Did Rosa Luxemburg Accuse Lenin of Blanquism? A Different Interpretation

Did Rosa Luxemburg Accuse Lenin of Blanquism? A Different Interpretation
D Winczewski
9/21/19 12:32
Science & Society
In contemporary literature, it is generally acknowledged that Luxemburg accused Lenin of Blanquism in her famous polemics of 1904. This is sometimes used to build parallels between her early criticism of Lenin and her later criticism of the tactical aspects of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1918. Meanwhile, Luxemburg never blamed Lenin directly. She claimed rather that he behaved like an eclectic who is trying to match the tactical elements of foreign doctrines to a homogeneous social democratic doctrine. In this view Luxemburg’s polemic was not exactly a first warning against “authoritarian Bolsheviks,” but rather a record of her fear that the Bolsheviks would never be able to liberate the working class without changing some tactical parameters of their organization, which would be crucial to the cause of socialism. In historical context this is not surprising, because Luxemburg showed strong authoritarian tendencies in her own political activity in Polish Social Democracy. What emerges is that there is a qualitative difference between Luxemburg’s 1904 manuscript and her more subtle critique of the Russian Revolution in 1918.
https://guilfordjournals.com/doi/abs/10.1521/siso.2019.83.4.536
S3.M6

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