Blast from the past – Workers Inquiry like it’s 1999

Angry Workers of the World


Interviewed by friends from ‘Notes from Below’, one of us reflects with comrades about workers inquiries in call centres in the bad old 1990s. Ain’t getting younger, but the experience might still be relevant for folks today…

*** Can I start by asking why you decided to start the workers inquiry/militant research project? Why did you choose call centers?

Three aspects are worth mentioning: the limitations of the radical left and our attempt to reconnect revolutionary politics with class struggle; the experiences of militant inquiry – or conricerca – as a useful tool to do that; and call centers as the new locations of mass labor and potential workers’ struggles.

During the 1990s, the radical left in Germany integrated itself into the mainstream by despising the working class. Its focus was on building antifascist ‘democratic’ alliances and occupying moral high ground as ‘anti-Germans.’ ‘Post-modernism’, ’post-industrialism,’ and identity politics were…

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