There is considerable confusion in the United States about the different groups which make up the far left, old and new. This is due to a number of factors.
First there is the Communist Party-U.S.A., ever-loyal to Soviet Russia. This aged party realizes it cannot survive as a powerful influence unless it enters into the stream of the younger forces of the so-called "New Left." Hence its members may be found in the ranks of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), one of the major groups of the New Left.
However, most youthful members of the New Left consider the Russians and their American followers to be "square" and "old hat"-products of a Soviet society which has gone soft and "bourgeois," not so different, in their opinion, from the United States.
The radical students themselves-described by one professor as "the spoiled children of the consumer society"-are another source of seeming contradiction. They have contempt for the urban, industrialized society,.with its congestion and pollution, which gave them a world of plenty but left them, they say, spiritually impoverished. Looking for new gods, they turn to men like Mao Tse-tung, Che Guevara, and Fidel Castro-revolutionary figures who advocate guerrilla warfare. They may call themselves Marxists or communists, but they must be distinguished from Communists with a capital "C," members of the official U.S. party.
To complicate the picture further, we have two separate worlds among the Marxist left-one white, the other black. This separation is the will of young black radicals who seek to invert the original aim of Negroes to integrate into white society and who now advocate the kind of segregation that recalls the discredited positions of their white foes in the South of the United States and of Africa. Yet the revolutionary blacks have something in common with the radical whites-an addiction to communism (with a small "c"), to violence, and to guerrilla warfare.
Another point to be kept in mind is the fact that the far left does not have a border which fixes a limit between the campus and the rest of the country. The movement Bows between the schools and the communities of the cities and towns. And it involves not only young people going to school but also older people who left school long ago or never went there. We are witnessing both an academic revolt and a political revolt-on-campus and off-campus-in search of a new university and a new society.
This book seeks to arrange these diverse elements of the far left into some order to provide an overall view of the forces which are creating turmoil in the United States today. Condensed out- lines of the principal components of the far left will be found in chapters one and five. Documents in which leading groups describe their plans to destroy the present system in the United States will be found in the appendix.
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