Mao Zedong And Deng Xiaoping Essays

Mao Zedong And Deng Xiaoping Essays

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I. Introduction
China endured a turbulent period throughout the 20th century as massive transformations took place, most notably, those lead by Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. Mao led the foundation of communism in China, establishing the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, and established himself as the figurehead of China until his death in 1976. Mao inspired people with his unwavering idealism and revolutionary spirit. His ideas of an ideal egalitarian society shaped his policies and decisions. He and his administration used his influence to spearhead various movements, including the Great Leap Forward, in which he aimed to quickly industrialize China, the Hundred Flowers Campaign, which encouraged people to publicly express their views, and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, in which he aimed to cleanse the country of counter-revolutionaries (capitalists or dissidents in general). Deng Xiaoping was one of the people affected by the Cultural Revolution; he was ousted out of his government position and his son was imprisoned. He returned to politics after the end of the Cultural Revolution and came to power after Mao’s death left a power vacuum. Deng’s assumptions and strategies for China’s growth in wealth and power fundamentally contrasted with Mao’s; Deng was a pragmatist, preferring to use strategies that yielded real results, even if they included capitalist growth tactics. He also spurned ‘continuous revolution’, as Mao would describe it, and preferred a stable, unified, strong state. He translated these ideas into his administration’s actions, building a modern day China that maintains an authoritarian government while growing its economy at an exponential rate using a mixed economy. These distinctions make M...


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...unconventional takes on socialism is his positive position on openness to foreign investment and economic activity. He reasons that China must eliminate backwardness, caused by “its closed-door policy,” by operating in the open world. He specifically repents Mao’s Cultural Revolution stating that some of those policies were “disastrous for us” and “hinder[ed] construction and inhibit[ed] development,” himself drawing a clear distinction between the two. Deng epitomizes the talk, and his overall approach to governing, by arguing that his approach preserves Marxism with Chinese conditions by “seeking truth from facts, linking theory with practice, and proceeding from reality.” This statement is imperative to understanding Deng’s actions: he emphasized pragmatism in everything he did while, according to him, adhering to “to the essence of Comrade Mao Zedong’s thought.”

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