Anarchism in Interesting Times
The Winter Solstice is the darkest day of the year, but it’s also the shortest. In the morning a shaft of light will shine through the window box at Newgrange (a six thousand year old Neolithic ‘passage tomb’ in County Meath, Ireland), creep up a passage lined by decorated ancient stone slabs and illuminate the main chamber, where the ashes of some of our ancestors were deposited. Exactly what relationship this had to Neolithic death rites, we can only speculate, but for the early farmers who lived in the area surrounding the megalithic monument, that shaft of light must have represented great hope.
This moment would not have heralded the glorious outburst of life that would be celebrated in the spring, but it was the end of death. The rearguard action of life before the forces of cold, darkness, and death was halted. Though the winter solstice is the darkest and shortest day, it is the turning point. From that moment forward, light will push back the darkness, warmth will battle the cold and eventually win. Without this turning point life cannot return. It is this symbolic meaning we must cling to at a moment in history that is shrouded in darkness.
The Rojava revolution is in peril. Erdogan’s dictatorship in Turkey is massing troops near the border with the liberated regions of Northern Syria and West Kurdistan. The US military whose presence in the region was motivated by imperialist interest, the ancillary affect of which was that Turkey could not invade while the forces of Rojava (YPG/YPJ) fought by their side against ISIS, are now withdrawing, their president claiming victory. Yet there are still up to thirty thousand ISIS fighters in Syria and now Rojava is sandwiched between them and the Turkish military.
All over the world, the Far Right seems to be on the march. Trump’s power in the US has not been threatened by legal measures or electoral efforts. In France, Germany, Britain and elsewhere, it grows in strength. This is a dark time. Dark times however contain the spark of their own negation. As long as there are people there will be hope. The Gnostics saw within each individual a divine spark, that was representative of god and the point was to nurture that spark, fan the flames of divinity, defeat the demiurge (creator god of the old testament) and become as god.
Today’s demiurge is authoritarianism, the spirit of resistance is the divine spark and our god is the world we wish to build that is free from terror and oppression. That spark is contained in the revolution in Rojava, the Zapatistas of Chiapas, the antifascists of the United States and Europe, the anarchist idea, and everywhere that people resist authority and inequality. This solstice season lets kindle that spark of resistance that exists within us all and prepare to push back against the dark forces of fascism and authoritarianism. Let’s make the winter solstice a day of hope, just as it was for the ancients, because rebellions are built on hope.
Defend Rojava/Fight Fascism/Resist Capitalism/Build the future
LONG LIVE THE LIGHT
“We carry a new world here, in our hearts. That world is growing in this minute.”
– Buenaventura Durruti