Class Formation and the Labour Movement in Revolutionary China
During the first half-century since its birth at the turn of the twentieth century, the Chinese working class responded to the shocks of early industrialization with impressive organizational virtuosity and political ferocity. In factories and cities, it mounted a fairly steady drumbeat of resistance to capital and its political allies – a somewhat surprising development for a class that was short on some of the key prerequisites highlighted by Marxist theory such as social homogeneity, developed class consciousness, and short-term economic crisis. Yet it could organize on regional or national scales only in the early and mid-1920s and the late 1940s, when the Communist Party was able to provide organization, coördination and leadership for working class revolutionary politics. Thus it never achieved hegemony within China’s revolution. Both the local strength and wider weakness of China’s proletariat stem from its complex pattern of class formation.
Blecher, Marc. "Class Formation and the Labour Movement in Revolutionary China." In Marxism and Social Movements, edited by Colin Barker, Laurence Cox, John Krinsky and Alf Nilsen, 147-166. Leiden: Brill, 2013.
East Asian Studies