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The Complete Works of Rosa Luxemburg, Volume I: Economic Writings 1

First volume of a major project to publish the complete works of a remarkable social theorist
This first volume in Rosa Luxemburg’s Complete Works, entitled Economic Writings 1, contains some of Luxemburg’s most important statements on the globalization of capital, wage labor, imperialism, and pre-capitalist economic formations.

In addition to a new translation of her doctoral dissertation, “The Industrial Development of Poland,” Volume I includes the first complete English-language publication of her “Introduction to Political Economy,” which explores (among other issues) the impact of capitalist commodity production and industrialization on non- capitalist social strata in the developing world. Also appearing here are ten recently discovered manuscripts, none of which has ever before been published in English.

Thank you to David Gaharia for helping to support the translation of this book.

Reviews

  • “One cannot read the writings of Rosa Luxemburg, even at this distance, without an acute yet mournful awareness of what Perry Anderson once termed ‘the history of possibility.’”
  • “Luxemburg’s criticism of Marxism as dogma and her stress on consciousness exerted an influence on the women’s liberation movement which emerged in the late ’60s and early ’70s.”
  • “One of the most emotionally intelligent socialists in modern history, a radical of luminous dimension whose intellect is informed by sensibility, and whose largeness of spirit places her in the company of the truly impressive.”

Blog

  • Nationalism and Imperialism: The Premises of Hobson's Definition

    Giovanni Arrighi's The Geometry of Imperialism was published by New Left Books in 1978, in a translation by Patrick Camiller. "I was disturbed, at the time," Arrighi later told David Harvey, "by the terminological confusions that were swirling around the term ‘imperialism’. My aim was to dissipate some of the confusion by creating a topological space in which the different concepts, which were often all confusingly referred to as ‘imperialism’, could be distinguished from one another."

    In Marxist debate, Arrighi argued, such confusions could be traced to Lenin's classical theory of imperialism, which at times fails to clearly distinguish it from "the monopoly stage of capitalism" or "finance capital." Arrighi's study would then be neither 
    "a simple reproduction of the thought of this or that theoretician" nor the development of a new theory of imperialism, but rather an examination of "the presuppositions of the theory of imperialism in order to explicate, specify, and delimit them." Those presuppositions were to be located not in Lenin's own theory, but in that of J.A. Hobson, which preceded it.

    In the excerpt below, the book's first chapter, Arrighi identifies 
    four primary elements of Hobson's conception of imperialism and isolates them in the form of Weberian ideal types, which them serve as the coordinates for his "topological" reconstruction. 



    It is no easy task to define the concept of imperialism. The same term is customarily used to designate diverse, and in certain respects antithetical, concepts. Indeed, theoretical controversy is often based on nothing more than a failure to grasp what is the object of reference.

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  • Alexandra Kollontai - International Women's Day

    Women in more than 50 countries will go on strike from paid and unpaid labour today while millions more will be taking part in direct action on what is set to be one of the most political International Women’s Days in history.

    In this article, published in 1920 in Pravda, Russian revolutionary Alexandra Kollontai describes the origins of the day when "the organised demonstrate against their lack of rights."

    >> see also: all our International Women's Day reading, 40% off until March 9th



    Women’s Day or Working Women’s Day is a day of international solidarity, and a day for reviewing the strength and organization of proletarian women.

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  • General Strikes, Mass Strikes

    This piece by Kim Moody was first published in the September/October 2012 issue of Against the Current.


    Strikers surround a mail truck, Oakland General Strike, 1946.

    Inspired by the boldness of the movement, activists of Occupy Oakland issued a “call for a general strike” in that city for November 2 — a sign of the movement’s radicalism and its sense of where social power lies.

    One criticism of the Occupy activists was that they had not consulted the unions. Had they done so, however, it is very unlikely that very many union leaders would have agreed to jointly “call” such an action. But what’s more important, as I will argue, is that general strikes or mass strikes are seldom simply “called” from above, if at all, or until they are well underway — and those that are “called” tend to be called off just as easily.

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Other books by Rosa Luxemburg Edited by Peter Hudis Translated by David Fernbach, Joseph Fracchia, and George Shriver

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