Lamenting the lost spirit of ’68

‘We want structures that serve people, not people that serve structures!’ ‘The revolution doesn’t belong to the committees. It’s yours!’ ‘The boss needs you. You don’t need him!’ ‘This concerns everyone!’ No, not the slogans of the Occupy movement – the self-styled 99% – but those of a previous uprising: France 1968, when students and workers took to the streets […]

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Them’s not fighting words

I hesitate to begin a book review by referring to the publisher’s blurb, still less to the puff-quote on the book’s front cover, but in the case of Public Enemies, a volume of correspondence between the novelist Michel Houellebecq and the philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy, the temptation proves irresistible. First the puff-quote: ‘Brilliantly done’ (Ian Buruma, New York Times). Now, we […]

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On Michael Moore’s Here Comes Trouble

The activist filmmaker Michael Moore grew up in a suburb of Flint, Michigan, a city synonymous with working-class struggle. The site of one of the most notable events in US labour history – the 1937 strike, in which the fledgling United Automobile Workers took on, and triumphed over, General Motors – Flint was also one of the first casualties of […]

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