A French fiction on municipal direct democracy




Vincent Gerber in Geneva writes:

com-libre-200x300Hadrien Delahousse, whom some of you met in Vermont last year [and at the TRISE meeting in Greece –ed.], has lent me an interesting book (in French) : “La commune libre de Saint-Martin” by Jean-François Aupetitgendre (pseudonym), edited by Les éditions libertaires in 2012.

It could be called a political fiction. The author tells the story of a commune (of 5,000 people) that starts to develop parallel power and to function as a direct democracy. He presents the different problems that come out and how the people organize themselves to overcome them. It is really close to libertarian municipalism (the author mentions the name once, at the beginning, when the new mayor looks for the help of the local anarchist group and they answer him something like “We do not believe in libertarian municipalism, so we will not implicate ourselves directly. But we will support you.”).

The style is not great, and the events are a bit too much represented as “the good ones vs the bad ones”, but there’s a lot of ideas inside. Besides, I think it’s an interesting way to present libertarian municipalism, through a story instead of a theory. Certainly  a closer look would reveal some differences between social ecology’s theory of libertarian municipalism and this presentation, but I haven’t done that work of close comparison.

[For more on this, see Hadrien’s presentation to the TRISE meeting, which should be available soon at]