The Left in China: A Political Cartography

Regular price $ 22.95

by Ralf Ruckus

Pluto Press

2/20/2023, paperback

SKU: 9780745342955


Tracing the history of left-wing, subversive, and oppositional forces in the People's Republic of China over the last seventy years, Ralf Ruckus pulls back the curtain on Chinese politics. He looks at the labor strikes in the 1950s, the rebel uprising during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, the democracy movements in the 1970s and 1980s, the struggles of urban and migrant workers since the 1990s and 2000s, and women's forms of resistance until today. Each of these struggles inspired left-wing groups and movements that criticized or challenged the regime of the Chinese Communist Party, from Mao Zedong's rule to the regime under Xi Jinping. Is the country still socialist today, the Chinese Communist Party a left-wing organization, and the leadership indeed Marxist? The book sorts out the confusion by presenting the fascinating history of social movements and left politics in the People's Republic up to the present day.


"In this riveting analysis, Ruckus rescues left politics' from the monopoly of the Chinese state and recenters the motor of history around social struggles from below - a much needed perspective in understanding China from the international left" -- Yige Dong, Department of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies, University of Buffalo, US

"With the Left at odds over how to understand the Chinese party-state and its growing international influence, Ralf Ruckus’ thorough but clearly written new book does a great service by shifting our attention to the oppositional movements of Chinese workers, peasants, students, and women who have contested inequality and exploitation over the past century-plus, often in the face of severe repression" -- Manfred Elfstrom, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan, and author of Workers and Change in China: Resistance, Repression, Responsiveness

About the Author:

Ralf Ruckus has been studying the social, economic, and political situation in the People's Republic of China for almost twenty years. He co-founded the collective that investigates and documents social unrest and movements in China with a focus on the struggles of workers, migrants, and women.