When the People’s Republic of China was founded, Mao Zedong was faced with a nation divided on every level, having been ravaged by a century of external foreign invasion and internal civil wars. Like Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor, Mao Zedong had the difficult task of consolidating and unifying China ahead of him. Maoism should be seen in the context of this unifying task: Mao Zedong Thought was the political and ideological fruit of Mao’s efforts towards a unified nation.
The transition from communism to capitalism following the revolutions of 1989 was unprecedented.1 Generally speaking, post-Communist states suffered a transformation crisis in moving from state socialism and a planned economy to a free and global market, resulting in hyperinflation, unemployment, and lower standards of living. Why was this?