3.8.18

FIFTY YEARS AGO.

It's now August, and favorable summer weather for hanging out at the pool or puttering in the yard or finding a circus and going to it or checking out the preservation railroads beats sitting all day at a keyboard, even if the keyboard is pajamas-optional.

But the summer, fifty years ago, was much more eventful.  Consider the French student protests that began in May, with aftereffects into June and July, and "Gaullism without de Gaulle" in the 1969 elections.  Early in June, rumor had it that le grand Charles had fled the country, this time without any help from the Royal Navy.  He went to Germany.  That's right, Germany.

General strikes are still a thing in France, if not with the drama of the Paris Commune or the street barricades in Bordeaux in 1968.  And generations of infantile leftists continue to hope for a reprise of les evenements, although the best the contemporary #resistance or antifa can do is pretty lame.

East of the Rhine, the pressure was building on Czechoslovakia.  Communist leader Alexander Dubcek essayed a series of reforms we refer to, these days, as the Prague Spring.  It did not end well, with Warsaw Pact forces occupying Czechoslovakia.   Historian Anatole Shub undermined the Soviet Establishment with mockery.
In 1968 and afterward, Soviet propagandists often indicated the Kremlin's particular resentment of Dubcek's claim to be introducing "socialism with a human face."  Indeed the very existence of such an alternative model immediately posed the question of what sort of "socialism" was represented by the faces of [dictator Leonid] Brezhnev, [politburo heavy Pyotr] Shelest, and Marshal [Ivan] Yakubovsky.
Shub, An Empire Loses Hope, page 417.

These days, we can joke about what sort of "socialism" is represented by the faces of Waters, Biden, and Pelosi.

Toward the end of August, 1968, the Democrats will gather in Chicago to anoint Hubert Humphrey, as the infantile leftists hope to re-enact les evenements, or nominate a pig for the presidency, or provoke the police to rough Dan Rather up.  That's before Dan Rather got in the habit of using made-up props in support of #TheNarrative, that is to say, peddling fake news.  And before Our President developed the schtick of calling fake news, well, fake news, which is to say, two score years after les evenements, another generation of re-enactors decided that it was they, not the Chicago cops, who would play rough with the Fourth Estate.

Taking stock: today's controversies strike me as if people are making relatively small problems into World Historical Crises.  My advice: there are still 142 days until Christmas, and another month until football for real stakes begins.

R - E - L - A - X.

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