Throughout history, systems of hierarchy and domination have used mythology, religion, philosophy, and science in order to construct the ideological foundations of their establishments and civilizations of violence and power. The rise of the city-state in ancient Mesopotamia brought with it a radical split between humans and nature, between women and men, between state and society. With the centralization of power in the hands of the state, the monopolization of the economy, and the fall of the woman, the course of human history shifted in favour of systems of authoritarian elites. We see the result of 5000 years of history in the current international system of cancerous capitalism, ecological catastrophe, a global war on women, ethnic and religious violence, and the progressing destruction of the sense of community which has enabled beautiful things such as human creativity, culture, and art.
The theft of knowledge production from the community has been one of the main tools of the state system to subjugate the people under its rule. Through the usage of the subject-object dichotomy, which defines the relationship between entities in a hierarchical manner (such as state versus society, mind versus body, humanity versus nature, men versus women), the state system claimed the monopoly on meaning-giving mechanisms and thought systems, putting knowledge in the service of profit. Thus, while the society, especially workers, artists, women, youth, indigenous communities, etc. have historically produced knowledge and culture, these values were stolen from them. Society was alienated from the lands, waters, forests and mountains, leading to a hostility towards nature that resulted in maddening urbanization, industrialism, and ecological catastrophe, as well as a science based on control, discipline, and destruction. In this context, the connection between knowledge and life was lost. As official history has been written by the rulers, the history of the oppressed and the history of resistance, especially that of women, has yet to be written.
It is clear that in order to liberate ourselves from systems of violence and oppression, we must first of all prepare the conditions for a mental liberation. Without the free mind, emancipated from thought systems that propagate authority, enslavement, discrimination, and capital, we cannot achieve a more meaningful, just, and free life.
As briefly mentioned above, the positivist and linear-progressivist perspective of capitalist modernity has led to many injustices, deformations, and phenomena that counter the meaning of live.
The cumulative gains and values of all living beings, including the human community, throughout history, are separated from each other or homogenized. For instance, by segregating the moment from the future in its analysis of history, positivism has a way of starting everything from itself. Instead of viewing the relationship between women-men, nature-human, state-society, individual-society, etc. in a balanced, organic way that does not obstruct freedom spheres, the system replaces the essence of these relationships with a mentality of power and domination, which results in extreme enslavement and oppression. In concrete situations, this constitutes a state of perpetual war through the state and state-sponsored nationalism – so much that a crisis in vision and solution-finding is prevalent in the Middle East and beyond.
The Komun Academy aims at discussing and finding solutions to both, local, specific problems as well as universal contradictions (human freedom issues, women’s oppression, ecological crises, capitalist exploitation, racial supremacy, colonialism, knowledge imperialism, poverty, war, etc.) through the perspective proposed by Abdullah Öcalan’s democratic, ecological, and women’s liberationist paradigm with Democratic Confederalism as its political system. We want to make our contribution to dismantling Capitalist Modernity and its ideological pillars through our contribution to Democratic Modernity via a freedom-based notion of knowing, learning, and educating.
As the fundamental units of Democratic Confederalism, people’s academies constitute the theoretical groundwork of societal mentality in favour of freedom. These units which we could even define as village academies work to guarantee society’s ability to become aware of its own needs and organize around them, through an ethical-political mentality. The Komun Academy is not here to merely engage in theoretical discussions, but illustrates the practical implementations and mobilizations of this paradigm in lived experience. Because a paradigm which does not achieve the unity and interplay between theory and practice will not only fail, but might even work in the service of the system.
The Komun Academy does not aim at idealism which will only appeal to a small section inside society. Instead, it works to portray the real struggles that organize themselves around this paradigm all over the world. We want to be the agora of the mothers, workers, laborers, strugglers, rebels, youth, and militants!
In this sense, the Komun Academy’s understanding of academy constitutes the opposite of the academia as presented by the status quo. Rather than producing science for states, elites, and profit, the Komun Academy aims to rightfully re-connect knowledge with the community.
The Komun Academy will furthermore reflect the practical struggles of society’s return to its egalitarian and liberationist essence. Against the third world war, the rise of right-wing populism, class conflict, patriarchal fascism, and ecological catastrophes, the academy’s discussions will view diversity as richness, organize common life and develop a mentality outside of state and power.
In the spirit of radical democracy, as one of the fundamental dimensions of Democratic Confederalism, the Komun Academy knows that your critique, participation, suggestions, interpretations and contributions will be of great importance. As the energies of individual and society nourish each other, the contribution of each individual will broaden the freedom sphere of the discussions.
Bi xêr hatin! Welcome to the Komun Academy!