The Shenzhen Jasic struggle of 2018–2019 signals a turning point in migrant labour struggles in China since the mid-1990s, and it explicitly demonstrates a shift toward left politics, departing from a civil society framework which barely analyzes ideology and class politics, thus showing little potential to overcome class inequality. The Jasic struggle's key characteristic of student-worker unity compels us to revisit Marxism and Maoism in understanding today’s emancipatory politics and labour movements. This revisiting of Marxist Maoism is attempted on three layers: a return to class politics; a return to communism; and a return to Mao’s mass line. These three ‘returns’ are not retrospective politics romanticizing the past. Instead, they draw upon historical experiences, cultural resources and communist legacies to fight for a more egalitarian society in the future.
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- Left politics
- labor struggle
- student-worker alliance