In Remembrance.

In Remembrance

Ron Carne
Lila Gosch
Jessica Holland
Jim Saxe
Larry Thatcher

Anatole Ben Anton

Anatole Anton

Anatole ben Anton passed away December 25, 2023, after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease and dementia. We will always remember him as a parent, lover, friend, comrade, and as a tireless advocate of the global liberation struggles of the past 75 years. He possessed a powerful intellect, a big heart, fiery passion, and profound depth. His penetrating and critical understanding of the world did not make him cynical or pessimistic, even during the darkest of recent times, and his abilities to communicate that understanding profoundly influenced those around him

Born on April 18, 1939 to Greenwich Village parents, Anatole attended CCNY as an undergraduate. While there, he went on the first blockade-busting trip to Cuba in 1961. The heady atmosphere of a revolutionary society propelled his intellectual development beyond philosophical idealism to Marxism. Two years after the Cuba trip, he enrolled in Stanford’s Graduate School of Philosophy. In 1967 he accepted a teaching position in San Francisco State University Philosophy Department.

During his second year at State, he became a leader of the faculty supporters of the student strike, which cost him a tenured position. After his marriage to Bette Bentzman, he taught at the University of Colorado, where their daughter Glenna was born. Although offered tenure at Colorado, Anatole wanted to return to the Bay Area, and was rehired at State a few years later, where he served as head of the Philosophy Department for many years, publishing several books, and retiring in 2006. Throughout these years, Anatole never refrained from his political involvements and his efforts to bring a better world into being.

Back in San Francisco, Anatole met and married Kathryn Kenley-Johnson. She survives him, as does his daughter, Glenna, her husband Amir and two children, Django and Ashi Buchbinder, his brother Billy, Billy’s wife Karen, and their children. A memorial event is being planned for the fall.

A3M Remembers

Kent L. Hudson

I met him in 1962 at some house in SF full of lefties. Blew my mind. He was one of the first people I ever met who talked up socialism. Absolutely a revolution in my little San Diego country boy’s horizon. I called him the Teddy Bear revolutionary.

Perhaps we crossed paths later around Leviathan? We were never friends but he was a dear friend of my friends. I am happy for him that it was an easy death.

Lenny Siegel

Anatole was one of the two Stanford students called before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in the summer of 1966. See HUAC and Stanford in the Summer of 1966, by Anatole Anton.

I also confirmed recently that he’s the one who shouted “What about Vietnam?” to Hubert Humphrey in Mem Aud in February, 1967.

Georgia Kelly

I’m very sorry to hear about Anatole’s passing.

In 1966, I drove to New York with him and Stuart McRae for the HUAC hearings. There was an airline strike and the only way to get there on time was to drive non-stop from Palo Alto to New York -- in 48 hours! -- we took turns driving. The next day, we went to Connecticut to meet with their lawyer, Frank Donner to help them prepare for the hearing. Then, on to the HUAC hearing in DC. It was incredible theater. I’ve always thought that someone should make a film of those courtroom scenes. The students ran circles around the racist HUAC committee members. Anatole wrote a brilliant piece that Stuart delivered to the committee. When at the reunion 10 years ago, Anatole told me he was surprised to read Stuart’s delivery to the committee because he didn’t realize Stuart was so radical. I had the pleasure of reminding him that he actually wrote it and decided to let Stuart deliver it. It’s on the A3M website. And, that was Anatole. He didn’t need the limelight. He was just interested in getting the ideas out there in the best packaging for the situation, and he realized that sometimes it would be better coming from someone else. A wonderful being. He will be missed.

Dave Ransom

Anatole—One of the five who stood in the lobby after Stanford’s Vietnam Teach-In and called on us not to just oppose the war but support the Vietcong.

Paul—Who put on a clerical collar to get in to visit Dee McGuire in the county jail.


HUAC and Stanford in the Summer of 1966, August 18–19, 1966, A3M Historical Archive, Link

Statements about power relations: a study of logical form, by Anatole Ben Anton, Thesis, Dissertation, 1973, Department of Philosophy, Stanford University.

Lichtman, Richard (1984). The Production of Desire: The Integration of Psychoanalysis into Marxist Theory. Science and Society 48 (2):229-234. Link

Anton, Anatole & Schmitt, Richard (eds.) (2006). Toward a New Socialism. Lexington Books. Link

Anton, Anatole & Schmitt, Richard (eds.) (2012). Taking Socialism Seriously. Lexington Books. Link

Anton, Anatole (2012). Feminism(s) Meets Capitalism. Radical Philosophy Review 15 (2):383-387. Link

Feminism(s) Meets Capitalism, by Anatole Anton, Radical Philosophy Review 15 (2):383-387 (2012). Link

Anton, Anatole (1990). The Ways of Peace. Social Philosophy Today 3:432-434. Link

Anton, Anatole (2010). The Twilight of Martial Liberalism. Radical Philosophy Review 13 (2):161-166. Link

Anton, Anatole (1974). Commodities and exchange: Notes for an interpretation of Marx. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 34 (3):355 - 385. Link

Anton, Anatole (2013). Marx to Benjamin. Radical Philosophy Review 16 (3):781-788.

Marx & Whitehead. Anatole Anton - 2008 - Radical Philosophy Review 11 (1):87-92.Link

Anton, Anatole (1978). Duncan MacRae, Jr.'s "The Social Function of Social Science". Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 38 (4):587. Link

Not for Sale: In Defense of Public Goods.Anatole Anton & Milton Fisk - 2000 - Routledge. Link

Anton, Anatole (1975). Donald Clark Hodges' "The Latin American Revolution: Politics and Strategy from Apro-Marxism to Guevarism". Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 36 (2):269. Link

Anton, Anatole (1978). The Social Function of Social Science. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 38 (4):587-589. Link