guerrilla warfare

guerrilla warfare

How 1968 Laid the Groundwork for a Cynical Social & Political Climate (1997)

11h ago
SOURCE  

Description

The protests of 1968 comprised a worldwide escalation of social conflicts, predominantly characterized by popular rebellions against military, capitalist, and bureaucratic elites, who retorted with an escalation of political repression. In capitalist countries, these protests marked a turning point for the Civil Rights movement in the United States, which produced revolutionary movements like the Black Panther Party. In reaction to the Tet Offensive, protests also sparked a broad movement in opposition to the Vietnam War all over the United States and even into London, Paris, Berlin and Rome. Mass socialist or communist movements grew not only in the United States but also in most European countries. The most spectacular manifestation of this were the May 1968 protests in France, in which students linked up with wildcat strikes of up to ten million workers, and for a few days the movement seemed capable of overthrowing the government. In many other capitalist countries, struggles against dictatorships, state repression, and colonization were also marked by protests in 1968, such as the beginning of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the Tlatelolco massacre in Mexico City, and the escalation of guerrilla warfare against the military dictatorship in Brazil. In socialist countries there were also protests against bureaucratic and military elites. It was amidst the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China (1966--1976), and in Eastern Europe there were also widespread protests that escalated particularly in the Prague Spring in Czechoslovakia. After World War II, much of the world experienced an unusual surge in births, creating a large age demographic. These babies were born during a time of peace and prosperity for most countries. This was the first generation to grow up with television in their homes.[2] Television had a profound effect on this generation in two ways. First, it gave them a common perspective from which to view the world.[3] The children growing up in this era shared not only the news and programs that they watched on television, they also got glimpses of each other's worlds. Secondly, television allowed them to experience major public events. Public education was becoming more widely attended and more standardized, creating another shared experience. Chain stores and franchised restaurants were bringing shared shopping and dining experiences to people in different parts of the world.[4] These factors all combined to create a generation that was more self-aware and more united as a group than the generations before it.[citation needed] Waves of social movements throughout the 1960s began to shape the values of the generation that were college students during 1968. In America, the Civil Rights Movement was at its most violent. So, too, in Northern Ireland, where it paved the way for an organised revolt against British governance. Italy and France were in the midst of a socialist movement. The New Left political movement was causing political upheavals in many European and South American countries. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict had already started. Great Britain's anti-war movement was very strong and African independence was a continuing struggle. The Cuban Missile Crisis and the Cold War was another shared experience of this generation. The knowledge that a nuclear attack could end their life at any moment was reinforced with classroom bomb drills[5] creating an atmosphere of fear. As they became older teens, the anti-war movement and the feminist movement were becoming a force in much of the world. The feminist movement made the generation question their belief that the family was more important than the individual. The peace movement made them question and distrust authority even more than they had already.[6] By the time they started college, many were part of the anti-establishment culture and became the impetus for a wave of rebellion that started on college campuses and swept the world. T...