Reform or Revolution
German Socialism in the late 19th century was torn on this question, with Eduard Bernstein the influential advocate for the centrality of reforms. This view was known as “revisionism ” — the revision of Marxism downwards from revolution to reformism. Luxemburg argued, in this influential pamphlet, that Bernstein' ’s revisionism would liquidate Marxist politics. She based her critique of Bernstein on her close reading of Marx and of the social dynamic of capitalism. A remarkable riposte from this heroic Marxist intellectual, Reform or Revolution appeared in German in two editions — 1899 and 1908. The present text draws from both editions, with further modifications after consultation with Sozialreform oder Revolution?, Gesammelte Werke, Bd. 1 (Berlin; Dietz Verlag, 1982). The Introduction by Brinda Karat pays tribute to Luxemburg ’'s revolutionary spirit and places her argument in context.
With an introduction from Brinda Karat
LeftWord Books, 2015, 103 pages