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Sunday

3

November 2019

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COMMENTS

The Mass Strike by Rosa Luxemburg

Written by , Posted in Politics, Reviews

Three Stars

Best for:
People interested in the history and politics behind mass strike movements.

In a nutshell:
Philosopher and Marxist Luxemburg provides a history of the mass strike in Russia, and outlines how it could work in Germany (I think?).

Worth quoting:
“The plan of undertaking mass strikes as a serious political class action with organised workers only is absolutely hopeless.”

Why I chose it:
It was this month’s pick for a book club I’m in. I know some of the politicians many of my peers (and at times myself) support identify as socialists; I realized I don’t know much about the history of socialism, communism, or anti-capitalism. This book club I’m in is exploring more of that history.

Review:
Since moving to the UK I’ve become much more aware of worker rights in general and unions in particular. My partner is the head of a union branch and is working to actively organize people in his industry. I’ve been a member of a union long ago but am not currently in one. I’ve also supported strikes – I participated in the Women’s Strike in March of 2017, though that one had some issues.

This small book provides a history of strikes up through about 1910, then talks about how it might work in Germany. I think. I have to admit that I have a hard time following some of this writing. There are terms that clearly mean something specific when discussion worker actions and socialism but I don’t quite understand them. I’m looking forward to the book club discussion taking place later this week so I can get a better sense. However, I think the main point is that strikes can work but they cannot be limited to just organized labor. Maybe?

Ugh, there’s so much I don’t know.

Keep it / Pass to a Friend / Donate it / Toss it:
Keep it.

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