Chairman Mao Tse-Tung - The Divine Failure

Essay by tpillonCollege, UndergraduateA+, June 2005

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Mao Tse-Tung is to this day, viewed by many as a father of communism, on par with Lenin, Stalin and other heroes of the old Soviet Union. He is deified by the ruling Chinese communist party and is seen as a brilliant tactician and ideologue by Marxist-Leninists and mainstream communists worldwide. He is seen by many to have a lasting legacy both within China and throughout the world that promotes communism as a viable, sustainable system. In reality, Mao Tse-Tung's "legacy" is nothing more than a series of gross military failures and brutal economic disasters that killed millions of Chinese people and hindered the growth of global Communism. Mao's failures were veneered over by his successors in an attempt to maintain Chinese solidarity and to preserve the cult of personality that permeated his leadership and kept his regime in power. Mao's political career can be broken up into three distinct time periods; the period before the establishment of the People's Republic of China, the initial period of socio-economic reforms referred to as the Great Leap Forward and the period of the Cultural Revolution in which Mao solidified his cult of personality just before his death.

These three periods survey the entire span of Mao's leadership and stand testament to his ineptness, each highlighting key events in which Mao blundered his responsibilities to the Chinese people and had to be rescued by his subordinates and other members of the party elite. Like other powerful, genocidal leaders like Adolph Hitler, Mao's biggest weakness was an over-dependence on theoretical ideology, developing a political or economic theory and adhering to it with such stubborn, religious zeal as to ignore common sense, even when failure is inevitable.

Though many dispute Mao's supposed brilliance in terms of economic and social theology, many accept him as...