May 68

Fifty years ago, May 68: The difficult evolution of the proletarian political milieu (part 1)






In the two previous articles in this series, we have looked at the historic significance of the reawakening of the class struggle after decades of counter-revolution. In this article we want to look specifically at the evolution of the proletarian political milieu since 1968.

Fifty years ago, May 68

The events of spring 1968 in France, in their roots and in their results, had an international significance. Underlying them were the consequences for the working class of the first symptoms of the world economic crisis, which was reappearing after well over a decade of capitalist prosperity.

After decades of defeat, disorientation and submission, in May 1968 the working class returned to the scene of history. While the student agitation which had been developing in France since the beginning of spring, and the radical workers’ struggles which had broken out the previous year, had already changed the social atmosphere, the entry en masse of the class struggle (10 million on strike) overturned the whole social landscape.

1968 in Germany (Part 2): A new generation looks for an alternative

In the first part of our article on May 68 in Germany we showed that behind the movement we could see a broader movement of a new generation for an alternative to capitalism. The rejection of the war in Vietnam, the refusal to submit without any resistance to the needs of capital, the rising hope for a new society- all these were important factors which motivated a lot of young people, students and workers, to articulate their protest.

May 68 and the revolutionary perspective, Part 2: End of the counter-revolution and the historic return of the world proletatiat

Faced with all the lies about the events of May ‘68, it is necessary for revolutionaries to re-establish the truth, to draw the real lessons of these events and prevent them being buried under an avalanche of flowers and wreaths.

1968 in Germany (Part 1): Behind the protest movement – the search for a new society

As we showed in other articles of our press, towards the mid-1960s there developed an international movement of protest against the Vietnam War and against the first signs of a worsening economic situation. In many countries it carried the germs for putting into question the existing order. The movement in Germany started quite early, and it was going to have a major international impact.

May 68 and the revolutionary perspective, Part 1: The student movement around the world in the 1960s

In January 1969, at the inauguration of his first Presidency of the United States, Richard Nixon declared: “We have learnt finally to manage a modern economy in a way to assure its continued growth”. With hindsight one can see to what degree such optimism has been cruelly refuted by reality: from the beginning of his second term, hardly four years later, the United States would have their worst recession since the Second World War, which would be followed by other increasingly serious recessions.
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