Daniel Guérin: French Theorist of Anarcho-Communism, Anti-Fascism, and Anti-Colonialism

May 19, 1904 — April 14, 1988

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May 19, 1904 — April 14, 1988


...as 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...

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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 Guérin

"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 Guérin

"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 Guérin


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About Daniel Guérin

 Daniel Guérin 1

Daniel Guérin 1

As a youth, Guerin was attracted to the radical movement, and was won over to revolutionary socialism as espoused by Leon Trotsky. As a member of the Trotskyist movement, he wrote Fascism and Big Business, one of the premier texts in the always-pugnacious battle over that term's definition. Like Victor Serge, as 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, which includes an introduction by Noam Chomsky. Extremely prolific in French, it's unfortunate that, outside of the books above and a few small pamphlets, most of this thinker's original and stimulating material is unavailable in English (a pamphlet, "Libertarian Marxism?", which includes two singular essays, is also available in English at this time).

(Bio by Chris Faatz)

From : Daniel Guérin Bio, by Chris Faatz, from Anarchy Archives


This person has authored 28 documents, with 178,280 words or 1,178,528 characters.

Since the winter of 1986–1987, struggles have followed one after the other. They demand to be given a combative and innovative expression. The signatories of this appeal address all those women and men who think that under current social and political circumstances a new revolutionary alternative must be established. In our eyes, the creation of a revolutionary movement capable of building on and taking forward the newly revived struggles requires us to take two complementary paths: The formation of a new organization for a libertarian communism, which is what this appeal is proposing; The emergence of a vast and necessarily pluralist, anti-capitalist, self-management movement, to which organized libertarian... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Introduction The main part of my contribution to this Cienfuegos Press pamphlet is a paper which I had occasion to give in New York in 1973, on “Anarchism and Marxism”. But I would like to preface it with a few hitherto unpublished reflections on Marx and Engels militant. For it is this aspect of their activities which attracts me most. I must confess that philosophical marxism, the marxism which criticizes bourgeois political economy, indeed even its historical writings (which are, for me, the most exemplary) nowadays leave me rather cold. On the other hand, I like to follow Marx and Engels in action, fitting into the movement of the laboring masses. I will not discuss here all the militant performances of the two revolu... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
In Volume Two of Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas, subtitled The Emergence of the New Anarchism (1939–1977), I document the remarkable resurgence of anarchist ideas and action following the tragic defeat of the Spanish anarchists in the Spanish Revolution and Civil War, and the mass carnage of the Second World War. Below, I have collected additional writings from many of the people who were responsible for that resurgence. Herbert Read, Marie Louise Berneri, Paul Goodman, David Wieck, Daniel Guerin, Alex Comfort, George Woodcock and the Noir et Rouge group in France were among those who made anarchism relevant again, despite its critics’ attempts to consign it to the dustbin of history. Volume Two of ... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
A Note This platform was discussed and adopted during a meeting held in Marseille on July 11, 1971. It had been called by the Mouvement Communiste Libertaire [MCL, Libertarian Communist Movement], founded by groups and individuals most of whom had come out of the former Federation Communiste Libertaire [FCL, Libertarian Communist Federation], the Jeunesse Anarchiste Communiste [JAC, Communist Anarchist Youth], and the Union des Groupes Anarchistes-Communistes [UGAC, Union of Communist-Anarchist Groups] in the wake of May 1968 and within the framework of the fusion of several local groups of the Organization révolutionnaire Anarchiste [ORA, Anarchist Revolutionary Organization]. I actively participated in the discussion concernin... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
“Be realistic, do the impossible” A Libertarian Marx? Marx’s famous address “The Civil War in France”, written in the name of the General Council of the International Working Mens Association two days after the crushing of the Paris Commune, is an inspiring text for Libertarians. Writing in the name of the International in which Bakunin had extensive influence, in it Marx revises some passages of the Communist Manifesto of 1848. In the Manifesto Marx and Engels had developed the notion of a proletarian evolution by stages. The first stage would be the conquest of political power, thanks to which the instruments of production, means of transport and credit system, would ‘by degrees’, be centr... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
London, July 30, 1919 Dearest Fabbri,[1] (...) It seems to me that we are in perfect agreement on the matters with which you are currently so preoccupied, to wit, the “dictatorship of the proletariat.” By my reckoning, on this score the opinion of anarchists cannot be called into question, and in fact, well before the Bolshevik revolution, it never was queried by anyone. Anarchy means no government, and thus, all the more emphatically, no dictatorship, meaning an absolute government, uncontrolled and without constitutional restraints. But whenever the Bolshevik revolution broke out, it appears that our friends may have confused what constitutes a revolution against an existing government with what wa... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Foreword by Andrew Flood The Spanish anarchist organization ‘The Friends of Durruti’ was formed by members of the CNT in 1937 in opposition to the collaboration of the CNT leadership in the government of Republican Spain. The first heavily censored issue of their paper ‘Friend of the People’ appeared just after the Maydays in Barcelona, sections of it are reproduced for the first time in English in this pamphlet. The Mayday defense of the revolution in Barcelona was crushed at the cost of 500 lives, including the disappearance, torture and murder of key anarchist organizers by the Stalinists. The Friends of Durruti outlined an alternative path for Spanish anarchists, one intended to not only protect but to exp... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Voline, libertarian chronicler of the Russian revolution, after having been an actor in and an eye-witness to it, writes: “We have been bequeathed a fundamental problem by preceding revolutions: I am thinking of the one in 1789 and the one in 1917 especially: largely mounted against oppression, animated by a mighty breath of freedom and proclaiming freedom as their essential objective, how come these revolutions slid into a new dictatorship wielded by other ruling, privileged strata, into fresh slavery for the popular masses? What might the conditions be that would enable a revolution to avoid that dismal fate? Might that fate be due to ephemeral factors and even quite simply to mistakes and shortcomings which might from now on... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Of all the reading which I did, in 1930, on the boat which took me to Indochina and back, of books which ranged from Marx to Proudhon, to Georges Sorel, to Hubert Lagardelle, to Fernand Pelloutier, to Lenin and Trotsky, those of Marx had without any doubt the greatest impact. These (books) opened my eyes, uncovered the mysteries of capitalist surplus-value, taught me about historical materialism and the dialectic. Entering, from then on, into the revolutionary movement, throwing overboard my bourgeois gown, I was initially, instinctually anti-Stalinist; at that time I was a left socialist around Marceau Pivert and a revolutionary syndicalist under the influence of Pierre Monatte. Later, the writings of Bakunin, in the six-volume edition of ... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Introduction Daniel Guérin (1904–1988), the French libertarian-communist, is perhaps best known for his controversial 1960s attempt to synthesize Marxism and anarchism. His life-long militant anti-racism and championing of homosexuality against the ‘anti-sexual terrorism’ of the puritanical bourgeoisie, however, remain less remarked upon. Largely unfamiliar as a Leftist figure outside of France, Guérin’s forty-two-book bibliography is an accompaniment to a mass of materials documenting his involvement in major global movements across most of the twentieth century. In this way, Guérin’s published work and carefully preserved archive are portals into the historical aspirations of proleta... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Introduction In 1986, as in 1968, France saw a massive student movement. The mobilization by high-school and university students — in which the 22 year-old Malik Oussekine was killed by police — ultimately forced Jacques Chirac’s right-wing government to abandon its plans to introduce greater academic selection. Daniel Guérin (1904–1988) was a witness to that movement just like the ’68 revolt. His article on its success, first published in Lutter! on 18 January 1987, was republished on Mediapart upon the thirtieth anniversary of his death. Its message is timely, as university occupations today spread in opposition to Emmanuel Macron’s planned reforms: Avec les jeunes en 68 et 86! ... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)


An icon of a baby.
May 19, 1904
Birth Day.

An icon of a gravestone.
April 14, 1988
Death Day.

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November 15, 2016; 5:21:31 PM (America/Los_Angeles)
Added to http://www.RevoltLib.com.

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April 21, 2019; 5:01:16 PM (America/Los_Angeles)
Updated on http://www.RevoltLib.com.


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