State capitalism

State capitalism is an economic system in which the state undertakes commercial (i.e. for-profit) economic activity and where the means of production are organized and managed as state-owned business enterprises (including the processes of capital accumulation, wage labor and centralized management), or where there is otherwise a dominance of corporatized government agencies (agencies organized along business-management practices) or of publicly listed corporations in which the state has controlling shares.[1]Marxist literature defines state capitalism as a social system combining capitalism with ownership or control by a state—by this definition, a state capitalist country is one where the government controls the economy and essentially acts like a single huge corporation, extracting the surplus value from the workforce in order to invest it in further production.[2] This designation applies regardless of the political aims of the state (even if the state is nominally socialist)[3] and some people argue that the modern People’s Republic of China constitutes a form of state capitalism[4][5][6][7] and/or that the Soviet Union failed in its goal to establish socialism, but rather established state capitalism.[3][8][9]

The term “state capitalism” is also used by some in reference to a private capitalist economy controlled by a state, often meaning a privately owned economy that is subject to statist economic planning. This term was often used to describe the controlled economies of the Great Powers in the First World War.[10] State capitalism has also come to refer to an economic system where the means of production are owned privately, but the state has considerable control over the allocation of credit and investment[11][12] as in the case of France during the period of dirigisme after the Second World War. State capitalism may be used (sometimes interchangeably with state monopoly capitalism) to describe a system where the state intervenes in the economy to protect and advance the interests of large-scale businesses.

Libertarian socialist Noam Chomsky applies the term “state capitalism” to economies such as that of the United States, where large enterprises that are deemed “too big to fail” receive publicly funded government bailouts that mitigate the firms’ assumption of risk and undermine market laws and where the state largely funds private production at public expense, but private owners reap the profits.[13][14][15] This practice is often claimed to be in contrast with the ideals of both socialism and laissez-faire capitalism.[16]

There are various theories and critiques of state capitalism, some of which existed before the 1917 October Revolution. The common themes among them identify that the workers do not meaningfully control the means of production and detect that commodity relations and production for profit still occur within state capitalism. In Socialism: Utopian and Scientific (1880), Friedrich Engels argued that state ownership does not do away with capitalism by itself, but rather would be the final stage of capitalism, consisting of ownership and management of large-scale production and communication by the bourgeois state. He argued that the tools for ending capitalism are found in state capitalism.[17]


  • 1 Origins and early uses of the term
  • 2 Use of the term by the left

    • 2.1 Socialists
    • 2.2 Anarchists
    • 2.3 Russian communist left
    • 2.4 Mensheviks and orthodox Marxists
    • 2.5 Shachtmanite Trotskyists
    • 2.6 Use by later left communists and council communists
    • 2.7 Use by Maoists and anti-revisionists
  • 3 Use by liberal economists
  • 4 Use by Italian Fascists
  • 5 In Western countries
  • 6 In European studies
  • 7 State monopoly capitalism

    • 7.1 Political implications
    • 7.2 Neo-Trotskyist theory
    • 7.3 Criticism
    • 7.4 In popular culture
  • 8 Current forms in the 21st century

    • 8.1 China
    • 8.2 Norway
    • 8.3 Singapore
    • 8.4 Taiwan
  • 9 See also
  • 10 Notes
  • 11 Bibliography
  • 12 External links

Origins and early uses of the term

Wilhelm Liebknecht: “Nobody has combated State Socialism more than we German Socialists”

The term was first used by Wilhelm Liebknecht in 1896 who said: “Nobody has combated State Socialism more than we German Socialists; nobody has shown more distinctively than I, that State Socialism is really State capitalism”.[18]

It has been suggested that the concept of state capitalism can be traced back to Mikhail Bakunin’s critique during the First International of the potential for state exploitation under Marxist-inspired socialism, or to Jan Waclav Machajski’s argument in The Intellectual Worker (1905) that socialism was a movement of the intelligentsia as a class, resulting in a new type of society he termed state capitalism.[19][20][21][22] For anarchists, state socialism is equivalent to state capitalism, hence oppressive and merely a shift from private capitalists to the state being the sole employer and capitalist.[23]

During World War I, using Vladimir Lenin’s idea that Czarism was taking a “Prussian path” to capitalism, the Bolshevik Nikolai Bukharin identified a new stage in the development of capitalism in which all sectors of national production and all important social institutions had become managed by the state—he termed this new stage “state capitalism”.[24]

After the October Revolution, Lenin used the term positively. In spring 1918, during a brief period of economic liberalism prior to the introduction of war communism and again during the New Economic Policy (NEP) of 1921, Lenin justified the introduction of state capitalism controlled politically by the dictatorship of the proletariat to further central control and develop the productive forces:

Reality tells us that state capitalism would be a step forward. If in a small space of time we could achieve state capitalism, that would be a victory.[25][26]

Lenin argued the state should temporarily run the economy, which would eventually be taken over by workers.[27] To Lenin, “state capitalism” did not mean the state would run most of the economy, but that “state capitalism” would be one of five elements of the economy:[28]

.mw-parser-output .templatequote{overflow:hidden;margin:1em 0;padding:0 40px}.mw-parser-output .templatequote .templatequotecite{line-height:1.5em;text-align:left;padding-left:1.6em;margin-top:0}

State capitalism would be a step forward as compared with the present state of affairs in our Soviet Republic. If in approximately six months’ time state capitalism became established in our Republic, this would be a great success and a sure guarantee that within a year socialism will have gained a permanently firm hold.[28]

Use of the term by the left


The term “state capitalism” has been used by various socialists, including anarchists, Marxists and Leninists.


Perhaps the earliest critique of the Soviet Union as state capitalist was formulated by the Russian anarchists as documented in Paul Avrich’s work on Russian anarchism.[29]

This claim would become standard in anarchist works. For example, the prominent anarchist Emma Goldman in an article from 1935 titled “There Is No Communism in Russia” said of the Soviet Union:

Such a condition of affairs may be called state capitalism, but it would be fantastic to consider it in any sense Communistic […] Soviet Russia, it must now be obvious, is an absolute despotism politically and the crassest form of state capitalism economically.[30]

When speaking about Marxism, Murray Bookchin said the following:

Marxism, in fact, becomes ideology. It is assimilated by the most advanced forms of state capitalist movement—notably Russia. By an incredible irony of history, Marxian ‘socialism’ turns out to be in large part the very state capitalism that Marx failed to anticipate in the dialectic of capitalism. The proletariat, instead of developing into a revolutionary class within the womb of capitalism, turns out to be an organ within the body of bourgeois society […] Lenin sensed this and described ‘socialism’ as ‘nothing but state capitalist monopoly made to benefit the whole people’. This is an extraordinary statement if one thinks out its implications, and a mouthful of contradictions.[31]

While speaking about Leninism, the authors of An Anarchist FAQ say:

Rather than present an effective and efficient means of achieving revolution, the Leninist model is elitist, hierarchical and highly inefficient in achieving a socialist society. At best, these parties play a harmful role in the class struggle by alienating activists and militants with their organisational principles and manipulative tactics within popular structures and groups. At worse, these parties can seize power and create a new form of class society (a state capitalist one) in which the working class is oppressed by new bosses (namely, the party hierarchy and its appointees).[32]

Russian communist left

Another early analysis of the Soviet Union as state capitalist came from various groups advocating left communism. One major tendency of the 1918 Russian communist left criticised the re-employment of authoritarian capitalist relations and methods of production. As Valerian Osinsky in particular argued, “one-man management” (rather than the democratic factory committees workers had established and Lenin abolished)[33] and the other impositions of capitalist discipline would stifle the active participation of workers in the organisation of production—Taylorism converted workers into the appendages of machines and piece work imposed individualist rather than collective rewards in production so instilling petty bourgeois values into workers. In sum, these measures were seen as the re-transformation of proletarians within production from collective subject back into the atomised objects of capital. The working class, it was argued, had to participate consciously in economic as well as political administration. This tendency within the 1918 left communists emphasized that the problem with capitalist production was that it treated workers as objects. Its transcendence lay in the workers’ conscious creativity and participation, which is reminiscent of Marx’s critique of alienation.[34]

These criticisms were revived on the left of the Russian Communist Party after the 10th Congress in 1921, which introduced the New Economic Policy (NEP). Many members of the Workers’ Opposition and the Decists (both later banned) and two new underground Left Communist groups, Gavril Myasnikov’s Workers’ Group and the Workers’ Truth group, developed the idea that Russia was becoming a state capitalist society governed by a new bureaucratic class.[19][35] The most developed version of this idea was in a 1931 booklet by Myasnikov.[36]

Mensheviks and orthodox Marxists

Immediately after the Russian Revolution, many Western Marxists questioned whether socialism was possible in Russia. Specifically, Karl Kautsky said:

It is only the old feudal large landed property which exists no longer. Conditions in Russia were ripe for its abolition but they were not ripe for the abolition of capitalism. Capitalism is now once again celebrating a resurrection, but in forms that are more oppressive and harrowing for the proletariat than of old. Instead of assuming higher industrialised forms, private capitalism has assumed the most wretched and shabby forms of black marketeering and money speculation. Industrial capitalism has developed to become state capitalism. Formerly state officials and officials from private capital were critical, often very hostile towards each other. Consequently the working man found that his advantage lay with one or the other in turn. Today the state bureaucracy and capitalist bureaucracy are merged into one—that is the upshot of the great socialist revolution brought about by the Bolsheviks. It constitutes the most oppressive of all despotisms that Russia has ever had to suffer.[37]

After 1929, exiled Mensheviks such as Fyodor Dan began to argue that Stalin’s Russia constituted a state capitalist society.[38] In the United Kingdom, the orthodox Marxist group the Socialist Party of Great Britain independently developed a similar doctrine. Although initially beginning with the idea that Soviet capitalism differed little from western capitalism, they later began to argue that the bureaucracy held its productive property in common, much like the Catholic Church’s.[39] As John O’Neill notes:

Whatever other merits or problems their theories had, in arguing that the Russian revolution was from the outset a capitalist revolution they avoided the ad hoc and post hoc nature of more recent Maoist- and Trotskyist-inspired accounts of state capitalism, which start from the assumption that the Bolshevik revolution inaugurated a socialist economy that at some later stage degenerated into capitalism.[40]

Rudolf Hilferding, writing in the Menshevik journal Socialist Courier April 25 1940 rejected the concept of state capitalism, noting that, as practiced in the Soviet Union, it lacked the dynamic aspects of capitalism such as a market which set prices or a set of entrepreneurs and investors which allocated capital. Thus, state capitalism was not a form of capitalism but a form of totalitarianism.[41]

Shachtmanite Trotskyists

Leon Trotsky said the term state capitalism “originally arose to designate the phenomena which arise when a bourgeois state takes direct charge of the means of transport or of industrial enterprises” and is therefore a “partial negation” of capitalism.[42] However, Trotsky rejected that description of the Soviet Union, claiming instead that it was a degenerated workers’ state. After World War II, most Trotskyists accepted an analysis of the Soviet bloc countries as being deformed workers’ states. However, alternative opinions of the Trotskyist tradition have developed the theory of state capitalism as a New Class theory to explain what they regard as the essentially non-socialist nature of the Soviet Union, Cuba, China and other self-proclaimed socialist states.

The discussion goes back to internal debates in the Left Opposition during the late 1920s and early 1930s. Ante Ciliga, a member of the Left Opposition imprisoned at Verkhne-Uralsk in the 1930s, described the evolution of many Left Oppositionists to a theory of state capitalism influenced by Gavril Myasnikov’s Workers Group and other Left Communist factions.[43][19][44] On release and returning to activity in the International Left Opposition, Ciliga “was one of the first, after 1936, to raise the theory [of state capitalism] in Trotskyist circles”.[19]George Orwell, who was an anti-Stalinist leftist like Ciliga, used the term in his Homage to Catalonia (1938).

After 1940, dissident Trotskyists developed more theoretically sophisticated accounts of state capitalism. One influential formulation has been that of the Johnson–Forest Tendency of C. L. R. James and Raya Dunayevskaya who formulated her theory in the early 1940s on the basis of a study of the first three Five Year Plans alongside readings of Marx’s early humanist writings. Their political evolution would lead them away from Trotskyism.[45] Another is that of Tony Cliff, associated with the International Socialist Tendency and the British Socialist Workers Party (SWP), dating back to the late 1940s. Unlike Johnson-Forest, Cliff formulated a theory of state capitalism that would enable his group to remain Trotskyists, albeit heterodox ones.[46] A relatively recent text by Stephen Resnick and Richard D. Wolff, Class Theory and History, explores what they term state capitalism in the former Soviet Union, continuing a theme that has been debated within Trotskyist theory for most of the past century.

Compare with other left-wing theories regarding Soviet-style societies: deformed workers’ states, degenerated workers’ states, new class, state socialism and bureaucratic collectivism.

Use by later left communists and council communists

The left communist/council communist traditions outside Russia consider the Soviet system as state capitalist. Otto Rühle, a major German left communist, developed this idea from the 1920s and it was later articulated by Dutch council communist Anton Pannekoek, for instance in “State Capitalism and Dictatorship” (1936).

Use by Maoists and anti-revisionists

From 1956 to the late 1970s, the Communist Party of China and their Maoist or anti-revisionist adherents around the world often described the Soviet Union as state capitalist, essentially using the accepted Marxist definition, albeit on a different basis and in reference to a different span of time from either the Trotskyists or the left-communists. Specifically, the Maoists and their descendants use the term state capitalism as part of their description of the style and politics of Nikita Khrushchev and his successors as well as to similar leaders and policies in other self-styled “socialist” states.[47] This was involved in the ideological Sino-Soviet Split.

After Mao Zedong’s death, amidst the supporters of the Cultural Revolution and the “Gang of Four”, most extended the state capitalist formulation to China itself and ceased to support the Communist Party of China, which likewise distanced itself from these former fraternal groups. The related theory of Hoxhaism was developed in 1978, largely by Socialist Albanian President Enver Hoxha, who insisted that Mao himself had pursued state capitalist and revisionist economic policies.[48]

Most current communist groups descended from the Maoist ideological tradition still adopt the description of both China and the Soviet Union as being “state capitalist” from a certain point in their history onwards—most commonly, the Soviet Union from 1956 to its collapse in 1991 and China from 1976 to the present. Maoists and “anti-revisionists” also sometimes use the term “social imperialism” to describe socialist states that they consider to be actually capitalist in essence—their phrase, “socialist in words, imperialist in deeds” denotes this.

Use by liberal economists

Murray Rothbard advanced a right-libertarian analysis of state capitalism

Murray Rothbard, an anarcho-capitalist philosopher, uses the term interchangeably with the term state monopoly capitalism and uses it to describe a partnership of government and big business in which the state intervenes on behalf of large capitalists against the interests of consumers.[49][50] He distinguishes this from laissez-faire capitalism where big business is not protected from market forces. This usage dates from the 1960s, when Harry Elmer Barnes described the post-New Deal economy of the United States as “state capitalism”. More recently, Andrei Illarionov, former economic advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin, resigned in December 2005, protesting Russia’s “embracement of state capitalism”.[51]

The term is not used by the classical liberals to describe the public ownership of the means of production. The Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises explained the reason: “The socialist movement takes great pains to circulate frequently new labels for its ideally constructed state. Each worn-out label is replaced by another which raises hopes of an ultimate solution of the insoluble basic problem of Socialism—until it becomes obvious that nothing has been changed but the name. The most recent slogan is “State Capitalism.” It is not commonly realized that this covers nothing more than what used to be called Planned Economy and State Socialism, and that State Capitalism, Planned Economy, and State Socialism diverge only in non-essentials from the “classic” ideal of egalitarian Socialism”.[52]

Use by Italian Fascists

Benito Mussolini claimed that the modern phase of capitalism is state socialism “turned on its head”

On economic issues, Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini claimed in 1933 that were Fascism to follow the modern phase of capitalism, its path would “lead inexorably into state capitalism, which is nothing more nor less than state socialism turned on its head. In either event, [whether the outcome be state capitalism or state socialism] the result is the bureaucratization of the economic activities of the nation”.[53] Mussolini claimed that capitalism had degenerated in three stages, starting with dynamic or heroic capitalism (1830–1870), followed by static capitalism (1870–1914) and then reaching its final form of decadent capitalism, also known as supercapitalism beginning in 1914.[54]

Mussolini denounced supercapitalism for causing the “standardization of humankind” and for causing excessive consumption.[55] Mussolini claimed that at this stage of supercapitalism “[it] is then that a capitalist enterprise, when difficulties arise, throws itself like a dead weight into the state’s arms. It is then that state intervention begins and becomes more necessary. It is then that those who once ignored the state now seek it out anxiously”.[56] Due to the inability of businesses to operate properly when facing economic difficulties, Mussolini claimed that this proved that state intervention into the economy was necessary to stabilize the economy.[56]

Mussolini claimed that dynamic or heroic capitalism and the bourgeoisie could be prevented from degenerating into static capitalism and then supercapitalism only if the concept of economic individualism were abandoned and if state supervision of the economy was introduced.[57]Private enterprise would control production, but it would be supervised by the state.[57] Italian Fascism presented the economic system of corporatism as the solution that would preserve private enterprise and property while allowing the state to intervene in the economy when private enterprise failed.[57]

In Western countries

An alternate definition is that state capitalism is a close relationship between the government and private capitalism, such as one in which the private capitalists produce for a guaranteed market. An example of this would be the military–industrial complex in which autonomous entrepreneurial firms produce for lucrative government contracts and are not subject to the discipline of competitive markets.

Both the Trotskyist definition and this one derive from discussion among Marxists at the beginning of the 20th century, most notably Nikolai Bukharin, who in his book Imperialism and the world economy thought that advanced, imperialist countries exhibited the latter definition and considered (and rejected) the possibility that they could arrive at the former.

State capitalism is practised by a variety of Western countries with respect to certain strategic resources important for national security. These may involve private investment as well. For example, a government may own or even monopolize oil production or transport infrastructure to ensure availability in the case of war. Examples include Neste, Equinor and OMV.

There are limits according to arguments that state capitalism exists to ensure that wealth creation does not threaten the ruling elite’s political power, which remains unthreatened by tight connections between the government and the industries while state capitalist fears of capitalism’s “creative destruction”, of the threat of revolution and of any significant changes in the system result in the persistence of industries that have outlived their economic usefulness and an inefficient economic environment that is ill equipped to inspire innovation.

In European studies

Several European scholars and political economists have used the term to describe one of the three major varieties of capitalism that prevail in the modern context of the European Union. This approach is mainly influenced by Schmidt’s (2002) article on The Futures of European Capitalism, in which he divides modern European capitalism in three groups: “Market”, “Managed” and “State”. Here, state capitalism refers to a system where high coordination between the state, large companies and labour unions ensures economic growth and development in a quasi-corporatist model. The author cites France and to a lesser extent Italy as the prime examples of modern European state capitalism.[58] A general theory of capitalist forms, whereby state capitalism is a particular case, was developed by Ernesto Screpanti, who argued that soviet type economies of the 20th century used state capitalism to sustain processes of primitive accumulation.[59] In their historical analysis of the Soviet Union, Marxist economists Richard D. Wolff and Stephen Resnick identify state capitalism as the dominant class system throughout the history of the Soviet Union.[60]

State monopoly capitalism

The theory of state monopoly capitalism was initially a neo-Stalinist doctrine popularised after World War II. Lenin had claimed in 1916 that World War I had transformed laissez-faire capitalism into monopoly capitalism, but he did not publish any extensive theory about the topic. The term refers to an environment where the state intervenes in the economy to protect large monopolistic or oligopolistic businesses from competition by smaller firms.[61] The main principle of the ideology is that big business, having achieved a monopoly or cartel position in most markets of importance, fuses with the government apparatus. A kind of financial oligarchy or conglomerate therefore results, whereby government officials aim to provide the social and legal framework within which giant corporations can operate most effectively. This is a close partnership between big business and government and it is argued that the aim is to integrate labour-unions completely in that partnership.

State monopoly capitalist (stamocap) theory aims to define the final historical stage of capitalism following monopoly capitalism, consistent with Lenin’s definition of the characteristics of imperialism in his short pamphlet of the same name. Occasionally the stamocap concept also appears in neo-Trotskyist theories of state capitalism as well as in libertarian anti-state theories. The analysis made is usually identical in its main features, but very different political conclusions are drawn from it.

Political implications

Ever since monopoly capital took over the world, it has kept the greater part of humanity in poverty, dividing all the profits among the group of the most powerful countries. The standard of living in those countries is based on the extreme poverty of our countries.

— Che Guevara, 1965[62]

The strategic political implication of stamocap theory towards the end of the Joseph Stalin era and afterwards was that the labour movement should form a “people’s democratic alliance” under the leadership of the Communist Party with the progressive middle classes and small business against the state and big business (called “monopoly” for short). Sometimes this alliance was also called the “anti-monopoly alliance”.

Neo-Trotskyist theory

In neo-Trotskyist theory, such an alliance was rejected as being based either on a false strategy of popular fronts, or on political opportunism, said to be incompatible either with a permanent revolution or with the principle of independent working class political action.

The state in Soviet-type societies was redefined by the neo-Trotskyists as being also state-monopoly capitalist. There was no difference between the West and the East in this regard. Consequently, some kind of anti-bureaucratic revolution was said to be required, but different Trotskyist groups quarreled about what form such a revolution would need to take, or could take.

Some Trotskyists believed the anti-bureaucratic revolution would happen spontaneously, inevitably and naturally, others believed it needed to be organised—the aim being to establish a society owned and operated by the working class. According to the neo-Trotskyists, the Communist Party could not play its leading role because it did not represent the interests of the working class.


When Varga introduced the theory, orthodox Stalinist economists attacked it as incompatible with the doctrine that state planning was a feature only of socialism and that “under capitalism anarchy of production reigns”.[63]

Critics of the stamocap theory (e.g. Ernest Mandel and Leo Kofler) claimed the following:

  • Stamocap theory wrongly implied that the state could somehow overrule inter-capitalist competition, the laws of motion of capitalism and market forces generally, supposedly cancelling out the operation of the law of value.
  • Stamocap theory lacked any sophisticated account of the class basis of the state and the real linkages between governments and elites. It postulated a monolithic structure of domination which in reality did not exist in that way.
  • Stamocap theory failed to explain the rise of neo-liberal ideology in the business class, which claims precisely that an important social goal should be a reduction of the state’s influence in the economy.
  • Stamocap theory failed to show clearly what the difference was between a socialist state and a bourgeois state, except that in a socialist state the Communist Party (or, rather, its central committee) played the leading political role. In that case, the class-content of the state itself was defined purely in terms of the policy of the ruling political party (or its central committee).

In popular culture

  • WALL-E has the “Buy n’ Large” corporation, which acted as the de facto and possibly de jure government in the decades before, and after, the evacuation of Earth.
  • The Druuge, an alien race in Star Control, are governed by the Crimson Corporation, which owns the Druuge home planet and everything on it. All Druuge are employees and/or shareholders of this corporation and Druuge who lose their jobs are immediately executed for stealing the planet’s air, which the company owns, by breathing it.

Current forms in the 21st century

State capitalism is distinguished from capitalist mixed economies where the state intervenes in markets to correct market failures or to establish social regulation or social welfare provisions in the following way: the state operates businesses for the purpose of accumulating capital and directing investment in the framework of either a free market or a mixed-market economy. In such a system, governmental functions and public services are often organized as corporations, companies or business enterprises.


Many analysts assert that China is one of the main examples of state capitalism in the 21st century.[64][65][66] In his book, The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations, political scientist Ian Bremmer describes China as the primary driver for the rise of state capitalism as a challenge to the free market economies of the developed world, particularly in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.[67] Bremmer draws a broad definition of state capitalism as such:[68]

In this system, governments use various kinds of state-owned companies to manage the exploitation of resources that they consider the state’s crown jewels and to create and maintain large numbers of jobs. They use select privately owned companies to dominate certain economic sectors. They use so-called sovereign wealth funds to invest their extra cash in ways that maximize the state’s profits. In all three cases, the state is using markets to create wealth that can be directed as political officials see fit. And in all three cases, the ultimate motive is not economic (maximizing growth) but political (maximizing the state’s power and the leadership’s chances of survival). This is a form of capitalism but one in which the state acts as the dominant economic player and uses markets primarily for political gain.

Following on Bremmer, Aligica and Tarko[69] further develop the theory that state capitalism in countries like modern day China and Russia is an example of a rent-seeking society. They argue that following the realization that the centrally planned socialist systems could not effectively compete with capitalist economies, formerly Communist Party political elites are trying to engineer a limited form of economic liberalization that increases efficiency while still allowing them to maintain political control and power.

In his article “We’re All State Capitalists Now”, British historian and Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University Niall Ferguson warns against “an unhelpful oversimplification to divide the world into ‘market capitalist’ and ‘state capitalist’ camps. The reality is that most countries are arranged along a spectrum where both the intent and the extent of state intervention in the economy vary”.[68] He then notes:[68]

The real contest of our time is not between a state-capitalist China and a market-capitalist America, with Europe somewhere in the middle. It is a contest that goes on within all three regions as we all struggle to strike the right balance between the economic institutions that generate wealth and the political institutions that regulate and redistribute it.

Analysis of the “Chinese model” by the economists Julan Du and Chenggang Xu finds that the contemporary economic system of the People’s Republic of China represents a state capitalist system as opposed to a market socialist system. The reason for this categorization is the existence of financial markets in the Chinese economic system, which are absent in the market socialist literature and in the classic models of market socialism; and that state profits are retained by enterprises rather than being equitably distributed among the population in a basic income/social dividend or similar scheme, which are major features in the market socialist literature. They conclude that China is neither a form of market socialism nor a stable form of capitalism.[70]


The government of Norway has ownership stakes in many of the country’s largest publicly listed companies, owning 37% of the Oslo stockmarket[71] and operates the country’s largest non-listed companies including Statoil and Statkraft. The government also operates a sovereign wealth fund, the Government Pension Fund of Norway, whose partial objective is to prepare Norway for a post-oil future.[71]

Modern Norwegian state capitalism has its origins in public ownership of the country’s oil reserves and in the country’s post-World War II social democratic reforms.


Singapore’s government owns controlling shares in many government-linked companies and directs investment through sovereign wealth funds, an arrangement commonly cited as state capitalism.[72] Singapore has attracted some of the world’s most powerful corporations through business friendly legislation and through the encouragement of Western style corporatism, with close cooperation between the state and corporations. Singapore’s large holdings of government-linked companies and the state’s close cooperation with business are defining aspects of Singapore’s economic model.


Taiwan’s economy has been classified as a state capitalist system influenced by its Leninist model of political control, a legacy which still lingers in the decision-making process. Taiwan’s economy includes a number of state-owned enterprises, but the Taiwanese state’s role in the economy shifted from that of an entrepreneur to a minority investor in companies alongside the democratization agenda of the late 1980s.[73]

Some Taiwanese economists refer to Taiwan’s economy model as “party-state capitalism”.

See also

  • Bureaucratic collectivism
  • Types of capitalism
  • Christian finance
  • Collective capitalism
  • Constitutional economics
  • Corporate capitalism
  • Corporatism
  • Corporatization
  • Crony capitalism
  • Developmental state
  • Dirigisme
  • Distributism
  • East Asian model of capitalism
  • Economics of fascism
  • Gaullism
  • Government-owned corporation
  • New Economic Policy
  • Ordoliberalism
  • Indicative planning
  • Market socialism
  • Mixed economy
  • National socialism
  • National syndicalism
  • Political economy
  • Preussentum und Sozialismus
  • Rentier state
  • Rhine capitalism
  • Social market economy
  • State socialism
  • Statism
  • Tiger Cub Economies
  • Tripartism


  1. ^
    Williams, Raymond (1985) [1976]. “Capitalism”. Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. Oxford paperbacks (revised ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. p. 52. ISBN 9780195204698. Retrieved April 30, 2017. A new phrase, state-capitalism, has been widely used in mC20, with precedents from eC20, to describe forms of state ownership in which the original conditions of the definition – centralized ownership of the means of production, leading to a system of wage-labour – have not really cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
  2. ^ Dossani, Sameer (February 10, 2009). “Foreign Policy In Focus | Chomsky: Understanding the Crisis — Markets, the State and Hypocrisy”. Archived from the original on October 12, 2009.
  3. ^ ab Binns, Peter (1986). “State Capitalism”. Retrieved May 31, 2007.
  4. ^ “The Winners And Losers In Chinese Capitalism”. Forbes. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  5. ^ Araújo, Heriberto; Cardenal, Juan Pablo (June 1, 2013). “China’s Economic Empire”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 24, 2015.
  6. ^ “We’re All State Now”. Foreign Policy. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  7. ^ “The rise of state capitalism”. The Economist. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved October 24, 2015.
  8. ^ ‘State Capitalism’ in the Soviet Union. M.C. Howard and J.E. King.
  9. ^ “Richard D. Wolff | Socialism Means Abolishing the Distinction Between Bosses and Employees”. Truthout. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  10. ^ David Miller; Janet Coleman; William Conolly; Alan Ryan, eds. (1991). Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Political Thought. Blackwell.
  11. ^ “Works of Mikhail Bakunin 1873”. Retrieved October 15, 2015.
  12. ^ “State capitalism”. Retrieved October 15, 2015.
  13. ^ Noam Chomsky (7 April 2011). “The State-Corporate Complex: A Threat to Freedom and Survival”. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  14. ^ “History Doesn’t Go In a Straight Line | Jacobin”. Retrieved October 15, 2015.
  15. ^ “State and Corp., Noam Chomsky interviewed by uncredited interviewer”. Retrieved October 24, 2015.
  16. ^ Allan G. Johnson. The Blackwell Dictionary of Sociology. (2000). Blackwell Publishing.
    ISBN 0-631-21681-2. p. 306. In 2008, the U.S. National Intelligence Council used the term in Global Trends 2025: A World Transformed to describe the development of Russia, India and China.
  17. ^ Frederick Engels. “Socialism: Utopian and Scientific (Chpt. 3)”. Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  18. ^ Liebknecht, Wilhelm (1896). “Our Recent Congress”. Justice. Retrieved May 31, 2007.
  19. ^ abcd Fox, Michael S. “Ante Ciliga, Trotskii and State Capitalism: Theory, Tactics and Reevaluation during the Purge Era, 1935-1939” (PDF). Archived from the original on October 27, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-27.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  20. ^ Slavic Review, 50, no. 1 (Spring 1991): 127-143. Published in Croatian translation in ?asopis za suvremenu povijest [Journal of Contemporary History], Zagreb, no. 3, 1994, 427-450.
  21. ^ For Bakunin: Gouldner, A.W. 1982. ‘Marx’s last battle: Bakunin and the First International’, Theory and Society 11(6), November, pp. 853-84. Gouldner argues that Bakunin formulated an original critique of Marxism as ‘the ideology, not of the working class, but of a new class of scientific intelligentsia—who would corrupt socialism, make themselves a new elite, and impose their rule on the majority’ (pp. 860-1)
  22. ^ For Machajski: Marshall S. Shatz Jan Waclaw Machajski: A Radical Critic Of The Russian Intelligentsia And Socialism“. Archived from the original on October 26, 2009. Retrieved October 26, 2009.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) ; TB Bottomore Elites and Society p.54
  23. ^ [1] Archived December 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  24. ^ Bukharin, N. 1915 [1972]. Imperialism and World Economy. London: Merlin. p. 158
  25. ^ Lenin’s Collected Works Vol. 27, p. 293, quoted by Aufheben
  26. ^ See also David S. Pena “Tasks of Working-Class Governments under the Socialist-oriented Market Economy Archived September 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.”,
  27. ^ “The State and Revolution — Chapter 5”. March 25, 2006. Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  28. ^ ab “The Tax in Kind”. Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  29. ^ Paul Avrich, 1967, The Russian Anarchists, Princeton University Press, chapter 7
  30. ^ Emma Goldman (1935). “There Is No Communism in Russia”. The Anarchist Library. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  31. ^ Murray Bookchin (1971). “Listen, Marxist!”. The Anarchist Library. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  32. ^ “An Anarchist FAQ – H.5 What was the Kronstadt Rebellion? (What is vanguardism and why do anarchists reject it?)”. Infoshop. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  33. ^ Maurice Brinton (1970). “The Bolsheviks and Workers’ Control: The State and Counter-Revolution”. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  34. ^ Jerome, W. and Buick, A. 1967. ‘Soviet state capitalism? The history of an idea’, Survey 62, January, pp. 58-71.
  35. ^ EH Carr, The Interregnum 1923-1924, London, 1954, p80
  36. ^ Marshall Shatz Makhaevism After Machajski“. Archived from the original on October 27, 2009. Retrieved 2014-04-07.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  37. ^ Kautsky, K. 1919 [1983]. Terrorism and Communism. Cited from P. Goode (ed.), Karl Kautsky: Selected Political Writings. London: Macmillan, 1983, cited in ‘State Capitalism’ in the Soviet Union M.C. Howard and J.E. King
  38. ^ Liebich, A. 1987. ‘Marxism and totalitarianism: Rudolf Hilferding and the Mensheviks’, Dissent 34, Spring, pp. 223-40
  39. ^ State capitalism: the wages system under new management / Adam Buick and John Crump. Basingstoke : Macmillan, 1986.
    ISBN 0-333-36775-8
  41. ^ Rudolf Hilferding (April 25, 1940). “State Capitalism or Totalitarian State Economy”. Socialist Courier. Retrieved June 17, 2018. A capitalist economy is governed by the laws of the market (analyzed by Marx) and the autonomy of these laws constitutes the decisive symptom of the capitalist system of production
  42. ^ Trotsky, Leon (2004). The revolution betrayed. Max Eastman. Mineola, N.Y. : Dover: Newton Abbot : David & Charles. ISBN 0-486-43398-6. Retrieved 2007-05-31.
  43. ^ Ciliga, Ante (1938). Au pays du grand mensonge.
  44. ^ Philippe Bourrinet “An Ambiguous Journey”
  45. ^ State-capitalism and World Revolution by Johnson-Forest, Socialist Workers Party, 1950.
  46. ^ Aufheben Cliff and the neo-Trotskyist theory of the USSR as state capitalist in What Was The USSR?
  47. ^ The Economics of Revisionism by the Irish Communist Organisation, 1967.
  48. ^ Imperialism and the Revolution by Enver Hoxha, 1978.
  49. ^ Rothbard, Murray (1973). “A Future of Peace and Capitalism”. In James H. Weaver. Modern Political Economy. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Retrieved 2007-05-31.
  50. ^ Rothbard, Murray (2000). “Egalitarianism as a revolt against nature and other essays”. Left and right: the prospects for liberty. Auburn, Ala.: Ludwig von Mises Institute.
  51. ^ Andrei, Illarionov (2006-01-25). “When the state means business”. International Herald and Tribune. Retrieved 2007-05-31.
  52. ^ Von Mises, Ludwig (1979). Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis. Indianapolis: LibertyClassics. ISBN 0-913966-63-0. Retrieved 2007-05-31.
  53. ^ Mussolini, Benito; “Address to the National Corporative Council (14 November 1933)”. Fascism: Doctrine and Institutions. Fertig, 1978.
  54. ^ Falasca-Zamponi, Simonetta. Fascist Spectacle: The Aesthetics of Power in Mussolini’s Italy. University of California Press, 2000. Pp. 136.
  55. ^ Falasca-Zamponi, Simonetta. Fascist Spectacle: The Aesthetics of Power in Mussolini’s Italy. University of California Press, 2000. Pp. 137.
  56. ^ ab Mussolini, Benito; Schnapp, Jeffery Thompson (ed.); Sears, Olivia E. (ed.); Stampino, Maria G. (ed.). “Address to the National Corporative Council (14 November 1933) and Senate Speech on the Bill Establishing the Corporations (abridged; 13 January 1934)”. A Primer of Italian Fascism. University of Nebraska Press, 2000. Pp. 158.
  57. ^ abc Salvemini, Gaetano. Under the Axe of Fascism. READ BOOKS, 2006. Pp. 134.
  58. ^ Schmidt, Vivien (November 2003). French Capitalism Transformed, yet still a Third Variety of Capitalism. Economy and Society Vol. 32 N. 4. doi:10.1080/0308514032000141693.
  59. ^ Ernesto Screpanti, Capitalist Forms and the Essence of Capitalism, “Review of International Political Economy”, vol. 6, n. 1, 1999; Ernesto Screpanti, The Fundamental Institutions of Capitalism, Routledge, London 2001.
  60. ^ Resnick, Stephen & Wolff, Richard (2002) Class Theory and History: Capitalism and Communism in the U.S.S.R. London: Routledge.
  61. ^ Blackwell Encyclopedia of Political Thought
  62. ^ At the Afro-Asian Conference in Algeria by Che Guevara, Delivered at the Second Economic Seminar of Afro-Asian Solidarity in Algiers, Algeria – on February 24, 1965
  63. ^ The Case of Eugene Varga Raya Dunayevskaya 1949
  64. ^ Communism Is Dead, But State Capitalism Thrives, by Vahan Janjigian,, Mar. 22 2010.
  65. ^ The Winners And Losers In Chinese Capitalism, by Gady Epstein,, Aug. 31 2010.
  66. ^ The Economist (2012). “State Capitalism: The Visible Hand”. Special Report.
  67. ^ Dyer, Geoff (13 September 2010). “State capitalism: China’s ‘market-Leninism’ has yet to face biggest test”. Financial Times.
  68. ^ abc Ferguson, Niall (10 February 2012). “We’re All State Capitalists Now”. Foreign Policy.
  69. ^ Aligica, Paul and Vlad Tarko (2012). “State Capitalism and the Rent-SeekingConjecture”, Constitutional Political Economy 23(4): 357-379
  70. ^ Market Socialism or Capitalism? Evidence from Chinese Financial Market Development, by Julan Du and Chenggang Xu. 2005. IEA 2005 Round Table on Market and Socialism.
  71. ^ ab “Norway: The rich cousin – Oil makes Norway different from the rest of the region, but only up to a point”. The Economist. 2 February 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  72. ^ “The True Meaning of the ‘Singapore Model’: State Capitalism and Urban Planning”, by Shatkin, Gavin. Retrieved October 18, 2012, from Association of American Geographers.
  73. ^ Dittmer, Lowell (2017). Taiwan and China: Fitful Embrace. University of California Press. p. 118. ISBN 978-0520295988. A decade after Taiwan made its democratic transition, the KMT’s Leninist control model has yet to fade from the decision-making process. In short, both China’s and Taiwan’s state capitalism have their roots in the Leninist legacy…To be specific, Taiwan’s state capitalism has experienced a transformation from ‘leviathan as entrepreneur’ in the pre-1989 period to ‘leviathan as a minority investor’ with the agenda of democratization in the late 1980s.


  • Guy Ankerl, Beyond Monopoly Capitalism and Monopoly Socialism. Cambridge MA, Schenkman, 1978,
    ISBN 0-87073-938-7
  • Nikolai Bukharin, Imperialism and World Economy.
  • Gerd Hardach, Dieter Karras and Ben Fine, A short history of socialist economic thought., pp. 63–68.
  • Bob Jessop, The capitalist state.
  • Charlene Gannage, “E. S. Varga and the Theory of State Monopoly Capitalism”, in Review of Radical Political Economics 12(3), Fall 1980, pages 36–49.
  • Johnn Fairley, French Developments in the Theory of State Monopoly Capitalism, in: Science and Society; 44(3), Fall 1980, pages 305-25.
  • Ernest Mandel, Late Capitalism, pp. 515–522.
  • Ernest Mandel, Historical Materialism and the Capitalist State.
  • Paul Boccara et al., Le Capitalisme Monopoliste d’Etat. Paris: Editions Sociales, 1971 (2 vols).
  • G. N. Sorvina et al., “The Role of the State in the System of State Monopoly Capitalism”, in: The Teaching of Political Economy: A Critique of Non Marxian Theories. Moscow: Progress, 1984, pages 171-179.
  • Ben Fine & Laurence Harris, Re-reading Capital.
  • Jacques Valier, Le Parti Communiste Francais Et Le Capitalisme Monopoliste D’Etat, 1976

External links

  • The Economist debate on State and liberal capitalism.
  • In Defense of Marxism by Leon Trotsky A collection of essays and letters to members of the US Socialist Workers Party from 1939 to 1940.
  • Our Recent Congress, Justice 1896 by Wilhelm Liebknecht
  • What was the USSR? by Aufheben at the Wayback Machine (archived October 27, 2009)
  • State Capitalism in Russia by Tony Cliff
  • Toward a Theory of State Capitalism: Ultimate Decision-Making and Class Structure Libertarian analysis by Walter E. Grinder and John Hagel.
  • Against the Theory of State Capitalism by Ted Grant
  • The Russian Question: A debate between Raya Dunayevskaya and Max Shachtman (May 1947 with August 2005 commentary)
  • Imperialism and World Economy by Nikolai Bukharin
  • State Capitalism and Dictatorship by Anton Pannekoek
  • The Theory of “State Capitalism”, by Ernest Mandel (June 1951)
  • The Marxian Concept of Capital and the Soviet Experience: Essay in the Critique of Political Economy by Paresh Chattopadhyay
  • Collection of left-communist links that dismiss the bolshevik state capitalism.
  • “The Nature of the Russian Economy” a 1946 Polemic written by Raya Dunayevskaya (then writing as Freddie Forest), founder of Marxist Humanism, arguing for a state capitalist position within the Marxist movement.
  • “Trotskyism after Trotsky: The origins of the International Socialists” Summarization of three key points on which Cliff and the International Socialist Tendency deviated from what is traditionally the orthodox Trotskyist position.
  • “C.L.R. James on Marx’s Capital and State Capitalism”
  • State Capitalism Comes of Age, Foreign Affairs, May/June 2009
  • The End of The Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations, by Ian Bremmer, (May 2010)
  • The Age of Monopoly-Finance Capital by John Bellamy Foster, Monthly Review, February 2010


Traditional Chinese 毛澤東思想
Simplified Chinese 毛泽东思想
Literal meaning “Mao Zedong Thought”

Chairman Mao Zedong

Maoism, known in China as Mao Zedong Thought (Chinese: 毛泽东思想; pinyin: Máo Zédōng sīxiǎng), is a communist political theory derived from the teachings of the Chinese political leader Mao Zedong, whose followers are known as Maoists. Developed from the 1950s until the Deng Xiaoping reforms in the 1970s, it was widely applied as the guiding political and military ideology of the Communist Party of China and as theory guiding revolutionary movements around the world. A key difference between Maoism and other forms of Marxist-Leninism is that Mao said that peasants should be the bulwark of the revolutionary energy,[1] led by the working class in China.


  • 1 Origins

    • 1.1 The modern Chinese intellectual tradition

      • 1.1.1 Iconoclastic revolution and anti-Confucianism
      • 1.1.2 Nationalism and the appeal of Marxism
    • 1.2 The Yan’an period (November 1935–March 1947)
    • 1.3 Mao’s intellectual Marxist development
  • 2 Components

    • 2.1 New Democracy
    • 2.2 People’s war
    • 2.3 Mass line
    • 2.4 Cultural Revolution
    • 2.5 Contradiction
    • 2.6 Three Worlds Theory
    • 2.7 Agrarian socialism
  • 3 Maoism in China
  • 4 Maoism after Mao

    • 4.1 China
    • 4.2 Internationally
  • 5 Maoism’s international influence

    • 5.1 Afghanistan
    • 5.2 Bangladesh
    • 5.3 Belgium
    • 5.4 Ecuador
    • 5.5 India
    • 5.6 Iran
    • 5.7 Palestine
    • 5.8 Portugal
    • 5.9 United States
    • 5.10 Spain
    • 5.11 Turkey
    • 5.12 Maoist organizations
  • 6 Criticisms and interpretations

    • 6.1 Populism
    • 6.2 Nationalism
  • 7 See also
  • 8 References
  • 9 Further reading
  • 10 External links


This article is part of a series on the
Politics of China
National Emblem of the People's Republic of China (2).svg
  • Other countries
  • Atlas

The modern Chinese intellectual tradition

The modern Chinese intellectual tradition of the turn of the twentieth century is defined by two central concepts: iconoclasm and nationalism.[2]

Iconoclastic revolution and anti-Confucianism

By the turn of the 20th century, a proportionately small yet socially significant cross-section of China’s traditional elite (i.e. landlords and bureaucrats) found themselves increasingly skeptical of the efficacy and even the moral validity of Confucianism.[3] These skeptical iconoclasts formed a new segment of Chinese society, a modern intelligentsia whose arrival—or as historian of China Maurice Meisner would label it, their defection—heralded the beginning of the destruction of the gentry as a social class in China.[4]

The fall of the last imperial Chinese dynasty in 1911 marked the final failure of the Confucian moral order and it did much to make Confucianism synonymous with political and social conservatism in the minds of Chinese intellectuals. It was this association of conservatism and Confucianism which lent to the iconoclastic nature of Chinese intellectual thought during the first decades of the 20th century.[5]

Chinese iconoclasm was expressed most clearly and vociferously by Chen Duxiu during the New Culture Movement which occurred between 1915 and 1919.[5] Proposing the “total destruction of the traditions and values of the past”, the New Culture Movement was spearheaded by the New Youth, a periodical which was published by Chen Duxiu and was profoundly influential on the young Mao Zedong, whose first published work appeared on the magazine’s pages.[5]

Nationalism and the appeal of Marxism

Along with iconoclasm, radical anti-imperialism dominated the Chinese intellectual tradition and slowly evolved into a fierce nationalist fervor which influenced Mao’s philosophy immensely and was crucial in adapting Marxism to the Chinese model.[6] Vital to understanding Chinese nationalist sentiments of the time is the Treaty of Versailles, which was signed in 1919. The Treaty aroused a wave of bitter nationalist resentment in Chinese intellectuals as lands formerly ceded to Germany in Shandong were—without consultation with the Chinese—transferred to Japanese control rather than returned to Chinese sovereignty.[7]

The negative reaction culminated in the 4 May Incident which occurred on that day in 1919. The protest began with 3,000 students in Beijing displaying their anger at the announcement of the Versailles Treaty’s concessions to Japan, yet rapidly took a violent turn as protesters began attacking the homes and offices of ministers who were seen as cooperating with, or in the direct pay of the Japanese.[7] The 4 May Incident and Movement which followed “catalyzed the political awakening of a society which had long seemed inert and dormant”.[7]

Yet another international event would have a large impact not only on Mao, but also on the Chinese intelligentsia: the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Although the revolution did elicit interest among Chinese intellectuals, socialist revolution in China was not considered a viable option until after the May 4 Incident.[8] Afterwards, “[t]o become a Marxist was one way for a Chinese intellectual to reject both the traditions of the Chinese past and Western domination of the Chinese present”.[8]

The Yan’an period (November 1935–March 1947)

During the period immediately following the Long March, Mao and the Communist Party of China (CPC) were headquartered in Yan’an, which is a prefecture-level city in Shaanxi province. During this period, Mao clearly established himself as a Marxist theoretician and he produced the bulk of the works which would later be canonized into the “thought of Mao Zedong”.[9] The rudimentary philosophical base of Chinese Communist ideology is laid down in Mao’s numerous dialectical treatises and it was conveyed to newly recruited party members. This period truly established ideological independence from Moscow for Mao and the CPC.[9]

Although the Yan’an period did answer some of the questions, both ideological and theoretical, which were raised by the Chinese Communist Revolution, it left many of the crucial questions unresolved; including how the Communist Party of China was supposed to launch a socialist revolution while completely separated from the urban sphere.[9]

Mao’s intellectual Marxist development

Mao’s Intellectual Marxist development can be divided into five major periods: (1) The Initial Marxist Period from 1920–1926; (2) the formative Maoist period from 1927–1935; (3) the mature Maoist period from 1935–1940; (4) the civil war period from 1940–1949; and (5) the post-1949 period, following the revolutionary victory.

  1. The Initial Marxist Period from 1920–1926: Marxist thinking employs imminent socioeconomic explanations and Mao’s reasons were declarations of his enthusiasm. Mao did not believe that education alone would bring about the transition from capitalism to communism because of three main reasons. (1) Psychologically: the capitalists would not repent and turn towards communism on their own; (2) the rulers must be overthrown by the people; (3) “the proletarians are discontented, and a demand for communism has arisen and had already become a fact”.[10] These reasons do not provide socioeconomic explanations, which usually form the core of Marxist ideology.
  2. The Formative Maoist Period from 1927–1935: in this period, Mao avoided all theoretical implications in his literature and employed a minimum of Marxist category thought. His writings in this period failed to elaborate what he meant by the “Marxist method of political and class analysis”.[11] Prior to this period, Mao was concerned with the dichotomy between knowledge and action. He was more concerned with the dichotomy between revolutionary ideology and counter-revolutionary objective conditions. There was more correlation drawn between China and the Soviet model.
  3. The Mature Maoist Period from 1935–1940: intellectually, this was Mao’s most fruitful time. The shift of orientation was apparent in his pamphlet Strategic Problems of China’s Revolutionary War (December, 1936). “This pamphlet tried to provide a theoretical veneer for his concern with revolutionary practice”.[12] Mao started to separate from the Soviet model since it was not automatically applicable to China. China’s unique set of historical circumstances demanded a correspondingly unique application of Marxist theory, an application that would have to diverge from the Soviet approach.
  4. The Civil-War Period from 1940–1949: unlike the Mature period, this period was intellectually barren. Mao focused more on revolutionary practice and paid less attention to Marxist theory. “He continued to emphasize theory as practice-oriented knowledge”.[13] The biggest topic of theory he delved into was in connection with the Cheng Feng movement of 1942. It was here that Mao summarized the correlation between Marxist theory and Chinese practice; “The target is the Chinese revolution, the arrow is Marxism–Leninism. We Chinese communists seek this arrow for no other purpose than to hit the target of the Chinese revolution and the revolution of the east”.[13] The only new emphasis was Mao’s concern with two types of subjectivist deviation: (1) dogmatism, the excessive reliance upon abstract theory; (2) empiricism, excessive dependence on experience.
  5. The post-1949 period following the revolutionary victory: the victory of 1949 was to Mao a confirmation of theory and practice. “Optimism is the keynote to Mao’s intellectual orientation in the post-1949 period”.[14] Mao assertively revised theory to relate it to the new practice of socialist construction. These revisions are apparent in the 1951 version of On Contradiction. “In the 1930s, when Mao talked about contradiction, he meant the contradiction between subjective thought and objective reality. In Dialectal Materialism of 1940, he saw idealism and materialism as two possible correlations between subjective thought and objective reality. In the 1940s, he introduced no new elements into his understanding of the subject-object contradiction. In the 1951 version of On Contradiction, he saw contradiction as a universal principle underlying all processes of development, yet with each contradiction possessed of its own particularity”.[15]


New Democracy

The theory of the New Democracy was known to the Chinese revolutionaries from the late 1940s. This thesis held that for the majority of the people of the planet, the long road to socialism could only be opened by a “national, popular, democratic, anti-feudal and anti-imperialist revolution, run by the communists”.[16]

People’s war

Holding that “political power grows out of the barrel of a gun”,[17] Maoism emphasizes the “revolutionary struggle of the vast majority of people against the exploiting classes and their state structures”, which Mao termed a “people’s war”. Mobilizing large parts of rural populations to revolt against established institutions by engaging in guerrilla warfare, Maoist Thought focuses on “surrounding the cities from the countryside”.

Maoism views the industrial-rural divide as a major division exploited by capitalism, identifying capitalism as involving industrial urban developed First World societies ruling over rural developing Third World societies.[18] Maoism identifies peasant insurgencies in particular national contexts were part of a context of world revolution, in which Maoism views the global countryside would overwhelm the global cities.[19] Due to this imperialism by the capitalist urban First World towards the rural Third World, Maoism has endorsed national liberation movements in the Third World.[19]

Mass line

Contrary to the Leninist vanguard model employed by the Bolsheviks, the theory of the mass line holds that party must not be separate from the popular masses, either in policy or in revolutionary struggle. To conduct a successful revolution the needs and demands of the masses must be the most important issues.

Cultural Revolution

The theory of the Cultural Revolution states that the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat does not wipe out bourgeois ideology—the class-struggle continues and even intensifies during socialism, therefore a constant struggle against these ideologies and their social roots must be conducted. Cultural Revolution is directed also against traditionalism.


Mao drew from the writings of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin in elaborating his theory. Philosophically, his most important reflections emerge on the concept of “contradiction” (maodun). In two major essays, On Contradiction and On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People, he adopts the positivist-empiricist idea (shared by Engels) that contradiction is present in matter itself and thus also in the ideas of the brain. Matter always develops through a dialectical contradiction: “The interdependence of the contradictory aspects present in all things and the struggle between these aspects determine the life of things and push their development forward. There is nothing that does not contain contradiction; without contradiction nothing would exist”.[20]

Furthermore, each contradiction (including class struggle, the contradiction holding between relations of production and the concrete development of forces of production) expresses itself in a series of other contradictions, some dominant, others not. “There are many contradictions in the process of development of a complex thing, and one of them is necessarily the principal contradiction whose existence and development determine or influence the existence and development of the other contradictions”.[21]

Thus the principal contradiction should be tackled with priority when trying to make the basic contradiction “solidify”. Mao elaborates further on this theme in the essay On Practice, “on the relation between knowledge and practice, between knowing and doing”. Here, Practice connects “contradiction” with “class struggle” in the following way: Inside a mode of production, there are three realms where practice functions: economic production, scientific experimentation (which also takes place in economic production and should not be radically disconnected from the former) and finally class struggle. These may be considered the proper objects of economy, scientific knowledge and politics.[22]

These three spheres deal with matter in its various forms, socially mediated. As a result, they are the only realms where knowledge may arise (since truth and knowledge only make sense in relation to matter, according to Marxist epistemology). Mao emphasizes—like Marx in trying to confront the “bourgeois idealism” of his time—that knowledge must be based on empirical evidence.

Knowledge results from hypotheses verified in the contrast with a real object; this real object, despite being mediated by the subject’s theoretical frame, retains its materiality and will offer resistance to those ideas that do not conform to its truth. Thus in each of these realms (economic, scientific and political practice), contradictions (principle and secondary) must be identified, explored and put to function to achieve the communist goal. This involves the need to know, “scientifically”, how the masses produce (how they live, think and work), to obtain knowledge of how class struggle (the main contradiction that articulates a mode of production, in its various realms) expresses itself.

Mao held that contradictions were the most important feature of society and since society is dominated by a wide range of contradictions, this calls for a wide range of varying strategies. Revolution is necessary to fully resolve antagonistic contradictions such as those between labour and capital. Contradictions arising within the revolutionary movement call for ideological correction to prevent them from becoming antagonistic.

Three Worlds Theory

Three Worlds Theory states that during the Cold War two imperialist states formed the “first world”—the United States and the Soviet Union. The second world consisted of the other imperialist states in their spheres of influence. The third world consisted of the non-imperialist countries. Both the first and the second world exploit the third world, but the first world is the most aggressive party. The workers in the first and second world are “bought up” by imperialism, preventing socialist revolution. On the other hand, the people of the third world have not even a short-sighted interest in the prevailing circumstances, hence revolution is most likely to appear in third world countries, which again will weaken imperialism opening up for revolutions in other countries too.[23]

Agrarian socialism

Maoism departs from conventional European-inspired Marxism in that its focus is on the agrarian countryside, rather than the industrial urban forces—this is known as agrarian socialism. Notably, Maoist parties in Peru, Nepal and the Philippines have adopted equal stresses on urban and rural areas, depending on the country’s focus of economic activity. Maoism broke with the state capitalist[dubious ] framework of the Soviet Union under Nikita Khrushchev, dismissing it as revisionist, a pejorative term among communists referring to those who fight for capitalism in the name of socialism and who depart from historical and dialectical materialism.

Although Maoism is critical of urban industrial capitalist powers, it views urban industrialization as a prerequisite to expand economic development and socialist reorganization to the countryside, with the goal being the achievement of rural industrialization that would abolish the distinction between town and countryside.[24]

Maoism in China

In its post-revolutionary period, Mao Zedong Thought is defined in the CPC’s Constitution as “Marxism–Leninism applied in a Chinese context”, synthesized by Mao and China’s “first-generation leaders”. It asserts that class struggle continues even if the proletariat has already overthrown the bourgeoisie and there are capitalist restorationist elements within the Communist Party itself. Maoism provided the CPC’s first comprehensive theoretical guideline with regards to how to continue socialist revolution, the creation of a socialist society, socialist military construction and highlights various contradictions in society to be addressed by what is termed “socialist construction”. While it continues to be lauded to be the major force that defeated “imperialism and feudalism” and created a “New China” by the Communist Party of China, the ideology survives only in name on the Communist Party’s Constitution as Deng Xiaoping abolished most Maoist practices in 1978, advancing a guiding ideology called “socialism with Chinese characteristics”.[25]

Maoism after Mao


Shortly after Mao’s death in 1976, Deng Xiaoping initiated socialist market reforms in 1978, thereby beginning the radical change in Mao’s ideology in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).[26] Although Mao Zedong Thought nominally remains the state ideology, Deng’s admonition to “seek truth from facts” means that state policies are judged on their practical consequences and in many areas the role of ideology in determining policy has thus been considerably reduced. Deng also separated Mao from Maoism, making it clear that Mao was fallible and hence the truth of Maoism comes from observing social consequences rather than by using Mao’s quotations as holy writ, as was done in Mao’s lifetime.[citation needed]

Contemporary Maoists in China criticize the social inequalities created by the revisionist Communist Party. Some Maoists say that Deng’s Reform and Opening economic policies that introduced market principles spelled the end of Maoism in China, although Deng himself asserted that his reforms were upholding Mao Zedong Thought in accelerating the output of the country’s productive forces.

In addition, the party constitution has been rewritten to give the socialist ideas of Deng prominence over those of Mao. One consequence of this is that groups outside China which describe themselves as Maoist generally regard China as having repudiated Maoism and restoring capitalism and there is a wide perception both inside and outside China that China has abandoned Maoism. However, while it is now permissible to question particular actions of Mao and talk about excesses taken in the name of Maoism, there is a prohibition in China on either publicly questioning the validity of Maoism or on questioning whether the current actions of the CPC are “Maoist”.

Although Mao Zedong Thought is still listed as one of the four cardinal principles of the People’s Republic of China, its historical role has been re-assessed. The Communist Party now says that Maoism was necessary to break China free from its feudal past, but it also says that the actions of Mao are seen to have led to excesses during the Cultural Revolution.[citation needed][27]

The official view is that China has now reached an economic and political stage, known as the primary stage of socialism, in which China faces new and different problems completely unforeseen by Mao and as such the solutions that Mao advocated are no longer relevant to China’s current conditions. The official proclamation of the new CPC stance came in June 1981, when the Sixth Plenum of the Eleventh National Party Congress Central Committee took place. The 35,000-word Resolution on Certain Questions in the History of Our Party Since the Founding of the People’s Republic of China reads:

Chief responsibility for the grave ‘Left’ error of the ‘cultural revolution,’ an error comprehensive in magnitude and protracted in duration, does indeed lie with Comrade Mao Zedong… [and] far from making a correct analysis of many problems, he confused right and wrong and the people with the enemy… herein lies his tragedy.[28]

Scholars outside China see this re-working of the definition of Maoism as providing an ideological justification for what they see as the restoration of the essentials of capitalism in China by Deng and his successors, who sought to “eradicate all ideological and physiological obstacles to economic reform”.[29] In 1978, this led to the Sino-Albanian split when Albanian leader Enver Hoxha denounced Deng as a revisionist and formed Hoxhaism as an anti-revisionist form of Marxism.

Tiananmen with a portrait of Mao Zedong

Mao himself is officially regarded by the CPC as a “great revolutionary leader” for his role in fighting against the Japanese fascist invasion during the Second World War and creating the People’s Republic of China, but Maoism as implemented between 1959 and 1976 is regarded by today’s CPC as an economic and political disaster. In Deng’s day, support of radical Maoism was regarded as a form of “left deviationism” and being based on a cult of personality, although these “errors” are officially attributed to the Gang of Four rather than being attributed to Mao himself.[30] Thousands of Maoists were arrested in the Hua Guofeng period after 1976. The prominent Maoists Zhang Chunqiao and Jiang Qing were sentenced to death with a two-year-reprieve while some others were sentenced to life imprisonment or imprisonment for 15 years.


After the death of Mao in 1976 and the resulting power-struggles in China that followed, the international Maoist movement was divided into three camps. One group, composed of various ideologically nonaligned groups, gave weak support to the new Chinese leadership under Deng Xiaoping. Another camp denounced the new leadership as traitors to the cause of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought. The third camp sided with the Albanians in denouncing the Three Worlds Theory of the CPC (see Sino-Albanian split).

Though initially praising the Soviet Union prior to, during and shortly after the Cuban Revolution, Che Guevara later came out in support of Maoism and advocated the adoption of the ideology throughout Latin America.[citation needed] The pro-Albanian camp would start to function as an international group as well[31] (led by Enver Hoxha and the APL) and was also able to amalgamate many of the communist groups in Latin America, including the Communist Party of Brazil and the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party in Ecuador. Later, Latin American Communists such as Peru’s Shining Path also embraced the tenets of Maoism.

The new Chinese leadership showed little interest in the various foreign groups supporting Mao’s China. Many of the foreign parties that were fraternal parties aligned with the Chinese government before 1975 either disbanded, abandoned the new Chinese government entirely, or even renounced Marxism–Leninism and developed into non-communist, social democratic parties. What is today called the “international Maoist movement” evolved out of the second camp—the parties that opposed Deng and said they upheld the true legacy of Mao.

Maoism’s international influence

Maoist leader Prachanda speaking at a rally in Pokhara, Nepal

From 1962 onwards, the challenge to the Soviet hegemony in the world communist movement made by the CPC resulted in various divisions in communist parties around the world. At an early stage,[citation needed] the Albanian Party of Labour sided with the CPC. So did many of the mainstream (non-splinter group) Communist parties in South-East Asia, like the Burmese Communist Party, Communist Party of Thailand and Communist Party of Indonesia. Some Asian parties, like the Workers Party of Vietnam and the Workers Party of Korea attempted to take a middle-ground position.

The Khmer Rouge of Cambodia is said to have been a replica of the Maoist regime. According to the BBC, the Communist Party of Kampuchea (CPK) in Cambodia, better known as the Khmer Rouge, identified strongly with Maoism and it is generally labeled a Maoist movement today.[32][33] Maoists (and Marxists generally) contend that the CPK strongly deviated from Marxist doctrine and the few references to Maoist China in CPK propaganda were critical of the Chinese.[34]

In the west and south, a plethora of parties and organizations were formed that upheld links to the CPC. Often they took names such as Communist Party (Marxist–Leninist) or Revolutionary Communist Party to distinguish themselves from the traditional pro-Soviet communist parties. The pro-CPC movements were in many cases based among the wave of student radicalism that engulfed the world in the 1960s and 1970s.

Only one Western classic communist party sided with the CPC, the Communist Party of New Zealand. Under the leadership of the CPC and Mao Zedong, a parallel international communist movement emerged to rival that of the Soviets, although it was never as formalized and homogeneous as the pro-Soviet tendency.


The Progressive Youth Organization was a Maoist organization in Afghanistan. It was founded in 1965 with Akram Yari as its first leader, advocating the overthrow of the then-current order by means of people’s war.


Purba Banglar Sarbahara Party is a Maoist party in Bangladesh. It was founded in 1968 with Siraj Sikder as its first leader. The party played a role in the Bangladesh Liberation War.


The Sino-Soviet split had an important influence on communism in Belgium. The pro-Soviet Communist Party of Belgium experienced a split of a Maoist wing under Jacques Grippa. The latter was a lower-ranking CPB member before the split, but Grippa rose in prominence as he formed a worthy internal Maoist opponent to the CPB leadership. His followers where sometimes referred to as “Grippisten/Grippistes”. When it became clear that the differences between the pro-Moscow leadership and the pro-Beijing wing were too great, Grippa and his entourage decided to split from the CPB and formed the Communist Party of Belgium – Marxist–Leninist (PCBML). The PCBML had some influence, mostly in the heavily industrialized Borinage region of Wallonia, but never managed to gather more support than the CPB. The latter held most of its leadership and base within the pro-Soviet camp. However, the PCBML was the first European Maoist party that was officially recognized as a sister-party of the CPC by Beijing.[citation needed]

Though the PCBML never really gained a foothold in Flanders, there was a reasonably successful Maoist movement in this region. Out of the student unions that formed in the wake of the May 1968 protests, Alle Macht Aan De Arbeiders (AMADA) or All Power To The Workers, was formed as a vanguard party-under-construction. This Maoist group originated mostly out of students from the universities of Leuven and Ghent, but did manage to gain some influence among the striking miners during the shut-downs of the Belgian stonecoal mines in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This group became the Workers’ Party of Belgium (WPB) in 1979 and still exists today, although its power base has shifted somewhat from Flanders towards Wallonia. The WPB stayed loyal to the teachings of Mao for a long time, but after a general congress held in 2008 the party formally broke with its Maoist/Stalinist past.[35]


The Communist Party of Ecuador – Red Sun, also known as Puka Inti, is a small Maoist guerrilla organization in Ecuador.


Communist Party of India (Maoist) is the leading Maoist organisation in India. Two major political groupings owing allegiance to Mao Tse Tung’s ideas — Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) People’s War and Maoist Communist Centre of India (MCCI) — merged on on 21 September 2004 to form Communist Party of India (Maoist).


Union of Iranian Communists (Sarbedaran) was an Iran Maoist organization. UIC (S) was formed in 1976 after the alliance of a number of Maoist groups carrying out military actions within Iran. In 1982, the UIC (S) mobilized forces in forests around Amol and launched an insurgency against the Islamist Government. The uprising was eventually a failure and many UIC (S) leaders were shot.


The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine is a Maoist political and military organization. The DFLP’s original political orientation was based on the view that Palestinian national goals could be achieved only through revolution of the masses and people’s war.


The flag of FP-25

Maoist movements in Portugal were very active during the 1970s, especially during the Carnation Revolution that led to the fall of the fascist government the Estado Novo in 1974.

The largest Maoist movement in Portugal was the Portuguese Workers’ Communist Party. The party was among the most active resistance movements before the Portuguese democratic revolution of 1974, especially among students of Lisbon. After the revolution, the MRPP achieved fame for its large and highly artistic mural paintings.

Intensely active during 1974 and 1975, during that time the party had members that later came to be very important in national politics. For example, a future Prime Minister of Portugal, José Manuel Durão Barroso was active within Maoist movements in Portugal and identified as a Maoist. In the 1980s, the Forças Populares 25 de Abril was another far-left Maoist armed organization operating in Portugal between 1980 and 1987 with the goal of creating socialism in post-Carnation Revolution Portugal.

United States

In the United States during the late 1960s, parts of the emerging New Left rejected the Marxism espoused by the Soviet Union and instead adopted pro-Chinese communism.

The Black Panther Party, especially under the leadership of Huey Newton, was influenced by Mao Zedong’s ideas. Into the 1970s, Maoists in the United States, e.g. Maoist representative Jon Lux, formed a large part of the New Communist movement.

The Revolutionary Communist Party, USA is also a Maoist movement.


The Communist Party of Spain (Reconstituted) was a Spanish clandestine Maoist party. The armed wing of the party was First of October Anti-Fascist Resistance Groups.


Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist–Leninist (TKP/ML) is a Maoist organization in Turkey currently waging a people’s war against the Turkish government. It was founded in 1972 with İbrahim Kaypakkaya as its first leader. The armed wing of the party is named the Workers’ and Peasants’ Liberation Army in Turkey (TIKKO).

Maoist organizations

Various efforts have sought to regroup the international communist movement under Maoism since the time of Mao’s death in 1976.

Another effort at regrouping the international communist movement is the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations (ICMLPO). Three notable parties that participate in the ICMLPO are the Marxist–Leninist Party of Germany (MLPD), the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and Marxist–Leninist Communist Organization – Proletarian Way. The ICMLPO seeks to unity around Marxism-Leninism, not Maoism. However, some of the parties and organizations within the ICMLPO identify as Mao Zedong Thought or Maoist.

Criticisms and interpretations

Maoism has fallen out of favour within the Communist Party of China, beginning with Deng Xiaoping’s reforms in 1978. Deng believed that Maoism showed the dangers of “ultra-leftism”, manifested in the harm perpetrated by the various mass movements that characterized the Maoist era. In Chinese communism, the term “left” can be taken as a euphemism for Maoist policies. However, Deng stated that the revolutionary side of Maoism should be considered separate from the governance side, leading to his famous epithet that Mao was “70% right, 30% wrong”.[36] Chinese scholars generally agree that Deng’s interpretation of Maoism preserves the legitimacy of Communist rule in China, but at the same time criticizes Mao’s brand of economic and political governance.

Critic Graham Young says that Maoists see Joseph Stalin as the last true socialist leader of the Soviet Union, but allows that the Maoist assessments of Stalin vary between the extremely positive and the more ambivalent.[37] Some political philosophers, such as Martin Cohen, have seen in Maoism an attempt to combine Confucianism and socialism—what one such called “a third way between communism and capitalism”.[38]

Enver Hoxha critiqued Maoism from a Marxist–Leninist perspective, arguing that New Democracy halts class struggle, the theory of the three worlds is “counter-revolutionary” and questioned Mao’s guerilla warfare methods.

Some say Mao departed from Leninism not only in his near-total lack of interest in the urban working class, but also in his concept of the nature and role of the party. For Lenin, the party was sacrosanct because it was the incarnation of the “proletarian consciousness” and there was no question about who were the teachers and who were the pupils. On the other hand, for Mao this question would always be virtually impossible to answer.[39]

The implementation of Maoist thought in China was arguably responsible for as many as 70 million deaths during peacetime,[40][41] with the Cultural Revolution, Anti-Rightist Campaign of 1957–1958[42] and the Great Leap Forward. Some historians have argued that because of Mao’s land reforms during the Great Leap Forward, which resulted in famines, thirty million perished between 1958 and 1961. By the end of 1961, the birth rate was nearly cut in half because of malnutrition.[43] Active campaigns, including party purges and “reeducation” resulted in imprisonment and/or the execution of those deemed contrary to the implementation of Maoist ideals.[44] The incidents of destruction of cultural heritage, religion and art remain controversial. Some Western scholars saw Maoism specifically engaged in a battle to dominate and subdue nature and was a catastrophe for the environment.[45]


Mao also believed strongly in the concept of a unified people. These notions were what prompted him to investigate the peasant uprisings in Hunan while the rest of China’s communists were in the cities and focused on the orthodox Marxist proletariat.[46] Many of the pillars of Maoism such as the distrust of intellectuals and the abhorrence of occupational specialty are typical populist ideas.[6] The concept of “People’s War” which is so central to Maoist thought is directly populist in its origins. Mao believed that intellectuals and party cadres had to become first students of the masses to become teachers of the masses later. This concept was vital to the strategy of the “People’s War”.[6]


Mao’s nationalist impulses also played a crucially important role in the adaption of Marxism to the Chinese model and in the formation of Maoism.[47] Mao truly believed that China was to play a crucial preliminary role in the socialist revolution internationally. This belief, or the fervor with which Mao held it, separated Mao from the other Chinese communists and led Mao onto the path of what Leon Trotsky called “Messianic Revolutionary Nationalism”, which was central to his personal philosophy. German post–World War II Strasserist Michael Kühnen, himself a former Maoist, once praised Maoism as being a Chinese form of national socialism.[48]

See also

  • Asiatic mode of production
  • Cult of personality
  • Deng Xiaoping Theory
  • History of the People’s Republic of China
  • Marxism–Leninism
  • Marxism–Leninism–Maoism
  • New Left in China
  • Three Represents
  • Scientific Outlook on Development
  • Xi Jinping Thought


  1. ^ Meisner, Maurice (Jan–Mar 1971). “Leninism and Maoism: Some Populist Perspectives on Marxism-Leninism in China”. The China Quarterly. 45: 2–36 – via JSTOR.CS1 maint: Date format (link) .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
  2. ^ Meisner, Maurice. Mao’s China and After. New York: Free Press, 1999. pp. 12–16.
  3. ^ Meisner, Maurice. Mao’s China and After. New York: Free Press, 1999. p. 10.
  4. ^ Meisner, Maurice. Mao’s China and After. New York: Free Press, 1999. p. 11.
  5. ^ abc Meisner, Maurice. Mao’s China and After. New York: Free Press, 1999. p. 14.
  6. ^ abc Meisner, Maurice. Mao’s China and After. New York: Free Press, 1999. p. 44.
  7. ^ abc Meisner, Maurice. Mao’s China and After. New York: Free Press, 1999. p. 17.
  8. ^ ab Meisner, Maurice. Mao’s China and After. New York: Free Press, 1999. p. 18.
  9. ^ abc Meisner, Maurice. Mao’s China and After. New York: Free Press, 1999. p. 45.
  10. ^ Lowe, Donald M. The Function of “China” in Marx, Lenin, and Mao. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966. p. 109.
  11. ^ Lowe, Donald M. The Function of “China” in Marx, Lenin, and Mao. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966. p. 111.
  12. ^ Lowe, Donald M. The Function of “China” in Marx, Lenin, and Mao. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966. p. 113.
  13. ^ ab Lowe, Donald M. The Function of “China” in Marx, Lenin, and Mao. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966. p. 117.
  14. ^ Lowe, Donald M. The Function of “China” in Marx, Lenin, and Mao. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966. p. 118.
  15. ^ Lowe, Donald M. The Function of “China” in Marx, Lenin, and Mao. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966. p. 119.
  16. ^ Amin, Samir (October 2009). “The Countries of the South Must Take Their Own Independent Initiatives”. The Third World Forum. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
  17. ^ “Quotations From Chairman Mao”. Peking Foreign Languages Press. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  18. ^ Alexander C. Cook, “Third World Maoism” in A Critical Introduction to Mao. Cambridge, England, UK; New York, New York, USA: Cambridge University, 2011. p. 290.
  19. ^ ab Alexander C. Cook, “Third World Maoism” in A Critical Introduction to Mao. Cambridge, England, UK; New York, New York, USA, Cambridge University Press, 2011, pp. 289–290.
  20. ^ Mao Tse Tung, “On contradiction”, Selected Readings from the Works of Mao Tse-Tung, Foreign Language Press, Peking, 1967, p. 75, or
  21. ^ Mao Tse-Tung, “On contradiction”, Selected Readings from the Works of Mao Tse-Tung, op. cit., p. 89, or
  22. ^ Cfr. Mao Tse-Tung, “On practice. On the relation between knowledge and practice, between knowing and doing”, Selected Readings from the Works of Mao Tse-Tung, op.cit., p. 55: “Man’s social practice is not confined to activity in production, but takes many forms—class struggle, political life, scientific and artistic pursuits; in short, as a social being, man participates in all spheres of the practical life of society. Thus man, in varying degrees, comes to know the different relations between man and man, not only through his material life but also though his political and cultural life (both of which are intimately bound up with material life)”, or
  23. ^ Maoism Glossary of Terms, Encyclopedia of Marxism
  24. ^ John H. Badgley, John Wilson Lewis. Peasant Rebellion and Communist Revolution in Asia. Stanford, California, USA: Stanford University Press, 1974. p. 249.
  25. ^ “Xinhua: Constitution of the Communist Party of China”. Archived from the original on 17 October 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  26. ^ “UC Berkeley Journalism -Faculty – Deng’s Revolution”. Archived from the original on 4 January 2009. Retrieved 22 August 2007.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  27. ^ “Exploring Chinese History :: Culture :: Philosophy :: Maoism”. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  28. ^ “China the Four Modernizations, 1979-82”. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  29. ^ S. Zhao, “A State-Led Nationalism: The Patriotic Education Campaign in Post-Tiananmen China”, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, 1998, 31(3): p. 288.
  30. ^ For a newest expression of the official judgment see 中国共产党历史第二卷下册,中共中央党史研究室著,中共党史出版社,第二八章对”文化大革命”十年的基本分析(History of China Communist Party, Vol. 2, Party History Research Centre (November 2010), Chap. 28 Analysis on Cultural Revolution).
  31. ^ Latham, Judith (19 August 2010). “Roma of the former Yugoslavia”. The Journal of Nationalism and Ethnicity (of Nationalities Papers). 27, 1999 (2): 205–226. doi:10.1080/009059999109037. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  32. ^ “Khmer Rouge Duch trial nears end”. BBC News. 23 November 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  33. ^ [1] Archived 29 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  34. ^ “What Went Wrong with the Pol Pot Regime”. Archived from the original on 10 August 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  35. ^ D., VAN HERREWEGEN, De verdeeldheid van radicaal-links in Vlaanderen: De strategische -en praktische breuklijnen tussen AMADA, de KPB en de RAL tussen 1969-1972, Unpublished masterpaper, Department of History, 25–29.
  36. ^ “70 per cent good, 30 per cent bad”.
  37. ^ Graham Young, On Socialist Development and the Two Roads, The Australian Journal of Chinese Affairs, No. 8 (July 1982), pp. 75–84, doi:10.2307/2158927.
  38. ^ Political Philosophy from Plato to Mao, by Martin Cohen, p. 206, published 2001 by Pluto Press, London and Sterling VA
    ISBN 0-7453-1603-4.
  39. ^ “Meisner, Maurice. Mao’s China and After. New York: Free Press, 1999. p. 44.
  40. ^ Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, Mao: The Untold Story (Jonathan Cape, 2005) p. 3.
  41. ^ policy autumn 06_Edit5.indd Archived 16 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  42. ^ Teiwes, Frederick C., and Warren Sun. 1999. ‘China’s road to disaster: Mao, central politicians, and provincial leaders in the unfolding of the great leap forward, 1955-1959. Contemporary China papers. Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe. pp. 52–55.
  43. ^ MacFarquhar, Roderick. 1974. The origins of the Cultural Revolution. London: Published for Royal Institute of International Affairs, East Asian Institute of Columbia University and Research Institute on Communist Affairs of Columbia by Oxford University Press. p. 4.
  44. ^ Link, Perry (18 July 2007). “Legacy Of a Maoist Injustice”. The Washington Post. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  45. ^ Judith Shapiro, Mao’s War Against Nature: Politics and the Environment in Revolutionary China, 2001, Cambridge University Press, p. 306,
    ISBN 0521786800.
  46. ^ Meisner, Maurice. Mao’s China and After. New York: Free Press, 1999. p. 43.
  47. ^ Meisner, Maurice. Mao’s China and After. New York: Free Press, 1999. p. 42.
  48. ^ Lee, Martin A. The Beast Reawakens: Fascism’s Resurgence from Hitler’s Spymasters to Today, 2013. p. 195.

Further reading

  • Marxism in the Chinese Revolution by Arif Dirlik.
  • Rethinking Mao: Explorations in Mao Zedong’s Thought by Nick Knight.
  • The Function of “China” in Marx, Lenin, and Mao by Donald Lowe.
  • Li Ta-chao and the Origins of Chinese Marxism by Maurice Meisner.
  • Mao’s China and After by Maurice Mesiner.
  • The Political Thought of Mao Tse-Tung by Stuart Schram.
  • Mao Tse-Tung, The Marxist Lord of Misrule. On Practice and Contradiction by Slavoj Zizek.
  • Gregor, A. James and Maria Hsia Chang. “Maoism and Marxism in Comparative Perspective.” The Review of Politics. Cambridge University Press for the University of Notre Dame du Lac on behalf of Review of Politics. Vol. 40, No. 3, July 1978. pp. 307–327. Available at Jstor.
  • Meisner, Maurice. “Leninism and Maoism: Some Populist Perspectives on Marxism-Leninism in China.” The China Quarterly. Cambridge University Press on behalf of the School of Oriental and African Studies. No. 45, January – March 1971. p. 2–36. Available at Jstor.
  • Steiner, H. Arthur. “Maoism or Stalinism for Asia?” Far Eastern Survey. Institute of Pacific Relations. Vol. 22, No. 1, January 14, 1953. p. 1–5. Available at Jstor.
  • Lee Feigon, “Mao, A Reinterpretation” Ivan R. Dee, Publisher.
  • Mao Tse-Tung Unrehearsed by Stuart Schram (Pelican).

External links

.mw-parser-output .refbegin{font-size:90%;margin-bottom:0.5em}.mw-parser-output .refbegin-hanging-indents>ul{list-style-type:none;margin-left:0}.mw-parser-output .refbegin-hanging-indents>ul>li,.mw-parser-output .refbegin-hanging-indents>dl>dd{margin-left:0;padding-left:3.2em;text-indent:-3.2em;list-style:none}.mw-parser-output .refbegin-100{font-size:100%}

  • Maoism at Encyclopædia Britannica.
  • Guiding thought of revolution: the heart of Maoism international project.
  • Mao Internet Library.
  • The Encyclopedia of Marxism Mao Zedong Thought.
  • The Encyclopedia of Marxism Mao’s life.
  • Monthly Review January 2005 Text of the leaflets distributed by the Zhengzhou Four.
  • World Revolution Media Maoist revolutionary film, music and art archive.
  • Batchelor, J. Maoism and Classical Marxism, Clio History Journal, 2009.
  • A new economic study says China could grow more quickly by 2036 if Chairman Mao’s policies were brought back. Business Insider. 10 August 2015.