The 68ers


Anti-Vietnam War demonstration, Vancouver, 1968. Photograph by John Hill

From The New Statesman:

Many revolutionaries assumed the year was only a prelude to an enormous social upheaval. In one sense, this proved to be the case. In the decades that followed, society was radically transformed in ways the 68ers had not imagined. Capitalism spread throughout the world and extended its reach into every corner of society. In Britain, the archaic self-governing universities against which students and their sympathisers in the faculty had revolted became subservient to market imperatives and government directives. Everywhere, the middle classes became more insecure even as their incomes increased.

A revolution had come to pass, but not the one the 68ers expected. Most went on to spend the rest of their days struggling to maintain a bourgeois way of life that in 1968 they had taken for granted and rejected.

“The protesters of 1968 changed the world – but not in the way they hoped”, John Gray, The New Statesman