ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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BANGKOK- Reformist Gestures

because a considerable number of them do not want to join a technical elite, not because the reforms would add a year to many courses and push them a year further from an access to a wage. Undoubtedly these are the immediate ways in which the state's initiative would affect the student's lives, but students in France have traditionally looked beyond the boundaries of immediate material loss and gain, to the mechanisms of power in the society as a whole. Their failure in 1968, though that movement succeeded in startling and instructive ways, was the inability to win the rest of the working class (or key sections of it at any rate) to the momentum required for a serious confrontation with state power. It was not a failure of leadership, and it will not suffice to say, as Trotskyist groups in France have been saying and continue to say in this present struggle, that the working class has been betrayed and sold out by the Communist party. At some point, as it has happened in Portugal repeatedly over the last two years, the class must and will generate the determination to have no owners who can buy them out or sell them out.

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