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New Left Review I/52, November-December 1968

Ernest Mandel

The Lessons of May

The revolutionary wave of May 1968 constitutes an immense reservoir of social experience. The inventory of this experience is as yet far from complete. What characterized that wave was precisely the irruption onto the historical stage of the creative energy of the masses, multiplying forms of action, initiatives and daring innovations in the struggle for socialism. Only by drawing on this reservoir, by basing itself on these gains, can the workers’ revolutionary movement arm itself effectively to complete the task whose possibility and necessity were both confirmed by May 1968: the victory of the socialist revolution in the highly industrialized countries of Western Europe.

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Ernest Mandel, ‘Lessons of May’, NLR I/52: £3

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