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  1. Long reads
8 May 2008

Are you a 1968 sell-out?

Test yourself - are you still true to the spirit of 1968?

By Daniel Trilling

1 In March 1968, you were at the front of the anti-Vietnam demo outside the US embassy in Grosvenor Square. In spring 2003, what did you do?

a) You set up your local Stop the War Coalition branch.

b) You smiled indulgently as your kids skipped school to join the march.

c) You wrote to the Times in support of Tony Blair.

2 “Be Realistic – Demand the Impossible!” So said the situationists. These days, you demand:

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a) The overthrow of the corporate elite.

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b) That something be done about soaring mortgage rates.

c) Tax breaks for the rich. Although you’d prefer the term “wealth creators”.

3 What’s your favourite kind of music?

a) The Rolling Stones in 1968. “Street Fighting Man” really captured the zeitgeist.

b) You’re more of a Radio 4 kind of person these days.

c) The Rolling Stones in 2008. All that revenue generated on their last stadium tour? Now that’s what you call radical.

4 Name your poison:

a) Whuh? You haven’t felt the same since you were in San Francisco and this guy on Haight-Ashbury gave you a tab of purple haze.

b) You were rather concerned by that recent Newsnight report on the dangers of middle-class drinking.

c) Your personal trainer has you on a strict superfoods-only diet.

5 Complete this sentence: “1968 was . . .”

a) The closest we came to revolution.

b) The flowering of my youth.

c) A vintage year for the Bullingdon Club.


Mostly “A”

Congratulations. As all about you have lost their head and run off to play the stock market, you have stayed true to the cause.

Mostly “B”

Understandably, you have mellowed with age. You no longer want to smash the system. You’ve decided that the free market and personal enrichment are necessary, even desirable, aspects of society, but tempered with a concern for social justice. And good on you.

Mostly “C”

Not only did you sell out, but you cannily invested the money you made and now you’re at the top of the Sunday Times Rich List. As your favourite saying goes, “Anyone who’s not a socialist at 20 doesn’t have a heart. If they’re still a socialist at 40, they don’t have a head.”