Politics of the common (16th – 19th century)
Managerial order and community in the Nord coal mines in the nineteenth centuryBy Samuel Hayat
In the nineteenth century at the Compagnie des Mines d’Anzin, the management tried to monopolize the right to organize the miners’ common world by imposing a managerial order. But it had to face a community order based on the miners’ own norms and practices and on their ability to define their common world. The ordinary politicization of miners was therefore based on both their ability to learn the rules of this community order and on their contestation of the managerial order. Strikes were the paroxysm of the battle between these two embedded orders, and there was a continuity between the ordinary and exceptional processes of politicization. But the interaction between the managerial and the community order during strikes led to a division of the miners’ world and a potential reinterpretation of the opposition between these orders in terms of class struggle.