Twenty-five years ago, on 4th June 1989, the Tian’anmen square movement was brutally smashed by the rifles and tanks of the Chinese troops. It was a heroic movement of the Chinese people in a struggle against the bureaucracy in general, and more specifically against the lack of democracy, corruption, and the negative impact of the market economic reforms.

Luxury goods brands such as Louis Vuitton, Remy Martin and Bentley have posted falls both in growth and profits in the recent period, down from record highs. That the sales of luxuries have been booming in a period of global recession for the past few years appears remarkable in itself. This contradictory phenomenon, and its more recent decline, gives an insight into one aspect of the capitalist crisis.

The tortuous path of the Chinese revolution would be like an unsolvable riddle if abstracted from the world revolution and imperialism. It first reared its head in the Taiping Rebellion in the mid-19th Century, in form a traditional peasants’ uprising but whose causes and results were shaped by China’s sudden integration into the world market. The proletarian phase of the revolution, beginning in 1919, was from the beginning determined by the Chinese working class’ gravitation towards the ideas and methods of Bolshevism.

It has already been explained that the shifting of the base of the Chinese Communist Party in the late 1920s from the proletariat to the scattered peasantry inevitably meant the increasing dislocation of the party leadership, with as many factional struggles as the party had local bases. By 1928 five major factions in the party existed in the aftermath of the failed 1925-27 revolution; submerging the party in this rural, petty-bourgeois environment would do nothing to resolve these factional disputes. It is within this environment that Mao was to eventually emerge as leader.

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Revolution 2018 - a three-day festival of Marxist ideas

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Calendar: In Defence of Marxism
Malet Street, WC1E 7HY London, United Kingdom
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Revolution 2018 - a three-day festival of Marxist ideas
Revolution 2018 is a three-day festival of Marxist ideas, hosted by Socialist Appeal, In Defence...
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