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Thread: What would Mao Zedong think about modern China?

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    What would Mao Zedong think about modern China?

    Consider modern China. Economically and even socially it is very different from the society that Mao Zedong established. Yes, the Communist Party of China retains power with an iron-fist, but it is arguably communist in name only, not really in practice. Mao appears to be someone that the Chinese political establishment pays lip-service to. In practice, the CPC accepts capitalism to run the economy, and indeed, the party has billionaires among its members. I think the CPC very carefully studied the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the reforms it made, and the eventual collapse of the USSR, and really wanted to avoid making the same mistakes (from their point of view at least, as I think many others in the world would be happy to see the demise of the CPC).

    Another thing that is a bit ironic, while the Communist Party of China defeated Chinese nationalists in a civil war, they seem quite happy to promote Chinese nationalism among the people.

    It is clear that if China had never liberalized their economy, the country likely would have remained dirt-poor and not been the global power that it is today. Yet in order to do so, the CPC tacitly abandoned Maoist policies. What would the chairman think of modern China and his successors in the CPC?

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Oh, their current political position would make up for a multitude of disloyalties, I think. Mao would be very happy to see China on top of world affairs again. At least at first.

    But if he got back into politics, heads would slowly begin to roll, at first behind the scenes and then a bit more openly. He was, when push came to shove, a true believer and not just an opportunist.

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    He would drink the tap water by accident and fall dead with smoke coming out of his mouth.

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    Contributor PyramidHead's Avatar
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    Mao's principles were intended for the material conditions in which they were applied, when the peasantry had to be allied with in order to repel foreign invaders and establish a base of production that could meet the demands of China's growing population on its own terms. The China of today is in a different phase of development and is subjected to different conditions, so the tactics must also be different. Mao would not have wanted future leaders to take the same approach as he did simply because he was Mao, just as he didn't take the same approach as other communist leaders simply because they were successful in their own societies. Marxism is an applied science, not a one-size-fits-all rubric for every situation. Nobody was more keen on this than Mao himself, at least in the early years before the Sino-Soviet split.

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    Contributor Trausti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    Marxism is an applied science,
    Oh, my.

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    Contributor Trausti's Avatar
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    Mao would be unhappy. It's as if everyone was just saying yes until he died. Then it's hello capitalism! Taiwan? Actually, we've come to an arrangement. What?! You arrested Jiang Qing? Deng Xiaoping, you son-of-a-bitch! Where's my cultural revolution?

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    Senior Member OLDMAN's Avatar
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    The fact that friends and family members of politicians are super rich because of laws allowing them to control licensing fees and payoffs for permits and regulations means that capitalism takes a back seat to government feudalism....then there is the whole lack of worker's rights that are missing. Mao would puke.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OLDMAN View Post
    The fact that friends and family members of politicians are super rich because of laws allowing them to control licensing fees and payoffs for permits and regulations means that capitalism takes a back seat to government feudalism....then there is the whole lack of worker's rights that are missing. Mao would puke.
    Were workers' right strong under Mao's rule? For all the poor working conditions in Chinese factories, the country was much poorer under Mao's rule than it is today.

    We are talking about a repressive dictatorship after all. I would assume that any openly discontent worker during the Mao era would be labelled a "reactionary" or "enemy of the people" and subsequently eliminated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    Mao's principles were intended for the material conditions in which they were applied, when the peasantry had to be allied with in order to repel foreign invaders and establish a base of production that could meet the demands of China's growing population on its own terms. The China of today is in a different phase of development and is subjected to different conditions, so the tactics must also be different. Mao would not have wanted future leaders to take the same approach as he did simply because he was Mao, just as he didn't take the same approach as other communist leaders simply because they were successful in their own societies. Marxism is an applied science, not a one-size-fits-all rubric for every situation. Nobody was more keen on this than Mao himself, at least in the early years before the Sino-Soviet split.
    How come that the East Bloc of Europe never made that realization? After the West German economy had outperformed the East German economy for decades, why, according to Marxism, was it not time for a change of ways?

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    Contributor PyramidHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tammuz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    Mao's principles were intended for the material conditions in which they were applied, when the peasantry had to be allied with in order to repel foreign invaders and establish a base of production that could meet the demands of China's growing population on its own terms. The China of today is in a different phase of development and is subjected to different conditions, so the tactics must also be different. Mao would not have wanted future leaders to take the same approach as he did simply because he was Mao, just as he didn't take the same approach as other communist leaders simply because they were successful in their own societies. Marxism is an applied science, not a one-size-fits-all rubric for every situation. Nobody was more keen on this than Mao himself, at least in the early years before the Sino-Soviet split.
    How come that the East Bloc of Europe never made that realization? After the West German economy had outperformed the East German economy for decades, why, according to Marxism, was it not time for a change of ways?
    I haven't read much about the GDR, so I can't speak about it with any conviction. But it's facile to simply compare the economies of two places as if those are the only constraints operating on them, and just pick the system that makes the most money. Metrics as vague as "the economy of x outperformed y" are nearly always used to obfuscate the material conditions of people living in those places, what pressures they were subjected to externally and internally, and what they were trying to achieve.

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