Daniel Guérin

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Daniel Guérin
Born(1904-05-19)May 19, 1904
Paris
DiedApril 14, 1988(1988-04-14) (aged 83)
Suresnes
NationalityFrench

Daniel Guérin (French: [ɡeʁɛ̃]; 19 May 1904 in Paris – 14 April 1988 in Suresnes) was a French anarcho-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 and colonialism, in addition to his support for the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT) during the Spanish Civil War, and his revolutionary defence of free love and homosexuality (see Anarchism and LGBT rights).

CGT, PSOP, and Libertarian Marxism[edit]

Guérin was born in 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]

LGBTI activism[edit]

The writings of the French bisexual anarchist Daniel Guérin offer an insight into the tension sexual minorities among the Left have often felt. 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 was running the risk of 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]

Works[edit]

  • 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
  • Three Problems of the Revolution, 1958
  • 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)
  • L'anarchisme. De la doctrine à l'action, Paris, Gallimard, 1965. (Engl. translation by Mary Klopper, with an introduction by Noam Chomsky: Anarchism: From Theory to Practice).
  • Ni Dieu ni maître. Histoire et anthologie de l'anarchie, Paris, Éditions de Delphes, 1965
  • Pour un marxisme libertaire, Paris, Laffont, 1969
  • Anarchism: From Theory to Practice, 1970
  • 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

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Bill Marshall (2005). France and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History : a Multidisciplinary Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. pp. 541–. ISBN 978-1-85109-411-0.
  2. ^ Letter of 27 May 1955, Fonds Guérin, BDIC, F° 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 November 5, 2017.
  4. ^ Frédéric Martel, Le rose et le noir. Les homosexuels en France depuis 1968 (Paris : Seuil, 2000), pp.46.
  5. ^ *The Parti Communiste Français was "hysterically intransigent as far as ’moral behaviour’ was concerned" (Aragon, victime et profiteur du tabou, in Gai Pied Hebdo, 4 June 1983, reproduced in Homosexualité et Révolution, pp. 62-3, quote p. 63.);
    * 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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