Re: FW: labor unrest

From Jonathan Lassen <>
Date Mon, 08 Nov 2004 13:30:09 -0500
In-reply-to <>
References <>
User-agent Mozilla Thunderbird 0.6 (Windows/20040502)

Hi Marc,

Very interesting reading those two articles back to back (and if anyone 
wants pdf copies, plz email me offlist), here's one major difference 
that jumped out at me:

Lee Ching Kwan: "The passge of state socialism, not state socialism per 
se, offers the potential for labor radicalization in terms of critical 
consciousness and mobilizational capacity."

Marc Blecher: "Market[s]...atomize those they subject, offering the 
prospect of individual solutions, which in turn undermines the potential 
for forming collective solidarities that could challenge the market."



Marc Blecher wrote:
> Dear Marty and all,
> It won't happen. Workers, and people in general, take a very dark and almost
> ashamed view of their past radicalism (in the CR), aside from occasional
> glee at having kicked around a few insufferable managers and shopfloor
> cadres. The oldtimers want their kids to get on with prosperity and peace in
> the market.
> I documented some of this in a recent article in CQ #170. Ching Kwan Lee,
> whose work I love, would perhaps take a rather different view. See her
> article in Theory and Society.
> Marc
> =======
>>Dear Alex and all,
>>I find this generational question you raise in your post (below)
>>interesting.  In South Korea, for example, many of the radicalized
>>workers, who became radical in the context of the late 1980s, early 1990s
>>struggles, are complaining that younger workers do not share their history
>>or sense of broader political purpose.  They are struggling within the
>>KCTU, the radical labor federation, to find ways of passing on that
>>history and politics.
>>I am wondering how this might happen in China, where the official labor
>>federation would have little interest in acknowledging the problem much
>>less serving as a means for finding a solution to it.  So, how do workers
>>understand their past activism and what channels do they see for
>>transmitting it to younger generations.  Any insights into that?