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Daniel Bensaïd: 25 March 1946 - 12 January 2010

Sunday 12 January 2020, by Penelope Duggan

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“Daniel was profoundly internationalist. (…) [He] ensured the historical continuity of open, non-dogmatic, revolutionary Marxism and adaptation to the changes of the new era, with the perspective of revolutionary transformation of society always in his sights.” [1]

Daniel Bensaïd was a leading member of the French Fourth Internationalists from the mid 1960s to his death, through the different configurations of the Jeunesse Communist Révolutionnaire (JCR), Ligue Communiste (LC), Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire (LCR) and within the Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (NPA). He was also a prominent intellectual as a Marxist philosopher.

A student activist in 1968, a political leader of the French organization and of the Fourth International – working closely with the comrades of the Spanish state from the Franco years, and also with those in Latin America notably Brazil – Daniel was a committed political militant who didn’t neglect local grass-roots political involvement either.

Because of his ill-health, from the 1990s he consecrated most of his formidable energy and intellect to writing an impressive number of books, too few of which are available in English.

International Viewpoint has contributed to making his work available to the English-reading public through its Daniel Bensaïd archive.

Resistance Books and the International Institute for Research and Education IIRE have published the following works with contributions by Bensaïd :

Unity and Strategy – Ideas for Revolution (2015)
Contributions by Leon Trotsky, Daniel Bensaïd, Steve Bloom, James Burnham, Duncan Hallas, Tom Kerry, Piers Mostyn, Michel Pablo, and John Riddell.

Contributions to the history of the Fourth International (2014)
By Pierre Frank and Daniel Bensaid

New Parties of the Left: Experiences from Europe (2014)
Daniel Bensaïd, Alda Sousa, Alan Thornett and others

Strategies of Resistance & ‘Who Are the Trotskyists?’ (2014)
Author: Daniel Bensaïd, Preface: Paul Le Blanc

Take the power to change the world (2014)
Contributions by John Holloway, Daniel Bensaïd, Michael Löwy

Two of his books have been published by Verso:

Marx for Our Times - Adventures and Misadventures of a Critique (2010)
by Daniel Bensaïd

An Impatient Life - A Memoir (2015)
by Daniel Bensaïd

There is also the Daniel Bensaïd site. Unfortunately the desire to make this site multi-lingual has not (yet) come to fruition.

The Marxist Internet Archive maintains a Daniel Bensaïd archive.

The site Europe Solidaire Sans Frontières (ESSF) has compiled a Daniel Bensaïd bibliography.


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[1François Sabado, “Daniel Bensaïd: militant, intellectual, friend”. For other appreciations see Gilbert Achcar “A revolutionary who fought steadfastly”, Josep Maria Antentas “Daniel Bensaïd, a revolutionary for our times ” and Darren Roso ““Daniel Bensaïd fought to the end against a system that knows no bounds in brutality””. A report on the commemoration event “Remembering Daniel Bensaïd”.