A PREAMBLE ON JUSTICE
We will tell you now, what is wrong with this world and our country! No matter what country that it is we are addressing.
It is that you the people believe in yourselves more than you believe in each other. You believe you are in this world alone.
The fate of the individual has ground under iron heel even the faintest notion of the collective good. And rat racing, pitiless individualism has robbed us as a collective people of both our human conscience as well as our “duty to act”.
There are rights we all have: Women, Men, and Children which are ours by virtue of being born human.
No deity nor national charter bestowed them. When either religion or the state fails to secure these rights, then these institutions cease to be of value. They become a danger. Both the state system and the ideas of every existing religion present clear and present threats to human rights.
The states by trampling them or failing to enforce them. Religions by explicitly negating women’s role in the world, sanctioning violence against non-believing minorities, and promising a world of plenty in a world you will never live to see, and no one has ever come back from.
The authority by which we or any other member of a Party of resistance compels you, a civilian, to “take hold of your rights” comes only from the hearts and minds of other women and men just like you. We hold up no religious gospel or ideological flag. These rights for many decades were put to paper, but ignored by all governments.
Let us reiterate what you may already know. It is in fact in every country too hard to feed one’s family. It is too hard to own the roof over one’s head even in nations where TV and mythology lead some to believe the streets ‘are paved in gold’. The governments of all “safe and civilized Northern nations’ currently disparage and despise the immigrant while the natives seem to have forgotten complexly the exodus and plight from which their families once fled.
The time to even speak of possible pacifism has passed.
We believe deeply in cutting the knees out from under each and every tyrant and local oligarchy who together bleed and raped over half the nations of this earth. But in all the wars fought, has a single human right ever been advanced or championed? Were not all these “Great Wars”, “Crusades”, “Jihads” and World Wars 1, 2, and 3 all just bloody contests to control the resources below and above the soil, to dispose of an excess working class and to compel foreigners to the economic bondage of some great power? Governments have sent millions of young people to die, maim and get maimed, kill and get killed for nothing other than a cold hard national ambition. The local Oligarchy of the time, used the state system for naked conquest.
Crusades and Jihads were about the control of religious oligarchy, the Oligarchy of the priests and imams. The World Wars were European, Russian, American, and Japanese bids for empire; control of “the Core”. They didn’t stop fascist dictators from engaging in further atrocity as long as they were proclaimed anti-communist. Neither the Communist nor Capitalist nor Third World ideologies built better worlds. They built up the very instruments of terror we now oppose. Massive armies of spy surveillance, state torture, nuclear war, and armies that if unleashed will finish off the earth.
They have not ended slavery, they expanded it. They rebranded it, but it still retains the essence of complete bondage and subjugation. There are more forced sweatshop slaves, child slaves, harvesting, mining and sex slave workers, and indentured sweatshop laborers than there ever were plantation slaves or serfs in the 18th century. The West didn’t ‘liberate women’ without completely objectifying them. In America 1 in 4 women will be sexually assaulted before age 18. 1 in every 147 Americans in the prison system. The West as the gall to compare their advancements via armed struggle to be somehow superior to those of the Monarchists, Fascists, Communists, and Islamist Theocracy. These are all different brands of Oligarchy!
Poverty is a rampant genocide. 7 in 10 people live below $5 a day. 4 in 10 below $2 a day and over 2 billion people, 2 of 8 billion live below $2 a day. Even in so-called wealthy, “Northern” nations, most people work their entire lives, living to work and working to live. A human life expectancy of 120 has been brought below 50 in most nations on earth, even in the wealthy North most die before 80, most black men die by 53.
Damn the Oligarchy for its callous dominance. Cruel indifference to human suffering, abuse of power, and massive ongoing theft! Those who speak in numbers and fact checks while tens of millions starve or die of easily treatable diseases; and every year hundreds of thousands fall to rape, pillage, and war while millions of women lack control over their bodies and tens of millions remain slaves. Of course, every oligarchy sets up, benefits from a priesthood speaking of unseen God! God of Gods or spirits telling us to be patient, accept hard work, and accept our rough lot; in the world to come all will be “amazing”. They also set up a modern priesthood of management for thought and public opinion. The media and many talking heads explain the “hiccups” to universal progress.
We tell these men to damn their banal statistics, damn their intractable apathy, their failed policies, and their unwillingness to move in the defense of the powerless. We will launch a war unlike any the world has seen. A war of workers, not blinded by made-up race and unseen magic gods.
If naked you came to your country, then near naked you will depart. And if bandit rapists drove you here or there, or if some planned famine killed ¾ of your family before the rest died reroute of Cholera, or you came here or there shackled beaten, and stolen in the belly of a ship; then you’d better damn never forget where you came from. There is not a safe zone in “the North,” or in the deepest bunkers, or up on Mars. There is racist police violence, poverty, and a plague of fever, cough, and death. When the world gets worse, and it has the potential to; the people of the North will build taller walls. With land mines and robot sentries.
What is to be done when there is nowhere safe to run or hide oneself?
If the question is “what can be done”, the interlude then is who should do it where. The interesting thing about this manifesto is that we can give it as a speech in Cairo, Damascus or Jerusalem, Paris or London, Moscow or Beijing, Port-Au-Prince, Port of Spain or Kingston Town. When we speak in the local language, we have fire in our eyes and passion in our hearts; then we earn their time as well as their ears too. People know that something has been broken for a long time.
There are some pretty universal deficits when it comes to global human rights, no one knows they have them. No one knows who grants them. They are a product of Enlightenment values, Socialist pressure, and common sense. They are a list of demands.
They have already been written down in 39 separate United Nations documents. They are violated everywhere.
Because we are not interested in part freedoms, half freedoms, freedoms just on paper or any abridgment of these 58 noble rights enshrined in the halls of the United Nations and trampled everywhere else: we’d make a good wager that our message speaks as true in the Gaza as it does in the Gully.
What is to be done? What is the way forward? We need to demand that governments adopt these rights as laws, or we bring every single government to its knees.
Who is the primary agent of change? We, all people.
As Church, Mosque, and State have all failed so colossally we must rise to repossess them. We must not replace a corrupt order, that of the Westphalian State System with a new corrupt order. Nearly every nation is an arbitrary creation; a plantation with a flag. States must become tools in the hands of humanity for justice and rights, not soothe-saying witch doctors urging schism and bloated bureaucracies enriching only themselves. We are students of black history, and a cruel unnatural history is what we have read. We indict the entire state system as lackeys to Oligarchy; Oligarchs must be tried and imprisoned. The bureaucratic bloat of each state must be reigned in. The nation-state is an anachronism. It must be replaced with community-centered, democratic autonomy. This is the underlying message of the Democratic Confederalist Parties, the parties of workers and the oppressed; which is to say nearly all people living today.
If these rogue governments, puppets of Oligarchy cannot be controlled through fair elections, they must be brought to their knees via armed struggle. Not the so-called ‘bourgeoisie’ against the so-called ‘proletariat’, that is an old language. Worker against Oligarchy. People who toil, who strive and spend their life as some kind of slave against a tiny, tiny faction of powerful families. Vampires that use the state system to keep us working, keep us afraid. It is not seditious to say “I am a Worker!” You should say it proudly. The Working Class is the class of most humans, the class of people who make this machine run, and keep the lights on. It is time to paralyze the machine. Turn off the lights and leave the factory floor.
We are writing of a class of people that currently cannot feed their children, a class that is still affixed in chattel slavery, a class that dies of curable diseases, and lacks even clean water coming into equality with a far smaller class that has all the world’s good things and far too much more. The basis of all rights is equality before them.
We are workers and this is a Party for Workers.
Saying who is the responsible party is actually the initiating question of this manifesto. We must believe that it is our duty and destiny as Workers first to set this example, there is no particularist destiny when it comes to human rights. They belong to all women, children, and men. They belong to men who love men, women who love women, and also to people born either woman or man, but don’t identify as such or change it later. If you are alive, and you are a sentient creature with a heart, soul, brain, and conscience; you are entitled to Human Rights. “An Injury to one is an injury to all” As long as a single person has their rights violated, we all have a permissive air of rights violation, a virus.
Rights for all or rights for none!
So who will be asked to fight? In this struggle of Workers against Oligarchs, Oligarchic Collectives will bring the entire heel of spies, torture, police, military and government abuse on us for these ideas; Every man, woman, and child who is able has to fight. Our unity must be a total unity. No rights will be secure if even one gay, black woman is slurred in closed quarters. We are after all fighting a long and total war. We are fighting internationally. No nation is real, each is an artificial construct to divide the Working Class. We have some allies, but mostly we have an array of well-resourced enemies. With nowhere to run or hide, not even Rojava or Cuba.
If you want to be free, “free” being the full attainment and total implementation of universal human rights as well as one day seeing the end of the war: Not just the several dozen live fire wars raging, but the end of man’s willingness and ability to make war then join humanity’s cause. This is no prelude to a dream. No woman or man ought to fall under the wrath of war, famine, pestilence, or disease, not while in some many gilded ghettos, fear of these horsemen have been nearly obliterated. We look you in the eyes and tell you help is coming and we’re going to win some of these rights or die trying.
This is no “I have a dream”, when the pages end, you open your eyes and help us hold the lines. We will tell you how.
“We’re going to get our Human Rights the old-fashioned way. The settler way, the cowboy-cowgirl way. The Kurdish way. With tenacity and brazen force of will. With zealous persistence. Or more specifically the kibbutz bootstrap way, the way once called “Zionism”. Until the left and Palestinians made such a word a dirty word. A word associated with Occupation. But the idea of “Zionism”, before there was Israel, before Israel became a colony of America; the idea was to build piecemeal institutions of a state that didn’t yet exist. Step, by step set up a Parallel State to whatever unjust order was horse-trading, masquerading as reality. The idea of “Zion ”, the world to come built in the world of the real, is also known by the Hebrew people as “Tikkun Olam”. Zionism today is almost purely associated with Palestinian oppression. Tikkun Olam, a liberal kumbaya for social justice, is in an age of unmitigated bloodshed and terror.
We’re going to have to build thousands and thousands of forts way up in the mountains and hold out for a human dawn, that will hopefully arrive before the Capitalists bleed the entire earth dry and we are left with a violent, well-armed desert. Killing each other over water.
Democratic Confederalism is the ideological fusion of hated and maligned Jewish Zionism and a Kurdish interpretation of Socialism. It has profound commitments to participatory democracy, women’s equality, environmentalism, and the protection of ethnic/religious minorities. It is the ideological merger of alternatives to a failed Capitalist Modernity, a solution process where the state has collapsed or the state is an agent of great predation.
These forts, these outposts will radiate the ideals we fight for. They will demonstrate the viability of a human rights-protected world, collective economics, democracy, and non-state solutions to daily problems. Our children and our grandchildren will be given their rights. Our outposts, be they infrastructure, training academies or schools to help, heal and save this sick, sad world are our answer to the failed projects of Capitalism. We will build up our own credit unions, charter schools, vocational programs, volunteer rescue agencies, housing cooperatives, clinics, banks, universities, and major syndicates modeled on justice. Framing Human Rights goals alongside Workers’ power. With Democratic Confederalism and actionable work to achieve Human Rights, we will craft the foundation of thousands of confederated cantons; a series of Parallel States. If the existing states cannot or will not legislate Human Rights Enabling legislation and will not arrest these criminal Oligarchs; we must achieve rights for ourselves and deny the state system our tax revenue.
Democratic Confederalism is the future. It is the full achievement of human rights by social networks and grassroots infrastructure when an elected or self-appointed government fails to provide or threatens us. It is not universally adversarial, but it is a matter of survival. It should be defended with armed self-defense.
Our main foreign policy as a movement and Party is the full and total exportation of the technology and ideas into the hands of our fellow human beings more oppressed than ourselves by man or nature. The weapons of our immediate war are the bootstrap teaching outposts, guerrilla medical programs and clinics; makeshift vocational academies, and security services that prevent inter-ethnic bloodletting, or that of state actors against their own civilians.
We will not, and cannot fight a war purely on ideas like the United Nations has done for 70 years to implement these documents. We must make the governments afraid. This is the only reasonable way any of them will make a change. But we must make them nervous, not terrified, in terror they will only lash out with the entirety of their military and police forces. History is full of this. However, the majority if not all state governments must be removed. They are illegitimate and serve in the Oligarchy of each nation.
We are not the kind of people who build a school to watch it burn down or build a clinic to then see nurses abused and aid workers threatened or a local community victimized for wanting to improve its condition. Every single institution we set up must be defended like a fortress. Defended by a People’s Defense Force. Note carefully from history that our enemy the Oligarchy and the repressive forces of the State will kill rape or torture anyone it believes is a threat. It will rape your loved one in front of you and put whole ethnic groups in death camps. It will torture your activists, kill your leaders and call you a “terrorist”.
But you’re only a terrorist if you are killing unarmed civilians. You’re only a terrorist when you kill people who are not part of the actual war.
When we build a school or a clinic, we know we plan to defend each and every one we set up with our lives and steel. In East New York, in Cite Soleil, in the Gaza or the Gully or Rome, Istanbul, or Jerusalem we will fight for human rights like a war for Armageddon with the calculated strategy of Machiavelli acting out the Art of War. We have to form quite a lot of something out of almost nothing. In the world today, the world of real Human rights isn’t worth the pages they are printed on.
You have to begin in your own community by feeding the poor, clothing the naked, and teaching ethics to the young people. You must of course begin close to home and enlist the support of your family and friends. You begin small but always dream with grandeur. Question tradition, it perpetuated wrongness. Question impossible, everything was impossible until it was done.
You must focus on small victories that build off each other. Feeding free breakfast to children or busing families to visit prisoners, is only revolutionary when it offers service the state does not provide or provides inadequately AND is openly associated with a Party of the resistance. Keeping a few blocks litter free, keeping them safe and then drug-free. Litter free is an act of charity. Safe is an act of community control of policing, drug-free is a challenge to some gangs or the mob. You could work to rehabilitate convicts and junkies, which is charity. You can integrate the disposed into a meaningful role in the community, turning them from a vagrant to a worker. You could teach law and accounting to the poor or volunteer in a shelter making art, the move from a charity to a revolutionary communal institution has a lot to do with intent. Capitalists and Oligarchs fund charities and foundations to appear philanthropic and wash some of their wealth. Most charities, like NGOs, are about pork chop politics; about small solutions to the worst elements of obvious poverty, but they are not revolutionary.
A communal institution is revolutionary because it seeks to take control of the means of development, it seeks to compete with the inadequate or absent service the state provides with the tax base.
There are many beachheads to secure. Which is to say places so hopeless that any help is something. There are refugee camps so large they go on for all the eye to see, miles and miles of squalor. There are countries where social services are given only to the preferred ethnic group. We will win this war, but we must wage it correctly. The purpose of an emergency group is to set up the beachhead which introduces the skills to develop the initial communal institution, then the strategic planning in place to create backward and forward linkages between these institutions. Until the revolutionary institution is a valid alternative to what the state offers, further de-legitimizing the state. But expect assault in the front and the rear and side upon these mechanisms.
Thus to secure our rights we must control the means to provide social services, the means of development. To transition from pitiless capitalism to socialism or some False Necessitarian fusion, we require organized workers’ cooperatives; to control the means of production. You cannot seize institutions of the state and expect them to behave in a manner that is less corrupt, and less fallible. You cannot take another man’s factory and declare it a worker’s cooperative. In many ways, Democratization of the social and economic spheres of life requires new institutions and Social Entrepreneurship; Democratic Confederalism is an ideology of governance that values empowerment.
We set up new schools, new clinics, and new infrastructure run by the workers. We set up new enterprises, also run by the workers. This does not mean total equality attributed to communism, or enforced top-down restriction like State Socialism; there is room for elements of both Socialism and Capitalism in a society that is democratic and human rights reinforced.
We have to focus on where the state has failed or is flailing. This is the strategy of an emergency group sent to secure a beach head, build the first forts. But at some stage, at an early stage, the Party must protect its institution and confederated structures.
WE CANNOT VIOLATE THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS AND HOPE TO SOMEHOW LATER FULLY OBTAIN THEM FOR OURSELVES. WE CANNOT GET SUCKED INTO A PROTRACTED GUERRILLA WAR WITH A DECADENT AND BRUTALLY REPRESSIVE NATION-STATE SYSTEM.
We must always take preventative measures. There are some very guilty men in the world, probably a few women too, but they’re all going to die of old age just like everyone else. Hopefully in white light tight plastic rooms heavily guarded with the latest life-prolonging health options available in The Hague. We advocate the capture and imprisonment of war criminals, but we cannot call for their assassination. We must isolate them, indemnify them and then better educate their grandchildren.
The posture of the People’s Defense Forces must always be defensive. There is a large body of precedent to suggest against embarking on a people’s war. Such campaigns are bloody, and decisive and always result in widespread death and destruction. The Defense Forces are to protect communities from aggression, state aggression, non-state paramilitaries, theocratic fundamentalists, or criminal banditry.
There are ten key pillars to the Democratic Confederalist Party’s basic functionality;
- Democratic Autonomy (establishing meaningful participatory democracy in all structures, systems, assemblies, and bodies of governance)
- Human Rights mass Mobilization ( widespread Human Rights Active Education and Policy Level Implementation/enforcement)
- Radical Inclusivity– which includes but is not limited to co-gendering of all leadership/ management roles, affirmative action to include and empower ethnic minority groups, total freedom of spiritual practice, and full rights and inclusive safeguards on gender identity, sexual preference, and sexual orientation.
- Property by Use– connoting that one only has rights to own what one can immediately utilize.
- Control and Enhancement of all local Social Services (controlling and improving on the means of social and economic development).
- Control and Democratization of Productive Mechanisms (controlling and democratizing the means of production).
- Mobilization of a Peoples’ Defense Forces (enlistment of local forces for deterrent self-defense and policing drawn from the communities they serve)
- Actual Social Ecology and Sustainability– (broad policy commitments to safe environmental practices and resource management)
- Actual Equality before the law– irrespective of one’s wealth, ethnicity, gender, spiritual views, or nationality.
- Militant Non-Violence: Understanding of violence to be a fundamentally degrading and consciousness-lowering practice.
Know that you are not alone in questioning why it’s been so bad, for so long. Know that we have had a very long night and you have been born just before dawn. Know that good women and men serve in this Party and that we all stand on the shoulders of giants that fell fighting for an idea whose time has arrived. The only question left is to ask what you can specifically do to end your role as a collaborator or as a civilian and begin training as a champion of our people and our universal rights. And we have a few ideas!
It has long been established that land, or the possession of land does not bring any inherent, long-term security. Its capture in fact is one of the fundamental historical exacerbations of humanity’s many woes and burdens. Defensibility is no sure-fire guarantee of anything other than temporary survivability, but that does not connote fulfillment of human potential. So “new land” therefore always has old problems, and surely now there is no “new land”. Even since time immemorial, there has never been an ‘empty land.’ There is always an indigenous population and a conquering outsider. A colonizer and the colonized. It’s never worked out well to say the least.
So we don’t obtain universal human rights by the settlement of land upon some aggressor-violators’ territory, not in the traditional sense anyway.
There is no uncharted isle, no unclaimed valley: the world is a much-sectioned-off place. Invisible little, bloody lines telling women and men they are forever divided. But we will fight that false notion on the beaches, shores, and airwaves, with the pen and with the rifle. What divides us are invented lines, lines of conquest, colonization, and subjugation. The nation-state is not natural, it is man-made. It is a false consciousness imposing loyalty, a flag, and an anthem along with a mostly made-up history of a global slave population; the working class.
Some slaveries are far worse than others. Some slaveries take on the shape of careers. But make no mistake, you will be kept working until near the day that you die too early from exhaustion and stress.
SO ALWAYS WORKING FROM WHAT IS, not what we’d ideally like it to be, is the first major break from “Traditional Colonial Zionism”. We do not make the capture of a new nation any type of objective or means to our ends. The second defining break is the level of participation. Having a land need not make one a ‘real people’ as any Kurd or Basque can tell you. Nor are the good things of life always enjoyed within a so-called ‘State’ as virtually every Congolese, Sudanese, or Sub-Saharan African can tell you.
So, first things first. Seizure of land solves absolutely nothing.
Second, tactics of economic and political Zionism can be harnessed without the politics of identity-based nationalism and that is called Democratic Confederalism. An ideological theory established by Murray Bookchin was; Jew, Zionist then Anarchist but was put into practice by Abdullah Ocalan; first a third-world liberation nationalist, then a Maoist then a Democratic Confederalist. Ocalan built on Bookchin who built on Wallerstein who built on Marx.
Thirdly, the mobilization of a wealthy Diaspora is often a detriment. Always better to mobilize the working-class Diaspora. Rich people really do all think quite alike. Much of a diaspora is riddled with collaborators, people who defected from confrontation, and their children, and children’s children who culturally have imbibed the rapid individualism of the North and the West.
We must reject all forms of nationalism. The only valid nationalism is nationalism as a cultural sentimentality, not as a unifying identity. Nationalism is a structural implementation of slavery and a re-conceptualization of the feudal order.
No nation on earth has clean historical hands! The particularism of the United States of America is that it was a colony that shed its metro-pol Great Britain quite early on. And on top of that within three hundred years came to age as a world empire; presiding over the Globalization Epoch of Capitalist Modernity. It is now in decline and the People’s Republic of China is emergent.
Who can blame the United States that cannot blame Russia, China, Spain, Japan, France, England, and virtually every European country? Every nation on earth took part in genocide & atrocity of some kind pre, post, or during slavery and colonialism. And to the cultural nationalists of the undeveloped world and their Diaspora, we remind them that there is no well-documented golden age in Africa, South America, and Asia either, even before violent pale monkeys barged in with some germs, guns, and steel.
THE IMMEDIATE AIM OF THE MOVEMENT IS TO DEMONSTRATE A RANGE OF TACTICS WITHIN A SCHOOL OF THOUGHT CALLED “DEMOCRATIC CONFEDERALISM” TO IMPLEMENT “PARA-STATE INFRASTRUCTURE” THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. TO FIGHT FOR AND OBTAIN UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHTS AS OUTLINED IN THE UNITED NATIONS DOCUMENTS BEARING THE SAME NAME AS FACTS ON THE GROUND. ESTABLISHED BY “WORKERS’ PARTIES”, “COMMUNAL INSTITUTIONS”, AND “WORKERS’ COOPERATIVES” AND DEFENDED BY “PEOPLE’S DEFENSE FORCES”.
We are not simply content to document or apprehend war criminals, we need real infrastructure and we need it now. No more after-the-fact, agonizing atrocities. We need emergency groups, we need flying columns, and a reserve army of human rights professionals and labor.
Since 1948 there have been few positive developments in the cause of human rights. No army will enforce them; no champions have risen with arms to heroically bring them into a state of real being.
Once again, until the time the United Nations or any state actor will actually protect and enshrine these rights then the women and men of the Workers Parties, and the hundreds of international formations like our own will take this burden on our shoulders for the sake of our future.
We lay claim to our 58 codified rights and bellow help is coming, pushing forward to inevitable victory! We don’t want a state, or some land and we don’t crave power for the sake of power, or the ease of doing some business. Using the following tactics outlined in this program we seek a massive and overlapping set of infrastructures generated by civilians, through Workers Parties to enforce and enact these rights without the blessing or endorsement of any government. Where others have failed we will succeed; because we must succeed if we are to survive.
Humanity, this is your call to arms!
Signed the Delegates of the 5th Congress
Block Island, November 6th, 2009