The Paramilitarism of Politics and Production In Early Republican China
This article traces the way that groups of armed men used force and violence to shape economic production and national politics in early twentieth-century Cuba. In the decades immediately after independence, Cuba underwent a series of transformations tied to US imperial control, the expansion of the sugar industry, and the rise of a diverse working class. The island was also the site of violent political conflicts over control of the state. Present in all of these processes were groups of armed men with conflicting ties to political authority and private enterprises. US soldiers, members of the Cuban army, and a militarized police force called the Rural Guard bore arms alongside private sugar company guards, volunteer militias, and vigilante groups to protect property, discipline workers, and wage political warfare. The use of violence by both state and non-state actors was symptomatic of larger ambiguities in the source of political power, the functioning of democracy, and the very existence of Cuban national sovereignty. This article employs the concept of paramilitarism to understand these processes. In Cuban politics, as in its economic production, there was never a perfect correlation between an armed man's relationship to the state and the legitimacy of his violence. But violence was not entirely random. Black individuals—both Cuban and immigrant—were most vulnerable to the paramilitary violence that went unpunished as it shaped the world of politics and production in the Cuban republic.
The Global South
(2018). The Paramilitarism of Politics and Production In Early Republican China. The Global South, 2(2), 64-89.
Available at: https://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/21271