Today we celebrate the 124th birthday of one of the greatest revolutionary leaders in history: Mao Zedong. The Communist Party of China under Mao was able to guide the Chinese revolution to victory, kicking out the imperialists and the reactionaries of the US-backed Kuomintang. This was the first instance of a socialist revolution in a non-European country which was oppressed not only by capitalism, but by imperialism, and thus suffering under semi-colonialism and semi-feudalism. The Chinese revolution guided by Mao Zedong brought an end to this, and led the masses in building socialism in their now free country. Mao also supported the masses in rising up against the revisionists that emerged after the victory of the revolution, who represented a new capitalist class. The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was the height of revolutionary experience in the past century, and its lessons are key for revolutionaries of this century.
The experience of the Chinese revolution saw many twists and turns, steps forward and setbacks, but through the proletarian leadership of the Party which Mao emphasized as essential, and through a concrete analysis of China’s situation, the revolution avoided dogmatism, brought wide swaths of the masses into the movement, and succeeded in establishing red power across the country.
Mao laid the basis for the science of revolutionary communism (historical materialism) to advance to a higher stage. Mao’s break from the Soviet revisionists demonstrated the limits of Marxism-Leninism, and his theorizations of the mass-line, law of contradiction, protracted people’s war/new democratic revolution, and cultural revolution allowed revolutionaries after the restoration of capitalism in China to systematize the lessons, successes, and failures of the Chinese revolution and declare Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (MLM) a higher stage of revolutionary science.
Revolutionaries around the world today uphold the banner of MLM, and since the death of Mao in 1976, Communist Parties around the world have taken his ideas and put them into practice, leading people’s wars in their countries: Peru, Nepal, the Philippines, India, and Turkey, to name a few.
The legacy of Mao Zedong lives on in the hearts of revolutionaries, as decades after his death, his ideas guide us towards revolution!