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May 1968 Revolt question 6

May 1968 Revolt question 6 - Most important causes of the...

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Most important causes of the events of May 1968 in France? Why? Student militants were “detonators” of May Revolt o Were fragmented politically, working at cross purposes and were striving to attain wholly contradictory goals o Brief moment united in their desire to bring down bourgeois university Various student revol. orgs and movements reflect 2 dif. Outlooks: o Wished to create corps of prof. revolutionaries (Lenin, Trotsky, Mao) who would overturn regime, est. total control of society, drive on to more complete industriz. o Loose diffuse “movement” of anarchists and assorted surrealists distrust all orgs., denounced Lenin, Trotsky, express reservations about Mao, Minh, Castro, sought to destroy whole infrastructure of modern economy Goal not industrilization but state of complete individual creativity Revolutionary groups in France didn’t have more than 4-5000 members, before May, didn’t expect to seize power, hoped at most to created “pre-Revolutionary climate of opinion. Only after explosion of May 3, and above all the general strike of May 14 that anything approaching a coherent theory of the seizure of power emerged o That is, theory of the seizure of power came after creation of revolutionary situation First—errors admitted on all sides, FER and M.L.s agree—underestimated potential of student revolt and anarchist impressed with penetration of working class by Maoists and Trotskyies. o Each particular revolutionary group had made contribution and that as a result of a chain reaction in which all groups participated the “impossible” revolution was at hand. Now there was striking unity of views among rev. leaders regarding tactics to be used in creating a revolutionary situation o “contestation” (i.e. permanent, unrelenting criticism of existing order) largely contrib. of anarchists means challenge of all existing values, institutions, authority, from the immediate (profs, univ. officials, policmen)
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