Today I attended a talk on Free Love, part of the May 1968 festival at Conway hall, Holborn. As most people know, 1968 was a year of revolution in many parts of the world, most famously, France, where ‘Mai soixante-huit’ still casts a shadow. I went to university in Paris, the Sorbonne-Pantheon, and there was almost no student life whatsoever. I noticed that the buildings had no communal hall, no cantine, no place to gather. I was told that this was a purposeful result of the May ’68 revolution in which Parisian students, led by Daniel Cohn-Bendit, revolted and brought down the government of DeGaulle. The authorities did not want any communal areas where the students could discuss tactics, bond, form associations or clubs. The architecture was deliberately devised to avoid this possibility from ever occurring again. (Of course it failed, my last year at the Sorbonne, there was a sit-in protest lasting months. Although street riots now seem to be the domain of the dispossessed of the banlieu).
(*Children are, in my opinion, the casualties of the Free Love movement, we now have generations of parentless children, whose fathers and the rare mother, unrestricted by church, state or family, have wandered off. I also feel for ageing childless women who have missed out on fulfilling their biological destiny as a result of uncommitted men, spoilt for choice in a landscape where females compete against each other.)