Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Maoism and China

Maoism and China: On the whole, Maoism can be seen as a Chinese ideological adaptation of both Marxism and Leninism. Its origins essentially date back to October 1949 when Mao Zedong, leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), defeated Chiang Kai-shek and the Nationalists during the Chinese Civil War. Yet where Maoism fundamentally differs from the ideas of Marx and Lenin is when considering what defines the proletariat. For Marx and Lenin, the proletariat signified an urban working underclass that became dehumanized and oppressed by the capitalist bourgeoisie during modern industrialization. But for Mao, the proletariat could only be found in the rural peasantry class. This distinction in identifying the proletariat is necessary insofar as China was not as industrialized as Russia. Therefore, when Mao sought to adopt communist policies for China, he turned to the Chinese peasant to legitimize his claim to power. Even so, given that the Chinese people were deeply ingrained with Confucian ideals, their transition to Maoism required a rather short leap of faith.

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