Nao's blog

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OUT OF ORDER

Why the nao-blog is "out of order."

The Other Cultural Revolution

Wu Yiching's book "The Cultural Revolution at the Margins. Chinese Socialism in Crisis" gives a fascinating account of a period that was decisive for the end of Maoism and the rise of a capitalist China.

China crash: the faltering of economic transition

Chai - destruction of housing in Beijing

The stock market crash happens at a time when the Chinese development model has reached a turning point, and the financial turmoil reflects underlying structural problems of the economy.

New series of factory stories from China

Longmenzhen

Chinese worker activists have been documenting and analyzing the situation and struggles of factory workers in the Pearlriverdelta in South China over the past few years. Since 2012 they have been publishing reports the magazine "Factory Stories" (工厂龙门阵 gongchang longmenzhen).

Dagong Diary, Part 1: Job Hunting

Part 1 of a 7-part series recording a short excursion into the lives of migrant workers at the beginning of China’s working year, in an industrial district of Shenzhen.

Elis died of slave-like life in agency center

Crowded "dormitory" provided by agency company in Hong Kong, with workers sleepi

An Indonesian migrant domestic worker recently died in a Hong Kong work agency hostel. We re-post an article from WKNews that examines the collusion between Hong Kong authorities, the Indonesian government and private agencies and the effect it has on the situation of Indonesian migrant workers in Hong Kong.

Gender war and social stability in Xi’s China: Interview with a friend of the Women’s Day Five (1st half)

vagina monologues gz

Many friends and associates of the five feminists detained on March 7 are still in hiding, but one was willing to meet for an interview on March 16. The fact of their detainment has been widely reported in the international media, but so far little analysis has been offered, so this interview focuses on questions such as: what is unique about this case? Why were these individuals targeted? Why, in the Xi regime’s crackdown on civil society in general, does it seem especially afraid of feminism?

Free the Women's Day Five! - Statements from Chinese workers and students

domestic violence awareness demo

Translation of a statement by the partner of "Da Tu" (Giant Rabbit), one of the feminists detained on March 7, focusing on mutual aid between feminists and workers, with solidarity photos workers have posted online. Followed by translation of a petition by students at Da Tu's alma mater, Sun Yat-sen University (one of many petitions circulating in China, despite censorship).

Four years later, still a graveyard of Chinese youth

Foxconn suicides continue

In 2014, on the eve of China’s national day celebrations, scenes recalling those of four years ago appeared in Chinese headlines. Foxconn became known to the world four years ago when thirteen of its young workers jumped to their deaths in quick succession. The death of young Foxconn worker and poet Xu Lizhi reminded us that in this Fortune 500 company that produces some 40% of the world’s electronics, the cruelty and hopelessness of workers' situation has not changed. But most of us are unaware that Xu is not alone. At least five other workers, and likely more than that, have joined him this year. Many other workers have taken their own lives since the famous 13.

Land grabs in contemporary China

land grab

Translation of article summarizing original research about land grabs in China since the 1990s, concluding that this ongoing expropriation of peasants is more severe and violent than the peak of Britain's enclosures in the early 19th century.

"Professor Xu": Laid-off plastics worker becomes China's Walter White

the cool way to smoke meth in china

Repost of a story of interest less for its similarity to "Breaking Bad," and more for what this similarity (and differences) reveal about capitalist development, increasing precarization and exclusion of "surplus" proletarians, and how criminality enables a few proles to prosper at the expense of many others, in a vicious circle of class cannibalism.

Another shoe strike in the Pearl River Delta: Lide, Guangzhou

lide strike gz 2014

Translation of a brief report on a strike of 2,500 workers at a shoe factory in Guangzhou that began today. As with the strike of about 50,000 workers at another company's shoe factories in the Pearl River Delta several months ago, one focus of this strike is on the company's non-payment of social security, along with factory relocation.

Sold on promises: China's intra-working class exploitation

An interview recorded from memory. This blog is about the upsurges that occur, the cracks that appear in China’s system. But sometimes the picture we give out of a China in revolt is rosy in a way that misses the very deep scarring in this society—the kind of fracturing of trust within the working class, between friends and family, in the relationships that underlie organization.

The margins and the centre: for a new history of the Cultural Revolution

Second Shanghai Riot

Repost of an informative reflection on the lessons to be learned from China's "Cultural Revolution" in light of China's grim political situation circa 2014, centered on a review of Yiching's Wu's pathbreaking new book, Cultural Revolution at the Margins.

Gender, temporality, and the reproduction of labour power. Women migrant workers in South China

dagongmei in South China

This excellent article by Hannah Schling on migration and gender in China was just published by the periodical Sozialgeschichte.

Shanghai on strike: the politics of Chinese labor

cover of shanghai on strike

Classic book by Elizabeth Perry on working-class formation during the industrialization of Shanghai from 1839 to 1949, including insight into the strike wave and insurrections of 1926-1927.

The poetry and brief life of a Foxconn worker: Xu Lizhi (1990-2014)

xu lizhi

Translations of poems by Xu Lizhi (许立志), the Foxconn worker who committed suicide on 30 September 2014, at the age of 24, in Shenzhen, China. Also includes an obituary with some explanatory notes.

Between the competition and the capitalists: Guangzhou’s taxi driver strike

Many of Guangzhou's 40,000 taxi drivers have been on strike over squeezed pay and excessive competition. The impacts of their strike remain unclear.

No buses are due on Nathan road - Mong Kok occupation 2.0 weekend sum-up

Nathan road opened for traffic round on Friday morning.

A few observations on the current development of the Mong Kok occupation in Hong Kong.

Hotpot, Gods, and "Leftist Pricks": Political Tensions in the Mong Kok Occupation

MK New Estate hotpot

Analysis of events in the Mong Kok occupation (part of Hong Kong's "Umbrella Movement") from October 9 to 11, related to a split between what could roughly be called "left" and "right" factions, regarding "leftist" efforts to expand the movement from a single-issue protest for liberal democracy to a broader movement for the transformation of everyday life.