This article argues that workers’ inquiry is the political continuation of a model of Critical Theory that apprehends capital from the standpoint of its concrete effects on subjectivities. To substantiate this claim, we trace the genealogy of workers’ inquiry to the texts of Marx and Engels from the 1840s, from which two questions emerge: How can a description of social experience produce political effects of subjectivation? and How can it participate in the coordination of heterogeneous sites of struggle? We then use these questions as the guiding thread of a reconstruction of the debates concerning the relationship between workers’ inquiry and political organization in Socialisme ou Barbarie, workerism, and Autonomia. We finally argue that either one conceives of inquiry as a moment of the process of political organization or as the very form and driving force of this process.

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