Timothy Scott Brown - Part 1: Lecture
“Is Revolution Still Possible? The Crisis of Capitalism and the Meaning of 1968”
Thursday, September 28, 2017
5:30 p.m., Sheldon Museum of Art
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- [00:00:00.000]And now, on to our speaker.
Professor Timothy Scott Brown
- [00:00:03.744]is a professor of history
at Northeastern University.
- [00:00:07.375]He received his BA,
MA and PhD from Berkeley.
- [00:00:11.593]His work focuses on 20th century
German and transatlantic
- [00:00:16.047]political and cultural history,
radical mass movements,
- [00:00:19.627]popular music and youth
subcultures, the revolt of 1968,
- [00:00:23.902]and environmental politics.
- [00:00:26.025]His work over the last decade
has been at the forefront,
- [00:00:28.836]in my opinion, of arguing
for a shift from a national
- [00:00:32.144]to a transnational and thus truly
global approach to how we study 1968,
- [00:00:37.758]as reflected in the titles of
his major publications.
- [00:00:41.425]For example, he's the author of
- [00:00:43.115]"West Germany in the Global 60s: the
Anti-authoritarian Revolt, 1962 to 1978"
- [00:00:50.262]which is out with Cambridge University
Press, 2013 and that's the book that
- [00:00:56.060]you can pick up out in the Sheldon's
foyer there, and I'm sure that Tim
- [00:01:01.793]would be happy to sign it also,
if you wanted an autograph. He is
- [00:01:05.170]also the author of a forthcoming book
called "60s Europe," also with Cambridge.
- [00:01:12.154]In addition, he's also the author of an
earlier book called "Weimar Radicals"–
- [00:01:17.134]'Weimar' is sort of Germany in the 1920s –
- [00:01:20.162]"–Nazis and Communists Between
Authenticity and Performance"
- [00:01:23.913]which is out with Berghahn Books, 2009.
- [00:01:27.090]Timothy Brown has also edited
"The Global 60s in Sound & Vision:
- [00:01:31.278]Media, Counterculture & Revolt,"
out with Palgrave, and
- [00:01:34.868]"Between the Avant-garde
and the Everyday:
- [00:01:37.205]Subversive Politics in Europe,
1957 to the Present"
- [00:01:41.171]so even the titles alone suggest a
- [00:01:43.400]strong throughline in his work
around the question of revolutions
- [00:01:47.763]in various parts around the globe.
- [00:01:49.990]Professor Brown's essays have appeared
- [00:01:52.220]in top journals such as:
the American Historical Review;
- [00:01:54.991]the Journal of Social History;
German Studies Review;
- [00:01:57.930]The Sixties: A Journal of History;
Politics, and Culture; and
- [00:02:00.985]Contemporary European History, as well as
- [00:02:03.211]a number of highly visible
- [00:02:06.324]Professor Brown has also received
a number of prestigious awards and honors
- [00:02:10.658]including the American Council of
Learned Societies Fellowship,
- [00:02:14.314]not one but two Fulbright fellowships,
- [00:02:16.999]and the Berlin Prize of the
American Academy in Berlin.
- [00:02:22.455]As he is working on finishing his
Sixties Europe book, he's also already
- [00:02:26.116]at work on a new project entitled
- [00:02:28.307]"The Greening of Cold War Germany:
Environmentalism and Social Movements
- [00:02:32.849]Across the Wall and Beyond, 1968 to 1989."
- [00:02:38.327]and astonishingly, he does all of this
high-calibre scholarly work
- [00:02:42.766]while continuing to pursue his love
of music as a member of "Hard Left,"
- [00:02:46.376]even though he doesn't want me to
play this right now – I really want to
- [00:02:49.971]play a song right now....
[ audience laughs ]
- [00:02:52.396]a hard-mod punk band
which was born out of a
- [00:02:56.486]desire to explore leftist political ideas
- [00:02:59.306]and marry them to rabble-rousing
- [00:03:01.116]music worthy of the worldwide struggle
- [00:03:03.177]against capital, as their Bandcamp
- [00:03:08.046]I am a fan of the band, so I've listened
to their records. It's quite good.
- [00:03:14.626]On our way from Omaha to Lincoln
yesterday evening after a quick beer,
- [00:03:19.006]I confess that I became even more
impressed with Tim
- [00:03:22.078]if not even a little bit envious, when he
casually pointed out that in 1997,
- [00:03:28.087]the band that he played with at the time
had opened in London
- [00:03:31.197]for the great Scottish masters of
so-called post rock, Mogwai –
- [00:03:34.496]in my opinion, the best band in
the last twenty years.
- [00:03:38.926]So, you know, kudos.
[ laughs ]
- [00:03:43.047]So, before my introduction
turns into a fanboy chat
- [00:03:45.539]about great contemporary rock music,
- [00:03:47.269]let's stop right here and welcome
Timothy Scott Brown, whose lecture
- [00:03:50.747]is entitled "Is Revolution Still Possible?
The Crisis of Capitalism and the
- [00:03:55.783]Meaning of 1968."
- [00:03:58.003][ Applause ]
- [00:04:07.698]Thank you. Can you hear me okay?
- [00:04:10.378]Thanks Marco for that very kind and
slightly embarrassing introduction
- [00:04:16.048]I was delighted to receive
this kind invitation from Marco and Roland
- [00:04:23.278]and the rest of the organizing committee
to give the opening lecture of this year's
- [00:04:27.558]Humanities on the Edge lecture series
and given the work that I've done,
- [00:04:33.188]I found the theme of "Post-Revolutionary
Futures" particularly alluring.
- [00:04:38.278]I was very happy to accept.
- [00:04:41.012]I've called my talk
"Is Revolution Still Possible?"
- [00:04:44.598]and promised to talk about the
student rebellion of 1968 and also
- [00:04:49.898]I promised I would also talk about
1917. That was not advertised,
- [00:04:54.683]in case I nerved to back out of it,
but I have no reason to back out of it
- [00:04:58.689]because it's actually very important,
I think, if we're going to
- [00:05:02.889]consider the question of whether we live
in a post-revolutionary future
- [00:05:06.599]or in the face of post-revolutionary
futures, we need to understand
- [00:05:10.568]something about
the revolutionary past.
- [00:05:13.599]Of course the Bolshevik Revolution,
led by women and others
- [00:05:16.869]to overthrow tsarism, was second only
to the French Revolution of 1789
- [00:05:21.859]as the most important
of these past revolutions.
- [00:05:26.469]And we might say, sort of to begin,
- [00:05:28.429]that the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917
and the uprisings of 1968
- [00:05:35.059]represent different conceptions of
revolution; and I like to think of the
- [00:05:40.219]history of revolutionary movements
in terms of revolutionary dilemmas -
- [00:05:46.890]what I call "revolutionary dilemmas" –
- [00:05:48.999]that is, the questions that have to be
answered in every revolutionary epoch.
- [00:05:55.776]This focus allows us to examine the
fractures and revolutionary projects
- [00:06:02.630]to examine the competing tendencies,
key questions, and debates,
- [00:06:07.320]and it seems that many of these key
questions and debates keep returning and
- [00:06:11.920]appear in all revolutions. So
what are some of these, historically?
- [00:06:17.070]One of the most important is the question
of who is the revolutionary subject.
- [00:06:22.080]The "revolutionary subject," that is, the
- [00:06:28.662]revolutionary subject is the person or a
class that makes the revolution.
- [00:06:32.110]And one of the questions connected with
this is the question of whether
- [00:06:35.709]a revolution has a class basis,
and if it does what is that class?
- [00:06:39.979]Is there a revolutionary class?
- [00:06:43.301]Another question: can a small group of
determined militants make a revolution
- [00:06:47.700]on behalf of that class? Or is a
revolution carried out in some manner
- [00:06:52.480]by the masses themselves?
And if so, how?
- [00:06:56.331]Is there a role for a revolutionary party
- a vanguard party like the Bolsheviks?
- [00:07:01.823]Can elections be involved
in a revolutionary process?
- [00:07:06.561]What is the role of violence?
Is self-defense permitted?
- [00:07:11.241]What about offensive violence?
- [00:07:14.061]These sorts of conflicts have
deep historical roots.
- [00:07:17.600]Now, in some cases they can be
reduced to a conflict between
- [00:07:20.921]socialism and communism on one side
and anarchism on the other side,
- [00:07:26.588]and this is a conflict that stretches
back to the nineteenth century
- [00:07:29.556]into disagreements between
Karl Marx and Mikhail Bakunin in the
- [00:07:33.914]First International. Mikahil Bakunin
is the famous Russian anarchist.
- [00:07:38.631]This debate was also mirrored in the
- [00:07:42.832]in conflict between the Bolsheviks and
the Ukrainian anarchist movement
- [00:07:49.112]led by Nestor Makhno, and also in the
well-known Kronstadt uprising.
- [00:07:57.442]And this was the moment in which in
1921, in the midst of the civil war
- [00:08:02.628]that broke out after the revolution,
the revolutionary sailors
- [00:08:07.272]in the Baltic Sea naval base Kronstadt
revolted against the Bolsheviks.
- [00:08:11.872]They revolted against the Bolsheviks
from the left. They revolted against
- [00:08:16.413]the Red Terror that the Bolsheviks had
instituted in the course of the civil war,
- [00:08:21.693]against forced requisitioning,
- [00:08:25.643]against the workers in Petrograd and
also the Bolshevik's efforts to
- [00:08:33.692]stop trade between the cities
and the countryside –
- [00:08:38.443]because many of the sailors and soldiers
were themselves peasants, and so
- [00:08:44.543]there were a bunch of things that
they weren't happy about.
- [00:08:47.333]Anarchism was also very strong in Spain
in the Spanish Revolution of 1936
- [00:08:52.313]And here we have very strong
anarchist training in the CNT,
- [00:08:58.064]which was connected with an
affinity group called the FAI,
- [00:09:01.465]so if we see pictures from that era,
you can see "CNT FAI" on armbands.
- [00:09:05.593]And the Spanish Civil War sees
a conflict between the
- [00:09:09.854]Communist Party that's backed
by the Soviet Union,
- [00:09:12.985]the Spanish anarchists, and
also the Socialist Party in Spain,
- [00:09:17.182]There's voluminous literature
on these "behind-the-lines" struggles:
- [00:09:20.153]George Orwell's "Homage to Catalonia"
is the most well-known of these.
- [00:09:27.374]So after 1917, after the Bolshevik
Revolution, there's three broad tendencies
- [00:09:32.915]we could say, to keep it simple.
- [00:09:34.724]There's social democracy, which
continues to exist in a form since
- [00:09:39.304]the 19th century; there's communism
and there's anarchism.
- [00:09:44.980]After 1917, social democratic parties
in Europe have to decide whether
- [00:09:48.554]they're going to try to form
- [00:09:51.387]communist parties, or whether
they're going to stay
- [00:09:54.105]social democratic parties.
- [00:09:56.263]Social democracy had already decided
on sort of an evolutionary approach
- [00:10:02.144]to the revolution, so to decide that
you were going to form a communist party
- [00:10:06.145]meant that you were going to try to
speed up the wheels of history
- [00:10:09.597]and do something like the Bolsheviks
did to Russia.
- [00:10:12.114]So the result of this is that social
democratic parties split
- [00:10:16.537]and the social democratic parties
remained social democrats,
- [00:10:19.872]and then there were these
new communist parties.
- [00:10:26.659]In this conflict between anarchism
and communism we can think of
- [00:10:33.294]in terms of a bottom-up approach
and a top-down approach.
- [00:10:37.495]The Bolsheviks believe in a top-down,
centralized approach, and the
- [00:10:41.205]anarchists believe – like the CNT FAI in
Spain – that the way to make the
- [00:10:45.805]revolution is to organize workers
at the level of the shop floor
- [00:10:49.286]and delegate their authority upward
rather than having their authority
- [00:10:53.655]imposed from the top down
by a revolutionary party.
- [00:10:57.656]Now, in the post-1945 period these
conflicts and dilemmas are renewed.
- [00:11:03.837]Still the question of parties and state
power, but now we have new actors
- [00:11:10.008]on the scene, beginning in the 1950s
and especially in the 1960s
- [00:11:14.129]which are artistic avant-garde groups,
also youth in general
- [00:11:19.508]– the creation of the teenager in the
1940s and 50s and youth culture –
- [00:11:25.052]this is a new phenomenon and
raises new revolutionary questions.
- [00:11:29.009]For example, you know, was rock and roll
a revolutionary force?
- [00:11:33.148]Was the sexual revolution a revolution?
- [00:11:36.664]What role has identity played?
What about class?
- [00:11:41.918]And so again in the uprisings that
break out in the United States
- [00:11:47.128]and in Europe and both sides of
the Iron Curtain, there's a new question
- [00:11:51.208]about who the revolutionary subject is.
- [00:11:55.289]In this talk, I'll show a couple of
posters that were made by the
- [00:12:01.588]so-called "atelier populaire."
In May 1968 students of the art school
- [00:12:07.619]produced a bunch revolutionary posters
that are very well known and this one is
- [00:12:13.456]"Beauty is in the street," and it really
depicts an image that never would have
- [00:12:20.388]appeared in the propaganda of the
interwar period, which is a beautiful
- [00:12:23.879]young woman who was also a
- [00:12:26.809]who's taking part in street fighting.
And so it captures a little bit of these
- [00:12:30.300]new concerns about beauty, sexuality,
youth culture, and the connection
- [00:12:37.791]of those things to revolution.
- [00:12:41.654]So we have the term 1968, and this
afternoon we were able to talk about
- [00:12:44.959]terminology a little bit I won't go
oo into depth about that but usually
- [00:12:50.406]for Americans the date 1968 conjures
visions of social unrest centered on a
- [00:12:57.613]series of big events that took place in
the year 1968. These were
- [00:13:01.362]the twin assassinations of Martin Luther
King Junior and Robert Kennedy;
- [00:13:06.315]the Tet Offensive in which the Viet Cong
shocked American Forces in Vietnam
- [00:13:10.423]and also the police riot at the 1968
Democratic Convention in Chicago.
- [00:13:16.649]If we're going to understand the term 1968
a little more capaciously to refer not
- [00:13:22.097]just to the year 1968, but to a broader
complex of events, we would include
- [00:13:28.313]for America the founding of
Students for a Democratic Society,
- [00:13:33.758]which was the most important student
radical organization in the United States
- [00:13:37.924]which produced in 1962 their founding
document, the Port Huron Statement.
- [00:13:44.839]In the Port Huron Statement they
called for a resurgence of
- [00:13:49.001]participatory democracy and
- [00:13:52.995]called for attempts to solve problems
like the Cold War arms race
- [00:13:56.713]and continued racial injustice in America.
- [00:14:00.611]There is also the emergence over this
longer span of more militant groups like
- [00:14:05.145]the Black Panthers, Marxist-Leninist
groups like Progressive Labor,
- [00:14:10.697]the Weathermen, a terrorist group, and
also additionally the women's movement
- [00:14:15.407]and the gay rights movement and so on.
- [00:14:18.046]Now, in Europe 1968 is associated with
May '68 in Paris, and also to a lesser
- [00:14:24.116]extent with the so-called Prague Spring.
You will recall that the Prague Spring
- [00:14:28.082]was when the Communist Party of
Czechoslovakia tried to institute
- [00:14:31.637]"a socialism with a human face" and then
this was crushed by the Soviets who
- [00:14:36.670]didn't want socialism to have a human
face, as it were.
- [00:14:42.236]So scholars had identified 1968
in all the countries of Europe
- [00:14:47.670]including those in Eastern Europe,
- [00:14:49.477]and increasingly now scholars are
also working on the third world
- [00:14:53.017]as it was called at the time –
"the global south" as we usually refer
- [00:14:56.536]to it now. So we've had to open up the
timeline more and more because 1968
- [00:15:02.299]is not the key date in many places.
- [00:15:04.238]In some countries key events take place
in the 1970s or they take place earlier.
- [00:15:10.007]We've also talked in terms of a "Global
1968," "the Long 1960s"... there's
- [00:15:17.058]different terminology that's sort of
been invented to capture this in a
- [00:15:21.677]little more detail to get away from the
idea that everything happened in 1968
- [00:15:25.518]which it did not.
- [00:15:28.625]So how did 1968 differ from earlier
moments of radical rupture,
- [00:15:33.568]from earlier revolutions?
- [00:15:35.788]We need to make an important
distinction first here,
- [00:15:38.688]between the so-called old left and
the new left.
- [00:15:41.718]We usually use the term "new left"
to describe the new movements
- [00:15:45.017]that become prominent in the 1960s.
And so if there's a "new left"
- [00:15:49.208]there has to also be an "old left."
So what is the "old left?"
- [00:15:52.261]Well, the "old left" is basically a term
that pertains to the classical workers'
- [00:15:56.727]movements of the period before 1945 –
the interwar period –
- [00:16:01.939]and going back into the 19th century.
- [00:16:04.748]The distinction between the old left
and the new left is that the old left
- [00:16:10.075]functions in a classically Marxist mode.
It's focused on factory workers –
- [00:16:16.918]the industrial proletariat. It's focused
especially on male factory workers,
- [00:16:21.675]whereas the new left is driven by
youth and by students in particular.
- [00:16:28.319]They differ also in their social location
because the old left is centered
- [00:16:32.906]in factories, in some ways, also in
the street, obviously; and
- [00:16:38.079]the new left is centered in the
universities and also in the street.
- [00:16:42.690]They have different analytic lenses
and they have different concerns.
- [00:16:47.629]So whereas the old left concerned itself
with the class struggle
- [00:16:51.560]in the classical Marxist sense, and
the need for those who were forced
- [00:16:55.748]to sell their labor power to survive –
- [00:16:58.851]the proletariat – to seize the means
- [00:17:03.079]The new left is based on new actors and
- [00:17:07.693]So what are some of those?
Well, first of all,
- [00:17:11.673]a first assumption of the new left
is that 1917 failed – that the
- [00:17:17.241]Russian Revolution failed.
[ aside ] I will qualify this, Marco.
- [00:17:21.530]That is, that the state begun by Lenin
and continued by Stalin
- [00:17:25.299]was, by the 1960s, no longer revolutionary
in any meaningful sense of the word.
- [00:17:31.066]Now Trotskyists, the
followers of Leon Trotsky,
- [00:17:33.951]could quibble that it was not their man
who had sold out the revolution –
- [00:17:37.591]that was Stalin. But either way the
Soviet Union was no longer the place
- [00:17:42.471]to which one looked as an example.
- [00:17:45.931]and this was of course not the position
of the communist parties in countries
- [00:17:50.531]like Spain - er, sorry, France and Italy
- [00:17:54.050]the old-guard communist parties who
were still in the Bolshevik tradition.
- [00:17:58.501]And this presaged a key conflict in 1968
- [00:18:03.181]between these communist parties
and the student movements.
- [00:18:06.621]You would think at first glance the
communist parties in France and Italy,
- [00:18:09.807]for example, would back the rebellion of
the young rebels who were revitalized
- [00:18:14.290]by aspects of the Marxist tradition,
but this was not the case.
- [00:18:18.015]This conflict was especially
noticeable in France,
- [00:18:22.501]where the French Communist Party
shunned the student movement,
- [00:18:26.312]leading one of that movement's
key leaders, Daniel Cohn-Bendit,
- [00:18:29.875]to write a critique of Bolshevism both
historical and contemporary which
- [00:18:34.820]basically condemned Bolshevism as a
counter-revolutionary movement that
- [00:18:39.462]seized power and instituted a one-party
dictatorship and therefore buried
- [00:18:45.052]revolution rather than protected it. And
so, in his book he talks again about
- [00:18:51.972]the Kronstadt rebellion, which is one of
the classic historical incidents
- [00:18:57.592]that's used to make the case that the
Bolsheviks are counter-revolutionary
- [00:19:01.068]rather than a revolutionary movement.
- [00:19:04.303]And this claim was important in other
countries as well, as in West Germany
- [00:19:10.043]which is the country that
I work on the most.
- [00:19:13.272]You can see here an announcement of
a special conference on Kronstadt
- [00:19:20.182]in the radical journal Agit 883, and it
says "Smash the state,"
- [00:19:27.086]"All the power to the proletariat,"
- [00:19:30.594]"Alle macht den räten —
all power to the councils,"
- [00:19:35.023]which in the soviet context
would be the soviets,
- [00:19:38.779]"Against capitalism" and
- [00:19:41.824]And, you know, anarchism
rather than Bolshevism.
- [00:19:44.134]So, the 60s are a moment of strong
resurgence of interest in anarchism
- [00:19:49.593]and this whole thing around the
Kronstadt revolt was important for them.
- [00:19:54.158]Now, the official New Left with a
capital "N"and a capital "L"
- [00:19:59.999]was launchedin England especially over
the question of the crimes of Stalinism.
- [00:20:06.656]Stalin had died in 1953 and you
probably remember that in 1956
- [00:20:11.320]in his secret speech, which wasn't secret,
Khrushchev revealed the crimes
- [00:20:15.174]of Stalinism and admitted that Stalin
murdered millions of people
- [00:20:18.349]and had done all these things.
- [00:20:21.342]The same year, the Soviet Union invaded
Hungary and smash the sort of
- [00:20:26.889]budding democracy movement there.
- [00:20:30.179]So the New Left is a response of British
intellectuals, many of whom broke with
- [00:20:34.802]communist parties because of this and
tried to find a new way to make Marxism
- [00:20:41.150]relevant for a new generation.
- [00:20:43.540]And this idea that's really crystallized
in '56 is reinforced in 1968
- [00:20:49.480]because 1968 is the year that the
Soviets invade, or the Warsaw Pact
- [00:20:53.669]countries invade Czechoslovakia
and crush the Prague Spring.
- [00:20:57.148]Now there was a move in 1968 to recover
Bolshevism as a meaningful tradition
- [00:21:03.960]and we'll come back to this, but this
relates to a basic fact of 1968 –
- [00:21:10.221]a claim that I frequently make –
that there is no "one 1968."
- [00:21:15.249]1968 is a matter of multiple revolutions,
- [00:21:20.689]and sometimes competing.
- [00:21:23.659]So a second key assumption
about the new left was that
- [00:21:27.333]the proletariat, the working class,
was no longer revolutionary,
- [00:21:33.450]though obviously some workers
were more radical than others.
- [00:21:36.651]In France, for example, the student
radicalism of May 1968 took place
- [00:21:41.389]against the backdrop of a massive
general strike that saw millions of
- [00:21:45.371]workers out on strike temporarily shaking
the French state to its foundations.
- [00:21:52.121]Workers were extremely
militant in Italy, as well.
- [00:21:55.030]In West Germany, not so much,
for historical reasons.
- [00:21:59.192]But whatever the situation in individual
countries, it was generally the case that
- [00:22:03.701]workers no longer belonged to a
punitively unitary class that was
- [00:22:08.792]being so immiserated as to
make revolution inevitable.
- [00:22:17.172]Karl Marx had posited the idea of a
proletariat, that is, this class that's
- [00:22:23.542]created by industrialization, that was
impoverished and immiserated by
- [00:22:28.662]industrialization, and had to sell its
labor power to survive.
- [00:22:32.779]But by the 1950s and 1960s, workers were
not uniformly confined to shabby tenements
- [00:22:38.502]and deprived of basic necessities as they
had been in the 1920s and 1930s.
- [00:22:43.743]This was a period, as the British
historian Arthur Marwick has pointed out
- [00:22:48.091]in which amenities such as washing
machines, automobiles and television sets
- [00:22:52.662]became widely available and the prospects
of working-class life markedly improved.
- [00:22:58.622]It goes without saying
that rising prosperity
- [00:23:01.222]did not take workers out of the
conditions of exploitation;
- [00:23:05.063]they were still forced to sell
their labor power,
- [00:23:07.163]while the owners of capital pocketed
the profit from their labor.
- [00:23:10.831]But the relative satisfaction of working
classes presented radicals with a problem.
- [00:23:16.355]Who would make the revolution
if the exploited classes
- [00:23:19.183]were no longer interested
in the revolution?
- [00:23:22.572]This image, which is either the image or a
similar image to the one that's on the
- [00:23:28.882]French theorist Guy Debord's book,
The Society of the Spectacle.
- [00:23:34.095]It was used on the cover of that book
to suggest the situationist analysis of
- [00:23:38.646]the situation that I just described,
- [00:23:41.031]Because Dubord posited the idea of
- [00:23:46.333]modern society that the commodity
that Marx had talked about
- [00:23:49.465]had reached its ultimate state in the
kind of society of the spectacle
- [00:23:55.124]in which people were completely removed
from the realities of their life
- [00:23:58.612]and just live inside kind of a
shop window, as it were.
- [00:24:08.503]For radical who were convinced
that relative prosperity did
- [00:24:12.275]not obviate the need for revolution,
- [00:24:15.443]especially in view of the
socially oppressive conditions
- [00:24:18.164]that accompanied this prosperity
of the 1950s and 1960s,
- [00:24:22.534]It was time of repressive social mores
- [00:24:25.784]and expectations of conformity
to Cold War categories,
- [00:24:29.835]fierce anti-communism, somewhat...
- [00:24:32.374]These groups that still wanted revolution
had to focus on groups that might still
- [00:24:39.022]have an interest in upsetting
the status quo. In other words,
- [00:24:42.019]"The factory workers don't want to rebel,"
- [00:24:45.305]– and again that's an
oversimplification, but widely true –
- [00:24:50.045]"We have to look to new groups."
So who are the new groups?
- [00:24:53.213]Well, the new groups would be students,
because this is a time of
- [00:24:56.696]rapid expansion of universities and
access to higher education.
- [00:25:00.305]It could be artists, especially radical
artists working in the European tradition
- [00:25:05.608]of avant-garde, artists who were
involved in politics;
- [00:25:08.695]it could be youth subcultures,
and it could be so-called marginal groups
- [00:25:14.294]and the German-American theorist
Herbert Marcuse was very influential
- [00:25:19.043]for the student movement and he posited
the idea of the marginal group made up
- [00:25:23.854]of people like juvenile delinquents,
bohemian non-conformists like the Beats,
- [00:25:28.806]and people like that who could in some
way represent a revolutionary force.
- [00:25:34.276]Part of the idea was that the intrusion
of youth subcultures and people
- [00:25:41.455]who wouldn't conform to bourgeois values
represented a revolutionary
- [00:25:46.435]stirring of the pot and the British
underground newspaper International Times
- [00:25:53.238]published an article by their Berlin
correspondent in which this picture
- [00:25:56.685]appeared - which captures something of
the perception of the youth subcultures
- [00:26:01.536]and the so-called Beat wave of the 1960s
- [00:26:06.045]when rock'n'roll seemed to be, in a way,
- [00:26:09.827]a social force that was threatening
to the status quo.
- [00:26:15.308]So the thinking went that
these marginal groups –
- [00:26:18.437]students, artists, subcultures –
were groups that either
- [00:26:22.584](a) possess the critical analysis to see
past this glowing window of
- [00:26:29.077]consumer capitalism to the
alienation that it concealed, or
- [00:26:33.245](b) they were so marginalized as
to not be able to take part in it,
- [00:26:37.839]and so desperate as to
have no allegiance to it.
- [00:26:40.648]This also included for Marcuse the
national liberation struggles of
- [00:26:44.347]the third world, the guerillas in Vietnam
and elsewhere, who were
- [00:26:47.967]directly fighting capitalism in the form
of fighting imperialism with weapons.
- [00:26:55.349]So 1968 in the New Left is driven by new
- [00:26:58.742]actors, but it also has new concerns
and new methods.
- [00:27:03.167]It was an uprising of youth, and
intelligencia, also sometimes workers.
- [00:27:08.908]It was against the Cold War. It was in
favor of decolonization
- [00:27:12.978]and self-determination for
formerly colonized people.
- [00:27:16.088]It was in favor of participatory
democracy; that is, not just democracy
- [00:27:21.059]as voting in elections, but democracy as
making decisions about your own life
- [00:27:26.598]in cooperation with other
people around you.
- [00:27:29.779]It was bottom-up, not top-down,
and this pertains to
- [00:27:32.677]participatory democracy as well
as to questions of organization.
- [00:27:37.248]And it connected the dots. I would say,
the single most important thing about
- [00:27:40.838]1968 is that it connects the dots.
- [00:27:43.771]You've all heard the phrase, uh,
sometimes meant as criticism of a
- [00:27:50.242]movement being a "single-issue movement,"
- [00:27:53.853]well, the 60s are not single-issue
movement, and not a set of
- [00:27:57.691]single-issue movements.
The movements of 1968 are
- [00:28:00.380]multi-issue movements that insist that
every type of oppression is linked to
- [00:28:06.082]every other type of oppression, and they
all have to be fought together.
- [00:28:10.381][ silence ]
- [00:28:26.547]So I've described 1968 in terms of a
convergence followed by a divergence.
- [00:28:33.431]So the convergence is, in the 1950s
and early 1960s – in West Germany,
- [00:28:39.810]for example, which is the country that
I've done the most work on –
- [00:28:43.320]there's a bunch of people who
are opposed to the Cold War,
- [00:28:45.952]who are opposed to German rearmament,
or opposed to nuclear weapons
- [00:28:49.682]on German soil; people in the peace
movements; trade unions; Christian clergy;
- [00:28:55.791]they come together in the early 1960s
with people who were radical
- [00:29:00.486]avant-garde artists, student radicals,
and the German SDS, the Socialist German
- [00:29:07.116]Students League; and they become a broad
- [00:29:11.838]movement that has kind of revolutionary
- [00:29:16.527]and this is referred to in Germany as
an extra-parliamentary opposition
- [00:29:20.507]because the Social Democratic Party,
the SPD, goes into government
- [00:29:24.427]with conservatives in the mid-1960s,
- [00:29:26.957]and so radicals feel that they no
longer have representation in Parliament
- [00:29:30.608]so they form the extra-parliamentary
- [00:29:34.098]After 1968, some of their main goals
don't work out. I'll talk about those
- [00:29:39.649]in a moment. And these groups all
diverge, and they diverge into some
- [00:29:43.126]new forms like the women's movement,
the back to the land movement,
- [00:29:48.509]and you know, the
countercultural movement of hippies
- [00:29:50.588]very much from the American model.
- [00:29:52.698]They diverge into terror groups.
They diverge into groups that try
- [00:29:56.698]to found new little communist parties –
the so-called K-Gruppen in West Germany -
- [00:30:02.526]to try to go back to the workers and
make the revolution that
- [00:30:05.556]should have been intended all along,
and so and so forth.
- [00:30:09.486]The flavor of that moment, the rise of
K-Gruppen, comes across in this image
- [00:30:15.945]of one of their demonstrations and you can
see they've got pictures of Mao, who is
- [00:30:20.618]extremely important for them and
also Lenin, and you can even see Stalin.
- [00:30:27.947]So there's an attempt to
go back to revolutionary basics
- [00:30:33.168]and these groups are influential for
a while but they're also marginalized
- [00:30:36.953]because they're dogmatic sectarian groups.
- [00:30:41.826]Also, in this case, you can see they're
blended with countercultural style as well
- [00:30:46.807]because this is early 1970s at this point.
- [00:30:50.667]So the question we have here, in the wake
of this convergence and divergence is
- [00:30:56.337]what are we to make of a revolution
or radical moment in which
- [00:31:01.009]no one actually seizes power?
- [00:31:05.378]What's important about '68, first,
- [00:31:08.167]is this democratic renewal
that I talked about before
- [00:31:11.704]and also there's a focus on consciousness
and on information and what I call
- [00:31:17.878]politics of knowledge.
- [00:31:20.729]The Frankfurt School intellectuals
like Adorno and Horkheimer
- [00:31:26.532]and also Marcuse had worried about
what they called the "culture industry"
- [00:31:31.559]which was the way in which capital
shapes the ability of people
- [00:31:34.818]to even think about their situation.
- [00:31:37.879]And Marcuse had also introduced
the term "the consciousness industry"
- [00:31:41.658]which makes the point even more strongly.
- [00:31:44.471]And the students in 1968
protested precisely against this -
- [00:31:50.726]the operation of this cultural
- [00:31:56.109]and they argued that it prevented
revolution because it prevented
- [00:31:58.978]people from knowing their true situation.
- [00:32:01.878]So one of the things they protested
against was the Springer press
- [00:32:06.838]in West Germany, which is kind of like
the West Germany Rupert Murdoch
- [00:32:10.018]I guess you could say.
- [00:32:11.988]And you can see in this image, that
outside the student organization here,
- [00:32:18.558]you see the student depicted
as this biker barbarian
- [00:32:24.269]and the citizen wants to know
if he can go to the fußball now
- [00:32:28.979]- if he can go to the soccer game now
- [00:32:31.909]or are they still rioting there as well.
- [00:32:34.809]This is at a time when the students are
wearing ties, right. It's the mid-sixties;
- [00:32:39.910]they don't look like this in any way.
- [00:32:42.259]So this is just one small example
of what the students claimed
- [00:32:45.091]was an anti-democratic system of using
mendacious images that were lies
- [00:32:51.270]basically to marginalize student movement
and separate them from the population.
- [00:32:57.179]And there's a wonderful image from May
'68 from the Atelier Populaire
- [00:33:03.359]which says "The radio lies." This claim
- [00:33:08.400]is made in connection specifically
with the way the May '68 revolts
- [00:33:14.190]are being treated on the radio
but it's also a metaphor for a
- [00:33:19.041]broader critique of the media and the
media's role in capitalism, and
- [00:33:24.800]I would say what they diagnosed then is
much worse today than it was 40 years ago.
- [00:33:31.570]I think that's clear.
- [00:33:34.462]We have a problem, however, because
now we talk about the role of social media
- [00:33:40.880]like for example in the Arab Spring or
the use of the Facebook, you know,
- [00:33:44.841]to spread subversive memes or whatever,
but we don't really have any clear
- [00:33:48.710]evidence that our improved
communications, i.e. the internet,
- [00:33:52.500]are giving rise to some sort of
aufklärung or enlightenment
- [00:33:56.341]in the sense that the student
movement would have wished.
- [00:34:00.621]The German-American philosopher
Herbert Marcuse had posited
- [00:34:04.891]the idea of repressive tolerance.
This is very important, for,
- [00:34:08.021]in other words that capitalism
didn't have to openly repress people
- [00:34:11.821]but they would permit them to say
anything they wanted
- [00:34:14.632]and then it wouldn't matter.
- [00:34:17.282]One wonders if his idea of
epressive tolerance in some ways
- [00:34:21.663]is expressive of this situation.
- [00:34:24.920]But, I will say that in the 60s, and
this is Rainer Langhans, of the
- [00:34:30.301]infamous Kommune 1 in West Berlin -
that's the "first commune" who were
- [00:34:34.091]the sort of people who started radical
situations, inspired subversive practices
- [00:34:42.210]that helped create a counterculture and
was prevented somewhat.
- [00:34:45.603]What he's doing in the picture is he's
using a rotor print machine to produce
- [00:34:49.493]subversive literature for Kommune 1.
In part, they were doing bootleg
- [00:34:55.481]publishing of all kinds of works that
had not been previously available
- [00:34:59.051]like the Function of the Orgasm
by Wilhelm Reich,
- [00:35:03.540]and all kinds of books of the Frankfurt
School and all the revolutionary
- [00:35:07.372]writings of the past that have been
suppressed under the Nazis
- [00:35:10.541]twenty years previously. These people
reprint them and sell them
- [00:35:14.102]or make them otherwise available.
And they also produce their own literature
- [00:35:20.004]dealing with their psychological
theories and so on and so forth.
- [00:35:23.693]And I would say that this activity
is a characteristic activity of 1968 -
- [00:35:30.121]the creation of knowledge from below,
the alternative press -
- [00:35:34.602]and it's also true of all
- [00:35:37.152]There's a huge outpouring
of written material
- [00:35:40.829]in historical revolutionary movements in
1848, 1917, and obviously in 1789 as well.
- [00:35:48.086][ silence ]
- [00:35:57.216]So, the theorist Fredric Jameson
once wrote, quote,
- [00:36:04.664]"Someone once said that it is easier to
- [00:36:08.114]imagine end of the world than to
- [00:36:10.354]imagine the end of capitalism."
- [00:36:13.881]Marco referred to this idea earlier.
- [00:36:16.929]It was alwasy central to Marxist thought
- [00:36:19.929]that real existing conditions would
produce their own solutions.
- [00:36:24.443]After all, Marx believed capitalism
- [00:36:27.695]would have to spread
through the entire world,
- [00:36:30.387]destroying old ways of life and
revolutionising human existence.
- [00:36:35.891]Marx believed that capitalism was
a revolutionary force and it was only
- [00:36:39.367]after capitalism had enacted its
revolution that the proletariat
- [00:36:42.875]would be able to enact its revolution.
- [00:36:45.817]Now, the Bolsheviks and others
decided that they needed
- [00:36:48.697]to speed up this process and no one
expected the Russian revolution
- [00:36:52.076]to take place in backwoods Russia -
overwhelmingly peasant population.
- [00:36:57.646]People thought if a revolution of the
marxist model occurred in Europe,
- [00:37:02.516]that it would occur in Germany -
- [00:37:04.656]an advanced country with an
organized industrial proletariat.
- [00:37:08.617]But this is not what happened.
- [00:37:11.228]Marx believed that capitalism
would have to do to what I would say
- [00:37:15.557]capitalism is doing now - spreading
throughout the entire world and
- [00:37:19.007]upsetting traditional ways of life -
before it would reach the point
- [00:37:22.420]at which the proletarian revolution
would be possible.
- [00:37:27.457]He also predicted that this
would cause widespread misery
- [00:37:32.346]and, now, as brutal conditions of work
that used to exist in the West
- [00:37:38.357]are exported to the Global South,
this becomes a prophecy in a way
- [00:37:45.535]and in their place of origin we are
left with, in many cases, unemployment,
- [00:37:51.458]the so-called opioid crisis in the
United States, and so on and so forth.
- [00:37:57.708]There's been a lot of scholarship
recently about capitalism and
- [00:38:03.125]the crisis of capitalism, which is why I
included that phrase in title of my talk.
- [00:38:08.230]And - Jefferson Cowie and Nick Salvatore
recently pointed out that
- [00:38:13.218]the period during which the student
movements of the 60s took place -
- [00:38:18.010]the period that came sort of at
the end of the New Deal period -
- [00:38:22.508]was really only this blip
on the historical radar.
- [00:38:28.959]And this also is a period of
liberalism at home, which is
- [00:38:32.589]conjoined with massive violence
in Vietnam and elsewhere
- [00:38:37.008]on the part of the same liberal
- [00:38:39.685]Their argument is that this period of
"kind and gentle" capitalism
- [00:38:44.068]of the 1950s and 1960s that begins
to end at the beginning of the 1970s
- [00:38:49.599]is in fact a blip on the historical radar.
- [00:38:54.070]So if there was a Gilded Age, you know,
we use the phrase "the golden age"
- [00:38:58.239]of maximum exploitation
- [00:39:01.159]and the decades leading up to
the turn of the last century
- [00:39:05.160]and if we are now in what the centrist
liberal commentator Paul Krugman calls
- [00:39:10.129]a "New Gilded Age," doesn't take
much of a leap of the imagination
- [00:39:14.988]to realize that capitalism is always
at least striving to be a golden age;
- [00:39:21.749]an age of maximum exploitation
with no checks on the right or the ability
- [00:39:26.089]of a certain class to extract
profit from another.
- [00:39:30.980]German sociologist Wolfgang Streeck
pointed out recently in his book
- [00:39:37.392]"How Will Capitalism End?" that even the
link between capitalism and democracy
- [00:39:42.100]that we take for granted is
very tenuous at best.
- [00:39:46.580]and of course we know that capitalism
and authoritarianism exist very well in
- [00:39:52.040]in Russia, in China, and in
Latin American dictatorships
- [00:39:55.461]over the past several decades.
- [00:39:58.120]Streeck argues that this association
between capitalism and democracy
- [00:40:02.851]is only really powerful in the interwar
period between 1919 and 1933.
- [00:40:09.522][ silence ]
- [00:40:12.522]So if it were the case, as some might
suggest, that we're now seeing the
- [00:40:16.172]rise of a hollowed-out sham democracy
as a façade for corporate rule,
- [00:40:22.361]protected by a heavily
militarized police force,
- [00:40:25.680]then it makes us think about
the old common term
- [00:40:29.371]definition that fascism has: "The open
terroristic dictatorship of the most
- [00:40:34.883]reactionary, most chauvinistic, and most
imperialist elements of finance capital."
- [00:40:41.611]Now, you know, that definition has
received a lot of criticism because it's
- [00:40:46.389]kind of a vulgar Marxist interpretation of
the link between capitalism and fascism.
- [00:40:55.245]Nevertheless, one's mind, under certain
circumstances, can be called to - uh -
- [00:41:02.202]to return to it.
- [00:41:08.132]So with the Old Left, we had a
situation of mass poverty -
- [00:41:12.805]think back to the
industrial revolution -
- [00:41:15.156]the Manchester that Engles saw
and that Marx wrote about -
- [00:41:22.051]this social question that was
produced by the industrial revolution.
- [00:41:25.573]And with the New Left, we
have a post-materialist turn,
- [00:41:29.623]made possible by rising prosperity -
you've probably all heard the term
- [00:41:33.013]"Post-materialism" to denote this period
in which people, like student radicals
- [00:41:37.817]in the 60s, embrace new concerns
because they know that
- [00:41:41.453]they will have a job; they can go off to
the Peace Corps or whatever.
- [00:41:44.951]Very than how students
feel nowadays I think.
- [00:41:49.063]If we think about this, if we have this
Old Left and this New Left that is
- [00:41:53.974]post-materialist, which produces a
cultural revolution which succeeds
- [00:41:58.614]at that, but fails to produce a
- [00:42:03.158]what do we have now in a
"post-post-materialist" society in which
- [00:42:08.044]ever greater wealth is concentrated
into fewer and fewer hands?
- [00:42:13.039]Occupy Wall Street, a while back,
put class back on the agenda
- [00:42:19.973]with its idea of a 99%
facing a super-rich 1%.
- [00:42:26.132]Occupy has been criticized for its
tactics, and one criticism has been that
- [00:42:30.943]if you can't occupy a place
in the face of state power -
- [00:42:35.914]if you can't not be expelled
from Zuccotti Park, etc. etc. -
- [00:42:39.573]then you haven't actually
- [00:42:42.524]But they did put this issue of class
back on the agenda.
- [00:42:46.914]and they also put on the agenda, or they
at least called attention to the fact that
- [00:42:51.363]protest is no longer enough for the left
but rather that organization is key
- [00:42:57.255]which is something that they
were accused of lacking.
- [00:43:01.704]Identity has been used as a weapon
against class in recent history
- [00:43:10.474]and in truth, you know,
the two are not in opposition.
- [00:43:13.162]We saw this problem in the recent
electoral campaign with the myth
- [00:43:16.874]of the so-called "Bernie Bro,"
and this is really nothing less
- [00:43:21.422]than an attempt to use identity politics
to smear anyone who's attempting
- [00:43:26.456]to assert a class perspective.
- [00:43:28.915]And it goes against the facts of the
matter because Bernie Sanders
- [00:43:32.495]had many, many supporters
among minorities and women.
- [00:43:38.135]I've been charged, as you know, by
the organizers with the task of
- [00:43:41.492]considering what, in these revolutionary
traditions that I've discussed,
- [00:43:45.485]is still relevant for today.
- [00:43:47.755]And, I guess I don't agree with the
organizers if, in positing the idea of a
- [00:43:52.716]post-revolutionary future, they mean to
suggest that revolution is no longer
- [00:43:56.682]possible - although don't ask me when
it will come or what form it will take.
- [00:44:01.303]But I think about Naomi Klein's
recent book about the climate crisis
- [00:44:07.456]in which she suggested that
climate change could
- [00:44:10.811]force a reckoning with capitalism
that all the revolutionary moments
- [00:44:15.506]of the past were unable to accomplish.
- [00:44:18.776]Would such reckoning be a revolutionary
one or would it be an evolutionary one?
- [00:44:22.786]I don't really have an answer to the
question that Marco raised about
- [00:44:26.678]thinking outside the boundaries
of the present. I mean,
- [00:44:30.345]I think a little bit about Antonio
Gramsci, the Italian Marxist
- [00:44:34.385]who was imprisoned under Mussolini, and
his influential idea of the hegemony -
- [00:44:39.716]that is, the process by
which the ruling class
- [00:44:43.016]is able to do precisely what
Marco was talking about, which is
- [00:44:46.326]to make it impossible to think outside
the bounds of the current situation.
- [00:44:51.736]And this is in fact something that's done
by the creation of "common sense."
- [00:44:57.398]In Gramsci's italian, "common sense" is
created that dictates that, for example,
- [00:45:02.968]revolution could not be possible. Right?
- [00:45:06.997]I just wanted to say that, well, first
of all, just since I put this image up
- [00:45:10.967]I'll say something quick about it.
- [00:45:14.206]This is in 1968 in West Berlin
and it says "State of Emergency,"
- [00:45:20.953]and it has 1848 which is of course
the Europe-wide revolutions of 1848,
- [00:45:26.548]it has 1968 and it also has 1933.
The reason in the German context
- [00:45:31.267]that it has 1933 is because that's the
year that the Nazis come to power
- [00:45:34.763]and declare a state of emergency.
- [00:45:37.022]So there is the the dialectical
relationship between the threat from
- [00:45:41.002]fascism and the birth and inversions of
left-wing movements which
- [00:45:46.557]we don't really have time
to get into today.
- [00:45:51.718]Marco, in his preliminary conversation,
made reference to an essay of Toulouse
- [00:45:59.318]in which he suggested that
May '68 did not take place.
- [00:46:06.059]And he meant this in the sense that
1968 did not fail - indeed could not fail
- [00:46:11.579]because it was not a set of empirical
events as much as a temporary
- [00:46:15.509]eruption of a potential, inherent in
- [00:46:18.480]modern society, that
returns again and again.
- [00:46:24.680]What is this potential?
- [00:46:28.204]I would say it's sudden recognition,
driven mostly but not entirely
- [00:46:33.447]by the young, that they have problems
that can't be named, that they share
- [00:46:38.559]these problems with others, and that
they can struggle together to solve
- [00:46:42.350]these problems on the basis of solidarity,
comradeship, and truthfulness.
- [00:46:48.641]'68 and moments like it is when the ghost
of social revolution past reappears.
- [00:46:54.984]People see each other in the street,
maybe even talk;
- [00:46:58.791]it's when the printing presses start up,
manned by young people
- [00:47:02.229]and some older people who suddenly
realize they have something urgent to say.
- [00:47:06.290]It's when, for a moment at least, nobody
really believes the "can't"
- [00:47:11.360]that normally governs social relations.
It's sort of when a window opens up,
- [00:47:16.469]in which everyone is suddenly
- [00:47:19.169]And in that moment, the possibility
of utopia suddenly appears.
- [00:47:23.609]It's kind of captured nicely in this
image from the Atelier Populaire
- [00:47:28.770]which says, of course,
"Return to normal..."
- [00:47:31.759]and the normal is being sheep, right?
- [00:47:35.459]It's interesting because they saw
the moment they were living through
- [00:47:39.874]as this moment of some sort of
utopian outbreak that wasn't normal
- [00:47:46.150]and of course, we discussed earlier today
about how that moment can never last.
- [00:47:50.450]It always has to fade back into the normal
- [00:47:52.702]but I mean, look at '68 at one of these
historical moments in which
- [00:47:56.499]there is something that's not normal
that happens, that then can be
- [00:48:00.409]returned to, and that not-normal thing
- [00:48:03.362]is sort of what I just described.
- [00:48:05.781]So I've been looking at the meaning
of 1968 precisely here.
- [00:48:10.141]1968 was against the Cold War.
It was against the arms race.
- [00:48:13.803]It was against the madness of the
mutually assured destruction doctrine,
- [00:48:18.911]according to which all powers who
could have conflict would be destroyed.
- [00:48:23.180]It was against imperialism. It sought
to recover lost revolutionary traditions
- [00:48:28.112]and invent new ones. It made missteps.
It was incomplete. It couldn't always
- [00:48:33.851]figure out what was valuable in
the old revolutionary traditions.
- [00:48:37.802]It couldn't bridge the gap between a
political movement to change society
- [00:48:42.421]and a countercultural movement
to drop out of society.
- [00:48:46.251]They became unduly enamored with
third-world liberation movements that were
- [00:48:50.461]themselves not particularly democratic.
It was uncritical about things like Maoism
- [00:48:55.732]and there's no surprise that the former
'68ers were most embarassed and most
- [00:49:00.352]trying to distance themselves when their
previous actions were denounced.
- [00:49:04.903]The anarchists aren't trying to distance
themselves from being anarchists.
- [00:49:08.143]Just saying.
[ laughter ]
- [00:49:12.161]It struggled to accommodate the voices of
women, gays and minorities.
- [00:49:18.101]But 1968 was opening; it sought to
name the problems, to connect the dots,
- [00:49:23.532]and to struggle collectively for solutions.
- [00:49:26.759]It was a moment when a
bunch of separate streams
- [00:49:29.602]became, for a little while,
a raging torrent.
- [00:49:34.422]There's a famous story in which
the Chinese premier Zhou Enlai
- [00:49:38.013]was asked in 1972 what he made
of the French Revolution
- [00:49:43.293]and Zhou said "Too early to tell."
- [00:49:46.686][ laughter]
- [00:49:48.014]This is such a good story, and I
wanted to have it in my book
- [00:49:51.015]but I realized it's actually apocryphal
- [00:49:54.333]there was a mistranslation and
Zhou was talking about 1968
- [00:49:58.574]and it was too early to tell what
the meaning of 1968 was.
- [00:50:02.835]But I think this wonderful quote
works both ways because it is,
- [00:50:06.293]in some ways, sadly
still too early to tell
- [00:50:09.594]what the outcome of the French
Revolution is, but it's definitely,
- [00:50:14.003]as a historian, too early to tell
what 1968 means.
- [00:50:18.484]But I've made a little bit of a foray
into that for you today so
- [00:50:24.025]I hope that was interesting.
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