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World Communism in China and Its Failures Essay (Article)

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Updated: Apr 8th, 2021

There are numerous examples in history pointing to the significant role of art in the promotion of political aspirations and national philosophies. Ideologies such as communism were known for excessive use of posters depicting the desired state of things and creating the image of the ideal world where everyone would work to benefit the state and leader. Posters were seen as one of the primary means of communication between citizens and leaders because they reflected the plans for future development and showed people who were to become role models for regular Chinese people (Smith 551).

Under Mao, communism centered on such values as rapid industrialization of the economy, integrating women into economic and social life, human mastery over nature, and leaving old issues in the past, giving a path to a better future (Strayer 1081). These values were perfectly depicted on the shown posters because they portray a woman occupied at a commonly male working position (poster 3), operating factories and the use of natural forces such as water for benefitting the national economy (poster 2), a man destroying the symbols of the past as well as the signs of the international developments depicted in rock platter (poster 1). Moreover, poster 4 represents the communication between the leader and the people of the state (Strayer 1080-1084).

All in all, posters were strong because they underscored universal consciousness and loyalty to Mao (Lu 79). Furthermore, they are still timely nowadays because China follows the path of industrialization and the involvement of women in economic life.

However, there are still some weaknesses because no women are portrayed on other posters stimulating the desire to drive social change and industrialization, limiting the role of women to hard work. Moreover, other weaknesses were revealed after Mao’s death. Even though the overall sense of grief points to the effectiveness of posters promoting love for the leader, the consequent struggle for power, which was common before the rule of Mao, highlights the fact that initiation of social change was weak, and there were no real changes in the political system (Wright 177).

Works Cited

Lu, Xing. Rhetoric of the Chinese Cultural Revolution: The Impact of Chinese Thought, Culture and Communication, Columbia, SC: South Carolina University Press, 2004. Print.

Smith, Stephen. The Oxford Handbook of the History of Communism, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. Print.

Strayer, Robert. Ways of the World: A Brief Global History with Sources, New York, NY: Bedford/Saint Martin’s, 2010. Print.

Wright, David Curtis. The History of China, Santa-Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio, 2011. Print.

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