First issue of 'Chuang', an (anti-state) communist journal on Chinese history and how this relates to global capitalism and contemporary struggles.
闯 Chuǎng: The image of a horse breaking through a gate. Meaning: To break free; To attack, charge; To break through, force one’s way in or out; To act impetuously. 闯关 (chuǎngguān): to run a blockade. 闯座 (chuǎngzuò): to attend a feast without being invited.
Over the past three decades, China has transformed from an isolated state-planned economy into an integrated hub of capitalist production. Waves of new investment are reshaping and deepening China’s contradictions, creating billionaires like Jack Ma while the millions below — those who farm, cook, clean, and assemble his electronic infrastructure — struggle to escape fates of endless grueling work. But as China’s wealthy feast ever more lavishly, the poor have begun to batter down the gates to the banquet hall. 闯 is the sudden movement when the gate is broken and the possibilities for a new world emerge beyond it.
闯 Chuǎng will publish a journal analyzing the ongoing development of capitalism in China, its historical roots, and the revolts of those crushed beneath it. Chuǎng is also a blog chronicling these developments in shorter and more immediate form, and will publish translations, reports, and comments on Chinese news of interest to those who want to break beyond the bounds of the slaughterhouse called capitalism.
In this first issue we outline our basic conceptual framework and illustrate the current state of class conflict in China. We also include translated reports and interviews with the proletarians engaged in these struggles, pairing our theory with primary sources drawn from class dynamics that might otherwise remain abstract.
Though taking the futureless present as our starting point, our first issue is also in a way performing burial rites for the dead generations who have populated the collapse of the communist horizon in East Asia. This issue therefore begins with a long-form article on the socialist era, “Sorghum and Steel: The Socialist Developmental Regime and the Forging of China,” the first in a three-part series aiming to narrate a new economic history of China (the next two parts will be included in subsequent issues), before moving on to a pair of analytic articles on contemporary urban and rural struggles, as well as original translations and interviews with individuals engaged in them.
Editorial: A Thousand Li
Sorghum and Steel: The Socialist Developmental Regime and the Forging of China
Gleaning the Welfare Fields: Rural Struggles in China since 1959
Revisiting the Wukan Uprising of 2011: An Interview with Zhuang Liehong
No Way Forward, No Way Back: China in the Era of Riots
“The Future is Hidden within these Realities”: Selected Translations from Factory Stories
1. Preface to Factory Stories Issue 1, January 2012
2. One Day by “I Love Cilantro” (Wo Ai Xiangcai)
3. Looking Back on Twenty Years in Shenzhen’s Factories by Hao Ren
4. Layoffs and Labor Shortages by Wang Xiaolin