ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Beyond Capital


On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution in China, Bernard D’Mello (“1966, 1917, and 1818: ‘Let a Hundred Schools of Thought Contend,’ ” EPW, 13 August 2016) has revisited the emancipatory possibilities of the Chinese road to socialism. This propels me to revisit the Chinese road to capitalism in the post-Mao years, from the perspective of workers. Zhiming Cheng’s study, “The Changing Pattern of State Workers’ Labour Resistance in Shaanxi Province, China” (Communication, Politics and Culture, Vol 45, Part 2, 2012) bears testimony to the reverse journey in China of the resistance of workers in the Shaanxi province.

Nearly 30 million or 60% of workers in state-owned enterprises (SOEs) were dismissed in China by 2005, and the share of the state sector in urban employment decreased from 82% to 27% between 1978 and 2005. Protests and demonstrations were very often seen in the compounds of SOEs and the streets up to the early 2000s.

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