Joe Thorne looks at the history of the “workers’ inquiry” idea: from Marx, to Italy in the 1960s, to the present day. This fairly long article touches on debates amongst those influenced by operaismo about how we should relate to the modern workplace.
The point of these notes is: to understand what the term ‘workers’ inquiry means; to argue that it has come to mean at least two different things; to characterise the political objective of these different projects; and to evaluate both the importance of those objectives and how well they are met by the methods in question. The point is to articulate what place I believe the inquiry ought to have in the ideas and practice of revolutionaries. It will also say something about research into class composition more generally.
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