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Jeebesh on Sat, 27 Dec 2008 15:07:50 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> New Preface / Ranciere / The Nights of Labour


dear All,

Sarai will be launching its social theory translation project this  
February with the launch of the Hindi language version of Jacques  
Ranci?re's  "The Nights of Labour: the workers' dream in 19th century  
France". Abhay Dube has translated the book. Ravikant is the series  
editor and we will soon be coming out with a series of books.

Enclosed is the new Preface by Ranciere to the Hindi language version  
of Nights of Labour. The preface was written in French and Rana  
Dasgupta has translated it into English. (the French version is also  
below.)

Ranciere will be delivering a public talk on the launch of the Hindi  
translation on 6th of February at Sarai/CSDS.


warmly
Jeebesh


PREFACE

The Indian reader who opens this book in 2009 will no doubt think it  
is a strange thing.  How can these stories of nineteenth-century  
French lockmakers, tailors, cobblers and typesetters be relevant to  
the information revolution, the reign of immaterial production or the  
global market?
This question, it should be said, was already present for the French  
reader who opened this book twenty-seven years ago.  We did not speak  
yet of globalisation, nor of the end of the proletariat, of history or  
of utopia.  Quite the contrary: France had recently elected a combined  
socialist and communist government, which proudly laid claim to the  
traditions of Marxism and of working class politics.  And it is in  
this context that the book seemed to run counter to its own time, and  
became difficult to classify.  The author was a professional  
philosopher who had struck his first blows, in the 1960s, by  
participating in the theoretical enterprise of Louis Althusser, who  
wished to rebuild Marxist theory.  Now, instead of offering  
philosophical theses, he was telling stories about the French working  
class of the nineteenth century.  And he offered nothing by way of  
Marxism ? no analysis of the forms of industrial production, of  
capitalist exploitation, of social theories or of class struggles or  
worker movements.  His workers, moreover, were not ?real? workers;  
they were artisans from olden times, dreamers who dabbled in poetry  
and philosophy, who got together in the evening to found ephemeral  
newspapers, who became intoxicated by socialist and communist utopias  
but for the most part avoided doing anything about them.  And the book  
seemed to lose itself in the aimless wanderings of these people,  
following the dreams of one, or the little stories others recounted in  
their diaries; the letters they wrote about their Sunday walks in the  
Paris suburbs, or the everyday concerns of those who had left for the  
United States to try out their dream of fraternal communalism.  What  
on earth were readers to do with these stories in 1980?


The question is not, therefore, one of geographical or temporal  
distance.  This book may seem untimely in an era that proclaims the  
disappearance of the proletariat, but it also seemed so in the  
previous era, which claimed to represent the class that had been  
united by the condition of the factory and the science of capitalist  
production.  Let me put it simply: this book is out of place in a  
postmodern vision for the same reasons that it was already out of  
place in a classical modernist vision.  It runs counter to the belief,  
shared by modernism and postmodernism alike, in a straight line of  
history where cracks in the path of time are thought to be the work of  
time itself ? the outcome of a global temporal process that both  
creates and destroys forms of life, consciousness and action.  This  
book rejects this because, despite its apparent objectivity, such an  
idea of time always places a hierarchy upon beings and objects.  The  
belief in historical evolution, said Walter Benjamin, legitimises the  
victors.  For me, this belief legitimises the knowledge that decrees  
what is important and what is not, what makes or does not make  
history.  It is thus that the social sciences have declared that these  
little stories of workers taking an afternoon walk, or straying far  
from the solid realities of the factory and the organised struggle,  
have no historical importance.  In doing so they confirm the social  
order, which has always been built on the simple idea that the  
vocation of workers is to work ? ?and to struggle,? good progressive  
souls add ? and that they have no time to lose in wandering, writing  
or thinking.

This book turns this idea of time on its head.  In the grand modernist  
narratives of the development of productive forces and of forms of  
class consciousness, this book sees a way of diverting the intimate  
energy of the very struggles they claim to represent, and re- 
attributing it to the order of time that was struggled against.  It  
sees such narratives as a way of reinforcing the power of those who  
believe they have a masterful, external perspective on the history in  
which they declare everyone else to be collectively imprisoned.  This  
idea of imprisonment, and this position of mastery, had found their  
radical form in the project of Louis Althusser that I had participated  
in.  For this project, the agents of capitalist production were  
necessarily caught in the ideological traps produced by the system  
that held them in their place.  That is to say that our project itself  
trapped them in a perfect circle: it explained that the dominated were  
kept in their place by ignorance of the laws of domination.  But it  
also explained that the place they were in prevented them from knowing  
the laws of domination.  So they were dominated because they did not  
understand, and they did not understand because they were dominated.   
This meant that all the efforts they made to struggle against their  
domination were blind, trapped in the dominant ideology, and only  
intellectuals, who were capable of perceiving the logic of the circle,  
could pull them out of their subjection.

In the France of 1968 it became abundantly clear that the circle of  
domination was held in place in fact by this so-called science.  It  
became clear that subjection and revolution had no other cause than  
themselves and that the science that pretended to explain subjection  
and inspire revolution was in fact a part of the dominant order.  It  
is with this lesson in mind that I undertook in the 1970s the long  
period of research in the labour archives that culminated in this  
book.  On the way, many surprises awaited me.  I set out to find  
primitive revolutionary manifestos, but what I found was texts which  
demanded in refined language that workers be considered as equals and  
their arguments responded to with proper arguments.  I went to consult  
the archives of a carpenter in order to find out about more about the  
conditions of labour; I first came upon a correspondence from the  
1830s where this worker told a friend about a Sunday in May when he  
had gone out with two friends to enjoy the sunrise over the village,  
spend the day discussing metaphysics in an inn, and end it trying to  
convert the diners at the next table to their humanitarian social  
vision.  Then I read documents in which this same worker described an  
entire vision of life, an unusual counter-economy which sought ways to  
reduce the worker?s consumption of everyday goods so that he would be  
more independent of the market economy, and better able to fight  
against it.  Through these texts, and many others, I realised that  
workers had never needed others to explain the secrets of domination  
to them, and that the problem they faced was having to submit  
themselves, intellectually and materially, to the forms by which it  
inscribed itself on their bodies, and imposed upon them gestures,  
modes of perception, attitudes and language.  ?Be realistic: demand  
the impossible!? the protestors cried in 1968.  But for these workers  
in 1830, it was not about demanding the impossible but making it  
happen themselves: of appropriating the time they did not have, either  
by spying opportunities in the working day or by giving up their own  
night of rest to discuss or to write, to compose verses or to work out  
philosophies.  These hard-won bonuses of time and liberty were not  
marginal phenomena, they were not diversions from the building of the  
worker movement and its great ideals.  They were a revolution,  
discreet but radical nonetheless, and they made those other things  
possible.  They comprised the work by which men and women tore  
themselves away from an identity forged for them by a system of  
domination and affirmed themselves as independent inhabitants of a  
common world, capable of all the refinements and self-denials that  
previously had been associated only with those classes that were  
released from the daily concern of work and food.

It is the necessity of acknowledging this revolution which gives to  
this book its unusual form.  The book plunges us directly into  
workers? words, in all their forms ? from personal confidences and  
everyday anecdotes to fiction composed in diaries to philosophical  
speculations and programmes for the future.  It does not seek to  
impose any differences in status, any hierarchy between description,  
fiction or argument.  This does not arise from some fetishistic  
passion for the lived.  This is generally the excuse for a division of  
roles in which the people are made to speak in order to prove that  
they do indeed speak the language of the people, which allows the poor  
to have the experience of the real and the flavour of the everyday in  
order to better reserve for itself the privilege of creative  
imagination and analytical language.  It is precisely this division  
between the language of the people and literary language, between the  
real and fiction, between the document and the argument that these  
?popular? texts call into question.  We will never know if their  
memories of childhood, their descriptions of the working day or their  
accounts of their encounters with language are authentic.  A narrative  
is never a simple account of facts.  It is a way of constructing ? or  
deconstructing ? a lived world.  The learned philosopher and the child  
of the people go about it in the same way.  In the third book of  
Plato?s Republic, Socrates asks his interlocutors to accept an  
unlikely story: if some people are philosophers and legislators while  
others are workers, it is because the gods mixed gold into the souls  
of the first group and iron into the souls of the second.  This  
outlandish tale is necessary in order to give consistency to a world  
in which differences in condition must be accepted as differences in  
nature.  The worker narratives presented here are like counter-myths,  
narratives that blur these differences in nature.  This is why it was  
so important to me to unravel the mesh of words, in which narrative,  
dreams, fiction and argument are all part of the same enterprise, in  
order to upset the order of things that puts individuals, classes and  
forms of speech in their place.  There is no popular intelligence  
occupied by practical things, nor a learned intelligence devoted to  
abstract thought.  There is not one intelligence devoted to the real  
and another devoted to fiction.  It is always the same intelligence.   
This is the message proclaimed in the same historical period by Joseph  
Jacotot, a teacher who broke with all tradition.  While his  
contemporaries wanted to give the people just the instruction that was  
necessary and sufficient for them to adequately occupy their place in  
society, he called them to free themselves intellectually in order to  
demonstrate the equality of all intelligences (1).

In the very diversity of their expression, the workers whose stories  
are told in this book demonstrate precisely this equality.  In order  
to show the subversive power of their work I needed to break with the  
conventions of the social sciences for which these personal  
narratives, fictional writings and essays are no more than the  
confused expression of a social process which only they can know.  I  
needed to remove the conventional labels from these texts ? of  
testimony, or symptoms of a social reality ? and to exhibit them as  
writing and thought that worked towards the construction of an  
alternative social world.  That is why this book renounces the  
distance of explanation.  It attempts instead to weave a sensory  
fabric of these texts so that their radical energy may resonate again  
in our own time, and threaten the order which gives categories to  
times and forms of speech.  And this is the reason why our severe  
theorists and historians decided that this book was literature.  The  
issue for me was to recall that the arguments of philosophers and  
intellectuals are made of the same common fabric of language and  
thought as the creations of writers and these proletarian narratives.

This is also why I am not afraid that this book will suffer too much  
from distances of time, place and language.  For it does not simply  
tell the story of the working class of a far-off time and place.  It  
tells a form of experience which is not so far away from our own.   
Contemporary forms of capitalism, the explosion of the labour market,  
the new precariousness of labour and the destruction of systems of  
social solidarity, all create forms of life and experiences of work  
that are possibly closer to those of these artisans than to the  
universe of hi-tech workers and the global bourgeoisie given over to  
the frenetic consumption described by so many contemporary  
sociologists and philosophers.  In our world, just as in theirs, the  
challenge is to obstruct and subvert the order of time imposed by a  
system of domination.  To oppose the government of capitalist and  
state elites and their experts with an intelligence that comes from  
everyone and anyone.

It remains for me to offer my warmest thanks to the editors and  
translators who have made it possible for the voices of these  
anonymous people, forgotten for so long, to speak in an Indian  
language, and so to encounter new voices with which they may mix and  
extend their appeal.

Jacques Ranci?re

(1) See Jacques Ranci?re, The Ignorant Schoolmaster, Stanford  
University Press, 1991
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

French Version

                                                          Pr?face

Sans doute le lecteur indien qui ouvrira ce livre en 2009 se demandera- 
t-il quel ?trange objet il a entre les mains. En quoi ces histoires de  
serruriers, tailleurs, cordonniers ou typographes fran?ais du dix- 
neuvi?me si?cle  peuvent-ils le concerner ? l??poque de la r?volution  
informatique, du r?gne de la production immat?rielle et du march?  
mondial ? Cette question, ? vrai dire, se posait d?j? au lecteur  
fran?ais qui ouvrait ce livre il y a vingt-sept ans. Sans doute, ?  
l??poque, ne parlait-on pas encore de globalisation, non plus que de  
fin du prol?tariat, de l?histoire et des utopies. Tout au contraire :  
la France venait de se doter d?un gouvernement socialiste ?  
participation communiste qui revendiquait bien haut l?h?ritage du  
marxisme et de la classe ouvri?re. Et c?est par rapport ? cet  
h?ritage  que le livre venait ? contretemps et prenait l?allure d?un  
objet inclassable. L?auteur  ?tait philosophe de profession et  il   
avait  fait ses premi?res armes, dans les ann?es 1960, en participant  
? l?entreprise th?orique de Louis Althusser qui voulait refonder la  
th?orie marxiste. Or, au lieu d?argumenter des  th?ses philosophiques,  
il racontait   des histoires qui concernaient la classe ouvri?re  
fran?aise  du XIX? si?cle.  Et, en fait de marxisme, il ne  donnait   
aucune analyse des formes de la production industrielle, de  
l?exploitation capitaliste, des th?ories sociales, ni des luttes  des  
partis et syndicats ouvriers. Ses ouvriers d?ailleurs n??taient pas  
des ? vrais ? ouvriers, c??taient des artisans de l?ancien temps, des  
r?veurs qui   se m?laient de faire des vers et d?inventer des  
philosophies,   se r?unissaient le soir pour cr?er des journaux  
?ph?m?res, se prenaient de passion pour les  utopies socialistes et  
communistes mais se d?robaient le plus souvent ?  leur application. Et  
le livre se perdait apparemment sur  leurs chemins vagabonds,   
accompagnant les r?veries de l?un, les petites histoires que d?autres  
racontaient dans leurs journaux, les lettres qu?ils ?changeaient pour  
parler de leurs promenades dominicales dans la banlieue parisienne ou  
des soucis quotidiens  de ceux qui ?taient partis  aux Etats-Unis pour  
exp?rimenter leur r?ve de communaut? fraternelle. Qu?est-ce que les  
lecteurs de 1980 pouvaient bien  faire de ces histoires ?

         La question n?est donc pas de distance g?ographique ni  
d??loignement temporel. Si ce livre est ? contretemps pour une ?poque   
qui proclame la disparition du prol?tariat, il l??tait d?j? pour  
l??poque qui se r?clamait de la consistance de la classe unie par la  
condition de l?usine et la science de la production capitaliste.  
Disons-le simplement : il est intempestif  pour une vision postmoderne  
parce qu?il l??tait d?j? pour une vision moderniste classique. Il  
prend en effet ? rebours la croyance, ?galement partag?e par le   
modernisme et le postmodernisme,  en une ligne droite de l?histoire o?  
les ruptures dans le cours du temps sont pens?es comme l??uvre du  
temps lui-m?me, l??uvre d?un processus temporel global engendrant et  
supprimant tour ? tour des formes de vie, de conscience et d?action.  
Il  refuse cette id?e du temps, parce qu?elle  est  toujours , sous  
son apparente objectivit?, une mani?re de hi?rarchiser, de mettre les  
choses et les ?tres ? leur place. La croyance ? l??volution  
historique, disait Walter Benjamin, est la  l?gitimation des  
vainqueurs. Elle est pour moi la l?gitimation du savoir qui d?cr?te ce  
qui est ou non important, ce qui fait ou non histoire. C?est ainsi que  
les sciences sociales ont d?clar? sans importance historique ces  
petites histoires d?ouvriers en promenade ou en divagation loin des  
r?alit?s solides de l?usine  et de la lutte organis?e. Ce faisant  
elles confirmaient l?ordre social qui s?est toujours construit sur  
l?id?e simple que les travailleurs  ont pour vocation de travailler ?  
les bonnes ?mes progressistes ajoutent : et de  lutter ? et qu?ils  
n?ont  pas de  temps ? perdre pour  jouer les fl?neurs, les ?crivains  
ou les penseurs.

            Ce livre prend, de fait, cette id?e du temps  ? revers.  
Dans les grands r?cits  modernistes du d?veloppement des forces  
productives et des formes de conscience de classe  il voit une mani?re  
de d?tourner l??nergie intime des luttes m?mes dont ils se r?clament ,  
de l?attribuer ? nouveau ? ce temps contre lequel elles s??taient  
rebell?s .Il y voit une mani?re d?assurer le pouvoir de ceux qui  
s?arrogent le  regard du ma?tre  sur  le processus historique dans  
lequel ils d?clarent les autres collectivement enferm?s. Cette  
d?claration d?enfermement et cette position de ma?trise avaient trouv?  
leur forme radicale dans l?entreprise althuss?rienne ? laquelle  
j?avais particip?. Celle-ci d?crivait les agents des rapports de  
production capitalistes comme n?cessairement enferm?s dans les rets de  
l?id?ologie produite par le  syst?me qui les tenait ? leur place.  
C?est-?-dire qu?elle les enfermait elle-m?me dans un cercle parfait :  
elle expliquait que les domin?s ?taient maintenus ? leur place  par  
ignorance des lois de la domination. Mais elle expliquait aussi que la  
place o? ils ?taient les emp?chait de comprendre les lois de la  
domination : ils ?taient domin?s parce qu?ils ne comprenaient, et ils  
ne comprenaient pas parce qu?ils ?taient domin?s. Cela voulait dire  
que tous les efforts qu?ils faisaient pour lutter contre la domination  
?taient eux-m?mes aveugles, pi?g?s par l?id?ologie dominante, et que  
seuls les savants, capables de percevoir la logique du cercle,  
pouvaient les tirer  de leur suj?tion.

            Dans la France de 1968, il apparut avec force que ce  
cercle de la domination ?tait en fait celui de cette pr?tendue   
science. Il apparut que la suj?tion et la r?volte n?avaient pas  
d?autre cause qu?elles-m?mes et que la science qui pr?tendait  
expliquer la suj?tion et instruire la r?volte ?tait complice de  
l?ordre dominant. C?est sous l?effet de  cette le?on des faits que  
j?entrepris dans les ann?es 1970 le long travail de recherche dans les  
archives ouvri?res qui aboutit ? ce livre. Sur ce chemin, bien des  
surprises m?attendaient. J??tais parti ? la recherche des manifestes  
sauvages de la  r?volte ;  or je tombais sur des textes d?une ?criture  
bien polie demandant qu?on consid?re les ouvriers comme des ?gaux et  
qu?on r?ponde ? leurs raisons par des raisons. J??tais all? consulter  
les archives d?un ouvrier menuisier , pour  y trouver des  
renseignements sur les  conditions du travail : je tombais d?abord sur  
une correspondance des ann?es 1830 o? cet ouvrier racontait ? un ami  
un dimanche de mai o? il ?tait parti avec deux compagnons jouir du  
lever de soleil sur le fleuve, discuter de m?taphysique dans une  
auberge et employer la fin de la journ?e ? convertir ? leur foi  
humanitaire et sociale les d?neurs de la table voisine. Je lus ensuite  
les textes o? ce m?me ouvrier d?crivait tout un plan de vie, une  
contre-?conomie paradoxale o? chaque article du budget quotidien de  
l?ouvrier ?tait l?objet d?une attention destin?e ?  consommer encore  
moins pour accro?tre son ind?pendance et sa capacit? de lutte contre   
l??conomie marchande. A travers ces textes et bien d?autres, il  
apparaissait que les ouvriers n?avaient jamais eu besoin qu?on leur  
explique les secrets de la domination, que leur probl?me ?tait de se  
soustraire, intellectuellement et mat?riellement, aux formes par  
lesquelles celle-ci s?imprimait sur leur corps, leur imposait des  
gestes, des modes de perception, des attitudes et un langage. ? Soyez  
r?alistes, demandez l?impossible ?, proclamaient  les manifestants de  
mai 1968. Pour ces ouvriers de1830 , la question n??tait pas de  
demander l?impossible, mais de le r?aliser par eux-m?mes, de  
s?approprier ce temps qui leur ?tait refus?   en apprenant au regard  
et ? la pens?e ? se lib?rer dans l?exercice m?me du travail  
quotidien,  ou en gagnant sur la nuit du repos le temps de discuter,  
d??crire , de composer des vers ou d??laborer des philosophies.  Ces  
gains de temps et de libert? n??taient pas des ph?nom?nes marginaux ou  
des diversions par rapport ? la constitution du mouvement ouvrier et  
de ses grands objectifs. Ils  ?taient la r?volution ? la fois discr?te  
et radicale qui les rendait possibles , le travail par lequel des  
hommes et des femmes s?arrachaient ? une identit? forg?e par la  
domination et s?affirmaient comme des habitants ? part enti?re d?un  
monde commun, capables de tous les raffinements ou de toutes les  
asc?ses jusque l? r?serv?es aux classes d?livr?es du souci quotidien  
du travail et du pain .

             C?est la n?cessit? de rendre compte de cette r?volution  
qui donne ? ce livre sa structure singuli?re. Il nous introduit  
directement dans la parole de ces ouvriers, sous toutes ses formes, de  
la confidence personnelle ou du r?cit de l?exp?rience quotidienne aux  
sp?culations philosophiques et  aux programmes d?avenir, en passant  
par les histoires fictives que racontent leurs journaux. Il  
n?introduit aucune diff?rence de statut, aucune hi?rarchie entre la  
description, la fiction ou l?argumentation. Ce n?est pas au nom d?une  
passion f?tichiste du v?cu. Celle-ci est g?n?ralement l?alibi d?un  
partage des r?les qui donne la parole au peuple pour v?rifier qu?il  
parle bien la langue du peuple, qui accorde aux pauvres l?exp?rience  
du r?el et la saveur du quotidien pour mieux se r?server le privil?ge  
de l?imagination cr?atrice et de la parole explicatrice. Or c?est  
justement ce partage des r?les entre  la langue du peuple  et la  
langue litt?raire , le r?el et la fiction,  le document et l?argument  
que ces textes ? populaires ? contestent. Nous ne saurons jamais si   
leurs souvenirs  d?enfance,   leurs  descriptions de la journ?e au  
travail ou leurs r?cits de la rencontre avec l??criture  sont  
authentiques. Un r?cit n?est pas une simple relation des faits, c?est  
une mani?re de construire ? ou de d?construire-  un monde v?cu . Le  
philosophe savant  et l?enfant du peuple y proc?dent ?galement. Au  
livre III de la R?publique de Platon, Socrate demande ? ses  
interlocuteurs d?admettre une histoire invraisemblable : si les uns  
sont philosophes et l?gislateurs tandis que d?autres sont ouvriers,  
c?est parce que la divinit? a m?l? de l?or dans l??me des premiers et  
du fer dans l??me des seconds. Cette histoire invraisemblable est  
n?cessaire pour donner consistance  ? un monde o? la diff?rence des  
conditions doit ?tre accept?e comme diff?rence des natures. Les r?cits  
ouvriers ici pr?sent?s  sont comme des contre-mythes, des r?cits qui  
brouillent  cette  diff?rence des natures. C?est pourquoi il  
m?importait de d?rouler ce tissu de paroles  o? le r?cit, la r?verie,  
la fiction et l?argumentation font partie d?un m?me travail pour  
renverser l?ordre des choses qui met les individus, les classes et les  
discours ? leur place.  Il n?y a pas une intelligence populaire  
occup?e aux choses pratiques et une intelligence savante vou?e ? la  
pens?e abstraite. Il n?y a pas une intelligence vou?e au r?el, une  
autre vou?e ? la fiction. C?est toujours la m?me intelligence qui est  
? l??uvre. Telle est la th?se que proclamait ? la m?me ?poque  un  
p?dagogue en rupture avec toute la tradition, Joseph Jacotot. Alors  
que ses contemporains voulaient  donner aux gens du  peuple  
l?instruction n?cessaire et suffisante pour qu?ils occupent  
ad?quatement leur place dans la soci?t?, il les appelait ? s??manciper  
intellectuellement pour v?rifier l??galit? des intelligences[1].

         C?est bien ? cette v?rification de l??galit? que les  
ouvriers ?mancip?s dont ce livre raconte l?histoire s?appliquent dans  
la diversit? m?me de leurs expressions. Pour rendre compte de la  
puissance subversive de ce travail il me fallait  rompre avec les  
habitudes de la science sociale pour qui ces r?cits personnels, ces  
fictions ou ces discours  ne sont  que des expressions confuses d?un  
processus social qu?elle est seule ? conna?tre. Il fallait soustraire   
ces paroles ?  leur statut de t?moignages ou de sympt?mes d?une  
r?alit? sociale pour les montrer comme une ?criture et une pens?e ?  
l??uvre dans la construction d?un autre monde social. C?est pourquoi  
ce livre a renonc? ? la distance qui explique. Il s?est employ? ?  
cr?er le tissu sensible propre ? faire r?sonner dans notre pr?sent ce  
bouleversement de l?ordre qui met les temps et les discours ? leur  
place. C?est pourquoi les th?oriciens et historiens s?v?res ont jug?  
que c??tait l? de la litt?rature. Il s?agissait de fait pour moi de  
rappeler que les raisons du philosophe et du savant sont taill?es dans  
le m?me tissu commun du langage et de la pens?e que les inventions des  
?crivains et que ces r?cits prol?taires.

         C?est aussi pourquoi je ne crains pas trop pour ce livre   
les effets de la distance des temps, des lieux et des langues. Car il   
ne raconte pas simplement l?histoire d?une classe ouvri?re d?un autre  
?ge en un lieu ?loign?. Il raconte une forme d?exp?rience qui n?est  
pas si loin de la n?tre. Les formes actuelles du capitalisme ,   
l??clatement du march? du travail,  la pr?carisation des emplois et la  
destruction des syst?mes de solidarit? sociale cr?ent  des exp?riences  
du   travail  et des formes de  vie  peut-?tre plus proches de celles   
de ces artisans que de l? univers de  travailleurs high-tech et de   
petite bourgeoisie  mondiale livr?e ? une consommation fr?n?tique  
d?crit par tant de sociologues et de philosophes aujourd?hui. Dans ce  
monde aussi la question est d?interrompre et de subvertir l?ordre du  
temps qu?impose la domination. Elle est d?opposer au gouvernement des  
?lites capitalistes et ?tatiques et de leurs experts une intelligence  
qui est celle de tous et de n?importe qui.

           Il me reste ? remercier bien chaleureusement les ?diteurs  
et traducteurs qui ont  permis ? ces voix des anonymes longtemps  
oubli?es de r?sonner en langue  indienne et de  rencontrer dans cette  
langue nouvelle  d?autres voix pour se m?ler aux leurs et prolonger  
leur appel.

                                                                                     Jacques 
 Ranci?re


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