Apologists for capitalism like to point to its historically progressive aspects, like its supposed use of “free labor” rather than older forms of labor compulsion. But throughout its history, as the system has conquered new territories for capital accumulation, it has embraced and depended on the most coercive forms of “premodern” production relations.
Yueran Zhang is a PhD student in sociology at UC-Berkeley.
What the world remembers about the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests were the students. But above all, it was a mass workers’ uprising for socialist democracy.