In reviewing ‘The Letters of Rosa Luxembourg: In the Storm of Struggle’, Helen Scott, from the University of Vermont in Burlington, indicates that reading those letters will provide us with not only an interesting insight into her political life, but also into the character and personal life of the revolutionary who maintained that “Freiheit ist immer Freiheit des Andersdenkenden“ (“freedom is always the freedom for people to think differently“). Nevertheless, ‘The Letters’ main interest to us must still be her political message for as Ms Scott quite rightly states in the concluding paragraph of her review:
“Luxemburg, like countless other brave men and women of that revolutionary era, most of whom left no trace, dedicated her life to a cause that for a brief time opened up the promise of an entirely different world. As we face our own era of crisis and revolt, we would do well to follow Luxemburg’s advice: “Our task now is simply to counteract these authorities, who have become all rusted over, with protests that will be as rough and brusque as possible.”
This paragraph from an Academic who is working in the United States is a breath of fresh air and it is an indication that there is at least academic freedom in a world that is crying out for political change. Moreover, it is a message that is shared by at least one of the book’s editors, Peter Hudis, who writing in his Introduction, ‘Rediscovering Rosa Luxemburg’, says:
“Rosa Luxemburg deserves a new hearing in light of the complex problems facing efforts at social transformation today … Her painstaking analysis and opposition to the logic of capital speaks especially powerfully to our time, poised as we are at the edge of an economic, political and ecological catastrophe …”
Of course, following Luxembourg’s advice might need a little bit more than just “protests that will be as rough and brusque as possible,” especially at a time when we are really “at the edge of an economic, political and ecological catastrophe …” and that is why, the clip above has been attached. For we should have no illusions as to what is required if we are to fulfill not only that promise of building an entirely different world, but indeed of also simply surviving on this quite small planet.