Right: first, it's not Nanterre (a hotbed of student radicalism in 1968), it's Nantes.
Nantes is a picturesque provincial town on the Loire. In May 1968, the people of Nantes heard Daniel Cohn-Bendit (and probably Bob Dylan, and Tariq Ali, and everyone else) talking about "Revolution" and, in their
adorable, provincial way, thought they really meant "Revolution" - and so they actually had one.
For all of six days, they had a fully-functioning Hornby Double-Oh workers' state or <ompr> autonomous collective </ompr>. Then General de Gaulle wagged his finger at them and they stopped.
Nowhere else in France actually did this, despite all the talk about it.
Now, you're probably thinking I'm a nostalgic Socialist, and you've already started muttering about Hugo Chavez and North Korea - but no!
That's not the idea at all.
I am *not* proposing that anyone re-enact *now* what people in Nantes were doing *then*.
No, the idea is that some people now might wish to re-enact *in Nantes* what people in 1968 were doing *everywhere else*.
Let me explain.
Nantes has a history. Not just in the sense that, say, Clacton has a history, but a history in the sense that a client of the Caring Professions may have a history.
At the time of the original French Revolution in 1789, Nantes joined with the Vendee region in being militantly royalist. Many of its people had to be killed to make them, you know, see Reason, and get with the new bourgeois republicanism.
In 1935, when the rest of France was in the throes of its first really socialist government (the "Popular Front"), Nantes turned out 50 000 strong to protest against socialism, in favour of bourgeois republicanism.
Then, in 1968, when the rest of France (and the Western World) was deciding that socialism was too much like hard work, and turning instead to sex, drugs and limited anarchy (not enough to threaten one's future career, obviously), Nantes finally got around to socialism.
The point is, Nantes is a time machine. It always arrives at the revolution exactly one cycle behind everyone else.
So, for anyone who is nostalgic for the 1960s and would love to have one last chance to experience them, Nantes is clearly the place to go to do this - and now (when there's a quite different and contrary revolution going on everywhere else) is the time.
No, I won't be going myself - I'm just saying.