Mao’s Marxist Negation of Marxism

The Limits of Revolutionary Subject’s Negation of Revolutionary Theory without Affirming Itself

  • Ozan Altan ALTINOK WWU Münster
Keywords: Marxism, Hegel, Marxist Theory of Knowledge, Mao, Epistemology


In this paper, my main aim is to analyse Mao’s conception of Marxist theory and his Marxist subjectivity in theory construction in his three articles. While doing so, I will use two main approaches, first is the idea that Karl Marx’s method in understanding social relations and his theory of knowledge is in many aspects compatible and in continuation with an epistemological reading of Hegel’s subjectivity, and the second is the general structure about the relationship between the object and subject’s process of knowing is similar in all three thinkers. While doing so, I will advocate the position that Mao’s epistemology is compatible with the Marxist understanding of Hegelian epistemology, and that from such an epistemological understanding it is possible to investigate Mao’s three texts in a way that yields, not an orthodox or “end result” Marxism, but instead a more general, meta epistemological understanding of Marx, that is understood better structurally. Eventually, I will claim that while using “scientific” or “orthodox” Marxism as a method to understand society, Mao further uses the subjective element in the same way as Hegel and Marx used it, although eventually he diverts the Marxist subjective manoeuvre to another direction.


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How to Cite
ALTINOK, O. (2019). Mao’s Marxist Negation of Marxism. Asian Studies, 7(1), 75-96.
Hegel, Marx and Traditional Chinese Dialectics