Luciana Castellina is one of the most fascinating personalities of the Left and the contemporary socialist movement. Her birthday on 9 August also represents an anniversary for the Italian and the European left-wing forces. All of her friends and comrades know that this is neither an empty phrase nor an indulgence in flattery. Just have a look at her Wikipedia entry, and you will find that Luciana is a full-blooded internationalist politician, a talented journalist, and cultural creator. But she is even more: a wonderful partner, mother, grandmother, friend, and colleague—full of sensitivity, emotion, energy, sympathy, and humour. Still, it would be worthwhile to update this Wikipedia entry to underline Luciana’s solidarity with Syriza and the Greek Left, and her decision to stand for Syriza in the 2019 European elections. Luciana’s autobiography, dedicated to her grandchildren, Discovery of the World: A Political Awakening in the Shadow of Mussolini, is wonderful, but provokes many, many questions for the Left in its present situation on the political defensive.
Luciana is great. It almost seems as if a special kind of “communist Holy Ghost” made sure that both of the first letters in Luciana‘s name are also the first letters of the name “Luxemburg”. Unfortunately, Rosa Luxemburg’s way of working with Marx's theory and formulating policy has found so few followers, which goes a long way in explaining the Left’s present defensive situation. Luciana for her part is one of the most the true and faithful followers of Luxemburg, who formulated that which Luciana has made a principle of her political practice: “A world must be overthrown, but every tear that has flowed, although it could be wiped away, is an indictment.”
We are grateful for Luciana‘s cooperation with the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung and excited about the possibilities working with her offer. Let us celebrate Luciana today, and then continue our work!