Henri Simon

Workers’ Inquiry in Socialisme ou Barbarie

Henri Simon's account of Socialisme ou Barbarie and its 'worker's papers'.

Before tak­ing up the sub­ject, it is nec­es­sary to point out that Social­isme ou Bar­barie, pri­mar­ily at the impe­tus of Cas­to­ri­adis (alias Chaulieu), went through dif­fer­ent peri­ods, largely cor­re­spond­ing to polit­i­cal analy­ses of the prospects of strug­gle which con­di­tioned the devel­op­ment of the group.

"To delightful measures changed..." - Reflections on the 1978-79 Winter of Discontent

An analysis of a major 1970s highpoint of class struggle in the UK; its character, implications and consequences.

Preamble and Introduction:
History & Class Consciousness in the UK: Now Is The Winter Of Our Discontent

1: Preparing the fire: The period up to the Winter of Discontent
2: The spark that lit the prairie fire: The Ford Strike (Autumn 1978)

Poland 1980-1982: Class struggle and the crisis of capital - Henri Simon

Henri Simon's brilliant and detailed account and analysis of the militant working class struggles in Poland from 1980 to 1982 which were a major contributing factor to the downfall of the USSR.

The work details the factors that led to a rank-and-file workers' movement in Poland that struggled to win a greater share of the surplus value being taken away from them by the state-capitalist ruling class of Poland and even, in some cases, forge new organizational forms for production and distribution.

Myths of Dispersed Fordism - Echanges et Mouvement

Still-relevant debate from the early 1990s between Echanges et Mouvement and the Spanish journal Etcetera on the effects of post-Fordism on class composition/recomposition and class struggle.


How the French pension system works - Henri Simon

Henri Simon looks behind the pension reform demonstrations and sees discontent with politics and politicians, and with the capitalist system itself.

In France for more than fifty years, everyone, whether they worked or not, had the right up until now to a minimum old age benefit at 65 years old. This right, independent of income earned elsewhere, is matched with add-ons depending on health, number of children, etc.

1980: Poland mass strikes - Henri Simon

Strike in the Lenin Shipyard in Gdańsk. 1980. Photo by T. Michalak.

Henri Simon's account of the successful strike wave which swept Poland in the summer of 1980 when the government raised the price of meat.

July 1980: Spontaneous Strikes Run Rampant Everywhere

The New Movement - Henri Simon

Influential in its day and expressing the optimism of its times, this text describes the characteristics of the New Movement of class struggle of the 1960s and 70s and its relationship to the Old Movement...

From the suburbs riots to the student movement - Henri Simon

November 2005 banlieue riots

An article by Henri Simon analysing the connection between the Banlieue riots of Autumn 2005 and the present movement against the CPE.

The article looks at the CNE/CPE within the context of international capital, and considers the potential for the movement to generalise beyond specific demands and sectors of society.

Henri Simon

Preliminary remarks:

1958-1998: Communism in France: Socialisme ou Barbarie, ICO and Echanges

 S ou B journal no. 2

Organisational notes on the French communist groups Socialisme ou Barbarie, ICO and Echanges et Mouvement, by Henri Simon in 1998.

Some Thoughts on Organisation - Henri Simon

Henri Simon discusses the relationship between permanent and more fluid forms of organisation.

All quotations and references have been deliberately excluded in this article. I have no doubt that many ideas expressed here have already been expressed by many others and there will be repetitions, some made on purpose, some not. I have also deliberately tried as far as possible to get away from traditional language.