China's Ancient Labor Party
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/07/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21611
Mozi was an outstanding thinker and what is more a militant, grounded on a well-defined program, who fought on behalf of the toilers in ancient China.
Mozi is worth remembering because he represents the highest form of political consciousness of craftsmen and other lower classes in Ancient China. Since the demise of his school, for two thousand years, although there had been lots of toilers' rebellions, they had never been able to attain the level of Mozi and his disciples. One reason for this was that the political and cultural intolerance imposed by the highly centralized absolutist state since the Qin Dynasty made alternative political thinking, let alone those that represented the working people, nearly impossible to thrive.
Unfortunately this is a similar situation to that which today's Chinese working people are facing. Thanks to the Great Leap Forward of industrialization, however, their material conditions today are far better than their counterparts in ancient China. Therefore, in the long run today's working class is more equipped in their fight for emancipation. I believe that future generations of the labor movement could draw a lot of inspiration from reading and learning from Mozi's school.
Taiwanese scholar Wang Zanyuan has said that of the pre-Qin dynasty philosophers, while almost all concentrated on social, political, ethical and other values, only Mozi was similar to Western philosophers and, in addition to the above, his knowledge also crossed into metaphysics, epistemology and moral philosophy. He was also a Western style scientist and philosopher.