Marx in 1968 in France
Publisher: Insurgent Notes
Date Written: 20/05/2018
Year Published: 2018
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX23453
In a personal essay, Coleman describes his personal experiences in France from 1966-1968.
He highlights significant number of Marxists teaching in both high schools and secondary settings. Furthermore, he discusses how the working class perceived in the Marxist far left, Trotskyist and Maoist press before May 1968.
First, there was a significant number of Marxist (generally cp members and sympathizers) teachers in high schools and universities, as testified by the positions of left-wing teachers' trade unions in 1968. My high school was no exception, as can be shown by the testimonies of many comrades who were born in the early 1950s: high school history and philosophy teachers were often left-oriented in these days. As regards universities, this was often the case in the history, sociology, philosophy and economics departments before May 1968 and it expanded for at least 10 years. Marxism (generally structuralist, Stalinist, Leninist or Third Worldist forms of Marxism) was quite influential and as the French university democratized itself after 1968 (the process had started before) it influenced tens of thousands of students.
As regards left-wing Christians, they were quite active at that time (including in the factories, as the "worker-priest" movement started in 1942)2 and many became atheists or agnostics. Their commitment did not stop in the 1970s because many of them were still active in the no-global movement in the 1990s and even today you can find them in the struggles supporting "illegal" workers.