James Guillaume

James Guillaume (date unknown)

James Guillaume (February 16, 1844, London – November 20, 1916, Paris) was a leading member of the Jura federation, the anarchist wing of the First International. Later, Guillaume would take an active role in the founding of the Anarchist St. Imier International.[1]


In his 1876 essay, "Ideas on Social Organization," Guillaume set forth his opinions regarding the form that society would take in a post-revolutionary world, expressing the collectivist anarchist position he shared with Bakunin and other anti-authoritarians involved in the First International:

Whatever items are produced by collective labor will belong to the community, and each member will receive remuneration for his labor either in the form of commodities (subsistence, supplies, clothing, etc.) or in currency.

Only later, he believed, would it be possible to progress to a communist system where distribution will be according to need:

When, thanks to the progress of scientific industry and agriculture, production comes to outstrip consumption, and this will be attained some years after the Revolution, it will no longer be necessary to stingily dole out each worker’s share of goods. Everyone will draw what he needs from the abundant social reserve of commodities, without fear of depletion; and the moral sentiment which will be more highly developed among free and equal workers will prevent, or greatly reduce, abuse and waste.[2]

Guillaume is said to have played a key role in Peter Kropotkin's conversion to anarchism.


He also edited five of the six volumes of Bakunin's collected works (in French), which included the first biography of Bakunin.[3]

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