Also found in: Dictionary.
Luxemburg Rosa(1870-1919) Polish Marxist revolutionary and theoretician who moved to Germany in 1898 and there played a major role in socialist revolutionary politics until her murder in Berlin. Her most important writings related to the question of reformist versus revolutionary politics, the national question, and the accumulation of capital. In the latter she contributed significantly to the Marxist analysis of IMPERIALISM by arguing that it was necessary for any capitalist economy to expand into non-capitalist economies because of its inability to absorb SURPLUS VALUE. The contradiction here was that when all the non-capitalist world had been absorbed, the capitalist system would be unable to accumulate and hence break down. More recently, with the rise of FEMINISM she has gained significance as one of the major Marxist figures of the early 20th-century who reflected on the relationship between her personal and public life.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000