Dauvé and Nesic’s historical account challenges the thesis that the self-identification of the proletarian as producer has been the decisive cause of its defeats. When, they ask, did the workers actually try to shoulder economic growth? When did they ever compete with bourgeois owners or modern directors for the management of the companies? Workers’ movements don’t boil down to an affirmation of labour. And if the “being” of the proletariat theorised by Marx is not just a metaphysics, its content is independent of the forms taken by capitalist domination.
A section from 'Le mouvement communiste', Editions Champ Libre, 1972, Troisième partie : Révolution et contre-révolution., pp 166-176. Gilles Dauvé, who wrote 'Le mouvement communiste' (under the name Jean Barrot) was also involved with a group called 'Le mouvement communiste', which produced six issues of a journal of the same name between 1972 and 1974.
This is a reconceived version of 'Fascism and Anti-Fascism'. In this text, Dauvé shows how the wave of proletarian revolts in the first half of the twentieth century failed: either because they were crushed by the vicissitudes of war and ideology, or because their “victories” took the form of counter-revolutions themselves, setting up social systems which, in their reliance on monetary exchange and wage-labour, failed to transcend capitalism.