Daniel Guérin

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Daniel Guérin
Daniel Guérin in 1925
Born(1904-05-19)19 May 1904
Died14 April 1988(1988-04-14) (aged 83)

Daniel Guérin (French: [ɡeʁɛ̃]; 19 May 1904 – 14 April 1988) was a French libertarian-communist author, best known for his work Anarchism: From Theory to Practice, as well as his collection No Gods No Masters: An Anthology of Anarchism in which he collected writings on the idea and movement it inspired, from the first writings of Max Stirner in the mid-19th century through the first half of the 20th century. He is also known for his opposition to Nazism, fascism, capitalism, imperialism and colonialism, in addition to his support for the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT) during the Spanish Civil War. His revolutionary defense of free love and homosexuality influenced the development of queer anarchism.

CGT, PSOP, and Libertarian Marxism[edit]

Guérin was born into a liberal Parisian family.[1] Early on, he started political activism in the revolutionary syndicalist magazine La Révolution prolétarienne of Pierre Monatte. He abandoned university and a literary career in 1926, traveling to Lebanon (1927–1929) and French Indochina (1929–1930) and became a passionate opponent of colonial ventures.[1]

LGBT+ activism[edit]

Guérin, a bisexual, offers an insight into the tension sexual minorities among the Left have often experienced. He was a leading figure in the French Left from the 1930s until his death in 1988. He contributed to the homophile journal Arcadie.[1] In 1954, Guérin was widely attacked for his study of the Kinsey Reports in which he also detailed the oppression of homosexuals in France. "The harshest [criticisms] came from Marxists, who tend seriously to underestimate the form of oppression which is antisexual terrorism. I expected it, of course, and I knew that in publishing my book I risked being attacked by those to whom I feel closest on a political level."[2] After coming out in 1965, Guérin was abandoned by the Left, and his papers on sexual liberation were censored or refused publication in left-wing journals.[3] Guérin was involved in the uprising of May 1968, and was a part of the French Gay Liberation movement that emerged after the events. Decades later, Frédéric Martel described Guérin as the "grandfather of the French homosexual movement."[4] Guérin spoke about the extreme hostility toward homosexuality that permeated the left throughout much of the 20th century.[5] "Not so many years ago, to declare oneself a revolutionary and to confess to being homosexual were incompatible," Guérin wrote in 1975.[6]


  • Le livre de la dix-huitième année (poèmes), Paris, Albin Michel, 1922
  • L'enchantement du Vendredi Saint (roman), Paris, Albin Michel, 1925
  • La vie selon la chair (roman), Paris, Albin Michel, 1929
  • Fascisme et grand capital. Italie-Allemagne, Paris, Éditions de la révolution prolétarienne, 1936
  • La lutte des classes sous la Première République, 1793-1797, Paris, Gallimard, 2 vol., 1946 (édition abrégée : Bourgeois et bras-nus, 1793-1795, 1968)
  • Où va le peuple américain ?, Paris, Julliard, 2 vol., 1950-1951
  • Au service des colonisés, Paris, Éditions de Minuit, 1954
  • Kinsey et la sexualité, Paris, Julliard, 1955
  • Les Antilles décolonisées, préface d'Aimé Césaire, Paris, Présence Africaine, 1956
  • Trois problèmes de la Révolution, 1958 essay
  • Jeunesse du socialisme libertaire, Paris, Rivière, 1959
  • Shakespeare et Gide en correctionnelle ?, Paris, Editions du Scorpion, 1959
  • Le grain sous la neige, adaptation théâtrale d'après Ignazio Silone, Éditions Mondiales, 1961
  • Vautrin, adaptation théâtrale d'après Honoré de Balzac, Paris, La Plume d'or, 1962
  • Eux et lui, illustré par André Masson, Monaco, Editions du Rocher, 1962
  • Essai sur la révolution sexuelle après Reich et Kinsey, Paris, Belfond, 1963
  • Front Populaire, révolution manquée ?, Paris, Julliard, 1963
  • Décolonisation du noir américain, Paris, Présence Africaine, 1963
  • L'Algérie qui se cherche, Paris, Présence Africaine, 1964
  • Un jeune homme excentrique. Essai d'autobiographie, Paris, Julliard, 1965
  • Sur le fascisme : I- La peste brune; II- Fascisme et grand capital, Paris, Maspero, 1965 (réédition). English translation of La peste brune by Robert Schwartzwald: The Brown Plague. Travels in Late Weimar and Early Nazi Germany, Durham (NC), Duke UP, 1994.
  • L'anarchisme. De la doctrine à l'action, Paris, Gallimard, 1965
  • Ni Dieu ni maître. Histoire et anthologie de l'anarchie, Paris, Éditions de Delphes, 1965
  • Pour un marxisme libertaire, Paris, Laffont, 1969
  • Rosa Luxembourg et la spontanéité révolutionnaire, Paris, Flammarion, 1971
  • Autobiographie de jeunesse. D'une dissidence sexuelle au socialisme, Paris, Belfond, 1972
  • De l'Oncle Tom aux Panthères Noires, Paris, UGE, 1973 (réédition : Les Bons Caractères, 2010)
  • Les assassins de Ben Barka. Dix ans d'enquête, Paris, Guy Authier, 1975
  • La Révolution française et nous, Paris, Maspero, 1976
  • Proudhon oui et non, Paris, Gallimard, 1978
  • Homosexualité et révolution, Paris, Le vent du ch'min, 1983


  1. ^ a b c Marshall, Bill (2005). France and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History: a Multidisciplinary Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 541. ISBN 978-1-85109-411-0.
  2. ^ Letter of 27 May 1955, Fonds Guérin, BDIC, Fo Δ 721/carton 12/4, quoted in Chaperon, 'Le fonds Daniel Guérin et l'histoire de la sexualité' in Journal de la BDIC, no.5 (June 2002), p.10
  3. ^ Berry, David. "For a dialectic of homosexuality and revolution". Paper for "Conference on "Socialism and Sexuality. Past and present of radical sexual politics", Amsterdam, 3–4 October 2003. The Anarchist Library. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  4. ^ Martel, Frédéric (2000). Le rose et le noir. Les homosexuels en France depuis 1968 [Pink and black. Homosexuals in France since 1968] (in French). Paris: Seuil. p. 46.
  5. ^ "Aragon, victime et profiteur du tabou" [Aragon, victim and profiteer of the taboo]. Homosexualité et Révolution [Homosexuality and Revolution] (in French). pp. 62–63. The Parti Communiste Français was "hysterically intransigent as far as 'moral behaviour' was concerned" Gai Pied Hebdo.
    * The trotskyist Pierre Lambert's OCI was "completely hysterical with regard to homosexuality"; Lutte ouvrire was theoretically opposed to homosexuality; as was the Ligue communiste, despite their belatedly paying lip service to gay lib. (à confesse, Interview with Gérard Ponthieu in Sexpol no. 1 (20 January 1975), pp.10-14.)
    * Together, Guérin argued, such groups bore a great deal of responsibility for fostering homophobic attitudes among the working class as late as the 1970s. Their attitude was "the most blinkered, the most reactionary, the most antiscientific". (Etre homosexuel et révolutionnaire, La Quinzaine littéraire, no. 215, no. spécial : 'Les homosexualités' (August 1975), pp. 9-10. Quote p. 10)
  6. ^ Guérin, Daniel. 1975. "Etre homosexuel et révolutionnaire", La Quinzaine littéraire [fr], no. 215, no. spécial : 'Les homosexualités' (August 1975), pp. 9-10.

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