Letter to Adolf Warksi

Berlin, Rosa Luxemburg end of November/beginning of December 1918

If our party (in Poland) is full of enthusiasm for Bolshevism and at the same time (in a secretly printed pamphlet) has come out against the Brest peace treaty of the Bolsheviks and against their use of the propaganda slogan "self-determination of nations," then it is enthusiasm combined with critical thought—what more could we want of ourselves! I too shared all your reservations and misgivings, but I have dropped them on the most important questions, and on many [questions] I did not go as far as you. The use of terror indicates great weakness, certainly, but it is directed against internal enemies who base their hopes on the existence of capitalism outside of Russia, receiving support and encouragement from it. With the coming of the European revolution, the Russian counter-revolutionaries will lose not only support [from abroad] but also—what's more important—their courage. Thus the Bolshevik use of terror is above all an expression of the weakness of the European proletariat. Certainly, the agrarian relations that have been established are the most dangerous aspect, the worst sore spot of the Russian revolution. But here too there is a truth that applies—even the greatest revolution can accomplish only that which has ripened as a result of [historical] development. This sore spot also can only be healed by the European revolution. And it is coming!…

The original letter was in Polish. This passage was translated into German by Adolf Warski in his Rosa Luxemburgs Stellung zu den taktiscchen Problemen der Revolution (Rosa Luxemburg’s Position on Tactical Problems of the Revolution) (Hamburg, 1922) pp. 6-7.

Quotes taken from Rosa Luxemburg: The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg, edited by George Adler, Peter Hudis and Annelies Laschitza, translated by George Shriver, Verso 2011, p. 484-485.