“Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.” – Rosa Luxemburg (5 March 1871 – 15 January 1919) German socialist and antiwar writer and dissenter of Jewish-Polish descent, murdered on this day 100 years ago by a rightwing death squad and thrown into the Landwehr Canal. She once wrote: “We stand today before the awful proposition: either the triumph of imperialism and the destruction of all culture, and, as in ancient Rome, depopulation, desolation, degeneration, a vast cemetery; or, the victory of socialism.”
Luxemburg understood that the trajectory of capitalism is inevitably towards imperialist barbarism, outright fascism and global annihilation. In fact, following her murder the capitalist elites in Germany, Italy, Spain and elsewhere eventually capitulated to and sided with fascist leaders which then resulted in the Holocaust, World War II and the related social and ecological catastrophes that came with it. And today, with the world in a state of constant and expanding imperialistic war, entrenched militarism, a burgeoning police state surveillance and prison complex, growing wealth inequity, and a biosphere ever imperiled by the greed of capital accumulation, her words of warning have become more dire and prophetic than ever imagined.
“The most revolutionary thing one can do is always to proclaim loudly what is happening.” – Rosa Luxemburg