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This essay uses analyses of Jacques Derrida’s Specters of Marx and Brad Bird’s film Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol to introduce the central themes of the overall volume. Taking as its starting point a discussion of three passing references to China located at the margins of Derrida’s influential study of Marx, the essay then reconsiders the relevance of Marxism to contemporary China. In particular, the essay argues that contemporary is shadowed by three sets of spectral apparitions. These include a capitalist order that promises to reverse the consequences of China’s quarter century of Maoist rule; the institutional legacy of this Maoist regime, which continues to shape contemporary Chinese society in critical ways; and a spirit of resistance and critique consonant with the underlying principles of Marxist theory. The essay also includes capsule summaries of each of the chapters that follow.

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