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The Complete Works of Rosa Luxemburg, Volume II: Economic Writings 2

Rosa Luxemburg’s theoretical masterpiece

The second volume in Rosa Luxemburg’s Complete Works, entitled Economic Writings 2, contains a new English translation of Luxemburg’s The Accumulation of Capital: A Contribution to the Economic Theory of Imperialism, one of the most important works ever composed on capitalism’s incessant drive for self-expansion and the integral connection between capitalism and imperialism. This new translation is the first to present the full work as composed by the author. It also contains her book-length response to her critics, The Accumulation of Capital, Or, What the Epigones Have Made Out of Marx’s Theory—An Anti-Critique. Taken together, these two works represent one of the most important Marxist studies of the globalization of capital.

Also included is an essay on the second and third volumes of Marx’s Capital, which had originally appeared as an unattributed chapter in Franz Mehring’s book Karl Marx.

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.”
  • “Rosa goes on being our source of fresh water in thirsty times.”
  • “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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  • Women Strike! A reading list for International Women's Day



    "What is 'Women's Day'? Is it really necessary?" Alexandra Kollontai asked readers of the Russian journal Pravda a centenary ago. "On Women's Day," she wrote, "the organised demonstrate against their lack of rights."

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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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Other books by Rosa Luxemburg Edited by Peter Hudis and Paul Le Blanc Translated by Nicholas Gray and George Shriver