MIA: Encyclopedia of Marxism: Glossary of People



Guchkov, Alexander Ivanovich (1862-1936)

Moscow landowner and industrialist, organiser and leader of the Octobrist party. President 3rd Duma. Following the February revolution of 1917, Guchkov was first Minister of the Army and Navy in the Provisional Government. Resigned 31st May 1917. Guchkov was a social-chauvinist during WWI. In August, 1917, he supported Kornilov in his rebellion against the Provisional Government. After the October Revolution, Guchkov fought against the Soviet government, and later became a white emigre in Berlin.


Guérin, Daniel (1904-1988)

Guerin Writer, historian, revolutionary theorist and activist, anticolonialist, syndicalist activist, campaigner for gay rights, Daniel Guérin was active in many organizations and published in many fields. Those who write about him seldom do justice to this multiplicity of commitment or to what Guérin considered to be the importance of his attempt to reconcile anarchism and marxism and, on a much broader level, the personal and the political.

His second autobiography “Le feu du sang” (Paris. Grasset, 1977) was subtitled “Autobiographie politique et charnelle,” and asserted the common well of the ‘vital force’ which motivated him in both his personal, emotional life and in his socio-political commitments. Thus, in the 1970s, when Guérin campaigned for gay rights, it was through an organization called the Front Homosexuel d'Action Révolutionnaire.

The identity of ‘Daniel Guérin’ – this ‘son of the bourgeoisie’ who ‘sought to merge with the people in order ultimately to put himself at the service of the revolution’ (“Autobiographie de Jeunesse,” Paris: Belfond, 1972, p.9) was a central concern of his autobiographies, and he was to suffer often from simplistic pigeon-holing. It would not have surprised him to learn that, in different biographical and obituary articles, he was described by a writer in “Le Monde” as an anarchist; an anarchist-communist declared his incomprehension of Guérin’s interest in the individualist Max Stirner; a Trotskyist lamented the fact that Guérin had not been quite Trotskyist enough; and a labour historian neglected any mention of his sexual proclivities and included “Le Feu du sang” in the ‘sexology’ section of the bibliography.

Guérin was born of a liberal, humanist, pro-Dreyfus family of the Left Bank, a very upper-class family with connections in banking, industry, commerce, transport and publishing. In 1927 he finally escaped a restrictive family life by going to Syria and the Lebanon to work as a bookseller, and his long stay there, combined with a three-month visit to Indo-China, convinced him of the injustices of French colonialism.

On his return to France in 1930 he contributed articles on the subject to H. Barbusse’s “Monde,” and was later to be an active member of F. Jourdain’s Comité d'Amnistie aux Indochinois.

At the same time, he became involved with the revolutionary syndicalists around Pierre Monatte, contributing articles to “La Révolution Prolétarienne” and “Le Cri du Peuple,” and involving himself in the campaign for the reunification of the CGT and the Communist-controlled CGTU. He joined the Belleville group of the Socialist Party (SFIO), but resigned again because of the anti-communism of certain municipal councillors.

After visits to Germany in 1932 and 1933 Guérin wrote his studies of nazism and fascism, “La Peste brune” and “Fascisme et grand capital.” In 1932 Guérin joined the Syndicat des Correcteurs, and was to remain a lifelong member. The following year, he was a co-founder of the Centre Laïque des Auberges de la Jeunesse.

In October 1935 Guérin re-joined the SFIO, and became a member of the recently-created Gauche Révolutionnaire (revolutionary left) tendency led by M. Pivert. He was to hold several posts, and clashed not only with the Communists over their attempts to dominate trade union activities, but also with Marius Moutet, the SFIO minister for the colonies, and with M. Paz, secretary of the SFIO’s colonies committee.

In January 1938 the Gauche Révolutionnaire gained control of the SFIO’s Seine Federation, and Guérin became one of the assistant secretaries. When the tendency was expelled from the SFIO (Royan Congress 1938), and the Parti Socialiste Ouvrier et Paysan was created, Guérin joined the new party, remaining firmly attached to the principles of revolutionary defeatism and proletarian internationalism. He had links with Trotsky, whilst disagreeing with him over the creation of a Fourth International.

Guérin had attended the International Congresses in Brussels (October 1938) and Paris (Apnl 1939) of the Front Ouvrier International, and had been delegated by it to establish a secretariat in Oslo if war broke out. This he did, and he produced a monthly bulletin from October 1939 to April 1940, when he was arrested by the German army and taken to Germany. He managed to return to France in 1942 and was involved in an underground Trotskyist organization.

For just over two years, 1946-9, Guérin lived in the USA, and on his return produced the two-volume study “Où va le peuple américain?” (Paris: Julliard, 1950 and 1951), parts of which were later republished as more specific studies on the American labour movement, the position of black Americans and economic concentration.

Throughout the 1950s Guérin was heavily involved in anticolonial agitation. In 1952 he travelled to the Maghreb and established contact with syndicalist and nationalist militants there. From 1953 to 1955 he was a member of the Comité France-Maghreb led by F. Mauriac. In 1960 he was one of the first signatories of the ‘Appeal of the 121’ calling for the right not to fight in the Algerian War, and in 1963 he presented a report to President Ben Bella on Algerian self-management After the coup of 1965, he helped found the committee which supported Ben Bella and opposed political repression in Algeria. He was also behind the creation of a committee to establish the truth about the disappearance of Moroccan leader Ben Barka in 1965.

Guérin’s ideas regarding socialism evolved significantly from the 1950s. In 1955-7 he was active in the Nouvelle Gauche led by, among others, C. Bourdet; in 1957 this merged with the Mouvement de Libération du Peuple to become the Union de la Gauche Socialiste, then the Parti Socialiste Unifié. In May-June 1968 Guérin led open debates on self-management in the Sorbonne and in an occupied factory. The following year he joined G. Fontenis’ Mouvement Communiste Libertaire, later to become the Organisation Communiste Libertaire, and he was responsible for its organ, “Guerre de Classes.”

In 1973 he joined the Organisation Révolutionnalre Anarchiste, and wrote for its paper, Front Libertaire. His evolution towards what he called libertarian communism – an attempted reconciliation of anarchism and Marxism (see “A la recherche d'un communisme libertaire,” Paris: Spartacus, 1984) – led him to become a member of the Union des Travailleurs Communistes Libertaires in 1980.

See the Guerin Archive

By David Berry, ‘Daniel Guérin’ in David Bell, Douglas Johnson and Peter Morris (eds.), A Biographical Dictionary of French Political Leaders since 1870 (London: Harvester Press for the Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France, 1990), p.191-3. https://www.danielguerin.info/tiki-index.php?page=EN+Against+all+forms+of+oppression


Guesde, Jules (1845-1922)

Guesde French socialist. Leader of the Marxist wing of the French workers' movement. From 1877 onwards he published the socialist paper Égalité. In 1879-80, together with Lafargue, among others, he founded the French Workers' Party [Parti ouvrier], the programme of which, in its fundamental points, was formulated with Marx's help. In the 1880's and 90's Guesde led the fight against the Possibilists and came out decidedly against Millerandism [Socialists taking office in bourgeois governments] but in the 1890s he was already beginning to retreat to social-chauvinism and reformism. Later he was one of the most prominent Centrist leaders in the Second International, during the war a social-chauvinist and in 1914-15 a member of the government.

See Jules Guesde Archive.


Guest, Haden Leslie (1877-1960)

Extreme right-wing Labourite. A doctor of medicine who worked mostly in the public health system in schools, and in the Boer War and First World War. Became active in the Labour Party; Secretary of the 1920 Labour delegation to Russia, later expressing himself utterly hostile to the new regime, On London County Conned 1919-22; MP for Southwark 1923-7. Opposed the General Strike in 1926; expelled from the Parliamentary Labour Party the following year for speaking against Labour opposition to the intervention of British troops against the Chinese Revolution. Stood in a by-election with the support of the local Tories, though without success, and in 1928 was formally admitted to the Conservative Party. In 1929 stood as a Tory against Ben Ti1lett in Salford, again without success. Despite this record he was readmitted to the Labour Party, fighting seats in the 1931 and 1935 General Elections as a Labour candidate, and eventually being re-elected to parliament for North Islington from 1937 to 1950. In 1950 he entered the House of Lords, where he became a Labour whip.


Guevara, Che (1928-1967)

Che Guevara Argentinian doctor; joined Castro in Mexico in 1954; a leader of the 1956-59 Cuban Revolution. Che served as president of Cuba's national bank and as Cuba's minister of industry in the period immediately following the Cuban Revolution.

Towards the end of his formal affiliation with the Cuban government, Che came to implicitly criticize Soviet bureacracy. His positions put him at odds with the party line of the Cuban CP. In 1965, Che realized that the defence of the Cuban revolution and the creation of revolutions abroad were naturally not always in sync, and this ultimately led to his resignation and his return to revolutionary work abroad.

During Che's subsequent revolutionary campaigns, he wrote his Message to the Tricontinental (1967) in which he openly criticized the Soviet Union; claiming that the Northern hemisphere of the world, both the Soviet Union and the US, exploited the Southern hemisphere of the world. He strongly supported the Vietnamese Revolution, and urged his comrades in South America to create "many vietnams".

In 1965 Che left Cuba to set up guerrilla forces first in the Congo and then later in Bolivia, where he was ultimately captured and killed in October 1967. Accounts of his execution have varied over the years, but many contemprary accounts indicate some degree of collaboration between Bolivia's government troops and the United States CIA.

Guevara developed a theory of primacy of military struggle, in particular concept of guerilla foquismo. Many of Che's theories regarding guerilla tactics are articulated in his 1961 work "Guerilla Warfare."

Further Reading: Che Guevara Archive


Guillaume, William (1844-1916)

Guillaume, William James Guillaume was born in London in February 1844. He became interested in anarchism when he was a student in Zurich, and later as a printer in Neuchatel. He became one of the leading members of the Jura Federation of the First International. Having accepted anarchist beliefs, he associated himself with Bakunin, with whom he was expelled from the International at the Hague Congress in 1872. Later he was active in founding the Anarchist St.-Imier International. He played a decisive role in Kropotkin's conversion to anarchism, and worked with him at anarchist agitation in Switzerland during the later 1870s. Early in the 1880s, Guillaume withdrew from anarchist activity, to become active again twenty years later in the anarcho-syndicalist movement. The four-volume work he wrote during this later period, L'International: Documents et Souvenirs, is the most important source of information from the anarchist point of view relating to the First International. Guillaume also edited Bakunin's Collected Works published in French in 1907.

See James Guillaume Archive.


Guizot, Francois (1787-1874)

French monarchist statesman and historian, was premier 1847-48, when he was turned out of office by the February revolution of 1848.


Gunasekera, Vernon H. (1908– 1996)

Born into a prominent family with links to the first Ceylonese Governor General, Sir Oliver Goonetilleka. Joined Lanka Mahajana Sabha, 1926. Secretary, South Colombo Youth League, 1931-35. Active in Suriya Mal campaigns. Secretary, Wellawatte Mills Union, 1932. General Secretary, Lanka Sama Samaja Party, 1935-40. Sent to London to work with the LSSP cell, 1938. Editor, Young Socialist , monthly publication of Lanka Students Socialist League, 1936. Editor, Samasamaja, 1937-40. Contributed reports and articles to the Congress Socialist journal, starting 1936. Affiliated with LSSP (Philip Gunawardena group), 1945-48. LSSP candidate for Ceylon Parliament, 1947. Joined VLSSP (Philip Gunawardena group). Chairman, Board of Review, in MEP government 1956-59. Wrote a regular column for the Sunday Observer . Later abandoned Marxist politics. Practiced law in Kandy. Author: Life and Times of Sir Oliver Goonetilleke (1981).

Compiled by Charles Wesley Ervin


Gunawardena, Kusumasiri (1912– 1985)

Born Medaketiya (Tangalle), Ceylon, daughter of Don Davith Amarasinghe. Educated Musaeus College, Colombo. Participated in Suriya Mal movement. Joined Lanka Sama Samaja Party. Married Philip Gunawardena, 1939. Attended Indian National Congress session, Ramgarh, 1940. Escaped to India, 1942. Arrested in Bombay, 1943. Deported to Ceylon, 1943. Member of Ceylon Parliament, 1948-60. Split from LSSP, 1950. Central Committee, Viplavakari LSSP, 1950-59. Delegate to Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, London, 1957.

Compiled by Charles Wesley Ervin


Gunawardena, Dona Caroline Rupasinghe

See Anthony Pillai, Caroline.

Compiled by Charles Wesley Ervin


Gunawardena, Don Benjamin Rupasinghe (“Robert”) (1904– 1971)

Party pseudonyms: Vaidya, Prakash

Born Boralugoda (Kosgama, Avissawella of Hevagam Korale), Ceylon, son of Don Jacolis Rupasinghe Gunawardena, younger brother of Philip Gunawardena. Educated Ananda College, Colombo. Activist in Colombo Youth League. Founding leader, Lanka Sama Samaja Party, 1935. Delegate to Indian National Congress, Haripura, 1938. Escaped to India, 1942. Member, Bolshevik Leninist Party of India, Bombay and Madras. Arrested, 1943, deported to Ceylon and imprisoned. Acting Secretary, LSSP, 1946-47. Member of Parliament, 1947-65. President, All-Ceylon Congress of Samasamaja Youth Leagues. Municipal Councillor, Colombo, until 1956. Expelled from LSSP, 1960, for advocating united front with MEP. Member, MEP, 1963-65. Formed United Left Front Party, 1965. Ambassador to the Peoples’ Republic of China, 1965-70. Author: Mage desapalana atdakima [Story of My Political Life] (1971), republished as Satanaka Satahan [Sketches of a Struggle] (2008).

Compiled by Charles Wesley Ervin


Gunawardena, Don Philip Rupasinghe (1901– 1972)

Party pseudonyms: Rup Singh, Almeida, Joseph.

Born Boralugoda (Kosgama, Avissawella of Hevagam Korale), Ceylon, son of Don Jacolis Rupasinghe Gunawardena. Educated Prince of Wales College, Moratuwa; Ananda College, Colombo; Ceylon University College; University of Illinois, University of Wisconsin, and Columbia University. Participated in League Against Imperialism, India League, and Communist Party of Great Britain, 1928-32. Founding leader, Lanka Sama Samaja Party, 1935. Ceylon State Council, 1935-40. Jailed, 1940-42; escaped and fled to Bombay, 1942. Member, Provisional Committee, Bolshevik Leninist Party of India, 1943. Arrested in Bombay, 1943. Extradicted to Ceylon and imprisoned, 1944-45. Re-formed LSSP, 1945. Formed All-Ceylon Harbour and Dock Workers Union, 1946. Elected to parliament, 1947; jailed during bus strike, 1947. Split from LSSP, 1950; leader Viplavakari LSSP, 1950-59. Formed electoral front with Communist Party, 1952. Minister of Agriculture, Food and Cooperatives, Mahajana Eksath Peramuna government, 1956-58. General Secretary, Central Council of Ceylon Trade Unions, 1957. Drafted Paddy Lands Act, 1958; introduced the Co-Operative Bank (Peoples’ Bank), nationalized bus transport and the port, agitated for take-over of British air force base at Katunayake and Naval Base at Trincomalee. Leader, MEP, 1959-72. Minister of Industries and Fisheries, UNP “Middle Path” government, 1965-70.

Compiled by Charles Wesley Ervin


Gupta, Bal Krishna (1910– 1972)

Born Forbesganj (Bihar), son of Shambhu Dayal Gupta. Educated C.A.V. High School, Hissar, Scottish Churches, Presidency College, Calcutta; and University College, London. Recruited to Trotskyism by C.L.R. James. Returned to Calcutta at start of WWII; helped finance Bolshevik Leninist Party of India. Editor, Jan . Governor, Khoj Parishad, a socio-economic research institute. Member, Indian National Congress until 1948. Joined Socialist Party (Lohia). MP, Rajya Sabha 1968-72.

Compiled by Charles Wesley Ervin


Gurko, Vasili Iosifovich (1864-1937)

Czarist General. Fought in Russo-Japanese War, and under Rennenkampf in World War I. Chief of Staff 1916-19l7. Commander Rumanian Front 1917. Counter-revolutionary monarchist, and Black Hundred leader. Dismissed by Kerensky May 1917. Emigrated to England.


Gusev, Sergei (1874-1933)

Bolshevik. Later joined the Stalinist faction in the early 1920s.


Guyau, Jean-Marie (1854-1888)

Guyau, Jean-Marie French philosopher. The son of Augustine Tuillerie, the author of the most famous of French children’s books “Le Tour de France par Deux Enfants,” and stepson of the philosopher Alfred Fouillé, Guyau was a precocious genius. He translated Epictetus while still a teenager, and wrote studies of Epicureanism, stoicism and Utilitarianism shortly thereafter. His teaching career was cut short by his poor health, but he produced a number of important works in the few years left to him, including a volume of poetry called “Vers d’un philosophe” (“Verses of a Philodsopher”). His masterpiece was his 1885 “Esquisse d’une morale sans obligation ni sanction,” (Sketch of a Morality Without Obligation or Sanction), which posited a morality free of any artificially imposed notions. The book was admired by Nietzsche, whose copy of the book was covered with annotations.

See Jean-Marie Guyau Archive.


Guzman, Abimael (Gonzalo) (1935-2021)

Chairman of the Peruvian Communist Party and the leader of the "Shining Path" or Sendero Luminoso. His ideology is Maoism. In 1992 he was arrested by the Peruvian state.

He was born in 1934 in Arequipa. In his childhood he was influenced by Stalin. He became a university professor at Huamanga where he received 2 doctoral degrees. From 1964 he was engaged in a 2 line struggle within the Communist Party and in 1970 he founded the Sendero Luminoso from the university of Ayacucho. Earlier in 1966 he had visited China during the Cultural Revolution. He was greatly influenced by Jose Mariategui, a leader, in the 1930s. In the 70s he worked on building the mass organisations before he formally launched armed struggle on March 17th 1980. His organisation made significant gains in the countryside. Gonzalo wrote documents on Maoism and several tributes to Mao. He was responsible for building "Gonzalo thought."

B Harsh Thakore (2/2002)