In what ways did Mao Zedong and the Communists seek to change the basic values and beliefs of the Chinese people?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There were many ways in which the Chinese communists under Mao Zedong tried to change the basic beliefs and values of the Chinese people.  Many of these revolved around an effort to break down the traditional family extended family and to promote more of a focus on the "modern" nuclear family.

Among these policies was the policy which gave women full equality with men in terms of marriage, divorce, and property rights.  This was meant to break down the traditional, patriarchal focus of the extended family.  The extended family was attacked more specifically as a relic of feudal times.

One could argue that the indoctrination of Party members that included the famous "self-criticism" sessions was a policy that was meant to eradicate old ways of thought.  During these sessions, members were made to criticize themselves for various "sins" against Party doctrine.  They were encouraged to completely accept the new ways that the Party brought in.

In ways like these, the Communist Party under Mao Zedong tried to remake Chinese values and ideals to be more in line with communist tenets.