Following our first three dossiers where we pursued a rather theoretical line, our fourth dossier, ‘’Russia & China: A New Axis?” with its focus on history and real world politics is being published! We are excited to share a large number of contributions with our readers by different authors from various countries, written particularly for abstrakt dergi.

With the fall of the USSR and the restoration of capitalism in the People’s Republic of China, the 1990s represented a period of unilateral global domination by the United States. The ongoing crisis which erupted in the United States in 2008 has also shifted the balance of international relations.

The rise of China as an economic power, and Russia as a military power, are among the most significant facts of the past decade. The winds of a “new Cold War” that followed Trump’s election can be viewed as the US’s response to Russia and China’s attempts to counter US Hegemony.

However, can we really claim that Russia and China threaten US hegemony without deep and broad analysis efforts of the two states in terms of cooperation and confrontation? How can we analyze the economic, social, and political orders that prevail today in these two states, both of which have significantly different historical backgrounds?

This is the issue we address in the fourth dossier.

Ying Chen from the New York New School inquires in her contribution titled “Internal Migration and Economic System” the role the hukou system and migration controls played during the planned and market economy periods, and reveals the devastation the market reforms created in workers’ lives. In his “Capitalism from the Chinese Countryside”, Zhun Xu of Howard University discusses the socialist rural economy run by rural communes and collectives, how the latter were abandoned by market reforms, and the transition to capitalism. We believe that contributions of both Chinese scholars on their own country add special depth and richness to the dossier.

Historian Maksim Lebskiy from Petersburg provides a similar contribution with his piece called “The Crisis of the Socialist Movement in the Context of the Development of Russian Capitalism” (in Russian). He argues that the current crisis of the Russian left is related to the development of capitalist relations in this country, and offers a historical perspective going back to the capitalist restoration in the USSR.

Muhsin Yorulmaz and John Lawrance consider the “Sino-Soviet Split” as one of the immediate reasons underlying socialism’s defeat and the triumph of the U.S. in the Cold War.

In his “Digital Labor in China”, Ekin Deniz Hoş raises the question if the increasing weight of immaterial labor causes a substantial change in the relations of production by focusing on the information economy and class relations in China.

Immanuel Ness from City University of New York contributed with a piece on “Indonesian Domestic Workers in Hong Kong”, in which he discusses the question of migrant labor and focuses the role it plays in social reproduction and domestic labor. Dilek Uygül, on the other hand, discusses in her piece titled “Taiwan and Nationhood” the historical development and current implications of national identity in Taiwan, and guides the reader through this controversial subject.

We hope that the dossier is helpful in providing information on the widely discussed issues of Russia and China, deepening the reader’s perspective, and bringing up new concepts. Moreover, it is as usual our aim to shed light on peculiar experiences of class struggle in these two countries, which went through periods of socialist construction in the 20th century but ultimately turned to capitalism.

Dossier editors

Mühdan Sağlam
Emek Yıldırım
Güney Işıkara

 

For the pieces in Turkish please check #DOSYA04