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The young rebels on the barricades in Paris in 1968 are having another moment: this is their 50th anniversary year, and a new batch of revolutionaries are protesting on French streets. This time the target is Emmanuel Macron and his labour market reforms.

In his column this week, Philip Stephens argues that while some claim the real liberal revolution came later, with Reagonomics, Thatcherism and the Washington consensus, the original soixante-huitards did indeed leave their own indelible mark in terms of social liberation for women, minorities and an end to the culture of deference to staid authority across the western world.

The current demonstrators have got it wrong, writes Philip, because President Macron understands that the most important challenge facing liberalism is the rise of an authoritarian populism. “Today’s protesters are worried about tomorrow. Their answer is to try to hold on to yesterday.”

Greens shoots for investors: Gillian Tett explores the fortunes of environmental funds that are stealing a march on the mainstream competition. Sustainable investing can now offer more than a warm glow of moral superiority.

No second chance on Brexit: Martin Wolf believes that although Brexit will be costly, it is a case of the UK’s economic frog being boiled slowly rather than a sudden catastrophe. So a second referendum is unlikely to deliver a reversal of the first decision, the electorate would still not be in possession of the full facts, and the nation would end up ever more bitterly divided.

EU versus commonwealth trade: FT readers responded to the debate on whether revived global relationships can compensate for the UK opting to leave the single market. They foresaw challenges ahead.

Best of the rest

A manifesto for right now — Yanis Varoufakis in The Guardian

The west’s crisis of confidence — Carl Bildt for Project Syndicate

Windrush, Syria and the miserable state of British politics — Alex Massie in The Spectator

Smearing Robert Mueller — Nancy Gertner in the New York Times

The best guarantee of socially responsible business is competition — Jean-Marc Daniel in Le Monde

What you’ve been saying

UK regulators would be wise to block Fox bid — letter from Jeffrey D Sachs

Despite the pleading by Gerson Zweifach, group general counsel of 21st Century Fox, UK regulators would be ill-advised to agree to Fox’s bid for Sky News. Rupert Murdoch’s media empire has had several notorious brushes with the law in the UK and the US. Fox News’ latest impropriety involves commentator Sean Hannity, who railed on air against the FBI raid on President Donald Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen, without disclosing that Mr Hannity was a client of Mr Cohen. True to form, the Fox management showed insufficient interest in the matter. We should be spared any increased anguish from Mr Murdoch and his minions.

Comment from ADGPR on Give land to South Africa’s dispossessed

What kind of precedent does land expropriation set for a country seeking to attract inward investment? It is the definition of a lack of respect for property rights. Whether Mr Ramaphosa is an ‘arch-constitutionalist’ is neither here nor there, for South Africa and the political precedents set there go beyond the rule of one president.

Silk Road revival needs to protect people and environment — letter from Janet Barber

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde’s cautionary words on the debt burden likely to be borne by the 70 countries destined to be part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative are to be welcomed. There is another issue, however, that has attracted insufficient comment and analysis; the potentially immense social and environmental impact of the proposed developments. What is to happen to the possible hundreds of thousands of culturally diverse and economically independent people and communities who may stand in the way of these developments or become impoverished by them?

Today’s opinion

Green investing generates returns, not just a warm glow
Sustainability is now seen as a way of looking at often ignored externalities

The Commonwealth is no substitute for trade with the EU
FT readers see trouble ahead after Brexit

Climate change and automation threaten economic convergence
Workers from catch-up nations face a more hostile environment than their predecessors

Donald Trump should avoid a North Korean summit
The US will only lose out from a face-to-face meeting with Kim Jong Un

Opinion today: Are you dreaming of writing for the FT?
Submit your opinion pieces to us for possible publication

The Big Read: Selling to America: the radical makeover of Goldman Sachs
The investment bank’s loan book has risen tenfold since 2012 but, as consumers struggle with rising interest payments, will it be punished for piling in to credit so late in the cycle?

Emmanuel Macron is the rightful heir to the spirit of 1968
Today’s protesters want to cling on to the past, not seize the future

Tail Risk: Blackstone’s Japan move highlights governance fight
Foreign investors lowering rate of objections as Japanese counterparts battle harder

FT View

FT View: The continuing blockade of Qatar makes no sense
It is high time that Saudi Arabia and the UAE began a climb down

FT View: A wasted opportunity to reduce government debt
Amid record global borrowing, the US should seek fiscal consolidation

The Big Read

The Big Read: Selling to America: the radical makeover of Goldman Sachs
The investment bank’s loan book has risen tenfold since 2012 but, as consumers struggle with rising interest payments, will it be punished for piling in to credit so late in the cycle?

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