Alain Krivine, a leader of the student revolt of May 1968, passed away on 12 March at the age of 80. Many of the other key student leaders of the May ‘68 uprising, like Daniel Bensaïd, have also already taken their leave. Krivine’s death marks the symbolic end of a generation of French Trotskyism. With his death, we not only lose one of the key student leaders of the ‘68 events, but also a revolutionary without whom the old heritage and tradition of the earliest anti-Stalinism may not have survived into a new generation.
French historian Pierre de Vaissière’s description of a slave ship working the Atlantic trade in Saint-Domingue: Creole society and life under the Ancièn Regime, 1629-1789 cannot be forgotten: the hold below is hellish, naked bodies are chained, thrown back and forth by the middle passage seas, excrement is smeared about, and death feels a mere breath away. The captain decides to execute a Black man and woman for insubordination.
Lucien Sève succumbed to the coronavirus in late March, but you could say that he was killed by France’s under-resourced health system. Deprived of a ventilator, the Marxist philosopher was left to die at the Béclère hospital in Clamart, Paris, deemed “not a priority” because his body was 93 years old. Sève spent decades fighting against the degradation of the health care system. In his view, the human body is not simply a natural biological entity.
Prime minister Scott Morrison, an evangelical who is adamant that coal comes before Christ, is under the delusion that the combustible rock is “a heaven born gift to man”, as John Leifchild, author of Our Coal and Coal Pits, wrote. Without coal, the heavens themselves would fall in.
Karl Marx hated servility. Devoting his life to ending exploitation and oppression, the revolutionary journalist, agitator and theorist could think of nothing more miserable than submission.
Darren Roso speaks with Josep Maria Antentas, professor of sociology at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona and member of the editorial board of Viento Sur, about the crisis in Catalonia.