THE LIP CASE
". . . This socialism would not be a matter of allowingWhen laid-off workers paid themselves wages by selling commodities produced under their own management, their gesture was spectacular and became famous. The Lip workers' struggle struck a blow against the right to private ownership of the means of production and tended towards the reappropriation of the product by the producers. Thus it seemed to re-unite with a movement which had sought to transfer the management of the social productive apparatus to the hands of the working class. However this perspective was that of a workers' movement produced by an epoch of class struggle when capital only formally dominated the labor process and society.
If the struggle of the Lip workers could initially appear as a manifestation of the workers' movement, it was because it had been determined, in the context of the Lip firm, by social relations between Capital and the proletarians which were largely identical to those which had produced the workers' movement. But the much larger context of national and international capitalist society has also shaped the reality of this struggle : personal ownership of the means of production has today become a barrier to capitalist production, which no longer needs owners but only managers. In addition, the reality of the struggle of the Lip workers does not fit in with the tendency toward reappropriation, but much more with the tendency toward the management of Capital by the workers themselves : Lip has become a bazaar for self-management. Moreover, this happened without any conscious intentions on the part of the Lip workers, who were merely demanding a boss capable of guaranteeing their survival.
1. Lip, A Factory During the Epoch of Real Domination of Capital
The Lip conflict occurred in a sector (watch-making) where Capital has not yet achieved real domination. More exactly, the real domination of Capital over the totality of society has not yet established the specifically capitalist labor process there.
Formal submission historically precedes real submission. But in certain branches of production "this latter form which is the most developed can constitute in turn the foundation for the introduction of the first." 
In watch production the capitalist form of production corresponding to the real submission of labor to Capital first takes control of the production of components : this production is carried out by machine-tools operated by the O.S. ("specialized workers"). The high level of productivity in the production of components has allowed the introduction of the capitalist form in watch making through the formal domination of Capital over the labor process : assembling watches, within a single factory. (Before the period of manufacture, the assembling of watches was carried on within the framework of an artisanal mode of production, by the watch-making artisans of Jura and Franche-Comte, "the traditional watch-making region.") As the capitalist mode of production took control of the assembling of watches, its domination was initially formal : the technical processes at this stage differed little from what they had been during the artisanal mode of production. The assembling of watches could be continued even after the workers had been expelled from the factory : this shows the importance of human labor at this stage of production. This manufacture rested on the skilled labor of the workers, and it is certainly because Lip is the last watch-making factory that its closing poses a serious employment problem : the Lip workers "could never find another job corresponding to their skills. 
Furthermore, factory production is based on a barely-developed division of labor : it involves the production of the materials necessary for the complete fabrication of a watch (this is the famous department of mechanical production).
In essence, the Lip capital, operating on too limited a level, incorporated a quantity of labor into its product which exceeded the social average. The large American and Japanese manufacturers produce on a scale of mass production : the size of their capitals allows them to compensate for the fall in the rate of profit (engendered by the height of their organic composition) by the mass of profit and by excess profits because their greater productivity makes the equalization of profit rates work in their favor. From then on, with the real domination of Capital over society on a national and international scale, a crisis of maturation had to affect the Lip capital, whose form of domination of labor was archaic, manifesting itself within the framework of manufacturing production : Lip would have to disappear as an independent capital and as a manufacturer.
There was another archaic trait : the Lip capital was the property of one concrete person, Fred Lip. As the owner of his capital, he sought to oppose or at least slow down the maturation crisis which would necessitate his dispossession. He tried to rationalize his production by introducing a degree of Taylorism into the assembling of watches and to diversify his activities by creating a machine-tool sector and a military equipment sector. These attempts at making his production profitable again were only palliatives. It is not (as it has been said) because he was whimsical and blundering that he made managerial errors : it is because the only consistent management would have been to accept the integration of his capital into a vaster organization and to abandon his manufacturing production; he was wrong only in wanting to drag on the independence of his capital, and to accomplish this he needed to find palliatives which have been labelled "errors in management" (which certainly shows the ambivalent character of the Lip conflict, a laggard struggle in the midst of an advanced situation). These famous managerial errors were due only to the defensive action of a property owner faced with the threat of his dispossession.
Capital's ascent to real domination is accompanied by the dissolution of personal ownership of capital. It is largely because French capitalist society is in the process of carrying out this mutation that the Lip case has had such an echo at all levels of the society. In the course of the conflict, some representatives of Capital and the unions made a critique of personal property, behind which and in defense of which managerial errors may have been committed, errors whose social consequences these representatives stressed : "The present law is the all-powerful protector of the private ownership of the means of production. Between the bosses who do not find their profits high enough, and the workers who risk finding themselves thrown into the street, the law acts to favor the former." 
"The wage-earners must not suffer the financial risks of the failure of a management." 
"Managerial errors are often paid for later on by those who did not commit them... It is intolerable to lead a firm to its failure, to pull out in time, and for calm days to flow on while hundreds of wage workers are threatened with unemployment." 
To cure this inadequacy, the government passed a law guaranteeing the rights of wage earners in case of bankruptcy, and the local authorities were kept busy at the time of the conflict with the situation of Besançon merchants facing the disappearance of 1300 jobs and numerous sub-contracts.
It is known that Fred Lip did not avoid the progressive loss of control over his capital : Ebauches S.A. took 33% of the stock in 1967, 43% in 1970, the majority in 1973. This gradual penetration by Ebauches S.A. should have been accompanied by the transformation of watch-making production from a single factory producing all of its materials and components to an assembly plant supplied with components from other branches of Ebauches S.A., thus establishing a greater inter-firm division of labor.
From this point of view it would have been necessary to fire the excess labor power : from 866 people, the watch-making personnel should have decreased to 620.  Giraud's plan retained the same number in the watch-making sector; but he foresaw the creation of a box production sector, permitting the reduction of the number of layoffs to a level more acceptable to the striking workers. He was wrong in this matter, as was proven by the rejection of the Dijon agreement.
But Giraud was also repudiated by the bosses, and if the workers had accepted his plan he may have been unable to obtain the necessary financing. The bosses reproached him for making too many concessions to the work force :
"M. Giraud is in the process of creating a monster for us," declared one high-ranking official, quite personally interested in the settlement of the Lip affair. 
"Only a total reorganization can return Lip to an equal footing in terms of production costs, and thus in its commercial chances. But it is already certain that this large-scale house-cleaning will not take place," affirmed a watch-maker from Besangon. 
On the eve of the Dijon agreement, François Ceyrac's wariness was clear : "It is necessary that the head of the firm maintain his freedom in the realm of employment." 
Giraud's plan suffered from another shortcoming in the eyes of the bosses : it sought to do without Ebauches S.A. But the latter is the largest European manufacturer of separate watch parts, so that its participation at Palente is far and away the most profitable situation; moreover, it was Lip's principal creditor.
To review how Lip's debts were incurred : 30 million  to Ebauches S.A.; 15 million to suppliers (watch-bands, cases); 10 million in bank loans.  To do without Ebauches S.A. therefore meant repaying the debts, and the Giraud plan thus needed financing of at least 40 to 50 million francs. With such a financial handicap linked to a productive sector in which the labor force was too numerous, the project was doomed to fail.
The Interfinexa plan of November 1973 suffered from the same financial drawback. Its financing was 40 million because it, too, wanted to do without Ebauches S.A. and to make an appeal to the French watch-making industry.  The Société Générale refused to finance this plan, and one would have to be a Mr. Rocard  to think or say that this refusal was motivated by political reasons.
The lnterfinexa-Bidegain-Neuchwander plan, which had been adopted by the bosses, and which the workers were finally forced to accept, for want of any other possibility, itself calls for loans of 10 million in private capital and 15 million in State aid  to which must be added a balance of 2 million from the wildcat sales !
This plan marks the reintegration of Ebauches S.A. as a protagonist in the business, and improves the economics of the financing and the perspective of profitability : the new capital is going to operate at double the scale of the previous one; Neuchwander stipulates that the objective is to manufacture a million watches a year, whereas production has only been 500,000.  This is the solution to the crisis of maturation through the accession of Lip's watch production to real domination.
It is also the solution, from the vantage point of Capital's interests, to the contradiction at the heart of the Lip workers' demands : they wanted a good management of capital which would protect them from lay-offs, but a good management could be nothing other than the accession of the Lip capital to real domination, and this had signified the firing of the excess labor force. The Neuchwander-Bidegain plan effectively "reconciles" the two poles of the contradiction by subordinating the more or less complete reintegration of the workers to the successful functioning of the new firm.
The other demand, non-dismantlement, has also been solved in terms of Capital's interests. The Ornans machine-tool sector has been independent since November 1973 and, at Palente, watch-making and military equipment have been taken over by a holding company, a juridical structure placing capital and profits in common, which does not allow any technical connection to exist in the domain of production.
This section cannot be ended without pointing out that "the Société Européenne of Watch-Making and Mechanical Development" includes primarily representatives of French capital such as B.S.M., Rhône-Poulenc, Sommer on its board of directors, all of which operate in the chemical and petro-chemical sectors : we have seen in the previous chapter the position and significance which these sectors acquire in the framework of real domination of Capital.
2. The Workers' Movement at Lip
The classical socialist goal is the abolition of wage labor. Only the abolition of wage labor can bring about the abolition of capitalism. But not having been able to abolish wage labor in the sense that the workers see the absurdity and backwardness of selling their labor power, the socialist movement has, since it began, aimed at the abolition of the market economy.Whatever developed later, the Lip conflict's origins were unquestionably proletarian in the sense that the firm's inability to carry on capitalist reproduction meant the workers would be fired. As has been often observed, the firm's difficulties in no way threatened the survival of its owner F. Lip. By contrast, the workers' means of existence were directly threatened and, what is more (as we have said) the workers were unable to find elsewhere similar types of work in which they would be employed in the same way. To survive they were forced to react. But how ? We shall see that the unfolding conflict was determined by the workers' fundamental isolation which can be looked at from two points of view, capitalist and proletarian.
First of all, from the proletarian point of view, the company's inability to carry on the cycle of capitalist reproduction involved "the Lip proletariat" but not the rest of society, and it is evident that that isolation is the real reason for the Lip workers' defeat relative to their goals, and for their non-radicalization. It is also for this reason that while attempting to defend their income they were led to compromise with capitalism. But they had no choice and it would be wrong to suppose they could have chosen more radical methods. They acted in conformity with their real isolation from other workers in struggle against the loss of their livelihood. To do it, they were forced (among other things) to put together small social reserves (seizure of stocks of finished watches and parts, solidarity funds). The illegal means they used might lead us to believe that some sort of radicalization might have become possible as the conflict developed, at least if the unions didn't succeed in betraying the developing radicalization. But that would be to give the unions a power they didn't possess; since the content of the illegal acts was the formation of stockpiles -- which could only be turned into money -- it precluded a subsequent radicalization involving, at least potentially, the destruction of capital and wage labor. And thus the workers fell back into their isolation as workers. Only a movement taking root in the sectors which are specifically capitalist would have allowed them to go beyond the intrinsic limits of their struggle, and would have thus negated its purely proletarian character while carrying it one step further. This sort of solidarity evidently would have been the opposite of the political solidarity of the advocates of self-management of every stripe who wanted nothing more than to reinforce the Lip workers' fixation upon their own isolated firm.
In the absence of any real solidarity movement the workerist character of the struggle prevailed over its proletarian origin as the conflict developed. In their isolation the Lip workers were unable to go beyond the immediate conditions they had faced from the outset, and it was from this narrow basis that they rushed into struggle. Attached to their isolated factory, they strengthened their consciousness of themselves as producers, and attempted to realize in practical terms that consciousness. They resumed the production of watches. The "Lips" -- and that is the origin of their disgusting popular nickname -- became a collective capitalist.
What is remarkable and, at the same time, most characterizes Lip at its highest point as a workerist movement is that the workers in struggle attempted to negate in practical terms the consequences of the closing of their factory (in other words the suppression of wage labor) by paying themselves their wages as they had been accustomed to think of it before June 12, the date it was announced by the company that wages would be suspended : "We have been paid our usual wages which the old bankrupt management owed us." 
But it wasn't only a question of financing the strike by producing and selling watches as the workers at Cerisay sold the blouses they had made with their own resources, or the Bouly workers (who made stockings and collars in a factory at Fourmies) who decided to exploit their hobbies to raise a solidarity fund : "some knitted, crocheted, sewed, while others did woodworking and blacksmithing; the products thus obtained were put up for sale"  -- but it was above all a question of assuring their wages. Not only was the sum of money -- as the Lip workers understood it -- identical to their former wages, but, in addition, "each worker or employee received his pay envelope regularly filled with an accounting of deductions for insurance, social security, pension fund. . ." 
The guaranteed wage was thus carried out to the letter in the form of "wildcat pay" and this was entirely in accord with the will of the workers themselves. 
In effect, there were three ways in which to see the amount of money each worker would get : 1) an equal amount for everyone; 2) the usual salary less a percentage; 3) the usual salary with a solidarity fund to which everyone could give what he wished. The last of these solutions was the one chosen. 
Certainly, as B. says in the interview cited above, the union delegate supported this solution but it would be wrong to believe that the adoption of this measure would have resulted from a vote by the workers' general assembly. Proof of this was given by those interviewed : "Since we had some dough why should we accept the lowest level. . ." -- "if the boss gave us 200,000 why have only 150,000 ?"
To be sure, a higher level could have been envisaged for some, but they would have been accused of irresponsibility in frittering away the firm's capital and this would have been opposed to the general sense of the struggle. "No firings" meant maintaining salaries and nothing else. "The usual pay for all the workers, that was really something, and I think it would be good if it was done that way; and the second (the usual pay less a percentage) also, and. . . I'm just as happy now getting whatever they can give me." 
Moreover, the price at which watches would be sold is also significant; this from the Lip catalogue published by the factory : "the sale price of the watches includes the price of parts, value-added, tax, depreciation and replacement of machinery, the workers' salary and even the owners' profit."  But what could be the objective reason for such a choice since the workers didn't have any intention of accumulating capital; but also, if they would have been able to sell all the watches, for example, at the same price, what model for pricing would they use ? There were no other reasons for their decisions about salary and price than their desire to have everything go on as before : the preservation of their wages required the preservation of the firm's capital. "No to firings, no to dismantling" meant "safeguarding the enterprise,"  in other words the enterprise's capital. In the cycle of capitalist reproduction the various values that make up the total capital are related to each other by the necessity for the total capital to go through the cycle of reproduction.
From then on the Lip workers couldn't assure their usual salary by selling watches at any price-not that it would have been impossible for them to finance the struggle-because that would have destroyed the relationship between the price of the watches and their normal wages; and to have destroyed that relationship between price and wage would have destroyed the cycle of capitalist reproduction and thus led to the firm's liquidation; just the opposite of what the workers wanted.
Just as the price of the watches couldn't be determined outside of the cycle of capitalist reproduction, so too the workers' wages couldn't be paid without some sort of effective control over the way in which the workers spent their time. At the Ornans factory the workers continued to clock in every day when work began. At Palente, control was not so close but it still existed at the general assemblies. "You know," a worker said at Mutualité (December 12), "it would be unjust if some received pay but only appeared at the plant on pay day." There, in a nutshell, is the consciousness of the producer, the honest worker expressing himself.
In the end the workers continued to wear their work shirts long after the factories were closed and to exhibit those work shirts at support meetings held all over France. It is perhaps this small detail that best reveals the producer consciousness which characterized the Lip conflict as a struggle of the workers' movement, and the backwardness of this movement in relation to the dominant forms of current proletarian resistance such as absenteeism and sabotage.
However, a capitalist enterprise cannot be revived by production alone. Capital continues to exist only when it runs through its cycle of reproduction in a harmonious manner. Saving the wage, that is to say, the firm's capital, by starting up production makes no sense unless the rest of the cycle of reproduction is functioning. Thus the necessity of marketing the watches. 
A "wildcat" or "parallel" market quickly sprang up that was simultaneously a watch market, a formal solidarity fair and a bit of a racket. To sell their watches the "Lips" were led to employ modern marketing techniques,  which circumvented the retailer (thus the protests by watchmakers and jewelers) and which allowed them to increase their margin of profit. The "Lips" sold their watches at political rallies, at their friends' houses just as Tupperwear is sold at social gatherings or door-to-door. Additionally this watch market was one of the unproductive expenses as with any other capitalist undertaking. In particular it was necessary to pay for the workers' trips which were as often made to sell watches as to popularize the struggle (popularization = public opinion = publicity). If it is indeed true that travel expenses were not covered by sales but by contributions given in solidarity,  then self-managed Lip had still another economic trump card (besides its marketing methods) since the travel expenses couldn't be charged to the firm's capital.
But unfortunately for the "Lips" the Left's goodwill market quickly reached its inherent saturation point. The narrowness of the goodwill market in fact conformed to the Lip enterprise's unprofitable character.
This parallel market was at the same time an ideological marketplace. In exchange for the watches sold the Lip workers received all sorts of encouragement and advice to continue the struggle.  The support meetings and political rallies gave various political tendencies a chance to try out their self-management or workers' control propaganda. This ideological marketplace was the sine qua non of the struggle. The workers could only take the advice as ready cash and watch while little by little the spirit of the struggle was focused into the image of an enterprise now running on a new basis : self-management. As one interviewed worker said :
There are some people who went to Marseilles, some guys who were in Lyon, everywhere they were made to feel like they were big men. They returned with their heads full of a million projects and ideas that come from everywhere. They thought that their ideas should be carried out and thus fell out with the men here who were under pressure from the unions -- the CGT or CFDT -- and who were completely demoralized. To attribute the Besançon workers' lack of enthusiasm to union pressure would be to mask its real character. The hard reality the workers ran into upon returning to Besançon with money from watch sales was that their money could not be converted into additional capital. The second phase of the cycle (the conversion of commodities into money) could be carried out, more or less, but it was only half effective since the third phase of the cycle (the conversion of money into productive capital) comprised the conversion of money only into variable capital and not constant capital. This then was the living reality of the "Lips" at Besançon -- a reality which the unions only reflected. These limits didn't result from the failure to generalize self-management but, on the contrary, originated with the "logical absurdity" of the struggle : workers' self-management of a bankrupt enterprise. With the enterprise in such a state the "Lips" could do nothing more than fall into the same rut as their former boss. 
There was nothing more for the travelling salesmen to do than to leave once more for other saturated markets : "there were fellows like P., for example; one day he returned with us from Paris, the next day he left again for Lyons. Then he returns from Lyons, he stays here a day, gets edgy, disgusted. He leaves again for Marseilles, returns the next morning. And having to plan all this crap besides." 
The above leads us to the second aspect of the Lip workers' isolation. From the capitalist point of view, the political or ideological goodwill accorded Lip by the government or the owner does not exclude abandoning the firm economically. For several years Lip had demonstrated its inability to maintain itself within the capitalist community. And for capitalism there is no solidarity that counts except the law of profit. To be profitable once again, it was necessary for Lip to go through a thoroughgoing restructuring.
Proof of this is to be found in the sum (about two million francs) which because of their respect for the continuity of the cycle of reproduction the "Lips" were led into giving up to the new owners in addition to the remaining stocks. This is what they had accumulated in seven months of work. If we recognize that this sum covers only one month's wages (for 900 workers), if we compare this amount with the 15 million owed the suppliers, then we see to what extent the organic composition of the Lip capital had diminished and how unprofitable it was.
To be sure the "Lips" as a collective capitalist stuck it out longer than did their old boss. This resulted from the differences between themselves and the old boss, and from the exceptional character of the situation they had created. They had no reason to take charge of the entire cycle of "their" capital. The "Lips" could take advantage of the fact that only a fraction of the capital went through a rapid cycle (circulating capital, which is to say wages, raw materials, parts). They denied the basic problem, however : the rotation of the total capital. They were never obliged to renew the constant capital nor did they make good any of the debts contracted by the old management. Moreover they renewed the stock of parts only to the extent they were able to do so. All this added to the advantage they had over the old management -- which we mentioned above. Far from proving the superiority of the "Lips"' management they demonstrated, instead, the impossibility of successfully managing the Lip capital on the old basis.
3. The Union Question
Much has been said about the unions' role in the Lip business : the disagreements between the CGT and the CFDT, the relationship between the CFDT and the nonunion action committees which were formed. While the CFDT immediately took charge of the struggle, promoting in large measure the action committees and cautioning against illegal acts, the CGT groaned about its usual demand for "the right to employment," claimed it was being, as usual, realistic, and in the end was driven off the scene by converging forces. The unions' activities seemed to be devoted to wedding the workers' movement to the union movement, and could have restored a bit of luster to old "revolutionary unionism."
In fact, beneath the surface of their respective statements, the dissension between the CGT and CFDT at Lip did not result from a real choice between modes of action that each would have made, but from a constraint resulting from the outstanding differences that had generally existed between them and which were faithfully reflected in the particularities of the Lip situation. At Lip we simply witnessed the clearest expression of the differences between the CGT and CFDT which were forced into public view by May '68 and which were more or less the same afterwards on the occasion of certain strikes (notably Joint Français). The CFDT's managerial pretentions were clearly concretized at Lip by its preparation and publication of plans, in contrast to the CGT's deliberate silence on the subject. At the risk of being entirely discredited among the workers, the CGT was forced into tail-ending while discretely criticizing, more or less constantly in this case, the "adventurism" of the CFDT.
The momentary return of union unity during the Dijon negotiations, where the unions accepted firings as a matter of principle, coincided with a renewed divorce, also completely provisional, between the workers' movement and the unions, since the facts once again raised the fundamental question, for the workers (who seized upon it as proletarians), of the firing of the excess work force. For the CFDT, it was but a secondary question.
Sensing the rank and file's upcoming rejection-and since the CFDT couldn't exist without the support of the rank and file -- the CFDT was forced into a quick about-face and once again adopted at the October 12 meeting the position of the Action Committee against all firings and did not put to a vote the contents of the Dijon compromise (firings with a guarantee of re-employment), which it had defended only the day before. This sort of quick turnaround was, to be sure, made possible by the CFDT's position "close to the rank and file."
The creation of an Action Committee at Lip might have been surprising at first, in part because in recent years in France no strike, even the most lengthy and bitterly fought, had involved the birth of a separate workers' organization save for a few ephemeral strike committees; but above all because the CFDT apparently was completely involved in the struggle.
We have seen that because of its nature the CFDT was led to support the creation of such committees as soon as the workforce took charge of itself. Lip is a concrete example of this phenomenon in an isolated context.  By taking over itself, the Lip variable capital, in view of capitalism's total reconquest, required an organization which at one and the same time would emanate from the CFDT and yet possess a certain amount of autonomy from it, since the content of this sort of activity lay temporarily beyond the bounds of negotiating the price of labor power -- which is the fundamental task of the unions. At certain moments this relative autonomy can be transformed into virtual opposition; this results from its very nature as was the case during the brief period of time between the Dijon agreement and the meeting of the consultative general assembly. But the movement toward autonomy was no real expression of the Action Committee's having gone beyond the union; with respect to the content of the action -- saving the enterprise -- there could be no rupture. The union always had in its hand the key to the problem. To demonstrate this, it suffices to notice the final, unanimous acceptance of the Neuchwander-Bidegain plan (see above) which concretized the final, total defeat of the proletarian origin of the conflict by its capitalist content; this defeat was inherent in the beginnings of the conflict, as we have seen; and since it was irreversible, the only outstanding questions were when and how it would occur. Thus the problem of firings, essential in the rejection of the Dijon agreement, seemed to disappear suddenly in the acceptance of the Dole agreements. The only qualification attached by Bidegain and the unions in elaborating a new plan at this level in no way explains the apparent sudden reversal. Their qualification was, on the contrary, the natural result of the social relation of forces that were established at the beginning of the reconstitution of the capitalist cycle.
The creation of the Lip Action Committee and the practice upon which it was founded unquestionably reflects the end of the workers' movement as a progressive historical force. In effect, in struggle the dismissed workers could only free themselves from the unions' grasp in two ways : in a reactionary way (tendency to return to small-scale production and distribution via markets), or on a revolutionary communist basis (destruction of value, wage labor, the enterprise itself and the market). These were, in sum, the scenarios put forward by the councilist Ultra-Left, which could only lead to disaster.  "We make, we sell, we get paid -- it's possible" the Lip Action Committee sang along with the confused Ultra-Left and Maoist tail-enders who helped with a good deal of the publicity. But no, it wasn't possible The development and socialization of the productive forces by capitalism forbid any return to any such low level mode of production and mercantile exchange, unless, in limited or general crises (with other developments), it is used as a means of hiding the impossibility of continuing the cycle of capitalist reproduction. In that case, the end of the workers' movement immediately has as its content the legacy of this development : the reconversion of its theory and practice into the potential counter-revolution.
This should astonish only those who haven't taken into consideration the historical movement or the direct link between revolution and counter-revolution.
 Marx, Un chapitre inédit du Capital, Paris : Ed. 10/18, 197 1, p. 201.
 Lip, Information Bulletin, published by the Publicity Committee of the Lip Workers, p. 9.
 cf. "Syndicalisme-Hebdo" (CFDT), cited by Le Monde, August 9, 1973.
 Ceyrac, cited by Le Monde, September 21, 1973.
 L'Expansion, September 1973, p. 100.
 cf. Document 3, Ebauches S.A. plan of June 8, 1973, in Lip 73, Paris : Seuil.
 Le Monde, September 22, 1973.
 Le Monde, September 22, 1973.
Le Monde, October 7, 1973.
 All figures in francs, 5 f = $1. [1975 footnote]
 Le Monde, August 14, 1973.
 Le Monde, August 14, 1973.
 Head of the Socialist Party.
 Le Monde, February 2, 1974.
 Cited in Le Figaro, February 7, 1974.
 Lip Information Bulletin, published by the Publicity Committee of the Lip Workers
 AFP deposition, October 8, 1973.
 Le Monde, August 4, 1973.
 See Jean Lopez, Lip interview, 18 rue Favart, 75002 Paris, November 1973, pp. 27-31.
 Jean Lopez, Lip interview, 18 rue Favart, 75002 Paris, November 1973, p. 30.
 Jean Lopez, Lip interview, 18 rue Favart, 75002 Paris, November 1973, p. 31.
 Lip Information Bulletin, published by the Publicity Committee of the Lip Workers, p. 11.
 Lip Information Bulletin, published by the Publicity Committee of the Lip Workers, p. 9.
 The money for the "workers' pay" came only from the sale of watches produced after production was begun by the workers. Here then is an example of the Proudhonist idea of the right of the producer to his product. In a general way it can be observed that as the situation developed the workers' initial reaction in defense of their wages led to a mixture of archaic working class tactics and modern management techniques : thus the resumption of production in order to attain the superficial objective (the profound objective being the defense of wages) of demonstrating the importance of the workers' productive activity by contrast with the boss's superfluity that is truly a characteristic of the worker. The sale of the watches produced (which also was motivated by the desire to defend the wage) also demonstrated the workers' ability to manage things. It is, as well, by virtue of these self-management tendencies supported by the CFDT that watches and wages were invested with a price and a capitalist form (to the consternation of some Situationists).
 Between June 20 and November 16 the workers sold 82,000 watches, realizing a total of more than 10 million francs (figures furnished by Ch. Piaget, cited by Le Figaro, November 16, 1973. At the August 24th press conference of the CFDT -- "Lip is viable" -- it was emphasized that the "sales committee" was ready to furnish precise information on the "nightingale" and "war horse" models and various esthetic improvements to be made on them. Moreover, the CFDT stated that "experience of direct sales to individuals and to factory committees merits serious analysis."
 cf. Charles Piaget, Le Figaro, November 16, 1973.
 The publicity put out by the Left, the New Left, the unions and others to prepare workers for the visiting Lip workers involved a simple slogan which had already proved its worth : "the Lip workers are fighting for all the workers" (therefore you have to support them and above all finance them), equivalent to "I drive for you" that the truckers put up to convince you to be patient with their heavy burden. So it goes in a society in which all activities cooperate in the reproduction of capital, where everyone has his job to do, not for pleasure, you can be sure, but because any single interruption would harm the general interest : the implacable logic of the situation to which every "man" of good will must agree.
 Lip interview, 18 rue Favart, 75002 Paris, November 1973
 Indeed it seems that the conversion of money into means of production (materials) might have been foreseen : see Le Monde of August 2, 1973 : "according to those in charge of the production department ... it will be possible to buy raw materials : we are studying various propositions which have been made to us." This sort of managerial logic also was behind the "Lip" attempt to start the entire cycle of reproduction : see Le Monde of July 13, 1973 : "the workers' collective added : we've established a plan for the year with a renewal of watch production and renewed activity in other sectors." The Palente factory evacuation of August 14  certainly put an end to their project. But the workers' inability to take over the cycle of capitalist reproduction did not result primarily from political opposition from the bourgeoisie but rather resulted from the unprofitable nature of the enterprise. Besides it is known that on July 12, 1973, Charbonnel, one of the government ministers, suggested that Lip become a cooperative. Among the arguments the CFDT advanced in opposition to this idea were some which linked the inevitability of the bosses' political hostility with their opposition to an enterprise directed by workers (see Le Monde, August 21, 1973). That the cooperative wouldn't work was due, in the first place, to its inability to show a profit. In fact, the CFDT only too well understood the situation, and their delegate, Roland Vittot, in his answer to Charbonnel, stressed that the unions were rejecting the ministers' suggestion since he foresaw "a decrease in employment" not because of errors of management made by the old directors, but because Lip, inevitably, would have to become an assembly line in order to survive.
 Lip interview, 18 rue Favart, 75002 Paris, November 1973
 We should note, if only in passing, the role played by "Cahiers de Mai", which took over, for the most part, the bulletin Lip Unité (Lip United). For several years now this group appears every time the workers show a little autonomy vis-à-vis the unions. "Cahiers de Mai's" organizational flexibility permits it to be an ideal complement, indeed a palliative, for the union's practice, to which they are immediately linked by their exclusive attachment to one factory (as compared to the "classical" political groupuscules). In 1972 at Pennaroya, for example, in the absence of the union, they organized from beginning to end the strike of immigrant workers. Once the conflict ended they then helped organize a union local in the factory. The apparent ambiguity of the "Cahiers de Mai" in its critique of the unions (taking them to task for "divisive" hierarchies), at the same time recalls the group's function of stimulating unity among an atomized rank-and-file and also recalls its origin in May of 1968. May '68 has too often been lauded for its anti-bureaucratic and anti-authoritarian dimensions. Now and then the limits of this one-dimensional view have been pointed out. It remains to show that on this level the movement also anticipated certain counter-revolutionary characteristics of our epoch which correspond to the crisis of French capitalism's maturity which, to some extent, May of 1968 revealed.
 Even at the very moment when it was evident that they were enjoying unprecedented publicity using techniques borrowed from the dominant modernism (see, in particular, the republication in paperback of the complete works of Chaulieu, alias Cardan, alias Castoriadis, etc.).