The successful achievements in the development of the economy in the 1950s enabled the Communistic Party leadership with the chairman Mao Zedong launch a Great Leap Forward in 1958. The economic aim was to transform the country from the agrarian into a socialist society by means of rapid industrialization and collectivization. On the other hand, it was not a bare economic phenomenon. At the celebration of the October Revolution in 1957 in Moscow, Mao Zedong set an objective to catch up with and surpass the UK in 15 years. The transition from socialism to communism had to take place rapidly and leave the Soviet Union behind. Considering these facts, there appeared the reasons to say that the Chinese went crazy but after the deep research on the subject, it is better to state that these were the communist leaders who went crazy with their ideology, and ordinary people just had a great wish for improvements.
Place New Order
There are two main directions of the Great Leap Forward. One of them was a steel campaign, and another one was the creation of the people’s communes. The mandatory agricultural collectivization, which took place, prohibited private farming. People were formed in communes and got the piece of work for the state. The radicals of the Party were full of ideology and believed industrialization could be done by means of cheap labor. Stuff yourselves full, and then redouble production was the slogan, which was mentioned by Yu Hua in his book (Yu Hua). Hence, the ideology was built on the belief in peoples willpower and desire for transformation of the society.
The situation with steel led to mass production but as it was of low quality the results were not successful. The other point was that a lot of people took part in this activity, and so there were not enough of them to work with the harvest. Moreover, the production ranks were growing higher as the local officials were afraid to disappoint the Party representatives during their common meetings. The fact was that politicians lived their imaginary victories and could not control the situation. The promised amounts of grown food were highly exaggerated, and the only way out they could find was to diminish the supplies in the countryside. Taking into account the fact that all the lands were collectivized and the grain was taken for export, people were left without any source of survival. The Great Chinese Famine was caused by these circumstances and historians count from 18 to about 40 million victims of the 1958-1960s.
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In addition, there were not only the victims of the Famine but the political victims as well. Not all the representatives of the Communistic Party strayed into the imaginary world of victories. As it was mentioned by MacFarquhar Roderick, Dissatisfaction climaxed at the Lushan Plenum in July 1959 (MacFarquhar Roderick). It was headed by the Minister of Defense Peng Dehuai, who criticized the radical character of the Five Years Plan implementing. The Minister was dismissed, and Maos ally Lin Biao got his place. The anti-Rightist struggle started and the Party was divided. The act of promoting free speech and criticism was implemented by Mao, and his Hundred Flowers Campaign served as the way to find out the opponents and chase them. The problem of the consequences of the Leap was not even admitted, and it led to the worsening in the countryside. The natural disasters influenced the increasing of the victims and decreasing of the food amounts. Moreover, a number of radical and controversial agricultural innovations took place under the governing of Chairman Mao. Close cropping, deep plowing, and concentrating only on the most fertile land led to the growth in grain production.
Thus, the Great Leap Forward led to the severe famine with dozens of millions of victims. The failure of agricultural policies, the transition of farmers from agricultural to industrial work, and natural disasters caused horrible consequences. Many people died from quota-based executions. The economy has suffered a lot. The populace could not bear such conditions for a long time, so there appeared the resistance. In the fear to lose the power and influence because of the tragic results of the policy, Mao launched the Cultural Revolution in 1966.
The main aim of the Revolution was to reassert his authority over the Chinese government. The direction of the policy seemed to be wrong to Mao, and he paid his attention to the youth in order to implement the pure elements of communism. The Cultural Revolution continued in different forms until Mao died. The cult of the person was the base for the people at this period. According to Daniel Leese, China had relapsed into a passionate state of utter disorder and idol worship (Daniel Leese). Although the position of the politician weakened after the failure of his Great Leap Forward and the economic crisis still was not overcome in the 1960s, Mao succeeded to gather a group of radicals eager to help him attack current party leadership. Mao shut down the nations educational institutions. His purpose was to mobilize the youth and give them the spirit of revolution. As it is written in the book by Andrew Langley, Again and again Mao had preached that communism was all about struggle (Andrew Langley). The groups called the Red Guards were formed of pupils and student mainly. The members of these groups gathered and attacked the representatives of the elderly and intellectual population. Mao proclaimed China for Chinese people and according to Woei Lien Chong, The two-year period 1968-1969 was a frightening time for foreigners in China (Woei Lien Chong).
The imprisonment, torturing, robbing, and humiliating were the phenomena that millions of people faced widely during the Cultural Revolution. More than one million people were killed. Maos attacks and criticism of the system he had supported earlier produced the loss of faith in the government by people.
Thus, all the facts mentioned above give the full evidence of Maos cult presence and prove the existence of mad determination to follow the ideology.