"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.

Submitted by Juan Conatz on August 27, 2012

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

Comments

Mr. Jolly

11 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mr. Jolly on September 10, 2012

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.

NannerNannerNa…

11 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by NannerNannerNa… on September 11, 2012

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

11 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by georgestapleton on September 11, 2012

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

NannerNannerNa…

11 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by NannerNannerNa… on September 11, 2012

revol68

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.

NannerNannerNa…

11 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by NannerNannerNa… on September 12, 2012

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

Black Helmet

5 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Black Helmet on February 17, 2019

georgestapleton

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

The individualist/collectivist dichotomy was a mistake