Transition and Transfer in Germany and South Korea
Edited By Eun-Jeung Lee and Hannes B. Mosler
A Global Perspective on 1968
Neither confined to nationalistically defined spaces nor to a single year, the movement of 1968 is here comprehended as global and protracted. The United States’ “May 1968” occurred in 1970, when the Black Panther Party’s Revolutionary Peoples’ Constitutional Convention culminated a massive five-month insurgency. In understanding 1968 and subsequent eruptions such as the Gwangju Uprising of 1980 (Korea’s New Left), the concept of the “eros effect” helps to explain the rapid spread of revolutionary aspirations and actions. Episodes of revolt after 1968 point toward renewed periods of global uprisings.
More often than not, the movements of 1968 have been situated within nationalist parameters, and the global dimensions of the movement’s vitality have been consigned a minor role. Whether in Mexico or France, Vietnam or India, the meaning of 1968 has been interpreted within the context of domestic patterns and localized history. Seen through such prisms, the most significant and vital aspect of 1968’s explosive energy—that it consisted of one international movement rather than multiple ones—becomes minimized, even forgotten. My book on 1968 was the first to consider the movement’s global character, to speak of a unified revolt against both capitalist domination and Communist rule.
This world movement shared twin aspirations of self-determination (whether on institutional, neighborhood or national levels) and international solidarity. As the determinate negation of hierarchical rule and national chauvinism, these aspirations were evident in different forms in different places: in Vietnam, national integrity and independence were the concrete historical...
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