Revolution or War n°3

(February 2015)

PDF - 554.7 kb

HomeVersion imprimable de cet article Version imprimable

Public Meeting of the Group Critique Sociale (Paris, October 2014) : Rosa Luxemburg, as Lenin, Defends the Proletarian Party against the Bourgeois Democracy

October 18th 2014 in Paris, the political group Critique Sociale (CS) held a public meeting on the occasion of the publication in French of the 4th volume of Rosa Luxemburg’s complete works by the Smolny Editions. This volume contains in particular the book she wrote in prison, in 1915, The Junius Pamphlet (or The Crisis of Social Democracy). First and foremost saluted by Lenin, despite his criticisms, as « a splendid Marxian work », Junius denounces the imperialist nature of the 1st World War and the betrayal of proletarian internationalism by the Social Democratic parties of the 2nd International. Its political lessons are especially actual at the time when, because the economic crisis obliges it, the imperialist rivalries and wars aggravate as a prelude for a 3rd generalized imperialist war if the international proletariat does not succeed to oppose and bring down capitalism. By clearly claiming the historical alternative war or revolution, Junius remains still today the issue of a political fight between the classes : « Today, we face the choice (…) : either the triumph of imperialism (...). Or the victory of socialism »; an « either/or » insists R. Luxemburg, which excludes any third way such as a peaceful outcome within capitalism or a peaceful path to socialism. But to claim the political lessons of Junius, it is necessary to acknowledge the place its author had in the struggle of the Marxist Left and the political currents that embodied it. Yet since the opportunist, then Stalinist, theorization of “Leninism” after Lenin’s death, the political opportunism has never ceased opposing a “democratic” anti-party R. Luxemburg against a pro-party “dictator” Lenin up to the point that clearly bourgeois left political forces, such as the Socialist Parties, have not hesitated – what shame, those who murdered her! – to take over this mystification. Behind the dogma of “Leninism” and its double “Luxemburgism”, both “isms” liquidate the political experience and lessons of the 1917 Russian Revolution.

The presentation made by CS which claims to be... “Luxemburgist”, fully silenced the fact that most of R. Luxemburg’s fight developed alongside the Bolsheviks and Lenin on the questions of principle, including the one of the Party « leader of the proletariat » (Junius Pamphlet). For our part, the IGCL, we intervened immediately by focusing on the unity of the struggle led by her and Lenin (to limit ourselves to these two personalities who are, ultimately, only the highest expressions of Marxist Left political currents). We quoted the journal of the Italian Fraction in the 1930s, Bilan #27 which rejects « the shameful speculations which (…) proclaim the bankruptcy of “Leninism” and the triumph of “Luxemburgism” ». At every important class confrontation, whether it is at the theoretical or political level, R. Luxemburg and Lenin find themselves on the same side of the barricade despite their disagreements: in the struggle against opportunism and for the defense of proletarian internationalism (against Bernstein and at the Stuttgart Congress in 1907) within the 2nd International as well as faced with the break-out of the war and the death of the International in 1914; or still at the time of the Russian Revolution which she saluted and supported before voicing her criticisms. It is only on the basis of this class unity between both personalities and their respective currents that we can understand how the lessons of Junius were announcing the 1917 Russian experience: « war against war » she issued in Junius which only means the proletariat’s , with the invaluable contribution of its political party, massive confrontations against the States and governments, workers insurrection, destruction of the bourgeois State and exercise of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat.

We cannot recount here all the interventions during the debate which followed. Most of them focused on the fight for or against Luxemburg-Lenin’s unity. CS and others rebelled against it up to quoting Rosa Luxemburg – out of context – who would have accused “Lenin of being a dictator”; or rather they based themselves on the fact she opposed, at a certain moment, the constitution of the Communist International which, according to CS, was the proof the CI had not been an international (!). Another comrade, former ICC member, came up to speculate about what she would have said if she had not been murdered in January 1919 and had seen the “Bolshevik terror”! In short, the main argument of the “Luxemburgists” being again and again the old democratic refrain and mystification, out of any historical and class consideration, against the workers insurrection and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, against the necessity of the Communist Party. This, as practical consequence, leads them in the present workers struggles to act as apologists of the formal democratism of the “Indignados” [“the Indignant ones”] and other “occupy” movements and fall into “assemblyist” and apolitical fetishism.

Many interventions thereafter expressed a similar position to ours: we will particularly remember the ICC delegation’s intervention which had been ironic, rightly, about the presentation of the “nice democrat Rosa Luxemburg” against the “nasty dictator Lenin”. Those who want to divide both are on the wrong track: what united them was a consequent proletarian internationalism. Finally, this intervention that we salute – for once – for its political correctness ended by the affirmation that Rosa Luxemburg was above all a “woman of organization”...precisely what the apostles of “Luxemburgism”, councilists and anarchists too, want to ignore and reject so that they can make Rosa Luxemburg a great defender of “democracy”; and so murder her once more.

This is precisely what history and Rosa Luxemburg herself denies very clearly : « Given the betrayal of the official representations of the Socialist Parties (…), it is a vital necessity for socialism to create a new workers International which takes care of leading and coordinating the revolutionary class struggle led against imperialism in all countries » (Thesis of the Tasks of Social-Democracy, annexe to the Junius Pamphlet and written by Rosa Luxemburg, our emphasis and translation from French version).