Guangzhou commune

From Anarchy In Action

Shifu, an anarchist influenced by Kropotkin, established the Crock-Crow Society in 1912 in the city of Guangzhou. The Crock-Cow Society published an influential anarchist journal, People's Voice. Shifu and his followers helped launch a number of communal experiments and labor organizing efforts that continued in Guangzhou after Shifu's death in 1915.[1] In Guangzhou, Shifu's followers organized China's first modern labor unions. By 1920 they organized almost forty unions in Guangzhou, including the Teahouse Labor Union in 1918 which had 11,000 members.[2]

Chinese and Korean anarchists collaborated on projects such as the Movement for Rural Self-Defense Communities in Guanzhou in the 1920s. The area "was firmly controlled by the Chinese anarchist Quin Wangshan (1891-1970) under the Quomindang banner, with support from Xu Zhuoran, a graduate of Huangpu Military Academy who sympathized with anarchist ideals."[3] From 1921 to 1923, "the entire city was run as an anarchist commune."[4] When the nationalist Quomindang party purged its anarchist members in 1927, many anarchists found refuge in Guangzhou. They called it "a heaven of place," meaning a utopia.[5]

From Michael Schmidt, Cartography of Revolutionary Anarchism:

Shifu, the nom de guerre of Liu Szu-fu (1884–1915), was the leading Chinese anarchist, who modelled his views on Kropotkin, founded the Society of Anarchist Communist Comrades, and was the pioneer of Chinese syndicalism: the anarcho-syndicalists took the honours of establishing the first modern Chinese trade unions, with the 11,000–strong Teahouse Labour Union in the southern port city of Guangzhou in 1918; Guangzhou would remain an anarchist stronghold for at least a decade after the 1921–1923 period when the entire city was run as an anarchist commune.

  1. Afir Dirlik, "Anarchism and the Question of Place: Thoughts from the Chinese Experience" in ed. Steven Hirsch and Lucien Van Der Walt, Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1870-1940: The Praxis of National Liberation, Internationalism, and Social Revolution (London and Boston: Brill, 2010), 138.
  2. Afir Dirlik, Anarchism in the Chinese Revolution (Berkeley and Los Angeles: Regents of the University of California, 1991), ch. 4. Michael Schmidt, Cartography of Revolutionary Anarchism.
  3. Dongyoun Hwang, "Korean Anarchism Before 1945: A Regional and Transnational Approach" in Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 118.
  4. Schmidt, Cartography of Revolutionary Anarchism.
  5. Hwang, "Korean Anarchism Before 1945".