Johannes Agnoli Library

(Kopie 1)

In early 2006, the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung was donated the private library of the scholar Johannes Agnoli (1925–2003). His work Theses on the Transformation of Democracy and on the Extra-Parliamentary Opposition, published together with Peter Brückner in 1967, established him as a materialist critic of the German government and parliament and had a lasting influence on the extra-parliamentary Left.

The library of Johannes Agnoli is certainly an invaluable resource for researchers wishing to study his work, since many of the books contain potentially significant notes, markings, bookmarks, etc. One of the peculiarities of this library is that for some multi-volume works, Agnoli would only purchase the specific volumes which he considered relevant for his area of expertise.

The Johannes Agnoli Library contains about 1,500 books and pamphlets. It represents a unique collection of literature on the theory and philosophy of the state, covering the entire spectrum of ideas about the state. It ranges from fascist views, to bourgeois-liberal or bourgeois-democratic, to Marxist, Leninist, and Stalinist positions, as well as the anarchist rejection of any state. An interested researcher will find various reference sources, as well as a large number of individual publications on the subject.

The collection begins with the works of ancient state philosophers: with a three-volume edition of all Plato’s works and with Aristotle’s Politics and his notes on state theory. It continues with Augustine’s City of God and Thomas Aquinas and Martin Luther’s writings. Niccolo Machiavelli, who introduced the term "state" as a political category, is included in the collection with The Life of Castruccio Castracani of Lucca, while Jean Bodin, who developed the theory of the sovereign state, is featured with his work Six Books on the State.

The library also features representatives of the Enlightenment, such as Immanuel Kant, of whom there is a six-volume edition, and Johann Gottlieb Fichte, of whom Agnoli purchased six volumes of the Selected Works. G. W. F. Hegel, who defined the distinction between state and society, is included with an edition of his Complete Works in 20 Volumes; Jean-Jacques Rousseau is represented by his Contrat social ou principes du droit politique. Last but not least, the reader will find in this library important works of the anarchist confrontation with the state, such as Mikhail Bakunin’s Statism and Anarchy, Peter Kropotkin’s Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution and Errico Malatesta’s writings. Of course, the works of Marx, Engels, and Rosa Luxemburg are not missing, nor are the writings of contemporary state theorists and philosophers (Norberto Bobbio, Ralf Dahrendorf, Hans Kelsen, Antonio Negri, Nicos Poulantzas, among others).

The books and pamphlets of the Johannes Agnoli Library were checked for completeness according to a handover list compiled by the Agnoli family. They were arranged alphabetically on the shelves of the library and are thus accessible for use.