For a Libertarian Communism

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(1904 - 1988) ~ French Theorist of Anarcho-Communism, Anti-Fascism, and Anti-Colonialism : Guerin grew older, his politics moved increasingly leftward, leading him later in life to espouse a hybrid of anarchism and marxism. Arguably, his most important book from this period of his life is Anarchism: From Theory to Practice... (From : Faatz Bio.)
• "The anarchist regards the State as the most deadly of the preconceptions which have blinded men through the ages." (From : "Anarchism: From Theory to Practice," by Daniel Gu....)
• "Because anarchism is constructive, anarchist theory emphatically rejects the charge of utopianism. It uses the historical method in an attempt to prove that the society of the future is not an anarchist invention, but the actual product of the hidden effects of past events." (From : "Anarchism: From Theory to Practice," by Daniel Gu....)
• "In general, the bureaucracy of the totalitarian State is unsympathetic to the claims of self-management to autonomy." (From : "Anarchism: From Theory to Practice," by Daniel Gu....)

David Berry is senior lecturer in History at Loughborough University. He has published widely on the history of the anarchist movement in France and in particular on the thought of Daniel Guérin. He is the author of A History of the French Anarchist Movement, 1917–1945 and coeditor with Constance Bantman of New Perspectives on Anarchism, Labor and Syndicalism: The Individual, the National and the Transnational. (From :

Mitchell Abidor is a translator who has published over a dozen books on French radical history and a writer on history, ideas, and culture who has appeared in the New York Times, Dissent, Foreign Affairs, the New York Review of Books, andnbsp; Jacobin, among many others. (From : Google Books.)


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Foreword and Acknowledgments by David Berry This volume contains a selection of texts by the French revolutionary activist and historian Daniel Guérin (1904–1988), published here in English translation for the first time. They were written between the 1950s and 1980s and appeared in France in a series of collections: Jeunesse du socialisme libertaire [Youth of Libertarian Socialism] (Paris: Riviere, 1959), Pour un Marxisme libertaire [For a Libertarian Marxism] (Paris: Laffont, 1969), and A la recherche d’un communisme libertaire [In Search of a Libertarian Communism] (Paris: Spartacus, 1984). A further version of the collection was published after his death: Pour le communisme libertaire [For Libertarian Communism] (Paris: Spartacus, 2003). All of these contain slightly different selections of texts around a common core of recurrent pieces, and the same is true of this English edition. We have tried to ch... (From :

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Daniel Guérin, Front populaire, Révolution manquée. Témoignage militant (Aries: Editions Actes Sud, 1977), p. 29. All translations in this introduction are the present author’s, unless stated otherwise. In Questions de méthode, quoted in Ian Birchall, ‘Sartre’s Encounter with Daniel Guérin’, Sartre Studies International vol. 2, no. 1 , p. 46. See Louis Janover, ‘Daniel Guérin, le trouble-fetê’ in L’Homme et la société no. 94 , thematic issue on ‘Dissonances dans la Revolution’, pp. 83–93. Letter to Marceau Pivert, 18 November 1947, Bibliotheque de Documentation Internationale Contemporaine (hereafter BDIC), Fonds Guérin, F” e. Res 688/10/2. La Lutte de classes sous la Premiere Republique, 1793–17... (From :

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Introduction The Search for a Libertarian Communism: Daniel Guérin and the “Synthesis” of Marxism and Anarchism I have a horror of sects, of compartmentalization, of people who are separated by virtually nothing and who nevertheless face each other as if across an abyss. — Daniel Guérin As he once wrote of the fate suffered by anarchism, Daniel Guérin (1904–1988) has himself been the victim of unwarranted neglect and, in some circles at least, of undeserved discredit. For although many people know of Guérin, relatively few seem aware of the breadth of his contribution. His writings cover a vast range of subjects, from fascism and the French Revolution to the history of the European and American labor movements; from Marxist and anarchist theory to homosexual liberation; from French colonialism to the Black Panthers; from Paul G... (From :

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For a Libertarian Communism Why “Libertarian Communist”? My education was anti-Stalinist Marxist. But for a good long while I have been foolhardy enough to draw heavily on the treasure chest of libertarian thought, ever relevant and alive on condition that it is first stripped of a not insignificant number of childish, utopian, and romantic notions as little useful as they are out of date. Hence a misunderstanding that is all but inevitable but embittered by a certain bad faith on the part of my opponents: the Marxists have turned their backs on me as an anarchist, and the anarchists, because of my Marxism, have not always wanted to view me as one of them. A young, neophyte—and hence sectarian—Marxist even thought he saw in my writings the assuaging of a consciousness that was “torn” between Marxism and anarchism and tossed desperately back and forth between the two, when in fact it is witho... (From :

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Appendices Appendix I: The Libertarian Communist Platform of 1971 I—Individual and collective revolts punctuate the history of humanity, which is a succession of exploitative societies. In every era thinkers have arrived at an idea that calls their society into question. But it was with the advent of modern capitalist society that the division of society into two fundamental, antagonistic classes clearly appeared, and it is through class struggle, the motor of the evolution of capitalist society, that the road was constructed that leads from revolt to the achieving of revolutionary consciousness. Today, because it has changed form, class struggle is sometimes denied by those who insist on either the bourgeoisification and integration of the working class, or the birth of a new working class that will supposedly insert itself naturally, as it were, into the decision-making centers of capita... (From :


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