The Complete Works of Rosa Luxemburg, Volume I: Economic Writings 1 Hardcover – Nov 12 2013
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“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.’” —Christopher Hitchens, Atlantic
“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.” —Sheila Rowbotham, Guardian
“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.” —Vivian Gornick, Nation
About the Author
Rosa Luxemburg (1871–1919) was a Polish-born Jewish revolutionary and one of the greatest theoretical minds of the European socialist movement. An activist in Germany and Poland, the author of numerous classic works, she participated in the founding of the German Communist Party and the Spartacist insurrection in Berlin in 1919. She was assassinated in January of that year and has become a hero of socialist, communist and feminist movements around the world.
Peter Hudis is a Lecturer at Oakton Community College. He coedited The Letters of Rosa luxemburg; The Rosa Luxemburg Reader; and Raya Dunayevskaya’s Selected Writings on the Dialectic in Hegel and Marx.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
However I think the reader should be advised that not all of Hudis's commentary is reliable. He states for instance that "One will search in vain to find in her work a discussion of one of the most important Marxian concepts - the fetishism of commodities". But this is not true, as passages in this book show. It will be remembered Marx explained that in any society based on commodity production, we see "nothing but the definite social relation between men themselves which assume here the fantastic form of a relation between things". In the section of her "Introduction to Political Economy" entitled "Commodity Production", Luxemburg elucidates this brilliantly. She writes "Thus the shoemaker has no connection with society as a human being, only his boots allow him to adhere to society............Commodity production is the condition of life, and a state of society thereby comes into being in which people all lead their particular existence as completely separate individuals, who do not exist for each other, but only through their commodities attain a constantly fluctuating membership of the whole, or again are excluded from membership."
I obtained the three volumes of Marx's masterpiece--"Capital" in 1973. I did my best to read them straight through. Through a prior study of Volume I dating from 1971, I found the first volume of "Capital" to fairly understandable. However, I found the second volume to be much more difficult to read and understand. Beyond that I found the third volume to be even more incomprehensible. Marx writes in a dense and intense manner that makes his style much different from that of his companion Frederick Engels. Frederick Engels was a pamphleteer and wrote in a much more popular style than Marx, which makes Engels' writings much easier to understand upon first impression. I have always had trouble in my repeated attempts to understand Volume 2 and Volume 3 of "Capital," in the years since 1973. However, these two articles by Rosa Luxembourg which are contained in this first book of her "Collected Works" added a great deal to my understanding of Volumes 2 and 3 of "Capital. I note from the "Introduction" by editor Peter Hudis that Volume 2 of this set will offer more articles by Rosa Luxembourg on "Capital." This is why I am looking forward to acquiring the second and all subsequent volumes in this series.
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