Economics, Imperialism, War - studying Rosa Luxemburg


Tuesday, 5th March 18:30 – 20:00

Rosa Luxemburg was a Polish revolutionary socialist, Marxist and anti-war activist. She was a central figure of European revolutionary socialist movements in the early 20th century. She made significant original contributions to socialist theory and knowledge, including being the first theorist to identify ideas that developed into concepts such as imperialism, globalisation and the military industrial complex.

Her writing was persuasive, accessible, principled, and often barbed, reflecting the passion she equally brought to her frontline presence of political activism.

This seven week course will examine Rosa Luxemburg’s contribution to socialist politics regarding economics, identity, militarism, strikes and revolution, as well as exploring the context of her life. Each week we will look at a selection of her writing, and reflect on how best we can utilise her ideas for today's struggles. All are welcome, regardless of previous knowledge of her work or wider socialist theory. -


Continuing our fortnightly series examining the works of Rosa Luxemburg, this session we’ll be sitting down to discuss the original links that she identified between Economics, Imperialism, and War. With the Great War churning away in Europe at the time, Rosa identified the linked dynamics within ongoing economic expansion and imperial aggression, and saw her contribution as a correction (*gasp*) to Marx’s existing theories.

The main piece we will be discussing is Rosa’s 1915 “The Accumulation of Capital - An Anti-Critique”. This was written in prison as a response to critiques of her very thorough ‘correction’ to Marx’s “Capital”. The full 96 pages are available at:, with an edited excerpt (19 pages) available in the Google Drive folder.

Further recommended readings for the session:
- Rosa Luxemburg (1915) The Junius Pamphlet: The Crisis of German Social Democracy (74 pages)
(Edited 9 page excerpt available in the Google Drive folder)
- Siegfried Sassoon (1917) A Soldier’s Declaration


These events will happen at 6:30pm on Tuesdays on Mar 5th, Mar 19th, Apr 2nd, Apr 16th, and Apr 30th.