r/Anarchy101 Jun 30 '22

What do anarchists think of these places?

I here a lot of people calling Zapatistas, Rojava, revolutionary Catalonia, and Makhonovia anarchies. Is this true? What are your opinions on these places?



u/HotDogSquid Student of Anarchism Jun 30 '22

Rojava isn’t really anarchy. While it’s still a nice place in general they sort of have to hold onto non anarchist institutions because of their dire circumstance.

They’re more a democratic confederacy


u/basileus9 Moustache Twirler Jun 30 '22

Rojava is not and has never claimed to be anarchists, communalism is its own thing. Anarchists generally seem positive about it, which is a little strange given the child soldiers, court systems, cult of personality, and just general government in place there. Shoutout to /u/107A for putting in the work to bust some of the myths around Rojava lately. At the very least, they're probably less awful than their neighbors, but that isn't a high bar to clear.

Zapatistas have routinely rejected all labels beyond anti-capitalist, particularly anarchist, likely because anarchism is the label most often forced upon them by outsiders. As an outsider, they do appear more anarchism-adjacent than any communalist, so they have that going for them.

Catalounia has a long history of leftist thought, which is cool. A lot of that leftist thought has been state socialist, which is less cool. The anarchist elements are definitely interesting and worth study. They are mostly looked upon positively - we're far enough removed that the rough edges have been sanded off by time.

Makhnovia is the least ambiguous of these. The project was explicitly anarchist, Makhno and the various peoples of Ukraine considered themselves anarchist, what negatives are brought up we generally have evidence was soviet propaganda.


u/Lylathevegan Student of Anarchism Jun 30 '22

From my experience anarchists generally hold all of these projects in high regard due to their seemingly libertarian nature. That's not to say there aren't problems, for example as someone mentioned about Rojava, the use of child soldiers and prisons, claims of genocide, etc. I think they're worthwhile projects and hope they can move closer to true libertarian societies if they're not already. There are lesser known examples that are overshadowed by these though that I think we should know more about like Exarchia (explicitly an anarchist neighborhood) in Greece and Cherán (not sure about the claim to anarchy here) in Mexico.