Kwame Nkrumah and Mao Ze Dong have managed to remain very popular all over the world due to their role in fighting colonialism and imperialism. Kwame Nkrumah was a leader in Ghana who supported the Pan-Africanism political ideology. Pan-Africanism referred to a system of attitudes and values that promoted the solidarity and unity of all Africans (Daryl, 2003). Nkrumah was a determined and dedicated leader who fought British colonialists in Ghana. When he managed to secure Ghana its independence, Nkrumah was referred to as a redeemer (Osagyefo).
He initiated the efforts to develop a new constitution in Ghana. He is acknowledged for advancing the economy of Ghana, which was then referred to as the Gold Cost. Nkrumah embraced some socialistic practices and policies hence he supported a politically United Africa based on the Pan-Africanism political ideology. Mao Zedong is acknowledged for his victory against the Kuomintang during the Chinese Civil War. He was a Chinese leader who became the Communist Party of China’s first chairman. In modern history, he is highly regarded as one of the most influential political leader in the 20th century.
In China, Mao Ze Dong is considered to be a political strategist and a great revolutionary whose leadership led to the transformation of China into a major world power (Chang and Halliday, 2005). His political ideology is referred to as Maoism. These two political leaders made a great impact in their countries by ending both colonialism and imperialism. Discussion Similarities between Pan-Africanism and Maoism Kwame Nkrumah through the Pan-Africanism ideology supported the aggregation of African spiritual, scientific, historical, philosophical, cultural and philosophical legacies.
Nkrumah encouraged and promoted values that emanated from African civilization struggles. These struggles included the Africans’ fight against colonialism, racism, slavery, and neo-colonialism. Pan-Africanism promoted African socialism and the unity of all the continental Africa with the exception of North Africa. For instance, Nkrumah supported the Pan Africanist Congress that fought apartheid in South Africa. South Africans for many years experienced institutionalized racism that had the country divided by race. The Africans were oppressed by the whites who were in leadership.
Nkrumah advocated for self-awareness in all Africans as well as a study of African culture and history. Maoism advocated for social revolution, social construction and socialist military construction. Therefore, just like Pan-Africanism which was advocated by Kwame Nkrumah, Maoism supported socialism. This can be seen in Mao Zedong’s efforts to develop the rural areas which were home to the peasants during the early stages of socialism. Pan-Africanism and Maoism condemned oppressive leadership which was characterized by colonialism and imperialism which denied the common people their rights.
The belief in African independence made Nkrumah together with other African political leaders such as Jomo Kenyatta to fight colonialists who had introduced imperialism in Africa. Nkrumah acknowledged the humiliating encounter that Africans had with colonialism, white supremacy and slavery. During the 20th century, most countries in Africa had been colonized and slavery was being witnessed in Asia, Europe, and America. Nkrumah condemned the ill treatment that people of African descent received from the white leaders. He was imprisoned by British colonial rulers as Ghana struggled for its independence.
Under the Convention Peoples’ Party, Nkrumah led boycotts, strikes, civil disobedience and boycotts which compelled the British colonialists to end its rule in Ghana. Nkrumah became Ghanaian President after being elected in 1951 and under his leadership, Ghana witnessed the construction of infrastructure, social amenities and creation of a welfare system . Mao Zedong fought the poor leadership in China by mobilizing a large number of peasants to resist the oppressive rule. After assuming leadership, Mao continued to support class struggles and condemned corruption.
Maoism in China was used to fight poor leadership when Mao Zedong initiated Cultural Revolution which aimed at ending corruption and capitalism . These two were seen as contributing factors to poor living conditions of the peasants. Maoism focused on the revolutionary struggle that involved the mobilization of a large number of people against a class of leaders who were considered to exploit the low class in the society. Mao encouraged a form of revolution whereby the poor would fight this class of leaders together with their state structures (Stephane et al, 1999).
In addition, Mao encouraged people to resist feudalism and capitalism. For instance, he supported the move to establish the Socialist Education Movement and promoted the concept of revolutionary mass mobilization. Just like Pan-Africanism, the Maoist ideology supported and advanced economic & social development of people in China. Mao’s political ideologies are associated to Marxism-Leninism which focuses on peasantry as a revolutionary force. Through the leadership and knowledge of the communist party, the revolutionary force could be mobilized.
However, the Maoism political ideology has been considered to be anti-revisionist. Both Pan-Africanism and Maoism supported the need for people to uphold cultural experiences. Nkrumah’s political ideology promoted the application of positive synthesis of the African experience while Mao emphasized the importance of grass root knowledge which people could obtain from experience Differences in Pan-Africanism and Maoism Mao Zedong political ideology advocated for practical strategies of revolution. Therefore, the Maoist ideology promoted the concept of revolutionary mass mobilization.
Although Maoism advocated for a China that did not experience feudalism and imperialism, it supported the doctrine that connects the military strategy to the political ideology. This is why the Maoism political ideology supports the use of guerilla war tactics in bringing change through revolution… Mao participated in struggles for an independent China which made him to be considered as a radical activist. Even after assuming leadership, Mao used military force to attain his political goals. The opinion that the barrel of a gun can result to political power differs with Nkrumah’s ideology of Pan-Africanism.
Pan-Africanism concentrated on socialism that would emanate from the civilization struggles of Africans. Nkrumah supported revolution through a sequential process that would enable all Africans practice a healthy culture. To do this, Nkrumah encouraged Africans to address the confusion that had emanated from the intrigues of enslavement and colonialism. Nkrumah’s’ political ideology has been criticized as the one that concentrated on the oppressive influences that faced Africa in the 20th century.
Nkrumah viewed political-economy to fall within the cultural realm hence he considered African Revolution to be a good way through with African unity and liberation would be won and peoples’ lives improved (Imanuel, 1974). The political ideologies of both Nkrumah and Mao supported the need to transform the society. However, the ideologies differ in the manner through which transformation should be attained. Mao who was from a peasant family mobilized the Chinese peasants to resist oppressive rule since the Maoist political ideology aimed at transforming the world.
Mao promoted the mobilization of peasantry to be involved in guerilla warfare that could result to political power (Judith, 2001). Maoism promoted the defending of a revolutionary area from external forces through deliberate organizing of economic and massive military power. Although Nkrumah wanted the world to be transformed by condemning colonialism and imperialism, using economic and massive military power to defend a revolutionary area from external forces was not necessary. Pan-Africanism would ensure that the unity and solidarity of all Africans would be able to initiate changes that would transform the society.
Maoism encouraged class struggles in the society despite the overthrowing of the leaders who exploited the poor. Mao initiated economic development through communalism and efforts to increase industrial and agricultural production had large agricultural communities established (Stephen, 1984). The need to promote revolution was emphasized by Mao (MarcFarquhar and Schoenhals, 2006) and the Great Leap forward and Cultural Revolution are considered to be a symbol of Mao’s political ideology. The Great leap forward was a plan to encourage economic prosperity whereby small agricultural lands were merged into large farm communes.
Nkrumah on the other hand advocated for liberation as a way through which changes in the society can be witnessed. Nkrumah encouraged African development through the unification of African countries under the Socialist Union Government (Walters, 1997). Conclusion Kwame Nkrumah and Mao Zedong are both well known for their important role in fighting colonialism and imperialism in Ghana and China respectively. Nkrumah advocated and supported a political ideology that was referred to as Pan-Africanism while Mao Zedong advocated for Maoism.
Both ideologies aimed at transforming the society, encouraging economic prosperity and bringing people together through socialism. However, despite the similarities between the two ideologies, there are some differences too.
References Chang, J. , and Halliday, J. 2005. Mao: The Unknown Story. Knopf Daryl, P. 2003. Kwame Nkrumah’s contribution to Pan-Africanism: an Afrocentric analysis, Routledge Imanuel, G. 1974. The pan-African movement: a history of pan-Africanism in America, Europe, and Africa,Taylor & Francis Publishers Judith, S. 2001.
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