The Maoist model during the Cold War

The Maoist model during the Cold War

While in the rest of the world the american model, the european liberal Y the soviet During the Cold War, it was different in China. Mao Zedong applied his own system. We can consider the beginning of this new model at the moment when Mao proclaims the People's Republic of China and when the nationalists, led by Chiang Kai-Chek, are forced to take refuge in Taiwan under US protection.

The intention of this ideology was to break with everything established, so new laws and reforms were created (agrarian, on marriage, etc..) in 1950. Also in that same year, a friendship treaty was signed with the USSR, who should have economic and military assistance to the Asian giant in case of need. At that time, due to the Soviet approach, the model of that country was adopted through the “first five-year plan”(1953-1957) and the Soviet way of development began to be applied: the collectivization of land, the nationalization of companies, authoritarian planning, the priority of heavy industry and the dictatorship of the proletariat through the establishment of an inspired constitution in that of the USSR.

From then on (1957-1970) there was a break between the two countries. Seeing the failure of the application of the Soviet model in ChinaMao decided to create a new system applicable to the rural and agricultural masses that were the majority in the country.

In 1958 he launched the “Great Leap Forward”. It was a call for the intensive work of the peasants in the framework of the "popular communes". These organisms had to take charge, in the most egalitarian way, the social and economic needs of the population. This measure was openly condemned by the USSR and the relationship between the two countries decreased considerably.

However, in 1960 the catastrophe surrounded the Asian country, 30 million people lost their lives due to famine and the Sino-Soviet alliance is definitively broken. The popular communes had not achieved their objective, on the contrary, they had asphyxiated the population by requisitioning what they produced. Seeing the incomparable and incontestable failure of Mao's policy, he is relieved of his duties by the royalists.

However, it is peculiar that the Chinese model was adopted by other Third World countries They were unaware of the disaster that had occurred in the country. The success was very relative, since most of those countries were in a civil war or in a very delicate political situation and were sustained thanks to the aid of the international development community.

In 1965, Mao returned to power thanks to the launch of a campaign of ideological mobilization of the youth, largely influenced by the “Red Guards”, Who perceived a gentrification in the Party leaders. Because it was youth-driven, this mobilization took the name of “Cultural Revolution”And sought to destroy all authorities.

Between 1966 and 1969, China was mired in anarchy and the country's production fell dramatically. But this was not negative for everyone, since Mao took advantage of the situation to get rid of his rivals and restore order thanks to the army. From then on, the Cultural Revolution would go dormant but new measures were promoted, such as the "Four Modernizations", which was a renewal of agriculture, industry, science and technology.

After the death of Mao Zedong, the Maoist model can be terminated. China opted for a market socialism, the progressive opening to the outside and a slight capitalism to be able to get out of underdevelopment. But this does not mean that the importance of the system devised by Mao should not be overlooked.

Initially, it was a mere application of the Soviet model in China, but over time it became completely independent and, although the results were disastrous economically, politically and socially, the truth is that it was an alternative to the Soviet Union system that was adopted by many Third World countries during the Cold War.

Image: Raymond on Wikimedia

Passionate about History, he has a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since he was a child he loved history and ended up exploring the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries above all.

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