Mao Zedong: Reforms In China

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The purpose of this essay to introspect on the reforms that Mao established in China such as a new democracy, Cultural Revolution, Law of contradiction, Mass line and the protracted people’s war amongst others. Although most of his reforms failed, however, they also had positive effects that gave birth to the emancipation of women, increased the country’s literacy and access to efficient health care services. In addition, the essay will further portray the benefits and non-benefits of the above changes in the realms of the Chinese Political, economic and cultural Sectors in order to portray how relevance of this reforms to the contemporary China.

In modern day China, Xi Jinping’s reform policies run directly counter to Maoist economic ideas, but he makes a skilful use of Maoist dialectic reasoning to analyse China’s problems and their putative solutions and he acknowledges the positive achievements of Mao’s leadership. Thus, Mao’s policies shaped a nation and formed the foundation of modern day China. However, in order for one to understand the contributions of Mao Tse-tung, one has to be familiar with a subtle history of his chronology and the environment that gave him the incentives to build a communist China.

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Mao Tse-tung, also known as Mao Zedong, was one of the core founders of the Communist Party of China in 1921. His main objective was to form an alliance of workers and peasants, joined by the middle classes and even patriotic capitalists, to defeat the feudalists and foreign imperialists in China. From Lenin’s blueprint of Marxism that advocated for a socialist community, Mao constructed his ideas. This was a step towards reconstructing China’s society into a communist nation, but had its effects on ancient China that widely are still felt in modern day China.

Politically, Mao Tse-tung’s prominent accomplishment was the establishment of the People’s Republic of China that advocated for a new democracy reform. The new democracy laid a foundation for a socialist society and reconstructed the old society into the new. It sought to revamp the economically exploited classes in China. The first step of this new democracy was to establish a new democratic society under the joint dictatorship of all the revolutionary classes of China headed by the sate while supressing the bourgeoisie’s privileges and emancipating peasants through communism. Prior to this era, the new democracy reform is still relevant to the contemporary economy of China although in a different manner. For example, the number of State Owned Enterprises (SOE) are gradually decreasing due to asset sales and privatisations. The Sate-owned Asset Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) is currently concentrating on restructuring the remaining SOEs into modern profit oriented corporations. Thus, the private sector currently own the enterprises of China instead of the state and this has led to high competition and productivity to the economy of China. Therefore, this slightly makes it different from the contribution of Mao who preferred communism to privatisation.

There is a significant resurgence of Maoist strategies in modern China, but under the Presidency of Xi Jinping. Xi Jinping’s revival of Maoism has recently included the re-introduction of the criticism and self-criticism policy. According to the president, the Chinese Communist Party has to keep flying the flag of Mao Zedong thought, without that it will lose its legitimacy and face a political crisis no less. This policy is similar to the Mass line and the Hundred Flowers campaign of 1956 reform propagated by Mao. The idea of this reform reflects a guideline under which the party officials and members are required to prioritise the interests of the people and persist in presenting them by working on their behalf. In this process, the implementation of periodic rectification campaigns is practiced to avoid potential stagnation and rigidity among cadres while leadership is able to bring greater scrutiny in examining the behaviour of individuals to test their political loyalty. The mass line reform was a good policy that would have guaranteed stability in China. However, looking at the policy of criticism, these ideological transgressions have been, replaced in seriousness by corruption and disengagement that have guaranteed partial success in resuscitating Maoism in China.

Mao’s economic reforms left a huge blueprint for China’s development through industrialisation. During his ere, Mao made a change in the economic sector of China through the Great Leap forward of 1958. Land was, confiscated from property owners and was, distributed to peasants as way of promoting communism. Dr. Sun Yat-sens called this process “the land to the tiller” and this maximised production in the agricultural sector of China. As a step towards communism, Mao firstly influenced China to engage in industrialisation that would later lubricate the efficiency of Agriculture. Although this led to a great famine and the death of money, but industrialisation gave birth to new ideas that are evident on modern day China. For example, China is rapidly expanding her domestic market fir intermediate goods, machinery and transportation. This has enormously been a surge in the consumption and production of coal, steel, cement and machine tools necessary for communism. Therefore, scholars credit Mao for his influence on industrialisation complemented by communism because it gave more access to health care that increased life expectancy in ancient China to present day.

The influence of Mao’s Cultural Revolution ideology affected the domestic and foreign policies of modern day China. The Cultural Revolution acknowledged that the division between the proletariats and the bourgeoisies did not simply disappear after the revolution but survived socially. Although the revolution led to the deaths of many people through torture, seizure of property and imprisonment, but its positive effects cannot, be ignored. During the revolution, the task was to combat foreign imperialism and domestic feudalism. This paved way for women emancipation in the sense that women are, recognised in the political, social and economic realms of decision making in China. Many Chinese are now literate due to Mao’s contributions. Therefore, Mao had a great impact on modern day China.

In conclusion, throughout Mao Zedong’s nearly 30 years as China’s leader, he launched various campaigns and revolutions that. Although these movements were constructed as means for Mao to root out his opposition, all arguably rationalized as great strides in the pursuit of socialist tendencies or truer forms of communism and these left a huge foundation on which the modern day China is built on. Mao’s contributions led to the death of many people but they paved way for industrialisation, communism, emancipation of women, increased literacy, increased access to health care among other reforms. 


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