Perspectives for the Revolutionary Left

Socialism 2014

June 26, 2014

The terrain of left politics today has been totally transformed. Working-class organizations suffered a sustained decline since the 1970s. The last “New Left,” which emerged out of the wave of struggles in the 1960s and ‘70s, failed to produce viable revolutionary organizations of any size or staying power. Capitalism was permanently triumphant, so it was claimed. And yet the promise of endless growth and prosperity has given way now to the reassertion of deep economic crisis, chronic military conflict, and the threat of global climate catastrophe. New struggles and new revolutions, from the global justice movement of the early 2000s to the Arab Spring a decade later—as well as the reaction they have produced—are indicative of a new period characterized by extreme volatility. The return of deep economic instability has driven a stake through the heart of neoliberalism, at least ideologically. A new political framework for reconstituting a new Left internationally, however, has been lost and must be regained to give shape to the newly emerging radicalism.

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