The Uprising of Paris, May 1968 culminated a chain of struggles, in Europe and the world against bourgeois institutions. Started by students, it spread to the mass of workers, and culminated in at least 10 million workers going on wildcat general strike across France, against the will of trade unions, the communist party and the Gaullist state. The crisis of the refusal of work and discipline, was part of a major breakdown of capitalism known as keynesianism, the welfare state and post-war social democracy. The mass rebellions, once defeated, paved the way for the eventual defeat of the working class in the first world and the new system of neoliberalism.
Paris 1968 was influenced by a rejuvenated libertarian Marxism and anarchism. It was influenced partly by Council Communists, critical theorists and the left Communists. The revolution in Hungary in 1956, which created workers councils, was a big influence to the emergence of the movement. The movement was pushed forward by the renewed Libertarian Socialism of the journal ‘Socialisme ou Barbarie’, the situationist movement in France and Solidarity in the UK, and part of a new rethinking of Socialism. The movements of 1968 afterwards influenced the autonomist movements in Italy, Germany, the USA and globally. The modern Greek anarchist movement is heavily influenced by these movements. Here are some important writing from this era:
Pannekoek – Workers’ Councils
Maurice Brinton- Paris; May 68
Obsolete Communism – The left-wing alternative – Daniel Cohn-Bendit & Gabriel Cohn-Bendit