Revolutionaries, Rebels, and Activists

Janja A. Lalich

in Bounded Choice

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2004 | ISBN: 9780520231948
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520937512 | DOI:
Revolutionaries, Rebels, and Activists

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This chapter provides a brief description and discussion of the leftist milieu of the early 1970s, the period when the Democratic Workers Party (DWP) was formed as a part of the New Communist Movement (NCM). Throughout most of its existence, the DWP was a highly controversial organization. A feature that distinguished it from other leftist groups at the time was its proudly feminist origins, as it was founded and led by women. However, the membership included both men and women. The DWP's origins and evolution are discussed in detail by explaining the roots of the NCM and its social milieu. The NCM was a product of specific sociopolitical developments in the United States, as well as a direct by-product of the student movements of the 1960s. The Marxist-Leninist organizational model calling for cadre elite, complete with secrecy, democratic centralism, and sectarianism, became the norm in the NCM, and therefore the DWP, milieu. The overall mission was to create a revolutionary vanguard party with rebels and activists that would lead the fight for socialism in the United States.

Keywords: Leftist; feminist; Marxist-Leninist; sectarianism; democratic centralism

Chapter.  5130 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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