- Old Left
The Old Left is a term used to describe classic 1930s-era Western Leninists, Trotskyists and Stalinists to differentiate them from the Marxists of the
New Leftwho emerged between the 1960s and the 1970s. [See article by C. Wright Mills, the originater of the terms "Old" and "New" left, in his article from 1960: " [http://www.marxists.org/subject/humanism/mills-c-wright/letter-new-left.htm Letter to the New Left] "] The New Left developed as a separate, typically anti-Stalinist tendency from the developing Marxist-Leninist New Communist Movement. The Old Left and New Communist Movement tended to emphasise the importance of party organization and class consciousness over a cultural agenda, and to organize in the then-mass-based industrial sectors of society.
The Old Left experienced a massive decline with the combined effect of several anti-communist ventures on the part of governments, including such things as the
Palmer Raidsand the First Red Scarein the 1920s, and the Second Red Scarein the McCarthy era. The Communist Party USAwas tremendously weakened by this, as well as problems of the line within the party and by Khrushchev's denunciation of Stalinin the Secret Speechto the Twentieth Congress of the CPSU. The ensuing Sino-Soviet and Sino-Albanian splits further divided the Old Left forces. By the late 1950s many far-left and communist Old Left people were gone, in jail, had become liberals, or had joined the emerging anti-revisionistgroups.
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