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By Wilmot Godfrey James

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In this paper I examine some of her ideas and their application, in the context of the historiography of the relation . Rosa Luxemburg, The Accumulation of Capital, New York and London: Monthly Review, 1968 (from the translation by Agnes Schwarzchild published by Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1951). . Accumulation, 411. . The Rosa Luxemburg Reader (eds. Peter Hudis and Keven. B. Anderson) Monthly Review Press, 2004, Part One: Political Economy, Imperialism, and Non-Western Societies. 27 – Rosa Luxemburg – The Accumulation of Capital in Southern Africa between capitalist and non-capitalist modes of production in South Africa, and suggest some of the reasons why we should revive this important debate and extend it beyond the walls of an increasingly confined academy.

11. Accumulation, 370-1. 32 – Rosa Luxemburg – The Accumulation of Capital in Southern Africa therefore, logically, the capitalist system itself which needs the noncapitalist system in order to survive. Luxemburg’s concentration on the impact of imperialism on the conquered, rather than on the conquerors, and her progress from the theoretical, to the historical, to the rhetorical, a century ago, is memorable and significant. And although firm in her broad generalisation – the necessary termination of non-capitalist modes by capitalist ones – it is interesting to see in the specific case studies of colonial conquest, her ability to look at their variations and specificities.

In early 1912, when she eventually tried to finalise her Introduction to Economics, she came across an ‘unexpected difficulty … I was unable to explain the capitalist process of reproduction as a whole’ (Luxemburg 1913: 7). This unexpected difficulty however became such a challenge to her that she finally wrote her treatise on the accumulation of capital in an unbelievable short period of time. Within only four months in 1912, she wrote the whole 900 pages of the manuscript, working day and night ‘as if in extasis’.

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