Luxemburgism

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slothjabber
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Jan 8 2011 01:34
Devrim wrote:
devoration1 wrote:
To begin, the two theoretical positions that come to mind immediately are on the national question and economics. Specifically, opposition to the bourgeois concept of 'Right of All Nations to Self-Determination' and what would became 'National Liberationism', and the saturation of markets vs tendency of the rate of profit to fall.

The impression that I get is that the people today who call themselves ' Luxemborgists' don't take either of these positions as a starting point, but instead the 'crtique of Leninism'.

Devrim

Those first two are specifically the reasons why I do regard myself as a Luxemburgist.

That and her opposition to the war, support for the October Revolution and calls for its international extension of course.

eccarius
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Jan 12 2011 00:08

FROM On Hegel, Rosa Luxemburg and Marxist-Humanism – by David Black
EXTRACT
Although Luxemburg didn’t recognize Hegel, her struggles to unify theory and practice dialectically can, according to Gillian Rose, be read, so to speak, through Hegel. Rose sees the new appearance of bourgeois moral judgment in the reformism of German social democracy, and sees the new appearance of “pure culture” in Russian Bolshevism’s attempt to substitute itself for the non-existent bourgeois legal structure, in the name of the organization of the party.[4]

As an alternative to both of these organizational forms, Luxemburg argued that for the popular masses to impose the dictatorship of the proletariat they would have to go “outside” and “beyond” the existing society. According to Rose, this “beyond and outside” was no appeal to a utopia (as was suggested by George Lukacs in his critique of Luxemburg), but recognition of an “aporia”: a state of being which, caught in the schism between theory and practice, lacks any discernable path of transcendence, and is resistant to any Kantian a priori logic and determination. In concrete terms, resolving the aporia would require the difficult union of the daily struggle and “the great world transformation”. This new movement would have to grope along the path between the Scylla of abandoning the mass character of the social democratic party and the Charybdis of abandoning the goal of socialist transformation. The twin perils of reformism and militant sectarianism were both characterized by opportunism, and both represented an organizational formalism that substituted itself for the daily struggle and the justified anxiety as to the outcome.

Lenin saw the discipline of the capitalist factory as “educating” the workers for the organization of socialism. German social democracy went further and assigned a positive consciousness-forming role to the centralized bureaucracy of the bourgeois state. In neither case, argued Luxemburg, was there a unity of ends and means; rather, a failure, not only to recognize the autonomy of the working class, but also to “enclose”, “educate and assimilate” those non-proletarian forces that were attracted to the party. In Germany the failure installed the germ of later instability for the movement, leading to counter-revolution and eventually fascism.

In her 1904 critique of the Bolsheviks, Luxemburg criticized a “subjectivism” that would attempt to bar the way to opportunism “by means of clauses in a party constitution”.[5] What was needed was an organizational plasticity:

“Socialism in life demands a complete spiritual transformation in the masses degraded by centuries of bourgeois rule… No one knows this better, describes it more penetratingly; repeats it more stubbornly than Lenin. But he is completely mistaken in the means he employs…The only way to a rebirth is the school of public life itself, the most unlimited, the broadest democracy and public opinion. It is rule by terror which demoralizes.”
http://www.usmarxisthumanists.org/articles/on-hegel-rosa-luxemburg-and-marxist-humanism-by-david-black/

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Noa Rodman
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Dec 23 2011 15:26

on Revleft someone asked for a critique of Luxemburg, but registering is locked there, so if anyone could mention it there; I will try to translate Motylev's preface to the 5th edition of Accumulation (over 50 pages, but I will be quick with e-translation).

If that is not enough, I could order one of Dvolaitski's articles from 1923 (theory of the market) criticizing Lux.

But all this critique will not be convincing to the faithful I'm afraid, if there is not some deeper positive insight why Lux. made such apparently basic errors. If anyone reads German, I could send you a copy of one of Kautsky's works that gives such a more general explanation.

RedHughs
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Dec 24 2011 01:29

On the economic level, it seems like positions are often described as Luxemburgist when they locate the origin of Capital's crisis in a fundamental lack of demand.

David Harvey's short video seems to take this position.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOP2V_np2c0

Notably, Harvey mentions a number of common bourgeois explanations and then makes his explanation a lack of demand caused by the crushing of the working class. He doesn't mention the declining rate of profit.

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Noa Rodman
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Dec 24 2011 21:09

I already translated one third. Will post it in the library when done (it's a stalinist author, so I'll mention the bad parts in the introduction).

Here's decent critique (not mentioned yet on the revleft thread):
http://www.ruthlesscriticism.com/rosa.htm

RedHughs, Luxemburg doesn't hold to the standard if-only-workers-got-better-pay-there-would-be-no-crises-and-it-would-profit-the-capitalists-themselves theory of under-consumption.

Motylev wrote an article on declining rate of profit. I wonder what his position was. Мотылев В.Е. Закон тенденции нормы процента к понижению.//Вестник Социалистической Академии.-1923.-Кн.3

I have ordered Motylev's article on standard of value under paper-money currency, and will try to translate it asap.

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georgestapleton
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Dec 25 2011 14:13

Anthony Brewer's book has a good critique of Luxemburg in it.

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jura
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Dec 27 2011 22:50
Noa Rodman wrote:
I have ordered Motylev's article on standard of value under paper-money currency, and will try to translate it asap.

Would you mind scanning/posting the original?

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Noa Rodman
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Dec 28 2011 17:56

finally finished it: http://libcom.org/library/critical-introduction-rosa-luxemburgs-economic-works-wolf-motylev
can someone enlighten the folks asking for a critique on the revleft thread.

georgestapleton wrote:
Anthony Brewer's book has a good critique of Luxemburg in it

Yes, I got it through library.nu (btw I can't login there anymore for a while now).

Quote:
Would you mind scanning/posting the original?

I also have the other relevant text which I mentioned here.

I'll upload both eventually when translated (I'll send them, if you help out wink ), or maybe they are so important that they should be published in a serious economic marxist journal. What is there besides Science and Society?