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‘Socialism or barbarism’ means: From real communism to radicality


Was the identity of the journal and the group « Socialisme ou barbarie » intellectual or political ? Analysis of the review and in-depth interviews supports the second interpretation; however the subsequent intellectual itineraries of ex-members provide a contrasting vision of the group. Political and social itineraries were able to be retraced in detail; as a specific generational entity, the group was atypical within its political generation by its radical rejection - both of the burgeoning communist regimes of Central Europe - and of the USSR, of which criticism had been conceived previously - and of communists in opposition, an attitude that was rare among exponents of the extreme left. In addition to this constant was the importance given to independent organisation, but the group gradually distanced itself from the simple « working man » point of view which besides had revealed the widening gulf betwween communists and the working classes. The result of the entity perpetual evolution was the abandon of its original Marxist dimension - and of its prior militancy to become quite exclusively aradical thinking and exchanging group around a journal.

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