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LANDAUER, Gustav. "For Community. The communitarian anarchism of Gustav Landauer, the origins of his thought and influence". By Larry GAMBONE.
Article published on 2 January 2005
last modification on 26 April 2015

by r-c.
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Gustav Landauer was born in Karlsruhe, Germany on April 7 1870 of bourgeois origin. At a very early age he came into conflict with both his teachers and parents, but in spite of this, excelled academically. Nevertheless, he dropped out of college after studying literature, philosophy and medicine. Landauer moved to Berlin, and for a short time was under the tutelage of Johann Most. (Later, in the opposite direction, the Tolstoyan anarchist, Benedikt Friedlander became a major influence.) From 1893 to 1899, Landauer edited THE SOCIALIST, which, in spite of its name, was an anarchist journal. Prison was to be his home in 1893, 1896, and 1899, each time for civil disobedience. When he attended the 1893 Congress of the Social Democratic International, August Bebel denounced him as a police agent. An attempt to enter the 1896 International Congress in London met with only limited success. (See Appendix for more information on the Congress) At this time he was under Kropotkin’s influence but by 1900 he had shifted toward a position much closer to Proudhon and Tolstoy, advocating passive resistance in the place of violence and looking toward the spread of cooperative enterprises as the really constructive way to social change.1


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