The Rosa Luxemburg Myth

Eric Benjamin Blanc


This paper challenges widespread uncritical portrayals of Rosa Luxemburg. By examining the politics and practices of Luxemburg and her SDKPiL party in Poland, I show that their commitment to proletarian emancipation was ultimately undermined by sectarian and doctrinaire tendencies that directly contributed to the defeat of Poland’s workers’ revolutions in 1905 and 1918–23. A critical analysis of their approaches to the national question, the Polish Socialist Party, the German Social Democracy, and the role of the revolutionary party, undermines the myth that Luxemburgism represents a democratic and undogmatic alternative to Social Democracy or Leninism. I argue that the Polish Socialist Party, Luxemburg's main political rival, posed a viable revolutionary Marxist alternative to Luxemburgism.

Rosa Luxemburg - Leninism - Marxism