The Party-state in the Factory

Andrew G. Walder

in Communist Neo-Traditionalism

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 1988 | ISBN: 9780520064706
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520909007 | DOI:
The Party-state in the Factory

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This chapter is concerned with the organizational characteristics that give the communist state the capacity to shape worker political association and activity in distinctive ways. Corporatism ideally seeks to manage the associated conflicts for the good of the nation; communism seeks to reorganize society in such a way that private interest groups cannot find organized expression or even a clear social identity. The Chinese party-state is represented in the factory by two organizations that shape political relationships and interests right down to the shop floor. The discretion exercised jointly by the shop director and party branch secretary appears to be a throwback to the foreman's empire of the contracting era of factory production in many parts of the world. The chapter then compares Stalinist and Maoist mobilization. The Chinese party appears genuinely to have viewed the moral cultivation of citizens as the only effective way to generate commitment and obedience.

Keywords: communist state; Chinese party-state; corporatism; communism; Stalinist mobilization; Maoist mobilization; shop director; party branch secretary; foreman's empire

Chapter.  15582 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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