What can we learn from the early history of Social Democracy for the building of a vibrant and viable socialist movement today? The Polish-German Marxist and revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919) is primarily known as one of the founders Communist Party of Germany, but during her decades long activity in the Polish and German social democratic movements she also wrote and worked extensively on the form of activity we now talk about as “political education”, despite this, the role of education is often a neglected element of her revolutionary thought. This talk will draw on Rosa Luxemburg’s insights in light of contemporary examples and strategies for left-wing political education. What role should formal lecture or study-circle forms of political education play in building the left? And where does this form of activity fall-short? Can less-formal, social, and cultural events have a hand in building hegemony for contemporary left wing movements?
Julia Damphouse is a historian of German and European Socialism. She is a member of the editorial board for the English-language Complete Works of Rosa Luxemburg and was formerly the Reading Groups Coordinator for Jacobin magazine.
Moderated by: Martin Beroš
The lecture was organized in collaboration with the portal Slobodni Filozofski.