A letter about Rosa Luxemburg's contribution to Marxism
Date Written: 2000-05-16
Publisher: Connexions Information Sharing Services / Ulli Diemer, Toronto, Canada
Year Published: 2000
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX5294
In a time when the socialist movement was evolving in directions increasingly removed from Marx's positions -- Social Democratic reformism on the one hand, and Leninist bureaucratic centralism on the other -- Luxemburg was the leading exponent of a Marxism in the spirit of Marx.
According to Ulli Diemer, central to Luxemburg's importance is her revolutionary perspective. She supports pressure for reforms within capitalism, but is utterly clear that reforms cannot bring about fundamental change, that socialism can only come about through revolution, and that the activity of socialists and socialist organizations must always be oriented to the ultimate goal of revolution, no matter what the exigencies of the present situation.
Equally important is her approach to the question of organization and strategy. She did not believe in organizational panaceas, did not believe that one form of organization was the objectively correct model. Instead, she believed in a principled tactical flexibility, adapting tactics and organizational forms to the situation while remaining clear about goals and principles. She strongly believed in the importance of political organization, but did not believe that a political organization could direct the political struggle along pre-determined lines; rather, she believed that effective organization was as much the product of struggle as its instigator.