An advocate of radical democracy and individual responsibility, Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919) remains the most eminent representative of the libertarian socialist tradition. A reevaluation and renewal within the Left has allowed the ideas of Luxemburg to assume greater vitality and relevance today than ever before. This volume provides an essential representative sampling of Luxemburg's writings that have generally not been among those commonly anthologized. That she had a powerful impact on every generation of the 20th century is documented in the accompanying essays, which include scholarly reflections, comradely arguments, and even a loving reminiscence.
Paul Le Blanc, who has been active in labor and social movements for many years, explains that the socialism that animated Luxemburg as a thinker and revolutionary activist involved a vision of society in which our economic resources would be socially owned, democratically controlled, and utilized for the benefit of all people. Luxemburg was convinced this goal could only be realized through the struggles of the working-class majority. The goals Luxemburg sought-popular sovereignty, rule by the people, democracy-were lost in the decades following her 1919 martyrdom.
Among the selections from Luxemburg are "Martinique," "The Problem of the Nationality Question and Autonomy (excerpts)," "Rebuilding the International," "The Accumulation of Capital," "Letters from Prison," and "What Are the Leaders Doing?" Included are essays by Lelio Basso, Claire Cohen, Raya Dunayevskaya, Luise Kautsky, and Andrea Nye.
About the Author
Paul Le Blanc is professor of history at La Roche College and the author or editor of many books on the labor movement, including Black Liberation and the American Dream, A Short History of the U.S. Working Class, U.S. Labor in the Twentieth Century, Rosa Luxemburg: Reflections and Writings, From Marx to Gramsci, andLenin and the Revolutionary Party. For many years he was the consulting editor for Humanity Books' Revolutionary Studies series.