New Left Caucus

The New Left Caucus (NLC) was a radical student group active on the University of Toronto campus in 1969-1970.

The NLC emerged from a previous body, the Toronto Student Movement (TSM), which split into new left and Maoist groupings in the summer of 1969.

The New Left Caucus was committed to a socialist perspective, but its members rejected all “vanguard” parties, whether Maoist, Stalinist, or Trotskyist. They felt that revolutions elsewhere could not serve as adequate models for the Canadian experience. Because of this perspective, the NLC barred members of the Canadian Party of Labour from joining its membership, seeing it as too committed to a Leninist ideology. The NLC wanted to create a student movement specific to 1970s Canada, rather than one weighted down by rigid “vanguardist” ideology.

The NLC was focused on the multiple contradictions in the educational system, especially noting that the classroom structure itself was authoritarian and alienating. NLC was more countercultural than the TSM and more concerned with an anti-authoritarian stance. NLC also placed more emphasis on issues of women’s liberation than on issues specific to the working-class.

Related Reading:
Toronto Student Movement
New Left Caucus (Toronto Student Movement): A Draft Manifesto

Related Topics:
New LeftNew Left CaucusUniversity of Toronto