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Chinese Praxis

Chinese Praxis. The Political Thought of Mao Zedong. Chinese Marxism. Strangeness of socialism with Chinese Characteristics Consistent with Marxism-Leninism Mao Zedong thought spurred hope of communists despairing of Western complacency and worried those in the West hoping for peace.

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Chinese Praxis

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  1. Chinese Praxis The Political Thought of Mao Zedong

  2. Chinese Marxism • Strangeness of socialism with Chinese Characteristics • Consistent with Marxism-Leninism • Mao Zedong thought spurred hope of communists despairing of Western complacency and worried those in the West hoping for peace

  3. The Life of Mao Zedong • Born December 26, 1893 – Eldest Child in a peasant family • Participated in Chinese revolution overthrowing the Manchus 1911 • May 4th Movement protesting transfer of German held Chinese territory to Japanese 1919 • Joined Communist party 1921 • Report on the Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan 1927 • Long March 1934-35 – Epic Journey traveling 6000 miles to establish new communist base in Yanan. Of 100,000 participants only 20,000 survived • War with Japan 1937-1945 – United Front established with Kuomintang to defeat Japanese • The People’s Republic of China proclaimed 1949

  4. Imperialism and Mao’s Rural Strategy • From urban proletariat emphasis to peasant emphasis inspired by Kuomintang purges of the urban base party • The party should lead the peasants • Poor peasants play leadership role in the revolution • Base should be placed in inaccessible countryside • Guerilla warfare as means of waging war

  5. China’s Path to Socialism • Time needed to move toward socialism • Any group is it thinks correctly can belong to the people – proletariat, peasantry, petite bourgeoisie, and national bourgeoisie – People’s democratic Dictatorship • Developing heavy industry and developing class consciousness with emphasis on the red side of red/expert problem – criticized Soviet Union for losing the emphasis on ideology in favor of industrialization

  6. Mao on Contradiction • Breakthroughs in the theory of dialectical materialism – everything contains contradictions • Antagonistic contradictions – Class struggle only can be resolved through victory • Nonantagonistic contradictions – peaceful methods of criticism preferable for resolving conflict • Relationships vary according to historical circumstance and may require violence to resolve antagonistic contradictions • Marxism will pass away and something higher will come to replace it

  7. The PRC and the USSR • Soviet and PRC split and ideological conflict • De-Stalinization – Mao affirmed Stalin’s value though acknowledging some of his errors such as the cult of the hero • China needed to use heavy handed methods associated with Stalin to bring order – Mao embraced cult of the hero for this purpose

  8. Revisionists and “Paper Tigers” • Chinese refused to accept peaceful coexistence with capitalism • Militancy more words than practice – potentially useful as a means of uniting Chinese people • Chinese accused Soviet leadership of becoming an elite divorced from their own people – Soviet State was counter-revolutionary and prevented the Chinese people from realizing their revolutionary destiny

  9. Mao Zedong as Symbol • Mao as teacher • Dislike of formal education • Wisdom of the uneducated masses • Cultural Revolution 1966-1969 instituted to breakdown growing class stratification • Quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong – presents an argument for perpetual struggle

  10. China after Mao • Death of Mao 1976 • Trial of the Gang of Four • The rehabilitation of Deng Xiaoping and the emphasizing of the expert part of the red/expert problem • De-Maoification or de-sacralization – Yanan heritage • Pragmatic Mao used as stamp of approval on reform movement in China

  11. The Rise of Deng Xiaoping • Veteran of the Long March • Sympathetic to expert/bureaucratic side of expert/red spectrum • Opposed “whatever faction” • Deng used Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong thought to advance his reform ideas • Four modernizations and new open door policy – Market socialism • Adherence to four cardinal principles – keeping to the socialist road, upholding the people’s democratic dictatorship, following the leadership of the communist party, and applying Marxism-Leninism Mao Zedong thought as defining and limiting factor for reforms – NEP programs utilizing incentives and decentralization to achieve economic goals

  12. The Rise of Deng Xiaoping - Continued • Tremendous economic growth • Inflation • Corruption • Rising expectations • Opposed political liberalization – Tiananmen Square 1989

  13. The Fall of Deng Xiaoping • The Hundred Flower Campaign, the Great Leap Forward (1957-1958), the Cultural Revolution (1966-1969), Democracy Wall Campaign (1979-1980), and the pro-democracy movement 1989 • Deng’s appointed successors are removed from power but Deng played role in appointing Jiang Zemin, a supporter of the Tiananmen crackdown

  14. Concluding Thoughts • Balancing authoritarian politics and market liberalization • Controlling corruption • Relations with the West • Mao Zedong Thought • Deng Xiaoping Thought

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