Gilles Dauvé, Jean Barrot, Guy Dauvé, La Vielle Taupe, Pierre Guillaume, Amadeo Bordiga, Didier Daeninckx, Not Bored and LibCom

05Jan10

The US-based Situationist grouplet, Not Bored!, published a text entitled “1981: the French FBI against Coluche . . .” on December 25. The text is a translation by Not Bored’s Bill Brown of a French article by left-wing author Didier Daeninckx about Guy Dauvé, a right-wing French intelligence officer.*

Guy Dauvé is the father of Gilles Dauvé, a French ultra-leftist/left communist, who is also known under the name of Jean Barrot. Daeninckx claims that “Without his father’s knowledge, Gilles Dauve formed a soldarity group for Puig Antich, a Spanish anarchist assassinated by Franco, and the meetings took place at the home of the Commissioner of the General Intelligence”.**

Daeninckx also highlights Gilles Dauvé’s closeness to the former ultra-leftists of La Vielle Taupe: “During the Faurisson affair, Gilles Dauve wrote or co-edited several negationist texts that would be published in La Guerre Sociale or Le Frondeur. Later on, he would pursue a, shall we say, more discreetly revisionist project, La Banquise, with Serge Quadruppani.” La Vielle Taupe (the Old Mole) was the Bordigist ultra-leftist group re-founded in 1980 by Pierre Guillaume to publish Le Mensonge d’Ulysse by Paul Rassinier, a key text of French Holocaust negationism. Guillaume was closely associated with Serge Thion, and the two of them induced Noam Chomsky to support Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson.***

Oddly, Libcom decided to delete the Daeninckx article, and temporarily ban Not Bored from its forums. Discussion has since ensued there on whether Dauvé’s strange views on paedophilia are beyond the libcom pale.

Background to this includes Libcom’s publication of a text by Dauvé and three other former members of La Blanquise, called The X-Filers, which Not Bored rightly classify as “dodgy”. This is a highly tendentious defence of the ultra-left against attacks on its links to Holocaust negationism.

I am not qualified to comment on the ins and outs of Serge Quadruppani and Dauvé’s connections to the Vielle Taupe milieu or their positions on paedophilia (although I welcome comments on this). However, I do think that the criticisms of anti-fascism developed by Dauvé/Barrot are highly problematic, as Aufheben have shown. These must be taken alongside other texts of the Bordigist ultra-left against anti-facsism, the worst of which is “Auschwitz ou le grand alibi” (“Auschwitz or the great alibi”, 1960), probably written by Amadeo Bordiga himself****. This text, as Mitchell Abidor, its translater at the Marxist Internet Archive, notes, is quite repugnant:

If all there was to this article was its mechanistic reduction of Marxism, its denial of human agency in the most horrific of acts, its diminution of the person to a mere conduit for class interests, “Auschwitz, or the Great Alibi” would be merely another betrayal of the richness of Marx’s thought. When we add its callous and cold treatment of the Holocaust as a simple “ejection from the productive process” of millions of humans, its foreshadowing of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s dismissal of the event as a “point of detail” of the Second World War, it attains to odium. And finally, when we take into account its posterity, its use as a basis for the small current of the (primarily French) left that indulged in Holocaust denial, its true horror is laid bare.

[…] The article was published as a pamphlet in 1970 by Pierre Guillaume, former member of Bordiga’s Parti Communist International and of the group around the ultra-left bookstore “La Vieille Taupe.” In a later incarnation La Vieille Taupe was to become the voice of left-wing holocaust denial, and it is in Guillaume’s early affection for this article – which appears on the web not only at marxists.org, but on revisionist websites – that we can see the germ of the movement.

Indeed, it is an easy step from “Auschwitz or the Great Alibi” to complete denial of the Holocaust.

[…]The death camps are rendered banal, the Germans are exculpated, the fate of the Jews demoted to mere happenstance. Denial of the very existence of the Shoah flows naturally from all of this.

I have noticed in the last couple of years elements of Bordiga’s and Barrot’s critique of anti-fascism cropping up on Indymedia sites, put forward by ostensibly anarchist anti-Zionists, and this makes it all the more important to expose and oppose.

Related: Slackbastard’s post on this. Principia Dialectica on Bordiga and left-wing antisemitism. Aufheben on Jean Barrot on anti-fascism. Pintele Yid: The Past Didn’t Go Anywhere: Making Resistance to Antisemitism Part of All of Our Movements. Gilles Dauvé’s work, it should be noted, also includes the important “Eclipse and Re-Emergence of the Communist Movement“. For more, see TropLoin, John Gray and Libcom.

Notes:

*Written by Didier Daeninckx [born 1949] and published 3 April 2001 by Aministia. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! 25 December 2009.

**Puig was a Catalan involved in the MIL, a group which fused the propoganda of the deed, illegalism and insurrectionary anarchism with anti-fascism and left communism. After Puig’s judicial assassination by the Franco regime in 1974, French members of the MIL went on to form GARI which in turn, in 1977, became Action directe. According to Wikipedia, “Action directe carried out some fifty attacks, including a machine gun assault on the employers’ federation headquarters on 1 May 1979 as well as attacks on French government buildings, property management agencies, French army buildings, companies in the military-industrial complex, and the state of Israel. They carried out robberies or “proletarian expropriation” actions, and assassinations, killing Engineer General René Audran, the manager of French arms sales, in 1985.” AD also had links to the Red Army Faction.

***This is documented here and here. Via Bob/Coatesy. Thion became controversial earlier for denying that what happened under the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia was a genocide, whereas Chomsky describes it as “Genocide Phase II”. See here and here.

****«Communist Left», No. 6, July – December, 1993; translated from «La Gauche Communiste», no. 13., 1987. Original in «Programme Communiste», N. 11, 1960. Details here and here.

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26 Responses to “Gilles Dauvé, Jean Barrot, Guy Dauvé, La Vielle Taupe, Pierre Guillaume, Amadeo Bordiga, Didier Daeninckx, Not Bored and LibCom”

  1. 1 d

    To call Gilles Dauve (Jean Barrot) a “negationist” is slander. I have pointed this out on the infoshop.org discussion of this article, but I’ll do so again here.

    This article from Dauve’s group La Blanquise (in French) puts the accuasation of negationism to rest: http://www.geocities.com/~johngray/roman17.htm

    “Nazi Germany deliberately killed millions of Jews and a lot of them in gas chambers. These are historical facts… We never denied the Nazi genocide of the Jews, nor supported those who deny it. But it’s no use trying to prove we didn’t. We’ll never convince people who prefer to know of us and judge us by ten quotations that have been selected as proofs of our “negationism”.”

    That is from a recent (2007) interview with Dauve’s group Troploin that is available in English on the libcom site: http://libcom.org/library/21-negationists

    One may disagree with most of Dauve’s ideas (as I do), but he clearly has not denied the reality of the Shoah.

  2. Just to be clear, I do not say in this article that Dauve is a negationist. I do, however, quote Didier D as saying “Gilles Dauve wrote or co-edited several negationist texts that would be published in La Guerre Sociale or Le Frondeur. Later on, he would pursue a, shall we say, more discreetly revisionist project, La Banquise, with Serge Quadruppani.”

    The X-Filers relates to La Banquise, and I find the terms of its defence problematic. But I do not have good enough knowledge of La Guerre Sociale or Le Frondeur, nor anywhere near enough French to do the research, to know if there is any basis in this allegation or not. I am very keen for more knowledgeable people to contribute any information on this.

    I should probably change the wording of the post as well to make it clear that I do not endorse Didier D’s claims.

  3. 3 d

    That makes sense.

    This gives more information about an article by Dauve that was published in La Guerre Sociale: http://musicchat.reocities.com/CapitolHill/6397/questat.htm

    I have asked Bill Brown and others to give me an example of a negationist text written by Dauve, but so far nobody has given me one. I do not think such texts exist, but even if they did somewhere in the past, by the early 1980’s he was clearly opposed to such ideas and continues to oppose them (see the interview from 2007).

    I think the article translated by Not Bored is problematic because it uses a somewhat interesting history of Guy Dauve to make underhanded attacks and slander against Gilles Dauve, without offering any evidence to back up its claims against him. Not Bored’s defense of these claims was also less than compelling (see the ‘debate’ on infoshop.org). The burden of proof remains on those who make the slander.

  4. 4 BNB

    Yes, I know exactly who “D” is and why he bears me so much personal hostility. “D” doesn’t read French, so providing him with “examples” is rather difficult, because very few of these texts have been translated into English. As for “D”‘s comments on Infoshop.org, I stopped responding to them because they were insulting to me personally. Don’t like the message? Kill the messenger. Right? Wrong.

  5. 5 d

    I can read some French, especially with the help of a dictionary and friends. Please cite French language examples of Dauve’s alleged negationism here.

  6. 6 BNB

    À la fin des années 1970, des anciens militants de l’ultragauche font de la critique bordiguiste de l’antinazisme un de leurs chevaux de bataille(40). Cette convergence avec Robert Faurisson est marquée en 1978 par la rencontre de ce dernier avec Pierre Guillaume, fondateur de la librairie La Vieille Taupe, fermée en 1972(41), et leur collaboration tout long des années 1980 pour défendre et propager des thèses négationnistes.

    En avril 1977 avait paru le premier numéro de La Guerre sociale(42), une revue animée par Dominique Blanc et issue de King-Kong international (voir : Communisme de conseils). Le soutien d’une certaine ultra-gauche à Robert Faurisson commence en juin 1979 par la diffusion par La Guerre sociale à Lyon d’un tract intitulé « Qui est le Juif ? ». Un deuxième tract est intitulé « Les chambres à gaz hitlériennes sont-elles indispensables à notre bonheur ? »(43). Ces textes sont repris dans Vérité Historique et Vérité politique un livre de Serge Thion publié aux éditions de La Vieille Taupe. Toujours en juin 1979, un texte intitulé « De l’exploitation dans les camps à l’exploitation des camps » paraît dans La Guerre sociale. Il aurait été écrit initialement par Gilles Dauvé et corrigé par Pierre Guillaume(44).

    Footnote # 44: Valérie Igounet, Histoire du négationnisme en France, éditions du Seuil, Paris, 2000.

  7. 7 BNB

    From the very text that “D” thinks acquits Gilles Dauve on a technicality, when in fact it is yet another indictment of both him and the entire shady milieu in which he circulated for years. It begins with these ultimately damning words.

    « La Question de l’Etat » requires a longer introduction than is usual for the texts we put on line. There are two reasons for this.

    The first is that it comes from the french ultra-left journal La Guerre Sociale. In the early 1980’s a number of french ultra-left groups became involved in supporting Robert Faurisson and his view that the nazi’s had not deliberately set out to commit genocide and that the gas chambers in the nazi death camps were a hoax perpetuated by the victorious allied nations to justify their own war crimes. ( In France these ideas are called negationism ). La Guerre Sociale were one of the main protagonists in this disgraceful stupidity.

    The second reason is that this article was based on one written by Gilles Dauvé, and this has been used to help justify false allegations that he also supported Faurisson and his ideas. Allegations which have been made side by side with accusations that the critique of anti-fascism and democracy made by the ultra-left currents he belonged to in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s « opened the door » to negationism.

    « La Question de l’Etat » is unmarked by either negationism, or by the misogyny evident in the loathsome « The Misery of Feminism », which appeared in the same issue of La Guerre Sociale. ( An english translation of this was recently published by Elephant editions ). « La Question de l’Etat » represents an interesting perspective on the state. However it is scarcely possible to ignore where it has come from.

  8. BNB, thanks for this, but sorry I am slightly confused. Exactly where are each of these quotes from?

  9. Ah, I see the English text comes from the intro (by John Gray?) to «La Question de l’Etat» at John Gray’s website http://musicchat.reocities.com/CapitolHill/6397/questat.htm

  10. Yes.

  11. I have just published some additional material, including the above extracts with provenance and hyperlinks, for further reference.

  12. Thank you very much. Or rather it should not be me who thanks you — I have not asked for or have needed help, obviously, because we have spoken here of things that readers of French who have taken the time and effort to educate themselves have known for a long time — but the partisans of the truth, wherever they are, because you have helped establish the simple truth about Gilles Dauve and the entire “ultra-Left” of which he was and still is a part. Good on ya!

  13. Some day, I would also like to write about this problematic piece by Dauve/Barrot:
    http://libcom.org/library/perplexities-middle-eastern-conflict

  14. Of course I would welcome it.

    In the meantime, note well the problems with what you call “Dauve/Barrot.” They both are and aren’t the same person, and this too is worthy of the word “dodgy.”

    Gilles Dauve originally assumed the identity of “Jean Barrot” (not just a pseudonym, but a day-to-day persona) to avoid detection by the anti-communist squad run by his father. He later dropped the assumed identity and went back to being Gilles Dauve when his father died (late 1980s/early 90s). In the presumable authentic voice of “Gilles Dauve,” he now revises and comments upon his older texts; he even criticizes some of the things he said under the name “Jean Barrot.” I do not believe that this is a matter of changing with the times. It is a tacit admission that at least some of the content of those essays was just as “pseudo” (false) as the name “Jean Barrot.” Under the auspices of “Jean Barrot,” Gilles Dauve presented his various analyses in such a way that they, too, would not be deemed “dangerous” by the Dauve Squad.

  15. 17 d

    The French text you posted above (from wikipedia) does not speak to Dauve’s relationship with Faurisson, and the text that it references – which was altered by Guillaume and published after Dauve was no longer involved with ‘Social War’ – takes a provocative position (the Allied nations used ‘ending the Holocaust’ to justify the second world war after the fact, even though ending the Holocaust was not the reason for the war at all) but not a negationist one. In any case, it is unclear what was added or omitted by Guillaume before publication.

    Wikipedia is also not a good source for anything.

    Again, if you can link to Dauve’s allegedly negationist texts here or post textual or visual evidence of his relationship with Faurisson, please do. The paragraphs you quote from John Gray’s into to ‘The Question of the State’ certainly indict ‘La Guerre Sociale’, but they do not, in fact, indict Dauve of anything except once having relationships and then breaking with people who would become anti-Semites. Debord, who once had relations with Guillame as well, is equally guilty of this. As neither Debord nor Dauve could predict the future, I don’t think their past relationships should be held against them… especially as both Debord and Dauve wrote against the positions held by their former comrades.

    The Ultra-Left connection to Faurisson began in the late 70’s, when Faurisson began writing negationist letters to Le Monde. I have posted an article from Dauve that denounces Faurisson and negationism written in the early 80’s, while ‘L’Affair Faurisson’ was an open issue. What more could he do besides break with Guillame and then publically attack Guillame’s (and Faurisson’s) ideas? As seen in the 2007 interview, Dauve does not shy away from questions about this, and he can be contacted via post nowadays. Though he has already clarified the question several times, I’m sure he would reply if you wrote him a polite letter asking for clarification on the issue again.

  16. I knew it would come to this:

    “Debord, who once had relations with Guillame as well, is equally guilty of this. As neither Debord nor Dauve could predict the future, I don’t think their past relationships should be held against them… especially as both Debord and Dauve wrote against the positions held by their former comrades.”

    This is a form of defense that claims, after the suspect has been convicted of a crime (previously the defense had proclaimed the suspect’s complete and total innocence!), that the convict shouldn’t have been charged and convicted because other people are guilty of the same offense. This kind of claim doesn’t pass the laugh test.

    But alas, not only is this defense defective in its very form, but in its content as well. Guy Debord broke with Pierre Guillaume and his whole sick crew privately in 1965 and publicly in 1967, and ever wavered. Of course it wasn’t a matter of “predicting the future”: all Debord had to do was look at how Guillaume was conducting himself in the present, which was exactly the way he would conduct himself in the 1970s and 1980s: as an idiot. Debord’s public, clear and unambiguous denunciation of Guillaume came two decades before Gilles Dauve’s shady dealings with and dodgy self-explanations for associating with such idiots as Guillaume, Quadruppani, et al. Furthermore, Guy Debord never published under a pseudonym and, unlike Gilles Dauve, never had the gall to pretend that he could criticize his own sockpuppet. At least Debord didn’t think his readers were stupid. Dauve seems to bank on the stupidity of his readers.

    Case closed: the world is indeed round. Anyone who wants to believe otherwise, or to stubbornly deny it, is free to do so, of course; in any case, they will do so without any further commentary from me.

  17. 19 d

    I think you are just throwing as many accusations against Dauve as you can and seeing what sticks. Dauve was only 20 years old in 1967! Debord was 36.

    The crimes Dauve is accused of are negationism and defense of Faurisson, and there is still no evidence of either (and multiple texts by Dauve that state the opposite). You insinuate that evidence of these claims is easily accessible in French, but I still have not seen it. Again, Dauve broke with Guillame (publicly) before the L’Affaire Faurisson.

    As you point out, Dauve took a pseudonym to escape his father’s anti-communist squads. I don’t think this can be used against him (and for the record, Debord did publish some texts anonymously and other situationists used pseudonyms)… nor the fact that his ideas have evolved and he is capable of criticizing his older writings.

  18. What I think.

    1. Dauve and Dauve-as-Barrot have written some texts relating to, very broadly speaking, “the Jewish question” which are problematic. These include (a) his ultra-leftist denunciations of anti-fascism, which draw on a common theme of the Bordigist tradition, (b) his comments on the Middle East, as in the “Perplexities” text, and some of his comments about the Holocaust, as in the notorious supermarket quote. None of these indict Dauve as beyond the pale, but require rigorous critical analysis and polemic. Further, he has clarified some of these statements in a positive way, e.g. in the response to Aufheben and in the collective piece Libertaires et « ultra-gauche » contre le négationnisme. The X-Filers text, however, complicates the matter, as it is itself extremely problematic.

    2. There is no doubt that Dauve in the past associated with some very unpleasant people, but he was not alone in that. I don’t think that I am sufficiently convinced, from the English language sources I’ve read, that he has either truly repudiated all of these or not. Obviously, he has repudiated Faurrison and Guillaume, but I am not clear whether he has repudiated Serge Thion, and I am completely unclear about the extent to which Quadruppani is to be classed along with Guillaume, and the extent of Dauve’s relations with him.

    3. I have not read “The Totalitarianism and its Myth”, which he did write, intending it for La Guerre Sociale, which may be negationist or softcore negationist. Apart from this, it seems to me there that noone other than Didier D has made any authoritative claim that Dauve actually authored any actually negationist text. La Guerre Sociale did, but he was not responsible for this.

    4. I am still not clear about whether or not Dauve actually actively defended Faurrison in anyway. Again, La Guerre Sociale did, e.g. in “What is a Jew?” I am not sure, though, if anyone is claiming whether Dauve co-authored that.

    Is that all correct?

    By the way, Wikipedia is not itself a reliable source, but it “should” cite material which “should” be. I have no access to Valérie Igounet, Histoire du négationnisme en France, the source cited in Fr.wikipedia (which Goldner also cites, defending the ultra-left, as V. Higounet, Histoire du negationnisme en France) so cannot say if it is a reliable source, or being used reliably here.

  19. 22 abbrakile

    Soon autumn, hurry to say goodbye to summer!).

  20. At this time it looks like Drupal is the preferred blogging platform available right now.
    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on
    your blog?


  1. 1 Page not found « Anti-German Translation
  2. 2 Looking back at 2011 « Anti-National Translation
  3. 3 Trop Loin on the Jewish Question | Anti-National Translation

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