The Limits of Populism: Mills, Marcuse and 1960s Radicalism and Occupy

  • Mike O’Donnell


O’Donnell provides a historical comparison of the nature and effectiveness of 1960s radicalism in the United States and recent radical activism in Britain. This chapter begins by discussing the concepts of ‘radicalism’ and ‘populism’. In the next part, it presents an analysis of the work of Mills and Marcuse in relation to the populist aspects of 1960s radical activism. Then, in the light of the above, this chapter examines the Occupy movement, arguing that it shares with 1960s radicalism a broadly populist character, with each movement’s limited impact due partly to an inadequate appreciation of the importance of accessing state power. This chapter concludes with some practical suggestions regarding the tactics and strategy of political protest.


Populism 1960s radicalism Mills Marcuse Occupy Britain United States 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mike O’Donnell
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WestminsterLondonUK

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