ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Rethinking Rosa Luxemburg


The centenary of the Russian Revolution has received “special” attention in the pages of EPW (Russian Revolution Centenary Special, 4 November 2017). This compels us to rethink Rosa Luxemburg’s critique of the Leninist party organisation, as well as her critical reading of the revolution.

In her seminal text, “Organizational Questions of the Russian Social Democracy” (1904), Luxemburg critiqued Lenin’s concept of party organisation. To put it in her own words, “Lenin’s thesis is that the party Central Committee should have the privilege of naming all the local committees of the party … The Central Committee would be the only thinking element in the party. All other groupings would be its executive limbs.” She concluded her critique with the following revolutionary observation: “Let us speak plainly. Historically, the errors committed by a truly revolutionary movement are infinitely more fruitful than the infallibility of the cleverest Central Committee.”

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Updated On : 24th Nov, 2017
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