Posts Tagged ‘socialism’

My recently completed dissertation offers my own take on the process of land conversion, and I plan to pen a series of posts on the process of urbanization more generally. What interests me, of course, is not only the conversion of rural to urban land, but also the conversion of “rural lands in the city” to properly urban neighbourhoods, not to mention (and here this sentence is really getting out of hand because this my actual primary concern) the conversion of “ruralites” of both kinds into urbanites.

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I’ve commented a bit on these processes in a couple previous posts (this one and that one), but haven’t yet pursued the topic at length in this venue. For some perspective on the activities of peasants opposed to the process of conversion as currently conceived, have a look at this piece on a pitchfork rebellion in Shijiazhuang, Hebei. I do have a book chapter coming out sometime this year, and I’ll be sure to talk more about that when it is released.

For now, have a look at the Wall Street Journal (Land Sales: The Ever-More Lucrative Habit China’s Officials Just Can’t Kick – China Real Time Report – WSJ.) for some bare stats on land conversion and the addictions of local officials to the money to be earned in the process.

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In the current issue of Positions: asia critique, the Chinese perspective on Zizek, and Zizek’s perspective on China.

Bear with me as I try to get throughout this whole issue. I’ll try to report back soon What I’ve come up with below are summaries rather than reviews. Perhaps when I’ve finished all of them I’ll offer some thoughts on how my thinking has changed or not. The exercise will be be a useful one, I hope… A quick note after reading the first three pieces in order: I don’t know why the articles in this issue are presented in the order they are. The Kang piece is a response to Žižek’s “From Robspierre to Mao.” One ought to read that article first. And another note: much of Žižek’s contribution here is verbatim reproductions of previously written material, mainly, it would seem from In Defense of Lost Causes (2008) (and others). Indeed, some phrases are repeated in both of the “original” articles in this issue of the journal. Actually, copy and paste any given phrase from these articles into google and you will find them reproduced in any number of publications of various kinds by Žižek. Strangely, the journal doesn’t mention this, and I’m not sure what to think , but it doesn’t really matter. The focus here ought to be on the responses of Chinese scholars and their clarifications on Žižek’s place in the Chinese academy at present. (more…)

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