Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Luk√°cs

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Conference: 1968 and all that



An excellent looking international conference and bookfair will be held 'to celebrate the hopes and dreams of May 1968 forty years after' in London on May 10 this year. The eyewitness accounts promised from around the world look great, and among the intriguing looking talks so far proposed include Sheila Rowbottom on the personal and the political in 1968, John Molyneux on art and politics and Ian Birchall on Working Class Power. 'Most of what is said about 1968 tends to focus on students, posters, graffiti, situationism etc. Ian Birchall will argue that what mattered was the working class, the general strike and the factory occupations. All the rest is froth. He will explore his belief that the Situationist International played no role whatsoever in 1968 and is a myth invented subsequently.' Sounds quality, if a tad provocative.

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5 Comments:

At 12:06 am, Blogger paddington said...

"The Situationist International played no role whatsoever in 1968 and is a myth invented subsequently."

*sharp intake of breath*

Do you know what it does to a boy to have his most treasured myths shattered?

Sounds an excellent event - will you be there?

 
At 12:41 pm, Blogger Snowball said...

I am a busy guy as you know, but it does look rather tempting...

 
At 1:57 pm, Anonymous Matthew said...

excellent, must get there to see the showdown between the Trots and the Situationists.

 
At 12:42 am, Anonymous MichaelRosen said...

I can't believe Ian Birchall's line will be as bald and un-nuanced as that. The point about students in the late sixties was that we were experiencing the second phase of university expansion. A layer of working class kids were getting into university. Universities themselves were in varying degrees becoming knowledge and skills factories for a new layer in society who would be a new kind of skilled working class. In Paris the expansion happened while the university structure tried to stay the same, thereby scoring an own goal against the liberationist mood of the time. One consequence of all this is that the tendency-then-party that Ian has supported all his life received a great influx of people from....yes, the student movement. And indeed, I do believe several of them are still there, are they not? However, I'm sure Ian's argument on the day will include this....er....won't it?

 
At 2:21 pm, Blogger Snowball said...

Michael - I suspect so - Ian has a more nuanced line on 1968 in this weeks SW...

 

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