Anarchism: From Theory to Practice is a book by Daniel Guérin, termed a Weekly as describing the “intellectual substance and actual practice” of anarchism. Daniel Guerin attempts to give a brief history of anarchist theory and practice in this particular book. Written in the ’60’s, Guerin’s book seems a bit dated. tionary theory and practice as being that of a technologist of revolution and DANIEL GUERIN’S BOOK is much inferior to anarchist sympathiser George.

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Long live the power of the soviets!

Monthly Review | Anarchism

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 practiec confounded. Proudhon would have none of self-management of this kind.

Some anarchists, however, were shocked by the claim of trade unionism to do without their patronage. The multitude never took the initiative Instead, Guerin focuses on the range of ideas contained within anarchism. It had theogy, painfully and tentatively, to create new forms of production which had no precedent in world history.

Proudhon had taken a negative attitude to the Revolution even before its outbreak. In the almost complete absence of a trade-union movement and tradition, the soviets filled a vacuum by coordinating the struggle of the factories on strike.

Anarchism: From Theory to Practice – Daniel Guérin, Mary Klopper – Google Books

The anarchists had played no part in this affair. Thanks to them the conquest of the factory became a concrete prospect for the lowliest worker, within his reach.

Guerin poses some questions about how this can be avoided in the future as well as what we can learn by those brief periods of social self-organization that so often existed in the early months of revolution before the state was established. I still can’t figure out if the two are synonymous, and I don’t understand why a book on such a specific topic was given such a generic name. But in practice Proudhon seemed to be skeptical about such anaechism synthesis: The struggle continued within the central leadership of the trade unions.


Here, as elsewhere in the book, Guerin’s sympathy for Bakunin and syndicalist anarchism is revealed. He attacked it as a political revolution, a bourgeois booby trap, and, indeed, much of this was true.

In a famous article written inSimone Weil complained of not finding in Marxist writings any answer to questions arising from the need to defend the individual against the new forms of oppression coming after classical capitalist oppression.

It alone could arouse in the masses such revolutionary enthusiasm that the impossible would become possible. They had become some kind of anarchists.

However, the revolutionary committee of Kronstadt had invited two libertarians to join it: The Russian Revolution was, in fact, a great mass movement, a wave rising from the people which passed over and submerged ideological formations. The audacity of Kronstadt was much more than a Lenin or gueein Trotsky could endure.

Anarchism: from theory to practice – Daniel Guerin

Although it was a minority organization, the Bolshevik Party was the only really organized revolutionary force which knew where it was going. The Italian anarchists followed the example of events in Russia, and went along with the partisans of soviet power in the period immediately after the Great War. 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 people rule but do not govern, and delegate their sovereignty through the periodic exercise of universal suffrage, abdicating their power anew every three or five years. Anarchism in the Russian Revolution.


Federalism, however, is a two-edged weapon. His proclamation of absolute individual freedom did not lead him to repudiate all social obligations. An authoritarian political state apparatus will be set up and, acting from above, it will seek to crush everything with its iron fist As to subsequent forms of organization It was enough for him to say that the workers must take the place of the State without saying precisely how this would come about.


Lenin took a lesson from contemporary German state capitalism, the Kriegswirtschaft war economy. Also, it goes without saying that, published insome aspects of the book’s analysis are dated.

Some anarchists are more individualistic than social, some more social than individualistic. Bakunin stressed the need for an intermediate body between the commune and the national federal organ: In many places, especially Bavaria, Germany, and Holland, the anarchists played a positive part in the practical and theoretical development of the system of councils.

On the other hand, if the social revolution takes place in any one country, any foreign country which has made a revolution on the same principles should be received into a revolutionary federation regardless of existing state frontiers. There was a problem adding your email address.

By social liquidation I mean the expropriation of all who are now proprietors, by the abolition of the juridical and political State which is the sanction and sole guarantor of property as it now is. At the end of he wrote: Well admittedly when I read this book it was mostly review. From December 5,on, industry was put under a Supreme Economic Council, responsible for the authoritarian coordination of the activity of all organs of production.

I particularly found his exposition of the Spanish Civil War interesting and useful. This book is appealing because it is a broad survey of the topic, and covers many of anarchism’s important thinkers, but isn’t bogged down with biographical details, like many of the other books on the topic. Most of these terms have a major disadvantage: Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. The material conditions of urban workers had become intolerable through lack of foodstuffs, fuel, and transport, and any expression of discontent was being crushed by a more and more dictatorial and totalitarian regime.

Individuality has priority in every movement of the human spirit.