Compare and Contrast Mao Zedong and Kim Jong Un's Method of Enforcement

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  973 Words
Date:  2022-03-29


Mao Zedong and Kim Jong Un are two Asian leaders who have been put under significant scrutiny by the many historians across the world. Many historians have come to associate both Mao and Kim with dictatorial practices in their nations in the attempt of increasing their influence in their nations and the world at large. Mao spearheaded Communist Party to triumph during civil war in China, thereby facilitating the establishment of the modern China (Breen 54). Notably, Mao demonstrated strong ambitions for China, but his programs tremendously failed. In fact, the world blames him for the death of more than 60 million Chinese people (Breen 54). Mao implemented his insane rule through a culture similar to anarchy that destroyed the Chinese economy and industrial production. According to Xizhe (205), Cultural Revolution approach that Mao used led to the most significant period of cultural vandalism as he advocated for the destruction of various things such as the historical sites, artifacts, ancient documents, and Feng shui traditions. Additionally, many copies of Quran were burnt because he opposed religions such as Muslims.

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Kim Jong Un, on the other hand, regards himself as the Supreme Korean leader. Kim has been subjected to considerable criticism by the western nations for his dictatorial moves and his recent involvement in the nuclear development and military exercises more vigorously. While many analysts argue that these moves may be sufficient signs that Kim is losing his support and control over the whole Korean nation and Asia, there is no doubt that Kim is an authoritarian leader who never backs down to threats, like the way U.S president has directed to him (Jang and Jae-Jung 735). The Koreans elites recognize him as the pure and legitimate heir of Kim II-Sung based on the foundation mythology that argues that Kim II-Sung is the protector of the Korean people and that his direct descendants must continue protecting Korea from the incursions by the Imperialists. Both Mao Zedong and Kim Jong Un, therefore, demonstrate various similarities and differences in their enforcement methods as discussed below.


Both Mao and Kim demonstrated the Personality Cult as a method of gaining the influence in their nations. Just like images and statues, Mao was everywhere in China during the 1960s. In the same way, the images of the three generations of Kim family members are found anywhere in North Korea. The use of this enforcement method helps gain support and influence from both the elites and the normal citizens as the protector of the people of North Korea.

Mao denied everybody in Chinese their economic freedom. In the same way, current North Korea lacks economic freedom, and people are subjected to the laws and rules that are created by Korean authorities through Kim's advice. In fact, everyone works for the government either directly or as an SOE. This strategy has prevented the regimes from receiving any opposition from its citizens.


While it is evident that both Kim and Mao are considered some of the world's worst dictators, substantial differences also exist in their enforcement methods in the attempt to gain influence in their nations across the globe. When it comes to social liberalism, it becomes evident that Mao was not socially liberal through modern Western or Soviet standards based on the fact that he encouraged romantic marriages, devotion to the society over the family and the abolition of the foot binding. On the other hand, Kim Jong Un has transformed North Korea into a conservative nation with harsh restrictions of certain mild notions such as dating. However, neither of this two society was more than repressive frontier Pakistan, Southern Afghanistan (Park 9). The implementation of the racist practices and racism is different in both the leaders. Notably, Mao-era China may have embraced the virtues of Chinese culture as well as history. However, Mao did not denigrate any other people other than for their ideology (Xizhe 188). The racism, therefore, existed in a small degree, if at all it was not absent. In his leadership, however, Kim has continuously emphasized on the purity and superiority of the North Korean race. In this way, North Koreans have observed other people, especially from the western nations as spiritually and biologically mediocre, thereby limiting miscegenation.

Propaganda constituted to a vital tool for gaining influence and support during the rise of imperialism across the world. In fact, Modern North Korea's propaganda is to some degree similar to Mao-era propaganda (Xizhe 201). However, the Kim, under his leadership has intensified the use of propaganda that has seen him receive numerous criticism from other leaders across the world. This is evident in the desire and moves to participate in the latest military developments and nuclear tests. In his response, Kim Jong Un argues that the nation's decision to invest in nukes has been caused by the increasing tension between North Korea and the West (Park 10). Besides, Kim's regime has dismissed the restrictions deterring it from developing nuclear weapons. Kim has however maintained the no-first-strike policy, arguing that it will only launch and executes its nuclear attacks when its sovereignty interfere. Analysts have classified such acts and assertions as mere propaganda and consolation forwarded by Kim regimes to engage in the development of nukes.


Breen, Michael. Kim Jong-Il, Revised and Updated: Kim Jong-il: North Korea? s Dear Leader. John Wiley & Sons, 2012.

Jang, Suyoun, and Jae-Jung Suh. "Development and security in international aid to North Korea: commonalities and differences among the European Union, the United States and South Korea." The Pacific Review 30.5 (2017): 729-749.

Karl, Rebecca E. Mao Zedong and China in the twentieth-century world: A concise history. Duke University Press, 2010.

Park, Yong Soo. "Policies and Ideologies of the Kim Jong-un Regime in North Korea: Theoretical Implications." Asian Studies Review 38.1 (2014): 1-14.

Xizhe, Wang. "Mao Zedong and the Cultural Revolution." On Socialist Democracy and the Chinese Legal System (Armonk, NY: ME Sharpe, 1985) (2015): 177-259.

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