Problems Mao faced with GLF and GPR
Qtn: What the problems did Mao face in trying to implement his policies in China? [12m]
The policies meant in the question are the economic policy, Great leap Forward and the social policy, Great Proletariat Cultural Revolution. Mao undertook these policies in 1958 to 1960 and 1966 to 1976 respectively. Mao faced problems in both policies he undertook. However both policies shared two similar problems - uncareful planning and political problem.
In implementing both policies, Mao realised that he now had to face the problem of his uncareful planning that resulted in further unexpected problems. In the Great Leap
Forward, for example, his uncareful planning cause the cash crops in the field to rot while farmers were sent to work on the construction of infrastructure facilities. In the proletariat revolution, such a problem gave rise to unintended extremism of the Red Guards and violence in the society. The emphasis for highest regard for the proletariats and a cult of personality of Mao that developed soon caused Red Guards, who were Mao loyals, to commit acts of violence and social disarray. In this revolution, the theme was "Reds are better than experts". The Red Guards soon went around destroying anything associated with tradition or foreign, criticised teachers, intellects and politicians.
Another shared problem is the problem of political enemies he faced. This was the biggest problem he faced because these were people who introduced policies that continually reversed his reforms. In this way, Mao's reforms faced huge obstacles for it to succeed the way Mao wanted it to be. This is because, at the same time there were policies that aimed to reverse these reforms. These political enemies were the Rightists who included Deng Xiaoping
and Liu Shaoqi.
Further problems for the implementation of Great Leap Forward can be classified as unintended and intended. An unintended problem was the natural disaster
, a famine, which loomed China in 9159 to 1961. This disrupted Mao's reforms because people were starving and the Great leap Forward was not succeeding was not succeeding. An intended problem was the stop of aid from the Soviet Union in its provision of finance and industrial material, namely steel, to China. It was not that Mao literally intended for such a problem to arise. Rather, it was a problem that could have prevented if Mao maintained important diplomatic ties with communism ally, Soviet Union. However this was not the case. A fell-out between China and Soviet Union as each was championing with the other their brand of communism. China thus faced the problem of lack of funds and material to industrialise.
The problems Mao faced in turning to implement the proletariat revolution can be classified into two groups - political and socio-political. The political problems, like mentioned before, were the problems he faced with his political enemies (Rightist) of whose policies he greatly disapproved of.
In the socio-political aspect, Mao faced the threat of the intellects and professionals in the society because Mao feared that these people, using their intelligence and independent thinking, would resent Mao's reforms and influence their people of their resentment. Such opposition threatens Mao's credibility.
On the other hand Mao also faced the problems of violence in the society and extremism of the Red Guards in executioning the revolution. This social problem caused Mao's policy of the Great Proletariat Cultural Revolution to result in more bad than good. As the Red Guards were Mao's representatives, such conduct of the Red Guards would clearly threaten Mao's credibility as well.
In conclusion, these were the problems Mao faced in trying to implement his social and economic policies.