todorov on 68


While a great wind of change was blowing in the social realm, political speeches breathed dogmatism and preached (often unwittingly) the imposition of dictatorship. For those who, like me, came from a land of “real socialism,” all this was a chimera.

At first glance, this heritage has almost entirely disappeared (with the exception of the peculiar popularity of French Trotskyite leaders in presidential elections). But, a few years later, the project of a violent social transformation reappeared in the doctrines dubbed neoconservative. The neoconservatives entered the corridors of power in the US and they now have influence in France, too. The permanent revolution that the 68ers used to preach has changed in its objectives but not in its nature: the eradication of the enemy is still what is called for. And often by the same people as in 1968! This is a heritage that truly does deserve to be abandoned.

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