Anarchism: From Theory to Practice [Daniel Guérin, Mary Klopper, Noam Chomsky] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Book by Daniel . Daniel Guérin was a French anarcho-communist author, best known for his work Anarchism: From Theory to Practice, as well as his collection No Gods No. Alternatively this book could be called “All you ever wanted to know about Anarchism but were afraid to ask”. After reading Guerin’s “Anarchism”.

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The Basic Ideas of Anarchism. A Matter of Words. Horror of the State. Hostility to Bourgeois Democracy. Critique of Authoritarian Socialism. In Search of a New Society. Anarchism is not Utopian.

The Need for Organization. The Bases of Exchange. How Should the Public Services be Managed? Anarchism in Revolutionary Practice.

Social-Democratic Condemnation of Anarchism. Anarchists in the Trade Unions. Anarchism in the Russian Revolution. The Part Played by the Anarchists.

Anarchism: from theory to practice – Daniel Guerin

Anarchism Living and Dead. Anarchism in the Italian Factory Councils. Anarchism in the Spanish Revolution. The Anarchist Tradition in Spain. By Way of Conclusion. There has recently been a renewal of interest in anarchism. Books, pamphlets, and anthologies are being devoted to it. It is doubtful whether this literary effort is really very effective.

It is difficult to trace the outlines of anarchism. Its master thinkers rarely condensed their ideas into systematic works. Anarchlsm, on occasion, they tried to do so, it was only in thin pamphlets designed for propaganda and popularization danel which only fragments of their ideas can be observed.

Moreover, there are several kinds of anarchism and many variations within the thought of each of the great libertarians.

Just before he was sent to the guillotine, the terrorist Emile Henry wrote a letter to the governor of the prison where he was awaiting execution explaining: In spite of the variety and richness of anarchist thinking, in spite of contradictions and doctrinal disputes which were often centered on false problems, anarchism presents a fairly homogeneous body of ideas.

At first sight it is true that there may seem to be a vast difference between the individualist anarchism of Stirner — and social anarchism. When one looks more deeply into the matter, however, the partisans of total freedom and those of social organization do not appear as far apart as they may have thought themselves, saniel as others might at first glance suppose.

The anarchist societaire [3] is also an individualist and the individualist anarchist may well be a partisan of the societaire approach who fears to declare himself. The relative unity of social anarchism arises from the fact that it was developed during a single period by two masters, one of whom was the disciple and follower of the other: The Italian Errico Malatesta —on the other hand, turned to audacious and sometimes puerile activism although he enriched anarchist thinking with his intransigent and often lucid polemics.

Later the experience of anwrchism Russian Revolution produced one of the most remarkable anarchist works, that of Voline — The anarchist terrorism of the end of the nineteenth century had dramatic and anecdotal features and an aura of blood which appeal to the taste of the general public. In its time it was a school for individual energy and courage, which command respect, and it had the merit of drawing social injustice dabiel public attention; but today it seems to have been a temporary and sterile deviation in the history of anarchism.


When this concept is properly studied it appears highly constructive and not destructive, as its opponents pretend. It is this constructive aspect of anarchism that will be presented to the reader in this study. By what right and upon what basis? Because the material studied is not antiquated yuerin relevant to life, and because it poses problems which are more acute than ever. It appears that libertarian thinkers anticipated the needs of our time to a considerable extent. This small book guerni not seek to duplicate the histories and bibliographies of anarchism already published.

Their authors were scholars, mainly concerned with omitting no names and, fascinated by superficial similarities, they discovered numerous forerunners of anarchism. They gave almost equal weight to the genius and to his most minor follower, and presented an excess of biographical details rather than making a profound study of ideas. Their learned tomes leave the reader with a feeling of diffusion, almost incoherence, still asking himself what anarchism really is. I have tried a somewhat different approach.

I assume that the lives of the masters of libertarian thought are known. Many of these masters were not anarchists throughout their lives and their complete works include passages which have nothing to do with anarchism. To take an example: In the end, in spite of passionate anti-clericalism, he accepted all the categories of Catholicism, subject to his own interpretations, proclaimed that the instruction and moral training of the people would benefit from the preservation of Christian symbolism, and in his final words seemed almost ready to say a prayer.

The opposite happened to Bakunin. His wild early career as a revolutionary conspirator was unconnected with anarchism. He embraced libertarian ideas only in after the failure of the Polish insurrection in which he played a part.

His earlier writings have no place in an anarchist anthology. As for Kropotkin, his purely scientific work, for which he is today celebrated in the U. In place of a historical and chronological sequence an unusual method has been adopted in this book: I have intentionally omitted only elements which are not anarchisn libertarian, such as the critique of capitalism, atheism, anti-militarism, free love, etc.

Rather than give secondhand and therefore faded paraphrases unsupported by evidence, I have allowed quotations gueri speak directly as far as possible. This gives the reader access to the ideas of the masters in their warm and living form, as they were originally penned.

Anarchism by Daniel Guérin

Secondly, the doctrine is examined from a different angle: The final chapter treats what is undoubtedly the most original anarvhism of anarchism: Throughout this little book the reader will see two conceptions of socialism contrasted and sometimes related to one another, one authoritarian, the other libertarian. By the end of the analysis it is hoped that the reader will be led to ask himself which is the conception of the future.

The word anarchy is as old as the world. Gueein is derived from two ancient Greek words, av anapxn arkhedwniel means something like the absence of authority or government. However, for millennia the presumption has been accepted that man cannot dispense with one or the other, and anarchy has been understood in a pejorative sense, as a synonym for disorder, chaos, and disorganization. By this term he understood anything but disorder.

Appearances notwithstanding, he was more constructive than destructive, as we shall see. He held government responsible for disorder and believed that only a society without government could restore the natural order and re-create social harmony.

He argued that the language could furnish no other term and chose to restore to the old word anarchy gudrin strict etymological meaning. In the heat of his polemics, however, he obstinately and paradoxically also used the word anarchy in its pejorative sense of disorder, thus making confusion worse confounded.

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His disciple Mikhail Bakunin followed him in this respect. Proudhon and Bakunin carried this even guerjn, taking malicious pleasure in playing with the gyerin created by the use of the two opposite meanings of the word: The immediate followers of the two fathers of anarchy hesitated to use a word so deplorably elastic, conveying only a negative idea to the uninitiated, and lending itself to guwrin which could be annoying to say the least.

At the end of the century in France, Sebastien Faure took up a word originated in by one Joseph Dejacque to make it the title of a journal, Le Libertaire. Most of these terms have a major disadvantage: Anarchism is really a synonym for socialism.

The anarchist is primarily a socialist whose aim is to abolish the exploitation of man by man. Anarchism is only one of the streams of socialist thought, that stream whose main components are concern for liberty and haste to abolish the Anarchiism. Some anarchists consider themselves to be the best and most logical socialists, but they have adopted a label also attached to the terrorists, or have allowed others to hang it around their necks.

Some contemporary anarchists have tried to clear up the misunderstanding by adopting a more explicit term: Anarchism can be described first and foremost as a visceral revolt. The anarchist is above all a man in revolt. He rejects society as a whole along with its guardians.

Anarchism: from theory to practice – Daniel Guerin

Max Stirner declared that the anarchist frees himself of all that is sacred, and carries out a vast operation of deconsecration.

His permanent state of revolt makes the anarchist sympathetic to nonconformists and outlaws, and leads him to embrace the cause of the convict and the outcast.

Explosive statements which an anarchist would not disavow were voiced by Balzac through the character of Vautrin, a powerful incarnation of social protest — half rebel, half criminal.

The anarchist gguerin the State as the most deadly guwrin the preconceptions which have blinded men through the ages. Stirner expressed it thus: Through its censorship, its supervision, and its police the State tries to obstruct all free activity and sees this repression as its duty, because the instinct of self-preservation demands it. Otherwise it shuts me up.

Proudhon wrote in the same gguerin I declare him to be my enemy. To be governed means that at danjel move, operation, or transaction one is noted, registered, entered in a census, taxed, stamped, priced, assessed, patented, licensed, authorized, recommended, admonished, prevented, reformed, set right, corrected.

Government means to be subjected to tribute, trained, ransomed, exploited, monopolized, extorted, pressured, mystified, robbed; all in the name of public utility and the general good. Then, at the first sign of resistance or word of complaint, one is repressed, fined, despised, vexed, pursued, hustled, beaten up, garroted, imprisoned, shot, machine-gunned, judged, sentenced, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed, and to cap it all, ridiculed, mocked, outraged, and dishonored.

That is government, that is its justice and its morality! How can it be guern you have cowered in such subjection for sixty centuries?