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Against the Fetish of Representation – Class Struggle in China Beyond the Leftist Grand Narrative

This article by friends of gongchao (April 2013) starts with the increase in social struggles in workplaces and elsewhere in recent years. Restricted by state and capitalist repression, these struggles happened without effective union representation. Facing the specter of the crisis and social unrest, capital and the state reorganized their repressive counter-strategies and introduced forms of mediation to regain control over the process of class re-composition. Meanwhile, labor activists and left-wing academics who support workers’ struggles in China press for the establishment of ‘independent’ unions, following the leftist grand narrative of increasing class power through labor representation in the capitalist state. In that way they risk re-legitimizing (reformed) capitalist structures. Continue reading

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