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The Other Socialist State: People’s Republic of China The China of Mao Zidong and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)

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Presentation on theme: "The Other Socialist State: People’s Republic of China The China of Mao Zidong and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Other Socialist State: People’s Republic of China The China of Mao Zidong and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)

2 “Never Forget National Humiliation” Wall, Old Summer Palace, Beijing, P.R.China

3 Context of the CCP Revolution Marxism: Revolutions to overthrow Capitalism will happen in advanced industrial countries  PROBLEM: Neither Russia nor China Industrialized; primarily agricultural countries  Solution: Vanguard party seize power, crush dissent and build modern industrial state  Political order will be authoritarian dictatorships

4 Context of the CCP Revolution  1920s-1937, 1945-1949: Civil War  Communist and Nationalist struggle for power: Inside: both want to unite China  GMD: change from above  CCP: union of peasants, workers, soldiers -- revolution from below Outside: End unequal treaties, foreign exploitation  Nationalize  Communists want to close China to Western capitalism

5 Appeal of Marxism-Leninism Explains West’s technological-industrial lead; better weapons Lenin’s Theory of imperialism as highest stage of capitalism explains colonialism  Export contradictions of capitalism to Africa, Asia  China: Treaty Ports, foreign exploitation

6 Communists win Civil War, establish PRC Goals  Self-sufficiency  Development … but economic equality  Self-defense

7 GREAT LEAPS Building Socialism in the PRC  People’s Republic of China   Liberation from Feudalism and Semicolonialism  Ends 5 millennia of aristocratic-landlord exploitation and a “Century of Humiliation”

8 Like USSR, Visual Culture used to remold minds with images

9 Within China: Build Socialism In the countryside --- In the City

10 Outside: Friendship with Oppressed Peoples & Socialist Countries

11 Anti-Imperialism

12 Women Hold Up Half the Sky



15 Soviet Model of Development: Central planning of the economy State ownership of enterprises. Workers were state employees. Planned production targets and supply of inputs. Managers were administrators of state property and enforcers of the output plans. INITIAL PHASE: 1950-1958

16 Goal of model – rapid industrialization, self- sufficiency Extract surplus from agriculture to finance industrial development –  Rationalize process through centralized planning – 5 year plans – production targets

17 China’s Problems  Overwhelmingly rural, and backward (85%) -- tenancy, share-cropping common  Huge population: 400+ million 1950  Peasants backbone of revolution; different than Russia where peasants seen as obstacle to progress  Land reform -- get agriculture moving

18 More problems  Industrial sector less than half Russia in 1917 with 4 times the population  Industry located in former treaty ports, not linked to internal development (cheap labor, products for foreign consumption)

19 China’s First 5-year plan 1953-57 Emphasis on industry steel, machinery, railroads, electricity plants, metallurgy, chemicals Embrace rational planning – experts, bureaucrats lead

20 Results: rapid industrial development, but … Growth of bureaucracy New patterns of social inequality, privileged elites Growing gulf between modernizing cities and backward countryside Ideological decay, loss of revolutionary fervor

21 Mao’s Intervention Not building a Socialist utopia of equal prosperity for all Instead uneven development inequalities common in capitalism Making new classes

22 Mao’s Theory of Economic Development Past economic stagnation led to mental stagnation To Make Socialist Person -- Not sufficient to introduce new technologies or alter Mode of Production as had been done in USSR

23 From “Poor and Blank” to Permanent Revolution Present unburdened by Past Change a matter of human will to overcome objective obstacles extreme volunteerism, optimism “Our revolutions are like battles; after each victory, we must put forward a new task,” Mao 1958

24 Permanent Revolution Constant process of ideologically inspired mass activism Producing “Great Leaps” Forward and “Cultural Revolution”

25 Ideology and Politics in Command Central planning abandoned

26 Economic Development Maoist Vision: De-centralized System Close gap between urban-rural  Industrialize countryside  Xiafang: technicians, intellectuals, youth to the countryside  commune

27 To create a Socialist Utopia: Dazhai Commune


29 Great Leap Forward The Commune is Like a Mighty Dragon, Production is awe- inspiring

30 GLF Fails Ends in massive famine -- 3 lean years Struggle “Experts” vs. “Reds” Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution Failure of Ideologically based Mass Campaigns

31 Accomplishments of Maoist Era Technology and Technical expertise transferred to Countryside Infrastructure: education, electrification, roads, rural industry, health care gap between urban-rural narrowed


33 Post-Mao Modernization Socialism with Chinese Characteristics

34 Strategies: Opening to Outside Joint enterprises  Phase 1: 10year ownership, profits remain in China  Phase 2: removal of % of profits; permanent joint ownership  Phase 3: full ownership, greater % of profit  Technology transfer

35 Foreign experts: colleges, universities, industries Education abroad Develop export based manufacturing, build on cheap labor Constant: tight control of currency -- no international exchange

36 Reform of Inside De-collectivize agriculture, markets De-regulation of economy  privatization of state assets  private enterprises  tourism

37 Political Change  Devolution: decentralization of power, local elections  legal reform  lingering problems of political rights/loss of economic rights

38 Successes Fastest growing national economy in world  8-10% annually since mid-1980s  Reconstruction of almost all major cities; huge infrastructure investment

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