1968 – whatever happened to the revolution?

Andy speaks with Associated Professor Andrew Bonnell from UQ about 1968.

Four factors led to revolt – generational conflict and high growth rate, expansion in higher education, old structures not working well, movements for de-colonisation from the East and South Algeria and Vietnam.

May 1968 in Paris
Started at Nanterre Uni in France – students, communists, situationists, anarchists, left libertarians, etc. Authoritarian response led to escalation. Became a broader struggle with working class involved … led to a general strike. Gneral De Gaulle had been in power for 10 years … Algeria disengagement had occurred. Mainstream Communist led trade unions were not keen but rank and file activists led to a strike in the Renault factory and then that spread.

Came close to the first post-industrial revolution. De Gaulle faced a General’s revolt after the Algerian crisis and flew to Baden Baden to seek support of the army against striking workers. Socialist Party offers to mediate. De Gaulle hands over the Pompidou. The Socialist Party under Francoise Mitterrand does not come to power until 1981. Revolutionary movement passes. The Left splinters. De Gaulle’s party wins the election.

What do you think about this article?