May ’68 Fifty-One Years Later
The French workers’ strikes of May 1968 reflected traditional working-class demands for less work and more pay. The student movement of the sixties confronted both left and right by advancing a cultural revolution of gender equality, expansion of personal freedoms, and eventually multiculturalism. During the long sixties, antiwork ideologies gained popularity and unprecedented public exposure by attempting to synthesize the New Left’s desire for simultaneous personal and social liberation. Antiwork movements also provoked a powerful counterrevolution that endorsed labor and the work ethic. Nevertheless, in France, Spain, and other Western nations, much of the sixties’ cultural revolution has survived, even if challenged.