From The New International, Vol. IX No. 3, March 1943, p. 95
Transcribed and Marked up by Damon Maxwell for ETOL.
In reply to the somewhat overwrought letter of Freddie Forrest, I want to make a few brief observations.
1 – Lenin’s disagreement with Luxemburg’s Accumulation is a universally well known fact, and although it was an omission not to have mentioned it in my review, it certainly is silly to imply in this omission a conspiracy and a “danger.”
It is interesting, however, to note that although Lenin promised to write a book against Luxemburg on this question, from 1913, when her book was published, up until his death, he did not do so. This was the period when he wrote Imperialism: The Last Stage of Capitalism, in which no reference is made to Luxemburg, although he wrote voluminously against her on all other questions on which the two disagreed.
2 – If Freddie Forrest knows the origin of Luxemburg’s book, and against whom it was written, she could readily have understood that my reference to “stripping socialism of its last shreds of utopianism” was to the German and Austrian social-patriotic revisionists (Bauer & Co.), who claimed that capitalism would fall not as a result of its own inherent contradictions but as a result of the indignation to which it drives the working class.
3 – In her quotations from Luxemburg, Freddie Forrest shows that she herself does not understand what it is that Luxemburg accepted or rejected in Marx, but she does reveal her misconception of Marxian economics by adhering to the erroneous concept that under capitalism, production takes place “for the sake of production.”
4 – Lenin’s rejection of Luxemburg’s theory is in and by itself neither a confirmation nor a refutation of it, any more than “kasha” and “rubbish” are theoretic criticisms. An objective discussion on the merits of Luxemburg’s book is possible only on the basis of a first-hand knowledge of it, which, I am afraid, neither of us can have at the present time. Any other discussion of this work is presumptuous.
Last updated on 13 March 2015