“Red May”: What Was It?

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Abstract. The article is devoted to events in France in May–June 1968. The article describes the course of events, the role of leaders and organizations, the main results of the crisis. “Red May” is described as a challenge to industrial civilization when the problems of the XXI century were declared not by the philosophers, but by the masses. Self-governance has become synonymous with the word “socialism”. “Red May” was the result of the inability of the traditional left parties to mobilize a society, to offer a constructive program. The author described how in May-June 1968 the strategy of thе “new left” сould be embodied in France — the alliance of the revolutionary intelligentsia of the West and the proletariat in the first generation, which is formed from the peasants mainly of thе “third world”. Student rebels were detonators of this process. The events of May-June 1968 have created a new France. The fall of the V Republic did not occur, but in 1968 the construction of a welfare state was completed in France. The self-governance society did not arise, but the 1968 revolution revealed the socio-psychological flaws of the industrial system. The author refers to the characteristics of “Red May” and concludes that it was an early post-industrial revolution.

Keywords: Red May, Charles de Gaulle, students, strike, revolution.

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