Mao used terror and repression constantly in the years from 1949 to 1953, however there were also other methods which he used to consolidate his power, and it is hard to decide whether both methods were equally successful or whether one of them was vital to the survival of the communist party with Mao as its dictator.
Mao used terror and repression most notably to eliminate political threats to his power. The best examples of this are the purges of the CCP, including those of Gao Gang and Rao Shushi, who supported him but appeared slightly too ambitious, and the Suppression of Counter Revolutionaries campaign. Mao imprisoned Rao, who died in prison 20 years later, and caused Gao to commit suicide to avoid further humiliation; these two methods definitely count as fear and repression. The suppression of counter revolutionaries involved 28,332 executions. These two examples scared the Chinese population into following communism blindly and repressed anyone with political ideas different to Maos, and is a perfect example of Mao using terror and repression to consolidate his power and control the population.
Mao often used repression more than terror, for example in the three and five antis campaigns, which he arguably used as an excuse to punish people to demonstrate his power. Those found guilty of any of the antis were only subjected to labour camps, fines or confiscation of property, but many people committed suicide rather than facing the humiliation an estimated 2-3 million people. This reaction just illustrates how effective repression was in China; Mao did not always have to rely on execution or other physical punishments to control his people.
Mao had many means of threatening people to prevent them from challenging him. Labour camps or lao-gais acted as an excellent deterrent and had been proven in several other dictatorships such as Stalins and Hitlers. People sent there often died or committed suicide before they went. Another common feature of...
Bibliography: : Wild Swans, Jung ChangMao: the Unknown Story by Jung Chang and John Hallidaywww.wikipedia.com
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