Posted by Jay Livingston
From an article on Sarkozy in the Economist
Last summer Mr Sarkozy granted the universities autonomy from central state control. This has freed them to recruit the lecturers they want, at salaries they negotiate, and to set up private foundations—with tax breaks for donors—to complement public finance. The idea, says one government adviser, is to encourage a dozen of the most go-ahead universities, such as Toulouse l, to transform themselves into centres of excellence, even if the rest carry on churning out unemployable sociology graduates as before.This from the issue of May 1. Forty years earlier in France, an unemployable sociology student, Daniel Cohn-Bendit was one of the leaders of a movement that nearly brought down the DeGaulle government.
In the US, the workers (“hard hats”) were beating up student demonstrators, and even today, despite an extraordinarily unpopular administration and an unpopular war, there is still resentment of “elitist” educated types. We find it hard to imagine students and workers uniting against the government, especially against an administration headed by a military hero. But that’s what happened in France in May of 1968.
You can find photos here and here .