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Daily Archives: January 23rd, 2013

China

China

CHINA’S RISE: STRENGTH AND FRAGILITY

By Au Loong-Yu with contributions from Bai Ruixue, Pierre Rousset and Bruno Jetin

Published by Merlin Press in association with Resistance Books and the IIRE.
RRP: £15.95, 326 pages,  ISBN. 978-0-85036-637-2
 
This book is a collection of essays which look at the inherent contradiction in the rise of China from a class perspective. It argues that China is a bureaucratic capitalist state which is a special kind of state capitalism. Only with bureaucratic capitalism does the merging of the bureaucracy and the state reach a point where the bureaucracy privatizes the state in its entirety and makes the latter a vehicle for underpinning the accumulation of bureaucratic capital.

Combining the coercive power of the state and the power of money, the bureaucracy enjoys all the advantages of state capitalism in promoting both neck-breaking industrialization and taking anti-cyclical measures in the midst of the current Great Recession. Its strength, however, is only the result of a special alignment of class relations conditioned by the 1949 revolution and its later development, combined with China’s particular characteristics and its backwardness. The combined results of all these factors keep the working class docile.

Paradoxically, the rise of capitalist China has also fundamentally changed the conditions which have led to the rise of the absolutist state. It has modernized China to the point that the working class now accounts for nearly 40 percent of the labour force and half of the Chinese population now lives in urban areas. It has led to new perspectives, raised self-esteem and created higher expectations among the new generation of the working class, as is shown in recent struggles.

Meanwhile the deep demoralization among the people since the defeat of the 1989 democratic movement is beginning to recede. On top of this, Chinese state capitalism is beginning to exhaust its strength as it increasingly relies on rapidly expanding public debt.  A new page for China may begin to turn.

What they say about the book

 Au Loong Yu provides the most thorough account of the extent and nature of the transformation of the Chinese state into authoritarian capitalism. This book is essential reading for all those who seek to understand and grasp the dynamics of Chinese-style capitalism and working class resistance to the despotic system. – Immanuel Ness, Brooklyn College; editor, International Encyclopedia of Revolution and Protest, 1500 to the Present.

This collection of essays on China brings a rare and much needed perspective to the literature on the rising star of the global economy. Most are authored by Chinese Marxist critics of the regime. This “insider” Marxist perspective translates into a discussion of issues rarely covered in the existing literature,including a special focus on the workers movement. Very useful. – Gilbert Achcar, Professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London

A collection of lucid and enlightening essays. Au Loong Yu leaves no doubt that China has become capitalist to the fullest extent – with the party bureaucracy as the new bourgeoisie. This leads to old and new contradictions, not to the end of history. – Bodo Zeuner, Professor in political science, Berlin

A fascinating analysis of contemporary struggles in China situated in a rich theoretical overview of Maoism and class relations, as well as the country’s position in the international system. A powerful and provocative challenge to many misconceptions on the Left that deserves to be widely read and debated.– Adam Hanieh, School of Oriental and African Studies; member of the editorial board of the journal Historical Materialism.

 
Chapters 

PART 1 – Analysis

On the rise of China and its inherent contradictions: Au Loong Yu
China going global: Au Loong Yu
China – unavoidable rise or possible decline: Bruno Jetin
China – globalization and nationalist responses: Au Loong Yu

PART 2 – Resistance

Labour resistance in China – 1989-2009: Au Loong Yu and Bai Ruixue
From ‘master’ to ‘menial’ – state workers in China today:Au Loong Yu
Disposable labour under social apartheid: Au Loong Yu
The role of the All China Federation of Trade Unions – implications for workers today: Bai Ruixue
New signs of hope – resistance in China today: Au Loong Yu and Bai Ruixue 

PART 3 – Discussion

Maoism: contributions and limitations: Pierre Rousset
How socialist is the Chinese party-state? Au Loong Yu reviews Wang Hui’s The End of Revolution: China and the Limits of Modernity
Liu Xiaobo and the Chinese liberals:Au Loong Yu
Voluntary union or forced assimilation –  the CCP’s policy on Tibet: Au Loong Yu
Alter-Globo in Hong Kong – Interview with Au Loong Yu by New Left Review

How to get hold of a review copy of the book

For a complimentary review copy, email contact@socialistresistance.org or tz@merlinpress.co.uk with your name, address and the name of the publication which will print the review. 

Socialist Resistance, PO Box 62732, London, SW2 9GQ, Tel. 020 7346 8889. 

Merlin Press Ltd., 6 Crane Street Chambers, Crane Street, Pontypool NP4 6ND, Wales, 
Tel. 01495 764100

 

First published: http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/china2019s-rise-strength-and-fragility-by-au-loong-yu-with-contributions-from-bai-ruixue-pierre-rousset-and-bruno-jetin

 

**END**

 

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales); and at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo (new remix, and new video, 2012)  

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Books

Books

NEW BOOKS FROM BOOKMARKS PUBLICATIONS

**Coming soon from Bookmarks Publications***

Marikana: A View from the Mountain and a Case to Answer

Peter Alexander, Thapelo Lekowa, Botsang Mmope, Luke Sinwell and Bongani Xezwi

978 1 909026 25 4

£7.99, out in January 2013

On 16 August 2012 near Marikana, South Africa, striking miners from the Lonmin company were fired on by police, resulting in 34 deaths. The heart of this book is a series of interviews with strikers, most of them recorded on “the mountain” close to where their comrades were killed. Also includes a narrative and analysis by Peter Alexander of the University of Johannesburg.

“The book provides a bottom-up account of the Marikana story, to correct an imbalance in many official and media accounts that privilege the viewpoints of governments and business, at the expense of workers.” Professor Jane Duncan, chair of Media and Information Studies at Rhodes University

“Well written, extremely scrupulous in its research and forceful in its argument.” Professor John Saul, Canadian political scientist, one of the world’s top experts on liberation struggle in Southern Africa

 

***Out now from Redwords***

 

Poems of Protest by William Morris

with an introduction by Michael Rosen

978 1 909026 05 6

£6.99 SPECIAL OFFER £5

Though most know him for his design work, William Morris was also an accomplished writer whose poetry was used as songs and chants for the socialist movement. This volume includes work that has not been published since first appearing as propaganda in The Commonweal, the paper of Morris’s Socialist League. Michael Rosen argues that his socialist poetry was part of a long tradition of protest writing and a signpost for future struggles.

Also included are “How I Became a Socialist” by William Morris and an afterword, “The Communist Poet-Laureate” by the Morris scholar Nicholas Salmon.

 

Crossing the ‘river of fire’: the socialism of William Morris

by Hassan Mahamdallie

978 1 909026 04 9

£9.99 SPECIAL OFFER £8

The ravages of industrial capitalism, imperialism and war, the destruction of the environment and above all, the enslavement of human labour to the machine, appalled William Morris. Hassan Mahamdallie shows that the socialism of Morris grew out of his view of the past and his hatred for a system of “shoddy” production and that during the last decades of his life he threw all his energy into the struggle to change the world.

 

Shostakovich: Socialism, Stalin & Symphonies

by Simon Behrman

9781905192663

£9.99 SPECIAL OFFER £8

His struggle to maintain artistic integrity as the Russian Revolution was replaced by a cruel dictatorship made Shostakovich a  tragic figure, but also a hero to his contemporaries, fellow musicians and audience. This book describes the importance of Shostakovich in transcending the artificial divide between popular and classical music. 

 

***All available from Bookmarks the socialist bookshop, 1 Bloomsbury Street, London WC1B 3QE. Tel: 020 7637 1848  

Bookmarks Publications: http://www.bookmarksbookshop.co.uk

First published in http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/new-from-bookmarks-publications

 

**END**

 

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales); and at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo (new remix, and new video, 2012)  

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

 

Unemployment

Unemployment

THE FUTURE AND PRACTICE OF DECENT WORK

International Center for Development and Decent Work, KasselUniversity, 14 – 15 February 2013

The Financial and Economic Crisis: A Decent Work Response report prepared by the International Institute for Labour Studies and the Employment Sector and Policy Integration and Statistics Department Geneva in 2009 indicates that the Decent Work Agenda should provide a policy framework to stem crises by placing employment and social protection at the heart of ‘extraordinary fiscal stimulus measures’ which can both protect vulnerable people, and reactivate investment and demand in economies.

The International Labour Organisation’s World of Work Report 2012 forecasts a global unemployment rate of 6.1 per cent in 2012, with total world unemployment rising from 196 million in 2011 to 202 million in 2012. In this context, and with the rise in austerity measures which cannot guarantee growth but which have already triggered social disruption and harm, this conference will explore the concept of decent work and search for a praxis of decent work in all countries, all contexts, and for all people.

Guy Ryder, an experienced trade unionist, was elected as the ILO’s new Director General on 28th May 2012, to take office in September, and he has stated his commitment to prioritise people and the world of work (Ryder, 2012).  In June 2012, India, Brazil and South African signed a long term Declaration of Intent in a number of areas including development and cooperation, and labour, which is explicitly designed to further the Decent Work Agenda, aiming toward creating jobs, guaranteeing rights at work, extending social protection and the promotion of social dialogue, with gender equality as a core objective. These types of initiatives indicate a continuation of the relevance of a concept that was coined by Juan Somavia, Director General 1999 – September 2012, but the global climate of strained governance continues to challenge the possibilities for decent work in developed and developing countries alike.
 
The ILO’s new Director General faces a Eurozone crisis, rising unemployment, a spate of emergency crisis-driven labour policy deregulation that has often not been passed with consent from relevant social partners, and the dramatic rise in precarity and nonstandard employment which impacts lives in all corners of the world. Several governments across the European Union, including Portugal, Spain, Hungary, and the United Kingdom, have recently passed emergency labour motions and reforms using the rationale of austerity to decentralise collective bargaining, disempower temporary workers, and increase working time for less remuneration, in many cases via Memoranda of Understanding passed in consultation and consent with the Troika (the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF) (Clauwaert and Schomann, 2012). Nonetheless the ‘international consensus’ remains committed to securing ongoing decent work, and labour law is expected to provide the theatre for appropriate labour standards and rights despite labour law modernisation (Faioli, 2010).

The conference involves papers dealing with questions around the legitimation and the tripartite structure of the International Labour Organisation, questions about the world of work in the current context of global recession, issues surrounding social unrest as linked to rising unemployment, and the nature of international labour standards in this context. The concept of decent work is in crisis and this conference is a call for praxis around these issues.

Please email decentworkconference@gmail.com to express interest in attending this event. 

First published in: http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/the-future-and-praxis-of-decent-work-international-center-for-development-and-decent-work-kassel-university-14-2013-15-february-2013

**END**

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales); and at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo (new remix, and new video, 2012)  

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski