THE FUTURE OF MARXISM
There are two dimensions of politics.  This text first appeared in The Twentieth Century, July 1961, pp. 128–42. There is the dimension in which, because of living pressures, men try to understand their world and improve it. This dimension is persistently human. But besides it, always, is that parading robot of polemic, which resembles human thinking in everything but its capacity for experience. If you step into the robot’s world, you get your fuel free, and you can immediately grind into action, on one of the paper fronts, where the air stinks of pride, destruction, malice and exhaustion. Men need a good society and they need food, and further, in our own time, we know that we are living on the edge of destruction. But the slip into the robot world, so easy to make, is against these needs even when it claims to satisfy them. As I look, now, at the greater part of our political campaigns and periodicals, I recognize, reluctantly, the cancer of violence in them, which is our actual danger. And it is no use, after that, turning away. We have to fight to recover the dimension in which people actually live, because it is only there that any good outcome is possible.
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- Francis Mulhern: Towards 2000, or News From You-Know-Where
- Stuart Hall: Life and Times of the First New Left NLR’s founding editor recalls the emergence of the British New Left out of the double conjuncture of 1956—Hungary and Suez—and identifies the cross-currents, cultural and political, that nourished its initial cohort.
- Perry Anderson: The Missing Text The debates of the English New Left in the summer of 1961 as backdrop to the memorable essay by Raymond Williams, printed below—and possible explanation for its first appearance in an obscure, formerly CIA-funded literary journal. Perry Anderson asks how knowledge of it would revise Edward Thompson’s critical assessment of The Long Revolution in NLR.