Difference between Marxism & Maoism

Marxism vs Maoism

Both Marxism and Maoism are political ideologies, with some differences between them. Marxism aims to establish equality between the rich and the poor and is based on the doctrines laid down by Karl Marx. Maoism, also known as Mao Zedong Thought, is an ideology developed by Chinese leader Mao Zedong. Mao wanted to bring about a proletariat revolution in China to change society but could not use Marxism as it was, due to China’s large farming population. Therefore, he made some changes to the theory to fit the conditions of China, resulting in Maoism.

What is Marxism?

Marxism is based on the idea that different social classes are created due to their relationship with the economy. It posits that class struggles arise from the unfair treatment workers receive, leading to a proletariat revolution. Some experts view Marxism as a philosophy based on the materialistic interpretation of history, which takes into account people’s history and its impact on their lives and development. Ultimately, Marxism prepares the ground for communism.

What is Maoism?

Maoism, or Mao Zedong Thought, is a political ideology that claims to be an anti-revolutionist form of Marxist communist theory. It developed from the ideas of Chinese leader Mao Zedong, who lived between 1893 and 1976. Maoism also believed in the necessity of a proletariat revolution to change society for the better. However, it focused on motivating the farming population in China, rather than urban workers, as China was an agricultural community at the time. Maoism developed between the 1950s and 1960s, and the Communist Party of China followed its principles. After Mao’s death, Deng Xiaoping, the new leader, implemented his own Deng Xiaoping Theory by slightly modifying Maoist theory. Maoist parties and armed groups exist in countries such as India, Nepal, and Peru and have contested and won elections in some of these countries. Political pundits believe there are either significant differences or only slight differences between Maoism and Marxism.

Key Takeaways

  • Both Marxism and Maoism focus on a proletariat revolution to change society, but Marxism targets urban workers while Maoism targets the farming population.
  • Marxism is a theory, while Maoism adapted Marxism’s theory and applied it to China.
  • Marxism values industrialization and technology, while Maoism does not, believing that industrialization would weaken the proletariat revolution.
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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