"Workers of the world, embrace!" Daniel Guerin, the labour movement and homosexuality

"Workers of the world, embrace!" Daniel Guerin, the labour movement and homosexuality

David Berry's biographical account of Guerin's discovery of the working class and of the links between this and his homosexuality; and a discussion of his attempts to generalise from these experiences and to theorise the question in order to inform his political choices.

Originally appeared in Left History: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Historical Inquiry and Debate Vol 9, No 2 (2004)

AttachmentSize
Workers of the World Embrace.pdf1.29 MB

Comments

Mr. Jolly
Sep 10 2012 00:52

I enjoyed that little read. Wow a man of acute insights and absolute stinkers. Reminded me of Orwells orientalism re the working classes and Foucaults blind spot when it came to feminism. But I like flawed thinkers.

NannerNannerNan...
Sep 11 2012 14:02

I never liked Daniel Guerin. He was SO goddam obsessed with individualism, he might as well just abandoned anarchism and become a goddam liberal. I thought his radical politics was just a random hanger-on to appeal to his intellectual buddies. He even started going on and on about how "naive" anarchist-communism was, the goddam Stirnerite.

I guess it was because he was gay, rejecting societal norms condoning homophobia by just saying society didn't matter - like how Einstein despised patriotism because patriotism in where he grew up, Germany, was traditionally anti semitic.

But, then again, I don't know exactly how much Guérin's homosexuality informed his politics. He might have just been a radical so much as his wealth didn't get affected.

Edit:
Also, JESUS he was like some sort of libertarian trotskyist something. Christ, I wouldn't be surprised if he prayed to comrade Trotsky before he went to bed.

georgestapleton
Sep 11 2012 15:40

Yeah that individualist, stirnerite, trotskyist, liberal - wait, what?

revol68
Sep 11 2012 16:38
NannerNannerNannerNannerNanner wrote:
I never liked Daniel Guerin. He was SO goddam obsessed with individualism, he might as well just abandoned anarchism and become a goddam liberal. I thought his radical politics was just a random hanger-on to appeal to his intellectual buddies. He even started going on and on about how "naive" anarchist-communism was, the goddam Stirnerite.

I guess it was because he was gay, rejecting societal norms condoning homophobia by just saying society didn't matter - like how Einstein despised patriotism because patriotism in where he grew up, Germany, was traditionally anti semitic.

But, then again, I don't know exactly how much Guérin's homosexuality informed his politics. He might have just been a radical so much as his wealth didn't get affected.

Edit:
Also, JESUS he was like some sort of libertarian trotskyist something. Christ, I wouldn't be surprised if he prayed to comrade Trotsky before he went to bed.

Since you defended cultural relativism it's good to see you are appropriately all over the shop in your own thinking.

I'm intrigued by your comment about Einstein and patriotism though, are you suggesting his rejection of it was wrong, or somehow superficial because it was born from his experience of being a Jew in Germany?

NannerNannerNan...
Sep 11 2012 22:08
revol68 wrote:
I'm intrigued by your comment about Einstein and patriotism though, are you suggesting his rejection of it was wrong, or somehow superficial because it was born from his experience of being a Jew in Germany?

Of course it wasn't superficial or wrong; it's just that Germany (pre-hitler lol) had a tradition of being overly patriotic. Historically, going all the way back to Fichte, this patriotism has always been antisemitic. Einstein was, in his early years, fiercely anti-nationalism/anti-patriotism, though after the fall of nazism and the establishment of Israel he just became an anti-german zionist.

Also sorry if I seem all over the place on Guerin. I just really, REALLY don't like his thought process. It really does seem like a US-style right-winger became an anarchist through a former trotskyist or something. If he were born in the US instead of France, he'd probably just become an objectivist or something.

revol68
Sep 11 2012 22:23

His intro to Anarchism with the preface by Chomsky was the first anarchist book I read as a teenager, can't remember it seeming right wing at all. His book on Fascism and Big Business certainly wasn't, it was a pretty decent analysis with a nice critique of the failures of objectivist marxism in failing to confront the ideology of fascism.

Like I say can't remember much of his anarchist stuff and maybe he has a bit of an individualist bent to him but I don't see that as inherently problematic.

NannerNannerNan...
Sep 12 2012 00:01

Oh god I LOVED big business and fascism. Gonna get that shizz on a pdf.