Chairman Mao Zedong was the center of a personality cult that was almost a religion. What were the results of this situation?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The main result of this veneration of Chairman Mao was the devastation and oppression of China's populace.  It has also, one can argue, resulted in a Chinese government that continues to brook no criticism of its actions.

Because Mao was the center of this cult, his actions were never questioned.  This helped to allow him to take rash actions that had terrible results for the Chinese people.  Among these were the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.  Both of these led to widespread death and/or oppression of the people.

Nowadays, the Chinese government continues to do a very bad job of responding to the needs of its people.  It has improved their standards of living, but it lacks the ability to hear and learn from criticism.  One can argue that this is the legacy of having been run by an "infallible" ruler for so long.

krcavnar's profile pic

krcavnar | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

Mao became an iconic figure during the Cultural Revolution of 1966-1976.  Mao believed a personality cult was necessary to overcome differing ideas and issues within the governing party.  Mao’s ideas were published in the Little Red Book.  Masses of Red Books and photographs of Mao on billboards became a common scene.  Mao closed urban schools and sent armies into the countryside armed with the Little Red Books to convert the masses.  Mao restricted the arts and enforced his ideology, with force if necessary.  The damage to the educational system itself took several decades to repair.  Progress was interrupted by this cult of Mao and caused significant decline of Chinese society.

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