Re: [OPE-L] rosa luxemburg and international relations

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Sat Oct 21 2006 - 08:34:51 EDT


You may be interested to know that there will be a Rosa Luxemburg
conference in Tokyo next April 1-2.  Also, Vol. 24 of the RESEARCH expects
to have an article addressing Luxemburg on the national question.

In any case, could you privately send me that whole paper?

Paul Z.

THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF 9-11-2001   --"a benchmark in 9/11 research", review
Volume 23 (2006), RESEARCH IN POLITICAL ECONOMY, P. Zarembka, ed, Elsevier

On Sat, 21 Oct 2006, Dogan Goecmen wrote:

> Rosa  Luxemburg’s Critical Realism and the Foundations of International 
> Politics
> Abstract
> Doğan  Göçmen
> This  paper explores the foundational aspects of Luxemburg’s theory of  
> international
> Politics. She develops a theoretical approach to international  politics, 
> which
> may be described as a critical realist one. Luxemburg works  out her approach 
> to
> international politics in a discussion with and in a  criticism of three 
> competing
> schools: social contract theories, moralist  approach and realism. Her main 
> argument
> against these schools is that their  principles do not and cannot serve as a
> foundation of international politics.  With regard to social contract 
> theories as 
> operationalized in  international politics: according to Luxemburg the 
> fundamental assumptions of  social contract theories cannot be the basis of 
> international  politics
> because their principles such as mutual equality and recognition do  not have 
> any
> validity in the age of capitalism. Luxemburg rejects laying down  these 
> principles to
> international politics not because she rejects accepting  these principles 
> from a
> normative point of view. On the contrary, she is  convinced that they should 
> be the
> sole foundation of international relations.  They cannot, however, be the 
> foundation
> of international politics in our age  capitalism as it is taken for granted 
> in social
> contract theories. Luxemburg  formulates almost the same critique with regard
> to the moralist approach. In  order that morals can be said to serve as a 
> foundation
> of international  politics its fundamental premises must be actuality. That 
> is to
> suggest that  before morals can be said to serve the foundation of 
> international relations  there must be valid a moral system throughout the world with 
> some sort  of
> binding character. However, in the capitalist-imperialist age because of  
> dominant
> social class relations there exist many diverse moral values; thus,  morals 
> cannot
> serve as the foundation of international relations. Luxemburg  concludes that 
> the
> principle that serves as a foundation of international  politics in the age 
> of capitalism
> is power relations. After having thus  criticised social contract theories and
> moralist approach from a realist  point of view Luxemburg turns to the 
> criticism of
> realist approach. She  differentiates between official positivist and 
> reformist positivist
> realism.  Unlike the latter, the former justifies the existing principle of  
> power
> relations without any regard to their consequences. Unlike the official  
> positivist realism, and without questioning its very logic, the reformist  
> positivist realism formulates  reformist critique of power relations from a  moralist 
> point of view. However, according to Luxemburg, any critique of power  
> relations ends up in some
> sort of positivism if it does not question their  foundations. After having 
> developed
> her primary approach to international  relations, Luxemburg turns to the 
> criticism
> of imperialism. In this context I  refer also to Luxemburg’s critique of a 
> certain type
> of a theory of  international politics, which may be seen from our point of 
> view as
> a  critique of new institutionalism. Luxemburg’s criticism of imperialism, as 
> I  argue
> in this paper, shows how morality, that is, the principles of mutual  
> equality and
> recognition is  possible.

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