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The ideology and leadership of Mao Zedong
Transcript of The ideology and leadership of Mao Zedong
Mao and Marxism
Mao had established his own distinct brand of communism which had shown his thinking to be much more relevant in discussion compared to other communists.
The Marxism ideology prioritized the industry workers. Mao disagreed with this as they only made up 1% of the chinese population and peasants instead were the majority. This created Mao Zedong thought which was essentially Mao's own take on Communism using Marxism ideas and applying them to China's current social climate.
In China's youth it was deeply humiliated by China's humiliation by the Western Powers and Japan. Mao was determined that China would not be reliant on foreign powers.
Despite sometimes seeking advice and aim from the Soviet Union in the 1950s, Mao never felt comfortable with the relationship as it was causing divisions in the Communist Party (whether they should follow in the example of the Soviet Union or not)
After Communists came into power in 1949 there was real risk of a new revolution.
In the early years of communist rule, the landlords and bourgeoisie still owned most of the property in China and still largely controlled the economy.
However, Mao believed that those who participated in violence against the landlords and confiscation of their property were more likely to prevent a return to the old ways.
The generations were all involved in a revolutionary struggle to both prevent the threat of a counter-revolution and to ensure their continuing support for the regime.
Mao placed priority on maintaining the revolutionary zeal of the masses than political stability.
Learning from the people
Mao strongly believed in using the people as a gauge as to how well the Communists were ruling, making sure they did not follow the example of the Soviet Union in becoming unjust or dictatorial. The concerns of the people were important and it was believed that the Communist Party policy should be determined and taught by them.
This is essential for Mao to continue to class struggle to maintain his revolution . He recognized the danger that the communist power had, that it could fall into the establishing power & become the new ruling class. This would make them open for exploitation as the benefits of the ranks & privilege could remove them for the people. Public officials then became subject to ‘struggle meetings’ where they faced public criticism & had to self-criticize themselves. To accompany this were indoctrination meetings to re-educate officials & working in the fields with peasantry.
CCP’s main task was to have mass campaigns to achieve specific objectives. He believed due to the goodness of the people, they could be mobilised to achieve anything. It could the be used to carry out major works, like building dams or roads, cultivating of areas not previously used for farming or major industrial projects.
Mao didn’t believe managers or experts were key to economic advancement, nor did he accept people needed to be offered extra money to make them work harder.
Not every leading figure agreed with Mao.
Splits and division had occurred before the CCP came to power. Mao was flexible and could work out what course of action best suited to circumstances. This led him to make tactical alliance, for example when he joined with GMD in the united front.
Mao’s ideological goals were fixed but tactics were fluid.