Communism Notes

Communism Notes
I. Communism is also known as:
Command Economy
II. Communism grew as a response to:
Capitalism which resulted in rich and poor.
Imperialism which exploited weaker nations.
Nationalism which caused conflicts and wars.
III. Founding Fathers of Communism
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels who were German philosophers who wrote The
Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital (Capital).
IV. Basic Ideas of Communism
A. Individual ownership of property ends.
B. All property is owned communally by all of the people.
C. Government controls the whole economy.
D. Economic decisions are made to benefit the people as a whole.
E. Everyone is expected to contribute to the economy based upon his ability and to
receive goods and services based upon his needs.
F. A classless society in which everyone is equal is created.
G. Religion, “the opiate of the masses,” is abandoned.
H. Communism is spread around the world creating a stateless society.
I. Mao’s Social Revolution
A. Agrarian Reform Act of 1950- the gentry were stripped of their land and power.
B. Marriage Law of 1950- women were given rights.
1. Husbands and wives equal.
2. Polygamy banned.
3. Divorce permitted.
4. Forced marriages illegal.
5. Foot binding outlawed.
C. Counterrevolutionary Suppression Campaign- was aimed at “traitors” of the
“people.” People were asked to “spy” on their neighbors and relatives.
D. Propaganda- used to brainwash people to believe in Communism.
E. Mass Organizations- were created for groups of people like workers, teachers
and students.
1. Democratic Youth League and Young Pioneers were created for children.
II. Mao’s Economic Revolution
A. The First Five Year Plan (1953-57)- designed to modernize China as quickly as
1. Industry- over 100 projects completed.
A. Mining, electricity, chemicals, etc.
2. Agriculture- farmers had to give up ownership of land and forced into
collective farms.
B. The Great Leap Forward (1958)- second five-year plan designed to develop the
1. Millions worked to build irrigation, dams, railways, and factories.
2. People donated their metal and backyard iron furnaces dotted the
3. Collective farms were formed into huge communes. Men, women and
children were housed in dormitories and ate in communal kitchens.
4. The plan was a disaster. Instead of a great leap forward, it was “two steps
a. Failed because of poor planning and unrealistic goals.
b. There was widespread famine and economic production decreased by
5. Mao Zedong lost power after the Great Leap Forward.
III. Mao’s Cultural Revolution
A. The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966-1976)- a time of chaos in China
when young people were encouraged to rise up by Mao.
B. Causes
1. Mao wanted to regain power.
2. There was a conflict between Reds and Experts.
C. Elements of Cultural Revolution
1. Red Guard- groups of students loyal to Mao.
a. Attacked the “four olds”: ideology, thought, habits, and customs.
2. People like teachers, managers, and government officials were stripped of
their positions.
3. The Little Red Book- The Quotations of Chairman Mao Zedong.
4. Glorification of Chairman Mao through posters, poems, songs, etc.
D. Effects
1. Mao regained power.
2. Spirit of the Revolution was restored.
3. Equality was improved through the destruction of the elite.
4. The development of China was set back by 10-20 years.