Monthly Archives: February 2014

Michael Krätke: Rosa Luxemburg – Her Analysis of Imperialism, Her Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy

Like Antonio Gramsci, Rosa Luxemburg has mainly been perceived and praised as a political theorist.. That perception, dominant as it still is among her admirers on the Left in Europe and all over the world, is thoroughly misguided, as it is in the case of Gramsci (for the latter, see Krätke 2011a). Rosa Luxemburg was a trained economist, very well acquainted with political economy. What is more, she belonged to the relatively small group of people who actually had studied Marx’ Capital, all three volumes of it, and a lot more. Like Gramsci, Rosa Luxemburg did make several contributions to a critical and radical political economy in the Marxist tradition. More

Julian Francis Park: On the Historical Conditions of “The Accumulation of Capital: Imperialism, Militarism and the Mass Strike”

In 1903, twenty years after the death of Karl Marx, Rosa Luxemburg published an essay on the “Stagnation and Progress of Marxism” that ought to guide our centennial return to her volume “The Accumulation of Capital”. Luxemburg here notes that despite the publication of the second and third volumes of Marx’s Capital in 1885 and 1894 respectively, political agitation and Marxist doctrine in Germany and elsewhere had been popularized on the basis of the incomplete conclusions of volume 1. As she writes regarding the second and third volumes – and as we today might extend to her Accumulation of Capital – “the
splendid new weapon rusts unused” except amongst “the restricted circles of the experts.” More

Dominika Dinušová: To Some Inspirations of Rosa Luxemburg´s Revolutionary Thinking

The importancy of Marxian heritage and of the work of Rosa Luxemburg last but not least consists in assumption of philosophy and political theory as a practical matter, which has sence only in its aplicacions in reality. Aslo nowadays in this case are developing some cardinal issues. One of their is how to transform current socioeconomic relations and by this way to ostracize negative impacts of capitalist socioeconomic system; and how in this content to project in reality of 21th century the thinking of Marx, Engels and Luxemburg. In this short text I would like to aim on some general impulses in consideration and realisation of revolutionary activities. More

Jaya Mehta: Revolutionary Potential of Women Workers in Agriculture

On March 8th, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, the German Democratic Party began party’s ‘Red Week’ for the year 1914. On that occasion, Rosa Luxemburg said;

Proletarian Women’s Day inaugurates the ‘Week of Social Democracy’. The party of the disinherited places its female columns in the front lines by sending them into the heat of battle for eight days, in order to spread the seeds of socialism into new fields. And the call for political equality of women is the first one they make, as they prepare to win over new supporters for the working class as a whole. More

Ranabir Samaddar: A Post-Colonial Critique of Capital Accumulation Today

I seek to view here the debates and discussions on the question of accumulation from a post-colonial angle by which I mean the angle of a critical theory of post-colonial capitalism.  I do not however directly comment on the historical debates on the question of accumulation, because much of this debate will today appear as primarily of scholarly interest unless we situate the question of accumulation against the perspective of imperialism, or what can be called its other scene, the post-colonial capitalist reality of today’s world. From this standpoint I attempt to elucidate its features because such an attempt will help us to develop new insights relating to the enigma of accumulation. Such attempt will also mean locating if you like an absolute other of capital functioning as a determinant of latter’s accumulation in today’s context. More

Ingo Schmidt: The Downward March of Labour Halted? The Crisis of Neoliberal Capitalism and the Remaking of Working Classes

Neoliberalism survived the Great Recession 2008/9 thanks to generous infusions of Keynesian intervention. When the Euro-crisis broke out in 2010, it came back with a vengeance. At this point, neoliberals seem to be determined to finish the job Margaret Thatcher had begun over thirty years ago. Riots, protests, and strikes, it seems are nothing but attendant symptoms for a recharged neoliberalism rather than roadblocks. Are the actions by poor and marginalized peoples, unemployed youth and public sector workers just a last stand like those undertaken by blue-collar workers at the dawn of neoliberal rule? More

Michael Brie: Akkumulation des Kapitals – Akkumulation des Sozialen und Ökologischen im Kapitalismus (Entwurf)

Die Entfesselung des neoliberalen Finanzmarkt-Kapitalismus und seine Krise hatten einen nicht weiter überraschenden Nebeneffekt – die erneute Hinwendung zum Werk Rosa Luxemburg. Schon die organische Krise des Fordismus war mit einer Welle der Rezeption des Werkes von Rosa Luxemburg einhergegangen. Krisen des Kapitalismus und Versuche der Neuorientierung der Linken sind ihre Stunde. Dann wird auch auf ihre Akkumulationstheorie Bezug genommen.[1] Dies ist folgerichtig. Denn solche Krisen sind Krisen der Tiefenstruktur kapitaldominierter Akkumulation und in diesen Krisen werden sie umgestaltet (zu den vier gegenwärtigen Projekten der Umgestaltung siehe Candeias 2014). More


[1] Einen Überblick über die aktuelle Diskussion und wesentliche Ansätze wird gegeben in Backhouse u. a. (2013b) sowie in Schmidt u.a. (2013b).


Ingo Schmidt: Updating Rosa Luxemburg: Capital Accumulation and the 20th Century Detour of Statist Socialism

Rosa Luxemburg has been recognized as a political theorist of the left for a long time. Social democrats welcomed her critique of the Bolsheviks, communists remembered her as co-founder of the German communist party and New Lefties drew inspiration from her struggle against the bureaucratization of the labour movement and her uncompromised internationalism. Ironically though, adherents of these different currents of the left, while arguing about pretty much every other issue, found common ground in rejecting her economic works. More

Maria Backhouse: Green Grabbing in the Brazilian Amazon

The term green grabbing was first used by John Vidal (Vidal 2008) and discussed in a special issue of The Journal for Peasant Studies as a new capitalist form of the appropriation of nature (Fairhead et al. 2012). According to the authors, the term ‘appropriation’ means ‘the transfer of ownership, use rights and control over resources that were once publicly or privately owned – or not even the subject of ownership – from the poor (or everyone including the poor) into the hands of the powerful’ (ibid., 238). More