Mao vs. Stalin

As I was reading about Mao as a leader in the Cultural Revolution, I was constantly comparing and contrasting him with Stalin when he lead the Russian Revolution. I was noticing some similarities like how they both purged members of the Communist party and both leaders created five-year plans as well as establishing collectivization. I believe that the behaviors and actions of both these leaders stemmed from their fear of losing power and eventually being overthrown. Likewise, both these leaders interpreted Marxism differently which in turn correlated to their specific country and revolution. Although both advocated class struggle, Stalin’s communism focused on the industrial population whereas Mao’s dealt with the agrarian, peasant population. Therefore, although both leaders strived to transform their societies into idealized utopias, what they would describe as a perfect society would be drastically different.

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2 Responses to Mao vs. Stalin

  1. Dr. K says:

    Interesting comments, Pho. I particularly like the observation that they “tailored” their ideology to their countries’ particular circumstances. It says something about the malleability of ideology.

  2. KassieF says:

    You make very interesting points. I think that Mao is so similar a leader to Stalin because the Chinese Revolution was spawned by many of the same factors as the Russian Revolution, and in many ways, the Russian Revolution influenced the Chinese Revolution. The Five Year Plans, as you pointed out, was a technique for economic stability that was taken directly from the Soviet Union.
    In many ways, Mao also reminds me of Robespierre of the French Revolution. Both men believed that the only way to revolutionize was through violence (an ideology that Marx also advocated). The similar leadership styles of Mao, Stalin, and Robespierre shows just how much influence Revolutions have on each other.

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