The Dialectics of Liberation (Radical Thinkers)
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A revolutionary compilation of speeches which produced a political groundwork for many of the radical movements in the following decades
The now legendary Dialectics of Liberation congress, held in London in 1967, was a unique expression of the politics of dissent. Existential psychiatrists, Marxist intellectuals, anarchists, and political leaders met to discuss key social issues. Edited by David Cooper, The Dialectics of Liberation compiles interventions from congress contributors Stokely Carmichael, Herbert Marcuse, R. D. Laing, Paul Sweezy, and others, to explore the roots of social violence.
Against a backdrop of rising student frustration, racism, class inequality, and environmental degradation—a setting familiar to readers today—the conference aimed to create genuine revolutionary momentum by fusing ideology and action on the levels of the individual and of mass society. The Dialectics of Liberation captures the rise of a forceful style of political activity that came to characterize the following years.
of economic development. We now have plenty of examples of the contrast between what happens to countries inside and outside of the straitjacket of the international capitalist system – countries which were, at the time of the escape of one and the continued imprisonment of the other, at roughly the same stage of development. China and India provide the most spectacular, and in the long run no doubt the most important, pair of countries, one of which is still imprisoned while the other has
involved in this amazing political operation. Many patients in their innocence continue to flock for help to psychiatrists who honestly feel they are giving people what they ask for: relief from suffering. This is but one example of the diametric irrationality of much of our social scene. The exact opposite is achieved to what is intended. Doctors in all ages have made fortunes by killing their patients by means of their cures. The difference in psychiatry is that it is the death of the soul.
requires, occupies in these works a relatively small place. Let us take as an example Robbe-Grillet’s first novel, Les Gommes. It is the story of a group of murderers who get rid every month of any one individual, in this actual instance an individual called Dupont. One day they make a mistake and a Dupont escapes them. The self-regulation of the universe functions, however, in such a rigorous manner that by the end of the book the character who is conducting an investigation into the imaginary
longer accept this oppression without retribution. We understand that as we expand our resistance, and internationalize the consciousness of our people, as our martyred brother Malcolm X did, we will get retaliation from the government, as he did. As the resistance struggle escalates we are well aware of the reality of Che’s words, when he says: ‘The struggle will not be a mere street fight, but it will be a long and harsh struggle.’ And to the end, we are going to work with our common brothers
sector of the earth’s surface, because somewhere in that space there may be some human beings who have inside them the ‘wrong’ ideology.3 We do not have to ask why an increasing number of the world’s inhabitants hate us Europeans and the U.S.A. We do not have to go into extraordinary psychological explanations of why I would hate someone who had napalmed my children. It is no more complicated than black and white. Consider Vietnam again. It is not at all obvious why it is going on. No purely