Posted: January 24th, 2021
Rosa Luxemburg, a Polish-German socialist activist, gave a detailed explanation for her opposition to the First World War in The Tasks of International Social Democracy, 1915 when the First World War was at its height and its outcome unclear.
Examine that reading at https://www.marxists.org/archive/luxemburg/1915/xx/theses.htm and the brief biography of Luxemburg at http://hist259.web.unc.edu/rosa-luxemburg-1871-1919/ to write an essay of approximately three page addressing the following issues:
– The governments of Europe claimed that they went to war in 1914 for national defense. What was Luxemburg’s theory as the to true motivations behind those governments’ decision for war?
– Why Luxemburg believed that Europe’s socialist leaders organized in the socialist Second International supported that war despite their long-standing claims that they opposed war, imperialism and militarism.
– What she thought the consequences of that war would be for the working classes of Europe.
– How she thought the war should be opposed by the socialist movement and working populations generally
Rosa Luxemburg was killed in January 1919 shortly after World War I ended. Since then her defenders and sympathizers have claimed she was an insightful theorist who understood better than most people of her time that World War I would unleash disasters on the world for years to come (Fascism, Nazism, Soviet Communism, economic crises and a Second World War all emerged between the 1920s and 1939). Her opponents, however, have argued that her brand of “international socialism” was a form of anti-patriotic treason, and that her revolutionary ideology contributed to rather than help resolve the social and political conflicts of early 20th century Europe that Luxemburg herself discusses. After examining her writing and the biography of her life, which if either of these descriptions in your view is more accurate and why? Please provide specific reasons for your conclusions.
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