History and Historiography

What was the New Left and what is its legacy?

The content of this meme is a bit of an oversimplification. The New Left was a form of middle-class radicalism that could only have happened in a post-scarcity society of the kind that emerged in developed countries in the postwar period. People aren’t worried about “personal development” when there is no food. But that doesn’t mean the conflicts involved in the New Left weren’t real.
Historically, it has always been the upwardly mobile sectors of the middle class that are the driving force behind political revolutions, at least since the rise of the bourgeoisie in the early modern period. Practically zero of the historically famous Communists were actual proletarians.
The New Left wasn’t so much about “anti-capitalism” as much as an insurgency within capitalism by the lower rungs of the managerial elite, alienated intellectuals, and elite members of traditional outgroups, and which was driven in part by the technological changes of the Information Age.
It’s also true that the intelligence services tried to co-opt the New Left through projects like the CIA’s Congress on Cultural Freedom (right-wing social democrats who were predecessors to the neocons). Capitalism was certainly able to successfully commercialize the counterculture.
What the New Left managed to accomplish was a very far-reaching cultural revolution, along with a changing of the guard within the capitalist class where digital capitalism began to supersede industrial capitalism, while leaving the structures of the state, capitalism, and imperialism intact.
The result is today’s “woke capitalism” where censorship and state repression are justified in the name of fighting racism and fascism rather than upholding patriotism and traditional morality and where imperialism is justified in the name of (for example) feminism rather than anti-Communism.

May be an image of text that says 'jonny @jonnysoci... 22s The American New Left was a counterrevolution promoted by the agents of capital to sell revolution as identity, as a lifestyle movement of personal development instead of a political movement to challenge capitalism.'

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