"Rosa Luxemburg and the Libertarian Left"

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In an extended article for Truthdig, published on the anniversary of Rosa Luxemburg's death, Scott Tucker notes the persistence of "a tug of war over [her] legacy" and highlights the need to "honor her memory with a closer reading of her words, and a sober consideration of her circumstances." He tips his hat to Verso, welcoming the "good news that her Complete Works are due to be published in 14 volumes. The inaugural volume, [The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg] will be the most complete collection of her letters available in English."

"Freedom," Rosa Luxemburg wrote, "is always freedom for those who think differently." Those are certainly her most famous words, but they must not be mistaken for a general piety of liberalism. For they are drawn from a comradely piece of criticism she directed at Lenin and his party in the wake of the 1917 revolution in Russia, written while serving a sentence in prison for her opposition to German militarism and World War I. Whatever our own political views may be, we might honor her memory with a closer reading of her words, and a sober consideration of her circumstances. As a young man, I was introduced to the work of Luxemburg when I read Hannah Arendt's collection of essays, "Men in Dark Times." The question Arendt raised in her essay on Luxemburg is straightforward enough, if we keep in mind the quality of all refracted light: "Will history look different if seen through the prism of her life and work?"

Visit Truthdig to read the article in full.

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