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Members of Chuǎng have been living in and travelling throughout mainland China since the late 1980s. In addition to trying to understand the dominant trends of capitalist development and struggles within mainland society as a whole, we’ve also of course been on the lookout for people who share political perspectives with our own. Over much of this timespan, the results have been sparse. We’ve met a handful of anarchists, but their interest in society has generally been limited to informal conversations, the realm of art and its attendant subcultures, and occasional acts of protest. We’ve also met a few remnants of the Cultural Revolution’s “ultra-left” who either became liberals or continue trying to justify their anti-state positions among more mainstream Maoists by citing exceptional quotations from the Great Helmsman, rather than examining the structures and struggles of the present. But in recent years, this situation has undergone a subtle change. The mainlanders from whom we’ve learned the most tend to be involved in small groups that emerged from the strike wave of 2010, when activists (mainly students and recent graduates, along with a few older leftists) from cities throughout China “discovered the new working class,” moved to sunbelt industrial districts and got jobs in factories there.


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