Tuesday, May 13, 2008

French Social Revolution of 1968

Today marks the 40-year anniversary of the Paris Uprising of 1968. I learned about this historical event (still celebrated by Socialists, Communists, and Anarchists today) on NPR this morning.

There are a few reasons why I think this is worth remembering:
  • It was a populist movement started by students and workers and I'm all about the peeps.
  • There was a whole bunch of really cool poster art created and posted during the revolution.

  • Although this uprising changed Paris culture forever, not one person died. This is the dream of every pacifist.
  • It led to equal rights between men and women and legalization of abortion, giving women control over their bodies.
  • The protesters wrote some awesome taglines/slogans that still have meaning for me now.

Ne changeons pas d'employeurs, changeons l'emploi de la vie.
Let us not change employers, let us change how we employ life.

La culture est l'inversion de la vie.
Culture is the inversion of life.

L'art est mort, ne consommez pas son cadavre.
Art is dead, don't consume its corpse.

Ne me libère pas, je m'en charge.
Don't liberate me, I'll do it myself.

Si vous pensez pour les autres, les autres penseront pour vous.
If you think for others, others will think for you.

Un homme n'est pas stupide ou intelligent, il est libre ou il n'est pas.
A man is not stupid or intelligent, he is free or he is not.

Lisez moins, vivez plus.
Read less, live more.

L'ennui est contre-révolutionnaire.
Boredom is counterrevolutionary.

The watchword was live without pause, enjoy pleasure without restraint.
(One of my Francophile friends will have to translate that one into French since I heard it in English on NPR.)

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