The Partial Character of the Revolutionary Theory
What happened in May ? Was it a spontaneous and incoherent uprising of various sections of the population, or a coherent step on the part of a determined revolutionary movement ? Was it a blind eruption of accumulated complaints and dissatisfactions, or a conscious attempt to overthrow a social order ? Did the student movement which set off the explosion have a coherent revolutionary theory, and a strategy based on the theory ? If it had a theory, to what extent was it communicated to the action committees, to the workers ?
There were unquestionably elements of revolutionary theory at the origin of the movement. This is illustrated by the fact that students in Nanterre began a struggle against the American war in Vietnam and were able to relate the activities of their own university to this war. This does not mean that the “majority” of the fighting students explicitly grasped the connection between their own daily lives and the war in Vietnam. Most students undoubtedly grasped the war as a distant struggle between David and Goliath, they grasped it as a spectacle in which they had sympathy for one side. But a small number of students acted on a much more profound understanding the moment they engaged themselves in a struggle to unveil the connection between the university, the capitalist system, and the war in Vietnam. To these students the war in Vietnam ceased to be an “issue” and became an integral part of their own daily lives.
Originally published at Diet Soap. Please leave any comments there.