Terence Renaud demonstrates why the left in Europe underwent a series of internal revolts against the organizational forms of established parties and unions. He describes how small groups of militant youth such as New Beginning in Germany tried to sustain grassroots movements without reproducing the bureaucratic, hierarchical, and supposedly obsolete structures of Social Democracy and Communism. Neoleftist militants experimented with alternative modes of organization such as councils, assemblies, and action committees. However, Renaud reveals that these same militants, decades later, often came to defend the very institutions they had opposed in their youth.
Providing vital historical perspective on the challenges confronting leftists today, this book tells the story of generations of antifascists, left socialists, and anti-authoritarians who tried to build radical democratic alternatives to capitalism and kindle hope in reactionary times.