Rosa Luxemburg

An Amusing Misunderstanding


Source: Le Socialisme, September 9, 1911.
Translated: for for Mitch Abidor.

Dear Citizens:

In a recent issue of Socialisme (no. 194, September 2) I read in the article by Citizen Compére-Morel, The Socialists and War, the following lines:

Domela Nieuwenhuis  

“To be sure, we don’t dispute that the majority, the overwhelming majority of the Mannheim Congress, lined up behind Bebel, refused to take into consideration a motion of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht who, in Germany, carry on a campaign like that carried on in France by Hervé in favor of the theories exposed in 1893 by the Dutchman Domela Nieuwenhuis at the International Congress of Zurich, tending to create a special anti-militarist committee within social-democracy.”

This passage is erroneous from beginning to end.

In the first place, I didn’t present at the Mannheim Congress, along with Citizen Karl Liebknecht, any anti-militarist motion, nor any special anti-militarist campaign.

It is true that Citizen Liebknecht presented to the Mannheim Congress an anti-militarist motion and that he called for a special anti-militarist committee, but I had nothing to do with that. And neither Citizen Karl Liebknecht nor I nor, for that matter, anyone in the German Social-Democratic party is carrying on a campaign “like that carried on by Hervé in France,” nor do we spread “the theories exposed in 1893 by the Dutchman Domela Nieuwenhuis.” On the contrary, the truth is that the ideas of Hervé and Domela Nieuwenhuis are refuted by all of the comrades in Germany as anarchist confusionisme. As for myself, I severely criticized this anarchist conception of anti-militarism and the general strike in a pamphlet entitled: The General Strike, the Party and the Unions, which appeared in German in Hamburg in 1906, and in French in Socialisme, translated and prefaced by Citizen Bracke.

As Citizen Compére-Morel probably doesn’t know German, it must be some practical joker who gave him such incorrect information.

I hope that you will publish this little rectification in order to put men and things in their proper place.

Greetings and brotherhood, to you and to Citizen Compére-Morel

Berlin, September 5, 1911

Last updated on: 3.12.2008