DONATE NOW TO HELP UPGRADE LIBCOM.ORG

Rosa Luxemburg and Leo Jogiches: Authoritarianism and Ethnic Intolerance

31 posts / 0 new
Last post
meerov21
Offline
Joined: 14-08-13
Aug 30 2014 11:04
Rosa Luxemburg and Leo Jogiches: Authoritarianism and Ethnic Intolerance

Rosa Luxemburg is considered one of the greatest revolutionaries of the 20th century. Here we would like to draw attention to some of the political ideas expressed by Rosa Luxemburg and her common law husband and fight companion Leo Jogiches. These ideas are not usually discussed.

In the summer of 1894 a Jewish socialist Mill met with Rosa Luxemburg and Leo Jogiches in Zurich ... 'I will not retell their silly jokes about the decisions of the conference (Conference of Socialists, held earlier in Vilna - meerov)', Mill wrote, 'but their angriest criticism was directed against its common position, which they branded as 100 percent separatist, as a kind of PPS-ism (Polish Socialist Party, PPS - meerov) on the Jewish worker's street ... what we need, they said, is not Yiddish (language of East European Jewry - meerov) or a specific Jewish organization. According to Rosa Luxemburg, we needed the language of the surrounding population and merging with the Christian proletariat. "(1)

The problem was as follows. Russian-Jewish Social Democrats (future members of the Bund, General Jewish Labour Union of Lithuania, Poland and Russia) were in favor of a joint struggle with Russian and Polish socialists against autocracy. They did not support the complete isolation of the Jews or separatism. On the contrary, they advocated joint action with the Russian, Polish and Lithuanian workers. All specifically Jewish that they wanted was the right of the autonomous Jewish worker's revolutionary organizations (federated with Russian, Polish and Lithuanian ones) to exist. They also sought Jewish autonomy and development of the Yiddish language. This language was spoken by about seven or eight million Jews in Eastern Europe.

Luxembourg's position aroused indignation of the Jewish socialists and was not conducive to dialogue and unity of the working people. It is one thing to advocate for an international partnership, alliance, joint struggle and cultural exchange (which does not exclude the possibility of cultural synthesis). But a completely different thing is to demand the dissolution of one nationality within another. Jewish socialists rejected Rosa Luxemburg's offers.

Parallel to these almost anti-Semitic remarks, Luxembourg and Jogiches created the Polish Social-Democratic movement. However, their ideas received little support from the Polish socialists as well. The vast majority of the latter very poorly responded to the ideas of Rosa Luxemburg (2). In 1893, in Vilna the Constituent Congress of the Polish Socialist Party (PPS) was held, where the creation of an independent Polish state was announced the most immediate challenge. The national question was of great importance for the Poles, for the reason that they, like the Jews, were under the authority of the Russian state and subjected to brutal ethnic discrimination.

Unlike today's ultra-leftist cosmopolitans, Polish socialists who followed Rosa Luxemburg (Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania, SDKPiL, established in 1905) still had a national program. That is how it was formulated: "Equality of all nationalities living in the Russian state, providing them with the freedom of cultural development: the establishment of national schools and providing the freedom to use their own language, state autonomy for Poland" (3). As we see, there is no denying, of course, of the existence of nations or peoples.

We do not support the idea of a Polish or any other state. But we tend to assume that one of the reasons for the negative attitude of the majority of Polish socialists to the ideas of Rosa Luxemburg and Leo Jogiches was the latter's commitment to an extreme form of the "internationalism" (and in fact a thinly veiled nationalist preferences of the large nations' culture to the culture of small nations), which we could see by the example of attitudes toward Jews.

However, Rosa Luxemburg remarks about Ukraine and Ukrainians were even harsher. She denied the existence of this people (unlike some other nations): "Ukrainian nationalism in Russia was very different than the Czech, Polish or Finnish one. It was no more than just a fad, grimacing of a few dozens of petty-bourgeois intellectuals, without any roots in economic, political or spiritual sphere of the country, without any historical tradition ... Ukraine has never been a nation or state, has never had national culture, except for some reactionary romantic poems by Shevchenko "(4). We believe that such remarks about Ukrainian culture are unfounded and insulting to Ukrainians, as well as the Luxemburg and Jogiches's demand to the Jews to abandon their language.

***

Rosa Luxemburg and her husband and colleague Leo Jogiches were accused of authoritarianism by their contemporaries. Johan Knif was the leader of the ultra-left group International Communists of Germany. Bolshevik Karl Radek presents his point of view as follows. He (Knif) demanded the immediate establishment of the German Bolshevik Party independently of Rosa Luxemburg. Knif spoke about the danger of Tyszka's dictatorship (Leo Jogiches, ex-husband of Rosa Luxemburg, who was responsible for organization work in SDKPiL and the Spartacus League), which would strangle the German supporters of communism with its centralism. "The German revolution can triumph only as a broad mass movement. Party should not be centralized, as opposed to what Tyszka wants ..."

Funnily enough, the German ultra-left Knif, a supporter of broad decentralization and proletarian autonomy, supported the Bolshevik Party, which was the ultra-centralized authoritarian organization, and bacame soon the foundation of a new despotic state in Russia. But the Johan Knif's views can be easily explained: he did not know what had happened in Russia. Internet did not exist, information spread poorly and slowly. Accusations of authoritarianism are much more serious. Jogiches and Luxembourg had been accused of authoritarianism in the past. SDKPiL was governed by Luxembourg and Jogiches in an authoritarian manner. The result was the breakaway of a majority of local organizations of the party.

***

... Rosa Luxemburg and Leo Jogiches were neither angels nor demons in the Socialist movement of the late 19th - early 20th century. In Luxemburg's works one can find interesting hypotheses and interesting analyses. Nevertheless, her views cannot be adopted by conscious adherents of the social revolution, without (at least) very serious reservations. Rosa and Leo's attitude to the national question reek of national intolerance. Their contempt for the autonomy of local fighting organizations, their rigid centralism and dictatorial aspirations are all interconnected.

Luxembourg and Jogiches believed that Jews and Ukrainians should be dissolved in the mass of the larger influential European nations. Similarly, the autonomy of a local group had to be dissolved in the ambitions of a party center.

1 Jonathan Frankel. Prophecy and Politics. Socialism, Nationalism and Russian Jewry (1862-1917).

2 Ibid.

3 Program of the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania (SDKPiL) http://www.illuminats.ru/component/content/article/28--xvii-xx/769-progr...

4 Rosa Luxemburg. The manuscript of the Russian Revolution. http://anticapitalist.ru/teoriya/biblioteka/roza_lyuksemburg._rukopis_o_...

5 V. A. Artemov.Karl Radek. The idea and destiny.

meinberg
Offline
Joined: 12-10-11
Sep 5 2014 07:58

*warning: Long comment*

I think that this is a pretty bad article. It brings nearly no evidence for its claims. And it brings the "National Question" back in light of the current event in the Ukraine. Because of that I'm really uneasy with the political outlook of the article. So I wrote some hastily notes:

The article treats nationalist groups, who claim to be the sole representative of "their nation", as local fighting organizations who should have "autonomy". (f.e. the Bund, which saw itself as as a sole representative of its "non territorial nation" (the Yiddish speaking Jews, but the Bund was anti zionist) in the whole Russian empire, other groups with "territorial nations" like the Polish or Ukrainian social democrats).

In the next step the article distances itself halfheartedly form nationalism:

"We do not support the idea of a Polish or any other state. But we tend to assume that one of the reasons for the negative attitude of the majority of Polish socialists to the ideas of Rosa Luxemburg and Leo Jogiches was the latter's commitment to an extreme form of the "internationalism" (and in fact a thinly veiled nationalist preferences of the large nations' culture to the culture of small nations), which we could see by the example of attitudes toward Jews."

But it argues that internationalism and missing support for smaller nationalist movements is in reality in itself an nationalism which tries to dissolve smaller nations "in the mass of the larger influential European nations."

This argument seems to popular with leftist who want to see "revolutionary potential" in the movements of small suppressed nationalistic movements. (I learned that while trying to find some background to this article.)
These people say that Lenin and the Bolsheviks had an "abstract "ultra-left" internationalism that effectively does the work of the dominant ethnicity in a given nation-state" before the Bolsheviks changed their view of nationalist movements in the mid 1910s. One example of this view can be found in this article: http://johnriddell.wordpress.com/2014/05/20/national-liberation-and-bols...

To say a few words to the the positions of Rosa Luxemburg (of whose political views I'm not an expert) in this question:
Rosa Luxemburg saw that as an active politician you had to deal with the different nationalist movements, because they were realities. And she tried to analyze how other people like Marx did deal with them:

"The present state of affairs shows how deeply Marx was in error in predicting, sixty years ago, the disappearance of the Czech
nationality, whose vitality the Austrians today find so troublesome. Conversely, he overestimated the international importance of Polish nationalism: this was doomed to decay by the internal development of Poland, a decay which had already set in at that time." http://www.marxists.org/archive/luxemburg/1909/national-question/ch01.ht...

Rosa Luxemburg tried to take the real power of nationalist movements in account. But her general politics are pretty clear. You only support nationalist movements if you think that they will get better conditions for the worker movement. This was not the case in Russia, where there was a chance that the proletariat could create a unified working class movement in the whole tsarist empire.

In her pamphlet "The question of nations and autonomy" she wrote, that "Social Democracy is called upon to realize not the right of nations to self-determination but only the right of the working class, which is exploited and oppressed, of the proletariat, to self-determination." "“The right of nations to self-determination” is at first glance a paraphrase of the old slogan of bourgeois nationalism put forth in all countries at all times" http://www.marxists.org/archive/luxemburg/1909/national-question/ch01.ht...

Luxemburg was an enemy of all separatist tendencies. But she thought that the workers should be able to live and organize undiscriminated in their cultural environment: "Vital for the working class [...], are the freedom of using its own native language, and the unchecked and unwarped development of national culture (learning, literature, the arts) and normal education of the masses,[...] – so far as these can be “normal” in the bourgeois system. It is indispensable for the working class to have the same equal national rights as other nationalities in the state enjoy. Political discrimination against a particular nationality is the strongest tool in the hands of the bourgeoisie, which is eager to mask class conflicts and mystify its own proletariat." www.marxists.org/archive/luxemburg/1909/national-question/ch02.htm

Since the 1890s, she fought all movement nationalist movements in Russia, because of that analysis. But her faction lost that fight. Since 1896 "self determination of the nations" was the official credo of the second International, and it was also in the program of the RSDLP and the Bolsheviks. This development got even stronger after 1905, most of the social democratic parties For Rosa Luxemburg this development was part of the reason of the defeat of the Russian Revolution in 1917. This and her idea how the development should have been becomes in her unfinished pamphlet about the Russian revolution. To cite the wider context o the quote used in the article:

"While Lenin and his comrades clearly expected that, as champions of national freedom even to the extent of “separation,” they would turn Finland, the Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, the Baltic countries, the Caucasus, etc., into so many faithful allies of the Russian Revolution, we have instead witnessed the opposite spectacle. One after another, these “nations” used the freshly granted freedom to ally themselves with German imperialism against the Russian Revolution as its mortal enemy [...]

To be sure, in all these cases, it was really not the “people” who engaged in these reactionary policies, but only the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois classes, who – in sharpest opposition to their own proletarian masses – perverted the “national right of self-determination” into an instrument of their counter-revolutionary class politics. But [...] it is in this that the utopian, petty-bourgeois character of this nationalistic slogan resides: that in the midst of the crude realities of class society and when class antagonisms are sharpened to the uttermost, it is simply converted into a means of bourgeois class rule.[...]

Or take the Ukraine. At the beginning of the century, before the tomfoolery of “Ukrainian nationalism” [...] and Lenin’s hobby of an “independent Ukraine” had been invented, the Ukraine was the stronghold of the Russian revolutionary movement. [...] Poland and the Baltic lands have been since 1905 the mightiest and most dependable hearths of revolution, and in them the socialist proletariat has played an outstanding role. How does it happen then that in all these lands the counter-revolution suddenly triumphs? The nationalist movement, just because it tore the proletariat loose from Russia, crippled it [...]

To be sure, without the help of German imperialism, without “the German rifle butts in German fists,”[...] the Lubinskys and other little scoundrels of the Ukraine, the Erichs and Mannerheims of Finland, and the Baltic barons, would never have gotten the better of the socialist masses of the workers in their respective lands. But national separatism was the Trojan horse inside which the German “comrades,” bayonet in hand, made their entrance into all those lands.The real class antagonisms and relations of military force brought about German intervention. But the Bolsheviks provided the ideology which masked this campaign of counter-revolution; they strengthened the position of the bourgeoisie and weakened that of the proletariat.

The best proof is the Ukraine, which was to play so frightful a role in the fate of the Russian Revolution. Ukrainian nationalism in Russia was something quite different from, let us say, Czechish, Polish or Finnish nationalism in that the former was a mere whim, a folly of a few dozen petty-bourgeois intellectuals without the slightest roots in the economic, political or psychological relationships of the country; it was without any historical tradition, since the Ukraine never formed a nation or government, was without any national culture, except for the reactionary-romantic poems of Shevschenko." http://www.marxists.org/archive/luxemburg/1918/russian-revolution/ch03.h...

To end this long comment. I would find it important to to criticizes the autocratic and centralizt way in which Rosa Luxemburg and Leo Jogiches controlled the SKPiL, which combines a lot of the bad old habits of the "old workers movement". But I don't think that this article does that in a good way. Also I think in the light of the current events, that it is important to discuss the danger of trying to find as a nationalistic defined group. I think that Rosa Luxemburg was right that this way "only leads into nationalistic swamp."

***

At the end some quotes from Rosa Luxemburg to the Bund and the Jewish national question.

John Mill who the later founded Bund about the 1894 meeting (same quote, other source some sentences more):
"hundred percent separatism, as a kind of PPS-ism among Jewish workers, a step which would logically bring [the Jewish socialists] closer to the ideology of the petty bourgeoisie. [Jewish socialists need] not the Yiddish language and not separate Jewish workers' organizations but the language of the population around them and blending with the Christian working class. Every other road would only lead into nationalistic swamp." http://books.google.de/books?id=XffJLtagfF4C&pg=PA78&lpg=PA77&ots=8S_LGY...

"The comrades of the Bund are incorrect in regarding that the attainment of equal civil rights for Jews is a special task of Jewish socialists." http://books.google.de/books?id=XffJLtagfF4C&pg=PA78&lpg=PA77&ots=8S_LGY...

Rosa Luxemburg about the possibilities of a Jewish national autonomy in "The question of nations and autonomy" from 1908:
"Thus, local autonomy in the sense of the self-government of a certain nationality territory is only possible where the respective nationality possesses its own bourgeois development, urban life, intelligentsia, its own literary and scholarly life. The Congress Kingdom demonstrates all these conditions. [...] However, the situation looks different when we turn to the Jewish nationality.Jewish national autonomy, not in the sense of freedom of school, religion, place of residence, and equal civic rights, but in the sense of the political self-government of the Jewish population with its own legislation and administration, as it were parallel to the autonomy of the Congress Kingdom, is an entirely utopian idea." http://www.marxists.org/archive/luxemburg/1909/national-question/ch05.ht...

bastarx
Offline
Joined: 9-03-06
Sep 5 2014 22:51
Quote:
Unlike today's ultra-leftist cosmopolitans, Polish socialists who followed Rosa Luxemburg (Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania, SDKPiL, established in 1905) still had a national program. That is how it was formulated: "Equality of all nationalities living in the Russian state, providing them with the freedom of cultural development: the establishment of national schools and providing the freedom to use their own language, state autonomy for Poland" (3). As we see, there is no denying, of course, of the existence of nations or peoples.

People who use cosmopolitan as an insult are usually fascists, just saying.

Devrim's picture
Devrim
Offline
Joined: 15-07-06
Sep 6 2014 07:07
bastarx wrote:
Quote:
Unlike today's ultra-leftist cosmopolitans,

People who use cosmopolitan as an insult are usually fascists, just saying.

Yes, it's usually used to mean 'Jews'.

Devrim

slothjabber
Offline
Joined: 1-08-06
Sep 6 2014 11:42

Stalinists as well as Fascists, I think, use 'cosmopolitan' to mean Jews.

augustynww
Offline
Joined: 19-07-14
Sep 7 2014 06:22
meerov21 wrote:
We do not support the idea of a Polish or any other state. But we tend to assume that one of the reasons for the negative attitude of the majority of Polish socialists to the ideas of Rosa Luxemburg and Leo Jogiches was the latter's commitment to an extreme form of the "internationalism"

the reasons of their negative attitude to the anarchism were similar, and so PPS socialists were denouncing anarchists to the police which often meant death sentence.
And I'm not defending SDKPiL because it hated anarchists in the same degree as leadership of Bund and PPS (for instance all of them right from the start united against workers' council in Bialystok during Revolution of 1905, dominated by anarchists and revolutionary socialists) -
Bund, SDKPiL, PPS, anarchists cooperated sometimes but they fought against each other too ( including physical attacks)

Wellclose Square
Offline
Joined: 9-05-08
Sep 7 2014 08:51

As soon as I saw the word 'cosmopolitan' used as an insult I stopped reading the article. It's a bit of a giveaway...

meerov21
Offline
Joined: 14-08-13
Sep 7 2014 16:17
Wellclose Square wrote:
As soon as I saw the word 'cosmopolitan' used as an insult I stopped reading the article. It's a bit of a giveaway...

So, who did use the word 'cosmopolitan' as an insult?

meerov21
Offline
Joined: 14-08-13
Sep 7 2014 16:16
meinberg wrote:
*warning: Long comment*

I think that this is a pretty bad article. It brings nearly no evidence for its claims. And it brings the "National Question" back in light of the current event in the Ukraine. Because of that I'm really uneasy with the political outlook of the article. So I wrote some hastily notes:

The article treats nationalist groups, who claim to be the sole representative of "their nation", as local fighting organizations who should have "autonomy". (f.e. the Bund, which saw itself as as a sole representative of its "non territorial nation" (the Yiddish speaking Jews, but the Bund was anti zionist) in the whole Russian empire, other groups with "territorial nations" like the Polish or Ukrainian social democrats).

There is one requirement is the Bund, which can be considered nationalistic. However, you have not written the whole truth. This requirement was was abolished at the VII conference of the Bund (March 1906), which called for unification with the Russian social Democrats.
But this is not important. And most importantly - it is anti-Semitic requirement of Rosa to the address of the Jews that they must abandon their language.

Entdinglichung's picture
Entdinglichung
Offline
Joined: 2-07-08
Sep 7 2014 16:42
meerov21 wrote:
Wellclose Square wrote:
As soon as I saw the word 'cosmopolitan' used as an insult I stopped reading the article. It's a bit of a giveaway...

So, who did use the word 'cosmopolitan' as an insult?

Stalin & Co. in their ideological campaigns around 47-53 e.g. against Shostakovich, Prokoview and Khatchaturian accusing their compositions of "modernism, formalism and cosmopolitarianism" ... some French Trotskyists like Michael Loewy and some Iranian Communists also use(d) the term Cosmopolitan (Marxist/Communist) as self-description

meerov21
Offline
Joined: 14-08-13
Sep 7 2014 19:23
Entdinglichung wrote:
meerov21 wrote:
Wellclose Square wrote:
As soon as I saw the word 'cosmopolitan' used as an insult I stopped reading the article. It's a bit of a giveaway...

So, who did use the word 'cosmopolitan' as an insult?

Stalin & Co. in their ideological campaigns around 47-53 e.g. against Shostakovich, Prokoview and Khatchaturian accusing their compositions of "modernism, formalism and cosmopolitarianism" ... some French Trotskyists like Michael Loewy and some Iranian Communists also use(d) the term Cosmopolitan (Marxist/Communist) as self-description

So, what the hell has this to do with my article? Am I Stalin?
Or after Stalin's time someone banned to use this word?
Or it is unsult to call someone 'cosmopolitan'?
And tell me: if word "jew" has been used as an insult by nazi, does thet meen that to be a jew is an insult??

meerov21
Offline
Joined: 14-08-13
Sep 7 2014 19:26

I can add that personaly i am cosmopolitan wink
At the same time, I respect the identity of others which may be different from mine.

Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
Offline
Joined: 29-04-08
Sep 7 2014 20:10

You posted something that uses a word usually used to mean Jew, don't use it if you don't want that pointed out.

Entdinglichung's picture
Entdinglichung
Offline
Joined: 2-07-08
Sep 8 2014 09:18

Johann Knief, not Knif ... Rosa Luxemburg hat a far more favourable view of Armenians or Herero and Nama fighting against national oppression

Entdinglichung's picture
Entdinglichung
Offline
Joined: 2-07-08
Sep 8 2014 09:21
meerov21 wrote:

So, what the hell has this to do with my article? Am I Stalin?
Or after Stalin's time someone banned to use this word?
Or it is unsult to call someone 'cosmopolitan'?
And tell me: if word "jew" has been used as an insult by nazi, does thet meen that to be a jew is an insult??

no ... but someone has to be cautious when and how to use the term due to its history ... and there is a difference between self-appropriation and using the term as a label for other people

meerov21
Offline
Joined: 14-08-13
Sep 8 2014 09:44

First of all, English is not my native language. If You are (anarchists of Europe and the United States), such politically correct persons, you must first show respect to the people who are making great efforts to translate texts. To demand from me the exact knowledge of your discourse is (at least) strange.

The original text referred to "some modern cosmopolitan idiots" (of course, it is not like "all the cosmopolitans - are idiots"). In any case, I am a Jew by birth and a cosmopolitan with regard to identity. The problem is not to be cosmopolitan, but, being a fool who ignores the importance and significance of the national question.

By the way, Rosa Luxemburg was Not cosmopolitan (in this sense). The hypocrisy of this person or her political mistake: she supported the national rights for the Polish people, but not for Jews and not for Ukrainians. Article is just about this. And the attempts to discuss the discourse and the degree of political correctness of material instead of its content - look ridiculous.

And the last one. I donít care if the Stalinists or other authoritarian bastards use words such as cosmopolitan or a Jew as an insult. It's not my problem.

Entdinglichung's picture
Entdinglichung
Offline
Joined: 2-07-08
Sep 8 2014 11:25

btw.: for those who can read German; there was a few years ago a n in my opinion solid article in the Brandlerite journal Arbeiterstimme about Rosa Luxemburg's relationship to the Bremen left: http://www.arbeiterstimme.org/arsti_177.pdf (p. 19), claiming that there were more similarities than differences between Luxemburg and Knief about organisational issues, the main reason for a temporarily non-collaboration was also not the difference about unions (pro-syndicalism of the Bremen left) but the Radek issue ... and to call the IKD or the circle around Knief ultra-left is also a bit an exaggeration, they were to my perception a radical "broad church", see my comment on another thread: https://libcom.org/forums/theory/councilism-v-left-communism-20062010?pa...

augustynww
Offline
Joined: 19-07-14
Sep 9 2014 06:09

Russian text says "...in contrast to contemporary left-wing ultra-cosmopolitans..."
в отличие от современных левых ультракосмополитов,

http://shraibman.livejournal.com/1007363.html

including of course contemporary anarchists as another text says:

"Most of contemporary anarchists accept consistent extreme internationalist position"
Большинство современных анархистов занимает позиции крайнего и последовательного интернационализма.
http://shraibman.livejournal.com/865157.html#cutid1

In comments one can find defence of "national anarchism" (whatever that means) but similar to "korean anarchists". It says national anarchists are "divided" between racist etc and non-racist.

There is serious flaw in all this - from the fact that people still identify themselves as "nations" you conclude it's something positive and it should be fostered and supported by anarchists too. But it's nationalism which make nations not the other way. And it divide workers vis-a-vis capital and make them weak. They are stuck in this artificial "unity" of the oppressed and the oppressing

meerov21
Offline
Joined: 14-08-13
Sep 12 2014 14:43
Quote:
"Most of contemporary anarchists accept consistent extreme internationalist position"
Большинство современных анархистов занимает позиции крайнего и последовательного интернационализма.
http://shraibman.livejournal.com/865157.html#cutid1

1. It is not my text. It is written by Damie.
2. "extreme internationalist position" is not the same with cosmopolitism in my opininon.
3. Person who said jews must stop talking they lang. is an antisemitik.
4. Rosa Luksemburg WAS NOT cosmopoliten on the political level. She supported the national rights for the Polish people, but not for Jews and not for Ukrainians.

Alf's picture
Alf
Offline
Joined: 6-07-05
Sep 12 2014 21:12

I think that Meerov's attack on Luxemburg and Jogiches needs a developed reply. I would encourage meinberg to carry on working on his/her initial notes. The original post confirms what other comrades in Russia have argued about Meerov (formerly magid) - that he is a purveyor of radical ethnic nationalism, which we know is very a widespread tendency in Russia and Ukraine, not only in its right wing forms, but also among certain kinds of anarchists and even former 'left communists'.

Caiman del Barrio
Offline
Joined: 28-09-04
Sep 13 2014 11:29
meerov21 wrote:
First of all, English is not my native language. If You are (anarchists of Europe and the United States), such politically correct persons, you must first show respect to the people who are making great efforts to translate texts. To demand from me the exact knowledge of your discourse is (at least) strange.

I think that's a reasonable defence, and hopefully the discussion can move beyond linguistic formalism. FTR, I teach English as a Foreign Language, and that's the first time I've heard of the association between the word cosmopolitan and Jew and I certainly disagree with Juan's assertion that it is 'normally' used to refer to Jews. I mean, does that extend to the women's magazine? A far more common definition might be multinational or multicultural.

meerov21
Offline
Joined: 14-08-13
Sep 14 2014 14:26

Alf in Russia there are 3 or 4 poor creatures, your friends. These people called "fascists" all other libertarian socialists and left-wing Communists. These creatures are afraid to speak publicly, because they would immediately be punished. And I had several times to dissuade different anarchists from the organization's use of force against these sick people.

meerov21
Offline
Joined: 14-08-13
Sep 14 2014 14:33
Caiman del Barrio wrote:
meerov21 wrote:
First of all, English is not my native language. If You are (anarchists of Europe and the United States), such politically correct persons, you must first show respect to the people who are making great efforts to translate texts. To demand from me the exact knowledge of your discourse is (at least) strange.

I think that's a reasonable defence, and hopefully the discussion can move beyond linguistic formalism. FTR, I teach English as a Foreign Language, and that's the first time I've heard of the association between the word cosmopolitan and Jew and I certainly disagree with Juan's assertion that it is 'normally' used to refer to Jews. I mean, does that extend to the women's magazine? A far more common definition might be multinational or multicultural.

In Russia the word "cosmopolitan" is not to be equated with the word "Jew" in everyday language.
I know that this identification is sometimes used in the Stalin's era. But today it is almost forgotten.

Leo
Offline
Joined: 16-07-06
Sep 14 2014 14:57

Just so that people know the positions of the these supposed "all other libertarian socialists and left-wing Communists": http://eretik-samizdat.blogspot.com.tr/2013/03/the-brown-masquerade.html

Of course it is not surprising that ultra-nationalists such as this individual are talking about punish the internationalists in Russia. Counter-revolutionaries always threathen those who expose what they really are with violence.

meerov21
Offline
Joined: 14-08-13
Sep 14 2014 16:40
Quote:
Alf He has long maintained good personal and political relations with the Russian nationalist Magid, who has expressed sympathy for Russian nationalist pogroms against people from the Caucasus. For more on this, see here: http://en.internationalism.org/icconline/2007/kondopoga".

https://libcom.org/forums/theory/syrian-kurds-29012014

So this is just pure lie.
This is text of magid about Kondopoga in english:
http://libcom.org/forums/thought/kondologa-a-popular-uprising-turned-to-...
and in russian:
http://samlib.ru/m/magid_m_n/kondopoga.shtml
There is no any sympathy for Russian nationalist pogroms.

Alf you and your friends are liers. And i thing you have apologize for the false.

P.S.

But I'm not surprised by all this. I know that part of the leftists are the sectarians with atrophy of the ability to criticize and argue.

For these reasons they are not able to discuss the material, and go to the discussion of the identity of the author. The main thing is not the discussion of the material, but the attemptes to prove that the opponent is bad guy. At first remembered some stalinist nonsenses about cosmopolitanism and Jews. When the focus is failed, began to discuss straightly the identity of the opponent.

meerov21
Offline
Joined: 14-08-13
Sep 14 2014 16:52

So am i worse as AST-Kiev ?? Nice! wink
Our ranks are multiplying

Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
Offline
Joined: 29-04-08
Sep 14 2014 17:20
Caiman del Barrio wrote:
I think that's a reasonable defence, and hopefully the discussion can move beyond linguistic formalism. FTR, I teach English as a Foreign Language, and that's the first time I've heard of the association between the word cosmopolitan and Jew and I certainly disagree with Juan's assertion that it is 'normally' used to refer to Jews. I mean, does that extend to the women's magazine? A far more common definition might be multinational or multicultural.

Within the context of European leftism, yeah, if someone throws that word out, particularily if they are discussing ethnicity alongside it, it usually means Jews. If that's not the meaning here, I apoligize, but the OP has posted threads in the past bending over backwards to defend Maidan as well as fetishize violence...the combination of these things makes me wary.

jura's picture
jura
Offline
Joined: 25-07-08
Sep 14 2014 22:00

Can confirm that "cosmopolitan" often was and is used as an anti-semitic slur in Eastern Europe. It was even used by the Stalinists during purges after WW2.

Edit: There's even a wikipedia page. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rootless_cosmopolitan

Serge Forward's picture
Serge Forward
Offline
Joined: 14-01-04
Sep 14 2014 23:43

Bit late here but on the term 'cosmopolitanism', yes, it was a term used by fascists and stalinists in an anti-semitic context. However, it has also been used by anationalists, anti-nationalists, revolutionary internationalists with no jewish, anti-semitic or racist connotation whatsoever. Cosmopolitanism can also be seen as a progressive and proletarian antidote to liberal and bourgeois multiculturalism and its separatist implications.

meerov21
Offline
Joined: 14-08-13
Sep 15 2014 12:51

J

Quote:
uan Conatz
Within the context of European leftism, yeah, if someone throws that word out, particularily if they are discussing ethnicity alongside it, it usually means Jews. If that's not the meaning here, I apoligize, but the OP has posted threads in the past bending over backwards to defend Maidan as well as fetishize violence...the combination of these things makes me wary.

My attitude to the idea of national independence is reflected here
http://www.libcom.org/forums/theory/national-independence-14092014

I may add that I am a supporter of the international Association of workers and workers ' councils (multinational). I have nothing against cosmopolitanism and myself is cosmopolitan, and by origin, I am a Jew (as I wrote).

At the same time, I have nothing against the federalist ideas of the Bund or left-wing socialist revolutionaries, if they are complemented by the program of the libertarian socialism. I don't see any contradiction between the workers self-government and the attempts of workers to develop the local culture and they language (if they want). And if they don't want, may not develop.

For this reasons I don't like authoritarian statements of Rosa Luxemburg on the Jews and the Ukrainians and on the right of the Jewish socialist make propaganda in the jewish language (Yiddish). That, in turn, does not mean, that Rosa Luxemburg was the devil and a Nazi.

I repeat: I am not interested in stupid expression of Stalin and stalinists about Jews and cosmopolitans.

Last. No one is obliged to prove to you that he is not a devil. With the same success I may require evidence you're not Jack the Ripper. Who knows, maybe you are? Is this the way for the conversation?

syndicalist
Offline
Joined: 15-04-06
Jan 19 2016 21:50

I just came across an advert. in the August 1946 issue of the American left socialist "Politics" journal, for the following publuication: "AUTHORITARIANISM IN SOCIALIST ORGANIZATION" by Rosa Luxemburg. When I did a google search, mention of this link appered. So is this one and the same conversation? If, not, anyone know about this pamphlet or article?