Certain terms, people and events continually appear in Proudhon’s work. Rather than footnote each occurrence, information on them is summarised here. As with many French writers he refers to revolutionary events by date (i.e., ’89 for the start of the Great French Revolution and so on). He also refers to Year I, Year II, and so on, which are from the French Revolutionary calendar that began on September 22nd, 1792, the date of the official abolition of the monarchy and the nobility.
I dedicate this book to my daughters.
May it show the importance of being bilingual!
Outside of a few events including the Long March and the Shanghai commune the development of the Chinese revolution is relatively unknown on the western left in comparison with the revolutions in Russia in 1917, Spain in 1936 or even the Paris spring of 1968. Those sections of that left influenced by or proclaiming themselves to be Maoist haven't helped that situation much. Their histories have tended towards simple tales focusing on the role of one man and collapsed a 100-year history of revolution into the events important to him. [Italian translation]
This article is a preliminary sketch of the Chinese revolutions from an anarchist perspective. It does not set out to be a history of Chinese anarchism although it draws on some of the histories of that movement which for twenty key years dominated the formation of the left in China. A real history of that movement in English will depend not only on the translation of vast quantities of texts from the early twentieth century but also on detailed local research to uncover a history that has both been deliberately buried and forgotten.
Mark Leier is a Canadian historian of working class history and the director of the Centre for Labour Studies at
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