First published as a pamphlet in August 1968.
Reprinted in Tony Cliff, International Struggle and the Marxist Tradition, Selected Works Vol. 1, Bookmarks, London 2001, pp. 159–217.
Transcribed by Artroom, East End Offset (TU), London.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.
A Frenchman travelling abroad feels himself treated a bit like a convalescent from a pernicious fever. And how did the rash of barricades break out? What was the temperature at five o’clock in the evening on 29 May? Is the Gaullist medicine really getting to the roots of the disease? Are there dangers of a relapse? Even if these questions are not put directly, one can read them on the headlines displayed in all the news-stands and bookstalls.
But there is one question that is hardly ever asked, perhaps because they are afraid to hear the answer. But at heart everyone would like to know, hopefully or fearfully, whether the sickness is infectious.
Robert Escarpit, Le Monde, 23 July 1968
For help in research for this work we wish to thank: Jairus Banaji, Sean Dunne, Colin Gill, Andrew Hornung, Dave Purdy, Nick Richmond and Barbara Williams. Without them the research would have taken much longer and the results would have been poorer. Special thanks are owed to two French Marxists who because of the persecution of revolutionaries in their country must remain anonymous. They read the manuscript carefully and made criticisms and suggestions which have been of great value. – Tony Cliff, Ian Birchall, 10 August 1968.
Last updated on 3 February 2017