Publication Luxemburgism

Coined as the incarnation of an alleged ‘deviation’ from Leninism or Marxism-Leninism, the term “Luxemburgism” has also other uses – beyond this pejoratively initial sense – which revitalize the legacy of the German thinker and militant Rosa Luxemburg



March 2023

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Rosa Luxemburg in Berlin, around 1910.

The Historical-Critical Dictionary of Marxism (HCDM) is a comprehensive Marxist lexicon which, upon completion, will span 15 volumes and over 1,500 entries. Of the nine volumes published so far in the original German, two volumes have been published in Chinese since 2017. In 2019, the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung teamed up with the HCDM team to advance its "globalization" into English and Spanish, with the ultimate aim of recruiting a new generation of Marxist scholars from around the globe to the project and expanding its readership and reach. The below entry is one of a selection of these translations that are made available on our website.

For more information about the project and other translated entries, check out our HCDM dossier.

A: lūksimburġīya. – F: luxemburgisme. – G: Luxemburgismus. – R: ljuksemburgianstvo. – S: luxemburguismo. – C: Lúsēnbǎo zhǔyì 卢森堡主义

Among the ‘isms’ of the revolutionary communist and labour movements of the 20th cent., L is of particular importance, because it was already meant pejoratively by those who coined the term and – as later seen even more markedly in the case of Trotskyism – was construed as the incarnation of a ‘deviation’ from Leninism or Marxism-Leninism, and presented as being the archetypal foe. In this form, shaped by ML and also inseparable from it, it was therefore not possible to constructively link it with the life and work of Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919); the adoption of Luxemburg’s work and revolutionary praxis serves to break away from this archetype of her being ‘the enemy’.

Serving as ‘proof’ of the ‘deviation’ of L from ML is a “note” of Lenin’s from 1922, wherein he extols Luxemburg as an “eagle”, but does this while at the same time referencing a fable by Ivan Krylov, the point being that eagles also sometimes “fly lower than hens” (CW 33/210). As evidence of this, he writes: “Luxemburg was mistaken on the question of the independence of Poland; she was mistaken in 1903 in her appraisal of Menshevism; she was mistaken on the theory of the accumulation of capital; she was mistaken in July 1914, when, together with Plekhanov, Vandervelde, Kautsky and others, she advocated unity between the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks; she was mistaken in what she wrote in prison in 1918 (she corrected most of these mistakes at the end of 1918 and the beginning of 1919 after she was released)” (ibid). Because she was regarded nonetheless as an “eagle”, she could be celebrated, when politically opportune, as a prominent and respected revolutionary of her time; under Stalin however, her work, and those invoking it, were subject to excommunication. The differences between the writings of Lenin and Luxemburg were methodologically filtered out and – as Lenin’s positions became canonised – all of Luxemburg’s divergent positions were declared “mistakes” and “systemised” (Schütrumpf 2006/2008, 38). Completely disregarded was the “consensus […] on the fundamental questions of the socialist movement” which “united” Lenin and Luxemburg “in the years between the revolutions of 1905 and 1917–18 and had marked them out as leftists in the SI” (Plener 2009, 11); there was no recollection of the “clear awareness of their different historical tasks” that existed between them in their “intense mutual recognition, which is an exemplar for every form of solidarity-minded critique” (Negt 1974, 197).

Bibliography: O.Negt, “Rosa Luxemburg: Zur materialistischen Dialektik von Spontaneität und Organisation”, Rosa Luxemburg oder Die Bestimmung des Sozialismus, ed. C.Pozzoli, Frankfurt/M 1974, 152-98; U.Plener, Rosa Luxemburg und Lenin: Gemeinsamkeiten und Kontroversen: Gegen ihre dogmatische Entgegenstellung, Berlin 2009; J.Schütrumpf, “Between Love and Anger: Rosa Luxemburg” (2006), id. (ed.), Rosa Luxemburg or: The Price of Freedom, transl. N.Mueller-Hirth, Berlin 2008, 9-41.


I. – 1. The term L surfaces in the communist movement in April 1925 when Grigory Zinoviev calls for it to be attacked (see Internationale Pressekorrespondenz, 1925, no. 99, 1350 et sq.), the context of which being the Comintern’s 1924 initiation of the “Bolshevisation” of CPs (see Ruge 1991, 82). Stalin intensified the ideological pressure in November 1931 with a letter to the magazine Proletarskaya Revolutsia under the title “Some Questions Concerning the History of Bolshevism”, in which he presents Luxemburg and Trotsky, without explicitly using the term L, as being interrelated opponents of Leninism. During the revolution of 1905, Luxemburg together with Alexander Parvus was said to have devised a “semi-Menshevik scheme of permanent revolution (a distorted representation of the Marxist scheme of revolution), which was permeated through and through with the Menshevik repudiation of the policy of alliance between the working class and peasantry”, and placed this in opposition to the “Bolshevik scheme of the revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry”; this was said to have been “seized upon by Trotsky (in part by Martov) and turned into a weapon of struggle against Leninism” (Wks 13, 93). In the History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union – Bolsheviks (Short Course) from 1938, this viewpoint – again, without explicit use of the term L – would be ‘conclusively’ and for the long term granted canonical status.

While all parties of the CI who were on course to Bolshevisation were obliged to view L as ‘the enemy’, the increasingly cutthroat attacks on Luxemburg and her supporters under Stalin primarily targeted the German and especially the Polish communist movements, in which Luxemburg had held significant sway during the 1918–19 formations of the CPs (in fact she was the most influential figure in the German movement in this regard). In the German-speaking world, little to no attention is given to the history of L in Poland, yet the creation of L can only be understood in the context of the close association of the Polish and Russian labour movements under the Tsarist Empire.

1.1 In Poland, the Communist Party (KPP, which until 1925 was known as the KPRP, or Communist Workers' Party of Poland) was founded through the amalgamation of two more or less equally strong precursor parties, judged in terms of their membership size and campaign experience: the PPS-Lewica (Left Socialists), which formed during the revolution of 1905–06 following a split within the PPS (a party which had been founded in 1892); and the SDKPiL, a social-democratic party which was founded in 1893 with the assistance of Luxemburg. Though never in an official capacity, Luxemburg played a key role in shaping the latter’s political programme. From 1906 to 1912, the SDKPiL was an independent party within the RSDLP in the Tsarist Empire, the later party from 1913 onwards being shaped by the factional conflict between Bolsheviks and Mensheviks. The SDKPiL advocated for a resolution to the factional conflict and for the unity of the entire party, and in 1905–06 drew nearer to the Bolshevik positions on some individual key issues, although differences between Lenin and Luxemburg became clearly already apparent in terms of their understanding of the historical situation and perspectives of a revolution. Lenins aspiration to build an independent Bolshevik party and the de facto abandonment of the RSDLP’s organisational unity also affected the SDKPiL. From 1912 on, it was paralysed by factional conflicts, in which Luxemburg’s wing of the party was politically marginalised; only over the course of the First World War did the situation improve. At the end of 1918, as the party was merged into the KPRP, Luxemburg’s theoretical positions were seen as being valuable assets which the SDKPiL could contribute to the newly formed party, despite Luxemburg having consistently criticised the PPS-Lewica on the Polish question. The determining factor in the two parties deciding to merge proved to be that during the First World War both parties had taken anti-war stances from the outset.

Luxemburg was not directly involved in the formation of the KPRP, but leading figures of both preceding parties had visited her beforehand in Berlin. Even after her murder, she remained an important political and theoretical point of reference, albeit not one without controversy. In 1923, the Bolshevik criterion for party membership was adopted in the KPRP’s charter at its second party congress (KPP, vol. 1, 255 et sq.). In 1924, the party leadership declared this party congress to be the most important and decisive step on the path to Bolshevisation, one that was to be made irreversible (vol. 2, 39). The third party congress of the (now renamed) KPP declared that Luxemburg, although well-known and held in high regard as a revolutionary figure, represented a flawed tradition and that her failings remained as present as ever, which is why “manly strength” would be needed to eradicate it (88 et sqq.). In 1925, the fourth party congress decreed that the party cadre be educated in the spirit of Leninism, which would involve making clear the distinctions between the SDKPiL and Bolshevism in order to overcome these differences. The revolutionary tradition of the SDKPiL itself was exempted from this (254 et sqq.). From 1926 onwards, the party underwent a bitter factional struggle, with the CI mostly pulling the strings. The KPP leadership responded that any party member who publicly polemicised against passed resolutions would be held to account. The assembly of the CC announced in August 1929 that while it had already made a “critical” assessment (or rather a repudiation) of the ideological legacy of the SDKPiL, this path still needed to be followed resolutely (555). In 1930, the fifth party congress of the KPP called for armed insurgency to be adopted as a slogan, and to introduce the issue of armed struggle to the Bolshevik party; the progress of Bolshevisation after 1929 was judged as having been a breakthrough (vol. 3, 146). One of the chief criticisms levelled at Lenin by the SDKPiL during the revolution of 1905–06 related to the issue of armed struggle, a position which he had openly advocated in his draft text “Tasks of Revolutionary Army Contingents”, published in 1926 (CW 9/420-24).

In December 1931, the CC of the KPP responded to Stalin’s letter with a resolution to vanquish L. It adopted the same characteristic style: both Trotskyists and those around Heinrich Brandler were accused of using the arsenal of L against the CI. The SDKPiL was, it was argued, the quintessential proponent of L; its mistakes could be traced back to its non-Bolshevik positions when it came to issues such as power and the forces which drive revolution. Especially barbed criticism was reserved for Luxemburg herself. Her ideological legacy was said to have greatly harmed the proletarian revolution in Poland after 1918. Therefore, they had decided to “critically” examine the individual aspects of L, to expose the opportunistic treatment of L, to convert Lenin’s principles of party ideology into a new party programme, and to introduce the party cadres to Lenin’s work on the basis of ML (KPP, vol. 3, 341 et sqq.). In 1932, the sixth party congress of the KPP adopted a Leninist party programme. In July 1933, the programme commission of the party presented a special segment about the Bolshevisation of the party, in which developments in the period of 1903-12 were especially criticised, a time in which Luxemburg and Leo Jogiches enjoyed decisive influence (449 et sqq.). In March 1936, the CC launched a direct attack upon those Polish communists who had emigrated to the SU to escape Poland, in which they were threatened with arrest on the orders of the CI. It was said that they had fled when faced with the hard work of the Bolshevisation of the party in Poland (553). In 1937 the SU began, on the orders of Stalin, the persecution of leading or noteworthy Polish communists. The party was formally declared dissolved and ultimately its physical structure almost completely ceased to exist. In contrast to the other CI parties, charges of L played a central role in its being persecuted, even when the term L was not overtly mentioned at its show trial. Of the 19 CC members elected in 1932 at the final KPP party congress, as of September 1939 the only five who were still alive were locked up in Polish jails; all the others had been killed in the SU or starved to death in the Gulags. In Poland, the history of L was quite simply a tale of politically-engineered crime. One victim in Moscow was Adolf Warski (1868-1937), one of Luxemburg’s most loyal comrades since 1893, and together with Clara Zetkin editor of the planned nine-volume German-language edition of Luxemburg’s works. After being stripped of his party roles in 1929, Warski worked in Moscow on a CI assignment focusing on, among other things, the history of the SDKPiL (see 1958, vol. 2, 428-76). Believing that the actions and works of Luxemburg and Jogiches could be related to Leninism, he tried in vain to defend Luxemburg from defamation.

1.2 In the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) – as in other sections of the CI – Luxemburg was initially regarded as an important theorist, “whose work was viewed as a creative development of Marxism and was placed on equal standing with that of Lenin and Trotsky” (Kinner 2001, 595). A course proposed by Eduard Ludwig Alexander in 1922 for the Central Party School (see German Federal Archives, SAPMO, RY 5/12/707) reveals that Luxemburg’s theory of accumulation was treated as a “theoretical foundation of communism in Germany” (as cit. in Kinner 2001, 595).

The first conflict over Luxemburg arose in 1921 with the KPD’s planned collected edition of her works, because her literary estate was in the hands of Mathilde Jacob, who remained politically loyal to the expelled former party leader Paul Levi. The conflict intensified at the end of 1921, with Levi’s publication of Luxemburgs 1918 prison manuscript The Russian Revolution (TRR). Warski and Zetkin were among those who protested the publication, due to it failing to mention Luxemburg’s publicly-held views in the period between her release from prison and her murder. As Zetkin writes in 1922 (XIV et sq.), Luxemburg had “joyfully greeted the Russian proletariat’s conquest of state power” and “genuinely wrestled” with the “major historical problems which the revolution itself raises with every day that it survives and develops”, whereas “others” – meaning those such as Levi – had “only toyed with it in a literary fashion”. According to Georg Lukács, Luxemburg’s posthumous works were used in an attempt to liquidate the Third International. It was therefore more important to engage with her theoretical work than to simply point out that she later corrected herself (HistClassCon, 272).

From 1923 to 1928, Paul Frölich was tasked with editing and compiling Luxemburg’s works for publication. In 1923, volume VI on the theory of accumulation was published, in 1925 volume III with articles opposing reformism, and in 1928 volume IV on union struggles and the mass strike. At the end of 1928, Frölich was expelled from the KPD, together with Brandler and August Thalheimer. Stalin’s letter of November 1931 spelled the end for the first attempt at publishing the collected works of Luxemburg. However, thanks to Frölich’s decisive intervention, it was possible to protect it from being seized by the Nazi regime by transferring the literary estate to the party archive in Moscow. The literary estate held by Jacob ended up at Stanford University in California.

The KPD chair Ernst Thälmann promptly reacted to Stalin’s letter with an essay written in the same characteristic style (1931). Shortly afterwards he aligned himself with the party orthodoxy, whereby Luxemburg was regarded as having been mistaken on every single point on which she differed from Lenin (1932, 71).

2. Following Stalin’s death in 1953, all attempts to incorporate Luxemburg and her work into ML were destined to fail, because ML had survived the reckoning with Stalin, and remained unassailable as a guiding principle.

2.1 In Warsaw, a small volume featuring articles by Luxemburg about the revolution of 1905–06 was published, in which major abridgements had been made without this being acknowledged. In the foreword, Luxemburg was recognised as a revolutionary; her positions – in contrast to Lenin and Stalin – were however seen as being deeply flawed and thus as preventing her from identifying other revolutionary forces aside from the proletariat (see Luksemburg 1951, 5-10). The national-revolutionary path, which the Bolsheviks pursued after revolutionary defeats in Western Europe, and which they described as “socialism in one country”, was again turned into the sole benchmark. Following the ascension to power of Władysław Gomułka in October 1956, there was the firm intention to publish TRR. Although Moscow obstructed this, it was possible for the foreword by the Marxist and Sociologist Julian Hochfeld to appear in a popular magazine, in which he sharply criticised L, traced its origins to Lenin’s “eagle” metaphor, and called for Luxemburg to be understood above all as an exceptional theorist and not merely as a martyr (see 1982, 136-59). In 1958–59, a two-volume edition of unabridged texts was published, mostly translated from German, but also some written in Polish – the latter with a particular focus on the revolution of 1905–06. This has remained the most comprehensive edition in Poland.

From the early 1960s onwards, Feliks Tych had a formative influence on the ways Luxemburg was perceived in Poland, the key element of which being nearly 800 letters sent to Jogiches which were discovered in Moscow and then made available to the public in 1968-71, and which deftly punctured the prevailing dogma whereby Luxemburg’s life and work were measured against Lenin’s. Tych expressed the hope that the collection could contribute to an approach to the history of the Polish and international workers’ movements that was not reliant on existing formulas (Luksemburg 1968, XLII, see also Luxemburg 1981). In the following years, research into the history of the labour movement, the SDKPiL, the PPS-Lewica, the KPP, the PPS, as well as the General Jewish Labour Bund, openly discussing Stalin’s extermination policies, disposed of the remains of L as archetypal foe. From 1978-92, Tych published three volumes of a Słownik biograficzny działaczy polskiego ruchu robotniczego (Biographical Dictionary of the Polish Workers’ Movement). The project was subsequently discontinued, because institutional research into the history of the labour movement in Poland was halted.

In the Polish People’s Republic, Luxemburg’s Accu was first published in 1963, followed in 1976 by Aleksander Kochański’s Luxemburg biography, the first of its kind. In 1961, a Polish edition of TRR was issued in the western exile community. Between 1973-88, a published archive of the labour movement appeared on a regular basis, containing important and controversial political documents, such as a manuscript by Luxemburg from 1903 on the relationship between the Polish and Russian workers’ movements, as well as a comprehensive biography of Jogiches by Zdzisław Leder.

As Poland’s workers shook the country with a tremendous wave of strikes in the summer of 1980, it appeared as if they were operating according to formulas laid out by Luxemburg. The workers’ struggle for civil liberties had always been supported by her; however she would have certainly been critical of the workers’ hasty transfer of political leadership into the hands of those only acting in their own self-interest. With the workers' protests, not only did ML lose any remaining significance, but so too did everything which referred to Marx or even which ventured to do so. After 1989, nearly all endeavours related to Luxemburg’s works dried up. The liberation of her work from L ended in its burial. Her character in disrepute and misrepresented, her theoretical works reduced to the accusation that she had opposed Poland’s independence: that is how Luxemburg is viewed in her homeland at the beginning of the 21st cent.

2.2 In the GDR, starting in 1951, efforts were also undertaken to rescue Luxemburg from her obscurity; here too, this initially occurred in accordance with the L-formula. The biography by Fred Oelssner (1951) followed this doctrine by creating a division between the writings and the person: the first part pays tribute to the revolutionary while the second was called An Erroneous System (Luxemburgism). The individual points address: the historical roots (Lenin and Stalin at the height of the 20th cent., but not Luxemburg); the philosophical worldview (she is said to advance an undialectical, mechanistic materialism); the economic concepts (her accumulation theory is said to be her most fatal mistake); the theory of socialist revolution (history was said to have proven Luxemburg wrong on every point); the theory of spontaneity (a result of underappreciating the role of the party); and Thälmann’s fight against the remnants of L (no one had critiqued Luxemburg’s mistakes as profoundly, persistently, and strongly as Lenin). In 1951, a two-volume edition of Luxemburg’s works appeared, written in much the same spirit as the biography.

A change occurred with the release of five volumes of the collected works in 1970-75 (vol. 6 appeared in 2014) by Annelies Laschitza and Günter Radczun. This edition also included the German-language works that were critical of Lenin, including TRR. Without questioning ML, it was attempted, through reference to this great revolutionary and peace activist, to ‘smuggle in’ as much as possible from the work of Luxemburg: her “uncompromising perspectives on class” – as the foreword to volume four put it – had “throughout her life” placed Luxemburg “alongside Lenin in leading the class struggle of the international workers’ movement at every pivotal moment”; she therefore did not adopt any “independent” positions outside of the tradition of ML (30 et sq.). Moreover, the two editors released a biography (1971) mostly concerned with Luxemburg’s impact upon the German labour movement.

The collected letters were published in German by Laschitza and Radczun between 1982 and 1984 (with vol. 6 in 1993; see also the 2013 Eng. edn.). From the letters, it was then publicly known that throughout her life, Luxemburg had been opposed to the Leninist “party of a new type”. In accordance with the prevailing state ideology of the GDR, the publishers themselves continued to emphasise the outstanding importance of the Leninist party of a new type. That edition stands out for only referencing Luxemburg’s biography up until the moment of her murder; omitted is the period in which ML, and with it L, were created. Nevertheless, the editorial contributions within the GDR, which attempt to reconcile Luxemburg’s work with ML, would be indispensable prerequisites for the subsequent reception of the former. The sources and texts were reproduced in a complete and unmodified form. The interpretations of the publishers are historical documents in themselves. They belong to the history of L at a time when it was already being transcended.

Bibliography: G.Adler, P.Hudis, A.Laschitza, The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg, London 2013; J.Hochfeld, Marksizm, socjologia, socjalizm: Wybór pism (Marxism, Sociology, Socialism: Selected Writings), Warsaw 1982; K.Kinner, “Die Luxemburg-Rezeption in KPD und Komintern”, UTOPIE kreativ 129/130, 2001, no. 30, 595-603; Komunistyczna Partia Polski (KPP), Uchwały i rezolucji (Decisions and Resolutions), 3 vols., Warsaw 1953-56; A.Laschitza, G.Radczun, Rosa Luxemburg: Ihr Wirken in der deutschen Arbeiterbewegung, Berlin/GDR 1971; V.I.Lenin, Collected Works, Moscow 1960-70 (CW); G.Lukács, History and Class Consciousness: Studies in Marxist Dialectics (1923), transl. R.Livingstone, Cambridge 1971 (HistClassCon); R.Luksemburg, Rok 1905: Wybór artykułów (The Year 1905: Selected Articles), Warsaw 1951; ead., Listy do Leona Jogichesa-Tyszki, vol. 1, introd. F.Tych, Warsaw 1968; R.Luxemburg, Comrade and Lover: Rosa Luxemburg’s Letters to Leo Jogiches, ed. E.Ettinger, Cambridge 1981; F.Oelssner, Rosa Luxemburg: Eine kritische biographische Skizze, Berlin/GDR 1951; W.Ruge, Stalinismus – eine Sackgasse im Labyrinth der Geschichte, Berlin 1991; E.Thälmann, “Einige Fehler in unserer theoretischen und praktischen Arbeit und der Weg zu ihrer Überwindung”, Die Internationale, vol. 14, 1931, no. 11/12, 481-509; id., Der revolutionäre Ausweg und die KPD: Rede auf der Plenartagung des ZK der KPD am 19. Februar 1932 in Berlin, Berlin 1932; A.Warski, Wybór pism przemówień (Selected Writings and Speeches), 2 vols., Warsaw 1958; C.Zetkin, Um Rosa Luxemburgs Stellung zur russischen Revolution, n.p. 1922 (Eng. Rosa Luxemburg's Views on the Russian Revolution, New York 2017).

Holger Politt

II. Attempts to wrest the revolutionary theory and praxis of Rosa Luxemburg from L, as construed by ML, have been repeatedly undertaken. The following text will shine light upon these efforts from the post-Stalin period up to the post-communist era: an attempt to positively make use of the concept of L and to bring to the fore Luxemburg’s place in a “plural Marxism” (W.F.Haug 1985, 11). Because she viewed open discursive spaces, the recognition of (dis)contingent experiences, and a participatory political development as indispensable for her Marxism, Rohit Lekhi designates her a “radical pluralist” (1996, 10). After the collapse of state socialism, her call for intra-institutional and societal democracy has more significance than ever for an open and inclusive socialism.

1. After the end of the Second World War, the different factions of the left took up their former appraisals of Luxemburg again. Strengthened by the growth of Soviet power, CPs – especially the SED and KPD – undertook new efforts to standardise how the KPD founder was viewed. The Briefe aus dem Gefängnis (Basel 1945, Berlin 1946; Eng. Letters from Prison, London 1946) familiarised the German-language readership with this political campaigner and sophisticated woman, while also establishing the stereotype of her as an emotional animal-lover. The 1948 Hamburg publication of TRR by the leftist social democrat Peter Blachstein was a sign that Luxemburg could even be included in the intellectual history of West Germany.

Also in Hamburg, the Luxemburg biographies by Max Hochdorf (1930) and Paul Frölich (1939) were republished in 1949. In the GDR by contrast, the narrative that L was an enemy to ML was perpetuated on Luxemburg’s 80th birthday of 5 March 1951 (see Oelssner 1951, 211). This reproduced the old battle lines which, for example, the British Trotskyist Tony Cliff responded to with his Luxemburg study, in which he presented an anti-Stalinist interpretation of the life and works of a “revolutionary genius, fighter and thinker” (1960, 7). Cliff cites the critique from TRR: “[w]ithout general elections, without unrestricted freedom of press and assembly, without a free struggle of opinion, life dies out in every public institution, becomes a mere semblance of life, in which only the bureaucracy remains as the active element” (72; TRR, 71). Luxemburg is for him the embodiment of the struggle for the expressed goals of the Manifesto, for an “association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all” (95; MECW 6/506 [4/482]).

The British historian John Peter Nettl published a Luxemburg biography in 1966 in which he embeds her life within the history of the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania (SDKPiL) and a Polish-Jewish “peer group” (1966, vol. 1, 33), and describes what was for her the formative environment of Russian, Polish, and German social democracy. Nettl wants to paint a “fairly complete picture” of Luxemburg as a “living and active person” (15); he presents her as an “autonomous political thinker” (12), whose writings and speeches targeted first and foremost the “self-satisfaction and immobility of German Social Democracy” of the Second International (39). Luxemburg’s ideas, as those of a “forceful, perpetually foreign woman who belonged to many Socialisms and to none” (vol. 2, 786), are those which “combine without equal a complete loyalty to dialectical materialism with absolute insistence on the humanistic and self-liberating aspects of revolutionary democracy” (827).

2. With the three-volume Politischen Schriften (Political Writings) of Luxemburg (Frankfurt/M 1966-68), Ossip K. Flechtheim provided readers with new material. In the introduction to vol. 1, he writes that as a “humanist and opponent of war” (1966, 5), Luxemburg tried “to find a third way between the terrorism of the bourgeois revolution and the opportunism of the revisionists” (27). Living, as it were, between different eras, and being “one of those rare geniuses of German Marxism”, she reflected, in her actions, “the conflict between reform and revolution, war and peace, violence and humanity” (34). According to Flechtheim, her striving for a way of combining these elements remained without a “smooth resolution” (ibid.); she was full of illusions and fallacies, trusted in the “creative power and dignity of the masses”, demanded a “return to the revolutionary, primitive communism of the Manifesto” (35), and through all of this, embodied the “humanistic, democratic-libertarian moments in socialism” (43). This portrayal made her appealing to those seeking political direction. Flechtheim himself hoped, in view of the “socialist-proletarian class consciousness” in Italy, France, and England, and the “democratisation of the communist movement”, that “new forms of struggle for mass action [would] develop, which, based on peaceful and evolutionary legal paths, lead to the unfolding of the planned economy and nationalisation, and to co-determination and democratisation of education” (41).

Susanne Hillmann compiled Luxemburg’s Writings on the Theory of Spontaneity in 1970, stressing in the afterword the connection between the “masses – majority – democracy” as the “starting point of her theory” (235). Jürgen Hentze followed in 1971 with Internationalism and Class Struggle, German translations of Luxemburg’s Polish-language writings which, according to Hentze’s introduction, make accessible her activities in “Polish Social Democracy as part of her whole political engagement”, and enable a rapprochement with the “Polish question” (18). The five-volume collected works published in the GDR (GW; 1970-75), and later, the five-volume collected letters (Briefe; 1982-84) expanded the body of work that was available to readers.

In Italy, where the societal climate appeared to enable a hegemony of leftist forces, the questions raised by Luxemburg regarding revolutionary theory and organisation sparked particular interest. In 1967, Lelio Basso presented his study Rosa Luxemburg: A Reappraisal in which he described “re-establishing dialectical unity between day-to-day action and the ultimate revolutionary goal” (1967/1975, 48) as the key to her revolutionary strategy. This appears to him to be significant in the simultaneous struggle against “opportunism and revisionism which have reduced the proletariat of the West to abject surrender, as well as the pseudo-Marxist extremism which ignores the essential intermediate steps and wants total revolution ‘here and now’” (133). In France, where a leftist hegemony also appeared possible, Gilbert Badia brings the works of Luxemburg into the political debate with Le Spartakisme (1967), which concentrated on her “final years”. Later, he shows that Luxemburg supported the Bolshevik Revolution, yet there was a “profound political divergence” with Lenin on the agrarian question, the question of national self-determination, and regarding the “problem of freedom and democracy” (1974, 202 et sq.). For her, the “dictatorship of the proletariat” was “socialist democracy” when “exercised by the masses, meaning by the entire class, rather than from a handful of revolutionaries” (203). Nonetheless, in his 1975 biography of the “journalist, polemicist, revolutionary” Badia supported the view that Luxemburg’s disagreements with Lenin were not a fundamental theoretical opposition but rather a focused debate on the aforementioned questions (325 et sq.). Focusing on the questions of emancipatory forms of agency and action, anarcho-communists in France also intermittently engaged with the Luxemburgist “revolutionary spontaneity” as the “working class and especially the ‘youth’ wing sought their own new forms of struggle” (Guérin 1971, 89).

The initiative to bring together the different international readings emanated from Basso, who saw an essential expansion of Marxist thought in the remarks on “concrete totality” (1974/2021, 76) and the “modalities of the revolutionary process” (81). For Luxemburg, capitalism’s “two antagonistic logics are both present, as contradictory historical necessities, at all times”, which attributes to the working class the task to mediate “between the existing situation and the final goal” so as not to “submit to the process of integration, to the logic of the system” (87 et sq.). Luxemburg’s contribution to the relationship between socialism and democracy is of “inestimable value”, as she sees socialism as “ a reversal of the relationship that exists today between the product that dominates and the producer who is dominated, so that workers gain full control over collective social processes” (91). Johannes Agnoli (1974) is interested in the meaning of her thought “beyond and outside of Leninism” (274) and interrogates whether “her theoretical conclusions correlate with experiences of contemporary struggle” (276).

Projekt Klassenanalyse (PKA) in Rosa Luxemburg: Die Krise des Marxismus (Rosa Luxemburg: The Crisis of Marxism; 1975) reconstructs the “mediating connection between Luxemburg’s understanding and interpretation of scientific socialism, her analysis of class relations, and her fundamental conception of revolutionary tactics” (8). Fending off the exploitation of Luxemburg by “leftist social democrats” or “sectarians”, the PKA also criticises the attempts by communists to “tear the theoretical-political perspectives of Luxemburg into individual, disjointed aspects”, aimed solely at a kind of “world-historical necromancy to rediscover the spirit of revolution” (ibid.).

Jaček Ossowski (1971) ranks Luxemburg above Lenin, based on her thesis of “self-centralism” and the “theory of organisation as process” (54). Giselher Schmidt emphasises that, with her “affirmation of the principles of freedom of speech and of conscience” and the “idea that the person is the measure of all things”, Luxemburg “stands closer to free democracy than to totalitarianism” (1971, 141). While an accepted doctoral thesis in Frankfurt in 1977 challenges “‘undogmatic’ socialism based simply on universal ideals”, and dismisses Luxemburg’s assertion that “freedom is always and exclusively freedom for those who think differently” as being simply a “marginal note” (v.Mutius 1978, 8), Norman Geras sees in Luxemburg a “pioneer of an emancipatory socialism” who stands up for the “freedom for a variety of political leanings and parties within the dictatorship of the proletariat” (1979, 213). Using combative language, Oskar Negt writes in 1976 that “[t]he big lie of the present is: freedom instead of socialism” (595), because the historical perspective shows “that capitalism is not compatible with freedom, human dignity, and democracy in the long run” (ibid.). Therefore there is “no democracy without socialism, no socialism without democracy” (ibid.). He evokes the different facets of Luxemburg’s famous quotation, writing that “Luxemburg formulated the categorical imperative of every socialist democracy, in which ‘the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all’: ‘Freedom only for the supporters of the government, only for the members of one party – however numerous they may be – is no freedom at all. Freedom is always freedom for those who think differently. Not because of any fanatical concept of ‘justice’, but because all that is instructive, wholesome and purifying in political freedom depends on this essential characteristic’.” (609; quote corrected according to GW 4, 359, note 3; see also TRR, 69 [GW 4, 362])

3. Outside of state socialist countries, the 1980s mostly saw the publication of texts which attempted to popularise her work or biography, with some exceptions, e.g. a study focusing on the relationship of Luxemburg to Paul Levi (Quack 1986), feminist discussions of her thought and her political praxis (Dunayevskaya 1981), her theory of imperialism (Mies/v.Werlhof/Bennholdt-Thomsen 1983), her critique of violence (Neusüss 1985), and her women’s politics (F.Haug 1988). The story of Rosa L. by Frederik Hetmann, published in six editions between 1976 and 1987, attracted many young people to Luxemburg. A Luxemburg biopic by Margarethe von Trotta (1986) presented a sympathetic image of the revolutionary while also depicting “difficulties” in “dealing with” her (Schmiederer 1986, 42). Taking a positive view of her worldview remaining somewhat undefined, non-dogmatic circles of the left designed a “utopia of socialism” which needed to be developed from “this present” bourgeois society, since the “deficient socialism that actually existed” was seen to be not helpful at all in this case (ibid.).

In September 1980, the International Rosa Luxemburg Society was founded in Zurich – initiated by Narihiko Ito and with the support of Badia, Claudie Weill, Theo Pinkus, Irène Petit, Michael Löwy, and Feliks Tych – with the aim of creating a network of scholars to “1. freely exchange opinions and the results of research on Rosa Luxemburg; 2. support the democratisation of socialism as it existed in reality; 3. assert critical positions towards the capitalist system; and 4. overcome the cold war in academia” (Ito 2002, 12). The Society hosted international conferences in different locations, for example its sixth congress in 1994 in Beijing under the slogan The Freedom of Those Who Think Differently (see Bergmann/Rojahn/Weber 1995). There, in the Chinese context, Yin Xuyi regards the “freedom for those who think differently” as a claim for the freedom of dissenters to be a “theoretically inexact” statement in which “minority views should be tolerated and protected”, however offering no concrete definition of the “concept of ‘opponent’ and ‘dissenter’” (109). By contrast, Zhou Maoyong interprets the formulation as the “philosophical basis and guarantee of the intensive, politically active life of the masses” (112). It is “a philosophical thesis; in practice, especially in political life, Rosa Luxemburg never called for unrestricted freedom” (ibid.). As an “outstanding, undogmatic Marxist”, she conceived of democracy as being “more radical” than “all of that which is practised in the world today” (113). In the view of Tibor Szabó, the “Russian and eastern European form of socialism” (127) provided some historical proof that the “dictatorship of the proletariat is insufficient for the establishment of a new society”; instead “without the active, spontaneous participation of the masses in the political decision-making process, it is not possible […] to establish a democratic society” (130). – Further conferences were documented by Theodor Bergmann and Wolfgang Haible (1997) and later also collectively by Annelies Laschitza, Ito, Stefan Hochstadt, and Ottokar Luban in anthologies (2002, 2007, and 2010). They could be understood as attempts at a common self-understanding within Luxemburg research, which under the conditions of globalisation was both connected and at the same time regionally segmented. In the volume China entdeckt Luxemburg (China Discovers Luxemburg; 2007), about the 2004 Guangzhou conference, the discussions of Luxemburg’s concept of democracy in comparison with the CCP’s idea of “internal party democracy” and “socialist democracy in the state” are of particular interest.

4. The inclusion of Antonio Gramsci resulted in a major shift in how Luxemburg and her work were received, which was reflected in the 1985 conference in Hamburg regarding the contribution of Luxemburg and Gramsci to Marxist thought (see Die Linie, 1989). Taking up a formulation of Peter Weiss, the development of a “Luxemburg-Gramsci line” initiated by those associated with the magazine Das Argument, brought together two (formerly marginalised) leading minds of the theoretical tradition of the Italian and German left. Entirely in the sense of what Weiss called a “precondition: the elucidation of historical mistakes – a lively tradition of scientific criticism, the rejection of any illusionary creations, idealisms, mystifications” (1981, 608), overall both Luxemburg and Gramsci, who were just as much theorists as party functionaries, energised the debate over societal transformation, which otherwise had largely congealed into competing camps. This perspective aimed at achieving a societal hegemony with a view to transcending the ruling order and expanding the autonomy of the oppressed. Luxemburg analysed the state from the “perspective of its withering away”, and thereby assigned the party the task, “not of becoming a unified entity (which leads to Stalinism), but rather of sublating the party’s existence through the decentralisation of the state” (Elfferding 1989, 138).

5. Since parts of the GDR opposition in 1988–89 took up the Luxemburg motto “freedom is always freedom of those who think differently” and made it the foundational instance of their criticism of the state, the name of the KPD founder was intrinsically linked to the end of the GDR’s state socialism. By way of catching up, the political and critical reception of Luxemburg, which had been bound to the SED, then became an integral part of its transformation into the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS). In 1990, Laschitza published for the first time a separate edition of TRR, which had already appeared in GW 4, in order to “support critical debate opposing the egregious violation of democratic principles up to the present, and to show the way for the critical overcoming of [the party line’s] own interpretive weaknesses” (32). The approach taken towards Luxemburg, bound to the official GDR interpretation, has shown that there, “generally, theoretical problems such as the relationship of party, class, the masses, spontaneity and consciousness, reform and revolution, democracy and socialism, were not discussed frankly and openly and without damaging repercussions, and controversial opinions could expect no tolerance” (1991, 452).

Beyond the self-criticism of the SED, Luxemburg became a point of reference for the left as a whole. While establishing the PDS, in addition to statements on policy, a debate emerged which focused especially on the relationship between democracy and socialism. This exploratory process included positions defining “socialist democracy” as being the “rule of the entire revolutionary class, treated as a broad majority rather than a representative group” (Bierl 1991, 87).

Luxemburg’s clear opposition to the reformism of social democracy, her consistent anti-militarism, but especially her support for the Russian October Revolution and her role in the founding of the KPD remained a thorn for social democracy even after 1989–90. In 1989, Willy Brandt called Luxemburg a “radical socialist” who however offered “no realistic programme” during the November Revolution of 1918. Instead, she compensated for her “deficient perception of reality” with “aggressive language” (352). At the same time, Brandt regarded her positively, for she did not want to subordinate herself to the “specific Russian revolutionary model”; it must also be accepted that her “conception of socialism” possessed an “ethical dimension” (ibid.). Luxemburg’s ‘return’ to the SPD, in the same manner as Paul Levi, was regarded by Brandt as impossible; he characterises her as a “tragic form of a passionate European revolutionary” (357). The trade union historian Manfred Scharrer reads her plea for “socialist democracy” as a “hopeless exercise in conceptual confusion”, and that this is why she is unqualified to serve as a “democratic socialist role model” (1991, 474).

There were East-West differences within the SPD: Helga Grebing (West) credits Luxemburg with having advocated a “historic project of the education of humankind towards freedom and solidarity” (1991, 71). Wolfgang Thierse (East) speaks of the “contemporaneity” of Luxemburg “when it comes to – initially unorganised – mass action” and sees in her life and work a “distinctly activistic and activating element” (1992, 7). He however warns against “declaring her a faultless social democrat, washing away all differences and problems, and – wherever possible – treating her final political move, the co-founding of the KPD, as an insignificant mistake”, but viewed her nonetheless as a “key figure” who “sought a ‘third way’ between Bolshevik centralism and social democratic reformism in Germany” (12). In the context of discussions surrounding a potential Luxemburg memorial in Berlin, Grebing denied her any contemporary relevance (2000, 26). Bernd Faulenbach recommended that “Rosa Luxemburg and her time” should only be engaged with in a strictly “historical” fashion (2003, 87).

The organisational combination of leftists who were socialised in the GDR and the political openness in the former FRG resulted in a renewed focus on Luxemburg in the early 1990s, which went alongside a tendency towards her being idolised and romanticised (cf. Grieger 1994). Internationally, sympathetic biographies were published by Richard Abraham (1989), Elżbieta Ettinger (1986), Max Gallo (1992), and Anna Bisceglie and Dario Renzi (1997). Laschitza also released a new biography in 1996. There followed a substantive reclaiming of her works, with the publishing of Carlo Crippa’s Rosa Luxemburg: Dalla storia alla memoria (1993) and Virve Manninen’s Sozialismus oder Barbarei? Der revolutionäre Sozialismus von Rosa Luxemburg 1899-1919 (1996).

That the foundation associated with the PDS decided in 1999 to take the name Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung signalled a new departure as much as it conveyed tradition and decisiveness, as if it took Luxemburg’s 1917 diagnosis as its programme: the reason for the collapse must be determined, in order to “expose the political roots of bureaucratism and of the entire degeneration of democracy in the old party, and put an axe to them” (GW 4, 272 et sq.).

The journal of Marxist theory, New Left Review, was re-founded in 2000 and began the numbering anew with issue 1. In the editorial, Perry Anderson took stock of the preceding four decades in which this leftist publication had grown up. He reported on the withering of the Marxist tradition, but also recalled the “theoretical fever” that broke out after Stalins death. Under the newly-discovered alternative traditions of revolutionary Marxism, the Luxemburgist variety stood at the forefront: “[a]lternative strands of a revolutionary Marxism linked to mass politics – Luxemburgist, Trotskyist, Maoist, Council Communist – started to circulate” (3).

6. The publication of individual writings and collected texts in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, and Chinese supported the international dissemination of Luxemburg’s ideas. Her work was promoted by introductory primers from writers such as Jörn Schütrumpf (2006/2008), Harry Harmer (2008), Dietmar Dath (2010), and Jason Schulman (2013). In anticipation of GW 6 (2014), Holger Politt translated mostly unknown texts from Polish and published them under the titles Das unabhängige Polen und die Arbeiterfrage (Independent Poland and the Worker Question; 2011) and Nationalitätenfrage und Autonomie (The Problem of Nationalities and Autonomy; 2012). Peter Hudis began a fourteen-volume collected works in English in 2013.

The question of democracy is of undiminished relevance to the reception of Luxemburg. Luban sees in Luxemburg a “grassroots democratic concept of proletarian mass movement” (2008, 19), also expressed in her clear “commitment to the principal of majority rule in the council system”. After all, her understanding of socialist democracy is “based on the freedom of individuals, and the seizure of political power by the majority of the working class assumes a firm conception of democracy” (24).

The question of Social Reform or Revolution? is raised anew, for whose answer however Luxemburg provides no “master key” (Wagner 2002, 177). Frigga Haug takes up her “concept of revolutionary realpolitik”: “doing politics within the existing reality, being capable of political action with a view to achieving fundamental change” (1995, 88), which requires the “struggle over hegemony among the people” (93); this in turn necessitates “scientific analysis”, the “precise study of movements in society” and in the “press/public sphere” in order to “disseminate knowledge and information about real developments, to enable the independent process of coming to a conceptual understanding” (95). Haug expanded upon her presentations at the conferences of the International Rosa Luxemburg Society in the book Rosa Luxemburg und die Kunst der Politik (Rosa Luxemburg and the Art of Politics; 2007). In the foreword to the Spanish edition, Montserrat Galceran (2013) emphasises the distinctiveness of Haug’s book, that “from the standpoint of a feminist, socialist, Marxist intellectual”, Luxemburg was renewed; it is “not a simple historical or biographical study of Luxemburg, but rather a dialogue with her about some important questions of contemporary politics” (6). In the “‘Four-in-One Perspective’: A Manifesto for a More Just Life” (2009), Haug further expands upon three dimensions of Luxemburg’s thinking: the dialectic of short and long-term goals, her proposal to view the different aspects of life as interconnected, and to follow the relevant political strategies, all mediated by her “revolutionary Realpolitik”. This approach was continued and consolidated in Michael Brie’s anthology Radikale Realpolitik: Plädoyer für eine andere Politik (Radical Realpolitik: A Plea for a Different Politics; 2009) and that of Helge Buttkereit, Utopische Realpolitik: Die Neue Linke in Lateinamerika (Utopian Realpolitik: The New Left in Latin America; 2011).

Wolfgang Fritz Haug presents in detail the distinctive characteristic of the Luxemburg dialectic: “in contrast to the social democratic theorists who believe in social equilibrium, Luxemburg sees, crystal-clear, the stumbling movement of the irresolvably crisis-prone capitalist production, which at best ‘executes its tasks like an object tumbling downhill, through too much or too little, through price fluctuations and crises’ (GW 5, 424)” (2005, 237). She is interested, “like Marx, in the sudden non-linear, the unforeseen (see 506 et sq. et passim) which brings about a leap in time” (ibid.).

In the shadow of the global crisis at the beginning of the 21st cent., and commemorating 100 years since the publication of Luxemburg’s Accu, Ingo Schmidt (2013) released the anthology Die Aktualität von ökonomischer Theorie, Imperialismuserklärung und Klassenanalyse (Contemporary Relevance of Economic Theory, Explanations for Imperialism, and Class Analysis). Ricardo Bellofiore sets aside the differences of opinion within Marxism regarding her expansion upon schemes of reproduction and her ostensible theory of capitalist collapse, and sees Luxemburg as a “forerunner of a macro-monetary theory of exploitation, accumulation, and crisis” (47). From the perspective of Paul Joseph Le Blanc, Luxemburg provides economic explanations for the global violence of imperialism and militarism, which continue to show themselves in the “ghastly realities and consequences of the capitalist accumulation process” (80). According to Klaus Dörre, the maintaining of the capacity for capitalist reproduction through the “perpetual colonisation of a non-capitalist other” shifts the “analytical focus from the statics to the dynamics of capitalist societies” (83). Luxemburg provided an entry point to understanding this through her “systematic account of non-capitalist milieus” (110). Her conception of capitalism sees no linear “totalisation of market socialisation” at work, but instead perceives a “hierarchy of modes of production and exploitation” (111). Instead of a “naïve optimism towards productive forces”, she recognises “the intrinsic value of non-capitalist modes of production and ways of life”, which is accompanied with a “convergence towards a plural understanding of social antagonisms and anti-capitalist movements”. Thereby, political practices from “counter-movements […] of precarious groups”, beyond the organised socialist or unionised workers’ movements, came into view: for example, those in the “Global South” and in the “capitalist centres” (ibid.).

Propositions from Accu received attention especially for that reason in the BRIC-countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China). He Ping, for example, recognises that Luxemburg analyses the colonisation of China in her dialectic – opening to the West and capitalist modernisation by the loss of traditional structures and of sovereignty rights – and in doing so, “raised the central problem of China’s modernisation in the 20th century” (2010, 45). In Brazil, where individual texts such as SoR, Accu, and The National Question and Autonomy had been published, issues which resonated included that of the connection between capitalist modernisation of agriculture and the expropriation of traditional communities, which was politically expressed in the Landless Workers’ Movement. Isabel Loureiro sees aspects of the revolutionary realpolitik developed by Luxemburg in that group’s “defence of the experience and direct action of the masses” (2006, 230), of “radical democracy” (231), and of “socialism as an alternative to capitalist barbarism” (234). For Loureiro, Luxemburg’s continued relevance also arises from the anticipation of dependency theory and an expanded conception of colonial exploitation as being the appropriation of territories, which “until recently were still in a ‘natural state’” but now their “natural resources” have been transformed into a “‘future monopoly’” (2013, 118).

Following the triumph of neoliberalism and the revealing of a global economic crisis, Luxemburg is increasingly being rediscovered and recognised as a theorist. In his 2014 primer on Marxism, Georg Fülberth attributes to her a significance which goes beyond Marx: “in the 21st century, the calculations carried out in The Accumulation of Capital will [be of] less interest than the theory of permanent overaccumulation contained within it. It has already been established by Marx, but he limits himself to the cyclical economic crises. For Luxemburg however, overaccumulation is rendered permanent and irresolvable within capitalism. The entire history of the 20th century and even the financial and economic crises since 2007 appear to be a testament to this claim. Anyone who traces them historically will find everything that is set out in Luxemburg: commodity and capital export, war, imperialism. That massive amounts of capital, no longer invested in production, could generate a virtual world which would create temporary relief before an eventual crash – the rule of financial markets [is] explicable with her theory” (2nd edn., 2015, 41). Fülberth continues: “with Rosa Luxemburg, the following question is for the first time posed explicitly – can sufficient demand be found in capitalism for the accumulated surplus without international expansion and without military destruction? Rosa Luxemburg’s answer is clear: no. History has thus far proven her right” (43).

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Manfred Grieger

Translated by Robert Ogman

→ accumulation, administrative command system, bolshevisation, Brandlerism, cadre party, cleavage/split /division /schism, Comintern, communism, Communist Manifesto, critique, democracy, democracy/dictatorship of the proletariat, democratic socialism, dependency theory, dialectics, dictatorship of the proletariat, dogmatism, epigonic Stalinism, error, freedom/liberty, globalisation, Gulag, heritage, imperialism, inner-party democracy, integral socialism, labour movement, land seizure/land grab, Landless Workers’ Movement, left communism, left socialism, Lenin’s Marxism, Luxemburg-Gramsci line, Marxism, Marxism-Leninism, mass strike debate, mistake/error, Moscow Trials, New Left, November Revolution, October Revolution, opportunism, organisation, orthodoxy, overaccumulation, party, persecution of communists, plural Marxism, Polish question, politics, proletarian internationalism, reform, reformism, renewal, revisionism, revolution, revolutionary realpolitik, Russian Revolution, Second International self-criticism, self-determination, social democracy, social fascism, socialism, socialism or barbarism, spontaneity, Stalinism, strategy/tactics, theory of fascism, theory of revolution, totalitarianism, Trotskyism, vulgar Marxism

→ Akkumulation, Arbeiterbewegung, befehlsadministratives System, Bolschewisierung, Brandlerismus, Demokratie, Demokratie/Diktatur des Proletariats, demokratischer Sozialismus, Dependenztheorie, Dialektik, Diktatur des Proletariats, Dogmatismus, epigonaler Stalinismus, Erbe, Erneuerung, Faschismustheorie, Fehler, Freiheit, Globalisierung, GULag, Imperialismus, innerparteiliche Demokratie, integraler Sozialismus, Irrtum, Kaderpartei, Komintern, Kommunismus, Kommunistenverfolgung, Kommunistisches Manifest, Kritik, Landlosenbewegung, Landnahme, Linie Luxemburg-Gramsci, Linkskommunismus, Linkssozialismus, Marxismus, Marxismus-Leninismus, Marxismus Lenins, Massenstreikdebatte, Moskauer Prozesse, Neue Linke, Novemberrevolution, Oktoberrevolution, Opportunismus, Organisation, Orthodoxie, Partei, pluraler Marxismus, Politik, Polnische Frage, proletarischer Internationalismus, Reform, Reformismus, Revisionismus, Revolution, revolutionäre Realpolitik, Revolutionstheorie, Russische Revolution, Selbstbestimmung, Selbstkritik, Sozialdemokratie, Sozialfaschismus, Sozialismus, Sozialismus oder Barbarei, Spaltung, Spontaneität, Stalinismus, Strategie/Taktik, Totalitarismus, Trotzkismus, Überakkumulation, Vulgärmarxismus, Zweite Internationale

Originally published as Luxemburgismus in: Historisch-kritisches Wörterbuch des Marxismus, vol. 8/II: links/rechts bis Maschinenstürmer, edited by Wolfgang Fritz Haug, Frigga Haug, Peter Jehle, Wolfgang Küttler, Argument-Verlag, Hamburg 2015, col. 1393-1416.