The Dialectics of Liberation

The Dialectics of Liberation

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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.


  • The Dialectics of Liberation is not only excellent in its approach, it is also invaluable in the genuinely new insights it provides in our understanding of man and society and in suggesting the directions which future reorientations of the revolution may have to take.

    Brian AaronsAustralian Left Review
  • Organized by David Cooper and R. D. Laing, both of whom were prominent figures in the 1960s anti-psychiatry movement that counted Foucault and Deleuze among its most recognizable adherents, the conference was devoted to a wide-ranging engagement with a diverse range of leftist issues, including debates on the future of capitalism, the role of violence in modern dissent, the possibility of revolution and liberation, and nascent forms of radical ecology and environmentalism.

    Brian ThillMediations: Journal of the Marxist Literary Group