Thursday, March 16, 2006

Paul Le Blanc on Rosa Luxemburg

Paul Le Blanc has written a nice piece for the Monthly Review webzine: mrzine on The Challenge of Revolutionary Democracy in the Life and Thought of Rosa Luxemburg. Le Blanc argues that the only way to bring her to life is to embrace the challenge of her ideas for our own time, starting with the insistence that capitalism and democracy are incompatible, and that democracy comes through the sruggles and organization of the working-class. And as an advocate of a deep working-class democracy Luxemburg was a critic of the Bolsheviks' 'dangerously expansive justifications' for the early undemocratic emergency measures and carries the resounding words:
"Without 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. Public life gradually falls asleep, a few dozen party leaders of
inexhaustible energy and boundless experience direct and rule. Among them,
in reality only a dozen outstanding heads do the leading and an elite of the working
class is invited from time to time to meetings where they are to applaud the speeches
of the leaders, and to approve proposed resolutions unanimously -- at bottom, then,
a clique affair -- a dictatorship, to be sure, not the dictatorship of the proletariat,
however, but only the dictatorship of a handful of politicians. . . ." (from 'The Russian Revolution', in Rosa Luxemburg Speaks).

Good stuff.


Post a Comment

<< Home