Draft:Rosa Luxemburg

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Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919) is a person known and beloved by the entire Left simply by being a martyr for a "good cause" who also wrote a lot. The most famous Pole of female sex after Marie Curie and Virgin Mary.

Who she was[edit]

She did eventually acknowledge that her Spartacus revolt was, to say the least, heavily underdeveloped.

Her economic views[edit]

fill it with Krätke

Rosa vs Lenin[edit]

Rosa's supposed "libertarianism" has more sources than you'd expect.

In 1904 they talked over each other (give some examples).

Here's her most-cited work on the topic. And here's the official

Russian Revolution was published in 1922 by her former colleague, Paul Levi, who managed to survive the Spartacus Revolution, and was at the moment expelled from the Comintern.

But also Stalin in 1931 suddenly claimed that she co-authored the theory of Permanent Revolution, and Trotsky took the bait. Others remembered the other times she splitted from the Russian orthodoxy, f.e. published her Organizational Questions of the Russian Social Democracy as Marxism vs. Leninism.

Rosa vs Poland[edit]

Yeah, she did consider herself a Pole too. But shitting on PPS was for her as natural as water. Including snitching on the PPS by publishu=ing the full names hidden under the party names, which lead to some police arrests. (it must be reminded that not all SDKPiL was that radical, on the terrain they wanted to play along f.e. in 1905 Revolution - they just weren't supposed to).

(Here write on former SDKPiL associates (Dzierżyński, Radek) advising against Russian invasion of Poland in 1920 (afaik it was Józef Unszlicht (the Comintern delegate of the KPRP) who did convince Lenin that it was worth it))

Luxemburgism: does it exist?[edit]

Some like to claim that there was a Luxemburgist[1] tendency in Marxist thought. But it's more like:

  • In pre-WWI SPD out of three Party fractions (reformists on the right, centrists you know where, Spartacus on the left) Luxemburg was in the last one. Did most of them survive the 1919?
  • There is left communism, however most Marxists acknowledge the existence of f.e. Pannenkoek. Unlike the Dutch-German Left, she still believed that the SPD, the biggest player at that time, was better than some minor splitters.
  • What about the armchair-loving Amadeo Bordiga? What about operaismo?
  • The first major anti-Nazi resistance movement was the Left Communist Marx-Lenin-Luxemburg-Front.
  • Immanuel Wallenstein did use Luxemburg's analysis of the world in his own works. Also a Keynesian Joan Robinson, who titled her magnum opus with the same title as Rosa. Who learned about him from Michał Kalecki, cause as a matter of fact she was part of the main current. That explains Dunayevskaya, SoB, Damen and Operaismo.
  • And of course there were Stalinists, who fought tooth and nail to destroy this Luxemburgist tendency in the satelite parties (f.e. in Poland)

There seems to be consensus that the term was coined c. 1925. Whether it was the Comintern or Ruth Fischer, we'll figure it out.


Contemporary discussions (from her comrades):

Clara Zetkin, Um Rosa Luxemburgs Stellung zur russischen Revolution (On Rosa Luxemburg's Position on Russian Revolution), 1922 (in German)

Adolf Warski, Rosa Luxemburgs Stellung zu den taktischen Problemen der Revolution (Rosa Luxemburg's Position on tactic Problems of Revolution), Kommunistische Internationale, Hamburg 1922 (in Polish translation)

Newer discussions:

A lively discussion on whether she did critique the Russian Revolution in a meaningful way, under the review of her newly edited letters in English.

Rory Castle, ‘You alone will make our family’s name famous’. Rosa Luxemburg, Her Family and the Origins of her Polish-Jewish Identity., Praktyka Teoretyczna, vol. 6, pp. 93-125

Ankica Čakardić, From Theory of Accumulation to Social-Reproduction Theory: A Case for Luxemburgian Feminism, Historical Materialism, 25 (4), pp. 37–64. Also in blog form

Eric Blanc, The Rosa Luxemburg Myth: A Critique of Luxemburg’s Politics in Poland (1893–1919), Historical Materialism, 25 (4), pp. 3-36. Also in blog form (parts 1, 2 and 3)

InDefenceOfToucans, Rosa Luxemburg, and the myth of her "Libertarian Marxism", video, transcript available.

Michael R. Krätke, The Luxemburg Debate: The Beginnings of Marxian Macro-Economics, 2006


  1. To quote certain far-right nutjob, Luxembourgist was supposed to be international, revolutionary, party-democratic, whereas council communism was international, democratic-anarchist and Trotskyism was internation, party-anarchist. No, I refuse to call names.