Mao Zedong was a Chinese communist leader and he also founded the People’s Republic of China. He pushed for a revolution and transformation within China. Zedong was also responsible for disastrous policies such as the ‘Great Leap Forward’.
The Great Leap Forward was an economic and social campaign that aimed to change China from an agrarian economy into an advanced and modern society (Peng 639). The Chinese looked forward to developing more efficient and labor-intensive methods of industrialization. Man-power would play an essential role in the industrialization of the country rather than machines and capital expenditure. The slow industrialization process would enable the country to gradually accumulate capital and purchase of heavy machinery that would stem the country’s transformation process in the future. Mao Zedong sought to implement this policy or vision by advocating for the development of small backyard steel furnaces in every village and urban neighborhood. Through that approach, he intended to accelerate the country’s industrialization process.
The implementation of the Great Leap Forward came during one of the most turbulent and disastrous periods in China’s history of industrialization. The policy aimed to achieve three goals that are to reform and improve China’s agricultural output, push forward for advanced industrial production, and continue to the socialist revolution. Mao Zedong’s policy failed disastrously in the three areas of concern. Pushing for reform and improvement of the agricultural output, new agricultural methods such as deep plowing, and close planting were integrated into the agricultural sector (Peng 639). These new agricultural methods led to poor harvests. Besides, the push for advanced industrial production led to a shortage of workers in the agricultural sector. As such, quality and enough agricultural products were not produced for the various industries within China. Also, the backyard steel furnaces that Mao Zedong advocated for their development produced useless metals that could not help in the construction of strong and effective structures.
Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping both advocated for a communist government in China. Deng Xiaoping’s policies were focused on improving the existing status of Chinese society, whilst Zedong’s policies were causing more damage than good to the Chinese society. Mao Zedong used to work with the Red Guards with the notion or attempt to destroy the four olds, comprising of old customs, old habits, old culture, and old thought. Conversely, Deng Xiaoping established four modernizations in an attempt to improve China’s status. Industry, agriculture, national defense, and technology were the major concerns to his policies. As a result of these innovations, all limits against private actions and revenue guidelines that had been formulated by the Mao Zedong’s revolution were removed. Moreover, Mao Zedong stressed on the need to develop a socialist society. He thought that a socialist society would improve the country’s industrial development. However, the country industrial development was severely damaged. On the other hand, Deng Xiaoping with the four modernizations, policy, industrial development was experienced at a fast rate. As such, the nation made significant steps towards solving the problems of poverty and economic difficulties. Also, Mao Zedong wanted to modernize the country through collective farms. This led to agricultural problems, and as such, many people died of starvation as the food output had declined. On the other hand, Deng Xiaoping made positive improvements to the country. His policy led to an improvement in education, housing, and sanitation.
In sum, Mao Zedong’s policy brought about many problems to Chinese society. Many people died of starvation and the value Chinese economy declined. Deng Xiaoping’s policy brought hope back to Chinese society as it stressed the improvement of agriculture, industry, technology, and the nation’s defense.
Peng, Xizhe. “of the Great Leap Forward in China’s Provinces.” Population and Development Review 13.4 (1987): 639., http://www.xgc2000.net/wh/famine/Research/Peng87.pdf