Gilles Dauvé

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Gilles Dauvé (pen name Jean Barrot; born 1947) is a French political theorist, school teacher, and translator associated with left communism and the contemporary tendency of communization.


  • Communism knows no monster. ... Should abuse occur, the perpetrator would not be ostracized by his fellow human beings. They would not reject the social violator in order to reassure themselves of their humanity by comparing themselves to a non-human human, to a monster. They would be able to recognize what they have in common with him, and to realize that they could have done what he did. And this, we believe, is a much better way of reducing abuse to its lowest possible minimum than any search for normality.

"Letter on Animal Liberation" (1999)[edit]

Full text online
  • Animals that kill usually have far more social relationships than those they prey upon.
  • Our critique of capitalism is precisely that value production turns everything, whether meat or poetry, into commodity, and that it's no use asking for more love poems and less hamburgers.
  • Nature awareness, ecological worries and reactions to animal abuse are not signs of mankind at last getting conscious of its impact on the rest of the planet, but of the necessity for capital to think globally, and to take all past and present into account, from Maya temples to whales and genes. Everything it dominates has to be controlled and classified in order to be managed. What is marketable must be protected. Capital owns the world and no owner can afford to be too careless about his possessions.
  • It's no coincidence that an acute sensibility to the condition of animals comes up at the same time as industrialised food and concentration camp style farming.
  • Managers try to make the workplace safer and less destructive (= more productive) of a precious capital: labour. Animal exploitation duplicates this process. It tends to experiment less on animals in order to get more from them, painfully if it must, painlessly if it can
  • As neither of us is Politically Correct, "man" here means man + woman, and "mankind" means humankind.

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