Rosa Luxemburg’s Life and Legacy


She was a towering figure of the classical socialist movement—a brilliant thinker, sharp-tongued rhetorician, and trailblazing leader of the proletarian cause. Yet since being cut down by proto-fascist thugs in January 1919, Rosa Luxemburg has been memorialized as a martyr and symbol of the tragic highs and lows of the twentieth century more than anything else. Her name and image remain iconic, but her prodigious intellectual output and numerous contributions to socialist theory are often reduced to footnotes.

In commemoration of her life and untimely death, we ask: what can Luxemburg teach us about economic crisis, gender relations, revolutionary patience, and the struggle for a world beyond capitalism? Where have her ideas remained relevant, and where do they require modification?

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