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Democracy in NES: Capabilities and Opportunities

2020-07-09
Writer: Abeer Hassaf
There is a saying of Mahatma Gandhi: "Democracy, in my perspective, lies in the necessity of equalizing opportunities for the weakest and most powerful of people." This is the concept of democracy in simple and concise words; providing a solution to one of the utmost and oldest issues of societal conflict between the strong and the weak, the minority and the majority, the rich and the poor and other concepts of class contradicting divisions, which cause weak stability and balance in society. Nevertheless, the term democracy may still be vague and obscure. Is it a term that pertains only to politics and the governance system? or is it a lifestyle and an approach to life in which the jurisprudence of society proceeds to finally culminate the system of government?
Perhaps the term democracy is considered one of the most commonly used political terms in the second half of the twentieth century, as we can almost hear it mentioned in every sentence and even in the most common gatherings, without giving any importance to the depth of this word or its significance in creating a solid ground upon which bridges of trust are built; and from which societies derive their stability.
Democracy is a manifestation of public affairs management which indicates the state authority derived from people. The term democracy is derived from two Greek words “demos,” meaning people and “kratia,” meaning governance or power; meaning the "power of the people" or the rule of the people themselves; where citizens meet and participate in making the necessary decisions to manage public affairs, either directly or by electing representatives who act on their behalf in decision-making.
Democracy forms have evolved along the development of societies from direct democracy to representative, ending with pluralistic. As they have created various forms of governance systems such as presidential, participatory, parliamentary, representative, authoritarian, social, liberal and… etc.
It is difficult to estimate to what term a society enjoys democracy without mentioning a number of basic elements that are viewed as the foundation on which a democratic society is established. This includes common interests and participation in societal and political affairs, associated with the majority authority, taking into account minority rights, absolute equality before the law and judicial justice. All the mentioned is in light of the respect for human rights prevalence. Human beings were born free and equal in dignity and rights. Therefore, the subsequent ensuing political pluralism, free and fair elections and a system of governance based on the principle of powers separation, accountability and transparency, promotes faith and demonstrates safety.
However, the term democracy still remains a vague and ambiguous one. Is it a term that pertains only to politics and the governance system or is it a lifestyle and an approach to life in which society proceeds accordingly to finally be culminated by the governance system?
Is it possible for people not to be democrats within the domain of their family and personal relationships and to turn into a democrat in choosing their rulers and political life, as well as creating a balance between what they think and what they do?
Everyone calls themselves democrats, such as parties, organizations, institutions and associations without any actual application of the democracy elements or compliance with its conditions and an understanding of its content. Therefore, since democracy is in the category of the majority control of the governance system and drawing state policies and approaches, will it acquire a successful application in third world societies that lack expertise or those dominated by tyranny and weak law or those that are still captive to tribalism and clannism where patriarchal authority prevail?
Hence, the actual danger begins in democracy practice, as it is a double-edged sword in societies veiled with differences and dominated by political, religious, social and ethnic contradictions. Moreover, their varieties are separated by solid walls of suspicion, hostility and lack of confidence.
Based on this in particular, adopting the democratic nation discourse in NES, was excessively a fraught experience with many challenges in a heterogeneous society marred by political, religious, national and social residue. Especially, after the popular movement that started peacefully and ended as a stifling crisis, spreading destruction and further disintegration in the Syrian social texture. As well as, those that generated from the core of bets on the society privacy and its contradicting demography in the areas of NES and Rojava in particular, in addition to the possibility of it, turning into a blood pool.
Adopting the third line emanated as a correct preliminary step to protect it from the two sides of the conflict; the regime and opposition. As both claim democracy, however, do not accept any presence of the Kurdish people and any project that carries a Kurdish character is accused of secession in advance. Hence, it was necessary to find a way to create a state of compatibility and restore harmony of the society, while attempting to build trust bridges between the various components of society. Perhaps the most correct step towards democratization was activating the role of women within the various life facets, as one of the most effective and willing forces for change. Subsequent to this the second and most important step was writing a social contract that came as the first consensual democratic constitution not only in Syria rather in the Middle East as a whole.
For it extended the threads of harmony between all components and created a comfortable ground for more effective communication. As a result, all the next steps were following, like administrations declaration with their legislative, executive and judicial councils, in order for the community to live in a unique status of autonomous-administration of its daily life. Moreover, to advance achievements in succession and expand the area of the members under it. As a result, many positive aspects prospered, such as, the fairly good area of safety and security, stability and relatively acceptable economic recovery at a time when destruction, poverty and destitution surround other parts of Syria.
Preserving the national privacy of the Kurdish people and other ethnic and national components in the region and working to develop this privacy, especially in cultural terms.
However, just like all the projects there must be some drawbacks and disadvantages. As all beginnings are glamorous and fascinating and reality may not commensurate to the imagination. As we mentioned above, the application of democracy is fraught with many risks if not exercised with caution, the least of which is that it might turn into an authoritarian democracy, for example, and deviate from its drawn path or for the unqualified groups to take over everything, then deformed mutants can be born. Its harm may be great and become an obstacle to development and turn safety to deterioration. This can be encountered around us and create a feeling of an inner hidden pain. For it is still too early to loosen matters and rest is still elusive to be achieved in comparison with many obstacles and greatest challenges.
We must strive to maintain a balance between the components and issue more laws that reinforce this balance within the framework of the citizenship state and absolute equality before the law. As this alone would enhance confidence and create safety, resort to long-term strategic plans in accordance with academic standards that ensure sustainability in economic development and raise the level of individual income, which in turn also supports stability.
Work on applying the principle of equal opportunities based on efficiency in all jobs and sectors. Finally, getting the right person in the right place alone achieves development, as errors of beginnings are no longer acceptable today.
However, the experience is pioneering and worthy despite the errors and deficiencies, likewise the democratization issue in the areas of NES and its preservation is not only related to a ruling class rather an issue of land and people, for it is a historical opportunity that may not be repeated.
The only way to create a state of coexistence without the need to lose identity or change its features. The responsibility of consolidating the foundations of democracy and transforming it into a lifestyle, lies on the shoulders of everyone, and not just a political system that rules us, only then we can live soundly.

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