The Old Left and the New


  • Paul M. Sweezy
  • Harry Magdoff



Political Economy


Even for those of us who lived through the period as political activists, it is hard to remember the state to which the radical movement had been reduced at the time when MR was founded two decades ago. The collapse was sudden and largely unexpected. The New Deal coalition had survived the war and seemed for a while to be on the verge of a new upsurge. A meeting was held in Chicago in 1947 under the auspices of the National Citizens Political Action Committee (NCPAC). Among those on the program, if memory serves, were Philip Murray of the CIO, Walter White of the NAACP, and James Patton of the National Farmers Union—the heads of what were then considered to be the most representative organizations of workers, Negroes, and farmers. The prospect of a New Deal comeback, perhaps in the elections of 1948, seemed favorable.

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