Daniel Guérin

Daniel Guérin

Daniel Guérin (1904–1988) was a prominent member of the French left for half a century, and arguably one of the most original and most interesting. One of the first on the left to attach central importance to the struggle against colonialism, he became one of the best-known figures in anticolonial campaigns throughout the 1950s and ’60s. He was also one of the first in France to warn of the rising dangers of fascism, publishing The Brown Plague in 1933 and Fascism and Big Business in 1936. He met Leon Trotsky in 1933, and would work with the Trotskyist resistance during the war; a respected member of the Fourth International during the 1940s, he was a close, personal friend of Michel Raptis (alias Pablo) until his death. His controversial, libertarian Marxist interpretation of the French Revolution, Class Struggle in the First Republic, 1793–1797 (1945, 2nd ed. 1968) was judged by his friend C.L.R. James to be “one of the great theoretical landmarks of our movement” and by Sartre to be “one of the only contributions by contemporary Marxists to have enriched historical studies.” Increasingly critical of what he saw as the authoritarianism inherent in Leninism, he influenced a generation of activists with his “rehabilitation” of anarchism through his Anarchism and the anthology No Gods, No Masters, before playing a role in the resurgence of interest in Rosa Luxemburg and becoming better known for his attempts to promote a “synthesis” of Marxism and anarchism. He was also regarded by 1968 as the grandfather of the gay liberation movement in France and in the 1970s as a leading light in antimilitarist campaigns. His writings have been repeatedly republished both in French and in translation.


For a Libertarian Communism

SKU: 9781629632360
Author: Daniel Guérin • Editor: David Berry • Translator: Mitchell Abidor
Publisher: PM Press/Revolutionary Pocketbooks
ISBN: 9781629632360
Published: 10/2017
Format: Paperback
Size: 8 x 5
Page count: 160
Subjects: Poltiical Theory



Praise

“Over six decades Daniel Guérin had a record of willingness to cooperate with any section of the French left that shared his fundamental goals of proletarian self-emancipation, colonial liberation, and sexual freedom. He was a vigorous polemicist but saw no fragment of the left, however obscure, as beneath his attention. He was also typically generous, never seeking to malign his opponents, however profoundly he disagreed with them. He was always willing to challenge orthodoxy, whether Marxist or anarchist. Yet behind the varying formulations one consistent principle remained: ‘The Revolution of our age will be made from below—or not at all.’”
—Ian Birchall, author of The Spectre of Babeuf, Sartre Against Stalinism, and A Rebel’s Guide to Lenin

“Guérin provides an eloquent history of libertarian socialist practice that is not just insightful but also an exemplary display of straightforward writing, passion, and balance. The book is highly valuable as a history of thought and action, to be sure, but, even more important, as an exploration of issues and ideas directly relevant to today’s world.”
—Michael Albert, author of Parecon: Life after Capitalism

“With the continual debasing of ‘libertarian’ to mean free-market capitalist, the publication in English of Daniel Guérin’s classic For a Libertarian Communism is very welcome. It shows why Guérin was one of France’s leading libertarian thinkers and activists, for it discusses what remain the key issues for socialists of all schools. His deep knowledge of both anarchism and Marxism makes this book essential reading for all radicals: Marxists will get their false notions of anarchism challenged while those interested in anarchism will see that it is libertarian socialism rather than some incoherent lifestyle choice.”
—Iain McKay, author of An Anarchist FAQ, Property Is Theft! A Pierre-Joseph Proudhon Reader, and Direct Struggle Against Capital: A Peter Kropotkin Anthology

“Daniel Guérin is the creator of a unique synthesis between Marxism and anarchism: libertarian communism. His reflections are more than ever relevant for the 21th century.”
—Michael Löwy, author of Ecosocialism: A Radical Alternative to Capitalist Catastrophe


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