China’s transition from the leadership under the iron fist of Mao Zedong to the more liberal Deng Xiao Ping gave the People’s Republic a gradual increase in economic freedom while maintaining political stability. During Mao’s regime, the country focused on bolstering and serving the community, while subsequently encumbering individual growth and prosperity. Deng advocated a more capitalist economic ideology, which established China as an economic force in the global community while endowing its citizens with more liberties and luxuries than previously granted.
Mao’s period of communal reform and the establishment of the Communist party from 1949-1976 was needed in order for Deng’s individual oriented, capitalist society to thrive. Mao’s period encompassed the structure of a true dictatorial communist government. It strove to concentrate on unifying communities to create a strong political backbone while being economically self-sufficient and socially literate and educated in Maoist propaganda. Under Mao’s leadership individual wealth was seen as a hindrance to community goals in meeting production quotas and was crushed by such policies as collectivization, land reformation, and movements such as The Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution. Under his rule, modeled under the Stalinist USSR archetype, China raised its masses from poverty and starvation to a standard of living that was considered a substantial upgrade.
Programs such as collectivization and land reformation were essentially a microcosm of Mao’s impact on China. Under the policy of collectivization, the government promoted cooperative farming and redistributed the land on the principle that the product of labor could be better distributed if the land was not under private ownership. As Peter Seybolt ascertains, in Throwing the Emperor from His Horse, the movement was done strictly to remove the power from the ric...