Intro to May ’68

We'll Always Have Paris

by

Fifth Estate # 401, Summer 2018

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Photo shows a man and a woman kissing on a barricade during the May events in France in 1968It’s been fifty years since the exciting events of May 1968 in France that shook the country to its foundations. It is still inspiring to remember the widespread revolt of high school and university students, and then workers, that erupted throughout the country, leading to the largest general strike in French history. These events brought society to a stop, temporarily transforming daily life, and posing the possibility of a complete social revolution. The 1968 turmoil in France was part of a worldwide upsurge.

Although capitalist order in France was eventually re-established, things were never really the same as before. Memories of the challenges to the legitimacy of hierarchies and domination in every realm of life were not so easily obliterated, even though the authoritarians of the right and the left have tried their best to do so.

Many of those who were active in 1968, and who came later to anarchist/anti-authoritarian struggles, are now taking the time to reflect on a moment that has proven to be important and elusive for understanding today’s challenges and possibilities.

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