Introduction The term ideology is derived from the French word idéologie and originated in 1813 during the

period of the French Revolution and was introduced by the philosopher, A.L.C. Destutt de Tracy as a simpler term for his ³science of ideas´. The basic definition of an ideology according to the Merriam Webster dictionary is a manner or the content of thinking characteristic of an individual, group or cultures; this general definition is refined when placed in the international relations arena. An ideology is thus defined as ³a set of closely related beliefs or ideas, or even attitudes, characteristic of a group or community´ (Hulliung. M.L., & Macridis R.C., 1996:2) while a political ideology is defined as ³a set of ideas and beliefs that people hold about their political regime and its institutions and about their own position and role in it´ (Hulliung. M.L. & Macridis R.C., 1996:2). An ideology has a specific set of characteristics that enable it to be classified as such, it may manipulate people to think and behave in a specific way that is only unique to that particular ideology and may actuate people in certain areas, either politically, socially or economically. An ideology may either seek to maintain the status quo or it may seek to challenge it. Ideologies are dynamic as they change from time to time and depending on the situation in the state at that particular moment in time. Ideologies are prone to oversimplification and distortion, in this case, Maoism is a case in point, as it is a distortion of the main ideology Communism, in the same way that Utopian Socialism is a distortion of the main ideology of Socialism. There are different types of ideologies and they can be categorized according to the linear spectrum, which basically groups ideologies into a left-right political spectrum. This term originated during the period of the French Revolution and the seating arrangements adopted by the different groups of the first meeting of the Estate-General in 1789. The birth of political ideologies is credited to two salient phenomena; post-modernity and globalization. Post-modernity links the process in which the modern world came into existence using a social, political and economic framework. Globalization on the other hand, gave rise to 1

concepts such as Nationalism; it strengthened certain ideologies and generated a range of opposition forces such as Feminism. This paper shall seek to examine Communism in China and how the revolutionary leader was able to transform this particular ideology and make it his own. Communism is derived from the Latin word communis, which means ³common or shared´ and is thus said to have originated in the 1840s. Karl Marx is said to be the father of Communism and he came up with this ideology as a way of rebelling/ rejecting the capitalist system that was in place at the time. Communism, which is often referred to as Marxism, is thought to be a revolution of the Proletariat against the oppression and exploitation of the Bourgeoisie. Karl Marx espoused this ideology in the Communist Manifesto in 1848 and it spread throughout the world. Scholars such as Engels and leaders such as Lenin further developed Marxism and as a result Communism as a political ideology was evident in the Soviet Union and Cuba as well as in China. Communism formally emerged as an ideology during the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. Over the years, several strands of communism have emerged with similar characteristics to the main ideology yet at the same time, rather different, the strands of communism that have been identified are: - Maoism, Leninism and Trotskyism. ³Chairman Mao´ as he was often referred to as, revolutionized Communism and made it his own much to the dismay of the then Soviet Union leader, Stalin. Mao incorporated the teachings of Karl Marx and Lenin and thus came up with Maoism or Marxism-Leninism thought. Mao¶s form of Communism differed from Communism in the simple fact that he sought to improve the agricultural base of the Chinese and thus sought to implement this thought. Maoism was the official ideology of the Chinese Communist Party and was legitimized as the ideology of choice for the People¶s Republic of China. This paper shall thus seek to look at the development of Maoism in China, its characteristics and how like Communism it rose and fall; in particular the elements that led to its fall.


Maoism Communism is an ideology that relies on the following principles as explained by Karl Marx in the Communist Manifesto of 1848: abolition of the right of inheritance, confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels, centralization of transport and credit in the hands of the state, the public education of all children and unification of the said education with economic production and the universal obligation to work and the creation of labour armies for agricultural production (Communist Manifesto, 1848). Leninism and Trotskyism differed from Communism in the following ways: Lenin argues imperialism is the reason as to why older capitalist states have survived despite Karl Marx¶s argument that they were to be plagued by internal contradictions. Trotskyism in China existed for about two decades and as an exile movement for at least two more decades. This ideology differed from the Stalinist strand of Communism due to several reasons; one of the differences was based on the International Communist policies during the Chinese Revolution of 1925-1927(Alexander, R, 1991). This ideology began to decline and finally paved way to Maoism with the murder of Leon Trotsky in 1946 in Mexico. Maoism, in my opinion was the most successful strand of Communism as it spread not only throughout the whole of China but also managed to get a following outside of China. Nepal¶s Maoists have been active in opposing the monarchical rule that was prevalent in Nepal and finally in 2009 they managed a feat that had once seemed impossible: they managed to win seats in Parliament, thus making it possible to bring out change from within rather than from without as they had been doing in the past with their often bloody revolutions. Maoism or ³Mao Zedong Thought´ as it was popularly known is an off-shoot (strand) of communism. This ideology was espoused by Mao Zedong and he combined the teachings of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin to come up with Maoism. Mao in his ³Selected Works´ offers a definition of communism as ³a society-based on public ownership, free from class exploitation and oppression´ (Gittings, J., 2006:21). Through the research that Mao carried out in 1927, he was able to convince the Comintern, who were at the helm of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to take advantage of the dissatisfaction 3

of the peasants in the county-side and using this as a catalyst use the peasantry to spearhead the revolution. In this way Mao had already deviated from Marxism by relying heavily on the peasantry rather than the urban proletariat as the revolutionary force (Wang, J.C.F., 2002:4243). Once he was elected as the leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Mao sought to establish communism in China and in this process realized that socialism was only the first step towards communism (Gittings, J., 2006:18). This may be a contributing factor to the list of reasons that seek to expound as to why he broke-away from the Stalinist strand of Communism. The Soviet Model had been used in China though a number of factors made the Chinese to be leery of Stalinism. Stalinism seemed to negate all the reforms that the CCP had put in place and was divergent from their vision; Stalinism was highly centralized, emphasized the development of heavy industry and addressed the needs of the cities rather than the countryside (Goodman, D.S.G., 1994:11). The emergence of the Maoist strand of communism was much to the dismay of Stalin and thus relations between the Soviet Union and China soon became frosty. Chairman Mao believed that the people should be involved in the formulation of a party policy as they are able to better articulate their interests, thus the concept of the ³mass line´. This concept is applied in the following stages as described by John W. Lewis: - perception, summarization, authorization and implementation (Wang, J.C.F., 2002:43). Perception entails the recognition and cataloguing of the divergent views of the peasants by the party leaders and then placing these ideas in a concise and methodical form in their reports to higher authorities. The leaders issue instructions based on this recapitulation and return them to the masses through propaganda or political education and finally when these ideas are accepted by the masses as their own can be transformed into definite action (Wang, J.C.F., 2002:43). The CCP under the leadership of Mao instituted the land reform programme between 1950 and 1953, as part of collectivization campaign. Land was redistributed from the wealthy peasants to the landless tenants.


Collectivization campaign that was a part of Maoist thought stemmed from the fear that failure to move ahead in restructuring social and production relations would result in a likely retrogressive development pattern thus ³People¶s Communes´ were established (Gittings, J., 2006:31). Maoism much like Communism, was associated with an autocratic form of government as Chairman Mao was the only one charged with the responsibility to make decisions. Mao Zedong did not take criticism well and he publicly humiliated those who were opposed to what he was trying to implement. This autocratic form of leadership is similar to that adopted by other communist leaders such as Castro in his Castroism. Mao believed in self-reliance, having little or nothing to do with the outside world; this may have been as a result of the disastrous implementation of the Stalin¶s developmental model in China. The creation of the post of the Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) by Mao was done so in order to ensure that his rule continued throughout, this is a clear cut contradiction of communism. The state was meant to wither away once communism was achieved, yet with Mao Zedong, he strengthened the mandate of the CCP and thus his position as leader of the CCP (Gittings, J., 2006:31). Maoism in China was able to permeate throughout the society due to education system that was put in place from an early age the principles of Maoism were incipient in one¶s life. The Socialist Education Campaign Movement that was in place between 1962 and 1965 aims were three-fold: to assist the formation of poor and lower-middle class peasant associations in order to prevent the rise of a class of well-to-do middle class peasants; eliminating the corrupt practices such as embezzlement, large wedding parties and misuse of public property; and a purification movement for the poor. (Wang, J.C.F., 2002:25). Thus, the peasants and mainly those from the country-side were set to benefit from this ideology and as such many tended to view Mao as a hero (Gittings, J., 2006:43). Mao was thus able to take advantage of this and he instituted the ³Great Leap Forward´ under which the ³ unemployed were meant to be put to work, the employed to work harder, under military discipline, so that China could make the gigantic leap required to become an industrial power through the widespread use of labour-intensive, small-scale production´ (Wang, J.C.F., 2002:22-24).


Maoism rejected development as a trickle-down process and as such development was based on an egalitarian ideal, where development was not worth much unless everyone rose together (Gittings, J., 2006:81-82). His ideas seemed much better to the youth after the experience of Chiang Kai-shek¶s betrayal in the 1930s in addition to the humiliation that they suffered at the hands of the Great Powers (Gittings, J., 2006:65). Though Maoism as an ideology seemed to decline in China it gained a strong foothold in Nepal and as such the Maoists in Nepal have a large membership. The Maoists in Nepal followed the teachings of Mao yet they differed in the means of bringing about a revolution that would eventually lead them down the path to the ultimate goal of Communism. The Nepalese Maoists used bloody revolutions to bring about change while Mao believed in reforming and revolutionizing the agricultural base of the peasantry in order to achieve change in the system and thus Communism. The decline of Maoism in China was precipitated by the failures of Mao¶s plans; though most conceded that the programs (The Great Leap Forward and The Land Reform Programme) instituted by Mao were exactly what were needed, the bone of contention lay with their implementation (Goodman, D., 1994:96). Maoism in China began to decline two years after the death of Chairman Mao. Deng Xiaoping, who on occasion had differed with Mao Zedong and had been publicly renounced by him and forced to go into internal exile, soon took the helm of the CCP leadership. He sought to transform Mao¶s thought by incorporating autonomy in the management of the production units, particularly from the government (Goodman, D., 1994:93). With the leadership of Deng Xiaoping came the new ideology, ³Dengism´ that replaced Maoism completely in China and transformed the whole society. Deng Xiaoping sought to rejuvenate the leadership and re-establish party democracy and maintain it (Goodman, D., 1994:97-98). Deng¶s policies, particularly the ³open-door policy´ are similar to the reforms that Mikhail Gorbachev instituted when he took over the leadership of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). Their economic reforms in effect led to the fall of communism in the Soviet Union in 1991 and the decline of Maoism respectively.


Like Communism, the fall of Maoism had an impact on the society though they were soon able to develop them. The embrace of a social democratic system seemed to open China up to the whole world and show them the development of the world beyond yonder. Conclusion Mao had a great vision for China and Maoism was the best ³Chinese alternative to Communism´, particularly since the failure of the Stalinist model. Like most ideologies, Maoism had a great opposition to its principles and implementation. Leaders such as Deng Xiaoping, Chen Yun and Liu Shaoqi were opposed to this ideology. Liu Shaoqi later lost his life under mysterious circumstances and Deng was publicly humiliated and sent into internal exile. After Mao¶s death, the reforms instituted by Deng Xiaoping such as the abolition of the position of the CCP Chairman, created for Mao by Mao, saw a decline in the autocratic leadership and set the stage for a more inclusive one. Without a strong leader in place to ensure the continued perpetuation of the ideology, thus the decline and the upsurge of a new ideology such is the dynamism of ideologies. Moi¶s Nyayoism fell the same way, the introduction of multi-party politics brought an end to the dictatorial rule that best suited this ideology and left room for the emergence of different ideologies and loyalties. The decline of Maoism due to the death of Chairman Mao has very close similarities to the decline of Trotskyism following the death of Leon Trotsky in 1940 at the hands of, Ramon Mercader, an agent of Stalin (Renton, D., and 2005:27). Once again this proves that Maoism along with Communism were ideologies as they were able to emotional involve the citizenry, manipulate them and legitimize the rule that as a result was put in place . Despite the fact that Mao seemed to have failed in the programs that he undertook to ensure that China shifted from a socialist system to his utopian ideal of Communism. Maoism has proven that ideologies are indeed dynamic as seen after his death and the events that took place afterward that have now shaped China to be what she currently is. In my opinion, 7

³Dengism´ that soon followed Maoism enabled China to effectively fit into the into the established world order that was in existence and enabled her to earn a place in the world order by facilitating the forging of partnerships as seen by the games that were played in Beijing by American students, the filtering of information beyond the Chinese borders for the first time. The current socialist liberal economic ideology that is espoused by China has enabled her to develop beyond the expectation of most states, particularly the North. China has managed to transform herself from a ³Third World State´ to a ³First World State, thus wield power and authority (moral, economic and militarily) in the international system. China is often used as an example for the developing world that such a developmental feat is possible if only they African countries are able to develop their own principles and thus ideology that shall work for them.


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