Bensaid on the 40th Anniversary of 1968

‘Memory still haunts history’s sleep. because ‘if there is a sense of the real,  and nobody would doubt that it has a right to exist, then there should also be something which might be called a sense of the possible’. What is still interesting is not the ashes of May ’68 but its embers, the resurgence of defeated and repressed possibilities. Forty years is not enough to make us bow down and lower our heads before this fait accompli. And we don’t have bruised knees from a continued genuflection before the fleeting verdicts of a ventriloquist history. As Louis Auguste Blanqui insisted during the bitter aftermath of the Commune, ‘the parting of ways still holds the promise of hope’.

Bensaïd, ‘1968 in France: An Unclassified Affair’, ‘Memories of 1968’, 2010


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