Is public education socialist?

Democratic socialism

Without general elections, unrestrained press and freedom of assembly, free struggle of opinion, life in every public institution dies out, becomes a sham life in which the bureaucracy alone remains the active element. Public life is gradually falling asleep, a few dozen party leaders of inexhaustible energy and boundless idealism direct and rule, among them in fact a dozen brilliant minds are in charge, and an elite of the working class is called to assemblies from time to time to applaud the speeches of the leaders to clap, to unanimously approve the submitted resolutions, basically a clique economy - a dictatorship to be sure, but not the dictatorship of the proletariat, but the dictatorship of a handful of politicians, that is, dictatorship in the purely bourgeois sense, in the sense of Jacobin rule ... That is an overpowering, objective one Law from which neither party can evade.

For Rosa Luxemburg, conventional politics in the bourgeois age was the business of professional politicians who act in the interests of only one part of society and seek and secure social, economic and cultural privileges for him. According to Rosa Luxemburg's understanding, both the reformist-parliamentary-oriented SPD and the revolutionary-dictatorial Bolsheviks persisted in this bourgeois political tradition: Both saw themselves less as part of the underprivileged, but more as their representatives.

For Rosa Luxemburg, on the other hand, socialism was not a service to be performed by others, let alone the gift of a party to the oppressed and exploited. Socialist politics and socialism should arise from the common, voluntary and conscious movement of all the underprivileged. This movement was "the first in the history of class societies which, in all its moments, throughout its course, is based on the organization and independent direct action of the masses," she wrote in 1904. It only allowed professional politicians and parties to be regarded as part of this movement ; they should be responsible for organization and political education.

The growing aggressiveness of German militarism as well as the wars for a new division of the world and above all the world war that was brought about in 1914 gave the peace question a special weight. Rosa Luxemburg regarded the desired socialist society as deeply peaceful. She saw in it a form of human coexistence in which all causes of war and barbarism should be eliminated. Not least because of her deeply felt longing for peace, Rosa Luxemburg passionately advocated socialism.

Rosa Luxemburg did not intend to use physical violence to inflict physical violence on the exploitative and oppressive elements:

The proletarian revolution does not need terror for its aims; it hates and abhors human murder. It does not need these weapons because it does not fight individuals but institutions, because it does not enter the arena with naive illusions, the disappointment of which it would have to avenge bloodily. It is not a desperate attempt by a minority to use violence to model the world according to its ideal, but the action of the large masses of the people ...

By "social restructuring" she understood with Marx the overthrow of all conditions "in which man is a humiliated, enslaved, abandoned, contemptible being." She wanted to achieve this social restructuring through a constant struggle for hegemony, with the help of which the internal social balance of power should be shifted over the long term. In this way she intended not only to achieve the expropriation of the expropriators, but also to make the soil of society permanently sterile for exploitation and oppression. She considered this way to be suitable for overcoming capitalism. She rejected all terror against the owners of capital and instead pleaded for a socialism supported by the majority of the underprivileged, out of which the re-emergence of capitalism should be without attractiveness.

Rosa Luxemburg saw the struggle for hegemony as a permanent struggle for approval and support from qualified majorities. Not least because of this, freedom and democracy were not a luxury for them, which socialist politicians can grant or refuse as they please, but a condition of socialist politics:

Freedom only for the supporters of the government, only for members of a party - however numerous they may be - is no freedom. Freedom is always freedom of people who think in a different way. Not because of the fanaticism of 'justice', but because all that is invigorating, healing and purifying of political freedom depends on this being and its effect fails when 'freedom' becomes a privilege.