Debate on Marxism Essay

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¶ … Marxism

In early January of 1919, V.I. Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg had occasion to meet to discuss various theories regarding the development of the Marxist party in Germany and all of Europe and to discuss what part they and the party had and would have in the revolutionary events of the day. Luxemburg had just been released from prison, in November after a term of three years and had had many occasions for self-reflection.

Lynd 165) the meeting was limited, as it ended with the arrest of Luxemburg by Prussian Soldiers, who later became known as her judge, jury and sadly her executioner. Lenin, by some miracle of fate had left the meeting, in a huff, having heartily disagreed with Luxemburg on the intelligence and ability of the working class as reformist revolutionaries only one hour prior to the arrival of the soldiers who arrested and martyred Luxemburg. The meeting took place in Germany, with Lenin traveling from Russia to take part in the aftermath of a failed revolution there (against the Wiemar Government), of which Luxemburg was a part of. (Luxemburg 7)

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Though Lenin and Luxemburg agreed on several fundamental levels, including that reform was unlikely to result in the kind of change needed in the qworld, and that revolution was likely the only option, Luxemburg and Lenin did not share the same concept of what exactly such a revolution would look like. Luxemburg cared little for war, and actually hoped that a revolution would be peaceful and logical, while Lenin describes war as a necessary aspect of revolution and reality.

We begin or discussion between the two here, as they diverge on the issues of war and the power and ability of the workers to create and exact the needed post-revolutionary change of Marxist communism:


My comrade, do not let the current failure of this miniscule revolution fool you, as the fault of the situation does not lie with the worker's inability to lead and act in accordance with the needs of change.

TOPIC: Essay on Debate on Marxism Assignment


How, can I not let this failed attempt to overthrow the weak "democratic" Weimar government sway my long held opinion that the working man and woman is not the proper leading agent for revolution?


The working man, if given the proper information and tools can be the voice and form of peaceful revolution, as they are strong in number and desire for change, and they are also aware, as the mothers and fathers of those who would likely be called up in a war, with or without the consent of the "legitimate" government to fight and defend rights not held by them. These men and women know all to intimately what is needed to change the manner in which they live their lives, they feed their families within the challenge of the "capitalist" system and understand how stymied they are for their own voice. Accept the conceptual ideas of our late comrade Jaures, who challenged me all my life to look at the peaceful and meaningful side of change.


Take the words of Karl Kautsky to heart, as when the Russian Revolution developed the acceptance of blood loss was essential to any real success as the workers could martyr themselves as a more effective means of revolutionary motivation than almost any other form of personal calling:

The Russian revolutionaries might perhaps have settled with the tsar long ago had they not been compelled at the same time to fight his ally, European capital. Let us hope that this time they will succeed in settling with both enemies, and that the new 'Holy Alliance' will collapse more quickly than its predecessors. But however the present struggle in Russia may end, the blood and felicity of the martyrs, whom, unfortunately, she is producing in too great numbers, will not have been sacrificed in vain. (Karl Kautsky, "The Slavs and Revolution," Iskra, Russian Social-Democratic revolutionary newspaper, No. 18, March 10, 1902.)

Lenin 9)

Kautsky, hits on the most logical and profound motivation, for the people to join and support a movement for revolutionary change, as the martyrdom of their brethren but he certainly does not imply that the loss is not necessary and right to form the basis for real revolution, simply that it is unfortunate.


Yet, Lenin, even you can see that the value of avoiding bloodshed and allowing the workers to build upon realistic organizational standards, such as those taught at the Central Party Training School, here in Germany, will be the building blocks of real change. So, why not make a bold attempt to skirt the bloodshed, and loss and build on the economic goals of the workers, as that is not only the source but the reality of what is to really change in motivational character. Besides, only providence was at play in the recent failure of the Weimar overthrow, not lack of ability and/or organizational goals. Why not seek to find a solution that does not kill the working man and woman but instead holds him and her up in honor of the position that he or she wishes to hold, as equal to his neighbor. There is no real need for martyrs or heroes in a leveling campaign, as in the end all actions that work toward the goal of communism are valiant and equally important. In act even you have argued that the goal should be the end, but does the means of revolution not matter? Additionally, you must know that it is not the government that is the enemy it is the bourgeoisie that is supported by it that always, in the end stands to gain, unless the worker, he employs asserts a new order on his livelihood, that includes the sharing of the wealth he has stolen from him. Lenin you know, that in the works of our comrades, Marchlewski, Warszawski, and Jogiches there is a sense that the bloodshed should be avoided at all cost, as those who usurp power from a "legitimate" government are much more likely to be lost than those who are protected by that government. (Luxemburg 4)

Lenin 9) Can you not see the wisdom in seeking revolution through real social change, rather than through temporary or permanent dictatorial means?


Rosa, I can see that in the ideal this might be the case, but in the reality the need for direction, centralized leadership and logic, brought into the equation only by those leaders in power who have the knowledge and wisdom to see the whole of the situation can any revolution succeed. War is a necessary response tot the situation and there will be losses that are grave, but they will drive and feed the revolution to a result that has substance and meaning and can then be led by the best and brightest of leaders, until such time that the workers have built the knowledge they need to reform the standards and causes of the world. The seeds of needed change will be the call to the worker to join for change but the leaders who understand the direct control issues and the broader developmental needs of the nation will be those who direct the change. "The economic strike grows into a political strike, and the latter into insurrection. The relations between the proletariat, as the leader, and the vacillating, unstable peasantry, as the led, are tested in practice. The Soviet form of organisation is born in the spontaneous development of the struggle."

Lenin 13) Additionally: "The revolutionary parties must complete their education. They have learned to attack. Now they have to realise that this knowledge must be supplemented by the knowledge of how to retreat properly. They have to realise -- and the revolutionary class is taught to realise by its own bitter experience… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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