The Decline of Ideocracy

  • Gordon White


Ideology has played a crucially important role in the politics of state socialist or communist regimes. Such systems are ‘ideocratic’ — they rely on an explicit and codified system of political ideas derived from Marxism-Leninism which guides the actions of the political élite in the hegemonic communist Party, justifies the Party’s monopoly on power and legitimises its proclaimed historical mission to ‘build socialism’. In China the political role of ideology reached high points of intensity during the periods of Maoist mass mobilisation in the Great Leap Forward in 1958–59 and the Cultural Revolution decade from 1966–76.


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  1. Chang, Gordon H. (1988), ‘A symposium on Marxism in China today: an interview with Su Shaozhi, with comments by American scholars and a response by Su Shaozhi’, Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, vol. 20, no. 1.Google Scholar

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© Gordon White 1995

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  • Gordon White

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