The rocky relationship with the Parti Communiste Français (PCF) became more and more difficult in the postwar years until Lefebvre’s suspension in 1957. With Lefebvre, being a Marxist has been described as a high-wire balancing act. Although loyal to the party, he was unable to abandon philosophical principles to the expediency of politics that attempted to turn the philosophy of dialectical materialism into a programme of social change. However, the denunciations of and aggressive attacks on Sartre and other intellectuals are testimony to Lefebvre’s adhesion to party doctrine and his acceptance of the necessity of party discipline. In addition to philosophical engagement, Lefebvre’s political commitment to Marxism is clear. After the war, the party hierarchy began to worry about the influence of leading thinkers, including Lefebvre and Sartre. Independent thought and political dogma were a contradiction in terms. Against the rise of progressive thinkers of international significance, progressive political forces in France paradoxically tightened a noose of demands for conformity and silence. They attempted to demolish the dangerous theoretical freedom that these intellectuals had. The Occupation

ended with a bang and the explosion caused fits of creative agitation, in theatres, publishing houses, magazine offices, night clubs and cafés. The strait-jacket had been turned inside-out, and an entire populace was free again…. The chief representative of this new energy in artistic circles was a writer, Jean-Paul Sartre, and his headquarters were in a café…. Many of the eminent pre-war figures were still active…the world’s attention was no longer on their grand salons, however, but on the downstairs room at the Café de Flore, on the corner of the Boulevard St-Germain and Rue StBenoit…. Next to the Flore, forming a corner with the ancient Place StGermain, was another café the Deux Magots. Between them, these two constituted the base-camp of the post-war Parisian avant-garde.