France 1968

The golden age was the age when gold didn’t reign.
Anonymous

Speechmaking is counterrevolutionary.
Anonymous

Before writing, learn to think.
Anonymous

I don’t like to write on walls.
Anonymous

Write everywhere.
Anonymous

First, disobey; then write on the walls.
Anonymous, (Law of 10 May 1968)

Obedience begins with consciousness; consciousness begins with disobedience.
Anonymous

Abolish alienation.
Anonymous

How sad to love money.
Anonymous

You too can steal.
Anonymous

The economy is suffering, let it die!
Anonymous

Beautiful, maybe not, but Oh how charming: life versus survival.
Anonymous

Happiness is hanging your landlord.
Anonymous

Long live communication, down with telecommunication.
Anonymous

Are you a consumer or a participant?
Anonymous

To be free in 1968 means to participate.
Anonymous

You can’t buy happiness. Steal it.
Anonymous

Commodities are the opium of the people.
Anonymous

Burn commodities.
Anonymous

Down with consumer society.
Anonymous

Make love, not war.
Anonymous

Zelda, I love you! Down with work!
Anonymous

Revolutionary women are more beautiful.
Anonymous

Comrades, people are making love in the Poli Sci classrooms, not only in the fields.
Anonymous

Love one another.
Anonymous

Millionaires of the world unite. The wind is turning.
Anonymous

No freedom for the enemies of freedom.
Anonymous

I’m not selling bread, I’m selling yeast.
Anonymous

My aim is to agitate and disturb people.
Anonymous

You will end up dying of comfort.
Anonymous

No to coat-and-tie revolution.
Anonymous

Hide yourself, object!
Anonymous

A revolution that requires us to sacrifice ourselves for it is Papa’s revolution.
Anonymous

Revolution ceases to be the moment it calls for self-sacrifice.
Anonymous

We refuse the role assigned to us: we will not be trained as police dogs.
Anonymous

You can no longer sleep quietly once you’ve suddenly opened your eyes.
Anonymous

Open the windows of your heart.
Anonymous

To hell with boundaries.
Anonymous

Revolution is an INITIATIVE.
Anonymous

Free our comrades.
Anonymous

Help with cleanup, there are no maids here.
Anonymous

The freedom of others extends mine infinitely.
Anonymous

Only the truth is revolutionary.
Anonymous

Down with journalists and those who cater to them.
Anonymous

Down with spectacle-commodity society.
Anonymous

Comrades, stop applauding, the spectacle is everywhere.
Anonymous

Don’t get caught up in the spectacle of opposition.
Anonymous

Oppose the spectacle.
Anonymous

You, my comrade, you who I was unaware of amid the tumult, you who are throttled, afraid, suffocated - come, talk to us.
Anonymous

Talk to your neighbors.
Anonymous

Freedom is the right to silence.
Anonymous

Embrace your love without dropping your guard.
Anonymous

Open the gates of the asylums, prisons and other faculties.
Anonymous

Action enables us to overcome divisions and find solutions.
Anonymous

Whoever speaks of love destroys love.
Anonymous

Happiness is a new idea.
Anonymous

Culture is an inversion of life.
Anonymous

Art is dead, Godard can’t change that.
Anonymous

Art is dead, let’s liberate our everyday life.
Anonymous

Art is dead, don’t consume its corpse.
Anonymous

Permanent cultural vibration.
Anonymous

Don’t consume Marx, live him.
Anonymous

I’m a Groucho Marxist.
Anonymous

We want a wild and ephemeral music.
Anonymous

Abolish copyrights: sound structures belong to everyone.
Anonymous

The prospect of finding pleasure tomorrow will never compensate for today’s boredom.
Anonymous

Practice wishful thinking.
Anonymous

Arise, ye wretched of the university.
Anonymous

Exaggeration is the beginning of invention.
Anonymous

The enemy of movement is skepticism. Everything that has been realized comes from dynamism, which comes from spontaneity.
Anonymous

Here, we spontane.
Anonymous

Forget everything you’ve been taught. Start by dreaming.
Anonymous

Form dream committees.
Anonymous

Chance must be systematically explored.
Anonymous

Those who lack imagination cannot imagine what is lacking.
Anonymous

Reform, n. Chloroform
Anonymous

To bargain is to capitulate.
Anonymous

You, my comrade, you who I was unaware of amid the tumult, you who are throttled, afraid, suffocated - come, talk to us.
Anonymous

Our hope can come only from the hopeless.
Anonymous

Desiring reality is great! Realizing your desires is even better!
Anonymous

Making revolution also means breaking our internal chains.
Anonymous

Conservatism is a synonym for rottenness and ugliness.
Anonymous

Comrades, 5 hours of sleep a day is indispensable: we need you for the revolution.
Anonymous

SEX: It’s okay, says Mao, as long as you don’t do it too often.
Anonymous

The more I make love, the more I want to make revolution.
The more I make revolution, the more I want to make love.

Anonymous

Constraints imposed on pleasure incite the pleasure of living without constraints.
Anonymous

Going through the motions kills the emotions.
Anonymous

The bourgeoisie has no other pleasure than to degrade all pleasures.
Anonymous

I suspect God of being a leftist intellectual.
Anonymous

How can you think freely in the shadow of a steeple?
Anonymous

Can you believe that some people are still Christians?
Anonymous

Religion is the ultimate con.
Anonymous

When people notice they are bored, they stop being bored.
Anonymous

A cop sleeps inside each one of us. We must kill him.
Anonymous

I love you!!! Oh, say it with paving stones!!!
Anonymous

The walls have ears. Your ears have walls.
Anonymous

To call in question the society you "live" in, you must first be capable of calling yourself in question.
Anonymous

Thought that stagnates rots.
Anonymous

Every teacher is taught, everyone taught teaches.
Anonymous

Insolence is the new revolutionary weapon.
Anonymous

When examined, answer with questions.
Anonymous

Exams = servility, social promotion, hierarchical society.
Anonymous

We don’t want to be the watchdogs or servants of capitalism.
Anonymous

Professors, you are as senile as your culture, your modernism is nothing but the modernization of the police.
Anonymous

The student’s susceptibility to recruitment as a militant for any cause is a sufficient demonstration of his real impotence.
Anonymous

Students are jerks.
Anonymous

Drive the cop out of your head.
Anonymous

Godard: the worst cunt of all the pro-Chinese Swiss!
Anonymous

Masochism today takes the form of reformism.
Anonymous

And what if they burned down the Sorbonne?
Anonymous

When the last sociologist has been hung with the guts of the last bureaucrat, will we still have "problems"?
Anonymous

Consume more, you'll live less.
Anonymous

Down with the toad of Nazareth!
Anonymous

We dream of a new reality because we believe in the reality of our dreams...
Anonymous

Let's be cruel!
Anonymous

It is forbidden to forbid
Anonymous

Professors, you're making us grow old.
Anonymous

Freedom is the crime that includes all crimes. It is our ultimate weapon.
Anonymous

You are hollow.
Anonymous

We are all "undesirables."
Anonymous

Coming soon to this location: charming ruins.
Anonymous

Take revolution seriously, but don't take yourself seriously.
Anonymous

We refuse to be highrised, diplomaed, licensed, inventoried, registered, indoctrinated, suburbanized, sermonized, beaten, telemanipulated, gassed, booked.
Anonymous

We must remain "unadapted."
Anonymous

Commute, work, commute, sleep...
Anonymous

We want to live.
Anonymous

Don’t beg for the right to live - take it.
Anonymous

In a society that has abolished every kind of adventure the only adventure that remains is to abolish the society.
Anonymous

The liberation of humanity is all or nothing.
Anonymous

No replastering, the structure is rotten.
Anonymous

Imagination is seizing power!
Anonymous

Militants, liquidation is at hand!
Anonymous

We refuse the role assigned to us: we will not be trained as police dogs.
Anonymous

Warning: ambitious careerists may now be disguised as 'progressives.'
Anonymous

Don't beg for the right to live - take it.
Anonymous

Action must not be a reaction, but a creation.
Anonymous

Boredom is counter-revolutionary.
Anonymous

Never work.
Anonymous

Power to the imagination!
Anonymous

Run fast, comrades, the Old World is behind you!
Anonymous

I declare a permanent state of happiness!
Anonymous

Beneath the cobblestones, the beach.
Anonymous

Don't liberate me - I'll do it myself!
Anonymous

Be realistic. Demand the impossible!
Anonymous

Smash the state!
Anonymous

The educator must himself be educated.
Anonymous

Neither God nor Master!
Anonymous

Comrades, let's lynch Seguy!
Anonymous, (Georges Séguy: head bureaucrat of the Communist Party-dominated labor union.)

I come on the cobblestones.
Anonymous

Down with the recuperating grouplets!
Anonymous

Trade unions are brothels.
Anonymous

Down with the Stalinist corpse!
Anonymous

To work now is to work with a gun in your back.
Anonymous

I take my desires for reality because I believe in the reality of my desires!
Anonymous

Live without dead time! Enjoy without constraint!
Anonymous

Please leave the Communist Party as clean on leaving it as you would like to find it on entering.
Anonymous

Politics is in the streets.
Anonymous

Barricades close the streets but open the way.
Anonymous

Our hope can come only from the hopeless.
Anonymous

A proletarian is someone who has no power over his life and knows it.
Anonymous

People who work get bored when they don’t work. People who don’t work never get bored.
Anonymous

Workers of all countries, enjoy!
Anonymous

Since 1936 I have fought for wage increases. My father before me fought for wage increases. Now I have a TV, a fridge, a Volkswagen. Yet my whole life has been a drag. Don’t negotiate with the bosses. Abolish them.
Anonymous

Reform my ass.
Anonymous

By stopping our machines together we will demonstrate their weakness.
Anonymous

The revolution doesn’t belong to the committees, it’s yours.
Anonymous

Worker: You may be only 25 years old, but your union dates from the last century.
Anonymous

The boss needs you, you don’t need the boss.
Anonymous

Stalinists, your children are with us!
Anonymous

Man is neither Rousseau’s noble savage nor the Church’s La Rochefoucauld’s depraved sinner. He is violent when oppressed, gentle when free.
Anonymous

If we have to resort to force, don’t sit on the fence.
Anonymous

A single nonrevolutionary weekend is infinitely more bloody than a month of total revolution.
Anonymous

The tears of philistines are the nectar of the gods.
Anonymous

This concerns everyone.
Anonymous

We are all German Jews.
Anonymous

The future will only contain what we put into it now.
Anonymous

Concrete breeds apathy.
Anonymous

Power to the workers councils. (an enragé)
Power to the enragés councils. (a worker)

Anonymous

Comrades, if everyone did like us...
Anonymous

If we only have enough time...
Anonymous

In any case, no regrets!
Anonymous

Already ten days of happiness.
Anonymous

Occupy the factories.
Anonymous

We will ask nothing. We will demand nothing. We will take, occupy.
Anonymous

We want structures that serve people, not people serving structures.
Anonymous

Live in the moment.
Anonymous

When the National Assembly becomes a bourgeois theater, all the bourgeois theaters should be turned into national assemblies.
Anonymous, (Written above the entrance of the occupied Odéon Theater)

Referendum: whether we vote yes or no, it turns us into suckers.
Anonymous

I’m not a servant of the people (much less of their self-appointed leaders). Let the people serve themselves.
Anonymous

Abolish class society.
Anonymous

Socialism without freedom is a barracks.
Anonymous

We will have good masters as soon as everyone is their own.
Anonymous

Don’t be taken in by the politicos and their filthy demagogy.
Anonymous

All power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Anonymous

We must rely on ourselves.
Anonymous

Nature created neither servants nor masters. I want neither to rule nor to be ruled.
Anonymous

The Old Mole of history seems to be splendidly undermining the Sorbonne.
Anonymous, (Telegram from Marx), 13 May 1968

The cause of all wars, riots and injustices is the existence of property.
St. Augustine (Catholic theologian)

Amnesty, n. & v. An act in which the rulers pardon the injustices they have committed.
Ambrose Bierce (Journalist), (The definition in Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary is actually: "Amnesty: The state’s magnanimity to those offenders whom it would be too expensive to punish.")

Imagination is not a gift, it must be conquered.
André Breton (Surrealist)

The events of France have proved that revolution is possible in even a highly industrialized capitalist society. Those who argued that the working class had outgrown revolution stood convicted of theoretical and practical incompetence, a fact that suggests it is high time to discover why the working class has remained so passive for so long.
Daniel Cohn-Bendit (Revolutionary (Anarchist-Communist) turned Pro-Capitalist "Green" Politician), Obsolete Communism: The Left Wing Alternative, André Deutsch Limited (1968), London, 1968: 17

The university has, in fact, become a sausage-machine which turns out people without any real culture, and incapable of thinking for themselves, but trained to fit into the economic system of a highly industrialized society. The student may glory in the renown of his university status, but in fact he is being fed 'culture' as a goose is fed grain - to be sacrificed on the altar of bourgeois appetites.
Daniel Cohn-Bendit (Revolutionary (Anarchist-Communist) turned Pro-Capitalist "Green" Politician), Obsolete Communism: The Left Wing Alternative, André Deutsch Limited (1968), London, 1968: 27

It was officers of UNEF and PSU who stopped us taking the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Justice. These 'revolutionaries' were quite incapable of grasping the potential of a movement that had left them far behind and was still gaining momentum. As for us, we failed to realize how easy it would have been to sweep all these nobodies away. We should never have allowed them to divert us, should have occupied the Ministries and public buildings, not to put in a new lot of 'revolutionary' bureaucrats, but to smash the entire state apparatus, to show the people how well they could get on without it, and how the whole of society had to be reconstructed afresh on the basis of workers' control.
It is now clear that if, on 25 May, Paris had woken to find the most important Ministries occupied, Gaullism would have caved in at once - the more so as similar actions would have taken place all over the country.
It has been said, and rightly so, that for the first time in history a revolution could have been made without recourse to arms. And people have pointed out that one of the first steps we should have taken, and failed to take, was to capture the radio stations.

Daniel Cohn-Bendit (Revolutionary (Anarchist-Communist) turned Pro-Capitalist "Green" Politician), "The Student Revolt", Chapter 1 of Obsolete Communism: The Left Wing Alternative, 1968: 70-71

Struggle against the emotional fixations that paralyze our potentials.
Committee of Women on the Path of Liberation

WHAT CAN THE REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT DO TODAY?
EVERYTHING
WHAT IS IT TURNING INTO IN THE HANDS OF THE UNIONS?
NOTHING
WHAT DOES IT WANT?
THE REALISATION OF A CLASSLESS SOCIETY THROUGH THE POWER OF THE WORKERS' COUNCILS.

Council for the Maintenance of Occupations (A council formed in the uprisings in France '68), May 1968

What we have done in France now haunts Europe. Soon it will threaten all the ruling classes of the world, from the bureaucrats of Moscow and Peking to the millionaires of Washington and Tokyo. Just as we have made Paris dance, the international proletariat will again take up arms against every capital city of every state, every citadel of alienation. The occupation of factories and of the government buildings throughout the entire country hasn't just stopped the economy, it has called the whole meaning of social life into question. Almost everybody wants to stop living this way. We are already a revolutionary movement. All we need is the widespread counsciousness of what we have already done, and we will be masters of this revolution... Those who turned down the ridiculous contract agreements offered them (agreements that overjoyed the trade-union leaders) have still to discover that while they cannot "receive" much more within the framework of the existing economy, they can take everything if they transform the very basis of the economy on their own behalf. The bosses can hardly pay more - but they could disappear.
Council for the Maintenance of Occupations (A council formed in the uprisings in France '68), Address to all Workers, May 30, 1968

Since the defeat of the occupations movement, both those who participated in it and those who had to endure it have often asked the question: "Was it a revolution?" The general use in the press and in daily conversation of the cowardly neutral phrase, "the events," is nothing but a way of evading answering or even formulating this question. Such a question must be placed in its true historical light. In this context the journalists' and governments' superficial references to the "success" of "failure" of a revolution mean nothing for the simple reason that since the bourgeois revolutions no revolution has yet succeeded: not one has abolished classes.
Guy-Ernest Debord (Situationist), "The Beginning of an Era" from Situationist International #12

After God, art is dead. May its priests not bring it back again!
AGAINST any survival of art,
AGAINST the reign of seperation,
DIRECT DIALOGUE
DIRECT ACTION
SELF-MANAGEMENT OF DAILY LIFE

Enragés-S.I. Committee

VIGILANCE!
The recuperators are amongst us!
"Annihilate as never before all that might one day destroy your work." (Sade)

Enragés-S.I. Committee, May 14, 1968

This explosion was provoked by groups in revolt against modern technical and consumer society, whether it be the communism of the East or the capitalism of the West. They are groups, moreover, which have no idea at all what they would replace it with, but who delight in negation, destruction, violence, anarchy and who brandish the black flag.
De Gaulle (Former French President), June 7th 1968

Unfortunately, I don't think we can win without the red and black flags. But they must be destroyed - afterwards.
Jean Genêt, (A wall in Paris.), May, 1968

The Spring festival, the playing with power, the euphoric sense of release and self-mastery, the joy of at last feeling real, responsible, human, the pressing urge to transform daily life, the recognition of the seriousness of "play" - how better to express the essential spirit of the 1968 May Revolt?
Richard Greeman, "The Permanence of the Commune"

Conflict is the origin of everything.
Heraclitus

Let everyday life become a work of art!
Henri Lefebvre (Marxist)

Down with the abstract! Long live the ephemeral!
Marxist-Pessimist Youth

Toilers, it is time we looked after ourselves! To ten million strikers! To all workers!
- No to all parliamentary solutions! De Gaulle may go but the bosses will stay!
- No to negotiations which only prop up capitalism!
- Enough referendums, no more circuses!
No one can speak for us. We ourselves must remain masters of our factories! The struggle must go on! The factories must support all those who are now engaged in battle.
This is the time to plan our rule of tomorrow -
Direct supplies of food, organization of public services, transport, information, housing, etcetera.
In the street, in the committees, wherever you may be!
Workers! Peasants! Students! Teachers! Schoolboys! Let us organize and coordinate our struggle: For the abolition of Bosses! All power to the Workers!

Multiple Authors, Quoted in Cohn-Bendit, D., Obsolete Communism: The Left Wing Alternative, André Deutsch Limited (1968), London: 69-70

You must bear a chaos in yourself in order to bring a dancing star into the world.
Friedrich Nietzsche (German Philosopher)

So annihilate forever all that could one day destroy your work.
Marquis de Sade (French writer)

Those who make revolutions half-way just dig their own graves.
Saint-Just

Dare! This world contains all the politics of the present moment.
Saint-Just

Humanity will not be happy until the last bureaucrat is hanged with the guts of the last capitalist.
Situationist International

The first factory had been occupied the day before, and at this date the most imbecilic member of the most retarded group could not doubt that a very grave social crisis had begun. Nevertheless Vaneigem, much better informed, as soon as he had appended his signature to our circular, left the same afternoon to take his train to rejoin his holiday location on the Mediterranean, booked a long time ago. Several days later, learning abroad, through the mass media, what was proceeding in France (as predicted), he naturally set about returning, crossing with great difficulty the strike-bound country, and rejoining us one week after his ridiculous fauxpas. By then the decisive days, when we were able to do the most for the movement, had passed. Now we're well aware that Vaneigm truly likes revolution and that he in no way lacks courage. Thus one can only understand this as a borderline case of the separation between the rigorous routine of an unshakably orderly daily life and the passion, real but heavily disarmed, for revolution.
Situationist International, "The Communiqué of the S.I. Concerning Vaneigem"

SHAKE IN YOUR SHOES BUREAUCRATS stop THE INTERNATIONAL POWER OF THE WORKERS' COUNCILS WILL SOON WIPE YOU OUT stop HUMANITY WILL NOT BE HAPPY UNTIL THE LAST BUREAUCRAT IS HUNG WITH THE GUTS OF THE LAST CAPITALIST stop LONG LIVE THE STRUGGLE OF THE KRONSTADT SAILORS AND OF THE MAKHNOVSCHINA AGAINST TROTSKY AND LENIN stop LONG LIVE THE 1956 COUNCILIST INSURRECTION OF BUDAPEST stop DOWN WITH THE STATE stop
Situationist International, (Sent to the Communist Party of the USSR.), 17 May 1968

Every view of things that is not strange is false.
Valéry

And yet everybody wants to breathe and nobody can breathe and some people say "we'll be able to breathe later..." And most people don't die, because they are already dead.
Raoul Vaneigem (Situationist), The Revolution of Everyday Life, Left Bank Books/Rebel Press (1994), London, (May '68 graffiti.), 1967