Rosa Luxemburg

Organizational Questions
of the Russian Social Democracy
[Leninism or Marxism?]


Written: 1904.
First Published: 1904 in Iskra and Neue Zeit.
Source: Revolutionary Socialist Organization by Rosa Luxemburg.
Publisher: Integer Press, 1934.
Online Version: 1999.
Transcription/Markup: A. Lehrer/Brian Baggins.

Editors’ Introduction

Section One
Section Two

This document represents Rosa Luxemburg’s contribution to the debate within the Russian Social Democratic movement on party organization and democratic centralism. Luxemburg joins Trotsky in warning of the dangers inherent in centralism and argues against the concentration of power in a Central Committee. From a Socialist Revolutionary perspective Luxemburg puts forward compelling arguments against Lenin’s conception of the revolutionary Party. For other contemporary contributions to the debate see Trotsky’s Our Political Tasks and Lenin’s What Is To Be Done? and One Step Forward, Two Steps Back .

Originally published as an article in 1904 under the title Organizational Questions of the Russian Social Democracy in Iskra and Neue Zeit, later reprinted in pamphlet form titled Marxism vs. Leninism. Appeared in English in 1934 as Revolutionary Socialist Organization published by Integer and in 1935 as Leninism or Marxism? by the Anti-Parliamentary Communist Federation, Glasgow. In 1961, the University of Michigan Press reprinted the Integer translation, which had entered the public domain, in The Russian Revolution and Leninism or Marxism? with an introduction by Bertram Wolfe. It also appears under the title Organizational Questions of Social Democracy as part of the 1970 Pathfinder Press compilation Rosa Luxemburg Speaks.

Last updated on: 16.10.2023