Paris, May 1968
By Maurice Brinton
This is an eye-witness account of two weeks spent in Paris during, May 1968. It is what one person saw, heard or discovered during that short period. The account has no pretense at comprehensives. It has been written and produced in haste, its purpose being to inform rather than to analyze - and to inform quickly.
The French events have a significance that extends far beyond the frontiers of modern France, They will leave their mark on the history of the second half of the 20th century. French bourgeois society has just been shaken to its foundations, Whatever the outcome of the present struggle we must calmly take note of the fact that the political map if Western capitalist society will never be the same again. A whole epoch has just come to an end: the epoch during which people couldn't say, with a semblance of verisimilitude, that "it couldn't happen here":. Another epoch is starting: that in which people know that revolution is possible under the conditions of modern bureaucratic capitalism.
For Stalinism too, a whole period is ending: The period during which Communist Parties in Western Europe could claim (admittedly with dwindling credibility) that they remained revolutionary organizations, but that revolutionary opportunities had never really presented themselves. This notion has now irrevocably been swept into the proverbial "dustbin of history". When the chips were down, the French Communist Party and those workers under its influence proved to be the final and most effective "brake" on the development of the revolutionary self-activity of the working class.
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