History and Historiography

On the Unlikely Extremes of Maoist Influence on the West

The role of Maoism in the development of PC culture is often overlooked. Much of the blame is often laid at the feet of the Frankfurt School, particularly Marcuse’s idea of “repressive tolerance,” along with the “language as power” thesis of the postmodernists. Obviously, those have been influences but so have the Maoist notions of a cultural revolution, struggle sessions, self-criticism, etc.

By Julia Lovell, LitHub

In the mid-1970s, a Kerala-born Singaporean called Aravindan Balakrishnan—leader of the Workers’ Institute of Marxism–Leninism–Mao Zedong Thought in London—made a bold prediction. By the close of 1977, the People’s Liberation Army of China would move swiftly to free the world—they would be in London and Washington before the imperialists there had even realized they were coming. When nothing seemed to have changed by the close of that year, the prophet quickly covered himself. First, he deferred the prophecy’s fulfillment to 1980. Second, he explained that the timing was immaterial anyway, for the Chinese under Mao were so advanced that they would liberate us through a different kind of warfare: by taking over our brains without us realizing it.


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