The Ideology and Practice of Contestation seen through Recent Events in France
The new forms of social conflict in France and the ideologies underlying them pose some formidable questions to the historian and the sociologist of the workers’ movement. Those which particularly interest us deal, on the one hand, with the existence of anarchist ideas and concepts within the sum total of ideological utterances in May and June 1968 and, on the other, with the libertarian character of the methods of contestation which have appeared in France during recent years. I have deliberately confined myself to the wide notion of the ‘ practice of contestation’ precisely because it goes beyond the phenomenon of the wildcat strike or the unrest in the universities and corresponds to a more general concept which has not as yet been monopolized by any theory. ‘ Generalized contestation’ does not daim to be a definitive sociological category. On the contrary, it is a provisional portmanteau word which will take a more definite shape once we emerge from the chiaroscuro of impressionistic criticism and philosophical reflection.
KeywordsSocial Conflict Direct Democracy Political Aspect General Strike Social Struggle
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