We are pleased to announce another great event at La Peña Cultural Center (3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CA) sponsored by Advance the Struggle and La Peña 2nd Generation. On Tuesday, May 13th at 6:30pm we will be hosting an event featuring Eli Friedman on contemporary Chinese class struggle. Please come through and continue supporting these informative events! Details and flier below:
Worker Resistance and Capitalist Development in China: a Discussion with Eli Friedman.
What sorts of possibilities and limits exist for proletarian politics in China? Over the past several years, migrant worker unrest has gone from defensive to offensive and we have witnessed the emergence of new political and social demands. These changes must be understood within the context of rapidly evolving political and economic conditions – especially the central state’s attempt to “rebalance” the economy.
Eli Friedman (assistant professor of International and Compartaive Labor at Cornell University, and author of the forthcoming book “Insurgency Trap: Labor Politics in Post-Socialist China) will draw on examples of recent wildcat strikes and other protests by migrant workers to illustrate these dynamics.
This is a FREE event sponsored by:
Advance the Struggle & La Pena 2nd Generation
Click image for full color flier!
Here is a video from the China in Revolt panel, sponsored by Jacobin, that Eli participated in.
China in Revolt: A Labor Community Roundtable from Jacobin on Vimeo.
As economies crumble, we can expect political structures to as well. Both Mexico and China have received a fair amount of US outsourcing, and get blamed by protectionists for taking American jobs. It behooves the US working class to pay attention to what’s going on in those countries, because in some ways, the US, Mexico, and China are one extended economy, with one extended (though fractured) proletariat.
Imagine a general strike starting in a plant in Guangdou that makes micro chip parts, spreading to workers in a plant in Mexico, where workers set the China-made parts into processing units to be shipped to LA for final assembly and stamped with a Made in the USA label. Could such a tri-country workers’ movement ever take shape?
In Mexico, the peso crisis of the early nineties and the passage of NAFTA have left the economy in a shambles. Massive emigration, social upheaval (Zapatistas, Oaxaca uprising, 2006 elections, etc) and increasing privatization drives (especially against the state-owned oil company PEMEX) all indicate political instability to match the economic. The latest tragedy to hit the country is the opening of a ruthless drug war that exposes the Mexican state’s vulnerabilities and shows that there is no total monopoly on the means of violence. The Mexican state is under attack and could be said to be slowly breaking down.In China, the political system had been very stable since the Tiannamen Square protest of 1989, thanks in large part to a booming economy. With the onset of the global economic crisis, China’s manufacturing based economy has contracted, leaving 10s of millions of chinese workers unemployed. The boom itself opened up a rift between haves and have-nots that was much less acute prior to China’s meteoric economic rise, but the bust holds the potential to revive China’s Marxist legacy. It remains to be seen what the destiny of China’s rising left is, but conditions are ripe for its growth.
Vodpod videos no longer available.