civilization is, in a way, the history of how political society has been constricted and rendered dysfunctional and obsolete. The division of society into classes was only made possible by the suppression of the fierce political struggle against it in favor of the state. At this point, we should be very careful. Even the Marxists, who have dealt most deeply with the question of class struggle, have been unable to correctly establish the nature of class division; they could not refrain from evaluating class division as a virtue and the driving force of civilization. The Marxists considered class division a historical materialist necessity, as if it were a stage of history or bridging relationship that had to be passed through. In my analysis of civilization, I evaluated class division as a limitation of political and moral society that rendered it dysfunctional; I emphasized that the greater the class division, the further society fell under the hegemony of power and the state. History, in this sense, is full of fierce class struggle. But the occurrence of class division itself was by no means progress or development; it was, on the contrary, social regression and decline. Morally, it was not a good but a bad development. To claim that division into classes is an inevitable stage in progress and to present this as a Marxist assertion in particular is one of the biggest mistakes made in the struggle for freedom.

Contrary to class society, the most important feature of political society is its continuous resistance to class division. The best society is the society that has the least class division. The success of a political struggle can be determined by whether or not it has allowed class division to arise. The political struggle will only prove successful if it does not allow its own society to be divided into classes and, thus, avoids being subjected to the unilateral violence of the apparatuses of power and the state. In societies that are up to their neck in the violence of power and the state, it is a serious error to speak of a successful political struggle. It is ideal for a political society to either not submit to the violence of power and the state (whether internal or external, national or foreign) or, after a hard struggle, to reach consensus on the basis of a mutual agreement with power and the state and recognize them on that basis.

Capitalist modernity is the last stage of civilization, where political society is most highly constricted and rendered dysfunctional. This we must understand clearly. If we choose to believe liberalism, which has ideological hegemony, political struggle and even democratic politics are extremely sophisticated during its rule. While this statement may seem to be correct on the face of it, in essence it expresses the opposite. Capitalist modernity is a period in which moral and political society is at its most dysfunctional as a result of the maximum expansion of individualism and monopolism. The nation-state as the maximum possible expression of power is a society that suffers the greatest loss of political character. That is the society that the nation-state creates. In reality, you cannot really speak of society at all. Society has been almost entirely absorbed by the nation-state and global corporations. This is the point at which Michel Foucault sees the defense of society as the basis of freedom.40 He sees the loss of society (as modernity itself and through extreme individualism and monopolies) not only as the loss of freedom but also as the loss of humanity.

To the extent that it defends society and acquires freedom, democratic modernity is the only way out. By defending itself against individualism, the nation-state, and monopolies with democratic politics and making its political fabric functional a society transforms into a modern democratic society. Modern democratic society, on the other hand, proves its superiority by becoming a society where all social affairs are reflected upon and openly discussed, with the decisions arrived at being implemented, diversity created, multiculturalism embraced, and, on this basis, equality constructed. Thus, democratic modernity not only wages class struggle on the right basis but also does not suffocate its own society by creating a new power or a new state, allowing it to avoid falling into the historical trap (the tragic historical error of real socialism). It is aware that as power and the state are created, classes are formed, and the class struggle is lost. This awareness should be regarded as one of the fundamental features of democratic modernity.

It should be clear by now that with democratic modernity we are not creating a new type of society, either capitalist or socialist. From the perspective of democratic modernity, such concepts are little more than propaganda far removed from describing actual society. No doubt there is a society coming into being, but it is a modern democratic society where moral and political principles play the greatest role and there is hardly any opportunity for classes to develop, so either power and the state apparatuses cannot exercise their power, or there is mutual recognition by consensus. In such a society, there is unity in diversity, and equality and freedom are experienced both as a feature of individuality (as opposed to individualism) and as an aspect of sociality. The achievement of greater equality, freedom, and democracy is in the nature of this society and is a consequence of the change and development that the institution of democratic politics triggers.

The Dimension of Eco-Industrial Society

The basis of the economic and industrial dimension of democratic modernity is ecological. First, it is important to correctly define the economy. In this regard, priority must be given to understanding the way that political economy is an extraordinary instrument for distraction and atrophy. The concept of capitalist economy in particular is nothing more than propaganda and sophistry.

In earlier volumes, I demonstrated that capitalism is not a form of economy but the archenemy of the economy. Capitalism is an organized network that makes the world uninhabitable for everyone except a handful of Nimrods and pharaohs for the sake of monopoly profit. It is essentially based not only on the plunder of surplus value but of all social value and has systematic hegemony over ideology and material culture. The difference between these networks and the forty thieves or pirates is that this network creates a multifaceted ideological legitimacy, cloaks itself in the law, and has its pillars in power, all in an attempt to hide its true face and real essence. A number of so-called scientific disciplines, in particular political economy, present capitalism as if it were the truth. Without an extraordinary armor woven of ideology and violence it would be unable to maintain its existence for even a day. With this structure, it suppresses and exploits economic activity (the main activity of moral and political society), whose meaning lies in the basic existence of society, including the environment, and prevents the further development of the economy, turning it into a source of happiness for a small minority.

Fernand Braudel defines the economy as follows: basic human needs form the ground floor, the activities of goods around the markets that do not involve monopolies and the exploitation of prices as the first floor, which is the actual economic sphere, and above these two floors, the top floor, which consists of monopoly networks and price manipulation, as the actual sphere of capitalism, which he regards as the anti-market (Immanuel Wallerstein considers this statement highly significant41). This is extremely instructive. In the light of this definition, it is quite clear that liberalism’s insistence that capitalism is coterminous with market economy is pure nonsense. The only relationship capitalism has to the market is attaining and securing monopoly profit by manipulating prices, even triggering wars and crises when necessary. Moreover, capitalism is a savage system of games that does not abstain from preventing the entire economy from being an activity that exists to meet the basic needs of society, shifting it to the most profitable areas (the law of maximum profit). We call it a game in the sense it is an act that is extremely hostile to life and a form of attack that cuts human society off from the foundations of its existence.

Throughout history, monopolies of civilization in general and capitalist monopolies in particular (agriculture, trade, finance, power, and the nation-state apparatuses) have been the fundamental factors behind all of the economic distortions, crises, and problems, including hunger, poverty, and environmental disasters. All other evils are built on these fundamental factors: social and political class divisions, power, extreme urbanization and all the diseases that result from it, ideological distortions containing all kinds of religious, metaphysical, and scientific dogmas, and the particular ugliness that results from the distortion of the arts and moral impoverishment and decay. The last four hundred years of capitalist modernity provide numerous examples.

The economy finds its true meaning in democratic modernity. It denotes a meaningful, systematic structure that produces both use value as basic needs of the ground floor (most important characteristic: the satisfaction of basic needs) and exchange value (ratio for exchange of goods) as a real market economy. In democratic modernity, economy ceases to be an area of speculation for profit. Instead, how and with what methods basic needs can be most effectively satisfied without leading to class division or damaging the environment is clarified. The economy regains its true meaning as an area of social action. It acquires meaning as a fundamental form of activity that is both the basis for and consequence of moral and political society.

The economic understanding of modernity, including that of Marxist political economy, could not free itself from the class perspective (the hegemonic perspective of the bourgeoisie)—to associate value with the worker and the boss, it had to neglect and obscure the entire historical-society basis. Value is a product of historical-society. The boss and the concessionist worker are by no means the creators of this product; they are its main usurpers. The evidence is glaring: without free labor of women not a single boss or concessionist worker would have food to eat or even be able to manage his daily life. Indeed, this example alone clearly shows the anti-economic face of capitalism. We have also shown in detail that without historical-society, civilization in general and official modernity in particular could not have come about.

The industrial and ecological integrity of use and exchange value is fundamental to the economic dimension of democratic modernity. Industry has two determinants: the ecological and the satisfaction of basic needs and must not act outside of these parameters. This will allow for the emergence of eco-industry. An industry that is not ecological is also not economic. An industry that has lost its connection to ecology is nothing but a mechanized monster that constantly consumes and destroys its environment. In addition, an industry that has lost its connection to the economy of basic needs has no value other than making profit. As a result, eco-industry must be a fundamental principle to which all economic activities adhere. Only then can economic activity find its real meaning, making it possible to eliminate unemployment, over- and underproduction, more and less developed countries and regions, the rural-urban contrast, the gap between the classes, and the social basis for economic depressions and wars.

Unemployment is entirely a consequence of the distorted, profit-oriented economic structures. There is no room for such a distortion within the economic dimension of democratic modernity. Unemployment is the most inhumane social situation.

Over- or underproduction is also a consequence of this distorted, profit-oriented economic structure. While industry is so highly developed but basic needs are unsatisfied, neither over- or underproduction makes sense. I must emphasize that unless it is the result of natural conditions, over- or underproduction at the hands of humans is just as inhumane as unemployment.

The matter of more or less developed countries and regions is yet another expression of the same inhumane situation created by this profit-driven economy, sowing the seeds of conflict between countries and regions and leading to endless local, national, and international crises and wars. Clearly, an economy that is in the service of humanity would and must never lead to such a situation.

The village-city relationship, which throughout the history of historical-society has been based on harmony and the division of labor, has developed increasingly profound contradictions, with the equilibrium tilted to the disadvantage of agrarian-village society. This is linked, once again, to the orientation of the economy toward the pursuit of profit. Instead of a relationship where the city and the village, and agriculture, crafts, and industry nurtured one another, a relationship where they tended to eliminate each other came into being. This is yet another serious consequence of the law of maximum profit. While agrarian-village society has been brought to the brink of destruction, the city and industry began a period of cancerous growth. Not only the economy but historical-society itself is left facing destruction.

These distortions of the economy based on the law of maximum profit have resulted in class divisions and political conflict, giving rise to all types of local, national, and international wars. The narratives of civilization present all these negativities as humanity’s fate. However, it is quite clear that they are based on the colonization and plunder of economy by anti-economy capitalist individualism and monopolism.

Democratic modernity is not only about rescuing the economy from these counter-tendencies, the development of its way of life would provide a system with no unemployment or poverty that would not allow for over-or underproduction, would reduce the gap between the more and less developed countries and regions, and would transform the contradiction between the city and the village into a relationship of mutual nurturing. Within its own system, social and economic differences do not expand into dimensions of class exploitation, class developments do not deepen, and sources of crises and wars, including economic exploitation and social conflicts, would be unable to flourish.

Not only would the system of democratic modernity not allow industrialism and urbanization to swallow the village and agriculture, it would also give rise to a city and industry that are viable. The mechanism for this can be found in the totality of the fundamental dimensions of democratic modernity. In their economic activities, all communities would treat the ecological and industrial elements holistically and in connection with the moral and political dimensions, which are all inseparably linked. Nothing would be left to the ripping claws of individualism and monopolism. Eco-economy and eco-industry would be taken into consideration in all social activity. Projects designed on this basis to repair the environment and revitalize agriculture, as well as to transform the village into a living area with an extremely healthy environment, would have the potential to eliminate all unemployment and poverty. Unemployment runs contrary to human nature. If people, who have the most developed intelligence, are left without work, it can only be due to human violence, and that’s what it is. How could nature, where not even an ant is without work, leave its most developed existence unemployed and destitute? Why would poverty be anyone’s fate in the age of technology, the great product of human activity, and the industry based on it?

Clearly, what is needed is systemic structural transformation. Both the historical and current reality of democratic modernity has the characteristic of not alienating people from their own practice or labor. The Industrial Revolution, as one of the most significant stages of this practice, was a victory for society and its economy. The problem lies in the fact that capitalist modernity put this unprecedented victory at the service of its own law of maximum profit from the outset. To do so it constructed an unprecedented level of individualism and monopolism (commercial, industrial, financial, power, and nation-state) that has brought historical-society to the brink of destruction. In a way, democratic modernity is the name of a systemic and structural revolution in this distorted understanding and application of modernity. Eco-industry is one of the most fundamental dimensions of this revolution. This argument alone proves the vitality of democratic modernity.

Although the family and professional enterprises are presented as the classic economic units of official modernity, in reality they are actually profit-oriented units with no concern beyond pursuing profit. They have spread their octopus-like arms around every sector of the economy worldwide, and the only thing they are interested in is maximizing profit. The fact that unemployment has reached enormous dimensions, poverty has deepened, and the income gap has grown incredibly wide, with hundreds of millions of people left to die of hunger and an enormous potential for production left inactive as a result of either over- or underproduction, has paved the way for crisis, the collapse of agriculture, and the destruction of village society, all due to establishment of corporations acting on the law of maximum profit and the activities of economic—or rather non-economic—units. The main economic unit of democratic modernity will, of course, oppose both the mentality of these profit-oriented business units and their structure.

Historically, the economy has always been a delicate matter and the main concern of moral and political society. Things like famine, hunger, and death threatened society as a whole. As with accumulation, profit has never been accepted as legitimate by these societies but has always been seen as a source of evil and theft. When the opportunity arose, these accumulations were confiscated by the state. An economy cannot be built if this is the goal in itself. As previously stated, to call a quintessentially anti-economy activity the economy is a contradiction in and of itself.

The only way out of this contradiction is to build a functioning economy of eco-communities. Thousands of eco-communities could, depending on circumstances, organize themselves into an economic unit. Agricultural land, no longer unified, having been broken up into family plots, needs to be reorganized in keeping with the principle of eco-industry—this is a problem that has long been calling for a solution. The formation of eco-communities in agriculture is one of the most fundamental economic principles of democratic modernity. In this context, agricultural production in the manner of farms, a remnant of serfdom and slavery, has also come to an end. Eco-communities formed by creating agricultural units on an ecological scale are also the basis of village modernity. The village, at least the modern village, could regain its existence as an eco-community in the form of economic units on an ecologically sound scale.

Similar eco-communities could also be formed in the cities. In urban planning, an ecologically oriented economy will be part of the whole. Just as there can be no bureaucracy that devours the city, there can be no economy that devours the city. The economy will be organized according to the nature of each city in the form of not-for-profit units of an optimal size that are designed to eliminate unemployment and poverty in the city. The city’s citizens would be distributed among the units based on their structure and capabilities.

It may sound as if we are talking about a socialist planned economy, but the model we are talking about is different from and has nothing to do with centralized planning, a command economy, or the barbaric, profit-oriented, and noneconomic so-called economic enterprises. This model is a structure within which the local moral and political society makes its decisions and determines its actions. There is always, of course, a need for coordination that encompasses national, regional, and even international conditions. This necessity does not, however, remove the discretion to make decisions and take action from the local community. I must emphasize once again, the economy is not a question of the technical infrastructure; it is an activity that is of fundamental structural importance to the existence of societies that is realized by airing opinions, holding discussions, making decisions, and organizing action and work in a way that includes the whole of society. Tearing people away from the economy is the basis of all alienation. It is essential to prevent this, so all communities must take over the economy. Just as “when some eat while others look on, all hell breaks loose,”42 if one works, while others sit idle, all hell will break loose. The economy, which must necessarily be community-oriented and organized according to both ecological principles and efficiency, is the basic condition of society’s existence. No one but society and communities will have the right to this existence or the right to abolish it. All units, whether commercial, industrial, agricultural, or financial, as long as the latter plays a solely intermediary role, must comply with these basic principles. Whether a gigantic factory or an agrarian-village unit, the principles remain the same.

Property loses its importance in the economic units of democratic modernity and becomes secondary. Property will naturally belong to the communities that use it according to the established principles. Neither family nor state ownership responds adequately to the modern economy. Property that belongs exclusively to the family or the state is a remnant of the hierarchical era that cannot continue to exist in capitalist modernity. Even companies are gradually becoming the joint property of the employees as a result of economic constraints. But still we must not too sharply separate different norms of ownership. Just as two civilization systems coexist, systems of ownership shall also continue to coexist for some time to come. Just as family property continues to exist alongside common property, the state will continue to exist and have a share. The important thing is to be open to flexible property norms that can provide solutions to environmental problems, unemployment, and productivity issues. Any form of possession that serves the existence, freedom, goodness, and beauty of the individual is valuable, even if it is property. Since these values could not be created without community, it is best to solve these problems within optimal limits. Democratic modernity is in a position to restore community-based property, which throughout history has never lost its communal existence, as a basis of moral and political society under modern conditions, thereby allowing it to successfully play its historical role.

The Dimension of Democratic Confederalist Society

The third dimension of social nature concerns the level of governance, which we can call the democratic confederalist system. Despite all the drawbacks of classification, presenting it as we have, in three dimensions, may be helpful. We should keep in mind, however, that the dimensions are intertwined. It might be possible to arbitrarily replace one or more dimensions, but then the result would not be democratic modernity but something else. The three dimensions of capitalist modernity are entirely intertwined. In short, these three dimensions are interdependent.

The democratic confederalist system is democratic modernity’s counterpart of the nation-state, the main state form of official modernity. We can define this as a form of non-state political governance. It is this characteristic that makes the system so specific. We must not confuse democratic steering with that of the state’s administrative bodies. States administer; democracies steer. States rest on power, democracies rest on collective approval. In states, appointments are essential; in democracies, elections are central. In states obligation is essential; democracies run on voluntarism. I could go on listing such differences.

Contrary to what one might think, democratic confederalism is not a governing system that is specific to our time; it is a system that has been significantly present throughout history. History, in this sense, is not centralized and statist but confederal. The state form is widely known, because it was given a strong official status. But social life is closer to confederalism. The state always aspires to centralism, because it is dependent on the interests of the power monopolies on which it is based. Otherwise, it could not safeguard these interests; it can only guarantee this through strict centralism. In confederalism, however, the opposite is true. Since it is not based on monopoly but on society, democratic confederalism must avoid centralization as much as possible. Since societies are not homogeneous but are made up of numerous communities, institutions, and diversities, they have a duty to safeguard and ensure the harmonious totality of all of these. Therefore, an extremely centralist regime often triggers explosions in these multitudes. History provides countless examples. Democratic confederalism occurs more often, because it is more suitable for every community, institution, and diversity to express itself. It is not a widely recognized system because of the hegemonic structure and ideology of official civilization. While not officially defined as such, societies throughout history have essentially been confederal. All forms of aşiret, tribal, and peoples’ leadership allow for confederalism, with its loose relationships. Anything else damages their internal autonomy, effectively causing them to disintegrate. Even empires rest on numerous different internal leaderships. Every type of aşiret, tribal, and peoples’ leadership, all religious authorities and kingdoms, even republics and democracies, can be united within a single empire. In this sense, it is important to understand that even empires, which are generally seen as very highly centralized, are a kind of confederalism. It is not society but the monopoly that needs the administrative model of centralized government.

In capitalist modernity the state is maximally centralized. Modern monarchies, and then nation-states, came into being by pushing back the political and military power centers in society in favor of the strongest monopoly, called authority, thus maximally weakening society in the political and military fields and depriving it of its leadership. The consequent development of nation-states represents the type of administration that has most substantially militarily and politically weakened and disarmed society. What is meant by social peace and legal order is nothing but the consolidation of the sovereignty of the bourgeois class. The intensification of exploitation and its new forms made the existence of the nation-state necessary. The nation-state, which can be described as the organization of power as a maximally centralized state, is the main form of administration in modernity. Practices, including so-called bourgeois democracy, are the necessary foil to attain legitimacy for the power monopoly in society. The nation-state is formed on the basis of the negation of democracy, and even of the republic. Democracies and republics as forms of government are of a different nature than nation-states.

Democratic modernity’s choice of democratic confederalism as its fundamental political model is not arbitrary. The choice reflects its historical basis and complex social nature, thereby determining the political framework of moral and political society. Until it is fully understood that social nature is neither homogeneous nor monolithic, it is difficult to understand democratic confederalism. The history of the last four hundred years of official modernity is the history of a kind of genocide (mostly cultural, occasionally physical) in the name of creating a homogeneous nation in opposition to multiethnic and multicultural society, with its diverse political entities and self-defense. Democratic confederalism, on the other hand, is the history of the insistence on self-defense, multi-ethnicity, multiculturalism, and diverse political forms that opposes this history. Postmodernism is the continuation of the conflict-laden history of modernity in new forms.

In the global financial era, the nation-state, which has been consecrated as the most divine being of the last two hundred years, has cracked. The social realities that it forcibly absorbed and suppressed are reemerging as if to take revenge. This is the product of interlinked processes. The financial era’s understanding of profit necessitates a change in the nation-state. This necessary change is an essential factor in making the crisis systemic. The reconstruction of the nation-state by neoliberalism, on the other hand, has not been particularly successful. In this regard, the experience of the Middle East is instructive.

The democratic system, which must become increasingly more visible as counter-modernity, faces the challenge of successfully resolving questions of form while strengthening its existence under the current conditions. This is why we tried to show that confederalism is not something historically new, and that it is the optimal response to the increasingly complex nature of present society. We have often said that the best way for moral and political society to express itself is through democratic politics. Democratic politics is the way to build democratic confederalism. This is the source of its democratic content. The other modernity tries to maintain itself through power and the state apparatuses, which become increasingly centralized and infiltrate all of society’s pores. In doing so, however, they are actually destroying the political sphere. In contrast, democratic politics offers the opportunity for all parts of and identities within society to express themselves and become a political force. While doing so, it also constitutes the political society. Politics reenters social life. The crisis of the state cannot be solved without the intervention of politics, given that it stems from the denial of political society. Democratic politics is the only way to overcome the deepening state crisis. Otherwise, the search for more heavily centralized states will certainly lead to further severe failures.

These factors indicate, yet again, that democratic confederalism is on the agenda as a strong option. The main reason for the disintegration of real socialism was its quick replacement of confederalism, which was high on the agenda at the beginning of the Soviet Russian experiment, with a centralized state. The reason that national liberation movements were unsuccessful and were quickly corrupted is closely linked to the fact that they did not develop democratic politics and confederalism. The lack of success of revolutionary movements over the last two hundred years is also because they considered the nation-state to be more revolutionary and regarded democratic confederalism as a backward political form, and thus opposed it.

Those individuals and movements that reached for the nation-state, the very weapon of capitalist modernity, thinking it would provide a shortcut to great social transformations, understood too late that they had shot themselves in the foot.

Democratic confederalism has the potential to overcome the disadvantages stemming from the nation-state system. At the same time, it is the most appropriate means for politicizing society. It is simple and easy to implement. Each community, ethnicity, culture, religious community, intellectual movement, economic unit, etc. can structure and express itself autonomously as a political unit. The notion of federal structure or autonomy, of selfhood (kendilik),43 must be evaluated within this framework and scope. Every selfhood, from local to global, has the opportunity to form a confederation. The most fundamental element of the local is the right to free discussion and decision-making. Each selfhood or federal unit is unique, because it makes the implementation of direct democracy—also known as participatory democracy—possible. They draw all their strength from the practicability of direct democracy, which is another reason it will play a fundamental role. Just as the nation-state negates direct democracy, democratic confederalism, by contrast, is the form that generates this democracy and makes it functional.

The federal units, as the mother cells of direct participatory democracy, are also unique and ideal in their flexibility to transform into confederal units according to their needs and conditions. Any type of political association is democratic if it is based on units that are themselves based on direct participatory democracy. A political functionality ranging from local unity, where direct democracy is practiced and lived, to the global structure can be called democratic politics. When all these processes take place, we can speak of a truly democratic system.

If social nature is carefully observed, then the character of the nation-state as an “iron cage” and the most appropriate character of democratic confederalism, its liberating quality, can be easily understood. While the nation-state oppresses society, imposes uniformity, and severs it from democracy, the democratic confederalist model has a liberating, pluralizing, and democratizing effect.

Further, we should make sure to think of both federal units and self-hoods in a very rich manner. It is important to understand that even a village or district will need confederal units, and every village and district can easily be a confederal unit. For example, numerous direct-democratic units, from the ecological unit (or federal unit) to the units of free women, self-defense, youth, education, folklore, health, mutual aid, and even the economic, must join together at the village level. We can simply call this new unit of units a confederal unit (the unit of federal units) or confederal union. If we take the same system to the local, regional, national, and global levels, we can easily see what a comprehensive system democratic confederalism is. The system of democratic confederalism will allow us to better understand the complementary nature of the three fundamental dimensions of democratic modernity. Each dimension having the potential to discuss, evaluate, arrange, restructure, and mobilize for action best ensures the historical-society reality and totality of social nature.

Social self-defense is best realized within the democratic confederal system. Self-defense, as an institution of democratic politics, is within the scope of confederal system. Self-defense can, in fact, be defined as the concentrated expression of democratic politics.

The nation-state is essentially a military system. All nation-states are the product of numerous very cruel and protracted wars that have been waged internally and externally in many different forms. A nation-state that is not a product of war is inconceivable. Not only during its founding phase but more so during its phases of institutionalization and disintegration, the nation-state engulfs the entire society, both from the inside and the outside, with military armor. The society is completely militarized. The institutions of power and the state, referred to as the civil administration, are essentially a veil over this military armor. The apparatuses known as bourgeois democracies go even further in their efforts to apply a coat of democratic polish to this militarist structure and mentality and are responsible for the propaganda that a liberal democratic social system prevails. This grave contradiction of modernity must be resolved. Unless it is, it will be impossible to talk about a proper politicization and practice of democratic politics. This is what is also known as a “soldier nation,”44 and is the reality of all nation-states formed in the last four hundred years. This reality underlies all social problems, crises, and decay. All the various fascist power practices (with or without a coup or military or civil fascism) that are frequently imposed as a solution are part of the nature of the nation-state; they are the formal expression of its purest form.

Democratic confederalism can only stop this militarization, which stems from the nation-state, with self-defense. Societies deprived of self-defense face the danger of losing their identities, political qualities, and democratization. Therefore, the dimension of self-defense for societies is not simply military defense. It is intertwined with the protection of identities, the guarantee of politicization, and the realization of democratization. Only if society is able to defend itself can we speak of protecting its identity, guaranteeing politicization, and practicing democratic politics. In this light, democratic confederalism must be simultaneously designed as a system of self-defense. We are living in the age of the global hegemony of monopolies and the militarization of the entire society in the form of the nation-state. Democratic modernity can only counter this hegemony with its own system of confederal networks based on self-defense and democratic politics that encompass the entire society always and everywhere. For every hegemonic network (commercial, financial, industrial, and ideological monopolies, as well as monopolies of power and nation-state), democratic modernity must develop the equivalent confederal networks of democratic politics and self-defense.

The final question that we must address regarding this dimension is how the relations and contradictions between the nation-state and social nature can continue. Real socialist and national liberation movements in particular have made the most tragic of historical errors due to prevailing power-centered approaches—instead of bourgeois rule, proletarian rule, or even proletarian dictatorship; instead of colonial or collaborationist rule, approaches centered around national power. This, in turn, has provided capitalism with the undeserved opportunity to sustain itself. These and other similar movements and currents can in a way be viewed as demolishing one power structure and its state only to replace them with another, making these movements the main culprits in submerging society in militarization and causing it to lose its political character, as well as making them responsible for the defeat of the democratic struggle. For around two centuries, those who pursued these approaches have single-handedly served capitalist hegemony’s nation-statism victory on a silver platter. Alongside the anarchists, some postmodernist, feminist, and ecological movements that emerged later, as well as other civil society organizations and leftist currents, have adopted a more positive position on this issue.

It is inevitable that both modernity systems will coexist under the described conditions and principles for a long time with both extensive periods of peace and times of substantial conflict. This is just a fact of life. It would be incorrect to maintain this long phase of coexistence with an unprincipled and capitulationist peace or to continue to think and act in a conflict-seeking and belligerent manner regardless of the conditions. Between the nation-state system and the democratic confederalist system, there will be principled and conditional peace, but there will also be wars of self-defense in the event that these conditions and principles are violated. A political philosophy and strategic and tactical approach that take this into account is more conducive to the freedom, equality, and democracy march of historical-society.

I feel that I have sufficiently defined and attempted to analyze the dual character of modernity as the last phase of the history of civilization in this lengthy section of my defense. As with the overall dialectical development of history, modernity itself, with its even shorter history, is rife with dialectical developments. When we say “dialectical,” what we mean is that it carries two poles embodying two distinct mentalities and structures that develop in relation to and in contradiction with each other. The history of the last four hundred years confirms that capitalism has left its mark on modernism, but this does not mean that modernity is completely capitalist. Moreover, capitalism is a system for the accumulation of profit and capital not a form of society. It is not an appropriate system for characterizing a comprehensive phenomenon like modernity. Although I have frequently used the term capitalist modernity, I have tried to emphasize that it must be understood as having left its mark on modernity. At the same time, I have tried to present an analysis that shows the accuracy of describing the other face of modernity (but do not see it as appropriate to call it modernity with a democratic mark) as democratic modernity (the name may change if a more appropriate one is found). To avoid falling into similar historical errors in distinguishing between capitalist society and socialist societies, I have tried to avoid the shallow approach of making a distinction between capitalist modernity and socialist modernity.

I used a comparative methodology for the two different modernities, and compared them historically, because reality itself is forked. As with the history of civilization, we have witnessed this dichotomy in all circumstances and conflicts in the shorter period of modern times. I have tried—even if it remains only an attempt—to develop definitions and short analyses based on these observations. I have no doubt that this attempt will be understood as an initial draft of my thoughts. Undoubtedly, criticisms and proposals will further strengthen these analyses.

It cannot be denied that capitalism, as a system of profit and capital accumulation, has left its mark on modernism and continues to do so as the global hegemonic power ruled by financial capital. At the same time, it also cannot be denied that as a system (the global capitalist system, the world system) it contains forces that are in fierce conflict with it always and everywhere it has been established. For reasons of conceptual simplicity, I have called these the forces of democratic modernity. I am not only referring to real socialist and national liberation movements but also the recent emergence of anarchism in particular, and, even more recently, ecological, feminist, and radical religious systems. The system has long been riddled with holes, and internal and external forces coming from the system (more external, I must say, because the nature of society is such that external forces are more readily recognized) have always and everywhere expressed a desire for existence, freedom, and equality and acted on it. They have never stopped searching for their own system.

Just as was the case throughout the history of civilization, in modern times the efforts of systems to destroy one another and establish a monopoly have failed—but the price for this has been very high. No doubt blindness on both sides has substantially exacerbated the consequences of these systemic wars. Systems will always try to outdo each other to survive. From the global level down to the local level, some of them will try to impose hegemony. But the resistance will continue, strengthened with the lessons learned from experience. As long as there are unresolved problems, we will always experience war and peace. But as the analyses and solutions are more successful and increasingly better reflect what is true, good, and beautiful, we can imagine and achieve a world that is more beautiful and passionate without being either in a state of war or of peace. Of course, a lot more peace and a lot less war is also a worthy goal, and efforts in that direction are noble, as long as they are principled and dignified.

We have defined the hegemony of global financial capital itself as the phase of the most profound crisis. Developments confirm this. In addition, we have argued in great detail that the crisis is systemic and structural, and news about the current crisis confirms this. Modern systems become fertile in times of crisis. Some create sound solutions, but unsound solutions are far from rare. In the liberal utopia of capitalism, there is never a lack of comprehensive and eclectic solution packages. They are constantly formulating daily, weekly, monthly, annual, ten-year, and fifty-year plans. That is their job, and they will continue to do it.

It is possible that opportunities for the forces of democratic modernity will increase even further in these times of crisis. Together, the tremendous history of resistance behind them and utopias of freedom and equality light the way forward. Furthermore, they have learned great lessons from the shortcomings and defeats already experienced. If all these are interwoven and grasped as a bouquet of intellectual, moral, and political tasks and put into practice, they undoubtedly have a great chance of success. Nevertheless, there are specific aspects that we must consider in relation to times of systemic and structural crisis. No matter the degree to which they may be on the trail of the past, they cannot ignore that the science and moral and political philosophy to be applied must include innovations. Otherwise, the shallowness experienced in the past will mean new blind spots. And the fact that liberalism is often further neoliberalized increases the danger. While everyone expected revolution in response to the world economic crisis of 1929, the outcome was quite the opposite; a fascist wave arose—it should not be forgotten—the effects of which continue to reverberate today. Society is increasingly deprived of its moral and political nature. Information technology gives the global ideological hegemonic forces far-reaching opportunities to present comprehensive virtual worlds that distort the real world. These powers have no problem packaging the decayed structures into a new system and presenting it as if it were reborn. This poses them absolutely no problem. The present masses have long since been transformed into the fascism’s herd-like masses. I say this to emphasize that we must not let our hopes fade and settle for uniting the analytical and emotional aspects of reality; we must live morally and politically always and everywhere. If we do not succeed in doing so, we could easily fail. I will address these issues in the following concluding section.


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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