chapter  14
The Failure of the New Left?
Pages 9

To begin, some comments on the first question. The New Left consists of political groups that are situated to the left of the traditional communist parties; they do not yet possess any new organizational forms, are without a mass base and are isolated from the working class, especially in the United States. The strong libertarian, anti-authoritarian movements that originally defined the New Left have vanished in the meantime or yielded to a new “group-authoritarianism.” Nevertheless, that which distinguishes and essentially characterizes this movement is the fact that it has redefined the concept of revolution, bringing to it those new possibilities for freedom and new potentials for socialist development that were created (and immediately arrested) by advanced capitalism. As a result of these developments, new dimensions of social change have emerged. Change is no longer defined simply as economic and political upheaval, as the establishment of a different mode of production and new institutions, but also and above all as a revolution in the prevailing structure of needs and the possibilities for their fulfillment.