Mao : A Re-interpretation by Feigon Lee Mao enriched the lives of the Chinese people
Chinese urbanites feel disillusioned with he government and the movement Mao helped to create
Paul Pickowicz describes the mood as Post Socialism: common to societies that have undergone Leninist-Stalinist style development. Its similar to post-modernism which underscores the crises of history , reason and subjectivity inherent in modernism. So too does post socialism reveal the lack of anomies in the Leninist Stalinist system
Summary of Feigon Lee’s arguments:
; While there may be disillusionment with socialism their image of Mao is not tainted
; The Chinese masses understand better that Mao struggled against the totalitarian
; They know that China’s rulers have much less faith in the Chinese people than Mao did.
; What China’s intellectual elite fail to realise is: it was Mao’s weakening of the planned
central state that allowed his successors to take credit for many of the positive features
associated with the present government and society
; Its ironical that Mao’s heirs receive accolades for changes forced upon them for the same
cultural revolution that they have disavowed.
; Industrial growth between 1952-1977 stood at 13.34 percent
; Primary school enrolment and per capita education increased dramatically under Mao, since
Mao’s death education opportunities have declined.
; Mao’s policies are responsible for removing many of the stultifying bureaucratic controls of
the 1950’s and 1960’s
; He broke with the bureaucrats which was an achievement given the Stalinist influence of the
time, even though it was within the same party that Mao had helped to create.
; Mao’s break with Stalinist bureaucrats was fundamental, occurring at the very root of its
culture. Since it was the culture of the society that allowed this kind of organization to
flourish and that led to the violence of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural revolution.
; Mao should be applauded for working to develop a new ethos devoted to great sexual,
educational and economic equality.
; However, Mao is to be held responsible for the GLF and the Cultural Revolution, but for its
innocent and cruelly tortured victims
; Mao may not have been the ‘sun in the sky’ that China’s old sycophantic culture dubbed him
in the 1960’s, the deconstruction of the worshipful attitudes towards officialdom that that
Mao engineered during the Cultural Revolution has diminished the awe he once inspired.
; No one can deny Mao was a great leader who transformed China. In a post-Socialist age Mao
still ranks as a socialist hero.
; In an anti-totalitarian time Mao can still inspire awe for his struggles against bureaucracy
and his efforts to educate and empower the common people.