Mao Zedong himself did not consider his own thought any advance or differentiation from Marx and Lenin. However he did advance the theory of capitalist restoration, the threat that the communist party itself can be a vehicle of the bourgeoisie to restore capitalism. Capitalist restoration happened in China with the trial and conviction of the gang of four. The cultural revolution was led by Mao in an attempt to avoid capitalist restoration. China today is more free than most western countries, socialist in name, capitalist in deeds. Mao's thought was an advance in that he put into practice the idea of global people's war, placed the principle contradiction squarely on the first-world versus third-world split and identified the USSR (after Stalin) as state-capitalist social-imperialist.

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