Abstract

Although Rosa Luxemburg is currently enjoying a well-deserved renaissance, much of the current discussion of her work fails to contend with her commitment to a rather orthodox reading of the Marxist theory of history. I argue that all of the features that make Luxemburg's work so attractive to contemporary scholars—her revolutionary radicalism, her accounts of spontaneity and democracy, and her critique of imperialism—are undergirded by her commitment to that theory, along with its commitments to unilinearity, necessity, and progress. This theory provides the systematic backbone for Luxemburg's thought. In the wake of postcolonial, Indigenous, Black, and feminist critiques of the Marxist theory of history, this feature of Luxemburg's work considerably complicates her legacy for contemporary critical theory.

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