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Daniel Guerin
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Daniel Guerin (1904-1988)

One of France's best known revolutionary activists & thinkers, historian & author of books such as Fascism & Big Business; 100 Years of Labor in the USA; Anarchism; Ni Dieu, ni Maître: anthologie du mouvement libertaire (1965). Born May 19, 1904; died April 14, 1988.

Within France Guerin was a well known libertarian communist, not only for his prolific writings, but also as a long standing trade union militant of the CGT; as a veteran anti-imperialist who supported the victims of French aggression in Indo-China, Algeria & the Kanaks of New Caledonia; a fighter for gay rights (he was bisexual) in the 'Homosexual Front for Revolutionary Action'.

"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)." --- Chris Faatz)

Guerin became an anticolonialist following stays in Syria & Indo-China in 1930. In 1933, he traveled in the Nazi Germany & subsequently wrote Fascism & Big Business. During the Popular Front, he was an active member of the occupations of factories, & also a cofounder of the Auberges de jeunesse (Youth Inns). In 1937, Guerin denounced the Stalinist intrigues & activities in Spain.

In April 1940, on a trip to Oslo to create an international secretariat against the war, he was arrested by the German army & interned until 1942.

Entering the US in 1946, he was involved in various workers' struggles & civil rights efforts for African Americans before being expelled from the land of the free in 1949.

The crushing of the workers during the Hungarian Revolution in 1956 only confirmed & solidified his libertarian orientation.

In 1960, Guerin supportied Algerian independence from French rule, & signed "l'appel des 121" in support of those refusing to fight.

He participated in the events of May '68 & then created, with George Fontenis, in 1969, the Mouvement communiste libertaire, before joining the UTCL in 1980. Despite advancing age he remained active, participating for example, in antimilitarist actions & joining the FHAR (Front homosexuel d'Action Révolutionnaire) before his death at age 84.

Daniel Guerin

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