Another Response to May '68 Revisited

Feenberg, Andrew
Date Written:  2016-09-07
Publisher:  Insurgent Notes
Year Published:  2016
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20264

The significance of the May Events is not to be found in the question of state power. Like other recent movements such as Occupy, it changed the discourse in the public sphere. May 68 changed people's expectations in their social life and their utopian hopes.



There is something else. Ultimately, the general strike was such a startling event that it is difficult to dismiss it as an ordinary union struggle for higher wages even if in the end that is what it became. Are you perhaps reacting to exaggerations in the evaluation of worker participation? Deflating exaggerated claims is useful but the situation was certainly more complicated. There were sociological studies at the time that confirm that workers' motivations were related at least partially to non-economic issues, to the humiliation they suffered as a class, to alienation, and traditional socialist aspirations.
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