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Mao Zedong

Date de naissance: 26. décembre 1893
Date de décès: 9. septembre 1976

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Mao Zedong est un homme d'État et chef militaire chinois né le 26 décembre 1893 à Shaoshan et mort le 9 septembre 1976 à Pékin. Fondateur de la république populaire de Chine, il a été son principal dirigeant de 1949 à sa mort.

Fils de paysans aisés, il est l'un des membres historiques du Parti communiste chinois , parvenant progressivement à s’en faire reconnaître comme le dirigeant suprême, notamment lors de l’épisode de la Longue Marche, entre 1934 et 1935. Après de longues années de guérilla contre les nationalistes du Kuomintang dirigés par Tchang Kaï-chek, ainsi que contre l’envahisseur japonais pendant la guerre sino-japonaise , Mao sortit vainqueur de l’ultime phase de la guerre civile chinoise, avec la victoire de l’Armée populaire de libération . Il proclame la république populaire de Chine, le 1er octobre 1949 à Pékin ; il sera d'ailleurs le premier à occuper la fonction de président de 1954 à 1959. Ses principaux postes, qu’il occupa jusqu’à sa mort en 1976 et qui lui permirent de rester le numéro un du régime, étaient ceux de président du Parti communiste chinois et de président de la Commission militaire centrale, le premier lui garantissant la maîtrise du Parti, et le second celle de l'Armée populaire de libération.

Mao Zedong impose à la population le collectivisme communiste et la dictature du parti unique, en suivant de très près le modèle soviétique dans un premier temps. Au nom de la définition d’une « voie chinoise vers le socialisme », il se démarque ensuite progressivement de l’URSS et sera l’inspirateur direct du Grand Bond en avant, responsable de famines de masse et de la mort d'environ 45 millions de personnes. Après avoir été mis à l'écart par ses collaborateurs et laissé la présidence de la république à Liu Shaoqi, il soulève les étudiants chinois contre la direction du Parti pour reprendre le pouvoir, livrant les villes à la violence des gardes rouges au cours de la révolution culturelle, entre 1966 et 1969. Il s'appuie dans un premier temps sur Lin Biao, puis ce dernier est à son tour évincé. Ayant éliminé ses rivaux et rétabli l’ordre à son profit, il fait l’objet d’un culte de la personnalité et rapproche alors le plus la république populaire de Chine d’un État de type totalitaire de 1969 à 1976.

Sa politique internationale des années 1970 marque un rapprochement avec l’Occident, qui permet la réintégration de la Chine dans le concert mondial . En 1975, Mao laisse son Premier ministre Zhou Enlai décréter un nouveau programme de réformes, les « Quatre Modernisations ». Celui que l’on surnomme « le Grand Timonier » meurt en 1976 sans avoir désigné de successeur. La Chine réhabilite peu après un certain nombre de ses victimes, tout en continuant l’ouverture à une certaine forme d’économie de marché entamée en 1975.

Dès les années suivant sa mort, alors que ses proches et principaux partisans sont progressivement écartés ou arrêtés, le Parti communiste chinois véhicule une vision contrastée du personnage, exaltant le penseur politique et le chef de guerre libérateur tout en déplorant les « erreurs » du dirigeant, à savoir le Grand Bond en avant et la révolution culturelle. Il reste néanmoins la principale figure du roman national chinois et connaît des hommages récurrents de la part des cadres et dirigeants du parti, bien que la politique actuelle du régime n'ait que peu de rapports avec la vision de son fondateur, en particulier sur le plan économique. Ses écrits théoriques et sa pratique politique ont donné naissance à un courant marxiste-léniniste connu sous le nom de maoïsme.

Citations Mao Zedong

„Contradiction and struggle are universal and absolute“

— Mao Zedong
Context: Contradiction and struggle are universal and absolute, but the methods of resolving contradictions, that is, the forms of struggle, differ according to the differences in the nature of the contradictions. Some contradictions are characterized by open antagonism and others are not. In accordance with the concrete development of things, some contradictions, which were originally non-antagonistic, develop into antagonistic ones, while others which were originally antagonistic develop into non-antagonistic ones.

„I ask, on this bondless land
Who rules over man's destiny?“

— Mao Zedong
Context: Alone I stand in the autumn cold On the tip of Orange Island, Xiang flowing northward; I see a thousand hills crimsoned through By their serried woods deep-dyed, And a hundred barges vying Over crystal blue waters. Eagles cleave the air, Fish glide under the shallow water; Under freezing skies a million creatures contend in freedom. Brooding over this immensity, I ask, on this bondless land Who rules over man's destiny?

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„Our God is none other than the masses of the Chinese people.“

— Mao Zedong
Context: There is an ancient Chinese fable called "The Foolish Old Man Who Removed the Mountains". It tells of an old man who lived in northern China long, long ago and was known as the Foolish Old Man of North Mountain. His house faced south and beyond his doorway stood the two great peaks, Taihang and Wangwu, obstructing the way. He called his sons, and hoe in hand they began to dig up these mountains with great determination. Another graybeard, known as the Wise Old Man, saw them and said derisively, "How silly of you to do this! It is quite impossible for you few to dig up those two huge mountains." The Foolish Old Man replied, "When I die, my sons will carry on; when they die, there will be my grandsons, and then their sons and grandsons, and so on to infinity. High as they are, the mountains cannot grow any higher and with every bit we dig, they will be that much lower. Why can't we clear them away?" Having refuted the Wise Old Man's wrong view, he went on digging every day, unshaken in his conviction. God was moved by this, and he sent down two angels, who carried the mountains away on their backs. Today, two big mountains lie like a dead weight on the Chinese people. One is imperialism, the other is feudalism. The Chinese Communist Party has long made up its mind to dig them up. We must persevere and work unceasingly, and we, too, will touch God's heart. Our God is none other than the masses of the Chinese people. If they stand up and dig together with us, why can't these two mountains be cleared away?

„A revolution is not a dinner party“

— Mao Zedong
Context: A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery. It cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another. [https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/works/red-book/ch02.htm Chapter 2], originally published in [http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-1/mswv1_2.htm Report on an investigation of the peasant movement in Hunan] (March 1927), Selected Works, Vol. I, p. 28. [https://www.marxists.org/chinese/big5/nonmarxists/mao/19270300.htm]. 湖南農民運動考察報告

„Weapons are an important factor in war, but not the decisive factor; it is people, not things that are decisive.“

— Mao Zedong
Context: Weapons are an important factor in war, but not the decisive factor; it is people, not things that are decisive. The contest of strength is not only a contest of military and economic power, but also a contest of human power and morale. People necessarily wield military and economic power.

„A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.“

— Mao Zedong
Context: A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery. It cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another. [https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/works/red-book/ch02.htm Chapter 2], originally published in [http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-1/mswv1_2.htm Report on an investigation of the peasant movement in Hunan] (March 1927), Selected Works, Vol. I, p. 28. [https://www.marxists.org/chinese/big5/nonmarxists/mao/19270300.htm]. 湖南農民運動考察報告

„Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.“

— Mao Zedong
Context: Every Communist must grasp the truth: Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun. [https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/works/red-book/ch05.htm Chapter 5], originally published in Problems of War and Strategy (November 6, 1938), Selected Works, Vol. II, p. 224.

„Today, two big mountains lie like a dead weight on the Chinese people. One is imperialism, the other is feudalism.“

— Mao Zedong
Context: There is an ancient Chinese fable called "The Foolish Old Man Who Removed the Mountains". It tells of an old man who lived in northern China long, long ago and was known as the Foolish Old Man of North Mountain. His house faced south and beyond his doorway stood the two great peaks, Taihang and Wangwu, obstructing the way. He called his sons, and hoe in hand they began to dig up these mountains with great determination. Another graybeard, known as the Wise Old Man, saw them and said derisively, "How silly of you to do this! It is quite impossible for you few to dig up those two huge mountains." The Foolish Old Man replied, "When I die, my sons will carry on; when they die, there will be my grandsons, and then their sons and grandsons, and so on to infinity. High as they are, the mountains cannot grow any higher and with every bit we dig, they will be that much lower. Why can't we clear them away?" Having refuted the Wise Old Man's wrong view, he went on digging every day, unshaken in his conviction. God was moved by this, and he sent down two angels, who carried the mountains away on their backs. Today, two big mountains lie like a dead weight on the Chinese people. One is imperialism, the other is feudalism. The Chinese Communist Party has long made up its mind to dig them up. We must persevere and work unceasingly, and we, too, will touch God's heart. Our God is none other than the masses of the Chinese people. If they stand up and dig together with us, why can't these two mountains be cleared away?

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„The army must become one with the people so that they see it as their own army“

— Mao Zedong
Context: The army must become one with the people so that they see it as their own army. Such an army will be invincible....

„All reactionaries are paper tigers. In appearance, the reactionaries are terrifying, but in reality they are not so powerful. From a long-term point of view, it is not the reactionaries but the people who are really powerful.“

— Mao Zedong
[https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/works/red-book/ch06.htm Chapter 6], originally published in Talk with the American Correspondent Anna Louise Strong (August 1946), Selected Works, Vol. IV, p. 100.

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