Mao Zedong, sometimes referred to as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary and founding father of the People's Republic of China. He was a political theorist, being the founder of the Maoist branch of communism.
Early life and revolutionary activityEdit
Mao Zedong was born on 26 December 1893, in the city of Shaoshan, in Hunan province. During his 20s, the 1917 Russian Revolution occurred. During this time. Mao was an assistant to a librarian at Peking University. Mao became increasingly radical at this stage of his life. Mao later joined the Communist Party of China.
Great Leap ForwardEdit
On 1 October 1949, Mao declared the founding of the People's Republic of China. China became managed under a system of five-year plans. The second plan was known as the "Great Leap Forward". However, this turned out badly. China experienced several natural disasters, and Mao and other party members commanded the use of unscientific and unproven ways of growing crops. Within the Communist Party of China, there was a large amount of exaggeration of the amount of production. Because of these combined factors, the Great Chinese Famine resulted. However, Mao may have had little Knowledge on the extent of the famine. If Mao didn't know what was happeningi n the Country he ruled something was seriously wrong either with him or with the system he instituted. Some argue that Mao was unaware that the situation amounted to more than a slight food shortage until late 1959. There was also problems with steel production. Steel was made inexpertly, and proper smelting conditions were not achieved. Smelting took place in homemade furnaces without reliable sources of fuel, such as coal.
Later, beginning in 1966, Mao launched what was known as the Cultural Revolution. The idea behind it was to enforce Communism in China, and to remove traditional, capitalist, and reactionary elements from Chinese society, as an act of violent class struggle. Mao believed that the Bourgeoisie was infiltrating government and society at large, attempting to restore capitalism. The idea was essentially to kill everyone who stood in the way of achieving communism. Mao campaigned to destroy the "Four Olds": Old Customs, Old Culture, Old Habits, and Old Ideas. Mao declared the cultural revolution to be over in 1969, but its active phase lasted until 1971. The Cultural Revolution destabilized the country politically. On 9 September 1976, Mao died. Deng Xiaoping became the new leader of China.
A note on propagandaEdit
It must be remembered that, like other communist rulers, Mao could have been the victim of capitalist propaganda. This is also true for other leaders of countries who take an anti-American or anti-capitalist stance. In capitalist countries such as the United States, it must be remembered that the plutocrats have a strong incentive to make communism and communists look as horrible as possible. This will turn the general populace off from communism. If there were to be a communist revolution in a capitalist country such as the United States, the plutocrats would be under great threat. Presenting communism in a bad light prevents a revolution that would threaten their power from occurring.