Essential Rosa Luxemburg
Reform or Revolution and The Mass Strike
Rosa Luxemburg was a leading socialist in Germany in the early twentieth century. Her insistence that ordinary working people could not only win the battles for the improvements of their day-to-day conditions of life, but also the most important battle of all—the fight to create a society based on justice and equality—set her apart from the leading members of her party.
This new, authoritative introduction to Rosa Luxemburg’s two most important works presents the full text of Reform or Revolution and The Mass Strike, with explanatory notes, appendices, and historical contextualization.
The penetrating analysis offered in these two essays focuses a laser-sharp Marxist critique on the decisive questions of her era: Can capitalism ever be refined into a just system or must it be replaced root and branch? And what kind of struggle from below is needed to create such a thorough transformation? There can be no doubt of the lasting importance of her passionate and persuasive case.
“Rosa Luxemburg was one of the most passionate fighters for the cause of the working-class majority and the goal of human liberation. Her penetrating intellect and passionate eloquence permeate these powerful essays—one on the limitations of reformist compromise, the other on the meaning and necessity of mass action. Luxemburg’s exploration of the meaning of capitalism, and the need for socialist democracy still have relevance for a new century, and Helen Scott’s thoughtful and informative introduction will be useful for students and activists alike.”
-Paul Le Blanc, author of Rosa Luxemburg: Writings and Reflections
“[Hellen Scott’s] historical summaries preceding the two pamphlets reprinted here not only provide the reader with insight into the historical moment the pieces were written, they also provide a brief biography of Luxemburg and relate her political arguments to today’s circumstances.”
To read the full text of Jacob’s thorough and thoughtful review, visit, http://www.counterpunch.org/jacobs05102008.html.