The changes introduced in China since 1978 under the rubric of ‘market-socialism’ have been a cause of intense debate among the Left. Recently, Economic and Political Weekly (Issue : VOL 43 No. 52 December 27 - January 02, 2009) presented ten special articles on various facets of the transition in China since 1978. Pragoti presents a selection of three articles from this special issue of EPW on the impact of rural industrialisation in China on poverty and spatial inequality, a tribute to the resilience of China’s migrant workers and a critique of China’s political economy since the revolution in 1949.
This tribute to the resilience of China’s migrant workers is by an academic who lived and worked among them in Shenzhen for seven months, sharing their screams and dreams. It touchingly portrays the plight of young migrant workers, many of them women, who have been caught in the grip of capital’s unscrupulous willingness to sacrifice anything in the pursuit of profit. Their efforts to organise themselves have been at best a partial success.