Looking forward to our next meeting, here's Luxemburg's famous rebuttal:
Received letter, card and biscuits-- many thanks. Don't worry, despite the boldness of your parry, even to the point where you declare war, I will remain as fond of you as always. I had to smile: you want to 'fight' me. Young lady, I sit tall in the saddle. No one has yet laid me low, and I would be curious to know the one who can do it. But I had to smile for yet another reason: because you do not even want to 'fight' me, and also you are more dependent upon me politically than you would wish to believe. I will always remain your compass, because your straightforward nature tells you that I have the most infallible judgement-- because with me all the annoying side issues are forgotten: anxiousness, routine, parliamentary cretinism, which cloud the judgement of others. Your whole argument against my watchword-- 'Here I stand, I can't do otherwise!'-- amounts to the following: Good, so be it, but the masses are too cowardly and weak for such heroism. Ergo, one must fit tactics to their weakness and to the axiom: 'Walk softly, and you'll walk safely.'
What a narrow historical view, my little lamb! There is nothing more mutable than human psychology. The psyche of the masses like the eternal sea always carries all the latent possibilities: the deathly calm and the roaring storm, the lowest cowardice and the wildest heroism. The mass is always that which it must be according to the circumstances of the time, and the mass is always at the point of becoming something entirely different than what it appears to be. A fine captain he would be who would chart his course only from the momentary appearance of the water's surface and who would not know how to predict a coming storm from the signs in the sky or from the depths! My little girl, the 'disappointment over the masses' is always the most shameful testimony for a political leader. A leader in the grand style does not adapt his tactics to the momentary mood of the masses, but rather to the iron laws of development; he holds fast to his tactics in spite of all 'disappointments' and , for the rest, calmly allows history to bring its work to maturity. With that, let us close the debate. I will gladly remain your friend. Whether, as you wish, I am to remain your teacher, that depends on you...
That you now have neither time nor interest for anything except the 'single issue,' namely the quandary of the party, is calamitous. For such one-sidedness also clouds one's political judgement; and above all, one must live as a full person at all times.
But look, Lady, since you so rarely get to open a book, at least read only good books and not kitsch like the 'Spinoza-novel' which you sent me. What do you want with this particular suffering of the Jews? The poor victims on the rubber plantations in Putamayo, the Negroes in Africa with whose bodies the Europeans play a game of catch, are just as near to me. Do you remember the words written on the work of the Great General Staff about Trotha's campaign in the Kalahari desert? 'And the death-rattles, the mad cries of those dying of thirst, faded away into the sublime silence of eternity.'
Oh, this 'sublime silence of eternity' in which so many screams have faded away unheard! It rings within me so strongly that I have no special corner of my heart reserved for the ghetto: I am at home wherever in the world there are clouds, birds and human tears...
(Rosa Luxemburg to Matthilde Wurm. [Written from prison, Wronke]. February 16 1917. Excerpt. Adapted from http://www.openletteronline.com/main/2005/07/letters_from_rosa_luxemburg-print.html)