The Place of Anarchism in the Chinese Revolution: A Review Essay

by Jason Schultz


Arif Dirlik. Anarchism in the Chinese Revolution. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991. 326p.

The place of anarchism in the foundation and development of the many revolutions in 20th century China is largely unknown or forgotten in China and the world over. Philosophers and organizers of numerous groups under the umbrella of anarchism helped lay the cornerstones for political, social, economic, and cultural struggles in China. Their work culminated in the capture of state power in 1949 by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). From the first decade of the 20th century to the early 1930s, anarchist ideas had much currency among those individuals seeking to construct a modern Chinese nation free from the influence of the flags of the rising sun, Union Jack, Stars and Stripes, and the modern Chinese state.

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