Title

Class Formation and the Labour Movement in Revolutionary China

Abstract

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.

Publisher

Brill

Publication Date

1-1-2013

Department

Politics

Additional Department

East Asian Studies

Document Type

Book Chapter

DOI

10.1163/9789004251434_008

Notes

Chapter 2.

Language

English

Format

text

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