Ringvorlesung am 6. Juni 1988
Die internationale Dimension der Studentenbewegung
Teilnehmer: Luisa Passerini und Daniel Bertraux
Diskussionsleitung: Annemarie Tröger
Jochen Staadt: Die letzte Universitätsvorlesung, die wird wie angekündigt in englischer Sprache stattfinden. Ich begrüße hier heute Luisa Passerini aus Turin und Daniel Bertraux aus Paris. Annemarie Tröger wird die Diskussion leiten. Ron Grele den wir eingeladen hatten aus USA, ist leider den Sparmaßnahmen dieser Universität zum Opfer gefallen. Wir hören deswegen in der Einleitung von Annemarie Tröger, die sich auch lange in den USA aufgehalten hat, einen Bei trag über die Zusammenhänge und Hintergründe der amerikanischen Studentenbewegung.
Annemarie Tröger: Also ich hoffe, daß ihr den Schock über das Englische einigermaßen überwunden habt. Ich würde folgendes sagen, ich möchte relativ schnell zu einer Diskussion kommen und wer von euch wirklich Angst hat, englisch zu reden oder glaubt sich da nicht ausdrücken zu können, der kann das also ruhig auf deutsch sagen, ich werde dann versuchen das sinngemäß zu übersetzen. Die Antworten werden aber dann auf englisch gegeben, die werde ich dann nicht noch mal übersetzen. Ich hoffe, daß ihr damit einverstanden seid. Ich möchte anfangen, mit einer kurzen Vorstellung der Personen, die ihr hier sitzen seht. Zu meiner Linken Luisa Passerini. Sie ist Professorin an der Universität in Turin und lehrt hauptsächlich Methoden der historischen Forschung und arbeitet seit Jahren, das ist auch der Zusammenhang, in dem wir uns alle kennengelernt haben, mit der mündlichen Methode der Geschichte oder "Oral History". Sie war selbst aktiv in der Studentenbewegung beteiligt, sie war in der Gruppe Gramchi, einer Studenten-Arbeiter-Bewegung, der 68er, 69er Jahre. Dann in der Frauenbewegung und in der Unterstützungsbewegung für die Befreiungsbewegung in der 3. Welt, besonders für Frelimo, der mosambiquischen Frelimo.
Zu meiner Rechten Daniel Bertraux, Daniel Bertraux hat zuerst Ingenieurwissenschaften studiert, dann aber, auch so ein Zeichen jener Zeit, ist er auf Soziologie umgewechselt. Er ist jetzt Wissenschaftler am Centre National des Recherches Sientifiques. Das ist so etwas ähnliches wie eine Akademie der Wissenschaften, also das große Staatsforschungsunternehmen, wenn man so will. Oder wie die Max-Plank-Institute in Westdeutschland. Er hat am Pariser Mai weniger als Aktivist als jemand, der hineingezogen wurde, teilgenommen, also der Pariser Mai hat ihn in dieser Hinsicht politisiert und er ist dann z.B. einer der Mitbegründer von der Zeitschrift, der Tageszeitung "Liberation" in Frankreich. Daniel Bertraux arbeitet ebenfalls mit der Methode der mündlichen Geschichte und versucht die Biographieforschung für die soziologische Forschung...?
Ich selbst heiße Annemarie Tröger, ich habe hierin Berlin studiert, bin 1961 Mitglied des SDS geworden, habe den ganzen Verlauf der Studentenbewegung bis 1968 hier in Berlin hauptsächlich mitbekommen, und bin dann in die Vereinigten Staaten gegangen, hauptsächlich hing das zusammen mit unserer Organisation von amerikanischen GI's hier in Deutschland, die desertiert waren. Und ich bin bis 1975, Anfang 1975 in Amerika geblieben. Im selben Jahr bin ich dann zurückgekommen und habe hier als Assistentin am Zentralinstitut 6 der FU gearbeitet. Faschismusforschung hauptsächlich. Und danach in Hannover, und z.Z. bin ich arbeitslos. Ich möchte jetzt noch ganz kurz den Zusammenhang, weswegen also z.B. Luisa und nicht irgend jemand anderes aus Italien oder Daniel, und nicht irgend jemand anderes aus Frankreich da ist, hat folgenden Zusammenhang. Wir haben uns auf eine Idee, die Luisa und ich ausgebrütet hatten. Haben zusammengearbeitet an einem Buch über 68, über internationalen Maßstab, daran beteiligt war, also einmal der Name desjenigen, der das dann zusammengeschrieben hat, der Jochen Staadt auch noch für Deutschland, der Ron Grele, den wir auch eingeladen hatten wie Jochen gerade sagte, der aber nicht kommen konnte. Bred Enyon und Daniele Linhardt für Frankreich noch und Beatrice Lepida für Frankreich. Dieses Buch basiert auf den Lebensgeschichten von Aktivisten in 5 Ländern, also Italien, Frankreich, BRD, USA und Großbritannien und Irland. Und es ist ein Versuch aus der Erinnerungsarbeit der Beteiligten die Geschichte zu rekonstruieren. Es ist, also bisher ist es nur in England und in den USA, also in der Sprache in der es geschrieben wurde, erschienen. Für Deutschland, Frankreich und Italien war es bisher schwierig einen Verleger zu finden, was auf 2 Sachen hinweist, einmal ist es ihnen zu teuer, 2. sind sie fixiert auf 1988 und dafür ist es zu kurz. Also man kann es dieses Jahr nicht mehr veröffentlichen. Es kommt also in diesem Jahr nicht mehr auf den Markt und 3. hat es, glaube ich auch was mit dem zentralen Zentrismus der verschiedenen Bewegungen zu tun, auf die ich gleich zu sprechen kommen werde. Zur Struktur jetzt unseres Meetings. Ganz kurz. Ich würde vorschlagen, daß Luisa für ihr
Land, also die Beteiligten für ihr Land ganz kurz die Bewegung darstellen. Also nur ganz skizzenhaft die Dynamik der Studentenbewegung in den verschiedenen Ländern. Italien, Frankreich. Und ich werde es versuchen für die USA zu machen. Mehr schlecht als recht wahrscheinlich. Danach und das soll wirklich für jeden nur 5 Minuten sein, danach möchte ich, wollen wir auf folgende Fragen eingehen, und dabei werden wir also ähnlich verfahren, daß jeder kurze Statements zu den Fragen abgibt. Hier von uns, aber es ist durchaus erwünscht, daß ihr eure Fragen oder eure Bemerkungen dazu anbringen könnt. Das wäre also der 2. Teil. Die erste F rage des 2. Teils will ich jetzt nur ganz kurz nennen welche Theorien hatten Bedeutung für die Studentenbewegung in den verschiedenen Ländern? Wir werden also darüber diskutieren, eure Kommentare und Fragen dazu hören.
Die zweite Frage wäre die internationalen Einflüsse auf die Studentenbewegung, also die Frage danach, wie international war eigentlich diese Studentenbewegung, die über den ganzen Erdball stattfand? Und drittens, wahrscheinlich die schwierigste Frage, welche Konsequenzen oder was war sozusagen der Effekt dieser Studentenbewegung in den entsprechenden Ländern wieder, auf die Gesellschaft und auf oppositionellen Bewegungen bis heute. Und das auch wiederum, daß wir gleich wieder in die Diskussion einsteigen können. Ich werde jetzt anfangen, kurz und sehr skizzenhaft und vielleicht sind andere von euch sehr viel besser über Amerika informiert, als das wenige, was ich hier von mir geben kann. Wenn es irgendwelche Fragen gibt, dann stellt sie bitte, wenn alle zu ihrem Land Bemerkungen gemacht haben. Wenn es Verständnisfragen gibt. Ich möchte das ganze nicht noch mehr aufhacken.
Ich würde die amerikanische Studentenbewegung in 4 oder 5 große Perioden einteilen. 1960 bis 1964 die Civil Rights Bewegung, also die Bewegung der schwarzen Studenten in den Vereinigten Staaten, die in den Südstaaten der Vereinigten Staaten begann, und die besonders auf die amerikanische Studentenbewegung in der Folgezeit, aber auch glaube ich auf alle Studentenbewegungen einen großen Einfluß hatte, und haben wir, wenn wir so sagen wollen einen internationalen Zusammenhang. Es begann im Februar 1960 mit einem sit-in von vier schwarzen Studenten an einem Kaffee counter, also so einer Kaffee Bar in Greensborough in North Carolina, und sit-ins sollten in der Folge, eine der wesentlichen Taktiken der Studentenbewegung werden. Also das Einnehmen von Raum, oder das Eindringen von Raum, indem man eigentlich nicht zugelassen ist. Bald danach entstand SNCC. Das ist das Student Non Violent Coordinaton Comity. Ein Zusammenschluß von Gruppen von schwarzen Studenten. Dieses SNCC wurde dann in der Folgezeit sehr bedeutsam auch für den amerikanischen SDS. Sie führten zuerst Wählerregistrierungen durch, zu denen auch besonders 1964 viele weiße Studenten hinzugezogen wurden. Und diese Studenten spielten dann in der Studentenbewegung selber z.T. bedeutende Rollen. Daniel Bertraux diese schwarze Studentenbewegung hatte einen direkt politisierenden Effekt, auf die weiße Studentenbewegung in der Folgezeit. Durch die Politisierung von späteren Aktivisten.
1964 erreichte die schwarze Bewegung die Ghettos der Industriestädte im Norden. Es gab Aufstände, also diese berühmten Ghettoaufstände in New York, Rogester und Chicago und anderen Städten. In der selben Zeit, zwischen 1960 und 1964, will ich nur einen Teil betrachten, nämlich den SDS, der dann später eine wesentliche Rolle spielt. Er ist ähnlich wie der deutsche SDS, ehemals eine Studentenorganisation, einer sozialdemokratischen Partei gewesen. Und wurde ebenso, wie der deutsche SDS aus der Mutterpartei Ende der 50ger Jahre rausgeworfen, weil er also zu radikal wurde. Er wurde radikalisiert in gewissen Maßen durch die Unterstützung des schwarzen Kamptes in den Südstaaten und durch SNCC. Und kam in dieser Phase zur Entwicklung eines eigenen politischen linken Standpunktes, der 1963 in dem Port Euren Statement. Port Euren ist der Ort, wo das ganze Papier entstanden ist. Also die Veröffentlichung von Port Euren sozusagen zu einem nationalen Positionspapier. Im September, unabhängig vom SDS, dem amerikanischen SDS, beginnt, ist eigentlich der Beginn der weißen Studentenbewegung mit der Free Speach Movement in Berkley. Es ist die Auseinandersetzung um einen Streifen Land, der bis dahin eigentlich dazu diente, daß verschiedene politische Gruppen, und vorallen Dingen die Civil Rights Gruppen ihre politische Literatur da verkaufen und verteilen konnten, Reden halten konnten usw. An diesem Tage verbot die Universität Administration von Berkley, diese Aktivitäten. Es kam zu einem Spontan sit-in, von 200 Leuten, die sich gerade dort aufhielten. Die sich einfach hinsetzten und dieses sit-in schwoll innerhalb weniger Stunden zu 3000 Leuten an.
Es kam zu einem, später dann zu einem Polizeieinsatz. Diese 30 Stunden Diskussion, also 30 Stunden saßen die da und diskutierten, kann als das erste große teach-in eigentlich bezeichnet werde. Innerhalb von 5 Wochen, wurde diese Free Speach Bewegung zu einer breiten Bewegung in Berkley. Der Grund dafür lieferte wie auch in allen üblichen Ländern in der späteren Zeit, die Administration und die Polizei selbst, durch viel zu harte Gegenreaktionen. Es wurden 11 Personen angezeigt und auch kurz in Haft genommen, die an diesem ersten Sitzstreik teilgenommen hatten. Und die ganze weitere Bewegung eskalierte um die Freilassung dieser 11 Leute. D.h. wie überall später, die Gegenseite, also Uniadministration und Polizei, waren die beste Watte und die beste Werbung für diese aufkeimende Studentenbewegung. Es folgt dann, es passierten dann noch eine ganze Menge anderer Einflüsse und Geschichten, die ich eigentlich hier nennen müßte. z.B. die ganze Hippy- und Gegenkulturbewegung. Die ich aber hier wegen der Zeit nicht weiter ausführen möchte.
1965 bis zum Frühjahr 1967 stand eigentlich der Vietnamkrieg und die Mobilisierung um den Vietnamkrieg die Hauptrolle in der weiteren Verbreitung der Studentenbewegung über die ganzen Nordstaaten. Und ein Teil der Südstaaten. 1965 gab es den ersten großen Marsch auf Washington, an dem 20.000 Leute, also für 1965 eine immerhin große Zahl, teilnahmen. Der SDS wird durch diese Demonstration und durch die Position, die relativ radikale Position, die es zum Vietnamkrieg und zur Rolle des Mutterlandes einnimmt in gewisser Weise zu der führenden Organisation, der Studentenbewegung. In der selben Zeit, also zwischen 1965 und 1967 gibt es auch, wenn man so will eine theoretische Radikalisierung des amerikanischen SDS, der bis dahin, wenn ihr das Port euren Statement einmal lest, eigentlich radikal demokratisch in der besten amerikanischen Tradition, der amerikanischen Revolution gewesen war Und in diesem Radikaldemokratismus auch am erfolgreichsten in der Massenmobilisierung war. Die Radikalisierung des SDS erfolgt durch die Erklärung, also des sich Auseinandersetzen mit dem imperialistischen Krieg. Also mit der Übernahme der marxistischen Imperialismustheorie
Und hier spielt dann eine Gruppe von älteren Marxisten, um Monthry Ridue herum, die schon ein paar Jahre früher wesentliche Bücher über den amerikanischen Imperialismus geschrieben hatten. Wurden damit eigentlich in einer gewissen Weise, kam der Marxismus auf diese Weise in den amerikanischen SDS. Gleichzeitig findet auch eine Radikalisierung der schwarzen Bewegung statt, aber weniger durch den Vietnamkrieg, als durch, dadurch die Bewegung sich, wie ich schon eben genannt habe, sich in die nördlichen Ghettos der Industriestädte verlagert hatte. Es wurde 1966, wurde SNCC, die eigentlich ein Non-Violent-Coordination-Comity war, bekannte sich zur Black Power, anstatt zur Integration. Und im gleichen Jahr wurde die Black Panther Party gegründet. 1967 gab es Aufstände, wiederum große Ghettoaufstände, unter anderem in New York und Detroit und in weiteren 25 Städten in den USA.
In dem selben Jahr, findet die erste große militante Auseinandersetzung mit der Polizei, also eine direkte Straßenschlacht der weisen Studentenbewegung statt. Es ist die Okland-Dratt-Action, d.h. es ging um ein Büro der Rekrutierung zur Armee, was man absperren wollte. Im gleichen Jahr ist auch der relativ später auch bekanntgewordene March auf den Pentagon, also eine Massendemonstration auf die zentrale Kriegstelle in Amerika. 1967 ist, wenn man so will, ist das Jahr, in dem die amerikanische Studentenbewegung früher als in anderen Ländern ZU einer militanten Bewegung wird. 1968, und jetzt gehe ich ganz schnell vor, fängt mit der TET Offensive in Vietnam an, also ein ganz anderer Ton auf der vietnamesischen Seite. Also nicht nur die Opfer auch die Völker die sich befreien wollen, daß die eventuell Sieger sein können. Im April wird Martin Luther King ermordet, es gibt wiederum die breiteste Welle von Aufständen. In 125 amerikanischen Städten oder Ghettos.
Im April gibt es eine ebenfalls sehr militante Demonstration nach dem Attentat an Rudi Dutschke, die fast hinüberführt in die Besetzung der Gebäude der Colombia University. Also der ersten Besetzung von Universitätsgebäuden in der amerikanischen Studentenbewegung. Im September gibt es diese berühmte Demonstration in Chikaco gegen den Parteitag der Demokraten. Im November, ich überspringe jetzt das Jahr 1969, das eigentlich ein Jahr der Widersprüche ist. Einerseits wird Präsident Nixon zum Präsidenten gewählt, also eine gewisse Gegenreaktion des anderen Amerika. Im selben Jahr löst sich der SDS in verschiedene Parteien und Gruppierungen auf, die fast ähnlich aussehen, wie fast ein Jahr später dann in Deutschland, ohne daß man es imitiert hätte, es gibt aber auch einen großen Streik, den San Francisco State College Streik, d.h. die Studentenbewegung hat sich verlagert von den Eliteuniversitäten zu den Massenausbildungsstätten der State- und Citycolleges.
Im November gibt es die größte Antikriegsdemonstration in Washington. 1970, das nur als Abschluß hier und als Zeichen, daß es mit Nixon's Präsidentschaft keineswegs zu Ende gegangen ist, geht einerseits wie in Deutschland ein Teil der ehemaligen SDSler in den Untergrund, He Weathermen Underground. Es erfolgt die Invasion in Kambodscha im April und darauf gibt es in Kent State University, wie an vielen anderen Universitäten Massendemonstrationen. In Kent State werden glaube ich 12 Studenten getötet in den Auseinandersetzungen. Was zu einem praktisch generellen Streik der Studenten an Colleges und Universitäten führt. An dem 4 Millionen Studenten teilnehmen. Das ist also der Streik, der auf die Ereignisse in Kent State erfolgte. Damit möchte ich jetzt aufhören, und dann Daniel Bertraux das Wort geben und das geht jetzt in Englisch.
Daniel Bertraux: Please excuse me for talking English, my German is really too poor. I will talk slowly, if you don't understand it, please show it, and than we can translate. Just before I described briefly the whole history of the student movement in France, I will come back to the book itself, because I think I might not have the time to tell you how the book is written. Ifs not an ordinary history book, ifs made of people, of people's lifes. We have interviewed all together about 200 people. In Germany I think about 60 people, 50 people. But the same in France and many more in the United States. In Italy and in Britain, and we have taken a number of them to express a history of the movements through their lifes.
And I think this is a very important point, because through this method we see that, ifs people, which make a movement. In many books you get impressions of social movements coming out of no where and just disappearing. Ifs like if there were a sort of a natural phenomen, produced by objective conditions. While this is not so, movements are made up by people and with our method o f interviewing people and taking them as whole persons, not only as actors in a precise historical moment, but as whole persons, where do they come from, where do the radical idea come from. Where has it been after the movement was over. With this method we are able to show very vivifly how movement is made by people. That's the first point. And of course, it brings objectivity of the from for of the story. It is not only a story, even a story of objectivity. The second point to understand, and I am talking about France now, is that the student movement in France was made by two generations. By this I don't mean the fathers and the children. 1 mean two generations following each other about a distance of 5 to 7 years. And there are very different generations. So I describe very briefly the history of the France student movement through the history of these two generations. The first generation is made of people who where born before 1945, before the baby boom.
They were born during the war years. They were, they grew up during the 50th, which was a very conservative scene, were there was no youth culture at all. The culture was totally adult. And everything was segregated, for instant the high school was segregated by sex, boys high schools, girls high schools, the catholic youth movement was segregated by sex. And even the communist youth movement was segregated by sex. In fact there was, the boys wanted, in a communist youth the boys wanted very much a integrated movement and at one congress by surprise, they voted against the bureaucrats of the communist party, they voted a motion that the two youth movements should be integrated the boys and the girls. But the girls had found, that the parade, they said, the girls had not participated to the vote, so that vote was useless. So that is the mood of the 50th.
At the end of the 50th as you know, there was the Algerian war, there a billion of the Algerians started on a very low level in 1954 and grew up and grew up and till by 1956 the french government decided to draft the young people into the war. Of course it was a very dirty war it was a colonial war were the France, who pretended to the country that they .. the law, the country of the rights of man. was making massacres of soldiers, of the civilian populations. And using torture as the means of war, systematically. Therefore the youth was very much, especially the intellectually youth of students were very much in rebellion against that war for more reasons, and although they were frightened to be drafted. The movement against the war mounted from 1959 onwards until by 1962. There were youth demonstrations in the streets of Paris, not only by students although by communist activists and by may 1962 the peace was signed and the France withdrew from Algeria. That was the end of the algerian war, that was although the end of the student movement for a long while. The student movement collapsed immediately after the end of the war. But a whole generation, when I say a generation it is a few hundred of students not more than that of course. But had got a sort of political training during this fight against the war and this training was basically Marxist and third world oriented. The idea that the third world was struggled transformed the word. At the same time there was a Cuban revolution for instance, who had a sort of positive model of the third world liberation war.
This generation is going to reach the age of 27 to 30 years in 1968. And they are going to be all the leaders, with one exception of J. Cohn-Bendit. They are the leaders of the Maoist groups of the ...groups in 1968. In between 1962 and 1968 this generation of a few hundred of activists, Marxist activists went into the communist student union, sort of took over the union from the orthodox people and some of them in fact dream of, that they would eventually conquer the communist party and make the revolution in France. They were very critical of the leaders of the communist party. They found at the same time, like a democratic spirit and like a revolutionary spirit, and at that time there seemed to be no contradiction between this two critics. Now we know of this contradiction. They were in fact forming groups within the student union.
One Truscall group, one Maoist group and one was called pro Italian group, people who were very admired of the italian communist party which has been consistently much more intelligent as the french communist party in the last 40 years. Well to go very quickly, what happened is, that the italians and the Maoists made an align to kick out from the student union, to kick out the Truscall, than the italian made an align with orthodox bureaucratic to kick out the Maoist group and than the bureaucrats kicked out the italians. And they closed down the union of communist students, which was really only trouble. They closed it down, so by 1966 it gets one small group of 200 people which hat a Truscall force international and they although have 200 people were following the Maoist line, they calling themselves Marxists Leninists. But the other ones are Leninists too. And it has other groups, other Truscall groups, but which are not playing any role in 1968, so I don't want to mention them. So that is the story of the first generation sort of the 1968 and in months before 1968 there were many actives building the revolutionary party, which is as you know all kinds of activities, which just turned inwards. People writing to each other and building the party.
And than were although fighting in the streets against extreme right winged groups, which were made of especially of law students and there was some right winged influence in France, because afterwards of the Algerian war a lot of people came back of Algeria a lot of french people with right winged ideas. One of' the hidden in place of the situation for the very violent streetfight between this two groups, was, there were antisemiticed in the right winged groups, were as in the left winged group, especially in the Truscall group, quite a number of students of leaders especially were, they were french born, but they were from families who were polish Jews, immigrated to France in the 30th. Now the second generation is totally different. Ifs made of people which were only 16, 17, 18 and 20 in 1968, this people were the baby boom generation. They were 13. when the Algerian war finished, the oldest one were only 16. They were not very much touched by the Algerian war. They grew up during the youth culture years, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the french ... popstars.
They grew up with youth culture, they where the first one taking by the youth culture, they went to rock concerts, they had no political training, but they had a great sort of moral sensitivity. And when the Vietnam war developed it became very clear, what was the Vietnam war. They were really in many cases seen of, there were the bad Americans, there were the good ones, that were the Vietcong. This people were getting ready to get involved into some political activities. And the two generations really made in 1968, because of the great help of police violence, the police fantastic role in depth of being the movement, because as soon as the police started hitting students, the mass of' younger students became sort of joining solidarity. And so l am going very fast. In the years, well you know a bit about the 1968, you know this was the biggest strike in french history. 9.000.000 people on strike for 10 days it was very big. Well in the month of may 1968 you got 4 weeks like in any month of may. But this 4 weeks where very special.
During the first one, you had some students arrested and followed by police beatings and everytime more students in the streets, more police beatings, and the students fighting back at the police and this in the first friday at the end of the first week by huge street battles, which lasted the whole night. After that, al lot of emotions in France to police violence and a huge demonstration in Paris with close to 1.000.000 people, this is enormous, there where the unions, the workers union joining the demonstration. And in the second week a several kind of wilde cat strikes, how to you call that, spontaneous strikes by workers, al1 over the country and against the will of the communist party. At the end of the week, there where 2.000.000 workers apparently all over the country on strike. This is not that they wanted to imitate the students it was that they thought it was just the right moment.
The government is weak by the students movement. Therefore the workers think it is the right time to go on strike and get a pay raise. And at the end of the second week, the communist party threw its union in control and decided for a general strike all over France. So all over France you get factories, although offices all kinds of centres of course universities and high schools get occupied by the people who worked there. And people took control over their workplace. And they started making general assemblages every day. And discussing all kinds of topics. Related of course to work too. Authority to apprentice? and all that stuff It is a fantastic communication between people. Now the 3 week goes on like this. The whole country has stopped and people discuss what kinds of new forms of organisations the society should take. In meanwhile the political class of course is active to find a solution to replace De Gaulle. And the left, especially the non-communist left its failing to come up with a solution.
So during the 4 week De Gaulle has a first failure to grasp power back, but a second failure is a success and on may 30 obviously by sort of a Cout et dat?, back by the army in fact the army did not move, but De Gaulle let know, that the army was ready to move. So by May 30 the whole movement stopped, and all there was reinstard? That is the 4 week of May. That is the character of it. In the years to come, 1972, the year of continuation of left movements, Leninists movement I'11 say. And than fortunately they do not go anywhere, they try to start to organise the workers, to organise getting a revolutionary party. And that is a failure, and one group, the most active one, the Maoist group almost goes into the direction of A. Tregger?, ...which was a ...terrorist. But fortunately it, just before going into it, it stops. It starts doing actions with the guns, but the guns are unloaded. That is very typical of the fight of the political people, were in control of the military people within the organisation. They gave guns to people but they did not give them bullets. So it was unviolent. This group dissolved in 1972, and that is sort of the end of the student movement and is direct consequences. Of course the social consequences go as tar as today, but this comes back today. I will stop here.
I.uisa Passerini: I do apologise for speaking English and for the fact, that we have to meet on a language which is neither mine nor yours. Let us hope, that communication does not only go through words. Perhaps, I was thinking by the two of you were talking, it is not easy from this vast and sumlerend'? room, to overcome the estrangement from 1968. It is possible to measure the distance between here and there and to measure that, I suppose we have to sort of take up the historical approach, as antihistorical were 1968. So not so much look at what came, what prepared it, what can it be for, but why it came such a brake. Why was it so different, why did it make it a point of no return. In my country 1968 started in 1967 actually, in November 1967.
It were of the two big occupations, so the Catholic University of Milan over a question of taxes. Because the university taxes had made higher, and the occupation of the Turin University over a decision by the academic senate to move the university out side off town. And the student resented the idea of having to be separated of the other people to form a city out off the city. But behind this immediate reasons for occupying the university, there was much else, there was mainly the idea of attacking the authority of professors and they wanting to decide to take now lections in their own hands. To decide, what we have to learn why and in what directions, to decide over the knowledge. And the 3. There was the idea of occupying, the motive in itself. Occupying and there we can measure the distance. Occupation means that this room suddenly becomes a place, where we live, where we eat, sleep, discuss, study, stay together.
So this is a different use of space and time. And that is probably the reason why occupations came one after the other. December 1967 the University Sonea pospa Via, Calgary Genoa are occupied. In January 1968 the University of Padua, Venice, Florence and Rome and Pisa are occupied and they stay occupied, as well as the Universities of Milan and Turin, which I started from. In February the high schools started being occupied and on the first of March there is the so called Valley-Julien-Battle in Rome. Where students come to attack the police which is trying to drive them out off the faculty of Architecture. The battle lasts for 2 or 3 hours and the police actually withdraws. So it is a military aspect of the events which continues the occupying. Not only occupying the universities, occupying the territory, occupying the streets, occupying the city space and the space of communication too. Perhaps the characteristics of Italy in 1968, meaning by the time of 1968 although the time up to the 1970 anyway. The longest stand than the year itself.
The characteristics of Italy is really that not only the students move, but immediately other social groups move. And for instant in March 1968 one of the first councils of the workshop is formed the Piralli counciling. The workers start to organise. In April a very significant fact takes place. The workers of Marzotto, which is a textile industry, revolt together with the people of the town in which Mazotto is. Take down the statue of the old Mazotto, the man who had founded this industry. And they show by this way, they are no longer the franchised? to the industry as such. So all together the social protest in and among the workers and the peasants start in 1968, at the same time as the students. In December 1968 the police kills two agrarian? workers in the south, protesting because of their low pay and 1969 will ... all this with the students in front of the factories especially in front of the factories of Turin. The Fiat Miafiori, where the young workers from the south work, who don't accept the discipline, the work discipline the old workers have more or less accepted for years. The student movement in a similar way on a longer way of spend of time as the French one, goes out off the universities, out off the schools, in front of the factories. And this is at the same time as worth as a specific movement particularly to that period of time to that country, and its death of student model.
So the problem has been raced over and over again, could the students have done anything else? Could they have stayed in the universities, in the schools instead of standing in front of the factories. What wasn't, stayed this after all. Because it was the beginning of a great hope that in the 70th brought to the buildings of the group, the so called new left groups, which lasted for some years, with the hope of refunding society of a great political change. But were totally defeated. So the problem is, 1968 as such, started in the universities, in the factories and all the territories. The union between the two movements did not succeed. Could anything else had have been done? Is the problem that have not jet been solved. Because it is true, in Italy the movements last more than less than 1977.
It is actually 10 years. But during this period in spite of the appearance of new movements linked with the re movement which develops in the 70th in Italy, is really a movement that had existed during the previous centuries, it is a real appearance. But in spite of this the movement as such declined progressively, and in 1977, what has been called the last youth revolt, the movement of 1977 is represented by two polls on one side, young people who call themselves metropolitan Indians, and dress like the American Indians. And joked over the whole metropolitan scene, teasing it, putting it down with laughter. And on the other side there were the people who used as a sign the piece or the "A" in the gun. The indication that they were ready for terrorism. The movement has really polarised into this direction. Laughter on one side and terrorism on the other. And the movement which was allied, the women's movement was taking more and more the distance from 1968, and saying we are not coming from there. So this s as seen as a big drama, perhaps the terms of the problems that we will be cut in the following seetions.
Annemarie Tröger: Ich glaube ich werde meinen schönen Plan über'n Hauten stoßen, weil es schon viel zu spät ist, um diese Serie von Fragen zu bewältigen. Und jetzt werde ich Englisch reden, weil das die beiden auch verstehen sollen.
I think through our three talks, there are already certain aspects which come up and to which is actually our scheme today and answer it or might answer it, the question is the student movement in its international appearance. One movement which is actually an international movement, or is it just a national movement in different, quite different countries, which come up more or less in the same compinate in the same time within a few years. I think all three of us have indicated certain points which are of interests and which are comparable among the different countries. Bertraux in his analysis of two generations which were political active in the student movements. Bears some simmularity to, I would say to the German movement too. To the American, I am not so sure about. Luisa stressed the anthropologically meaning of certain forms of protest, which are all throughout the student movements for instants the occupation of central university buildings. And what is it actually? Why are those centennially dull and mostly although dirty buildings. I mean occupied for weeks and why do people sleep in it and make it to their space.
And I think there is another level of comparising on which actually our book tried to touch upon, and I think it gives some answers to the individual life stories. And finally I tried more directly the directly comparative things I mean which have been taking over consciencly from one movement to the other. Where has there been a similar or a comparable development in terms of are theoretically insides and in terms of radicalisation's. That means especially the neutral influence between the black movement and the white movement in the United States. But although the similarity at least in the development of the theoretically development of the American SDS to the German SDS. And I think instead of going into the different aspects, let say separately making rounds as I suggested before. I think we start actually from here and I would like to open the discussion actually with perhaps a relatively, well at least an obvious question that of the neutral influences. Those who were observable and who constantly were taking over. And therefore I would like to ask, Luisa and Daniel, just to some up very briefly those influences which they see in their national movement, the direct influences.
Daniel Bertraux: Well that is very simple and very quick. The french people are very isolated culturally, they think they are the centre of the world. They still think they are the centre of the world. You see how ridiculous it is. And therefore they don't pay attention to what is happening elsewhere. And it is not often mentioned in the newspaper and frankly everything what has happened in the States for instants, was not known in France at all. Things which happened in 1968 in France were happening 4 years earlier in the States like sit-in or the first occupation of a university building. And the french had no idea that that has happened before. They thought they were discovering a new form of action. If there is any influences maybe from the states to the German student movement, from Germany to France through a few personal contacts like Cohn-Bendit or some other gays.
But there are very few influences. The most massive influence I could find of the influence of the Chinese movement, the cultural revolution, this huge movement you have heard of, which started in 1966, and put millions of young people in the streets manipulated as we know now by Mao against the leadership. Well at that time it may appear like a spontaneous mass movement and the french journalists, which were in Peking were fascinated by that movement and wrote huge papers, almost every day, Le Mond, which is the main intellectual newspaper in France to the extant of the situation is once called the Le Mond the largest Maoist newspaper outside china. Which it was for 2 years. And that the single largest influence from outside world.
Luisa Passerini: I must say the Italians are the contrary, they always translate something and believe that people outside Italy are better than they are. Very much to the contrary to the french. But this is a difficult question to answer, because infact many of the influences are not direct, they are indirect. So that for instance, you will find that movements, student movements in different parts of the world they arrive at the same point having gone through a similar process. But haven't really known each other very much. The directly influence, say I can think of are two. One is the Free Speech Movement from the States.
The very idea of being able to stand up now and to say what is wrong and how we want things different is the other basis of the movement. And that happened in 1964, in 1965 the book by Traper was published, that book had the similar value, because people recognise that it was possible to speak out to say what is wrong and to say what we want at the moment the other influence later, during 1968 itself, direct one was a German one. Rudi Dutschkes Book of the rebellion of students it had a great influence. It had been published in a little book with a green cover and it was carried everywhere. And the main idea there which was taking up, was the idea of that, again it is similar but it has a further understanding.
You can start protesting and rebelling from institutions within the institutions where you are, where you work, where you study, which is a very different idea than the one more original more traditional one, belonging to the working class movement. Where according to each, there is one privileged place of revolt and that is the factory. And everything else is subortinaded. Here the new idea and it is put forward in Dutschkes book, is that, you can start from wherever you are, especially in an institution, like a university. And by circles you can reach the factory. From the very place where you are. And it is although the very same idea which is behind the solidarity towards the Vietnamese. In order to enact solidarity with the Vietnamese, you have to struggle on in your own place. This is the idea and this are the three direct influences. It is not bringing solidarity to somebody else with the real subject of the revolution, when you are a student coming from the middle class and therefore subordinated. But you are a subject about in the very place you are. The three influences that go toward to that point.
Annemarie Tröger: I think it although it might be a little presumptuous, if I answer for the American student movement, so I just want to point out two things in term of well the internationalism of the American movement which come out off my own experience. I'm really not saying, this is generally the case. But what ever our American colleges have said in the book is not contradictory. First of all I was really struck by the type of provincialism in the American movement. Really, I mean you could see, they taking all the things but they were not aware that they were taking them over. It was really selfinvolved but different that the french, who think they are the greatest culture nation on earth. There it is really down earth provincialism.
Everything else is very far away and but what plays a big role is, besides naturally the Vietnamese and the Vietnamese were clever enough at that time, to invite a lot of student leaders to North Vietnam, at a point. And that was really important for them, as well as the Cuban trips overseas. From that they learned a lot, but that were not other movements as students movement as I said. And there my question comes in. Does it become, now subjectively, the student movement of 1968? Now one movement operating or becoming one movement because the people operated on the same or with the same myth. You brought in the great cultural revolution. Now what the student knew here about the great cultural revolution is a sensual a myth. We did not know to much about it besides what the Red Banner told us. And the same thing is what is the communist party and the FLN in Vietnam. We were really operating on what we projected into such things.
That is my question in how fare did this movement or this different national movements reach out for certain utopias and models and there were only few of that models, since the Sowjet Union was not the traditional socialist parties and countries were not valid any more as models, as utopias. So there were only as few around and those myths shaped the different movements and shaped it to one against their own conciseness.
Also ich möchte dies nicht zu sehr zu einem Gespräch zwischen uns machen, sondern ihr könnt wirklich dazwischen kommen. Mit einerseits Verständnisfragen. Vielleicht sollte ich dies erstmal machen, und wir können dann auf die Frage zurückkommen.
Peter Tornius: Es ist sehr schön die Sache so international zu betrachten, nur solche Sachen betrachte ich nicht national oder international sondern sachlich....preußisch. Solche geraden Studentenbewegungen, das erste dürfte sein mit Sokrates, solche Sachen zu Personen zu binden lehne ich persönlich vollständig ab. Und gerade hier in Berlin, und das ist eigentlich die erste Sache, was ist hier losgegangen ist, ist keineswegs soweit weg von Personen gestartet, noch subjektiv sondern ganz kräftig und mächtig parteipolitisch, sowohl als gesellschaftlich. Es ist, wo es gewesen ist, ich weiß nicht ob der Herr von Paris kennt auch die ganze Bewegung damals, als Sorbonne' zustande gekommen ist. Was an der Pariser Universität gewesen ist. Bloß dann dürfte er ja auch wissen, daß hier keine subjektiven Angelegenheiten sonder sachliche Sachen sind und nicht Aspekte und Einflüsse, sondern sachliche Beweggründe.
Und dieses, schön die Franzosen dürfen das machen in ihrem Lande war es schön ruhig, und ich sage so Mätzchen sich zu erlauben. Aber wir gerade nicht in Berlin, in der geteilten Stadt, wo damals gerade 2 Universitäten existierten. In Ost und West, wo ganz andere Beweggründe als Gründe. Vorhanden sind nur nicht subjektive Angelegenheiten. Und hier helfen solche Aspekte später oder Theorienaufstellungen überhaupt nicht. Es geht hier um Leben, worüber nicht geredet wird z.B. über die Opfer. Hier an der FU auch fast mindestens die Hälfte der Studenten von gestern sind auch Opfer gewesen. Sie leiden bis heute darunter. Hier können wir einfach nicht die Sachen mit Schönheit oder mit Aspekten oder mit Ästhetik hier betrachten. Und wie es zu zustande gekommen ist, ist wiederum keine Generationsangelegenheit es ist wiederum eine sachliche Angelegenheit.
Und hier in Berlin, da bin ich ganz überzeugt, ich habe alles erlebt, ich bin nach einer großen Studentenrevolution, die Revolution war, aus Budapest gekommen nach England, dort habe ich auch die Anfange der akademischen Schwierigkeiten erlebt, und bin ich hier hingekommen, und habe hier auch alles erlebt daß hier eigentlich reformieren war, ja hier ging es um Verstaatlichung der Universitäten. Das erste mal überhaupt in dieser Geschichte es war eine knallige Angelegenheit. Akademische Würdeschaft abzuschaffen und Verstaatlichung, und das hat gerade die SPD damals gemacht als sozialistisch, sozialistisch bedeutet nicht sozial, sondern verstaatlichend, und das würde ich jetzt gerne gerade fragen, wie erklären Sie es aus einzelnen Aspekten oder Subjektivität, Verstaatlichung einer Universität und dessen Angelegenheiten.
Annemarie Tröger: Habe ich Sie richtig verstanden, daß Sie im wesentlichen die Studentenbewegung zu mindestens hier in Berlin, als von außen gesteuert war genommen haben.... Ich glaube wir sammeln erst einmal ein paar Fragen und kommen dann darauf zurück, vielleicht hat jemand Sie dann genauer verstanden. Petra du wolltest glaube ich ne Frage stellen.
May I just translate it briefly for you.
The first question was about the student movements in socialistic countries mainly Yugoslavia, Poland and Hungary and why did they start. This was an informally question to us. The second question was, Luisa was talking about the point of no return and in how was is that something which can be translated or make clear to the younger generation, what is this, a point of no return. And was this point of no return be although an explanation or at least a description for the socialist countries. And connecting to that, was the question, what came out or what is left from this point of no return and of this generation or from the people, who did this point of no return once and continue to live, but how, do they have connection among each other, do we have a smelling body in our basement, today the younger generation what is to be expected from this generation.
Luisa Passerini: Not easy questions, to the first one I think we can reply somebody else has already replied this Hurendt, who said, in the western countries and in the east European countries, there was a similarity in the struggle of the students in so tar, as they rebelled against bureaucracy and she meant in both cases they were really struggling for democracy. So apparently there was a different. Because in one part, the students appeared to be in the eastern European countries, they appeared to be struggling for the democracy, which the other ones were taking. But I believe, Hurendt is right, in noting that the two movements are inspired by the same attack against authority, which is in fact a point of no return I believe. No return in the sense, authority that differented deep subjective sense has not been restored after that. And of course, this is nothing that can be proved in short periods of time. One of my believes after having studied 1968, it is infact a process of long time spend, it will give all its result in a long time. And the attack to authority meaning from this deepest subjected point of view is one of these.
And the other sense is really, that we have mentioned already the right to speak, the right of ones condition, and this is the point, that I think the women movement has taken up in its own way against the point of no return. You, we have the right to say now, what we feel about things and why they are wrong according to us an why we want to change them. So this is infact, requires a very long change, which is not to be done in such an easy way. And maybe at times it even brings to it conquery, that some times, for instance talking about my country, this idea, that one has the right to protest about his or her own situation has led to something, which is co-operative intact. It is a form of selfishness and lack of universalism. But the idea, that the new universalism must go through unilateralism, it must go through this very subjected and very specific situation. This somehow like saying, the new collective has to go through individualism and they gave not the old individual. 1968 puts in to discussion the very relationship between individual and collective and proposes something new where they are the poles of an new tension.
And I think we shouldn't loos what has remained in material terms, sort of the networks exists and in somehow certain extent even this book is a production of networks that have continued. But this means nothing to younger generations. What should somebody who is 18 care about, that we have good friends in other countries. The other points are more important, but somehow my feeling is, that they go, that they have to go through their own contraries. Like there was this large international movement and after it there was a Diaspora, and the Diaspora means, that every, not only every country but everyone has to go through her/his own way, and somehow put into practise that idea of becoming a subject, becoming a real subject. So it goes somehow through the very opposite of what it was, from the streets and from the ... to the inside and to solitude and loneliness and separation somehow.
Annemarie Tröger: Also erstens, mit der Entwicklung der Mittelklassenkultur, du würdest also sagen, die Studentenbewegung war der Träger bereits einer neuen Mittelklassekultur? Ja, die Avantgarde der neuen Mitte, okay. Jetzt die Frage, sobald sie annulliert waren, also im Grunde die Elemente der alten bourgeoise Kultur sozusagen, was meinst du jetzt, für die selben Leute, die in der Studentenbewegung waren, oder ist das das Zeichen für die breite Akzeptanz....
So vielleicht beschreibst du da dein eigenes Ding. So jetzt noch eine Frage, weil ich das ja alles übersetzen muß. Wie ist das mit dem heiß und kalt? Du sagst, die 68er waren die letzte heiße und die erste kalte Bewegung, du sagst aber gleichzeitig sie sind nie niemals dazugekommen, die Machtfrage überhaupt zu stellen. Sie haben sie niemals gestellt. Also wären sie nie in eine heiße Bewegung gewesen, sondern immer nur eine kalte. Und was heißt das jetzt, wenn die Akte platzt?
He says, there was a part acceptance by the society on large of the student movement already its beginning ... or interrupt and althroughout and this was effected by two things accentualy First of all the student movement was accentual a middle-class movement, which attacked and I asked the question against the agemeny? of the bourgeois culture. And instituted in a way or pushed forward at least, a true middle-class culture. So far even that this levelled middle-class society which Zchelschky, the sociologist, Zchelsky saw or analyst even before the 50th, actually became true only through the student movement. The student movement as avant-garde of the white coloured class. The second point of acceptance is, that the student movement was the last hot, and the first cold rebellion. And the definition for hot is, very brief to ask the question of power statepower, and cold is, that you never touched this point, you show your discontent you rebel against certain conditions in the society but you never ask the ultimate question for a revolution in state power. In taking over the state.
And the student movement had an acceptance because it came close to asking this question the hot question, meaning at: ford the power and the control of the state machine, but at the same time was constantly trying to block those people who actually ask the questions. In its statement and actually blocking out the militant actions, and those people who went underground. And actually this sort of being a hot-cold movement, on the one hand be taking serious and on the other hand never going so fare, really make it acceptable to large segments of the society. Especially in the middle classes I guess. And so starting from a different point of view, really taking up the class analysis of the student movement and asking, why does it mean in terms of the constitution of middle class, which is really more speaking through the head of the people concerned, there is not, at least on my part so much to say against it, but the question is, first of all I would doubt your general acceptance even within the middle classes.
That it came already to that point. I think at least for Germany. An even more for the United States. It is simply not true, and at the violent reaction of especially in the United States against everything which the student movement, and in the following the women's movement brought up as what you could say the new middle class values behaviour and sexual values, is by the same class and by ever-growing large segments of that class, absolutely rejected. And it was already rejected than, but was a silent majority as Mr. Egno said, and we are the majority. And I think that is the white coloured middle class, you are talking of, and the growing conservatism internationally within that class, which you can't explain by what you said and I think that what I forgot, is that they now, the same people of student revolutions who are once revolutionised in terms of middle class cultures are now coming back and aspiring to the old bourgeois values which sounds a little bit like ... analysis of the 1968 in some way. So this spiring of the old bourgeois values is really nothing compared to the real drive to conservatism within this middle class at large and which is in the formation.
Daniel Bertraux: I basically agree with this analysis. In France I ...specialists of social movements said once of the 68 movement in France that it was the last of the 19 century revolution and the first of the 21 century revolution. What you are making, and it could even made more precisely if you use the conception of two generations which have developed briefly is very clear, that the first generation, which is a Leninist, it belongs to the 19. century, the have the model of taking over statepower. And everything will be paradise after that. And they don't have the concept of power like being a diffused thing, which is the concept of Fouccou. Now if you take the younger generation, they don't want given state power, what they want is to transform power relation in every life and the feminist movement, and the green movement, the ecological movement it is total different conception.
Where I am total in agreement, is when you said, they fought against bourgeois value, it seems on the contrary, it could be argued, that this movements did not invent any new values. They just realised, that the values they had been taught at school were no practise at all. But I think the older generation there were taught in Europe I think even in Germany they were taught of the humanistic values. At the same time, as the Algerian war was going on or the Vietnam war, they speak up. But the believe to the values they were taught at school. Let me put you this very few lines from a happening Berkley 1964. I already referred to that, the first thing that happened, there was this huge camp with 22.000 students, like a huge machine. But everything was working perfectly well and on a tiny corner of the campus a tiny group selling journals, which nobody bought, but of the Russian? quality of the south of the states, and than the ... of the university wants to prevent them from selling this literature.
So they try to negotiate for 3 weeks an than the ... send a police car and two huge cops and they take one of this man and put him in the car. And the students did not know what to do, so they decided to sit in the front of the car. That is the first Sit In. And Rossman said it was the first Sit In in front of a car and we were 200 sitting and everybody would tell you, he or she was the first one to sit. And all of them are right, because all had the same idea. And than one of them jumped on the top of car. And instead of behaving like one of his Leninists chief, he said, well we have to something, but I don't know what to do, so let us discuss it together and he opened the first direct democratic assemble. Now Rossman was there sitting on the floor, he said, I was 24 almost 25 years old and it was the first time he really heard a democratic public discussion in America. No one could even say, because the words he said have been so abused, democracy congress. If you live in the United States, you hear the word democracy a hundred times a day. But it was the first time you will see the real thing, the real democracy. It was like going to church for years than watching god walk on earth. That is the difference. So he believed in democracy and than he realised democracy is not. He believes in the values but he realises, the values are not practise. I think it is more to this gap between values and practise than new values. And the book is full of course like this.
Annemarie Tröger: She's asking the question in contax of this hot and cold definition and puts it into doubt because of certain segments of the student movements went the hot way. That means the split off the movement end continuously and for years kept on to ask the hot question for a state power. Now here question is, how could it happen, if the general mark, and I guess that was your respond to although to him. If sensually a cold movement, how it could happen, that this actually developed inmidst of the student movement the hot segment, let say. And was it out of the same spirit of the student, or was it something completely different. I mean if they are completely different people than we can not just forget it. Those people, who were on the other side, they forgot about them. They simply don't mention them any more. That they belonged to us in a way. And that is right, Petra is right if we kind a stress really this middle class acceptance of the cold face of the student movement and make that to a general treat. Than we are right to forget about the heritage of the RAF.
Luisa Passerini: What ever terms you use, we can as well use hot as cold, but we could use other terms. What I think is very important is the fact, is to recognise the ambivalent nature of the movement of the 1968, they always, I talk of the plural, because they are ambivalent in many respects. That they at the same time democratic in the theory and practise and authority are again in their theorean practise, because just think of the idea they had of the art seps..? It was an elitarean idea. Or think of how they dealt with the sempries? It was often as so. At the same time democratic and authoritarian. At the same time religious and profane for instance in the States. At the same time for equality and against equality, think about Gender, how women the ambivalent role of women in the movement. So however you put and remind this well accept your proposal of the temperature metaphor. The ambivalent is essential otherwise we don't understand what came afterwards.
Because this sort of balance was broken. Astonishly, actually there are continuities between the student movement of 1968 and the terrorists between the student movement of 1968 and the women movement. There are continuities in this two directions, but besides continuity there although are differences and changes. The thing is, that really 1968 contains both of this things. One going toward the direction of the other. I mean the idea of power was present in 1968 as it is not present today in many of the movements, some of the green movements for instance. Act talking of power with a small "P" and never of the decision of power. Why, 1968 had this idea. The terrorist, at least some of the terrorists, because we had different types of terrorists, the red brigades took out that idea of s.power and build around it the farcically idea of peoples army and the peoples ...they took one idea in a typical regression.
They worked with a regressive type of elaboration. If you take that idea out of an ambivalent context, you can do what ever you want with it. And the women, I talk about Italy, the women movement took up very much the idea of difference. Everybody is different and there is a specific different, which is more the size of an other, but anyway one has the right to be what one is. And at least the second half of the 70th, the women movement in Italy forgot about equality very much. That was not an issue of ours. I thing it was a short time valance, that sort of, that why I although say it is a long time. It is in my interpretation, there were for a short time a balance which was somehow an intuition of many things which must be developed in a very long run. But if you develop as it has been done, one aside from the other, and that is why I am sort of sceptical about the idea of acceptance.
One thing is to accept, what a movement appears to be and what is fashionable. And the other thing is to accept where the....leads. This idea Daniel had mentioned it, that one of the leading ideas was this dialectics on words, today not very fashionable, but between words it be more than 3 days'?? So maybe society accept more easy as what the movement appeared to be than what it really meant. There is some people a again or so.
Daniel Bertraux: When Luisa said, that the women is double, she is very right. But than I want to go one step further, this double nature, it is in many case I am going to give, but the wrong part comes from the old word and the bright part, the good parts were coming from the word to be created. Obviously is a power dimension the higher key dimension, the manipulated dimension, within the movement came from the surrounding society It was there. Higher... is a central, is a call a type of relation in society today, still today. So there was a reflection of society within the woman, on the other hand the democracy, the openness, that was coming from a sort of value level, but not realised therefor that is a duppleface but belongs to two different words. One in ...
At some time I speak from my wife, I went to live with my mother for a while, my mother is a bourgeois woman who reads the conservative newspaper Le Figaro. And at was the time, when I was braking away from my sort of long left history and I was discovering the real meaning of democracy, by the way it is not very well known by french people. They think democracy you know. I told my mother. I really not have been a democrat I always thought I was fighting for democracy being in the left movement, but I thought that we were right and they were wrong. And of course my mother told me, I knew it all the time you are a Marxist, you are not a democrat you are a toletarean. And I said yes I understood the meaning of democracy, I thought we were totally right, and you were totally wrong, and now I realise, democracy is not that, democratic spirit is to accept that the other people may be right and you might be wrong. And my mother told me, if that is your definition of democracy, I am not a democrat. So you see it is a complex issue, the issue of democracy.
Annemarie Tröger: So you mean the student movement itself might be a result of an unpresitented....
Daniel Bertraux: In the United States yes
Luisa Passerini: To a certain extant yes, I should think so. The problem is, it is to a certain extant one of the causes, not the root. When a movement is so polyvalent and so complicate it sounds somehow insufficient to give just one of this causes. In fact we are saying, in a certain extant you are right, therefore this means the concepts of generation, age, family, education are relevant to interpretation as it was said before the concept of class. So we are saying to interpreted this movement you need in the combination of this different categories.
This was exactly one of the things they were against, they were against the parties, as the idea of making politics as separate fears of life. One of the major ideas of the movement in its central part, in the winter of 1968, than in 1969 it will be a different thing, in 1967/1968 the idea was, we want to get rid of all this old devisions between politics and life, school and life, art and life, that was an idea coming from the 20th, from the artistic and literal avant-garde of the 20th. The student movement took it up and lived it with possible contradictions. But the idea of being a party member was the very opposite of the spirit of the movement. The idea was, politic must be life and life must be politic. It was all mixed together even those people who had a Leninist idea even them, the inspiration was this.
And intact in the first part of the movement as I said, up to May, June 1968, the groups and the parties as such have very little effect on the movement. It was we call an ideological movementista it was the movement not the parties. So it was although an other aspect of this universal inspirations, they all punching against the bourgeois value. Everybody, not a party, everybody. This I think is a major point infact, that politics have to be lived. The function was one of the laughing points of the movement. Politics, you do not devide it upting, you always live all the time of your life together. This was a motive coming over and over again. And that anecdote, that Daniel just mentioned, the attitude, that M.. had is a proof in that, you don't have a specialist in politics, everybody is.
It was not based on theory, it was theory and practise I think. It was not, one of the things been divided during this months of the Vant... has been, because indeed it is something to reflect on. How come nobody is no longer Marxist, while everybody was a Marxist 20 years ago. Perhaps one of the reason is, practically nobody was really a Marxist in the States. Not only the sense in the literal sense, but although these movements did not start out of theory at all, they were not philosophies, the theories were in bughet in the movements, but certainly the movements as such were a peculiar mixture of theory and practise, they would not say they start from theory and go to practise, this is historically wrong. It was not this.
Daniel Bertraux: What is fascinating, if you compare the movement of various countries, you have the bossform, you have the sort of Leninist type, of willing the revolutionary party, to fight the power of the bourgeoisie and than you have the direct democracy, grassroot democracy, the council workers council democracy, anarchist type. Now in some countries the direct democracy comes first. And that is in the United States. And one great discovery of our American friends is that the d...stated in Berkley 1964, it started with a black movement in the south 1960, they were the ones who reinvented the direct democracy in fact of buying protesting to religious values, babtis values. But in Italy, to large instand it started although like this with occupations of factories and of the universities. And in France at least you have 10 years of Marxist-Leninist before you have in march 1968, thanks to Cohn-Bendit and a number of others. The first appearance of direct democracy.
So sometime it comes first, sometime it comes later. But whether all the appearance, the conclusion is always the same. First of all direct democracy is, where the genuine spirit of the movement is, that one thing I am sure of, and there we all sure of that. But the second thing that is the reason which had not be solved jet. If such a movement starts in contrary police power, police violence, harassment, infiltration, deformation in the media of the movement, everytime if there is a little bit of violence in the movement, the media are going to blow it, play it big, saying this is a violent movement. Everytime you have this, the model of the party building wings over. That you are formed the state power, this it not enough for our people. Notviolence is not enough. In the States there were years for years not violence action. And eventually they were fed up of being beaten over the head, and they started to fight back. That is the problem the next generation will have.
Quelle: 1968, Vorgeschichte und Konsequenzen, Dokumentation der Ringvorlesung vom Sommersemester 1988 an der Freien Universität Berlin. Herausgeber: Siegward Lönnendonker und Jochen Staadt
© GLASNOST, Berlin 1992 - 2015