ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.



November 2019



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.

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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