SIX – A Blueprint for a Democratic and Ecological Society

The world social system entered the chaos interval required for change as a result of the dissolution of real socialism in 1989 for structural reasons. But there is also qualitative difference between the previous crises of capitalism and the current one—namely, the “chaos interval.” Generally speaking, radical changes within societies do not materialize through just any sort of crisis, but at the end of a process of crises that have a chaotic property. When faced with normal periods of crises, the system will generally succeed in restoring itself, that is, in restructuring itself on its existent basis and carrying on. For example, following the first and second generalized depressions—periods of crises—the capitalist system managed to restore and further strengthen itself following a war. An important objective reason for capitalism’s ability to absorb even real socialism is linked to the nature of the crisis. Although an important factor was that Marxist-Leninist approaches could not completely detach themselves from the dominant values of class society, the systemic crisis reached by real socialism was of a character that it could have been overcome with its own efforts. If the objective reason for the dissolution was not of this nature, there would never have been such an abject surrender. Real socialism even hoped for its salvation through an intervention on the part of the dominant system. At the time, the leading capitalist countries did, in fact, act to prevent worse decay.

This reality alone points to the striking effect real socialism had both in overcoming the systemic crisis and in its decline into chaos. If capitalism hadn’t split into different denominations in the aftermath of the 1848 revolutions, it might have entered into chaos even earlier. In particular, capitalism was able to continue beyond the twentieth century under the rubric of three denominations: real socialism, social democracy, and national liberation. Together they helped delay the systemic chaos by at least a hundred years. Had the capitalist system continued unchanged, it would have entered the chaos interval—the crisis of qualitative transformation—by the beginning of the twentieth century.

The capitalist system brought upon humanity the misery of terrible wars, including the use of nuclear weapons, creating the monsters of colonialism, nationalism, fascism, and totalitarianism in the process, while allowing real socialism, social democracy, and national liberation movements to play a role in developing “solutions” to these problems, which should be understood as historical, political, and military maneuvers to extend the life of the system.

The chaos interval denotes the hodgepodge necessary for changes, such as new forms, new types, and new structures in the world of phenomena. The contradictory aspects within a phenomenon are, at this point, no longer able to maintain either their interrelationship or the existent structuring. The form becomes unable to preserve the essence; it becomes insufficient, narrow, and destructive.

In that situation, we will see a process of disintegration, with the hodgepodge we call “chaos” emerging. The essence has liberated itself from its old form but has not yet reached a new one. The fragmented old form can do no more than provide material that can be used to construct a new form. Within this interval, it seems that a universal principle is actually at work. Embraced by chaos, the structural particles of the universe undergo a rapid reordering into a new form. If this reordering is suitable for containing the particles, it becomes a permanent structure, and a new system emerges around this new permanent structure.

Let me try to elucidate this with an example from the realm of material facts. The H2O molecule represents a form called “water.” It emerges when two hydrogen atoms connect with one oxygen atom. The action-reaction relationship between the subatomic particle ordering of both elements and the water molecule continuously ensures a state of liquidity that is highly fluid. Fragmentation, however, is the beginning of chaos. When all the H and O atoms are released, and if, for example, elements like carbon or sulfur intervene, after a short reaction time a variety of new compounds emerge. This means new structuring. In the place of water, other liquids, acids, bases, or even toxic gasses, such as carbon monoxide, can emerge.

This universal rule for the development of structures also holds for societies. For a new structure to emerge, the old structure must first crumble. But this crumbling and hodgepodge alone cannot replace a structure. We have a situation similar to a dough that needs to be kneaded and shaped. Let’s give an example from society. Around the end of the fifteenth century, the feudal system and its mentality began to unravel. At the time, various new classes, the “barbarians,” and pre-Christian feudal formations had forced their way into the system. With the disintegration of feudalism, a number of democratic forms and a number of capitalist bureaucratic forms emerged.

Many signs indicate that together with the capitalist system its opponents too began to fall into decay in the nineties. One of the first signs is the fact that globalization of capital is particularly concentrated in the financial sector. The financial system is where money makes money from money, not unlike a casino. Such a structure can only be an element of decay. Financial capital upsets the established structures. National institutions, whether states or ideologies, economies or the arts, can no longer sustain themselves by their own efforts. The globalization of power and the US Empire displays how much the old structures and the former balance of power are obsolete and meaningless around the world, and that they are no longer considered valid. This has led to crises, coups, and bloody ethnic and religious conflicts in many regions and within many nation-states. This reality is also system-related and shows the signs of chaos.

The system is unable to relieve its internal tensions; there is constant tension and imbalance, particularly between the US and the EU, and in the relations between those two and Japan and China. The gulf between extremely poor and extremely rich countries, called the “North-South conflict,” also continues to deepen. On all sides, crisis and chaos have become a constant feature.

The rupture of peoples from the state institution is becoming increasingly deep. Once people began to understand that the phenomenon of the state—accepted for millennia as a god-king, the “shadow of God,” or God himself (the bourgeois state in Hegel)—essentially masks the power that is the source of exploitation, repression, and violence, the state comes to be increasingly isolated. In the fairy tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” the child cries out: “But the emperor is naked!” Just as this child sees that the emperor is naked, people slowly begin to see the state in all its nakedness. This is an important starting point for chaos.

Equally important is the extremely high level of unemployment. Unemployment with a structural character will continue to increase as long as this system exists. The system is the source of the exponential growth of unemployment. In no other social system has there been such a high number of jobless people. Unemployment is one of the leading phenomena that most clearly demonstrate the chaotic quality of the crisis. A high level of unemployment means a corresponding degree of chaos. Apart from the many other negative aspects of joblessness, unemployment is essentially a state of not being social; in a way, it is the bankruptcy of society.

At the same time, because of the impressive production technologies, there is an excess of goods that can’t be absorbed. The problem is not scarcity but the reverse—surplus. There are enormous populations that not only live in a state of deprivation but in a state of hunger, while the surplus of goods is piled up in large quantities, even in overabundance. There can be no clearer sign of a state of chaos. Additionally, we are seeing the cancerous growth of the cities. This growth is one of the best examples of a social development that, from a sociological point of view, has nothing to do with the city as such.1 It is a process whereby the cities simultaneously turn into villages and proliferate beyond what is intended, thereby ceasing to even be cities. The chaos is even more intense in the cities, where society has been completely transformed into a commodity. There is no value left that cannot be bought or sold. Sacredness, history, culture, nature—everything is being turned into a commodity. This reality is the development of social cancer and leads to chaos.

The pollution and the environmental destruction resulting from all the other qualities of this chaos demonstrate that this chaos feature has also inundated the environment. The greenhouse effect, the ozone hole, the pollution of the water and the air, as well as the far-reaching extinction of species, are each a symbol of this. The actual disaster is the fact that the relationship between the society and nature, which is an ecological phenomenon, is becoming divided by a deep gulf. If this gulf isn’t closed immediately, today’s society will go the way of the dinosaurs of yore.

The population explosion must also be seen as a consequence of the general structural contradictions within the system. Capitalism’s population policy is based on the premise “the more worthless a person, the more they multiply.” The population problem will intensify as long as capitalism exists. The population explosion is one of the most important factors intensifying the chaos.

The social structures at the opposite pole of the system are also in a state of hodgepodge and crumbling. The family in particular is experiencing one of the most intense processes of disintegration in history. Half of all marriages fail, and immoral and uncontrolled sexual relationships are growing exponentially. The “sacred marriage” of days gone by is considered dead. Children and the elderly, victims of the decay of parental relationships and the family, find themselves in a situation that is particularly senseless and destructive from a social point of view. To the degree that the age-old exploitation and oppression of women comes to light, the women’s question also descends into a total crisis. As the woman gets to know herself, in her rage against her degradation, she becomes a decisive factor in the dynamics of the chaos. The analysis of the woman leads to the analysis of the society, and the analysis of the society leads to the analysis of the system.

The scarcity of social morality becomes an indication of the general immorality. The depletion of morality leads to uncurbed individualism and the destruction of social values. From a capitalist perspective, acting morally is tantamount to stupidity. A society that has lost its moral foundation—i.e., its conscience—can only be in a state of chaos. It cannot be seen otherwise. The state tries to prevent social problems with welfare policies but fails because of the general structure of capitalism and the related scarcity of resources, so the problems continue to grow exponentially. The only meaningful activity of the state—serving the “common good”—completely loses its essence. Society’s “common safety” is now also under a similar threat. The fact that capitalism turns everybody into “a wolf preying on everyone else” leads to a common problem of safety. When this point is reached, the safety of society is no longer solely threatened from the outside or by criminals or legally defined crimes, but, among other things, the hunger and the unemployment produced by the system give rise to a basis for fundamental safety issues. Because of mounting costs, on the one hand, and a growing population, on the other hand, education and health care are not sufficient to resolve the situation. Chaos-like illnesses, such as cancer, AIDS, and stress, are spreading. Society is faced with a situation in which it is increasingly severed from the indispensable necessities of life, such as the environment, housing, health, education, work, and safety, and is becoming aware that it is unable to find far-reaching solutions and is, thus, caught in the grip of chaos. The current situation is one where the inability to find a solution is actually dizzying. The defense mechanisms, such as the arts, science, and technology, that need to intercede in these processes taking place in the historical society systems cannot play their roles because the extreme monopoly held by official power.

As communal solidarity dissolves, the traditional defense grows weaker, giving way to individual and gang-related violence. Against the terror of the rulers, the terror of the tribe and the clan is revived. As the warrior ruling power within the state becomes evident, society’s right to legitimate defense arises. If the most general principles of equality dictated by the rule of law are not applied and human rights and the democratic right to free speech are pushed aside, popular defense forces will inevitably emerge. This, in turn, will lead to a spiral of violence and counterviolence that doesn’t, however, contribute to a solution to the crisis but only exacerbates it.

When state nationalism is excessively escalated, the reaction will be the development of ethnic nationalism, and this is another channel of violence.

While institutional activities such as sports and the arts are meant to ameliorate and reduce material contradictions and to contribute to mutual understanding, they are actually turned into tools of numbing and contribute to the emergence of a fabricated situation. Religion, denominations, and cults play a similar role, helping to prevent society from becoming aware of reality. Alongside transcendental worlds, conservative religious communities are created and turned into obstacles on the road to a real solution. The triad of sports, the arts, and religion is thus robbed of its actual historical and social essence and is used to desensitize people by imposing blinkers and hearts of stone, creating fabricated and illusionary paradigms that impose a no-solution situation on society as its fate. This kind of resistance to chaos has a result opposite to that desired, making chaos more profound.

It is mostly during these periods that science and technology play an enlightening, guiding, and facilitating role in transforming society. However, the onerous monopoly of power prevents them from reaching far enough to find a social solution. Science has been limited to the role of analyzing partial aspects without a view to the whole and to using a sledge-hammer to kill a fly. The enormous means necessary to solve the problems are funneled into senseless armaments and wars and into creating entirely profit-oriented products that are not suitable to the basic needs of society. Therefore, they serve the development of chaos.

It would be possible to further develop our definition of the chaos that the system causes by incorporating the whole society. But what we have already said is sufficient for our purpose. If we don’t bring clarity to the situation of chaos and, instead, continue to think and act as if we are living in normal circumstances, we will not be able to avoid certain fundamental errors and, thus, rather than finding a solution, will live through the no-solution situation over and over again. In times like these, intellectual efforts are much more important than is generally the case. Because both the former scientific structures, such as universities and religion, increasingly contribute to misunderstandings rather than to clarity about what is happening, enlightening intellectual efforts become all the more valuable. Science and religion beholden to power become extremely effective in distorting the analysis of the conditions and presenting false paradigms. As such, in times like these, we should pay more attention to the counterrevolutionary role of science, religion, the arts, and sports. There is a constantly growing need for an unwavering science and scientific structures that do not mislead but offer society real projects and true paradigms, structures that I would call “schools and academies of social science.” The struggle must be won primarily in the intellectual realm, that is, in the realm of mentality. We are living in a period when a revolution in mentality is of decisive importance.

This struggle over mentality should go hand in hand with moral values. If achievements in mentality are not accompanied by moral and ethical advances, the result will remain questionable and at best fleeting. Keeping in mind the system’s enormous immoralizing reality, it is necessary that adequate ethical and moral behavior that can meet society’s needs is expressed in the personalities of the individuals and institutions. An encounter with chaos in the absence of ethics and morality might result in the individual and society being devoured. A new social ethic must be added to morality, one that does not ignore social tradition but harmo-nizes with it. As the dominant system has used the period of chaos to turn the political institutions and their tools into means of demagoguery, it is necessary to pay particular attention to the political ways and means necessary to restructure society. For political institutions, such as parties, elections, parliaments, and communal governments, to play their role in the realization of the democratic ecological society, they have to develop problem-solving instruments, both in terms of form and of content. There has to be an adequate and optimal connection between a political organization and its practice and the democratically, communally, and ecologically oriented society. In the face of this period of chaos, there is a need to concretely embody these general approaches. For society and the system, the way out of the chaos might be in sequential fimbrias—small interventions can have significant results. The time it takes to exit the chaos may be longer or shorter, “perhaps no less than several decades but also no more than fifty years.”2

Within this framework, we will now assess the solutions the various parties are likely to offer. How we exit this chaos will be determined by the struggle between the sequential approach of the dominant system forces led by the US and that of the people. The crisis alone will neither lead to the collapse of systems nor to the construction of new ones. Moreover, the notions of “collapse” and “dissolution” are relative. Analyses, once common in socialist parlance, such as “dying capitalism,” “imperialism is a paper tiger,” or “capitalism can’t survive the current crisis,” have nothing but propaganda value. The belief-based approaches, such as that of the inevitability of “progress,” also have only limited validity. Of course, regression is also entirely possible. It remains an open question just how “progressive” capitalism as a whole is. The forces of the dominant system are more knowledgeable than the popular forces and equipped with an army, power, and experience. They also have immense wealth at their disposal. As such, they may well be able to form a new system and subdue the oppositional system or, if that does not work, buy their way out or resort to one or more of a broad range of possible compromises.

We must also make clear that a critique of capitalism isn’t a blanket rejection nor is every individual capitalist merely a cog in the machine. The capitalist system has access to a variety of approaches to finding a way out. First, it could reestablish itself. It succeeded in doing this after both world wars. Many countries were able to reestablish themselves after their own wars. Second, the system could try to exit the crisis by renewing its previously tested denominations. The frequently tested alternation of conservatives and social democrats could be refurbished. The system has both a broad spectrum of possible alternations of this sort, as well as experience in the development of new models. Third, it could go the “middle way” and enter into far-reaching compromises with opposition forces, should it become clear that another course would entail lasting damage. Fourth, it could institute substantive changes to prevent a complete defeat. Throughout history, dominant systems have made many similar changes during times of severe crisis, and capitalism has also frequently done so over the course of its own history. The past perception that the system is inflexible and that once it goes into a crisis it is difficult for it to survive is no longer terribly realistic. This might seem like a left-wing assessment, but, in essence, it is right-wing, because it fosters a futile hope and expectation that the system will collapse of its own accord, and that people can just wait for it to drop into their laps—without doing anything. But even the ripest fruit cannot be eaten unless it is plucked. An even worse situation arises when people begin to doubt their own thoughts and beliefs because the system doesn’t simply dissolve as expected. This is the result of a faulty definition of the system and incorrect assumptions about changes to and transformations of systems.

The effort made by the US to manage the system in crisis is perfectly clear. It is conscious of its responsibility to ward off severe damage. Therefore, the conjecture that it is planning to expand the empire is insufficient. Undoubtedly, the system is already showing most of the portents that once pointed to the impending doom of Rome. Just as Rome did, the US is engaging in numerous efforts at reconstruction and renovation. Obviously, the concentration of the system’s imperial power in a single pole requires an additional effort. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1990, the expansion was close to inevitable, not because the US had grown stronger, but because the system simply doesn’t tolerate a vacuum. It must be stressed that the empire is not a US invention; it is as old as the system itself and has found its latest expression in capitalism and, through that, in the US. It was the British that delivered the empire to the US. It is not that the US became an empire but, rather, that the empire became the US. Perhaps the US was the power that made the transition into an empire in the world the most easily. Although with some reluctance, but also out of necessity! Nevertheless, the expansion of the empire will not contribute to a way out of the crisis but to its sinking further into the crisis.

The areas into which it can expand are regions that are already in deep chaos. The additional crises Iraq and Afghanistan brought with them are hard to miss. In essence, the US of the 2000s, as the power that comes closest to being an empire, cannot avoid providing the new formations required, but this does not fit in with the reality of “power struggle.” Even with the limited military, economic, and scientific means available, the US cannot afford to withdraw. Its most important task is to manage the system from within the crisis. This includes managing relations with the EU and with other countries, including Japan, China, and Russia, and preventing the tensions from exploding into open conflict. The US does not enter into a conflict with the various system powers in a way that resembles the two world wars, nor does it any longer wage indirect wars against any of these powers, as it did during the Vietnam War. On the contrary, it tries to convince such countries to join it in shouldering the aggregate burden of the system. It tries to resolve the crises that arise as a result of finance and trade disagreements through cooperation. To do so, it uses the services of global and regional organizations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization (WTO). The US will work to deter Latin America and Africa from exacerbating the crises and further straining the system. It will also take care to not allow radical ruptures in the weakest links of the chain. It will try to establish control over the forces opposing the system that have emerged or may emerge in countries like Cuba, Venezuela, Haiti, and Liberia but, if the necessary conditions arise it will destroy them.

Within the Islamic countries in the wider Middle East, which, for the US, is the most geopolitically critical region, a new project is being prepared, as the imperialist system’s second Marshall Plan. This initiative, called the Greater Middle East Initiative, seems necessary if the system is to come out of the crisis without suffering a heavy blow. Both the basic energy resources and the sociocultural and religious phenomena have created a situation in the region that means the US cannot adopt a lais-sez-faire attitude about any incapacity to integrate the region into the system. Powers in imperial positions cannot remain silent in the face of such realities. For the last two hundred years, there has been an effort to govern the region through capitalist colonialism or semi-colonialism. The respective forces relied on despotic state structures that didn’t leave the people any breathing room, but, even so, they were not integrated into capitalism in any meaningful way. The strategic Arab-Israeli conflict has become deeper. Radical Islam turned against the US, its creator. The nation-state model established inside borders that were drawn with a ruler created a deadlocked reactionary status quo. Nationalism, religionism, and statism were like a coat of armor unprecedented in the world that suffocated the societies in the Middle East. Therefore, a new project idea is required. However, the important questions are: How and with what forces will this come alive? What political and economic system will it be based on? And how will the people of the region respond?

As well as being the main problem, geopolitically this is also the main contradiction facing the US-led NATO and UN system. The target, which was once fascism or communism, is now “radical Islam,” or “Islamic fascism.” The system’s forces and its vassals are uncomfortable with the wave of globalization engulfing the world under US leadership. The European republics and democracies in particular are reacting more vigorously every day. They are trying to prevent the EU—as the nation-state and the über-nation—from being squashed. Under the shield of the EU, an attempt is being made to create a human rights and democratic bourgeois alternative. One key policy being pursued is balancing the US. Similar efforts are also being made by Russia, China, Japan, and Brazil. In general, the nation-state is the institution that faces the most difficulty in the face of the US’s imperial proclivities. The efforts of small and medium-size states—which actually should have become provincial states long ago—are to some degree swimming against the tide. It is reasonable to think that eventually they will openly admit their dependency, give up their national pride, and adapt to the rules of this new globalization. They have no other choice. The internal and external conditions necessary to resist the system based on some sort of second Soviet experience and to, thereby, retain at least a modest amount of independence seem to be lacking. At this point, the old revolutionary illusions no longer offer a progressive option vis-à-vis the system but, instead, represent conservatism. Progressive national liberation or conservative bureaucratism no longer seem to be suitable instruments. The system is no longer in a position to continue believing in its potential effectiveness, nor are the US or the people in the lowest social positions. The time of the national despotism and oligarchies, which was based on a balance of power between the US and the Soviet Union, is over.

While the system has the capacity to further develop science and technology, the social conditions pose a serious obstacle. Since supply exceeds demand, science and technology become dysfunctional when it comes to producing genuine innovation, although they could easily play a very important role in solving the problems of the great majority of the population. To make the possibility a reality a democratic and ecological society would be necessary. It is to be expected that the ascent of the US-led system will come to an end and the US will go into decline in the next twenty-five to fifty years.

The evidence of decline outweighs the signs of survival and maintenance. If the system wants to survive, it can only achieve this only by downsizing, not by expanding. Therefore, the system’s military presence, which grew massively during the struggle against the national liberation movements and the Soviet Union, will continue to shrink. There will be a transition to a period with smaller armies that use high-tech.

While terrorism, drug cartels, and the nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons of rogue states are described as the targets, the real targets are the developments in the Middle East, because this is the region where the system runs the highest risk of imploding. Contrary to what is believed, it’s more likely that the developments will move the region closer to democratic and communal systems, making it possible to overcome imperialism and despotism, rather than toward a pronounced radical Islamic character. If the Middle East is not controlled by despotic, nationalist, religious, and statist regimes, it could guide us out of the chaos by developing new structures that could provide models for solutions. The social dynamism that began with Afghanistan and Iraq will continue, at first in Israel and Palestine, and then, even more profoundly, in Kurdistan, will have to point to new ways forward, or they will contribute to deepening of the chaos. This is the geopolitical basis upon which the system’s military forces (above all, NATO), the coalition in Iraq, and the UN as a whole will look for a solution.

The contradictions in the region must be addressed economically and democratically rather than militarily. If fewer military interventions and more economic and democratic support were to bring the Middle East out of the chaos it is in, this would essentially determine the model for the whole world for the next fifty years or more. The essence of this model is smaller armies and states and an extensive economic and democratic system. It seems unlikely that the system will come out of the crisis, unless the states decide to reduce their huge sources of expenditure—financial crises and budget deficits.

In an effort to overcome the nineteenth-century nation-state, the development of local public administration, an economy based on multinational corporations, and the information society seems to be something like a joint program for the US-led system. Broader regional, EU-style, or despotic unions could also develop in the region.

It is safe to assume that world wars are not to be expected, and that global and regional unions will be of growing importance. The nineteenth-century state, corporations, nation, and ideologies may be replaced by semi-states, semi-democratic political institutions, transnational economic unions, regional cultural groups, and social and philosophical mentality and behavior that put morality first.

Until the end of the nineteenth century, the capitalist system ran the world unilaterally and almost exclusively as it wished, but the twentieth century saw major wars. One of the most important results of these wars was the insight that the world could no longer be ruled against the people’s will. Even though the people have not succeeded in building their own systems, they are now in a position to impose their democratic will upon politics and against state power. It is highly likely that the next twenty-five to fifty years will bring us closer to popular democratic systems. Another possibility is the revitalization of their cultures, the most precious treasures that have been almost lost in the process, and their transformation into an inventive life. Severing the people from their cultural reality had consequences that were even worse than physical massacres and economic plunder.

To sum up: there is a strong possibility of a period when the unilateral will of capitalism reaches an end and the people overcome both chauvinism and war-laden nationalism, impose democratization and peace, and connect with their cultural and local reality. It is also essential in the context of this option that this is not carried out alone but in tandem with the state-centered but downscaled structures of the dominant system in a principled way. Our civilization can be transformed from a structure dominated by class, gender, and ethnic groups and cultures into a “global democratic civilization,” as a historical stage that recognizes the communal and democratic values of the people, is receptive to woman’s freedom, overcomes ethnic-national oppression, and is based on cultural solidarity. This would represent a new historical stage.

Democracy as a System for a Way Out of Crisis

The way out of crisis for the people, conceptualized as all non-state social forces that exist in the world social system, could be sequential. It cannot be assumed that there will be a single way out. Instead, various paths to a solution are possible and can be expected, depending on the level of activity of the forces involved in the project and its implementation.

We must still say a bit more about what we mean by the people of the world. There are many categories or sections of society that remain outside of the state or are excluded because it serves the state’s interests. The scope of groups implicated vary across time and from state to state. We must understand that the concept of “people” is dynamic, which is to say, it is subject to rapid change. We can call those sections clustering around the state and profiting from it materially and immaterially, both economically and in terms of knowledge, upper society or the oligarchy—or, as more commonly referred to by the general public, the “great and wealthy” sector.3 On the other hand, we can call all groups that are on the opposite side of the dialectical contradiction—the oppressed classes and the oppressed ethnic, cultural, religious, and gender groups—the “people.” As the content of the variables shift, the number of the groups comprising the people will increase or decrease. The nature of the oppression and exploitation may also vary. Class, national, ethnic, cultural, racial, religious, intellectual, and sexist oppression can manifest themselves in various shapes and forms, from harassment to massacre. Correspondingly, there are many forms of exploitation that can be identified as material or immaterial and that act through assimilation or denial, through plunder or theft, legally or illegally, using force or deception. Over the course of history, these categories have shifted from system to system, and more complicated social groups have evolved.

The global crisis that began with the 1968 youth movement accelerated with the 1989 dissolution of Soviet real socialism and was further intensified by the September 11, 2001, attacks on the Twin Towers has clearly strongly affected the people. With the invasion of Iraq on March 20, 2003, the upheaval in the world acquired a dimension that can rightly be called historic. The crisis now continuously ramps up in regular short intervals and shifts both in location and character.

The lava that the contradictions within the system spew onto the people becomes increasingly painful. Unemployment, hunger, worsening health, a deteriorating environment, and declining education occupy the agenda of various social sectors. We tried above to ascertain the potential of the system’s dominant forces finding a solution, and we showed that, as opposed to the nineteenth century, they have essentially lost the capacity to solve any problems on their own. The solutions imposed don’t even come close to producing meaningful results that we can live with but, instead, only intensify the chaos. In other words, we concluded that the source of the crisis cannot also be the source of the solution, but that if these forces change they can play a role as a party to a compromise based on acceptable principles.

The people, on the other hand, develop their solutions according to their experience handed down over the course of history. Whether one calls it historicity, tradition, or culture, each group of people has a history. These communities, which have taken shape over time, beginning with clan society, have developed their form using their existential reflexes in the face of the geocultures—spatial conditioning—and political structures they have come up against throughout history. As noted in the previous section, their position has a communal and democratic character. We cannot ignore the communal and democratic position they have taken by instead looking at the individual that the capitalist system has hollowed out and transformed into a primate. Even at the most primitive stage, the individual could not live for even a single day outside of the communality of society. A panoply of brainwashing operations based on denying the social element served to diminish the significance of this reality, but this remains to be the fundamental social reality.

Individuality cannot survive for long without ties to the existing society. Without elucidating the reality of the people in all its dimensions, none of the calculations designed to find a way out of the present chaos will work. I want to once more emphasize: if the capitalist system in the twentieth century, and “particularly its state structure,” had not rested on the three derivative denominations—social democracy, real socialism, and national liberation—to prop itself up, it might not have survived long enough to enter its current crisis. The most important property of all three denominations is that they came to power by giving hope to the people. For more than 150 years, i.e., since the 1848 revolutions, they have rhetor-ically claimed, “First we will conquer the state, and then everyone will get their due,” as if the state had access to inexhaustible sources of life—one spontaneously tends to think of the state as a paradise with endless layers. The state is turned into a program of hope. Parties are founded, and wars are waged. When one side wins, the values that are transferred from society to the state—becoming the state’s assets—are distributed among its supporters. When it comes to the large masses of society, there is nothing left. The same old story. And if your side doesn’t win, that only means that the war continues.

Even in their contemporary form these denominations continue to feel compelled to have each step they take blessed in the name of the people. The people were active throughout the twentieth century. But since the dominant system paradigm could not be overcome, in the end, all the great heroic deeds, the sacrifices, and the joy and the sorrow benefited the system. When, above, we looked into the depths of history, we saw that similar situations have arisen in the past.

Insofar as history is an attempt to learn from the past, we must, in the present crisis-ridden and chaotic situation, produce a solution for the people that is lasting, deep-seated, and principled. No task is more meaningful than this and no effort more sacred. In my view, the crucial failure that led to defeat was not taking the communal and democratic position of the people as the starting point. No matter how profound the analysis of society is, the strategies and tactics developed, the organizations created, and the actions taken, even the victories won will, yet again, be integrated into the system in the worst possible way.

Lenin, the ingenious twentieth-century revolutionary, was absolutely right in noting that democracy is indispensable to socialism. But even he was quickly infected by the malady of power and came to believe that it was possible to take a short cut to socialism—without the experience of democracy. He probably did not think that the power that he rested on would, some seventy years later, lead to a rapacious form of capitalism.

Because of this malady of power, the tremendous Soviet accumulations—the sacrifices and the martyrdom of millions of people, and the loss of thousands of their greatest intellectuals—has in the end only powered the mills of the system that the revolutionaries ostensibly wanted to overcome.

The lesson we can draw from the great October Revolution, this major twentieth-century experience, is that in the struggle against capitalism lasting and principled solutions can be achieved only by transforming the democratic position of the people into comprehensive democratic systems. As long as democratization and democracy are not freed from the malady of statehood, the road to a democratic system will remain closed.

We must once again look at history to acquire a better understanding of the nature of our solution. Let’s begin with antiquity. In the end, the slaveholding Roman Empire was defeated by people from the outside who had a communal order, did not recognize the state, and were called “barbarians,” while internally, the communal order of monasteries had been gnawing away at the empire. It was these forces that led to the dissolution of the cruel machinery of slavery, forces that were totally communal and democratic. But their chiefs embraced the remnants of power and deceived them. Instead of the democratic Europe that could have been developed, they created a Europe consisting of despotic feudal states and statelets. Similar movements appeared wherever slavery was overcome. With the onset of Renaissance, medieval feudalism was left behind, with cities as islands of democracy rising everywhere. An urban democracy developed, and a democratic Europe became a historical possibility.

The great French Revolution of 1789 and, before it, the English Revolution of 1640 and the American Revolution of 1776 and, similarly, the communards beginning in the sixteenth century in Spain and various other European countries, were the strong voices of democracy. But the warrior ruling power—the always crafty and rampant instrument of violence throughout history—has always worked for oppressive systems, old or new. It succeeded in winning some people over to its side, while crushing others. The genuine democratic forces were engulfed in its historical maelstrom.

The warrior ruling power proliferated like a tumor, feeding on the wars of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and hit the world with a plague of maximally inhumane regimes, namely, racist fascism and totalitarianism, and finally transformed itself into the chaos of today, the worst chaos history has ever seen.

Democratic traditions are also universal, and they too are like the links of a chain. They connect us to the earliest historical times and spatially to the remotest regions. We are not alone. History and regions belong to democracy, which, more than any other system, should be ours. Our primary task is to prevent any loss in the process of knowing, to choose the right political tool, and to return to social morality. All these things are related to “knowing.” The political tool is what we need to be particularly careful about; in short, it must be understood as non-state democracy. In other words, we shouldn’t fall into the same error or heedlessness of embracing statist, even dictatorial, democracy, as even a brilliant man like Lenin did. But this doesn’t mean an anarchist absence of authority and order. It represents the meaningful, wholeheartedly approved, and enlightened authority of the popular order, a democracy of the people that doesn’t allow itself to be suffocated in bureaucracy, in which the civil servant administration is elected annually and can be recalled at will.

Here, we cannot but recall the famous Athenian democracy. On the one hand, the kingdom of Sparta and Athenian democracy struggled for predominance on the Greek peninsula, while, on the other hand, along with the Roman Empire of their time, they hoped to prevent the Medes and the Persians from invading. The tiny city of Athens defeated these two famous enemies during the fifth century BCE, with its own weapon, democracy.

It succeeded without resorting to an orderly standing army and a state, equipped only with voluntary militias and commanders voted into office for a year at a time. However, its democracy wasn’t a people’s democracy but was a democracy limited to the slaveholding class. All the same, Athens left its imprint on the fifth century BCE, turning it into the “century of Athens.” Relying on their democracies, the people have defeated every kind of oppressive system, as well as their worst enemies. They have also created their most prosperous periods with these democracies. Without the emerging democracy of the United States, the British Empire, on which the sun never set, would never have been brought into line. Without the people’s democracy of the English, the rampant Norman kings and their lineage would never have been overthrown, nor would the system of English democracy that remains exemplary today have been created. Without the marvelous demos of France, the French wouldn’t have been able to carry out their great revolutions or create their world-renowned and exemplary republican regime.

Democracy is the most creative of regimes. The more democratic a political regime, the greater its economic prosperity and the more comprehensive its social peace. We know that once democracies lose their inner core and become tools for hunting down people in the hands of the demagogues, first the regime, and then its prosperity, will begin to collapse. This will be followed by conservatism, fascism, war, and destruction. Had social scientists only been a little bit more honest, we would have been able to see that history and society are predominantly characterized and nurtured by a democratic stance. If democracy is curtailed, history comes to a standstill, or we find ourselves considering an aspect of history that is truly cursed.

Here, another important point must be raised. A class-based pseudo -democracy is neither meaningful nor desirable. According to the prevailing social science conceptions, first becoming a “slave,” then a “serf,” and, finally, a “worker,” or “proletariat,” are the inevitable consequences of inexorable forward flow of history. This conception also claims that without having undergone all of these phases, any transition to socialism, freedom, and equality is impossible.

Saying “long live the slaves, serfs, or workers,” as this conception would appear to demand, leads to a class revolution, a class democracy, which will then be followed by a class dictatorship. Such a theoretical formulation, as is now perfectly clear, serves slavery from top to bottom. In a people’s democracy, there is simply no place for slaves, serfs, or workers! In the same vein, there is also no place for slavery, serfdom, or proletarian labor.

A genuine people’s democracy doesn’t accept but rejects the existence of slaves, serfs, and workers like those found in the systems of slavery, serfdom, and capitalism. Sanctifying the oppressed classes and groups is an old disease. Democracies do not suffer from this disease. Just as the name suggests, wherever there is democracy, there is no oppression or unjust exploitation. Being herded like sheep is unacceptable. In democracies, people are not ruled by others. There is self-governance. They are not the subjects of any sovereign; they are the sovereign. Domineering systems may enslave people and institutionalize serfdom and proletarian labor, but wherever there is a true development of democracy, slavery, serfdom, and proletarian labor cease to exist. People will still work, but they will do so as the masters of their own labor and as members of their own working commune. Communalism and democracy are bound together as the fingernail is to the finger. This is how we define the democracy we strive for and the history it is based on. Class democracies, on the other hand, require a ruling power, and the ruling power needs a state, and every state means the negation of democracy. Class democracies are essentially state power, not democracy. The experiences of the Soviet Union, China, and Cuba clearly prove this. The larger the state, the less democracy; or, the more democracy, the smaller the state should be learned by heart as a golden rule.

The connection between democracy and freedom and equality is obvious. They are in no way alternatives to one another. The greater the level of democracy, the more various freedoms will develop, and, as they do, equality emerges. Democracy is a true oasis, where freedom and equality can flower. Freedom and equality that aren’t based on democracy can only be class-oriented.

Under such circumstances, freedom and democracy can only exist for a class, a group, or a few privileged groups. What remains for all the others is to be ruled and enslaved. Since self-governance is essential in people’s democracy, the equality and freedom it manifests must also be for all. Therefore, the most comprehensive freedom and equality can be found in people’s democracies, democracies without a state or a ruling power.

Democracies are neither the negation of the state nor its fig leaf. Trying to achieve democracy by destroying the state is an illusion. It may prove more effective to implement a principled unity of the state—one which needs to wither away gradually—and democracy.

We do not live in an era of boundless democracy. In today’s world, where the power of the state is absolutely overbearing, a viable democracy requires a principled compromise with state power. Having learned this lesson well—albeit late in the game and insufficiently—European civilization is trying to operate its own intertwined form of democracy and the state. After terrible wars, Europe can perhaps see the profound power of democracies for achieving solutions and the bellicose character of ruling power. Focusing on ruling power may perhaps procure a minority much advantage and power, but it also paves the way for major catastrophes for the land, the nation, and the people. Before the emergence of nation-states, democracy was not held in particularly high esteem by Europeans, but the experience of fascism clearly showed that even the nation-state cannot be preserved unless democracy is accorded primacy. The idea of first securing the nation-state and then proceeding to democracy is the cause of all the catastrophes of fascism and totalitarianism. As soon as Europe, in the form of the EU, gave priority to human rights and democracy, it paved the way for lasting prosperity and peace. This is the model of the EU, the actual magical power that attracts the world to Europe! Europe can atone for its past sins to the extent that it spreads this magical power to the world, making this positive essence the common value of all people, as has happened with every civilization.

But let’s not forget that there is an experienced bourgeois class at the foundation of European civilization that always maintains its influence and pursues domination and has crafty, ice-cold calculations of profit. As contemporary aristocrats, they will not easily renounce the luxury of living on the back of democracies.

However, the democracies will succeed in removing them from their thrones and bringing about the step-by-step withering away of their state without recourse to the guillotines. This is not something that Europe can do alone, but as democracy develops throughout the world, Europe will become “global” in a positive sense, and, as it is democratized, the world will become “European.” This might very well be the historical course that will allow us to overcome the present chaos. Without renewed democratization around the world, it seems unlikely that the US, with its corporations and wars, or Europe, with its law and democracy, can come out of the chaos, as they have on previous occasions.

The social content of “democracy” as a concept must be approached carefully. No distinctions, whether they be of class, sex, ethnicity, religion, intellect, occupation, or otherwise can exist within this concept. Moreover, there can be individual or group participation. Individual citizenship cannot be taken as a basis for being democratic, nor can the grassroots participation of groups be prevented. Neither individual nor group power constitute an advantage. Ideas of power are as undesirable between groups as they are between individuals. The basic principle must be that the common good—the common interest of society in all areas—and individual initiative should not hinder each other. This establishes the optimal—most efficient—combination of individuality and common interests. The communal feature nurtured by individuality gives rise to an individual who is balanced, can take initiative, and is creative, drawing strength from the society’s communal values. On the other hand, if the emphasis focuses solely on the communal feature, democracy is in danger of sliding into totalitarianism.

However, if everything is considered legitimate in the name of individualism, this leads to anarchy, on the one hand, and to an extreme prioritizing of the individual over society, on the other. Ultimately, both tendencies lead to dictatorship, arbitrary rule, and the decay of society. Democracy is in urgent need of people who are devoted heart and mind to the interests of society and the well-being of the individual. Democracy cannot be implemented by institutions and principles alone. More than just political parties is needed. They need to be complemented by democrats who keep society alive and dynamic, constantly educate the people about democracy, and continuously encourage their vigilance. Democracy as a dynamic phenomenon is like a plant that needs a steady supply of water (education). If it is not nurtured by its devoted children, it will dry out, degenerate, and might even become a tool of antidemocratic machinations.

Democracy is indisputably the most effective instrument for solving social problems and, most importantly, for establishing peace. Except in cases of legitimate and inevitable self-defense, it draws its strength not from war but from the ability to persuade. By comparing what will be lost in a war with what will be gained through persuasion, one can always develop solutions that suit the genuine interests of the people. Courageous and sober discussion will illuminate problems, and problems identified in this way can be resolved by the widest participation of all parties concerned and through deep-seated reconciliation. No other system is as successful as democracy when it comes to clarifying facts and discussing issues. Democracy is the true oasis where science and the arts can freely develop. Athenian democracy, for example, proved to be the ideal environment for philosophy.

Without Athenian democracy, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle would have been unthinkable. If the city democracies of the Renaissance had not existed, revolutions in science and the arts would not have occurred.

Democracy also provides the best way for people to revitalize their rich cultural traditions. Culture is not just a people’s past but a form of self-existence that enlaces it. A people isolated from its culture is not simply separated from its cultural form, but the soul that led to this form is also destroyed. As such, democracy is the most appropriate political system if a people are to live freely and equally on the basis of their own culture.

If people live their cultures freely in democracies, there is a greater chance that they will resolve the national, ethnic, and religious problems, which generally stem from national oppression. In countries or areas where there is real democracy, there is no need for any form of oppression nor is there any opportunity to use oppression as a tool for achieving particular interests. Instead of the nationalism of the oppressors and of the oppressed, the basis is taken to be democratic integrity.

The contribution of democracy to the economy must not be underestimated. Once society is organized democratically, economic values can neither be relinquished to monopoly leadership nor to plunder or individual inefficiency. Democracy permits neither extreme greed for profit nor institutional or individual laziness and irresponsibility. Here too an optimal balance is achieved, including eventually establishing the best possible balance between public and private economies. A significant body of research demonstrates the relationship between democracy and economic efficiency and development. Democracies offer the best conditions for both efficient production and just distribution, as well as for appropriate investments and necessary research. Developing production that meets the actual needs of the people is the main factor in achieving a balance of supply and demand. This is the only way that a genuine social market can actually emerge. Deadly competition is replaced by fair contest. Democracy reduces to a minimum the main causes of crises, including the imbalance of supply and demand, price manipulation, inflation, and similar financial games, thus proving its power for finding solutions and ways out of economic problems. The problem of system-immanent unemployment is fundamentally solved in this manner.

In light of the democratic social struggle, we must take a separate look at the youth. When the youth enter the process of socialization, they are faced with dangerous traps. While the youth vacillate under the conditioning of traditional patriarchal society, on the one hand, and the official ideology of the system, on the other hand, they are dynamic and structurally open to novelty. As a result of the influence of the old society, they are entirely inexperienced with regard to what is happening around them and still far from understanding what awaits them. They can’t even breathe in the face of the 1001 seductive tricks of capitalist society. All these realities necessitate a social education of the youth that is especially designed for them, appropriate to their essence, and which helps them to avoid falling into the traps. The education of the youth is a task requiring great effort and patience. On the other hand, the youth possess an agility that is legendary for its dynamism. As soon as they have a good grasp of purpose and method, there is nothing that they cannot successfully accomplish. If they orient themselves around a life with purpose and a method, mobilize on that basis, and can muster the necessary patience and perseverance, they can make the most important contribution to a historical cause.

An offensive by a democratic youth movement led by cadres who have acquired these properties guarantees success in the overall struggle for a democratic society. A social movement that lacks the dynamism of the youth will only have a limited chance of success. The experience of elderly people and the dynamism of the young are phenomena that make themselves felt at all stages of history. Those who have succeeded in establishing a strong bond between these two elements have had a high success rate in their struggle. The exalted aspirations of today’s youth will only become meaningful once they are directed toward finding a way out of the social system’s crisis. Youth without aspirations can only avoid decay and entirely losing life by a return to genuine aspirations.

Understanding the chaotic situation—the fatal crisis of the capitalist system—is the condition for the youth offensive. In addition, internalizing the values of democracy, woman’s freedom, and an ecological society will give them the opportunity of historical success, while restructuring themselves will give them a real role in structuring the society that is longed for. Everything will be determined by the correct and skillful participation of the youth in the historical social offensive.

Just as important as self-definition are the forms of organization and action that democracies adopt. While self-definition illuminates the purpose, forms of organization and action necessitate a correct definition of the indispensable means. It is difficult to move forward in democracies unless the correct concord between purpose and means and a suitable balance in their correlation is achieved. Democracies based solely on purpose or on means resemble a one-legged person. How far and how well can someone walk with only one leg?

The basic forms of democratic organization include, among other things, a congress at both the highest level and at the level of the grassroots local communes, cooperatives, civil society organizations, human rights organizations, and municipal organizations. A large number of broad issue-oriented organizations are necessary. Democracies require a society that is maximally organized. Such organizations are indispensable for articulating social demands. A society that does not succeed in organizing itself will be unable to democratize itself. It is essential that all areas, including the political, social, economic, and cultural realms, create their own specific organizations. Parties, as the fundamental political organizations, are indispensable for democracy. In the social realm, civil society organizations are the leading forms of organization. In the judicial realm, human rights organizations, bar associations, and foundations are of particular importance. The main organizational form within the economic realm could be commercial, financial, or industrial in nature and include cooperatives, working groups, and other structures like public transport.

Health care and education are the public institutions that need to be most urgently addressed. The organization of sports and the arts is also indispensable for the overall education of the people. Villages require village presidents and councils of elders, less as instruments of the state than as tools of democracy. Every village needs a community cultural center. Communes—independent from similar forms—must be turned into meaningful grassroots organizations in the towns, and city councils are also indispensable. Regional intercity municipal associations are important. All of these institutions and organizations should be represented at the highest decision-making body, the General People’s Congress. People’s congresses provide an indispensable organizational model for solving the fundamental problems of all people. Without a people’s congress, it makes no sense to talk about people’s democracy.

People’s congresses must not be seen either as alternatives to the state or as institutions of the state. As there is no people’s state, they cannot aim to replace the existing state. As has been repeatedly stressed above, the state is as old as the hills and is the upper society’s most fundamental organizational form. It did not come into existence in a democratic way. It is traditional and run by appointment. The upper society may well apply democracy within its own sphere, which could be called the democracy of the upper classes. This serves the state as a fig leaf. Most democracies that follow the model of the Western republics are based on the state. In these republics, the state comes before democracy, and democracy without a state is unthinkable. But in a people’s democracy the goal is neither ruling power nor conquering the state. A democracy that aims to become a state digs its own grave.

When the modern European states, the US, and the Soviet Union were founded, there were brief periods of democracy in each case. But since they all immediately made the transition to a state, the incipient democracies were rendered obsolete without ever being systematized. This has generally been the case throughout history. The upper society has always been afraid of democracy.

Today’s crisis cannot be overcome by going against the will of the people, which raises the necessity of the people’s participation. The participation of the people is tantamount to its self-democratization. This cannot be done without a congress system. Though the capitalist state may not have been forced to share social authority with people’s congresses in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, today, the crisis-ridden states cannot move toward a solution if they antagonize the people and do not concede them any initiative. The severity of the crisis makes the comprehensive, permanent, and institutionalized participation of the people necessary. Therefore, the people’s participation, which found limited meaning in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, can be much more meaningful today only through people’s congresses. Congresses of this sort are neither a party nor a semi-state entity. They are functional institutions of the people that arise from historical conditions. The people have bid farewell to the capitalist denominations, i.e., real socialism, social democracy, and national liberation, and have said an even more decisive goodbye to the state, inaugurating an era of congresses. The state is neither completely rejected nor accepted as it previously was. Therefore, it is possible for them to take part in the solution of social crises together, as long as a framework that includes certain principles is followed. The gradual downsizing of states, along with the introduction of new state models, necessitate the congress model even more.

Congress models can be of critical importance as safeguarding tools in countries with major national problems. Moreover, congresses are also necessary for religious communities and groups at lower levels. Their capacity to unite the participants from all parties, worldviews, and belief systems makes them indispensable for the realization of democracy. As a result, the most realistic approach is to see the solution of congresses not as an alternative to the state but as a model for a solution in the face of severe problems that the state cannot solve alone, which have similarities rather than contradictions.

A plurality of organizations and internal democracy are at least as indispensable as the overall democratic criteria. The democratic formation and functioning of organizations in all areas are essential. There can be no people’s democracy if these organizations are not democratic. Therefore, organizational democracies under the immediate control of the people that are electorally renewed at least once year are the best guarantee of overall democracy.

If we do not understand democracy’s mode of action, it is difficult to validate its operation. A democracy without action is like a human being without a voice. Actions are the voice of democracy. Each act by the people and every activity of any organization constitutes an action. In the absence of an entire spectrum of actions, simple and complex—from demonstrations, assemblies, rallies, elections, protests, and strikes through legal resistance to rebellion at the right time and in the right place—democracy cannot be realized. Particularly in cases where the fundamental demands of the people are ignored and various democratic norms, goals, and institutions are destroyed, action is imperative to achieve a solution. People and organizations that fail to act cannot democratize themselves. An organization or a people that shows no capacity for action should be regarded as dead. Of course, only organized action is useful, because other action leads nowhere and will be unsuccessful. The more organized the people are, the more action they will engage in. Action goes beyond protest and resistance. Most civil society action is constructive. Overall, a positive understanding of action is essential.

When should popular uprisings and wars be on the agenda? The only way to respond to the conditions and manner of these fundamental forms of action, which have frequently been exploited and used against the people, is by successfully surpassing the most important turning points in people’s history. Uprisings and struggles only make sense if all other forms of action have failed to yield results, and there is no other solution to the remaining problems. In particular, when the forces of the warrior ruling power allow no other option for a solution but violence, rather than live under the influence of humiliating slavery, the people must show the strength to revolt and struggle to protect their vital interests. If the laws are not applied to all equally, if the role democracy can play in a solution is ignored, if all peaceful action are invalidated, then deliberating on the need for an uprising or a popular war may well become inevitable. The following criteria can provide clarity: if the state fails to demonstrate any honest interest in and does not allow for a democratic solution in any meaningful and responsive way, and the people are left without any other form of pressure, more or less bloody uprisings or protracted people’s wars will come into play, as has been the case at one point or another for most of the peoples around the world.

Not every struggle and uprising pursues separation; on the contrary, they generally seek greater democratic unity. The era of uprisings and national liberation struggles whose goal was the founding of separate states is over. In the final analysis, uprisings and national liberation struggles striving for a state do no more than add little appendages to the capitalist system, which doesn’t solve any of the people’s problems and may make things even worse. Having twenty-two states has probably not reduced the problems faced by the Arabs but has likely multiplied them. Therefore, the goal of the new era of popular uprisings and struggles is not to gain a state but to achieve a fully operative democracy, both in form and in essence. This is the main role such uprisings and struggles should play. Separation only makes sense when it cannot be avoided. The people’s option always favors democratic unity. However much the extreme nationalists on both sides may champion separation and violence, under these conditions, the people’s option must be the least violent and most democratic unity. On the other hand, as dangerous as it is to resort to an uprising and war before the time and circumstances are ripe, it is just as humiliating and deadly not to embark on this course if there is no other choice.

A further important question for democracy is how to act in a situation of legitimate self-defense. Legitimate self-defense makes sense only under the conditions of occupation. When an occupying, colonial, or otherwise repressive regime is set up over a people, this constitutes an occupation. Occupation always involves a foreign power but is sometimes carried out in substantial part by local collaborators. When this occurs, the task of self-defense arises, with the goal of ending the occupation and establishing democracy. However, since a foreign factor is at play, it is more correct to call the defense legitimate and national-democratic. In this situation, the conditions for rebellion and war have again emerged. However, the struggle cannot be based on a classic war of national liberation. Even if there is a national dimension, given the particularities of our time, it is more appropriate to speak of a defensive war in favor of broad democratic unity. Uprisings and wars of this sort might develop solely in the cities, only in rural areas, or simultaneously in both. In many countries in Africa, Asia, and the Americas numerous different forms have already been tried. To solve the current problems, it would be more appropriate to focus primarily on democracy not on taking state power. Even if it is of a national nature, against the occupiers and the collaborators who act jointly at the top, it is most appropriate that the people struggle cooperatively in pursuit of democratic unity. In situations like this, other forms of peaceful action must be applied to the fullest. Legitimate self-defense should be carried out and organized primarily to support, develop, and protect the democratization of the people.

While targeting the repressive warrior cliques, it would be an error to overlook the existence of interlocutors prepared to embrace a democratic solution. Being in confrontation with the entire state and the concerned nation is never the right strategy. From a tactical point of view, it is also not right to target any individual and every institution of the occupying nation. What is essential is to determine fairly narrow goals and achieve effective results, to thereby increase the people’s options for a democratic solution and protect the people’s existence. In this way, a legitimate self-defense movement and its organization should continue and intensify until the powers responsible for the occupation and for blocking a solution are convinced that they cannot continue with the unjust war they are waging and are pulled toward a democratic solution. This may be the main means of getting out of the current crisis.

Even in “normal” times, when there is no emergency to address, the question of peoples’ self-defense cannot be neglected. During a crisis, apart from general security considerations, the question of intrinsic security is also important. In many respects, the state’s classic security criteria can no longer meet the security needs of the people. If state power were to fall into the hands of oligarchic and dictatorial forces, legal security, which is limited in any case, might well be suspended. The state would be literally parceled, so a multiplicity of mafia-like gangs that are in close cahoots with the state would emerge and practice total terror against the people. Criminality would explode. Those seeking their rights would begin to use surrogate forces instead of legal means, and the law, so to speak, would become a commodity. State security forces themselves would become a security issue. Self-defense would become an inevitable necessity in the face of the arising security problems experienced at present in many crisis-ridden countries. This is why self-defense forces should be set up.

The people’s defense forces should not be seen as anti-state or as an alternative to the state but as forces that satisfy the need for security in places where the state does not provide security, does so insufficiently, or is itself the reason security is needed. People’s defense units are not classic guerrilla or national liberation armies. People’s liberation guerrillas and national liberation armies predominantly seek to attain power and to seize the state. They want to resolve the question of ruling power. For their part, people’s defense units should never have the power or the state as their specific goal, except in cases of objective necessities. Their main task is to try and protect the people and to provide space for democratic endeavors when their legal and constitutional rights are violated and when the law fails to perform its duty. Furthermore, they must lead the people’s resistance against such attacks and protect the people’s cultural and environmental existence.

People’s defense can be organized in suitable units both in the city and in rural areas and might also be called the people’s protection militia. These units can take on tasks that the local security forces are unable to fulfill. In a crisis, social structures are in a process of continuous dissolution and increasing turmoil, which makes self-defense a vital issue for the very existence of the people and their self-governance. While seeking a way out of the crisis through a democratic solution, the people’s defense forces could provide a way out of the increasing environment of insecurity that inevitably accompanies this phase.

Women’s Liberation

While constituting the essence of democratization, the main phenomenon that needs to be treated separately is the system of relations and contradictions formed around women. The counterpoise of the communal and democratic stances is something the social sciences have only recently and insufficiently begun to look at, and this is even more the case in the 192
approach to the phenomenon of women. The presupposition accepted by all scientific, moral, and political approaches is an understanding that what is happening to women is the result of their very nature. Even sadder is the fact that the women themselves have become accustomed to the acceptance of this paradigm as natural. The naturalness and sacredness of the status imposed on the people for thousands of years has been imposed on women even more intensely and has been carved into their mentality and behavior. To the extent that the people are feminized, the women have also turned into a people. This is what Hitler meant when he said, “Peoples are like women.”4

When the phenomenon of “women” is approached more deeply it is clear that they are treated as more than a biological sex and, instead, as something like a lineage, a class, or a nation—the most oppressed lineage, class, or nation. We should all be aware that no lineage, class, or nation has ever been subjected to slavery as systematic as the enslavement of women.

The history of the enslavement of women has not yet been written. The history of her freedom also awaits being written. The depth of woman’s enslavement and the intentional masking of this fact is closely linked to the rise of hierarchical and statist power within a society. As women are habituated to slavery, hierarchies (from the Greek word ἱεραρχία or hierarkhia, rule by the high priest) are established and the path to the enslavement of the other sections of society is paved. The enslavement of men follows the enslavement of women. But the slavery of a sex is different in some ways from the slavery of classes and nations. It is legitimized through refined and intense repression combined with lies that play on emotions. A woman’s biological difference is used to justify her enslavement. All the work she does is taken for granted and treated as unworthy “woman’s work.” Her presence in the public sphere is presented as prohibited by religion and considered morally shameful; gradually, she is banished from all important social activities. As the dominant power of the political, social, and economic activities is taken over by men, the “weakness” of women becomes even more institutionalized. Thus, the idea of a “weaker sex” is shared as a common belief.

Once all material and immaterial power resources are accumulated in the man’s hands, the woman is turned into a being who is dependent on the male hand, at times pleading, at other times accepting her fate by trampling on her own dignity, and often losing all interest in life and becoming immersed in a deep silence. In a way, she can be described as the living dead. A few analogies allow us to capture the phenomenon even more poignantly. The first analogy is to the bird in a cage. Sometimes she is made as fancy as a beautiful bird, a canary for example, or like a nightingale with its beautiful voice. Everyone likens her to the bird of their choosing—mostly to sparrows. Another analogy is to a cat placed at the bottom of a deep well and made to constantly meow. Feeding her scraps from his meal can be the owner’s perfect tool for taming her. These analogies may seem a little vulgar, but it is clear that to capture the depth of slavery requires multifaceted efforts, both scientific and literary.

An extremely sexist society has been created. However, the real vulgarness lies in the fact that raping a woman is seen as a heroic deed on the part of a man, and while the man takes pleasure and pride in it, the woman faces all kinds of atrocities as a result, from being stoned to death through confinement in a brothel to the complete and permanent exclusion from society. Again, it may yet be a little vulgar to say so, but while men are proud of their sexual organs, women’s sexual organs have been turned into a source of shame for them. Even the simplest physical differences were used to the disadvantage of women without hesitation. Just being a woman has been turned into a source of shame. Even in love, allegedly a very sacred feeling, what women experience is nothing but something recklessly imposed by men. Consistent with this, female children have always been disdained.

The question we must pose is: Why this deep slavery? The answer undoubtedly has to do with the phenomenon of ruling power. The very nature of power itself necessitates slavery. If the system of power is in the hands of men, not only a part of human species but an entire sex must be completely shaped according to this power. Just as the power holders regard the borders of the state as effectively the borders of their household and feel entitled to do anything within these borders,5 in the micromodel of this system, the family, men as the power holders feel just as entitled to do whatever they want—including killing if they deem it necessary. The woman in the house is such an ancient and profound form of property that the man, driven by an unlimited sense of ownership, says, “This woman is mine.” This woman cannot claim the slightest right over the man to whom she is attached by the bond of marriage, while the man’s discretionary power over the woman and children is unlimited. The most fundamental source of property should also be sought in the family, in the disposition of women as slaves. The source of property is the enslaved woman.

The slavery and property relations that permeate women expand to the entire social milieu in waves. In this manner, all thoughts and feelings that are anchored in property ownership and slavery suffuse the mentality and behavior of the individual and of society. This is how society is prepared for every sort of hierarchical and statist framework.

This serves to easily and legitimately enable the continuation of all sorts of class structures—called civilization. Thus, it is by no means only women who lose. Apart from a handful of hierarchical and statist forces, it is the whole of society.

For women, the particularities of a special period of crisis are not that important, because they live in a permanent state of crisis. Being a woman is to have a crisis-ridden identity. The only gleam of hope in the chaos of today’s capitalist system is the fact that the phenomenon of the woman has been illuminated, to a limited degree at least. In the last quarter of a century, feminism has made the reality of womanhood clearly visible, even though this is still far from sufficient. Since under circumstances of chaos, the likelihood of change increases to the degree that a phenomenon is illuminated, the steps taken in favor of freedom can lead to a qualitative leap. Women’s freedom can emerge from the current crisis with great victories.

Women’s freedom must find its scope in accordance with its definition as a phenomenon. Generalized social freedom and equality may not automatically mean freedom and equality for women. Specific organizing and efforts are essential. Even though a general movement for democracy can open up opportunities for women, this alone will not automatically bring democracy. First and foremost, women themselves should present their own democratic goal, organization, and effort.

First of all, there is a need for a definition of freedom to counter the slavery that has been incorporated in women. This is particularly because the power of the capitalist system to create a bombastic vision and to substitute virtual reality for reality is so highly developed that even the kind of activities that degrade women the most, like pornography, are identified with freedom.

Even though there are many important elements in the feminist struggle, the struggle still falls far short of transcending the horizons of Western-centered democracies. At its foundations lies not only its inability to transcend the way of life formed by capitalism but also that it has failed to provide a full grasp of it. Their situation calls to mind Lenin’s concept of “socialist revolution.” Despite all of the far-reaching efforts and the many victorious wars of position, Leninism ultimately could not avoid making an extremely valuable contribution to capitalism from the left. Feminism could suffer a similar fate. The lack of a strong organizational base, an insufficiently developed philosophy, and difficulties with regard to the question of female militancy undermine its claims. As a result, it may not even be able to become the “real socialism” of the women’s front. Nonetheless, feminism must be seen as a crucial step that has drawn attention to the problem.

Just like everything else, being a woman has its own nature. Biology supports the increasing evidence that beyond their sociality, in terms of their biological sex, women are the more central element. In short, the physical structure of the female encompasses that of the male, but the physical structure of the male does not encompass the female. Contrary to the Holy Scripture, it is understood that it is not women who are derived from men but men from women. Women’s chromosome set is more comprehensive than men’s. Even their monthly bleeding, which is generally regarded as a disadvantage, should be seen as a delicate bond that connects women with nature. Bleeding from the uterus should be seen as an unfinished, continuing natural flow of life. The principal vein of life has not ended; rather, its continuation should be understood as an indication of its will. The so-called women’s sicknesses are actually phenemona of life. This stems from the fact that women represent the center of life.6 The complicated processes of life take place in the uterus, in the bellies of women. The child a woman gives birth to and its umbilical cord are effectively the final links in the chain of life. In light of this reality, the man appears as an adjunct, as an appendage of the woman. This is further confirmed by the extreme and senseless jealousy that men feel. While the woman is by nature more self-confident, the man cannot stay still. A man is like trouble that revolves around the woman. All of this indicates that woman’s physical structure is not laden with weakness but is more central. Therefore, women must first and foremost reject the definition of “flawed and sick” imposed upon them by the dominant male culture and make the men feel that the opposite is true. This is what we mean when we say a woman should have confidence in her physical structure.

The natural consequence of this physical structure is that women have stronger emotional intelligence—emotional intelligence is intelligence that does not break away from life. It is intelligence that strongly carries within itself empathy and sympathy. Even when analytical intelligence develops in women, because of their more pronounced emotional intelligence, women are more capable of being more balanced and connected to life and are better at avoiding destructiveness. Men do not understand life as well as women. Woman is life itself (in Kurdish, the words for woman (jin) and life ( jîn) are almost the same), and she has the ability to see all aspects of life in a clear and simple way, far removed from hypocrisy. This ability is strong, as we can all confirm from personal experience.

Men bear responsibility for the ruthless creation of attributes like “scheming,” “rotten,” and even “whore” to describe women’s reality. No woman, of her own initiative, has the need or desire for scheming or whoring. This would simply not correspond to her physical nature and biological existence. The true creators of scheming and whoring are men. We know that it was the male ruling power that opened the first known brothel—called musakkatin—in the Sumerian capital of Nippur, sometime around 2500 BCE.7 Nevertheless, men shamelessly and constantly nurture the impression that prostitution was created by women.

By attributing their own creation and the consequent guilt to women, men establish a false sense of “honor” that results in the unimaginable perdition and beatings, as well as the massacres, that women constantly face. The conclusion we can draw from this little additional excursion is that, above all else, women must be skillful in countering the ideological attacks of men. Against the dominant male ideology, women must arm themselves with “the ideology of women’s freedom” by overcoming capitalism, including the form of feminism it generates, and wage their struggle.8 Against the ruling dominant male mentality, it is necessary, first and foremost, that women understand well how to win in the ideological realm and fully ensure their victory by strengthening their mentality, which is libertarian and close to nature. We must not forget that traditional feminine submission has social not biological roots. It is based on internalized slavery. Therefore, the initial step in the ideological realm must be to defeat the thoughts and feelings of submission.

The woman who struggles for her freedom should be aware that once she begins to tackle the political realm, she will come face to face with the most difficult part of the struggle. Without an understanding of how to achieve victory in the political realm, no gain could be made permanent. To win in the political realm does not mean a women’s movement to become a state. On the contrary, combating statist and hierarchical structures means establishing political formations that are not state-oriented, are democratic, and seek woman’s freedom and an ecological society. Hierarchy and statism are entirely incompatible with women’s nature. Therefore, the women’s freedom movement must play a leading role in the creation of political structures that are anti-hierarchical and outside of the state. Any hope of destroying slavery in the political realm is only possible if women know how to win in this realm. The struggle in this realm necessitates women’s comprehensive democratic organization and struggle. The areas in which a democratic struggle must be organized and developed include civil society, human rights, and local governments. Just as with socialism, the path to women’s freedom and equality is through the most comprehensive and successful democratic struggle. Without achieving democracy, the women’s movement will be unable to achieve freedom and equality.

In the social realm, the most important problem for freedom is the reality of marriage and the family. Both pose a situation like that of bottom-less pits. Even though they may appear to women as salvation, given the current mentality of the society, at best this amounts to moving from one cage to another. Moreover, it means the forced abandonment of a youthfulness full of life to a butcher’s mentality. The family must be regarded as the reflection of the upper society—the society of the ruling power—within the people and as an institution that is an agent of the upper society. The man is the representative of society’s ruling power within the family, its most concentrated embodiment. When a woman is married, she actually becomes a slave. It is difficult to imagine another institution that enslaves the way marriage does. The most comprehensive slavery is quite literally established with this institution, and this slavery continues as it takes root in the family. I am not talking about a partnership in general, or about a common life. This is an issue that attains substance depending on how freedom and equality are understood. I am talking about marriage and family in its established and classic sense. For women, this means becoming nothing but property, withdrawing from the political, mental, social, and economic realms, and facing extreme difficulty in any effort to return to their senses. Marriages and relationships arising from individual and sexual needs or from a traditional understanding of the family can generate the most dangerous deviations on the road to free life, if they are not subjected to radical questioning, and if principles of a common life that is free, democratic, and aims to achieve equality between women and men is not ensured. The need is not to form such unions but to fully ensure women’s freedom by analyzing the realms of mentality, democracy, and politics and accordingly bring about the will for a common life.

The concept of “love,” which has been hashed out and rehashed ad nauseam in today’s world, is going through its worst period ever—it is at its most vile and is devoid of content. Never before in history has there been so much conceptual confusion about love. From relationships that only last a fleeting moment to openly murderous behavior, from prosaic relationships to extremely dangerous ones, everything is called “love.” Nothing demonstrates more clearly the capitalist system’s understanding of life than this relationship.

The “love” of our times is an obvious confession of what the mentality imposed on humans and society by the dominant system has become, even in the most sacred area. Reviving love is one of the most difficult of revolutionary tasks. It requires a great deal of labor, intellectual clarity, and love of humanity. Love requires being at the threshold of the wisdom of the times—one of its most important conditions. Second, it forces us to make a great show of resistance to the system’s madness. Third, it requires adopting a moral attitude where we cannot even look into each other’s eyes in the absence of liberation and freedom. Fourth, it requires us to limit our sexual drive on the basis of the three imperatives just mentioned. We must be clear that if the sexual drive is not constrained by wisdom, the morality of freedom, and the reality of politico-military struggle, each step taken will negate love. The fact is that for those who do not have the option of freely settling down—not even as much as a bird—to talk about love, relationships, and marriage actually is an act of submission to the slavery of the social order and shows no real appreciation for the ennobling value of the freedom struggle.9

If we are to talk about the reality of love in our age, this love will only be possible if we attain personalities that surpass those of Laila and Majnun and the many Sufi masters, and if we act with the meticulousness of scientists,10 thereby paving the way to social freedom from the current chaos and, in this way, proving our courage, our selflessness, and our ability to succeed.

The problems of the economic and social equality of women can best be addressed by ironing out the issue of political power and a successful process of democratization. Clearly, without democratic politics and actual advances in the realm of freedom, a merely dry legal equality would not have much meaning.

The shift in attitude about women should best be seen as a cultural revolution. Given the problems and the relationship structure involved in the phenomenon, no meaningful and freedom-oriented solution can be achieved within the present culture, regardless of how good the intentions and how great the effort. The development of the most radically freedom-oriented identity possible is dependent upon the approach taken to woman, or, rather, grasping and overcoming the system at play in the overall relationship between women and men. It is high time to understand that we cannot advance even a millimeter if we confuse the early marry-ing off of young women with tradition and pornography with modernity. There is a need to comprehend both the depth of freedom and the depth of slavery at play in this area and turn that understanding into will power. Those who fail to advance in terms of women’s freedom, and therefore freeing themselves must understand that they cannot be a problem-solver and bring about transformation in any area of social or political freedom. Any effort for freedom that does not surpass the dilemma of the dominant man-the enslaved woman cannot attain a truly free identity—the most fundamental criterion for freedom. A relationship between women and men based on freedom cannot be realized if the relations of property and power over women are not destroyed.

It is totally reasonable to see our century as the social period in which the will of free women shall rise. Some thought should go into conceptualizing and establishing lasting institutions that women may well require for at least a century. Women’s Freedom Parties may also be needed. The fundamental purpose and primary task of these parties would be to determine the basic ideological and political principles of freedom and execute and supervise their implementation into practice.

Rather than building women’s refuges particularly in the cities, organized freedom spaces should be created for the female masses. Perhaps Cultural Parks of the Free Women could be one of the appropriate forms this could take. Cultural Parks of the Free Women are particularly essential in situations where families cannot educate female children as well as because of the well-known structures of the system’s schools. These cultural parks could become spaces that include education, as well as production and service units, for eligible women and female children and those who need it, thus, playing the role of contemporary women’s temples.

It is said that one cannot live without a woman. But it is not possible to live with the current woman. The most devastating relationship is probably the one between a woman and a man who are submerged up to their necks in slavery. In that case, to exit the fatal chaos of the capitalist system, the great power that is expected from true love can only be created around the free women—and achieving this must be understood as the most noble and sacred deed of the true heroes who have devoted their hearts and minds to love.

The Return to Social Ecology

It is most realistic to look for the origins of the ecological crisis, which is continuing to deepen alongside the crisis of the social system, at the beginning of civilization. We have to understand that the alienation from other humans that develops within society due to domination brings with it alienation from nature, and the two become intertwined. Society itself is, in its essence, an ecological phenomenon. By ecology, we mean the physical and biological nature on which the formation of society is based. The relationship between the physical and the biological formation of planet earth is further illuminated with each passing day. This is one of the areas where science has been most successful. One can scientifically show that life began in water and spread from there to land, where it developed into an almost unimaginable diversity of plant and animal species. The physical and biological environment that the human species can survive in is understood to be connected to these developments. One of the assumptions in establishing that connection is that the human species is the last link in the evolutionary chain of living beings in general and of the animal world in particular. The foremost conclusion to be drawn is that the human species cannot live in an arbitrary way but can only sustain itself if it adheres to the requirements of this evolutionary chain. Should humans destroy the evolutionary links upon which they rest, they will lose their biological integrity and, as a result, the species will inevitably risk being unable to sustain itself. Science now shows us that the integral essence of evolution in nature is based on the mutual dependence of the species to a far greater degree than we previously assumed. As this mutual dependence is undermined, great ruptures will occur in the evolutionary links, which, in turn, will result in a situation in which the survival of many species is seriously threatened.

The problem created by civilization facing this scientific reality is that if no measures are taken the gates of hell have already been half-opened. The most fundamental reason civilization gave rise to the problem is the tyranny and ignorance it rests upon, or, more precisely, “the necessity to be a liar.” When they first arose, hierarchy and the state could not make their existence permanent by relying solely on force and oppression. Hypocrisy and lies were indispensable to obfuscate the truth behind events. Power requires domination, the domination of the mentality. On the other hand, to secure power, the mentality developed had to validate falsehoods. The brute side of power will always guarantee that this type of mentality lives and dominates, acting as the subtle expression of power. Shaping mentality in this way also provides the basis for alienation from nature. As it denies the communal bond that creates society and replaces it with the hierarchical state forces that initially developed as an anomaly, the mentality will become open to forgetting and trivializing the bond between nature and life. All subsequent progress based on a civilization that rests on this foundation will mirror both an increased detachment from nature and environmental destruction. The civilization forces will cease to even perceive natural necessities. After all, the underclass that feeds them provides them with everything that is already prepared.

Utopias of divinity and paradise in the Holy Scripture were fabricated based on the mythologies of the Sumerians who were the first civilization forces. They were carved into human mentality—which was then at its childhood—as fundamental patterns. God and paradise only existed as abstractions from nature, or, rather, they were the fake world designs of the rising forces of the ruling power to replace real nature. In essence, they were saying: “We, who have become gods, live in paradise.” The second version was: “The sultans, the ‘shadows of God,’ live as if they are in paradise.” The third version boasts: “The exploiter lives in a paradise-like way.” These perceptions, which were presented in the form of divine sublime realities—the patterns of mentality that dominate society—forgot all about “mother nature.” They even went one step further and pushed relations with nature into a state of encompassing alienation, based particularly on their assumptions about a “cruel” or “blind” nature, a nature that had to be “subdued.” Using the accumulations of the ruling power—which are the products of tyranny and lies—to make life as anti-nature as possible is the root cause of ecological problems. Denying the role of nature in life and replacing it with fake religious figures and creators allowed for nature to be called a “blind force.” The effectiveness of this mentality, even to this day, is the main reason why a scientific mentality has not developed. A scientific mentality can only develop on the basis of a correct and objective definition of the forces of nature. A belief system that delegates everything 202
to God or jinns will never make sense of a wonderful arrangement like nature. Such a system will sidestep science by insisting that the whole of physical and biological nature was created by an abstract concept, “God.”

We saw explicitly that this abstract God is a mental creation of the first rising stratum of exploiters to ensure their legitimacy. The danger is that it will not just serve to bind serfs and slaves to their exploiters, but that the serfs and slaves will themselves be detached from reality. This cuts the human mind’s correct bond with nature and leads to alienation from itself and nature. The mother nature of days gone by is now replaced by “cruel nature”—by real villains. When we observe the stages of development of this mentality throughout history, it is impossible not to be horrified. The games of humans vs. predatory animals in the arenas of the Roman Empire were a product of this mentality.

Any interest of the human being in the whole of plant and animal worlds is increasingly hampered and obfuscated. All this is connected to the cruel practices of the ruling power. In fact, playing humans and animals off against one another in this way effectively symbolizes this alienation from nature. During medieval feudalism the earth became an inn that should be abandoned as soon as possible. In fact, it was an immoral place that bound people to itself and seduced them to sin. What was nature when compared to the glory of God? Thus, to leave nature—the world—as soon as possible became the goal for believers. But for the upper layer, however, a paradisaical life would continue, with a 1,001 revelries. We refer to this falsification (distortion) when we talk about the great mental deviance. This millennium-old mental deviance is the basis of the backwardness of societies in the Middle East.

At its heart, the Renaissance was a renewal of the mentality bond that had been broken with nature. The Renaissance developed its revolution in mentality on the basis of the vitality, creativity, and sacredness of nature. It was based on the assumption that everything that is can be found in nature. In the arts, the beauty of nature was much better depicted than had previously been the case, and its scientific approach expanded the limits of nature. With the human being as the basis, the task of science and the arts was to recognize and display the full reality of that human being. The modern age is the result of this shift in mentality. Contrary to the common view, capitalist society was not the natural result of this process but has actually functioned as a distortion and played a regressive role. The methods developed to exploit human beings were now combined with the exploitation of nature. Domination of humans coalesced with the domination of nature, launching the most intense attack of all time against nature. Capitalism grasped the exploitation of nature as its revolutionary role, without wasting a moment considering the sacredness, vitality, or equilibrium of nature. Capitalism totally discarded the perception of nature’s sacredness, which had been present in all previous mentalities, even if in a distorted form. This system arrogated to itself the right to do what it likes with the nature, without fear or anxiety.

As a result, the social crisis merged with the environmental crisis. Just as the system’s essence carried the social crisis to the chaos interval, now the environmental disasters are leading to SOS signals warning of dangers to life itself. Cities proliferating like a cancer, polluted air, a perforated ozone layer, rapidly accelerating extinction of plant and animal species, destruction of the forests, pollution and contamination of the waters, mounting piles of garbage, and unnatural population growth have driven the environment into chaos and rebellion. No calculation has been made as to how many cities, people, factories, and vehicles or how much synthetic material and polluted air and water our planet can tolerate; instead there is a reckless pursuit of maximum profit. But this negative development is not a matter of fate. It is the result of an imbalanced use of science and technology by those in power. It would be wrong to hold science and technology responsible for this process. In and of themselves, they cannot be blamed for any of this. They reflect and comply with the nature of the system’s forces. Just as they can be used to annihilate nature, they could also serve to heal and improve it. The problem is totally social.

Furthermore, there is a major contradiction between the level of science and technology and the living standard of the overwhelming majority of people. This situation is the result of the interests of a minority who hold complete discretionary power over science and technology. In a democratic and freedom-oriented social system, science and technology would play an ecologically positive role.

Ecology is itself a science. It investigates society’s relationship with the environment. Even though it is new, it will play a leading role, increasingly intertwined with all other sciences, in overcoming the society-nature conflict. The limited development of environmental consciousness will make a revolutionary leap with such an understanding of ecology.

The bond between primitive communal society and nature was like the bond between a mother and her child. The society perceived nature to be alive. The golden rule of religions at that time was not to do anything against nature to avoid being punished by it. The religion of primordial communal society was a nature-based religion. In the formation of society there was no natural anomaly and contradiction. Philosophy defines human being as “nature rendered self-conscious.”11 Thus, humans are actually the most developed part of nature.

This clearly exposes the unnaturalness and anomaly of the social system that puts the most developed part of nature in contradiction with nature as a whole. That this social system has turned human beings, who were once united with nature in festive exuberance—festivities are in fact a reflection of joyful and productive unity with nature—into such a plague upon nature clearly demonstrates how troublesome this social system is.

Being wholly part of the natural environment does not only have economic or social content. Trying to understand nature is also an indispensable philosophical passion. Actually, it is a mutual passion. While nature proved its great curiosity and creative power by taking form as the human, by understanding nature humans become aware of themselves—it is thought-provoking that the Sumerians understood freedom ( amargi) to mean return to the mother, i.e., to nature. There is a relationship of one that is in love and one that is loved between nature and humans—this is a great love adventure. To disrupt or separate them is probably, in religious terms, the biggest sin, because a more valuable power of meaning cannot be created. As it is relevant to our topic, we once more see the remarkable importance of our interpretation of woman’s bleeding both as a sign of the separation from nature and as our origin within it. The woman’s naturalness is due to her proximity to nature, and it is also in this reality that her mysterious attractiveness finds meaning.

The rationality or morality of a social system that does not integrate us into nature cannot be defended. This is why the system that most put humans in contradiction with the natural environment has been transcended rationally and morally. As is already clear from this short description, the relationship between the chaos experienced by the capitalist social system and the environmental disaster is dialectical. Fundamental contradictions with nature can only be overcome by breaking with the system. This issue cannot be resolved by environmental movements alone, due to the nature of the contradiction. On the other hand, an ecological society requires a moral transformation. The anti-morality of capitalism can only be overcome by an ecological approach. The relationship between morality and conscience demands an empathetic and sympathetic spirituality. This, however, is only meaningful if equipped with a sound ecological approach. Ecology means friendship with nature and belief in natural religion. In this respect, ecology stands for an awakened consciousness and a renewed integration into natural organic society.

The practical problems of an ecological way of life are already on the agenda. One of the tasks facing us is to deepen the already existing organizations that are working to stop natural environmental disasters in all respects and make them an integral part of democratic society, as well as to build solidarity with the feminist and freedom-oriented women’s movement. Intensifying and organizing environmental consciousness is one of the most important activities of democratization. Just as we once organized intense class and national consciousness, we must now initiate impassioned campaigns to create a democratic and environmental consciousness. Whether it is animal rights, the protection of the forests, or reforestation, each is an indispensable part of any social plan of action, because the social sensitivity of those who have no biological sensitivity is necessarily deformed. The path to a real and meaningful sensitivity is to see the link between the two.

The period ahead must and shall witness great struggles waged for denuded nature to regain its great forests and its flora and fauna. It is necessary to give reforestation a chance. The slogan “the greatest patriotism is expressed in reforestation and the planting of trees” will likely become one of the most precious slogans. It will come to be better understood that those who do not love and protect animals will not be able to love and protect humans. Humans will become more precious as they grasp that animals and plants are entrusted to them.

A social consciousness devoid of ecological consciousness will inevitably be corrupted and fall apart, as was the case with real socialism. Ecological consciousness is a fundamental ideological consciousness. It’s a bridge between philosophy and morality. The policy that will rescue us from the contemporary crisis must be ecological if it is to lead to a favorable social system. As with women’s freedom, the patriarchal statist understanding of power plays a fundamental role in the long-standing neglect of unresolved ecological problems and an error-ridden life. As ecology and feminism continue to develop, all of the disparate balances within the patriarchal statist system will be further disrupted. A truly unified struggle for democracy and socialism will only be possible when women’s 206
freedom and the environment’s liberation are targeted. Only the struggle for this sort of new and integrated social system can provide one of the most meaningful forms for coming out of the present chaos.

Capitalist globalization plunged into its third major crisis and a period of chaos with the dissolution of the real socialist system for internal reasons in 1989. Under US leadership, the system is trying to maintain power as an “empire of chaos.” The US empire of chaos now resembles the Roman Empire as it disintegrated—albeit with all the distinctions that characterize the capitalist system that we should all be aware of. The EU countries, which have reservations about US hegemony, are trying to put up some resistance with half-hearted criticisms of the US around issues of democracy and human rights, hoping to be able to retain their traditional republics, democracies, and national states. But the nation-state poses an obstacle to capitalist globalization, which will, in turn, prevent the EU from developing into anything more than a weak transnational political union. It seems unlikely that a third global focal point, led by China and Japan, which are getting stronger in the Pacific, will arise in the near future. Russia and Brazil, among others, would join such countries, mostly, it would seem, to protect their nation-states. Many other countries, nations, and groups of states around the world are now having serious problems sustaining their nation-states, which were initially formed in the context of the balance of power between the US and the USSR in the aftermath of 1945. Within the framework of the US empire of chaos, they face being restructured and shrinking, contracting, or partially or completely fragmenting. Many regions, but especially the Middle East, the Balkans, and the Caucasus, are experiencing this process in the extreme.

The empire of chaos, which we could also, in a certain sense, call World War III, is not managed using military and political methods alone but more intensely and decisively by global corporations and the media. Global economic and media corporations do not shrink from physically and mentally starving societies in order to easily manipulate and use them as they see fit.

They hope that by using their scientific and technological superiority they can salvage capitalist society system from chaos and exit the crisis even stronger or, if this is not possible, at least minimize the damage as far as possible, restructuring if necessary. In this chaos, the old-fashioned ways and means are no longer suited to managing, protecting, and sustaining the system with nothing but small changes. Therefore, it would be more realistic to evaluate the new US tactical and strategic approaches and implementations in the light of the chaos process.

Peoples’ mostly communal and democratic stance throughout history must be strengthened through theoretical and tactical renewal to the point where it can overcome the chaos. The left of former days, which gave rise to real socialism and the New Left, ecological, and feminist movements of more recent times, as well as the Porto Alegre meetings, are far from being able to grasp and overcome the chaos. There is an urgent need for an intense discussion on the general theoretical perspectives and specific local tactics necessary for a global democratic and ecological society with women’s freedom and for different solutions—without ignoring the aforementioned movements. In doing so, the first prerequisite will be to say farewell to old theories and tactics that focus on ruling power and on finding a solution by either “destroying or seizing the state.” As real socialism has shown us, if we do not abandon a state-oriented mentality and liberationist-developmentalist methods, there is no escape from serving the capitalist system in the worst way. In addition, the people’s demands for true freedom and equality cannot be met by mobilizing the masses to revolt and make war with slogans and programs centered around a state, socialism, liberation of the homeland, a nation, or a religion, programs that have been primarily based on abstract and ideological concepts and generalizations of the past like country, nation, class, and religion—this can only end in ultimately dissolving into the capitalist system and further strengthening it.

In the new stage of global capitalism, it is all about revealing the consciousness and will of the people and all the groups that constitute the people based on their self-identity and culture and researching, organizing, and putting into action local and transnational solutions. It is equally indispensable to develop a democratic society organization in the form of an extensive social network as the fundamental organ of local authority, from the democratic municipal movement to village and neighborhood communes, from cooperatives to broad civil society organizations, from human rights to children’s rights and animal rights, from woman’s freedom to ecological organizations, and vanguard youth organizations. It is also vital to establish political parties that focus on democratic politics as the ideological, theoretical, and administrative coordinators of this type of democratic society. Without the development of democratic parties and alliances, the creation of a democratic society is futile. A people’s congress as the highest expression of democratic society and political groups is an inevitable fundamental task for each group of people. These people’s congresses are not an alternative to the state but also refuse to submit to it and, provided their principles are preserved, are open to compromises. They are the most important democratic organs for overcoming the present chaos. The role of these people’s congresses is to secure the political, self-defense, legal, social, moral, economic, scientific, and artistic needs of democratic society and to meet these responsibilities by leading the appropriate institutions and ensuring the necessary rules, regulations, and control mechanisms.

The basic slogans of the people should be “free nation and homeland” and “socialism through the most comprehensive implementation of democracy”—an understanding of equality that is based on the “equality of unequals” and that goes beyond mere equality before the law,12 embracing religious freedom and constructing democratic congresses that are not a state.

Taking into account the gigantic economic, military, and scientific potential of global capitalism, all kinds of democratic legal action can be considered as methods of resistance, and when the laws are not applied in the same way to everyone and there is a regime of tyranny, organized uprisings and guerrilla wars based on self-defense can also be considered.

Because capitalist society is based on the negation of morality, to truly build a democratic, and ecological society with woman’s freedom, it is an indispensable principle and attitude to act on the basis of an ethical theory and a moral practice.

In overcoming the chaos, science and the arts are the foundations of the mentality that we should base ourselves on the most. Formal education, which is imposed from primary school all the way to university, is based on the creation of state- and hierarchy-driven beings who are alienated from their individuality, their society, and the environment. The traps and deceptions of such an education and training must be overcome. In their place, we must develop a new understanding and paradigm of science and the arts that must be understood, above all, as serving a revolution in mentality and must be internalized and put into practice. This paradigm must present the people and society with their historical realities, freeing the moment in order to carry it into the future. On this basis, a new type of social science academies and schools should become widespread according to needs.

Striving for a “global democratic civilization of the people” as an alternative to capitalism’s global empire of chaos not only shows respect for the past resistance traditions but can lead us to the future world, a world that will be more democratic, free, and equal than any before it.


1 See Murray Bookchin, Urbanization without Cities: The Rise and Decline of Citizenship (Montréal: Black Rose Books, 1992), accessed July 10, 2021,

2 Immanuel Wallerstein, Utopistics, or, Historical Choices of the Twenty-First Century (New York: New Press, 1988).

3 Here the author uses devletli, which literally means with the state but among the people has the meaning of great and wealthy.

4 The original quote reads: “The psyche of the great masses is not receptive to anything that is half-hearted and weak. Like the woman, whose psychic state is determined less by grounds of abstract reason than by an indefinable emotional longing for a force which will complement her nature, and who, consequently, would rather bow to a strong man than dominate a weakling, likewise the masses love a commander more than a petitioner and feel inwardly more satisfied by a doctrine, tolerating no other beside itself, than by the granting of liberalistic freedom with which, as a rule, they can do little, and are prone to feel that they have been abandoned”; Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, translated by Ralph Manheim (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1943), 42.

5 The Greek oikos and the Roman familia are systems in which the man of the house has total control over the house, the farm, and the farmhands, a control that includes sexual control.

6 In Turkish, “women’s sickness” is a common expression for menstruation.

7 Samuel N. Kramer, History Begins at Sumer: Thirty-Nine Firsts in Recorded History (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1988).

8 Since March 8, 1996, the ideology of independent women’s organization within the Kurdish freedom movement has been called the ideology of women’s freedom.

9 This alludes to the group around Osman Öcalan, who married a woman thirty years younger than himself and openly admitted to having sabotaged the women’s movement.

10 Laila and Majnun are the main characters in a medieval epic about two lovers who never unite. Majnun despairs for his love and slides into madness. Sufism is a mystical Islamic current in which the love to Allah plays a huge role.

11 See Murray Bookchin, The Ecology of Freedom: The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy (Montréal: Black Rose Books, 1990), 316.

12 See Bookchin, ibid., 319.

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