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2 Rethinking Revolutionary Theory

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Chapter Summary

Socialisme ou Barbarie's analysis of the East Berlin uprising of June and the French general strike of August 1953 were spread over Socialisme ou Barbarie nos.12, 13 and 14. The central analyses published in no.13 under the rubric 'Worker Struggles in 1953' interpret the two strikes together as signalling the emergence of new revolutionary initiatives from the working class that presented new possibilities and problems for revolutionary theory. Socialisme ou Barbarie's view of the East Berlin uprising was based on the work of Benno Sternberg that was eventually published in 1958 as La classe ouvrière en Allemagne orientale. Socialisme ou Barbarie published two early fragments of his work as one of several case studies on Eastern Europe. Its history of the strike tried to portray it as a manifestation of a working-class unity that formed in the period leading up to the action.

Keywords: Benno Sternberg; Eastern Europe; La classe ouvrière en Allemagne orientale; revolutionary theory; Socialisme ou Barbarie



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