Rosa Luxemburg, Organizational Questions of Russian Social Democracy (aka Leninism or Marxism?), 1904
LOL at butchering Luxembourg. I’m bored of this “she was a ‘good’ marxist, not like that mean Lenin” bullshit - she was excellent, and in the end was in agreement with Lenin but was betrayed by the kind of reformist cowards that now frame her to Bolshevik-bash -she would be so upset.
Please. Gimme a break. This is pretty much the most undialectical pseudo-marxist commentary I’ve read on the internet all week (and I read a lot of crap on the internet). Engaging with Luxemburg’s criticisms of Lenin does not make one a filthy reformist, nor is it a historically inaccurate butchering of her thought - Luxemburg did, indisputably, say these words! This person seems to imply that blogging on tumblr any criticism of Lenin puts you in the camp of liberal revisionists and naive ultra leftists. Clearly such a dogmatic approach to a history of marxism is dangerous, and, to be frank, incredibly anti-marxist.
I posted this quote because I think it still holds relevance for the question of organization in a contemporary context. Luxemburg’s critiques of Lenin’s democratic centralism, and the question of democracy within revolutionary organizing more generally, was one of the most compelling discussions arising out of socialist thought in the last century - and it’s clearly a conversation that isn’t over. It’s pretty arrogant and undialectical to assume otherwise. Orthodox bullshit that sees these theoretical discussions as automatically and inherently anti-Leninist, counter-revolutionary, dumb ultra-leftism, bourgeois moralizing and/or dirty dirty reformism - as demonstrated by this guy above - adds nothing to a critical reflection on these times nor to a dialectical reading of what is to be done today.
P.S. To be clear, I appreciate a lot of what Lenin did and has to offer revolutionary organizing and thought today. He’s by no means the “bad marxist” to my Rosa “good marxist” Luxemburg. And I am well aware that Luxemburg was in agreement with the Bolsheviks on most accounts, and even despite the disagreements she did have, was always in support of them - and those faults she did see in them she regarded as the result of the failures of the international social democracy as a whole. However, again, I do not think that any of this means that those folks trying to be a good revolutionary today should not engage with Luxemburg’s criticisms of the Bolsheviks nor should they remain silent more generally on where Lenin may have gone wrong.