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Type: Thesis
Title: The Rise and Fall of Australian Maoism
Author: Xie, Xiaoxiao
Issue Date: 2016
School/Discipline: School of Social Sciences : Asian Studies
Abstract: This thesis is the first most empirical investigation of what was commonly known as Maoism in Australia. The rise and fall of Maoism in Australia is conceived at the beginning as the image I named as the ‘Rivers of Tears’ floating on the ‘Rivers of Blood’, a metaphor used by John Enoch Powell, a British politician of the late 20th century. The Maoist perspectives on imperialism as a ‘bloody’ battles of all the exploited and repressed peoples against both old and new ‘Masters’, resonated not only with the members of a small break-away ‘Marxist-Leninist’ group from the Communist Party of Australia, but also with a few Sixties student activists, who had been radicalised by the American/Australian intervention in the Vietnam War. For both groups, however, the outbreak of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China signified the birth of a new ‘regime of truth’, which positioned People’s Republic of China as a genuine socialist country, as opposed to the State socialism of the Soviet Union, and consequently drove them to challenge the dominant liberal capitalist regime of truth in Australia as part of the Western hegemony. This Maoist ‘Rivers of Tears’ ran counter to the liberal-democratic truth held as hegemonic in the Australia. So, the major theme of the thesis was how the rationality of capitalist and free market truth underpinned various forms of strategies and tactics of government, construed, and applied in identifying, controlling, and containing the Australian Maoists. This hegemony was exerted by a combination of governmentality and direct State power to contain the flow of the Maoist ‘Rivers of Tears’. The movement that infused the clash of wills for and against the truth of Australian Maoism came to an abrupt end, after the death of Chairman of the Communist Party of China and the purge of ‘Gang of Four’. The repudiation of the Cultural Revolution as a ‘catastrophe of ten years’, delivered a ‘catastrophic’ blow to those who supported the Chinese model of socialism in Australia. This ‘breaking up’ of the truth of Maoism stirred much debate and conflict within, and eventually hastened the split in the CPA (ML) and the breakup of the Maoist student groups. By the early 1980s, it can be seen, that there was no longer a Movement in Australia that carried the banner of Mao Zedong Thought, but instead several ‘warring’ Maoist groups. Only in that sense, this thesis concluded with an observation on the ‘death’ of Maoism in Australia. That death was as much what occurred in China as it was in Australia, where governmentality and State power within politics, society and the universities reinforced the hegemony of neo-liberal ideology which ended the ‘Rivers of Tears’.
Advisor: McCarthy, Gregory
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Social Sciences, 2017
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