Mao Zedong (1893-1976) What exactly is he famous for? What do you know about Marxism or Communism? What did Marx mean by a Class struggle? Marxism or Communism was created as a counter-theory to what? What does it mean to go against the Establishment?
Mao Zedong (1893-1976) Political power comes from the barrel of a gun. - Mao Zedong Consider Maos definition of power. Write a short reflection (about a paragraph – ½ page) about what Mao meant with his quote. How does his quote fit into his political beliefs? Could his quote also go against his political beliefs? Who, in Maos view, would be the countervailing power to him or his party?
JUST FOR FUN! (WELL…HISTORICAL FUN…I GUESS.) Some Background on Communist China
The End of Monarchy in China The last Monarchy to rule China ended in 1911 when the country was plunged in Civil War. This is around the time of the Soviet Revolution, when Communism and Socialism were taking off as new political ideas in order to end Imperialism. In Russia, the big revolution started in 1918. But in China, no one had control until 1949 – That is a long time for civil war!
The Peoples Republic of China On October 1 st 1949. Mao Zedong announced the formation of the Peoples Republic of China. After years of fighting, one group had finally emerged victorious.
The Cultural Revolution Zedong started to re- organize China, like Stalin was doing in Russia, in order to make it economically powerful. However, he also started plans like The Cultural Revolution, which mostly targeted youth and resulted in the deaths of 36 millions inhabitants.
Political Freedom? Political freedom does not really exist in China. Although the Chinese Constitution says it upholds Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion, it does not say anything about protecting the citizen from the State. Censorship of people speaking against the government is routine. Anything that is considered a possible threat to social stability or control is dealt with – usually by force. (E.G.: Tiananmen Square 1989)
Criticizing the PRC The PRC has been criticized for: Lengthy detentions without trial. Forced confessions Torture Mistreating prisoners Restricting freedom of speech Restricting assembly or association Restricting religion Restricting the press Labour rights Capital punishment
But… China is the fastest growing economy on the planet. The worlds largest exporter of goods. The worlds second largest importer. In 1981 Chinas poverty rate was 53% - in 2001 it was 8%. China is now part of the United Nations. China is the worlds 3 rd largest economy. China also has nuclear weapons, the worlds largest standing army and the 2 nd largest military budget in the world.
Bottom line? Who said communism does not work? China has obviously proven that you can be globally successful without the Economic Liberalism we hold so dear… Unfortunately, this comes at quite a price.
Discuss the Image What are the main elements of this cartoon and what each one signifies? How can the media have an effect on decisions made in Canada? Can you think of an example where the media has put lots of pressure on the government and been successful? What other ways can people express themselves against the Establishment? Think of as many examples as you can and how influential they can be!
Last thing to Consider… Remember the first exercise? About the boat and the mutiny? Think about that and then consider: What is the meaning of the term for the Common good… List as many things as you can that relate to this idea of the Common Good. (Health, freedom, security, etc.) What could the French settlers and the Amerindians have done differently to achieve this idea of Common Good?