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New Left

JAMES R. BENNETT


Subject Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405168908.2010.x


Extract

In general, left , often with an initial capital, refers to L iberal or radical views in politics that evolved during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Ideologically and globally, according to Cranston (1971) , the New Left may be partly defined (for there are national differences) in contrast to the Old Left by their relationship to Karl M arx . The Old Left made capitalism and the rights of labor its central concerns, adhered to party lines, and envisaged the industrial working classes becoming the universal revolutionary class. In contrast, representatives of the New Left are independent and individualistic, emphasizing not the economist Marx of Capital (1954), but the sociologist and humanist of The Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 (1959), and look to the proletariat of the impoverished peasants of the Third World, the blacks in the ghettoes, and alienated bourgeoisie and intellectuals for change. Nigel Young identifies a “core identity” for the NL, composed at first (late 1950s and early 1960s) of nonviolent direct action, civil disobedience, anti-militarism, utopian pacifism, and decentralized participatory democracy to create an alternative community opposed to the established injustice and insanity of racism and nuclear war. These beliefs were expressed, for example, by the anti-nuclear Committee of 100/Aldermaston marches and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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