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Nationalism and Class Struggle the Making of the Hong Kong Working Class in the 1920s

Authors So, Alvin Y.C. View this author's profile
Issue Date 2011
Source 香港社会科学学报 , (41), 2011, p. 1-15
Summary This article argues that in order to develop a Marxist theory of action, it is necessary to go beyond a utilitarian scheme in order to explain why workers are willing to sacrifice self interests for collective class interests, why workers prefer waging political struggles to economic struggles, and why leaders do not promote oligarchy in working-class organizations. This article aims to provide some preliminary answers to the above questions by studying the historical process concerning the formation of the working class in Hong Kong, i.e., how Hong Kong working class suddenly became conscious, organized, and engaged in struggle with other classes and the colonial administration in the 1920s. It argues that nationalism played an important role in providing a higher morality for workers to make sacrifices and pressure guild leaders to join the Canton-Hong Kong Strike. Nationalism also helped to politicize issues by singling out the Hong Kong colonial administration as the target of attack.
ISSN 1021-3619
Language English
Format Article
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