Talk:New Left

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Great article!--ADtalkModerator 01:38, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Thanks! I wrote this mostly from memory of a paper I wrote in a Cold War history class during my first time in grad school. Researcher (talk) 01:42, 19 February 2010 (UTC)


I'm glad to see people run with this. As for the Women's Liberation thing, I remember reading a few different books that talked to the foot soldiers of the movement, and they'd all been horribly disillusioned by SNCC and SDS. However, I cannot provide a citation, because it was 5 years ago that I worked on that paper. Researcher (talk) 03:56, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

So, did the New Left Accomplish anything positive?[edit]

I mean the radical left likes to toot their own horn about how they were the reason things got pushed through but really it seems like all the New Left did was derail liberal accomplishments for... reasons. All of the groundwork and legislation was done without them and it seems like they had a hard time seeing that jumping from bad to good in one giant leap rarely ever happens. Not to say that some of the old liberals weren't responsible for some of the debacles in the 60's (thanks, for the Vietnam War, Johnson, you prick!) but the comparison of them to the Tea Party seems pretty damn apt. -- Lago 1 Aug 2011.

Well, the Vietnam War was the product of post-WWII liberalism, as was permanent peacetime conscription. Opposition to those two things wasn't acceptable at all in "serious" political circles until the New Left made enough noise that it opened up a space in the political center for debate to even happen. It is often said the Vietnam War wasn't doomed until Walter Cronkite - and Arthur Schlesinger Jr and Robert Kennedy etc - turned against it. But would them opposing the war have been possible if the New Left had not already broken that societal taboo? Other issues come to mind: legal abortion, the Church Committee, Carter's pardoning draft resisters, abolition of HUAC. This article's tone about the New Left spinning into Weather Underground extremism and other irrelevancy is only half right. Heck, there was no serious opposition to the Iraq War in the Democratic Party until Cindy Sheehan, ANSWER, and Code Pink started making noise on the left and emboldened people more to the center to start speaking out. The Tea Party is already having the same effect. Serious criticism of the Fed was the domain of conspiracy buffs until recently. Today it's practically mainstream. (talk) 11:53, 2 August 2011 (UTC)


The large protests against the Vietnam War were the work of coalitions that included church groups, student organizations, some unions, "old left" political parties, and unaffiliated citizens mobilized around the one simple demand to withdraw from Vietnam. The New Left turned its collective nose up at that approach, insisting on more radical posturing, gimmicky theatrics, and civil disruption. Their actions were frequently in parallel, and somewhat in opposition, to the larger protests of the mainstream antiwar movement. An excellent example of this was the largest demonstration ever on April 24, 1971, in Washington D.C., followed by the New Left's "Mayday" attempt to disrupt the Capital in support of something called the "People's Peace Treaty."

The groundswell of opposition to the Iraq War was so rapid and strong that it gave John Kerry and Hillary Clinton whiplash. Cindy Sheehan and Code Pink were a sideshow and they soon looked like a bunch of tiresome divas.

The New Left did have a lasting effect, but not in a positive way. It mainly caused lasting alienation of the mainstream public from progressive goals. The 1972 Presidential election illustrated that spectacularly. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 07:23, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

BoN wonders[edit]

This post was imported from here.

But you said it was so good for liberals and the Democratic Party that "more moderate, centrist to center-left leaders are becoming the public face of progressivism". How do you explain the surge of Bernie Sanders with his economic populism and the defeat of the ultra-centrist and establishment favorite Hillary Clinton to the populist and anti-establishment Trump? — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs