Clara Zetkin

The German workers' revolution of 1918/19 and why it was defeated

Submitted by dalcassian on 9 September, 2013 - 3:06

In January 1919 Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, the two most prominent leaders of the German revolutionary movement, were savagely murdered in Berlin. Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht were victims of a wave of terror unleashed by the leaders of German Social Democracy in order to crush working-class revolution.

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The Marxists on oppression

Submitted by Matthew on 10 April, 2013 - 10:30

The fourth part of a review article looking at the themes of John Riddell’s new book of documents from the early communist movement.

The week Paul Hampton looks at how they debated women’s liberation and other issues of oppression.

The early Communist International’s focus was on working class self-liberation and this was reflected in the time spent on discussions on party building, work to transform the labour movement and on the specifics of class struggle strategy.

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The workers' government

Submitted by Matthew on 27 March, 2013 - 10:36

This is the third part of a review article looking at the themes of John Riddell’s new book of documents from the early communist movement. This week Paul Hampton discusses the idea of the workers’ government.

Probably the most wide-ranging and rancorous discussion at the Fourth Congress concerned the transitional slogan of a workers’ government.

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Reclaim International Women's Day!

Submitted by Matthew on 28 March, 2012 - 5:57

On International Women’s Day, 8 March, Workers’ Liberty women in London helped organise a meeting to celebrate the original, militant tradition of the day. What tradition?

International Women’s Day — founded in 1911 as International Working Women’s Day — was first proposed by Clara Zetkin and other socialist women. It was a response to the 1907/8 demonstrations of women workers in New York demanding shorter hours, better pay, union rights and the vote, and to the “Rising of the 20,000”, a 13-week strike of women garment makers in 1909.

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Rosa Luxemburg: fiery, sharp, funny, sometimes sad

Submitted by Matthew on 14 September, 2011 - 12:22

Rosie Woods reviews The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg, published in March 2011 by Verso Books.

Many women on the left have their own heroines, women from the past who have inspired them. Sylvia Pankhurst, Clara Zetkin, Minnie Lansbury... Mine has always been Rosa Luxemburg. The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg showed me her personal side.

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International working women's day

Submitted by Matthew on 9 March, 2011 - 12:27

I had resolved to avoid reading the Guardian on Tuesday 8 March. I knew they would be publishing a “100 most inspiring women list” on this, the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. And I had no desire to revisit the taste of my breakfast on my way into work.

The list had been trailed in the paper some weeks before and promised to include Margaret Thatcher, Oprah Winfrey and Hillary Clinton. Hence the anticipation of nausea. In the event, the list was not as bad as I expected, just boring and predictable.

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Clara Zetkin on the workers' government, 1922

Submitted by martin on 20 February, 2009 - 1:19 Author: Clara Zetkin

"The workers' government", by Clara Zetkin, December 1922. First published in 'Die Kommunistische Fraueninternationale', Heft 9/10. Translated by Bruce Robinson. Text from: Clara Zetkin, 'Zur Theorie und Taktik der Arbeiterbewegung' , Reclam
Verlag, Leipzig, 1974.

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Remembering Rosa Luxemburg — standing against the socialist betrayers, by Clara Zetkin

Submitted by cathy n on 12 January, 2007 - 4:23

Together with Karl Liebnecht and — a little later Leo Jogiches — Rosa Luxemburg was murdered by right wing reactionaries in January 1919, after the failure of the rising by the Spartacists, the young, small, newly-formed Communist Party of Germany. She had spent the years of the First World War mainly in jail.

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Who was Clara Zetkin?

Submitted by Anon on 5 March, 2006 - 11:25

Clara Zetkin (1857-1933) pioneered the idea of a working class-based women's movement. In 1891 she became editor of the German Social-Democratic Party (SPD) newspaper for women "Die Gleichheit" (Equality) which she produced for 25 years (circulation 112,000 in 1912). Zetkin also edited the women's supplement in the leftwing "Leipziger Volkszeitung". She became secretary of the International Socialist Women in 1910 and was one of the founders of International Women's Day, which is still observed around the world.

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German socialist women’s movement - Self-organisation and class unity

Submitted by Anon on 4 November, 2005 - 9:48

During the nineteenth century, the emerging workers’ movement began to develop its policy on the “woman question”. Some of the early, “utopian” socialists argued strongly for women’s liberation. Ferdinand Lassalle led the “proletarian anti-feminists”, opposing votes for women and urging male workers to strike against women’s entry into industrial labour. Marx and Engels opposed Lassalle, arguing that women’s work was a step forward, a precondition for liberation.

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