I sympathize with Michael Wright's speculation about what would have
happened in Germany and therefore in Europe had not Rosa Luxemberg been
murdered by the Frie Korps, but I think his scenario is not realistic.
Luxemberg differed from her communist contemporaries on one of the key
issues of Leninism, that of "democratic centralism," which she correctly
predicted, was an unrealizable as well as undesirable way of governing,
and that it would ultimately lead to a distancing between the central
committe and the people, followed by corruption at the top and
eventually, the dissolution of the the socialist undertaking. Which is
what happened seven decades later. In my opinion, no serious analysis of
why the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc collapsed is complete without
Luxemberg's critique into consideration.
Had she survived the Frei Korps attack, she would have remained a threat
to Lenin, who patronizingly referred to her as Red Rosa and promised,
after her death, that all of her works would be published in the USSR.
Not only was that promise not kept but her works went on the Comintern's
proscribed list and she was incorrectly branded a Trotskite.
> Date: Sat Jun 24 15:36:09 2000
> From: Sorrento95@AOL.COM
> Subject: [sixties-l] Turning Point of Century?
> Scott Kerlin <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> "One of the core topics we discussed in my
> sociology seminar in the U.S. last term was
> the question of whether 1968 should be
> considered *the* turning point year of the
> last half of the 20th century, and whether
> the election of Nixon was ultimately the
> beginning of the end of the illusion of
> democracy that had for so long pervaded
> American political ideology. "
> I think one of the big turning points of the
> century happened in Germany during January
> German communists were on the verge of
> conducting a revolution in that country, and
> were even occupying the capitol.
> They were smashed by a campaign of violence
> led by the Frei Korps, the nucleus of which
> was the same gang of thugs who later formed
> the leadership of the Nazi SA (Storm Troopers).
> The Frei Korps murdered Rosa Luxemburg.
> Imagine what the 20th Century would have been
> like if Luxemburg and her comrades had been
> successful: a Berlin-Moscow alliance, no
> Hitler, no World War II, and perhaps no Stalin.
> SOcialist movements all over the world would
> have been given a boost by such an event.
> ~Michael Wright
> Norman, Oklahoma
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