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Rosa Luxemburg: "Proletarian Women, the Poorest of the Poor, the Most Disempowered of the Disempowered"Hurry to the Fron

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My dear little bird, the whole world history of human civilization, which according to moderate estimates has lasted some twenty thousand years, is based on "some human beings deciding about the lives of others'; the practice is deeply rooted in the material conditions of existence. Nothing but further development, an agonizing process, can change such things, and at this very time we are witnesses to one such agonizing transition"

Rosa Luxemburg, Letter to Sophie Liebknecht, Wronke, May 23, 1917 , Letters of Rosa Luxemburg

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Wars save no one!

Wars among "nations" organize humanity into armies of soldiers, men and women, who, in turn, maim and annihilate "enemy" villages, towns, and cities of grandmothers, mothers, daughters, sisters, children born and unborn.

Wars among "nations" destroy the air, water, soil, and wildlife that sustained humanity for centuries before the introduction of pesticides and bio-technology, before the organizing of "humanitarian relief" removed the woman and tipped the scale that has now fallen upon her.

Once, the God of War, Huitzilopochtli, revealed to people a place where the Eagle, perched on a cactus, carries a writhing Serpent in its beak, recalls the late thinker and writer, Gloria Anzaldua. The Eagle threatens extinction of the Serpent, "sacrificed" to the "higher masculine powers." [1] .

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In wars, "nations" never save the feminine, women, girls, grandmothers, mothers, daughters, sisters, children born and unborn. Between the Eagle and the Serpent, the equilibrium is splintered. Democracy is sacrificed to the ideology of the international Market. The capitalist's trickle down theory is not Democracy.

It is no wonder that nations of armies invade other nations with "shock and awe" to end all terrorism by transforming sleeping women and children into bloodied corpses. It is no wonder that young men at computer consoles dispatch drones toward enemies that rarely fail to be women, tillers of the soil, caregivers to future generations and to elderly grandparents, custodians of our ancestral heritage. And when women demand the restitution of democracy, demand the right to recognized and determine a course for humanity that does not result in the destruction of all that sustains life, laws are mandated, social restrictions imposed, cultural images are generated, and political objections are set into motion in an effort to hold firmly to all that is anti-democratic.

But the capitalist's wars are always saving women!

For the powerful, women are anti-democratic except when they are useful to serve the capitalist in generating the illusion of democracy.

If Marxist scholar and activist Rosa Luxemburg were alive today, she would write again what she wrote over 90 years ago: We are confronted, she wrote, with 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 [democracy], that is, the conscious struggle of the international proletariat against imperialism, against its methods, against war. ("Junius Pamphlet") [2]

The dilemma humanity faces is this "inevitable choice," and the "scales are trembling in the balance awaiting the decision of the proletariat."

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What is the relationship of women's struggles to the proletariat's international struggle for Democracy?

Rosa Luxemburg's analysis of women's struggles within the broader struggle of the proletariat resonates today as we witness the vanguard leadership of the ruling class instigating more wars among nations and imposing ever more draconian repressive tactics to minimize and therefore better manage resistance within and without national boarders. Although a close friend to leading feminist of her day, Luxemburg refused to declare herself a feminist. She was critical of feminism, recognizing in the feminism of her time, as did Black, Chicano, and Indigenous women in the late 1960s and early 1970s, a racial and ethnic perspective that equated women with European women and an even specific class of European women, as Luxemburg discovered, when she asked: who is speaking and for whom?   For what class of women does Feminism report to serve and why?

In a 1912 speech entitled, "Women's Suffrage and Class Struggle," Luxemburg told her audience that "the worst and most brutal advocates of the exploitation and enslavement of the proletariat are entrenched behind throne and altar as well as behind the political enslavement of women" (The Rosa Luxemburg Reader). And they were not exclusively men.

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Dr. Lenore J. Daniels, Black Commentator, Editorial Board and Columnist, Doctorate in Modern American Literature/Cultural Theory

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