Abolitionists and anti-authoritarians are right to be inspired by example of Rojava but translating the lessons of the Revolution to a wildly different political context like the United States is no simple task. The impasse between a rejection of abolition and the tired revolution/reform binary can be resolved by returning to fundamentals of historical materialism, and particularly, W.E.B. Du Bois' analysis of “abolition democracy” in his seminal work, Black Reconstruction.
Existing scholarship on the movement has either ignored the NWRO's antiwork perspective, or else insisted that the NWRO’s critiques of waged work were primarily gendered. Based on a careful analysis of the organization's archives, Wilson Sherwin makes a compelling case that an antiwork agenda was central to the NWRO's politics.
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It is of course true that monopoly power is not unique to rentierism. It frequently characterizes other forms of capitalist enterprise as well. But rentierism is distinctive insofar as it is the form of capitalism to which monopoly power is inherent. Monopoly infuses the way in which rentier assets are owned and controlled. And it infuses the manner in which such assets are commercialized to generate rental income. In short, the rentier sweats monopoly from every pore. And that is the problem.
The Green New Deal is the left's most ambitious program on offer. Yet as written, it contains deep limitations.