Martin Luther King I have a dream

The Long Wave of 1968

- by Andrew Spannaus -

When we think of 1968 today, the first things that come to mind are the student movements, protests against the Vietnam War, and a new social consciousness. The year has become a synonym for a cultural shift, a breakaway from rigid traditions and a challenge to authority through youth activism on a wide variety of issues such as women’s rights, the environment and foreign policy, at the height of what became known as the 1960s counterculture.

Too often we forget just how crucial 1968 was for the broad trajectory of Western society, with regard to the political and economic transformation that took place in the ensuing years. It was not just about freedom, experimentation and demolishing rigid social norms; there was a confluence of protests revolving around the underlying theme of justice, expressed through fundamental questions such as poverty, race and war.

Unfortunately, the potentially unifying nature of this movement was cut short, due to countermeasures taken by the establishment of the time, and to the loss of certain key leaders, such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy. In the years that followed, changes began that would put us on the path to where we are today, through the shift to a post-industrial, speculation-based society that provoked an increase in inequality, as well as a return to a foreign policy based more on exploitation than cooperation for development, after the relative improvements of the post-war period.

Read the full article at Aspenia online

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