New Left


Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.

New Left

a loose grouping of intellectual movements in the UK and the US from the 1950s onwards, drawing on MARXISM, and concerned with promoting socialism. The New Left tended to be critical of the Soviet Union, and distanced itself from rigid forms of Marxist analysis. The Russian suppression of the Hungarian Revolution in 1956 was an important watershed, in which many of those subsequently active in the New Left left the Communist Party. The translation and

greater availability of Marx's more ‘humanistic’works and also the Grundrisse was also significant. In the UK, many leading intellectuals have been associated with the movement, including the historians Edward THOMPSON and Perry ANDERSON, the cultural theorist Raymond Williams and the sociologist Stuart HALL. The movement's leading theoretical journal is the New Left Review.

In a wider sense, the New Left also embraces other radical social and political movements, including the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and the Feminist Movement. In the US, the CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT and movements opposed to the Vietnam War can also be regarded as part of the New Left. Although links sometimes exist, the New Left is usually distinguished from Trotskyist or Maoist political organizations (more often seen as branches of the ‘old Left’) and from urban terrorist movements such as the Baader-Meinhof group or the Red Army Faction.

It is notable how over the years many of the initially radical ideas of the New Left, existing at first outside or only marginally within academia, have become incorporated as part of the broad academic mainstream of social science discourse (e.g. see CULTURAL STUDIES, HISTORY WORKSHOP JOURNAL). In the 1980s, in both the UK and the US, the New Left was counterbalanced by the appearance of a NEW RIGHT, finding expression in such research organizations as the Adam Smith Institute and the Centre for Policy Studies, and journals such as the Salisbury Review. However, the output of the New Right has yet to gain the kind of bridgehead in sociology gained by the New Left. see also RADICAL SOCIAL WORK.

References in periodicals archive ?
While orthodox New Left historiography has been challenged in many important respects in the last decade, assumptions about the relationship between the New Left and the working class have been left relatively unchallenged.
Rothbard considered the partisan divide that started to take shape in the late '70s to be a new end of ideology because it marked a) the final transformation of the American Right into what could be rightly called a conservative movement, characterized by a "drive toward Establishment respectability"; and b) the end of the New Left, in which he and other libertarians once staked a great deal of hope, as it rejoined the Old Left.
Despite his writings for New Left Review and The Nation, Anderson remains less known than he deserves.
But in contrast to the New Left liberalism of the McGoverniks, their politics is what Judis and Teixeira call "progressive centrism.
For Heineman, as for the New Left he portrays, the personal and the political are inseparable, and scruples about evidence or non sequitur only get in the way.
Radical pacifism's spirit of experimentalism and bravado appealed to many young activists and profoundly influenced the New Left and anti-Vietnam War protests.
One of Howe's particular contributions was promulgation of the libel on the New Left, or "the Campus Left" as he affected to call it, as enemies of Israel and, ergo, anti-Semites.
The founding and development of the New Left in the 1960s expresses historically many ofthe contradictions which progressives, radicals, and leftists must grapple with in the United States.
FEW FIGURES LOOM LARGER in the making of the first, late 1950s, New Left than E.
They regarded these New Left Wafflers as a "cancer" that needed surgical removal from the New Democratic body politic.
These accounts, often polemical, tend to polarize into two camps: first, postmodern defenses of the rise of identity politics and radical subjectivitist philosophies as antidotes to the crypto-chauvinisms of the New Left, and, second, more-or-less classically Marxist contentions that the New Left collapsed because of its decentralism and ideological heterogeneity, because, that is, it failed to remain strictly Marxist or socialist.