Looking for the Proletariat is a contribution to understanding the implosion of the Marxist Imaginary. The implosion is staged in terms of the first English-language history of the French revolutionary group Socialisme ou Barbarie from 1949 to 1957. Stephen Hastings-King explains why Socialisme ou Barbarie was the only Marxist organisation interested by worker experience and how the group's anti-Leninist position on organisation led it to privilege first-person worker narratives in order to understand worker experience and its revolutionary possibilities.
Looking for the Proletariat draws on these narratives—the only first-person accounts of the working-class experience in French industry during the 1950s—to explore the disintegration of collective investment in the Marxist Imaginary that unfolded at Renault’s Billancourt factory in the aftermath of the Hungarian Revolution.
What People Are Saying
"Stephen Hastings-Kings is very precise and punctual in describing the life of the movement, through continuous references to their historical, social, and political context, and an efficient use of their written sources... This work is theoretically well supported by references to Marx and Marxism, and to pivotal authors in phenomenology, especially Husserl and Merleau-Ponty." Giorgio Baruchello, Nordicum-Mediterraneum