William Faulkner had one of his characters say it: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past” (1951, Act 1 Scene 3, 92). 1968 is still with us. The direction of the world could have changed in the year 1968. It didn’t. It began propitiously or ominously depending on who was looking. In just the first month, on January 3, the Czechoslovak Communist Party replaced Antonin Novotny, a Moscow puppet, with a notorious reformer, Alexander Dubček. At the end of the month, on January 30, the Vietnamese National Liberation Front began the so-called Tet Offensive. Liberation seemed a possibility. By March 8, student protests began in Poland, the US Congress took the dollar off the gold standard on March 18, and on March 22 Daniel Cohn-Bendit and seven other students occupied the administrative offices at the University of Nanterre in France, which led to les événements de mai. On the last day of March, Lyndon Johnson announced that he would not run for reelection as president, apparently in response to surging antiwar protests. Not only was liberation on the horizon, but it looked like people could effect change.
KeywordsAssembly Line Rule Class Class Struggle Peace Talk Wage System
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