Liu Shifu

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Liu Shifu () (1884–1915) was an influential figure in the Chinese revolutionary movement in the early twentieth century, and in the Chinese Anarchist movement in particular. He was a key figure in the movement, particularly in Canton province, and one of the most important organizers in the Chinese Anarchist tradition.

He began his radical career as a member of the China Assassination Corps, an anti-colonial movement which was strongly influenced by the tactics of the Russian Nihilist movement and advocated revolutionary terrorism and the assassination of criminal elites. Upon conversion to Anarchism he denounced these tactics as counter-productive and switched his focus to grass-roots organizing among peasants and workers in order to build a revolutionary mass movement. He was one of the first Chinese Revolutionaries to seriously advocate Peasant organizing as a key element of his revolutionary strategy.

In 1912 Shifu founded the Society of Cocks Crowing in the Dark (aka Cock-Crow Society), whose journal, People's Voice, was the leading organ of Chinese anarchism in the 1910s. Shifu was a skilled expositor of anarchist doctrine and his polemical exchanges with the socialist leader Jiang Khangu helped to popularize anarchism as a “pure socialism” and to distinguish it from other currents in socialist thought.

The Cock-Crow Society, also known as the "Guangzhou Group", is usually described as being “led” by Shifu, and this is generally accurate insofar as...
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