Is China under a communist dictatorship?
Poor house china
When Mao was born in 1893, China was a poor house. The late Imperial dynasty ruling the Middle Kingdom was incompetent and corrupt. The result: the Chinese population became impoverished across the country.
Badly managed from the inside and completely bankrupt, China was besieged and enslaved from the outside by colonial powers: The German Empire, Italy, the USA, but above all Japan had China in a stranglehold.
The Chinese themselves were exploited in their own country and treated like second-class people. The Japanese in particular wreaked horrific massacres among the civilian population.
Mao's parents were simple farmers, but they made a living. Mao was not born into impoverished circumstances; he learned to read and write, for example. But like all peasant livelihoods, Mao was confronted with hardship, hunger and need.
Mao becomes a communist
Many Chinese, who suffered badly from the political and social grievances of the early 20th century, felt drawn to communism. Communism seemed the only way to turn the existing, unjust conditions around and get out of impoverishment.
The social system of capitalism was ideologically occupied by the foreign powers that were exploiting China. When the October Revolution broke out in Russia in 1918, many Chinese hoped that the Middle Kingdom would also be able to free itself from the yoke of the oppressors through the teachings of Marxism-Leninism.
So the first communists were dissatisfied idealists. Just like Mao, a young idealist who wanted to change the existing conditions. But anyone who became a communist in China in the 1920s had little to gain and much to lose. The then ruling People's Party, Guomindang, ruled with an iron fist under its chairman, Chian Kai-shek, and the communists were systematically persecuted.
So whoever was a communist at the time was it out of real conviction. Countless communists fell victim to the persecution and were executed. Mao managed to escape the brutal waves of persecution. On the "Long March" he was able to take the lead in the communist camp.
Mao and the "Long March"
While fleeing from Chian Kai-shek's troops, the communists had to withdraw from the south of the country with heavy losses and move to northern China: the so-called "Long March" (1934/35), which has become legendary, began, which was actually a long escape was.
The escape route of the communists extended over a length of 12,000 kilometers. Of the originally 100,000 to 120,000 communists who set out, only about 10,000 survived the hardships and hardships of the odyssey.
In the middle of the "Long March" there was wing fighting between the Communists loyal to Moscow and the Chinese wing, headed by Mao. Mao pushed his way to the top through ropes, intrigues and tactical skills. Mao made himself number one in the Chinese Communist Party, the CCP.
China's number 1
The civil war-like clashes between the communists and the troops of Chian Kai-shek lasted until 1949. But the communists gained the upper hand and took over the helm in China.
Mao had reached the top: On October 1, 1949, the "Great Chairman" Mao Zedong proclaimed the People's Republic of China on "Tienanmen Square" in Beijing. But this "People's Republic" would soon show its true face: that of a communist dictatorship.
At the beginning of the communist takeover, however, Mao was enthusiastically celebrated by the Chinese people. He knew how to give the Chinese something crucial back: self-esteem and confidence in the future.
Mao promised the end of the oppression and propagated the glorious resurrection of the Middle Kingdom - balm for the battered Chinese soul. And he promised a fairer society, a radical redistribution.
In this way, from the very beginning of his rule, Mao reestablished the identity of the Chinese and united the country with a new national feeling. In return, Mao allowed himself to be infused with a monstrous cult of persons, which was to assume perverse proportions during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s.
A "communist emperor"
For more than a quarter of a century, Mao determined the fate of his country and imposed his will on the Chinese people. In the beginning Mao was certainly an inwardly convinced communist. But then he was primarily committed to maintaining power. In the years 1949-1959, at the height of his power, the "great chairman" of the communists saw himself in the tradition of the Chinese emperors, of all things.
Mao's role model: Qin Shihuangdi, a particularly cruel ruler of China, who united the Middle Kingdom with extreme brutality in the year 221 AD. Mao - socialized during the war - was an outspoken violent man whose worldview was determined by the categories of power, terror and human contempt.
Decadent and ruthless
Mao was not a great theorist, intellectual, or thinker. The theoretical writings of Marxism-Leninism never really interested him. Even though Mao brought his own literary outpouring millions of times to the people and made it compulsory reading - and earned a lot from it - he did not go down in literary history as a communist theorist.
Mao's then frenetically celebrated phrases such as "The revolutionary must move among the people like in water" testify to rather modest literary talent. Meanwhile, a number of historians even assume that most of his writings did not even come from Mao's own pen.
Mao was also unable to speak standard Chinese, but spoke exclusively the dialect of his home province of Hunan. Mao enjoyed tremendous privileges and violated all moral concepts, all constraints and privations that he imposed on his suffering people. The Chinese died millions of times in the great famine at the beginning of the 1960s.
Mao ate and drank in abundance. He led a dissolute sex life and had numerous young girls brought in because he was a firm believer in the life-prolonging practices of the Taoist tradition. He owned luxury cars, villas and swimming pools, and had enormous sums of money in special accounts that only he had access to.
Corrupted by power
With extreme brutality and inhumanity, Mao suppressed all opposition in the country and covered China with a web of terror and mismanagement. He was shrewd, shrewd, and instinctive, and, especially in later years, committed only to himself and his interests, endowed with an absolute will to power.
Mao was resistant to advice and did not tolerate criticism or other opinions. Corrupted to the core by this unlimited power, deep mistrust ultimately determined how he was dealing with even those closest to him. In the end, Mao cut himself off from everything and everyone and only trusted himself. He lost touch with reality, with his own people.
Author: Gregor Delvaux de Fenffe
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